Friday, October 30, 2009

Members Only Book Burning Session - Tomorrow

Get yourself on a flight to South Carolina and you might be able to join in a ritual Halloween bible burning session. If it ain't the King James version then apparently it's toast. You do have to be a member though.

Might be photoshopped of course but found via Flickr

Polish Chief Rabbi accuses Left of "distortion" of his views

Yesterday, Denis Macshane in the Guardian repeated the claim by James Mcintyre in the News Statesman that the Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich had condemned Michael Kaminski of Poland's Law and Justice party who is leading the new Conservative group in the European Parliament.

As the BBC reports today the statements of James McIntyre (and repeated by Denis Macshane) about the Polish Cheif's Rabbi's view are distortions and the title of MacIntyre's piece, in July of "Jewish Leaders Turn on Cameron's Tories: Poland's chief rabbi and others call on Cameron to sever ties with Polish MEP" is misleading and untrue.

In an email that the Polish Cheif Rabbi sent to Policy Exchange, which was then then passed to the BBC the Cheif Rabbi said,

"There is no doubt that Kaminski is a strong friend of the State of Israel. He himself has spoken out against anti-Semitism on several occasions during the past decade.

It is a grotesque distortion that people are quoting me to prove that Kaminski is an anti-Semite. Portraying Kaminski as a neo Nazi plays into the painful and false stereotype that all Poles are anti-Semitic.

I would also like to clarify that the headline of James Macintyre article of July 29, 2009 entitled: "Jewish Leaders Turn on Cameron's Tories: Poland's chief rabbi and others call on Cameron to sever ties with Polish MEP" does not represent what I said to the author. I made no political statement and this headline is misleading and untrue."
Will David Miliband, Denis Macshane, James MacIntyre and many others start to withdraw their statements I wonder?

They'll try anything to hold onto power won't they?

What should a party do when it's down substantially in the polls and staring at the opposition benches in the face? What do you do when you think some of your core vote is slipping away to fringe parties?

Easy, start making plans to make sure the election works in your favour to the best of your ability by fiddling with the rules and creating situations where the voters you don't have can't vote, and the ones you've lost won't be able to vote for someone else and split your vote.

That is the rather obvious reality of what the Labour Party appear to be planning when you read today's Times. It seems there is a "working paper" drawn up by the Ministry of Justice for the Treasury about cutting the cost of democracy, and within it are proposals such as closing polling stations earlier; scrapping some polling stations altogether; increasing the deposit; and changing the free distribution of one leaflet for all candidates.

The Government, of course, says that this is just an ideas paper and isn't policy yet, oh no. However it doesn't take a genius to realise that someone political is bound to have commissioned it, and the proposals themselves are rather blatantly designed to stifle the non-Labour vote and silence opposition of the fringe candidates who threaten to split their core vote.

For example, there is an idea to reduce the number of polling stations. Traditionally you have polling stations in your ward, but these ideas suggest making them further away. In rural parts of constituencies with large towns this will make voting a hassle for many, and impossible for some. What sort of voters live in rural areas? Couldn't perhaps be non-Labour voters could it? What about the elderly and infirm?

There is another suggestion of changing the opening length of the polling station. Very handy for those of us who live outside London and commute. The scrapping of polling cards and replacing them with email - because everyone has email and a computer right? Everyone, even the 70 year-old widow living alone on a meager pension!

Then there is a rather nifty idea of increasing the deposit for candidates. An excellent way to reduce the number of candidates on the ballots to only those from well-funded organisation. Handy if you're seeing your vote leak like a bucket full of holes to the BNP in former Labour strongholds. The best way to tackle the BNP is to make it harder for them to stand then they won't split your vote right?

Frankly it is incredible that this "working paper" even exists. So much for living in a democracy. Isn't it ironic too that such ideas would come from a governing party of whom many of its activists complained vehemently about the US presidential election of 2001 because people were restricted from going to the polls and voting papers were confusing?

They really are a bunch of shits.

Update: Jack Straw has now made a statement killing this "working paper".

Is this the most expensive smoking shelter in the country?

Anyone who is a smoker will have experienced the joy of working in an office and, thanks to the laws on what constitutes an "enclosed space", having to pop outside into half a shed for a quick cigarette in the rain.

You get them at pubs too, complete with heaters, never more than three sides, and always a gap at the top before the roof so it complies with a silly and poorly written law.

Well the good news is that our Lords and Masters in Parliament are getting one too. The smoking shelter will be put in between Portcullis House and Norman Shaw North, and will provide MPs and their little minions the ability for a quick fag in between signing their receipts and the other work they do each day.

The cost for this shed to the public purse you ask? £49,000. That's not a typo, it really is forty-nine thousand pounds.

Yes, yes, I know, you can buy a smoking shelter to hold 12 people for as little as £3,500, but these are important people remember, they deserve better right? Anyway, why let cost get in the way when it's not your money that you're spending?
Hat Tip: Croydonian

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Free the Weed?

Fair play to Professor David Nutt, the Government's Chief Drug Advisor. He's apparently said that in a league table of risk, alcohol would be fifth behind cocaine, heroin, barbiturates and methadone and tobacco would be ninth, ahead of cannabis, LSD and ecstasy.

It's a well known argument amongst recreational drug users that if tobacco and alcohol were discovered today they'd be made illegal. Why other less risky drugs are prohibited really does make no logical sense.

Council bans parents from public playgrounds?

It seems clear that the world has gone officially insane with "paedophile panic". Well I say "world" but what I really mean is Watford - although I fear others will follow suit soon.

Watford Council it seems have banned parents from entering the playground their kids are in without having a Criminal Records Bureau check first. Instead the parents must let approved "play rangers" supervise their children instead.

The playground says that Watford Council has ordered them to do, and he Council blames Ofsted and says it is following Government policy. Ofsted say the Council is talking bollocks.

The really worrying thing about this surely is that there are actually people in Councils who think like this? Did no one at the Council think for a second how absurd they were being?

Arnie send a messages to his state's assembly members?

Classic Schwarzenegger, no?

Did you not see it? Look again.
The Governator has spoken! Apparently his press office say it's just a "strange coincidence".
Via SFBG

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kevin Maguire and "friends"

Clearly Kevin Maguire's "friends" don't like him and his blog.
Click the image for the larger version, although if you can't be arsed, the circled bit says,

WOULD WHOEVER POSTS THIS ON THE BLOG FOR ME DELETE THE STANDARD TRINITY
EMAIL DISCLAIMER AT THE END? IT'S TWICE BEEN LEFT ON. I TOO WISH I COULD
ONCE AGAIN POST DIRECT FROM MY BLACKBERRY WITHOUT THIS HASSLe. THANKYOU
No need to shout Kevin! They did what you asked.
Spotted by an eagle-eyed reader

Odd Organisation Name of the Day

Errr... the National Centre for Domestic Violence?

Do they do courses on how to hit someone without leaving visible bruises or something? Seriously though, do people actually think about the names they come up with sometimes?

Liz Truss silliness in South West Norfolk

First things first I guess I should declare an interest. I know Liz Truss. We don't know each other well, but I was a Tory candidate in 2006 Greenwich Council at the same time as her, albeit for a different ward.

She had a chance of winning her ward and did; I along with a colleague, didn't stand a chance but managed to frighten Labour into actually doing telling at polling stations in a ward they would normally not bother with - I like to think that my colleague and I redirected Labour resources towards us which helped some others win their seats - however I digress.

Back in 2006, during the election campaign, there was sheer panic from some members of Greenwich Conservatives one weekend when the Daily Mail ran a story titled "A-list Tory's affair with married Cameron high-flyer". The more relaxed members of the association, like the leader of the Council group, were not quite so panicked by it.

At the time I commented that surely having an extra-marital affair made her more than qualified to be a Tory candidate - ever the sarky and irreverent sod that I am.

Anyhow, as most will no doubt be aware, Liz was selected by South West Norfolk Tories at the weekend as their PPC. A few days later some of the no doubt older and pompous amongst the Association discovered, to their horror no less, that Liz had had an affair with someone who is now a front bencher and, they say, she didn't tell them about it. Thus they have now referred her selection once more to the full association.

Now I know others like Iain Dale have said it already, but frankly if South West Norfolk Tories are going to select a candidate, having softed CVs and carried out interviews, you'd have thought, perhaps, they might have just fucking googled her as well? Saying this, maybe teh interweb superroadway isn't quite there yet in Norfolk?
I guess it would be inappropriate at this point to make a regional stereotype joke and ask if the affair had been with a close relative, the good people of Norfolk might not have been so appalled, so I won't.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Miliband: Geography Fail?

The Foreign Secretary shows he's handling his brief well.

"Unless Europe gets its act together, policymakers in Washington, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and Beijing and elsewhere are going to conclude that Europe is not ready to be the partner they want." - David Miliband talking to journalists
Policymakers in Rio? I always thought the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies for Brazil was in Brasilia. Unless Britain is now dealing with internal state regions in Brazil rather than the whole country?

The cost and stupidity of Mandelson's Twittering Minions

Welcome to the Twitter page for banal 140 characters updates from Peter Mandelson's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


The good news is they only spend £3,175 a year to operate and udpate the page that is followed currently by 2792 people. That's only £1.13 per user! source

Just think where we would be if we didn't have them spending our money to post things like posting this,
Yes, that's right. They posted an online message to an online service to tell their online followers to errr.... get online.

Dickheads.

Question of the Day

For some reason this one just made me snigger,

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will issue a public health warning on the risk of transmission of swine flu arising from kissing, including a two-cheek greeting; and if he will make a statement.
You'll be glad to hear that the Government will not be issuing a public health warning advising us not too kiss.

Now it's the dog's fault?


Sorry to do two climate change posts in a row, but apparently it's time to eat the dog because some architects who specialise in "sustainability" have calculated the "carbon pawprint" of a pet dog (a middle sized mutt generally), is "twice that of a 4.6-litre Toyota Land Cruiser driven 10,000 kilometres a year".

How long before the Government changes its campaign logo?
Note: Thanks to Anoneumouse for the image.

Stern calls for a smelly world to save the planet?

Jesus wept. Lord Stern, the "climate chief" apparently thinks we should become vegetarians to tackle climate change. He said,

"Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.... I think it’s important that people think about what they are doing and that includes what they are eating. I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food."
The point he;s making here is that the methane released in direct emissions (farting) from cows and pigs is much worse than CO2. Thus going veggie would mean less of the animals needing to be farmed, so less farting.

At no point does anyone seem to have pointed out to him that if the entire world did go veggie, we'd all be farting much more and producing lots of methane. There would also be a horrible smell of brussel sprouts everywhere.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mark Fisher MP: Lucky bastard

It must be great if you get work like this. The Eton educated Labour MP (yes there is one), Mark Fisher has registered the following in his financial interests,

Received annual fee of £67,005.89 from the Qatar Museums Authority, PO Box 2777, Doha, Qatar. I provide advice on the development of the Museums Authority's plans. I attend three Board meetings a year, usually in Doha, at weekends (on Saturdays), each involving two days travel (Fridays and Sundays). (Registered 8 September 2009)
So that's three meetings a year, or £22,335 per meeting, or £7,445 per day - then there's the MP salary and allowances to throw on top.

Lucky bastard!

Jimmy Carr - comic genius

I see my favourite comedian Jimmy Carr is in the firing line from politicians after telling a joke about the Armed Forces. Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth along with Liam Fox and Nick Harvey are "outraged" about his joke. Oddly, the reporting says there were "audible gasps" when Carr said,

"Say what you like about the servicemen amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are going to have a fucking good Paralympics team in 2012."
Audible gasps at a Jimmy Carr gig? Surely not. That never happens!

Frankly I think the joke is classic Carr and actually quite funny, and I bet quite a lot of servicemen would laugh at it too. Carr's USP is to push the line of taste as far as he can.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Avenue Q - Everyone's a little bit racist

Last night I finally saw, after many months of wanting to, Avenue Q on Shaftsbury Avenue. If you're not away of it, its a musical with puppets that essentially takes the piss out of Sesame Street whilst also dealing with adult issues, like pornography, homosexuality and racism.

It is, wihtout a doubt, one of the funniest things I've seen on stage for a long time. What I thought was particularly interesting was the song, "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" which you can listen to below.


Now I'm sure some might think it's meant to be postmodern and ironic, and that you're laughing at those being racist, not with them when they are. However, satrically speaking it also make a rather salient point about how bigotry is not exclusive to one particular skin colour or religion, something which is often not conceded by those of a vehemently anti-inequality bent.

Anyhow, great show, well worth watching.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sanity has left the building - bring it back please?

It may have been noted by some that I have not really commented on the farce that was Question Time yet, this is because I've been waiting for a quiet moment to do so, and to see the way things had panned out from it, and to be honest my general views about the BNP and the significance of Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time have not changed very much.

To start with the BBC coverage before and after was totally over the top. There were and are far more important things to report about than the appearance of porky Cambridge graduate with a dodgy eye on a late night political discussion show.

Yes, the decision to invite him was controversial, but did we really need blanket coverage and the obviously staged managed paparazzi moments at the back doors of Television Centre? OK, so I know there were a number of opposite spectrum extremists protesting outside and calling for the BNP to be "smashed" but it was just a little too much when you consider what else is happening in the country and the wider world.

Let's get a little perspective here too. Nick Griffin was invited because he managed to get a minuscule number of preference votes in a proportional system leading to a seat in a Parliament full of many like-minded extreme individuals from across Europe. As I've argued before, it makes us much more "normal" in the European scheme of things to be sending the odd fascist or borderline communist there.

Let's not forget that France, Italy, Germany et al have been sending political loonies and convicted terrorists there for years. The vast majority of who sit in what are quaintly called "mainstream" groupings by foolish politicians like the Foreign Secretary when they're playing domestic party politics while allegedly carrying out "official duties".

That said, what about the Question Time appearance itself? Well, the BBC, and by that I mean the producers and presenter made a rather silly error. They basically allowed the entire thing to be the "Nick Griffin Show". Don't get me wrong here, pointing out the absurdity of many of his arguments is great fun. However, deliberately crafting your audience so it has lots of people that Griffin doesn't like gave it an angry mob feeling rather than a serious show.

What we got was not your typical Question Time, but instead an audience that was charged and baying for blood. It was all about hate - which is particularly ironic given that it was their hate directed at his hate. It gave it an absurd Orwellian edge, where Griffin was like Emmanuel Goldstein on a "telescreen", whilst the audience engaged in their weekly hate-o-thon.

Don't misunderstand me here, I'm not saying that Griffin should be given sympathy, far from it, but when you take a look at the whole picture; if you add together the idiots outside screaming with an audience inside that was quite clearly loaded in such a way as to create anger - masquerading as passion natch! - then you end up with a show that before it had the potential for sublime political discourse but ultimately became ridiculous.

That's the real reason we now have the "fall out" we do. On the one hand we have Nick Griffin saying, whilst flagged by hired muscle, that he was "bullied" - isn't that a funny thing to get your head around? - and people like Peter Hain suggesting that this is real hell in a handcart stuff and we're on a slippery slope to our own little Reichstag fire.

We even have bookies shortening odds on the BNP winning a seat at the General Election. It's a clever move of course because the bookies love to goad stupid people into losing their money, but let's be realistic for a second. No one seriously thinks that the Liberal Democrats will win an overall majority, the best they can hope for is potentially holding the balance of power in a Hung Parliament, so what chance do the BNP have?

It isn't Elvis or Nick Griffin that's left the building, its sanity when you hear people actually worrying that the BNP might win a seat in Parliament. What's even more bizarre is the thought that a single seat won would be a disaster of earth shattering proportions. Again don't misunderstand me here, I'm not saying that I would like to see the BNP get a seat in the Commons, all I'm saying is that if they did, the idea that it might be the beginning of the end for British democracy is utter bollocks.

There's been quite a lot of discussion about why the BNP have suddenly started winning the odd seat in Councils here and there - and again it is miniscule in the wider scheme of things. The reason is simple, they're hitting the buttons of voters on specific issues. Now, you can blame that on the failure of the Labour Government, or you can blame it on the lack of credible Opposition to the Government for nearly a decade, but blame isn't the important thing, the issues are.

Until the parties that have any serious change of power address the issues that have seen the BNP increase their vote, they're not going to go away. That's a fact. They're also not going to take over the country and get us wearing brown shirts and jack boots either, but they'll still be there screaming from the lunatic fringes. I guess a Government could outlaw them, but that wouldn't be a particularly British thing to do. Likewise it wouldn't be very British to outlaw their views and create some "thought crimes".

No, the truth is, you either (a) address the appeal of the BNP, and stop naval gazing at who's to blame for their miniscule and insignificant popular polling of a whopping 0.9%, or (b) you live with the fact that there are some political parties that have views you don't like but they're so extreme and nutty they're never going to see the light of day in policy fruition anyway. Pat them on the head, and then point and laugh at them as they shout from their corners.

Frankly speaking, if the three main parties can hold their noses whilst dealing with their European group colleagues who span from the odd, to the deranged, to the murderous, then I don't see why they can't do the same with their own equally dodgy countrymen. It's a lofty point to make I know, but in a democracy you're always going to have views that are are not of the mainstream but which are going to be voted for.

The mainstream of opinion, and by that I mean the sane, know that their arguments and ideas and better than the BNP. They're better funded, and, in their heart of hearts, they know that the views of the BNP, like the views of the RWP and SWP, are extreme and stand no chance of going mainstream. Sure, the BNP might see a momentary opinion poll jump where they go from having an insignficnatly small percentage to a larger yet equally insignificant percentage, but let's not kid ourselves that it represents anything in Parliament.

In the current First-Past-the-Post system it's meaningless, and even if we had a proportional system it would mean a Parliament with a handful of extra loonies in the corner with no power. A poll bounce (to even 5%) after widespread media coverage eight months before a General election does not and will not translate to anything of power shifting signficance.

In the 20th Century, Britain stood up against the kindred brotherhood of the far-Left which came in the form of National Socialsm and Marxist-Leninist-Stalinism. The notion that any of those ideas, which have been comprehensively trounced, have the chance of taking power is hyperbole of the highest order. A handful of councillors, a couple of MEPs and even a couple of MPs does not a totalitarian revolution make.

People need to stop worrying about the BNP so much, and, as two wise young ladies often say to me, "build a bridge, and get over it".

Friday, October 23, 2009

When online polls go bad?

Something tells me the Christians at the UK Alpha Course website probably didn't want this result.

Why would you want this?

This is a screenshot from an application called Tweetmondo that runs on top of Layar Reality Browser on Android and iPhone devices. It lets you see Twitter users around you, in augmented reality.

Is it just me, or is this application (a) a serial killers best friend, and (b) a good reason to turn auto-location tracking and constant data connections OFF?

More on Layar Reality browser here.

Choosing My Religion

Click Flowchart for Larger version

via holytaco.com

Get Twatted...

Twatter is here. Love the 404 when you hit the login button.

Before anyone asks, the domain isn't registered to David Cameron.

What complete and utter zebu!

Yesterday, I received a book through the post (crazy days huh?) which is one of the funniest thing I've read for a very long time. It's called the Complete And Utter Zebu: The Shocking Lies We're Told Every Day and is written by Simon Rose and Steve Caplin.

It's not about politics per se, rather its about the immense world of bullshit that we now live in, including call centre staff with their insincere phrases; estate agents and the sneaky lying they do; supermarkets and their dodgy "special offers"; your lying speedometer; and the difference between "flavour" and "flavoured".

The book is what I call a "Toilet Book", that is to say it can be put by the loo and dipped into quite easily in a random way. It officially published on November 3rd, but you can order it on Amazon here and might get it in time for Christmas if the post works.

* Zebu (n). 1. A grotesque South American mammal whose tough meat is often passed off as 'British steak' in pubs and restaurants. 2. Lies, deception, bullsh!t.

Best Street Name Ever?

The Prude Campaign

Ever heard of the Front Page Campaign? I heard about it via an EDM signed by various prudes in Parliament. The campaign says "Children and young people are routinely being exposed to pornography in the UK. This has to STOP!", simple yes? Actually no, it's not.

You see, this is not about a concern with kids seeing the cover of Mayfair, Razzle, or a variety of Richard Desmond titles with the exclusion of the Express (although it does do Diana/Maddie porn in a way). No, this is about the front covers of magazines like Loaded and FHM, and even women's magazine that contain articles on vibrators (an important issue for many women I imagine).

Apparently, the two magazines below are "pornographic" and should be inside plastic covers like proper porno mags, and what's more they should have age ratings on titles like this to stop "children" being able to buy them - not that I've ever seen a child i.e. younger than a teenager buy one.

I wonder whether they'll start campaigning to ban the Bible from Sunday Schools as well. After all, it's got incest and all sorts of depravity in it.

P.S. Aren't Keeley and Gemma lovely?

Practising what you preach?

First up, apologies for the lack of posts, I have been otherwise indisposed. Now that's cleared up, here's an interesting press release from the energy regulator Ofgem, an agency that sits under the remit of the Department for Energy and Climate Change. It relates to restructuring to meet climate change carbon targets.

This was something that was followed up by Ofgem at the beginning of this month in a report in the Guardian which said Ofgem had said the private sector was failing to deliver on its climate change commitments and so about £200bn was needed.

"Bloody private sector! Only caring about profit, never caring about the trees" I hear you say. "The public sector is doing it all it can whilst the fat cat capitalists sit on their arses!" Anyhow, putting those self-0evident truths about public versus private aside, I also wanted to show you the following, its the official Display Energy Certificate from the Government for Ofgem's Head Office in Millbank.

Need I say more?...... Oh alright then! Here's the Energy Display Certificate for the head office of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority - they're another agency of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, also know as the department that's trying to come up with ways to tax us poor sods for being horrible climate haters.

Before you ask, yes the Department itself is also a failure, but I posted about that back in March here.
Source: House of Commons Library

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Apologies for the lack of posts....

I have been otherwise indisposed and may be for the rest of today as well.

Back later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hate the idea, love the tactical wins it provides

If my memory serves me correctly on this, way back in the 1980s, there was a strange phenomenon where people, when polled, said they couldn't stand the Thatcher government and then, when asked who they would be voting for, said they'd vote for Thatcher. When the obvious contradiction was put to them the response would be along the lines of "Oh but she's a strong leader!".

I mention this simply because there seems to be a bit of concern on ConservativeHome (they even did a big graphic) and from Iain Dale about David Cameron saying he would "consider" all-women shortlists for candidate selection, which has then inevitably led to things like this from Paul waugh which report a 'grassroots rebellion' for Cameron, plus speculation of rebellion here in the Guardian.

Now, on the matter of all-women shortlists, I don't think they're a good idea. In fact I think all forms of positive discrimination are a profoundly stupid idea. This is because the minute you start using quotas you'll inevitably end up with the best of the lowest common denominators. You only have to briefly look at the quality of some of the 1997 in-take who were chosen through positive discrimination and compare them to later in-takes that were not, and you can see what sort of dross ends up sitting in the Commons making our laws and gorging on our taxes.

I take a view similar to Ann Widdicombe's the slogan of which I think should be On merit, not boobs!®.

This said though, whilst I'm opposed to such things in principle, I'm also realistic enough to realise that the vast majority of us in the great unwashed couldn't give a rat's arse about the obscure inner-workings of how political parties choose a shortlist of candidates that they then select or put to open primary/caucus. As such, I can't help thinking that a little bit of "grassroots rebellion" in the Tory party is exactly what Cameron intended/needs.

Seems to me his comment puts him in a sweet position of being able to "face down his critics" (as journalists like to say), say "bugger you all", and press ahead with the odd all-women shortlist safe in the knowledge that its impact on those of us that pay no attention to politics will be minuscule anyway; whilst for those that do pay attention the prospect of not getting rid of Labour is so strong that it won't really turn already secured votes away in the marginals where it really matters (and candidates have already been chosen anyway!).

Cameron gets to be a "strong leader" in the face of those who are what's quaintly called "unreconstructed". The naysayers moan for a little while, then they shut the f*** up because the election gets going and the right result is more important than internal politics. At the same time he neutralises the charge from the Left that the Tories are inherently misogynist, and doesn't alienate the soft-liberal centre ground swing votes in the key marginals. Then, during the run up to the election in early 2010 a big fanfare is made of some all-women shortlists in seats the Tories won't win anyway (because all the big targets are sorted now), then the whole issue gets parked for maybe three years once the election's over.

Simples! But ultimately cynical I know.

MP calls for weekly prime time TV propaganda

Were I sitting on a chair that it would be possible to fall off of I would have a sore arse after reading this Early Day motion where Colin Challen has said that,

at least two hours of prime time television per week should be used to explain the gravity of [climate change] to the public.
Given the Government's adevrt designed to frightened children I shouldn't really be surprised should I? Doesn't stop me thinking "WTF?" though.

That reminds me, I must get a cambelt for my 3 litre SUV.

Home Office IT capacity planning FAIL

The Home Office have put out the following press release.

If you're really lucky when you visit maps.police.uk you'll get something like this.

But what you're much more likely to get is this.

Not fit for purpose....... again.

UPDATE @ 9:15am - Looks like it is totally dead now.

UPDATE @ 11:11am - Still dead.

UPDATE @ 12:26pm - Now has a message that says "Due to very high popularity users may experience temporary intermittent issues accessing this site. The issues are being worked on and will be resolved as soon as possible." In other words, "we didn't do our metrics right"

Via email from Anna Racoon

Monday, October 19, 2009

Illustrating the Absurd

Could you imagine the uproar and outrage there would be if a newspaper ran a story like this?

Click Image and Read the Story

Click Image and Read the Story

This whole "Michal Kaminski is a jew hating gay bashing Neo-Nazi baby eater" stuff is patently absurd. The guy was 15 and for two years he was in an illegal underground anti-Communist movement in a totalitarian state. What that party does now is as irrelevant as the Pope being in the Hitler Youth at the age of 14.

It's so absurd I wouldn't be surprised if some idiots start arguing that Roman Polanski is a great film director so his dabbling in paedophilia should be ignored..... oh!

Not the best lure for a job

Cuts are something that everyone knows have to come, and one of the areas that Gordon Brown announced would end up on the cutting room floor was childcare vouchers. These are the vouchers you can get before tax on your salary to pay for childcare with registered childminders.

Interestingly, many of the roles in the Civil Service and public sector actually make a point of highlighting childcare vouchers as a benefit they offer. No doubt there are going to be some annoyed public sector types (nothing new there) when Brown does finally scrap them.

One of the areas of the public service that offers these vouchers as a lovely benefit of the job is the Prison Service, although something tells me that highlighting them in this job may not be much of a lure given that a required qualification for the role is to be

an ordained priest of the Roman Catholic Church.
Saying this, it may now be an [in]appropriate time to make a twisted off the cuff remark about priests and children, but I won't as that would be a step too far right?

Brown joins the Hyperbole Party

Many political anoraks and general observers may recall when William Hague was leader of the Tory Party he had the rather silly idea of making the General Election about saving the pound, and infamously said in a speech that there were "twelve days to save the pound." He was rightly derided by Labour for his hyperbole and scaremongering silliness.

Fast-forward to 2009 and our illustrious and not entirely mental Prime minister Gordon brown has trailed a speech about climate change and the forthcoming Copenhagen summit that he intends to give today where he will say that "we have 50 days to save the world". There is but one word that can be given for this man and it is.....

Tithead.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ed Miliband's department frightens a child by drowning a puppy

A reader has alerted me to a wonderful piece of propaganda from the Department for Energy and Climate Change that has been released on YouTube.

It's called "Bedtime Stories" and features a father reading a story to his little girl where not being environmentally friendly will mean puppies drown - oh yes


Whatever your view on climate change, the advert illustrates the weakness of the argument by the Government when it has to resort to emotional appeals that scare children.

There's also a petition about this on the Downing Street website although I doubt it will result in the Government pulling the advert. It's much easier to frighten people into action with an advert. It worked for George Bush against John Kerry in 2004 after all.

No answer... yet *updated*

Last week, as was widely disseminated on blogs and Twitter, the Guardian was gagged and then ungagged from reporting a Parliamentary question by Paul Farrelly MP that was already in the public domain here. The question was,

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
The question was tabled for answer on Wednesday 14th October, was it answered? Errr no. Nor was it answered on Thursday. Not even a holding answer from what I can see.

What a surprise!

Interestingly, the Ministry of Justice have answered the other questions Paul Farrley tabled about unreportable injunctions - something I have been issued with as it happens. Perhaps the answer will appear next week instead?

Update 20th Oct: The answer..

Mr. Straw: The issues raised by this and other similar cases are important and deserve to be properly explored. I intend to look into the issues raised and am ready to discuss them with my hon. Friend and any other hon. Member concerned. A meeting with representatives of the national press, senior officials of my Ministry has already been arranged.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two annoyances for the price of one

As many of my readers will be aware, it is a long and established fact that I think Early Day Motions in Parliament are the biggest pile of poo in the world and cost the taxpayer in excess of half a million quid each year to maintain.

EDMs provides MPs with the ability to be seen to be doing something about an issue, or, in most cases, provide them with the means to get their local newspaper to praise them for praising the local under-14 football team.

Should you be in any doubt about the absolute futility and waste of money these little bits of paper have then you only need to look at the words of Bill Etherington MP in an interview with David Grossman on BBC Newsnight.

When discussing MP expenses, he bemoans that the notion of retrospective rule writing in relation to MPs paying back the money they claimed on silly little things, the full exchange has been noted in an update on Paul Waugh's blog here.

Etherington: "We were told we were going to be judged on what the claim was under the regulations at the time. Now, Sir Thomas Legg has decided to change that retrospectively. Retrospective legislation has a very poor record and has caused us a lot of trouble. That denudes the whole process of its legitimacy.

Grossman: "You yourself have signed Commons EDMs calling for retrospective taxes on City bonuses.."

Etherington: "I don't think I have actually. Can you be sure of this?

Grossman: "Yes, we checked before we came out.."

Etherington: "Retrospective taxes?"

Grossman: "On City bonuses and on Centrica profits and on energy company profits.."

Etherington: "Yes, but that was me putting pressure on the Government. You know what Early Day Motions are about. None of them are ever acted upon. They are declarations of intent."
See that bit at the end? Forget the stuff about expenses for the moment, here we have an MP saying that retrospective legislation is not a good route to take, and then, when confronted with the fact that he himself has called for it by signing EDMs, he simply brushes it aside and effectively says "EDMs are worthless bits of paper".

Well I knew that already but it's good to see an MP finally admitting it even he has made an arse of himself by showing what a great big hypocrite he is in the process.

"It's OK for the city and business but not for us MPs.... and anyway, when I called it for it was never going to happen because the tool I used isn't something anyone really pays attention to anyway"

Sir, I salute your honesty about EDMs and I spit on your rank hypocrisy when it comes to tackling the issue of politicians shoving their snouts into the proverbial trough and gorging on my money.

You can watch Etherington be a total arsehead here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Looking For Hugh

One of the best thing about having a blog that gets a fairly high amount of traffic is that I quite often get asked to review the odd book, and, as luck would have it, I always seem to get asked to do this just before I hop onto a plane for an evil carbon-producing flight to Spain - and no, I don't offset.

More often than not, the books I get asked to read are dry political ones. Factual tracts about this or that aspect of current affairs. Don't get me wrong, I like that sort of book, but sometimes you do need a bit of escapism, and its even better if you get a bit of escapism with an important purpose like I did this time around.

The book in question is written by a gentleman called Leon Weinstein, a man born in St Petersburg in 1949 who escaped the Soviet Union in 1974. The book is an adventure tale (for both adults and teenagers) about two teenagers visiting a number of fictional islands which each have different social and political systems and its end game is to show how capitalism, for all it's supposed ills, produces the results where other systems fail - the book is called "Looking for Hugh: The Capitalist Guidebook".

By all accounts the book has caused some reaction in the US from quarters of the Left, no doubt because some of the political andsocial systems of the fictional islands hit a little close to home with the point they make. The book itself has a feel about it that reminded me of how I felt as Orwell introduced Winston Smith to me through the pages of 1984. This may seem like exceptionally high praise and comparison, but the accesibility of the ideas the book brought forward had a really Orwellian style to them.

Whether it was the Island of Peace - where pacifists lived convinced they could talk and negotiate with anyone - or the People's Island of Justice and Equality where I imagine our Euqalities Minister, Harriet Harman would feel right at home, it highlighted the absurdity of much of the Left's desire to mould and engineer society in their utopian vision, whilst simulatneously showing why such things fail.

There is little doubt in my mind that this book will make the Left angry - be they on the extreme or the centre - because it takes an individualist view of the world and human nature. It does not say that they is no such thing as society, but rather says that the very best societies are those that acknowledge that not everyone will have an equal outome in life, but everyone will have the equal opportunity to acheive whatever outcome they desire.

It is, too say the least subtle, but the book has as its target the self-loathing of the American Left, and the kneejerk anti-American tendencies of the non-American Left. Written by a man born under Stalin, who grew up under Khrushchev and escaped under Brezhnev its preface and message is a simple play on Marx and Engel's calling....

CAPITALISTS OF THE WORLD, BE PROUD OF YOURSELVES – PLEASE!

The book can be purchased here and there is an short introduction to why the book was written by the author on YouTube here. You can also read some short excerpt here.

Encryption in parliament comes at a cost - quelle surprise!

It's been a while since the topic of encryption tools in parliament appeared in Hansard. Some may remember last year whent he Parliamnetary tech bods informed parliamnetarians that they couldn't use PGP or free encryption and had to use the software they provided saying others were incompatiable.

At the time the CTO of PGP posted on this site effectuively saying it was nonsense, and were also reported saying the same thing to The Register. Well, the topic is, as I say, back, and it's about cost now.

It seems that if "Honourable Members" require encryption then they must still use the software the nerds in parliament tell them too, and it's going to cost them - in others words us from expenses - £63 per user of the software.

Now, let's say for argument sake that each MP has two staff, and they want everyone to use encryption. That means a license cost of £189. Assuming every MP wanted it, all things being equal, that a cost of around £120,000 for the privilege of encryption which is money that we, as the taxpayer provide.

Aletrantively, they could just use some free encryption products which provide the same 128bit and above style of ecryption at 100% less of a price. I guess that would just be too difficult though.

Politician's Solution: Commission a report and get the proles to pay

Should we use bottled water or tap water? that is the question on the lips on Parliamentarians desperate to be seen to be doing their bit for the whole carbon footprint. After all, it was only back in Februrary 2008 that the former Environment minister, Phil Woolas (now at the Home Office I think) said that the amount we all spend on bottled water "borders on being morally unacceptable".

Thus it seems perfectly justifiable does it not that the House of Commons Commission spent £7000 on a report titled "A carbon comparison of water provision options for the House of Commons committee rooms"? Yes, seriosuly, they spent £7000 on writing a report to help them decide whether they should buy water in bottles or turn the tap on instead like the rest of us proles do.

Now I know, £7000 may seem like small change in the schemes of the financial mess that Gordon Brown has created for us with his dodgy figures, constant lying and general incompetence, but is it really sensible to spend taxpayers money to the value of a small car in order to decide whether you should use tap water or not?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gagging something in the public domain?

Well what can I say, the sun is out in Spain, it was 35 degrees by the pool at 11am yesterday... scorchio! I've decided though to take a little moment this morning to post and say "I'm Sparticus" on this whole Guardian/Carter-Ruck thing.

It appears that some company I've never heard of has managed to get Carter-Ruck to gag the Guardian from reporting what is going on in Parliament where a question has been tabled about said company and Carter-Ruck. According to the Guardian it is

prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.
Here's the really odd bit though, the question they're referring to is a matter of public record already in the public domain and published on the Parliamentary website for all to see, and now that the Guardian has published the existence of the gag anyone inetrested can find it anyway.

Add to that the fact that Guido, Iain Dale, ToryBear, Tory Politico, Next Left amongst many others and it kind of makes the whole gagging order utterly meaningless anyway because these sites have ensured a wider audience to the story along with the question. What a strange state of affairs it is that a lawyer and corporation can stop the reporting of the going ons in Parliament, which are privileged, but can't actually stop Parliament talking about it though.

I very much look forward to seeing what the answer to the question is, I bet it is a bland non-answer though. In the meantime this sort of thing will no doubt please some Tory PPCs who were heard to be saying at a Fringe meeting atthe Tory Conference that they thought we in the UK could learn alot from China's Internet policy - mental huh?

Now I really must get back to the pool. The sun is coming up over the mountains and the temperature is rising.

Update: I see the story is starting to go global having reached an American San Francisco based blog. I would be surprised if it isn't on Slashdot very soon and then Reddit etc.

Update II: Carter-Ruck has apparently caved in. Tory Bear has this graphic.....

[grammar nazi]
To which I say... "It's "pwn3d" Not "Owned"*
[/gammar nazi]
* Now watch some other pedant point out a different way to do it!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Blog off.....

Going away for a few days for my birthday to the soaring 30 degree sun of Andalucia.


Blogging will be taking a back seat. Looking forward to leaving the grey skies behind for a while too.

Don't they have visitor records?

This is a written response from Tessa Jowell to Francis Maude published on October 5th.

Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many times (a) Mr Derek Draper and (b) Mr Charlie Whelan has visited the Cabinet Office/Downing Street complex in the last six months.

Tessa Jowell: I am not aware of any meetings involving Derek Draper or Charlie Whelan.
He didn't ask if she was aware of meetings, he asked how many times they visited the building. I seriously doubt they don't keep records for that.

Edgy Cameron Mash-Up

Warning: Has a very rude word in it.

Apparently you can make you're own at speechbreaker.co.uk

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Not bad, not great - updated

Of what I heard of the speech I would say it wasn't a bad speech, but it wasn't a great speech. Things to do so I will comment further tomorrow.

Loving Guido's mischeivous graphic though.



Update: Ok, I said tomorrow but I have done the things I need to do. I've had a better look at the speech now, rather than the little bits I heard on the Radio, and, on the TV screen, whilst it remains not the greatest speech in the world it was bloody good.

Cameron appears to have hit all the right buttons for the party faithful, on crime; on tax; on the pernicious tax credits and their marginal rates on the poor; he got angry about Brown trying to make out the Tories were 'wicked' which was good too. There was a bit of a fudge on Europe but I guess the subject is a tightrope really.

I'm stil in two minds on the stuff about the loss of his and Samantha's son. I don't for a single minute doubt his sincerity, and having actually seen it now it looked like he struggled with real emotion doing it - as a father I can imagine how difficult it must have been - however, I wonder what cynicism there might be towards it.

All in all it was speech that summed up the conference as a whole. Not triumphant as such; a tone of seriousness about the business ahead; very much One Nation Toryism in the closing paragraphs as well. It will be interesting to see the papers tomorrow, and even more interesting to see the mindtrack results from Sky News, especially plotted against Brown's speech.

Not the headline they wanted.....

Following on from the last post, it was inevitable something like this would happen the moment Eric Pickles said no one was allowed to drink champagne wasn't it?

Champagnegate: arrested development

Rumours were circulating yesterday about a Tory being arrested for nicking a bottle of champagne and also possibly expelled from the party. This morning the Manchester Evening News has an exclusive which says the person in question, who was not charged, has been banned from future conferences. A Tory spokesman said,

"We have banned the individual from attending any further Conference events and are considering what further action may need to be taken."
I guess this means from now on he'll be on the Fringe only.

The scary thing about this is if this sort of authoritarian stuff is going to be the attitude of the party in Opposition, what the hell is it actually going to be like in power? The ban on champagne was always ridiculous given that sponsors of events dish it out so it's hardly a recession busting thing when you're getting it free.

I can appreciate the need to make sure that things go well this week and it, in effect, uneventful and boring, but banning people from events and possibly taking even further action doesn't make the party a great standard bearer for liberty and freedom - the guy wasn't even charged.

Party for Change open to all

Well it's the last day of the conference today, and in true and highly fashionable style I shall be buggering off before Cameron makes his speech. This is a personal record for me because in Blackpool I left half way through it, now I'm not even bothering to stay. To be fair though it's because of other commitments, but I digress.

Last night was the "Party For Change" now, I don't know about you but I'm starting to find the "for Change" marketing slightly annoying. We've got "Ready for Change", "Now for Change", I'm surprised no one has mocked up "Champagne for Change" frankly. Here's the thing about the party last night, of the 1000+ there how many were actually connected to the conference?

Why, you may wonder am I asking this? Well, the club it was held in - Pure - is massive with a 3000+ capacity, and it appears that tickets for the event were also sold by the club on their website to the "ordinary folks" as it were. Thus you had the highly amusing scenario of suited and booted pissed up Tories larging it up with Mancs dressed in flashing bunny ears.

All very inclusive

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Iain Dale moonlights at Conference

What a strange site, Iain Dale seemingly working on the Conservative Friends of Iraq stand for the Islamic Dawa Party?

The moral of the story is never sit down in the wrong place opposite someone with a camera.

When merchandising goes bad....

Apparently they're really popular and people really are buying them. Who and why they would do such a thing I really don't know. People huh?

Here's what they look like when they're on.

Wrong isn't it?

Randoms...

The one on the left is a gorilla, what the one on the right is meant to be I do not know. They were happy to pose though.
If you're wondering what it's all about, it's something to do with plan ting trees and shrubs if I recall correctly.

The ski jumping politicians

As many may have heard or seen on the news, the conference hall in Manchester is full of lobbyists, including my favourite the Packaging Federation - yes really, there is a federation for packaging - they gave me a 1 gig USB stick so I shouldn't moan.

There are also a few computer games including a Wii with added balance board, and, inevitably, there is a Wii Sports competition. In this case it's ski jumping and politicians have good balance it seems.

Didn't Charles Hendry MP do well? The next Eddie the Eagle for 2012 perhaps?

It's all about the money not gay rights

Last night will go down in my memory as the most surreal event I've ever been too. I attended the Conference Pride gay event in Canal Street and the most bizarre and equally hilarious thing was the protesters outside.

There were, as I said on twitter, pro-gay, anti-tory protesters, but then, on the other side of the road there were religious fundamentalist screaming about the abomination of it all. Unquestionably amusing to watch - especially when Iain Dale had a chat with them.

It is vitally important to remember this though, the non-religious protesters were not there because of gay rights, they were there because they just hate Tories, especially if you have money, what's more, if you're a gay millionaire then you're even worse. Honestly, look...
Oh and Landlords are bastards too it seems.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I found a blue rinser!

After many months I finally met the bear. He has crazy hair.

Conference observations so far are the exit from the secure zone is in a stupid place which means you have to walk bloody miles to get to fringe events.

PPCs run scared of Crick - why?

Just a quick comment whilst I travel up to Manchester, but who the hell is responsible for the media training of Tory PPCs? I ask purely because last night BBC Newsnight showed Michael Crick trying to get some of them to make a comment on Europe and they all made complete tits of themselves. One of them just kept saying "no comment" as if he had been arrested with a pocketful of Columbian marching powder. Another suddenly pointed off into the distance and shouted "David! How are you" and marched off.

Now obviously Crick was trying to make trouble having heard a rumour that orders from upon high had been received by PPCs to avoid talking about Europe at all costs, but come on, there is avoiding the questions artfully, and then there is quite literally running away from the cameras and making a fool of yourself. Yesterday on the conference platform there was a discussion which focused on the need to end the rise of the career politicians, and yet here we had PPC running away from the camera rather than just answering the question by holding a line.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Hague gives Brown a list....

William Hague certainly trumped Gordon Brown's conference speech list of Labour "achievements" last week with the following list of Labour's legacy.

- £22,500 of debt for every child born in Britain
- 111 tax rises from a government that promised no tax rises at all
- The longest national tax code in the world
- 100,000 million pounds drained from British pension funds
- Gun crime up by 57%
- Violent crime up 70%
- The highest proportion of children living in workless households anywhere in Europe
- The number of pensioners living in poverty up by 100,000
- The lowest level of social mobility in the developed world
- The only G7 country with no growth this year
- One in six young people neither earning nor learning
- 5 million people on out-of –work benefits
- Missing the target of halving child poverty
- Ending up with child poverty rising in each of the last three years instead
- Cancer survival rates among the worst in Europe
- Hospital-acquired infections killing nearly three times as many people as are killed on the roads
- Falling from 4th to 13th in the world competitiveness league
- Falling from 8th to 24th in the world education rankings in maths
- Falling from 7th to 17th in the rankings in literacy
- The police spending more time on paperwork than on the beat
- Fatal stabbings at an all-time high
- Prisoners released without serving their sentences
- Foreign prisoners released and never deported
- 7 million people without an NHS dentist
- Small business taxes going up
- Business taxes raised from among the lowest to among the highest in Europe
- Tax rises for working people set for after the election
- The 10p tax rate abolished
- And the ludicrous promise to have ended boom and bust
- Our gold reserves sold for a quarter of their worth
- Our armed forces overstretched and under-supplied
- Profitable post offices closed against their will
- One of the highest rates of family breakdown in Europe
- The ‘Golden Rule’ on borrowing abandoned when it didn’t fit
- Police inspectors in 10,Downing Street
- Dossiers that were dodgy
- Mandelson resigning the first time
- Mandelson resigning the second time
- Mandelson coming back for a third time
- Bad news buried
- Personal details lost
- An election bottled
- A referendum denied
pwned.

Labour PPC proposes Harman should break the law

Some may remember that last week Harriet Harman called on the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to shut down the rather odd, but uniquely interwebby site, PunterNet. PunterNet, for those who do not know, is a site hosted in the US where people can post reviews of their experiences with prostitutes. PunterNet has responded pointing out that shutting it down would be uncostitutional.

However, what is interesting is what Tom Miller, the Labour PPC for Woking has written a post on LabourHome commenting on the fact that the site is not illegal in the US and that,

Harman might have been better off launching a DDOS operation
One presumes he has not read the Police and Justice Act 2006 which criminalised such action. Mind you, given that Harman appears to have already broken some Labour laws, perhaps she'd be up for it?

Why is it wrong to sort out incapacity benefit?

I gather there is some excitement about Tory prposals for incapacity benefit. As one would expect the proposal to deal with those on incapacity benefit who ought not be - and there are many - has been met, certainly on Twitter, with people reducing the issue to "bastard evil Tories want to punish the disabled".

Oh what a wonderful we live in where supposedly intelligent human beings dissemble a policy that is designed to target very specific cases, and make it all about punishing a special interest group by appealing to emotion. As I beleive someone said this morning, Stephen Hawking is disabled and he still works.

No, this policy, whether one likes it or not, is about those people who are signed off work when they could do a different job with a little bit of retraining. This is the nub of the problem after all, people who, for example, are bricklayers who hurt their back and then stay on incapacity benefit and don't re-train shouldn't be doing so.

That's not nasty, it's just common sense. Remember, we have 2.5m unemployed, and around another 2.5m workless

Lookalike Corner.....

A moment of thought...

Here's a little thought for this Monday morning in the wake of the new "OMFG its a Europe Row!" line that is dominating the newspaper and the Today programme. Back in 2000, when GW Bush won the US Presidency, hanging chads aside, we heard a lot of screaming from the Left (on both sides of the Atlantic) about how he didn't win the popular vote and it was only thanks to the electoral college that he won the White House. American democracy was, they said, in deficit. The voices of the people were not heard.

Now shoot to this side of the Atlantic and the same voices on the Left are saying that a treaty that will mean an EU president will be appointed rather than elected is something we should rejoice in. A treaty that endorses a system where some of the most powerful offices in Europe in the EU Commission remain decided by back office smokey deals. Isn't it funny how they change their mind to suit themselves?

Even more bizarre, if you dare to point these things out and suggest that the treaty might be bad because it enshrines further in the law the principle that power is to be held not at the bequest of the citizen but rather at the bequest of the politician and bureaucrat, you are, a swivel-eyed loon on the fringes of the mainstream way of thinking - the "mainstream way of thinking" being that the proles (also known as the "electorate") should shut up, and be happy.

Incidentally, if you're looking for what I think Cameron should do about the Lisbon Treaty it's rather simple. If it isn't ratified by the time the next general election occurs, then have a manifesto commitment for a referendum. If it is ratified, then have a manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on whether Britain should begin negotiations with the European Council about exercising her rights of exit as defined in the Lisbon Treaty.

Simples!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Looking on the positive side of a 'Yes' vote

So today, the Irish have been told that they must once again vote on the same, unchanged document they have already rejected, and there seems to b much talk of a "Yes" vote this time. Whilst I would prefer a "No", because the sovereignty of the Irish has been ognored by making them vote again, there is a positive side if the Times is right, and it's this.

You have to admit, it will be funny to watch Brown's face wouldn't it?

"Google suggests" of the Day

People huh?

Via Imgur

How to lose votes and annoy people

The Mayor of Portsmouth, (James Kalb) that's Portsmouth, Ohio not Hampshire certainly knows the best way to harness his electorate through using blogs according to the State Sunshine and Open Records blog. Recently, when a local blogger Robert Forrey contacted him about documents relating to the building of a park, he received the following reply.

From: City of Portsmouth
To: rforr1@roadrunner.com
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information
Priority: Normal. Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009 1:47 AM
To: Robert Forrey

Per your public records request;

You are correct in stating that at the meeting in the park the fact was "acknowledged that such a written agreement existed". What I don't understand is why you feel that a confirmation of this fact would necessitate a publication or distribution of the mentioned document.

As you requested, a copy of the document has been prepared for you to pick up at my office. Our regular office hours are from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

If there is anything else that I can do for you, which is required by law, don't hesitate to call my office. If it isn't required by law then don't bother asking, because I think that you're a worthless piece of s**t and I wouldn't p**s on you if you were on fire (my opinion). You're a poor, lonely, jealous, old man with aspirations of being a writer. You write your lies and uneducated opinions on people and issues from behind the safety of your slobber stained keyboard with the hope that somebody will read them that doesn't know you and believe that you're more than the pitiful, broke-down, lizard-looking thing that you are, in my opinion. Get a life old man. On second thought, don't bother..............

I do have a question for you. Do you have family and if so do they even like you?

Looking forward to your next Internet issue of "FORREY'S FOLLIES".....NOOOTTTTTT

With little respect for you,
Mayor James D. Kalb

Now that's freedom of speech at its best, in my opinion.
A refreshingly honest politician who's political enemies will no doubt play the email back in spades come the next time he needs the votes to secure his office.

Now comes the funniest part, as noted by Gawker. It seems the Columbus Dispatch picked up on the story and asked the Mayor he he regretted sending the email. He said,

I regret that he made it public
Did he really think a response like that wouldn't be made public?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

That is one hell of an evil look.....

What was it Jim Hacker told Sir Humphrey? Always treat a microphone as live? Same is true for a camera.

He looked like he was going to lamp Boulton one good huh?
Via CoffeeHouse

Edjumacasion!

Via ToryBear, it seems Labour's party political broadcast on BBC iPlayer has a typo.


 

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