Monday, 30 May 2011

Schnell! Kerzen kaufen!

So, the Euro, then. Those on the fringes are starting to drop like flies, this increases the strain on the bigger member states who are going to have to paddle like stink to prevent the ship from going under.

Not since the 1950's has German industry been so important, and not just to Germany now, who are going to have to ensure they have the financial clout to prop the currency up, but also to the others who are relying on that clout to ensure they don't end up eating out of dustbins.

Thankfully, German industry is one of the most efficient industrial programmes in the world, a real powerhouse, the envy of the rest of Europe.

Obviously, doing anything to damage that industry would be madness.

Wouldn't it?

Well, the German government has announced it is embarking on the biggest programme of industrial sabotage the world has ever seen.

Germany's coalition government has announced a reversal of policy that will see all the country's nuclear power plants phased out by 2022.


There have been mass anti-nuclear protests across Germany in the wake of March's Fukushima crisis, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami.

Which is kinda like the residents of a small town in the middle of Australia hitting the streets in panic about a flood in Cumbria. Earthquakes and tsunamis just aren't going to happen in Germany. But never mind, why let something simple like that get in the way of a good panic?

Mr Rottgen said the seven oldest reactors - which were taken offline for a safety review immediately after the Japanese crisis - would never be used again. An eighth plant - the Kruemmel facility in northern Germany, which was already offline and has been plagued by technical problems, would also be shut down for good.

Six others would go offline by 2021 at the latest and the three newest by 2022, he said.

Of course, by doing this, Germany has ensured that it is immune from any nuclear issues at all, should something happen in France (which is almost entirely reliant on nuclear power, sensible Froggies) any fall out will stop at the border. The town of Saarbrucken will be unaffected.

There's still a way to extract guilt money though, still a means to demand the tithe to the Great Green God.

Mr Rottgen said a tax on spent fuel rods, expected to raise 2.3bn euros (£1.9bn) a year from this year, would remain despite the shutdown.

So, you're going to continue taxing an industry which will have no means of generating any income? Thereby costing the private investors and pension funds millions, at a time when you've got no cash.


But how will they power their industry? The greens in the German coalition are going to be a bit sniffy about coal and gas fired stations, aren't they?

"The various studies from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. . ."

Oh, this is going to be good.

". . . show that renewables could deliver, basically, global electricity by 2050," he said.

"Germany is going to be ahead of the game on that and it is going to make a lot of money, so the message to Germany's industrial competitors is that you can base your energy policy not on nuclear, not on coal, but on renewables."
Making a lot of money? This is the same renewable energy industry that sucks up public money like an industrial pump and then pisses it all up the wall? That renewable industry?

A tip; if you want a BMW, Mercedes or VW car, make sure you buy one in the next ten years, because they'll not be making them in Germany before long.

Sell Euros, the currency is screwed after this, take the money and invest it in German candle sellers. They'll make a bomb.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Phew! That's a relief.

Cornwall Council has admitted giving out the wrong figures for its credit card bills which led to claims of lavish spending on travel and hotels.

A bit of human error, but these things happen, as long as the council tax payers of Kernow are satisfied they've got it right now, that's the main thing. Embarrassing, yes, but let's cut some slack, shall we?

It told the Daily Telegraph it had spent nearly £9m on credit cards since 2008, including on overseas travel.

Nine million? That's quite a bill, I should hope they have got that wrong.

But the council said it had not checked the figures before releasing them, which were "at least" £1.3m less.

At least? I'd hope they were much less than that, even if it is coming in at £7.7m, that's still a hell of a lot of money, especially for a county which is not the most densely populated.

Among the figures was £114,142 for hotels in India, which was actually in rupees, and should have been £1,645.

Yeah, big difference in those amounts, you still get a lot of Rupee for your quid.

The figures, given to the newspaper in a Freedom of Information request, were published on Saturday.

It just shows the importance of checking your stats before going to pre. . .

Whoa, whoa, rewind a moment.



What the hell were Cornwall County Council doing going to India? Indian Queens, yes, but India?

No, still looks like lavish travel to me.


Friday, 27 May 2011

You get the brushes, I'll get the whitewash.

No, not another post about the shenanigans going on at LPUK.

It seems like only a couple of days ago that I posted about the corruption investigation going on at FIFA.

Mainly because it was only a couple of days ago that I posted about the corruption investigation going on at FIFA.

Well, I'll give Bin Hammam 10/10 for havoc raising, but 0/10 of originality.

You see, Mohamed Bin Hammam, the head of the Asian Football Confederation is standing for election as the President of FIFA next Wednesday. The current incumbent, Swiss Sepp Blatter takes a dim view of this. Since Joao Havelange, the previous President and part-time Jabba the Hutt impersonator unseated the old gent, blazer and general duffer, Sir Stanley Rous in 1974, it has sort of been an unwritten rule that whilst there is a Presidential election once every four years, you don't stand unless the incumbent announces his intention to toddle off. Even then it appears to be more of an annointing (usually with Adidas boot-oil*) than a proper election.

Bin Hammam has broken a golden rule and Blatter obviously decided to punish it for him by bringing in the 'Ethics Committee', an anti-corruption force with such a poor reputation that even OLAF point at them and piss themselves laughing.

Jack Warner has been pulled into it as well. He's a thoroughly unattractive man, just look at his record at how he blows hot and cold towards the FA and the UK in general.

Not to be outdone it appears that Bin Hammam has pulled the same trick on Blatter now.

As far as I can make out all three of them are as corrupt as each other. The whole organisation is lousy with corruption. I find as I grow older my love for the game diminshes, not just because of the corruption amongst the blazers, but also because of the antics of the players and managers, both on and off the pitch. I still get a little angry at the naked feathering of nests, at the end of the day football is only a game and you have a very easy choice to consume or not, but it is the world game - and at the risk of sounding like a FIFA promo video, it really can be a force for good. The sport and its supporters deserve better.

Quite how any election can go ahead now on Wednesday and have even a pretence of credibility is beyond me. There may well be a third man sat in the wings, thanking his lucky stars that things have turned out so well, make no mistake Blatter, bin Hammam and Warner are hugely powerful people in the organisation.

From what I can see this is a problem to a lesser or greater extent with administrators in most sports, they seem to be the only class who are more venal and corrupt than politicians, or perhaps because of a lack of accountability and that because at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter, they just aren't as polished as hiding it as politicians.

It is unfortunate that it is easy to tar them all with the same brush. I feared the worst when Michel Platini, a sublime player and half-way sensible chap took on the top job at UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), it remains to be seen what sort of administrator he'll turn out to be. However, the use of the patented Wolfers Trophy Test is good indicator. To his credit, Platini has gone on record to say he prefers a Wembley style affair where the victorious team in a final climbs to a balcony rather than an on-pitch stage, this simplifies matters no end, but watch an administrator handing a trophy to a winning captain. If they get out of the bloody way before the captain raises the trophy skywards and the confetti goes off, it is a good thing, if he strives to keep a grubby mitt on it whilst the captain initiates the celebrations, this is a bad thing and shows how desperate he is to be part of the action.

Platini seems to be in the former camp. But he is one of the very few world class players who has been that man with the trophy in his hand on his own merit, to move into administration. One can only question why the likes of Beckenbauer (although he has been active in the DFB), Charlton R, Van Basten, Zoff et al haven't made the move as well. Perfectly intelligent and capable people, could it be they view the administrators with the same disdain and don't want to get involved?

One thing is for sure, this whole affair promises to make the Salt Lake olympics scandal look like a storm in a teacup. At least there there was no cash changing hands. I think for the good of the game it would be best if the whole show at FIFA was laid waste and the organisation started over. Unfortunately I think the whole thing will be a whitewash, the message will have been sent out by Blatter that if you want a career at FIFA, you don't stand against him.

If you're interested in the ongoing story, I can heartily recommend 'Foul' by Andrew Jennings, a real jaw dropper. Jennings is not a well liked man at FIFA, so he must be doing something right.

*Blatter is very much an Adidas man, the sportswear company have enormous power in the organisation, no-one else gets a look in.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Did I do the right thing?

A few days ago I set out my thinking about jumping ship from LPUK to UKIP. Well, my membership card arrived on Monday. That means I can now register for the UKIP forum and read about what is going on in the UKIP world.

I'm not sure how I feel about the UKIP forums being available to registered members only. Posting, probably fair enough, reading? I don't know. One of the strengths of the Libertarian cyber-movement is the ability to access material without trouble, what also sets the Libertarian set apart is the willingness to allow unmoderated comment on party and personal blogs, something most other parties would run a mile from.

Although as we'll see, this isn't without its down sides.

Still, we'll see. I went and visited the old house this morning, to see what has been going on over at the LPUK site. Since I left, it appears that the place has continued to fall apart, although I don't think the two are linked, it was heading that way anyway, that's why I left.

The whole thing is dominated by truth, half-truth, spun-truth, conspiracy theory and complete fantasy. It made it impossible for me to have any faith in any of the people involved. It is a complete bun-fight, and I should imagine to an outside observer it is very, very funny.

There are three news stories over at the LPUK site, where the same old people go on and throw the same old accusations, with the same old people issuing the same old rebuttals, and the same old people running the same old smear campaigns. The comments on these articles really are most . . . interesting? Enlightening? Entertaining? I don't know. But when articles start referencing a forum run by David Icke, you have to wonder who and what is involved in the party.

Maybe there is some grand conspiracy involving Common Purpose, the Illuminati, the Masons and lizards from outer space, I suppose we'll know when tin foil is banned. Up until that point and given the inability of governments to organise the simplest of tasks, I'll remain sceptical.

Have I done the right thing in joining UKIP? That remains to be seen, I do believe that the question of our EU membership is the biggest item on the agenda, arguing about anything else is a waste of time. It's like discussing what colour your new curtains will be while watching your house burn down. What you should be doing is calling the fire brigade. Let's sort the big one out and then worry about the other stuff, eh?

Have I done the right thing in leaving LPUK? Without doubt. I can't read the musings of those involved, the excuses, the accusations, see the smoke and mirrors and the rapidly swivelling eyes, and think that anyone would want to be involved with the party.

To those involved in the ridiculous arguments; well done, you've killed the party stone dead. A plague on both your houses.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

My, that's convenient.

Mohamed Bin Hammam and vice president Jack Warner have denied wrongdoing after Fifa opened disciplinary proceedings against them following bribery allegations.
 Blimey, FIFA sorting their house out at last?
Executive committee member Chuck Blazer has passed a report to Fifa alleging that the men attempted to bribe members of the Caribbean Football Union to secure votes for Bin Hammam in the presidential election a week today. 
Ah, I see.

So that'll be a no then. Funny isn't it, how Blatter runs this just a week before he's due to stand for re-election? Funnier still that the accused is his opponent in the election.

Don't misunderstand me, they're all as corrupt as each other, but just when you think FIFA and Blatter's stock couldn't get any lower...

Stalin would be proud if it weren't so painfully transparent.

That's a telling comment.

We are aghast, Denmark has banned Marmite. I'm firmly in the love it camp, by the way, so thick that it burns the roof of your mouth. Wonderful stuff.

'They'll be trying it here next.' Has been the mantra. Another example of EU intrusion.

Except it isn't.

Many well known breakfast cereal and drink brands have already been banned or taken off supermarket shelves after Danish legislation in 2004 restricted foods fortified with extra vitamins or minerals. 

Nothing to do with the EU. There's plenty of stuff we can blame on them, but this isn't one of them. This is home grown authoritariansim (if you're Danish). It's kind of a shame, the outrage in the UK if the EU tried to pull this stunt would be irresistable. For that reason I wish it was on the EU agenda. No matter, the scales are falling from the eyes of more and more people every day.

Just as with Dick Puddlecote's smoking survey, the EU aren't afraid to massage the truth to their own ends. Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, so I will happily perpetuate the myth that the EU is trying to ban God's own sandwich spread.

But here's a telling comment from the article in question from 'Riwi' at ten to four this afternoon:

Lets get one thing clear - Marmite has not been banned in Denmark, the importer just "forgot" to apply for approval to sell it...... 

And there you have it.

I like the Danes, not as fun as the Norwegians, but a pleasant people. However one of Scandinavia's greatest problems is this sort of mindset. People in the majority over there really do see nothing wrong in having to ask the government's permission to sell a sandwich spread.

Can you imagine?

Sadly I find it all too easy.

Now what on Earth is that supposed to mean?

Flippant, glib, disrespectful, self-serving and a sign of total denial. That's the only conclusion I can draw from Inspector Gadget's response to the news that the DPP has reconsidered the decision not to bring charges against Simon Harwood over the death of Ian Tomlinson. It simply reads:

Maybe, if we work at it, we can get PC Harwood charged with the Kennedy assassination.

It would appear that the Inspector does not agree with the decision to bring charges.

I can only guess why, as the Inpsector is unusually brief. Given his rather fatuous comment about the Kennedy assassination, I think I can safely put some words into his mouth.

The problem seems to be that a police officer who kills someone in the course of his duty should not, in Gadget's opinon, be subject to the same laws as the general population. This obviously gives a lie to the seventh Peelian principle:

Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

In other words, from his short posting, I can only draw the conclusion that Gadget believes that the laws the police enforce do not apply to them.

I can also only assume that Gadget feels it is also wrong that the affair was subject to an inquest, and that obviously the inquest returned an incorrect verdict of unlawful killing.

That's unlawful killing.

That's a police officer, on duty, taking the life of an innocent man, without any lawful grounds, a man who was walking away from him, apparently peaceful, nothing to do with the protest that was going on, indeed trying to get away from the protest.

Are we to suppose, Inspector, that you consider this inquest should not have gone ahead? Because I have a real problem with that.

I do not want to live in a country where the police can act without any fear of accountability, where they can kill people in the street without fear of consequence.

Gadget would no doubt point to the fact that Tomlinson had been drinking and was over the legal drink drive limit.

So? Does that mean he deserved to die?

Let's reverse the roles for a moment, shall we? Let us assume that  an individual shoved a policeman with significant enough force that the officer died. Let us assume that the officer who had died had just been walking the beat and had not been engaged in any controversial activity.

Would Inspector Gadget be so dismissive of an inquest verdict of unlawful killing? How would he react if a non-police blogger made a jibe about fitting the individual in question up with the murder of Keith Blakelock as well? Not well I'm assuming.

The Inspector will know well that in the public at large you get bad people and good people. Bad people will do bad things. Sometimes good people will make poor decisions. Sometimes people do things in the heat of the moment which are out of character, actions which they regret. Would the Inspector suggest that as this was out of character it is somehow unfair that they are called to account and held responsible for these actions?

PC Simon Harwood did a bad thing, one of the worst things someone can do. If Gadget would expect someone who does not wear uniform to stand trial for doing a bad thing, then he must surely expect someone who does wear uniform to stand trial? To suggest otherwise leads us down a road that finishes with scenes similar to those we have seen in Egypt, with a police force that is detested by the whole of society, not just those whose illegal activities mean they dislike the police.

I support Gadget's railings against the idiocy of those in management positions in the police, but I will temper it with the observation that I don't hear the Police Federation making much noise on the subject, an indicator of a lack of pressure being brought to bear by the membership, perhaps?

What I cannot agree with is Gadget's seeming inability to consider that anyone below the rank of Ch. Inspector is capable of any wrong doing. It does him and the police no favours at all.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Worse than a warble glomist? Not quite.

Ecological doom and gloom has been something I've grown up with. As I matured and became aware of the world around me the big scare was the ozone layer. I stand to be shown evidence to the contrary, but I think that one was probably right, it seemed to me that there was a bloody great hole. The rush to ban CFC's seems to have arrested the problem, at least, I think so, it's a story we've not heard in a long, long time. I'm assuming that nature and this planet, being the marvellous things they are, will, in time repair the damage, maybe this process is underway? As I say, the story is such a blast from the past it is easy to forget that it ever happened at all.

However, I do remember that the scare at the time was that with the hole in the layer as it was, the entire populations of Australia, New Zealand and the southernmost residents of Argentina and Chile were going to die in agony of rampant skin cancer. I certainly don't recall that happening.

Ecomentalists love to catastrophise, and with good reason, it makes people give them their undivided attention and the contents of their wallets. The whole global warming/climate change gig has been running for a while, since I was a teenager, certainly. I'm now in my mid 30's. I distinctly remember being told that islands in the Pacific were doomed and that the only way you'd be able to visit St. Paul's would be by going for a paddle. All this was to happen in the next ten to fifteen years, unless action was taken. Now. I was scared, the house I grew up in in rural Kent was below sea level, with only the flat expanse of the reclaimed Romney Marsh between us and the channel, it was surely doomed.

We are told that CO2 emissions continue to rise, or at least do not fall to a level below those which were recorded some five years after the first catastrophic predictions were made. The house in which I grew up is still dry, no atolls have disappeared, I have yet to see anyone wear a souvenir St. Paul's life jacket.

Still the predictions of despair come, every time the same time frame is quoted, near enough to be alarming, but far enough into the future to allow redemption. I'm not sure if the countdown clock is re-set each time.

People talk about the Green God, and environmentalism being a new religion, and they are entirely right. The similarities are striking.

It may be a bit of laugh, but Harold Camping confidently predicted the onset of Armageddon this weekend, the fact that you are reading this is a demonstration that this didn't happen.

Well, he's at it again:

Evangelical priest Harold Camping has set a new date for the world’s end as he backtracked from a prediction that ‘Judgement Day’ was supposed to come last Saturday.

The US Christian, who made headlines for his outlandish claim that a selected 200 million of the world’s population would be raptured, has now marked 21 October 2011 in his calendar as the real date for the apocalypse.

The 89-year-old had previously stated that an earthquake – bigger than anything ever felt before - would strike each corner of the planet by 6pm local time on Saturday 21 May.

But according to Camping’s new end of world forecast, the globe will actually be engulfed by a huge fireball - exactly five months after the botched doomsday prediction.

Speaking of the failed ‘Judgement Day’ on his radio show last night, he claimed that 21 May 2011 was just an ‘invisible judgement day’ and that he understood it as a spiritual, rather than physical event. 

After hiding in a motel for two days, the Californian preacher admitted his Bible-based calculations were incorrect.

He said he believed rapture didn’t come because God decided to spare humanity five months of “hell on earth.”

During his hour-and-a-half radio broadcast, he said: “It won’t be spiritual on 21 October. The world is going to be destroyed all together, but it will be very quick.”

Most people are looking at this guy as some sort of nutter, many of them will be environmentalists scoffing at this man's, and his followers', credulity.

But stop for a minute. Consider the similarities.

He uses a text, which a mutual friend of mine on Facebook described thus:

Sometimes we take the Bible too literally, forgetting it's actually a composite work of fiction translated from a mishmash of defunct languages via Latin and therefore about as near to the 'absolute truth' as unsolicited email from Nigeria.

A harsh, if fairly accurate description. Say this to a Christian, (the same will also hold true of Jews and Muslims about their holy texts) and you run the risk of being shouted down. You see, it is all true, the animals in the big boat, the walls of the city falling down, the parting of the Red Sea, it is all true. It must be, because it is written here. The text cannot be challenged. It is, a-ha, gospel. Any attempt to question the content or the interpretation is, literally, heresy. It cannot be allowed.

Now speak to the warmist, question their data, their holy book, question the interpretation of their data, you'll get a very similar response. The denial of peer review is an anti-heretical device.

People who leave the fold are treated in a similar fashion to those who have turned their back on the Westboro Baptist Church.

They too have their Popes and high priests, people who are infallible. There can be no discussion.

They too confidently predict the end of the world. Some would suggest here there is a difference, the faithful of the Abrahamic religions welcome the prospect of the end of days, even if with more than a little trepidation. Enviromentalists want to avoid the scenario, but why do I get the impression some of them would derive great pleasure from treading water as the seas rise with an indignant look on their faces, saying 'I told you so'?

And just with Camping, when the predicted end does not materialise, they just pick another date. And another, and another.

There is very little difference between the methods of control used by religious organisations and the activities of the environmental lobby. There is very little difference between the two camps' desire for our cash and our unquestioning obedience to their pronouncements and decrees. Very little difference in the way they want to have the say in how to run your life.

Actually, there is one difference, Camping has at least had the guts to hold his hand up and admit his calculations are wrong. That is a confession I've yet to hear coming from the Green Church.

Save resources, water, food and energy, reduce waste. It makes sense on a personal and national economic level, but don't dare preach to me and spread your baseless tales to get what you want, you just look like these guys:


American Thinker has had similar thoughts.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Oh yeah? Or what?

It's a fatal four-way.

This super-injuction thing needs sorting. A statement of the bleeding obvious, perhaps.

What really needs sorting though is the question of libel tourism in the UK, and the question of the jurisdiction of the British courts.

To be honest, I couldn't give a pair of dingo's kidneys if some premier league footballer has been a premier league arsehole and has been putting it about while wifey has been at home looking after her collection of designer handbags (and probably screwing the gardner when hubby is away on a European trip) or whatever it is these nouveau-fops and their trophy air-head brides get up to when they're not spitting, screaming in the face of the referee or being generally disrespectful and objectionable to each other and the people that have paid through the nose to watch them.

However, this could be a good fight;

Legal proceedings are being taken by a professional footballer against Twitter for allegedly publishing information covered by a super-injunction.

As Anna Raccoon points out about DSK in the rape case, this is a class of people who are used to having everyone jump whenever they give the word, whatever that word may be. But when a footballer tries to take on Twitter, he's going to find he comes up against an organisation and a man who takes freedom of expression very seriously indeed.

Papers lodged in the High Court are against Twitter and "persons unknown"

Twitter are a company who operate out of California, I wonder if they are going to capitulate in the face of documents from the British High Court? I reckon not.

The order requires Twitter to disclose the requested information within seven days - or within the appropriate time required by the law in California, where Twitter has its headquarters.

Lawyers at Schillings who represent CTB have issued a statement clarifying the action it has taken.

It said it was not suing Twitter but had made an application "to obtain limited information concerning the unlawful use of Twitter by a small number of individuals who may have breached a court order".

Yes, but breached a court order in the UK. Not California. Now, if CTB, whoever he may be, wants to invoke California law, he needs to be careful. As I understand it, the courts in California would look at this attempt via the High Court in a very dim light indeed, and any order to Twitter to release information would probably be contested in court in California by Twitter, who would be likely to make the reasonable argument that as a company operating in California, they are no more subject to the whims of the High Court in London than they are to a magistrate in Gambia. The courts in California would be highly unlikely to allow an application for this data to be filed under a protected, or false name. It would be very much a case of Clogger O'Toole of 27 Footballer Street, being named by the court as the applicant.

Wikipedia is not so coy as the British media and names who they believe is the person in question and goes on to quote the Streisand effect. While the media in Britain can be gagged in Britain, you can't gag the internet, a; because it just isn't possible, it would be like trying to nail mercury to the floor, and b; sooner or later a foreign media outlet is going to tell the High Court that they have no jurisdiction outside these islands and no sanction.

Twitter has helped bring down governments that have held on to power for decades in the space of a fortnight, a premiership footballer who can't keep his pants on is no challenge at all.

As for the High Court, they too are used to people acting on their every word. I wonder how they will react when another Court in another country turns around and says 'Hey, buddy, my jurisdiction, back in your box, please'?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

European Union member states should agree on a strong candidate from Europe to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission said on Thursday.

Well, colour me surprised. Any particular reason for that? Let me think. . .

No. Can't think of one at all.

Oh, hang on.

Is it because their beloved currency is currently been dragged down under the weight of financial disasters brought about by their own vanity and incompetence?

As the biggest contributor to the IMF, it was natural that the 27 EU states should agree on a candidate, Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen told journalists.

Really? Is the EU the biggest contributor to the IMF? I thought it was the Americans. Oh, I see what you did there, what you did was add up the contributions made by the national economies of EU member states, and then, even less surprisingly, the European Commission tries to pass it off as its own. Note well, when the EU says 'should' it means 'must', 'will' or 'shall', this is not a suggestion, this is an order.

The EU's top economic official, Olli Rehn, said knowledge of the European economy would be a useful qualification for any new IMF chief.

"It is essential that the managing director of the IMF will be chosen based on merit and competence," he told a business conference in Brussels. "It is a merit if the person to be chosen for this task has knowledge of the European economy."

I'll translate that for you:

The EU's top economic official, Olli Rehn, said doing what they are bloody told by the European Commission would be a useful qualification for any new IMF chief.

"It is essential that the managing director of the IMF will be chosen based on our ability to control them completely," he told a business conference in Brussels. "It is a merit if the person to be chosen for this task has surrendered themselves completely to the European Commission."

Now watch as some French bird is railroaded in to the job, despite what the Americans, Brazilians, Chinese, Indians and Russians want or think. Don't for one minute think that the EU's ambitions are penned in by the Volga, Atlantic, Arctic ocean and the Med. They are desperate to extend their influence.

What is even more laughable is the BBC's continual breathless promotion of Gordon Brown (remember him? He's still an MP, although nobody has seen hide nor hair of him for about twelve months. You must remember him, one eyed bloke, fond of a bit of nostril gardening, the man who oversaw the biggest accrual of debt and most spectacular financial crash this country has ever seen. Yes. Him.) as one of the front runners for the job.



This is the man who Obama pretty much hid behind the sofa from when he came to visit. This is the man I'm sure the SNP are paying the Labour party huge amounts of money to assure he comes out squarely against independence because it would be a certain win. This is the man that Cameroid (rightly, for once) points at saying 'it's all his fault'. Are we to believe that this government would back Brown's appointment? His stock is lower than a snake's scrotum.

C'mon BBC, give it up. You're starting to look like a psycho ex-lover who keeps turning up on the doorstep weeping profusely.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Jumping ship.

Well folks, that looks like it is that.

The Comms Director, Rantin' Rab, Dick Puddlecote and no doubt many others are reporting the demise of LPUK. According to the official site, it ain't so. Yet. But let's face it, it is only the ventilator which is keeping the party alive, why delay the inevitable? Just pull the plug.

It was a noble experiment, but unfortunately it has been undone by inaction, a few swivel eyed loons and what appears to be a con-man or two.

Soooooooo, what now?

I'm with Dick Puddlecote. There are those who counsel a sort of political isolationism, and I understand where they are coming from what with the coalition, the continuing horror show that is the Labour party, the self-important faux-presidential style of Salmond, Cast Iron Dave actually being papier-mache, the Lib-Dems self destructing in an even more spectacular style than LPUK and the general slavish devotion to the EU (this is the biggest issue we have in my opinion), I find it hard to hold much faith in the political parties.

That being said, I feel that I believe in something strongly enough, and I do, that I should do what I can to promote and bring about that change. As a result, I will be joining UKIP.

I have concerns; despite the party's claim to be Libertarian, I'm not entirely convinced. The whole ban the burqa thing still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Dictating what someone may or may not wear is decidedly anti-libertarian on pretty much every level you care to consider.

However, I feel it is preferable to be a Libertarian in a Libertarian faction in a party with designs on Libertarianism and have the opportunity to expand the ethos within an established party, than it is to be part of a wholly Libertarian yet dysfunctional, incredible and deeply flawed party.

I'm disappointed, but times of upheaval can result in opportunities not previously identified.

My membership will be taken up with UKIP within the hour. The ironic thing being that all the time I've been a Libertarian party member, I've voted either UKIP or spoiled my paper if they weren't on offer (with the exception of Dan Hannan). I never had the opportunity to back a Libertarian Party candidate.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A sad reflection.

After the first couple of 'songs' in Eurovision last night those two twits representing Ireland came on and I decided to head down to the pub.

There I met a young man in his twenties who worked for an NGO. A pleasant enough chap, I was interested to hear what his job consisted of. Having given fairly sketchy details he told me that the organisation he really wanted to work for was the EU. When I asked why (and I managed to ask politely and without rolling my eyes) I was informed that it was because it was a wonderful organisation. It transpired that a good deal of funding for his NGO came from our money that is filtered through Brussels and that the EU was one his NGO's 'partner agencies'.

So what, I asked, was the EU's greatest achievement? That was answered immediately, peace in western Europe since the second world war.

What about NATO? Surely the fact that most western European nations were members of that, and it pre-dated the ECM/EEC/EC/EU may have had a bigger part to play than the EU? That and the fact that no country could afford a war anyway? No, it was only the EU.

What about the fact that the organisation has failed to have its accounts signed off for umpteen years and does all it can to keep its own anti-corruption watchdog (OLAF) muzzled? Oh, no, they don't do that. It's all open and transparent. Besides, the accounts are nothing to worry about, it's all very complicated, too complicated for an auditor. Nothing to concern us, the people at the top know what they are doing, they'll make sure it is ok.

What about the court case involving Bernard Connolly, who has been told that it is illegal for him, or anyone else, to make any criticism of the EU, its institutions and its officers? I was making that bit up, apparently. Nothing like that would and could happen, it was a media smear campaign by racist right wingers. No, that didn't happen at all, I must have been mistaken.

Hmmmm, ok. What about the brow beating of the Irish over the constitution/Lisbon treaty? What was that then?

I explained how they just went back to the Irish and pretty much said, vote yes or else. Once again, I was mistaken. No such thing happened.

I explained the concept of a 'post-democratic' age, and what that meant to me. The response to this put the tin lid on it. The people of Europe don't know what is best for them and leading by the people who do know what is best. How can democracy be held to have worked when governments keep changing? It is obvious people keep choosing the wrong ones, because if they didn't, the governments wouldn't change, would they?

I may have called him a bad name as I walked off.

This is a British man in his twenties, completely indoctrinated and incapable of individual thought.

Perhaps it is time to colonise Mars?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Who will stand me bail?

(Wolfers' note: I had intended to write about this a couple of days ago, but real life and Blogger throwing a complete Benny prevented this. I notice some comments that were here have disappeared. It wasn't me wot deleted them, a big boy did it and ran away.)

Well, looks like I could be in some trouble here.

THE European Court of Justice ruled yesterday that the European Union can lawfully suppress political criticism of its institutions and of leading figures, sweeping aside English Common Law and 50 years of European precedents on civil liberties.

What? Really? You must forgive me, I'm completely not in slightest surprised by this.

A chap called Bernard Connolly, an economist, was sacked in '95 for being critical of the single currency. This has been held to be legal.

The ruling stated that the commission could restrict dissent in order to "protect the rights of others" and punish individuals who "damaged the institution's image and reputation". The case has wider implications for free speech that could extend to EU citizens who do not work for the Brussels bureaucracy.
 The court called the Connolly book  "aggressive, derogatory and insulting", taking particular umbrage at the author's suggestion that Economic and Monetary Union was a threat to democracy, freedom and "ultimately peace".

Oh, wow. This is what they mean by the phrase 'post-democratic'.

Hang on, let's look at the date here. 1995. This was sixteen years ago. For the better part of two decades this has been their plan, the complete eradication of any dissent to their manifest destiny, to their, dare I say it, divine right?

Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer obviously thinks it is their divine right to do what they want:

However, it dropped an argument put forward three months ago by the advocate-general, Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer, which implied that Mr Connolly's criticism of the EU was akin to extreme blasphemy, and therefore not protected speech.

Blasphemy? Give me a God-damned break, will you?

Make no mistake, these are dangerous, dangerous people. They care not for our safety and security, nor do they care for the nation states of Europe, they care only for their controlling every aspect of life in our continent.

But that's not all, oh no:

Mr Connolly, who has been told to pay the European Commission's legal costs, said the proceedings did not amount to a fair hearing. He said: "We're back to the Star Chamber and Acts of Attainder: the rights of defendants are not respected or guaranteed in any way; the offence of seditious libel has been resurrected."

Not only do we have our right to freedom of expression taken from us, we also have to pay them to take it from us, stamp all over it, take a dump on it and set it alight in the street. Nice.

Oh, you want more? How about this?

Mr Colomer wrote in his opinion last November that a landmark British case on free speech had "no foundation or relevance" in European law, suggesting that the European Court was unwilling to give much consideration to British legal tradition.

Yeah, how'd you like them apples? Anyone who tells you that we need to be in Europe and not run by it is either lying to you or an idiot. Probably both.

But, hang on, Wolfers, I hear you say, our rights are protected:



1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

Oh, well that's OK then. Because it is quite clear. Oh, hang on. . .

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

So, basically, we have the freedom of expression, unless they say we don't.

This doesn't even make me angry any more, it just makes me very, very frightened.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

. . . and every day would be a Friday and the first day of spring.

I've just seen an entertaining bit of fantasy on Sky News about what an independent Scotland would look like. (The original video report is embedded in the web-site article here.)

I'm actually quite positive about the idea of a seperate Scotland. Not because of the old chestnut about the money that heads north over the border - they're part of the UK and some parts of the UK are richer than others, you don't hear people from Harrogate complaining about money being spent in Helston, so I in Canterbury won't complain about money being spent in Coatbridge.

No, what I find attractive about the prospect of Scottish independence is that it also has the potential to free me and you.

How so? Well, the report is full of exciting stuff like this is what a Scottish passport would look like, votes for 16 year olds, a nuke free Scotland and all that, but it omitted some pretty important stuff, not least the fact that Salmond has wilfully missed something out.

You see, I'm not entirely sure that Scottish independence is as simple as a matter of a referendum north of the border. As I understand it we're not talking about independence, we're talking about the dissolution of the Union here, surely a question for both north and south?

The irony being that I think a referendum on dissolution of the Union stands more chance of being carried with the English and Scots involved than it does with just the Scots. (That is, slim chance as opposed to no chance). It's been well played by Salmond - if a referendum gets scuppered on constitutional grounds (likely) then it's another ploy by the dastardly English to undermine the manifest destiny of the Scots. If it doesn't, and at a vote it will not be carried, then it's another ploy by the dastardly English to undermine the manifest destiny of the Scots.

However, there is one big reason why I'd be voting yes, because if Scotland gets independence, the UK would cease to be, and it is the UK which is a member of the EU. So surely, no UK = no EU membership?

It is complete fantasy, because it just isn't going to happen. But can you imagine the clusterfuck if such a referendum was carried and all of a sudden re-application was on the cards? Would cast-iron Dave have the balls to put us up for re-entry without asking us? There would be open revolution.

And Sky talk about Scotland adopting the Euro. Blimey, that's like booking a cabin on the Titanic as the first lifeboat is being cast off.

It's all completely mad.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Grab the popcorn, the main feature is about to begin.

The cracks started to show a while ago, over the winter the rain got into the cracks and expanded them as it froze. Now spring is here and the seeds have germinated, the weeds are now working their way into the body of the edifice, increasing the damage.

The euro has fallen by more than 1% against the dollar, following a report that Greece had raised the possibility of leaving the single currency.

I'll bet the EUrocrats are furious. How dare they? After all the effort they went to in cosseting the entitled Greeks, so helplessly addicted to public cash. They pumped millions into the country and all they asked for in return was complete control of a formerly sovereign country and the population therein.

The claim was vigorously denied by Greece and Germany.

Because in this alliance of equals, Germany calls the shots. It is Frank to Greece's Sammy Jr.

However it was later confirmed that ministers from five eurozone countries were meeting in Luxembourg.

The countries - Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Greece - were said to be discussing EU issues, including the financial situation of Portugal, Ireland and Greece. 

So Germany have the money, France don't have it but want it, because they are utterly addicted as well, Italy are wobbling, Spain is almost on its knees and Greece are as done as a Christmas turkey.

Nice to see they've had the good manners to invite Ireland and Portugal along. They're sitting there discussing them like parents summoned to the headmaster's office to discuss their childrens' under achievement and disruptive behaviour.

After the talks the Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker issued a categorical denial that Greece's euro status was up for debate. 

"We have not been discussing the exit of Greece from the euro area, this is a stupid idea, it is in no way... an avenue we would never take," Reuters reported him as saying.

"We don't want to have the euro area exploding without reason.

What, like the fact they are totally bankrupt, liable to default on their loans and are economically incompatible with the single currency, always were and were always known to be? Is that not a good enough reason?

Let us not forget, this is the BBC, so nothing is as clear as it seems:

Over the past decade the Greek government borrowed heavily - public spending soared and money flowed out of the government's coffers. 

Which is a bad thing, right? Because I've heard precious little criticism from the BBC over the identical policy followed by Labour.

No. Obviously it isn't a bad thing.

However, the revenues the government generated through tax were not enough to counterbalance this, mainly as a result of widespread income tax evasion.

How dare these people undermine the manifest destiny of the political class by not handing over their cash to fund the insane programmes of government spending? Bad Greeks, naughty Greeks.

If the Greeks pull out, I'll bet the Portuguese and Irish will follow. Then a number of the smaller states will think 'why are we bothering'? You can't have a federal Europe without a uniform currency. Let us hope that Greece default and pull out. Then they can set their own rates, make more money from their tourism industry where visitors are paying in a currency which is attractive for them to use, rather than the expensive Euro. C'mon Greece, pretend the Euro is the Persians, bloody stand up for yourselves.

As an aside, and with reference to the image above, what sort of person commissions a statue of a symbol of a currency? Can you imagine the howls from the left and Grauniadistas if a big £ was put on a plinth outside the Bank of England? How very vulgar and crass.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Where do they go from here?

I was expecting the LibDems to get a shoeing, but I wasn't expecting them to be taken out the back and kicked to within an inch of their lives. I find I'm asking myself the question where do the LibDems go from here? This is a disaster of such magnitude for the party that it is difficult to know where to begin.

Clegg is done, of that there can be no doubt, he had his five minutes in the sun during the TV debates, but it soon clouded over. Chris Huhne has run the most appalling campaign for the yes vote, more of which in a moment, Vince Cable shot his bolt with his quite remarkable declaration of war on Murdoch. Who on earth is capable of stepping up to replace Clegg when the inevitable happens?

The LibDems have conjured up a perfect storm and make no mistake, it is all their own fault, no-one has stabbed themselves in the back here, they've committed ritual suicide infront of an entire nation. They've pulled off a master stroke by being able to alienate their own core support and the support of the non-member voters - they have utterly destroyed their powerbase which was always at the grass roots level.

I think most people who voted LibDem did so because of what they were not, rather than what they were. The most important thing they were not was either of the other two. Then the coalition came and the terrible truth dawned on the public; the LibDems were as grasping, power hungry, unprincipled and opportunistic as Labour and the Conservatives ever were. I said it at the time, the moment they entered into that coalition they had loaded the gun and pressed it to their own temple.

Now they are stuck. They daren't pull out as the Tories would most likely go to the polls, and their destruction would be complete. They have no cards to play, they are completely reliant on their Tory masters for their oxygen, from where I'm sitting it isn't the LibDem MPs keeping a coalition government breathing, it is a Tory party with the power of life and death over their junior, subordinate partners keeping the party breathing. I wonder how long it will be before the Tories start kidding on that they'll pull the plug?

Most of the non-members who voted LibDem did so because they couldn't stomach the other two, and they've now found that they've got exactly what they didn't want.

As for the members, the crushing defeat for the yes campaign is a slap in the face which must sting as much as the results in the locals, Scottish and Welsh polls. The LibDems have been banging on forever about PR, it is the thing their members seemed to desire most, once you factor in the understanding that they'd never get a majority under FPTP in a million years. That was the single biggest thing the LibDems had to bargain with, what their team settled for was the palest of facsimilies that very few people would have backed, it was a complete betrayal of their membership and showed that Clegg and pals would turn their back on their members in an instant for a go on the levers of power. That go on the levers, which cost the goodwill of the membership and the floating voters, has lasted not even a year from the announcement of coalition.

It is a collapse of stunning proportions.

So who are the winners here? Obviously in Scotland it is the SNP, although if they hold a referendum on independence, which they might, at that referendum is defeated, which it will be, one can only ask what the SNP are for, other than not being Labour?

South of the border Labour have made gains, but to be fair they couldn't have lost any more. The votes and seats they've picked up are the least Miliband could have wanted, and the collapse in Scotland shows in England that it is a parade of people from red to blue, blue to red, and so forth. People are voting against what they don't want, rather than what they do, ironically PR could go some way to solving this, but the LibDems caved in. Cheers, Nick.

No, Labour are no winners here.

A couple of months ago I commented that the LibDems were done, and also pointed out that the BBC were at pains not to tell us who the winners were in that by-election. Over the last couple of days we've heard nothing from them at all. They certainly weren't standing in my ward, I don't think they put many candidates up at the local level, although they did have candidates on the regional lists in Jockland.

Who? UKIP, that's who.

This a party that declares itself to be libertarian. Not libertarian enough to satisfy me, but a damn sight more libertarian than any of the other established parties. They are very attractive to frustrated EUro-sceptic Tories, desptie their proclaimed libertariansim, and I'm wondering if the libby tag might prove appealing to the liberal side of the LibDems, despite the obvious anti-EU bias contrasting with the slavish pro-EU stance of the LibDems. But that's just the members.

The public, the floating voters, those who have been using the LibDems as an effective 'none of the above' or 'screw the reds and the blues' vote will now put the LibDems squarely on the same ground as the other two. So when election time comes around again, whether it is the Euros or an early general, who will the floaters be looking at thinking 'I don't want to vote for those three, but who have I heard of?'

I know as the days tick by since the Anna Raccoon - Andrew Withers affair, it's now been almost a month without any word from the investigation, that I find myself looking at UKIP with increased warmth, better to be a libertarian component of a functioning party than an exclusively libertarian party which does not function.

UKIP, (and probably the Greens who I can see harvesting a good portion of the Social Democrat side of the LibDems) are probably sitting down feeling quite pleased this evening.

Be afraid, be very afraid. Oh, and give us some money.

This isn't about last night's election results (with more to come), I'm not scared about the gains Labour have made, I just think it is funny that people persist in shuffling between Labour and the Conservatives in the hope that just for once, they don't make an absolute horlicks of it. For the last 90 years they've been taking it in turns and every time each turn taker has covered themselves in shite. Quite why anyone expects them to be different now is a mystery to me.

Nor am I scared with the SNP apparently sweeping the board clean in Scotland. That's a matter for them, the fact that the SNP are madder than Mad Jock McMad, winner of Scotland's maddest man competition, is of no consequence to me. I don't understand how you can bang a drum screaming 'freedom' like a demented Mel Gibson wannabe, whilst being the most authoritarian party on the block and promoting independence from the horrible, horrible English, only to jump under the direct control of Brussels. That isn't protecting Scottish culture or national character, it is a wilful attack on the proud history of Scotland. But hey, what do I care? I live in Kent, it's your country, Jimmy.

No, we need to be scared because. . .

Coffee, sex and blowing your nose could increase the risk of a type of stroke

So any hay-fever sufferer with a new girlfriend and a love of Starbucks has a life expectancy of about 10 minutes I'd say.

They all increase blood pressure which could result in blood vessels bursting, according to research published in the journal Stroke.

Going for a brisk walk increases the blood pressure. Reading about fines for littering payable by people who haven't actually done the littering raises the blood pressure, reading press releases about shagging being bad for you raises the blood pressure. Should action not be taken against them?

The Stroke Association said more research was needed to see if the triggers caused the rupture.

I'll translate that for you:

The Stroke Association said more cash was needed to see if they could think anything else up.

Nanny Beeb has helpfully published a list of activities that can lead to burst aneurysms:

  • Coffee 10.6%
  • Vigorous exercise 7.9%
  • Nose blowing 5.4%
  • Sex 4.3%
  • Straining to defecate 3.6%
  • Drinking cola 3.5%
  • Being startled 2.7%
  • Being angry 1.3%
Straining to defecate? That's one of life great pleasures, I use disabled toilets specially when I want a good strain, it's nice to have all those handles to grab hold of. I think that's a coded call to ban Guinness.

We really are through the looking glass here. I think I'm going to start a project to colonise Mars, I can see no future on this planet.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Mixed feelings.

Things have been a little busy round these parts for the last few days, hence my silence recently. There are three stories which I'm having trouble getting a handle.

The first is the biggie, the death of Osama Bin Laden. Like Martin Luther King Jr said, I cannot celebrate anyone's death, even someone as evil (and that isn't a word I throw around lightly) as OBL. That being said, the world is undoubtedly a better place for his departure. In the long run, I'm not sure what effect his death will have. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban lot seem so fragmented that it has probably just been like cutting off the head of a hydra, there's plenty more.

The conspiracy theorists are out in force, but I don't buy it. I've never bought the idea that the Americans were somehow complicit in 9/11, and I don't believe this is a set-up. OH has a bit of photographic detective work over at his place, and no doubt the truthers, birthists and moon landing loons will seize upon it. I reckon the reason is that once the Navy SEALS had done their thing, there probably wasn't much of his face or head left, one story I will not support is the idea of US special forces firing just one kill shot when confronted with the biggest enemy they've had since Hitler. Uh-uh, I don't think so. Even the release of the video footage that Obama and pals were supposedly watching wouldn't suffice, it would be dismissed as CGI or something, the quality of footage would be too bad to make a judgement, or too good to be genuine. I guess you just can't please everybody.

For me, the most encouraging thing has been the 'Arab Spring', irrespective of the outcomes in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, I think it shows that the population has had enough of this shit, and that will do more damage to extremism than all the coalition missiles and bullets could ever do. True change and freedom can only come from within, it cannot be imposed or gifted.

Then on to Ian Tomlinson, another case which I just can't get a grip on. I take no pleasure in the fact that a jury found PC Harwood had unlawfully killed the newspaper seller. It is reasonable to assume that if the CPS reconsider their decision not to press charges, and if the evidence in court is presented in a similar light, that a jury will return a guilty verdict in a manslaughter case.

In high profile cases involving the police, I naturally turn to Inspector Gadget, he is a man I have a great deal of respect for although I do not always agree with him. He rightly lambasts the managers in the police for their detachment from the front line and reality, their craven and self-serving target and political correctness driven style and general wrong headedness.

However he is, in my opinion, a little too quick on occasion to leap to the defence of rank and file officers who have done wrong. This is reflected on his comments regarding the Tomlinson verdict:

the man who was five times over the drink-drive limit with a diseased liver and a heart complaint who died after being pushed over by a police officer in London.

Well, he wasn't driving, so I don't see how his blood alcohol levels were relevant, unless he was acting in a disorderly fashion and in a manner which had resulted, or was likely to result, in a breach of the peace. He may well have had a diseased liver and a heart complaint. I don't see how that is relevant either. Had I, as a private citizen, pushed him to the ground, without provocation (despite Harwood's claims of fearing for his safety, it is obvious the jury did not accept that) and he had died, then I would be up on a manslaughter charge. His poor health would have been no mitigation. As a believer in the Peelian principles I hold by the phrase that the public are the police and the police are the public. The police are not seperate from us, they are part of us, and thus what is legal for me must be legal for them, and what is illegal for me must also be illegal for them.

The thing is this, these episodes, or to be more precise episodes not as severe as this, are becoming more and more common place. We hear regular stories of photographers being hassled when lawfully taking pictures, of buskers being arrested on suspicion of racism for singing an old 1970's hit record in seeming innocence, of crimes being left uninvestigated because the alleged perps belong to a minority group, kids being arrested for being in possession of an egg with intent to throw. All these actions are carried out by front line officers, some because they are instructed to do so, but by the same token also by some because that is the course of action they have chosen for themselves. It is not the Chief Supers and Borough Commanders out on the beat doing this, it is the PCs.

I despair, not because I'm anti-police, far from it, I work quite closely with the police from time to time and I understand very well that they do a bloody difficult job, under impossible management, with little thanks from above or the public, I envy them not one jot and as an organisation respect them a good deal. But there has to be an acceptance that whilst the number of officers are what still makes our police one of the model forces in the world, there are also a number who let the side down. It was ever thus.

What concerns me is a feeling of powelesness from the public when such an individual is encountered. I'm talking in generalities here, I don't know enough about Harwood as a man or as a police officer to pass any comment. Nor am I naive enough to believe that it would have prevented what happened from happening, but I do believe in cases such as these that directly elected police chiefs would provide an invaluable link between the public and their police.

Gadget would throw his hands up in alarm at this, citing the sort of people who live on 'the swamp' being allowed to elect their own police chief and the sort of person they would put in the job, but let us also remember that these same people have the opportunity to elect the people who make the laws the police enforce. Wherefore the burglary legalising MPs?

It wouldn't be a panacea, but I would submit that any police chief who ran a force/constabulary/borough where officers were off on diversity training instead of visiting burglary victims, and where officers take half an hour to assist in an event where someone is confronted with a group of knife and chainsaw toting ne'er do wells and then take away that person's means of self-defence, would find themselves out of a job PDQ.

And whilst we're on the subject of elections, I almost made my mind up for the local council ballot, I've a choice of candidates from the cast-iron Blue Labour party, LimpDims and Liebore, there's enough boxes on the paper to write 'l-i-a-r-s, a-l-l' or 'b-a-d p-e-o-p-l-e'. I can't make up my mind which, or I may draw my own box and mark it 'none of the above.'

The real decision is over the AV referendum. I was initially quite positive about the yes campaign, and attended the local meet of the yes campaign group. My ardour was cooled pretty quickly by the LimpDims and Watermelons (Greens) using it as a recruiting tool for their parties. It may surprise you to learn that I didn't see eye to eye with them. There were a couple of the 'The Queen is a Space Lizard' brigade with gently swivelling eyes and then the frustrated middle aged early retirees who found it absolutely vital that they were in charge because they knew best and needed to feel very important. I didn't go to the second meeting.

That being said, I think FPTP is grossly unfair, I'm not sure AV is much better, but I think it is a bit better. I've been turned off by the no campaign banging on about ill babies and limping kittens, but the constant high pitched whine from the LimpDims has turned me off from the yes campaign. Cameron wants me to vote no, so I'm minded to vote yes. Miliband wants me to vote yes, so I'm tempted to vote no.

Truth be told, I don't want AV. But nor do I want FPTP. I think I want FPTP less than I want AV, and I don't particularly want AV. Maybe I am naive, but perhaps if this referendum is carried, the genie will be out of the bottle. I'd like to think so, but I won't be holding my breath.

I think I'll mark my referendum ballot paper with a small 'x' in favour of yes. Small change is better than no change, I suppose.