Saturday, 31 January 2009

The One That Bets He Regrets Opening His Mouth. . .

Gordon Brown shouldn't have said it. When he stood up at the Labour conference in '07 and said 'UK jobs for British workers' he may well have said 'I'll make sure everyone gets a spanking new Aston Martin, delivered to their door, by Christmas.' There was no way in the world he was going to able to deliver on that. The law just wouldn't allow it.

He's compounded the crime by saying yesterday that he stands by the comment. Gordon, this is madness, sheer madness. Why on Earth would you say that? You cannot do it, it is as simple as that. Telling a lie often enough doesn't make it true.

John Cruddas has come the closest to pointing at the elephant in the room when he called for Ed Miliband to 'address the underlying cause of the resentment.' Well the underlying cause is the Treaty of Rome which means that any EU citizen can go to work and live in any EU country, and there's only one way we can get out of the Treaty of Rome, isn't there kids?

Oh, hang on. No he isn't that close at all.

He told the BBC;
'It's the employers in these instances which are culpable and we need to confront some of them who are notorious in this sector.'

Well, John, no it isn't the employers. How do you confront an employer who perfectly legally employs members of staff? These aren't illegal workers, there is no requirement to employ local workers before looking abroad. They've done nothing wrong. They are following the legislation set down by the European Union that all three parties are convinced is vitally important to our economic security.

Well, now it's costing people their jobs. And there's only one thing you can do about it. You won't do it, though.

A big black eye to the woeful Robert Peston on BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday evening. When pressed about this matter (he was reporting from Davos) he started blathering on about how protectionism is a bad thing, how we can't pull the trade shutters down and how it made the Depression worse. Well who was talking about protectionism Robert? Or was this policy to avoid pointing out that under the EU we have absolutely no control over this at all?

Next will be the attempts to shame the people protesting at all these sites over the country. You watch, it'll not be long before these protestors will be labelled as racists. The ugly spectre of xenophobia will raise its head, comparisons will be drawn between depression era Germany and the treatment of the Jews. These people are close to pointing out the obvious about the EU, which has escaped most people, and must therefore be silenced.

The CAP has been shown to be a disaster, the Common Fisheries has devastated fish stocks, all this has gone largely unnoticed by the electorate, it doesn't affect many people, now people have realised that the EU is costing them jobs.

The thing is, they're going after the wrong person. It isn't Brown's fault. He didn't sign us up to the EU, his signature isn't on the Treaty of Rome, even though it is on the Lisbon Treaty. Really, there's nothing he can do.

If these protests continue (they won't, it'll die down in a few days) it would be interesting to see what Labour wanted more; power or membership of their little Trot club. If any of the big three came out tomorrow and said 'Right, this jobs thing, it's all down to the EU. If we get into power, we'll hold a referendum, not on Lisbon, but on the whole show.' I'm willing to bet their share of the ballot would head upwards in huge style.

They won't. Divorce ourselves from Brussels and they'd have to do something approaching governnment, rather than banning drinks promotions and 'What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor.'

Friday, 30 January 2009

The One That's Had A Go . . .

A few people have tried their hand at this, so I thought I'd give it a whirl:

My Political Views
I am a center-right social libertarian
Right: 2.62, Libertarian: 6.98

Political Spectrum Quiz

I'm actually more Libertarian than I thought, and not as right wing as I thought.

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -4.19

Political Spectrum Quiz

My Culture War Stance
Score: -4.8

Political Spectrum Quiz

Interestingly my foreign and cultural policy leanings are almost identical to the averages. I think this says less about me and the average and more about Bush, Blair, Brown etc and how out of touch they are.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The One That Wants To Play A Little Game. . .

It's called, 'Spot the Island of Sanity in a Sea of Madness'

The first correct entry will win an air pistol and directions to Barroso's gaff.

The One That Just Wants To Give A Gentle Reminder. . .

Posting the video on my previous post, just set my mind back to this event, for me, more powerful than the wall coming down.

The moment that an unelected leader, convinced of his own brilliance, unable to hear the truth, spinning lies and false statistics, realises that the moment the country has had enough, there's nothing he can do about it.

Just a reminder, like.

The One That Is Saying 'Population de la France, Bravo!'

Yes, the French go on strike at the drop of a hat. Whether I agree with them or not is irrelevant, bloody hell do I respect the French for getting up off their arses and pointing out that they are pissed off, and will not put up with it.

And they've kicked off in Paris tonight.

Meanwhile the Lyonnais mourn the loss of civil liberties.

How long until we see scenes like this on the streets of the UK, could anyone care less, or are we all too concerned about the recent spat between two plastic titted, bottle orange 'celebrities'?

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The One That Wants Everyone To Wake Up . . .

Look, I don't care if you agree with me, or disagree with me, but at least take the time to see what is going on. Please?

Obo points out in this post that whilst the majority of the print media leads with the IMF saying we are in real trouble, the main media and news outlet in the country puts up the feeble 'World growth worst for 60 years.' Where is the much trumpeted 'impartiality' that they've trotted out over the last few days about the Palestine appeal?

Guthrum, guesting at Old Holborn's place shows that there is civil unrest in Lithuania and reports (correctly) that there is just short of a general strike in France tomorrow due to the financial mismanagement of their affairs. Putin is coming under pressure in Russia.

Meanwhile there are millions on the move in China, its young economy reeling from the blows, demonstrators in Iceland bringing down the government, questions starting to be asked in Ireland about their continued membership of the Euro, things still not roses and love in Greece.

We have a Prime Minister who declares that he's saved the world whilst his colleagues back away with rictus grins on their faces. Nationalised banks handing out bonuses to staff who have overseen their demise. Most of the banks taking a huge amount of taxpayers' money, and then taking a staggering amount of taxpayers' money, meaning that each individual taxpayer is in debt to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds. Car companies being given over £2bn in public funds and then the government says they'll consider subsidising car workers' wages. Announcements that £300m has still been found to hand over to the victims and perpetrators of the 'troubles' in Ulster.

This isn't financial planning, it's a fire sale.

What do we do? We watch Coronation Street and 'Celebrity' Arseing Big Sodding Brother.

For crying out loud people. Take the time, do the digging. Make your own mind up. It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter what the BBC, the Sun, Heat magazine or Horse and bloody Hound magazine think. It doesn't matter what the Prime Minister thinks, it matters what you think, so please, please, please form your own opinion, won't you?

. . . and some fell on stoney ground. . .

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The One That Won't Take Offence, But May Book A Holiday. . .


God how I hate that word. It is now firmly in the list which contains SEXIST! RACIST! PAEDOPHILE! I'm assuming CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER! Isn't far behind.

Thankfully, temperatures of thirty degrees on the glorious sandy beaches of Finland are yet to arrive, that means that if I want to go to Lapland to see the Northern Lights and go dog sledding, I can.

If I do, I will most likely book with Activities Abroad.

That is because they have come to media attention for comitting that most heinous of crimes, they have caused offence. They recently sent out an email advertising 'Chav-free holidays' to some 24,000 people who have used their services in the past. Well, out of those 24,000 people, 18 complained (that's .0075%).

A Chav-free holiday sounds very nice to me, however, having looked at their website they seem the most terrible eco-warriors, so I'll reconsider my decision to book with them, I'm buggered if I'm going to pay through the nose to be lectured and hectored.

And there is the irony, before this email was sent out, The Righteous would have patted them on the head for being a very good company, now despite their efforts to satisfy one section of the The Righteous they must be pilloried and destroyed because they've caused offence to another one of The Righteous' pet groups.

Well, actually, no they haven't, because the Chavs are unlikely to be white water rafting in Slovenia or weasel spotting on the polders, so someone, one of The Righteous who used them in the past, because they ticked all the right boxes, has taken offence on the Chavs' behalf. That is bullshit, the Chavs don't care if you want to spend time with them or not, they didn't get the email to take offence at. If it really bothers you that much, just book a holiday with someone else. Stop being so fucking precious and get a fucking life.

The One That Feels For The Scapegoat. . .

Can you hear that dripping sound? Listen carefully, that is the sound of my heart bleeding.

Poor old Rose Gibb, I blogged yesterday about this horrible woman, well she's started her case in court today, and you know what, it just isn't fair.

I might have got her wrong.

According to her testimony, the Healthcare Commission's report into the state of hygeine in Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS was 'full of inaccuracies, innuendo and unfounded criticisms' and that she disagreed with the findings. She has also said that she resigned as she 'understood that this [her treatment] was a reaction to the impending HCC report to manage the public and any fallout. I was to be the scapegoat.'

Scapegoat? You were the Chief Executive of an almost criminally dirty hospital, indeed if memory serves correct, Al-Beeb made an undercover report into conditions in another hospital in M&TW NHS Trust.

Damn right you carry the can, you were getting paid £150k per annum, so you'd better take fucking responsibility. How I long for a job where I can get that amount (and probably a tasty bonus as well) and then absolve myself of any fault if it all goes tits up.

I hope you lose your house, AND contract an illness which requires you get treatment in a hospital as filthy as the one you ran.

The One That Wonders What The Court System Is For. . .

Yet another blow for the judicial system which has served us fairly well since 1215, Al-Beeb reports that the government has decided that absentee parents who do not pay their child support bills can have their passports and driving licences seized by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Odd that, I wonder if the DVLA can seize the pension payments of motorists who don't pay parking fines. or if the Identity and Passport Service can intercept your wages if you don't play ball with the government over their ID card scheme?

But that's not the best bit, the DWP can take these documents from you without a court order. So the only assumption is that an agent of the state will be able to come round to your house and enter your property without a warrant issued by a magistrate and rifle through your belongings until they find your passport and driving licence, which they can then take away.

Here's a scenario: Bob is a lorry driver and has a bit of a fling with Doris, Bob is sensible and always bags up. After a couple of weeks, Bob discovers Doris is a very friendly young lady who has showered other men in her town with affection whilst he's been picking up widgets from the factory in Bratislava for delivery to a plant in Coventry. Bob does not appreciate this lack of exclusivity and dumps Doris in a humiliating fashion.

Nine months later, Doris gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. Despite Bob's rule about using condoms, Doris wants him to be the father of the boy so names him on the birth certificate and chases him for support payments.

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission come calling and demand he support his child. 'Hang on a bloody minute,' says Bob 'what sprog? There's no way in the world this is mine, I always used a condom when I screwed the bitch.' He reasonably demands a DNA test. Doris, so keen for the truth to remain hidden, obstructs this with objections and ooman rights allegations so the case file gets sent to the 'It's not my bloody kid' team where it is lost in short order in a chaotic filing system buried under doughnut boxes.

After a spell of nothing happening at the CMEC, Doris kicks up a stink about her lack of cash, the CMEC take details of Bob, because they can't find the file, and send an agent round to get his passport and driving licence, whilst the office is turned up-side down looking for the file.

Bob then has to explain to his boss that he is unable to go to Bratislava to pick up this week's shipments of widgets as some crazy bitch has relieved him of his passport and driving licence. Bob's boss, Keith is sympathetic, but they rely on the widget contract, and he has no option but to let Bob go.

Of course the politicians and senior managers would say this could never happen. But, dear reader, you forget I am a civil servant. I know how an office which is populated by demotivated staff and subject to budget cuts whilst the budget for diversity training and Panglossian glossy in-house magazines goes through the roof, runs. It will happen. The pressure on middle managers from their senior counterparts to meet ever increasing targets means the front line staff are encouraged to cut corners, they are told 'just do it.' Then we get to lessons learned', blah blah.

You cannot deprive people of their liberty without the say so of the courts. This has been the case for 800 years now. It isn't about making the system 'faster, simpler and easier for the taxpayer', it is about propriety, accuracy and proportionality.

Yes, of course it should be an offence to father/mother a child and then bugger off leaving the other half to bring the kid up by themselves. I should imagine it is also an offence to make an application to the CMEC and wilfully claiming that an innocent party is the father. This is what courts are for, and the main duty of government agencies are to ensure that the decisions made and actions taken are the correct ones, not the cheapest ones.

Believe me people, the goverment does not know best. They are not best placed to make decisions in cases regarding parentage and their financial means. 'The Government' is not an expert organisation, it is staffed by normal, flawed human beings, under pressure to make things run in the face of a system that must make savings, but not in areas of Righteous control.

It can only end in tears.

Monday, 26 January 2009

The One That Wants You To Take A Good, Hard Look . . .

This, my friends, is what a total fucking bitch looks like.

Take a good hard look.

'Who is this contemptible non-entity?' I hear you ask.

Her name is Rose Gibb she was the Chief Exec of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. On her watch 90 people died of C.diff infection. That's 90. The hospital under her charge was so filthy that hygeine standards were revealed which would have caused concern in some fly-blown sub-Saharan hell hole hospital.

Health Sec, Alan Milburn did one of the few correct things this government has tried to do by attempting to prevent her receiving a pay-off. Bearing in mind this is a woman that walked away from a contract of employment having overseen the deaths of the better part of 100 people, just before a damning report into standards at the hospital were released.

Even though she'd failed to stop the death of 90 people, even though she'd walked away from her job, even though the Health Secretary had figured out it was a shocking waste of taxpayers' money to pay her off and asked the Trust not to do it, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, amazingly, negotiated a £250,000 pay-off but then witheld £175,000 of that following Milburn's little campaign.

Excuse me? What the fuck? She walked away from her job, where she had spectacularly failed in her job (how does it go? 'First do no harm' or something isn't it?) and actually expected a pay-off! Only in British Public Service would this happen.

But poor old Rose, obviously £75,000 isn't enough, oh no, she's taking the trust to the High Court now to demand the balance of the £250k. I suppose she's been advised she's got a decent case, or she wouldn't have taken this action. I can only hope the Judge tells her to fuck right off and saddles her with a huge costs bill.

Proof positive, public service at the high level in this country is dead. It isn't about doing the best by your country or your community, it is about as creaming as much of the taxpayers' money as possible and having no shame or self awareness.

Rose Gibb, in a country that is administered by the sociopathic, hubristic, avaricious, arrogant, incompetent and detestible, you truly are one of the stand-out candidates. You have been shown to be one of the biggest wastes of space in Kent. I hope you lose your house, bitch.

The One That Is A Criminal . . .

European Commission meeting, earlier this month.

Yes! Finally made it! That's right folks, I'm officially a subversive. Chances are that you are one too, do you think if I'm really naughty that I'll find myself transported to Australia? New Zealand or Canada would be fine. Costa Rica and Switzerland wouldn't be so bad.

Anyhow, courtesy of Raewald comes this startling list of offences which could now see you sat firmly on the European naughty step database:

Offences related to waste - Check. I've put a battery in my household waste.

Unintentional environmental offences - Check. Intentional actually, jet washed my garden during a water shortage.

Insult of the State, Nation or State symbols - Check. Have you read this blog?

Insult or resistance to a representative of public authority - Check, see above.

Public order offences, breach of the public peace - Does Old Holborn's walk count?

Revealing a secret or breaching an obligation of secrecy - Not done this one.

Unintentional damage or destruction of property - Check.

Offences against migration law - an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing) - Not done this one.

Offences against military obligations - an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing) - Not done this one.

Unauthorised entry or residence - Eh?

Other offences an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing) - So pretty much anything they fancy then. I said boo to a goose once, does that count?

Other unintentional offences - See above.

Prohibition from frequenting some places - Check, wasn't allowed in a casino for 18 years

Prohibition from entry to a mass event - Not done this one.

Placement under electronic surveillance ("fixed or mobile" - eg: home, car, mobile phone etc) - Who knows. Oooh, yes. OH's walk again.

Withdrawal of a hunting / fishing license - Not done this one.

Prohibition to play certain games/sports - Check. Detention at school cut back on lunchtime football.

Prohibition from national territory - Not done this one.

Personal obligation - an "Open category" (offences undefined thus all encompassing) - Eh?

"Fine" - all fines. inc minor non-criminal offences - Check. I've had a parking ticket and returned a library book late.

Fuck me, I make Fred West look like Gary Lineker. It's a fair cop, I'll come quietly.

But of course, we're much better in this organisation than out of it.

Give me a fucking break, is this really what my grandfather fought for in the 1940's? I've broken it a few times, so I'll do it again.

Dear EU,

You are the biggest collection of authoritarian fuckwits it has ever been my misfortune to encounter, your actions would have Hitler, Stalin and Mao walking around with ecstatic boners if they could see what you are doing.

I detest absolutely everything about you, and will resist your attempts to turn a whole continent into the most soul destroying, grey and hateful place on Earth.

I detest you, and hope you all die in a wide variety of humiliating, painful and agonisingly slow fashions, whilst the citizens of Europe urinate on you and stamp on your heads, and even that is better than you deserve.


Saturday, 24 January 2009

The One That Is Chuckling. . .

Yes, it's simplistic and predictable. And its tone is a little righteous and suggests that Camp X-Ray is the only answer, but it still made me chuckle when this pinged into my inbox this morning:


A Lady wrote a lot of letters to the White House complaining about the
treatment of captive insurgents being held in Guantanamo Bay.

She received the following reply:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington , D.C. 20016

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Quaida detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington

You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers' program, or LARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers.

We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem' will help him overcome these character flaws.

Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually), since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire.

I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka -- over time.

Just remember that it is all part of 'respecting his culture and his religious beliefs' -- wasn't that how you put it?

Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. You take good care of Ahmed - and remember, we'll be watching.

Good luck!

Cordially, Your friends at the White House

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The One That Is Very Angry Indeed. . .

Many thanks to Bishop Hill who made a very brief posting and drew my attention to this shocking revelation from Harmless Sky.

In short, the BBC has re-edited Barack Obama's inauguration speech to basically fit their own agenda.

Newsnight reported him as saying:

We will restore science to its rightful place, [and] roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.

What he actually said:

Paragraph 16

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Paragraph 22

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

And why? We all know that Obama has bought (been suckered?) into the 'climate change' agenda, so why the need to wilfully manipulate this speech?

I've been of the opinion that the BBC put a very definite spin on news to suit their own agenda but to do this is beyond the pale.

Licence fee, blah blah, subscription, harrumph harrumph, bias, yada yada, but this truly disgusts me, indeed I feel the need to write a letter.

I never trust what politicians say, now I can't even trust that what they've said is sufficiently well reported for me not to trust it. Duplicitous politicians and deceitful media, oh what a wonderful combination.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The One That Says 'Be quiet, Listen, Give me your money'. . .

This from Al-Beeb

Lyn Ball was preparing for her next customer at Mane Connections, the hair salon she runs in a market town in the South West of England, when a man, looking not unlike a sales rep, popped into her shop.

But far from trying to sell her anything the visitor introduced himself as being from the Performing Right Society (PRS) and promptly issued her with a demand for a £200 music licence.

What had Ms Ball done to warrant this notice? Turn on her radio.
Oh for crying out loud.

OK let's look at the business angle.

You're sitting down having your hair done when you hear a tune that you like very much. On your way back home you stop off at the supermarket, and having heard the tune, buy the album of the artist you heard in the hairdresser. It's called advertising. Should libraries be forced to pay a surcharge (for this is what this is) to publishing houses for all the books and magazines that have been loaned?

The PRS claim on their website that they are a 'not-for-profit organisation, enabling you access to the world's music in the most efficient way.' Really? Does all the money go to Romanian orphans, or to Hug-A-Polar-Bear? No? Then how is this not for a profit?

Oh, you mean the PRS doesn't make a profit. Right then, who administers it? Well, with ten board members being from music publishers, I think we can be certain where most of the cash that gets collected goes. Not for profit, my arse.

Is it any coincidence that as music downloads become more popular that the PRS start hounding more people for money? I'm betting it is the publisher that is driving this, a real artist wants recognition more than renumeration, they can play live, charge good money for entry and sell merchandise and make a very nice living indeed. The publishers can only rely on sales of recordings. Besides, how do they know which artists to dole the cash out to?

This is the classic behaviour of a cartel that finds the landscape is changing and that finds they are incapable of dealing with it. So, they'll chase the little man and threaten them that if they turn their radio on and don't display one of these licences that it may 'result in civil action against you for copyright infringement and you may be liable to pay damages and costs.'

Of course, if it is only civil action, any representative from the PRS coming into my own place of business would be shown the door pretty bloody quick and told to come back and collect his evidence when it was a criminal offence.

One final question, if I was listening to the radio at work, it would be talk radio. Now, tell me, who should I be handing the cash to in that instance?

And they have the nerve to call bootleggers 'pirates'.

Monday, 19 January 2009

The One That Is Advocating Caution. . .

There's a joke doing the rounds about George W asking Obama to come with him on a rowing boat in the middle of the Potomac so they can discuss the really secret stuff without being overheard. After about 5 mins, Obama realises he's quite cold on the river and wishes he'd brought his overcoat which he left in the car on the riverbank. 'Hang on a minute George, I'm just going to get my coat.' With that, he steps over the side of the rowing boat and walks across the surface of the water to the riverbank to retrieve it. The waiting press pack snap away in disbelief and the rolling news channels go into meltdown. Sat on his sofa at home, John McCain turns to his wife and says 'Why didn't anyone tell me the son-of-a-bitch couldn't swim?'

Right, can we all just calm down a bit?

Yes, Obama has been elected with a healthy majority, but by no means the huge victory Clinton had in '96 or the absolutely enormous landslide Nixon had over McGovern in '72.

Yes, Obama is the first black President. But it was always going to happen sooner or later. The Democrats were likely to win if Hilary secured the nomination as well, and the cynic in me could point out that they chose to put forward the man instead of the woman.

Yes, Obama is novel in the fact that for the first time in eight years, the media handlers aren't going to be holding their breath waiting for the next fuck up from the man at the podium.

And, yes, after two Bush terms the hopes for an improved, more considered USA are high, but let's face it, not much could have been worse than Bush.

Please can we drop the cult worship that is surrounding him? People say 'his approval ratings are very high.' I should hope so, he's just comfortably won the Presidential election and hasn't had a day in the office to piss anyone off yet.

When leaders attain an almost divine aura it only ends in trouble, either the leader believes the hype, or even worse, the population believes the hype. Whilst I would never compare his politics to these people*, it does smack a bit of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and that nutter who declared himself Emperor of the Central African Republic.

Let's just calm down and evaluate him on his performance in office, rather than the colour of his skin, his presentational skills and the fact that Bono really likes him. I'm not saying he's going to be a disaster, but he hasn't actually done anything yet.

In fact the fact that Bono really likes him should be ringing bloody huge alarm bells.

*Does anyone actually know what his politics are, beyond 'change'?


Many thanks to 'Ted' for his comments and the subsequent research I've done. This article for example suggests that Obama isn't a US Citizen and is in cahoots with members of the Supreme Court. Must admit I don't have nearly enough depth of knowledge, and as an outsider it smacks of conspiracy theory and stretches credibility to the limit, but I'm not about to dismiss it out of hand and it certainly is an entertaining way to pass a few minutes. . .

The One That Is Waiting For The Car Crash. . .

Oh dear. He's back.

Proof if proof were need be that the Tories are only interested in beating Labour, rather than actually standing for anything. Can anybody explain why Clarke didn't join the LimpDems years ago? He fits in perfectly, pro-Europe, will pontificate with the best of them and has absolutely no chance of being a leader.

Obviously the re-appointment of Mandlesnake has Tory central office worried and they have wheeled old Ken forwards in the hope that their vicious authoritarian fuckwit trumps Labour's vicious authoritarian fuckwit.

Watch the sparks fly if the Tories win the next election and this EUrophile then battles with the party's traditionally EUropsceptic constituency. History repeats itself again.

The more the current situation continues, the more convinced I am that we're due a series of one term governments, all with the narrowest majorities. I wonder if anyone will think of looking beyond the big three. Now is the time to be making hay.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

The One That Now Understands How Things Have Changed. . .

The following came into my inbox this morning, I think it illustrates the obvious points quite well:

1. Teaching Maths In 1970

A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price.
What is his profit?

2. Teaching Maths In 1980 A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the selling price, or £800.
What is his profit?

3. Teaching Maths In 1990 A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is £800.
Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Maths In 2000
A logger sells a lorry load of timber for £1000.
His cost of production is £800 and his profit is £200.
Your assignment: Underline the number 200.

5. Teaching Maths In 2008
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is totally selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands.
He does this so he can make a profit of £200. What do you think of this way of making a living?
Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers. If you are upset about the plight of the animals in question counselling will be available)

It isn't too far removed from the truth, sadly.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The One That Just Wants It To Stop. . .

I despair. I really do despair. There is seemingly no limit to the extent that people will arse around with perfectly simple organisations and ideas and make them impossibly difficult and strewn with obstacles.

We are quite used to the Police being politicised. But the Fire Brigade? Before I pinpoint exactly what it is I'm talking about, I'll highlight the following story from September 2006 which I have lifted from 'Scilly News'.

The Islands' fire and rescue service has been criticised for failing to employ an adequate number of ethnic minority staff.

It has been accused of paying little regard to the government's equality and diversity policies.

The fire service regions of Cornwall, Cumbria, Isle of Wight, Isles of Scilly and Northumberland still do not have any ethnic minority workers, according to statistics released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

'Except for London [fire] service, which has good strategies and policies, the general black and ethnic recruitment and representation is abysmal,' said Michael Nicholas, member of the Fire Brigades Union Black and Ethnic Minority Executive Council.

The Islands’ resident fire chief Alan Hicks said: 'Pro rata, the ethnic composition of the fire brigade is entirely consistent with and accurately reflects the ethnic composition of the wider community.”

He added that until recently the fire brigade had a home office dispensation regarding its ethnic make-up, but it had lapsed.

But he noted that the service had one female member of staff, so had exceeded its required quota for women.

A council spokesman said: “The council has no problem with ethnic inclusion but has no ethnics to include.”

Idiocy. If my house is burning to the ground, I'm not going to stand out the front shouting 'Off! Get off my rapidly diminishing property! Don't come back until you have a black woman, Muslim man and a Chinese amputee! You disgust me, you. . . you. . . ethnically homogenous elitists!' No of course I wouldn't, because a) my house would be burning to the ground, and, b) it doesn't bloody matter.

Anyhow, Al-Beeb has revealed today that the Scilly Isles next door neighbours, the Cornwall County Fire Brigade is in hot water as:

'While its staff are committed to providing an improved service for communities, and particularly for disadvantaged groups, the authority often does not test the effectiveness of its contribution to community projects.'

Do what now? Disadvantaged groups? What in the wide, wide world of sports have the Fire Brigade got to do with disadvantaged groups? Community projects? What? Well, call me a bluff old traditionalist, but I don't want the Fire Brigade to be involved in community projects, I want them to be putting out fires.

Why does there have to be this constant meddlesome hectoring? The Fire Brigade put out fires, or cut people out of cars that have crashed, or help pump out peoples' homes in the case of a flood. Are people in disadvantaged groups more likely to set fire to their houses? Will community projects help remote villages build their own hydraulic cutters and teach them how to get people out of crumpled cars?

For crying out loud.

I was intrigued as to how Cornwall Fire Service would 'begin the long term planning process to take the service forward, with ambitions to become an 'excellent' service in the future.' Does this mean that there are firefighters sat at Falmouth Fire Station going 'Fuck it,' when the bell goes off 'I'm finishing me pasty'? Or does it mean that every single aspect of our society must be measured, recorded, analysed and recorded on a stats sheet? What do you do if Wiltshire Fire Service performs better than Suffolk Fire Service? Is Mr. Smith in Ipswich going to call Swindon for help when he comes home to find the neighbours sat on his lawn toasting marshmallows and singing camp-fire songs?

There's a wonderful document linked to on the CCFB website, although if I were a resident of fair Kernow, I'd be restless in my bed at night and not at all confident that the Fire Brigade actually know what it is they are supposed to do, people that need to ask these questions really shouldn't be running a fire and rescue service.

1. What do you think the risks to our community are?
Ooooh, I dunno, things catching fire, stuff like that.

2. Do you think Cornwall County Fire Brigade understand these risks?
I should bloody hope so, sunshine.

3. How do you think Cornwall County Fire Brigade can better understand its communities' needs?
Not feeling the need to come round and ask me if I really want fires put out would be good fucking start.

4. What do you see as your priorities for Cornwall County Fire Brigade?
Oh for the love of God, I want the fire brigade to provide at every incident they attend, a prayer mat, an indication of which direction Mecca is in picked out on the floor in Chinese silks, a facepainting tent and a stall selling herbal tea, organic juice (pressed on the spot) and a selection of locally handmade cakes and pastries. Oh yes, and putting out FUCKING FIRES!

8. Thinking about the risks and priorities that you have already considered, what single statement can be used to describe what you would like Cornwall County Fire Brigade to achieve in the future?

I would like Cornwall County Fire Brigade to get an amateur team to the third round proper of the FA Cup, to put together a professional standard orchestra with a fondness for Wagner and to get round peoples' houses quickly to stop them from burning to the FUCKING GROUND.

And then of course there are usual irrelevant questions about your age, gender, ethnicity, disabilities, religion, sexuality, views on marmite, favourite colour etc, etc.

Are they asking these questions because they really don't know the answers? Or are they asking them because some know-nothing, pencil necked arseclown has decided that it is 'best practice' and ensures that when the auditors come calling to his building, he has some pathetic offering to demonstrate that he does something, unlike those wankers down in procurement. . .

We're all doomed.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The One That Wonders What More They Want. . .

Well, what more can he do? Does the father want Harry to parade around Windsor Castle, naked, whipping himself?

Let's make an important distinction here, only a small point, but an important one. He called this chap 'Paki' not 'A Paki'. There is a difference.

Before I get buried under a tirade of accusations of being an apologist for racism, I'm not. The word Paki is not a word I would choose to use, but please, can we have some proportionality here?

This was the guy's nickname, doesn't make it right, but he was referring to this guy by his nickname, I do not think it was an intentionally derogatory term.

From what I understand, this happened a few years ago. So why all the fuss now? I'm guessing it is to do with the fact that Harry is a Prince. Righteous people don't like Royals, they've got what they have due to an accident of birth and they don't need the Righteous. The Righteous HATE this. I personally think it is the best way, this way the top job goes to a lad or a lass who wouldn't probably apply for it in the first place. I'd rather have someone who falls into the job than someone who really, really wants it. Every single member of the Righteous wants to be King, Queen or Righteously acceptible title so much that it hurts. This is to be discouraged.

We've heard from the Father of this chap, how much was he paid for his time? Why have we not had a teary eyed classmate of Harry's in the media saying how it crushed his spirit and left him bereft of confidence, full of impotent anger? I'll tell you why not, this guy is now a serving soldier, people are going shooting bullets and throwing grenades at him, if he can't cope with a nickname, he'll shit himself when he's out in the field, he's bigger than a word.

Was he offended by it? Well until such time as I hear he has been, I couldn't care less. My concern will only be marginally increased if he does make this pronouncement.

'Ahhhhh', I hear you say, 'that's not the point. He, or someone else, could have been offended.'

Right, so let's deal with that. If you're getting offended on someone else's behalf, I say this: Get a fucking life and stop being so precious. It's nothing to do with you. I can't stand these offendees by proxy. Has it really offended you? Did it send you to your room in floods of tears and make you listen to The Smiths? If it has then you are in for one hell of a shock when someone does something directed at you. Best you go run yourself a nice warm bath, slit your wrists and welcome the Angel of Death, life is too hard for you. (Remember kids, you go down the street, not across it.)

If all these people reserve the right to take offence, I reserve the right to give it. Freedom of expression, deal with it, I really do find your constant moaning, whining and posturing on behalf of people perfectly able to speak for themselves to be self important, patronising and, yes, offensive. Will you stop? No thought not.

OK, he could have been offended. Well when I drove home from work this afternoon, I could have been killed in car crash, when I walk to the shop later, I could be brutally stabbed to death, when Chay Blyth became the first man to sail single handedly non-stop round the world in a westerly direction, he could have drowned. Let's not focus on what could have happened, let us focus on what has happened.

This horrible, divisive and spineless attitude is destroying us. I work in an office where people are frightened to say anything to anybody, we've had the training that says if you offend someone, your arse is history. It doesn't matter if offence is meant, it only matters if it is taken. Policy states that if someone offends you, you should complain to a manager. Well, I won't, if someone offended me, I'd take them to one side and say 'you've been a bit of a prick there mate, don't do it again, please.' 99% of the time, the offender would apologise instantly and be genuinely saddened that they'd offended me, as they wouldn't have meant it. Intent is everything.

The result? Black, Muslim, [insert minority of choice here] staff are excluded from social interaction. Not in a display of 'institutional racism' but because an aggressive 'diversity' policy has meant anyone from outside of their ethno-religious group is petrified of talking to them. Does this make the black guy or the Muslim girl happy? Does it make life easy for everyone else? No.

It does mean the Righteous can tell these people that we are evil for excluding them, and they can rely on the Righteous to look after them. Mission accomplished. The Righteous are just as bad as the properly racist people, they both fill lives with isolation and misery.

The One That Is Heeding The Warning. . .

It's a bloody good job we've got these people to look out for us, isn't it? Anything could happen.

News today that that most famous of British confections, Cadbury's Dairy Milk (remember folks that's a glass and a half in every half pound*) must now carry a warning that the product contains milk.

Give me bloody strength. I hate people that do this sort of thing.

I'm pretty certain that anybody who is 'lactose intolerant' is perfectly aware that milk chocolate contains milk. You'd have to be pretty hard of thinking not to realise that a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk milk chocolate contains milk.

And whilst we're on the subject, I'm sprout intolerant. That doesn't mean I'm allergic, it means I don't like them. What people have is a milk allergy, not lactose intolerance. It isn't a badge of honour so doesn't need to be made sound grand.

*That's 426.195 ml per 226.796g. There's probably a council inspector who can come round to my house without a warrant and kill me to death if I don't provide the information in metric. I just hope three decimal places is accurate enough.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

The One That Says It Is Not Bloody Good Enough. . .

The original story of council housing officers kicking elderly people out of their houses and then moving in council staff at much reduced rents was covered in some depth all over the blogosphere and we now have the pay-off. Kristine Reeves has been dismissed, as is good and proper although no doubt she'll start bleating about how she should get a bloody great big pay-off, even though she has been proven to be incompetent, corrupt and deceitful, because, well, that's what happens in the Public Sector isn't it? Senior Managers who aren't up to it get paid off and move on to destroy another Public Sector Department.

Interestingly there's another player in this story, Suzanne McBride, the former 'Strategic Director' and line manager for Kristine Reeves who was made redundant before the story broke. I'm assuming she'd been redundant for some time (in its purest sense - sitting around with fuck all to do) before she was shown the door. Anyhow she stands by the decision and says:

"With hindsight I should have taken the decision formally to elected members so there would be a clear audit trail of the discussion [. . .] There was full, open and frank discussion. I recall a meeting with Kris Reeves and Julie Westmacott, the executive member responsible for housing, where we discussed all of the options for what to do. I had regular meetings with Ms McBride and have absolutely no recollection of being told that the empty accommodation was being offered to all council staff, I would not under any circumstances at all have agreed to this course of action"

It also appears that she is pointing the finger at a senior Labour councillor. Well, no surprise there, then.

The thing is this, I'm willing to bet that McBride is sitting at home counting a generous redundancy package and thanking her lucky stars she remains peripheral to the event, and that Reeves is sitting at home in a real sulk, incredulous that she's been treated this way and experiencing genuine shock that anyone had the gall to hold her to account.

So a question; Why has Reeves not been arrested? Wherefore the collection of Norfolk Police's finest knocking on her door, rifling through her personal effects and feeling her collar under suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office?

It was good enough for Damian Green, who let's face it, didn't really do anything wrong, so why not this grubbing corrupt little harridan? Let's look at the two major parties on Norwich City Council:

Labour (15 seats), Greens (13 seats).

Ahhhh, that'll explain it then. And which one of the 15 Labour Councillors aided, abetted, counselled or procured this misconduct in a public office? I think the good people of Norwich deserve to find out so he or she can be marched from the City Hall to Carrow Road football ground whilst they are pelted with turnips just dug up from the frozen earth.

Friday, 9 January 2009

The One That Wants A Yacht . . .

Well, I don't really want a yacht, I was just using it as a bit of allegorical illustration.

The story went something like this; A friend of mine had been exposed to the suggestion by a young lad of about 13 or 14, whilst he was on the way in to the late opening newsagents getting his pint of milk, that he should buy a packet of ten cigarettes for the boy who would then reimburse him for his expense. Needless to say my friend was doubtful that if he bought these cigarettes for this young gentleman that his money would be returned to him, the lad replied that the alternative was getting a kick in the head.

My friend is something of a martial artist and pointed out to the boy that police involvement or no police involvement, any attempt by the rosy cheeked little scamp to visit harm upon him would be met with an introduction to a level of physical pain hitherto unknown to him, or words to that effect. The lad wisely decided that it was time to beat a retreat and pick on a more vulnerable target.

My friend is one of those who looks at me a little oddly when I go off on one of my rants, but like so many others he is starting to 'get it' even though it takes him a short while to shunt his brain from the sidings on to the track. My friend isn't thick, far from it, he's just become so used to accepting what he is told that it takes him a while to shift out of neutral and drive for himself.

He passed comment on the young lad outside that newsagents and wanted to know, as this was approaching 11pm, on a weeknight, and during the school term, what were the parents doing and were they not in the least bit concerned that their offspring was out on the streets, unsupervised at such a late hour?

My friend was missing the point. The point (most likely) is that having been born, the lad has done his job, he has served his purpose and his only duty now is to exist. The chances are that the lad wasn't born because he was the result of a stable and loving relationship, he was born because his mother had the (probably subconscious, I'm not suggesting that many people are that cynical) realisation that his existence would provide accommodation and an income. I explained to my friend that I resented paying for other peoples' children when my lifestyle choices are not funded by the taxpayer.

My friend gave a wince and said to me 'I see what you're saying, but it was his mother's right to have a kid.' I explained the situation thus:

I want a yacht. It is my right to have a yacht if I so wish. My friend agreed that it was my right to own a yacht.

I pointed out that I don't actually know how to sail a yacht, so I'd be forever bumping into other yachts and squaring up against ferries and container ships. Any attempt to put a pilot on board my yacht to steer it for me would be met with hysterical abuse and hostility. I'd be damaging the berths in the marina, but as it was my right to moor the yacht I am entitled to, the Harbour Master wouldn't be able to stop me from using the marina, even though I'd be getting right on the wick of all the other responsible yacht owners. Also I can't actually afford a yacht. I can't afford to pay for its upkeep, for its fuel or its mooring fees, so the taxpayer will have cover those costs.

My friend made the entirely reasonable point that if I don't know how to handle a yacht and can't afford it, I shouldn't have one.

I then said that if people can just have kids and expect the taxpayer to fund them, I want a taxpayer funded yacht, thank you very much. My friend said I was being silly and that the right to have children is more important than the right to have a yacht.

'Ahhh' I said, 'We live in a country where we must promote and value diversity. You cannot say that my desire to have a yacht is any less valid or valuable than someone's desire to have children. It is my right to have a yacht and your responsibility to fund it. So give me the money.'

The penny finally dropped. People seem to accept that having children paid for and brought up by the taxpayer is perfectly reasonable. And yet, when you substitute the word children for the word yacht, the whole situation becomes quite absurd.

This is why I have no children, at the moment. I don't have the money, I don't have the houseroom (and to any of you tempted to point it out, I do have a willing parnter, thank you). I don't have a yacht for those same reasons, plus having lived in a town with a number of marinas in my youth I am well aware that yachties, on the whole, are utterly charmless individuals who have awful taste in clothing. I have no desire for any child of mine or my family to be in the thrall of the state.

Unfortunately children in this country have been turned into a commodity, they have ceased to be human beings with dreams and aspirations, indeed dreams and aspirations are discouraged. Children and their woefully ill-equipped, state dependent parents are just items for collection and control by Leg-Iron's righteous and it is quite, quite tragic.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

The One That Is Saying 'Oh Give Me A Break'. . .

We are now being told that third hand smoke will kill us all.

I'm sure this is backed up by really robust scientific proof that is funded by independent parties.

I'm going to sue some bloke in Australia because he's had a ciggie whilst looking at a picture of Canterbury, and the bastard's given me cancer.

I'll bet that binge drinking causes earthquakes.

Oh give me a break, won't you?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The One That Is Uneasy. . .

I suppose that now means we're a proper political party, having suffered our own little version of the night of the long knives.

I've been watching for a few days open-mouthed at the shit storm about differences of opinon (mainly DK's and OH's) over the annual fireworks display in Israel/Palestine/Judea/God awful patch of dirt which isn't worth fighting over. My views are quite clear as you will see below. Arguing over who is at fault for this particular little party in Gaza is like arguing who is at fault for the sea being wet or the sky being blue. It doesn't really matter, the sea was always wet, the sky will always be blue and there's sod all anyone can really do about it. It is just the way it is and I for one am well out of it.

Has Obo crossed the line? Perhaps.
Is OH making a meal of it? Maybe.
Is it all a bit undignified? Without question. The whole situation reminds me of sanctimonious students railing against the latest injustice befalling the citizens of Kraplakistan, Umbongoland or wherever. It is very easy to change the world over a pint of snakebite and black, or to start a revolution from your subsidised train seat, it's just that everyone thinks you look a bit of a cunt.

What saddens me is that the three protagonists in this are three individuals I enjoy reading and have a good deal of respect for. I just hope this turns out to be a storm in a teacup because we should be better than this, let's just keep our energy and bile for situations we can influence, rather than those we cannot.