This is a smart move by McCain. She's pro-life and anti pork barrel politics which will go down well with the GOP base. She's not a beltway insider like Hillary Clinton which should swing those sick of politics as usual, and assuming she isn't made out of cardboard and wears pant suits probably more charismatic and better dressed too. She enhances McCains rebel tag and then some, she beat not only the democrats but also her own party to get the Governorship of Alaska. Her nickname at school was "Baracuda" so she's no push over. And she's a woman with a Down Syndrome child and a son serving in Iraq which means Biden can't "attack Dog" her without looking misogynistic and a bully. She's married to a Native Eskimo chap which means she can hardly be attacked for being a white racist.
The down side is she doesn't bring a major state (I guess Alaska has 1/5 of an electoral college vote) but neither does Biden. I'm also sure that since McCain pulled this out of nowhere the Democrats will have to junk some very expensive TV adverts on Romney. She's relatively inexperienced which cuts of McCains "inexperienced" tag on Obama, but as she has more experience than Obama they can hardly use that against her. And I guess McCain doesn't plan on dying any time soon. She's a creationist, which will hardly put her on my esteemed blog collegue Jackart's Christmas Card list, but to be fair something that the Average American will consider a small price to pay for getting their taxes cut. Besides she's very pro separation of Church and State. And there's something in her past involving a State Trooper.
Gut feeling from this side of the Atlantic, left wing Obama goes for the change tag and picks an eloquent, funny but business as usual VP with distinctly Carterist foreign policy traits. McCain is a centrist who will work with either side and picks mavericks. And how can she help McCain win, other than ensuring that Republicans who looked on McCain as a bit of a RINO will start delivering leaflets.
The signs are already positive for McCain… “this must be a prank by McCain!?!? Our country is in deep crisis and this is our hope?!?! OMG.. Wake up America! This is getting too insane.lol" And that was posted on the Wall Street Journal by a Mr Solve80%ofglobalwarmingbygoingvegan
Friday, 29 August 2008
This is a smart move by McCain. She's pro-life and anti pork barrel politics which will go down well with the GOP base. She's not a beltway insider like Hillary Clinton which should swing those sick of politics as usual, and assuming she isn't made out of cardboard and wears pant suits probably more charismatic and better dressed too. She enhances McCains rebel tag and then some, she beat not only the democrats but also her own party to get the Governorship of Alaska. Her nickname at school was "Baracuda" so she's no push over. And she's a woman with a Down Syndrome child and a son serving in Iraq which means Biden can't "attack Dog" her without looking misogynistic and a bully. She's married to a Native Eskimo chap which means she can hardly be attacked for being a white racist.
The Labour party has created the environment for another three British companies to leave the UK for sunnier tax climes. Two have moved to Ireland and one to Luxembourg. Yet again the economically illiterate left whose politics of spite and envy have robbed UK business off its competitive edge. As a result they will be forced to steal more money from fewer people to pay for their non-jobs and other ossified state spending. And just like a newtons cradle there is a knock on effect - yet more people and more companies will leave. Why? Because they bloody well can. And there isn’t a damn thing anybody can do to stop them save one thing – lower taxes and cut the fat of the state so they and their jobs come back.
Money is like a river, it chooses the path of least resistance. And your laws, rules, taxes and general economic mismanagement are the Hoover Dam of obstructions. Why can’t you Labour idiots work this out, your “Tax Take” actions have consequences. It’s not bloody Rocket Science.
The Russians, fresh from planting Titanium flags in the depths below the North Pole and diving to the bottom of Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world, have come up against a snag. Their latest effort is to build a machined Titanium submarine strong enough to reach untold depths where the pressure on the vessel holding the individual submariner will be thousands of pounds per square inch.
“Quite frankly we don’t think we have the capability of pulling this off” said Ivan Smirnoff, “The technical difficulties are too immense”. “The state is coming up with all the funding we need but we think that a manned vessel capable off plumbing the depths of Gordon Brown’s approval ratings is just simply beyond us at the present time”.
Here we sit, watching our sometimes ancient and sometimes recently expensively-preserved freedoms and liberties falling from the firmament like stars.Go Read the Whole thing.
“Oh, look. There goes another one.”
“Shame. I always liked that one.”
Instead we could try to work out how the British people got themselves hypnotised, and see what we can do to snap them out of it. Temporary engineering work on every BBC transmitter in the country would be a good start. It would have to be temporary for about six weeks. I’ve observed that this is usually how long it takes to wear off.
Or we could just give up, reflecting upon the political application of catastrophe-theory and the fact that fascism’s just back in fashion again, and write something for the Sunday supps about the New Thirties and how delation is the new black.
Then again there’s always the blaze of glory. A few hundred of us versus millions of them and the revolting state that controls them. And they already took all our guns away. A game of ‘French Resistance’, anyone? There’s some piano-wire in the garden shed.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
I coudn't care less. I know he's a mendacious, incompetent, idealogically misguided nincompoop without a clue about how to dig himself out of the hole he's in (clue: Step one - stop digging). But is this mad?
Well Guido and Tom Paine think so. And Sunny Hundal thinks not. And everyone gets called a 'cunt' at the Devil's Kitchen.
But it is the Devil who makes the best point. That the left are just as likely to question the sanity of the right. So I too would like to sidestep our Prime Minister's mental state, and focus on the distilled Humbug coming from the Left. Every time you suggest an individualist policy within earshot or bloglink of a lefty, you get called mad. Ravening, Bonkers, extreme, loony libertarian or whatever. Any solution to society's ills which does not entail taxing the wealthy more in order to "invest" (fucking hell - don't get me started...) the proceeds in what ever state-run solution is today's pancea is derided as "mad".
This just demonstrates the failure of imagination on the left - they've nothing left to add. Their one solution to all problems has been demonstrated in a decade of absurdly benign economic conditions to be totally crap at creating the "world class public services" they claim to want. In its place they've built a client state of producer interested, unresponsive public services apparently run for the benefit of its employees; and spawned a vast underclass of benefit recipients existing symbiotically with the public servants. All those of us who have nothing to do with either are, simply the means by which all this is paid for. The entire state - the chavs at the bottom to the Whitehall mandarins at the top are entirely parasitic on those of us in the private sector who are being forced to hand over nearly half our income to pay for this. That is the left wing solution and it has reached its apotheosis under Brown, and like every socailist experiment before it, has failed. At least now that Brownonomics is shown to be a mite hubristic in calling the end of "Boom and Bust" they've stopped saying "the sums don't add up", to every policy that aims to shrink the tapeworm.
But what is worse is the idea that by Calling brown a "Loony" or "Delusional" we are in some way insulting those with real mental health "Ishoos" is just pathetic. As if, like gays, or Minority Ethnic people, the left "own" the mentally ill. They don't. Like talking about immigration leaves you open to the charge of Racism. If you mention "the gender pay gap" and point out there are many reasons for it, which do not involve the narrative of discrimination you're a misgynist who's insulting every woman, especially those who've been raped. Or something. "Mad" is meaninless.
Look at the comments to Sunny's diatribe. One of the first comments is one questioning the sanity of the entire political right (apparently without Irony). The best comment by far is one by Larry TeaBag, (blog here).
I’ve got a mate who’s sister adopted a doctor’s dog, and he reckons that Guido Fawkes is a safe bet for Diogenes Syndrome, and almost certainly hoards his excrement in little tupperware boxes around his house. Larry is joking. The rest of the Liberal conspirators are not. This is bollocks. "Mad" is an entirely normal political shorthand for "wrong, in my opinion, but I can't be bothered to explain why". So in conclusion, the Prime Minister may, or may not be a Mentalist. But he, and anyone else who thinks the political left has anything more to say are demonstrably complete and utter cunts.
Short of an unpaid internship at NAMBLA I can’t think of anything that would look as bad on your political CV as working for Hugo Chavez. Mr Livingston, the Ex-mayor of London believes differently and has not ruled out running for re-election in 2011. Even for a leftie, working for somebody that rules by decree and sends the troops in against the opposition doesn’t look that good. I assume he doesn’t want to wear that spiffy London 2012 Blazer badly enough when the ceremonial stolen car is torched to signal the start of the East-London Olympics.
Barrack Obama is going to address the party faithful in Denver tonight. I’m guessing the word “Change” might be featuring prominently. I’m also guessing the word “Hope” will also be making an appearance. I have no idea why an otherwise intelligent people keep falling for the vacuous shite coming from the mouths of these people. Not that the Democrats have a monopoly on assholes; the Republicans or indeed any political party are not vastly different, it’s just that the Democrats are more annoyingly idealistic and hypocritical. Nothing is more irritating than some film actor telling you to give more money to the state in taxes whilst he’s wearing your annual salary. Nothing more of a pain than an old vice-President telling you that your economic wellbeing must be sacrificed to save the planet while he goes round the world in private jets.
Holding the Democratic Party Convention in Colorado is a bit like, well, a bit like holding the GOP convention in New York. Outside the University of Colorado (Boulder) or in Ski Season when the Bollinger Bolsheviks hit the slopes wearing their ethically traded jute ski clothes from Ralph Lauren there isn’t a Democrat in the State. My highlight of the DNC was when they wheeled out the
vehicular homicide perpetrator Distinguished Senator from Massachusetts who is bravely battling Brain Cancer. The Democrats wheeled out Edward Moore “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy, presumably because even in the autumn years of his life (although a couple of decades longer than Mary Jo eh Teddy?) he is less of a liability than Jimmy Carter.
Next up is the Republicans who will announce the running mate of the old chap whose name temporarily escapes me. They’re holding their Convention in
Minionapolis Minneonapolice Mignionapellis St Paul which at least has a Republican Senator representing it in Congress, which is a good start. McCain has his work cut out in overcoming some pretty piss poor policies from George Bush to get elected; but as I mentioned previously; since the Democrats keep picking politicians that appeal to activists, rather than the good people of the United States, McCain could win this. And I really can’t wait to buy a tear smudged copy of the Grauniad the next day when they blame Obama’s loss on racism.
McCain can win for several reasons, the US electorate doesn’t like all the levers of power held by one party, he’s fairly centrist and Obama is not; Hillary supporters are still P I S S E D, people who own Dungarees and wear them to work know Obama thinks they’re all morons. Most obviously Obama is a slick talking man with some very silly ideologically driven ideas, McCain isn’t.either slick talking or that driven by ideology with the exception of parts of his foreign policy. MaCain also promises to stick your taxes up less which usually works well with voters in the $50000 - $500,000 earning bracket.
When debating lefties, you will inevitably be presented with the rhetorical device whereby some imagined weaker group or individual would be alienated or marginalised by individualist or non-state policies. When even something as uncontroversial as "competitive sports in schools are a good thing" brings out the "what about the fat kid who is crap at sports?" whine (as well as a more general decyring of "excessive competitiveness"), what chance does a call for a reduction in the welfare state have? Well in answer to that specific point, sport or exercise more generally is important to keep you healthy, and a good school will find something physical for even the fat wheezy boys to do, despite their note from Matron. Otherwise they get ever fatter and more slothful, and die young from complications arising out of type II diabetes after a miserable life being rejected by the opposite sex, who show a socially unenlightened and discriminatory preference for individuals with firm thighs and buttocks. Is that what you want, lefties? Coz that's what will happen.
But this is a more general point. Should you say, for example "low taxes are better" the leftie will immediately wax lyrical about all the wonderful services the state provides for disadvantaged people. Rarely will they have experienced these "services" first hand. Those that do tell of the painful bureaucracy involved in accessing services (see what I did there? I used the lefty word 'access' to make me sound all serious and that...). The idea that these services could be provided better and cheaper by families (and charity for those who don't have families) and finally, if all else fails, the state, will be decried as the work of satan. Of course because this solution would only work if the tax burden on the low paid wasn't so onerous, leaving sufficient to give a bit to charity, will be dismissed out of hand as "unfair". The unfairness stems from the startling observation, which forms the basis of all lefty 'thought', that some people have more money than others. The logic that follows is that only the state can provide "fair" services, by expropriating some of that "unfair" loot to provide "universal" services.
Well I've some news for you. Universal services are universally crap, and this is why:
There develops an incentive - now that the welfare state consumes one third of Government managed expenditure, to rent-seek rather than add value. It is more profitable and certainly easier to seek benefits than seek work. Once achieved, the working conditions on the long-term sick are better than the local call centre. All you need to do is prove your disadvantage - uneducated, no qualifications, disabled, ill, poor, endebted etc... etc... in order to get the state to support you.
Of course if you accept that all must have prizes in the disadvantage contest, then there's a race to the bottom. "I can't find work because I'm stupid". well, "I can't work because I've got condition X so I'm disabled, and you're just unemployed". "Well my condition Y trumps your X, So I need Higher rate disablility allowance, and you only need middle rate. Inevitably a vast and complicated (not to mention expensive) bureaucracy springs up in order to judge competing claims. Disabled people are forced to jump through hoops at the behest of box-ticking bureaucrats. Is blindness worse than limb-loss or plain stupidity? I fail to see how this is less demeaning than charity, family and whatever work is possible combining organically to provide to each individual. "But some will slip through the net" lefties will bleat. To which I retort "that is different to the current system how, exactly?" The current system of benefits fails many of the most needy spectacularly. Worse, those of us who could help cannot help thinking that our obligations to those less fortunate are discharged in full because we pay so much of our income to the Government, and struggle to pay our own bills let alone think about helping someone else pay theirs.
It's hard to think of a single policy which is not subject to this all-purpose left-wing rhetorical device. School vouchers? "But what about children whose parents don't care?" Of course the Chicago schools experiment demonstrated that the voucher helped engage those very parents. The very act of spending the voucher caused the parent to have a stake in their child's education. And it is those parents who don't care whose children are most savagely failed by the current system, who showed the biggest gains from voucher programmes. But when has evidence ever been a feature of left-wing rhetoric?
There is a collective failure of imagination on the left. First there is no acceptance that the current state-monolith service is bad - except on the prior assumption that the service is "Underfunded" and that higher taxes are the only way to pay for the extra funding needed. No evidence will ever be sufficient to show the socialist that the state cannot organise the efficient allocation of resources. Certainly, the creation of artificial markets - in health and public transport are prime examples - has been problematic and we need to go back to the drawing board to build the right incentives into those systems. But in so many areas which used to be state enterprises - telecoms, utilities, energy, no-one would seriously argue for a return to 2-month waits for a phone as the state finally got round to it? would they?
The same logic applies to the welfare state, education and health. Much of what the state does can be done better by someone else. It is likely that charity would be more generous to the genuinely needy than a bureaucracy. It is likely that a charity would engage with the recipient of aid, helping to stop some of his more self-destructive habits. It is likley too that they will be more hard-nosed in rejecting some of the more spurious claims for benefits - what used to be called the "sturdy beggar". This is better all round - better for the tax payer who gets shafted for less. Better for the recipients of aid because they get help as well as money, and a human face rather than a box-ticker; and better for society because the well-off are less likley to be able to ignore those less fortunate.
I've no problem helping out the poor and destitute. I just think the state is the worst vehicle for that help. It does not make me Herod.
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
It seems the so called “King of Pop” has recorded this… Michael Jackson has given a 21st Century Twist to Robert Burns by singing his poems. Don’t all rush out to the shops at once.
Personally I can’t wait for the music video – a masked weirdo grabbing his crotch to this Jocklitude gibberish. “Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,O, what a panic's in thy breastie! OOOWW – Smooth Criminal OOOWW”.
Could a Libertarian government make it a specific crime - punishable by, say, 3 days in Gaol - for making an argument verbally or in writing "if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear", or words to that effect?
Just a thought.
In a 'Today Programme' piece on The Labour Party's
desperate popular plan to levy another Windfall tax, this time on energy companies the sentence "It's not just a left wing idea - even Barak Obama has suggested one"
Now, If I had a vote, It would be against McCain's name, but I can see the Senator from Illinois' appeal. But there is no doubt he would be the most left-wing President in history. Only someone on the looniest margins of left wing 'thought' could perceive Obama as right wing. Or perhaps the Journalist let slip that he really thinks all Americans, even acceptably pretty, internationalist black ones are right wing loonies. I don't know.
What was certain is that an idea of investment destroying stupidity is currently doing the rounds of the Labour back benches as, in fear of losing their seats en masse, they search the horizon for something to break before they go. What is also certain is this stupid idea is enthusiastically supported by the BBC.
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Apparently there was a death threat against Gordon Brown. As reported in the Telegraph it looks like a white person in Burnley (Are you sure? – ed) was planning to kill the Prime Minister. If it is a white supremacist group of the ilk that looks like they were trying to kill Barrack Obama then it is of little surprise they got caught. What is more than impressive is the fact that they didn’t blow themselves up in their Trailer during the planning stage. If it’s converts to Al-Qaeda that were doing the plotting then MI-5 must be complemented, although those looking for Terrorists wouldn’t have to look too hard for somebody who hates the West in Burnley. I have to say in defence of the terrorists; if I lived in Burnley (or indeed anywhere in Lancashire) I’d hate the West too.
It is worth pointing out that political violence must be resisted by all decent British people regardless of their political persuasion for several reasons. Firstly like when an assassination attempt on Hitler was mooted, it was decided that a successor might be a little bit more competent and it was better to leave the person doing the damage in place. For those that despise Zanu-Labour Gordon Brown is one of their biggest vote getters. The second point is that assassinations have no place in British politics; we get to vote them out. Thirdly, no assassins’ bullet is necessary, as we saw with the Boris Johnson Olympic speech; laughter actually causes the Prime Minister physical pain. Stick him on “Have I got news for you” and the Prime Minister will simply explode.
Oh and for a laugh, whilst I googled Operation Foxley related to the above mentioned attempt to kill Hitler I found this from a wack job… "Hitler was a British Agent" A great quote reviewing this "Book" is found towards the end. “The author uses the personal assistance of a Spymaster in marshalling much new material surrounding Hitler's origins, his sexuality, and his British Training, long hidden by a conspiracy of British and American political leaders. He takes an in depth look at the British Royal Family and finds them wanting, full of spies, perverts, and morons (Those in glass houses eh?), with the morons being the least dangerous. He delves into the James Bond myths and finds the true James Bond was a lot younger and more homicidal than anyone had previously thought. He interview James Bond III on one of the last 'hits' on Adolf Hitler, well after his official death”.
Tin Foil hats on boys and girls. The Black Helicopters are circling.
If you're in the habit of debating with Lefties, especially ones enthusiastic about the European Union and all its works, you will often hear the mantra that Britain is a "small country", who cannot survive outside the union, and for whom any display of loyalty or pride is therefore misplaced. This argument is, in the words of someone whom these lefties disapprove, an inverted pyramid of piffle.
We are not, by any measure a small country. Even our landmass is relatively large. Not counting continents, Great Britain is the 9th Largest island in the world. Overall, the UK is the 79th largest country by land mass out of 234, but the 22nd largest by population. Despite this we have the 4th 5th or 6th largest economies on the planet (depending on the measure and exchange rate chosen). In terms of GDP per Capita, the World Bank ranks the UK 16th. The UK is home to the worlds leading financial centre, and a large number of Global businesses. By any measure we're big and rich. There are a great many small countries, many on the rich list ahead of the UK, who are small and yet remain independent. But we benefit from being part of a number of international clubs and networks, our size is not a reason to stay in, or indeed leave the EU.
In international affairs, there's no doubt we punch above our weight. There are many countries with larger militaries, but there are just three who can deploy an expeditionary division, and one of these, France, is next to useless. The Scale and reach of our intelligence services, GCHQ in particular allows us to trade secrets with the US. The UK is one of the 5 declared nuclear powers, a permanent member of the Security council and member of the G7. We're a founder member of, and second power in, the world's most powerful Military alliance.
Some of that may be an accident of History, but even Britain's empire should not be a source of shame. If Britain left a legacy to be proud of, the world's largest democracy should be part of it. Three of the countries on the rich list ahead of the UK are former colonies and the developing world nations that remain functioning democracies are often former British possessions. Our Empire, though far from perfect was a whole lot less oppressive than our competitors'.
It is true that Britain started the twentieth century the world's superpower, and finished it one of a batch of middling powers - a story of relative decline - but even so, we're quite big enough to stand in the world without the EU, and all we require is a bit of pride and self-confidence to see it. Perhaps this constant repetition of the "Small country" mantra is necessary to create a united Europe, but it doesn't make it true.
Pride in the country has been beaten out of the Germans, though it took the occupation and flattening of their country (and some really despicable behaviour on their part) to put them in a frame of mind where they could be persuaded to fund the EU uncomplainingly. The other major contributor to the EU, the UK has merely allowed herself to be nagged and tricked into doing so - without its population ever being asked (remember the "no loss of soverignty" promise?). Remember the purpose of the EU is to take British and German taxpayers' money and give it to French farmers. As such, the EU needs us more than we need it. We should negotiate our relationship on that basis rather than let a bunch of slippery, dishonest bureaucrats and their lickspittles on the left try to tell us we're small and weak, when we're not.
And, Conor Foley, our "natural allies" are not to be found in Europe but, as Margaret Thatcher (PBUH) noted, in the great English-speaking democracies around the world - who it must be noted do not touch us for cash to fund their peasant agriculture, nor sell arms to our enemies. Europe is the source of our malaise and part of the reason our Over-taxed and bureaucracy hobbled economy is doing so badly at generating wealth for our people compared to those silly independent nations, Switzerland and Norway.
God Save the Queen.
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Garry Glitter has been released. And this has caused more than the usual nonce-baiting in the British media. The Sun is reporting in its usual understated way "Garry Glitter's World Tour 2008". I have resolved to stay informed of this case solely by reading the Times' illegitimate sister newspaper.
Last night, I watched MSNBC's 'To Catch a Predator'. For those unaware of the disturbing American cultural meme for mixing law-enforcement with entertainment, the premise of the show is that someone goes online pretending to be a 14 year-old and invites a weird looking loser back to her place for a shag. When the chap turns up with a bunch of flowers, sweaty palms and a dry mouth, he's met by a Jerry Springer lookalike who confronts him with the evidence and he's pounced on by police as he leaves, usually wrestled to the ground with a camera shoved in his face to capture the shock and bewilderment as these men come to terms with the fact their lives as they know it, are effectively over.
Morally, this is like Romans watching criminals being put to death in the amphitheatre - something to which most Sun readers would like to return. This was considered then to be a lower class passtime - the mob however wished to feel superior to those being tortured for their entertainment, and ever more elaborate and perverted punishments were devised to please them during the midday break between the Venatores and the afternoon's Gladiator fights. It was Lord Northcliffe who instructed his editors to "Give them something to hate every day" (the Mail is known as 'The Daily Hate' in tribute) paedophiles are a perfect target. They commit hateful crimes, are usually men, operate on the internet and target children. Add in Paul Gadd's crimes against vulnerable youngsters from a poor country, and fallen pop hero status and you've got a recipe for a perfect Sun/Mail/Express story.
Most of the stars of 'To Catch a Predator', however are not Paedophiles, they're ephebophiles who are foolish enough to act on their inclination where they will be caught - the internet; and not where they won't - A provincial nightclub, in Britain on a Saturday night.
And the reason that stories about 'Paedophiles' molesting underage girls get such prominence in the grottier end of British newspapers shouldn't be hard to work out. It's the same reason why 'To Catch a Predator' is so popular. This is titillation - pure and simple, but drenched in a syrupy confection of morality. People want to read about 'sex acts' with 14 year old girls. Given the prominence such stories have in the UK's best-selling paper and that 14 has been a marriageable age for most of human history I would argue that such ephebophilia is relatively common. There is no doubt that girls are growing up earlier than they did in the past. They too are going to go online and find out about their sexuality. Few will indulge it and actually meet the oddballs they are chatting too because it is a fact that teenagers are rarely interested in sex with fat, social inadequates. This is why the 24 men featured in the show travelled so far, so fast for their hot date with a young girl. I've no doubt that this is how they get their rocks off - chatting about sex to underage girls (or those pretending to be underage girls), but we're invited to pour scorn on their assertion that this is the first time they've met anyone underage they contacted online. Looking at them however, I'm inclined to believe them. I suspect that they were chatting - and couldn't believe their luck when a girl invited them to her house. An opportunity for a crime was created by Law enforcement that would be extremely unlikely to arise in real life. And even if it did, A real predator would have thought about it a lot more beforehand, and been a lot, lot more careful.
By failing to make distinction between the really nasty rapists of small children who have plans and IT security as a result of their predilection, and those who have a mere titillating interest in nubile girls, we're missing what really does the damage to people - and in the present climate, destroying the lives and families of otherwise blameless men whilst doing so. I felt uncomfortable watching the stupid, ill educated men on 'To Catch a predator' as they were led by the nose (willingly, I admit) and persuaded into committing a crime. The punishment in employment prospects and social standing - not to mention their family lives - will be with them for the rest of their lives and is out of all proportion to the crime. These men were punished for what they said, and what was going on in their head. There was no victim.
Likewise the tragic results of operation Ore, where false positives have led to a number of suicides, broken families and suffering on the back of shoddy, lazy and heavy-handed policing, 'To Catch a Predator is so transparent, it is unlikely to snare the dangerous child molester, most of whom are in any case already known to the victims. It is the addition of the internet to the crime, with its evidence vaults, anonymity and shadowy nature, feared and misunderstood by the readers of the daily mail and the MSNBC's viewers where the risk is thought to lie. It isn't. It is already in peoples' homes and schools. The stepfather is by far the most dangerous man any child will ever meet.
Worse, this creates a culture where fear of men damages intergenerational trust, making blameless men fear children in return. Fear is not healthy, but it does play a part in some sexual play. Perhaps because of a cultural trend which sexualises children at an ever earlier age, when seeking out perversion people, like Max Moseley and the
Of course Glitter is convicted of a crime with a high recidivism rate. But when the sun, complete with 18-year old tits on Page 3 labels him a 'perv' and a 'creepy' and the 'My Sun' Commentators are gleefully suggesting he should be flogged then locked in a room with the SAS, I am given to thinking 'The lady doth protest too much'.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
At the moment, the Right-wing Blogosphere is salivating at the prospect of a slowly unfolding economic nightmare for the British economy. We're gleefully blaming Brown for every rise in unemployment, or interest rates; for every drop in consumer confidence, retail sales or house prices.
Now McBroon did say he'd abolished 'Tory boon 'n bust', so perhaps some of this spite is justified. Such hubris cannot go unpunished. The truth is more subtle. There is no doubt that many, if not most of those losing their jobs or keeping their wallets clamped shut would be doing so who ever had occupied 10 downing street for the last decade. There is remarkably little that a politician can do about the business cycle. It cannot be predicted, measured or timed. Whilst commentators delight in giving us their opinion, and those who predict downturns never fail to remind us of that, it should be noted that Nouriel Roubini has predicted seven of the last three recessions. His current doom-laden outpourings can be regarded like a stopped clock, telling the right time twice a day, and even then, wrong. This is not going to be a depression.
But can a downturn be managed? If there is a way to soften the blow of an economic slowdown, it lies in fiscal and monetary stimulus when it is clear, like now, that the economy is slowing. According to John Maynard Keynes, the government should create demand by borrowing when the consumer gives up doing so. This is achieved by cutting taxes (giving people more to spend) and raising spending (employing more people, who would otherwise be on the dole). This will be at the cost of increased borrowing which will tend to increase interest rates, so this shouldn't be regarded as a magic bullet: inflation and high interest rates are a feature of Governments which overuse the Keynesian demand boost. It is not evident that the Demand boost works - the New Deal did not have significantly more people in work until the outbreak of WWII.
My View is that Government cannot, except by luck time the investment and business cycles and should therefore give up trying. A Labour politician who's raison d'etre is the mitigation of the business cycle and its effects on the people would take a different view. After all, a recession is not characterised by everyone losing 2% of their income, but by 4% losing 50% - mitigating this harm to those worst hit should be central to the Socialist project.
So how does McStalin measure up? Well, British borrowing has ballooned during his tenure, as has the Tax rate despite historically benign economic climates for the entirety of his chancellorship. This means that even if he wanted to cut taxes, he has little room for significantly raising borrowing meaning there would be little increase overall in demand. He certainly cannot borrow any more without raising rates, which would destroy the housing market. So in grand, sweeping oversight, in the timing and mitigation of the UK's business cycle he's got it wrong. Badly wrong.
So what about detail? Well Brown's sale of a significant portion (over half, in fact) of the UK's gold reserves is known in the market as the "Brown Bottom". Gold prices have nearly tripled since then, and this has cost the UK tax-payer 37 Billion pounds (and counting). This is much worse than the ERM debacle, which snot-gobbler enthusiastically supported. So he's got form for spectacularly badly timed decisions. Let's look at some more recent ones: Now, the housing market is at the heart of the UK downturn, and certain Government policies have not helped. Home information packs are not accepted by lenders, and therefore simply add to the cost of selling a home. Secondly, changes to Stamp duty have meant that
evil Conservative voters Ordinary families in the south east of England are now paying 4% duty for an ordinary family home. This reduces liquidity, especially when there are expectations of falls. Finally and most culpably the Government has speculated openly about a stamp duty "holiday". In June last year there were 100,000 transactions in July; this year there were Just 17,000. This single measure has ensured that estate agents and housebuilders are going out of business - and as such is just as stupid as telling all gold traders in the world that you're selling 400 tons of the stuff before you do it. That's before we deal with the more general increase in complexity of the tax code, and regulatory costs to business, which leaves them unfit when the downturn comes. When they need to run lean, they're carrying too much administrative fat, which they just cannot shift.
This Government is too stupid to realise that it's useless. Instead it works on the principle that 'Something must be done, this is something, so let's do it'. As a result of badly thought out and poorly implemented policies, the next government is going to have to spend the first term unsticking legislative glue, rebuilding the public finances, curtailing spending without cutting taxes. Hopefully they'll have time for cutting pointless, counterproductive laws and regulations. I personally have little problem seeing diversity outreach co-ordinators for example being evicted from homes as they fail to keep up the repayments on their mortgage when they realise just how otherwise unemployable they are. But the problem is these parasites are very good at rent-seeking in the public sector, where cultures of financial profligacy are deeply entrenched.
Those who claim that there is not much waste in the system, or at the other extreme that the Tories are merely Blu Labour are wrong. Sure, DC isn't going to go in, all guns blazing burning regulations and dramatically cutting taxes. Because that would be stupid. Instead he will do what the 79-97 Tories did, which is cut the number of civil servants by half from 750,000 to 350,000. Labour have subsequently returned this to over half a million. The tax take of the Government fell steadily from about 1983 to 2000 (at which point the one-eyed thief was let off his leash). This is not obvious, but there were fewer parasites in the public sector than there are now. The tax system was less intrusive and cheaper. Sure the public services were underfunded and shit. Now they're overfunded and just as shit. Still shit, but costs you more - hardly an advert for social provision is it?
Because the Tories will not be supporting a climate where the critical criterion for bidding for public sector contracts is "diversity", local government might be able to focus on delivery and cost. Naturally this involves changing a culture, and this requires a decade or more. But this is the sort of area where Conservatives will improve life for the average tax payer. You know - choosing which company picks your bins up by the cost and quality of (weekly?) service, rather than the number of Black drivers they have behind the wheel of the refuse trucks. Perhaps, and you may think me a goose-stepping facist for suggesting that the infantry should perhaps outnumber the Ministry of Defence. They might, under the Tories. Perhaps there will not be silly targets, like 0.7% of GDP going in Aid to Africa. That's 1% of everyone's tax bill in forced charity - which counter productively props up kleptocratic thugs to the detriment of the people of Africa - again just to satisfy those who demand something must be done. Through a myriad of small changes in culture, A Conservative government will slowly make things a bit better. Above all, the next government may not introduce a law a day.
Conservatives are not libertarians. But they are about doing the business of Government better than the illiterate spivs we've endured for a decade. The clue's in the Name. Conservative. They ain't radical. That requires the government to have a lot of power, and that is precisely what we do not want a government to have. Perhaps a period of quiet repair of the system might be what is in order - and give them time to kill the Labour party? So as a Libertarian, I am supporting the Conservatives, because the country ain't ready for Libertopia, (unfortunately they're still persuaded that the state should provide) and until it is, Conservatism is the next best thing.
Work out the average distance a 50hp Engine on an inflatable boat can travel, add 100 miles for safety, and add another 921m (the range of this particular item plus 1 metre). Total this up and on a scale open your compass to equal this figure you have just worked out. Take the pointy metal end of the compass and stick it in Mogadishu on your map. Hold the top of the compass and swing it round. This will give you a nice pencil line on your nautical charts. Take a crayon (I recommend Red) and colour in the circle (that's the bit inside the line, not outside). Then make sure your fucking boat stays outside the coloured in bit.
They also mentioned this… “British athletes, for now, are not bums but heroes, much like Olympic gold medal sprinter Linford Christie once was -- until he got busted for drugs and it was pointed out that, like most British sporting stars, he was born somewhere that wasn't Britain”. Inferring that we’re all drugs cheats, have bad teeth and are a declining nation – very grown up. They’re also going on about how rude the Brits are, how we’ve stolen all their coaches and how Australians are magnanimous in defeat. And for you English language teachers out there “Australia” and “Magnanimous” is a perfect example of an oxymoron.
Granted the Breadstealers are doing pretty well right now on the back of a Commodities boom, but in terms of an economy they are still an agrarian and mining economy. Argentina got rich on the back of commodities, but it didn’t last. We’re not doing well right now, but that’s on the back of a Labour Government, and unlike you, we’re about to get rid of ours. I have to admit that I like Australians, but when it comes to sport they are the most arrogant people on the planet. So congratulations Team GB for sticking one on the Colonials.
Africa lost a decent leader and good man yesterday when Levy Mwanawasa died of complications following a stroke. I don’t know much about the man but I know you judge people by their enemies, and he was a big enemy of Comrade Bob. In Africa it takes guts to stand up to the “colonial struggle” leaders that are destroying their nations, and Mwanawasa did this. Calling Idi Mugabe for the blustering evil bufoon that he is. He also improved the lot of his people by advocating the rule of law and fighting corruption.
Whilst he was a smart leader in encouraging tourism and white farmers to boost his nations agricultural production on the back of Zimbabwe’s collapse; he was nevertheless willing to forgo these advantages over his neighbour in return for a democratic Zimbabwe. Africa needs more men like him, but thankfully his work is growing with genuine democratic leaders like Ian Khama appearing in places like Botswana. I wish Zambia the best of luck, and hope that the example of President Mwanawasa is continued. If it is then Zambia can look to a great future.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
The In House propaganda arm of the European Union – The Financial Times is reporting that "any attempt to repeat Labour attacks on “Toff Tories” at the General Election is doomed to failure". 81% of those polled said that your privileged background doesn’t matter, the remaining 19% vote for Terry Kelly. Yet there is one annoying issue proving that the Public isn’t totally redeemed yet. That the poison of socialist spite hasn't fully been passed safely out of the colon of the British Body politic; only a third of voters thought their employers in “Big Business” should have a say in the running of the country. Now nobody is arguing that the US Lobby system where employers shove huge amounts of cash at politicians is a good idea. Business can be corrupting, one only has to look at the "Gold plated" crap issued to the British and US Armed forces to see that this is true. But perhaps when talking about Banana imports it just might possibly be a good idea to speak to Chiquita to gauge some opinion.
Whilst you will get a partisan answer; you can at least know what the people who employ those involved in shipping squashy yellow fruit think. And here’s the good part, despite their “influence” you don’t have to do exactly what they ask just because you talk to them. Believe it or not (and I accept that it’s a bit of a leap with this current Labour government) Politicians are paid to work out good ideas and throw out the bad. Funnily enough this also works with Steel, Milk, Cars, Soya, Computers, Financial Services and the manufacturers of something called a "Rampant Rabbit. They all get to have their opinion on the economy too as they are the ones who pay you to turn up at your place of work.
Monday, 18 August 2008
One of my colleagues was discussing an entertainment show called the X-Factors. Now this is a Libertarian blog, but mankind and society must have a basic minimum of rules, without them there would be Anarchy. One of these laws is that people who watch Reality TV shows or Soap Operas shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
I feel torn about our victories in Cycling. Whilst I salute our hard working cyclists, the Bicycle is the instrument of Satan and all his little minions. The Bicycle is the work of the Communist; it is a Red peril that threatens the very fabric of the nation. What could be more a more typical scene than Pierre the farmer, riding a bicycle with a string of Onions round him, a jaunty Beret resting on his head at a rakish angle on his way to firebomb a McDonalds. Or Sum Yung Gai with his Khmer Rouge hat pedalling through the killing fields off Cambodia. As PJ O’Rourke said in his excellent analysis… “Bicycles have their proper place, and that place is under small boys delivering evening papers. Insofar as children are too short to see over the dashboards of cars and too small to keep motorcycles upright at intersections, bicycles are suitable vehicles for them”.
However since the Olympic haul of Gold’s I am willing to make a compromise, I will support the building of Velodromes and stop driving as close as I can to cyclists and bang on the car horn on Her Majesty’s thoroughfares in order to generally scare the crap out of the Cyclist. In return the cyclist will not take their ridiculous contraption on the train and block up the door, twelve fold down seats and the drinks trolley. You have chosen your mode of transport sir, sit on it.
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Friday, 15 August 2008
In Dante's divine comedy, the Ninth circle of hell, reserved for schizmatics and traitors, is a pit of icy torture where a six winged devil tries to get out whilst eating his frozen victims for an eternity of Torment. Only he got the Torment wrong. The Ninth circle is in fact trying to get about this Island. Following up my recent debate with an Employee of The Railways, on why everything is so shit I concluded that much of the problem is an inflexible, high handed attitude from staff combined with a system which seems more interested in catching people out and subsequently screwing them for money than making journeys easy and comfortable.
And the excuse for the high handedness, the inflexibility - "I'm just doing my job"
Much as this response enrages me, the truth is they're right. Quite why anyone would take one of these jobs is beyond me, and I reserve the right to despise those who do, but they are just trying to earn a crust so that they can give half to Gordon Brown to waste; and spend the remainder on fuel or something. The problem therefore is the Rules that require people to become so officious.
In my travels around Europe I have found the Police and people like train guards and airport staff to be far more helpful, polite and less officious than their British counterparts. There simply isn't the need for aggravation. Yes. Even in Germany. I think they had mindless obedience to the rules kicked out of them about 60 years ago. Only sections of the American Bureaucracy come close to the British transport worker. What has changed? Why have the British uniquely in Europe developed this culture of High-handed petty authority delighting in the arbitrary abuse of power over the basically law-abiding? (And it's not just in Transport)
First, the British themselves have changed - we have become ruder, more aggressive and less polite. This is reflected in the attitude of the staff towards the public. This is a chicken and egg situation, but the ultimate blame lies in the welfare state's creation of a parasitic 15-20% of the population who create 80% of the disorder and unpleasantness. This results in a situation where it is dangerous to herd Britons - there are always chavs willing to kick off at the smallest slight. The Officials therefore treat all Britons at arms length to the detriment of everyone. This is ultimately the fault of the Labour Government of 1945 - with whom ultimate blame rests for most of the British malaise.
Second, recently there has been a conflation of Rules and Laws - and this is most definitely NuLabour's fault. Because resistance to the overzealous enforcement of Rules results in things like Section 24 public order offences (for saying "fuck off") and common assault charges (should you so much as touch him), there is nothing you can do when confronted by an official wanting to take your name and address - even failure to provide a name and address is an arrestable offence. A sense of powerlessness is never good, so we previously proud and free Britons have no redress when we have a grievance. Nothing, once official power invokes the law ever goes in our favour. Now they can arrest you for anything; even some piffling breach of some bye-law can result in arrest and the book will be thrown at you. Worse, once this process starts, it is very difficult to backtrack.
Third there has been a trend for people in customer facing roles to be "process managed". For the same reason the call centre monkey is infuriating, the railway official or health and safety inspector is not given the discretion to apply common sense - they are the products of the comprehensive education and don't have any. Policy therefore comes from the top and all the officials facing the public are expected to do is enforce it. No discretion can be given, in part too due to equality legislation. Businesses like train companies must be able to show that they treat all customers fairly, and there is little doubt that were discretion allowed, certain sections of society would not get as good a rub of the green as others. So rules are enforced zealously to all.
Fourth, because of privatisation of Rail companies and the like, there is an incentive to defend revenues. Passenger convenience and customer service comes a distant second - it's not like there's any choice for us so why shouldn't they focus on getting the cash? Without intelligent incentives built in, the abuse of the public will continue. This allied to top-down management and inflexible IT solutions means that the technology and manpower is used to ensure revenue rather than help the customer. Furthermore the Government is actually preventing investment in capacity which might relieve some of the cattle-truck conditions and allow operators to reduce fares. Now some might express surprise that I complain about privatisation. But It's effectively nationalised now and it is still shit. Nothing can work with a unionised workforce.
Fifth, and perhaps most perniciously there is the cost and sheer inadequacy of the service offered which means to enter British public transport or to attempt to park involves taking much longer than anticipated in far worse conditions at much greater cost than anyone would deem reasonable. Even if everyone working in transport were the love child of Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela, we'd still hate them.
So what can be done?
First, the incentives built into the system by legislation need to reflect the needs of the public, not politicians, nor the corporate entities to which the state has subcontracted transport functions. It is absurd that people driving taxed and insured vehicles who park legally and overstay are punished more severely than those who do not tax and insure and park very illegally. A bit of leeway needs to be built into the system. The resources should be put in to prevent cars blocking roads, not raising revenue for local councils from law-abiding motorists. The revenue should be ploughed back into the roads. Ditto speeding. Instead of punishing people who speed marginally where safe, punish tailgaters, undertakers and excessive accelerators who really cause the accidents.
The trains' fare structures need to be simpler and more integrated. Technology like the oyster card needs to be rolled out across the network to enable people to pay without missing trains due to queues and malfunctioning machines. THE MACHINES NEED TO WORK ALL THE TIME. Staff need to have discretion and seek to give people the benefit of the doubt. The technology exists to make this work but should you roll it out, there would be job losses amongst "revenue protection" staff. That will result in a strike and everyone suffers. RAIL STAFF NEED TO STOP GOING ON STRIKE. But most simply people should be offered the opportunity to pay the difference on the train or at the terminus. Defend revenues by all means. Don't create entirely unnecessary criminal convictions to clog up an already overburdened criminal justice system. Not when the person you're fining and giving a criminal record to has been mugged and burgled and never had anyone see the inside of the court for those crimes. Don't punish fare-dodgers when burglary and mugging are effectively decriminalised.
If the fares were reasonable and the structure transparent, there would be fewer honest mistakes. There would be fewer fare dodgers. £75 each way! You could buy a car and drive it to Leeds for that.
The system is broken. And if I'm honest it is because there are too many people trying to use too small an island with governments which have not invested in transport infrastructure. That's the initial observation. And the current structure actually prevents train operating companies investing in longer trains and more frequent services.
But its a broader point about back up. The state, and those to whom it devolves authority needs to stop crushing every last ounce of authority from every tiny breech of the rules. People are pissed off with the shit service they pay through the nose for - Police (heavy handed policing to target rather than effect), Rail (heavily subsidised and very expensive), Roads (tax, fuel, parking and the inevitable fines), Airports (security theatre). And back into every branch of life reach box ticking, self important people who are looking to catch you out. All of these factors put basically law abiding and reasonable people into the hands of people who assume guilt and call for police back-up and ask questions later. Wouldn't it be easier all round to cut people some slack?
Now of course there are people who love to forment rules and see them enforced, and there will always be inadequate bullies who love to achieve power, however small.
But fundamentally, if given discretion people would act reasonably. Most people would be happy to cough up if caught without a ticket. If they were allowed to do so, there would be no more little conflicts. How about giving 10% slack on your pay and display? If you're more than 10% of the time late, you get a ticket. A bit of slack. The police's culture of targets needs to go. Councils should not keep parking fines, and attendants should not be on commission. They should be some sort of genetic test for cuntishness amongst employees of the railway, and they should be given the power to charge no more than the full single fare, and a bit of discretion.
As it is, the people who should be there to help us on the way, because of the incentives they and their masters have been given, are a major part of the problem.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Britain's Worst Serial Killer* was awarded £706,000 for wrongful prosecution, after being entrapped by police operation "fix up the wierdo". Just like poor Barry George, who was the local odd ball when the police needed a "result" to a high profile murder. Both times, when commenting on the Judgement that their convictions were unsafe, or when the case got thrown out, the police were always "disappointed" in the result, suggesting that the families of the victims would suffer.
No apologies were forthcoming for George or Stagg, despite these individuals losing years of their lives and enduring full-on tabloid hate-frenzy for which they are psychologically unsuited to cope, as a result of a crime they clearly did not commit.
The kind of person who develops a fixation (political blogging for example) and acts in a way that society considers a bit odd (playing World of Warcraft in one's smalls) should not be an immediate suspect every time a bit of skirt gets murdered. Otherwise I'm fucked. This is exactly the same high handed unwillingness to admit mistakes that lead to Jean Charles De Menezes being killed for looking a bit dusky.
The British Police are pretty far from the best in the world. Their attitude has deteriorated as they have been given more power. Power corrupts. Not that they were much better before Labour's police state. What annoys me is that, in the case of Stagg, the tactics of the police were so underhand, so clearly wrong, yet no-one has had the common decency to fall on their sword for authorising such a blatant honey-trap.
You may point to the victim compensation scheme, and suggest that Stagg's payout (6 times that for the stress caused to the female officer who entrapped him) and more than the Nickell family who permanently lost a loved one, and suggest this is in some way unfair. You may say that Stagg's comment that "it is like winning the lottery" is insensitive. Yet Stagg himself has said he'd give the money back for an apology from the police.
But fuck it. It's not their money. An apology would be an admission that they made an absolute hash of the investigation: settling on the victim then fabricating a case, necessitating a resignation or dismissal of a senior officer. Instead Stagg who has had to fight to clear his name, regards the money as a public apology instead. Best of luck Colin - you've earned it. And let's hope the Police have got the right chap this time.
*Britains best serial killer being Harold Shipman, who killed dozens and wasn't caught for years. Stagg is Britain's worst because he was caught before he killed anyone.
David Lammy, a universities minister is saying that “An entire generation of young men, including those from middle-class families is growing up shunning work and seeing crime as a shortcut to wealth and success”. So while the sons and daughters of Thatcher work all hours God sends, the jack layabouts bred by Zanu-Labour get sucked into crime. Not the only reason I know, but the cloying hand of the state is mainly to blame. Mr Lammy said "Why, one boy asked me, was I worried about his grades at school, when he might not live long enough to get a job? This is the world of 'Get Rich Or Die Trying'." “Get Rich or Die Trying”. This boy is quite clearly a retard, he lives in Manchester, not Mogadishu; and should be applauded for recognising the fact that stealing cars is probably his only option in life.
"While there may be young men on estates missing fathers who left them, there are also children in Middle Britain whose parents become strangers in a culture of long working hours." Here’s an idea Mr Lammy, why don’t you get the government that you are a part of to stop stealing so much of our money! Then we might get a bit more quality time with the ankle biters as we won’t have to work quite as hard to put food on the table.
"Young men from poor backgrounds feel they have least to lose,". Well why not make sure they know that they actually have quite a bit to loose? As I have mentioned previously, allow the Middle classes to elect their own judiciary to dish out a bit of that “bugger me, I actually can loose a lot more” feeling the next time they cross the line.
Another idea is getting kids interested in school by getting rid of the “There are no losers” feminisation of the education system – viz Today’s A Level “Examination” results. Then the little bastards might spend longer in education instead of quite rightly laughing in contempt as their teacher gives them another piece of coursework involving colouring in the contours of an ordinance survey map. Boys like pressure and competition, If you don’t want them coming through your patio window you better offer them something more than the namby pamby, pussy whipped lefty rubbish the school system currently serves up. Again Mr Lammy, something that involves your party, the National Union of Teachers, who I believe fund you. Next time they’re dropping off a cheque, you might have a quick word.
Oh and Mr Lammy, anybody who uses the words “emotional labour” to describe the success of women in the work place is part of the problem, not the solution. The young men you and your useless government are finding it hard to reach will be too busy dry retching.
Only in the most absurdly post-modern, relativist thought process can "simply forgetting" be an acceptable excuse for failure to turn up to a job-focussed interview which forms a core requirement of your benefit payment. But that's exactly what Harpy Marx does here, and Chris Dillow seems to think her arguments are good enough to warrant a "top blogging" link.
Apparently cutting benefits from people who fail to attend the interviews laid on as a condition of benefits has little effect on the behaviour of such people in terms of finding work.
However they are not to be blamed, nor have their benefits cut. Because of their "chaotic lifestyles", instead apparently we are to indulge their fecklessness and keep the benefits cheques flowing. Now in saying this, I am "blaming the poor" the ultimate thought crime on the left. But I do judge them. I have a job, and I've just paid a whopping tax bill. Do you think "simply forgetting" to attend the interview would be forgiven by a potential employer? So why should someone who is paid by the state to pop out feral brats be any different? If you're on benefits, your 'job' is milking the bureaucracy. Can one really expect the tax payer to give money without requiring a few hoops be jumped through first? So the effect on the recipients of the benefit in terms of their behaviour is small. Who cares - if they are too lazy to attend even something as small as a "work-focussed interview" at least we can stop paying them, which saves the taxpayer money.
The taxpayer is not some bottomless money-pit who can be relied upon to stump up for people who's lifestyles are too chaotic to even attempt an interview. Without incentives, those lifestyles will not change. Sure, the current system is crude, bureaucratic and inflexible and I have plans to change it which will never be realised. The left built the system the way it is to provide jobs for semi-literate graduates of polyversities who can spend a life time ticking boxes in a futile attempt to prevent the workshy gaming the system.
According to Harpymarx, one is not to judge people by using terms like "workshy". Why not? Seems perfectly accurate to me.
I see the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation is covering the perils of doing a deal with Comrade Bob. I covered it here last month. Good to see the BBC ahead of the curve. They do have a good point though. “Idi” Mugabe has little time to secure a deal. After all, his “Life Partner” Thabo Mbeki won’t be there next year.
On another note I thought Morgan Tsvangirai would fold under Seth Efrican pressure to do a deal. This would prolong the agony of his people, merely so Mbeki could look like a "World Statesman" for a couple of weeks. At the moment it seems that he is staying strong. Bravo Morgan.
It looks like the Ukranian President Victor Yushchenko hasn’t forgiven the Russians for trying to poison him. Nor are they in a forgiving mood from when the Russians turned the Gas tap off in the dead of winter. Or for that matter deliberately provoking a small country so they could bomb the crap out of them. The Ukrainians are saying that the Russians will have to give them 72 hours notice of any movement of ships, aircraft or personnel. This is guaranteed to wind up
President Prime Minister Dictator for life
I suggest that if the Russians want new bases in the Ukraine to station their troops once the lease on the Black Sea fleets runs out the Ukrainians should offer them Pripyat. After all it was the fact that the Russians kept it a secret that the Military reactor sited in the Ukraine was unstable at low pressure that caused this opening up of 30Km of prime real estate.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Is a cunt.
The key quote here is "I don't know what you're complaining about, it's not as if you've taken a bullet or anything"- to a soldier returning from a war zone where British troops are taking WWII casualty rates. I bet the bastard who said that is not going to lose his job.
The attitude of the staff on British rail is staggering. They are chippy, officious, petty minded, unionised arseholes, and I'm always as rude to them as possible. They have no right to complain about being assaulted. They deserve all the kickings they get.
If they ever ask to see my ticket, I always ask to see their ID. (Take your time studying it) It is your right. Ask them not to speak to you while you're doing it. Pisses them right off, but there's nothing they can do.....
A former Senior Civil Servant who worked in Drugs policy has confirmed what I've always known. That everyone, including every serious politician I've ever met, all Policemen with more than two brain cells to rub together (that's not very many, I admit) and most reasonable people agree that prohibition doesn't work. It did not work for alcohol and it's not working for drugs - nor will it ever.
Most of the problems associated with illegal drugs in the petty bourgeois hive-mind inhabited by daily mail readers and Nu Lab politicians, are problems associated with the illegality of them. Legalise (yeah even heroin) them all. (Yup, crack too).
Anyone who thinks otherwise is an ignorant prick whose moral judgement on people he sees as 'junkies' is clouding his ability to see that the vast resources we put the way of interdicting supply are entirely wasted, the effects of a functioning black market are worse than those of a regulated legal trade, and the efficient pyramid marketing scheme for heroin sees to it that there are more problem users AS A DIRECT RESULT of the governments habit of forming policy on this issue according to the anticipated Daily Mail headline. All prohibitionists use the slippery slope argument, ignoring the fact that this will only apply in illegal circumstances, and the vast majority of 'users' favour pot, or coke or E without feeling the need to turn themselves into Amy Winehouse. Drugs are not a moral issue, any more than a glass of wine in an evening is, and anyone who thinks it is, is a twat whose opinions can (and will) be dismissed out of hand.
I see no reason to change any of the opinions I put up here in one of my early posts except that I feel in some small way vindicated that someone else (Brunstrom's a loony) formerly of the establishment has come out with sense at last. Perhaps this will shift the terms of the debate away from the Daily Mail axis which so poisons discourse on the issue.
Feel free to comment against legalisation, but invoking morality to do so will get you called a 'cunt'. Capish?
Dmitry Medvedev who has been celebrated across Russia as the angelic voice with the cute face who sang the Russian national anthem “Crush Georgia” a hymn of the Russian revolution at Friday’s opening Olympic ceremony was revealed to be Lip Synching. Dmitry Medvedev was lip-synching to the voice of 56 year-old Vladimir Putin, who was rejected by Term Limits and the Communist Party’s politburo at a rehearsal because he had an evil face and crooked teeth. “They told us there was a problem, that we needed to fix it, so we did”, said the ceremony’s director. The director’s comments have since been wiped from government websites; and can only assume his comments are now posthumous.
“Little Vladimir Putin’s failure to be selected was mainly because he looks so creepy he should be forced to wear a bell round his neck” were among the Directors comments that were made to disappear. “The reason was for the national interest. The dictator on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings and Expression. Dmitry Medvedev is excellent in those aspects. But in terms of who wears the trousers, Vladimir Putin is perfect, each member of our team agreed as otherwise we would get "promoted" to the Governorship of Chechnya”.
Read the report from the Vancouver Sun here.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Yes, Georgia is a Country. Yes the Russians are a bunch of Nationalist thugs who really shouldn't be invading people just because they don't like the cut of the Leader's jib, but for all the bluster on the Blogosphere, what can the USA (for they are the only country that matters) do about it? Send troops? Forget it - they're busy cleaning up after they invaded a country because they didn't like the cut of the leader's jib. Agitate in the UN? Forget it, Russia has a veto and so does France. Sarkozy is in Russia at the moment and this appears to have brought about a cease fire.
Travel Gal suggests sending the Navy, but short of triggering a war, would the Americans really risk a flat-top against a serious (perhaps the only serious) land-based air force? No. Though in reality, would the Russians risk attacking it? Probably not. Short of world war III There is nothing we can do to protect Georgia. Nada. Squat. Perhaps if the Americans had large numbers of troops in Germany with plenty of Kit, rather than the skeleton force they have there at the moment. Perhaps if they did not have the Quarter of a Million troops otherwise engaged, and if there was sufficient reason for such a confrontation then maybe we could send a serious message to Putin and his puppet. But they don't, they are and there isn't so we won't.
The fact is, Russian "peacekeepers" had been in the troubled province for decades. The lines were drawn by Stalin (a Georgian) in order that the republics all contained a mish-mash of ethnicities so Mother Russia could divide and rule in its satellite states. It is Georgian President Saakashvili who wanted to reclaim South Ossetia, which had been Russia in all but name since 1993. He sent the Troops in first, and Russia responded albeit in a flagrant over-reaction. If in sending troops to support Georgia, we are sending a message that any democracy is better than any autocracy, then we are condoning rabble rousing politicians into provoking wars in the hope that America will bail them out should the Gamble not pay off. We are also supporting ineptitude on a heroic scale - Russia desired a causus bellum, and Saakashvili gave them one. This is like going up to Wladimir Klitschko and calling his mother a promiscuous old spinster. He's not allowed to hit you, but if he does, it will hurt. This war, more brutal and destructive than any waged by our armed forces, is in the grand Geopolitical scheme of things, not a big deal and doesn't seem to change very much. Georgian politicians gambled big, and lost, and we always knew Putin was a ruthless bastard.
But this brings us to the final reason for our non-activism in the affair. What vital interests are at stake? Democracy? Don't make me Laugh! The Baku Tiblisi Cehyan pipeline? That certainly has something to do with it. Certainly the Russians want as much power over the oil in their near abroad as possible, in order to increase leverage against the west. So the pipeline running through a stable and democratic state which is not Russia is desirable. However, this is the Caucasus we're talking about: stability is temporary. It's long been clear that the main risk to the pipeline was from seperatists (not just Ossetian: The PKK blew this up last week), and the northern most pipeline is only 30 miles away from the South Ossetian border. The pipeline is often cited as an attempt to bypass both Russia and Iran in the transport of Oil from the middle east to Europe. It is, and this is why the Russians bombed it over the weekend. But this is one of a number of pipelines: the Baku pipeline terminating in the Black sea port of Supsa is under as much threat. However, The Russians in getting whatever they want, may just stop provoking seperatists in the obscuristans on its borders and perversely actually make the oil safer.
Seperatists and Russian bombers notwithstanding, It is likely that Georgia will remain independent, but more mindful of its neighbour to the north, and the oil will subsequently resume its flow, who ever remains in charge. So our intervention now could only make it worse.
A rule of foreign policy is dress pragmatism up in moral clothing. If you can't do anything, don't bluster, or you'll advertise your weakness. The fact that Georgia had Troops in Iraq (now returned by the Americans) makes them an ally, but not an indispensable one. And if you don't care, there's no point pissing on your chips for the sake of a principle you can't or won't defend. This is not Hitler marching into the Sudetenland, whatever foam-flecked* people on the internet say. So George Bush's and Gordon Brown's statement - saying precisely nothing, and that of William Hague saying exactly the same (to the displeasure of mouth-breathers on Conservative home) was exactly what was needed. Let the French stick their cocks in the hornet's nest, we've got enough to deal with.
I dealt with two Communist institutions today, one foreign, one domestic.
I have to say I was reasonably impressed with one of them. I paid (Quite a lot) of money for a small sticker at the Socialist Republic of Vietnam embassy today. In return for this fee of £55 they will allow me to make numerous “Me love you long time” quips on this web site on my return from their country. Naturally the Vietnamese didn’t get it completely right, as Communists and bureaucrats to boot you have to except them to screw it up a little bit. I’m very proud of my collection of entry stamps on my passport and nothing irritates me more than when an embassy covers one of my old collections with a one page Visa sticker. Why in the name of God’s arse they need a one page sticker is beyond me, South Africa has a lovely 1/3 rd of a page one for example; and they’re a third world shithole.
Anyhooo, I told them to cover one of the pages with writing on that translates the word “Name” and “British Citizen” into Greek, Hungarian, Serbo-Croat and the million other languages our farcical membership of the EU forces us to write over our passports; languages that are exclusively found in England in the kitchen of a restaurant serving Borsch. Did they cover this useless information – did they hell, they covered a page with 5 US entry stamps – so I guess they haven’t forgiven the Yanks just yet. I have no idea why this fairly obvious information on your passport is translated, passports have a standard layout; and unless you’re Icelandic your name isn’t going to be the one word - “Male”. I will credit customs officers with a great deal of intelligence in case they read this blog (so avoiding a repeat of my US customs search on coming back from Panama) and assume they are not so dumb to assume that every person entering their country on the British Airways flight has the place of birth “United Kingdom Passport Agency”.
The second Communist institution was nowhere near as efficient. I had high hopes on my first visit last night, they gave me somebody competent and friendly. However today when I returned to this Communist institution a second time I waited two hours and then left that particular department and went on to the next one hoping they would be quicker. There was a queue a mile long with the underclass wanting them to sign them off for another year of inactivity; I didn’t even bother waiting for my blood test and left the NHS hospital. After two hours waiting at A&E I didn’t have the patience. On the plus side I did see how it was possible to waste a full 15 minutes at an Accident and Emergency department from the time you were officially supposed to be open. Farting about with your PC, Pens, Getting a drink of water and scratching your arse before you got to work. She was a credit to the public sector.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. The others being lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath and pride.
We all display some of them - Mine are lust, wrath and pride. But reading Clarkson's article Reviewing a Rolls Royce on Sunday and that of Giles Coren (via), ripping Toynbee's latest execrable book to shreds, I was reminded at how envy is probably the defining characteristic of leftism. They call it egalitarianism, but really it is motivated by a desire to pull the lucky and talented down to the mediocre level of the peasantry. Anger, violence and crime are, in this world view, a justifiable reaction to some having more than others. Never mind the extra work, hours, education, training and probably ability (certainly luck too) too that being successful requires, the attitude of the Left is to remove hope from the people - all of them. Coren puts it beautifully
Despite Dave [Walker] and Polly's best doom-mongering efforts, the kids on the trip show great enthusiasm for going to Oxford. So Dave and Polly leap in: “Did the Brent students know that over half the students at Oxford and Cambridge come from private schools? They had no idea and it shocked them.” Yeah, that's right, Polly, you step in and piddle on their dreams, why don't you. Tell them they've got no chance. It's your way, after all. (Furthermore, that statistic is another gross exaggeration as a correction in The Guardian admitted yesterday.) It's not Oxford itself that holds back kids like this, it's sour old Trots like Toynbee.What he doesn't do is say why they are so quick to dash any raised expectations. By telling them that the rich and successful are doing unto the poor, there's no prospect that the poor will ever improve their lot. Therefore there's no reason to work a bit harder, get the promotion, or start your own business. Certainly no reason to risk disappointment and strive for the gleaming spires of Oxford. No hope of ever breaking out of the hell of means-tested benefits and wage-slavery. Instead the Toynbee prescription is for the poor to be grateful for the mean crusts thrown their way by benevolent socialists like her, who are the only people who really know what's good for the working class. The fact that this keeps the likes of her at the top of a tree has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Clarkson points out the difference in attitude between the British and The Americans
When they see a man pass by in a limousine, they say: “One day, I’ll have one of those.” When we [brits] see a man pass by in a limo, we say: “One day, I’ll have him out of that.”And that is one reason why the Americans are richer than us. They do not tax the rich to penury and demand that Sloth, the defining deadly sin of Britain's underclass be subsidised out of hard-earned money. True, champagne socialist gits like La Toynbee can never feel the satisfaction of money hard earned - receiving a place in the commentariat by hereditary right completely without merit, and as a result will never feel the same indignation I do when I think of money I earned going up the veins of some idle smack addict whose entire lifestyle is enabled by the welfare state. Of course big-state Democrats want to instil the same sense of righteous indignation and unmerited entitlement on the poor of America that they've already achieved with the Black portion of it. When that happens, the Global Hegemony of the Great republic will be as dead as Pax Britannia without a democracy to hand the torch to. Does anyone think Chinese global leadership will be a good thing?
So Toynbee says 50% of Oxford students are from the 10% or so that go to selective or fee-paying schools, and expects us to be shocked. Well there's still a chance for the rest. It's just harder for the individual to rise above the tyranny of low expectations to which a state education condemns the young. And this is the most insidious part of the politics of envy - the indoctrination of a fatalist acceptance of a mean a tawdry status quo - one that the elite are trained to avoid, which is why the Public Schools dominate British public life more than at any time since the end of the War.
Is the whole of state education - the leftism, the all must have prizes egalitarianism, the low expectations, the dumbed down testing, the failure to teach any form of free thinking or critical appraisal and the history syllabus which seems calculated to make any Briton feel full of self loathing and post imperial guilt all part of a plot to keep the plebs in their place? Worse, Is it part of an international communist plot to weaken capitalist societies* - it certainly seems like it! Heaven forbid that a bit of pride in excellence, a joy in beauty and knowledge for its own sake and an acceptance that it is better to try and fail than never try at all be instilled in our young by the gelded nobodies who infest the teaching profession. In their place is a sense of indignation, of ennui, of open-palmed expectation combined with a loathing of the better off creates a society in which the best you can hope for is to get wasted on a Friday night after a week manning a call-centre terminal doing exactly what the computer says. With such narrow horizons, when you see a Rolls Royce you vent your anger and scrape the paintwork with your keys.
One can't have someone owning something beautiful, now can we?
*In case you think I'm bonkers, the answer to both of these questions is "no"
“a democratically elected president of Georgia must go”
To those that claim moral equivalence between The UK and US; and terrorists I would point you towards the actions of the Russians. The difference between Britain and America and the Russians is that we don’t deliberately carpet bomb civilians. The Russians have shown the difference between civilised men going to war, and illiterate savages going to war. In defence of the Russians they probably haven’t got too many smart weapons; and their pilots are probably so blind drunk on Vodka they couldn’t hit anything smaller than a city full of civilians. And as their blundering in Beslan and the Dubrovka Theatre siege proves, the Russian army is very very good at taking out civilians, even their own people; but needs overwhelming numbers to take out any opposition with guns.
Do the Russian government honestly think we are fooled? Anybody with half a brain cell knows exactly why Russia have provoked this conflict, Georgia is one of the few nations that can keep the oil flowing whenever Putin decides to blackmail a gelded France & Germany. They also don’t like the idea of another democracy on their door step. They like nations like Belarus who will allow Putin to take them up the arse.
The Russian government are a bunch of lying scumbags who only bully those a fraction of the size off themselves. They don’t have the balls to take on somebody of equal size. As their actions over Zimbabwe proved they say one thing and then do another. As their actions over Iran proved they cannot be trusted. As I mentioned in an earlier post when their submarines went down it was the British Royal Navy that rescued them (and would have tried to rescue them from the Kursk too had Putin had any guts whatsoever to admit that their navy needed help – instead he just left them to die). What do we get for this except our diplomatic staff abused and our English teachers & businessmen in Russia harassed. We’ve offered our hand in friendship numerous times, Russia has shown by their actions that they refuse it.
We in the West owe Georgia a moral debt. They helped us over Iraq, and if we do not help them now our word will mean nothing. We in the West can start by sending our navies to the region. Quite rightly the Georgians are feeling betrayed. The last time I checked the Georgians weren’t throwing round toxic radioactive materials in London, and they believe in Democracy. For that alone they deserve our support.
Friday, 8 August 2008
4/2 Odds Women's 100 metres Freestyle... Wi Do-ping (China)
7/2 Odds Mens Weightlifting "Clean & Jerk"... Popavalium Andropoff (Russia)
Evens Women's Weightlifting... Ivana Chopidoff (Russia)
6/2 Odds Women's Pole Vault... Olga Bedchadongetova (Ukraine)
7/4 Odds Mens Heavyweight Wrestling... Waisiweringa Silitupe (Fiji)
With thanks to sports guru B. Birmingham esq
The French have once again put their foot in the Merde by suggesting that countries of similar culture share seats on the EU Commission. Having already pissed off the Irish once last month by suggesting they vote again, but this time the correct way the French President is annoying the Irish twice in very quick succession. I personally think this is a great idea, as I hate the EU. So making us share a commissioner with the Irish is a great way to increase the dislike of this institution; and I’m pretty confident the Irish will feel the same way too.
Whilst the relationship with Ireland is cordial, those who know their history in England have never forgotten their taking of Semtex from the Soviets during the cold war, guns from the Nazi’s during the Second World War, guns from the Kaiser during the first world war, guns from Napoleon during the Napoloenic war, their support for Spain when the Armada threatened and the massacre of 12,000 Protestants during the 1641 rebellion that brought Cromwell across the Irish sea. The ability to remember Cromwell but forget what took him to Ireland; to remember your Post Office being blown up in 1916 but forgetting why this might be seen a teeny bit disloyal is known as Irish Alzheimer’s. Irish Alzheimer’s the ability to remember every nasty thing done to you, whilst being completely oblivious to anything you did to other people.
This forgive but not forget approach however seems to be receding. The Irish are too busy getting rich now. And ironically, Anglo-Irish relations, already friendly at Rugby matches and the post-game pint might be even further strengthened by Mr Sarkozy’s idea. Nothing unites more than a common enemy. Perhaps Mr Sarkozy should stick to domestic politics.