Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Well it's December 25th, So I am taking this opportunity to wish a Mery Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Democracy and the EU

If there was any doubt as to just how profoundly undemocratic the EU and those who promote it’s dubious benefits are, then they should be dispelled by the fact that those behind the European project clearly do not intend to let a little thing like a democratic rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the people of the Irish Republic become an obstacle in their unstoppable path.

Democracy only suits the Eurocrats if things go the way they want. Then it is a useful justification, or fig leaf, for their plans. The heart of the European project is not so much undemocratic as antidemocratic. The commissioners hold office by appointment, by dictat.

They did appear more subtle than the likes of Robert Mugabe, at least until the home office started having opposition MP’s arrested, for the time honoured use of leaks from a whistleblower to highlight where the current government were risking security by such poor vetting they were employing illegal immigrants in it’s offices.

Now it seems the Irish people’s clearly voiced democratic rejection of the treaty will not be allowed to stand. They will be bludgeoned with repeated referenda until the Eurocrats get a result they can spin as and acceptance. Meanwhile they go ahead anyway, behind the scenes, as if the Treaty had never been rejected.

The new Taoiseach has said he intends to steer a second Irish referendum to a successful “Yes” conclusion next May. Ireland was the only country where the people were actually allowed the chance to reject the treaty, which they did decisively.

The UK was promised a vote by New-Labour in their election manifesto, but Gordon Brown, cunningly if dishonourably, reneged on this when in office to avoid such a problem.

In a similar vein it will be interesting to see how the much propagandised congestion charging stealth tax beloved of New Labour manages to body swerve the massively decisive rejection dealt it by the people of Manchester in their recent referendum.

Apparently entirely by coincidence, my spell checker keeps trying to change Eurocrats to Autocrats or Euro rats…

Saturday, 29 November 2008

If the cap fits

It’s generally considered a bad sign for democracy - in any country, when it’s government starts having members of the opposition arrested in order to intimidate or to prevent them from exposing it’s incompetence, mistakes, or shenanigans.

We all look on with disapproval at such regimes, and I am sure we can all think of examples in South America, Africa and on our own continent.

Often the population is too supine, or cowed to protest.

I have pointed out on a number of occasions that New-Labour is in the habit of passing draconian legislation with the alleged purpose of combating “terrorism” and “Organised crime”. If anyone raised any concerns over it’s misuse then they are accused of being "soft on crime", etc.

We always hear the lie trotted out, to suppress the natural concerns of those who do care about liberty, that “if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear”. The BBC can usually find a gullible old lady, or bereaved parent, to back the claim up.

Well “anti terror” legislation is actually repeatedly used by the current government and it’s minions to do things like eject elderly party members from party conference who loudly tell one or two home truths too many.

It is used by local officials to spy on large numbers of ordinary members of the public to establish if they are committing such terrorist related offences as fibbing about their addresses on a school application forms, or putting their rubbish out on the wrong day, or over filling their rubbish bins…

Or it seems... if you happen to be a senior opposition member of the shadow cabinet trying to expose New-Labour’s habitual lies and spin, then it is used to arrest and attempt to silence you.

Worse still it tramples on parliamentary privilege.

Not just anti terror legislation was used this time - but elite anti terror officers were used to do the deed too...

One wonders if anyone in government felt now would be an excellent time to bury this particular “bad news”, what with the terrible events that have unfolded in Bombay.

It is a shame the Anti terror officers weren’t devoting themselves to actual anti terror work of some sort. It’s not like the Indian government probably couldn’t do with them looking to see what they can find out here that might possibly be of help.

It is only half tongue in cheek to conjecture how long before they get a trendy uniform redesign, possibly involving lots of black, calf length leather boots… and their own special logo on their collars, or lapels?

It is perhaps as well for Mr clunking fist, Gordon “Stalin” Brown, that the current opposition never used such tactics when he was in opposition, he was very fond of political leaks then and his ministers still are - when it is to his advantage.

Worryingly the senior ranks of the UK’s police seem to have long since been purged of virtually anyone interested in actually trying to keep law and order, or provide the sort of service and presence the public actually want. These days it appears to be largely run by New-Labour apparatchiks and mostly occupied with/driven by directives and policies that are designed to help give the bogus impression the state is meeting it’s targets…

When it isn’t using anti terror legislation in ways it was never intended on the state’s behalf.

One can’t help but wonder - the cynical amoungst us will have noted the outgoing Met Commissioner Ian, Blair has a reputation for being “comfortable” with the New-Labour state and is outgoing because he has been popularly ousted by London’s new Conservative Mayor.

Probably nothing to do with the latest incident though...

It is truly difficult to believe even the most insensitive, incompetent, flatfoot would have blundered in so heavy handily, or even at all, entirely on their own. One would have thought self preservation alone would have made even the brain dead think twice...

One can’t help but think they must have felt their actions would go down well at the highest level. Certainly condemnation of their actions, or Speaker Martins inaction, have been slow in coming from New-Labour’s front bench.

One hopes that complaints will be made against the officers involved for their, quite possibly illegal activity. Behaviour that strikes at the heart of the way, what is left of, our parliamentary democracy functions. They should be suspended pending the outcome of a parliamentary investigation and hopefully disciplined.

I would have thought it was in the country's interest to have things like the fact that the home office were employing illegal immigreants to look after their security, and the incompetence of those who employed them, exposed to parliamentary scrutiny. Rather than allow the home office to use possibly illegal big brother tactics to conceal such things.

This should be part of an MPs job. It is in the public interest. He should not be arrested whan he does it.

Civil wars were fought over this matter in the days when parliament had more intestinal fortitude.


This blog would like to express its solidarity with the people of India - and particularly the citizens of Bombay at this time.

We all know they have suffered a murderous citywide attack by calculating, but rabidly savage murderous religious maniacs, who care not what atrocities they do. Apparently driven by a twisted and wickedly distorted ideology.

Innocent honest hardworking citizens making their way home, indiscriminately mowed down in hails of bullets. Men, women and quite possibly children indiscriminately slaughtered by evil wicked people.

In stark contrast to the murdering scum who perpetrated this atrocity, tales have emerged of acts of selfless bravery, heroism and dedication to duty by ordinary citizens of Bombay such as hotel staff.

To paraphrase…

One can’t help but think that we are all citizens of Bombay now - and that may be something to take some pride in being.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Crooked Lawyers

I was disappointed – but not surprised - to read that crooked immigration lawyers have been milking the immigration and legal aid system for all it’s worth in order to facilitate economic migrants gain illegal residence in the UK.

Apparently, according to the papers, they have even fiddled forms, prepared false stories and suggested to ‘clients’ how they can disguise their fingerprints. So much for the Government’s much vaunted - and largely pointless - Biometric IDs.

One quails to think how many of these parasites there are out there, but the report seems to suggest some £12 million extra may have siphoned out of the system in the past year. Presumably some are more cottage industry ‘extra pocket money’ types, rather less industrial scale than others.

One question that springs immediately to mind is: What is the real difference between these sleazebags and the human traffickers who smuggle migrants into the UK illegally? They are “white collar” is the only obvious one.

One suspects that the maze of human rights legislation introduced by this government can only assist these crooks in their schemes, as it appears to do for most other sorts of crooks and terrorists. If ever there was a case of the law of unforeseen consequences biting inept legislators in the backside the human rights legislation would appear to be it.

Clearly it didn’t escape some lawyers that the legislation - and specialising in it, might be a licence to print money. One must suppose it would have been more apparent to politicians who are also trained lawyers…

Will any politician have the intestinal fortitude to take this ill thought out legislation on? Health advice would be: ”Don’t hold your breath”

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Quote of the day

“ If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”

Winston Churchill

Repent at leisure?

Apparently the Government are going to rush through legislation to ensure there will never be another “Baby P” case.

Ed Balls the “Children's Secretary” is planning to put forward legislation make local services more accountable forcing them to chart their progress in intervening at an early stage.

Now any right thinking individual would wish to prevent any such dreadful thing ever happening again. But one fears hurried I’ll considered legislation is not the solution.

It is almost certain there is perfectly effective legislation already in place that would be adequate to the purpose - if only it had been used. Similarly there was an enquiry after the last dreadful failure of Harringay Council with Victoria ClimbiƩ. An enquiry made recommendations, were they ever actually implemented properly? Were all existing guide rules adhered to?

One suspects not.

The last thing this country needs is yet another piece of New Labour legislation that only does what other legislation, if actually enforced, already does, or invents new subdivisions of existing offences.

You can be sure it will not be any better and will almost certainly eventually be found to have unexpected and detrimental consequences, in this case probably to ordinary families.

Herodotus (484 BC - 430 BC) observed “Haste in every business brings failures.” This seems to have entirely escaped the attention of the current government, with their hatred of any history not post 1945 and not spun.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Quote of the day

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Dr. John McCrae (1872-1918)

Sunday, 9 November 2008

RoSPA warns of "health and safety" threat to freedom

It seems that even those with a vested interest in the Health and Safety industry are realising things may have gone just a little too far.

The chief executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Tom Mullarkey warned safety experts they will be accused of constructing a nanny state and damaging freedom if they continue to meddle unnecessarily in people's private lives.

He pointed out the obvious fact that "absolute safety" is an unattainable goal in any case.

Clearly it is insane to mindlessly persue absolute saftey beyond the point where the persuit of it is a greater threat to public well being and quality of life than the original risk.

Unfortunately one fears things may have already gone too far to be recoverable.

Whilst Mr Mullarkey may have a real interest in safety it is difficult to credit that many of those behind the burgeoning compensation culture do not have their eye at least as much on the money to be had at the expense of the taxpayer and consumer - that and their lucrative jobs.

This in turn terrifies the likes of teachers, volunteers and local councils that they will be sued. Those that are still willing to take the chance they may arbirarily be accused of being a paedophile if they so much as pat a child on the head and are willing to undergo the bother and expense of often multiple criminal records checks.

Could it be about time there were much stiffer costs for bringing some of the more dubious cases for compensation to court, for both the party that brings the case and their attournies. Also it might be good if a much greater weight were given to their not having taken reasonable precautions, or if they are partly responsible.

More more rational limits on amounts awarded might also be a good thing.
It begins to look as if greed for un justified and undeserved compensation payments is gnawing away at some of the underpinings of a healthy society.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Quote of the day

“He who has never hoped can never despair.”

George Bernard Shaw

“Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

Barack Obama

Monday, 3 November 2008

The problem with crude oil

Due to the general economic slowdown oil is no longer in such demand right now. This had resulted in a drop in the price of crude oil. Now OPEC want to restrict supply in the hope of driving prices back up.

Now I am not generally in favour of what the Green’s are. Their science often seems dubious, their policies ill thought out. Their motives anti progress, anti people. To the point where the mere fact that they may endorse something is enough to raise suspicions about it.

Never-the-less I do sometimes involuntarily find myself marching in parallel with them. Their dislike of oil is one of those occasions. Needless to say I am not demonising 4 wheel drive vehicles and their drivers, wanting to impose punitive taxation on air travel, or want to see Tata forced to stop selling cheap cars in India.

Still it would be nice to wean the world off carbon fuels. This is difficult as there is a massive existing technology and infrastructure. It is not like starting out from scratch.

The thing is, a standard car/truck, preferably made with a stainless steel engine parts and exhaust could run almost unmodified on hydrogen gas, producing nothing but water in the way of emissions. Zero Pollution.

Now Hydrogen can be ticklish stuff, but so can petrol. Surely it can not be beyond the wit of the worlds engineers to come up with a relatively 'safe' (as safe as petrol) means of storage, if only a really tough tank/bottle.

If it could be accomplished it would be an easy win in so many areas and has the potential to grant energy self sufficiency.

With sufficient power it would be possible to crack hydrogen from water.

So then, lots of power… atomic power stations anyone? Follow the French lead?

That would certainly cut green house emissions, but having power to spare is probably not sufficiently hair shirt for the Greens. Obviously not hair shirts for them personally, just the rest of us who would get to live in mud huts and die before 45.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Halloween in Second Life

Halloween, or All Hallows Eve (AKA Samhain or All Saints' Day) has just been and gone over the weekend. This celebration tends to blend into Nov 5th firework night in the UK

Taking a leaf out of JMB and Moggs book I thought I might post on the subject.

It is also interesting to note that other cultures celebrate festivals often involving fireworks, such as Diwali or the festival of Lights celebrated by celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and also Buddhists I believe.

Every year, up to this one, we have put out a pumpkin jack-o'-lantern and enter into the ‘spirit’ ;-) of the thing. This year, despite good intentions, it was left just a little too late. Unfortunately I was left attempting to acquire one at short notice in the midst of an apparent pumpkin famine.

I drove round all over on Friday afternoon, but was unable to find one. Rather than completely miss out, I thought why not decorate my place in second life? They are unlikely to have run out of pumpkins there, effectively having an infinite supply.

So I set off and visited a few rather spooky pumpkin emporia. There was a positive wealth of spooky Halloween gear, most of it at reasonable prices too. So I made a few judicious purchases, including spooky glowing lights and an animated ghost.

My place in sl is a pleasant terraced half-timbered building in the Tudor sim of Reading Primley, Renaissance Isle, so it has atmosphere anyway.

On my return from the expedition it was the matter of only a few minutes work to fix up some pumpkins, the ghost lights and a the piece de resistance - the ghost, that I set up to emerge from my front door and float into the street every now and again.

I think the whole thing worked well.

So Happy Halloween, Samhain, Diwali, etc. all.

Oh and at this time of year let’s also not forget the man reputed to have been the only one ever to have entered parliament with honourable intentions - Guy Fawkes.

Monday, 27 October 2008

French appeal to the ref over Agincourt

I find reveisionist so-called ‘historians’ truly incredible.

Now it seems they have set their sites on Agincourt of all things.
The fact is the French were thrashed by a numerically inferior force, thanks to a large extent to the longbow and the trained English archers who used it to such effect.

Apparently French revisionists are trying to excuse the defeat by claiming the poor French were the outnumbered underdogs and the English ‘war criminals’, though there is nothing to suggest the English violated the rules of war that existed at the time. Talk about sore loosers…

The documentary evidence in favour of the accepted versions is pretty solid. Maybe they should concentrate on finding the historical equivalent of the urban myth.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Quote of the day

"It may be true that you can't fool all
the people all the time, but you can fool
enough of them to rule a large country."

Will Durant

Brown banks on the taxpayer to bail him out

It’s a funny old world as they say...

Sub prime lending by banks to people who were likely to default on their loans got the world into a terrible two & eight, now more sub prime borrowing, this time by the banks from the UK government is going to get us out of it, according to the newly endowed superhero of our times...

...who is about to be outed by the evil Lex Luthor Lord Mandleson as none other than mild mannered Gordon Broon.

It may do, but one suspects as much for psycological reasons as economic.

Who is really lending the dosh? The British Taxpayer is who. Why does the Government not have the readies to hand? Well one reason might be that Gordon sold off half the countries gold reserves precisely when the price of gold had bottomed out. Now of course it is riding sky high. Just like government borrowing that has now hit an all time high.

If he had actually been canny or even prudent, as he likes to spin himself and hung onto it to a more opportune moment (almost any other time since, but now would have been good) maybe he could have got a good price for it and not hocked us all up to our eyebrows.

What strikes me as crazy is that there are people out there who believe the spin and feel safer with him in charge than anyone else.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Quote of the day

" So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men."


Good times to bury unwanted stories

Hasn’t it been a really good time to bury bad news recently…

The political equivalent of building a new overpass with lots of concrete.

Amid all the blanket reporting of the problems with the banking system and stock markets globally the MSM have had such a problem paying attention to things like the New Labour State’s obsessive desire to control and spy on it’s own Citizens.

Even 24hr news channels only seem able to find room for one or two story lines, repeated endlessly, or they cut to an empty podium and talk rubbish waiting for a speech. God forbid they should actually report a wider variety of news.

So the leopard does not change it’s spots. New Labour does not trust the citizen. It apparently does not believe the average citizen is capable enough adult enough to run their own lives and affairs.

They cannot be trusted, they need to be kept safe from the malice of others and their own stupidity. They even need to be told what they can eat and drink.

They need a patrician socialist class to govern every aspect of their lives… And if they object then doesn’t that show how foolish and irresponsible they are?

The silly citizen has a foolish traditional belief in their hard one ancient rights and liberties, but these just get in the way of shiny new legislation that the state needs to protect itself and it’s interests the public.

There is little that can be does to amend this pernicious attitude. New Labour need to be removed from power for a generation to contemplate the error of their thinking and the ripe contempt they apparently hold the citizen in. It would appear that this sort of medicine can work, ask David Cameron…

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Quote of the day

Nations grown corrupt
Love bondage more than liberty;
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty.

John Milton

Another day, another New Labour Governemnt Database

The Nanny state, apparently deeply concerned that it is leaving us any privacy at all, is now turning it’s attention to the creation of a newsuper database to record when we make phone calls, or send emails and who to, oh and all the web sites we visit.

Of course this is purely ‘for our own good’, to protect us all from terrorism. That catchall ‘bogeyman’ excuse of the Authoritarian state, ‘protecting the citizen from the terrorist and criminal’. The same citizen that the State will not permit to defend themselves against criminals with the frequently used threat of prosecution hanging over them if they do.

A Home Office spokesman disingenuously attempted to claim that: "Changes to the way we communicate, due particularly to the internet revolution, will increasingly undermine our current capabilities to obtain communications data - essential for counter-terrorism and the investigation of crime - and use it to protect the public.

Now as far as I know it is still possible for the authorities to tap phone conversations and intercept post, within the law. They do not currently have a database of all letters sent and to whom as far as I am aware. Nor have they ever had one.

So when the spokes person claimed:"Losing the ability to use this data would have very serious consequences for law enforcement and intelligence gathering in the UK." it did not follow logically at all.

The simple fact is that the state already has access to this and more, such as emails and web useage if they suspect someone. It is going too far to monitor us all.
And we all know the State can be trusted to look after this information and not loose it on a bus, or sell it, or something.

And we all know just how much the promise of the State is worth when they say they will only use legislation only for the purpose it was framed.

...Or maybe we could ask Islandic banks about how anti terrorism legislation was recently limbered up ready to be used to freeze Islandic funds in the UK. Or how other legislation was used to silence and eject hecklers from a Labour party conference.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Quote of the Day

" Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly - and for the same reason."

Author Unknown

Friday, 12 September 2008

Girl Power?

It is interesting to note that Obama was doing well, in front in the polls…

Until Palin became a factor...

Now the race for the Whitehouse appears to be far more even. She appears to strike a chord with many voters. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.

Quote of the day

Remembering the Super Hadron Collider...

" The media tends to report rumors, speculations, and projections as facts... How does the media do this? By quoting some "expert"... you can always find some expert who will say something hopelessly hopeless about anything."

Peter McWilliams

Friday, 5 September 2008

Bumper stickers

I was driving through our nearest town today.

I noticed a bumper sticker on the vehicle in front. It said: “I love my country - I just don’t trust it’s government.”

It made me chuckle.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

UK’Stamp Duty’ suspended for 12 months

Has anyone noticed?

New Labour’s much trumpeted partial holiday on ‘Stamp duty’ (for non UK residents this is a sales tax imposed by the state on house sales) is, if it is of benefit to anyone, mostly likely to be of benefit in the north, which at least historically was demographically more New Labour friendly.

New Labour are talking about a holiday for stamp duty under £175K This should cover quite a few properties for sale in the North and proportionately far less in the South, due to regional differences in house prices. Any figures the Government states one suspects will be 'spun' averages.

Could it be that they calculate they have terminally burned their bridges already with the South, so they want to minimise the coming electoral debacle for at least some of their sitting MPs

House sales depend on chains, with new time buyers going in at the bottom of the market and the others in the chain trading up, How far up the chain will theis make a difference?

Of course if you can't get a mortgage in the first place – and that is the major actual problem with the housing market, mortgages having effectively dried up because of the credit crunch. Then what difference will reducing the sales tax of around £1.7K imposed on a few of the sales make?

And let’s not forget that any improvement in the housing market that may actually be had from this piece of spin will have to be paid for in reverse, at the end of the ‘holiday’ in a year’s time, when ther will be a corresponding rush then a step back down in sales.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Quote of the day

" To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good... Ideology - that is what gives devildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors. "

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

" Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."

Haile Selassie

" When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

Edmund Burke

Monday, 7 July 2008

Quote of the day

" He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave."

Sir William Drummond

" Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."

Thomas Jefferson

Gordon Brown blames UK consumer for rising food prices

OK. I heard this on the radio news today. Apparently, according to Gordon Brown, the reason why food is much more expensive of late is because of… wait for it…

The consumer wasting vegetables, buying them and then throwing them away because they don’t know how to look after them properly and have gone off - and the evil supermarkets making ‘two for the price of one’ offers tempts them into it too.

I am now waiting for Gordon’s performing seals on, say the GMC, to start calling for VAT on vegetables to be doubled to eliminate this problem. Or maybe consumers to be licensed to purchase food, license cost £25 renewable yearly, 2,500 civil servants to administer.

Next they will be quoting little old ladies on how a robust national ID card system will help curb the wastage and prevent illegal immigrants from depriving 'hard working families' of their carrots.

I am so glad it has nothing whatsoever with the drop in the value of the pound against the Euro that by weird coincidence happened about the same time as food costs rose

Or the cost of oil rising and therefore petrol rising (most of the cost of which is due to punitive taxation) and therefore transportation rising in turn. Also coincidentally happening at the same time.

Oh and we must not forget Gordon’s Government slavishly following the EU dictat of pushing bio fuel production, that takes acres and acres of productive land out of food production and into fuel production.

Does he really expect anyone to believe it?

One can hardly imagine even one so stupid as to sell off half the nations gold reserves when the market had bottomed out to believe such complete nonsense himself.

Gordon’s pork pies anyone?

Still, thanks to all his New Labour cronies, he and they, have just secured access to new 'John Lewis' fridges in all their second homes, to help keep their veggies and pork pie collections fresh in...

Friday, 4 July 2008

Quote of the day

…We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to
secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any
Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of
the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

July 4, 1776. A DECLARATION

Here is wishing a happy July 4th to all and hoping the weather holds good for those parties tonight and over the weekend. Happy birthday America.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Quote of the day

" Tolerance is important - You never know when you're the one being tolerated."

Pat Brady

" World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbour, it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Canada Day

Just a quick mention for Canada and Canada Day. Hi JMB! For all celebrating have an excellent time.

..and no. I will not now feel obliged to mention every Nation’s day…

Monday, 30 June 2008

Quote of the day

" The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to "create" rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting.”

Eleanor Holmes Norton

" The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with."

William J. Brennan Jr

Friday, 27 June 2008

New Labour loose deposit in Henly by election

Gordon Brown’s New Labour are clearly as popular as ever.

New Labour actually lost their deposit in the Henley by-election. No wonder they are not willing to stand up to David Davis, they can’t afford to loose another deposit, either financially ;-) judging by the state of their finances, or politically.

Is it possible that the Lib-Dems can usurp their place nationally at the next election as they did at Henley? If I were the Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg I would beware of anything that sounded like “prepare for government” quite yet.

John Howell the victorious Conservative candidate probably called it accurately when he suggested his overwhelming victory proved voters wanted "a government that is on their side not on their backs."

New-Labour seem incapable of understanding that or if they do incapable of weaning themselves away from their love of patrician, social services mentality, authoritarian control freakery.

Fortunately Gordon probably can’t muster the sort of shock troops Mugabe can and to be honest, for all his failings, he probably never would if he could. Thank goodness.

Quote of the day

" We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analysing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will. I cannot believe that such a programme would be rejected by the people of this country, even if it does mean the establishment of personal contact with the dictators."

Neville Chamberlain

" We will have no truce or parlay with you [Hitler], or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst -- and we will do our best."

Sir Winston Churchill

Compare and contrast...

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Quote of the day

“ A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Quote of the day

“ Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.”

Dorothy Thompson

Very Light Posting

It’s not like there are not plenty of things worth posting about right now. Mugabe’s cleptocratic dictatorship in Zimbabwe for instance with it’s threadbare democratic disguise. The erosions of our civil liberties. The EU constitution that will not die. The utter incompetence of New-Labour, who whatever their many short comings at least the saving grace of not being actively wicked and racist like Mugabe.

No. The problem is finding the time…

So posting is likely be thinner than it has been.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

New-Labour and the Westminster mindset vs Liberty and David Davis

Recently I posted on David Davis’ resignation over the 42 day issue, the erosion of traditional British liberties and civil rights in general.

I asked the question was it him or Westminster that was out of step with the country. The consensus was Westminster was ‘bog chaining’ on parade - well out of step.

Well he has set up a website here. More power to his elbow. Worth a visit.

UK State clampdown on employing illegals

Well New-Labour’s kakistocracy is clamping down on firms that employ those (sub text - nasty foreign spongers) illegal immigrants. They made it illegal to employ illegal immigrants, they prosecuted companies that did and now they are going to pillory the employers by ‘naming and shaming’.

The lie they tell to justify this?

Apparently it’s all to help crush major organised criminal enterprises that use international people trafficing networks to smuggle people into the UK, as a supply of illegal labour. Any way the employers deserve it. They are unscrupulously undercutting the labour market by avoiding paying taxes on wages, that are below the minimum wage anyway. Why, surely virtually stealing jobs from the honest hardworking indigenous population...

...who find they make as money on benefit doing nothing than they could from such jobs as the immegrants are doing.

That’ll help drive up the cost of food and services. Is anyone out there using more than just a single brain cell to parse these excuses?

So we take one step back from the spin and lies.

The real problem is that New-Labour have effectively lost control of the UK’s borders. For years if illegal immigrants decamped from trucks and were caught they would be given instructions to make their way to reception centres and directions, the vast majority of whom promptly vanished. Those that were not caught vanished also.

Rather than have an effective system (this is New Labour here) they persecute hapless lorry drivers and employers, trying to force them to make up for government incompetence and despite a massively ramping tax burden state under funding.

OK. Now lets take another step back. Is there one? Yes.

Why is this a problem? Why are illegal immigrants a problem? Why are they illegal in the first place for that matter?

They claim benefits from a system they never contributed perhaps? Drain the good old NHS of resources when they never paid anything into it? Jump the social housing queue? Etc. etc. etc.

The underlying reason is that in sufficient numbers immigrants are a problem for a ‘cradle to grave’ welfare state, with universal entitlement like the UK’s, designed to run in isolation. Such a system also undeniably makes the UK much more attractive to economic migrants exacerbating the ‘problem’.

Without a welfare state that is constructed in the way the UK’s is immigration would become much less popular. Immigrants would not be a drain on the public purse either. They would either contribute to the economy and stay or not. If not they would not be able to survive here and would leave. If they committed crime then, tried, imprisoned then deported.

All that would be left would be boarder security issues and any social problems left.

Maybe that’s why New-Labour are so keen on the ID card and illegal immigrants (Oh - and of course the ‘War on Terror) will be their excuse to justify it…

Quote of the day

“ To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.”

Edward R. Murrow

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Quote of the day

“ The best way to compel weak-minded people to adopt our opinion, is to frighten them from all others”

" Nothing convinces persons of a weak understanding so effectually, as what they do not comprehend.”

Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield

Monday, 16 June 2008

Quote of the day

" You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered - but in the light of the wrong it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered."

Lyndon Johnson

Is David Davis out of step - or is it Westminster?

Well it seems all the MSM talking heads are following the unelected King Gordon’s line that, UK Shadow Home Secretary David Davis’ resignation in protest over the 42 day detention issue is a stunt and a risible waste of time distracting from much more important things.

Well He would say that wouldn’t he? Being a notoriously just a little shy of submitting himself to the will of the electorate, thus probably blowing the only slim chance he ever had of actually being elected Prime Minister.

Gordon is clearly desperate to prevent any other serious party standing against Davis too and Nick Clegg has obligingly followed his line, as he did in the case of the notorious Lisbon Treaty.

Still there is a former editor of that well known bastion of intelligent moderate informed comment and civil liberties, the Sun, willing to stand up for what one might be forgiven for seeing as the principle of locking dodgy ‘foreign looking’ people up indefinitely without evidence.

Of course Davis’s resignation would not make sense to the majority of New-Labour, sadly quite probably on the majority of MPs .

Based, as it was, on a matter of actual principle, they are clearly incapable of understanding it at all, not being able to easily perceive principles at all. To the MSM reporters subsumed in the Westminster hot house atmosphere it probably makes no more sense.

This may be the case with those who like to see themselves as opinion formers, but it may be, in this case, they are a little out of step with the general population, who see things slightly differently.

Agree with him or not, there is it seems, at least one MP who is an honorable gentleman, who we can actually believe - and trust to stand up for civil rights and what he believes in.

Someone who’s word and promises, unlike Gordon's or Nick's, actually are ‘subject to legitimate expectation’. More power to him.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

The Constitution/Treaty that refused to die

The Irish – Alone out of all the countries of the EU, were actually allowed to vote, to have a referendum by Europe’s politicians, on Lisbon treaty.

There is no plan ‘B’ Barroso said if they rejected the treaty. No, because there is no retreat. They will not abandon plan ‘A’.

All the rest of Europe’s politicians including the election promise breaking Gordon Brown were too fly to permit such a vote, knowing as they did it would almost certainly result in a rejection by the population of Europe the political elite are doing their best to shanghai.

Well the Irish voted decisively to reject the treaty, as would the British, had they been allowed their promised referendum - now the European political elite are desperately attempting to rescue the treaty cobbled together by Angela Mercal that was in turn to revive the rejected bankrupt constitution.

One rejection should theoretically have killed the treaty Gordon Brown so traitorously agreed to over New-Labour’s election broken manifesto promise to ratify it by referendum.

Right now the Political classes of Europe are mostly trying to pretend the Irish rejection just didn’t happen.

These people simply will not take no for an answer. What part of ‘no’ don’t they understand you might ask? They understand it all right. They are just not prepared to accept it. They have little care for democracy. They want to become a new ruling class of, well aristocracy.

It will be interesting to see what lies and contortions the go through to keep it alive or re package it. You can bet they will avoid any referendums if it is at all possible next time.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Quote of the Day

" When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again."

Edith Hamilton

" Reponsibility is the price of freedom."

Elbert Hubbard

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Is the UK state just too big?

Is it too big? If you have visited this blog in the past then my opinion will be quite clear to you - Of course it is..

This article By Iain Martin in the Telegraph examines the matter intelligently and is well worth a read.

Time to roll back the state.

Quote of the day

" My best test for a libertarian so far is to ask what needs to be done to protect ancient sequoias. If you say you need to buy them, you pass."

Rafal Smigrodzki

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Is it the gullible favour 42 day detention?

Democracy is all very well. But it depends to some extent on the education and intelligence of the voters for it’s success. Their enlightened self interest. How deep and well they see.

We are all capable of deciding, at a basic level, if something is good or bad for us and for society.

The problem comes much more to the fore with the more complicated stuff, the deeper things.

A classic example is New–Labour's current desire to set a precedent of locking people up for 42 days. It seems that YouGov survey found that a massive 69% of the public support Gordon Brown in this, despite doubts expressed by senior police officers and many others who should know.

One can only assume that these people who support him have been gulled by the false claims of New-Labour that they can actually provide security - if only this is agreed, if only they can have more power. Until of course it proves not to provide absolute security after all, then they will want to raise it again… because things are complicated…

Also those deluded soles who support it probably think it will never be used on them, being law abiding citizens. That it is only intended to be used on foreign terrorists anyway isn’t it?

I have news for them. If a law exists, it will, sooner or later, be used. Once the precedent is set for one person to be treated in this way it opens the door for all of us to be treated that way.

Don’t forget the huge volume of ill thought out legislation New-Labour have saddled us all with since they came to power.

If you know it, or not, it is now much harder to technically speaking be a law abiding citizen than it once was, before they came to power - and often you need to prove you are innocent now, rather than they need to prove your guilt.

New-Labour used anti terror legislation to keep out an ejected party member in his 80s heckling senior party members from their own conference. It was never intended to be used in this way – but it was used that way all the same.

An excellent example of the problem of an ill informed electorate is the sort of government that they actually elect in places like Iran.

So people. Wake up and smell that coffee - or by the time they come for you too, who will be left to speak up in your defence? The price of freedom is to brief yourselves and to actually PAY ATTENTION!!

Quote of the day

" He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself."

Thomas Paine

" Liberty is the possibility of doubting, of making a mistake,... of searching and experimenting,... of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophical, religious, social, and even political."

Ignazio Silone

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Quote of the day

" Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle."

Helen Keller

Monday, 9 June 2008

Degenerating into a farce?

Though posting has been light recently, due to being, as they say, 'time poor' at the moment, I never-the-less feel moved to mention the latest ufortunate post by Baht At. Part of a series of quite personal attacks on Blogpower Bloggers, particularly Crushed.

Blogpower is a pretty ‘broad church’ and we mostly get along without launching vitriolic, puritanical, attacks on each other.

One wonders why, if Baht At finds membership of Blogpower so tedious, he does not simply resign and disassociate from it.

I shan’t because of time get into the issue of if drugs should, or should not be legal, what moral right the state has to prescribe them in any event, a hunt through previous posts should enlighten and increase my traffic ;-)or issues relating to holding someone’s past against them for ever and ever and ever…

Quote of the day

" Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.”

George Carlin

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Quote of the day

" If something is exceptionally well done it has embedded in it's very existence the aim of lifting the common denominator rather than catering to it.”

Edward Fischer

Another New-Labour UK educational triumph - Not!

Well it looks like practically speaking New-Labour have, by fiddling the difficulty/pass marks in order to improve their figures, successfully destroyed the A-Levels, the old ‘gold standard’, as a properly functioning exam.

It is something parents and probably employers, have been quietly discussing for years. It is effectively official now.

Universities not only now need to do interviews, they need to set their own tests to see if candidates with A-Levels are actually able to manage real subjects at degree level.

How long before New-Labour set their sights on making degree courses ‘fair’ – in educational terms newspeak for; any one can get one, no actual ability or work necessary.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Just how useless are 'community support officers'?

Community Support Officers appear to be New-Labour’s cheap response to what had been the public’s demand for more police officers on the street. There may well even still be a demand, despite the police apparently targeting ordinary citizens and trivial effectively non-crimes in order to boost government targets.

These ‘Community’ (don’t you just hate this newspeak) Support Officers are a kind of pretend police officer, presumably intended to fool the public into believing there are actually police officers on the street. Well police officers used to be taught how to swim and use life saving techniques, they used to be taught CPR and first aid. They may still be, but not it seems these Community Support officers. Their Idea of supporting the community would appear to be to leave a child to drown .

Now it seems they are employing suppressors of free speech who might be interpreted as verging on the edge of being racists. Nothing new there then some of the more jaded and cynical amongst you may think. But it is. The reason police in the UK have been so successful until successive governments have begun to politicise and micro manage them was precisely because they were not. Because they were largely fair, even despite the natural tendency towards preconceived ideas we are all so often prone to - also they had and were allowed to use their discretion.

The question is why did West Midlands Police not suspend and hopefully sack this particular Community Support Officer? His behaviour went beyond the pale.

If the police are in the business of suppressing religion then surely they should be more even handed and suppress them all, or is it only some.

If it is ok for them to hate certain nationalities and treat them differently to others then maybe we need to come up with some alternative.

Or display a clear antipathy towards certain political parties, in this case the Republicans. Maybe the Conservatives and Liberals had better watch their backs.

West Midlands Police refused to apologise and fobbed off enquiries claiming the incident had been "fully investigated" They are going to offer training in understanding hate crime and communication. One fears it actually calls for a little more than that. Surely if investigated the way New Labour seem to prefer the PCSP’s behaviour could generate a number of ‘detections’ for them.
Depends on how you interpret the words "You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned". In light of the whole incident.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Time for a change over Eurovision?

Well there is at least one good thing about the Eurovision Song contest. It is a useful reminder of exactly how low the esteem in which much of Europe holds the UK actually is - and curiously places outside Europe like Russia and Israel hold the UK. There seems to be some following for the Contest in Australia, maybe they should participate, they are surely just as 'qualified' as Israel or Russia.

Still, covering 40% of the costs together with only France, Germany and Spain is a steep price for this knowledge. Italy sensibly decided Enough was enough. It could be the automatic qualification for the final when better songs do not make it this massive expenditure buys us probably does not help.

Of course Russia does not like us at the moment, due to the diplomatic row over some mysterious unidentified party killing off Russian dissidents on British soil. The Balkan states know what side their bread is buttered, but it does have to be said the UK entry this year was not, by objective standards, by any means the best, or most likely to do well on it’s ’Euro’ merit.

By the new Eurovision standards the Russian entry was good, but despite the voting probably not the best.

It would be interesting to see how well the UK would perform if the psychology of the Euro sound were to be analysed and a group and song were to be crafted, specifically designed to succeed, rather than relying on the proven inability of the British public to judge current, heavily East European influenced, ‘Euro’ taste.

It would also be interesting to see a complete change in the voting system where all the votes were pooled. It is simply ludicrous that a country with the population of Andorra has the same voting clout as one with a population the size of Germany.

Maybe it would be much better if an arrangement were found where all participating countries paid their fair percentage share, based on their population and no one automatically made the final too.

If these changes can not be made in time for next year’s contest then surely it would be better if the UK followed the Italian example, withdrew from the contest and took it’s cash with it.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

The Eurovision song 'contest' rolls round once again

Tonight is the night of one of the greatest wastes of British TV taxpayer’s money in the entire year. The Eurovision Song Contest.

It is saved, mostly by the fact that watching the often frankly amazing performances appeals to the sneaking desire to watch a curiosity, combined by Terry Wogan’s gentle micky taking on behalf of us all.

Humourless European officials decry his efforts, whilst failing to grasp he is probably the only thing that keeps the opinion of the UK public in a mood of benign amusement - as opposed to outright contempt.

The 'contest' is intrinsically silly and unfair, it always has been. He does not need to make it look that way, he just uses the fact that it is to entertain us...

We all know we have very little chance of even doing well in it. We know we are not particularly popular with Europe as a whole, given our relationship with the US. But mostly it is the voting system and the blocks that doom all the old large western European nations.

Namely the Baltic and Balkan voting blocks.

Firstly each group tends, by accident, or design, to vote the high points largely exclusively for other members of ‘their’ block.

This, combined with the fact that a microscopic country that consists of several small towns, has the same voting power as a huge country with a population of multiple millions. Tends to give them a lock on the contest, no matter how good or more likely bad the particular entries happen to be.

It’s as if you were to give each county in the UK an individual vote and they all voted for the UK, and Irish entries.

How different would the results be it it were down to a simple total of all the votes cast for each entry, with no country being able to vote for it's own entry?

One suspects it won’t be much different for Andy Abraham tonight. One fears how good the song, or the performance, is will only have a peripheral impact on how well it actually does. The fact that I don’t come right out and predict it is more a triumph of optimism over experience than anything else. We shall see on the morrow…

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Quote of the day

" Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty.”

Benjamin Franklin

Threat of yet more laws and another huge UK State database

New-Labour’s developing fascist state moves a little closer as it’s Ministers consider plans for a vast and intrusive database of electronic information. A real move in the direction of a sinister total surveillance society.

Their plan is for New-Labour to legislate to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telephone companies to pass the details of all emails and telephone calls to them to be stored in a gargantuan database.

Their current justification is national security, a marvellous excuse to make the gullible grateful for their own oppression, but if they couldn’t talk that up then they would probably look to find some other reason.

A Home Office ‘spokesman’ claimed retaining communications information is now apparently essential for protecting national security. He also insisted that powers to hold information were subject to strict safeguards.

Yes, but somehow with other legislation and systems it has still resulted in things like local councils spying on ordinary people over schools admissions, people getting criminal records for putting a little too much rubbish in their bins and the private data of huge numbers of people being lost, or given away, or even published on the internet. These safeguards and promises are clearly utterly worthless.

In fact the prime minister’s personal representative has publicly admitted that "manifesto pledges are not subject to legitimate expectation", so it is curious they expect us to actually believe any such lesser assurances.

The state claims that if only they can bring in this law, restrict that freedom, then they can make the citizen safe. It is a lie. They can not guarantee safety, not from chance, not from natural disaster, not from crime and not from terrorism. They can even genuinely try, but sooner or later they are sill bound to fail.

Quite frankly I would rather take the chance of not making it easier to catch and more problematically convict terrorists (because they are easier to foil than catch and easier to catch than convict) than to allow them change my society to the point where it no longer reflects values I would be willing to defend. That is one of the aims of terrorism.

Are we are reaching the point where the state is in danger of becoming a greater menace to out liberties, values and way of life than terrorism.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Quote of the day

" Know that although in the eternal scheme of things you are small, you are also unique and irreplaceable, as are all your fellow humans everywhere in the world.”

Margaret Laurence

" You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

Mohandas K. Gandhi

A thought for the Citizens of China

This blog has been critical of certain policies of the Chinese State in the past and still disapproves of those policies. Leaving that aside for the moment, this is a small gesture of solidarity for the citizens of China in their troubles.

There can be very few anywhere who are unaware of the tragedy of the massive earthquake and the accompanying aftershocks still unfolding there, or the dreadful loss of life, especially amongst so many children.

It is a hideous blow to those who have lost loved ones, parents, children, their homes and possessions, families riven. For them right now it may well be difficult to go on. Even for those not directly impacted upon by the quake there will be a mental impact.

There will inevitably be questions about building quality, codes and standards.

And no I have not forgotten about the Burmese cyclone, but the contrast between the reaction of the Chinese State and the Burmese State, in their efforts on behalf of their people is stark.

I heard a General being interviewed yesterday and he was questioned about the loss of some lives amongst the rescuers and he replied that they had been serving the people, so it was worth it. I expect something may have been lost in translation, but I still found myself tending to agree with him.

We seem to expect these days to be coddled and protected by the state from all possible threats. An obsessive health and Safety culture. It distorts our perceptions. No one is capable of doing that. If they tell you they are they are lying. If you believe it you are deluded.

The world is a dangerous place. Sometimes dangerous because it has people in it who don’t see other people as people, or are stupid, selfish and greedy - but also dangerous because there are vast impersonal forces that can snuff any of us out in an instant. And face it who of us are immortal?

Life is a battle against entropy, that sooner or later, individually we will all loose. The trick is to get ahead of the game for long enough to make a difference and springboard the next generation.

It is part of what makes us human that in the face of death and disaster people will risk their own lives to save others, without counting the cost. We often see it in the emergency services, we see it in the armed forces, we see it in individuals. We admire it. Ultimately it is a survival instinct for humanity as a whole. So the General was right.

Here then is a thought for the Citizenry of China. In the end though we may be superficially different in many ways deep down we have much more in common. Many of the differences are learned.

So this post is to express solidarity and sympathy with them.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Quote of the day

" You do not have to change: survival is not mandatory."

Dr. W. (William) Edwards Deming

" A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them."

P. J. O'Rourke

What is wrong with the UK's NHS?

Some readers will be familiar with Calum Carr’s battles with the NHS simply looking to get adequate treatment for his wife and this prompts me to wonder.

It is an illustration of some of the problems with the NHS on a human scale.

According to the State’s own statistics, never exactly a source to be trusted in recent years (if ever), 6,000 people died in 2006 after contracting the superbug Clostridium Difficile, a massive increase over recent years. At the same time MRSA increased over a third, the infection featuring in almost 1,700 death certificates in 2006..

One suspects in many cases it contributes but is not mentioned. In many other cases the patient thankfully survives.

Even Hospitals that have isolation policies do not follow their own procedures. I personally witnessed an instance where a patient who had contracted MRSA whilst in hospital and who had been isolated was visited by administration staff who could not be bothered to follow any of the precautionary procedures posted outside, that we, as visitors had followed. No wonder these bugs spread.

Over the same period money has been thrown at the NHS hand over fist with little discernable improvement. There has been a drop in the last quarter, but often where things get better in a few instances they seem to get worse in many others. We should have seen a much greater impact much sooner. In fact the problem should not have become such a problem if the trusts had actually followed recommendations.

Health spokesman Norman Lamb said the State had failed to ensure recommendations from their own experts were followed.

It seems that the Sate is simply not competent to oversee the NHS. The same would appear to be true of the vast and expensive army of administrators recruited by the state to administer it.

The experience of the NHS, for far too many people is inadequate, incompetent ineffective and uncaring. It is to the credit of those who work in the system who do still manage to provide a caring service that this poor experience is not universal.

More administration and more targets seem to only result in a worse service. Something seriously needs to change.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Quote of the day

" It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellow men."

George E. MacDonald

" Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct."

Thomas Jefferson

Is it time to shrink the state to more manageable proportions?

The Telegraph asks an interesting question today “Who is the 'right leader' for our hard times”? Sparked by Broon’s waffle about providing the right leaderhip.

Even more adventurously they ask: “Do we need a politician running Britain at all”?

Maybe the question they should really be asking is: “Do we need anyone running Britain at all”?

Personally I am not really sure I want much so-called leadership at all. Belgium seems to have managed well enough with no parliament recently. Could we manage mostly at a county level?

We have after all a perfectly good royal family to represent the country. The queen probably knows more about politics than any two prime ministers put together. They are certainly more in tune with practical environmentalism than the average politician.

So combine the Royal family with a parliament that has responsibility for maintaining the legal system, the armed forces and the currency. Claw back every last parliamentary privilege and power ceded to the unelected EU commission.

Have a watchdog to police MPs propriety and finances. Make it impeachable to renague on election promises. These people should be the servants of the Nation, not it’s patrician ruling class.

Given that we have had a millennium’s worth of very, very, bad legislation in the last decade let's make it as difficult as possible for them to ever pass any new legislation again. Without at least 75% in favour.

The state should be kept very firmly away from telling the citizen what to do.

Let local democracy, take care of all the other details.

Works for me…

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Quote of the day

" Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable."

Laurence Peter

" The manipulation of statistical formulas is no substitute for knowing what one is doing."

Hubert M Blalock Jr

Lies, damned lies, and - Government Inflation Figures

Inflation has been much in the news recently. It will probably feature frequently enough it the months and years to come. It is of course an official government measure despite it’s (probably intending to) sounding like it could be done by Which. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), Apparently annual inflation – the Government’s target measure – was up from 2.5% in March to 3.0% in April.

Not all that much one might imagine. And what is inflation anyway? Inflation is rising prices and costs. Anything that puts up a cost, such as an increase in road tax, or the cost of electricity, or the cost of your mortgage. Effectively it means your money is worth slightly less. You can also get the reverse.

So an accurate measure of inflation really tells you something about what is going on in the economy. The only trouble is the government figures are effectively a lie.

In almost standard New-Labour operating rules the measure and the target have become all important. Reality seems to come a poor second. They are basically fiddling the figures, like they do with ‘A’ level passes and it seems, almost everything else.

The official measure of inflation depends on what particular prices and costs are being officially kept track of. If they aren’t being measured then they don’t contribute to official inflation figures. If you only kept track of the price of video recorders and Ladas for instance inflation would probably be pretty low, maybe falling.

The real inflation experienced by us all in our daily lives bears little resemblance to what the New-Labour amusingly attempt to claim are accurate figures. I expect they will have arguments marshalled to justify why they leave some things out and measure others, probably almost as good as those Gordon Brown used to deny the promised referendum on the Lisbon treaty.

As disposable incomes become squeezed, people are increasingly forced to limit their spending to essentials like food, energy, housing. These are the things going up the most steeply. As our spending shifts more towards “non-discretionary” items and services our experience of inflation also get worse. If you spend a larger portion of your income on energy bills, for example, you will then also experience a much higher rate of inflation.

The index is also biased towards relatively cheaper goods like clothing, CD players, etc. rather than more expensive services like transport and childcare.

Who cares how much a new flat screen TV costs when they can put the purchase off, you have to buy groceries and have the energy to cook them. You may not be able to avoid paying for child care if you want to work. You need petrol to get to work. The rate of inflation as experienced by many households in the UK is probably multiple times more than the official figure.

Probably the CPI's worst omission is that it doesn’t factor in domestic costs like council tax and mortgage interest. There will not be many people who’s council tax has not risen well over inflation over the past 10 years.

Oh – and if you try to save for a rainy day inflation slowly (or maybe not so slowly) eats into your savings.

At just 2% it will reduce the value of £5,000 put away to £4,712 after just 3 years and that's with inflation of 2%. Imagine what's happening to your savings if your personal inflation rate is running at 5%, or even 10%. If the return you are getting on your money is less than the inflation you experience you might as well spend it all now because it will have less buying power later.

The Sweet Tooth Gene

According to scientists in Canada, based at the University of Toronto, they had discovered a genetic basis for the sweet tooth a sweet tooth gene they are calling (appropriately enough), GLUT2 (though it apparently stands for GLUcose Transporter rather than gluttony).

It seems that those with the gene consistently consumed more sucrose (table sugar), fructose (simple sugar), and glucose, no matter their age or sex, than those without it.

The scientists discovered that those with GLUT2, in the older group consumed up to 30 grams of sugar a day more than those without it and those in the younger group with the variation drank up to five times more sugary drinks - and 20 times more sweets.

So it may turn out taking in more sugar and the corresponding tendancy to put on weight, rot your teeth and get diabetes may be genetic.

So for those of you with the genetic variant the good news is that there may be no need to feel guilty about having a sweet tooth.

The bad news is that there is still the need to deal with it - and it may be more difficult…

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Quote of the day

" A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true."


The truth is out there…

It seems that secret files on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) seen in the UK are being released.

Now Unidentified Flying Objects just about sums it up. They are basically something that someone saw in the sky that they could not work out what it was.

Now even pretty sensible people can wonder what on earth they are seeing under the right circumstances.

I remember years ago whilst driving at night seeing what looked like a weird glowing object in the sky, that apparently changed shape between lenticular and globular. A surefire Alien Space ship you might think. We decided to investigate. After several miles we got close enough to see it was a blimp lit up and floating above a small airfield. The apparent change in shape a result of seeing it from different angles.

Of course we could have been reprogrammed by the alien occupants of a real space ship to think that - Cue twilight zone music, doo do doo do...

If you then factor in those who don’t think carefully, or those who really badly want to believe the earth is some sort of Watford Gap interchange for aliens … Then there the downright sad and loopy who just want attention. Well it is easy to see how these reports get generated.

Why were the reports kept secret? I would suspect, especially during the cold war, against the chance someone had spotted an experimental aircraft, or weapon, either ‘ours’ or ‘theirs’. If one was spotted and needed some disinformation to obscure the details the UFO enthusiasts might be an excellent tool for that too.

In the middle ages it was the dog heads, men with faces in their chests, monopods with big feet, devils and such now it is little green men. Now it’s greys and a whole collection of others to go with them.

The truth is out there - and it is probably far more mundane, at least when it comes to little green men, than many would apparently like.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Quote of the day

“ Beauty comes in all sizes - not just size 5.”

Roseanne Barr

” Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.”

Sophia Loren

Booty is in the eye of the beholder…

Now there surely has to be a biological reason why, contrary to fashion magazine hype, the average guy (according anecdotal evidence) actually prefers a girl with a little padding especially on the derriere. I have long assumed that many of the features men find attractive in women are actually reasonably reliable indicators of good health and fertility. Signs they might make a good mate. The reverse is probably also true.

Now, according to a study published in the journal ‘Cell Metabolism’ by the Harvard Medical School, moderate amounts of subcutaneous fat on the buttocks and thighs may actually be good for you.

It seems this sort of fat decreases insulin resistance, a cause of diabetes and may produce hormones known as adipokines, which boost the metabolism.

The National Obesity Forum’s Dr David Haslam, suggested the report cast further doubts on the usefulness of Body Mass Index (BMI) as a way to assess whether someone was unhealthily overweight, as it does not differentiate between different types of fat.

Weight Concern’s Dr Ian Campbell, remarked: "If there is something about subcutaneous fat which is protective, and actually decreases insulin resistance, this could help open up a whole new debate on the precise role fat has on our metabolism."

Women have a tendency to lay down more subcutaneous fat, particularly on their legs and buttocks than men. So ladies there is probably a sound biological reason why men tend to look favourably on a j-lo stylie rear end - so wear that bootylicious padding with pride.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Quote of the day

“ The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Winston Churchill

Social Care for elderly in UK set to take a turn for the worst

Gordon brown apparently wants to make social care for the elderly in the UK ‘fairer’. If only that were indeed the case – actually really fairer.

The sad fact is that, based on easily duplicated empirical observation of New-Labour’s efforts to make things ‘fairer’ in other spheres of life, is that ‘fairer’ is New-Labour-speak for, crap and getting worse, but an enforced equally crap for all treatment. Preferably at the same time suppressing any proof that things could be better. It is unlikely to be any different in this case.

The fact is that because there is never any actual money invested behind these schemes, because they are instead funded directly out of taxes there is looking to be a rather large gap between what is available to fund care in the next 20 years and the numbers requiring it. Oh and Gordon helped make sure the country is brassic by selling off half our Gold reserves when the price was at a historic low. You have got to hand it to the man with the financial acumen…

You can easily understand why this has caught new-Labour and Gordon’s vaunted financial acumen flat footed, after all it was only predictable since they came to office. It’s not like the baby boomer generation is a state secret, or the fact that people get older as time goes by, any more than the names and addresses of every recipient of child benefit is – now…

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Quote of the day

“ If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels

What’s the point of petitioning the UK PM?

The state was petitioned to withdraw from the European Union (EU) on the grounds that it is of no benefit to the UK any longer, being a gross waste of money that should not be funded by the taxpayer any longer. That it was an unelected, bureaucratic bloc constantly infringing national sovereignty. It attracted several thousand signatures and is by no means the only petition making similar points.

The State’s response demonstrates a certain contempt for the signatory’s ability to detect bullshit. They say:

“Membership of the European Union has brought significant benefits to the UK, in terms of wealth, jobs, peace and security.”

But fail to actually back this claim with any facts whatsoever.

Security - We are expected to believe that it was the presence of the EU and not, to pluck a random example out of thin air, say... N.A.T.O. that has guaranteed the peace in Western Europe since WWII? Very amusing…

They go on:
”Through the EU, we belong to the world's biggest trading bloc. Over half of British trade is with Europe. An estimated three and a half million British jobs are linked to exports to the EU,

They fail to mention that prior to this through the Commonwealth we belonged to the world’s biggest trading bloc. Much of our trade was with its members and staggeringly huge numbers of British jobs were linked to exports to it. As were countless jobs throughout the Commonwealth. We shall not dwell on the detrimental impact the effective dismantling of much of this trade had, or how much persists to this day

They witter on…
“..and our membership allows us to live, work and travel across Europe and to receive free medical care if we fall sick on holiday.”

Of course Brits were never allowed to travel to Europe or live there before this – Not.

Curiously enough many British people went to live and work in other commonwealth countries and similarly nationals of those countries did as well, Brits to Canada and the antipodes, Aussies to the UK, Canada, etc. etc.

As for free medical care if you do travel to Europe you would be a fool not to have travel insurance - including medical cover.

They continue ”Improved maternity pay, strengthening of rights to paid holidays and now the reduction in mobile phone calls when abroad are just some of the practical benefits the EU has helped deliver. And as part of the EU, the UK is better able to deal with global issues like environment and world trade, and tackle problems like crime, illegal immigration and terrorism.”

Phone calls! Get real… Maternity right, paid holidays.. Get real. The fact is being in the EC massively limits our options to improve things because either we gave up the power or it would be trading on euro toes.

Finally the stench of bovine faeces becomes almost overwhelming…”T he question of whether we should remain in the (then) EEC was put to a referendum in 1975, which passed convincingly. The government sees no case for a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU today.”

They fail to point out that this was spun at the time as a trading partnership and noting more. No Superstate ruled by unelected commissioners were mentioned then, not EU ambassadors or embassies. That vote was on something else, the British public were conned with false information.. It is a probability approaching certainty that if they had so much of an inkling of what they were actually voting for at the time they would have rejected utterly.

”It is clear that by working together with other European countries, we can achieve much more in terms of promoting peace and stability, economic prosperity, environmental protection and a range of other important issues than we could achieve by ourselves.” an entirely unsupported set of claims here…

They go on to inform us disingenuously that: ”Successive opinion polls show that public support for a total withdrawal from the EU is relatively low. An ICM poll in August showed that - showed that approximately 21% of respondents favoured a total withdrawal from the EU.”

They fail to point out that the vast majority wish to halt any further integration and claw thing back to pre EU, EEC levels.

They also fail to mention that New-Labour are currently badly governing the UK on the basis of the support of a mere 22% of the British electorate at the 2005 general Election. Based upon the results of the recent local elections we may suppose it is now considerably more precarious than that…

On that basis it is easy to argue that public support for New-Labour is little greater than it is for total withdrawal from the EU

So is there a point to the government’s petition website? Or bothering to post, or sign the petitions? Not much by the look of it…

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Quote of the day

“ Here is my final point. About drugs, about alcohol, about pornography and smoking and everything else. What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?”

Bill Hicks

Just how illegal should cannabis be?

Cannabis is illegal. You might not think so from general observation, but it is.

The Authoritarian State in the form of New-Labour’s Jacquie Smith wishes to make it more illegal (Class B) than it currently is (Class C), despite advice to the contrary from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Probably as much from a desire to try to pretend to be decisive, after the electoral thrashing they have just had. Dave the Bloke’s fluffy, environmentally friendly, Conservative party, hinting at it’s less fluffy antecedents, is apparently solidly with New-Labour on this.

One suspects the police would, on the whole, rather leave it where it is,

Given that the State’s policy on drugs effectively makes criminals out of (one suspects) a majority of the population - the otherwise law abiding, the question that occurs is: “What impact does this have on the population as a whole’s respect for the law?”.

One fears much the same as prohibition in the US, almost entirely negative – except for organised crime. One imagines they might pump a fair bit into lobbying for Cannabis to remain illegal…

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Quote of the day

“ The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.”

Ronald Reagan

What’s wrong with New-Labour

I was listening to some of the spin and damage limitation over New-Labour’s pretty disastrous showings in the local and London mayoral elections on Sky News this morning.

They were speaking to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, (she of being afraid to walk the streets after dark fame).

She was articulating all the excuses New-Labour seem to be developing while Gordon gets up the courage to show his face in public again and avoids the initial heat. Need to take the lesson on board and listen to the electorate, etc.

Any way she said something cut out of later repeats and I paraphrase as best I recall, about providing the leadership the electorate needed. It struck me as a bit of a Freudian slip. That’s just it – we don’t want to be told what to do by them we want to be left to live our lives in peace the way we wish to.

That is part of the whole problem with New-Labour and their natural bedfellows who seem to populate social services, education and local government, some of the upper echelons of the medical profession, etc. They seem so convinced that they know best and they will damned well force us to follow their will for our own good and we will all be grateful in the end really…

They want to control and regulate us keep record about everything and force us to prove who we are. Watch us all the time, tell us how to raise our children, what we can eat, drink and do in public and private. Make every thing illegal unless they have given specific permission, preferably controlled by expensive permit or licence that we have to pay for.

These are many of the reasons New-Labour did so badly, do they see it? Hell no! It seems the beast will never change.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Gordon’s stealth tax raid on the pensions of the poor

More of the ramifications of Gordon Brown’s infamous final budget slowly sink in. This time it’s the pensions of the less well off that take a pounding.

One wonders why these things only seem to really dawn on people once they are actually happening to them, it would appear that people just don’t have the sense to get out from under a falling piano when they see one. Or simply don’t recognise what they are seeing until it is actually affecting them.

The government is always banging on about the ‘pensions hole’ after Gordon brown personally helped create it with his infamous £5billion-a-year state stealth raid on pensions in 1997 where he abolished tax relief on dividends paid into pension funds.

This lead to the collapse of hundreds of final salary pension schemes and resulted in huge numbers of workers being worst off. It means unless everyone now has to make a bigger contribution or there would be rather less in the pension pot than had been expected - and the state was worried about having to support this, after having caused it.

A bit like spending the rent money on gin and then worrying about the landlord’s knock on the door.

All of this would not be so much of a problem if the state ran an honest pension scheme, with real money in it, that the contributions were actually invested in - but no they have a system where those who pay taxes have to cover the cost of pension contributions out of their taxes, less workforce, less tax.

When Gordon brown combined the bands that applied to the lowest paid, the lowest tax bands from 10% and 22% both to 20% it affected the amount of tax relief on low paid pensions in some cases dropping it This means that any of the poor who actually gained anything out of the change to 20% who was investing say £200 a month now has to cough up almost £50 a year more (£48) just to avoid loosing ground on their pension pot.

So if Gordon Brown, or any of his NL cronies wants to shake your hand on the run up to the Local elections, keep your other hand on your wallet and check you still have your watch afterwards and if they tell you they care about the poor and lower paid remember pension contributions and the abolition of the 10% rate that has not gone away, despite the spin.

Monday, 28 April 2008

UK Tabloid Titillation EXPOSED!!

It is interesting to note that lower end of the UK MSM are at it again.

Not content with secretly filming, distorting and ‘exposing’ the private life of Formula One boss, Max Mosley, they now have their hooks into Lord Laidlaw.

Billed as “A TOP TORY PAYMASTER!” they seem particularly fascinated by the involvement of an allegedly “TRI-LINGUAL BISEXUAL!”, giving the vague impression that being “TRI-LINGUAL!” is some sort of sexual practice, or preference ;-), rather than a sign of intelligence.

In the case of Mosley it seems they distorted the details and falsely reported them to talking heads, who then foolishly give them outraged quotes in return.

In the case of Laidlaw they conveniently tuck the fact that he has also funded inner city academies and youth projects for disadvantaged children way down the story, after the presumably politically motivated, “TORY PAYMASTER!” stuff.

He certainly is a significant donor to the Conservative party, but what has this got to do with the price of fish?

Is it really the business of the Tabloids what someone does in private? As far as I am aware he, like Mosley, has committed no crimes. On the contrary he actually appears to genuinely want to do good. One suspects the press may have sailed far closer to the wind in that respect in their efforts at privacy invasion.

Apart from the fact that unconventional sex was involved Laidlaw has done nothing more than arranging a venue and some professional entertainment. One can see, in this case it might concern his wife, depending on her views of life, but not the rest of us.

Why is it acceptable for the press to trumpet people’s sexual preferences to the world when they are doing no harm? Would they do the same if they had pictures of someone famous on the WC? Quite possibly, one begins to suspect.

These were consenting adults who were presumably enjoying themselves drinking champagne, good wines and in some cases providing a service they were being paid for. Honest value given for honest value received.