Saturday, 30 October 2010

Politicians = stupid.

This popped into my inbox today. It is likely to be a) old, and b) apocryphal, but that doesn't make it any less amusing.

A Washington, DC airport ticket agent offers some examples of why the country is in trouble.

All are from people involved in Government in one way or another:

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.

2. I got a call from a Kansas Congressman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ''I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts.''
Without trying to make him look stupid, I calmly explained, ''Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in South Africa ''

his response -- click.

3. A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.

He replied, 'Don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!''

4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife who asked, ''Is it possible to see England from Canada?''
I said, ''No.''
She said, ''But they look so close on the map.''

5. An aide for a cabinet member once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. I pulled up the reservation and noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ''I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.''

6. An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m.

I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.

7. A New York lawmaker called and asked, ''Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?'' I said, 'No, why do you ask?'

He replied, ''Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!''

After putting him on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, Ca. is "FAT" (Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on his luggage.

8. An aide to Senator John Kerry called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked,

''Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?''

9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman from Alabama who asked, ''How do I know which plane to get on?''

I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ''I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.''

10. Senator Dianne Feinstein
called and said, ''I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, Florida. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?''

I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane

She said, ''Yeah, whatever, smarty!''

11. An LA Senator called and had a question about the documents she needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded her that she needed a visa. 'Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.''

I double-checked and sure enough, her stay required a visa. When I told her this she said, ''Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!''

12. A New Jersey Congressman called to make reservations, ''I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York.''

I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ''Are you sure that's the name of the town?''

'Yes, what flights do you have?'' replied the man.

After some searching, I came back with, ''I'm sorry, sir, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a rhino anywhere."

''The man retorted, ''Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!''

So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ''You don't mean Buffalo, do you?''

The reply? ''Whatever! I knew it was some sort of a big animal.''

Friday, 29 October 2010

Oh, this conversation again.

One of the delights of late October, beyond putting razor blades in 'fun size' Mars bars (and what, may I ask , is fun about a small Mars bar?) and lacing dib-dab with laxative for the little tykes who come round trick or treating, is the annual debate about the changing of the clocks.

Argument 1: They should stay on BST, because people feel safer in lighter evenings, and, errrr, that's it.

Argument 2: They should stay on GMT, because kids in Scotland who walk to school (I thought that was banned, because of all the paedos hanging around on street corners, plus it harms car sales) might get run over in the dark mornings, it is fine for them to get run over in the dark afternoons though, and a few Scottish farmers won't be able to see their cows in the dark.

Solution: Give Scotland its own time zone, plenty of other countries manage it ok. Besides I understand there's already a ten year time difference between Scotland and England anyway.

Must we listen to this ridiculous waffle every year? The chances of a change are effectively nil, you may as well have a debate about whether Tuesday following Monday is a satisfactory arrangement. It's only an hour FFS, don't we have slightly more important things to worry about?

Thursday, 28 October 2010

A few pointers.

Been a little busy this week, but there are a few things which have rattled my cage over the last few days.


Very well done on your posturing over the EU budget. Gosh, you are my heroes. What is going to happen if you don't get your way? Are you going to refuse to pay? No? How about giving us a referendum asking whether in light of the cuts being made to the domestic civil service we want to contribute to an even more bloated, wasteful, arrogant and unaccountable European one? No? How about meekly giving in and coughing up more our money, even though nobody has ever had the good grace to ask us if we want to be members of this ridiculous club? Yes? Thought so.

Be a good bunch of chaps and chapesses, and fuck off. Come back when you've grown a pair.

Stupid people on radio phone in shows:

Stop blaming the bankers. Yes, they screwed their business up, but it wasn't them who bankrupted the country, it was the politicians. They didn't come running when Woolies went under, no rescue package was put together when MFI hit the skids, they were nowhere to be seen when Zavvi disappeared. Yet somehow, they had to ride to the resuce of the shareholders of the bank when they spectacularly failed to exercise any control over the people they had appointed to run the business in the first place.

The value of your shares can go up, as well as down. Well, unless those shares are in a bank, then they can only go up. The taxpayer wouldn't stand me my debts if I pissed my wages up the wall on the roulette table, so why should the banks be any different?

Cold callers calling my phone:

Fuck off. If your product or service was that amazing, I'd be calling you. It isn't, leave me alone, don't get all huffy when I tell you to fuck off. You applied for the job, them's the breaks.

Charity muggers knocking at my door:

Fuck right off. I'll give to charity on my own terms, thank you very much. I certainly won't give to charities who have already had their hand in my pocket courtesy of the Inland Revenue. And I'll be damned if I give to a charity who then uses that money to employ some mercenary to try and make off with more of my money.

Utility companies knocking at my door:

Fuck right off and die horribly. That is all.

Stupid people at supermarket checkouts:

If you haven't been able to figure out how to use the self-service jobbies by now, please go and use the checkout with the friendly young lady sat at it. She'll take care of you. However, don't act surprised when, having stood there like a mong for five minutes whilst the nice young lady has scanned and bagged your items for you, the nice young lady asks for payment in return for the bags of produce sat in front of you. Try having your wallet out and ready.

Righteous people at checkouts:

I take the plastic bags every time because I have a need for them. Don't sneer at me. I use them to pick up the shit my large dog leaves lying around the park when I take her for a walk. Or would you rather I went out a bought a supply of plastic bags? No. OK then, I'll leave it where is so your kids can play in it.

There's a whole bunch of other people who piss me off, but I've had enough now. I'm off for a cigarette.


Friday, 22 October 2010

It isn't fair and it sucks.

Well, we've all had a couple of days to chew over the figures released in the spending review. For my part, the department in which I work is not the worst hit, but is certainly not getting off lightly. There will be a significant reduction in posts over the four year plan, but I think the majority of those will be covered by retirements, natural wastage and the opportunity for people to take a voluntary package, we're also in a position where we can raise a bit of revenue independently of the public purse. It will take some reorganisation in the way that staff are deployed, both as individuals and as units, and that will upset some people.

In my district I think there's the potential for a pretty major change which would be welcomed by some staff, but would also lead to some front line positions going. If that major change were to come to pass, one section of the press will probably have kittens. Quite how all of this will change how I work, or even if I work, remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, if I am caught in the storm, you'll not hear any whining or complaining about it. I refuse to be a victim and will look at the situation as an opportunity rather than a tragedy.

The crying from the left has been predictable. It is going to hurt the poorest the worst and so forth. Some of the gloating from what is called 'the right' has also been predictable and is a very unbecoming way of behaving.

As stated before, I support these cuts. Not because I enjoy seeing people lose their jobs, but because we simply cannot afford the money we've been borrowing and then spending. We've never been able to afford it, there was no way we could afford it the day we took the credit card out and the bill has just got bigger and bigger.

It is true to say that I think the State does far too much. I want the power and intrusion of the State to be pared back to the bone, but I'd rather it was done as a gradual process, rather than by ripping it aside.

Here's the shocking news; this spending review is not a ripping aside of the State's and their client class' addiction to borrowing money, taking money from the productive part of the economy and spending it. This spending review amounts (if I've understood the figures properly) to 3% of the defecit. It is nothing. It is even less if the figures from the TaxPayers' Alliance are anywhere near accurate. This is a gradual reduction, and it hurts.

Is it fair that these public servants will lose their jobs? No. It isn't. These people are not responsible for the defecit, it is the holders of the public purse who bear that responsibility. These people saw the jobs advertised and applied (and make no mistake, we're not talking about managers of departmental budget losing jobs here, it will be the grunts) with the reasonable expectation that the people advertising the positions knew what they were doing and could afford to take the staff on.

Is it fair that the people who rely on public services will lose the support? No. It isn't. These people have been conditioned to believe that the State is a cure all for their ills. The State has been the pusher which has got these people addicted to the heroin of quick fix money and having things done for them. Like all pushers, the State doesn't care about the people in their thrall, they just care that the people are in their thrall, and their actions ensure that they live in hopeless squalor. Is it true to say that the cuts will hurt these people the most? Of course, they are the ones who have become enitrely reliant on a State which cannot love them, which cannot provide what they need and will always, always let them down. It is an abusive relationship of the worst kind.

Unfortunately, the simple reality of the situation is that these cuts have to be made. Nothing will change that, and hearing the coalition and Labour arguing over the depth and rate is like hearing two sailors in a sinking oil tanker arguing over whether they should bail it out with a saucepan or a jug.

Ask yourself this question; who is really to blame for the situation in which we now find ourselves? There are two obvious answers.

Firstly, the Labour party, it is they who have spent the last thirteen years spending and borrowing, taxing and spending, taxing and borrowing. Surely it is they who have overseen this disaster whilst making insane claims about abolishing boom and bust and non-existent prudence? No, say their supporters, it is the fault of a global recession that the borrowing and spending has had to increase, to prevent an even bigger economic disaster.

They will point the finger at the second obvious answer; the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition. It is they who are gleefully tearing through public services, abandoning those who rely on them, those who have no option but to rely on the State to look after them. It is they who are throwing these public servants on the scrapheap, pushing up the benefits bill whilst reducing the tax take. Of course the point about the public servants is missing one vital aspect. Granted these public servants may push the benefits bill up, but how much are they paid now? How does that total compare with what they'd be paid on benefits? Less, of course. Now, where does the money to pay these public servants their salary come from? Taxes. Where does the money to pay the benefits come from? Taxes. The point about the taxes paid by these public servants is a red herring as well, the tax take is not a tax take at all, the wages are taken from tax, paid out, and then a proportion is taken back. This does not represent a loss to the public purse.

Either way, the obvious answers are wrong, it is not the fault of the Labour government, nor is it the fault of the coalition. It is the fault of every single person who voted for the big three, not just at this election just gone, but in every election for the last thirteen years.

Every time it is the same. The Tories become more and more self serving, they destroy public services trying desperately to reduce spending. Then they are kicked out and a Labour government come in. They become more and more self serving, they spend huge amounts making large swathes of the public reliant on the manna they send and then the country ends up broke.

This cycle repeats, time and time again, the same pattern emerges on every occasion. Wasteful Labour, evil Tories. And it is all YOUR fault. You put them there, you go to the polling station, really believing that this time it will be different. Labour/Tories have learned their lesson, they've changed. Well they haven't, never have, never will. Yet every time you allow yourselves to be hoodwinked, you refuse to learn the lessons of history.

'Oh, but there's no alternatives.' Rubbish, there are a plethora of alternatives, the Greens, UKIP, BNP, English Democrats, Libertarians, the list goes on ad infinitum. Hell there's plenty of people on that list I detest, but can they really be any worse than what we have? How many times do these people have to fail for you to learn the lesson? You put them there, and you removed them, then you put them back in again, why did you think it would be any different this time?

Look at the people running the show. Do you think Cameron and Osborne really care about you? Or do they only care about having power and their own wealth? Do you think Clegg and Cable give a damn about you? Or do they only care about their European project and being able to press some of the buttons? Do you think Miliband and Harman give a flying fuck about you? Or do they only care about their social engineering plans and having control over your life?

Just as the poor are made reliant on the State for their survival, these politicians are reliant on YOU putting them in the position where they can ignore you and do what they hell they want. Remove your support, take your succour back from these people who lie, who cheat, who steal, give it to someone else.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Perhaps you'd like to take my TV, sofa and car as well?

A collection of mugs, earlier today.

Oh, here's a good idea:

The proposals are part of a package of options for finding new sources of revenue for the European Union budget.

Yes, because what the EU really needs is more cash which it can piss up the wall and then not tell us for what or why, which can then be submitted in accounts which make auditors break out in a cold sweat.

Hang on a second. . .

. . . right, I'm back, I just went into the drawer and got my crystal ball out. Let's see what we can see, shall we?

Hmmm, the mists are clearing. I can see our VAT going up, and this EUVAT being added on top of our existing taxes. Bearing in mind, there's a spending review announcement tomorrow, we're all going to be shafted good and proper. The poor old French are all out on strike, they're going to have to work until they're 62! Sixty bloody two!

Back to the crystal ball. Oh, hello, what's this? Oh look, there's also no reduction in the annual subs we pay.

Just in case you're not completely clear, you may find that some people try to persuade you that the government pays our green fees for this squalid little golf club. Just remember, the government doesn't have any money of its own, it is money that is taken from you on threat of going to prison.

Something else is coming through now, ahh yes. It's the big three parties, all stamping their feet and saying 'No!' Don't their faces look all serious? Let's skip forward a few months. Oh look, we've now got the EUVAT, no the politicians didn't lie, it's all down to existing treaties, see? And there was me thinking that Parliaments couldn't bind their successors.

Oh well, you live and learn.

The EU can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut, by the way.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The obligatory religious bit.

I am no theological historian, but even I know that when Augustine was sent over to Kent to start the conversion of the population to Christianity, he faced an up-hill battle.

The old Celtic and Saxon polytheistic beliefs were really deeply ingrained, and people were unsure about this new belief structure. I should imagine that many received the 'good news' with the sort of scepticism that most of us would reserve for the dogma of Scientology.

The Romans had had a couple of experiments with the calendar, more, I believe, in a drive for accuracy and efficiency than for any hard and fast religious reasons, but the devotees of the old Celtic and Saxon religions measured their days by the passage of the sun, moon and seasons.

The problem for the church being that whilst many may have converted, probably just for five minute's peace, (they were most likely fed up with the spineless insipid missionaries knocking on the door of the hovel, quoting selected lines of Latin at them to prove some point which didn't really make sense to them anyway, and leaving parchments explaining how believing in this Jesus chap would explain the horrible stuff that was going on in the village and give them some comfort, which they couldn't read.), when the big important stuff happened, they reverted to the old ways.

Rollo (not the kid's TV character boy-king, but the ancestor of William the Bastard Conqueror) was given the province of Normandy, he was given it on two conditions; firstly that he'd stop sending raiding parties into France, as it was getting on everyone's tits, and secondly that he converted to Christianity as it was what all the cool, progressive, cutting edge 10th Century European leaders were doing. Come his death, somewhere in the late 920's, he displayed a superb capacity for pragmatic cynicism by having a hundred Christian devotees beheaded in front of him in his death bed, to appease the old Norse gods he had followed. Then, just to make sure, he made sure that the Christian organisations were given a shit load of gold, to appease them for the fact that he'd just offed a hundred or so of their mates.

Of course, the general population didn't really have the contacts and resources to slaughter a load of people and then give out a ton of cash in recompense, but when the landmarks of the year rolled around they'd still adhere to the old ways.

So when the shortest day came around, when the Sun reached its lowest point in the sky, they'd have a little celebration to mark the fact that the days would now start to get longer. But there was no room in the church calendar for this sort of stuff, it had to be changed. But how to do it? Well, of course, that was when Christ was born. (As an aside I saw a programme on one of the satelite channels a while back in which a historian was saying that the Roman census was carried out in the summer, so there would have been no race to Bethlehem in December.) So, you can have your little celebration, we'll just come in and change the reason for it.

Similarly when Spring rolls around, and everyone's thoughts turn to eggs, bunnies and little fluffy chicks, it has nothing to do with nature coming out of hibernation, it's all to do with the death and then, then, (this is the good bit), the re-birth of Christ. At the same time of year? What are the chances? You've got to hand it to the church, it's a great bit of marketing.

So when the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton gets involved in a story like this:

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, wants to reclaim the festival as a Christian celebration.

He suggested children should dress up as saints rather than traditional Halloween garb.

In the Christian calendar, Halloween falls on the day before All Hallows' Day, a day to honour all the saints.
 The Rt Rev Conry said Halloween had "no meaning to it whatsoever" and was a waste of money for parents.

He's completely forgetting that people have been marking the point in the year when the trees lose their leaves and the plants die back, or at least stop growing, for thousands of years. This is why people dress up as ghosts and skeletons, it is a marker of death in the natural cycle. And what does it say about us that 1400 years after death of Augustine that when the big markers roll around, we still go back to the old ways to recognise the landmarks?

Perhaps that marketing campaign by the church, almost one and a half thousand years in the running, hasn't been as effective as they thought, because they are still fighting to stop people celebrating in ways that we've done since before the Roman conquest. Of course, the difference now is that the church can't have us shunned, fined, imprisoned or put to death for failing to conduct ourselves in a manner which they find acceptable.

No, it would appear that that particular little perk has now passed to the adherents of the green church and the anti-smoking/drinking/eating church. Nature abhors a vacuum, and it looks like Rome and Canterbury's loss is their gain.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Missing, presumed gone.

Sad news this morning, Obo, who is currently on self imposed suspension at best or complete retirement at worst, has reported on Facebook that Anna Raccoon has decided to cease blogging and has taken her excellent blog down.

A real shame, Anna and her cohort were superb, I devoured every article that appeared on there. Blogging at its absolute best, and she got results. She's a sad loss. One can't help wondering if her dealings with the big hitters of the MSM over the Sheila Martin/Sandwell Council affair have led to the big nationals trying to exact some measure of revenge against her. I hope not.

Anna, you'll be sorely missed, and I tip my hat to you.

Monday, 11 October 2010

All about Terry.

I want to tell you about Terry. I'll call him Terry, because it isn't his name.

Terry is a real person and works in my civil service department. He's been around for God knows how long. I joined more than a decade ago and he was an 'old lag' then.

Terry is never late, he never complains, he's absolutely never off sick. He is easily more than competent and takes each new initiative and quick-stop-turn-around-run-off-in-the-other-direction change in his stride.

Terry has MS. He's known about it for some time, but over the last few years it really has taken its toll. Like I said, Terry never grumbles.

His place of work is a 'permanent' building. This building is in effect a portacabin, sat up on breeze blocks. In the summer it is unbearably hot, in winter it is arctic. In the spring and autumn, rain water comes flowing in through the door from outside. Terry never grumbles whilst others moan and whine. He merely snorts and raises his eyebrows before getting back to work.

At least twice a week he's on parade for 06:30. Lord knows how he does it, how he can physically get himself out of bed for such an early start is a mystery to me. Lord knows how much sleep he gets the night before. Movement is not easy for him, in order for him to walk more than 5 metres, he has to lean on a colleague's shoulder and move at a snail's pace. Terry never grumbles, he merely accepts the cards that life has dealt him and gets on with it.

When other members of staff moan about certain tasks that they don't want to do, desks which they don't want to sit at, Terry never grumbles. All he asks for is a few minute's grace so he can get from one place to another with the assistance of a work-mate. You won't hear Terry say 'can't do that, it's my back/neck/arm/leg/wrist/ankle'.

When the latest authoritarian and hostile missive designed to demotivate the staff, to make them jump ship, comes through from the managers, Terry just smiles ruefully and shakes his head, he's seen them come and seen them go.

Terry never has a day off sick. Never. His fear is that his first day off sick will be his last day of work. Although he wouldn't admit it, Terry loves his job. Terry loves the people he works with. The people he works with love him back.

Terry's only vice is a sneaky fag, propped up on the railings outside the main entrance. This is against the rules, the department has decreed that any smoking on departmental property is verboten. Even the most ardent of anti-smokers in the team would kick off if someone prevented Terry from having his puff a couple of times a day.

Terry will without doubt leave with a very nice pension, but given his physical condition, one can only wonder how long he'll benefit from it. He'd probably be better off taking medical retirement to get some use of it, but his job keeps him socially active. When Terry does go, he'd be unable to find a venue suitable for his retirement do, there'd be hundreds wanting to turn out to see him off. He probably wouldn't have one though, Terry doesn't like a fuss.

To our management Terry is just another drone, another name on a document.

There's no moral to this story, no happy or sad ending. I just wanted to put a human face to the grey anonymous people given the 'civil servant' tag. As has been clearly documented here I support the cuts, but not at the expense of Terry and those like him. Unfortunately he and his kind will be the first to suffer. Our management, senior national and middle local, will always make sure their army of box ticking, equality observing, diversity valuing, best practice policy making suits will be safe.

They don't know Terry, they have no contact with him and when they do visit the shop floor all they see are a crowd of drones. They don't really know what these drones do, they know how valuable their army of box ticking, equality observing, diversity valuing, best practice policy making suits are.

Bring on the cuts, wield the axe, but for the love of God hit the right target. Terry and his colleagues are spread thin enough as it is, and it breaks my heart to see them treated in such a shoddy fashion.

We civil servants are not all officious, unfeeling automatons. Some of us care deeply about the jobs we do, and despite every obstacle put in our way, we try to do it as well as we possibly can. This country can have a civil service of which it can be proud, but I am worried that the rotten flesh will be cut out and kept, whilst the healthy is thrown aside.

For shame.

Friday, 8 October 2010


Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize - sparking anger in Beijing.
Leaders in China branded the selection an "obscenity" and warned ties with Oslo would suffer.
He had called for sweeping political reforms in China, including the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of religion.

Really? Obscenity?


Wednesday, 6 October 2010


So, that's that then. All three leaders have rallied the troops. What have we learned?

Neil Clark (or whatever his name is) doesn't quite understand how he came to be sat at the cabinet table, what he's supposed to do now he's there or how to make sure he stays there without destroying his party. I'll answer those concerns for you; firstly, you got lucky because the Tories weren't good enough to beat the worst PM in history on their own. Secondly; what you're told. Thirdly; you can't.

Ed Moribund wants us to understand that he's sorry for Labour's 13 year pissing money up the wall, invading countries, authoritarian reel. He's very sorry, but it's not his fault. Oh no, it was the other lot, the lot that have gone. And you can tell the difference because all the new people now running the party were conspicuous by the way they stood aside and said absolutely fuck all when all this was going on.

David Cameroid wants us to know that we're all in this together in the national interest and his government will very graciously give us a sliver of the liberties that were not the government's to take from us in the first place. We don't need big government, we need big society, which is best run by. . . the government. The same government that must be elected by FPTP lest the next election see him having once again to do a deal with the oiky Liberal (hah!) Democrats (hah!). He's also going to make sure that no more of our sovereignty is handed over the EU without our say so. That's kinda like me saying that no more of my milk teeth will be handed over to the tooth fairy. That ship has sailed.

And they wonder why turn-out is so low and politicians held in such low esteem. It's a bloody mystery, isn't it?

Wolfer's note: Just in case you aren't aware, and you bloody should be; I'm a member of the Libertarian Party. Small but perfectly formed. Go and take a look at the website and blog if you've not done so.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Beaten to the punch.

The idea of universal benefits is stupid-oopid. Why pay for a free bus pass for a pensioner who has a million quid kicking around their bank account? They're never going to use it, it is a waste of money. Likewise, the old dear who spends the winter in her beachfront house in the Bahamas is hardly likely to need the winter fuel allowance. Granted these individuals are few and far between, but if you can't save a couple of hundred quid, how on earth are you going to get around saving a few billion?

The benefits thing for well off families with kids is a ridiculous idea as well. You could be the richest person in the country, yet have a sprog and the government will bung you a few notes regardless. It is bloody silly and damn wasteful.

Yet, as Dizzy points out, Osborne seems to be thicker than bottled pig shit if he thinks his plan to let people earn £80k a year claim the benefit whilst taking it away from those who earn £44,001 a year is going to win him any friends.

OH reports that the ground is starting to shake under the Tories' feet. Excellent.

Now the unions have appointed the work experience boy over the heads of the membership, Labour will be unelectable.

The Tories will lose support faster than a Commonwealth games sprinter running away from the cobra in his athletes' village flat.

The Lib-Dems will tear themselves apart as those with principles will take up arms against those in the party who will do anything to have even a little bit of power.

Hopefully the AV referendum will come to pass and be carried.

Give it 18 months to 3 years and we could see some real sport as the public realise how ugly, self-serving and deceitful the big three are.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

And the difference is this.

The whole 10:10 video thing has been running rampant around the intermong for the last couple of days, Leg-Iron has waded in, and has well and truly sunk the battleship. Even Pravda haven't been able to resist reporting it, although of course their whole article is pretty much a regurgitation of the copy in the Groan, and appeared on their front news page for only a short while.

The inescapable fact is that this video went far too far. Now in a normal world, those responsible would withdraw the video and apologise, not because they were backed into a corner, but because they realised that what they had done was wrong, and that would be that. However, this is the Righteous we're talking about here, so normal rules don't apply.

10:10 have apologised and withdrawn the video, not because they realised that what they had done was wrong, but because they've been backed into a corner. That is that. But that is that, because they have decided it is so.

This is how the Righteous work. They are almost never wrong, on the odd occasion when their error is plain for all to see, everything is dealt with on their own terms.

What do I mean? Well, once again, in a normal world, as far as I'm concerned, someone makes a horlicks of something, and apologises, I'll accept that. Nobody is perfect, and we all drop a bollock from time to time. I understand that these people believe very passionately in their cause, I don't agree with them, but that's life. However, to suggest that people should be exploded for not agreeing is a shocking thing to do. No matter, it has been apologised for, and that is that. All over.


Let's reverse positions for a moment. Let us suppose that a famous British filmmaker and a handful of slebs and jobbing actors make a film about the dangers of swallowing bad science without question and whatever the cost. Let's take the first portion of the first scene in the video, the kids listen to their teacher and go home and start nagging their father about reducing carbon dioxide emissions. And nag, and nag, and nag. In the last portion of the scene, the father draws a pistol and shoots his child in the head.

The uproar would be deafening. Of course the culprit would apologise, having been pilloried in the 'left wing' blogosphere, on the BBC news (headline, natch) and the Grauniad, and the video would be withdrawn. And that would be an end to it, wouldn't it?

Wouldn't it?

No. Of course not.

The Righteous would hunt them down. No doubt the police would get involved. Those responsible for the video would be painted in deepest black, abusers of children, apologists for violence, supporters of terrorism and gun ownership, deniers of the orthodoxy. Crowds would assemble outside the houses and places of work of those involved, faces twisted in rage and hate. Questions would be asked in the House. Something would have to be done.

That is the difference between the Righteous and I. That is why I hate them, not because of their devotion to the cause. Not even because they suggest that people who disagree with them should be killed in cold blood, although the Flying Spaghetti Monster (sauce be upon him) knows I should, but because they demand that  they be treated above everyone else, and they will bully, harrass and insinuate to ensure that it is so.

They must be resisted at every turn.

But hey, it's your choice, no pressure.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Compare and contrast.

I'm making no points about either event, but how does (emphasis mine):

New rules aimed at banning discrimination by employers, covering areas such as age, disability and pay, have come into force.

The Equality Act covers many workplace areas and draws nine separate pieces of legislation into a single Act.

Sit with:

[...]There are also corresponding increases for younger workers, with 16 and 17-year-olds seeing a rise from £3.57 an hour to £3.64.

So in effect, if an employer were to deny a 17 year old a promotion on the basis that they were too young, they'd be liable to prosecution under the new Equality Act. However, the government is totally at liberty to limit minimum wage payments for those under 21.

Some are obviously more equal than others. . .