Generally speaking, you can be as nasty as you like to immigrants without electoral cost*, especially if you've spent the last 20 years equating the other party with racism. However some immigrants are more equal than others in the eyes of the electorate: Particularly those who have shed blood for this country.
Whilst the British electorate may be borderline racist, and certainly anti-immigration, there's a general belief based on a British sense of Fair Play that Johnny Gurkha has earned the right to live here if he so wishes.
It's also extremely foolish to criticise Joanna Lumley, who reminds the male half of the population of a primary school teacher they once had a crush on, and the female half of the population as a role model. Yes. The female James Bond - Men want to sleep with her, women want to be her.
So Kevan Jones criticising, in one sentence, the right of Gurkhas to live in the UK and St. Joanna of Lumley's integrity is spewing carefully distilled electoral suicide.
*please peruse my own views on immigration before commenting on this observation.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Generally speaking, you can be as nasty as you like to immigrants without electoral cost*, especially if you've spent the last 20 years equating the other party with racism. However some immigrants are more equal than others in the eyes of the electorate: Particularly those who have shed blood for this country.
"Strengthen fairness in communities" is the fifth and final pledge on Gordon's GE2010 pledge card. What does it mean? On their website, they use it to mean 'controlling immigration and giving young people jobs and handing out ASBOs', but that doesn't really capture it.
Let's try to decipher it, shall we. Word by word.
"Strengthen": strong. Good. bold. People like "strengthening", especially when you're strengthening something that is also good, like....
..."Fairness". Fairness means something very different to a lefty than to a proper person. To most people it means paying their way, working hard, not taking the piss and accepting responsibility for your actions. If you fall on hard times, you will be supported. That is fair. What fairness means to a lefty is "High marginal tax rates on the middle class" and "redistribution".
So... Where is "Fairness" going to be "Strengthened"? Why "In Communities" of course. Now "Communities" means to most people 'Where you live', but to the lefty, it means 'your identity group': Gay, Black or other minority ethnic, gender, or economic status. 'Community leaders' receive tax-payers money to their organisation and in return, they deliver identity group block votes. Now this strategy is falling apart. Respect is picking up the disaffected Muslim vote, much of the Indian vote has always been Tory, the Gay community appears to be forgiving the Tories for section 28, and so on.
We have a slogan that means "making where you live a bit fairer" to the average punter, and cannot possibly be objected to by anyone any more than a political party will say "we're against fairness". "Strengthen fairness in communities" is an anodyne, focussed grouped bit of meaningless marketing hocus-pocus. However to Labour's pets in the grievance industry, it means delivering tax-payers loot to undemocratic "community groups".
It's a dog-whistle.
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Claude C, who blogs at Hagley Road to Ladywood and Liberal Conspiracy kindly invited me to write the pre-election "why vote Conservative". If you don't have HRTL in your blogrolls and readers, do because he's one of the more reasonable and thoughtful leftist voices. Mine is the
last one Penultimate submission in the 2010 election special.
The rest of the series is here.
Friday, 26 March 2010
Welcome to the Catholic Church. I think you’ll find you’ve made the correct career choice. The job's a doddle and the only qualification you need is being able to regurgitate a long(ish) book that thankfully repeats itself 4 times. Bit like being a Luvvie really, but without having to be quite as sanctimonious – You’re only the voice of God, not Sean Penn.
Now Granted you can’t get laid but the perks are astronomic. The clothes are free and, if you get a little tailor I know in Valetta to let the Cassock out, pretty comfortable too. You get a bigger hat each time you get promoted and a nice big house to live in*. There’s as much free booze as you can drink, and your chance of catching Leprosy is remote unless you get caught fiddling the Parochial expenses - and find your next parish is somewhere near the source of the Amazon. You also get to have people listen to you uninterrupted for at least an hour. Indeed throw in a bit of Latin and the Left Footer community will listen to you drone on for days.
What are my promotion prospects?
If you can persuade enough old dears to leave everything to us rather than canned Tuna for Tiddles, not even the sky’s the limit.
Did we mention the not getting laid bit!
You think the small child standing in front of you wants your Al dente schlong up his backside – he doesn’t. It’s the equivalent of somebody shoving something the size of a can of Raid up your chocolate starfish and rogering you with it. For God’s sake – quite literally - don’t do it. There’s no wiggle room on this one, not now, not ever. Quite frankly we’ve been made to look like complete bell ends by people like you trying to introduce Mr Indian Gauge Train to Mr Cape Guage Tunnel. And whilst we might get away with saying that the Parishioners must bear the burden (i.e. pay the lot) with the Diocese in Ireland (the Paddies will buy anything if it’s said by a priest), the Yanks aren’t going to fall for it and will hire incredible hordes of lawyers to sue us. And now’s not really the time to sell church property to pay for your wayward cock because the housing market/the stock market/the Euro/the Dollar/Gold/Precious Gems/the art market (Delete as applicable) has taken a bit of a dive.
What should I do if I find out I’m a raving Fucking nonce?
If you want to do yourself a big fat favour if you find these “Feelings” aren’t going away. Get yourself the Consecrated Webley, a bottle of Scotch. Go out into the woods and point said revolver at your todger and blow each testicle off. It may smart quite a bit in the short term, but you’ll be doing yourself - and us; the big building with pointy bits on it - a genuine service in the long term. And if that doesn’t do the trick, we’re willing to waive the bit about “mortal sin” if you jump. We’ll even upgrade your casket to Mahogany if you land on a Protestant.
* Unless you’re one of those weirdoes who wants to live as a hermit monk. In which case have you ever considered Scientology?
If politics is showbiz for ugly people, Baroness Ashton of Upholland is a multiple Oscar winner. She's been blessed with a face like a melted waxwork of Princess Anne, and her mouth looks like a dog's arsehole. She only got the job of EU foreign minister (or whatever the formal title was dreamed up to deny that Brussels was creeping towards statehood) because she was married to one of Tony Blair's mates, Peter Kellner the head of YouGov.
Anyway, as everyone knew at the time of her appointment, she wasn't up to the job, because she's never been elected to public office, and has little management, diplomatic or international experience. She was only hired to appease the UK Government's need to have a brit in the role, who wouldn't get in the way of Gordon Browns grandstanding with world leaders, and repeated attempts to hump Barack Obama's leg.
She failed when the Chinese wanted to execute a British Citizen for smuggling drugs. She failed over the EU's response to the Haiti Earthquake.
I haven't sworn much on the blog recently but I think a farewell message to the Baroness from the editorial team of A Very British Dude would be appropriate.
"Fuck off Cathy, you useless stupid bint. Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out".*UPDATE. I misread the story. Her spokesman's quit, because he doesn't trust her. File this one under "wishful thinking".
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Most political people when discussing Prime Minister's Questions and the big parliamentary set-piece occasions like the budget, think
- who do I support?
- how can I spin it so that I can say "my man won"?
I do try to be objective. As is clear, I am enthusiastic about elements of the Tory agenda - localism, and especially locally elected police chiefs, and the policy of freeing schools from local authority control, and I would write about their plans, if I thought anyone was listening. But the left just say "That won't work/is unaffordable/will result in babies being eaten". Worse, most of the right-wing blogosphere will say either "I don't believe he'll do it" if they agree with the policy or that "It's just a blue-Labour, more of the same" if they don't.
The cynicism in politics is absolute. No-one believes anything a politician says, and that is ultimately New Labour's doing. It started with rubbishing the largely decent Tory Party under Major, which was let down by a couple of back-benchers who took money to ask questions, whilst others (shock horror!) had sex. By way of contrast This Labour government has recent ex-ministers selling Government policy. Honours have been openly on sale since 1997 and 3 (soon to be four) MPs are going to face criminal charges for fraud and corruption. The most pernicious lie is that the Tories are just as bad.
It's a mark of how good a politician Cameron is that there is an expectation of victory requiring the biggest swing since 1933, despite him having few friends in the Press and none in Broadcast media. Under these circumstances it is unlikely that people will vote FOR the Conservative party. They're voting against Labour.
I think the Labour party was, is and will always be a complete disaster for the country. And though, on their terms it was a good budget, it contained much evidence of what is wrong with the Labour approach for running the country.
It sought to force RBS and Lloyds to lend to bad credit risks using a (another!!) new Quango to enforce this. What could possibly go wrong? An increase in Stamp duty for houses over £1m to 5% will not raise anything like the amount suggested because these houses aren't traded very often, and there are ways to get round it (selling the house and fixtures and fittings separately so that the house is £999,999.99). There's the tax grab using fiscal drag. The Give-away on £250,000 house stamp duty for first time buyers is tiny, and already Tory policy.These are political piffles. All so predictable.
This budget is a "steady as she goes, don't rock the boat" budget, which would be fine if the ship of state was heading in the right direction. But it isn't. It's sailing towards jagged rocks in iceberg infested waters. So it's worth reminding ourselves what we're voting against.
First it is UNACCEPTABLE that the state is spending over half of GDP, whilst taxes are running at 42% of GDP. There is no way to spin that as a good thing. It is a feature of a decade of the most extreme profligacy on the part of a government that any grown-up, toilet-using country has ever seen. On measures of business friendliness, tax-code simplicity, freedom, productivity, and wealth creation we've gone from top of the league, running in the top 10 globally on such issues and leading Europe, to middling at best; knocking about with recovering Latin American ex dictatorships who still think indoor lavatories are pretty cool and ex-communist hell-holes where people have only just worked out that they're free enough to leave. Labour's public services, especially the NHS have responded to their glut of money with collapsing productivity. The culture of targets has led to Stakhanovite manipulation to the detriment of users. The police have been corrupted by a massive and unprecedented increase in their power and everyone feels put upon and depressed.
Labour think business is oppressive, they hate wealth-creators and think there is always enough money for the public services if people can be parted from their cash or borrowed if they can't. They do not see that parting people from their cash hurts the part of the economy that pays for everything, and eventually a hollowed out economy collapses as the inevitable overspend must be paid for. This is what causes the labour run on the pound at the end of every Labour administration.
Labour trolls can mewl all they like about unemployment being "only" 2.3 million and this being lower than expected, yet neglect to mention the millions thrown onto income support and incapacity benefit to rot as "economically inactive", and ignore the massive expansion of an unaffordable box-ticking state salariat hired simply to massage the unemployment numbers. They think their state-supported pets at the bottom of society cannot cope without nanny state, but fail to see it is the welfare state that is oppressing and infantilising them.
On the other hand, LPUK/UKIP bores can suggest that "80% of our laws come from Europe" (they don't), and therefore anyone who isn't in favour of withdrawal is the same as Labour. Repeating a silly message over and over doesn't make you any more right than the Labour party suggesting that cutting spending "removes money from the economy". You can call Cameron the "Heir to Blair" all you like. He is rooted firmly in Conservative traditions.
I want the Tories to win the next election, because at worst, they will be much better than Labour under Brown, as Tories have always been. There is a chance that Cameron's Tories, if they are serious about localism and the radical devolution of power, could be as transformational as the Thatcher administration. But no-one's listening to them yet, because they are still in opposition, and everyone in media hates them. Even as the website fills up with policies and pledges, the "no policy, lightweight" meme is trotted out, and believed. Minor discrepancies between the utterings of two Tories are presented as a "split" and U-turns are spoken of as defeats, when they're responses to changes in the situation on the ground, like the catastrophe over the Lisbon treaty. It was Labour and the Lib Dems who betrayed us. Cameron because of 3 words in the Sun, took the blame. Am I alone in thinking that a focus on wonkery and a lack of ability in policy presentation is a cause for optimism?
So. I ask you to Give Cameron a break. Try believing him once in a while. That's both UKIP/LPUK "blue-Labour" swivel-eyed loons and Labour-supporting mouth-breathers. A Tory Government will not be an impending Armageddon with puppies being used as footballs and babies for lunch, and it certainly will not be more of the same oppressive, corrupt, profligate state we've become accustomed to since 1997.
Britain is an over-governed, bankrupt hell-hole. It was quite an optimistic place proud to be the economic powerhouse of Europe, now the national sense of self-worth is crumbling as fast as our roads. It needs a new Government, not to manage the decline, but to start it's reversal. In the final analysis, who really wants to wake up on May 7th with Gordon Brown as Prime minister? You've only got one other option.
You have to support the Conservatives. If you put the cynicism aside, there are positive reasons to vote FOR them. It's not just against Labour.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
I Tweeted the budget (@VeryBritishDude) but here is the immediate summary of my thoughts. It was a non-event. There was no Browninan insanity in the budget, so it looks like we'll get stung in the usual places booze, fags, fuel and the inevitable fiscal drag. Only the 5% stamp-duty on houses worth a million is evidence of socialist wishful thinking. Start to see houses on the market at £999,999 plus "fixtures and fittings".
Despite the lack of insanity, both Sterling and Gilts fell steadily when Darling was on his feet. Expect them to rally subsequently as the non-event feeds through.
No Lunacy = good result. Way to go, Labour.
But this will all be swept aside by an incoming Tory administration. The only import is that it is evidence that Darling won the Battle of the Bunker, and I think that indicates Brown is weaker than he appears and will not hang on as leader after the election, and will not be able to install Yvette Cooper's dildo as his successor.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Many hours of intensive research effort from one of the Left's most plausible bloggers, to what end?
Did this #CashGordon nonsense change a single vote? Everyone who's busying themselves with deconstructing who said what to whom on twitter and producing Downfall spoofs are dealing with a subject of interest to internet geeks. In fact it's of passing interest only to internet geeks WHO'VE ALREADY MADE UP THEIR MINDS.
Still, it means the best troops of the army of the left is still engaging in unimportant skirmishes on the flanks, when their Generals are busy shooting themselves in the foot and their entire army's central front is collapsing as a result of massive incompetence. I mean three Labour MPs are facing Criminal Charges, three more have been caught lobbying for cash in embarrassing circumstances*, and these are all over the front pages to the extent that even the BBC can't brush it under the carpet. At the same time the opponent's leader's wife is up the duff, meaning he is the recipient of glowing tributes and best wishes all round. Furthermore we in the run-up to the last Labour budget which promises to serve only to remind voters of how bust the country is, and the Unions are busy showing everyone who wears the pants in the Labour movement family. Under these circumstances, I find it ridiculous that the most important issue in the leftist blogosphere is that someone's in CCHQ's girlfriend said something silly to someone else who may have done something funny to a website which has fewer hits than even this one.
Given the abject failure of the (C)Ashcroft smearathon which was the central election message of the entire Labour party for several weeks, does anyone think #CashGordon is going to do anything?
Unity, in this case is like the Japanese soldiers still fighting their personal battles in the Jungle long after the war has moved on. Impressive devotion to duty, but ultimately futile.
*Incidentally are The Heresiarch and I the only ones defending Hoon and Hewitt at all?
As my friends and the Managers of local pools (& their unfortunate staff) are aware, I am campaigning for cooler water in swimming pools. Basically since most people don't know how to exercise, they go to pools and think they should not be feeling any chill at all when they get in.
"Oooh. This is nice..."However if you heat a pool to 30c to achieve this, people who want to swim for fitness will rapidly overheat, yet this is where most pools around the country seem to be: There are very few pools around the country at or below 28c, which is the Maximum temperature for competition allowed by FINA.
I've written to the managers of local baths, the person in charge of the contracts on the Council, the Councillors, our MP and the Sports minister (44 days left for him to do something for me) and an outfit called the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group, who issue guidance to the industry suggesting misinterpretation of guidance is causing managers to fail fitness and competitive swimmers by allowing them to keep water far too warm. Whilst this does please a majority, it absolutely excludes a minority who want to swim seriously or competitively. In any case, 28-29c is by no objective standard, cold. I've seen 1 year-olds happily splashing about in water of this temperature. Nor am I against warm water where appropriate - where there is a flume, wave machine, irregular shapes or other indications of a 'leisure pool', but a bog-standard, rectangular pool is there for people to swim laps and get fit, not to lounge around in the shallow end talking about Maude's dreadful haemorrhoids.
It turns out, not for the first time, that I am right, and everyone else is wrong. I received this from PWTAG yesterday.
Concern has been expressed by a number of pool operators that swimming pool temperatures in the latest version of PWTAG’s book “Swimming Pool Water” shown in the table of “recommended maximum pool temperatures” have increased since the earlier version. The values shown were stated as maximum recommended values and not to be interpreted as absolute values. The guidance said that many pools could successfully operate one or two degrees below these values.Whilst Mr Guthrie stipulated that this wasn't an official document, the above would be sent to managers of the leisure industry clarifying their advice which revised maximum pool temperatures upwards by 1c in 2008, and whose table only contained the Maximum values, allowing easy misinterpretation by leisure managers. Let's see if they can act on this guidance, and explain to Maude and Deirdre that if they want to swim doggy-paddle in water the temperature of kiddies' wee, they can go and micturate into their own bath at home. 28-29c is the right temperature for a pool, no warmer.
PWTAG recognise that this table can be interpreted in different ways and that it appears to be inconsistent with other guidance in the book. For this reason we have published this addendum and a new table showing both recommended temperature ranges and maximum temperatures
Operators tempted to move towards higher temperatures should bear in mind that they do create a number of problems. Higher temperatures whilst pleasing the leisure swimmer, young children or the infirm will not please or suit the fitness or competitive swimmer. Fitness swimming or training in water in the higher temperature ranges is unpleasant and can cause ill health through over heating.
• Microorganisms multiply faster – up to twice as fast for a rise of 10 degrees C;
• Bathers get hotter – limiting serious swimming and increasing sweat and grease in the water.
• Increased perspiration will add to the levels of ammonia and urea in the pool producing more combined chlorine, chlorine demand will increase simply to maintain free chlorine levels.
• Increase urea levels will cause the irritant, smelly gas nitrogen trichloride to form. This will require action to reduce it, either by lowering bather demand or supplementary water treatment processes
• Dissolved gases become less soluble – more bad smells (chloramines) and potentially harmful trihalomethanes; and pH value rises as carbon dioxide escapes.
• Energy costs, direct and indirect, are higher – whatever efficiency or conservation methods are used.
• Air temperatures, which are linked to those of the water, rise too – making the atmosphere less comfortable for staff and others (as can the higher moisture levels).
• There is more moisture in the pool atmosphere, even when relative humidity is controlled at the same level – with a risk of condensation and possibly corrosion and deterioration of the building fabric, structure and equipment.
With an increasingly wide variety of pool uses, and operators attempting to introduce more flexibility into programming, it is obviously difficult to select a single appropriate or optimum operating temperature for any particular pool. This is not such a problem for the dedicated small volume teaching pool, but in a 25m or 50 pool the large volumes of water involved make it difficult to vary water temperatures rapidly in any one water area. Any changes required to suit programme needs must be capable of being achieved gradually. For example temperatures will tend to be lower at the start of the day and be slowly raised throughout the day. Conversely temperature will fall following backwashing and replenishment with fresh water. This means that the selection and accurate control of the optimum water temperature for each pool and each form of programmed use is essential.
The temperature of the pool hall air should normally be maintained at the water temperature – or no more than 1 degree C above or below. But it is recommended that air temperatures over 30ºC should generally be avoided.
The fat, weak, stupid, ignorant and lazy who want it different can suck it up or fuck off.
Monday, 22 March 2010
The FT has announced today that the Conservatives have no plans on scrapping Labours “Union Modernisation Fund” money laundering operation. In case you don’t know what this is, its something set up by ZanuLabour in 2005 where taxpayers money gets paid to the Unions for “modernisation”*. The same money then gets paid back to ZanuLabour in the form of campaign contributions. If the future government wants to fund the opposition out of taxpayers money then they’re fools. “The fund is due to pay out £2.4 Million” of our bloody money (as LFAT points out - not including taxpayers money spent on civil servants), this year and next to the arseholes who are currently screwing up a decent British Company and your Easter holiday. Here’s an easy opportunity to save a couple of million quid a year, with no detrimental effect whatsoever, and it helps bankrupt the party that’s bankrupted the country to boot. £2.4 Million saved here, and £2.4 million saved there and we soon start talking serious money saved. Its not bloody rocket science is it Dave?
*And yes I know that “Modernising” these nasty Communist throwbacks is an oxymoron.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
UNITE getting German/French/US Unions onside will probably work in BA's favour - BA Can say that they are doing something that is Illegal in the UK (Flying Pickets, Sympathy Strikes etc), and sue the Union. They can also point out that other countries unions would quite like BA to fail, as it would strengthen their own Airlines and make union jobs more secure for Pierre, Pedro, Hans and Hank Jr the Third. This is not about workers solidarity to the foreign unions, its about killing the competition. A great deal more negative PR for Unite that isn’t exactly swimming with public goodwill after cameras caught their celebrations when they agreed to go on strike last time.
This could be the gift that keeps on giving for the Conservatives. Cameron has laid into Brown about this already at PMQ’s yesterday. Labour Brought up Ashcroft, a man who set up Crime stoppers and spends his time giving Victoria Crosses to the nation, and incidentally doesn’t take a penny of taxpayers money for doing his job. The Conservatives topped it with Lord Paul who has taken a load of tax payers money in expenses and was rather cavalier with the pension fund of the Steel company he took over. And now the Conservatives can bash Labour with this too. Safe in the knowledge the Comrades aren’t chucking money at the Conservatives.
Yesterday was Paddies day. Some Irish are bemused by the widespread nature of the celebrations, most however get in the swing of it. The fact is the Irish, outside the 6 counties, are as far as national stereotypes go, a pretty genial lot. Dublin, for example is generally regarded as the best city in the 6-nations for reasons that have little to do with rugby and everything to do with a warm welcome to visitors (and Guinness). Plus the fact that the Irish are the great english-speaking diaspora. Whilst the Scots went out round the empire as Administrators and soldiers, the Irish emigrated for economic reasons. There are more of them in Oz, New Zealand, Canada and the USA than Scots and they kept their identity as Irish for longer. An Anglo-Scot settler in Canada will become 'Canadian' faster than an Irish one.
I take the Corrigan Brothers' view of Irishness. We're all a bit Irish. For example, I am an Anglo-Scot with two Scots Gaelic Grandparents, with one Welsh great grandparent, and an Irish surname, which is why I'm a very BRITISH dude. (Perhaps more accurately I should be a very BRYTHONIC dude). For most however, Paddies day has become an excuse to wear some green, dig out a ancestor who once tripped over a shamrock, and get drunk. When your national celebrations involve genial hospitality, drinking songs and good humour, you'd be surprised if everyone didn't want a part of it.
Found on this-is-not-cricket-sir
Great Comment by James..."It would be beneficial to contact the clients of Mr. Winn to let them know of his opinions.I did a WHOIS of the webeurope site.It uses 2 servers: 18.104.22.16822.214.171.124
Using those, and doing a reverse IP look up here: http://www.myiptest.com/staticpages/index.php/Reverse-IP/mugello.co.uk gives about 50 businesses that use the webeurope servers.These businesses can be contacted by phone or email to let them become informed of Mr. Winn’s policies regarding our citizens who serve in the military".
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
I've been wondering what is my view of Mr Karl Winn of Taunton Somerset. He's the boss of WebEurope, who when asked by the forces recruitment service to consider employing ex-service personnel, he responded
Personally, I'd rather recruit ex-drug dealers, convicts and even child molesters rather than consider anybody who has been in the pay of the British Government.I can of course sympathise with this view. I would no more employ a civil servant or Labour politician or SPAD than I would a convicted thief. I have no beef with drug dealers, who are simply supplying a demand and showing admirable entrepreneurial spirit to do so. I'm less keen on Paedophiles, but doing what I do (I don't work with children), I guess I'd have to accept their payment of their debt to society if they've been let out. However he goes on...
however Anybody who has been in the pay of such a military force, and by their silence and complicity has condoned such illegal and immoral actions while accepting a monthly bloodstained pay-packet , certainly won't be considered for employment by us.
'The reality for the families of their victims is that there will never be any justice, and there never will be any closure, for the loss of a son, a husband, a child, or a family member who has fallen victim to British Military personnel who are going beyond 'just doing their job'.
'Please remove us from your email list. Regards, Karl.
Obviously there are arguments that soldiers pay with their lives so that peaceniks like Mr Winn can continue into their 60's to spout their sub-student union drivel that they should have grown out of . Or that it's offensive to soldiers to compare them to Paedophiles. This is trite: Mr Winn regards ex-cons as having paid their debt, and soldiers as not being willing to do so. It's a stupid opinion, but it has internal logic. I doubt many soldiers would enjoy working with someone who probably regards The Guardian as savage right-wing propaganda, and fewer care about Mr Winn and his stupid opinions.
Of course, Mr Winn is entitled to those opinions. He's also entitled to employ who ever he likes (though I expect that he supports race gender and religious equality laws, but still wants to discriminate against former soldiers) What he is not entitled to do is attempt to blame his staff for "hacking" his e-mail. That small lie gives us the real measure of the man. Here soldiers understand the principles of leadership: If you have objectionable opinions, and you've just compared Soldiers to Paedophiles, you've two courses of action: Apologise, or Stand by them and accept the consequences. Don't attempt to blame the staff in a weasel attempt to save your blushes.
The consequences, in this case are that you'll get a shed-load of hate-mail and I will be bringing attention to this episode to people who don't read the Sun, so that all right thinking people can boycott your business, which I hope folds in a Ratneresque public collapse, to mirth all round.
Ben, a convicted of murder whilst still a minor, asks how we can treat him (and John Venables) as adults in a court of law when...
...We are held to be fully responsible for any crimes we may commit from the age of 10 years. Until the Bulger murder, the law held that, up to the age of 14, the law had to prove that the child defendant understood right and wrong and appreciated the consequences of their actions.It is as he says, a moral, legal and philosophical question. This is and extension of the point that Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner was trying to make when she said that Venables and Thompson should not have been tried as adults. Ed Balls, mindful of the lumpen populist "evil Venables, burn him" invective from Britain's ghastly, purient tabloid press, of course slapped Atkinson down. So... old enough to face an adult court for murder, old enough to decide whether you want to fuck? There is no easy answer to that question.
In the popular panic that heated society and politics around the Bulger murder, this qualification was removed. From then on, ten year olds were assumed to have the moral reasoning of fully fledged adults.
So I can be held to be capable of assuming full legal and moral responsibility for killing a person. This isn't an issue I care to deny in my own case. However, if I had decided to have sex, it would be unshakably asserted that I was incapable of making any sensible decision. After all, children can't, can they...?
Of course putting arbitary age limits on anything is problematic. Raise the drinking age to 21 means that you're old enough to face bullets and bombs on the other side of the world in the service of your country, but not old enough to have a pint of beer when you get home. Old enough to leave school and get a job at 16, but not old enough to drive there.
Venables' and Thompson's actions, like those of Mary Bell before them revolted the nation. Hard Cases make bad law, and New Labour's raison d'etre, even in the good times was governing by Tabloid Headline, so Gordon Brown's boot-boy, Ed Balls wades in on whim of the mob, dis-guarding justice along the way.
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Listening to the BBC, and commentators in the media lecturing us about how unpopular "spending cuts" are with the public, I cannot be alone in thinking "YES! Cut away". I think politicians are people by their very nature who, for however noble reasons, to spend other peoples money on other people. They may think they are able to do good with other people's money, but I think I could do more good, for me, with my money than Gordon Brown can by pissing it into the pockets of his client state.
And that client state is not helping me, or anyone else. It has become a burden, monitoring what I put in my bin, lecturing me about my car use, nagging me about my carbon emissions, intruding in my private life, complicating my business and generally getting in the way. Do you honestly think that life would be worse if there were fewer Personalisation Coordinators, or Stakeholder Engagement specialists? If the Tories could persuade voters that they would get the state off their backs, whilst leaving nurses and teachers in post, and in doing so free both the voter from excessive tax and regulatory intrusion, and freeing the nurse or teacher from counter-productive targets into the bargain, then that would be the vote-winner.
People do not love the state. They love their local school (and I think they would like to get involved in running it). They need their local hospital . The state has merely managed to persuade a plurality of voters that the local school or hospital needs to be RUN by the state, and that requires several million civil servants to be employed monitoring targets in order to do so. All the Tories need to do is persuade voters that they don't and it doesn't.
It's a difficult argument to make, and most people are unware of it, let alone persuaded.
In practice I think the Tory school policy in particular will work so well as a means to sell this, that in 10 years, no-one will believe that there were 2,740 people working for something rebranded to the 'Department for Children Schools and families' Whilst this may have fallen by 25% over the past decade, the number of people doing the job has not. 30 people now work for the ludicrously named '11 million' (formerly the Children's commissioner for England), An unknown number (though thankfully they're now consolidated "in one building') work for Becta, 2003 people work for Cafcass, 114 for the mysterious Children's workforce Development Council, who managed to get rid of some £50,000,000 in 2008/9. The 291 people who work for the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services managed to get rid of £104,000,000. 111 people working for the Partnership for Schools spent £7,100,000. An unknown number work for the Qualifications and Curriculum development agency, who don't seem to publish their Reports online. Thanks to Jamie Oliver, we have the Schools Food Trust employing 51 people and spending £6,500,000. Finally we have the Training Development Agency for Schools which employs 337 people and spends some £800,000 a year.
That's 10 organisations, quangos and agencies, each with its own bureaucracy, HR gnomes, Safety elves, stationary, websites and the management consultants coming up with branding, re-branding, and a marketing &PR guru to design the logo. Only one was necessary before. Never the less, the ludicrous Ed Balls can say because he's farmed out lots of functions, that he's cut "bureaucracy" in the DCSF, whilst that cost has multiplied and expanded, hydra-like elsewhere. That's before we look at the 150 of
Local Education Authorities Local Authority Education Departments, whose main function is central planning of which brats go to which state indoctrination centre school, a function much better suited to a market than bureaucratic planning.
There is so much waste in the public sector that we could cut the deficit in its entirety without firing a single nurse, teacher, soldier, policeman, road engineer, GP or Bin-man simply by getting rid of useless Quangos, cutting central bureaucracy and encouraging markets in public services. For that is the Genius of the Tory education plans. If they work (and they've worked everywhere they've been tried from New Zealand to Sweden) there will be no need for wasteful central bureaucracy. Indeed all those teachers toiling away in town halls across the land could be re-employed... in schools... y'know... actually teaching.
Bureaucracies have been allowed to grow unchecked under Labour. It's time to swing the axe.
More Teachers. More schools. For less money. And less tiresome and expensive interference from an over-mighty bureaucracy. And no lottery about which school your child is allocated - a successful school in a leafy suburb or a failing Comprehensive? It's not your choice, but it could be, and the Tories' education model can work elsewhere in the public services. More. For Less. Vote Tory.
Monday, 15 March 2010
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Naturally the Labour Party tops the bill with unsuitable people chosen to become MP’s or more exactly Deputy Prime Ministers – not because there’s anything wrong with ship’s steward as a career of course, but because failed Bulimic two Jags/Jabs/Shags/Bogs was and still is an idiot who stole our money to pay for his mock Tudor beams. I’ve no idea what his successor Harridan Hateman did, but I assume whatever it was, it was even more useless than learning how to transport a Gin and Tonic from the barman to a customer.
One could argue a career in Pornography is good training for being an MP. Both are Shallow, meaningless, superficial and involve arse fucking people whose lot in life doesn’t allow them to fight back. And on the bright side, at least she's not another bloody "Human Rights" lawyer. But nevertheless the Liberal Democrats should stick to making us laugh the way they always did – by publishing their Manifesto. This new foray into alternative humour isn’t playing to their comedy strengths.
Funny quip on Political betting today...
"Newsnight was funny. Paxman seemed to have a real disdain for Ed Balls".
"Actually Ed Balls is one of those people who divides opinions.
There are some people who want to punch him in the face all day long.
The rest of the people want to kick him in the knackers all day long".
Thanks to the Screaming Eagles for that little Bon Mot.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
In order to assist our Brothers in Arms from the United States I would like to publish US Navy Directive 16134 (Inappropriate T-shirts) which applies to US Navy and USMC Serving Personnel…
Subject: U.S. Navy Directive 16134
To: All Commands Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts Ref: ComMidEastFor Inst 16134//24 K
All commanders promulgate upon receipt.
The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East:
"Eat Pork Or Die" [both English and Arabic versions]
"Shrine Busters" [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]
"Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy" [Both English and Arabic versions]
"Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more." [Both English and Arabic versions]
“72 Virgins Dating Service”
"The road to Paradise begins with me." [Mostly Arabic versions but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs]
"Guns don't kill people. I kill people". [Both Arabic and English versions]
"Pork. The other white meat." [Arabic version]
"Infidel" [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]
The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges/Navy Exchanges upon receipt of this directive.
The following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:
"Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range At 0800 Daily."
"Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?"
All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon receipt.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Monday, 8 March 2010
Labour would have you believe that to remove the "stimulus" from the economy would put in jepoardy the recovery. That is unless debt-funded spending is continued, this country will slip back into recession.
Let's think about what this means, here in the real world for a minute.
This recovery is about spending in the economy and it has been funded until recently by freshly printed money. This source of funding has run out, and the UK is reliant now on the debt markets to provide the "investment in public services" that the taxpayer for the moment is unable to. Or to put it another way, the Chinese tax-payer is funding Gordon's spending spree.
The other people who are funding the spending spree are the banks, who are forced, by law to buy more government debt as capital against which they lend. They are forced to raise the ratio from 4% to around 7% of their loan-book.
So in Lending to the Government, and improving the security of their balance sheets, the banks are forced to remove credit lines from families and businesses except at exhorbitant rates. As the interest paid on Government debt goes up (and the value of the bonds goes down) the rate the private sector is forced to pay goes up too. Thus Gordon's lunatic borrowing spree prevents the private sector borrowing and sends viable business to the wall.
What happens to this spending. Let's not pretend that the Government is spending it on more nurses, doctors and teachers. Sure there have been increases in their number but real professionals take years to train; a majority of the increase in spending has been on wasteful non-jobs in the Civil Service, Quangocracy and local government. More are being hired as we speak and the only reason I can think is that Gordon is borrowing and spending simply to keep the unemployment numbers down, without regard to the Country's ability to pay or the need for the jobs these people are doing.
The problem is that bureaucracies are self-perpetuating. Unless managed, they will make work for themselves, shuffling policies, having meetings, gold-plating regulations and increasing the monitoring of the people doing the job and the rest of the population paying for it. No doubt to the individul civil servant it feels like that job is important, but do you really belive that the for example the MOD couldn't function just as well with half the number of people employed in procurement. Indeed I suspect the cost overuns and delays are caused by an excess of pen pushers sticking their oar in.
So, Brown's spending is simply an exercise in make-work to massage the statistics before the election, and it also has the advantage that there is more fat to cut for the Tories for a Labour party in opposition to scream about, and more for the brothers in the PCS Union to go on strike about when the Evil Tory Cuts are being decided upon.
Gordon Browns cowardly unwillingness to do what is nessesary and cut the bloated civil service into which he has pumped an extra quarter of a million employees in his 13 years in charge, the box-tickers in local government employed to enforce all those intrusive laws and regulations, all those compliance officers, tax auditors and administrative secretaries employed to deal with the red-tape he has foisted on business all act to hold back this country.
Sure if they were all fired tomorrow, there would be an enourmous increase in the dole bill and a massive cut in economic demand. But the cutting must begin now, and not stop for a decade. Red-tape must be cut, the tax-code simplified so that accountatnts are released to do something more productive. Civil servants need to start being laid off, so they can become net contributors to the exchequer in the private sector rather than drains on it in the public. And if this causes a small drop in the GDP numbers for a month, and unemployment goes up a bit before the election, then that is a price worth paying because it will be worse if the job cuts are forced on the country by the bond-markets and a collapsing pound. If started now this cutting can be done without cutting the people, the nurses, road engineers, policemen, teachers and others who actually deliver the services the country needs.
In fact if we could only trust the people delivering the services to do the job a bit more without having to fill in forms to keep Gordon's army of bureaucrats in work, then we might actually get more out of them. Yes! more and better services, by spending less. By getting rid of the useless cunts.
If you're in the public services, you know if you're helping delivery or whether you can throw a sickie without anyone noticing. Like the cunts who went on strike today. Did you notice. No. Neither did I. There's your answer. Send the strikers a P45, for the good of the country, because every pound you don't spend on them, is a pound the banks can lend to a viable business, increasing productive private sector employemet, and a pound that can go into the actuall delivery of services people use. The strikers have self-identified themselves as part of the problem. So let's have less of this monstrous lie that the spending spree which is still ongoing, is about anything other than a last desperate attempt by the Labour party and its cronies in the Union movement to cling onto power, and to poison the wells for the incoming administration if they fail.
Gordon's economic policy is only just short of treason.
There’s been a big shock for the followers of Luvvies everywhere. The preachy anti American bullshit film, with spiffy special effects, and a story line penned by an adolescent lost to a gritty fairly accurate and politically impartial look at war. I’m very glad Hurt Locker won, because despite the fact that it shows an EOD Tech yanking a bunch of daisy chain 105 Shells out of the ground rather than using the barrow like proper soldiers do, and showing a bunch of ex-“Them” Brits (God Hollywood really hates us Brits) as incompetent dilettantes its actually a pretty good film. Unlike “In the Valley of Elah”, “Rendition”, “Stop Loss”, “Redacted”, “Syriana”, “Lions for Lambs” et all, Hurt Locker isn’t a 1 ½ hour finger wagged at me that all war is evil if it is waged by Republicans; and the money spent on Tanks should be given to homeless lesbian dolphins. I already have to pay for left wing diatribes, it’s called the BBC, and I see no reason why I have to pay more money for the privilege; and looking at their Box office take, nobody else saw a reason either.
Indeed the interesting part of Hurt Locker asks the question why people fight. And for once the answer comes somewhat closer to the truth than a million films before it. As Winston Churchill said – “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result”. For some people war is the ultimate drug, especially when you’re winning and the Hurt Locker lets you into a dirty little secret that prospective Green Party candidates don’t want you to know. Whisper it quietly but war can be bloody good fun. And if you still doubt me, then have a read of “Happy Odyssey” by Sir Adrian Carton De Wiart VC. He absolutely loved every bloody minute of his wars from the Boer war all the way through to World War Two, and he was shot in the face twice, lost 1 arm, 1 X Lung, bit his own fingers off when the doctor refused to remove them and was wounded a grand total of 10 times.
Of course the downside of this is that the people who fight are bored rigid by peace, to the detriment of their loved ones, and again the film actually shows this very well –as the bomb disposal Sergeant looks bewildered at an isle full of breakfast cereal, and the heartbreaking conversation to his baby son “With me, I think it's one” – and you know the one thing isn’t his son. And for once – Halleluiah, the film didn’t spell it out to me in giant capital letters what that one thing is. This film deserved an Oscar because unlike every other film made since 1978 it didn’t patronise the hell out of me.
Of course you still get people like this to remind you that actors and directors are complete cocks, who have only a passing knowledge of what actually happens in the real world.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Just been chatting with a buddy of mine at the New York Post regarding Brazil and Ms. Clinton's stellar performance in the region. Fresh from their winning diplomatic moves in the Falklands, she decided she’d work the shaft and fondle the balls of another “Yanqui go home” country in the region. And yet again her fluffing efforts have resulted in a mess on her face. She wanted the Brazilian government to support our efforts to stop raving whack-job Ahmadinerjacket getting some Nukes. The Brazilians (or more specifically left wing “Blue eyes” Da Silva) told her to tell her story walking, and continues to support Ahmadimjihad in his efforts to make Tel Aviv uninhabitable for 703,800,000 years. The reason Brazil is doing this is because the Brazilian government, like all (shaved) pussies, wants somebody to go first before they build their own Nuke. Brazil desperately wants a Nuclear Weapon in part because of their crushing inferiority complex, and presumably also to stop the Paraguayans launching a pre-emptive attack on their Sequin factories a week before Mardi Gras.
My buddy argues that logically they deserve a seat on the UN Permanent security council. I would say why? Other than a couple of P-47 Squadrons and some cans of corned beef during WWII, they are hardly at the forefront of efforts to crush world totalitarianism. Their single contributions to the world being the Caipirinha, the Shaved Vulva and their environmental attempts at recycling dental floss to turn it into swimwear. India deserves a UN Security Council seat as they actually send peacekeepers abroad. The only thing Brazil had going for them is that they weren't actively getting in the way. "Blue eyes" Da Silva has changed all that. To be recognised as a UN “Great Power” you have to do something “Great”. And impressive as she is, this lady doesn’t count.
My working definition of left and right is that the left will not admit that teenage girls Have children because of the incentives in the welfare system. Our welfare system rewards teenage motherhood with an income and a flat. Independence of a sort for a teenage girl, who for the demographic we're talking about is likely to share a council-owned flat with a mother and a string of her boyfriends and half-siblings sired by them. Of course she's going to want to get out. And of course pregnancy and childbirth in this demographic is now a normal route to this end.
Unity, over at LibCon doesn't see it that way:
The popular myth of teenagers deliberately getting pregnant in order to gain access to welfare benefits and social housing is, in the absence of a correlation between economic activity and conception rates, nothing more than a myth.
The strong correlations from economic activity rates to both birth rates and the abortion rate do, however, show that economic considerations are a major factor in the thinking of teenagers after they fall pregnant, particularly when deciding to whether to terminate the pregnancy or not.
Whether or not you get pregnant is one thing. Rich kids get up the duff too. What actually matters is the getting of bastards who are going to be supported for their entire parasitic lives by the tax-payer. And economic activity rates are important here. Unity can describe the act of "falling pregnant" in order to gain independence as "Nothing more than a myth". Of course the live births statistics don't back his vision of the welfare state's incentives having no impact on the UK's huge numbers of young single mothers who will never work, which is why he glosses over them. The poorer and more deprived you are, the more likely you are to carry through your pregnancy to parturition. Unity's post is therefore dishonest.
He then descends into a diatribe about the awfulness of anti-abortion campaigners in General (I'm inclined to agree with him) and Nadine Dorries in particular (who I've always found to be pleasant) but this is irrelevant. He blames the rise in the Birth rate amongst unmarried teenagers to its "normalisation". Of course it becomes normal when there are such powerful economic incentives in place for nearly 40 years driving it. Economic incentives that the left wilfully ignore, and until recently the right has just too. However many of the solutions outlined in this document on welfare dependency will apply to single teenage motherhood too.
The problem is now so ingrained that any attempt to change the incentives is running against a deeply entrenched culture, and would appear to be beating up on the poorest. I don't pretend to have answers. But burying your head in the sand and pretending economic effects don't have an influence on behaviour is a bad place to start.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Jacob Zuma, the South African president who took a shower to cleanse himself after having unprotected sex with a HIV Positive woman has claimed the British believe Africans are Barbaric. The polygamist president who has recently got caught shagging and siring a child with the daughter of a mate, sticks up for dictators like Mugabe and when accused of Rape claimed the woman in question “Was wearing an extremely short skirt” thinks the Press critique of him is the act of Imperialists and snobs.
I think you’ll find Mr Zuma that the British hold the Zulu people in high regard. They just don’t like Corrupt Dictatorial idiots.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
I'm thinking of Lords Paul, Ascroft (and others) here.
Why should someone pay UK tax on money not earned here? They do after all pay local taxes where they're earned - India and Belize respectively. No-one is accusing them of breaking the law. No-one is accusing either of them of dishonesty.
I just don't understand the fuss at all.
Monday, 1 March 2010
Tip of the Hat to Old Holborn.
Nick Hogan, the former Landlord of the Swan & Barrister in Bolton who defied the smoking ban by having a "smoke-in" on the grossly illiberal law's first day was gaoled for non-payment of the fine (and costs) he received for that single act of defiance. Of course it's not just the fine. The smoking ban has crippled pub profits across the land - and Mr. Hogan is bankrupt. The single piece of legislation has done more to wreck the British pub and seen the average number of pubs closing per week accelerate: From Devil's Kitchen:
Weekly pub closures in the UK2005: 22006: 42007: 272008: 392009: 52See if you can guess which year the smoking ban came in...
It is this kind of nannying legislation which punishes people for their habits if those habits are disapproved of by the righteous, which is going so far to make life unbearable for the majority of people in the country. It is not an exaggeration to invoke Niemoller:
First they came for the Fox hunters, and I did not speak out—because I do not hunt foxes;It's drinkers next and the overweight. Motorists have always been a target. Anyone who doesn't fit into the low-fat, alcohol-free, environmentally-friendly, drab, grey, safety-obsessed, purse lipped Puritan world that the represents the socialist utopia. There's no room for people's habits, lifestyles, quirks, kinks or poisons in the petty fascism policed by horrid little high-viz vest wearing inadequates employed by councils to enforce the 3,000 or so new criminal offences introduced by this evil government in its 13 years of power.
Then they came for the Smokers, and I did not speak out—because I do not Smoke;
Then they came for the Fetishists, and I did not speak out—because I am not a fetishist;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
It is my profound belief that what other people get up to is their own business, if they don't affect me. I am a libertarian because I do not desire power over my fellow man, and merely desire that people do not exercise power over me. It matters not to me whether the patrons of the Swan & Barrister have a cigarette with their pint. As it happens, I don't mind going outside for a smoke. But let it be at the Landlord's discretion. Let there be no smoking areas, ventilated booths, two room pubs, gastro-pubs smoke-free leaving the local boozer full of a tobacco fug. Let a glorious variety of solutions flourish, instead of covering the country in ugly, inappropriate red and white signs. LET ME CHOOSE WHICH PUB I GO TO!
See to it that the Blogosphere can raise the money that Mr Hogan's courageous piece of civil disobedience cost him. £3,775 has already been raised of the £11,000 or so needed. I've chucked in a fiver. You can donate by PayPal.