Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Freedom of Speech in the Blogshpere

Sheffield Wednesday has finally obtained a court order forcing the fan site Owlstalk’s Owner Neil Hargreaves to reveal the e-mail addresses of three fans who made comments on the site.

The ‘club’ had gone after 13 fans all told feeling sensitive after questions were raised on the site concerning greed, selfishness, trustworthiness and honesty there.

This might be interpreted by some, as a case of the pot calling the kettle black, given some of comments about certain groups of fans made by Sheffield Wednesday’s Chairman that found their way on to You Tube.

Most of the cases were ‘thrown out of court’ and the club has had to cough up £9,000 in costs.

Not having seen the comments it is difficult to form an opinion as to weather they were over the top, or not - and if so how, but the whole matter has echoes of the ‘silence of the blogs’ incident involving Alisher Usmanov and Schillings, who appear to have gone after sites that commented on allegations published by Craig Murray, but not to the best of my knowledge sued the author.

Still it would be good to have a reliable indication as to what is and is not acceptable to post and comment.

People say some pretty heated stuff about politicians for instance. Especially when what the politicians say, or promise, turns out to have a negative correlation with reality.

Then terms like pork pie salesperson may be bandied about and comments often touch upon truthfulness and honesty - at least.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Rubbish Tax. Coming to a bin near you - As soon as they can get away with it…

It looks like Nu-Lab are going for the same technique in rolling out the rubbish tax as they used to avoid stirring up the sheeple too much with HIPs. Doing it as quietly as possible in stages while putting out as much of a smoke screen as possible.

They are quietly rolling out powers to ‘pilot’ the charges in the Climate Change Bill.

Now, keep in mind folks, we not only already pay handsomely for this service in the form of massively inflated Council Tax that has galloped so far ahead of inflation it’s lapped it, but most of us have already had the service cut back to once a fortnight.

What is the root cause of all this? Why the good old EU. The Government are concerned the UK could face fines of up to £180m a year imposed by the European Commission if it does not cut the amount of waste dumped in landfill.

So this is actually social engineering to force you to ‘recycle’ via the State’s firm grip on tender parts of your wallet, being imposed on you because of EU dictat, with the added benefit of an increased tax crop.

Presumably fly tipping and bonfires will not count. One also wonders if bins with combination locks will be issued, to avoid someone else’s rubbish being secretly slipped into a bin just prior to collection - Some poor suckers are bound to be caught out when the first thin they know about it is when they get a massive bill.

Nu-Lab’s ‘Waste Minister’ (too obvious to use) Joan Ruddock helps emphasise the way the wind is blowing with the comment: "We all know we can't go on putting rubbish in holes in the ground. We need to find new ways and these sorts of schemes and incentives may be part of that,".

So no avoiding it no matter what – there’s good old British democracy in action for you.

Monday, 29 October 2007

New Labour's Benn Barking up wrong tree

Nu-Lab’s Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, son of Anthony starey eyed Wedgewood Benn is planning to put forward what he describes as a ‘tougher, more effective and more transparent bill to help tackle climate change’.

There is much talk of various environ-mentalist measures that will probably do the economy no good and will probably involve stealth taxes.

Yet again Nu-Lab unerringly gallop off in the direction of controls, regulation, social engineering and punitive taxation.

Assuming that climate change is in fact down to Manmade CO2 rather than say variation in solar output. If the Governemnet are really serious about reducing CO2 emissions then they should be encouraging the building of new generation nuclear power plants. It is estimated that, in total in 2003, the UK produced 786 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

If all of the UK’s power needs were taken care of by nuclear, wind, tide, etc. then this could be reduced to close to nothing

In the future we should be looking to encourage the development of technologies that can power cars and air travel with hydrogen.

But touching on the subject of things nuclear – Remember the threat of the nuclear winter? Or the depression of global temperatures, as a result of major volcanic events?

Just a thought, but if climate change is indeed a threat, down to CO2 or not, maybe someone should be looking into the possibility of duplicating the effect of a nuclear winter on a non toxic controllable scale?

Lectures on Terrorism from Saudi Ruler

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia's is planning a state visit to the UK, that formally begins on Tuesday. When interviewed by the BBC ahead of the visit he claimed could have prevented 7/11 "We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain but unfortunately no action was taken. And it may have been able to maybe avert the tragedy."

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) diplomatically state they have found no evidence that any intelligence passed by the Saudis could have prevented the bombings.

The king also suggested most countries were not taking the issue seriously, "including, unfortunately, Great Britain".

This is interesting coming from the man in charge of the country that has spread Wahabism (followers of Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi) on the world. A country that promotes and spreads it with its vast oil revenues. A country that gifted the world with Osama bin Laden and consequently al-Qaeda.

A man who’s regime pathetically tried to blame terrorist attacks on ‘Western alcohol smuggling rings’ and tortured confessions out of random westerners, rather than face reality.

It would be good if his own regime took the matter more seriously and stemmed the vast flow of ‘charitable’ support, that somehow ends up in the terrorists’ coffers. That promotes intolerant religious schools, teachings and teachers. That spreads the disease of terrorism.

Still his Majesty would probably rather see some of his problems exported abroad rather than surface too often in his own kingdom.

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Serendipity, or tongue in cheek comment? When king Abdullah turned up at the palace they played him a march in his honour. See this report from Channel 4.

“You don’t need to see his identification … These aren’t the droids you’re looking for … He can go about his business … Move along.”

Friday, 26 October 2007

Gordon Brown ‘Concerned’ about Liberty

It seems that Gordon Brown has become sufficiently concerned that the public has finally noticed Nu-Lab’s Big Brother/Fascist-Lite tendencies, to try a little spin to cover them up.

He is apparently concerned about Liberty – One suspects more normally Taking Liberties, in the literal sense.

Of course he would also like to distract the sheeple from such things as: His shilly shallying around over and election and then pathetically trying to claim it was not because he thought he might come off badly that he bottled it. His broken promises over the EU Constitution that is taking another step towards making parliament an irrelevance. Dave and ‘the party formerly known as the Conservatives’ overtaking him in the polls.

Of course he is trying to suggest it was all down to that nasty Blair person’s Government, that was nothing to do with him and things will be different now he is in charge. Trusssst in meeeee Mowglie…..

He of course justifies much of his move towards a total surveillance society, identity cards, DNA testing, etc. on the need to keep us all safe from terrorists. Leaving aside the question of what by the time he has finished will be left of the relatively free society we once enjoyed. The terrorists are winning, even when they fail, by changing or way of life and making our society more like their societies.

Showing rather more of his true colours he insisted he would not compromise the security of the nation. There would be tougher counter-terrorism laws before Christmas. Thanks! Just what we always wanted :-(

He is even threatening us with a debate about a British Bill of Rights and the possibility of a written constitution.

The direction they have been going in one fears that any Constitution Nu-Lab had a hand in writing would be a fascists charter. Still he could always call it something else and argue it wasn’t really a constitution after all ;-) The fact is that any British constitution may be about as relevant as a Town Council’s policies, being subservient to the real EU “Not a Constitution, honest Guv’”.

He also seems to have conveniently forgotten that we already have a perfectly good Bill of Rights - and have done since 16 December 1689 when it became statutory law. But maybe it contains ;-) the wrong sort of rights, by Gordon’s standards…

Maybe he also forgets that Constitutions and Bills of rights are not normally graciously handed down to the citizens by the likes of him and almost certainly wouldn’t be worth the paper they were written of in they were.

Mind you – If he is interested in Constitutions and Bills of Rights then there is plenty of discussion out there on the subject.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Site Stats

I have been looking at the CFG’s stats. Here are some of them:

Language Groups: 92% English, 2% Welsh.
Continents: 53% North America, 40% Europe, 5% Asia.
Countries: 47% US, 38% UK, 6% Canada.
Browsers: 53% Firefox, 24% IE6, 17% IE7, 4% Safari.

I have left out any categories showing 1%.

It is curious that there are more visits from North America than Europe. I note use of Firefox browsers is the same percentage as North American visitors, though I doubt all the former are from the latter. It is interesting to note the Firefox users are in the majority of visitors at the moment.

Soil Association - Organic means what we say it means

When is organic not organic? When the Soil association says so.

The soil association, one suspects having been ‘got at’ by environ-mentalists has arbitrarily decided that they will no longer count foreign organically grown produce as ‘organic’ if it is imported air freighted – unless it passes their new ‘ethical’ standards.

They have been gradually working towards this for some time.

If one didn’t know better one would assume the policy was deliberately designed to harm poorer countries. Their policy director Peter Melchett freely admits that some (poorer) overseas (Africa?) producers would find it impossible to meet the new standards they had set . Very few overseas producers meet the planned new standards at the moment and the policy was expected to reduce the use of air freight.

So it’s all in the name of attacking the environ-mentalists CO2 bĂȘte noire, air travel/freight. One wonders how else these produces can get their products to the shops before they spoil.

The chairwoman of the Soil Association's standards board, Anna Bradley, stated: "It is neither sustainable nor responsible to encourage poorer farmers to be reliant on air freight but we recognise that building alternative markets that offer the same social and economic benefits as organic exports will take time." They plan to bring the new measures in from January 2009.

How coldly patronising can you get? They sound like colonial administrators. We all have to make sacrifices for the good of Gaia. The soil Association are willing to make the sacrifice of having to do without African ‘organic’ produce, the African farmer will just have to do without his livelihood.

Executive director of the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC), Patricia Francis, warned that: ”African companies and cooperatives want to trade internationally.

To get value-added organic foods on to retail shelves, they have an overwhelming amount of standards to meet.

Meeting these standards costs money - laboratories, audits and more. Too many standards will hurt African farmers, which is just the opposite of what British consumers want.”


Why should the Soil Association be allowed to co-opt and distort the meaning of a word that ’belongs’ to us all. We are not French speakers, to have the meanings of our words imposed upon us by an elite cognoscenti. We are speaking of English words, that even now, in the newspeak UK, are still not quite so amenable to imposition by fiat - or should that be Nu-Speak ;-)

No matter what the Soil association says - if the food is produced organically, it will be just as pesticide and chemical free as it was before. It will still actually be organic in the normal sense of the word. Are they just getting a little too big for their boots?

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

How strong is Cameron’s commitment to a Referendum?

Is Dave the Chameleon 'soft at the edges' on the EU Constitutional treaty referendum issue?

It almost looks like one of those conspiracy theories. You know – where the newly sworn in president is informed we were taken over by aliens in 1963 and although everything looks like business as usual, there are certain things he is not allowed to do…

I am just trying to come up with one for the ‘European Project’ that forces any politicians to back the European Project, or be pushed out of power by those who have already been taken over. I wonder if Dave got a visit from some MIBs recently…

Note to tin foil hat wearers and best selling authors: Try something involving the restoration of the Holy Roman Empire, descendants of Jesus, obscure sects and secret societies. Don't forget the hat tip.

It seems he came under some pressure at the first of his alternative press conferences to Broon’s Breeks Briefings, to give a clear indication that an incoming 'Conservative' government would ensure the voters were allowed a referendum. Curiously he avoided doing so saying that now was the time for a referendum on what is the old EU constitution in all but name.

True enough, he does have a point in that it is far better done now and in fact should have already been done. However it might ramp the pressure up to promise (a real promise as opposed to a NU-Lab manifesto type promise) one.

He is probably conscious of what a political can of worms it would open, if in two years time a referendum produced a no result – that, plus he doesn’t want to suffer the same fate as Maggie, or more significantly JFK…

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Nuclear Power, Good for the Economy, Good for the environment, Good for the UK

So if everyone is so concerned about reducing the UK’s carbon footprint - then how come close to half of the UK’s Nuclear power stations are out of action on the run up to winter? Apparently a lack of funding...

Nuclear power stations are capable of producing realistic amounts of electricity, unlike many other so-called renewable energy sources, moreover if more were built we could not only make a serious dent in out carbon footprint we could reduce our exposure to gas supply problems and the impact of Gazprom’s muscle flexing.

France, known for looking out for their own interests, get 79% of their electricity from Nuclear energy, they have 59 plants. They don’t seem to have much problem keeping them running either. We by comparison have a pathetic 16 plants that produce (when they are working) around 18% of our power.

If UK greens/environ-mentalists had spent less time bleating about nuclear power in the 80s and 90s then they might not have shot themselves in the foot over carbon emissions.

The French have a realistic attitude to nuclear power. The French launched a properly funded, comprehensive nuclear program, after the 1973 ‘oil shock’, when OPEC toyed with the west by ramping up oil prices, sensibly vowing never again to be dependent on the whim of others for power. Unlike the UK, in France, nuclear energy is accepted, even popular.

Even James Lovelock (Gaia hypothesis) thinks that nuclear power is the only real green solution to reducing carbon emissions.

It makes sense for economic reasons, as we wouldn’t have to cripple the economy to save a ha’penny’s worth of power here and there and spend billions changing our housing stock.

It makes sense, because it would protect us from much of the impact of oil and gas price fluctuation and scarcity.

It makes sense, from the point of view of the environment, massively reduced carbon emissions and avoiding the threat of mercury pollution posed by low energy bulbs.

It took the French around 15 years. The UK could do the same. If anyone is worried about where to store the waste, we have some very deep ex-coal mines that would do nicely.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Miliband condemns them as the refuge of dictators – Referenda. It means what we say it means

Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, speaking about the clamour for a referendum on the recently rubberstamped ‘treaty’ attempted to claim they were the “refuge of dictators and demagogues ”, as has been much noted in the blogsphere.

He went on: “We have a parliamentary democracy. We elect MPs every four of five years, the people elect us to do a job. If they like it they re-elect us if they don’t kick us out,”

What he carefully failed to mention was that his party, presumably being comprised of, in his view, dictators and demagogues had promised a referendum on the EU Constitution.

Well if the cap fits…

The people indeed elected Nu-Lab to do a job – that included ensuring that the people had the opportunity to express their will in a referendum. To ensure that no more of Parliament’s privileges and power were given away to Brussels without the people having a specific say in the matter.

The vote may have gone a different way, had they known in advance that the likes of Brown and Miliband would renege on their manifesto promise using the pathetically thin excuse that it was no longer a referendum because a tiny proportion of the words in the treaty had been changed.

Milliband and Brown are presumably still quite happy to claim that they were the actual people who were elected, given how many of the cells in their bodies have died and been replaced since that election. They can’t so easily claim to have a mandate.

The ‘treaty’ probably contains no less a proportion of the original constitution than they do of the physical matter that they were made of when elected.

Free prescriptions in Scotland Paid for by English taxpayers.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Nationalist Government’s health minister, said she wanted to erase ‘inequality’ in the NHS.

But it seems that some, are more equal than others, because her solution is to massively increase inequality in the NHS. She is planning on using English Taxpayers to subsidise the abolition of all prescription charges north of the border by 2011, within the lifetime of the current Scottish Parliament.

This is in addition to the free eye care and dental check ups already provided.

This is about as an extreme version of the so-called postcode lottery as you can find. Made all the more galling by the fact that due to inequalities in the tax distribution system English tax payers are being milked by Scottish politicians to fund a first class service for the Scots they do not get themselves.

It also leaves entirely aside that Scottish students will be able to avoid the burden of student dept and get a free university education, at the expense of English students having to subsidise them when that start work, whilst servicing their own debts.

One wouldn’t mind so much if it were a matter of ensuring everyone in the UK enjoyed the same standards in thinks like health care. It is understandable that for various reasons it may be more expensive to provide an identical standard in different geographical locations.

It is an entirely different thing when votes are being bought by politicians who are unaccountable to the those being taxed, buying votes from their own electorate with a two tier service.

What was that phrase? ‘No taxation without representation’?

It may be entirely coincidental that Nu-Lab’s, Gordon Brown, his glove puppet Chancellor, Alistair Darling, Des Brown, the Defence secretary and Douglas Alexander, International Development, to name but a few, all hold parliamentary seats north of the border.

The cost to the South East will only get worse when the government’ssecret council tax re evaluation for England finally takes place, as it is likely to bite hardest there. The re evaluation was supposedly postponed in 2005, but the process has continued in secret.

Since it was ‘postponed’ the government have ploughed in £3.2 million to develop a new revaluation database incorporating every home in England. So far despite the so-called ‘postponement’ the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) have gathered details of millions of homes, cataloguing things like how many WCs, bathrooms properties have and if they have conservatories or greenhouses.

Documents indicate they will also be looking at things like how ‘nice’ the area is, what parking spaces are available - Basically anything that can possible be stretched to justify ramping up the tax and punish anyone who wants to better their lives, or the environment they live in.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Another pledge on Europe from Brown no one will believe.

Following his rubber-stamping the EU constitutional Treaty Gordon Brown is claiming he will has ‘pledged’ to block any further extension of Europe’s power for at least a decade.

What is truly amazing about this is that he has bothered to say it - Surely he does not expect anyone to actually believe anything he promises, after he has been so assiduous in avoiding honouring his party’s election manifesto pledge.

It is clear he does not think a referendum would support the so-called ‘treaty’ - So he has to have rubber stamped the thing whilst clearly believing he was doing so, against the wishes of the majority of the electorate.

He must have a very curious concept of the concept of ‘representing the electorate’ and as an MP and PM is he not elected specifically to represent our interests and concerns?

He gives every appearance of seeking to subvert the UK democratic process on behalf of the European Project.

No matter your views on Europe, if you care about democracy - and the legitimacy of the ‘treaty’, then many will want to express their opinion in a referendum. Only parliament, if it has the stomach for it, can demand one now.

You can contact your MP quickly and easily through the website Write To Them it only takes a few minutes and they monitor how good your MP is at replying. You can cut and paste from the example below, modify it if you like. The example is copyright free.

Why not write asking them to demand a referendum in parliament. No matter Brown’s wriggling on the hook one was promised.

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Dear,

I write to inform you that I wish to have the opportunity to express my views on the ‘Treaty’ that the Prime Minister has just rubber-stamped.

It is in my view, effectively a direct replacement for the constitution that we were promised a referendum on by the government in their manifesto.

Gordon Brown appears to be intent on denying me the right to express my opinion in a referendum, apparently because he believes it will be rejected. That being the case he is acting against the will of the electorate and he knows it.

He is signing away among other things the right to make treaties to Europe that will bind Parliament.

As my representative in parliament I ask that you demand a referendum and support anyone else that does likewise.

Yours faithfully

Friday, 19 October 2007

Gordon Brown betrays Electorate

Gordon Brown today betrayed parliamentary democracy and those who elected him, proving no one can ever trust a Nu-Lab manifesto ‘promise’ again.

He seems to be set to get away with it, as the opposition parties appear too weak to prevent him from doing so and he has ignored a petition for a referendum signed by thousands.

EU leaders in Lisbon emerged, not long after midnight, full of self congratulation, hugging and slapping each other on the back. Barroso crowed what a "great achievement" the Constitutional treaty was.

It seems only Ireland has the courage of it’s convictions. Brown is clearly desperate to avoid any sort of encounter at all with the will of the electorate.

Brown is lying if he says this does not hand parliaments right to the EU – The ‘treaty’ gives the EU power to sign international treaties on it’s own. Being members this can effectively bind Parliament and Britain in treaties they have not been able to debate or decide upon. That is relinquishing power that Brown does not have the right to give away.

It’s like lending someone your car and finding they have sold it.

If those entrusted with power by the electorate can not be trusted to guard that power and use it as intended, then they no longer have any moral right to it and should hand it back.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Brown heading to EU summit set to betray electorate over Constitutional Treaty

Dave the Chameleon has called Gordon Broon Breeks on the promised NU-Lab Referendum on the EU Constitutional Treaty that Gordon is blocking. Gordon’s arguments are thread bare, as Ireland is planning a referendum and other nations are looking at the idea.

Gordon Bottled on an election and he is bottling on a referendum. The only logical reason for him to bottle on a referendum is that he does not believe he would get the result he wants in that, any more than he had confidence in his ability to succeed in a general election.

It is quite clear, that if he felt he would win a referendum he would organise one in a trice - and then claim a mandate to betray parliamentary democracy. As it is he is left trying to come up with excuses to avoid a Referendum and getting in Barroso’s bad books.

Broon Breeks tried to claim it was not actually a constitutional treaty at all, only an (is this a new one?) “amending” treaty. He is making out that this is because we have ‘red lines’, or opt outs - as if they will be safe from being over ridden and nullified by the European court.

It is difficult to imagine he actually believes any of this guff.

Given Nu-Lab were elected on a manifesto promise of a referendum that the average voter will interpret as having been broken, for all Broon’s hot air, it is clear he is not acting in the interests of those who elected the Government - or British Parliamentary Democracy.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

UK Report claims obesity is society’s fault

It seems what is billed as the ‘largest ever UK study into obesity’, drawn up by the Government’s ‘Foresight Program’ contributed to by 250 ‘experts’ and predictably backed by the Nu-Lab government is claiming that being overweight (by their definition) is now normal.

They say we now live in an "obesogenic" society. Then getting their crystal balls out they predict that dramatic, comprehensive action is needed to stop most of us becoming ‘obese’ by 2050.

And where is all this heading? Well they argue the individual can’t be held responsible for being ‘overweight’ so - and here is the bit you should be scared about - government must act for the individual. And so the UK takes another lurch towards the fascist state.

So that’s nice we ale all now apparently pathetically unable to save ourselves and too daft to see we need to. Still it’s reassuring to know there are strong people willing to inflict some tough love on the rest of us, able to save us from this insidious plague?

If you have a ‘fat’ voting block it might not be so easy to deny the overweight treatment under the NHS and there are dire predictions it could cost the economy and the NHS.

Sir David King the government’s chief scientific glove puppet advisor is worried that: "There is a danger that the moment to act radically and dramatically will be missed," - let’s hope so for all our sakes.

Dawn Primarolo Nu-Lab’s Public Health Minister stated the government would be holding further consultations on how to proceed. She felt was premature to say if the same ‘shock’ approach used in anti smoking propaganda would be used, or whether a tax on fatty foods might be considered.

Now let’s look at those stats, because behind every government imitative to restrict our individual liberty and take ever more money from us there are dubious government stats.

What they do not mention when they say how the percentage of the adult population that is obese has risen over the last 12 or so years, is how the ‘baby boomers’ by their very existence are distorting the figures. Maybe they haven’t worked it out themselves.

The post WWII ‘baby boomers’ are getting older. They are well into the middle aged spread years. The age where they cut back a bit on Sunday football and squash. They may not be putting on much more weight than anyone their age did 30 years ago.

But they make a significant lump of the population, a lump depending on how you measure it of around a 125,00 more people around the 30/35 to 55/60 age range. As they age and put on weight it will increase the percentage of the population that is over weight and the percentage of the population that is over a certain age.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Another Government funded health body pushing for tax hikes on alcohol

The health fascists are at it again.

In a story, largely picked up and uncritically reported by the media, the North West Public Health Observatory NWPHO are pushing the idea that middle class drinkers regularly indulge in drinking ’hazardous’ levels of alcohol.

'Hazardous' drinking is defined as regularly consuming between 22 and 50 units a week for men. Guys - That would make you a hazardous drinker if you often have a pint and a half a day.

For women, hazardous drinking is defined as regularly consuming 15 to 35 units a week. Ladies – If my sums are correct that means you are a hazardous drinker if you often have a glass of wine a day.

So then. More of the current practice of picking a range of figures that is slanted to take in normal behaviour and allowing that to ‘inflate’ the results. Results that are then given an alarming semantically loaded label. A label that conceals the actual range and can be used to beat up on anyone who queries the figures.

Exactly why are they pushing this agenda? Someone has to pay for all that lost cigarette tax if the Government are to be kept in the style they are accustomed to.

Tellingly, having effectively invented, or at least massively inflated, a so-called ‘problem‘ the Director of the (you guessed it) NWPHO, Professor Mark Bellis, is pushing for ‘substantial’ increases in the price of alcohol to help to tackle it.

Now who funds the NWPHO? Why the people who tax us of course, the Government, through the Department of Health.

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The average French person drinks 60.13 Ltrs of wine per annum. That is over 80 bottles or around 321 glasses. Around the bottom end of the ‘Hazardous’ range.

So that would make the entire French nation (who are reputed to know a thing or two about wine and be reasonably healthy with it) hazardous drinkers according to the NWPHO…

Lots more 20 mph limits, many to have ‘safety’ camera revenue raisers

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (Pacts) want to institute many more 20 mph zones and are arguing for average speed cameras to be installed in them.

They say Local Authorities are keen to introduce them.

Not half (as they say), set to a hair trigger they could be a highly lucrative new source of stealth taxation on the motorist.

Apart from the desire to take your money, what is one of the main ‘drivers’ for this further state persecution of motorists?

What else but NU-Lab Government targets. It this case of reducing deaths and serious injuries on the roads. Sounds laudable enough, but don’t they all. I guess they don’t believe their own “If you hit me at 30 mph…” propaganda any more…

More to the point - exactly what proportion of those killed, or seriously injured, on the roads are actually in a 20 or 30 mph zone when it happens?

Also how exactly do the define ‘serious’? Is it the same sort of trick they use reckoning ‘problem’, or ‘binge’ drinker figures?

Lies, damned lies and politician’s statistics.

It would probably be even more effective if they made it law that any cars in the zone required a person walking in front of them with a red flag. They could make it compulsory to hire a, council provided and licensed, trained flag bearer. They could then hire out the unemployed as flag bearers a condition of collecting their benefits.

Several birds with one stone including a massive reduction in unemployment figures and the ability to tax all motorists using the area if they exceed the speed limit by one and a half miles an hour or not.

Let’s hope they don’t think of that…

Monday, 15 October 2007

Sir Menzies Campbell - Resignation

Poor old Ming.

Beware the ides of October - Lying there, in a figurative pool of blood, whilst his good friends Simon and Vince announce his resignation for him. It’s not so much Ming that was merciless - more the Fib Dems.

If Ming hasn’t said it, someone ought to tell the ones with the knives: "You too my son, will have a taste of power"

New stealth tax on Pub quizzes & soccer teams

Gordon Broom Breeks appears particularly have it in for pub goers and has unleashed his stealthiest stealth tax yet. A tax so stealthy it makes a mouse tiptoeing in rubber soled shoes sound like a cart horse tap-dancing on a wooden floor.

Before he left the treasury old Broon Breeks put together new tax guidelines for a review of business premises. He carefully avoided the normal practice of putting it on line so people could see what he was up to. It only found it’s way into the House of Commons library after questions from MPs.

What were these secret changes? He has ordered inspectors to watch out for things like TVs, quiz nights and quiz, pool, darts, or football teams. They are to use them to hike the rateable value of the premises, drive up the rates for such pubs by hundreds of pounds.

That is likely to have one of two possible effects. Either the cost will be passed on to the customers, or the facility may be withdrawn.

Yet again Broon’s hand in your pocket.

Domestic council tax bills have already risen at double the rate of inflation since Nu-Lab came to power.

There have been concerns that an equivalent review of people's homes the Government have planned is very likely see council tax bills rocket.

Based on this example of sly practice on non domestic local taxation it is a virtual racing certainty that they will…

Noted public figure notices that the UK Government does not deliver on it’s promises.

You would think that a seasoned pressure group campaigner would be a little less naive.

Sir Jonathon Porritt, a leading environmentalist, is complaining that ‘soaring’ speeches made by Gordon Broon Breeks, at the Nu-Lab party conference, about making the UK a global leader in fighting alleged anthropocentric Global Warming; "make Britain a world leader in tackling climate change", were not backed up by action.

Hello! Exactly what else was he expecting? This is a man who will not even honour his party’s manifesto pledges. This is a party that was promising to ‘save’ the NHS over a decade ago. That spoke of instant fines for antisocial behaviour where the police were going to march offenders to the nearest cash point – Yeah right.

That is exactly what this party does – make ‘soaring’ speeches and memorable sound bites.

Sir Jonathon should do the decent thing , not call them on it and let it get forgotten and buried, like previous ‘soaring’ speeches, under other, newer, ‘soaring’ speeches promising the earth. Just like the electorate is expected to do…

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The UK asylum system unable to cope.

The Government’s obsession with it’s ill judged and useless targets chalks up another resounding success – not!

Despite the fact that, according to the figures (yes I know you can’t trust them – but for the sake of argument) so-called ’refugees’ are at a 14 year low, never-the-less our wonderful Government and it’s highly effective and ever expanding army of client employees have somehow contrived to foul up the asylum system so badly it is in turmoil.

According to a leaked memo the Telegraph got sight of the Home Office has been set a Government target of resolving 40% of all next year's asylum claims within 6 months.

This would in all likelihood result in all the older cases being put on the ‘back burner’. In recognition of this the home office are trawling staff for "quick win" ideas to tackle the problem. Amnesties anyone?

Already they are conducting an exercise to clear 450,000 ‘legacy’ cases by more-or-less just granting them amnesty.

It seems there is unrest in detention centres (Why? They are safe and being fed and clothed) and also claimants are just doing a runner before cases their cases are decided.

On top of that it seems fewer and fewer bogus/failed asylum seekers are actually being deported.

What is the actual point of an asylum ‘system’, if the Government grants amnesties at the drop of a hat when it becomes too much bother to process asylum seekers?

If the system functioned, no one should be allowed to stay once asylum was refused and all claims should be properly processed with no amnesties. Any offences committed in detention centres should have some influence on any asylum claim made by the perpetrator.

If the system, as it exists, is to be taken seriously then surely very few should be granted asylum in the UK if they have travelled through other countries that they could have claimed asylum in to get to the UK. The whole point of the idea is that they are supposed to be seeking safety not picking and choosing somewhere they particularly fancy living.

Why is this a problem with all this in the first place? The welfare State.

It makes the UK very attractive to asylum seekers/economic migrants. It also makes them a problem because too many of them could be a drain on the system.

What will this be used to help justify? ID cards that won’t actually be compulsory to start with for citizens - just impossible to do a lot of things without, and the ‘soft’ fascist state.

See where Government ‘incompetence’ leads to…

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Barroso pro EU speech to Oxford students

The President of the European Commission, JosĂ© Manuel Barroso, who, like Gordon Broon Breeks, is so keen on avoiding any democratic input into the new Constitutional ‘Treaty’ was busy pushing his agenda to students in Oxford on Thursday.

He said: "I find it frankly strange that the debate on this side of the Channel so often seems to suggest that the UK is fundamentally at odds with the Continent. - I don't believe this reflects the reality here in the UK. With your long-held international outlook, I don't believe that your arms can be open to the world while your hearts and minds are closed to Europe."

What he carefully avoids mentioning is that our ‘international outlook’ was aimed at the world in general rather that Europe as a super state. It involved trading and worked perfectly well managed by individuals and companies without particular need for the ‘institutions’ he loves so much.

We, as a nation have a long history of perfectly warranted suspicion towards the idea of a European super state that was keen to have us incorporated in it - and those that promote the idea.

Napoleon was all for it. He liked to codify and organise everything. Granted he was more ‘direct’ about it than Barrosso. He wanted to do it by force, rather than softly softly.

Many Brits are often bright enough to work out that it might not be in their best interests when they are actually being physically attacked to promote it.

They can be inclined to resist and become difficult. When it’s just boring old politics the turkeys will vote for Christmas every time - or at least not pay enough attention and make enough fuss, to avoid getting stuffed in the end ;-)

Then there was that German chancellor, who was very keen on a European Super state. Not Merkel, sly author of the Constitutional ‘Treaty’. A chap called Hitler. He came pretty close, but at the time not all our politicians were as keen on the idea as Mosley. Now the political elite are much more signed up to the idea, a much more receptive lot. Poor old Adolph was obviously just a little ahead of his time, born half a century too early…

Friday, 12 October 2007

Al Gore nets Nobel Peace Prize.

OK I know this subject is going to get a hammering on the blogsphere so I’ll keep it brief…

But, Al Gore, Nobel Peace prize? Please…

This guy is a politician. He made a film promoting Anthropocentric Global Warming, spoiled by gilding the lily with OTT conclusions for the sake of drama. He has done some lectures.

Al Gore and Mother Theresa, not exactly a pair you would naturally put together in the same breath, like say, eggs and bacon, are they?

I guess the candidates must have been pretty thin on the ground. The committee might have demonstrated more integrity just to have given it a miss this year.

Heather Mills reportedly looking for £50 million from McCartney

Paul McCartney, has apparently offered around £20 million, to his estranged wife Heather Mills. However it seems this is not nearly enough for her, as she is reportedly looking for around £50 million and he could end up shelling out around £70 million.

They were married in 2002, amid rumours his children, prophetically, didn’t think it was a good idea and speculation that she was a gold digger - it all went pear shaped in 2006 - so that’s about 4 years. During that time Heather mills Gave birth to a child.

Now Paul McCartney is not short of a bob or two, but he and his first wife earned it - with no help from Heather Mills, in fact one suspects she was probably a net drain on his finances.

Twenty million sounds like a sum a reasonable person could live on comfortably for the rest of their days, properly invested it would actually grow.

So how does 4 years marriage entitle anyone to demand 50 million quid? That’s twelve and a half million for each year!!

Are Ming’s days as leader numbered?

It looks like Ming the Merciless’ days may be numbered.

The Fib Dems may be trying to work up the courage to give him a Roman send off, with the "Et tu, Brute" treatment. He had better keep a wary eye out for gatherings of his front benchers.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

UK Police Chief advocates legalisation of drugs

Richard Brunstrom, the Chief Constable of North Wales has announced that he will be ‘campaigning hard’ for drugs such as heroin to be legalised.

This has attracted reflex criticism from certain politicians.

Nu-Lab’s Mark Tami, MP for Alyn and Deeside attacked the idea, in an unconscious self parody, as "blinkered and dangerous". Fair enough, if that’s what he genuinely thinks and it is not politician noise.

But he went on: "As 280,000 Class A drug users are responsible for half of all crime, taking the risk of legalising such a dangerous drug is foolhardy and I would not wish to gamble so much on the health and wellbeing of our children."

Parse that sentence again - That is three statements that do not follow on one from another.

Clearly, like much of the government, the man is not strong on joined up thinking, or following through a train of thought to a logical conclusion.
Why exactly is it that drug users are responsible for so much crime?

The policeman Richard Brunstrom knows. It is because illegal drugs are expensive and addicts regularly commit crime to acquire enough money to regularly support their habit. Committing crime like that is an effort for a heroin addict, one they would probably prefer to avoid if they had the choice.

They also often end up with product of unknown strength and quality often dangerously adulterated, to the extent where they get the dose wrong and die.

When addicts use a substance that interferes less with their ability to function and earn, like cocaine and when they earn enough they do not go out to commit crime to support their habit, they just buy it with honestly acquired cash.

Many addicts are driven to commit crime because they can not afford to support their habit any other way.

If addicts such as heroin users could support their habit cheaply and legally they would at least not need to commit crime to support their habit and would be less at risk from misjudging the dose. They might even be more willing to seek help giving up as it could finally be dealt with openly.

Now looking at the matter of crime in a wider context. We all know how prohibition, during the early part of the last century in the US, fostered and promoted the growth of organised crime. The same factors are at work in the case of drugs, except it is not just organised crime that profits from the illegal trade in drugs, terrorists get funding from it also.

Get regulated legal control over the market and you cut off funding to organised crime and terrorism. It should also remove the root cause for much day to day crime, a huge economic drain of society and a source of inconvenience and misery to many of it’s victims.

Nu-Lab and Gordon Broon Breeks take note, you also have a new source of Tax revenue - and a chance to actually meet one of your precious ill thought out targets for once.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

As Advertised on TV – The UK Election petition

That epetition for an election, as advertised on TV, by Mr Smug himself, Gordon Broon Breeks, in PM’s question time.

Go on - you know you want to…

Cheap as chips? Will the UK ePassport work for more than a couple of years?

Remember the ePassport introduced in 2006, to comply with new international requirements? An absolute rip off snip at only £72 and rising.

The Home Office's Identity and Passport Service (IPS) are no doubt congratulating themselves for apparently accomplishing the unlikely feat of bringing in the scheme, on time and on budget. Note 'Identity' in the name – another brick in the wall of Nu-Lab's total surveillance society.

But wait – These are ten year ePassports and they contain a microchip with your data on it.

That microchip is only guaranteed for, wait for it, two years.

That’ll be fun then, when it packs up after 6 years while you are trying to go through US customs and they think you are a terrorist sneaking in on a fake passport.

And exactly who is going to pay for a new one when it stops working?

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Police Officer threatens to arrest young lad playing with toy gun

An unidentified Wiltshire police officer working in Swindon threatened to arrest an 8 year old lad playing with a black and orange toy gun outside his own home.

He ludicrously attempted to justify this by claiming the toy was an ‘imitation firearm’. Presumably not a particularly convincing one, or surely the officer would have called in a firearms unit as back-up.

When the lad’s stepfather came out to see what the problem was the officer forced him to smash the toy, reducing the lad to tears.

Not content with this he returned later to bully the boy's six year old sister riding in a battery powered Barbie car on the pavement. No doubt to warn her it was an offence to drive on the pavement and threaten her with arrest.

There are usually two sides to every story but, this officer would appear, on the face of it , to be unfit to perform the office of constable. If only for being so inept at his role that he ended up in the situation he did - One must seriously question weather he is safe to allow out on his own.

This seems, at best, misguided, 'political correctness', taken to ridiculous lengths.

He appears to have behaved more like a petty tyrant, or a member of a foreign occupying force, than what we had traditionally come to expect of a British Police Officer. Just as well for his own good name his Force (or is that service these days? – Some ‘service’ he provided) is keeping his name under wraps for the moment.

Police powers are extensive and their proper exercise requires extensive training, common sense, maturity , objectivity and the ability to exercise discretion.

The toy gun, by the description, was extremely unlikely to be mistaken by anyone of normal intelligence or fortitude for a firearm, so can hardly have been honestly regarded as an 'imitation firearm' in the normal sense of the phrase.

Presumably it was offered on sale in a toyshop perfectly legally and purchased for the lad perfectly legally, so no one else saw it in that light.

Monday, 8 October 2007

PM puts brakes on ‘Snap’ UK Election

Evidently Gordon Broon Breeks, having considered all the options, has now decoded against calling a snap general election.

This is clearly because he calculates that if he were to have called one he would be in danger of reducing his majority, possibly even to the point where it actually became a minority – So Snap election, not a good move then.

The problem is that he has apparently been teetering on calling one for some time. Doing it by remote control of course to try and maintain deniability. Hence his minions have been dropping hints and scurrying round laying the ground for one and generally talking the idea up. There is no way all this would have been going on without Gordon’s approval behind the scenes. If it was it would have to make him a pathetically weak leader.

Plus, no doubt he calculated, it might help steal, or drown out, some of the opposition’s conference thunder.

Never-the-less he must have felt pressured to decide, with his window due to close.

Like a hesitant motorist at a roundabout, he had almost plucked up the courage to go - when he realised the opportunity had gone and he would have to wait if he wanted to be safe.

This must have seriously damaged his reputation. Especially after all his hot air about running stuff like that past parliament first, rather than the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

Maybe he will argue that all MPs had the chance to watch the show so he was actually using it as a means to address parliament. It’s the sort of dodgy spin Nu-Lab love so much.

Still, as PM he is in a position to use the resources of Government to do his best to undo the damage over the coming months and take the wind out of the opposition’s sales.

We can probably expect some smoke and mirrors to distract us from his brown breeks any minute. Taxes? Troop withdrawals? Maybe even a referendum – though he probably is not that keen to distract us.

So now we have a Government that was elected with a different leader, on a manifesto they have not honoured, quite the reverse in fact Gordon himself has, to date, been twisting to avoid honouring it - If Gordon’s Government can not be said to have a mandate, then where is his?

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Free speech a shilling for you thoughts

I must admit I had never heard of billionaire Uzbek Oligarch Alisher Usmanov, not being an Arsenal fan. Nor indeed had I ever heard of Schillings Lawyers - unless any of them are related to the lady known for wearing interesting hats to well known race meetings.

Now I have heard of Mr Usmanov - and now I know Craig Murray, is a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and that Mr Murray has written a book that had a thing or two to say about Mr Usmanov. I understand they also featured in a speech made to the European Parliament.

I have not read the book, but I am aware of the substance of the allegations. I have no idea if they may be true or not.

What I do know is that Mr Usmanov has apparently been throwing his financial weight around via Schillings, silencing web sites that commented on the substance of what was said.

In fact that's how I heard about him and took the trouble to look into what has been said. So if he was hoping to contain interest in what was said, or stifle it, then maybe this was not the best way to have gone about it.

Surely if he feels he has been libelled then the court is the place to prove it and be vindicated.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Gordon Brown - His hand always in your pocket

Broon’s got to pick a pocket or - not just two, but every householder in Britain.

Gordon Broon, no doubt with an eye on electioneering, is announcing that he is planning to pour yet more money into the NHS, an extra £1.4 billion per year.

Side bets on how many times he announces this extra spending and in how many different permutations.

Now the typically sneaky Broon part - The average council tax bill is set to go up by a staggering £200 (double the expected the rate of inflation) over the next three years to cover it!

This might even almost be acceptable - if anyone imagined for a moment that it would make any improvement to what we actually get out of the NHS.

The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), calculates that Council tax will rise by five per cent a year. Nu-Lab is naturally enough trying to keep this under wraps. By 2011, the average bill will be around £1,500 or more.

Since NU-Lab came to power Council tax bills have consistently risen well above the rate of inflation, as Gordon brown cynically used them to stealthily increase taxation, whilst apparently successfully fooling the sheeple by distracting them with relatively reasonable headline income tax rates.

This disproportionately and punitively shifts a greater proportion of the tax burden on to householders and their families, whist others avoid the burden.

Friday, 5 October 2007

UK Teachers becoming reluctant to teach theory of evolution

It seems that teaches in the UK are becoming more and more reluctant to include the theory of evolution in science classes.

Not as you might initially imagine because of fundamentalist Christian objections.

No. Apparently it is much more because teachers are worried about Moslem objections.

Accoring to a Professor at the Institute of Education, London, Moslems are less likely to accommodate the theory of evolution within their belief structure than Christians. A much greater percentage are Creationists than amongst Christians. The large increase in Moslems in the UK means that there are many more pupils and parents with more extreme creationist views.

One can’t help wondering if teachers would be quite so concerned about the views of, say Christians for example - and if the real driver behind their concerns is not political correctness and fear of being unjustly accused of being institutionally prejudiced, culturally insensitive, or racist, in some way, if objections are raised to their covering the subject.

Conservatives bounce back after Party Conference

According to the Guardian Gordon Brown’s reportedly huge lead against ‘The Party formerly known as the Conservatives’ has dramatically reduced. This could in turn reduce the likelihood of a snap election.

A new ICM poll puts Nu-Lab on 38%, neck and neck with the PFKAT Conservatives also on 38%, with the Fib Dems trailing on 16%.

Those within NU-Lab in favour of a snap election are suggesting that the shift in the party’s relative standings is a blip down to the PFKATC Conference that the Broon went to such efforts to eclipse and upstage.

They will also be buoyed by the fact that much of the improvement in the opposition’s position seems to have been at the expense of Ming the Merciless’ Fib Dems.

They must be calculating that, as some of Broon’s economic chickens come home to roost, over the next six or more months, their chances of yet another term will proportionately decrease.

On the down side there is also the skeleton in their cupboard of their broken manifesto promise over the EU Constitution/’Treaty’, that, if willing, the opposition should be able to use to great effect. Also they will need some time to work out how to trash newly revealed opposition policies, and be wondering if they could do a proper job in time for a snap election.

Some of Nu-Labs more marginal incumbents are no doubt feeling a bit wobbly right now. They must be aware that if there is a snap election Nu-Lab may well take a hit, even if they can retain a majority - and this will be at their expense.

It will be interesting to see if Broon tries to go against his nature and steal the idea of raising the level that inheritance tax kicks in at. He will probably not be able to cope with a one million limit though – too painful.

However much it is, any at all is still stealing money from dead people, who already paid tax on it anyway - morally, not a lot different from stealing the cash out of the pocket of a heart attack victim dying in the street. Still, that’s politicians for you.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Big Brother really is watching you

In order to comply with an EU directive on the retention of phone data, this July, the UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, agreed a new law, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 requiring phone companies to log every call, or text message, sent to and from every phone in Britain.

We should be concerned about this because it is effectively being imposed on the UK by a directive. It is being done under a law made up by the Government, not Parliament and then just slid in with little democratic oversight under a seven year old act.

The details logged include: The subscriber information, calls made, calls received and the location where the calls are made from.

We should be concerned about that because it is deeply intrusive. There will be the usual tired old excuses about if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear that the more naive and trusting old grannies actually believe, but this is yet another erosion of our privacy on the road to a total surveillance society.

Much of this information is in fact not restricted to the police, or security services as you might imagine.

No - It can be accessed by virtually any local authority, government department, body, or Quango who cares to. Including, but not limited to, the DSS, the Gaming Board, the Food Standards Authority and every District and County Council in the country. Around 652 public bodies in all.

The civil rights group Liberty are rightly concerned over this and so should everyone else be. Your local council can, if it wishes, unbeknown to you, build up profile of your personal relationships, on the basis of who you speak to and when you do it.

Make no mistake. Now these powers are there to be used, they will, sooner or later, be used. They are another nail in Liberty’s coffin.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

EU GPS Clone Galileo just won’t die

No it’s not another vampire flick but you could be forgiven for wondering if even a wooden stake driven through it would finally kill off Galileo, the ill conceived EU clone of GPS satellite system.

The EU, for some unfathomable reason (Hubris?, Jealousy?) want their very own system. No matter that there is already one that works fine provided by the US for free that we all use with no problems. No they want to pay through the nose until all our eyeballs bleed just so they can have one too.

The EU had thought they could fund it through a Public/Private partnership with industry bearing the cost. Being business people they decided against spending a fortune developing Betamax years after the whole world had already gone VHS.

Now the Commission is looking to fund it publicly (our tax euros at work). To shore up the existing financial hole they are planning to raid existing agricultural and administrative funds that haven’t already been siphoned off to featherbed some official’s brother-in-law to keep it going.

The more sensible nations, led by Germany, Britain and the Netherlands, who are likely to bear the brunt of much of the cost, have been fighting a rear guard action in Luxembourg.

The Portuguese are gung ho, Mario Lino their Transport Minister said; "We are on the right track,". Tied to it hopefully, with a train due…

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Are we becoming increasingly ignorant of and divorced from what we eat?

A poll for ‘British Food Fortnight’ (whatever) billed as; ‘An annual mass movement to excite and educate young people about British food.’ apparently demonstrates a woeful lack of knowledge about regional foods amongst the said ‘young people’.

It seems many were under the impression cheddar cheese comes from the midlands for instance.

This is hardly surprising when a recent survey by the 'Linking Environment And Farming' (LEAF) indicated 22% of adults didn’t know that bacon and the meat in sausages originated on farms. Also 23% didn’t know the main ingredient of bread (wheat) was grown on farms. A staggering 47% hadn’t a clue the main ingredient of porridge (oats) came from farms.

Whether this is down to surveying particularly thick people, or the effects of long term urbanisation on the population, only ever seeing pre packaged and processed supermarket food, or just a narrow and poor education, is difficult to say. Certainly a lack of the most basic knowledge about the geography of the UK.

This is the basic stuff of living, we are not talking logarithms here.

Things like that used to be covered in primary school, mine was not unusual and we visited farms, but that was a while back now. Probably banned on the grounds of health and safety now.

What is really worrying, when you think about it, is that these people are armed (and dangerous) with the vote.

How can they vote sensibly on policies such as farming and the environment, when they have no idea what the actual likely impact and ramifications of those policies may be and lack the basic knowledge to work it out.

We could all end up with no bread, or milk - and more ‘turkey twizzlers’ than you could shake a stick at.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Brown Still planning to betray his party’s election promise to the UK electorate and agree EU constitutional ‘treaty’

Despite massive opposition, according to the Telegraph, it appears Gordon Brown is still planning on agreeing the EU constitutional ‘treaty’ in On October 18th, breaking Nu-Labs referendum manifesto promise made at the last election.

According to YouGov against the wishes of the majority of the population.

Given that NU-Lab were effectively elected under false pretences it is difficult to see how they can claim to have any real mandate to govern, let alone sign away powers, loaned to them by the electorate, to a foreign power, without a specific mandate.

It will be interesting to see if the electorate will remember the contempt with which they have been treated over this when they next have the opportunity to express themselves. Broon must be betting his whole shooting match that they won’t.

Gordon Brown. His hand - in your pocket.

The PM Gordon Brown is on target to personally drive UK petrol prices to record levels.

A delayed tax hike he introduced on fuel in this year’s budget, when he was still chancellor, is due to bite next week. It is likely to push the average price of a litre of unleaded petrol to 98p. These levels are astronomical compared to the European average.

But wait – there is more good news. Lurking like a terrorists second bomb is a further little present. In that same budget he lined up yet another 2p fuel tax hike for next April. Plus yet another tax hike the following year.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Don’t forget - that is before you allow for the effects of VAT (Value Added Tax). You get to pay VAT on the tax that you pay for fuel.

On the face of it this looks like yet another instance of NU-Lab’s trick of gradual and preferably initially limited, hits designed to limit opposition to unpopular measures. Broon will have been anxious to avoid a repeat of the popular and widespread fuel price protests of 2000.

This little fillip to inflation will in turn work it’s way via road transport costs into the cost of almost everything we eat, drink and use. It may also go on to help drive higher interest rates.