Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The One That Is Delighted. . .

But still they can't do right without doing wrong, can they?

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has dropped plans to make ID cards compulsory for pilots and airside workers at Manchester and London City airports.

Excellent. Quite why they were picked on to be guinea pigs is beyond me anyway.

But Mr Johnson said the ID card scheme was still very much alive - despite Tory and Lib Dem calls to scrap it.

He said the national roll-out of a voluntary scheme was being speeded-up - with London to get them a year early in 2010 and over-75s to get free cards.

As a result of Mr Johnson's announcement, foreign nationals living and working in the UK will be the only group of people who will have to have the cards, with 50,000 already having been issued.

Many calls of fudge etc, etc from the others.

And I agree with them, to a point. What is clear is that a compulsory national ID card scheme is dead in the water. Excellent. However you can bet your bottom dollar that the biometrics will be introduced for passports.

We may already have 'biometric' passports, but in effect that is really just an RF chip containing an encrypted copy of your passport photo. When read, this chip will allow the reader to compare the photo on the page with the photo on the chip. This makes it very difficult for some herbert to nick your passport and slap his mugshot in where your's used to be. In my book, a good thing.

When those chips are then used to store, or link to a database containing, your DNA, fingerprints, financial information etc, etc, it is a different story, but be assured this technology exists and MPs are obsessed with new technology, it makes them look cutting edge. If there was a device you could attach to police cars that checked everyone it drove past to see if they were wearing matching socks, then you could be sure that wearing odd socks would become an offence for no other reason than the technology was there to facilitate it.

I digress.

The Labour Party could really have built some bridges with this, they could have got a real bounce in their poll ratings and pissed off the Limp Dems and Blue Labour in grand fashion. All Alan Johnson (who comes across as being the most personable and human member of the Cabinet) had to do was call a press conference and say: 'We said we'd listen to you, and we have. You have said you don't want these cards, and we are now dropping them. Get one if you want, but we're not about to make you carry one. We were wrong, we misread the public's opinion and we apologise for doing so.'

The others would have been on the back foot. Cameron would have poked fun at Brown for doing a U-turn at PMQ's tomorrow, and all Brown would have had to have done would have been to have pointed out that he had demonstrated his willingness to listen to the electorate, react accordingly and the opposition thought this was somehow a bad idea.

The right decision, and could have been made with a little more grace.

I feel like I'm congratulating the Government, then realise that that is like congratulating the nutter who has spent the last 5 years saying he's going to firebomb your house, when he turns round and says he's changed his mind.

Monday, 29 June 2009

The One That Is Exclaiming 'For Crying Out Loud!'. . .

I despair. I really do despair. Before I get to today's fury catalyst. I'll make a couple of points.

Firstly, by banning things that are traditionally English, you play straight into the hands of the people you spend so much time bleating about beating. Namely the BNP. Are you so stupid that you don't realise when you engage in the activity of banning something on the premise of preventing the offence of a hypothetical minority group, all you do is give them a stick with which to beat you?

Secondly, offence, or perhaps more correctly, the taking of offence, is not a passive activity. Leg-Iron has made the point in the past that in order for offence to be given, it has to be taken. Offence cannot be thrust upon you, you have to accept it, to allow yourself to be offended. Some things are truly offensive, supporters singing songs about the holocaust when Israel play football is offensive, for example. However I will state that offence doesn't actually have any consequences. It makes you feel that the offender is a twat, but that's about it. Offence does not cost lives or limbs.

Morris Dancing is not offensive. So I was literally crying 'For fuck's sake!' when I read this story.

A group of Morris dancers say they are "disappointed and frustrated" after performances were cancelled because they wear traditional black make-up.

Why would there be a problem with the black make-up?
Chantry Primary School in Gravesend is one of three event organisers which have cancelled perfomances this year.

The school said it had to weigh up any potential offence to its community.

But how likely is that? Just as we hear about H&S bannings exasperating H&S experts, as the assessment of risk does not take account of the most important aspect, the likelihood of damage being done, decisions are being taken with a hugely amplified risk of offence.

Really, who is actually going to take offence at this display of dancing? Any spectator will realise that this is not some crude pastiche of how black people dance, indeed Border Morris uses the blacking of faces to act as a disguise, not as a lampoon of the population of Africa. If anyone decides they want to take offence and complain, what is to stop the Morris side themselves taking offence at the implication they are terrible racists? Does the accusation of racism trump the feelings of those who have been unjustly accused? The whole situation is ridiculous.

No matter, someone, somewhere, has decided that this could be, not is, offensive, and as a result the display of English cultural heritage must be stopped, 500 years of tradition must be washed away, and the bad guys get another victory, another arrow head for the BNP to loose is forged.

Oh, I don't doubt that the decision has been made for laudable reasons, there is no conspiracy here, it is just that the reasoning is deeply, deeply flawed. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I leave you with the wonderful Steve Hughes from Nanny Beeb's Comedy Roadshow the other weekend. Excellent stuff which I cannot recommend highly enough, it isn't often I adivse the consumption of media, but please do watch the whole thing.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

The One That Knows It Is The Beginning Of The End. . .

Amazing but true, there is other news other than the death of Michael Jackson, and one can't help but wonder if it is being used to bury bad news or objectionable policies.

Here's a prime example of a thoroughly objectionable policy:

About 1,000 homes and businesses will be affected by security and policing arrangements for this year's Labour Party conference in Brighton.

During the conference, officers will visit households and companies nearby to confirm identities of people there.

What the flying fuckety-fuck? I'd like to know first of all, what powers Sussex police have to go knocking on peoples' doors and demand to see ID of the person opening it. Setting aside the fact that it is a disgusting attack on the liberties of those being doorstepped, what if the person living there has no driving licence or passport? No, that is not an argument in favour of an ID Card scheme, it is an argument in favour of the State and the police minding their own fucking business.

It gets better:

Supt Grenville Wilson said that hosting the conference at a time of international tension inevitably involved heightened security.

But he said: "We are keen to stress that there is no specific threat to the conference."

However that won't stop him sending his officers to make sure that everyone knows they're on a yellow card anyway. I'm surprised he doesn't put a Police Community Surveillance Officer in every home to make sure the residents are sat quietly with their hands on the table in full view for the duration.

Where the hell do these fuckers get off?

During the event from 27 September to 1 October, officers will seal off the area around the Brighton Centre, Hilton Metropole and Grand hotels and Russell Road NCP car park to form a secure "island" site.

Perhaps if this Government hadn't acted like such a bunch of arse-clowns for the last decade, hadn't shat on everyone, nannied us, hectored us and had actually listened to what we were saying, then they wouldn't need to seal off huge swathes of Brighton to prevent people trying to kill them.

But security is security, and don't you dare try to argue about it. Don't you dare try to question the authorities. Tell us who you are, why you are sat there in your own home, and what it is you intend to do whilst you're there.

This is an absolute disgrace, to spy on people whilst they walk down the street minding their own business is bad enough. Now they are sending people round to our houses, and they don't even have the decency to attempt to do it covertly. Fuckers. Fucking fuckers.

I wonder what would happen to this poor old bugger if he produced a repeat performance this year?

Friday, 26 June 2009

The One That Is Saying 'Well, It Is Summer'. . .

Honestly, they really do think we are a clueless bunch of mouth-breathing lackwits, don't they?

A heatwave alert has been issued by the Met Office amid warnings of extreme temperatures over the next few days.

Hmmm, OK. Well it is nearly July. One would expect a bit of sun and warmth.

There is a 60% risk of a heatwave for Monday and Tuesday with daytime highs in London reaching 32C and remaining warm at night.

Oh for crying out loud. Do two days really constitute a heatwave? And 32C, it isn't exactly Ice Cold in Alex, is it? Families go on holiday to Florida in the February half term expecting that. Hang on, 60% chance? You mean it is only slightly more likely than not?

The Met Office has predicted that around the country daytime temperatures could reach 29-30C

What? 30C? In summer? In the UK? No doubt we'll have one of the weather people on TV telling us how it was warmer than Jamaica or the solar facing surface of Mercury, or somewhere.

What on Earth should we do in the face of these never before experienced temperatures?

'. . .drink cold drinks like water or fruit juice regularly and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol'

Bloody hell, I'm glad they pointed that out. I'd have never thought of that. What else?

'People with respiratory problems should stay inside during the hottest part of the day.'

Or anyone with even the merest degree of the sense they were born with.

'Older people [give me fucking strength, older than what? - Wolfers] especially those on medication, can often find coping with the heat particularly difficult.' Poor old buggers, they're always in for it, it only seems like a few weeks ago when an afternoon of snow meant we were being warned that the nearly dead were all about to turn into Captain Oates.
Whilst we're on the subject, do you think, MSM, you could drop the annoying habit of referring to the temperature in Farenheit as soon as it touches 25 Celsius? It gets right on my tits.

The One That Bets They Don't Get The Chance. . .

Jose Manuel Barroso after the Germans throw out the Lisbon Treaty.

According to Open Europe, 77% of Germans want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

I've a shiny €10 note that says they don't get it.

Let's look at some of the quotes attributed in this report:

German press agency DPA reported this week that "nobody expects a complete 'No'" from the judges, adding that "a 'yes, but' is considered a possibility.

Errr, no. Try Yes or No. Simple as that.

Irish Europe Minister Dick Roche said in the aftermath of the Irish 'no' vote that "the first thing to learn about referendums - is to avoid them.

The first thing to learn about Dick Roche is to kick him very hard. In the head. Every ten minutes.

Former Commission President Jacques Santer added: "A referendum is good for democracy; it is not always good for a country. We need to make a distinction between democracy and what is good for the country.

News flash, Jacques, you detestible merde petit, the EU is not a country. Fucktard.

Valery Giscard d'Estaing, has explained the reason why it was renamed the Lisbon Treaty, saying: "Above all, it is to avoid having a referendum.

Because referenda look likely to tell us that the electorate don't like our plans, and that won't do, that won't do at all. If we don't ask them, they can't tell us.

However, there is hope:

Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer has said: "We want the population to be asked before German competences are irrevocably transferred to Brussels.

Nice one Horst, fancy pointing that out to Angela?

Silvana Koch-Mehrin, leader of the German liberals in the European Parliament, said: "Without a referendum in Europe the growing gap between the EU and its citizens will keep on growing."

Although the cynic in me must point out that Silvana doesn't say if that is a bad thing or not.

Reporting Judge Udo Di Fabio said: "One has to ask soberly: What competences are left with the Bundestag in the end?" He also bluntly asked "whether it would not be more honest to just proclaim a European federal state". On the transfer of powers to the EU, he said: "Is the idea of going ever more in this direction not a threat to freedom?"

To answer those points; None. Yes, but there would be millions on the streets (but not in the UK, the BBC would show an Eastenders special, before C4 announce a surprise eviction on Big Brother). Yes, yes it is a very direct threat to freedom. I kinda think that's the point.

We're not dead yet, but we're not at all well. The Czechs and Poles have yet to sign, I'm unsure about the Danes' state of play, and perhaps the Irish will be persuaded by the no camp that the EU thinks they are all stupid bog trotters who should do as they are fucking told. Perhaps we can send them a picture like this?

It may not be flattering for us in England, but it'll allow the Irish to get the message.

The One That Will Talk About Jackson. . .

My thoughts for what it is worth.

Some of his music was sublime. Some of it terrible. Jackson was a pioneer and possessed genuine talent, towering when you compare it to some of the arse gravy churned out nowadays.

He was a victim of fame he didn’t really have a choice in taking on, not akin to one of the idiots who queue up to go on X-Factor, or attempt to emulate the man on Britain’s Got Talent, who wish to be famous for being famous. Jackson was pushed into his life as a young child. One need only look at his siblings to see the lasting and negative effects this childhood had on them as individuals. He knew no other life.

He made some bad choices, and doubtless had some bad advisors and hangers on who probably wanted to squeeze every last cent out of him that they could.

For all his faults, and irrespective of his musical talent and fame, just a human being, I hope Jackson can now have some peace. It is sad that his children have lost their father and that his many millions of fans have lost an important part of their lives. That sadness pales into insignificance when set alongside the tragedy of a person who was destroyed before he even had a chance to grow up.

If ever there was a stark warning of the cult of celebrity, it is Jackson.

Rest easy, you mad, mad, mad, amazingly talented creature.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The One That Is 'Gay Enough'. . .

A while ago, Leg-Iron posted a commentary on this article about Canterbury City Council being referred to the ombudsman as the city wasn't 'gay enough.'

Thankfully, the ombudsman has decided the city is gay enough. I'm not sure how they do this. Perhaps from above with a gaydar mounted on a plane taking off from near-by Manston airport?

There was another to-do a little while ago when wine-bar 'Scribes' opened up a lap dancing club. You'd have though the world had come to an end, the bar has a view of the Cathedral (Canterbury is a small city, everywhere has a view of the Cathedral) and the professional complainers were of the opinion that it would have been a handy stop off for Satan en route to him doing whatever it is the anti-Christ choses to do with his evenings.

Scribes was the only lap dancing club in Kent, apparently. Not any more it isn't. It's closed. No doubt the professional complainers will be pleased.

Or not.

It is now CO2, a bar dedicated not to men paying for young women to thrust their bouncy bits in their faces, but it is now a gay bar. So there'll be men kissing each other, for free.

Given the bar's proximity to the Cathedral, I should imagine it will get more trade from the clergy in this guise than in its former incarnation. The report lists the activities on offer:

drag artists, tribute acts, DJs and camp bingo.

I thought all bingo was camp. No doubt this heralds another collapse of civilisation. Tribute acts? DJ's? I think the comparisons between this sort of thing going on and the last days of Soddom are startling. I've seen a number of tribute acts in my time, perhaps I've been living a lie all these years?

Thing is, Canterbury is a fairly normal town. OK, we get far more of our fair share of tourists than other towns in Kent, but it isn't Vegas, neither is it Riyadh.

It is amazing that a gay pressure group wants, well I don't know what really, whilst others think everyone should live the lives of Benedictine monks. They're all bloody mad. . .

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The One That Is Talking About Tennis. . .

I don't normally talk about sport, but in general, I'm a fan. A huge fan of a couple of sports, a holder of a passing interest in others and very little interest in the rest.

Tennis falls into the latter category for me. I'm not going to rant on about use of licence payers' money on Nanny Beeb's coverage. Wimbledon is one of the global flagship annual sporting events, it is unique and occupies a very important spot in the sporting canon.

For two weeks a large number of people will have their gaze firmly focused on SW19, a good proportion of them will be watching the only sporting event which does hold any interest for them.

I'm watching the news right now, and there's a good demonstration of our fourth ranked national sport. This is the list:

1. Football
2. Cricket
3. Rubgy
4. Wringing hands and wondering why we are so utterly, uselessly, pathetic at tennis.

I'll tell you why.

Firstly, no-one cares about tennis in the country except for these two weeks. The interest just isn't there.

'Hang on, Wolfers,' I hear you say, 'there are X hundred thousand people who play tennis every year.' And that's fine, but how many people actually play, rather than tonking a ball about once a year on the concrete at Butlins? Yes, there are a lot of clubs, and the cry goes out that the kids have to get a crack at these clubs.

Every year a lot of very important people, wearing very important blazers, with very important club crests, set off with nice ties that make them look very important indeed, get together. Every year it is the same, these kids have got to be brought into the clubs and given that training. Every year they make the same resolutions and every year they go back to their tennis clubs and explain that kids will be given a chance at these private clubs. Of course it can't happen at this club, we've the members to think about, but it will happen everywhere else.

OK, OK, so what about the schools? Well what about them? Playing fields have been built upon at an alarming rate, and tennis courts are not an economical use of space. I can think of no sport which uses a larger area to allow 4 people to have a bit of a lark. Take a class of 32 kids, you'd need 8 courts to employ them all in a game of doubles, how many schools have that? Even if you play over a half court, how many schools have 4 courts that are serviceable?

Plus the equipment is expensive. Plus the teachers don't have the specialist coaching skills, plus the best weather for this sport is when the little buggers are off on holiday. And why tennis? Cricket, rugby, athletics, gymnastics, all these sports are endlessly calling for timetable space. Then there's the other subjects which demand more focus, cooking, music, drama, art, science. Christ how many kids are leaving school unable to bloody read and count? And you want them to learn tennis? No, the time is better spent on errrm, personal, social, citizenship, political indoctrination, benefit forms filling in, diversity, inclusivity class or whatever it is called this week. With the amount of different groups making demands that their own special interest is timetabled, it is a wonder the little angels aren't putting in 14 hour, 6 day weeks.

Tennis is an irrelevance, and is treated as such. So let's stop this bullshit every summer, can we? Let's just sit back and enjoy watching the miserable Scottish lad who is quite good, and will almost, but probably not quite, win Wimbledon. Then we can forget the sport until next June.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The One That Could Not Have Put It Better Himself. . .

From OH, and with no apologies for pasting it here:

Parliament is an outdated anachronism. Men in tights, shooting galleries, Smokers bars, late night sittings, whips, Black Rod, the Mace, Parliamentary Privilege and first past the post.

Stick it all up your arse. Sideways

A new speaker is not even rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Throw it all out, raze it to the ground and salt the earth.
I want democratically elected politicians, dedicated the [I think that should be 'to' - Wolfers] serving their constituents, proportionately representative and with minimal powers over my life. I want a reduction in Government an anorexic would be proud of. I want the power they hold on our behalf returned to local councils, made of people who are not career arse lickers and can be held to account over a pint on a Friday night. I want local, federal law making by people I can talk to. I want referendums and I want representation. I want the fat bloated state starved.
Protect the borders, Police the streets. Everything else is down to me. And I can do it so, so much better than those 646 cuntwafting fucktards.

I don't think I take exception to one thing in that.

The One That Is Really Underwhelmed. . .

So John Bercow is the new Speaker. You'll forgive me if I don't break out the bunting just yet, as it appears to me that the MPs have voted for someone who will look after them, rather than presiding over the changes that are so desperately needed.

Let's have a look at his record.

In 2004, while in Michael Howard's shadow cabinet, he wrote to wrote to Tony Blair praising the then prime minister's "outstanding statesmanship."

Hmmmm. Really? I always thought Blair's biggest fan on the Tory benches was David Cameron. Not a great way to endear yourself to the boss.

Last month, The Daily Telegraph disclosed that Mr Bercow “flipped” the designation of his second home between London and his constituency when he sold two houses in the space of a year, enabling him to avoid paying capital gains tax (CGT) on the profits from either sale.

Ahhh, so, that is why so many MPs voted for him, he really is one of them, isn't he?

He denied any wrongdoing but said he would pay £6,508 plus VAT to HM Revenue & Customs to cover the tax he could have been asked to pay on the sale of one of the homes.

So why pay them back? Come on man, have some courage in your convictions. If you've done nothing wrong then challenge them to take you to court. Paying cash out and then saying you're innocent just makes you look a bit of a tit.

And isn't the phrasing there lovely? Could have been asked? You can almost imagine a Revenue wonk in the style of Sgt. Wilson saying 'would you mind terribly paying some tax?' When was the last time the taxman asked? Demand is a more fitting word. And Could have asked? 'Well, we could ask you to pay it, but we've so much cash swilling about in here, we really don't see the need.' No, that seems unlikely to me.

The Tory MP for Buckingham also claimed almost £1,000 for the cost of hiring an accountant to fill in tax returns.

The Darling Manoeuvre. Tax need not be taxing. Just flip your house to avoid CGT and then get the proles to pay for your accountant to make it all pukka. Nice one.

So why the Tory dark faces last night? Are we to believe that they feel a trougher has derailed their plan to clean up the House? Can't be that. Cameroid could have scuppered Bercow's Speaker campaign in an instant by calling for a party investigation into his flipping.

Perhaps it is because whilst he is one of them, he isn't 'their' man. It's not fair, Labour have had a Speaker that did what he was told, why can't they have one?

Or is it that after the previous weeks of electoral disaster for Labour, the Tories are now unsure how to react when the person Labour wants to win an election actually goes and wins it?

Mr Bercow paid back £1,470.62 he claimed on his office expenses but it was not disclosed what the repayment was for.

But just as with everyone else, it was no doubt the result of a mistake. The only time you'll see a building holding so many people who have made so many mistakes is when you drive past the local prison. Those prisoners, in the main, will blame the system and poor choices. Although to be fair to the criminal class, some of them will admit that they done it and it was a fair cop. Not one MP has managed that yet.

Criminals - more honest than MPs.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The One That's Had An Idea. . .

This explanation of the voting procedure for the new Speaker today courtesy of Calling England:

9.30am: Michael Martin is no longer Speaker of the House. The Chair is immediately assumed by the Father of the House, currently Alan Williams, the Labour MP for Swansea West since 1964.

9.30-10.30: There is a one-hour window for nominations to be Speaker to be formally lodged with the clerks at the Table Office. Nominations must be in writing, and must consist of a signed statement of intent by the candidate, accompanied by not fewer than twelve and not more than fifteen signatures of other Members, of which at least three must be from a different party than their own. No Member can nominate more than one person.

11am: Lists of the candidates are placed in the lobby and published.

2pm: Each candidate is permitted to address the House. The order of speaking will be decided by lot (arranged by the Father of the House). After all the candidates have spoken, proceedings will move directly to the first ballot.
The presiding member (Alan Williams) will not be allowed to vote.

4pm: The first secret ballot takes place in the lobbies. Each member will be provided with a ballot paper with the list of candidates in alphabetical order. After half an hour the ballot will be declared closed.

4-5pm: Counting takes place by the Clerk of the House, and as soon as possible the results of the first ballot are announced to the House. If any candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the Presiding Member will put the question to the House that the member becomes the Speaker.

If no candidate has received more than half the votes, the candidate who received the fewest votes is removed, as well as any candidates who received less than 5% of the votes, and any candidates who have voluntarily withdrawn.

There is then a second ballot, and so on, until a candidate gets more than 50% of the House's support.

Dragging to the Chair: Once a candidate is agreed, they will immediately become the Speaker-Elect, and will be conventionally dragged to the Chair by their supporters.

The appointment needs to be approved by the Crown, through the commissioners in the Lords. If the Lords is still in business when a candidate is agreed, he or she can be confirmed straight away, and can ascend the Chair as Speaker.

Blimey, that’s a bit complicated, isn’t it? There must be a way to simplify matters. I’ve a cunning plan to ensure the strongest candidate gets in, a candidate that will lay down the law and that the rest of the House wouldn’t dare cross, it will also go a long way to ‘reconnecting’ Parliament with the electorate and would also make bloody good TV.

Erect a wrestling ring in the central lobby and gather all the MPs around it, perhaps a few of the Lords who haven’t fallen asleep on the red leather following a particularly gruelling liquid lunch could shuffle out as well. All the candidates, having been nominated by ten MPs of any political colour will then enter the ring.

Upon the chiming of the division bell, combat commences, no holds barred, foreign objects, such as the mace or despatch boxes, introduced to the ring by the watching MPs may be used with impunity. Candidates for Speaker are eliminated by being propelled over the top rope and having both feet touch the floor. Once eliminated, losing candidates must leave the lobby.

Once there is only one candidate left in the ring, he or she will be declared the winner. This procedure to be carried out annually, with the added bonus that the Speaker will have the opportunity, once a year, to challenge any MP of their choice to a loser leaves Parliament ‘Hell in a Cell’ cage match.

Watch the food allowance bills drop and the expenses claims for home multi-gyms skyrocket.

With the current candidates, under this scheme my money would be on Widders, I bet she fights really dirty.

Friday, 19 June 2009

The One That Gave A Little Chuckle. . .

This is doing the rounds on the email at the moment.

It supposedly shows a group of workmen clearing up after installing bollards at a Belfast hospital to prevent people parking at the front of the building.

I wonder if they've made a mistake, or if their van is part of one of these extravagant modern art installations hospitals seem so keen in putting up instead of cleaning wards or treating patients?

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The One That Is A Little Disappointed. . .

Just been trawling through most of the expenses claims for my constituency MP, Julian Brazier. I say most, as it became so dull, I was losing the will to live.

In a nutshell, he appears to stay in central London once in a while and claims about £65 per night for a room and about £20 a day for grub.

Annoyingly, this seems quite reasonable to me, unless my boredom caused me to miss something spectacular, especially as he doesn't seem to have a second home (and nor should he, representing Canterbury, it's not that far on the train), so credit where it is due.

A shame though, I was looking forward to a good rant.

The One That Says 'Of Course They Bloody Can' . . .

Rights, rights, rights.

It seems anomalous that in a world where our liberties are being taken from us on a daily basis, you can't move for peoples' rights. There's a very real difference between liberties (the freedom from. . .) and rights (permission to. . .) and over the last ten years especially people have been 'given' rights which overlap and contrast with those of others.

For instance, a publican has the right to deny service to anyone he sees fit. It is his business and his property, hence the marvellous 'Bar Alistair Darling' campaign. If the landlord didn't have the right to bar entry, then that simply wouldn't have happened.

But, hello? What's this? A homosexual couple have just walked in to the Hypothetical Arms. Now I've no problem with homosexuality, it isn't my bag, but then neither is eating sprouts, and I don't hate people who do eat them. Indeed, some of my best friends are sprout eaters. But if that landlord decides he doesn't want gay people in his premises, then he's in a world of trouble.

Well how can you have 'rights' that trump other people's? Does this mean that my 'rights' are less inalienable than others'? Does the homosexual's 'right' to go to the pub outweigh the landlord's 'right' to refuse service to anyone he sees fit? It's a conundrum isn't it?

For what it's worth, I believe it is his property and his business, if the landlord wants to turn away trade and demonstrate he's a twat, then that's his look out. There's plenty of other places where the gay guys can drink quite happily. Even if you weren't barred, because it was illegal, would you still want to give the bloke your money, knowing he wanted to refuse you service but isn't allowed by law?

So imagine my mirth when I read that the Crystal Cauldron Pagan club had been told by the Catholic Church that perhaps Stockport's Our Lady's club wasn't the most suitable venue for their witches' ball and cancelled the booking.

A diocese spokesman said the group was not compatible with the club's "ethos".

You don't say.

"In this day and age I just didn't think that we would get that prejudice from the Catholic Church,"

Said the leader of the group. Why was that then? Perhaps they'd just been sweeping up after the Lesbian Jihadist for Mohammed Jumble Sale when you went in to make the booking? No? You mean to say that this club, owned and run by the Catholic Church, don't want non-Catholic groups using their club? What a bunch of bastards.

"You can't seriously segregate clubs like this by religious values."

Errrrm, yes. Yes you can. Because, and perhaps this wasn't made clear enough, it is a Catholic Club. I doubt the local Mosque will be hiring out its hall for a BNP meeting. I doubt the local golf club would hire out the 4th green for a game of cricket. Nor should they be made to, it is their club and what goes on there isn't anyone's business but their own.

"It's not black witches and pointy hats, and we're not devil worshippers. We respect everybody's religion and we're trying not to have things in the shadows."

Well that's irrelevant, even if there is a racist gag in there. You may respect everyone else's religion, but the Catholic Church doesn't. They respect their own. So quite rightly told you to sod off.

"You don't have to be pagan to come and join us - it's just a fun open night with evening gowns and fancy dress and a fantastic Abba tribute group playing"

Oh, bloody hell. Not a court in the land would convict them. An Abba tribute playing in some church hall in Stockport is never likely to be 'fantastic.' Sounds like a perfectly ghastly evening. It's not often I agree with the Church in any guise, but the Micks have got this one spot on.

The One That Thinks They Have No Shame. . .

Following The Times and Justice Eady's naming of Orwell Prize winning plod blogger, Night Jack, comes this amazing peice of chutzpah over at Old Holborn's place.

I am doing some research on Haringey council, Baby P, etc and one thing I am trying to locate is a communication from Cecilia Hitchen to Clive Preece which allegedly says that no further children should be given care orders due to cost considerations. Someone mentioned that you may have had sight of this?
Are you able to help at all?
Thanks for reading this.
Daniel Foggo, senior reporter, The Sunday Times +44 20 7782 7730

I like OH, he is irascible, controversial and not afraid to speak his mind. Sometimes I think he gets things wrong, sometimes I think he goes too far, but I don't hold that against him, debate is what blogs are all about.

I was surprised with the calm nature of his response:

Hi Daniel,

Do your own research. Oh, and fuck off.

Old Holborn
An anonymous blogger

I still think the MSM really don't quite get it. We're not wannabe hacks, as a rule, blogging is a cathartic process, a form of therapy, if someone reads it, that's nice. If someone agrees then that's a real bonus.

The Times have proven that they, or perhaps more accurately, Rupert Murdoch, fear the bloggers. We can't be controlled with sackings, pay-cuts or demotions to the fashion desk. We follow our own agenda and not an editorial line.

If a fellow Libertarian says something I do not agree with, I will disagree with them. This does not happen in the MSM. They hate that. We are unpredictable. So what if I, Leg-Iron, OH, DK, Dick Puddlecote, Trixy or any other blogger doesn't have the readership numbers of The Times? Readers certainly aren't why I do this.

For them to shit on one of 'us' and then go asking another for help, is akin to the crew of the Enola Gay to dropping the bomb, then landing in Kyoto and asking a local to sub them a sushi dinner.


Saturday, 13 June 2009

The One That Is Saying Nothing. . .

I've a bit on for the next few days, so blogging will be in the region of limited to none. . .

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The One That Has A Plan. . .

So Gordon Brown is set to announce his plans to overhaul the voting system. The cynic in me supposes that he'll propose a system that will (assuming these changes won't be brought in tomorrow) ensure that Labour won't be given a hammering in the election after next.

I've got a few ideas. These are not fully investigated because proper electoral and constitutional reform is a big subject, but serve as an indicator of how I believe things could operate.

Prime Minister

To be directly elected. If that means that a Tory PM presides over a Labour House, then so be it. Republican Presidents have had to work with Democratic Houses before, and vice versa. This directly elected PM would not hold a seat. Those standing would not contest a seat, if you lose and spend 5 years out of a political job, tough. The term to be for a fixed five years however it can be shortened if 70% of the House vote in favour of a curtailment, if the Queen decides to exercise her prerogative or if the incumbent is charged with and convicted of an offence.

The Cabinet

To be made up of elected MPs, holding seats in the house. The PM would be free to choose whoever s/he wanted from the floor of the House. It would be unlikely, but if a Labour PM wanted a Tory as Defence Sec for example, then there would be no issue with that.

House of Lords

To be wholly elected. In the interests of tradition I would continue to enoble members as a mark of respect and recognition. Members to be elected without party affiliation, but on their record of private business/public or armed service and also for a term of 5 years. I would have elections on a county wide basis with each historic County (including unitary authorities within those borders) and the big metropolitan centres, for example London, Manchester, Birmingham/West Mids, Merseyside, Glasgow, Edinburgh, electing between 2 and 6 representatives depending upon population density. This means that if you object to what has been done in your name by your MP, or have a problem they cannot or will not assist with, you have a named individual sitting in the upper house you can go to.


Again, seats to be doled on a County basis as above and elected by named representative PR system. Don't like Mr. A representing party X, but do like Mrs. B representing that same party? Then vote for her. Seats in each County assigned along the percentage of the vote taken by each party with PPC expressing a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice of seat to take. The number of personal votes taken giving the PPC their position on each party's list. If preferred seats are taken when your turn comes around, you must select another untaken seat from that County and serve as if those constituents were your first choice. Again a fixed five year term unless 70% of the House or the Monarch decides to dissolve Parliament and call an election.

Federal Britain

The national assemblies of Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland to be done away with as they stand. 3 weeks in the month, the MPs in their respective territories to sit in the existing chambers (with Westminster serving as English Parliament) discussing everything except foreign policy, defence and criminal law (yes, even for Scotland). For the final week, then the issues just mentioned will be discussed in the British Parliament with a monthly, one hour PMQ's where the PM will not sit on either side of the House. First Ministers in each territory's House to be decided in secret vote amongst the members.

County Councils

Existing as they do now but with a County Governor directly elected as with the PM. Once a fortnight, say Monday mornings, the MP's representing those Counties would be obliged to attend to be held to account for their dealings in the House. If 70% of the County chamber decide to recall an MP for reasons of poor attendance record/corruption then a by-election would ensue. Chamber serving on a five year term. Police Chiefs also to be elected at this level on a 5 year term.

City/Borough/Town Councils

Existing as they do now but with a directly elected Mayor as with the PM and County Governors. Once a fortnight the County Councillors would be obliged to attend to be held to account for their dealings in the chamber. If 70% of the local chamber decide to recall a County Councillor for reasons of poor attendance record/corruption then a by-election would ensue. Chamber serving on a five year term.

Parish Councils

Elected on a three year term with no party affiliation, with a new Chair being nominated from within every 12 months, you may not serve consecutive terms as Chair. The real local level of these councils means that the members would be accessible to everyone in their village/street/locale. By holding their C/B/T councillor to account once a month means there is a direct chain from the bottom to the very top, with each level accountable to the one below, therefore re-engaging people with the process.

I'm sure there are some gaping holes in my plans there, points I've missed or systems I've misunderstood, but one thing that is clear from the expenses scandal and the actions of a ruling party that refuse to bend to public opinion, changes must be made, and radical ones at that.

Monday, 8 June 2009

The One That Does Not Have An Opinion On Halal Meat. . .

I've tried to remain quite neutral about the BNP, I've made it perfectly clear that I don't support them, but I try to avoid repsonding to the bogeyman dogwhistle.

One of the advantages of having BNP MEPs is that the media will have to broadcast what they have to say. This is a good thing, because by giving these people a platform they will reveal themselves to be the loons they are.

It hasn't taken long to get started, I've just seen a montage of Andrew Brons, the BNP MEP who isn't Nick Griffin, burbling away on Sky News. Admittedly it was a montage, so the edit wasn't particularly sympathetic, but that doesn't alter what he said.

Predictably he wittered on about there being too many mosques. Yawn. Next. It was that next which made me sit up and take notice, he said that Halal meat wasn't to his taste and that it should be banned.



I'm glad he thought it was so important as to raise it on his first day in the job, I must be lacking, because I've never given the subject any thought.

You see, stifle them, and they become interesting. Let them speak and people will edge away from them, whistling and looking as if they've spotted something interesting in the middle-distance.

The One That Is Trying To Make Sense Of It All . . .

(Warning, this might go on a bit, but I’ve found it quite interesting.)

Well, it isn’t the end of the world, although listening to BBC Radio 5 this morning, you would have thought the SA were patrolling the streets looking for ‘darkies’ to repatriate.

Out of what, 700 seats? The BNP have taken two of them. That’s as much as I’m going to say on the subject of them.

It’s a strange one this morning, watching Sky News last night, they were saying before it all kicked off that anything below 20% of the vote would be a disaster for Labour. As I write this we’re still waiting for confirmation from the Scots but it would seem that the SNP have done very well and taken the lion’s share of the vote north of the border. Fair play to them, a projected share of 29% of the vote is a good whack, and leaves Labour with around the 20% mark, a figure that Sky put next to a picture of a glum looking Brown when they did their preview. Not a good result at all.

Nationally, it is obvious that UKIP are the big winners, whilst the Lib Dems have effectively been treading water since last time round. The stats however make very interesting reading. Labour have had another disaster, with a 7% swing away, that would spell curtains for a huge number of their MPs. But who have profited from this swing? Certainly not the Tories who have only managed a 1.2% increase in their take, similarly despite UKIP firmly establishing themselves as a force in British/European politics (it will be interesting to see how they perform in a general election) their share only went up by 0.5%, the Lib Dems suffered a minor 1.1% downturn, not a disaster, but it can’t have been what they were hoping for.

The arrogance of the phrase ‘protest vote’ annoys me, it supposes that the main parties feel they have a right to peoples’ votes, and those that vote against them in the Euros will file back to their default position at a general. I’m not convinced that is the case any more. The big winners last night were, in reverse order, the BNP (of course) with an uplift of 1.4%, the Greens who picked up 2.5% and then ‘Others’ with 2.7%.

UKIP have not been without their share of fraud scare stories, so perhaps they’ve been tainted a little. I doubt they’ll care this morning, they have after all just finished second in a national election. You’d have expected a bigger rush to the side of the Greens, but perhaps people don’t take them seriously or take them very seriously and treat them with suspicion. The BNP story is well documented, both here and elsewhere.

The interesting tale is in the ‘Others’. On the BBC Website they are grouped together on the national overview, so we’ll have to drop into the regional level to see how it divvies up. I’ll pick the South East region for two reasons, firstly, it is where I live and secondly. . . because it is my blog and I feel like it.

Here, the Big 4 (for the purposes of Europe) all suffered losses in their share, Conservatives lost 0.4%, UKIP lost 0.7%, Limp Dems lost 1.2% and Labour bucked the national trend by only waving goodbye to 5.4%. A better showing from the Greens in the SE where they perked-up by 3.8% and the BNP came in right on the average of a 1.4% gain, But even that doesn’t add up to the losses suffered by the established parties, all down the list the real minority parties have picked up around 0.5% to 1.4%. What I’m trying to do is make some sense of it all.

Are these ‘protest’ votes? Does the scatter gun pattern to these increases suggest that the electorate is saying ‘I’ll vote for you because you aren’t the big corrupt parties?

Are these votes that are going to parties after the electorate, having decided againt their old tribal affiliations, have then taken the time to investigate and feel some affinity with?

Are the electorate just closing their eyes and sticking a pin in the ballot paper?

Have the electorate come to the conclusion that they can bring about the removal of the most unpopular PM of all time from No. 10?

What is for sure is that a snap election could prove very uncomfortable for all the major parties, and despite Cameron and Clegg’s bluster, I don’t think either of them want an election anytime soon. They think that between now and May the outrage over expenses will die down. But I think it goes deeper than that, I really do think that the expenses scandal has caused a lot of people to re-examine their relationship with their traditional party, it has been a catalyst rather than the story in its entirety. I don’t think they like what they see, What they see is a Labour party that for the last 15 years has divorced itself from its traditional constituency, a Conservative party that is so light on policy that a strong breeze could carry them away and a Lib Dem party that has made no headway since the last election. There are no major idealogical differences between them.

One thing is for certain, following a catastrophic local election showing and a European campaign which has seen the BNP pick up seats in what is squarely Labour territory, Brown’s ‘meeting’ with the back-benchers could be explosive this evening. These people are now fearful for their jobs, forget retaining power, that has gone, and their position will not improve with Brown staying on another 11 months. Whether Brown wants to go or not is irrelevant, if the back-benchers decide they have to cut him loose to save themselves, that is exactly what they would do, and it would be nigh impossible to pass off a third PM in one term.

Interesting times.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

The One That Says 'No It Bloody Isn't'. . .

Via Ian P-J on a Facebook comments thread, this bucket of utter, utter drivel:

The European Civil War is a period that includes both World War I, World War II and the inter-war period referring to the many major European regime changes.
Is it? First I've bloody heard of it.

It is used in referring to the repeated confrontations that occurred during the early 20th Century.
Really? By whom? Not any historians I've ever read, watched or listened to.

Those supporting the idea of a European Civil War contend that the heads of state in many European nations were so closely related as to constitute branches of the same family. European culture is also relatively homogeneous, with most nations tracing the roots of their culture to two principal sources; the Judeo-Christian Bible and Classical antiquity. Their respective legal systems, while separate, were remarkably similar and evolved to become more so over time. A single culture and a single ruling elite could therefore lead to the assumption that Europe was evolving (albeit slowly) towards becoming a single state.

Now hang on just a fucking minute. European culture is relatively homogeneous? Relative to what? Tracing roots of culture to the bible and classical antiquity? No attempts to qualify that assertation then? Homogeneous my arse, what do the Flemish have in common with the Sami? Ever noticed how different the Russian ethnic Estonians are from the Portuguese?

The Bible argument is bullshit as well, that's like saying that the Irish are the same as the Ethiopians, well, they're both Christian. When do we start to see that ridiculous bloody flag flying over parliament in Addis then?

At the end of the conflict, elites in the different countries of Europe began work to create a centralized "state" that has since grown into the European Union.

At the end of the conflict? What do you think the conflict was about? Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin all were very keen on idea of creating a centralized European state, the problem being that they weren't all that keen on asking the other countries if they wanted to join.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that the EU is like the plans they had, I mean, in the Referendum held in 1975, were we not asked explicitly if we wanted to join a centralised political European Union with lawmaking primacy?

Errrm, no, we were told that*:

The aims of the Common Market are:

To bring together the peoples of Europe.

To raise living standards and improve working conditions.

To promote growth and boost world trade.

To help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world.

To help maintain peace and freedom.

OK, so perhaps things have moved on a little, haven't they? I mean it isn't as if it's a big organisation who overrides the wishes of the population on the rare occasions they are given a choice, is it? Hang on. . .

I'll tell you what the EU is, it is an organisation that we have NEVER been able to have a say about, it has brought about its position by wriggling in through the back door using threats and smears.

This revisionist view is straight out of Mini-truth, and is an insult to the memories of those who landed on the Normandy beaches 65 years ago. Normal people who were compelled, but in the main, went willingly to defend the sovereignty of the nations of Europe. These men and women gave their lives for freedoms which are now being surrendered without a whimper.

For the EU flag to be flying alongside the Stars and Stripes, Tricolore and Union Flag at the commemoration today is a disgusting example of political posturing. These people did not pay the ultimate price so there could be a centralised European state, it is what they were fighting against.

*taken from a pamphlet of the time, it makes interesting reading.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The One That Is Uninspired. . .

Sooooo, Mrs. Wolfers and I took an early evening stroll down the polling station. I took great delight in giving the Tory and Green gophers sat outside one of my best Paddington Bear stares when they asked for 'my number' - I was tempted to say 0800 FUCK YOU. But that would have been rude.

I still got to say pretty much that. The European election form came with its own easel, by the time I'd read from the top (BNP) to the bottom (UKIP) about ten minutes had passed. A huge selection of parties in this 'region' most of whom not worth a wank sock.

Come to the local. Shit. A more uninspiring list it is hard to imagine. The disappoinment of a list that read in its entirety: Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat.

Left with but one option, now in the ballot box there is a paper bearing the legend: 'This is a choice?'

If only my employment didn't prohibit me from standing, I reckon I would have done quite well just through not being any of them. . .

The One That Is Going To Play A Little Tune . . .

A little American-centric, but the spirit is the same. . .

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The One That Is Thankful. . .

A day of contrasts across the board.

Blears really puts the cat amongst the pigeons and stops just shy of issuing a call for a leadership challenge to Brown, Sky News reports that a group of Labour backbenchers have started an email campaign against Gordon which seems to have the support of 80 or so of the lobby fodder.

Rumours also abound that Caroline Flint and Andy 'Cosmetics' Burnham are also set to walk.

Cameron was as effective as a paper condom at PMQ's this afternoon, and in my opinion out-performed (and not for the first time) by Wossinsname Clegg from the Social Democrats.

A very interesting post by Guthrum over at the LPUK blog put forward the theory that Royal and military agents were behind the leaking of the expenses. I'm not sure if I subscribe to it, but I'm not about to dismiss it and it certainly fits the events.

Many people commented in the late winter that we were due a 'summer of rage' and that the PM was itching to use the Civil Contingencies Act to get the troops on the street, there were even reports of servicemen being surveyed to see if they would open fire on their countrymen.

All that seems a little irrelevant now, I find it impossible to see a way for Brown to survive this chain of events, the local election results on Friday could well be the knock-out punch, the European results on Sunday evening will more than likely finish him once and for all.

No tanks on the street.

Whilst I'm heartened that the media, public and latterly the ministers have turned on this Prime Minister, it is unfortunate that it has taken a corruption story to turn the tide, but then the policy scandal of the last 12 years haven't been sexy enough. Perhaps, maybe, the public will pay a little more attention to what is being done in their names beyond expenses after this.

However do not underestimate the public strength of feeling over corruption. Today marks the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, a mass protest which was against a controlling and thoroughly reprehensible government which was catalysed by corruption, the difference being that this was put down with troops and tanks.

We may be under the thumb of an overbearing and controlling institution in the EU that waters down the power of our national parliament, we may have a leader who refuses to bend to national opinion, we may have no credible opposition, but at least we have the chance to change all that and we don't have to worry about troops and tanks.

For that, I am thankful.

Things need to change, radically and with speed, but we can do it without fearing for our lives.

So when the polling stations are open tomorrow, step out and take a minute or two from your hectic schedule and vote for what you want, get connected and hold the elected representatives to account for what they have done in YOUR name.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The One That Is Starting To Lose Track Of This Now. . .

Labour backbencher Ian Gibson has been barred from standing for the party at the next general election, following questions about his expenses.

It's taken 12 years, folks, but the Labour party has finally delivered on a promise.

The Norwich North MP is said to be "very upset" at the news, which follows an appearance before a disciplinary panel set up by Labour's ruling body.

I'll bet he bloody is.

MPs Margaret Moran, Elliot Morley and David Chaytor, who already said they would not stand, were also banned.

At least they had the sense to jump before they were pushed.

But they have not been expelled from the party or had the whip removed.

So, let me get this right, they've been found wanting by their party, and won't be selected to stand again. So obviously the party wants nothing to do with them? Obviously their offences aren't bad enough to warrant the withdrawal of the whip, good little lobby fodder, get kicked in the balls, get dropped like a hot spud, but you'll still file through when you're told, eh?

If they had any spine, they'd throw off the whip themselves.

The One That Thinks It's All Going To Go Wrong. . .


Tom Watson - Going.
Jackboot Spliff - Going.
David Chaytor - Going.
Beverley Hughes - Going.
Patricia Hewitt - Retiring.
Alistair Darling - Living On Borrowed Time With The Bailiff Knocking At The Door.

Blimey, it is Christmas, Birthday, Pay Day and Winning Lotto Ticket Day all in one go.

Knowing my luck, Labour will take 70% of the vote on Thursday. . . .

They're fucked.

Anna Raccoon talks about a dissolution debate from the Jock and Taff nationalists.
Can't wait.


Sky are talking seriously about Darling or Millipede taking over as Home Sec.


Oh, that's a good one, that is.

Monday, 1 June 2009

The One That Will Tell You What The Bloody Point Is. . .

The Prime Mentalist displayed the sort of lack of undertanding and self-awareness that will come to mark his tenure as what history promises to see as the worst Prime Minister of all time today.

He was reluctant to say anything in support of Darling, so start packing, Alistair. Expect Ed Balls to move into No. 11 when he indulges in the final re-ordering of the deckchairs on his own personal Titanic. Dear God, is that it? Ed Balls? Bloody hell, I'm surprised the cabinet aren't running for the hills, the last thing even the most loyal Brownite needs right now is to be seen to have any connection to this Jonah at all.

He also stated that :

I am not arrogant or unwilling to listen to people but I do believe that if people look towards what needs to be done at the moment, it is to get us through this economic downturn.

Don't you see? You poor deluded fools, why are you wasting your time looking at these venal MPs? What you should be focusing on is the recession, which is nothing to do with Gordon at all, although all the good stuff that came before is all down to him. You'd be a racist, homophobic paedophile to disagree.

Adam Boulton flat out asked him today why he doesn't go to the country. His response? 'What would be the point?'

The point would be Gordon, that everyone, even your own back-benchers and party gophers are thoroughly sick of the sight of you.

He then wittered on about the folly of going to a general election:

"I want people to say of me that he cleaned up the political system having found that things were wrong in it. . ."

Well, you've had 12 years, Gordon. Didn't seem so bleeding important when the farmer wasn't watching the trough, was it?

History will remember you as the man who was the worst PM in history, presiding over one of the most corrupt Parliaments in history and as one of two men who destroyed the Labour party and didn't have the sense to realise the game was up.

I hope the time spent hiding under the table in No. 10 was worth it.