Saturday, 29 August 2009

The One That Can Tell You Why. . .

It's becoming something of an obsession, and recently I had a person from one of the opinion poll companies round bearing statements such as 'Internet access is a right' and 'The government should do more to ensure everyone has broadband'. I had to say whether I agreed strongly, disagreed strongly, well, you get the idea.

Why is the state so desperate to get us linked up to the 'net?

The race is on to get as many British people online as possible by 2012, Martha Lane Fox has told the BBC.

As the government's new Digital Champion she has been charged with getting millions online who are not yet connected to the internet.

But why? Bloggers are a continual pain in the arse for governments and their opposition. The internet has also empowered the consumer in terms of news, you don't sit down when you are told to see the news and you don't have to only hear what the editors want to tell you, that's an enormous groundshift from the consumer's relationship with papers, radio and TV.

"They've asked me to see what really clever applications of technology could help people get more employment, get more choices, take control of where they live of their own situation in a slightly more cohesive way," the co-founder of lastminute.com said.


By reading that, it would seem that the government want to fly in the face of everything they've done over the last 12 years and actually empower people. I don't buy it.

Ms Lane Fox has indicated that she wants to concentrate on the six million poorest "nonliners" first.

She will be relying on people already online to convince others to join them.

"The only way I think we can do that is if all of us as individuals sit down and think okay, how can I bring someone on this journey with me?

"Get kids training grannies, get all of us kind of plugging into our local communities to try and pull the whole country along.


We do it to help the poor.

Well, I'm sorry, but the internet, whilst being a very useful tool, is not absolutely required for everyday life. And what is this journey? Why should we all have the internet? What's in it for them? I have visions of some sort of Matrix Lite society.

I have a friend who enjoys conspiracies, and this one is a goodie, and not too far fetched. It is his belief, and with everything we've seen thus far, it is hard to argue against it, that the government is keen to introduce a national service provider akin to the Cloud system.

In a nutshell, you plug your monitor into your keyboard and your keyboard into the phone socket, absolutely everything you do on and with your computer is stored centrally. Documents you write, emails you send and recieve, websites you visit, online banking details, contacts, the lot.

Now it all makes sense. Of course with a centrally controlled system a website that the authorities don't want to be available simply isn't there. If a news site publishes a story they don't like, it simply disappears. If a blogger writes an article they find objectionable, it is taken down. The blogger would probably suffer the same fate.

The internet is a free as anything could probably ever be. The political class hate it. It must be like a maddening itch they can never reach. So great is their desire for control over every single facet of our lives that they will do anything to get control of it. So you persaude people they cannot live without the internet, you raise more taxes to put the system together (modem licence, anyone?) and then get everyone onto a system which is little more than a heavily regulated, constantly moderated intranet.

Jesus, I hate these bastards. Scary, scary shit.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The One That Wants To Know Why We Persist In It. . .

The EU, loathe it or hate it, you just can't bloody stand it.

Two stories today, courtesy of Nanny Beeb:

The UK's net contribution to the European Union will rise by almost 60% next year, the Treasury has said.

Well, we can have no argument against that, can we? It is such good value for money, and I certainly sleep well at night knowing that a robust accounting system means that every single penny spent can be explained in a satisfactory fashion.

The Treasury said it was right for the UK "to share the burden of membership with new accession countries".

Really? Excellent! Let's hope that is true across the board. I don't know who the Perm. Sec. at the Treasury is, but I'm betting he's a member of a golf club. Does this mean that if I join his club he'll stand my membership fees? He should also be aware that I have no interest in the rules of golf and no intention of abiding by those rules and will just spend all day poncing drinks off the other members whilst moaning about how terrible things were for me twenty years ago.

"The prime minister has made clear our belief is that it is right for us to share the burden of membership of the European Union with the new accession countries so that every part of the European Union can look forward to prosperity in the future," he added.

Prosperity? Future? What does the Gorgon know about it? He has neither. Give me fucking strength.

And then, when we pass a law that we actually want, we still can't enforce it because:

Dozens of prosecutions under a 1984 Act have been dropped because the government of the day failed to notify the European Commission about the law.

What fucking business is it of theirs?

I think I've finally figured it out. We're the kitchen cat. Our government is the Pantry Boy who has to account to Cook (in the form of the EC) for every action, movement and decision it takes. The Pantry Boy doesn't like this, so gives us a kick as we pass and makes us report to them in the same manner.

Why won't the Tories actually be different to ZNL by listening to their membership and push the question of our continued membership of this Kafkaesque organisation to the top of the agenda?

The One That Knows He Has Nothing To Fear. . .

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I have no beef with the police in general. To re-iterate, I know more than more fair share of police officers and in the main they are people I trust implicitly and I have an almost boundless respect for people who do a difficult job in the face of local and national management that frustrates the hell out of them on a daily basis, and a public which are becoming more hostile and mistrusting as each day passing.

The latter issue is connected very much to the first issue and is then amplified by the actions of officers who simply are not equipped emotionally or have the intelligence to do the job.

My protestations of support become increasingly untenable in the face of reports such as this:

When trainspotter Stephen White noticed some interesting engines, he wasted no time in taking pictures of them for his collection.

It was the start of a bizarre sequence of events involving midnight phone calls, police raids and even, it is claimed, suspected terrorism.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The One That Is On Tenterhooks. . .

Lord Mandelson has been admitted to hospital to have an operation for a "benign condition of the prostate", a government spokesman has said.

I wish the Noble Lord a speedy recovery and hope that nothing goes horribly, tragically wrong.

[/sarcasm]

I think that's the first time I've ever seen the words Mandleson and benign in the same sentence.

UPDATE

A truly stunning bit of Daily Mashesque writing from Mac The Knife. Do go and read it. . .

One of the UK's best loved tumours has been admitted to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington for urgent surgery to remove a malignant First Secretary of State.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The One That Just Wants To Be Left Alone. . .

Candle-lit dinners may be romantic, but researchers are warning they could be harmful to health.

Hang on, hang on, wait for it, you know what's coming, don't you?

South Carolina State University experts analysed the fumes released by burning candles in lab tests.

They found paraffin wax candles gave off harmful fumes linked to lung cancer and asthma - but admitted it would take many years' use to risk health.


HOUSE!
Yep, you knew that was what was going to happen.

Even with the disclaimer at the end, isn't it just the most feeble, over-blown bit of scaremongering?

Seriously, I know my taxes haven't been spent in this bucket of arse-water research, but was there a need for the BBC to stick this on the main page of their news site? Perhaps we could have had more analysis about some corrupt bloke with a daft hat and a beard winning an election or maybe even losing it to some other corrupt bloke with a daft hat and a beard? How about more opinion on the South African girl at the athletics who might be a bloke?

Here's an idea, just leave us the fuck alone rather than beating us up about anything that someone might enjoy doing, you sad, sad, joyless, grey little fucking wankstains.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The One That Is Saying 'Run For The Hills!'. . .

The Labour Party has appointed the MP Kerry McCarthy as a "Twitter tsar" with responsibility for encouraging candidates to embrace social networking sites before the General Election.

Eh? Say what?

The MP for Bristol East, who was recently voted most 'influential' MP on Twitter with 1,879 followers, has been named as new media campaign spokesperson.

I've checked folks, it's August 17th, for one awful moment, I thought I fallen asleep and missed the autumn and new year.

A man looking for porn stumbles upon Kerry's twitter updates, earlier today.

The One That Says 'It Was Only A Song. . . Jeez!'. . .

I'm not sure whether I should be alarmed or entertained by this little story from Nanny Beeb:

People in Azerbaijan who voted for a song by neighbouring Armenia in May's Eurovision Song Contest have been questioned by the authorities.

Perhaps there's a Ministry of Artistic Integrity. I don't think I've heard the song, but I'm sure it isn't going to win any awards. Maybe Azerbaijan are very concerned about the public's consumption of the arts?

One man told the BBC he was accused of being unpatriotic and a potential security threat, after he sent a text backing Armenia's song, Jan Jan.

What? A potential security threat? Bloody hell. He voted for a fucking song. It's not just us that use the security dogwhistle as an excuse to give someone a hard time for the hell of it, then.

The Azerbaijani authorities said people had merely been invited to explain why they voted for Armenia.

Bloody hell. I remember reading about an East Berliner who was given a hard time by the Stasi for being a Hertha Berlin fan (who played in the Bundesliga in the West) and listening to their matches on the radio. Supporting a Western Team was dangerously subversive (Dynamo Berlin were despised as the Stasi club and finally died in 1991), but to be given a hard time for text voting in the Eurovision? Invited? How? Would you like to explain your vote, or would you like Big Ivan here to hit your hands with this lump hammer? Jesus.

One final little question; How did the authorities know this man had voted for the Armenians? I'm willing to bet that it was down to the retention of all telephone calls and text messages on some sort of central database.

Of course, that could never happen here, and would never be used for such a trivial 'offence', no it would only be used on naughty brown people.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The One That Is Bloody Fed Up. . .

I was going to blog about the story that drinking even a pint of beer a day or somesuch will make you die of horrible cancer, but Salted Slug beat me to it and stated a very eloquent case.

Just as a general point I would say there is nothing offensive about death per-se. A young thug picking up old women and impaling them on spiked railings is offensive, just dying isn't.

I will die, you will die, everyone will die. If we're lucky it won't happen all at the same time.

If I don't die of smoking cancer, I will die of drinking cancer, or eating meat cancer, or eating vegetables cancer, or sitting down and having a nice cup of tea cancer, or going outside into the fresh-air cancer, or herpes, or something. I am confident that when I do die, it won't be of old age, or natural causes. Not because I won't be old and die in my bed, but because by that time it will be law that death has to be attributed to a definite cause. Our bodies will not be allowed to get old and just wear out.

Cars get old and wear out, their bodywork will be dented and scratched, a number of minor repairs and replacements will have been made, perhaps even one or two major problems will have been resolved. An old car may be condemned because a big end has gone, or a foo-foo valve has blown, but really, it is just an old car which is worn out and dead.

We are the same. Why are people so offended by the idea that we are mortal and have a limited time on this Earth? Just enjoy it, don't spend your time worrying about how it will end for you. Is it that you think you are so important that you should be immortal? (Mummy Longlegs touches on this in a very sensitive, sensible fashion)

People are born, people grow up, people get old, people die. Deal with it.

And whilst we're at it, just fucking leave me the fuck alone won't you?

Jeez.

Monday, 10 August 2009

The One That Thinks It Is A Bloody Disgrace. . .

I was dumbfounded when I heard news that Hazel Blears' car had been attacked, I'm not entirely clear if she was actually in it at the time or not.

Blears has dismissed it as the work of bored kids with nothing to do on their summer holidays, however if the vox pops on Sky News are representative, they reveal that she is pretty much universally hated in her constituency.

These bloody kids, what a shower. To target a single female MP in such a fashion is pathetic. I'll bet they're all on Facebook, surely it wouldn't have been beyond the wit of some of the more intelligent to co-ordinate a nationwide campaign of MP stonings?

A step in the right direction, but I can only give them an E+, must do much, much better. Why single out one individual when there are around 600 others who could do with the same treatment?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

The One That Doesn't Like The Inference. . .

This story from Nanny Beeb made me raise an eyebrow this morning:

Prosecutors say they were justified in spending an estimated £20,000 on the crown court trial of a man who was acquitted of stealing a 25p banana.

The initial response is to rail against the waste of £20k of public money to try such a trivial offence.

The eye is drawn to the contrast in amounts of money and almost skips over the word 'acquitted'.

It is the tone of the article that worries me, there is no explicit suggestion, no direct editorial, but one just feels that it is saying 'wouldn't it have been better if the accused had accepted his punishment, regardless of guilt, and saved the public their money?'

As the District Crown Prosecutor quite rightly states it is his right as the accused to opt for a trial by jury, and having been found not guilty by his peers can now continue his life without a stain on his character (assuming he's no convictions prior to this).

Is his innocence worth £20k? I would say it is, if he had been convicted, and given that to get a job sweeping the streets you have to be CRB checked these days, how much would the taxpayer have coughed up in benefits to support him due to his unemployability because of the misappropriation of a 25p banana, which he didn't take anyway?

I've never recieved a fixed penalty notice for any of the myriad of offences for which they can be dished out now. But I'm assuming that they can all be challenged in a court of law, at least I would hope so otherwise it really is nothing more than receipted and legal mugging. Perhaps if more people elected to have a day out in their local Crown Court, rather than meekly paying up, the government and ACPO would spend more time detecting crime rather than recording stats disguised as fines.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

The One That Is Offering Some Tips. . .

It is hot. I do not respond well to heat, it makes me grumpy(er) and even more unpleasant to be around than usual.

I've had the most joyous task of running a few errands this morning, which meant I had little choice but to take to the roads, pavements and shops of the fair city of Canterbury.

Having returned I am now outlining some helpful hints for the hard of thinking in order to facilitate the smooth running of their daily lives.

Behind The Wheel.

- Signalling at roundabouts will prevent people from having to guess your intentions and almost running into your side.

- When encountering some knob jockey at a roundabout who has decided not to signal his intentions, waiting for him to pass over the junction before committing yourself to moving means you won't run into the side of him.

- When a traffic light shows red, it is considered good form to stop.

- When a traffic light shows green it is best practice to stop composing a text/filing your nails/masturbating and engage first gear and move off.

- The national speed limit on a single carriageway is 60mph, driving at 40mph will encourage people to attempt risky overtaking manoeuvres.

- The speed limit on narrow street with many pedestrians is normally 30mph, driving at 40mph will mean that you will have to break suddenly and almost end up in the rear of the person in front of you.

- Driving at 40mph on a 60mph road and on a 30mph road marks you out as a cretin of the highest order.

On The Pavement.

- Old Ladies, when on a coach trip to Canterbury, it is not required for you all to stop en masse and gaze into the window of WHSmith. They sell the same tat in there as they do at the branch in whichever Godforsaken town you live.

- Young men, when it is sunny, no-one really wants to see your pasty white, scrawny torso as you saunter down the street with your T-shirt tucked into the waistband of your kappa tracksuit bottoms. Fewer people are impressed with your selection of music playing over the loudspeaker of your mobile phone. Fewer people still are impressed with your habit of spitting on the pavement every 5 metres. The absolutely fucking huge black man who admonishes you as you spit once again at the ground but hit his very young daughter's shoes is neither impressed nor intimidated when you square up to him and ask him what his fucking problem is. He is twice your size and has limbs which look like Stuart Pearce's legs where most people have arms. Think carefully.

- When at the cashpoint with a large queue behind you, it is very bad form to insert your card and make use of every facility the cashpoint offers. To do it with two cards, and seemingly in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Serbo-Croat and Yoruba before walking away without having withdrawn any fucking cash, is asking for a hefty kick in the genitals.

In The Supermarket.

- When one of your unruly gutter rat children (of whom there seems to be a dozen, each one more unruly and snot-coated than the one before) runs into the basket being carried by an old woman, almost knocking her off her feet, the appropriate response is not to yell at her 'watch where you're fucking going.'

- When at the checkout, the sign hanging above the till that says 'Baskets Only' applies to everyone, not to everyone except you. Taking the young girl on the till to task for pointing it out, marks you out as a complete fucktard and is asking for a hefty kick in the genitals.

- When at the checkout having had your shopping scanned and bagged for you whilst you gazed out of the window, try not to act surprised when the girl on the till then requests payment.

- When at the checkout there is no point in acting like some kind of superior being because you've brought along your no-doubt very expensive, message heavy, rough hemp bag, when you are then going to demand that the girl on the till put your hermetically sealed chicken portions in a transparent plastic bag.

- When at the checkout don't tut and look at me like I've stamped on your kid's head because I am using a new plastic bag. I have a dog, these bags are then used to pick up the deposits she makes in the park and placed in the bin. Would you prefer it if I went out and bought purpose made bags, or would you like me to leave the dog-shit where it is, so your kids can roll around in it? If you like I can re-use the bag again and again by emptying the deposit into your letterbox.

It is a wonder I'm not on an attempted murder charge this afternoon.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The One That Concurs. . .

China's prostitutes are better-trusted than its politicians and scientists, according to an online survey published by Insight China magazine.

The state run paper has expressed surprise at this finding.

I'm not in the least bit surprised.

Here's the obvious gag:

The difference between a politician and a prostitute, is that with a prostitute you volunteer to give them your money before they fuck you.











(Thank you very much, I'm here all week.)

Monday, 3 August 2009

The One That Is Going Suitcase Shopping. . .

People who want to become British citizens could speed it up by becoming active members of political parties and trade unions, under government plans.
Right, I really am now losing the will to live.

Question 1; Am I incorrect in thinking that you couldn’t join a political party if you weren’t eligible to vote?

Question 2: I am correct in the assumption that ‘political parties’ doesn’t mean ALL political parties? I’ll bet it is weighted towards the status quo.


They could also lose points for "bad behaviour" which it has been suggested
could include anti-war demonstrations.

I see, so you’d get a bonus for joining a political party, and being ‘active’ as long as the party you join is or supports the government and their policies. Dissent and you’ll be punished.

I’ll polish off the crystal ball. Demonstrate and lose your citizenship as an immigrant. The next step will be stripping those of indigenous extract of their citizenship, it’s all in the name of national security, and it is better if we’re all unified, don’t you agree?

Be aware that people who disagree want to destroy our ‘freedoms’.

I’m past the point of anger now and am settling into the zone marked ‘despair’. There are one or two projects to tie up, and then toddling off to an as yet undecided embassy or high commission to get a settlement visa away from here is looking more and more likely. I’m not angry or fearful, just very very sad at what we’ve allowed our country to become.