Sunday, September 30, 2012

So it's the EU's fault now is it?

With incredible ineptitude and timing a senior Tory who just happens to be a minister for the Dept for International development has turned around to blame the EU for wasting the massive foreign aid budget...
A senior Government minister has accused the European Union of squandering Britain’s international aid budget on schemes that often have nothing to do with alleviating world poverty.
Alan Duncan, the minister of state for aid, said the Department for International Development (DfID) was “forced to give” British taxpayers’ money to the EU and was powerless over how it was spent.
The charge will raise tensions within the Conservative party because it touches on two of the areas where the Tory Right is most concerned about David Cameron’s policies - foreign aid and Europe.
Brussels insists it does not “impose” its choice of aid projects on Britain but - in an escalation of hostilities - a senior Conservative separately accused the EU of lying. “If you want an EU lie, this is a classic one,” said the senior Tory. “It is a 100 per cent lie. We have been arguing with the EU whenever we can that the money should have a poverty focus.”
At next week’s party conference in Birmingham, Justine Greening, the new International Development Secretary, will face calls from the party grassroots to clamp down on wasteful spending and projects which are not squarely aimed at tackling poverty.
An investigation into overseas aid by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed how £1.4 billion, one-sixth of DfID’s budget, is diverted to the EU for its own schemes - many of them in relatively wealthy countries that the UK no longer believes should receive aid.
To my mind if we didn't have a foreign aid budget then the EU couldn't 'steal' it, then again if we weren't in the EU they couldn't steal it either. Nor somehow does this explain just how aid is allocated, particularly to countries with space industries (India) a nuclear weapons industry (India and Pakistan) or kleptocracies (Most of Africa).
The government should not be giving away a penny in foreign aid whilst we have problems at home that need sorting, that should be a personal choice for individuals. If the aid budget reaches £14 billion as is predicted by 2014 then think of just how we could spend that money here, couple it with the scam of the bird mincer subsidies and we could reduce our fuel bills for heating and transport too. Pensioners would not be dying in cold winters because they aren't faced with the choice of eat or freeze. Pensions could be sorted out after the ruinous Labour raid on them by Gordon Brown.
But no we waste it on foreigners and then attempt to blame the EU.
I'm no big fan of the EU, but they aren't the ones raising the foreign aid budget here, yes they may be culpable of taking advantage of it, but that's easy to fix...


Saturday, September 29, 2012

The silence of the Imam's

A lot has been written over the past year (including this blog) on the sexual exploitation of underage girls by Muslim males of Pakistani/Bangladeshi origin. Whilst politicians and so called community leaders have tried to maintain the fiction that there isn't a racial/religious element to the abuse (yes we're looking at you Keith Vazeline) Yet the evidence kept coming including that of a massive cover up and wilful neglect from those in authority due to considerations of 'community cohesion' and fear of accusations of racism.
Always from the community and religion involved there has been silence, other than to claim it's all some kind of racist islamophobia yet all the time the accusations and arrests continued.
Labour peer Lord Ahmed has called on mosque leaders in South Yorkshire to speak about the issues surrounding sex exploitation.
His comments follow a Times newspaper report of widespread abuse of girls by Asian men in the county.
It prompted MPs to order South Yorkshire Police's chief constable to answer the claims in Parliament.
Lord Ahmed said: "It's important that the community, rather than going silent... talk about it."
An investigation by The Times said a confidential 2010 report by the Police Intelligence Bureau detailed "a significant problem with networks of Asian males exploiting young white females, particularly in Rotherham and Sheffield".
Talk about it? How about the 'communities' involved stamping it out and handing over the perpetrators to the authorities instead? Or is that a rather simplistic way of looking at things?
Mr Ahmed said he did not know the reason why Asian men were exploiting young girls.
Apart from the fact that they aren't Muslim or Pakistani/Bangladeshi one must suspect.
The islamic religion in this country does not get a great press, its adherents attempts to blow up tube trains, buses, cafe's, grooming of underage girls for sexual purposes, spitting at our troops and burning poppies on Remembrance day have pretty much assured its deep seated unpopularity amongst the ordinary people of this country. Only the politicians, political classes and the utter loons of the political left seem to be somehow in favour of the rest of us putting up and shutting up.
They as much as the Muslim community are to blame for this utter disgrace to civilised values yet sadly as ever I suspect they'll shift the blame elsewhere (as the police did by arresting the girls, parents and guardians rather than the perpetrators) and bury their heads in the sand hoping it will go away.
Personally I'd settle for nothing less than stringing them up and letting them rot in hell for this outrage to our young women.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A good idea

Apparently part of the 2011 education Act gives teachers (and other educators) the right to anonymity if accused or suspected of some form of assault (physical or sexual) by a pupil or parent of a pupil. They key is in the word 'suspected' in other words they aren't actually guilty of anything (as yet) not that some agree with such protection...
Members of the public, the media and even the police could be banned from automatically naming teachers in cases such as that in which Jeremy Forrest fled the country with his pupil, Megan Stammers, it has emerged.
From Monday, anyone who names a staff member at the centre of a criminal allegation made by or on behalf of a child, could face prosecution or a £5,000 fine.
The power, enshrined in the 2011 Education Act, is being introduced to protect innocent teachers against malicious claims from pupils and parents, but critics fear that the legislation has gone too far and will hamper investigations and stifle free speech.
Police chiefs, politicians and senior lawyers specialising in media, have criticised the law, with some warning that it could hamper missing person investigations, such as the one involving Megan.
The 'Megan' case is an interesting one, she appears at least to be a willing victim and they've escaped to a country where the age limit is lower (supposedly).
That said, technically what the teacher has done is abduction/kidnapping and wouldn't really be covered by the anonymity law, this simply appears to be a case of the Telegraph making mischief. Though I suppose it's always possible for the justice system to take the provisions of the act far further than they were designed, it wouldn't be the first time...
Yet I have to ask myself if this law is good enough for the teaching industry, would it also not be applicable to those men who are simply accused (not found guilty) of rape or sexual assault? Julia at Ambush Predator blog has a catalogue of cases where men have had their lives ruined, their DNA taken and held in custody their names being spread all over the MSM on the say so of women, whom when it's been investigated have merely been crying wolf rape. Yet the women have had their anonymity protected until they are found out.
Seems there's now one law for teachers and another for the rest of us...

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Progress takes many forms and often leaves  certain groups of workers behind in its wake. That's often why a flexible attitude in the jobs market will help, after all these days there's not much call for blacksmiths, steam train drivers, Roman legionaries etc save in very small specific areas of hobbies or pastimes.
Tube workers are to be balloted for strikes in protest at plans to test driverless trains.
Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) members will vote on industrial action ahead of preparations to test trains without drivers.
The union said it would initially ballot its members who are set to take part in the trials.
Transport for London (TfL) said any call for action at this stage was "ludicrous".
London Mayor Boris Johnson said during his election campaign driverless trains would be operational within a decade.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "RMT reiterates this union's complete opposition to driverless trains. Every train must have a driver to ensure the safe and effective running of the Underground.
Now I don't know how the public will react to driverless trains, they may not be too keen on the idea. After all the thought that there's at least a last resort of a guy on the brakes is quite comforting. That said it has to be put in the same consideration of a union who appear to be willing to strike at the drop of a hat and get paid well above the national average with less working hours per man than than the average commuter.
Perhaps the unions have (as ever) priced themselves out of the market and technology is ready to take their place. Wouldn't be the first time after all, look at Wapping and the print unions, they got greedy and paid the price. Same can be said about the RMT, they have got greedy, called strikes at the drop of a hat, held TfL to ransom over the Olympics and now look as if they are about to find out the cost of the ultimate freedom, that of taking the consequences for your actions.
I guess in the end it depends on whether the price will come down, the system keeps running and that people are happy with unmanned trains.
I do know it was bound to happen though, the actions of the RMT made it inevitable...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Why can't the Lib Dems grasp the very obvious point that avoiding paying tax is not an illegal activity, it's almost a civic duty? Yet still they come out with measures to penalise people and companies who are not breaking any laws whatsoever...
TAX dodging firms will be banned from winning Government contracts under a crackdown unveiled yesterday.
In a speech to the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, said: “If you want to work for us, you should play by our rules.
“There is nothing that prevents firms that don’t play by the rules from winning Government contracts. That is not right. And I am determined that it comes to an end. Taxpayers’ money should not be funding tax dodgers.”
He said Treasury officials were drawing up new rules to prevent companies using loopholes and off-shore investments to avoid paying tax while providing services to the Government.
“In this country, we tax work, effort and income too highly and unearned wealth far too little,” he added.
I wonder if Danny Alexander considers the £100,000 he ripped off from the taxpayer via the Westminster expenses home flipping scam to be unearned wealth? I rather doubt it, these rules and regulations are usually aimed at anyone but politicians.
I suspect that the first time that any government tries to block a contract going to a company who hasn't broken any laws (save only those in the imagination of politicians) that law suits will fly and the taxpayer will be stiffed for the bill due to the governments blatantly illegal stance.
I also rather suspect that the governments idea of unearned wealth isn't the same as your average taxpayer either, after all those who simply have money to spare is not my definition of unearned. Flipping a second home to pick up additional expenses is, putting in false expenses claims is, using your position as a politician to pick up non executive directorships of companies is too, free holidays disguised as fact finding missions is as well. All stuff politicians do to supplement their already too generous income, yet they target those whom they believe are hoarding wealth.
Truly the Lib Dem's are unfit to be allowed anywhere near the levers of power in this country...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Never mind the crimes involved...

It really does come to something when a fear of being prosecuted for a breach of human rights trumps a case of sexual assault or the downloading of child pornography. Yet that's the kind of society we live in, the medical profession won't even strike off doctors prosecuted for such offences as it might breach their human rights...
Dozens of doctors have kept their jobs despite being convicted of serious sex offences.
Medical chiefs claim they cannot ban all sex offenders from working because it might breach their human rights.
At least 31 male GPs, consultants and surgeons are practising even after having assaulted women, been in possession of child pornography or solicited prostitutes.
None of their patients have been informed.
Some of those with child pornography offences are even believed to be free to treat children.
Patients’ groups and MPs say people would be horrified to learn a sex offending doctor had examined them.
Now soliciting with prostitutes to my mind shouldn't be a crime, though there is an increased health risk to the patients via std's  so it's not exactly good practice.
Problem is to a certain extent that the medical profession is a closed shop at the level of doctors and physicians, you have to have done something really bad to get thrown out of the 'old boys' (or girls) network and frankly our laymans isea of bad doesn't exactly mesh with theirs.
Still human rights for crimes committed does appear to be a new one for them, though sadly it's not a new one for us. You'd think though that at least the medical profession would have higher standards, though again having heard a few cases of abuse by them I realise I probably shouldn't.
Criminal misconduct shouldn't necessarily mean that you lose your job of course, particularly if its committed outside of work and doesn't have a custodial sentence as a result. But when dealing with the public different rules apply and I'm pretty sure no parent wants a doctor who downloads child sex stories as a hobby wants them treating their kids. Yes it might be safe, but would you want to take the risk?
I'm pretty much sick to the back teeth of the excuse of human rights being used to excuse action on criminals, too many times they forget that we the law abiding have rights too and ours should trump theirs always.
Sadly that's not the society we have though...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tag you're it...

One of my previous jobs was fitting tags to people released from prison but who were essentially supposed to be on some form of curfew overnight. It wasn't a great job and I didn't stay with it long, the equipment was fairly naff and could be easily fooled by someone with a bit of tech savvy. No I never fitter a tag to anyone with an artificial leg either, just in case you're wondering if that was me.
Putting electronic tags on criminals has cost taxpayers £1billion over 13 years – but leaves them free to commit crime by day, according to a study.
Outdated technology, ten times more expensive than that used in the US, means offenders are unmonitored when not under curfew at home, says the think-tank Policy Exchange.
It is calling for new tags to monitor criminals’ every movement using GPS technology. Around 80,000 offenders are tagged every year, including former prisoners released early and criminals serving community sentences.
This was something actually pointed out to the people in the Home Office as well as the companies fitting the tags over 10 years ago. A tag merely (if used properly) had to remain within 30 foot of a monitoring station during a certain period of time, the monitoring station sent out an alarm via a landline to a call centre and the authorities were supposed to swing into action to pick up the out of curfew miscreant. What it didn't do is tell anyone where the miscreant was if out of curfew and it didn't stop any form of criminal activity during the times when the miscreant was allowed out of the house. Those tagged were given a phone number to ring if for some reason they couldn't be home, but the real kicker was that even those who set off an alarm were rarely if ever tracked down to see what they were up too anyway.
The system was expensive, difficult to monitor properly and the staff poorly motivated (and paid) and this was over 10 years ago so why it's taken them this long to admit it I don't know, unless it's one of those things the coagulation has finally got round to looking at as a legacy of the previous government.
Considering just how far the technology had moved on it would be simple to use GPS tags along with some sort of system to prevent people going where they aren't allowed (shops, leisure activities etc)
I expect however it will still take another 10 years to sort out another useless system though...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's reform not thievery we want

It's fairly typical of the mentality of the Lib Dem's that they choose to target a certain group whilst accusing them of doing something perfectly legal, something which the government via its convoluted robbery with menaces tax collection system encourages.
Individuals with assets of more than £1m face a new crackdown on tax avoidance, Lib Dem Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander has revealed.
The number of people working in the Affluence Unit (AU) of HM Revenue and Customs is to increase from 200 to 300, to cope with the additional workload.
Previously, the unit only scrutinised the tax affairs of people with assets and property of more than £2.5m.
Mr Alexander told the Mail on Sunday the wealthiest "should pay more".
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said at his party's conference on Saturday that the party wanted more tax on unearned wealth.
First off this is the same Danny Alexander who conned the Treasury out of over £100,000 by flipping his home back during the expenses scandal.
Second, avoidance is not illegal, it's pretty much a civic duty if you can manage it the Lib Dem's as ever forgetting just whose money it actually is.
Our tax system has evolved to a certain extent by allowing loopholes in it to encourage investment in certain areas, it was known as tax breaks, there are other bits and bobs too covering necessary expenses including laundry costs. All in all though it's a bit of a dogs dinner and certain specialists at the high end of the market will for a price advise their clients as to the best way to set up their finances so they pay the absolute minimum of taxation, the savings made more than covering the cost of hiring an accountant. Often enough it's the accountants who know the system better than government ministers or even the treasury itself and one of the loopholes they've exploited is the offshore business account which only pays a fraction of the taxes a mainland based account would.
It's all perfectly legal and the requisite taxes are being paid yet the Lib Dem's are determined to go after anyone doing a legal activity rather than amending the system itself. They're especially targeting unearned wealth as in inherited wealth such as those living in houses that they got from deceased relatives, though what business it is of theirs who owns what is beyond me.
The thing is, percentage-wise the wealthiest do pay more, even if they are exploiting the system, what the Lib Dem's appear to want is for them to pay more than their fair share, or rather more than the system allows and instead of reforming the system they're choosing the path of punitary one off raids.
It's just another offshoot of the politics of envy which we've come to see embodies the thinking of those on the left of the political spectrum with regard to anyone having more money than they do.
Again and again we see those in power targeting those who are not breaking the law rather than reducing the size of the state and reforming the tax system itself to be more fair with regard to some form of flat rate or land value tax covering everything rather than the complex system of personal, corporate and value added mess we have today.
Though perhaps first we ought to be rid of the den of thieves that keep being elected year after year...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I don't think that word means what you think it does

The word is of course 'fair' and in part it means...
a. Having or exhibiting a disposition that is free of favouritism or bias; impartial: a fair mediator.
b. Just to all parties; equitable:
But not to politicians, to them it means favouring one group over another.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is to repeat his call for a tax on the wealthy when he rallies activists on their party conference's opening day.
He will urge lower taxes for workers doing a "proper shift" but higher rates for those "sitting on a fortune".
Lib Dem calls for a one-off tax on "unearned wealth" have been rejected by their Conservative coalition partners.
Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes did not rule out a future coalition with the Labour party.
Yes a mansion tax would to an extent 'force' some people to sell their residences and downsize, some would also choose to sell up and move out taking their cash elsewhere. But that isn't fair by any definition of the word. Fair would mean a tax system where everyone paid pretty much the same percentage into the system and not a set of one off 'punitary' raids on those who have. It's how politicians ended up wrecking the pensions system we had in the UK and also started the banks off into paying bonuses.
If Clegg was calling for flat rate tax on everyone, cutting out the offshore tax avoidance route that the wealthy are using that would be fair, but he isn't, he's going down the politics of envy route that those on the left love  because they think (and in a lot of cases are right) that the people of the UK believe that the rich should be taken for all they've got simply because they are rich. They ignore the fact that a lot of the cash the rich has goes towards investment, development and simply paying for others to do they stuff they don't have too. They also ignore the fact that if they squeeze to hard the rich will up and leave, something the rest of us can't or won't do.
If we had a flat rate tax it would eliminate a lot of anger at bonuses, avoidance and various loopholes in a complex system, unfortunately simplifying the system is not in the politicians mantra, they'd rather target groups they see as easy and unloved.
Typical politicians of the left in other words...

Friday, September 21, 2012

My gaff, my rules

I don't know if badgers carry or pass tuberculosis onto cattle, farmers say they do and want to have a cull of them. My general opinion is that it's their land so long as they aren't breaking the law it's their business...
sadly farmers have to put up with enviroloons who believe what farmers do is actually their business.
Humane Society International and Care for the Wild claim consumers do not want not want to pay a premium for organic products from farms that are shooting badgers.
But the Soil Association insist that it is up to farmers if they want to carry out legal pest control on their farms.
The Government has issued a licence for farmers to kill thousands of badgers in West Gloucestershire and is expected to announce the go-ahead for a cull in West Somerset shortly.
MInisters claim the two trial culls will stop the spread of the cattle disease bovine tuberculosis, that is carried by badgers.
Mark Jones, the Executive Director of the Humane Society, said people who buy organic food love wildlife and do not want dairy products from farms taking part in the cull.
I suspect that a lot of people who don't buy over priced bug ridden produce organic food also love wildlife too and by some strange chance would not appreciate coming down with tuberculosis come to that.
But we're talking about a group of people who clearly know what is best for us and have taken it into their heads that killing what farmers consider to be vermin on their own land constitutes the removal of the word 'organic' from any (presumably milk) that they produce, not that I expect a lot of hard pressed financially families will be buying anything organic unless it's cheaper than mass produced stuff. What we are looking at is a niche market, unfortunately what we're also looking at is unreasonable people and farmers have been threatened and intimidated by 'extremists' for starting the cull. Extremist seeming to mean 'average' when dealing with enviroloons as they have a predilection to attack people in support of their endless campaign to make us all dirt poor medievalists.
Personally if I were a farmer I wouldn't give a damn if my product said organic or not, the supermarkets will still buy the stuff.
As it should be...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The real rip off is by the government

Another day, another article about fuel prices and the fact that the pump price doesn't reflect the barrel price. Mostly though missing the point on who makes the biggest take on the price...
The AA motoring group found drivers are consistently paying around 5p more for diesel at the pumps, even though it is often the same price as petrol on the wholesale markets.
The price of both fuels has almost reached the record high seen in April, with petrol at 140.21p per litre and diesel is now 144.6p per litre.
However, at three times this year, including this month, diesel has actually been cheaper than petrol on the international markets.
It now costs just over £70 to fill up a typical 50-litre family car with petrol and £72.30 to fill up a diesel one.
 Completely missing the point that 60% + is taken by the thieving government in duty and VAT. so what we could be paying is £28 and £28:92 at least according to the article, perhaps even less. The rate could be up to 64% or more rake off.
Just think of the boost to the economy if the government would give up on grabbing so much cash from a natural resource. Fuel affects the price of just about everything we buy or do, from groceries to travel, the money it would put back in our pockets along with the increasing competitiveness of our industries and goods.
Probably some stupid EU rule about it though, along with a Westminster politicians almost unnatural ability to see things to spend our cash upon, rather than save us some money by leaving it in our pockets.
Yes, that's right, it will never happen so long as we keep voting for the avaricious incompetents...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scares over

Well all those people who went into hysterics over the 'evidence' (or lack of) that using a mobile phone would somehow end up microwaving your brain can breathe a sigh of relief as a study shows that the daft buggers should have known better.
MOBILE phones were yesterday given a clean bill of health after scientists found no evidence linking them to cancer. Research concluded low-level electromagnetic fields from phones and transmitters do not increase the risk of health problems.
It flies in the face of some studies which also linked mobile use to male infertility.
The Mobile Operators Association welcomed the Norwegian Institute of Public Health report.
It said: “It is consistent with the findings of the overwhelming body of evidence from a huge number of studies over the past two decades.”
Not that I expect people to believe this, there is a lot of evidence out there that electromagnetic energy can cause problems with your body, though admittedly it has to do with standing in front of radar masts and next to tv transmission masts. There are always scare stories out there the measles, Mumps, Rubella combined injection was one, sitting too close to the tv is another as is going blind from the practice of Onanism.
What's happening now though is that people are becoming jaded or inured to the efforts of so called experts and the state to scare us into doing things their way. Did the scare of you head exploding stop people using mobiles? Well no, other than a few parents panicking and removing their little darlings mobiles from them whilst ignoring the microwaves, computer monitors and tv's which also give off electromagnetic radiation.
There are simply too many scare stories these days, which is a bit worrying as one day a real scare might happen and we'll ignore it and die. The MSM are to a certain extent to blame, they'll big up any story they believe will get them viewing numbers.
But in the end time will tell and we're still here, still going no matter what they tell us.
Till the next big scare of course...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The magic money tree

The public services and quangos are profligate with taxpayers money, usually under the belief that apart from budget constraints (often ignored) it's a bit of a magic money tree in that somehow or other it will never run out. Not even the usual threat of an incoming government to somehow get control over the nations finances seems to faze them, carefully negotiated deals with golden handshakes and redundancies mean it's usually more trouble than its worth to sack them or remove them, so the spending spree simply carries on...
One of Britain’s best-known quangos has spent millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on redundancies, while hiring more than double the number of staff that it let go, figures reveal.
Information released under Freedom of Information laws shows that Ofcom, the communications watchdog, has spent £9.4million making workers redundant over the past five years.
But over the same period it has hired 598 staff – more than twice the 223 who have been let go.
The 2012/13 budget for Ofcom – which is run by Ed Richards, a former member of Tony Blair’s policy unit, on a salary of almost £400,000 – is £121.4million.
No company in the private sector would behave like this, no company could afford too and there are ways to shed staff by natural wastage, redundancy is only ever used as a last resort. But in the public sector? Well the magic money tree means never having to say we've run out of cash and we can't afford to do this. Yet here we have a publicly financed organisation paying 223 people off whilst taking 598 on. Someone (or some people) are seriously taking the piss here in the sure and certain knowledge that the government will let them get away with it. You can tell pretty much by the sinecure of the head of the 'firm' that this is one of Blair and Labours jobs for the boys where drones and parasites are given large sums of taxpayers cash as a way of looking after them without them having to do anything like what should be required to earn that sort of cash. No head of any taxpayer funded institution be it national or local is worth £400,000 same with chief executives in local government. A ceiling of £100,000 ought to be enough, I'm pretty sure even at that amount they'd be inundated with takers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm surprised it's not more...

Seems that 75% of us want to see immigration slashed, though what slashed means to various people is yet to0 be defined. To me slashed means a moratorium on all but necessary immigration to say two or three thousand a year for jobs we can't train our own to do quickly enough. To others it might simply be to stop Muslims coming in or even EU immigration...
Either way, a lot of people aren't happy about Labour's decision to open the floodgates and rub the right's (whoever they are) nose in multiculturalism.
STRONG public support for cutting immigration and a hardening attitude to benefit spongers are revealed in a major new survey today.
Three-quarters of those questioned wanted immigration reduced.
More than half said it was bad for the economy and 48 per cent thought it undermined Britain’s cultural life.
But people drew a distinction between different types of incomers.
Highly skilled workers and students with good qualifications were widely welcomed as being good for Britain but support plunged in the case of unskilled labourers.
Alp Mehmet, vice chairman of MigrationWatch UK said: “This survey confirms that when they are told exactly what’s going on and are asked the question, the British ­people will come up with the common sense answer.
“Any advanced economy is going to have an element of migration. We don’t say there should be no immigration but there is no question that it has to come down.”
Pretty much my position as well, I want integration not separation and I don't want unskilled labourers coming here when we have enough unskilled of our own who ought to be doing those jobs (or lose benefits) though sadly until we leave the EU we don't have much choice on the unskilled workers front.
The awful thing is though is that I suspect the damage has been done and our society has been fractured from a basically homogeneous one to one that is dangerously (and becoming ever more so) unstable with the indigenous population feeling discriminated against, in places under siege and displaced by alien cultures who are protected by laws which are virulently and heavily discriminatory against the native populace all in the name of equality, anti-racism, tolerance and multiculturalism of course, where only the indigenous it appears can be racist.
So the survey shows that up too 75% feel that immigration is too high, I suspect that amongst those of us who have lived here all our lives and watched as the work, sacrifice and love for country of generations of Englishmen and women which has been systematically destroyed by the liberal left it's probably much, much, higher.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Doing well by doing 'good'

I've long railed at the Department for International Development (DfID) and the use it makes out of the foreign aid budget, believing that charity begins at home, not abroad. I believe the increase in budget that it received was merely a sop by Cameron to dispel the 'evil Tory' tag and perha[s a bribe to the left wing Lib Dems to keep them quiet whilst the big boys got on with running the country. Either way it failed as the recession closed in and people wondered why foreign nations with space programs were getting our cash and we weren't.
Still there is another angle to all this foreign aid that also gets my goat, it's those leeches on the foreign aid budget who appear to be getting rich off our taxes, and no, I don't mean the kleptocratic rulers of the countries we supply money too.
The Department for International Development (DFID) paid almost £500million last year to consultants, mostly British, many of whom earn six, even seven-figure incomes, courtesy of the taxpayer.
DFID also funds dozens of foreign consultancy firms. It is paying £6million to the University of Cape Town to investigate mental health issues in southern Africa and millions of pounds to US-based organisations, including the Clinton Foundation, the International Food Policy Research Institute and Family Health Inter-national.
It is paying a Washington-based group, Search for Common Ground, £3.9million to “support the electoral cycle in Sierra Leone”. Consultancy firms in India and Uganda are also receiving large sums.
DFID spent more than £20million last year on hotels, including many five-star ones. Next month it will open a 40,000 sq ft Indian branch office in Delhi with 18 meeting rooms and 280 desks — even though the then International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, said last year DFID would not be in India for “very much longer”. The furniture bill for the outpost comes to almost £400,000.
A Sunday Telegraph investigation shows just how lucrative the aid business can be for the private companies that dominate DFID’s roster.
The managing director of the London-based development consultancy Adam Smith International (ASI), which gets most of its income from DFID, paid himself a salary and dividends totalling almost £1.3million in 2010.
William Morrison earned £200,000 from ASI and collected dividends worth £1.06million from its parent company, Amphion Group, wholly owned by him and three of his fellow directors.
Amphion Group’s accounts state that its purpose is to act as a holding company for ASI.
Mr Morrison’s salary rose by a quarter last year, to £253,000. He and the three fellow directors shared dividends of £7.5million, or almost £1.9million each, which they paid to Amphion Group.
The directors collected salaries averaging £125,000 each.
In general I don't normally have a problem with people making money from their business acumen, however when their riches come from my taxes then it's a very different story. Nor do these leeches appear to have any shame in doing so. Sure I know that in certain areas you have to pay for the expertise, but in the case of foreign aid, that should be a personal choice, not via the taxpayer. If I want to give to charity or support foreign aid, then it should be my decision and not the government taking without my consent and handing it over to pay the salary of consultants, no matter how good they are or how justified they feel.
There is far too much of the looting of taxpayers money by those who are doing very well for themselves by purportedly doing good for others. It's time and past time that the DfID was closed down and the foreign aid budget scrapped. If we want to sell military equipment or other export items to these countries then perhaps it would be more honest simply to offer them a bribe. In the meantime, give us our money back!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

If you show it, they will watch...

There are times when I wonder if government ministers have a clue as to why tv companies show what they do, other times I'm absolutely certain. The main reason that broadcasters show certain programmes is audience figures, whilst the state broadcaster has a certain leeway owing to its captive funding, even it drops items that not enough people want to watch.
New Culture Secretary Maria Miller has written to broadcasters urging them not to cut their coverage of women's sport now London 2012 is over.
Mrs Miller said the success of Team GB's female athletes had been truly inspirational.
The huge TV audiences showed the public had a real appetite for mainstream coverage of women's sport, she added.
The BBC said it had a comprehensive portfolio of women's sport and always looked at how to increase coverage.
Mrs Miller is the minister for women and equalities as well as Culture Media and Sport Secretary.
She said the British media did a fantastic job over the past few weeks championing the achievements of Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds and other young women whom she said were powerful role models vital to delivering a sports legacy from the Olympics and Paralympics.
All very worthy I'm sure, however the Olympics are a showcase of the best of the best and broadcasters if they see a market for showing such coverage won't need the encouragement of any minister in Westminster. What they will do is look at the figures, possibly try a few test broadcasts of some events and see whether the audience figures (plus advertising revenue) justify their outlay. If the figures stay high they'll continue to broadcast, if they dip below a certain threshold then it's a case of bye, bye we'll try something else. That's why you get endless 'talent' shows and soaps on the main channels, it's what people as the audience figures show, want too watch.
The audience figures for the Olympics merely showed that people enjoyed watching the Olympics, they did not  'prove' that there is any great appetite for watching women's sport or indeed the rather spectacular paralympic 'murder' ball rugby variant. Maria Miller seems to be using one set of figures to prove another point not seeing them for what they probably are.
I may be wrong on this of course and there very well might be a massive desire to watch women's sport, I suspect however that the audience figures will be far lower than justifies the screening and with pretty much all broadcasters it's a case of the customer is always right.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yes or yes, yes

For a while now I have been against any further referenda with regards to the EU, I simply don't trust the EU or politicians to either word the question simply enough or allow a balanced debate on the issue. What I want is a Prime Minister and a government with the balls to just simply say in a manifesto that if elected they'll take us out.
My suspicions on referenda were confirmed by this report...
GOVERNMENT lawyers are studying the mechanics of holding a European Union referendum after a push towards political union in Brussels. Officials and legal advisers are understood to be wording a question for the British people in what could be the first national poll on the country’s relationship with Europe since 1975.
But supporters of the Daily Express’s crusade for Britain to quit the EU are expected to be disappointed.
It is understood voters will be asked to endorse David Cameron’s desire to stay in the EU while keeping out of a closer political union being formed within the 17 nations in the eurozone.
A senior Government source said a vote would be on a “recommendation that Britain stays in the EU without joining a political union.”
In other words, not in or out, but closer union or stay as we are, which is not what those who wish for a referendum to be asking. Not that I'd expect an in or out referendum to be worded fairly, something along the lines of do you wish to stay in the wonderful EU and all the benefits it brings vs do you want the UK to languish isolated in the world as a pariah state if we leave the EU. Because that's the mentality of those who wish us to remain (and pay for) ever closer union within Europe. They don't want an in or out referendum on anything like fair terms, they don't dare, but they'll fudge and prevaricate to allow a referendum on minutiae most of which would be overruled by the EU anyway, it's how they work after all. They operate very much on a don't like the answer well keep asking until you do.
You can pretty much rely on the fact that when it comes to questions on the EU that they won't be answered truthfully, will be brushed aside and in the case of referendums not allowed or constantly re-asked until the voters give them the answers they want.
We simply need a government to take us out, we don't need to be asked and we shouldn't vote for any party who won't take us out!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

They can have ours

One of the weirder aspects of the Scottish Nationalist Parties attempts to remove itself from the UK has been its insistence on handing over its independence to the EU. Still it must have been a bit disappointing to them to learn that if they do gain independence they'll have to apply to join the EU, rather than still be an accepted member.
IF Scotland were to gain independence it would have to apply again for EU membership, a European Commission spokesman said. EC spokesman Olivier Baiily and President Jose Manuel Barroso have said that any potential new member would have to request accession from outside the EU.
Today, EC spokesman Olivier Bailly told BBC Radio Scotland that there are two steps.
"There is a secession process under international law, and the request for accession to EU member state under EU treaties.
"In the mean time, of course, this new treaty is not part of the EU since it has to make a request for accession."
But SNP government minister, Keith Brown denied that an independent Scotland would have to apply for entry.
Mr Brown said: "It's simply our position, as it always has been, that Scotland will accede to the EU simply because we take on the same obligations and treaties that we currently have.
Well, first off, Scotland as such doesn't have any obligations or treaties with the EU, those are the remit of the UK government in Westminster, I suspect Mr Brown must know this, though it makes a good soundbite. Should Scotland however leave the UK, then it is not part of the EU, whereas the UK would be (more's the pity)
Still, there is a solution, a fairly simple one at that. Were Scotland to take possession of the UK's treaty of Rome, then they would remain in the EU and the rest of us would have to approve a Westminster governments attempts to take us back into the EU vis a referendum.
They get all the benefits of being in the EU, we get all the benefits of not having to pay for the EU.
Win, win.

Note, this article should be seen as entirely tongue in cheek...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The B word

Certain words trip off the tongue of those on the left of the political spectrum, they're mostly used to try and shut down debate by accusing those who oppose the proposals or cause as something beyond the pale. That it backfires is no surprise, just ask Gillian Duffy or indeed Gordon Brown...
So it really should not have come as a surprise to Nicky (boy) Clegg that using derogatory terms to try and suppress or attack the opponents of one of his pet causes should backfire...
Nick Clegg has become embroiled in a row over gay marriage after aides had to remove comments in the draft version of a speech calling opponents "bigots".
The deputy PM was expected to launch an attack on those against the policy - which include some Tory MPs - in a speech at a reception in London.
But the wording of initial extracts released to the media was changed.
Mr Clegg later insisted he never intended to use such language as it was "not the kind of word" he would use.
Sources close to Mr Clegg said the "bigot" claim was "a mistake" in an early draft of the speech which should not have been released to the press.
But Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the remarks were "very offensive".
"If he persists in taking that view I and others would be very offended, he said.
"To be called a bigot is a very offensive statement and I would ask him to recall it...because there are issues here that demand very serious debate."
I'm not sure who first said it, but it's a truism that if you have to resort to insult, then you've lost the debate, Clegg's claims that it was just a draft may indeed be true, however knowing how the mindset of those on the left work (and Clegg is indeed a lefty) the term bigot was probably thought to be a suitable term for those who oppose 'gay marriage' whether they were bigoted or not.
The church has deep seated religious reasons for being opposed to gay marriage, they regard the term 'marriage' as being the union between a man and a woman to bring children into the world and believe it to be the way approved of by God. At the moment, civil partnerships provide exactly the same rights in a same sex relationship, so why the insistence on being allowed to call it a marriage is a little beyond me, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck then all semantics aside, it is a duck!
If however this is just some sort of way to try and force churches to marry people of the same sex to each other in the sight of God then sorry, no, you don't get to do this without a change in the rule book, and good luck with that one. It's certainly not the privilege of politicians to dictate to the church, not now, not then, not ever.
That's not to say there aren't bigots involved in the debate, it's just that they are likely to be on both sides of the debate, however as the boy Clegg has just found out, using the B word first automatically loses you a battle in the war. Personally I don't hold with Clegg's excuse that this was a draft copy, I simply think he didn't know better and was shocked when the controversy came right back to his door.
But sadly that's the left for you these days...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tradition is not fact #2

Surprise, surprise, after a thousand threats including promises of violence, Channel 4 has decided to shelve 'Islam the hidden story'
A screening of a controversial documentary on the history of Islam has been cancelled on security advice after its presenter was threatened.
Historian Tom Holland's Channel 4 show Islam: The Untold Story sparked more than 1,000 complaints when it was broadcast.
Holland was threatened online with a torrent of abusive messages on Twitter.
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "Having taken security advice, we have reluctantly cancelled a planned screening of the programme Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film which is still available to view on 4oD."
The investigation into the origins of the religion claimed that there is little written contemporary evidence about the prophet Mohammed.
Holland, the writer of best-sellers Rubicon and Persian Fire, said that Islam is "a legitimate subject of historical inquiry".
And they wonder why we consider them barbarians...

Double standards...

The left never cease to amaze me with their levels of vindictiveness, what they will happily explain away and apologise for if it's being done by them, they will condemn out of hand by anyone else. They laud mass murderers (Che Guevara) yet condemn others who choose non left heroes (Anders Breivik) different sides of the same coin so to speak.
Yet even in small things does their utter pettiness emerge...
Commemorative T-shirts rejoicing in the moment when Baroness Thatcher dies are being sold at the annual trades union gathering in Brighton.
The T-shirts, on sale at the Trades Union Congress’s annual conference, cost £10 each and boast that union members will want to "dance on her grave" when she dies.
Last night outraged Conservative MPs called for Labour leader Ed Miliband to disassociate himself with the TUC and for the police to investigate. Mr Miliband's shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is due to address the annual gathering tomorrow.
The T-shirts, which are wrapped in clear plastic, are being marketed by the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers Centre, an organisation which provides "welfare rights advice services" and which is affiliated to the TUC.
One of the garments has an image of Mrs Thatcher’s spitting image puppet, with the words “Hey ho the witch is dead” along side.
Attached to the plastic is a notice urging the buyer only to wear when Lady Thatcher has died. It says: “In the event of Thatcher's death of Thatcher open bag and wear Tee shirt immediately."
Another T-shirt features a white cross on a grave with “Thatcher” across it, and the words: “A generation of trade unionists will dance on her grave”.
I know the left have never really gotten over their fall from grace during the Thatcher years, though Thatcher or someone like her became almost inevitable owing to the excesses of the unions during that period. The left never really understood that they weren't the mass movement they thought they were either, hence Thatchers electoral successes (she got a majority, not once but three times and was never defeated at a general election.)  and  the laws enacted to curb union power, laws that the eventual Labour government under Blair (who under whom more mines closed than Thatcher) never rescinded.
Yet it always has stuck me as being in extreme poor taste announcing that you are going to celebrate (not in a good way) the death of someone you don't like. Sure there will be a lot out there who did not like what Thatcher did and who will think good riddance, though why they should be so bitter over what happened in the 80's is still a bit of a mystery to me, this is 2012 chaps, come on, get over it already! Tee shirts like this show however exactly why the left should not ever be allowed back into power over us, pathetic and divisive and in appallingly bad taste, which sums up socialism more or less to a tee.
One does wonder what the lefts reaction would have been to anyone suggesting dancing on the grave of Karl Marx...

Monday, September 10, 2012

It will end in tears

There's a theory that goes if you play chess with good chess players, you'll get good (or better) yourself. I'm not certain that works with education, but clearly a good teacher will get more out of a class than say a bad one. What a good teacher won't be able to do however is take someone of lower academic standards and turn out a model student, well not in the time they're allotted and not if they have to deal with the needs of others. That's always been the problem with the comprehensive system, it's always been tied to the needs of the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately in their drive to get 50% of pupils into universities, the previous Labour government did not learn the lessons of the comprehensive system and its failures...
Cambridge University said accepting poorer students with lower grades would be a 'cruel experiment the could ruin lives' as the institution came under increasing pressure to widen its social mix.
The university's outgoing admissions director said it would resist calls to make 'adjusted offers' for less well-off students as Cambridge stepped into the row over 'social engineering'.
It is just one of the elite universities being urged to admit students with lower grades from poorer backgrounds to match the number accepted from middle-class families.
Geoff Parks, who this month stood down from his 10-year stint as head of the Cambridge admissions office, said students who failed to achieve top A-level results could be doomed to failure.
He added that a lack of academic success could mean they would be ill-equipped to cope with the demands of Cambridge, it was reported.
He does not say (though it is implied) that the lecturers do not have the time to give special treatment to those who have a lower record of attainment. Whilst I'm sure some may survive and thrive I suspect they'll be in a tiny minority, some people are late developers after all. Yet for the majority it will be the equivalent of throwing someone who can't swim into the deep end and letting them get on with it, they will be singularly ill equipped  from their previous educational experiences to cope with the necessary disciplines that a top level university will demand of them to get a degree qualifications. Hell I expect a lot of them will struggle to catch up to where the standard student comes in at, which will leave them getting further and further behind and no doubt further and further into debt before crashing out demoralised and bitter about the entire experience.
Equality of opportunity does not equal equality of ability, something the idiots of the left seem to have forgotten, sadly though as in just about every other endeavour they've poisoned, they're not the victims.
Just the poor sods who are sucked into their little schemes...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lycra louts?

It would be difficult to find a Mail article with more generalisations in it than the one hoisted today by Petronella Wyatt
How thuggish minority of cyclists are terrorising our roads with one elderly pensioner being hit twice in a month. On August 16, my mother was hit by a Lycra lout. She was crossing the road when a youth on a bicycle shot a red light, knocked her to the ground and left her with a broken arm. Yesterday, a friend telephoned to ask about her health. 'She would be feeling better,' I replied, 'if she hadn't been hit by another bicycle the other evening.' I could hear a convulsion in his voice. It sounded like stifled laughter. He could not repress a gurgling sound before he managed to compose himself to express sympathy and shock. 'Again? How awful!' If my mother had been hit twice by a car in a similar space of time, the general reaction would have been one of horror and outrage. The anti-car lobby has portrayed motorists as evil, greedy killers of the innocent and destroyers of the planet. But this halcyon haze enveloping cyclists hides a disturbing truth. The majority are safe – but not all. There are rogues: Lycra louts whose intentions are as low as the meanest hit-men. In 2012, I had my handbag stolen by a gang of youths on bikes. This is not to deny the guilt of many motorists who drive irresponsibly, and the fact that every year innocent cyclists lose their lives as a result. But the police have established, in conjunction with the Transport Research Laboratory, that half of all collisions between bicycles and cars are the fault of the cyclist.
The generalisations in the tale lead me to wonder just what the woman is rambling on about. A gang of feral youths on bikes hardly constitute lycra louts for one. The other is that some cyclists are dangerous on bikes, which suggests going after them rather than penalising all.Sadly that's not how the nanny state generation sees things, if there is a problem by a minority (and she admits it's a minority) then all must be punished. Not that I'm averse to cyclists being properly trained or carrying insurance, but before that happens there needs to be measures put into place to make roads safer for them to use and keep them off the pavements. That sadly is where the entire fantasy falls flat, the government won't spend the money and the way the UK's streets came to be (cattle runs to market mostly) happened in an age before the internal combustion engine came to power personal transport. Nor despite the earbashing that certain government departments and the lycra lobby give the UK public on moving away from their cars can I see any likelihood of people giving them anything but two fingers for their troubles.
The facts are, for the most part the UK's streets are clogged with traffic, this isn't going to stop unless fuel becomes way more expensive than it is now. People are not going to turn to cycling in any great numbers, not now or ever unless their places of work, leisure, play, shops, get a lot closer and the means to fit a full load of tools, shopping, kids, onto a bike or public transport becomes cheaper and more convenient for the majority.
There are always going to be bad cyclists in the same way there are always going to be bad drivers and careless pedestrians. That's life and trying to regulate it without dealing with the problems causing it is never going to work.
Rebuilding our cities and road network is never going to happen, accidents will though and no-one is going to be happy. Petronella Wyatt needs to realise this and simply try to find and prosecute the thugs who mowed her mum down rather than try to reinvent the wheel and put more people at the mercy of the state.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Opt in opt out

What is it with the weakminded these days that they continually play into the hands of those who would control us supposedly for our own good?
A leading neuroscientist has backed an opt-in system for online pornography, saying extreme images may cause long-term harm to children’s brains.
Baroness Susan Greenfield urged ministers to respect parents’ concerns over uncontrolled internet access.
The Oxford University professor said the developing brain was ‘vulnerable’ and that children needed to be protected from premature sexualisation.
Already, she said, young people she had spoken to believed ‘relationships are for losers’ and that having multiple sexual partners would impress their friends. The Daily Mail is campaigning for an automatic block on online porn unless over-18s specifically ask their internet service providers to let them see such material, following strict age verification.
Baroness Greenfield said: ‘If I had to choose between unfettered internet access, and having children potentially harmed psychologically or worse by porn sites, then for me the decision is an easy one.
‘This [opt in] seems to be the simplest and something simple is easiest for people to deal with. We know that the young brain, because it is still developing, is vulnerable. It is so easily influenced, exposing young people to extreme behaviours like that, might influence it in a way that could be long term.’
Whilst I'm willing to accept that porn might have an effect on kids brains, frankly there are worse things than porn around that might do so. The problem as I see it is lack of parental supervision, in which they don't have a clue as to what kids are looking at, which is only something parents can fix as I don't believe any 'opt in' system will work anyway, after all, some parents look at porn too and a lot of kids are far more tech savvy than their parents, including the use of proxy servers to get around service provider bans. Unless of course the government choose to act to ban those as well... (I must stop giving them ideas, I know)
Once again our freedoms are being eroded away with a 'for the cheeldren!' mantra from those who believe they know what's good for us despite years of evidence that they either don't or have other agendas. After all if it does become possible to limit access in one way, it's possible to limit access in others and then we're (if not already) heading down the route of Winston Smith's Ministry of Truth, where we're only allowed to see what those in power wish us to see.
It's time for parents to 'man up' as it were and take personal responsibility for bringing up their kids with a healthy outlook, you can buy 'nanny' protection products if you feel the need for them.
Trusting the government to look after your kids is a recipe for disaster...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Don't care, won't care

One of the never ending irritations about politicians is their avaricious love in with the contents of our pockets, vial the route of 'expenses'. Not that I'm saying fair and just expenses shouldn't be paid, just that my idea of fair and just seems to be at a polar opposite to what your average politician believes to be fair and just.
The bill for politician spending was almost as much this year as it was before the MPs' expenses scandal, official figures have shown.
The bill went up by a quarter to nearly £90 million last year.
Politicians spent the money on second homes, staff, travel and office costs - including dozens of iPads.
The figure is now only slightly lower than in the run-up to the scandal that rocked Westminster in 2009 after it was exposed by the Daily Telegraph.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) insisted that the rate of claims had remained "stable".
The total outlay for 2010-11 had been £71 million, and IPSA pointed out this was lower because of the impact of the general election.
In 2008-09, before the expenses crises, MPs claimed £95.6million, while immediately after the scandal, the claims fell to £90.7 million.
Only seven claims of the 35,315 submitted by MPs were not paid by IPSA, of which six were made by the former Environment Secretary Chris Huhne. The claims – for car mileage – totalled only £4.95 together.
Tim Loughton – who was sacked from his Education Minister role in the reshuffle on Tuesday – had an electricity bill of £262 rejected on the grounds that it was a "duplicate claim".
Mr Loughton's position in government was taken by the Liberal Democrat David Laws, who had to resign in May 2010 after the Telegraph disclosed he had been paying rent to his partner, which is against the rules.
Chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said "like for like" the rate of claims had been about the same last year, and 99% were within the rules.
Why MP's need an iPad is anyones guess, most business people still make do with a laptop running Windows software and the occasional glitch that goes with it. I suspect most MP's simply use them to read the papers and tweet, anything else their secretaries deal with. No I don't expect MP's to deal with all the paperwork, that said, I don't expect them to employ family members either and pocket the change.
Any where other than Westminster the efforts of these toerags to misappropriate public cash would have them escorted off site, facing a police investigation and eventual criminal charges. As for second homes, well I'm sorry, a hotel should be bought near Westminster and MP's given a room to crash there, they don't need a house, they just need somewhere to stay, they want a house, they buy one themselves and no they don't get to charge you or I for the privilege.
It is long past time that Parliamentarians and their profligacy is reigned in, but as Parliamentarians themselves set the rules there is little hope of that until we finally bring them down.
At the moment though, far too little care enough even to vote the corrupt bastards out of power, never mind string them up as they so richly deserve.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Someone gets it...

There's a report out detailing the fact that UK drivers spend £8 billion a year on parking charges. Which I suppose id fair enough, though it does go on to make the point that excessive parking charges are causing some town centres to die from lack of custom...
Britons are now spending nearly £8bn a year to park their cars with prices rising 12% last year.
The rising costs are deterring shoppers from visiting town centres, according to a survey by car insurance company
The most expensive parking is in Knightsbridge in central London, where motorists can be charged up to £36 for three hours.
The survey of 2,000 people found 69% intentionally avoided shopping areas with high parking prices.
As many as 65% said they would return to the high street if parking was more affordable, while 21% believe current parking services do not offer enough space.
A total of 60% of motorists spend between six and 20 minutes every trip searching for a parking space, with 30% confessing to not feeling safe in car parks.
Nearly a quarter (24%) have been involved in a car park argument, with 11% of the altercations boiling over into physical violence.
I've never been involved in any violence in Car parks, though I've often been a bit exasperated at the antics of people parking without care for others. But as this report suggests, I do avoid going places where I believe I'm being ripped off by whoever is charging me to park which means many town centres particularly the multistories. If I have to go into London, I'll take a train, it would possibly be cheaper to park, but there aren't many long term parks near where I have to go and I can't be arsed to constantly move the car every couple of hours. My local town centre is still fairly cheap to park in, so it gets my custom as and when I can be bothered to go shopping as I'm fast coming to the conclusion that the internet is my friend for a lot of goods and services anyway.
You'd think common sense would apply when trying to get people in to an area to shop in that you make it easy for them to get in and park and don't charge them too much to do so, after all that's part of the 'secret' of out of town shopping. But no, councils hive off their parking to private companies then watch in astonishment as these companies try to recoup their costs by ripping off the motorists and making said motorists look elsewhere.
Personally I think that the day of high street shopping is over, the councils and others priced themselves out of the market. Some areas will of course survive if they offer added value, but most retailers will opt for soulless out of town big name slots or start selling online.
But on this and so many other things politicians local and national get involved with, they only have themselves to blame.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ongoing theft

The Dartford crossing of the M25 was paid for a number of years ago, when it was, the tolls were supposed to end, it being a Labour government, of course they didn't. Promises were made to use the tolls to pay for other road improvements in Kent and Essex, this being a Labour government, of course they didn't, they even came up with the ludicrous excuse that somehow or other the tolls and the collection booths were some sort of traffic calming method, this despite the booths contributing to massive delays at peak periods and often enough through the day. Now the prices are going up again and lo and behold they have a new surprise for us too...
An increase in road toll charges at the river crossing between Kent and Essex, which were announced earlier this year, will take effect from Sunday 7 October.
From 06:00 BST, drivers of cars and 2 axle goods vehicles will pay 50p more to use the Dartford-Thurrock crossing.
Heavy goods vehicles will cost an extra £1.30, while the crossing will remain free for motorcyclists.
Discounts will continue for local residents and DART-Tag account holders who pay in advance.
Any vehicle using the crossing between 22:00 and 06:00 will continue to do so for free.
Cash payments at the crossing will increase from £1.50 to £2.00 for cars, from £2.00 to £2.50 for 2 axle goods vehicles, and from £3.70 to £5.00 for heavy goods vehicles.
Electronic charging, which means vehicles will not have to stop, will be introduced in 2014, when the charge for cars will rise to £2.50. Drivers of 2 axle goods vehicles will also have to pay £3.00, and £6.00 for heavy goods vehicles.
Proof if ever it were needed that they're simply after our money and that traffic calming was simply a lie to fob us off with, after all if we don't have to stop, where's the calming effect?
Nor can I believe the gall of the rest of the article in which the minister says the charges will be used to pay for other infrastructure improvements, after all, isn't that what the road tax fund was supposed to be for? (I know, I know, it's never been used for that, but the point remains, motorists are being used as a cash cow by the government)
Where is there a political party determined to reduce taxation (of all kinds) to reduce the size (and power) of the state and who will bring honesty (for a given value of honesty I know) back into Westminster?
We certainly need one...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

That 'Asian' word again

I don't know why the MSM do it, they aren't really fooling anyone but they have got to get over the misuse of the word 'Asian' when describing the activities of a certain religious group.
SOLDIERS guarding the Paralympics have been told to keep in large groups after a spate of unprovoked attacks on servicemen.
In the worst incident, a lone off-duty soldier was targeted by four Asian men who abused him for being in the Army before attacking him yards from his base.
Asia is a big bloody place and I suspect the guys attacking the soldiers weren't Chinese either, nor any of the oriental Asians. Nor somehow do I suspect they come from the old Soviet Asian states but rather the Indian sub continent and either one of the Islamic states festering therein. So just who the Express thinks they are fooling is anyone's guess, certainly not the public at large. Perhaps it's just to keep the commision on racial equality happy not to go into specifics or the local Guardianistas who would squeal 'waycist' had such a connection been made.
Still this is the Islamic republic of Tower hamlets we're talking about, a place of peace and tolerance amongst the religion teachers being bludgeoned near to death for teaching Muslim pupils about other religions, non Muslim shop assistants being threatened for not wearing a veil and the site of gay free zone stickers put up by Islamics despite the initial claims it was the EDL doing it. Also the place where a woman was dragged off a bus and beaten up by Asian thugs only to have the UAF video it and laugh about it.
Yes, that Tower hamlets, home of the Muslim postal vote, where only whites can be racist according to the corrupt Lee Jasper the one who suggested there were similarities between the extremist Anders Breivik and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
A place where one day there will be rioting and carbeques like the Banlieues of France where the Islamic areas have become no go areas for civilised people, mostly meaning non Islamics.
No doubt the 'Asians' making these attacks don't think they are unprovoked, after all the Army is deployed in Afghanistan and the Islamic sense of grievance knows no end, though it might just be racism rearing its ugly head, not that I'd expect anyone caught to have the racist tag added to any charges, the Rhea Paige incident will have told anyone what to expect from the CPS and Judges on anything along those lines.
Nor do I expect politicians to do anything about the plague we have to deal with in the sense of Islamic immigration, not unless it's too little too late.No, we'll be told we're racists, bigots Nazi's, fascists etc, which we aren't but there's no stopping the anti-English left wing liberals when they go off on one.
Doesn't make us wrong though, does it?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Your EU big brother...

I've been keeping tabs on Project Indect for a little while now, anyone who helps run or moderates a debate forum on the fringe side of politics usually hears of it after a while. It's the EU's attempt to look for anything which might threaten its grip on society, though they normally say it is to keep a track on violent individuals and nip problems in the bud...
A five-year research programme, called Project Indect, aims to develop computer programmes which act as "agents" to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.
Its main objectives include the "automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence".
Project Indect, which received nearly £10 million in funding from the European Union, involves the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and computer scientists at York University, in addition to colleagues in nine other European countries.
Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, described the introduction of such mass surveillance techniques as a "sinister step" for any country, adding that it was "positively chilling" on a European scale.
The Indect research, which began this year, comes as the EU is pressing ahead with an expansion of its role in fighting crime, terrorism and managing migration, increasing its budget in these areas by 13.5% to nearly £900 million.
Thing is on this blog I've used hyperbole to suggest that the best politician is one dangling from a lamppost, I've never suggested (yet) that we go out and do it, though admittedly I'll shed few tears if someone did do for the political classes big time as I believe most of the problems this country faces are directly due to their failures to represent our wishes on immigration, crime, education and economics. Their tendency to line their own pockets either directly or indirectly whilst telling us not to do as they are doing or trying to hide the evidence is particularly galling, more so in the case of the EU over which we have even less say than the morons in Parliament.
They know that we hate them though and Project Indect is one of a series of measures being put in place to protect them and if it just happens to catch some real criminals, so much the better.
Sooner or later though there will be mission creep and people who become awkward to the powers that be will find their freedoms to do so curtailed.
The EU along with politicians everywhere do appear to regard Orwell's 1984 as a guide, rather than a warning...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tradition is not fact

One of the reasons for the Protestant reformation was the various abuses of power, mainly indulgences but by no means all by the Roman Catholic church. Eventually this culminated in Luther nailing his 95 theses to the doors of the Diet of Worms in 1521 in direct opposition to the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither holy nor Roman) and the Pope, thus setting off a split in the Christian church which along with the Orthodox split of the nature of the Holy Spirit has never fully healed. The main thing about Luther's reformation is that he challenged the right to sell forgiveness for cash which was an accepted tradition of the then Roman Catholic church. That it was never mentioned in the bible was neither here nor there to the existing powers, it was a tradition therefore it was their right to do so.
Currently there are massive complaints about 'Islam, the untold story' on channel 4, with almost 600 complaints in already and steadily mounting as Islamic tradition comes into direct conflict with historical fact...
Channel 4 is at the centre of a storm over a programme it broadcast on the history of Islam.
Islam: The Untold Story has triggered nearly 550 complaints to both the television regulator Ofcom and Channel 4 itself.
It has also sparked a bitter war of words on Twitter involving leading historians and Islamic scholars.
Since it was screened last week, presenter Tom Holland, a historian with a double first from Cambridge, has been subjected to a torrent of abusive tweets, some of which have included physical threats.
He is accused of distorting the history of Islam by claiming the Koran makes little or no reference to the religious city of Mecca.
One Twitter user accused Mr Holland of trying to destroy Islamic history while another called him a ‘fool’ for suggesting Islam is a ‘made-up religion’.
The Islamic Education and Research Academy has published a lengthy paper denouncing the programme. But historians have rallied to Mr Holland’s defence.
Dan Snow, who has presented history shows for the BBC with his father Peter, described the programme as ‘a triumph’, tweeting: ‘Dear angry, mad people – it is conceivable that you know more than the world’s leading scholars, but very unlikely.’
The Academy claims the programme’s assertion that there are no historical records detailing the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad is flawed.
‘Holland appears to have turned a blind eye to rich Islamic historical tradition,’ says the Academy. 
The problem for the Islamics of course is that tradition is not facts, there is no proof other than the infamous 'we said so' and 'we've always done this' arguments to back up their assertions, particularly when they are skewered on some uncomfortable 'evidence' that they haven't, didn't and appear to have made it up as they went along. Nor are Muslims very comfortable with what is known historically about Mohammed the so called perfect man. It must be difficult to say the least to debate the known assertions about his 6 year old child bride (consummated at age 9) his double dealings, murder, rape of captured enemy women, nor the contradictions in his lifestyle compared to some of the dictates in the quran. After all it does state the number of wives a muslim is allowed (4), Mo having of course 11 or 13 of them depending on just where you get your facts from, most of them being added on after his conquest of Medina. Nor do a lot of the other historical tales of what is known about Mohammed sit easily on the mantle of a so called holy man and prophet. Nor indeed is there much evidence that the Islamic obsession with Mecca is based on factual evidence either, if as Islamic scholars claim, as there no mention anywhere in non-Muslim sources of a city called Mecca in the place where the current city of Mecca exists.
It seems Ofcom will be drawn into the row, it remains to be seen whether the complaints about facts vs tradition will sway the adjudicators. We can but hope the historians will win (and survive the experience) muslims of a certain stripe are not well known for their easy going attitude to criticism at any time, way, shape or form.
Which is why inevitably there will be a showdown...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tough lesson

Whilst I did praise to a certain extent the (slightly) tougher GCSE marking for this years results, I knew it would only be a matter of time before those results were challenged by those who have an interest in keeping the ever higher 'tractor production stats' in place. After all for all the kids were disappointed in the results, the teachers (and heads) were the ones left really looking bad with the results.
FURY erupted last night after the exam regulator admitted there had been grading problems during this year’s GCSEs.
Ofqual said grade boundaries had changed part way through the year. But it has refused to order exam boards to regrade this summer’s English results.
Instead of regrading, pupils would be offered early resits in November, the regulator said.
Head teachers’ union ASCL said the move was wholly unacceptable and is threatening legal action.
It urged Ofqual to investigate exactly when it was revealed that grade boundaries for the exam changed between January and June. Heads claim those who sat it in June were put at an unfair disadvantage.
Unfair? Perhaps, but only unfair in that more rigorous standards were applied. after all if the teachers and heads had done their jobs properly we wouldn't be in the position of constantly lowering standards to make the kids look as good as previous generations.
Even the Express admitted as such back in 2010...

BRITISH teenagers have plummeted in the world's educational rankings leaving them trailing behind their peers in Poland, Slovenia and Estonia, it was revealed today.
But it's not really the kids fault that they have been betrayed by successive governments meddling in education standards nor the teaching industry itself not doing their jobs properly and ensuring the kids did get a proper education 'despite' the states meddling, though in a lot of cases the teaching unions went along with the reforms as they fitted into the dire socialist dogma that often passes for intelligent thinking in those outmoded institutions.
The kids are no less intelligent than my generation, but they have been betrayed by a system in which all must have prizes which drove up the exam pass rate by driving down the standards by which they were judged. It might take generations to repair the damage done to the system, but tougher regimes in examinations is a decent start to make. Unfortunately it's too late for those betrayed by the liberal/left in education over the last two decades (at least)