Saturday, 28 February 2009

The One That Thinks That's A Really Good Idea . . .

One of the more easily indentifiable indicators of a recession is that businesses close down. That may come as a shock to you. We've seen Woolworths, MFI, Adams, Xavvi, Whittards and a number of other shops close for business, and it happened without the government pouring billions of pounds of our money into them.

It is a shame, but that's the world. Everything must come to an end, and for whatever reason these retailers have run their course. There is an opportunity here to turn this into a positive result. For years now we've been hearing about the indenti-kit High Street, from Perth to Penzance every High Street in the country is a carbon copy of the other, although rather than indentical shops selling identical goods, they're now indentical plateglass windows pasted with indentical whitewash.

I'd like to see some incentive for independent retailers to go in and take these premises on, a tax break or somesuch. Nobody likes to see shops empty and with their windows whitened out, and giving a local indie the chance to go in and get a crack of the whip, I think, just adds a bit of character to the High Street, and makes it a more interesting place to be.

Whilst I'd like to see the locals given a chance to regenerate their own local economy, give some training and skills to local workers with the proper chance to learn how to run a business, rather than relying on head office to do it all, what I don't want is for these local indies to be beholden to the local authorities. A new business is like a new fire, you need to start off with delicate twigs and leaves to get it going, chuck bloody great logs on it from the get-go and you'll just snuff the flame out. Unfortunately the public sector doesn't do delicate and subtle, it would only offer help with huge the logs of conditions regarding diversity training, targets, inspections and mountains of paperwork. They wouldn't stand a chance.

So, local authorities won't be doing anything to help get the money flowing around the High Street. Indeed the Local Government Association (I can feel the veins sticking out on my head already) has decided to do just the opposite, Al-Beeb reports that:

It is calling for new powers to allow town halls to temporarily use shops as sites for community projects.

Councils fear the derelict buildings could become hotspots for anti-social behaviour and cause further decline.

Oh, Jesus, here we go. . .

The LGA wants to make it easier and cheaper to use the premises for libraries, youth clubs, training centres and bring-and-buy sales.

Give me strength.

Bring and fucking buy sales? That'll have people tearing down the street, won't it? For crying out loud, what is wrong with these idiots? So you're going to spend huge amounts of taxpayers money to rent these premises, pay people to stand around in them and to go on community inclusion social diversity outreach courses, to be glorified open day exhibition stands.

Libraries? What? Do you not already have libraries? Or did you close it? And why did you close it? Because no-one was going in there. (Why that is, is a different story altogether)

Youth Clubs? Leave that to the communities, to the parents. On the High Street? You must be bloody barking. Then to train all the new people in child protection and blah blah blah, and then youth club kicks out at 8pm on a Friday night and it's on the Hight Street, next to the Yates' Wine Lodge? C'mon can't you see what is going to happen?

Training centres? What the fuck is a training centre? Oh, you mean like a school or college? Well surely you've already got them? Why do you need to open a centre to train people when they've already been to school and/or college? Is it because they don't learn anything of any bloody value whilst they're in there? So we have some nightmarish version of a training centre run by people like Pauline and her bloody pens from League of Gentlemen.

All that money spent and no tangible or economic benefit to the community at all. Still people persist in the opinion that Government has all the answers. They don't, it isn't a magic wand. Government cannot take over the personalities of those who work there. They are just as clueless, lazy and an incompetent as you and me, these qualities do not get magically washed away when they walk into the civic centre. Don't give me all that guff about excellence and blah blah blah, if they were that good, they'd be running a flourishing business, not opening bloody training centres telling people how to do it.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The One That Says 'If You Have Nothing To Hide, You Have Nothing To Fear'. . .

That is the mantra that is being trotted out regarding ID Cards, THAT database, CCTV, ANPR, dog shit wardens, the bin police and all the other little snoopers, inspectors and spies that now run the rule over our lives on a daily basis.

To voice dissent suggests that you do indeed have something to hide.

Fortunately it is a two way street. The Freedom of Information Act ensures that we have the right to see what the politicians and civil servants are up to. Who watches the watchers? Well, you can, if you are so inclined.

Or not. . .

That complete arseclown Jack Straw, serious eyebrows, puts me in mind of a cannibal for some reason, and the man who has taken over Brown's mantle of 'Man who wants to be PM so badly it physically hurts', has decided to use a clause in FoI to veto the release of cabinet minutes relating to the Iraq war.

If you remember, that was the war that was based on concrete evidence that Saddam had nuclear monkeys and genetically engineered MegaEagles which shoot laser beams and shit biological warheads.

Believe it or not, some people don't think that our dear leaders were being entirely honest with us about the evidence at their disposal and their intentions regarding the oil rich country.

Straw told the House that releasing the papers would do 'serious damage' to cabinet government. What he meant to say was that releasing the papers would do 'serious damage' to the members of that cabinet, especially the ones with very serious eyebrows who really, really want to be the PM.

It just goes to show how strong the powers are that the 'authorities' who hold Parliament to account have, and how much respect the government gives them, because the Information Commissioner ruled that these minutes should be released.

Well this is a big 'fuck you' to the Parliamentary watchdogs, and shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us. Even less surprising is the reaction of the Tories who have supported Straw's decision. They couldn't very well make a song and dance about it now only to clam up when the first dodgy decision of their next term of power comes up, could they?

The only people in the House who do seem put out is the LimpDems. Don't misunderstand me, it isn't because they actually really disagree with what Straw has done, they are just all too aware that they can make political hay whilst this particular sun shines as they have precisely 0% chance of ever being in a position when they need to worry about their Cabinet minutes being published.

It's a bloody cover up, it is nothing to do with security of the realm, or the integrity of the Cabinet system, it is to do with protecting what scrap of credibility these arseholes have left. The decision to go to war is done, it was taken, it can't be taken back. One would hope these minutes would show that the Cabinet took us in because, inspite of the lack of evidence, they thought it was the right thing to do. Misguided perhaps, but at least it would show some sort of conviction. However I have the feeling that these minutes say something along the lines of Blair sitting at the table and telling his mates that 'George really wants to borrow our soldiers, and I've a speaking tour to think of.'

What is good for the goose is good for the gander, so as you've decided to hide this, I can only surmise that you have something to fear. That's the decision you make about me when I say I absolutely do not want you poring over every facet of my life.

Monday, 23 February 2009

The One That Is Full Of Admiration . . .

David Blunkett earlier today when he realised he had a great chance to stick the knife in.

Sometimes I think I may have got some people wrong. I always thought that Blunkett was an authoritarian wankstain with no more right to live on God's green Earth than a weasel. It turns out I could be wrong.

In a stunning about face, he's due to tell Essex Uni's law students that Britain is in danger of becoming a 'Big Brother state.'

Christ on a bloody bike. Next week, Pol Pot will be popping along to warn people that working in fields can be, like, really bad for you if you don't take a breather every now and then, followed by Adolf Hitler warning against the threat of gas chambers.

Blunkett must have balls the size of fucking grapefruits to stand up in a public forum and say:

'It is not simply whether the intentions are benign, undoubtedly they are, but whether they are likely to be misused and above all what value their use may have.'

Let me guess David, the big boys made you bring all this shit in when you were Home Sec. Did they threaten to steal your dog or something? Or is it just that your mate Tony isn't about anymore, you don't like Gordon very much and you can't wait to stick the knife in?

Leg Iron is quite right when he says that there's no loyalty amongst The Righteous, they are the most self-centred, ruthlessly ambitious bunch of arseholes out there and God help you if you look a bit wobbly, because they will descend upon you like a pride of lions on a lame zebra.

Even taking into account that Blunkett has discovered a Libertarian heart, forged in the fires of the Peoples' Republic of South Yorkshire, he betrays his true authoritarian leanings.

'Let's make me popular! I think we should scrap ID cards!' The crowds will carry him shoulder high from the room, cheering and singing his name, especially when he chips in with 'holding a passport would become compulsory for all British people, who could choose to opt in to the ID card scheme if they wished'

Thicker than bottled pig shit. . .

Saturday, 21 February 2009

The One That Wonders If They Believe In Anything. . .

Interesting to see how Peter Hain has responded to the news that the BNP took a seat on Sevenoaks Council. This may come as a huge surprise to you all, but I'm not a big fan of Hain, he reminds me of a spiv and I really can't think of a Labour politician I trust less. I don't hate him as much as some of them, seeing Brown, Blears, Harperson, Straw, Mandlesnake, Smith et al almost drives me to violence, I see Hain and when he speaks a little voice in my head says 'Let's be clear, the moon is made of cheese, I invented Thursdays and when Tony Blair takes a piss, a stream of rose petals issues forth.'

Anyhow, being a founder member of the Anti-Nazi League, Hain is obviously very concerned about this and other recent success. I must admit, I'm not concerned about it at all, I dislike the BNP intensely but I see the value in them having a degree of success because the BNP do not attract votes, people are driven to voting for them by the main political parties being so terribly, rage inducingly piss poor. Even now the fact that BNP have taken a sizeable chunk of Labour's vote in Sevenoaks (no swing to or from the Tories who remained static) is being dismissed as a protest vote. I really do hope the BNP take a seat or two in the next General Election, you can't claim it is a protest then, it is a verdict on the self-serving hopelessness of the big three.

So how to stop this march towards the facist, authoritarian distopia that the BNP would provide and ensure we carry on the march towards the facist, authoritarian distopia that New Labour are ushering in? It would be terrible to live in a totalitarian state, can you imagine living in a country where you are banned from protesting, kept under constant surveillance, issued with papers to be provided on demand, subject to detention without charge by a politicised police force? It would be. . . oh. . . hang on. . . shit! Why didn't anyone see this was happening? I mean, they said it was for our own safety, they said people were coming up to ministers on the street and asking when they could have ID Cards, was this a fib? Have we been subjected to a propaganda campaign? Next they'll be nationalising banks and talking about taking the means of industrial production into hand by sinking large amounts of public funds into things like car manufacture. . . oh fuck. . . it's happening isn't it? And what happens to all these draconian laws when a BNP government takes over? Jesus, we've laid the groundwork for them.

Quick, got to stop them getting into power, how do we do that? How does a Labour party with policies the total opposite of the BNP defeat this menace?

Hain's had a good idea, rather than engage in debate with them and show them up to be the narrow minded thugs they are, albeit with similar concerns to some of the electorate, Hain has decided that the best way is to adopt some of their policies! So much for being a founder member of the ANL then.

He suggests the government needs to make sure local workers are given priority for jobs over nasty foreigners. Well, that's a step, when are we leaving the EU, then? What's next? Banning the teaching of Islam in schools? I'd support that, but only if it were in partnership of all religious teaching in school, there's no room or need for it. What about all the foreigners who leak through the airports and the channel seaports? We can't keep giving houses to them, it takes housing that is rightfully that of our young teenage single mothers.

By adopting one or two of the BNP's policies, Labour will seek to claw back the more moderate of the BNP supporters in the fold. The big difference being that the BNP would indeed deliver on their promises if given the opportunity, you have to at least respect them for that, Labour are, yet again, making promises that they have no intention of keeping, nor any prospect of unless there is a MAJOR shift in their policy.

The outcome? More of the same, when the public realise that they are being lied to, it will increase the BNP share of the vote, not decrease it and Labour will continue to be the architect of their own downfall.

The final question I have, is there nothing that Labour will not say or do to cling desperately on to power? It doesn't look like it to me. If they were being honest they'd say, look, this foreign workers thing, that's the EU for you, we're in it, we're not going to countenance leaving it so either back us or vote elsewhere. But they won't do that because it would cost them votes and that is more important than honesty or integrity. The same goes for all of the big three.

The One That Says It Could Never Happen Here. . .

Ha! Those Irish! How naive are they? They think that if they turn out in sufficient numbers, make a big old fuss and say things like:

I am sick and tired of the way this government conducts itself and what it's doing to this country." "I've worked all my life, I've never broke the law, never walked out on strike. Instead I've went to work and done my job, I've a mortgage to pay, I've children to put through school, and now I'm being told I have to take cutback, after cutback, after cutback.'
that things will change. Well, perhaps they might in Ireland, Iceland, or Lithuania or Umbongoland or somewhere, but not here in the UK.

No, our politicians are proper sociopaths, all that would happen here is that protesting would be made illegal, police would be given riot training and extended powers to deal with people who have the temerity to voice dissent and would probably find themselves locked up for a long, long time. The politicians would carry on, because they are right, even if they are wrong, they are right, they are on a mission to save us and this mission must be seen through to the end, even if it means us all being destroyed.

Friday, 20 February 2009

The One That Doesn't Understand The Problem . . .

Why are people so obsessed with other peoples' relationships? I remember the very earnest, and in some cases reactionary debate over 'civil partnerships.' I didn't see what all the fuss was about.

I'm straight so would never be interested in marrying a man. If two men or two women decide that they love each other and want to make a commitment to each other, well you're not hurting me, so if it makes you happy, then go ahead. I wish you the best of luck.

I was astounded that there was even a referendum on the subject in California over the subject, one which threw same sex marriages out. Why? What possible harm are they doing? If you don't agree with marrying someone of the same sex, then don't do it.

One of the problems is that marriage is seen as the preserve of the religious establishment, and the problem with the religious establishment is that God has told them what should and should not be done. It's difficult to argue with what people say God wants, that is the only response in what quickly becomes a circular argument:

Me: Why shouldn't gay people get married?
Them: Because God says so.
Me: But they're not doing any harm.
Them: Yes they are, they're upsetting God.
Me: Well how do you know this?
Them: It says so, in this book.
Me: Well how do you know this is the word of God?
Them: Because God says it is.

And you can go on like that, well, until Judgement Day. I hold the opinion that it is my soul, I'll take decisions regarding it and deal with the consequences myself.

During the debate about same sex marriages I remember a lot of politicians hiding behind the religious argument when the real issue might have been that they just didn't like gay people very much and I think this is evident by the fact that in this country, at least, gay people still can't get married, they can only have civil partnerships. Why stop short? Straight couples can get married without any religious involvement at all, so why should it be any different for gay people?

So it was with interest that I read this story on Al-Beeb today. In a nutshell, Baroness Warsi, the shadow minister for Community Cohesion (don't even get me started, what in the wide, wide world of sports is that?) had decreed that cultural sensitivity has meant politicians have neglected to discuss polygamy.

She wants all religious marriages to be registered to prevent men marrying more than one woman.

Well, why? What's the problem? Where has this value judgement come from? Why should people only be allowed to marry one person? That may be the majority Christian view, but is that any reason to impose that value on everyone else?

There will be those who say with a hint of indignation that we are a Christian country and should operate as such. Fine, then have the guts to ask for what you really want, a theocracy. I understand religious observance to be complete, you either believe and follow or you don't, there's no 'I support the teachings of the Church except that bit, and that, and some of that, oh, and I don't agree with that at all'. To be faithful means you submit yourself entirely to the will of God. So let's have a theocracy then, let's ban Islam, throw out the Hindus, lock the Jews in a big old warehouse and burn it to the ground, enforce attendance at church every Sunday. Let's take a leaf out of the Saudis' book and have brigades of religious police touring the streets, sweeping anyone up they decide has broken the religious moral code, Lord knows the political police are nearly there.

Look, arseholes, doesn't matter if it's a man with women or a woman with men, there's nothing wrong with polygamy, as long all those involved are adults, aware of the situation and enter into it of their own free will. Who are they hurting? Nobody. So just keep your bloody nose out of what doesn't concern you.

We either live in a country with personal and religious freedom, or we don't. It can't be done by degrees. You can't say 'you have personal freedom unless you want to marry another man or want to live with more than one woman.' That isn't freedom, and don't pretend it is, because I understand that God really hates liars.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The One That Will Help Pick The Curtains . . .

The House's Standards Commissioner, John Lyon has expressed his intention to look into the subject of Jack Boot Smith's 'second home' fiasco. I reckon she's right at it, but no doubt Lyon will decide that nothing untoward has gone on, or that something is a little queer, but it has all been down to a 'misunderstanding'. Ministers owning up by saying 'oversight' or 'mistake' when it comes to trousering large amounts of our cash, contrasts starkly with how these people never, ever make a mistake when it comes to policy. Funny, eh?

Of course this whole situation could easily be avoided, mainly by shooting anyone who decides to submit a form for their nomination for election to the office of MP, but I appreciate that some people may not find this an agreeable policy.

So perhaps a more moderate solution is the following, find a building (perhaps kicking RBS out of their London pad, we're paying the rent anyway) and fit it out with 646 little flats, standard one bedroom apartments, with a standard bed, desk, chairs, sofa, TV, radio, internet connection, decor and shower room. Actually, not 646, there's no need for the London MPs or any MP living within an hour's train journey of central London to have one. I'm thinking Travelodge or similar budget hotel, not Claridge's, not a cardboard box under the Hammersmith flyover and certainly not a free bloody house.

These will be owned by the taxpayer and will be available to the MPs for the duration of their tenure as a sitting MP, lose your seat, lose your flat. To get a second home, wherever, paid for by me purely because a group of people were silly enough to put an X next to your name, frankly is taking the piss. Especially as you still own it when everyone else has decided you aren't to be trusted and kicks you out of office.

It doesn't really matter what John Lyon finds or decides, it'll either be a whitewash or another example of how these people are regulated by a system designed to ensure that they will never be penalised or held to real account.

Jacqui Smith, MP for Redditch. Cash spunked on second home: £116,000. Constituency majority: 2,716. I know which of those stats is likeliest to be taken back from her. If only it were both.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The Wonders What Will Be Done . . .

It's been reported this afternoon that Mohamed Al-Fayed will not face charges over the accusation that he sexually assaulted a 15 year old girl. This Al-Beeb report is a little light on detail, but Sky News broadcast an interesting report on the news this afternoon.

From what I recall, the accusation was that the assault took place in Harrods on a Saturday afternoon. Al-Fayed had a fairly watertight alibi in as much as that at the time in question he was at Craven Cottage (home of Fulham FC, the football club he owns) in front of around 20,000 spectators and the Match of the Day and Sky Sports cameras. 'No realistic prospect of conviction' said the CPS, oh, really, do you think?

Now I've no love for Al-Fayed, but if he didn't sexually assault a 15 year old girl, then he didn't sexually assault a 15 year old girl. Given Al-Fayed's courtroom history you can bet he'd assemble a pool of talent to defend him in the criminal courts that would make the respective talents of his Premierleague footballers look positively Sunday League standard. The CPS would have known this, but would they have been so far-sighted had the accusation been Joe Schmoe?

A question; given that the accusation was made in May of last year, why has it taken a full nine months for these accusations to be batted away? Assuming Plod popped round and said 'Look Mo, this girl's said this.' They could have NFA'd it when he said, 'I've 20,000 witnesses who'll say I was elsewhere at the time of the 'attack'.' The whole thing could have been dealt with within an hour and a half, tops.

The thing is, being accused of child abuse, paedophilia or sexual offences are the single worst accusations that can be laid at someone's door. I'd rather people thought I was a murderer, a terrorist or a bank robber, than a nonce. Al-Fayed will survive this slight because it now seems obvious that these allegations are tosh, however for the average man, the damage would be almost beyond repair. The looks on the street, whispers in the corner shop, threats or acts of violence in the pub, not because he's done anything wrong, but because a false allegation, for whatever reason, has been made against him.

Yes, any allegation will now result in your photograph, fingerprints and DNA being taken and stored, but if refused charge on almost any other count your community will by and large take that at face value. Get nicked for a sexual offence, and there's no smoke without fire.

For too long in this country, victims of sexual assault, abuse or rape would not be believed or would be seen to have been 'asking for it'. Thankfully now that situation has passed, however as with so many other things, it has swung the other way. Whereas before any accusation would be discounted as fantasy, now any plea of innocence from the alleged wrongdoer is also dismissed.

It is right and proper that the alleged victim is given anonymity, however the same must be extended to the alleged perpetrator, their identity must only be released in the case of a conviction. I would even go so far as to suggest that cases of this nature should be held in camera, to safeguard the reputations of all involved. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that if the alleged assailant here was Alfie Yed rather than Al-Fayed, a press release from the CPS on the matter would not have been forthcoming.

What of the complainant? Well, if as seems to be the case here, the accusation is manifestly untrue then she must be prosecuted for wasting police time. Whilst I think too many laws have been passed in the last ten years, and if one does not exist at this time, I believe there should be a criminal offence of wilfully seeking to damage an individual's reputation by making vexatious accusations of sexual assault. Make it carry a prison sentence. It is fair to say that a number of cases will go either way, but in cases where it is obvious that the whole thing has been a monumental waste of everyone's time, then it is time for action.

In this case the young lady is a minor, she should be afforded some protection in light of that fact, but should be shown the error of her ways, however in the case of adults I believe these vexatious claimants should be publicly named. A male convicted of rape would be publicly named, to warn the women of his community to give him a wide berth. False claimants should be given the same treatment, to warn the men of her community to do likewise.

The One That Would Vote For Her. . .

Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5 is someone I'm swiftly getting a liking for. She spoke out about the 42 days detention when all the fur was flying about that, and now she's spoken out about ministers using the threat of terror to clamp down on civil liberties.

There is a school of thought that all this is a Labour plan to have control over every facet of our lives, the idea that real power comes not from the ballot box (and let's face it, political power doesn't reside in Westminster any more, it lives in Brussels) but from control over the individual. That means we must all be measured, recorded, tracked and visible to the powers that be at all times.

The other school of thought is that we are half way to hell on the road signposted 'Good Intentions'. I agree that a significant number of people are of the opinon that what is being done is because those in power really, honestly believe that it is for the best.

I think the truth lies somewhere in between. A small number of sociopathic control freaks, using the dogwhistle of terror to jolly along all those who want to do the right thing, those who say 'OK, perhaps we can let this one go then.' But before they realise it, the zealots are knocking on the door making the case for the next liberty to be taken away. Those reasonable people then consider the point, not for a moment thinking back to how they would have felt a year earlier if this had been suggested.

And so the next one is gone.

Old Holborn was out yesterday, at New Scotland Yard, taking photographs. It is now possible to be arrested for taking photos of a police officer, or a public building, or any public scene that is judged to be likely to support terrorism or acts in preperation thereof. Well, who makes these judgements?

We've seen footage in the past of officer and PCSOs who do not like being photographed and filmed, now those officers can decide that they don't like it and can arrest you for it. Of course it would never end up in court, but you could find yourself locked up for no other real reason than a policeman has taken a dislike to you, or you've proved an inconvenience, or pehaps taken footage which shows an officer doing something wrong, something illegal, and that officer wants it out of the way.

Apparently the feeling is that police officers need protecting from terrorists. I can remember no instance of a police officer being directly targeted by terrorists since Yvonne Fletcher was killed by a shot outside the Libyan Embassy in London in (appropriately enough) 1984.

Well what's the next step in protecting these officers? Removal of their collar numbers so they cannot be identified? Anonymous 'secret' police stations, with cells that don't really exist, for crimes where a solicitor may not be present at interview? Why not just dress our police officers like this?

I don't blame the rank and file officers, but our police force has changed, it seems to me that their primary function is no longer the prevention and detection of crime or disorder, but is now to be deployed in a manner that the political class finds advantageous to them. I have little dealing with the police on this level, but I know this.

I know that if my house is broken into, if my car is stolen, if my property is damaged I will not see a police officer. A PCSO may pop round to take details for recording purposes and then, someone with an eye on targets, will attempt to 'no crime' it, even if it is recorded as a crime no action to investigate will be made. I mean, I've got insurance, that's what it's for. However, I also know that if I walk down the street dressed in an unusual style, take a photograph of a public building, or sit, reading a book, on a bench in a public park that just happens to be near a playground, I will be pounced upon, questioned, searched and perhaps even detained.

This is not the police service I pay for, and it is not a style of policing that is suitable for any country which says it is a free democracy. We're not there yet, but the actions of ministers, ACPO and over excited front line staff take us ever closer to the Stasi and Securitate, and it is almost within touching distance.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

The One That Is Pointing And Laughing. . .

Or at least will be shortly.

At anything.

Your Snowolf has not been at all well for the last week and is now staring down the barrel of a seven day course of Codeine.

I look foward to the parade of mad stuff I'll shortly be seeing. Codeine has never agreed with me.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

The One That Is Saying 'Oh No, Please Don't Go'. . .

So that bloke, what's his name, haven't seen him in ages.

You know? That bloke, the one with the eyebrows, he's supposed to be Chancellor of the something or other.

Anyhow, him, he went on to the TV this morning with Andrew Marr, (the one with the mad waving arms and who isn't David Frost) and he said, quite startlingly, that perhaps all these bankers shouldn't get fucking enormous bonuses any more, what with them making an absolute balls up of everything and being paid from the public purse and all. I think he went on to say that the ice cream he had for pudding last night was quite cold, and that the glass of orange juice on the table in front of him this morning was a glorious orange colour.

So having spent the morning stating the bleeding obvious, the bankers have been hitting back all day. There's been the threat that has been hanging over us all since before it all went tits-up, tax us and we'll piss off, don't pay us our bonuses and we'll piss off, stop us appearing on rolling news coverage wearing ridiculous shirts with stupid cravats or bowties and we'll piss off.

'We can't afford to lose this talent.' They'll bleat.

'Oh no, please don't go,' say I, 'I mean, you've done such a great job, everything's run so well, and with your proven track record, I'm sure if you did run away to New York, Frankfurt or Tokyo there'd be legions of investment banks wanting to take you on, because they've all got so much money right now.'

Let's call the fuckers' bluffs, let's employ a load of front counter staff to do their job, they really couldn't do any worse.

And what's more, what is with all this bonus shit anyway? Firstly, you ruin everything and expect a bonus for it? Are you crazy? Even if it goes right you still shouldn't get a bonus, it's the bloody job you're paid to do for crying out loud.

Go on, piss off, the bloody lot of you, your greed, avarice and incompetence has enslaved an entire generation, doomed to pay the price for your preening. A bonus? Come round my place mate, I'll give you a bonus, I'll kick you so hard between the legs that your bollocks will come flying out of your ears.


Saturday, 7 February 2009

The One That Is Having Difficulty Believing It. . .

It really does beggar belief, Sharon Shoesmith, the erstwhile head of childrens' services at Haringey Borough Council has been crying on Al-Beeb Radio 4 about the treatment that's been handed to her and how the death of 'Baby P' wasn't her fault.

Just as with Rose Gibb, about whom I have blogged in the past, there seems to be this idea amongst those in post that just because you are paid a very generous salary, with good holiday, excellent pension and uncommon security to be in charge of something, when it all goes wrong there is no way you can be called to account.

Perhaps in an alternate universe, Sharon Shoesmith is being feted as a wonder having run a department that is the best in the world and acting as an example of how a department should be run. Perhaps in that alternate universe, Sharon Shoesmith is on R4 saying how it is nothing to do with her. I doubt it somehow.

When will these people learn? You take the big chair, you take the plaudits when it goes right, you take the brickbats when it goes wrong.

She was also quoted as saying that she said how sorry and distressed she was at the time of the incident but that MSM didn't report it.

Look, Sharon, this isn't Carol Thatcher daring to utter the word 'Golliwog', this isn't Clarkson stating the bleeding obvious about Gorgon Brown, this isn't about people falling into a swoon of faux 'offence'. It is said how what Thatcher did could not be tolerated, how Clarkson's comments were inexcusable.

Well, on your watch a young child died in horrible circumstances. A child you had been warned about time and time again. This cannot be tolerated, this is inexcusable. Saying sorry don't cut it.

One final point, isn't it funny how in both Shoesmith's and Gibb's cases, the official reports pointing out how toe curlingly piss poor their respective departments are, are dismissed as being mailicious and disproportionate and so forth? The paranoia of hubris.

Friday, 6 February 2009

The One That Laughed Until His Drink Came Out Of His Nose. . .

This whole Christian Bale rant thing. For those who don't know, he was recorded embarking on a very eloquent and sweary rant against some bloke on set who was walking around, or something, during a take. Apparently this isn't done.

Al-Beeb broadcast the clip, unedited, on the BBC1 Breakfast show. Cue much consternation. This wasn't what made me laugh.

What made me laugh was a report on the BBC website from yesterday, and it just goes to show how precious these people are, and how very, very seriously they take themselves.

Darren Arnofosky, director of the Oscar nominated 'The Wrestler' had this to say about the incident:

'People are out there working really hard and exposing themselves, especially actors, and they need to be protected.'

Jesus, sounds like a goalkeeper being clattered by a striker from a corner in a game of naked football. He continues:

'He could have been doing a deeply, deeply intense emotional scene.'

Hmmm, do you think? The final line of the report?

'Terminator Salvation is due to be released in May'

I'm assuming this isn't going to be like Shane or How Green Was My Valley. Perhaps a little perspective wouldn't go amiss?

The One That Is Trying To Get The Firelighters Going. . .

These stories just won't go away, will they? This was reported a few days ago in the Australian media, I wonder why, a few days later, the BBC are running it now? What's going on? What's happened in Westminster that they're trying to distract us from?

Let's check Gordon Brown's wiki page.

Gordon Brown was born in Govan, Glasgow. (Scottish. Check)

He suffered a retinal detachment after being kicked in the head during an end-of-term rugby union match at his old school. He was left blind in his left eye (One eye. Check.)

His being an idiot sadly isn't confirmed on his Wiki page, that remains a matter of opinion. Although I'd submit it was the majority opinion.

Now the Righteous are calling for his head, of course the BBC won't sack him, he's the show that produces amongst the highest ratings they have. Plus he owns the format, so if they kick him out, I'd imagine ITV, C4, Five, Sky and everyone else will be lining up waving a dirty great big blank cheque, it would be the easiest advertising time to sell, not to be sniffed at in these times.

The thing is, Clarkson probably doesn't give a shit. In fact press him and he'd probably say worse. The whining of the fake charities will go into overdrive, I'd stand there and applaud Clarkson.

So, Righteous, fuck off, won't you? All he's done is state matters of fact, will you be squealing so loud the next time a Jock MP or MSP makes an anti-English crack in their respective chamber? Thought not.


Clarkson's apologised. If only the monocular Caledonian fuckwit would do the same. He's offended me, can we demand he lose his job in an annoying high pitched whine?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

The One That Is A Little Confused. . .

In my last article, a correspondent called 'Sarah' posted the following comment (I suspect I am not alone in this):

Please, please, please feature this post. I am not a god botherer but I found this mint. I suspect that even the bible bashers have had enough of 'free speech' when it means in a Christian Country even the Christians voice is un heard. I reckon they are fighting back. Eye for an Eye etc. Lets see how many complaints this gets. Bearing in mind it's not just Christians, it's a group of The Christian party, the Trinitarian Bible Society and the Russian Orthodox Church. I have no God but if the 'Righteous' can do it so can any one else. Lets see how much coverage the Bollocking Bastard Cunts and the Daily wail give this one.

She then posts a link to this story in the Daily Mail.

The crux of it is that in response to the bus ad campaign run by the Humanists, the above named organisations have clubbed together and put an ad campaign together in the same milieu that reads 'There definitely is a God, so join the Christian party and enjoy your life.'

I must admit that I may be suffering a dense patch this evening, because I don't really understand what Sarah is getting at.

First of all she states that 'bible bashers have had enough of free speech', I'm not going to argue with that. Religion is by its nature dogmatic and the whole history of religion is littered with incidents of people speaking their mind being put to death in a variety of interesing ways as a result.

She claims that in a Christian country, the Christians' voice is not heard. Well, I don't agree with that, whenever the Arch-Bishops of York and Canterbury open their mouths (which happens with depressing regularity) it is plastered all over the media. The very fact that Christian organisations are at liberty to place this advert shows that their voice is very much heard. Whether it is heeded is a different matter, and one for the individual.

She then says that they are 'fighting back'. Fighting back against what? The Christian Church has an important place in our society. I don't for a minute think it should, I support the complete divorce of Church and State, I'm perfectly happy for people to practice whatever religion they want. I am not happy with unelected clerics voting on law in this country. It is the imposition of a belief system I do not subscribe to and I do not think it fair to have one sect of one belief in control to the exclusion of the others.

Then, 'Lets see how many complaints this gets'. None I would have thought. Only believers in God would complain about an advert calling His existence into doubt. For non-believers they will look at an advert that says 'There definitely is a God' in the same way that they would look at adverts saying 'There definitely is a Father Christmas' or 'There definitely is a Tooth Fairy'. They just won't care. That is once you discount the professional offendees, but I couldn't care less about them, they'll complain about any assertation.

I think the big difference is that a significant proportion of the religiously active want to persuade non-believers to believe. They believe, rightly or wrongly, that it is their duty to save these peoples' souls, very few atheists try to convert the believers to their cause. I would hope that people like me (my views on the Church are quite clear on these pages, God I have no problem with) accept other peoples' beliefs on the condition that they don't try to force me to comply or use their belief structure to otherwise effect my life.

I guess what I'm saying is that I truly believe in freedom of speech. If you want to say you believe in God, then fine, knock yourself out. If you want to say you don't, then the same applies. The same can be said of politics. Where the problem comes is when people are imprisoned, tortured and put to death for expressing a view different from the status quo, we've seen it all too often in both spheres of religion and politics. Thankfully in this country we've moved away from persecution regarding the former. As for the latter, well, perhaps this post by Guthrum over at Old Holborn's place will give cause for alarm.

No flame wars or arguments, but if you read this Sarah, I'd be grateful if you'd comment to make sure I haven't completely misunderstood your points.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The One That Wants To Know Why. . .

A colleague of mine was involved in an accident today, not snow related, on his way into work. Indeed only about two hundred metres from our workplace - a Romanian HGV decided to take out the side of his car. He's fine. His car's screwed.

Whilst going out for a ciggie I espied him sat in a police car out the front of our building talking to a female police officer (I'm not sure if he got her number) who had been kind enough to give him a lift into the office. I couldn't help but notice the police car he was in was displaying a tax disc. I'd never pondered this before.

I'm assuming that the money from the taxpayer gets paid to the police, who then pass it on to the DVLA for a tax disc on a car which has been bought by the tax payer, which has all its running costs covered by the tax payer in order to serve the tax payer.

Can anyone please explain to me what some complete arse-clown was thinking when they decided that the emergency services had to have tax discs? Why? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

The One That Is Collecting The Kindling. . .

'We've found a witch! May we burn her?'

'Well how do you know she is a witch?'

'She talks like one!'

Carol Thatcher said a bad word.

I don't know the context, I wasn't party to the off-air, private conversation.

The BBC have demanded and unconditional apology. Carol has refused to give one. Whether she is right to do this or not, I don't know, because as I said, I don't know the context, I wasn't party to the off-air, private conversation.

What I'm concerned about is the fact that Thatcher's refusal to throw herself upon the mercy of the licence theives hasn't resulted in her being barred from all BBC programming. She's just been dropped from the One Show. Al-Beeb have said 'the 55-year-old will not be banned from the BBC as a whole.'

Well hang on (I'm tempted to say 'Play the white man.'), if this crime is so heinous why hasn't she been barred from everything?

What's really caused offence here? The throw-away aside or the refusal to show sufficient cod contrition? I've a feeling it is the latter.


Monday, 2 February 2009

The One That Will NOT Comply. . .

More bollock juggling from a government department and a 'charidee'.

I'm not going to do a full fisking here. I don't have the patience, but two quotes jump out and hit me in the face.


children's lives in Britain have become "more difficult than in the past [...] more young people are anxious and troubled".

Well I should think so. Without getting all misty eyed and nostalgic, when I was a kid and off school, my mum wouldn't see me for hours and hours, although she would always know what I was doing, who I was with, where I was doing it and when I would be back. There was nothing uncommon or unusual about my social and recreational life as a child.

Now there are two camps. There are those whose parents couldn't give a toss about, have no direction, no aspiration and no self respect. Then there are those who aren't given space to breath by their parents who are petrified that the nonces on every street corner hiding in the bushes will screw their arses raw, or they'll have drugs forced upon them, or will have an accident from scraping a knee to breaking an arm, so are kept inside. Or (and) they are brow beaten my a government that is obsessed with measuring, charting and appraising every facet of their development, whilst telling them they are too fat/stupid/unhealthy/clever/dangerous/in danger and a whole host of other things.

Kids aren't free to be kids any more, just like rest of us they are hectored and lectured all day, every day. Kids aren't stupid and they know what's going on, they just know there's sod all they can do about it.

Then there's little nugget:

Individual freedom and self-determination bring many blessings, [. . .] But in Britain... the balance has tilted too far

No. Fuck you. The balance is not skewed by individual freedoms and self-determination it is skewed by the complete removal of any responsibility for one's self or one's children.

The report says that selfish parents are a bad thing. Well tell us something we don't know. Of course it is. But how have these parents been made selfish? Is it down to the fact they are told that they are entitled to free money, for doing nothing? Is it down to the fact that those who decide to support themselves without the asphyxiating grip of the state are punished for their decision and must work twice as hard to get that which is given to those who take the handouts? Is it down to the fact that some people are just selfish bastards and would be bad parents regardless?

The answer to all the above is 'yes.'

The One That Is Saying Something Nice. . .

I only ever seem to moan and bitch on here, so now it's time for something completely different.


I love the stillness and silence that snow provides, and the crunch of it underfoot. One of the cheapest and most satisfying pleasures there is.

The One That Thinks This Is A Bloody Good Idea. . .

Courtesy of DK.

I don't remember how much it costs the Humanists to put their atheist/angnostic messages on a bus, but I don't recall it being a huge amount. Plus I should imagine in the current climate that advertising space is going quite cheap at the moment.