Friday, 26 November 2010

And so it begins. . .

Doesn't take long for things to unravel, does it? And the Euro, and perhaps the EU, is starting to look like Fraudley Harrison one minute into the third round with David Haye.

The natives are getting restless in Ireland, which is encouraging as their method of showing displeasure is pretty much the same as ours. Demos in Athens are all very well, but the song has remained the same, it takes a steely determination to change the game rather than hysterical displays.

What is galling in Ireland is that despite Fianna Fail (and how apt that name seems now) managing to wave goodbye to two thirds of their market share, the locals have plumped for Sinn Fein, a party which, as far as I can make out, is as slavishly devoted to the EuroProject as any you care to mention. Just as with the SNP, they demand independence (and will kill for it) so they can hook their wagon up to an even more overpowering organisation. England may have been a bad neighbour in the past, but the EU will not rest until they become completely homogenised Europeans. No more green, no more Gaelic, no more St. Patrick's day, just the blue rag with the yellow stars.

The Portuguese and the Spanish must have very twitchy chocolate starfish. The Swedes, those paragons of social-collectivism have come out and basically said that the piggy bank is now empty. Sky have been pointing out the yield numbers on Spanish and Portuguese bonds heading north at an alarming rate as the crowd, in a panic, sprints from Dublin to Lisbon and Madrid. It will take only one member to refuse to cough up for everyone else to follow suit, although I didn't think for one moment it would be Sweden, I was thinking of the Danes or the Germans. Once a bailout is refused, the gig is up. All the little boys in the gang will get very worried, because they know that when the fecal matter collides with the rotating air-cooling device, the big hitters will sprint off towards the horizon. Indeed the Czechs are already making noises about getting the hell out of Dodge, and the Bulgarians, new boys who must be on their very bestest behaviour in the new school are grumbling as well.

True to form, the BBC are at pains to point out leaving the Euro would be like, really difficult, and y'know, really expensive. Whereas what Ireland and Greece are going through, and what looks likely for Portugal and Spain is a walk in the bloody park and as free as a bird.

Is this how empires end?

Even if this isn't the coup de gras, the EU will be so badly wounded that the merest knock could finish it off. It won't be pretty, and I'd much rather that the EU was wound up by referenda in the individual member states, but we have to be realistic, the powers that be would never allow it. What they can't control is the markets and the markets do not like what they see. This isn't down to a financial accident, it isn't bad luck, the whole show has been built on a foundation of sand and the hope that nobody realises the Emperor is striding around bollock naked. What the EU mandarins want, almost as much as complete, unaccountable power, is cash. Without cash they cannot feather their own beds or grease palms and hand out bribes to their drones.

Make the EU bleed to death financially. I'll not be mourning.

To get all geeky for a moment, this reminds me of the Genesis planet in Star Trek 3. Created by accident when the Genesis device goes off in a battle, Ceti Alpha 5 is transformed in an instant into a habitable planet, only to tear itself apart a few months later because of the instability of the 'ingredients' in the device. Sounds like the EU to me, in geo-political terms it was cooked up in an afternoon and will fall apart just as quickly. It is unfortunate that this result in great discomfort for many people.

So obsessed have the Manadarins been with rushing headlong to the gate marked 'Statehood' that they've built a shack, and what happens to a shack when it suffers a direct hit from a hurricane?

Thursday, 25 November 2010

An interesting diversion.

My computer game consumption is very limited indeed. I'm not into the first person shooters where one runs around a virtual Afghanistan with a load of people online, they just don't do it for me. Racing games interest me for about five minutes but then lose their appeal, likewise football games in the mould of FIFA and PES, I just get bored of them.

I return time after time after time to Football Manager, the depth of the game and the almost endless scenarios and variables keep me hooked, it truly is a masterpiece. The Civilization series is also wonderful, the idea of founding a nation in the stone age and progressing it to the near future, with a simple research system, diplomacy, espionage and war is brilliant.

Beyond these two, I don't really play anything else.

The other day I downloaded a game called Rulers of Nations, which is by a small developer from France , it bills itself as a 'geo-political simulator', and it is proving to be very interesting. At the basic level the premise is that you take over the reigns of any of 165 nations and run the country. I've only had a little time to tinker about with it, in parts I'm almost overwhelmed by the detail of the game, the international trade section is really quite complex. In other parts I'm a little frustrated by the lack of detail in some areas, social policy and income tax for example are a little blunt for my liking.

The real problem I've had is that my desire to effect massive changes, especially when I possess the body of Cameron (although the picture is obviously him, all the politicans have fake names), leads to massive unrest, it would appear that change in this game has to be gradual, almost as if you are creeping up on your goals without anyone noticing. In my first game as PM of Great Britain I lasted about 6 weeks until the cabinet resigned pretty much en masse and I faced a vote of no confidence in the House.

Of course, it could be that game is skewed to the statist agenda and that the only way of running a country, as far as the game is concerned, is to run it in a mirror image of France. If that is the case, then I'm wasting my time.

One thing that was hugely entertaining was taking over in Pyongyang, only for the army to come knocking on the door and saying 'you're coming with us, pal' when I tried to bring in a free press. . .

Monday, 22 November 2010



Would a mass cash withdrawal bring down the banks? 



Next question?

And they say the BBC is being dumbed down. . .

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Rest in peace.

The Republic of Ireland, which died today.
Born in 1921 after a difficult pregnancy, the Republic of Ireland quickly became popular around the world. Famous for her literature, music, gastronomy and friendly nature, she was especially well regarded in the United States of America, New Zealand, Australia and Canada where her unofficial birthday of March 17th was celebrated with gusto.

She was a fine sporting competititor as well as a participant in the field of culture, and her output in sports and the arts belied her resources and standing in the world.

Her early and middle years were marked by an uneasy, some would say, abusive relationship with her church. It was a testament to her strength of spirit and courage that she was able to assert her own rights and beliefs whilst maintaining a close relationship with the church that had harmed her.

Relations with her half sister, Ulster, were more troubled. Regular bickering had almost escalated into full scale violence on a number of occasions, as both sisters dragged old indiscretions and arguments to the fore in a manner which gave friends and family great cause for pain. Thankfully, towards the end of her life, relations between the half sisters, who shared a common mother, were better than they had been for longer than anyone could remember.

In 1973, she married infamous bigamist, European Union. At first the union was very fruitful, especially for Ireland, and she blossomed, becoming one of the most successful wives in the household. However, following the taking of a dozen new wives by European Union in the early part of the century, Ireland found that she was no longer the youngest, prettiest wife and the relationship started to suffer. In 2008 it appeared that the relationship had broken down, however Ireland reconsidered divorce, admittedly under pressure from her husband, in 2009.

Her last days were marred by financial problems of the sort which sadly also marked the demise of fellow wife Hellas. She died in her sleep last night, just shy of her 80th birthday. She is survived by 4.4 million children, and will be missed greatly by countless millions more around the globe.

The funeral will be a private affair. Please, no flowers.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

But how? Surely this is impossible?

A Kent pub is reopening for business after villagers gave it a facelift in just one week to prevent its closure.

I wonder what help they had?

More than 100 residents donated their time and money to refurbish the pub.

What? No grants, no loans from the council, nothing like that?

They were encouraged to take action by resident Eileen Dickinson.

But how did Eileen Dickinson manage to do this? Surely this sort of thing can only be done a council employed community cohesion officer or a fourth sector volunteer coordination manager or something?

She said: "I've lived here for 20 years, and in that 20 years I've seen seven businesses disappear, and I wasn't prepared to sit back and let this happen again."

She added she decided to muster up as much support as possible, and 120 people came forward.

I'm amazed the BBC has covered this story. This is an example of people getting together, off their own bat, identifying a problem and then setting out to solve it.

No doubt that if the council had become involved, there would have been conditions attached, the whole thing would have taken six months as everyone involved would probably have had to have been CRB checked, in case anyone brought their kids along to do a spot of painting, and then they would probably have had to have sourced their materials from a preferred supplier at four times the market cost. At the last moment the plug would have pulled, or their licence revoked as it would probably have been offensive to Muslims, too near a school, not had a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender engagement policy, or something else.

This will never do.

I wish them and their pub well.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

And on the pedestal these words appear. . .

You worked hard and saved your money. You'd been aware for a little while that you'd outgrown your current home, it didn't have the facilities you need, it was getting a bit creaky and was a little cramped. You'd found out about a new house that had been built on the other side of town. The previous owners had only used it for a couple of weeks before they realised that they didn't really need it anymore and couldn't afford to run it.

Granted the new house was a good distance from your traditional home and wasn't in the best area of town, plus it certainly wasn't cheap, but it fitted the bill. You were just about to finalise the deal when the current owner said 'I know you're paying a lot of money for this place, but even though you're buying it, you're not allowed to change any of the decoration, you can't put up that conservatory you were thinking about and three or four times a year you and your family have to get out of the house for the night so my friends and I can have a dinner party in your dining room.'

As a result, you walk away and the current owner still has this huge house on his hands. He doesn't live there, the lights are turned off most nights and the bill to stop the house falling into disrepair slowly bankrupts him. The house is very high cost and as it isn't being looked after, it becomes a risk to the public who have to pour money in to stop it falling onto neighbouring properties. The current owner is now quite happy, the public pay for the upkeep, don't change the wallpaper and still let him have his dinner parties.

What am I going on about?

The Olympic Stadium, of course.

Tottenham Hotspur have been looking at taking the site over once the games are finished. White Hart Lane just isn't suitable for a Champions League calibre club any more, and the Olympic Stadium was one of the options they were looking at. To be fair to Spurs, they've also got plans for a new ground adjacent to their current site which are quite advanced, but as a sensible business, they've looked around to explore all options.

For what it is worth, I don't think a move to East London is a good idea for Spurs. You can't just uproot a club from one area of town and drop them in another, especially when the area they would be going to has their own very well established club, who are a huge part of the fabric of that area of town and also have designs on the stadium themselves.

This is ridiculous though:

Tottenham's proposal to take over London's Olympic Stadium with AEG after the Games in 2012 is "completely unacceptable" to UK Athletics (UKA).

Along with West Ham, Spurs have been named as a preferred bidder, but their plan to "rip up the athletics track" is anathema to UKA chairman Ed Warner.

"It is [essential] for Tottenham and AEG to go back to the original promise made in 2005," Warner told BBC Sport.

"That was about UK Athletics being at the heart of the Olympic Park." 

Well, if you want to be at the heart of it, then you pay for it chum. Don't be selling it off to the highest bidder and then demanding that they accommodate you. It doesn't work like that.

This is an 80,000 seater stadium, that will make it the third largest stadium in England, not even Manchester United have a stadium that big. Spurs themselves are talking about reducing the capacity by 20,000.

What's the issue here? Why can't they just play behind the athletics track? Because put simply, an athletics track is deadly to the atmosphere in a football stadium. Supporters of both Juventus and Torino hated the lavish Stadio delle Alpi in Turin when they played there as it put the support miles away from the pitch and the atmosphere dissipates into the air. Espanyol, who played at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona have recently moved into their own gaff and are much much happier to have the running track gone. Bayern and 1860 Munich were also delighted to leave the bizarre Olympiastadion in the city for the purpose built Allianz Arena, although it has worked out less well for 1860 who are still tenants.

Running tracks around football pitches just don't work.

You may hate football, but I would still suggest you'd recognise the ridiculous situation whereby someone buys a property for their own use, only for the previous users to impose conditions of use once the sale has gone through.

Why don't UK Athletics just use the site themselves? Because they just cannot afford it. The current 'home' of athletics in this country, Crystal Palace (National Sports Centre) has a capacity of 15,000 which can be extended to 24,000 with temporary seating. How often is it used? Not very. With the AAA championships, occasional Grand Prixs, the Diamond League meeting and if they are lucky the very occasional European and or World Cup, probably about eight to ten times a year where they have the prospect of having anything approaching a decent crowd. Running a stadium is an expensive business, and with such a paltry selection of events, there's no way they can break even, let alone turn a profit. The Diamond League is the closest thing to the Olympic games, the world's top performers meet up to compete out of their national vests. I can't find the attendance figures for the Crystal Palace meet, but I'd be amazed if it played to a full house of 24,000, athletics just isn't a big draw. Everyone's interest peaks once every four years but after that it slides back into obscurity behind both rugby codes, cricket and the behemoth that is football.

We hear a lot about 'legacy'. Well I'm afraid the legacy will be a parade of barely used sporting facilities which will never again experience the glory of the olympics. Without Spurs, or more likely West Ham, taking over the stadium, the people of Stratford will be left with a huge stadium which sits empty. West Ham seem to be accepting of the idea of a running track, but I'll tell you this, their passionate support will not like it one iota, and they will not be shy in letting Sullivan and Gould (the club's owners) know that the track has to go.

If neither club moves in, who do you think will pick up the tab?

Let's just see what has happened to the stadia for the last few Olympic Games:

2008 - Beijing - Recently used as a snow theme park - plans to turn it into a shopping and entertainment complex. - White elephant.

2004 - Athens - Sometime home to Panathinaikos, AEK Athens and Athens 2004 football clubs. Occasional atheltics use.

2000 - Sydney - Athletics track removed, used for soccer, rugby, Aussie rules and cricket. No call for huge atheltics stadium.

1996 - Atlanta - Atheltics track removed, renamed Turner Field, now baseball specific stadium for the Atlanta Braves. - No call for huge atheltics stadium.

1992 - Barcelona - Now lying empty following the departure of RCD Espanyol, hosted the 2010 European Athletics Championships to very sparse crowds. - White elephant.

In every case they have either been reconfigured, because once the games have gone they just don't need a 60,000 + seater athletics stadium, or it sits as an empty venue which is used occasionally and without  success.

The legacy of the olympic games will be a huge white elephant, soaking up millions of tax payers' money and standing as a monument to the hubris and vanity of the politicians and athletics administrators.

My name is Ozymandias, King of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

And that's not all. . .

Let's see, what missiles are being thrown our way today?

People who are exposed to the second-hand smoke from others' cigarettes are at increased risk of hearing loss, experts believe.

Oh good, it is nice to see they believe in something. They probably decide they believe in Father Christmas around 23rd December. Where is this item of research from? Which august publication has this startling revelation?

The latest study in the journal Tobacco Control, involving more than 3,000 US adults, suggests the same is true of passive smoking.

Obviously no vested interest here then.

"Hearing loss can often be very frustrating and lead to social isolation, if not quickly addressed. 

Good, because I'm not bloody listening to you.

"Before you next light up a cigarette, consider how it could impact not only on your own long-term hearing but your friends' and relatives' too."

OK, will do. But not as much as I'll consider how it will impact your vision, when I stub it out on your cornea, you utter mong.

Meanwhile, over at Harvard. . .

Mothers who puff a pack a day or more while pregnant run a 30-percent higher risk of having kids who become criminal offenders, according to a study published Tuesday…

Well hang on, what about control groups? What about mothers who visit McDonalds throughout pregnancy? What about mothers who had a drink every day? What about mothers who wear odd coloured socks? What effect do they have? I think we should be told.

Elsewhere, Hugh Jarse of The Institute of Mythical Anthropology and Zoology said this:

'Passive smoking attracts goblins and imps to the house, and smoking when pregnant increases the chances of your newborn being replaced by a fairy changeling by up to a percentage I'm just about to make up. It also makes you very greedy. Dragons smoke all the time, and those selfish bastards are obsessed with gold. I am getting paid for this, aren't I?'

I made one of those studies up, I'll leave it up to you to guess which one.

You have the power.

It is important to know what you can do and what you can't. OH for example has run a couple of articles on this very point. I neither condone nor condemn Holby's suggestions for behaviour. Your rights are not conditional upon anything, written down, they are a simple statement of fact. How you use your rights is up to you.

Don't assume that people in 'authority' will always play by the spirit of the rules, if not the actual rules themselves. Whilst 'they' may not actually be breaking any rules, some people will attempt to use your ignorance of the rules to get the better of you, or by hiding things in plain sight to trip you up.

As Ambush Predator pointed out the other day:

She said: ‘We couldn't believe it and were annoyed that other people in our group got in. I would like to know what we can and can't do.

So go and find out then. No-one is going to tell you, you'll have to do some research and some reading, no biggie, just takes a little thought. It is in nobody's interests but yours, so don't expect anyone to take an interest other than you.

However it does not follow that people in authority WILL attempt to hoodwink you or bully you, but one should be aware of the potential. Always think before you act or speak, and as a general rule of thumb, if you're not sure, do and say nothing.

The Libertarian Party blog has posted up a notice from an acting police inspector about the fitwatch website. Now, I've little time for the students and their protest. Firstly because they are asking for money to be taken from people under threat of imprisonment to give them a material advantage over others. That sounds like extortion to me. Secondly, as soon as you start throwing objects at police officers any sympathy I do have vanishes.

The police often get it wrong, usually in the Senior Management suite, occasionally on the ground. I believe that when they get it wrong in the nice big leather chairs it is because they are self-serving, promotion chasing opportunists who neither understand nor care what is happening on the ground. When individual officers get it wrong on the ground it is in the main, I suspect, because there is no chance for them to keep on top of the endless parade of new legislation which makes little or no sense. To keep on top of it all would probably involve a police officer being in the classroom for a fortnight every month. There will of course be a number of people in the uniform who are completely unsuited to the job through attitude or aptitude.

However the vast majority of police officers you encounter will be trying to do their best in very trying circumstances with nowhere near the resources and support they need.

On this occasion, the police inspector has got it very wrong.

- IP

To whom it may concern at Singlehop

Op Malone

In connection with our criminal investigation into registration or use of the domain name set out in this letter, we hereby confirm that:

* The domain is being used to undertake criminal activities.
Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice, contrary to Common Law
We hereby request Singlehop to de-host this website for a minimum period of 12 months. Please note that this request will be also sent to the domain name registrar for the website. You should provide the following contact phone number, email address and reference number to the registrant: 0207 230 8100


This website are committing offences of attempting to pervert the Course of Justice under Common Law. The website is providing explicit advice to offenders following a major demonstration in Central London. The demonstration was marred by violence and several subjects have already been arrested with a major police operation underway to identify and arrest further offenders.

The person controlling these websites has posted material held to be contrary to Common Law within the UK. Therefore to prevent the domain names from being used in crime we request that the domain name is suspended for a minimum period of 12 months (or until expiry of the domain name if earlier).

This common law offence is committed where a person or persons:-

(a) acts or embarks upon a course of conduct
(b) which has a tendency to, and
(c) is intended to pervert,
(d) the course of public justice.
Registrant Information for
Registrant : [DELETED]

All other personal details withheld

Registered on : 17-Nov-2008

Authority to close the website and IP address given by

Will Hodgeson, Acting Detective Inspector
Metropolitan Police
CO11 Public Order Branch

Many Thanks in Advance

Yours faithfully

DI Paul Hoare

Police Central e-crime Unit (Computer Crime Unit)
SCD6 Economic & Specialist Crime Command,
Metropolitan Police.
1st floor, Indigo Block, Cobalt Square
1 South Lambeth Road,
0207 230 8100

As Guthrum points out, there is no word for any magistrate, judge or court. I'm sorry, but in this country you cannot restrict peoples' freedom of expression on the word of an acting inspector, it just doesn't work like that.

But go back and actually read what the statement says. Go on, I'll wait. . .

Did you see it?

We hereby request Singlehop to de-host this website 

Request. There is no order, no command, no obligation. A request. But if you got that letter, would you see it that way? Unlikely. It is hidden in plain sight. I said the police officer got it very wrong. Well, not wrong, he's perfectly within his rights to ask the host of this site to take it down, but without an order from the court, the host is well within their rights to decline.

Not just in situations dealing with the police, but with every authority figure you come into contact with, every contract you sign, every time you agree to something, take the opportunity to consider what is going on and what has actually been said or written.

Don't assume that people you deal with have your best interests in mind, because likely as not, they don't.

Don't think 'Oh, but they wouldn't do that.' Because they would.

Look out for yourself, because nobody else will. If you are ever uncomfortable with a situation, say so and state that you will pause the situation until such time as you find out your rights and the truth. Power companies calling at your door to get you to switch providers are a good example of this. Don't get your rights from them, don't get their 'truth', find it out for yourself. For 99% of things to happen to you, you have to consent. So withold your consent until you are absolutely sure about the consequences and recourse available to you.

If you are unsure (and it is perhaps good practice even if you are sure), politely and calmly, yet firmly, challenge the person in front of you. Who are you? Where does your authority come from? From which Act of Parliament? What sanctions are available to 'them' if you do not comply? Where is this set out?

Don't be abrasive or smug, point out that you ask because you want to know, to understand. Anyone who is on the level will explain and provide evidence and/or will not object to a delay whilst you establish the facts.

Once they try to tighten the screw, to apply pressure, to hurry proceedings along, to give a garbled or over-complicated explanation, or fail to offer any explanation at all, then it is time for your alarm bells to ring. In the instance of a private company, show them the door, in the instance of the police, say nothing and make sure you get a solicitor who can answer your questions to your satisfaction (remember, the duty brief is not free, you've paid for them via your taxes), and never ever sign anything until you've had the chance to read and digest the document, even if it is only a mobile phone contract, and if the beneficiary is hovering over you to get it done, walk away, they're up to no good.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Well it's failed every other time, so it is bound to work now.

Should the UK tax high-fat junk food to cut obesity rates? 

Oh Jesus, here we go.

Because the increase in tax on tobacco, alcohol, petrol, flying, electricity and gas has slashed the number of people who smoke, drink, drive, take holidays, cook and heat their homes, hasn't it? I mean, why wouldn't it work?

In the same way as taxing cigarettes helped to reduce smoking and related illnesses, could putting up the price of junk food - as Denmark has done - cut obesity rates in the UK?

Whoa, hang on. Taxing cigarettes has helped to reduce smoking related illnesses? Has it? Come on, you are a correspondent for a 'reputable' programme on a 'reputable' broadcaster, so I'm assuming you've referenced or linked to your source material for that, have you?

*scans the article*

No, they haven't.

I went on a day trip to Brugge (the French can sod off, it is a Flemish city, so I'll use the correct spelling, thank you very much) last week. Very nice it was too. Just on the Belgian side of the French border is the town of Adinkerke, it has a most impressive collection of tobacco retailers, all patronised almost exclusively by French and British. Why? Because tobacco taxes drive them there. So I would say that taxing cigarettes has helped to increase the profits of those living on the Franco-Belgian border and reduced the income to the treasury in both the UK and La Belle France.

I digress.

The first thing that struck me on the taxi journey into Copenhagen was how slim everyone looked.
I really had trouble spotting anyone fat.
And the second thing that became obvious the moment I stepped out of the cab and was almost run over by a cyclist, was that the Danes are clearly no strangers to exercise. 

Oh, for the love of God.

I've been to Copenhagen as well. Lovely city, very nice people, the Danes.

One thing I noticed; the national sport in Denmark, alongside eating pickled fish, is . . . smoking.

Prohibition does not work. Minimum pricing is illegal. Taxing junk food, really? Who is to say what counts? Are you willing to take on the legal might of McDonald's when you say their burgers are bad, but the burgers sold in the pub two doors down are ok?

I've an alternative, you could just fuck off and stop trying to make people into little grey miserable clones. Try it.

Oh, and BBC, Panorama markets itself as a news programme. Try covering some bloody news for a change, eh?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Ooooooooooh, scary.

A few people have touched on the Channel 4 documentary last night 'Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story'.

For many, (and if you haven't watched it, the above link is to the 4OD showing, aren't I nice?) the revelations will come as a big shock. No shock here. Although I was surprised to see that the government of the 'liberal', 'democratic', 'free market' United Kingdom actually controls more of its domestic economy than their counterparts in PR China.

It is all over, the only question is do you have the cojones to rip the plaster off, or will you let the wound fester under the infected dressing?

The only person who can make that decision is you. I'll give you a hint; next time you are asked, if you vote Conservative, Lib Dem, Labour, Green, BNP, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionist or pretty much anyone else, you'll be laying out the welcome mat for gangrene.

There is an alternative, but if you won't be brave, why should anyone else?

Actually, forget it. Sell your kids into penury, bankrupt your childrens' children. Who cares, eh? X-Factor is on tomorrow night, that's much more important.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

How modern Unionism works.

Make a joke about stoning a leftie. . .

Roger McKenzie, Unison's West Midlands regional secretary, said he had been inundated with complaints from city council workers outraged at Mr Compton's comments and he called on Mr Compton to resign from the council.

Destroy property and throw fire extinguishers at police officers. . .

We reject any attempt to characterise the Millbank protest as small, “extremist” or unrepresentative of our movement… We stand with the protesters, and anyone who is victimised as a result of the protest.’
 As with all authoritarian organisations it is one rule for you, one for them.

(I'll bet poor old Roger was shagged out after chasing round and browbeating all those people into complaining.)

It is not just about remembering, it is also about the future.

Today of all days, this from the unelected head of the corrupt, anti-democratic organisations with designs of consuming a continent in a fashion that easily equals the desires and plans of Napoleon and Hitler is an obscene attack on those who gave their lives on each side, their legacy and the liberty and sovereignty of every pressed member state.

I can't be bothered to do the rest, it makes me very, very angry. This organisation is not about peace, it is about cuckoo politicians clandestinely placing their eggs in the nests of their neighbours.

I despise it, and I despise everyone who has a hand in it.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to fear that my anger is impotent and that the gig is up.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

One way or the other, they'll get it.

Oh, the students.

OH has touched on the subject, and makes some salient points.

Make no mistake about it, one way or the other the only people who will pay for university education is those who get it, either directly as proposed or hidden away in taxation once they get a job afterwards. There will be no escape.

Consider this; why do so many people go to university these days? University used to be for the elite. Elite is not a dirty word, not when it is an elite based on academic merit. Something happened in the 60's and 70's, a section of the (not at all meritous) political elite thought that there was something wrong with working with your hands. It was something to be looked down on, there was something wrong with the working man actually working. The result now is that all children, regardless of ability or aptitude spend their whole lives in school being herded through the door marked 'academic excellence'.

There's a problem with that. Not all kids have the ability to be academically excellent. The solution we had was to lower the bar. The result? Those who are academically excellent find their excellence is watered down, those who are not clutch a fistful of qualifications as valuable as a barrow load of Weimar Republic Marks. This is not fair on either. You cannot have prizes for all, it simply does not work that way. I would love to be able to sprint like Usain Bolt, paint like Da Vinci, think like Einstein or compose like Mozart, but nature did not make me that way, there is nothing anybody can do to change that. Not one thing.

This current education system strives for mediocrity, and does not even deliver that. We have all been turned into apples, all of us. The marketplace is flooded with apples. These apples are so common that they are dirt cheap. How much for a banana? Don't see many of those, valuable things, bananas.

Be a banana.

If I had my time again, I'd have forgotten university, I'd have trained to be an electrician. You work for yourself, you are responsible for yourself, you command your worth. I fell into the trap of believing that university was the only way. I was wrong. Personally I got a great deal out of going to uni, academically it was pointless, a waste of three years.

Oh, to have had a trade. Yes, long hours, hard work. But your work. No office politics, no cuts, no pointless forms, reports, appraisals. I may yet still do it, if given the chop. Invest the redundancy payout in myself.

Why the hell did we do away with our secondary moderns, our polytechnics and replace them with degree certificates mass printed on rice paper? Why do we persuade people that the only choices are between debt ridden graduate or dole cheat? To try to persuade people that with a half-arsed effort they can be Bolt, Da Vinci, Einstein, Mozart? This is madness.

I should have been a banana.

I'm sorry students, but the money isn't there. Take over every building in Westminster. The money still won't be there. Unseat every LibDem MP in the country and replace with a scarlet red Labour MP. The money is still nowhere to be seen.

You are blaming the person who has realised there is a fire. Unfortunately, he hasn't got the guts to shout 'FIRE'. The person you need to blame is the one is the one who set the fire, the one who decided that everyone had to go to university. Who was going to pay for it? I'll tell you this, unless you take the red shilling (and I've never seen a more politically detached generation than this one), once you start to earn and study the deductions column on your payslip, your attitude will change reeeeaaalll quick.

Don't fall into the trap. Evaluate your situation. What will you do with that degree, what will you actually do with it? Unless that degree will give you access to a career path you have decided upon, civil engineer, vet, biochemist, doctor, ask yourself, is this worth the money?

Don't view this as a tax, don't view this as being screwed over. View the student loans people as a silent partner in You Ltd. This partner will want his investment back. Look at your place in the market, will this investment you are making in yourself produce a worthwhile return? If not, say 'I'm out', go and play to your strengths. You could have three year headstart in experience and valuable knowledge over your competitors.

There is always more than one route to the top and it may not pay to follow the herd. They may be heading to the slaughterhouse.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Not the worst.

Come and eat at Wolfers' Steak and Seafood Restaurant. We're not the worst eatery in town, we will cook your food the way we think you should have it, not the way you want it, and only some of our customers have gone home with food poisoning. No, we don't give refunds.

If you saw that as an advert for a restaurant in the local paper, you'd probably take your signficant other to another place in town for that intimate meal, wouldn't you?

And yet this week we've seen the main parties engaging in advertising just like that. Labour are up in arms because Cameron's communication pixie may or may not have known about phone calls being hacked whilst he was editor of the NOTW.

This is the sort of thing those nasty Tories get up to, they point out, completely ignoring the fact that they wanted access to everyone's calls, texts, emails and browser history. 

Real questions must be asked about Cameron's judgement in employing this man.

The LibDems have been furious, furious at the actions of Phil 'Custard pie' Woolarse who has now found himself shunted into the gravy train sidings, if not removed from the line completely. Why, I find myself asking, did they not suspend him from the party as soon as the story broke? If I were accused of an illegal act at work, I'd be suspended from the get go, not once the judicial system had had its say. Of course like the other disgraced Labour (former) MPs, he stamping his feet and whining, he'll fight it every inch of the way. The message is the same, they don't contest that what they did was wrong, they just believe that because they are who they are, they should escape any punishment for their acts. These people are important, dammit.

Serious questions must be asked about Miliband's judgement in appointing this man as shadow immigration minister whilst all this was going on.

But of course, the Lib Dems have form in this area. As Guido pointed out in 2006, Simon Hughes, who was so visible in the brooding tutting and shaking of head stakes when the verdict was announced during the week, is not beyond sticking the boot in when the referee's attention lies elsewhere when he feels like it as well.

The message from the big three? Vote for us, not because we've anything to say or offer, but because we're not as bad as the others.

If only there was a party where you could vote for a candidate who has never been involved in an expenses fiddle, has never twatted some bloke at a karaoke evening, has never told lies about an opponent, has never made snide insinuations about their sexuality, or never hacked into someone's answerphone.

Oh look, there is. There is a party that will give you something to vote for, rather than pointing out a bogeyman to vote against. And if you're lucky enough to be one of Phil Woolas' ex-constituents, you'll be able to vote for them soon.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

No, no, no, no. That's a no.

Another assault on our God given rights today. This is not a civil liberty, this is not a 'nice to have in the ideal world', this is not an 'only if you qualify.'

This cannot be taken away. It is not in Parliament's power to remove from us the inalienable rights which were granted to us by God before Parliament came to be.

When Louise Casey says that:

"We should not view the right to a jury trial as being so sacrosanct that its exercise should be at the cost of victims of serious crimes"

She is attempting to usurp God, she is placing herself above the concept of the Almighty creator that is so important to the constitution of the country. She is also portraying herself as one of the most disgusting, odious, objectionable people in the country.

Victims' Commissioner? What? We are all victims if this is introduced. If I were to be tried under this scheme by a Magistrate, I would find myself in Court refusing to comply or cooperate and shouting, very loud, that my God given rights had been infringed by a body which has no power to do so.

Perhaps the money spent on this department would be better spent on the Police or Courts Service, because I'll tell you what victims want; they want the criminal who has wronged them to be caught, arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to a proper punishment that is really, properly proportionate to the offence committed. What they don't want is another self-important, attention whoring, mindless fucking quango headed up by another poorly tailored suit of toss all with a mouth that looks like a slit in the side canvas of a curtain sided artic.

Got it?

Just in case you are in any doubt, here is the clause of Magna Carta, which has served us perfectly well for the last 795 years, written in a plain style of English that is easy to understand, salient, concise and quite beyond anything that a shower like Louise Casey could write if her miserable, insignificant and pointless life fucking depended on it:

No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, and or by the law of the land.

Fuck you and the broomstick you rode in on, Casey.

You want to do away with this for the sake of expediency? I'll tell you this, doing away with the right to trial by jury (yes, even in the case of like, really complicated fraud trials) is but one step removed from sweeping away innocent until proven guilty.

Monday, 1 November 2010

What a waste of bloody money.

It is bad enough that money is taken from our pockets and pissed up the wall with gay abandon on projects you'd never even be able to dream up, let alone support. It is even worse when you willingly surrender your income for a service and then find that you've been stabbed in the back.

What am I going on about? This:

Staff at Breckland Council will no longer be paid for the time they spend smoking after the proposals were given the go-ahead.

Simon Clark, from smokers' lobby group Forest, said everyone was entitled to a break during work.

That's old news. We've heard this story before. But here's a new spin:

The group described the plan as "tyrannical", but council management, unions and workers backed the change.

Council management I'd expect no more of. Workers come in the same group as 'the people' in Righteous speak, they are a homogenous mass, of one opinon and utterly identical to each other. But the unions? What the fucking flying fuck?

I don't even know where to begin. I really don't.

Firstly, I bet I can guess which unions are involved in this, at least two of them, and they are biggies.

What the hell? Are members paying their subs only to find that when management penalises people for engaging in a perfectly legal activity, an activity which sits very much in a bracket with other perfectly legal activities, the unions actually support it? As the bloke from Forest says:

Some take coffee breaks others go out for a cigarette.

In the old, old days, you could smoke at your desk, but they are long gone. I don't object to that. In the old days there was a smoking staff room where I worked, people would take their work in with them, so the loss to the business was nil, now we've been sent outside, from our sealed and vented room which no non-smoker had to go into, and having been sent outside we find ourselves being penalised for doing what we've been told to do.

Ah yes, but you don't have to smoke.

True, but then I don't drink tea or coffee, you don't have to drink it either. So why the fuck aren't you clocking off when you go out to get your umpteenth fix of caffeine of the day? Oh, they'll come for you eventually, your addiction will become as anti-social as mine, make no mistake, they're coming. Don't come crying to me. You've spat in my face, when your time comes, I will point, dance and laugh at you until I'm sick.

I'm getting side-tracked here. For a union to take subs from members under the pretence of representing their desires and interests, and then to arbritrarily abandon those members, members who are engaging in an activity which harms no other members, nor the union as a whole is a sickening betrayal.

I disagree with the TUC affiliated unions on a good number of subjects, but give them their due, they will support (by and large) the terms, conditions and rights of their members, even when those demands are excessive, outdated and completely against the interests of the public that fund them.

But this? This is a total betrayal, and if were a member of one of these unions, I would be livid.

The thing is these unions, the really big ones, I'm talking PCS and Unison here, the two I'm convinced are behind this capitulation, aren't really about staff in the way unions were when they first came into existence. They are more about politics than staff t&c's, it is the members' job to pay their subs and then dance to the tune which is played for them.

How loudly would they squeal if a clock was put on the computer terminals in the office to measure how much time was spent on ebay or slebrity news websites? How high would the pitch of that squeal get if that time was then knocked off staffs' flexitime?


Treacherous, spineless, hypocritical cowards. The fucking lot of them.

If you are a member of the union(s) behind this capitulation and you smoke, make no mistake, this will not be confined to one anonymous district council in Norfolk, it will come to your office soon and the precedent has been set. Be a good drone, pay your cash and do what you're told. They know best. Not you.