Thursday, 10 December 2009

Happy Families


Just a Coincidence...

...that the latest batch of Parliamentary expenses were released at 0600 hrs this morning, the morning after the Pre-Budget Report. No plan there at all. Just a coincidence.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Let's Have Some Common Sense

As Mr Eyebrows reminded us today in the Pre-Budget report, we are in the shit. Deep in it. Way past our armpits. There are just a few tufts of hair poking up from beneath the NuLab economic shit that has enveloped us. (And before you Lefties who always email me complain about the bias in that last sentence, remember this: we are the only G20 nation still in recession. Think about it.)

And we also know that we need to give the public sector a haircut. A massive one in fact to reign in public spending. Even NuLab and the Etonians agree on that; they are just arguing about when and how drastic the haircut should be.

So, let me in my sweet simpleminded way suggest some common sense to the thinking behind that public sector haircut.

The social welfare state in the form it has now grown into is ethically and financially out of control and now completely unaffordable. This is the time to be bold and re-model what type of social welfare state we want and can afford.

Four examples of how topsy turvy our social welfare state has become:

1. BOM is a wonderful blog I read daily. I do not agree with all that it says, but I respect its intellectual rigour and common sense economic logic. It had a really interesting post the other day, which in summary and in round numbers said this:

Good thing - 22 million private sector employees (aka the producers).

Bad thing - 12.5 million state pensioners, 7 million out-sourced Government employees, 6 million direct Government employees, 6 million people totally dependent on benefits (of one kind or another), 530,000 employed in further and higher education, 40,000 GPs and 33,000 working at National Rail. Thus 25.5 million public sector employees (aka those for whom the taxpayer pays.

Spot the problem? We have an imbalance. Too few in the private sector paying for too many in the public sector. We need a change.

2. Next, the NHS. Should your next door neighbour pay for you to have bigger tits just because it would make you feel a bit better about yourself? Should the people down the road pay for you to have your cock chopped off if you feel more like a woman than a man? Should the inhabitants of the next town pay for gluttons to have appetite suppressants because they are too fat? Should the taxpayer pick up the bill if you make lifestyle choices that have zero financial implications for yourself but significantly expensive financial implications for the taxpayer, like fags, booze and drugs? You get my drift.

We have an NHS where we have subverted 'no taxation without representation' into 'I do WTF I like and some other fucker should pay for my life choices'. We need a change.

3. Now, employment. Do we want a society where those that are willing to work are worse off if they do because the benefits system is too generous? Don't we want to make work a more attractive option than living on benefits? The so-called benefits trap. Crazy. We need a change.

4. Last, prisons. Under NuLab, we have locked more and more up in prison (and not built enough prisons so then let them out again, but that's another story). However, prison is so cushty that for many of those that end up there it is better than being outside. Here's David Bywater, an ex-prisoner:

"Things can get difficult if you are shoplifting or whatever you are doing. So you think, I will go to a prison for a bit of a rest period. You know you are going to get your drugs, methadone and what have you, so you are better off inside."

Or Andrew Whalley another ex-prisoner recently released after spending 10 years behind bars for a drug-related robbery with a firearm:

"I'm an addict, so if you give me free methadone, free drugs, keep me in active addiction, then release me out of prison, then surely when I come out of prison I've got to commit crime to keep me there." Was he ever offered rehab? "The last course I was offered was a safer injecting course". We need a change.

Now, of course I am being simplistic here. But my main point remains true. If we are to spend taxpayers hard earned cash that we have ripped out of their pay packets, then we should be giving them a good return on investment. Neither of these four random examples are doing that right now. And there are many other examples I could have cited. We need a much less generous social welfare state. Right now, it is too easy to beach yourself there and let the taxpayer pick up the cost. We need a strategic re-balancing.

Now, Lefties, before you cry foul and accuse me of being a self satisfied, arrogant fascist who does not care about those less fortunate than myself, consider this:

We are allowing our generous nature to (a) make the most vulnerable in society more dependent rather than less dependent, actually enslaving them to social welfare dependence and (b) bankrupting the country in the process. Is it sensible for the public sector to be larger than the private sector bearing in mind the latter pays for the former? Is it reasonable for taxpayers to pick up the bill for any damage I inflict upon society or myself; should I not have responsibility for my own actions? Should the benefit system pay me more than I can earn with my qualifications and experience? Should the prison system not be taking me off drugs and preparing me for an honest working life hopefully in the private sector?

So as the Etonians are 'blue sky thinking' about WTF they are actually going to do come 7th May 2010, they should be thinking on this: we need to use the discipline of having to downsize Government to re-fashion what Government should be doing and how it should be doing it.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Politics of Jealousy

I have always thought that jealousy is without doubt the most unattractive of all human emotions. It is totally negative. It has no redeeming features. And, ultimately, it is utterly pointless. Has jealous behaviour ever stopped a partner or friend from misbehaving? No.

But for the last few months we have been engaged nationally in a monumental act of petty, pointless, vindictive and hypocritical political jealousy on a massive, industrial scale. Politicians and the media have been queuing up to bash bankers. The international political class at various summits have been queuing up to do it too. The French, socialist to their finger tips, have been in the vanguard of pushing for EU action to punish bankers and take away their bonuses.

Tomorrow, Mr Eyebrows will publish his Pre-Budget Report and, we are led to believe by the usual heavy trailing in the media that politicians now go in for, he will enshrine this jealousy into policy and no doubt promise legislation to enshrine it into law as well.

This is all just absolutely ass numbing madness. Let me explain...

1. Political dishonesty - We are in the midst of an enormous 'blame shift' operation being carried out by the political class, led by Gordy's Government. Once again for the Lefties, the stupid and those that have forgotten, the banking crisis was caused by regulation that was too lax. Who regulates? Government. Did the banks adhere to the regulation? Yes, to the letter. Thus who is to blame? Duh!

Let me explain this another way. Suppose you belong to an organisation which has some rules. You keep to those rules to the letter. Then the organisation implodes. Is it the fault of those that ran the organisation and its rules or those that worked within it and kept to the rules?

Now do I think the banks should have spotted that regulation was too lax? Yes, of course. We all should. Some did. Not enough, sadly. But the overwhelming major culpability rests with Government. But they don't want to be blamed, so by tapping into our jealousy of those more rich and successful than us, they have shifted the blame to the banks. As ever, once the media agenda was set, the banks have just had to soak it up. (This behaviour is similar to how the police behaved after the that moronic McPherson Inquiry conclusion that the Met was institutionally racist. Once the media agenda was set, everyone queued up to self-flagellate themselves that they were institutionally racist because (a) this tapped into our first world, post colonialism guilt and (b) it was good for your career prospects because that was the prevailing orthodoxy).

2. Economics for dummies - Supply and demand, children, supply and demand - aka the market rate. If you tax entrepreneurial rich people more than they think is fair, they fuck off. They are already doing it: companies moving to other countries (viz Shire Pharmaceuticals, UBM, WPP, Yahoo), hedge funds moving to lower tax states (viz Amplitude Capital, Odey Asset Management, Guy Hands) etc.

If you tax UK bankers more than their foreign counterparts or bankers from certain selected UK banks (that happen to be part owned by the Government) more than their competitors, then they will fuck off to other banks, other financial institutions, other countries. In fact, they already are. 1000 RBS staff have already jumped ship. QED.

And the loser? The freaking taxpayer you numpties! You muppets tried this in the 1970s, remember? Didn't work then, won't work now.

3. Pissing away our unique international positioning - Banking is an absolutely critical part of the UK economy. It attracts massive inward investment. It is one of our key selling points internationally. Dick around with that at your peril.

What message are Gordy and Eyebrows giving internationally? That we are targeting bankers comparatively more aggressively. That we are going to tax the rich harder than other countries. Hmmm. Good for inward investment, d'ya think?

4. Cutting off your nose - Large salaries and bonuses are taxed, shortly at 50% (but that's another story). If you don't pay them, then the Chancellor's tax coffers further diminish just when he needs more cash. Duh! (Where's both my feet. Ready. Aim. Fire.)

All this nonsense is just the politics of jealousy. It is always popular with us Proles to tax the rich more. We're just jealous of their success and their money. It is for politicians to rise above this base stupidity, see the bigger picture, take their own fair share of the blame, and not pander to us dumb Proles.

But then again, I may as well just piss into the wind.

(And for the record, before some Lefty tosser emails me, I am not a banker).

Monday, 7 December 2009

Oh, the Irony, the Irony!

1. Having hurled our tax payments at the public sector, ripped out of our pay packets each month for the last 11 years, resulting in civil servants, council officers, doctors, teachers etc - not to mention MPs - earning six figure salaries,

2. Having grown the public sector headcount by 17% since NuLab came into Government,

3. And having presided over public sector productivity actually declining over the last 11 years despite 1 and 2 above,

Today Gordon Brown had the fucking balls to say:

"...I can announce today that the senior civil service pay bill will be cut by up to 20 per cent over the next three years to release savings of £100 million a year...In the wider public sector, some senior pay and perks packages have...lost touch with the reality of people’s lives. Money which should be spent on health, on schools, on policing, and on social services is in some cases going on excessive salaries and unjustified bonuses far beyond the expectations of the majority of workers...It cannot be right that taxpayers fund 300 local authority officials who have salaries over £150,000, or that in total over 300 staff across public sector bodies are paid more than £200,000."

Un-fucking-believable. The brass neck. The balls of the fucker. No shame. Will no one rid me of this troublesome NuLab priest?

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Well Said....

At last someone says what I think. Brilliant post here on Burning Our Money - one of my favourite blogs - about climate change.

Please will someone just give us clear un-spun facts. We're happy to believe in man-made climate change, just prove it for us, then we're good to go.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Confusing Climate-ology

I don't know about you, but I'm completely confused about climate change.

The 'Warmists' exude that smug, arrogance of the self righteous soft Left if you dare to question whether man is actually contributing to this latest rise in global temperatures. And their use of the term 'Denier' for those with an opposing view is a cynical attempt to mimic the 'Holocaust Denier' label, thus anointing themselves with some sort of divine correctitude. Their palpable disdain for anyone with an opposing view irks me.

The 'Sceptics' seem almost rabid in their screaming diatribes attempting to undo the logic used by the Warmists. They all seem to be hysterical, to the point of madness. I struggle with the reality of hitching my intellect to their tow bar.

So where does this leave me?

Well I'd bought climate change. But had doubts. Then Climategate came along. And my doubts have grown. I want my scientists to be free, fair, logical, academic and neutral not lobbyists for a cause, surrounded by allegations (which on the face of it stand up) and thus forced to ‘stand down’ – aka known as asked to fuck off.

Generally, I take the view that governments and scientists don't tend to lie about the big stuff. But they do make stupid errors and pander to irrational and ill-informed public opinion: the ridiculous fuss over microwave ovens when they arrived, the ludicrous nonsense about the safety of mobile phones and their masts, the crazy madness of the Y2K bug, MMR etc - need I go on.

So, I really enjoyed this post on Devil's Kitchen. It was the first really logical attempt by a Sceptic to work the argument through. He seemed to be getting somewhere near to common sense.

1. A scientific and political consensus exists in favour of climate change but the science is far from settled.

2. Before we start down the expensive road of changing everything in the world, actually before the scientific case is proven, should we not explore whether just coping with the impact is cheaper?

Right now, I'm just confused.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Economics for Dummies

On the left, all those G20 countries not in recession.

On the right, all those G20 countries still in reccession.

Don't you just love Guido Fawkes' graphics?

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Belle de Blog

Two weeks ago, a blogger unmasked herself. A research scientist called Dr Brooke Magnanti fessed up to being Belle de Jour, the well known ex-hooker blogger. I say well known. It seems the blog was well known to everyone but me. But now I’ve caught up.

I have followed the story for the last two weeks and all its ups and downs as I had followed the NightJack story before and the Girl with a One-Track Mind unmasking before that.

My interest is because, like her, I blog under a pseudonym. Now, my reasons are different from the three much better bloggers previously mentioned. NightJack was a serving policeman blogging about the madness of everyday policing. Belle and The Girl were hiding the intimate secrets of their lives.

I blog anonymously because (a) I have a professional life and want to divorce my private musings from my work, my employer and my profession, and (b) it allows me to be so much more free with my thoughts and language.

Question: should bloggers be allowed to be anonymous?

Answer: does the right to free speech (accepting the reasonable constraint of libel) no longer exist? After this year's NighJack ruling, it seems not. Silly really, becasue I guess that large organisations can track down bloggers or close them down if they put their mind to it, so why does it matter? In reality, I think it doesn’t. Not at all in fact.

But the media hates blogger anonymity and various journos have tried to unmask some of us, viz the three previously mentioned bloggers and more. Why?

Two reasons methinks:

1.The print media (aka the dead tree press) are failing badly and are on a constant downhill trajectory. Trade and regional titles are closing left and right. Fleet Street margins are now almost non-existent. Why? Because you can now get so much content for free online. Wake up guys. Your business models are fucked. Thus, they love to attack their new growing competition as they fail.
2. Journos love exposing secrets. It’s what gets them notoriety and thus more money. It’s not for principle or any laudable reason, trust me. Just money.

But here’s the thing: exposing bloggers achieves nothing – apart from selling some more papers – and in fact makes society less rich, less interesting and less informed. We know less about the madness of policing now that NightJack is dead.

Blogs that expose how stupid society now is, make fascinating, insightful and riveting reading. I love Random Acts of Reality as it graphically reminds us how appalling our society now is and how the London Ambulance Service has to deal with us binge drinking morons. The Magistrate’s Blog shows us how ridiculous our court system has become. Inspector Gadget and The Policeman’s Blog tells us the reality of policing in 2009.

We need these guys and their insights.

But, I can see that the political class with their arrogant belief in regulating everything, aided and abetted by journos who like King Canute want to halt the rise of free internet content, will conspire sometime in the future to try and regulate the blogosphere. One moron has already suggested it.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Loving This...

Manufactured Political Outrage

FACT 1 - One of the duties of central banks is to prop up banks when they look like they might collapse, to forestall a run on the wider banking system.

FACT 2 - This is always done secretly and has been all over the world for centuries.

FACT 3 - The Tories and Lib Dems need to prolong the recession story right up to the General Election to help them and hinder NuLab. The fact that the Tories' and Lib Dems' mock outrage lasted just one 24 hour news cycle, tells us all we need to know about their reasons.

The only thing surprising about this week's £62 billion story is that the Governor of the Bank of England thought is wise to tell everyone what he'd done. Transparency is one thing but some things we proles don't need to know. Whatever next? MI5 and MI6 telling us all their secrets?

Update: Could this be the reason why the Governor spilled the beans?

Monday, 23 November 2009

The Beautiful Game?

I follow rugby much more than I follow football. In part, this is due to the fact that I have always been so bored by the disgusting behaviour of footballers and their managers. These over-rewarded thugs are poor role models in so many ways.

Dominic Lawson covered this so eloquently in this week's Sunday Times, I feel compelled to share it here.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

What is Heroism?

So this weekend, much of the Cumbria flood news coverage focused on the sad death of PC Bill Barker. The media hailed him a hero. We all awoke on Saturday morning to breathless reporters telling us how he died, where his body had been recovered, that it was his birthday, how many children he left behind, reading the hastily prepared media release from his wife, his Chief Constable saying that he was a modern day hero etc.

Now I don't want in any way diminish the life of PC Barker. He was no doubt a popular policeman and a good man. What I want to criticise is the media coverage of these sorts of situations.

PC Barker was a policeman doing his job. He was directing traffic on a bridge in the early hours of the morning when the bridge he was standing on collapsed. A good public servant doing his duty when tragedy struck.

But not heroism.

Heroism is a young man who, realising his colleagues were taking heavy enemy fire, that there were already several casualties and more were likely to be killed, got up and rushed straight in the direction of the enemy, just 20 metres away, raking them with automatic fire, allowing the rest of his section to withdraw back to safety so the casualties could be treated. He was later found dead beside the enemy he had killed in his aggressive counter attack (Corporal Bryan Budd VC, 3 PARA).

Heroism is a young man who's vehicle mistakenly came under fire from a pair of American ground attack aircraft (great allies, huh?). Having escaped from the burning vehicle, he returned to it when he realised that his gunner was trapped in the turret and succeeded in rescuing him. Realising that his comrades were all injured, he returned to the vehicle a second time to inform his headquarters of the situation. He then proceeded to help the wounded gunner to safety even while the two aircraft carried out a second attack, hitting him in the lower back and legs. Finally, he returned to the scene of the attack a third time to attempt to rescue the injured driver of another burning vehicle (LCoH Christopher Finney GC, Blues and Royals).

Heroism is a young girl who jumped out of her armoured vehicle and climbed up the side of it to rescue the vehicle commander who had been shot in the mouth, all while being heavily fired upon by enemy snipers at night. One bullet hit her rucksack as she climbed the vehicle. She then helped drag the vehicle commander back into the safety of the vehicle while still being fired upon (LCpl Michelle Norris MC, RAMC).

Again, I am sure PC Barker was a great man who behaved with dignity and great public spirit last week, but we must not let media hyperbole cheapen what real heroism is. As the death toll in Afghanistan mounts and we all become numbed to the regular casualty roll, we would do well to see detailed coverage of how each of our dead gave their life.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Just Love This...



A piece of graphical brilliance from Guido Fawkes.

Where Weak Governments Seek Shelter

Three wonderful examples from today's media of desperate news management by 'right on' weak politicians:

1. Child Migrant Apology - A totally manufactured 'crisis' over apologising for sins past. Always a good one, this. The pathetic media, always desperate for a contrition story as it serves the current societal appetite for being outraged over nothing. Why apologise to all these ex-British Australians now? Why not in 1997? Or 1998? Or 1999? (I could go on). You have had a number of years to so this, Gordy. Such a desperate attempt to regain control over the news agenda and play Gordy as a brilliant compassionate leader, it's pathetically transparent. Pah!

And while we are on the subject of style over substance political apologies, where do we draw the line? Where is the apology from the Norwegians for raping and pillaging? And for that matter the French for invading Britain in 1066? And what about the Italians for letting Julius Caesar come over here and start the first road building programme? Trendy lefty governments love this sort of crap. Pointless political bullshit, which the media should ignore but suck up like lap dogs.

2. Pointless Summit - A summit that achieves nothing substantial but a photo op (funny how Obama is always there) and a 'really strongly worded communique', viz the APEC summit. I have opined about summits before (here, here and here). Can we all grow up? We Proles can see through the bullshit, you know.

3. Scapegoat-itis - Always blame someone else for your mistakes. Blameshift is a well recorded political tactic. Thus politicians, who have I recall been raping the taxpayer on pay, expenses and benefits in kind for decades, are still desperate to blame the evil bankers and their fat cat bonuses for our financial woes. Again, you fuckwits, it was a failure of Government regulation not a banking failure or greed on the part of any bankers.

I might as well piss into the wind.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

I'm Going Flat Screen Mad!

So this month has been a frenzy of new business meetings. Melvin and his current employers are working hard to capitalise on the ‘green shoots’, such as they are. This means that Yours Truly has been in lots of clients’ office buildings, taxis, airports etc. Thus, I have observed an interesting phenomenon that has quietly swept across our nation without any comment.

As I blog, I am sitting in the departrure lounge in Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport. In front of me in the lounge are two very large flat screen TVs. Both of them are tuned to Sky News. The news looks interesting. But alas, I have no idea what the news actually is because, despite viewing it in glorious HD colour, I can’t hear a word the presenters are saying because the sound is turned off.

And so it has been in every location I have visited. Enticing pictures. No sound. No idea WTF they are talking about.

I ask you, what is the point of these silent flat screens?

Where did this almost obsessive requirement come from that every building must have expensive, electricity guzzling, CO2 producing flat screens on every available wall? When did that law get passed then? And why is the sound always turned off, rendering all TV viewing almost impossible?

Every reception area I have visited in the last month is festooned with flat screen TVs, sometimes whole walls of them. Always with the sound turned off. WTF is this all about?

I never sit at home with the TV turned on but the sound off. Do you? No.

I seem to be locked in a new 21st century version of Dante’s Hell – wall to all TV pictures but no sound.

Is this an attempt to look, in this media obsessed world, ‘cool’ because we have flat screen TVs in our office buildings? Is that how we define cool? And if it is, as we all now have silent flat screen TVs bolted to every bit of available corporate wall space, doesn’t that now make it ‘uncool’?

How much energy is sucked from the grid each day by these TVs that no one can hear? What is their carbon footprint, I wonder?

In the last few days, I have become slightly obsessed, counting how many silent flat screens I see each day. So far today – petrol station, Gatwick Airport, Manchester Airport, three separate corporate office buildings, one hotel and now back to Manchester Airport – I am up to 48. And it’s still only 1820 hrs. Still time for some more to greet me at Gatwick and on my drive home.

Someone save me from this silent flat screen hell.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Facist Racist Wankers

The BNP are a hateful bunch of fantasising bigoted, fascist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic tosspots. That much we all know. So I have no need to go over the whole Nick Griffin/BBC debacle. Let me focus instead on some of the side stories that got lost in this week's news:

1. Was Peter Hain hung out to dry? I didn't see many NuLabs supporting him on his one man hysterical attempt to redefine democracy, did you? The silence of NuLab support for him was deafening.

2. Is Nick Griffin mad? I thought his behaviour on QT was very strange. What was all the silly giggling about? Why did he clap when someone attacked him? Why could he not come up with a better answer to the most obvious question of the night - Q. Are you a racist? A. I have not been convicted of racism. Duh! Is that your best shot, Nick? With your Cambridge degree, that was the best you could come up with?

3. Why are the Tories and Lib Dems not landing serial punches on the real reason that the BNP has gained support - the pathetic and risible immigration policy of NuLab. Jack Straw looked ridiculous trying to defend the indefensible and Sayeeda Warsi and Chris Huhne failed to land even a light slap!

4. Why have the Tories not landed serial punches on proportional representation, the electoral mechanism - adored by the Lib Dems (for obvious reasons) and implemented by NuLab in Scotland, Wales and London - by which extremist fringe politicians always get elected here and abroad.

5. Why did the BBC focus all the questions on QT on the BNP? To expose these morons for what they are, a single issue extremist campaign group, where were the questions on the economy, foreign policy, social issues, the NHS, the post strike etc? Griffin would have imploded with nothing to say at all on any other issue than immigration.

The best way to fight extremists is to:

a. Take them head on in debate - their lack of logic, re-writing of history and poisonous views are then laid bare for all to see, and

b. Keep 'first past the post' for all elections.

I'm Back!

"Due to popular demand, I feel compelled to blog once more. You have all been nagging me, even begging me, so I am casting my own wishes to one side and putting myself forward again to serve the people. If I can help in my small way to make this world a better place, then who am I to stand in the way of progress. Melvin Cragsbury, at your service."

...is how some jumped up wanker of a politician would put it. The truth, of course, is that with two new children arriving in the Cragsbury household at the same time, there was rather a negative impact on that most precious of commodities....my time.

Now that the muppets are more under control, and the politics of the UK are increasingly pissing me off, I can't remain silent any longer. I need to rant.

Let the rant continue.....

Monday, 22 June 2009

Speaker Bercow

So there we are then. Speaker Bercow.

For what it's worth, in a totally lacklustre competition - a sort of rather dull 'land of the little people' - my comments:

Bercow - pompous little prat, voted by NuLab to piss off the Tories
Young - actually the best speech and probably the best candidate
Beith - sooooo dull
Beckett - absolutely underwhelming
Widdecombe -as ever, totally nutty
Haselhurst - technically good but uninspiring
Dhanda - sooooo weak it was pitiful
Sheppard - boring
McCormack - lovely 1850s throwback, but in 2009, really?
Lord - last ditch attempt at getting a peerage

But is the new Speaker fit for the job? What do we actually need from the Speaker in any case? Simple. Three things:

1. To chair the House in an independent way, helping backbenchers and the opposition hold the executive to account.

2. To run the House effectively.

3. To steal back power for the House from the executive.

Well, first of all we can see how crap Michael Martin was. He failed all three tests tragically. But I struggle to believe that our new Speaker is going to measure up.

The Speaker Show

The British: "Lions led by donkeys".

I'll comment at the end. None of them inspire me.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Crass Stupidity

What an arrogantly patronising, nanny state, pointless waste of taxpayers' money.

My anger is only just subsiding.

No, in fact it's not. I am absolutely incandescently fucked off.

Yesterday, La Famillie Cragsbury had a visit from our health visitor. One of those milestone check ups for very young children. Now she is a nice lady; a sprightly 50-60, sparky, lively, originally Canadian. Full of good advice and reassurance. All good so far.

But what has gripped my shit is what she gave us: a purple 'conference giveaway' style plastic briefcase, containing:

2 children's books - Owl Babies, Elmer's Friends
3 handout leaflets
2 posters
1 sheet of stickers

This apparently is part of a Government funded project called 'Bookstart'. I have now looked into it. The facts (such as they are):

Bookstart is a project which you and I, the taxpayer, has thrown cash at for some years now, funding 25% of the project. The basic idea is as follows: "Bookstart aims to provide a free pack of books to every baby in the UK, to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life. But most of all we want to show that books are fun."

PC, lefty, 'right on' laudable stuff you might think. But hold on, is that really what taxpayers should be throwing their hard earned cash at? Isn't learning to read at the 0-3 age group a parental responsibility? Why should the taxpayer fund this at all? Nice to do if the money is free, but it's not. It is hard earned cash, ripped out of the pay packets of normal, everyday average men and women whom earn around £25k pa on average. Not Fred the Shed. He's in the top o.1%. No, normal hard working ordinary people, desperately trying to afford books for their own kids. WTF should they be forced to fund other people's lack of application as parents?

As ever an initiative like this has some solid junk science behind it. Here it is, straight from the Bookstart website:

"Wade & Moore undertook an observational study, where parents shared a book with their children, of two to three years, and compared Bookstart families with a non-Bookstart sample.

83% of Bookstart parents read the whole text compared with 34% of non-Bookstart parents. 64% talked about the story, compared with only 24%. 43% encouraged the child to join in, compared with 17%. 68% encouraged the child to make predictions, compared with 38%
68% of Bookstart children looked at books as one of their favourite activities 21% for children who had not received Bookstart. 75% of Bookstart parents said they usually bought books as presents for their children compared with 10% for parents who had not received Bookstart. 43% of Bookstart parents took their children to the library at least once a month compared with 17% for parents who had not received Bookstart. "


Brilliant so, actually we are training the parents, rather than the children. Isn't that what we should be doing at school? Instead of stalactites and stalagmites, instead of oxbow lakes and Venn diagrams, how about teaching the 16 year old girls who will shortly be getting up the duff several times by various itinerant job seekers, how to parent properly as they are likely to have had appalling parenting example up till this point no doubt.

How screwed up is our society? Instead of addressing the disease, we throw charitable and taxpayer resources at the symptoms.

As I said at the beginning, this initiative is arrogantly patronising, nanny state bollocks at its worst and a pointless waste of taxpayers' money. God save us.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Don't Do It, Dave

So the poster boy of all the gay, media luvvie Tories is back, read it here.

Dave: don't be fooled. Don't let this intellectually hollow, attention seeking, vain, conceited prat get on the candidates list, for God's sake. Being gay, rich, good looking and able to employ a good PR does not make someone a worthy candidate, even in this lightweight style over substance world in which we live.

Massow is a fraud. He has flip flopped back and forth from Con to Lab to Ind to Barcelona to 'find himself' and back. He is a liability.

Chipmunk Update

So the Chipmunk lives, surviving her vote of no confidence by her local Labour constituency party. The Great Iain Dale will be happy, but will her local electorate?

Afternote: The Appalling Strangeness has a brilliant post on Her Chipmunkness.

The Tipping Point

OK, so we now know that Iran's Supreme Leader is backing I'm-a-Dinner-Jacket. The next 48 hrs will tell us where all this is going.

Do the various police organisations crack down, mass arrests, bloodshed on the streets, viz Buma, China etc?

Does the popular protest just continue to gather apace and finally force a change, viz Czech Republic, Ukraine?

We wait with bated breath.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

...or to translate the words of Juvenal, the famous Roman poet and satirist: who will guard the guards?

We have an absolutely fundamental problem in our democracy. The mission creep of the executive, started by Thatcher, accelerated massively by Blair and topped off with supreme disdainful arrogance by Brown, is now the rotten core of our governance system. Examples from just the last 24 hrs alone:

Yesterday's PMQs - A set piece, weekly moment in holding the executive to account has been transformed into the PM refusing to answer any direct question and lying on the record about the executive's own policies.

The Chancellor's Mansion House speech - Despite the banking regulation system created by the executive being demonstrably inadequate, with the Governor of the Bank calling for it to be changed, with the US Government strengthening their system, because it would seem to be admitting incompetence, the executive toughs it out and refuse to change things.

The fake Iraq war inquiry - A chorus of disapproval, now joined by Lords Butler and Hutton - both past chairmen of war-related public inquiries - reigns down on the executive and its cover up operation of what has been without doubt the most outrageous and expensive (in terms of human life) botch up during NuLab's period in power. The executive just arrogantly ignore the criticism.

MPs expenses - Today the feeding frenzy begins all over again. Standby for days of more coverage. There will be more scalps; NuLab minister Shahid Malik is clinging on by his finger nails and will surely go soon but there will be more. The whole legislature, including the executive, are sullied. And the response of the executive has been pitiful, more interested in covering up the detail and using distraction techniques (even today, funny that Fred the Shred's pension deal should be leaked today, huh?) than shedding light and promoting openness.

All these demonstrate the fundamental problem of our democracy: we have an executive that is so powerful that it now listens to no one, has no shame, and does exactly what it wants.

To answer Juvenal's question, no one is guarding the guards. They are out of control.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Iranian Prediction

Yup, I'm at it again. It's prediction time. Emboldened by my last prediction - that Gordy was going nowhere - which proved correct in the face of much media hype and blogosphere 'irrational exuberance' to the contrary (still waiting to hear from you, Mr Dale), I am up for my next one.

Mrs C, as you will recall, is a dodgy foreigner: Middle Eastern type, all long eyelashes, designer shoes and overly excitable behaviour. Thus, we follow the ups and down of Middle Eastern politics closely. What's going on in Iran right now has major ramifications for the global community, because:

1. If Mahmoud 'I'm-a-Dinner-Jacket' stays in power, bang goes any chance of stemming the flow of arms and cash to Hammas, which in turn keeps Hammas in power, which in turn means that Fatah will not get back into power, which in turn means that no deal between Israel and the Palestinians is possible, thus fucking over any chance of St Obama solving the Middle East crisis. Not good.

2. If Dinner-Jacket is propped up by the Supreme Leader and the Council of Guardians, then things are likely to get worse, which could push the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to topple the clerics and seize control. Not good either.

3. So the best outcome for world peace and all that, is for the Supreme Leader to dump Dinner-Jacket by saying the election result was miscounted, appoint Mir Hossein Mousavi as President and away we go.

Now, contrary to the usual portrayal in all the Western media about mad mullahs burning US flags etc, Iranian politics is always very tactical and cute. They have always been a very rational geopolitical player. Thus, boldly, I am going for option 3 above.

BTW, brilliant article on all this here.

Gotcha

As regulars will know, I am implacably opposed to ID cards. Here's my reasoning. But this is a good day for freedom, democracy and privacy. Testament to how out of control Gordy's inept Government is, can be found in this wonderful story.

Today Chris Grayling, the Tory Shadow Home Secretary, has changed our national policy on ID cards by effectively pulling the rug from underneath the Government's scheme, rendering it incapable of coming into existence. By writing to the five bidders for the contract, telling them clearly that whatever is agreed this side on the General Election will be ripped up straight after it. These bids cost millions, and what company is going to engage in the bidding process when the overwhelming likelihood is that it will be scrapped almost immediately.

Heads in the Political Sand

Don't you just love this. Tonight the Chancellor makes his Mansion House speech. Here's the BBC headline:


So Captain Eyebrows will witter on about how brilliant Gordy's tripartite system is. (Pause). That would be the one that did not spot the greatest recession since the 1930s, right? And also the one that did not have the ability to deal with the recession quickly when it belatedly noticed it, right? Good work Gordy. Good work NuLab.

And the BBC headline from America today:


Time for the stupid little trolls in No10 and No11 to admit we have a problem of their own making methinks.

There Goes My Peerage

In a landmark decision yesterday, the Courts refused to grant an order to protect the anonymity of a police officer who is the author of the NightJack blog (see the story here). In April, the Blogger was awarded the Orwell Prize for political writing, but since the Times went after him, to find out who he was, the blog is now no more (see here). This is a sad day for the blogosphere. There will be ramifications for sure.

But, generally speaking: bugger it! Mrs C has retreated to the cellar.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Prince of Darkness

The architecture profession, led by Lord Rogers, is all over Prince Charles' meddling in the proposals, now withdrawn, to redevelop Chelsea Barracks. I have a close affinity to this story as will become clear. To recap:

1. Peace dividend - The Government has been flogging off old barracks and airbases since the fall of the Warsaw Pact in the early 90s, cashing in on the endless rise in land values in our property-led economy. (In my recent professional life, I have helped redevelop some of them).

2. Auction - Perhaps the greatest prize the MoD had was Chelsea barracks, a 13 acre site right in the middle of the most expensive corner of London. They had been trying to sell it for years. (In my past professional life, I was based there).

3. A couple of years ago, the now infamous doyen of the UK residential property boom, Candy and Candy - a couple of rather flashy and brash young men backed by lots of Middle Eastern money - stumped up just under a billion quid for the site. The market groaned as this was a considerable over valuation (nearer £250 million was expected) and was perhaps the moment many realised that a property crash was inbound. (I have met Candy and Candy. Their corporate HQ is like a set from a James Bond film. Absolute corporate vanity which reeks of an entirely unsustainable business built on a boom. It is currently imploding).

4. Lord Rogers - Such iconic sites almost always attract a trophy architect. Lord Rogers did not disappoint. A truly spectacular modernist vision was planned. (I've met him too. A surprisingly muddled thinker for such a big cheese. He is a one trick pony: he does modernist, tall and expensive......oh and ego!)

5. Prince Charles - Now Charles has for many years opined about architecture. Let us be clear, he has no architectural training and no experience but lots and lots of opinions. He only likes classical architecture and a group of so-called ‘classical architects’ has surrounded him, drooling over his every utterance. Having been born into a frumpy, 1950s, sycophantic cocoon and never having left it, he kind of thinks that his views on anything matter because….well he is the PoW. Thus, he entirely misses the point of his future role: keep one’s mouth shut, smile at the poor people, cut the ribbon and look regal. That way, the proles continue to like you and don't rise up and question your gilded lifestyle too much. (In my past professional life, I met him too. His mother and father are utterly brilliant people. I mean that. They are a totally class act. Charles is thick, vain and arrogant; a terrible mixture and bad news for the future of Monarchy plc).

6. Misreading by Qatar royal family - Charles decided that the modernist proposals for Chelsea barracks were not to his taste so sent one of his endless and boring letters to the Qatar royal family telling them so. Now in Qatar, the royal family rule everything so you can kind of understand them believing that if the British monarchy does not like the proposals, then they ought to change them so as to not upset their British kindred spirits.

7. Weak council officers - As ever, when confronted with a difficult political problem, the council officers running the day-to-day operations of Westminster Council have stuck their heads in the sand and instead of recommending approval of the scheme, have offered no recommendation, a little used way for local government civil servants to cop out of having to make a decision.

Putting aside what should get built at Chelsea barracks, there is a very fundamental issue at stake here: in a constitutional monarchy, what role does the monarch’s family have in local government decision-making? Answer: none. Prince Charles’ views should be no more influential than mine. Did he take part in the local consultation exercise mounted by the developer? No.

What should happen is that tonight, at Gordy’s weekly evening audience with Her Majesty, Gordy should tell her to get Charles to fuck off and mind his own business, and then quickly through diplomatic channels, get the Qatar royals to continue splashing their cash to redevelop the site, creating much needed jobs in a recession and much needed homes thereafter.

More Proportional Bullshit (Thu 12 June)

So Gordy has gone public on some amazingly and woolly idea about introducing PR, none of which will happen before the next General Election. A desperate distraction technique wrapped up as an ill thought through, back of the fag packet initiative. Need I say more.

Cuts (Wed 10th June)

So I blogged about this some time back when I was writing my short Tory election manifesto here, here, here and here. A brief extract:

"In general terms, frankly, it matters little who wins the next election, presumably in June 2010. Why? Well, whoever wins - assuming NuLab actually still has a chance - they are going to have to carry out exactly the same policies: significant tax increases concurrent with massive public sector spending cuts. There simply is no other option. None. Null. Zero."

What I loved about yesterday's PMQ exchange was:

1. So confused, inward looking and out of touch are NuLab now, that they don't even know their own policies.

2. So seemingly on the ball now are the Tories that they know the fine print of NuLab's policies better than NuLab.

3. Finally, the hidden truth, the reality that we dare not speak of, is out in the open. We need to cut the bloated public sector.

On a tactical point, I thought Cameron could have made more of his 'gotcha' moment.

Smug (Tue 9 June)

I hate to say I told you so. But, I told you so. This time my prediction was spot on. And will remain so until May or June next year.

Not point scoring at all (much!) but I was one of not very many bloggers who clearly said that Gordy was not going anywhere. So, two questions:

1. How come much of the dead tree press and right of centre bloggers got this wrong?

I guess in part it was hope over reality. The dead tree journos wanted it to happen because that would be them sorted for copy for the next 2 months. And the right wing blogosphere were desperate for it because, having endured the ignominy of the Major years and such a crushing loss in 1997, seeing GB collapse Labour into a remnant of its former arrogant self was just enormous erection territory. All this, coupled with the frothy over excitement of the Westminster media village, led to people believing their own hopes rather than reality.

2. Why didn't Gordy get toppled?

Spineless NuLabs who have proved time and again that they are incapable of regicide, coupled with pathetic supine wimpiness when threatened by the nasty whips, alongside self interest in their own bank balance. The last few days is a prima facie example of why normal people distrust politicians and a demonstration of one of the contributing factors as to why election turnout has tumbled in the last few decades.

PS. No witty comments, Mr Dale?

Cyber Attack

I have been under cyber attack. Worry not. It was not painful. And I'm all better now. Some evil little virus got into my PC and, although it was deleted, it left a nasty little programme that meant that I could not access any search engines. Blogger being owned by Google meant that I was unable to log on to post. It took me some days to work this out I have to say but luckily yesterday all was revealed by a nice bloke called Brian from our IT support. So, I'm back.

I have been writing posts but just not able to post them. So here they all are one by one.

Monday, 8 June 2009

The Real Losers

So everyone is banging on about GB and when/if he will go. I still stick by my prediction that Gordy is not going anywhere soon, not least because the election results have made it arguably even more unlikely that those backbench NuLabs will vote for the end to their personal gravy train. They will want to spin it out as long as they can, just like the Tories did under Major.

No the real losers no one is talking about. The real losers are...the Lib Dems.

They have had a truly terrible few days. Everyone knew that Labour was going to do badly. Everyone knew the Tories were going to do well (although they did better than many thought possible, perhaps even themselves). But no one saw the considerable falling away of the Lib Dems.

Fourth in Europe. Lost their heartlands in the county council elections. An unexpected fillip in Bristol meant that the media did not lay into them on Friday.

Awful result for Cleggy. If he cannot do well now, then when?

And I suspect that with fascists elected to the European Parliament for the first time by the British, the proportional representation bandwagon that had begun to roll recently in the Westminster village will subside quickly. Thank God.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Proportional Bullshit

As a measure to deflect public attention away from the shit heap that is their Government, in recent days - post expenses scandal - NuLab has been constantly banging on about constitutional and electoral reform, as if somehow these are to blame for the mess. Lord Mambypamby did it again this morning on Andrew Marr's programme.

This is just political spin, or what we normal people call 'lying'.

The Lib Dems and all the other smaller parties naturally want to bang on about this as well because it suits them too. It is their Holy Grail. It is their key to electoral success. So let's just pause a moment and deal with this distraction once and for all.

The spin goes that PR is more fair, more balanced and more representative by being more proportional. Well, it is definitely more proportional and therefore THEORETICALLY in some ways more fair. But let's park theory and move on to practically, which at the end of the day is what politics is all about.

The reality of PR in this country would mean the following:

1. The public would, at almost every election in history, have lost the ability to chuck a party out of power decisively. No April 1997. No June 2010 (?!). Why? Because in almost every election we have ever had, the party that the public mood had moved significantly against would have been able to stitch up a coalition to keep them in power.

2. The Liberal Democrats would always be in Government. Why? Because either of the two largest parties would need their MPs to form a government coalition.

3. The BNP, UKIP, Greens, English Democrats (whoever they are?) and all the other mad, bad and loony small parties would hold seats in the Mother of all Parliaments. Why? Do the maths.

4. Coalition government is ALWAYS weak government, held to ransom by the minor coalition partners' views. Look around the world. Look at the European Parliament. Look at councils in no overall control across this country.

So if you want to lose one of the few real electoral powers we proles have, if you want one minor party always around the cabinet table, if you want fascists in Parliament, and if you want the UK to have weak governments, then PR is for you.

Can we move on from this cretinous issue now, please.

Sack Marr

OMG. What a pathetic interview. Andrew Marr needs sacking. He totally let Mandelson walk all over him. He didn't land a punch. And in this week, when the shit shower is still going on, to be unable to handle such an open goal interview is lamentable.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

It's My Birthday...

...so I am having the day off.

Still exhausted from the total madness of the last few days!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Internecine Warfare

Prezza has written a scorching piece on LabourHome, laying into the campaign leadership (and thus the leadership) of NuLab. He claims there was no campaign strategy, no tactics, no execution.

I am not a Labour activist so I do now know the reality of how ill prepared they were on the ground for the campaign. But I do know this:

It was not how few leaflets they delivered or how poorly they targeted key wards. It was the fact that their Government has led the country into a recession, made it doubly bad by ensuring that our economy is in worse shape than any other developed economy, is now bereft of an agenda and is imploding on an hourly basis. That's what's done for you, John. And the fact that you can't see that, even now, shows how blind Labour is to the current situation.

There is a wonderful comment on Prezza's blog from a bloke called MathewF:

"Utter nonsense. First of all, Purnell says he isn’t standing for the leadership. How very cynical of you to suggest it John - you could almost be working for the Daily Mail. Perhaps you would like to reflect on your attack on Purnell’s character and publicly apologise to him. Are you big enough?

"Perhaps you might also want to reconsider the use of such intemperate language against comrades and fellow members of the Party. It brings us into disrepute - perhaps better to concentrate your attacks on the Tories? And secondly, we were going to lose these elections massively, before Hazel Blears resigned and Purnell (obviously) and Jacquie Smith and Bev Hughes, etc. All women. Perhaps you just don’t like strong women John?

"What has lost us this election is not lack of campaign skills or nice slogans (we have had too much spin, haven’t we?) or the need for more battlebuses, or pledge cards. This is toytown politics. We have lost these elections because we have no programme to put to the people. There is a vacuum at the heart of our Government. We do not know what we stand for as a Party anymore because Brown doesn’t appear to have any idea. He is not a Leader. The Party thinks so and so do the people.

"The most positive message Labour could put in the North West was Stop the BNP (a very necessary message) but what was our programme? Privatise the Royal Mail? Bail out the bankers? Replace Trident? Work the longest hours in Europe? Dilly dally over expenses reform? Always go for a short-term headline? Do in your colleagues? Give me a break.

"Unless and until we can give people a vision of a better, fairer society which will make a real difference to their lives - and for all your speeches and campaigning, they appear singularly unconvinced by 11 years of a Labour Government - we will never regain their trust. We need a fundamental re-think about where we are going and how we want to get there.

"And we need to regain people’s trust. This would be helped if ALL the people we have elected behaved themselves. You personally can’t wriggle off the hook and shirk your share of responsibility for the corrosive cynicism with which ordinary people now view politics, politicians and the political process.

"So don’t assassinate other people’s characters. Most of all we need a new leader who can communicate, connect and earn the trust and respect of the British people. No matter what you say, that Leader is clearly not Gordon Brown."

Need I say more.

Sinking Ship

I've lost count. Is that 6 or 7 ministers who have now resigned in the last few days?

No MPs to be Prosecuted...

...as I predicted some time ago, in fact. Read it here.

Why no prosecutions?

1. After the botched 'cash for honours' and Damian Green investigations, the police do not want a third and are looking for any excuse to not have to get involved.

2. If the Fees Office cleared the claims, then it's difficult to find any individual MP at fault.

One rule for us....

The Weirdness of Fast Moving Politics

The global recession continues apace. UK job losses pile up. Record numbers of business failures. UK national debt balloons. The Bank of England's printing presses are running at full speed.

Obama shakes the geopolitical tree on his Middle East tour. War rages in Afghanistan. Iraq stumbles towards peace. Iran's still sabre rattling.

The UK Government is in turmoil. Ministers resigning everywhere. Open NuLab internecine warfare. Dire election results tumbling in. PM in mid cabinet reshuffle.

And what does the No 10 website tell us today?

Home page - Government to move forward on constitutional renewal

News page - PM marks anniversary of fall of Polish communism

Is the website team off sick? Have they been reshuffled too?

As Predicted

Labour cabinet members have no balls - no one, bar James Purnell whoever he is - told the one-eyed fuckwit to stand down.

Labour backbenchers have no balls, as it is proven once again that they cannot seem to ever organise a coup.

The winner?

Dave. He will have a wounded, discredited PM left in place. Open goal until General Election day.

Having said that, all you bollockless NuLab MPs out there, can the disaster of Monday's Euro results not rouse you from your stupor?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Mad Times

So Mrs C and I were snuggled up in bed last night to watch the 10 O'Clock News. After a hard day with our two new children, Mrs C was already in the land of nod when one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen on TV occurred.

On the eve of an election, a cabinet minister gave a clearly hastily arranged live interview appealing to Labour MPs not to dump their prime minister any further in the shit.

But then in recent days we have seen some bizarre TV. The sight of a Government minister being forced to make Government policy live on air.....by an actress and an assembled company of ex-Gurkhas. Or the spectacle of elected politicians trying to justify fraud or ethically dubious behaviour in live interviews.

We are back to those mad roller coaster days that characterised the last few months of Major's premiership.

My bold prediction of yesterday looks more tenuous by the hour! But Gordy's future hangs on two things:

Has a significant group – and by that I mean I guess around 8-10 – of senior NuLab MPs got the balls to say no to Brown's offer of a cabinet post over the weekend or have 70 Labour MPs got the balls to sign a letter telling Brown to go.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Government of the United Kingdom will be decided.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Prediction

Last time I predicted something - that Speaker Martin would not resign....on the very day that he resigned - I got it spectacularly wrong. The Great Iain Dale commented on that post along the lines of "sucks doesn't it", which made me laugh.

Well here I go again: I can see no way that Gordy will either resign or call an election anytime soon, despite the media frenzy and The Sun's Paul Kavanagh saying he'll be gone in a week.

Why? Well, apart from the political editors of the dead tree press, he is under no real pressure to do so. Are there any plots being detailed, day by day, in the press like all through the latter years of Blair's premiership or even last summer when Milliband bottled it? No. Are there Labour backbenchers charging around calling for him to go? No.

The NuLab big hitters don't want the poisoned chalice now, preferring a run at it after the forthcoming General Election. The myriad of backbenchers who will lose their seats are not suddenly going to behave like turkeys voting for Christmas.

So, I see no real pressure. Yes a few deadbeat ministers have resigned before they were ritually slaughtered but so what?

(So that will be him resigning this afternoon and Mr Dale's comment inbound, then).

Wednesday Games - Game 2

If as an MP you have been shamed into retiring at the next election because you have been exposed for (a) fraudulently using taxpayer's cash to benefit yourself, or (b) unethical behaviour by working the system for your personal benefit or (c) gilding your home with luxury accoutrement's paid for by the taxpayer, do you get:

Option 1 - Thrown out of office and prosecuted

or

Option 2 - Salary and allowances of around £250k pa to spend as you like until the next election, about another £100k in loss of office allowances, the most generous public sector final salary pension scheme ever, to keep the profit on the 2nd property the taxpayer kindly bought for you, and membership of the Association of Former MPs, giving you a Commons pass (which no doubt will help in your new role as a commercial lobbyist).

Did you guess right?

Wednesday Games - Game 1

Who might gain from Gordy being ousted post the disastrous Euro/local election?

Option 1 - Any likely successor, who would take on the absolute fag end of this Parliament and then face certain death in a few months in a General Election

or

Option 2 - The media who would be guaranteed acres of coverage for months

Hmmm. I wonder who is stoking this story?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Just Like Buses...

I suppose I should be banging on about all the MPs who are falling on their swords every hour on the hour these past few days. But, you know, I just can't be assed.

Luke's Sick

Just discovered from a friend that Luke Akehurst who writes Luke's Blog, a Lefty, NuLab, all that I loathe about Labour politics blog - that I have slagged off from time to time, I will admit - is a bit ill. In hospital for some months with some curious disease of which, small minded dickweed that I am, I have never heard and hope I never catch.

Politics aside, I hope old Luke gets better. I need you to occasionally rant about, Luke. To make Luke feel better, as if I can help, I have added his blog to my blogroll.

Keep blogging Luke.

Crime Madness

So, in The Sunday Telegraph this week, there was an interview with Otis Ferry, the son of Brian and ardent hunt campaigner. Read it here. His is a pretty silly story of the jockeying between pro-hunt and anti-hunt campaigners. He was charged with various fairly stupid stuff, then remanded in prison for four months and then the CPS and the police offered no evidence in court. Says the article:

"It is not just Ferry and his supporters who think he was hard done by. Even the judge who had presided over his case after Ferry was accused of perverting the course of justice could not hide his anger at the defendant's treatment when the charge was dropped."

In the normal course of events, none of this would trouble me. But then today this, an article in today's Metro covering the Home Affairs Select Committee report on knife crime. It included this choice line:

"...just one in five of those caught with a knife was jailed in the last three months of last year, the report revealed."

WTF? Did I read this right? The taxpayer has paid for some dumb assed Hooray Henry to get banged up for four months for a whole load of utterly irrelevant and trivial crap and where it turned out there was not enough evidence to prosecute him in any case, but 80% of those who get caught walking around toting a potential murder weapon just get a caution or a non-custodial sentence. Fucking hellski. What the fucking fuck is going on around here?

Oh, but it gets even madder when you read on. Keith Vaz, the Home Affairs Select Committee chairman and well known utter wanking tosspot, said this:

"'We are seeing a spiralling of the arms race as far as knife crime is concerned,. Young people carry knives because they fear that others are carrying knives. We are clearly failing them."

No we're fucking not you moronic asshole, you are failing us by not making sure that (a) they are educated and (b) they are locked up when they commit a crime. Fuckwit.

And his solution? He goes on to call for a Downing Street summit on the issue. OMG. How NuLab's love calling for summits. I have covered summitry before (here) but let's just remind ourselves of what they are about. If there is one certain rule in life, it is this: when politicians announce a 'summit' you know that:

a. they're in the shit
b. that means that we poor proles are in the shitter with them
c. they have absolutely no idea how to get out of the shit, and
d. they are desperate to be seen to do something to deflect attention from c above

The article ends with a classic NuLab quote from another total thieving tosspot:

"But Home Secretary Jacqui Smith insisted: 'Through tougher sentencing we are carrying out a clear message."

Yup. Tougher sentencing. 80% chance of no prison sentence for wandering the streets with a potential murder weapon. NuLab spin is alive and well.

Monday, 1 June 2009

21st Century Circus Feak Shows

For the circus, read TV.

For the slick circus promoter, read a TV production company.

For the afflicted freaks (hairy ladies, the world's smallest man, the world's tallest woman, half man/half monkey etc), read celebrity crazed morons seeking their 15 minutes of fame.

What goes around, comes around.

But in 21st century Britain instead of the freaks scratching a living in a travelling circus, their holy grail is the possibility of a year of million pound earnings.

How did we come to this?

New Tory Media

So The Sun, has come out as supporting the Tories for Thursday's European and County elections. Mildly interesting.


Not that this isn't huge news but who else would The Sun support? The 'NuLab love in' has long since passed.

But factor in that this is a News International paper, where the proprietor (one Rupert Murdoch) has a history of being involved in that particular decision, and who is someone that all main parties try and court. Now that makes it much more interesting.

But here's an even more interesting question: what is the ongoing relationship going to be like between the next Tory Government and The Daily Telegraph? Now that really is interesting.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Told You So

You can't defy the markets, Ms Kirkbride.

As I predicted here.