Sunday, 28 February 2010
I'm delighted. I've no desire to see a Labour government returned again, I certainly won't be voting for them in an Obo style, but the idea of a Tory administration doesn't have me wanting to march up and down the street singing 'Happy Days Are Here Again' either.
And either is the important word here. Perhaps people are waking up to the fact that you don't have to have either Labour or Conservative governments. There are alternatives. I don't know how much people know about those alternatives. Perhaps the opinion polls are reflecting the fact that people know who they will not be voting for, not who they will be voting for.
It is interesting to see that throughout all this to-ing and fro-ing that the Limp Dims have still made no headway.
What does this say about the three main parties? People don't want Labour to win, because they are so arse-clenchingly awful, but nor do they want to see a blue or yellow tie sat in the big chair. I'd fancy Idi Amin or Robert Mugabe to give Brown a run for his money at this coming election and yet, amazingly, Call Me Dave and Ned Clarke (or whatever his name is) cannot get the job done.
This is akin to not being able to beat a 4 year old at arm-wrestling. It is pathetic.
No doubt the campaigners are sat around focusing on presentation, spin, media training, focus groups, posters and leafelets, but that's a waste of money. The reason the polls are flat-lining are because there is no significant difference between them. The menu is offering spam and eggs or spam and chips or spam and beans. But we don't like spam, we're going to start ordering off menu.
Let's see if Labour can make a minority government work. That'll be a right giggle. It's not this one coming up that counts, it's the election after. The penny is really starting to drop about the big three.
I think the polls may be slightly misleading on this occasion. Polling day will see fear about daring to vote for the little boys, it's like you're doing something naughty, so conditioned are we to think that to vote other than LibLabCon is a criminal waste, but after a term (and there's no way in the world that a minority government of any colour will last a full term) of disastrous, hubristic, unthinking and uncaring minority rule, that fear will disappear.
The rage isn't coming at the polls this election, it's just slightly miffedness, the real anger will come next when it becomes widely apparent that the big three couldn't give a flying fuck about this country, about me or about you. People are realising that all they want is power, and for you to know your place.
Friday, 26 February 2010
This means that my greengrocer's is run by a Bangladeshi couple. These Bangladeshis are people we want in this country. They are hard working, considerate and very pleasant people. Their shop opens at 8 (at the latest) and closes at 7 (at the earliest), their stock is fresh and (excluding the ingredients used in their ethnically specific cuisine) locally sourced. It is fairly priced and I know that when I go there I will get a friendly reception and will walk out with exactly what I want. My life is infinitely better for having this shop at the end of my road, especially since they started selling cigarettes.
Next to the greengrocers is a newsagent. This is run by a national chain and is staffed by a seemingly perpetual rotation of disinterested, rude, ignorant white school leavers who I doubt can spell their own names.
The difference between the two shops is remarkable. The newsagents are more expensive. The newsagents will open at 8ish (at the earliest) and will close at 5.30ish (at the very latest). There are no smiles, no good mornings, just a vacant stare and a 'what'? Lord knows how much stock they lose as you often have to shout in the direction of the door to the stock room to get the shuffling idiot out to serve you. You could walk out with £100's in stock, they wouldn't notice, nor I suspect care. I'm especially pleased that the greengrocer has started selling cigarettes as they are 10p a packet cheaper, and don't use a till with a CCTV camera attached which shows you it taking a still photo of you buying any age restricted item, this is probably then stored on the till's hard disk to be uploaded to some gummint website showing social undesirables. Doubtless it's for my security, but I don't like it, so now the only thing I bought in there is sold cheaper elsewhere, I don't go in there any more.
Strange, isn't it? I speak the same language as the people in my newsagents (the couple at the greengrocer are 1st generation, they speak English, but you have to listen hard and concentrate) and have more in common with them culturally than the Bangladeshis. Yet, because of the sort of people they are and their work ethic and business manner, I'd much rather put my money in the Bangladeshi till.
This is not some ringing endorsement of muli-culturalism. This isn't me proclaiming to the world that I am a glorious non-racist. Multi-culturalism is bunk, as the Levellers sang, there's only one way of life, and that's your own. Someone's skin colour and religion is as important to me as their eye colour or choice of footwear. Not hurting anyone? Carry on.
It's great here, it's like living in a little village where everyone helps out and looks out for each other and not a government advisor or leafelet in sight.
My community likes the Bangladeshis. The psychiatrist that lives next door to me uses them, as do the Brazilians that live on the other side. The Bangladeshis will go over the road to the chip shop run by the Greeks to get change, and the Greeks will go to the barbers run by the Iraqi Kurds to get their hair cut, the Iraqi Kurds will go the white butcher who orders in halal meat for them and others like them. Does the butcher do this because it is the nice multi-cultural thing to do? No. He does it because there is a gap in the market and he can make money out of it.
The Righteous would probably be up in arms, the nasty white man exploiting the religious sensibilities of the Muslims to make money. But the butcher isn't the villain of the day. There's worse, there's much, much worse.
It's the Bangladeshis.
They've come into this country and have neither sought nor taken any help from the State and their righteous minions. These graceless newcomers have set up business, learned the language, inserted themselves right in the middle of the community all by themselves. And they regularly lambast this government and local council.
Not only that, but now they want to do more. They want to expand, they want to make more money. This isn't supposed to be how it works. They are supposed to be pathetically grateful for the things that are given to them. They are supposed to do as they are told. Well, there's a storm on the horizon.
You see, the greengrocer's sits on the corner of my road and the bottom of the high street of this fair city. The main train station lies a 3 minute walk from the door of their shop and to get from the station to the centre of town you must walk right past them. So they came up with this wizard idea. From 8-9 they would make and sell takeaway hot breakfasts for the workers walking past their door to work. From 1-2 they would make and sell takeaway hot lunches for the workers and residents nearby. From 5-6 they would make and sell takeaway hot dinners for the workers going back to the train station to take home. Three hour long sessions of doling out hot, healthy, nutritious, locally sourced, cheap food (and given the aroma coming from the food that Mrs. Greengrocer eats, it would taste bloody fantastic) all made with produce they sell in their shop.
Mr Greengrocer had negotiated terms with the butcher to supply the chicken and lamb, he had made sure the kitchen in the back of his little shop came up to scratch, he and his wife had attended the evening courses, after the shop had been open all day, 7 days a week, to get their food handling certificates. He thought it odd that he had to go to the council and ask permission to sell this food. He understood about having to comply with food safety and kitchen cleanliness standards, but to go and ask for permission to sell stuff? Like he says: "S'my blinking bizzniss. What does counzil man know of bizzniss?"
The council, of course, have refused permission for this venture. Their policy on takeaways round my part of town are clear. There is already a kebab shop, a Chinese and a chippy that cater for the late diner. They don't want anymore hotspots of people hanging around late at night.
Mr. Greengrocer points out that they close at 7 and he isn't going be open at 2am, he has to get up at 5am to sort his stock and shop out, have his own breakfast, do his paperwork, pay his taxes, get his kids ready and off to school. He isn't interested in the lager brigade stumbling over his mushrooms and mangoes on their way back from the clubs.
It is irrelevant. Council guidelines equate takeaway food with rowdy pissheads, flashing neon signs and a sea of discarded poly food trays. There is no room in the rules to distinguish. There is no will to change the rules.
Mr. Greengrocer points out that a new Chinese has opened across the road from him recently. They got permission. He asked them how. They told him. They made four applications, and made four appeals. That cost them £9000 before they even opened for business.
Mr. Greengrocer is not a fool, he's joined the dots. "Counzil just want my money." It's not about the drunkards. It's not about the mess. It's not about the neon. It is about these unelected grey council mongtards showing you that they are in charge. It is absolutely about taking as much of your cash as possible.
Mr. Greengrocer has realised what 21st century Britain is all about. It can be summed up thus: Be thankful for what you have. Be more thankful that we don't come and take it all from you.
Mr. Greengrocer says that in Bangladesh you'd just bribe them. In the UK you pay a £2000 bribe up front, they even give you a receipt, then they still don't let you do it.
Mr. Greengrocer knows bad business when he sees it.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
I've grown to mis-trust UKIP recently, I don't think the election of Lord Pearson as leader has been good for anyone, with the possible exception of the Tories, and they don't count.
Farage shows again why he was by far the best public face of the party.
Sit back and enjoy.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Errrrm. . .
OK, a couple of little things that have grabbed my attention over the last few days, all completely unconnected.
Firstly, regarding our (hopefully) soon to be erstwhile Prime Minister.
Grumpy Old Twat has a graph which makes interesting reading. It is entitled 'worrying', and here it is in all its glory:
If that graph follows the trajectories shown thus far, then it would seem that come election o'clock that Broon and Cameroid will not have a (banned in enclosed public spaces) fag paper between them.
Whilst the instant gratification of seeing loads of Labour MPs getting the gooner would be nice, I think the longer term benefits of seeing an immasculated hung parliament will be better. What we need to do now, I believe, is just stop, let the willy waving pass and then see what is left of the detritus can actually acheive when they have no option but to actually, properly engage with other people.
Of course, things still don't go well for Brown, so I think the graph above says more about people's uncertainty surrounding the plastic man in charge of the Tories than it does about any resurgent support for Brown.
This bullying story simply won't go away. I'm not surprised that Brown appears to be a bully, Rawnsley certainly seems to think so, and Raedwald hits the nail squarely on the head when he says that if it isn't true, then Brown needs to back up his claims of lies with action in the court. I'm not convinced he can, because in my opinion, it is probably true.
Again, this is not a comment on Brown individually, but in order to get to be the leader of a large political party you have to be willing to tread on toes, willing to smear and willing to be not very nice at all. Unfortunately for Brown, he comes across as being charmless and graceless, so this makes it all the easier to believe.
On a different tack completely, one of the less reported, but most revealing stories of the last few days has been the storm about young teenagers/old children being taught to drive.
The immediate response when reading the headline is that idiot parents are taking their progeny out on public roads before their 17th birthdays. But they're not. These are kids being taught on private land and closed tracks.
So where's the problem?
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has warned the courses could make youngsters over confident and more likely to crash.
Well, that's fine. I'll quite accept the position. I don't accept the argument, but RoSPA urge caution when unwrapping a kit-kat, lest the tin foil you hold find its way into a plug socket which you have carelessly left turned on and with no safety child plug in. That's what RoSPA do, it's their job, although so scared are they about everything that I'm surprised they don't all work from bed via telepathy to remove any risk from the day at all. (Hang on, what about bed sores?)
Indeed, let's hope these kids do crash on the closed course, without injury and learn that over confidence is not an aid to driving. The reverse is also true, when learning on public roads, having never sat behind the wheel the problem of timidity and nerves also appears.
I remeber my first time and was not comfortable. You realise that as well as keeping an eye on what you are doing, you must keep an eye out on all the other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians etc. You encounter other drivers who don't care about the large red L on the rear of the car you drive. You get pressured, tailgated, flashed at, it isn't nice. You wouldn't teach a kid how to make boiled egg in one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants during dinner service, would you?
More illustrating is the quote from the Police Federation of England and Wales.
It's a good-un.
Driving on one of these courses at 11 years old, it's another six years until you can get a driving licence. How does it replicate the real world, the spontaneous incidents?
Well, it doesn't. But then that's not the point, is it? That's like asking how a child's toy kitchen set replicates chip pan fires. It gives the child an understanding of the mechanics of the situation and I should imagine is a good way of improving physical multi-tasking, spacial awareness and hand-eye co-ordination.
But. . .
Are kids mature enough at 11, 12, 13 years old to understand what's happening on the roads, to be able to manage all the demands and pressures?
No, they're not, that's why it isn't done on public roads, but on private, closed courses. That is why a driving licence cannot be obtained until one's 17th birthday. Do you see? Your point is perfectly irrelevant.
The real issue here is that people aren't breaking the law, but are only one step removed from breaking it. Some police officers would just love to wade in and nick them anyway, others just think that as the police are now so politicised that they need to act like politicians (shouldn't) act and tell us what to do.
Uh-huh, WE tell YOU what to do. We make the laws through our elected reps. We pay you to enforce those laws. We do not pay you to enforce laws you want to and ignore those you don't. We do not pay you to make up laws on the spot. We certainly do not pay you to preach to us about what should and should not be allowed.
Wind your bloody necks in.
Saturday, 20 February 2010
This from Old Holborn, I'll be having a copy printed off and ready, just in case, when the campaigning really starts:
Just to remind us what 13 years of power can do (cut out and keep edition):
Voting registers go missing
The Police can kill innocent people and get away with it
The state can kill people and get away with it
You can be put in prison for 42 days on pure suspicion
You can be put in prison indefinitely on the word of a politician
The State can torture people
Your children are monitored at School by Political Officers
Their behaviour is logged on a State database for their entire lives
Your innocent fingerprints, iris scans and biometrics are held by the State
You do not have the right to remain silent
You are watched on 4 million CCTV cameras
You may not photograph the Police
You do not have the right to protest peacefully
Curfews exist for entire communities
Your travel movements are logged and monitored
Who you vote for is logged and monitored
Your shopping habits are studied and logged by the State
Your emails and telephone conversations are recorded by the State
Your passport can be withdrawn at the whim of the State
Government agencies can use lie detector tests on you.
- £22,500 of debt for every child born in Britain
- 111 tax rises from a government that promised no tax rises at all
- The longest national tax code in the world
- 100,000 million pounds drained from British pension funds
- Gun crime up 57%
- Violent crime up 70%
- The highest proportion of children living in workless households anywhere in Europe
- The number of pensioners living in poverty up by 100,000
- The lowest level of social mobility in the developed world
- The only G7 country with no growth this year
- One in six young people neither earning nor learning
- 5 million people on out-of-work benefits
- Missing the target of halving child poverty...
- Child poverty rising in each of the last three years instead
- Cancer survival rates among the worst in Europe
- Hospital-acquired infections killing nearly three times as many people as are killed on the roads
- Falling from 4th to 13th in the world competitiveness league
- Falling from 8th to 24th in the world education rankings in maths
- Falling from 7th to 17th in the rankings in literacy
- The police spending more time on paperwork than on the beat
- Fatal stabbings at an all-time high
- Prisoners released without serving their sentences
- Foreign prisoners released and never deported
- 7 million people without an NHS dentist
- Small business taxes going up
- Business taxes raised from among the lowest to among the highest in Europe
- Tax rises for working people set for after the election
- The 10p tax rate abolished
- The ludicrous promise to have ended boom and bust
- Our gold reserves sold for a quarter of their worth
- Our armed forces overstretched and under-supplied
- Profitable post offices closed against their will
- One of the highest rates of family breakdown in Europe
- The ‘Golden Rule’ on borrowing abandoned because it didn’t fit
- Police inspectors in 10 Downing Street
- Dossiers that were dodgy
- Mandelson resigning the first time
- Mandelson resigning the second time
- Mandelson coming back for a third time
- Bad news buried
- Personal details lost
- An election bottled
- A referendum denied
- The removal of the right to trial by jury
Apparently the Labour slogan for the coming election will be 'a future fair for all'. Well, you've had thirteen fucking years, you arsewipes. Now, despite the litany above, you want more time?
Here's Snowolf's election slogans:
BECAUSE WE'RE NOT LABOUR AND IT'S OUR BLOODY TURN.
BECAUSE THE LOOK OF SHEER PANIC IN OUR EYES IF WE GOT THE GIG WOULD BE OFFSET BY OUR COMPLETE CAPITULATION TO BRUSSELS.
BECAUSE WE BELEIVE IN PERSONAL FREEDOM AND SMALL GOVERNMENT, UNLESS IT'S OUR GOVERNMENT.
BECAUSE YOU'VE NOWHERE ELSE TO TURN.
BECAUSE YOU NEED TO BE GUILT RIDDEN, LIVING IN A TREE. BUT WE WON'T BE, WE'VE IMPORTANT WORK TO DO.
Personal workload means blogging will be light to non-existent for the next week or so.
Of course this isn't helped by inhabiting this bizarre netherland of election campaigning without an actual election, where the recurring motif seems to be MPs from the big two parties seemingly do their level best to drive people away by saying damn stupid things.
They really, really, really don't get it, do they? They could be in for a nasty shock come May, a hung parliament to me means the electorate saying 'we don't know which of you bunch of bastards we hate and mistrust the most.'
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
I'm tired of the lies, I'm tired of the double standards, I'm tired of the burying of evidence, I'm tired of the whole bloody lot.
It used to be the lies that annoyed me most. I used to be incredulous that we would be expected to swallow the rubbish that was spooned our way. It wasn't just the lie, it was the fact that we were held in such low esteem that we were honestly expected to believe them. And if we didn't believe the lies, we were expected to believe the lies that they told to cover up the lies. And now they are such stupid lies, such inconsequential little lies.
I'm talking about David Wright's Twitter-bollocks. I can only work on the balance of probability. Is it probable that a Labour whip who has used the term in the past would refer to the Tories as being 'scum-sucking'? Yes, it is eminently probable. Let's face it, the Tories are jumping up and down about it, but I'm sure we've all been called worse.
Jesus, they're so bloody precious, aren't they? It doesn't make it right or acceptable, but it isn't exactly invading Poland, is it?
The whole thing would have disappeared if he'd said 'Yeah, I done it. I'm naughty, but they're naughtier, so boo sucks.'
But no, he then tries to tell us that he has the been the victim of a terrible crime, someone has altered his twitter post.
But ho, ho, ho. What's this? Guido points out that once a tweet is out there, it is unalterable. A stupid, pathetic little lie, and we're supposed to trust these people on the big stuff when they lie about stupid little non-stories like this?
Look, you foetid little arse-boil, insult the Tories all you like, but don't insult my fucking intelligence.
And just like that the rage is gone, like a magnesium ribbon passed through the flame of a bunsen.
It is replaced with the determination that I will see these people out of a job for a long, long time if it is the last thing I do. They are pathetic. They are beneath my contempt. They shall pay.
But it isn't the just the lies. It is the shameless feathering of nests, stealing, bending rules, unequal application of rules and naked self interest.
Once again, I can only work on the balance of probability. Is it probable, given her mania about all women shortlists, that Harridan Harperson was unable to attend a meeting to force her agenda upon one of the safest Labour seats in the country? No, not really. Perhaps it is just about credible, she is after all the deputy PM and so really is probably very busy. But then she's been able to implement this in other seats, so her job obviously doesn't trump her personal 'equality' agenda all the time, does it?
What destroys that credibility is when you realise that her husband is now in the frame for that seat.
How fucking stupid do you think we are? That's another one logged, Harriet, another entry in the Labour debit column. But hell, it's your party, not mine. But how many will look at this shameless example of nepotism and think to themselves on the big day, 'You know what? No, I don't think I will vote Labour this time'?
Neither of these are enough to lose an election, but it is a drip-drip effect, and each little lie, each little episode of troughing, each little case of self-interest turns more and more people off. Each one will cost you ten, a hundred, a thousand votes. Add them all together and you get tens of thousands of votes, hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions.
You think we won't notice, you think that because it isn't splashed across the newspapers it won't really matter. But it does matter and we do notice, and you will pay.
Then you know what? The Tories will do just the same, and the cycle will repeat, as it has done for generations, until one time, the electorate say 'no more'. It doesn't have to be violent, or angry, or desperate, it just takes a quiet, steely determination that we have had quite enough of this now.
It won't happen this time, but it might just happen the time after.
Saturday, 13 February 2010
And who came up with this excellent idea?
The New Economics Foundation.
a left-wing think tank.
the reduction in hours would help to ease unemployment and overwork.
No, no it wouldn't. Well, it'd cerainly ease overwork, because no-one would be working. The simple truth of the matter is that unemployment would shoot through the roof.
Well, one of two things would have to happen.
A: People would expect to be paid what they are paid now. Read as: Rabid Socialists with no grasp of market economics would demand and legislate for businesses shutting the fuck up and paying people exactly what they are paid now, whilst in a single stroke doubling the size of their workforce and all the associated costs in training, HR and equality issues etc, etc. The result? Private business would disappear. Unemployment goes through the roof, the burden on the public purse stretches past tolerance levels, the country goes bankrupt, gangs of very, very angry people start roaming the streets to kill and steal.
B: People will not only halve their hours, but will also halve their incomes. People will have no disposable income, they will not be able to afford food, prescription charges, fuel for their cars. Retail business in this country will fall apart as people simply would not have any money to spend. They will default on their mortgages and fail to make rent payments. Evictions and repossessions would spiral out of control. The result? Unemployment goes through the roof, the burden on the public purse stretches past tolerance levels, the country goes bankrupt, gangs of very, very angry people start roaming the streets to kill and steal.
Heres' the kicker:
The foundation's policy director Andrew Simms added: "A cultural shift will throw up real challenges (no shit, like survival for example - Wolfers), but there could also be massive benefits for our economy (like it would cease to exist - Wolfers), our quality of life (we could go back to hunter gathering - Wolfers) and our planet (we'd all be dead in ten years - Wolfers)."After all, hands up who wouldn't like a four day weekend?"
I'm sorry? Are you really, really advocating a return to the three day week?
Fuck me backwards over a yak with a pineapple and goose fat, they really are completely, completely mad. This goes beyond normal throwing a nokia, nose-mining loopiness, this is full on destructive, murderous, criminal insanity. If you think you can stomach it, the whole suggestion is detailed here, although as suggestions go it seems to be as inviting to me as being asked if I'd like to put my genitals in a food-blender.
Firstly, I was very sad to hear of the death of the Georgian luger yesterday. Apparently the sliding track at Whistler has the reputation of being the fastest in the world, and one of the more dangerous. There have been a few grumbles that the teams haven't have had as much practice time on the track as they would have liked. That practice time wouldn't have made any difference, despite the best efforts of the organisers to make the track as safe as possible, this accident happened on a corner which no-one expected to be dangerous.
Of course danger is a relative term when you look at sporting events like the luge, skeleton and bob. They are three, frankly, ridiculous sports and not ones that I personally can get excited about, but every competitor knows that when they step onto the ice, there is a very real risk of serious injury or death and damn do I respect their guts.
Secondly, a suggestion was made by a friend of mine that if the three disgraced proto-criminal MPs do use the parliamentary privilege defence when they pitch up in court, they should also be charged with incitement to riot and revolution. That sounds like a fine suggestion to me.
Thirdly, I was going to make a point about the futility of these body scanners (which I hate) at the airports if the PC brigade bring their illogical pressure to bear over the religious sensibilities of Islam, but Leg-Iron has beaten me to it, and does it better than I ever could.
Finally, Leona Lewis who won Britian Has The X-Factor and Talent in Amounts That Would Have Made a 1970's One Hit Wonder Vomit Through Laughter, has proved herself to be a true diva by stamping her little foot over the choice of the food at the forthcoming Brit awards. Well, Fiona, or what ever your name is, you could always have chosen not to have eaten it, y'know.
How sad that the younger generation in this country see the option of bans as a proportionate and primary response to things that they have objections to. I have no strong feelings on the subject of foie-gras, there are just so many more important things to worry about. But when you go around trying to institute bans on things, don't come weeping to me when something you want to do, eat, say, practice or belive is banned, you've brought it upon yourself.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop.I don't think there's the need for further comment.
When the barber goes to open his shop the next morning there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later, a policeman comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The policeman is happy and leaves the shop.
The next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen doughnuts waiting for him at his door.
Later that day, a college professor comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The professor is very happy and leaves the shop.
The next morning when the barber opens his shop, there is a 'thank you' card and a dozen different books, such as 'How to Improve Your Business' and 'Becoming More Successful.'
Then, a Member of Parliament comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, 'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Member of Parliament is very happy and leaves the shop.
The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.
Sunday, 7 February 2010
I am cynical. Having watched the politicians in action, having seen them lie in their manifesto and then successfully argue in court that an election manifesto does not constitute a promise, having seen them take advantage of an expenses system that they themselves set up to trouser thousands of pounds, having seem them charged with theft as a result and then considering an attempt to exploit parliamentary privilege to get out of it, having seen them spin, lie and steal, I do not take anything they say or do at face value.
Is it any wonder that I look on two news items this morning with a world-weary eye? I wonder who is advising Labour at the moment?
Alastair Campbell has emotionally denied Tony Blair misled MPs or Parliament over the intelligence in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.
Well, he would, wouldn't he?
Had to take a moment to compose himself? One has to wonder if he's more upset by the idea of Parliament being misled or by the suggestion that his old chum Bliar would do that.
Mr Campbell had to take a moment to compose himself after being asked the question on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
He said the subject kept being brought up by those wanting to "settle scores".
Given the last sentence, it would appear to be the latter. Is it all a nasty playground campaign, Alastair? Tut. Terrible, isn't it? I mean, it isn't as if you've ever employed smear tactics, is it? Listen to the high-pitched whine.
Then there's Piers Morgan's interview with the Prime Mentalist. Morgan's always banging on about what great mates he is with the Browns and what lovely people they are. He's the master of the celeb puff interview which he tries to make look as if it has substance. It's a sheep in wolf's clothing.
Given their great mateship (and Morgan really does seem to appreciate Sarah Brown a little more than is perhaps healthy. Bugger John Terry and Wayne Bridge's missus, Morgan and Sarah Brown, that's a story I'd like to read), this interview was always going to be very sympathetic to Brown and I don't doubt that Morgan bent over backwards to try and make Brown look more human.
Gordon Brown has wept talking about the death of his daughter in a television interview, it has emerged.
Do I have to say it? Oh, go on then. Losing a child, blah blah, tragedy, waffle waffle, no parent should have to deal with, yada yada. But I do not for one moment think this interview has happened now by accident, they could have done this at any point over the last 8 years, now they stare down the barrel of an election where selling Brown will be like selling a bag of dog shit, he is humanising himself.
The message here is vote Brown - his daughter died.
The Prime Minister became upset recalling when he realised baby Jennifer Jane would not survive.
She died after a brain haemorrhage when she was 10 days old in 2002. Mr Brown is believed to have described being with Jennifer in her final moments.
Good Lord, so who is Cameron going to talk to about his family tragedies? If Brown has had an interview like this, CMD will have to have one too. Mustn't be left behind.
The Prime Minister also talked about his three-year-old son Fraser's battle with cystic fibrosis and his hopes for a cure, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Bloody hell. It's like the audition stage of X-Factor. Brown can't sing, but he's had a rough time, and really really wants this, and he'll try, God knows he'll give it his all, if you'd just give him this chance to prove himself and call this premium rate phone number.
[Morgan] The ex spin doctor, who advises the Prime Minister part-time, said [. . .]"I don't believe Gordon went on television with the purpose of crying," he told the BBC.
Then you're either a fool or a liar, Morgan.
Are we now supposed to vote for the candidate with the biggest personal disaster story, or who has the biggest meltdown, or the most entertaining tantrum? What next? Junior ministers throwing themselves on the floor in the confectionary aisle in Tesco and having a paddy because the nasty man won't let them steal taxpayer cash to buy a bag of sweeties?
This really is all Labour have left. They can't campaign on policy, because they've all been shown to be disasters. They can't campaign on unity, because they are firing the first bullets in what is going to be a very messy civil war. They can't campaign on character, as they've been shown to be lying, theiving and probably criminal.
All they have is tears and tantrums and have to hope that like a weak parent, we'll give them what they want for five minute's peace. A parent that gives in to their kid's tantrums will raise a spolit, selfish and dysfunctional child. An electorate that does the same, will experience the same.
Friday, 5 February 2010
If this is the best in debating skills that someone who has sat in the house since 2005 can muster, then the mother of parliaments really is a bloody joke.
I hope the judge hasn't sent his black cap to the dry-cleaner, I've a funny feeling he'll need it come sentencing day.
It showed that 25% of those questioned did not think global warming was happening, an increase of 10% since a similar poll was conducted in November.To be honest, given the hammering that the global warming lot have taken recently, I’m surprised that the increase is as low as that.
Do not forget, dear reader, that this is the BBC we are talking about, an organisation which has a management with a clear vested interest in the reporting of this subject. This is reflected in the way the article is presented.
"More people are now doubters than firm believers."
Look, it isn’t a case of faith, it is a case of the scrutiny of the science. Not since the publication of Darwin’s ‘The Origin of the species’ has a scientific theory been subject to such intense scrutiny, and certainly not since then has one come with such emotive, irrational and (almost, in the case of CC) theistic outbursts. Science is about fact, proven, concrete, bomb-proof fact. Even with my limited knowledge of science, I know that scientific fact is pretty hard to come by.
It is likely that the human race shares common ancestry with the other apes and lesser primates. This is theory. It has not been proven, even now 150 years after the publication of The Origin of the Species, we cannot be 100% absolutely sure that what Darwin suggested is true.
Climatology is such a young science, with such a limited reliable data set, that a good deal of the work is, and can only be, guess work. Anyhow, I digress, back to the BBC agenda.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) chief scientific adviser, Professor Bob Watson, called the findings "very disappointing".Just to clear up any misunderstanding, this is Bob Watson, former chair of the IPCC. That’s the same IPCC who based a publication on an article in a climbing magazine and the dissertation of a student.
"Action is urgently needed," Professor Watson warned.
This is also the same Bob Watson who is the Director of Strategic Development at UEA. That’s the same UEA who were hacked into, or leaked out of, which brought material into the light which seriously damaged the credibility of the whole operation and output.
"We need the public to understand that climate change is serious so they will change their habits and help us move towards a low carbon economy."
WE need? We? Who is 'we'? Or is it, Bob, just possible, just a little, that your whole income and lifestyle is dependent upon us following your decrees without question and being very scared and pathetically grateful?
Still, you’ve got to love the BBC. We don’t want you drawing any links between a Defra expert (who I’m sure we’re to believe is impartial and just wanting the best), an educational establishment with a slightly marked copy-book vis-à-vis the veracity of its output and that output in itself. Or are they just trying to spare Bob’s embarrassment?
In November, the contents of emails stolen from a leading climate science unit led to accusations that a number of researchers had manipulated data.
Hmmm, which researchers would they be then?
Oh yes, the ones that work at UEA, under Bob.
And in January, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admitted that it had made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.
Hmmm, and which IPCC would that be? Would it be the Independent Police Complaints Commission? No? The Independent Press Complaints Commission? No? It must the International Panel on Climate Change then.
Oh hang on, wasn’t that the lot that old, ohhhhh, what’s his name?
Oh, yes, Professor Robert Watson, anyhow it was the lot that he ran. They did that.
It’s not a glowing track record, is it?
For the record, I’m sceptical. The fact that more and more evidence is being shown to be flawed at best and intentionally misleading at worst, that sections of the media, academia, government and NGOs are so keen to shut down any debate, or y’know, scientific examination of the evidence, that the IPCC has declared a pause in climate change (is it like a PS3? Perhaps someone’s called, or they need a wee) and actually admitted deception, even though they’ll maintain it is an honest mistake (like the honest mistakes made by Chaytor, Morley and Devine) and the fact that a very profitable service industry has sprung up around the whole idea (I understand there’s some conference or other in India at the moment, how do they all get around? I’m betting they didn’t cycle from Copenhagen) leads me to believe that this may all not be on the level.
On the balance of probability, I think the climate is probably changing. I think it’s getting colder. And that it’s nothing to do with man’s activities. It’s just one of those things.
I’m not a scientist, but people like Leg-Iron and Salted Slug who seem to be proper scientists, with lab coats, test tubes, goggles and oddly shaped pyrex pots with smoke billowing out of the top of bubbling blue liquid, are questioning the quality of the work here. If they’re not happy, then I think the shouting about ‘deniers’ and the like needs to viewed with extreme caution, as it seems to me that that is what you do when you run out of argument.
However, I do know beyond doubt, that we are being manipulated, stolen from and lied to, even if it were all true, it would have been taken advantage of in a most calculated and cynical fashion. Looking at the poll results it would appear I’m not alone. We are now giving our politicians and scientists quizzical looks. Some are even saying ‘Yeah? Prove it.’
The age of deference is well and truly over, as deference can only be replaced with accountability. That’s accountability on OUR terms, not theirs. The BBC will have to catch up, and smartish.
Scared are we?
Theft, false accounting, 2 charges Elliot Morley MP.
Theft, false accounting, 3 charges David Chaytor MP.
Theft, false accounting 2 charges Jim Devine MP.
Theft, false accounting, 6 charges Lord Hanningfield.
Lord Clarke of Hampstead gets off.
One case still under consideration.
Let the games begin. Perhaps we can hire the O2 and hold the trials in there?
Thursday, 4 February 2010
A man lives at the corner of the street,
And his neighbors think he's helpful and he's sweet,
'Cause he never swears and he always shakes you by the hand,
But no one knows he really is a plastic man.
He's got plastic heart, plastic feet and toes,
(Yeah, he's plastic man)
He's got plastic knees and a perfect plastic nose.
(Yeah, he's plastic man)
He's got plastic lips that hide his plastic teeth and gums,
And plastic legs that reach up to his plastic bum.
Plastic man got no brain,
Plastic man don't feel no pain,
Plastic people look the same,
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kick his shin or tread on his face,
Pull his nose all over the place,
He can't disfigure, or disgrace,
Plastic man (plastic man).
He's got plastic flowers growing up the walls,
He eats plastic food with a plastic knife and fork,
He likes plastic cups and saucers 'cause they never break,
And he likes to lick his gravy off a plastic plate.
Plastic man got no brain,
Plastic man don't feel no pain,
Plastic people look the same,
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kick his shin or tread on his face,
Pull his nose all over the place,
He can't disfigure, or disgrace,
Plastic man (plastic man).
He's got a plastic wife who wears a plastic mac,
(Yeah, he's plastic man)
And his children wanna be plastic like their dad,
(Yeah, he's plastic man)
He's got a phony smile that makes you think he understands,
But no one ever gets the truth from plastic man (plastic man)
Plastic man (plastic man).
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
They haven't got in yet and I hate them already. Burbling on about environmnetally sustainable economic recovery. Oh God, give me strength.
Look, George, I'll judge your government record, if it happens, by my own criteria, got it?
You don't get to decide how we judge you, I don't accept your criteria, I don't accept your right to set those criteria, I don't want to hear you banging on about these criteria for the next 5 years as if it is the only benchmark by which you can be judged.
Here's Snowolf's eight criteria for judging a Conservative government.
1- I'll make the first one easy, shall I? Call in the civil service heads of department and find out what they actually know about the areas they are responsible for. If they 'errrrm', 'arrrrrr', 'get back to you on that' or 'don't know' then get rid of them. Then get rid of the layer below them, and probably the next 2 layers below that. I know for a fact that higher/middle senior civil service management keep their very high management in the dark, lest they find out the awful truth. The senior managers haven't figured this out yet. Get shot of the lot of them.
2- Destroy the quango's. Lay waste to them. There's a huge saving right there, you needn't touch the police, schools or hospitals and still save shitloads.
3- But do touch the police, schools or hospitals. Waste is endemic. Make them account for every single penny if they value their continued employment. Make them feel that every penny is coming out of their own personal pocket. Forbid them from cutting front line services. In fact, make them expand front line services. If they fail, no pay-off, no pension, just the sack. Make the police arrest proper bad people, no more community this, and outreach that. The police are for catching criminals. Make schools teach pupils, no more social work or community engineering, forget these endless tests, most teachers aren't idiots and know which pupils are outstanding, which pupils aren't so hot and which pupils need a kick up the arse to perform. Let headteachers discipline badly behaved kids, the rights of the kids that want to learn trump those of kids who don't. Let doctors make people better, no smoking or drinking questioning, if they're ill, then cure it. Give Matron control over blocks of four to six wards, make her responsible for the cleaning and bed/theatre management. Matron rocks and knows much better than the Health Secretary, she certainly knows better than the doctors. Give her the staff and authority.
4- Once you've cut the spending, cut the taxes. Bring back the lower band for lower earners. Give people coming off benefits one year tax free to establish themselves. Get them out of that trap. Reward them for getting off their arses, don't reward them for wandering into the labyrinth.
5- Reduce the duty on petrol. It's a fucking joke. You're crippling workers and businesses. Outside the cities, public transport is not up to the job of people moving around. It can get better, but in the short term people need help. This amounts to a tax on going to work. It sucks.
6- Give us the referendum on the Lisbon treaty like you promised. At least. Better still, give us the big one. If the majority of people want to come out of Europe, then accept it. You will be there to represent our wishes, not to impose yours on us. Remember that.
7- If our military really have to play silly buggers over the world. Then give them the kit to do the job. Give them proper healthcare and proper housing. Exempt them from tax. Give them the support to shoot back at people who shoot at them until they are all dead. Give them the power to sink pirates' boats, if the pirates are on those boats at the time, all the better. If they are aboard our boats, then maroon them. Act like a pirate, die like a pirate. Engage in piracy or attack our troops, then it's all good.
8- Get your noses out of our lives. Stop measuring, watching, tracking, investigating, following, recording, monitoring and nannying us. It pisses us off and we've done nothing wrong.
If these 8 benchmarks are not met, I'll consider you a failure.
Please feel free to set your own, by the way. It's your vote, so it's your criteria, never forget that. You set out the rules by which you judge your government, not them.