Thursday, 31 May 2007

Bald men fighting over a Comb

Here is my opinion of the candidates for the Deputy leadership of the Labour Party. Now their hustings have been a communist rhetoric-fest, but it should be remembered that they're talking to a very select electorate - the unreconstructed Jack and Dierdre Sparts of the Labour party. It will be interesting to see how much influence (if any) these creatures will have over the Goblin King.

  • Hillary Benn. I loathe his old man, but he is the only one who doesn't make my stomach churn. He's the front runner in the campaign amongst grass roots. In his campaign launch, funnily enough at my better half's gaff, he asked a number of rhetorical questions:
    Why is it that for all the difference we have made together, if you grow up here in the East End you will die many years earlier than if you grow up just eleven tube stops further west?
    Because of welfare dependency, lack of assimilation due to the creed of multiculturalism and poor educational opportunities. In short, socialism.

    Why is it that in workplaces up and down the country, including in the heart of the world’s most successful financial capital, there is a still a gap between how much women earn and men earn?
    Childbirth and choices. It really is that simple. There's no need for the state to get involved there.

    Why is it that every day children starve to death in a world perfectly capable of feeding every mouth or die of diarrhoea because they have no clean water to drink ? Human lives extinguished without ever having the opportunity to shine and to illuminate our world?
    Where you find famine, you find socialism. Despite this he has
    lost none of the socialist belief that the world can be made better by our endeavour.
    It is, of course Government endeavour that causes most human misery, but there's no evidence that a socialist won't draw the wrong lessons from. Let's hope he wins because the alternatives are even more ghastly:

  • Harriet Harperson is just dreadful. She's an awful, knee jerk feminist with a huge chip on her shoulder. Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate.
  • The Chipmunk. Let's go Nuts over Hazel! Or not. Let's face it, she personifies the management twat-speak vacuity of the New-Labour project. Both the women are running on the "I'm a woman, vote for me or you're a sexist" ticket.
  • Peter Hain. If anyone can bear to hear the oleaginous slug of a Northern Ireland secretary speak without self-harming, I've yet to meet them. The man is smug, self-satisfied champagne socialist hypocrisy personified.
  • Jon Cruddas. A Non-Entity even when stood next to Blears. Red Ken thinks he's the man, so that's all you need to know really.
  • Alan Johnson. The people's choice, apparently. For Fucks sake, he's not even the Labour Party members' choice. He might be the Unions' choice, but "The Choice of Union Barons" doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? He's against selling council homes. He's against Grammar schools. He's Running on an "I'm working class, therefore my opinions are valid" ticket. He used to be a Communist.
Conclusion. If you've got a vote, you're a cunt. If you must be a Labour party member, then please vote for Benn. I've got money riding on this.



Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Hooray For Me!

I am Now in the top 100 blogs in the UK, if you believe Technoranki. There I am at #97. Brilliant! up form the 240s where I have been languishing for months!

I am also on 18 Doughty Street, tonight from 9. You must watch. It's an order.



The Boot in the Face.

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever" 1984. George Orwell.
I can't imagine there's anybody who thinks that giving the police power to demand your name and doings on pain of a £5,000 fine on any ol' suspicion they dream up, is a good idea. I'm just filled with rage. Rage and deep sadness that a home secretary of the world's second or third oldest democracy - a member of the mother of parliaments no less could suggest this, and worse the Prime Minister, first Lord of the Treasury and our national leader should imply that putting civil liberties ahead of the "fight against terror" was wrong. Tony Blair clearly read his Namesake Eric's masterpiece and thought "what a good idea".

It isn't "civil liberties" or "beating the terrorists". By enacting this sort of legislation, you let the terrorists win. Civil Liberties are vital in defeating the terrorists. They are what make us strong and free. They are the source of our technology, our political ideas and material comfort. They guarantee freedom for all from interference from an over-mighty state. Remove civil liberties at your peril.

This law is a dagger aimed at Muslims in the UK, who will feel its effects first and will be further marginalised, giving ammunition to hate-filled preachers as they seek resentments on which to build. This will feed terrorism and disorder far more than mere foreign policy. But it will, in time affect us all. I understand that the subjects of Northern Ireland are still subject to similar powers granted during the troubles.

Well, the fucking troubles are over. Why is the PSNI not applauding the fact that these excessive powers, which alienated them from the Nationalist/Catholic community be revoked as no longer needed. Because the police find them "Useful". Well excuse me, but when was expediency for the police more important than basic freedoms to go unmolested by the law unless directly suspected in a crime? We are not accountable to the police, they are accountable to us. The powers are being repealed in Northern Ireland, as part of the peace process, and should not be introduced on the mainland.

You might bleat, along with the Home Secretary, that "reasonable suspicion" must be proved by the police. Reasonable to whom? Will they be made accountable to this standard - of course they won't. If Walter Wolfgang, a frail Holocaust survivor reasonably, if incorrectly heckling the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the Labour Party conference was a suitable for arrest as a suspect under terrorism laws, then we should all be afraid. Has anyone lost their job over Mr. Wolfgang's treatment? You might suggest "It's not a problem if you've nothing to hide". Mr Wolfgang had nothing to hide - he got very rough treatment from stewards and the forces of the State. What about the principle of privacy? Why should the police be able to ask my business whenever they like? It effectively ends any accountability the police may once have been subject to. It's not far from from some elements of the Zanu-Labour agenda, like 90 day imprisonment without trial (defeated thank goodness), the end to habeus corpus and the presumption of innocence and police stopping you to demand your papers, to the Orwellian Jackboot in the face, the 3am knock at the door, re-education and show trials.

This is bad law, misguided and wrong on so many levels. All I can hope is that enough people make enough noise to make the Government think again. I'm not full of hope, and only undemocratically elected Lords and Judges will save the day, as they have done repeatedly over Blair's miserable decade. I'm on 18 Doughty street's Blogger TV tonight and if any pinko tries to defend this measure, believe me, I won't hold back.



Monday, 28 May 2007

Dictatorship

I have often said that democracy is not the end. It is merely a means to an end - the rule of law and personal freedom can exist in many systems of government. Democracy has been the best way of guaranteeing freedom and the rule of law, but it isn't perfect. Democracy has also shown itself stunningly bad at creating free societies. Democracy only works in societies who have developed the habit of obeying the rules of the game creating conditions safe for people to exercise their mandate without it being a mere tribal headcount.

Germany took to democracy pretty quickly, and Iraq did not because civil society was not totally destroyed by the Nazis, there were churches, trades unions and societies mediating between the individual and the state. In Iraq, only Islam, and tribal institutions have that function, and these are interests vying for political power - civil . Democracy is smothered by its players and the result is chaos, Which is why we need to stay long enough to see robust institutions in place.

Anyway enough of Iraq. The question I was coming to is who would I like to see as dictator? Most politicians can be ruled out - they seek power and are likely to be corrupted by it. To be fair, I would probably be happy with Sir Ming as dictator. By choosing the Liberal Democrats, he has renounced power totally. Likewise the Queen, Charlie and Wills all seem like decent sorts, so absolute monarchy would also be acceptable, certainly over my lifetime.

Other figures give off total decency. What shape wout an absolute dictatorship under Sir David Attenborough for example take? Michael Palin? I can't imagine the gulags appearing. If you don't like comedians, how about sportsmen? Gary Linnekar or Jonny Wilkinson would probably have their heart in the right place. Martin Johnson would be terrifying for other world leaders to negotiate with, and would get stuff done.

So by way of creating a Meme, I challenge anyone who feels like it to come up with a list of five well-known figures to whom you would feel safe giving absolute power to. Mine are ,The Queen (and her heirs and successors), Bill Oddie, Alan Tichmarsh, Elen Macarthur and Derek From Big Brother.



Friday, 25 May 2007

Wasting police time

I don't think there's a sensible person who feels that the bit of the Serious Organised Crime & Police Act banning demonstrations from a designated area around Parliament (sect 137) is a good law. I understand that it was necessary to get rid of Brian Haw's eyesore, but by banning legitimate protest (unless you apply in writing to the police beforehand) is just crass. Stipulating that permanent structures are not allowed and may be removed whilst allowing one man, one placard would have been an entirely reasonable response to an unreasonable and unsightly demonstration. Section 137 is a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Which is why I feel it is time for a bit of direct action. I really like this "Mass Lone Demonstrations" thing that's been going around. It has the huge advantage of wasting police time (as opposed to Wasting Police Time, which is a criminal offence, this is all by the book) so they can't get out on the street and cause trouble.

Basically the wheeze is for everyone to apply to demonstrate individually, in person at Charing Cross police station between 5:30 and 7:30 on the second Wednesday of each month with your form, (Tip of the hat to Mark Thomas) and then demonstrate outside parliament on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The important thing is that everyone has their own little bee in the bonnet, and therefore their own demonstration. Sounds like fun, and I have resolved to do it in June. Anyone who knows me, wants a beer in June in Central London and thinks that section 137 of the SOCPA is a gross violation of the freedoms necessary in a healthy democracy can make an effective demonstration, piss the police off and enjoy quality social time (not once, but twice!) with the Dude all at the same event. What a bargain! Let me know what you want to demonstrate about in the comments and I'll see you there, you'd better get your placards out.



Thursday, 24 May 2007

Over Governed


I went for a drink up in town last night with a chum, some former colleagues and the significant other. We were in All Bar One on the south side of the river by Tower Bridge. Too much detail - you aren't interested in where I quaff overpriced Lager, but a number of things struck me about the whole experience.

The Bar itself was comfortable and amenable - you've all been to chain bars and whilst I usually eschew them, I did not notice canned music in this one, something which always endears a bar to me. It was a glorious evening to be sitting on the terrace with its vista from Canary Wharf on the right, past the old billingsgate fish market and the Gherkin directly across the river to the basilica of St Paul's and the Tower of London framed by spans and towers of Tower Bridge itself on the left. There was a rattle of conversation all round and the odd guffaw as city boys and girls unwound after a hard day spending other peoples' money on bits of paper with no intrinsic value.

What could be more pleasant?

There was certainly no trouble - not even the hint of misbehaviour, even by me. Why then were there 4 police officers patrolling the embankment? Why weren't they patrolling Peckham, Brixton or Hackney where crime is more prevalent and the inhabitants are crying out for more uniformed presence on the street? Is it because should a punter step off the terrace on onto the pavement to have a fag, and bring his pint with him, he will be committing a public order offence? Can you imagine an easier collar than a city boy who dares to drink on the street whilst he feeds his nicotine habit? Certainly far easier than dealing with violent street criminals or petty thieves.

Overzealous enforcement of licencing restrictions on punters "spilling out" onto the street, no doubt egged on by the owners of the expensive apartments above, and the imminent smoking ban conspire to bring law-abiding people enjoying a drink after work into entirely unnecessary contact with the law, whilst those same peoples' homes and cars are broken into daily just a couple of miles away and the police do nothing about it. They are harassing the law-abiding whilst not doing their job properly. As far as I'm concerned, they can enforce the smoking ban and licencing infringements, but only when they've cleared up every unsolved burglary and mugging, and not before.

This failure is masked by another increase in crime sanction/detection statistics, in another victory for the people who govern us for whom the petty restrictions of small pleasures represents their raison d'etre.



Tuesday, 22 May 2007

The Grammar School Betrayal

I thought I would like to point out to the socialist 5th column, for whom the Tories under Cameron would be "Blue Labour" even if they proposed compulsory re-education camps for Guardian readers (you know who you are) that there has been a few pieces of sober analysis of the Tory education policy by people who don't get sexually aroused by reading Atlas Shrugged*.

First Timmy steps up to the crease
**

Then the Conservative party reptile goes into bat for the forces of Sanity.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said "do what you can, with what you have, where you are." The wholesale re-engineering of the schools system back into one of grammars and secondary moderns is surely impractical.... So what to do? Place strong emphasis on the diminishing role of the state in education; introduce more variable funding arrangements that would allow independent schools to receive some degree of state funding in return for reduction in fees (possibly coupled with some sort of 'social benefit' requirement); increase the operational autonomy of state schools; encourage the founding of and growth in successful schools; encourage setting within schools. Above all, get people to remember that Margaret Thatcher closed down grammar schools and that despite the rhetoric John Major didn't re-open any. The Conservatives don't have the luxury of making empty and unenforceable promises.
Matthew Sinclair deals with the subject in his sober and intelligent way.
The final question is what Willetts was actually offering in his speech. Was his central message an abandonment of grammar schools? This has certainly been the focus in the media but didn't seem to be the main content of Willetts' speech. After all, Cameron had already ruled out a return to grammar schools in the immediate future. Willetts didn't even spend a lot of time discussing grammar schools... the focus of this speech was on decontaminating the case for school choice. If Willetts can get the Hefferites sufficiently wound up then whatever education policy the Tories finally settle on will be treated as moderate. Perhaps they'll only go as far as academies. Nothing particularly wrong with academies but I think even a moderate approach to building school choice should be more ambitious. Hopefully, they're clearing the way for something more ambitious. That is a very credible approach to introducing school choice.
And Finally Burning our Money concludes that
Despite all those shock "decontamination" headlines, it's just possible Conservative education policy might be moving in the Right Direction.
Which is sort of what I said. This policy announcement by Willetts is the groundwork for vouchers. Which brings me to those on the right, carping at DC's presentation. He's a good, honest liberal. He knows what works, and of what works, what is possible to achieve and will seek to get it done. Osbourne, his shadow Chancellor is a goose-stepping flat taxer, with impeccable free market credentials. DC knows better than DK, better than The Nameless one and certainly better than me how to sell free-market economics, and sensible education policy to an electorate brainwashed into thinking that tax-cuts = slaughter of the innocents and vouchers pave the way to the dickensian workhouse.

I'm prepared to forgive the eco-bullshit for a bit of economic and educational sanity.

*I know i'm alienating most of my readership here... Henry Higgins principle. Be rude to everyone!
**I'm British. I do not "Step up to the plate". Ever.



The Manchester Princess

We have a new blogger on the scene... Sugarhoney. A "Manchester Princess". Her comments on my previous post were the acme of socialist illiteracy, and on her brand new blog there's more! Apparently the BBC is part of a right wing plot to keep immigrants out of council houses so they can be sold to evil developers. Or something. She gets a link... on the right, with Terry Kelly, The Milliblogger and Harperson, under "blogs by idiots".

Go read.



Monday, 21 May 2007

Why I am interested in politics, and why lefties are vermin to be abused at parties.



Socialism is Communism writ small, with the same mistakes of analysis but without the beautiful clarity of purpose (as Lenin would have put it) to exterminate those who disagree. I am right wing, but Classical Liberalism or Conservatism are not fascism writ small, as a Labourite might try to argue - it is about whether you trust the individual, or the state, to get it right. Fascism is merely a better dressed form of communism. So does it matter whether its the Jews or the Kulaks who got exterminated - Surely they're both still people? Both creeds are equally evil.

No, I am not a socialist because I trust the individual. If an individual makes a total hash of his life, only a handful of people suffer. If a state makes a hash of it, millions of people die. No free market democracy has ever had a famine. Even the great depression only led to mass unemployment, not starvation. So the risks of Liberal Conservatism are small. But all the richest countries in the world with the lowest mortalities, highest life expectancies and problems with too many people wanting some of that "capitalist oppression" by rushing to get in by whatever means they can - are all free-market Liberal Democracies. The more liberal, the richer and therefore the more of the worlds poor arive on the axles of lorries. So the return is better too: if people are risking that to get here, it must be better than the paragons of state dirisgime they passed through to get to albion's septic shores.

The Places economic migrants are fleeing all have lots of "Peoples'" "democratic" and "Republic" in their country's full name. People flee socialism, or its aftermath. And while we're at it, I wonder what the income inequality statistics for the former soviet union were....

Progressives are people who lack even the moral courage to say that they are socialists. They still believe in group rights, they have no respect for the individual or his enthusiasms or choices and think the state should micromanage the economy and every aspect of lives. Whilst they don't want to actually re nationalise industry or ship people off for reeducation, their endless interference in business with excessive regulation means that industry becomes an arm of the state - look at the huge PFI business. The Labour party has effectively nationalised much of the construction industry, (how many backhanders do you need to give to planning committees to get a building project approved) renationalised the railway and made business a tax-collector and enforcer of PC group think. People get fired for political affiliation. The Family is subject to inspection and audit. Your home is barely your own.

So, if you think income inequality is a problem for the state to solve, you're evil and no better than Stalin. Yes. I know, that's nearly half the population of the UK and the entire parliamentary Labour party. That's why at social functions I embarrass everyone by taking people to task when they admit the filthy habit of socialism, using physical presence to drive them into a corner as I list the litany of shame, ignoring their panicked glances as they try to escape the conversation that started with a little joke at Margaret Thatcher's expense. I rub their nose in the evidence of failure and sheer human suffering their evil creed has left behind. I think it is important that socialists know that they aren't fluffy, and their unthinking knee-jerk reactions to minor social problems (like bosses earning a bit more than cleaners) led to the deaths of 100 million people in the last century. Yes. If you vote labour you're part of the same school of thought that brought to the world the killing fields. You need to know that.

If you're a communist, socialist, or progressive unless you're very good company, have a good cellar and really, really like talking politics and don't mind my making it personal, I won't like you. I will let you know it. And I really don't care what you, or anyone else thinks of me for pointing it out. Politics is fucking personal.



Wednesday, 16 May 2007

"Two Brains" Willetts and the Grammar School Betrayal.

David Willetts has come out against grammar schools. In another "We've Changed, Tory Clause IV" announcement, the Cameron team slays another shibboleth of the Right. Or has he?

Certainly the (Labour) media, including the today programme focused on the "No new state Grammar schools" bit, and the factoid that "Grammars do not help the poor", whilst ignoring the fact that Grammars rarely exist in poor areas and for poor children who get to them, the benefits are "enormous". Extended freedom for "social entrepreneurs" to open new grammar schools (or schools of another type) is a step in the right direction. Indeed Willets was clear that existing Grammars would remain, but that the focus was on proper educational methods, such as synthetic phonics, which should be spread accross the system, where trendy, untested "child-centred methods" are popular in poor schools, but rare in the best.

In short, there's much that's good in Willett's speech, but little on the one policy which has demonstrably succeeded in improving the lot of the poorest people in society: School Vouchers. Willetts pointed out the problem with vouchers is that they would not work their magic immediately and that unless combined with deregulation of the education market, they will not work at all.

Hmm. Yes, David, Well done, have an apple.

In short, is not a ringing endorsement of Grammars as a cure to all social ills (Fair enough), nor is current Tory policy a radical departure from existing Labour policy. But it is an attempt to reverse some of the damage of decades of ill thought out reforms inspired by grubby leftists in sandals, which were inflicted on poor children from the 1960's. There is also a fair ammount of school choice, localism and deregulation in the policies outlined in the speech. There is a temptation to scream "Blue Labour" at the way this is being presented, but you would be wise to remember that the Labour party has, in effect, returned to the "Grant-maintained" policy of the Major years. It's just pinkos were allowed to undo all the good of this policy for half a decade before labour U-turned.

The last thing that's needed is another upheaval, unless it's the widespread introduction of vouchers, but we're not going to get that.



Tuesday, 15 May 2007

The Police Need Watching

I was talking to a Police officer at the weekend (in a social rather than professional capacity for once). I told him that the police had become an arm of the state, driven by political concerns rather than the needs of the communities they serve. My assertion seems to be backed up by the news today that according to the police federation, arrests are being made for trivial offences to the detriment of investigations into more serious crimes, and that targets from the home office are the drive behind this.

Whilst the police federation represents the thin blue line of rank and file who are disillusioned by this culture, there is little they can do whilst those who lead them are selected by national politicians on who can deliver the best sounding statistics. Need "Sanction / detections" up? Arrest a man for being in "possession of an egg with intent to throw". Or a public order offence arrest for a child who threw a slice of cucumber at another. Another tick in the box for the arrest under firearms legislation for a child with a toy gun, another criminal damage arrest for a Grandmother who cuts a neighbours hedge too aggressively. Some free publicity is obtained when TV's Chris Tarrant waved a spoon at someone in a curry house and got himself arrested for assault.

This is frivolous.

But if a home secretary says "Get the rape arrests up" or "why are your racially motivated incident arrests down?", you have a recipe for miscarriages of justice. This is evident with the apparent failure of operation Ore to properly check the database of credit cards for cloned data, leading to what appears to be the wrongful arrest of hundreds, if not thousands of men for child porn offences. I imagine there was some serious pressure to secure convictions in that squad. Peoples lives and livelihood are ruined by an arrest for these types of crime. Ore has led to a number of suicides.

North Wales, led by a lunatic tried to get officers measured by the blunt instrument of number of arrests. Imagine two doctors, one dealing with common colds and one dealing with lung cancer. Who's going to have the most patients die? Is the copper who prevents petty vandalism by being in the right spot at the right time to say "what you doin' 'ere sunshine, shouldn't you be at 'ome?" better than the one who kicks in the same kid's door a couple of hours later to make an arrest? In the first scenario there are no victims and in the second there's two.

My police officer friend is well meaning, but couldn't see why I cannot trust the police under these circumstances. He believed that ID cards were OK because "you carry ID anyway" and not having anything with your name and address on was "inherently suspicious", suggesting that if I popped out to buy milk from the corner shop, and was stopped for my papers, it would be reasonable for a policeman to require me to return to my house to fetch them. He couldn't see that this arrangement would fundamentally alter the relationship between the subject and the state from one where the state must prove wrong doing to one where the citizen must account for his actions. The assets recovery agency makes the same change - you must demonstrate your Ferrari was acquired legally, if state merely accuses you of wrong doing on the balance of probability. Which indicates that the culture of authoritarian enforcement of the law according to targets, with priorites set by the red tops and without regard for the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" has pervaded the Police service, and the entire state from top to bottom. The police now serve the government, not the community which they are supposed to protect. That is a police state in the making. Only directly elected sherriffs for all forces can restore the balance.

It's Labour's fault. Just one more thing they have broken in Britain with their tinkering.



Friday, 11 May 2007

BNP

I was looking for news on this story and in my search I found the BNP site. Just as one can't help swivelling the head to look at a car crash, I thought that it would be fun to find out for myself what this lot are about, and I'd give them a fair crack of the whip following the BBCs "Turning Right" which, to be fair merely gave them plenty of rope with which to hang themselves.

I've heard them claim they are "not racist". Their website says

Membership of the British National Party is open to those of British or kindred European ethnic descent
So they are explicitly racist. That's membership, this is policy:

Our policy is to:

...Deport ALL the 2 million plus [blacks and Asians] who are here illegally...

To be truly British one has to have a British genotype, as well as to have fully adopted British culture. Blacks and Asians born here are legally British and should be treated as such, but they are not genetically British.
So the BNP is a racist party and if you vote BNP you're a racist. Simple really.



Thursday, 10 May 2007

Social Justice

A regular commentator and I have a long running argument. What do I mean by Left and Right? He accuses me of using "Right" to mean "everything I agree with" and "Left" to mean "everything I oppose". He's wrong. I hate the daily Mail, and that's a right-wing rag. I hate closed-minded authoritarianism in all its forms, left and right, but I can see where he's coming from.

Here's a working definition: If you hear the phrase "Social Justice" and you feel the urge to lay about the speaker with a claw-hammer, you're right-wing. If you think you know what the phrase "Social Justice" means, and use it to explain your philosophy you're a lefty (and should be killed with a claw-hammer).

Who said political semantics was tricky.



When Children go Missing...

Am I alone in finding the Portuguese law that denies access by the media to information concerning ongoing investigations extremely attractive?

A young child went missing in the Algarve and a media circus ensues. The family are wheeled out, paraded in front of the cameras and expected to perform ever more emotional appeals. Should they resist, or refuse to cry, they will be found culpable because they do not "Care" enough. Sure enough... today the media, denied the red meat of detail from the police enquiry to splash across the first 10 pages of their rags, dredge up the poor girls grandmother, who is persuaded or tricked into opining that "they knew it was wrong to leave her, but they didn't like leaving her with strangers".

Naturally the readers of the "Daily hate" have made up their minds (minds?). Marcia from Berkshire is representative of the nasty, spiteful little rag and it's horrible, priggish, ignorant, judgemental readership:

"So totally preventable. Criminal neglect in some areas of the States. These parents should have known better - they abandoned their children and now one of them is indeed with a stranger. "A few yards away" is not good enough. They left their children alone."
Marilyn from Portsmouth also has a dig at the parents:
How absurd, at least a 'stranger' would provide a level of care. How would it be better for the childred [sic] to wake up alone? This poor child was let down by the very people who sould [sic] care the most.
Naturally denied information, the Portuguese police are being described as "incompetent". They are lucky not to be as familiar with missing children man-hunts as the British police. They have not had to deal with the red-tops and their thuggish readership, nor the sanctimoniousness of the daily mail. It is the willingness with which the UK police feed the beast that has led to this appalling spectacle, which has become a predictable dance Macabre: Day 1 Pictures of Child. Day 2 Weeping parents in emotional appeal. Day 3 More pictures of child, and photo fit of suspect paedo. Day 4 pictures of flowers on railings from well wishers. Day 5 pictures of child's favourite teddy bear. Day 6 Emotional appeal from weeping parents... etc, until arrests are made or bodies found.

Let the police get on with it, and hope for a happy ending. The media scrum just hurts the parents and demeans us all.



Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Tony Blair's last 24 hours*

Does any one else have a case or two of Champagne on ice?

*(OK I know the smug bastard will still be technically Prime Minister for several weeks yet, but that merely gives us two opportunities to celebrate his political death, which let's face it is something worth celebrating twice after 10 fucking years, even though this celebration will be tempered by the fact that Gordon "Presbyterian-Thief" Brown will be taking over. God, why can't the pair of mendacious shits just go, and go now?)



Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Tesco. Every Little Helps

Tesco apparently takes CD's on a 1,400 mile round trip via Switzerland so that it can avoid VAT and pass that benefit on to customers. As Switzerland charges VAT at just 7.6% compared to Britain's wallet busting 17.5% (The EU minimum by law is a still-whopping 15%) this saves £1.56 or so (I worked it out at £1.68 per £15 CD).

Such thin margins require grand economies of scale to arbitrage. This plays into the hands of the likes of Tesco and against the small record store. Yes, it is profoundly wasteful of energy. But Tesco should be applauded for using it - it may force a review of the pernicious and regressive Value Added Tax. (Yes, yes I know EU law, can't be changed etc..., can we leave now? ... etc)

Even the telegraph's line is that this is hypocritical given the supermarket's desire to reduce its carbon footprint (ffs!). I dread to think what guardianistas would make of it. The real villain here is the Government - and European Government in particular, whose ludicrously complicated tax systems and loopholes encourage and enable such tax dodging schemes, which are distorting of fair competiton, environmental concerns and punish small businesses. When you have a medium of exchange called a currency, everything's value is defined by that currency. If you can make money simply by expending a bit of energy costing less than the extra profit you make, people and companies will do so.

Governments can:

  1. Increase the cost of energy, stoking inflation and hurting the poorest most.
  2. Close the Loophole of packages valued at less than £18 being subject to no further VAT at the cost of huge extra intrusive bureaucracy to claim pennies on thousands of small transactions, which will more than likely cost more to administer than it collects in tax.
  3. Cut VAT for everyone.
  4. Ignore the loophole and hope it goes away.
I favour 3. Lefties will take 1 or 2 depending on how thoroughly their eco fascism trumps their hatred of business. 4 is clearly the most likely.

Tesco is the best retailer in the world. It is attempting to take on the biggest - WalMart - in its home market. It is a British success story and one that has made a huge leap forward in the business of online shopping, being the first profitable online grocer in the world. It is a master of fulfillment, and because it sees, takes advantage of and uses every loophole, trick, pressure point and wriggle that it can to lower prices and stay within the law. Nothing will get in its way when driving down prices. When moving into new markets, it starts small and reinforces success rather than pumping money at failure. It takes no gambles, using existing infrastructure to prove the market before making large investments. We all benefit. The Government could learn an awful lot from Tesco - not least the company's almost total lack of hubris. (compare Tesco's HQ with buildings designed to house politicians and departments of state)

Do not blame Tesco for shipping CDs from to Northampton from Slough, via Zurich. If they didn't, Amazon or someone else would. Blame the Government for making the tax system silly enough to make it economic to do so.



Thursday, 3 May 2007

Just Vote. For Whom it doesn't matter.

I'm probably preaching to the choir, but people have died for this right. It may be only the locals - but go and do your civic duty.

If you need me to tell you for whom, this is my order of preference:

  1. Tories
  2. Genuine independents, if any are standing.
  3. Lib Dem (On tactical Grounds, but only if the Tory has no hope of unseating a Labour Councillor)
  4. UKIP
  5. The English Democrats
  6. Scottish Unionist Party
  7. 9% Growth Party A libertarian disguised as a Liberal Democrat.
  8. SNP (with a clothes peg on my nose, to give labour a good hard kicking, in order that I may vote "no" in a subsequent referendum)
  9. Plaid Cymru (for the same reason as the SNP)
  10. SSCUP (Because biddies are cute)
  11. Legalize Cannabis Right to Party Party. (Great name, now defunct, or possibly they've forgotten or something..... Man I got the munchies.... Now where did I leave my... um thingy....)
  12. Scottish Enterprise Party for voters who find Alec Salmond too smug
  13. Save our NHS group
  14. Other Monomaniac single-issue independents
  15. Scottish Voice (A kind of anti politician party)
  16. Monster Raving Loony Party (official)
  17. Lib Dems (on policy)
  18. Adam Lyles Witchery Tour Party (because I like a guy who knows how to get cheap publicity for his business)
  19. Christian Peoples' Alliance / Scottish Christian Party (because God belongs in politics)
  20. Equal Parenting Alliance. because fathers for justice is, like so yesterday
  21. Scottish Jacobite Party yes really. 2 Year's military service, war with Norway and Iceland over fish and free transport. Sensible policies for a happy Scotland.
  22. Green
  23. Labour
  24. Solidarity
  25. Communist Party of Great Britain
  26. Socialist Equality Party, The British Section of the International Committee of the Fourth International. Bonkers. It amazes me that there are still people who think like this.
  27. Scottish Socialist Party
  28. Socialist Labour Party. Because Arthur Scargill has all the answers.
  29. The Terry Kelly Paranoid moonbat Party. (a special Labour Councillor)
  30. BNP & Respect tie for Joint last: i.e. Only with a gun to my head, and even then, possibly not.
If I've missed any out, comment and I'll add them to the list.



Lord Browne of Madingley is Gay! Who Cares?

The Daily Mail is a truly nasty piece of work. It expemplifies that petty, vindictive spiteful morality of Britain's lower middle class. Yesterday, they destroyed a man. Today they move onto more pictures of Kate Middleton... or something. I'm not going to soil myself by buying a paper to find out.

Lord Browne of Madingley is Chief Executive of BP, Britain's largest company. He was being persued in the courts by the Daily Hate who wanted to "expose" his private life. Lord Browne is "not the marrying kind" and still lives with his mum at 56. He did however have a 4-year relationship with a 27 year old Canadian former rent-boy. Jeff Chevalier (you couldn't make that name up) was helped to set up a business by Lord Browne (which subsequently inevitably folded) and repaid him by trying to Kiss n' Tell for money.

In attempthing to keep his relationships out of the papers, Lord Browne panicked and perjured himself by lying under oath about where he met this young man. He said "out Jogging" when in fact it was in a gay chat-room. That mistake cost him at least £15,000,000, his reputation and his career.

The Daily Hate's justification in persuing this story was that Lord Browne was "misusing BP's resources" in helping his "Gay Lover" and this was in the shareholders' interests. An internal investigation found this to be piffle. There's no public interest in where Browne met his lover, it is all legal and above board to use gay chat rooms to meet bum chums. We've all done things that are illegal, immoral or fattening that we're ashamed of, but which do not constitute a public interest reason for a national paper to invade your privacy. All he wanted was to be left alone to get on with running the flagship of the British Economy - and keep his private life, well... private.

You may say that it's not what he lied about but the fact that he lied under oath, and you'd be right. But the reason he was in court in the first place was that a sanctimoinious little rag decided that he deserved outing because he was rich and gay. That should be unacceptable in any society.

Hateful, Hateful rag.



Tuesday, 1 May 2007

1st of May 1707, the Act of Union Comes into Force.

Any other Nation's 300th birthday would be celebrated. Vigorously.

All we get is Robert Carlyle being interviewed on Radio 4 on why he is voting Scottish Nationalist.

An undemonstrative people, the British.



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