"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 28 February 2011

Cameron's No-Fly Zone

Cameron says the government is pushing for a no-fly zone over Libya and that military action is "not out of the question".

Here's an exclusive pic of the Big Society RAF preparing for take-off:


Or, he might like to ask George to release a bit of cash to invest in a couple of these:

One Good Cut!

It's been a bad day today and reading the news doesn't make things any better: Algeria, China, Libya, Bahrain, Oman...   The list goes on and the world 'leaders' - the vacuous and vainglorious nonenties who shaped the world as it is today - wring their hands, have a lot of meetings and try to look as though their words carry any weight.

Now Health & Safety 'experts' are bad-mouthing one of life's little consolations   Well, these puritanical killjoys can back off and get their hands off my tootsies.

Here are two links and a video about the money supply.  I've linked to Positive Money before but One Good Cut, the makers of the video, are new to me.  I hope you find them interesting:

One Good Cut
Positive Money

If You Believe This, You'll ... ...

You know the rest.

I can barely find the words this morning so make free use of the comments to call Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable Richard Crompton all the names under the sun if you want to.   He has defended the use of d-i-y fingerprinting kits and insists:
‘It’s not policing on the cheap, it is people volunteering to do their bit within society.’
Here

It's become a regular event for me, daily in fact, to wonder who are the delusional amongst us.  I feel like I'm living in an alternate reality to these people, these police spookesmen (ACPO-influenced), the CEOs of local councils, the chairmen of quangos, the pro-Crow unionistas, lying politicos and MPs who swear black's white*, a media that reports half-truths and glosses over the rest ... endless.

I see I've got a typo above - it should be spokesmen but I'll leave it as it is, spookesmen will do just as well.

*  That reminds me.  Did anyone miss Mandelson's light sauteeing at the hands of Andrew Marr at the weekend?  Sick bags all round:

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Funny

I just had to post this - it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Chilean u-20 player Bryan Carrasco gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'don't beat yourself up about it' or how about 'a fistful of molars'? I dunno - looks pretty 'armless' to me ... ... ...

Sunday Reflection



"... which will secure, for every citizen, on condition of working and contributing while he can work, an income sufficient for the subsistence of himself and his family when for any reason he cannot work..."

Sunday Round-up


Mugabe returns the favour Crack troops sent to defend Gadaffi. Two tyrants (2001)
Justice for oil. Labour put pressure on CPS to drop charges against Gadaffi's nephew.
Gorbachev: Britain should pull out of Afghanistan "He points out that Britain advised against the Soviet invasion, saying the Afghans are a special people who live by their own rules, and that Britain should now heed its own advice."
The Mountain Man of Mayo is Taoiseach.
Messing with the clocks. As Britain retreats from clock change Spain moots switch to GMT.
Poll for Searchlight finds half of us are 'racists'. Can anyone really be surprised that when asked whether they would vote for a Party that‘wants to defend the English, create an English parliament, control immigration and challenge Islamic extremism’ 48% people said 'yes'?
EU CAP payments to Benyon in the news again. He isn't the only one to benefit - blackout on subsidies paid to Royal Family. Check out FarmSubsidy.org.
ECHR to hear murderers' case "It's against our human rights to be imprisoned for life."
Police 'trained to be rude'. "It is clear that a significant minority of officers see the public as their enemy and as a potential hazard to be dealt with aggressively."
Cole shoots intern with air rifle No mention of police involvement.
Against the 24-hr 'cafe culture' "If the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya had flooded their streets with strong lager and alcopops, instead of relying on thugs and tear gas, they’d probably all still be safe in power."
Veterans in Gulf War Syndrome protest
Trouble in Iraq
Tunisian protests move on
Syd's soft side Love letters on display at London exhibition
Pretty pictures

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Another One For The Money



I'm celebrating a 70% turnout in the elections and Ireland's snub to the IMF/EU.

Gadaffi's Scorched Earth

Governments have dealt with this mad man for forty-one years; the world & his mother-in-law has dealt with this man and his regime. I don't think any of them can claim the high moral ground now and assert that by dealing with him they've encouraged him into 'the fold'. All it's done is feed his delusions, no matter what Blair says. Once a loose cannon, always a loose cannon.

People the world over could have told them that but they insist on their way, on their diplomacy, and they smirk at us because we 'don't understand'. I think we understand passive agreement and acquiesence when we see it.

It was only September 2009 when Gadaffi lambasted the UN Security Council for "failing to prevent sixty-five wars" since 1945.
"Now, brothers, there is no respect for the United Nations, no regard for the General Assembly."
What chance is there that this deranged muppet will heed a tabled censure from the UN that's taken ten days to hammer out?  They won't even refer him to the International Criminal Court if he gets out of this alive.  I hope he doesn't;  I  hope the people of Libya re-take their freedom the only way it's possible for people to do in such circumstances and I hope they'll cast a cold eye on  whoever they put in his place.

Getting global agreement to aim the bomb that takes Gadaffi and his family out of the equation - and we know it can be done - is worse than useless.  I'd rather be an independent, sovereign country that looks to itself and the world for trading partners but bows to no man when asked to condone genocide with wimpish, weasel words.  In today's current global thinking, not even a sniper could do the job - at least not one condoned by our self-elected 'global elite' world leaders.

The world is tied up in knots and ethics & morals have gone to the wall.  The decay is mirrored locally too,  hence the retreat of police and justice from our own streets and courts.  It's time the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ruffled a few feathers and spoke more strongly against authoritarian regimes; though whether there's a genuine will and what we could back it up with, militarily, is debatable

Lately I've found myself wishing I was an end-of-dayer so  I'd have something to look forward to.  As it is I just see more of the same-old-same-old  until civil strife breaks out - and I'm not talking about a few well-larded Union shysters or bank-account-heavy SWP members getting a couple of thousand students on the streets.

I tell you, the day a British government turns puts troops on to the streets to confront British people is the day that government dies.  You've read about the SAS being deployed on the streets of London haven't you?

'Troops', in this modern, post-democratic and progressive phase we're going through, means EuroGendFor (which, itself, has probably had its name changed in the past two years) - their armed police have been in our southern Ports of England for years.  For us, nothing changes.  All they do is have a meeting, change their name, bill us for the re-branding and hey presto!  Everything recyles.

The Middle East has its problems but so do we - theirs are more pressing because they're being shot if they stray in front of a window but ours are looming.  I really want to know who are the voices behind the curtain because it's beyond time that we brought that curtain down and put an end to global exploitation.

The msm can go hang as well.

Friday Post

I know I'm a day late, but I've got a good excuse.

Sig94 says what many people are thinking. Frustrated by public shows of soppy one-world love-ins while dirty double-dealing goes on behind closed doors people are beginning to wonder what it takes to rid the world of murderous scumbags.  Sometimes so-called 'soft power' and incentives to behave just can't cut it.

What I dislike in particular about the right-on Left is the hypocrisy of condemning US "military imperialism" while wringing their hands and wailing that the the pirates and despots of the world won't do as they're asked, every so nicely, pretty please, look we'll give you lots of money.  If the US were to take military reprisals against Somalia I for one wouldn't condemn them but I can think of quite a few mealy-mouthed countries and global talking shops that would.  Being realistic though, they've got Obama now so intervention/reprisals is a non-starter.

Here's a flavour of Sig94's post regarding the murder of four American hostages by Somali pirates.  As usual it's just an extract so please pop over and read the whole thing:
There is a sizeable group of men straining at Hell's Leash who are ready, willing and able to address this problem. They did it once before on the Shores of Tripoli and would love to do it again. Let the Marine Corps do what it does best; deliver the full measure of American indignation to the filthy vermin who are committing these atrocities.

Do it in such a fashion that the Somalis return to basket weaving, fly swatting or whatever the hell they did before they found out they could load rowboats full of thieves and AK-47's to commit mayhem on the high seas against unarmed civilians.

Let the world condemn us in public and bless us in private, we've been there before.

Cameron Interview

I'm not sure how many people will be interested in this Al-Jazeera interview with Cameron - there's nothing he hasn't said before.  The only thing I picked up on was that he aims for the UK to have the lowest Corporation Tax rate in the G7 - that will be an interesting bunfight if it ever gets off the ground.

Here's a rundown of the questions he was asked with some rough timings so if anyone wants to know his answers to a specific question they can be found relatively easily.
  1. UK arms sales to Libya and other rogue states.
  2. 3.15 - Libya/Yugoslavia and the prospect of NATO intervention.
  3. Engaging with elected Islamic Parties, eg Hamas.
  4. 6.02 - "Assault on public sector & complete lack of taxes on banking sector."
  5. Reducing unemployment for national & international graduates.
  6. 10.57 - Legalising marijuana.
  7. Sanctions against Iran but not Israel, "the only rogue nuclear state".
  8. 14.15 - British complicity in torture in Iraq.
  9. Lessen effects of cutbacks at home by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
  10. 17.20 - A referendum on the European Union.
  11. Tution fees discriminate against English students.
  12. 20.32 - Immigration and welfare reform.
These were followed by three set questions common  to all interviewees:
  1. What formed/changed your view of the world?
  2. If you could ask one question of a world leader, what would it be?
  3. What's the biggest problem facing the next generation?
Video link

It's part of a new initiative/collaboration between YouTube & Al-Jazeera to feature a monthly interview with a world leader. Here's the January i/view with Obama

Friday, 25 February 2011

Blog-lite

It's my birthday so blogging will probably be erratic today. Can't wait.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Loathing Labour

More detail is emerging from the MigrationWatch report on immigration which was released today.   A record number of immigrants were given settlement rights in Labour's final year of office.  250,000 were given the right to stay here and about 83,000 of those was because of a failure in the asylum system.  It's the highest number since the 1960s.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “These figures are Labour’s legacy to Britain – 3.2 million immigrants including a quarter of a million in their last year.
“Over half a million students in one year, with no interviews before arrival and no checks on departures; and a points-based system that has increased immigration not reduced it.
“This is what they called ‘managed migration’.
“It would be hard to imagine after 13 years in charge a more shambolic inheritance.”
********************
Other figures yesterday showed the number of failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants being removed from the UK has hit a five-year low.
Sensitive flowers be warned, the video is one of Gotty's old ones and has been played many, many times before - let's call it 'a social commentary on thirteen years of Labour government':

Mugabe Fearful

He must be, that's the only reason I can think of that explains why he's locked up forty-six people who watched online footage of the protests in the ME and charged them with treason.  Treason carries the death penalty - not that Mugabe ever cared much about the law anyway.  The activists were arrested on Saturday evening and transferred yesterday to a  maximum security prison.

Tyrants around the world must be looking at the events in the ME and wondering, "Could it happen here?"  Well, yes, it could.  The big boys, Russia and China, are no saints themselves and are reluctant to condemn Gadaffi for his horrific treatment of the people but if they did I suppose we in the West would only sneer, like we did on hearing Ahmedinejad's statement.

When it comes down to it, institutions like the UN and the EU are nothing but talking shops - they talk big and growl a lot but in reality they're nothing but ineffectual paper tigers and it's time we all stopped supporting them   They have stolen power and rights from us and retain that power only because we let them.

Let's hope the people of Zimbabwe are hearing the message loud and clear and that Mugabe will soon be overthrown as well.

Those Old Gender Equality Bleus

There's no lack of comment in today's papers about Lord Davies of Absersoch's report and the proposal to impose quotas for women at boardroom level but the nearest any of them come to acknowledging EU involvement is a short phrase in the Guardian ... "The effort to improve gender diversity in UK companies is in keeping with Europe-wide action on the issue."

Last September, EC Vice-President & EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that quotas would at first be voluntary but if targets weren't met then she was prepared to legislate.

An influential quango,  the European Women's Lobby, is a driving force behind the quotas and they say:
Quota systems have been proven to be a success and their effectiveness doesn’t need to be questioned anymore*, they should be a legal obligation.... if we just sit and wait for women to have decisional power we won’t advance, and we won’t change society.
*  Spot the lefty dogma - 'it has been proven - there is no need to question' - pretty much what they said about climate change.

Since the beginning of this year gender equalilty has fallen within the remit of the Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship department under an umbrella known as the Directorate-General for Justice.
The creation of the Directorate-General Justice reflects the new opportunities of the Lisbon Treaty to improve the everyday lives of EU citizens.
 Does anyone recognise these names (click to enlarge):


This government, our 'UK' government, is scared to be open and honest about exactly how deeply we're affected by EU laws and directives.  The EU has a hand in almost everything we do or say and the press collude with government in the pretence that we're still a sovereign nation.  To (mis)quote Gene Hunt: The EU has more fingers in more pies than a leper on a cookery course.

Here's a sample of the kind of informative video the EU pushes at us, at our expense - we're paying for our own hanging.



Here's the September 2010 press release  and here are
the laws. Here is the funding available to 'charities' via our Ministry of Justice (Ken Clarke) from the EU, to implement those laws.

Guardian
Telegraph
DM

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

1500 Buried Alive In Benghazi

From here:
"Jazeera, I want to deliver this information, I confirmed it personally, on my responsibility. I am a Libyan citizen. Today in Benghazi they discovered a room underground, a room that is completely locked-in. Completely locked. Holding 1500 young men from Benghazi. From the 15th of February the first day of demonstrations to today when they got them out, the 22nd, they had been without food or water. They heard the voices from the barracks, noise, people. After they went to check, they got them out, God be praised, alive. 1500 young men, buried alive, buried alive. Muammar must be obliterated. We will not surrender. Our dead are in heaven, he is in hell. God bear witness that I have delivered this message, if there are any Muslims. God willing."
And still the UN thinks a condemnatory statement from one of their spokesmen will do the trick - but they can't even agree on the wording for that.  What's the point of implementing sanctions or signing petitions (Amnesty International has one up and running already)?

It's being reported that some British nationals have been taken to safety by a Dutch aircraft carrier and that a British rescue flight, scheduled to leave Gatwick at 12.30pm, is still here because of mechanical failure.   William Hague was televised saying that the British govt will "seek the permission of the Libyan govt" before it takes action to rescue the stranded Brits.   I think we're all living in loony-land now - and who made it this way but the very same corrupt sleazebag politicos and global 'elite' who claim to have all the answers.

The Libyan Youth Movement has a website with up-to-date information - Feb 17th.

UPDATE: Saif Gadaffi studied for his MPhil doctorate at the London School of Economics. Here's his successful 2007 thesis "The Role of Civil Society in the Democratisation of Global Governance Institutions". And HERE is the wikia page set up today to expose his plagiarism. Well, you didn't really think he'd knuckle down and do all that hard work himself, did you?

More Trouble In Greece/Bahrain

Violence has flared again in Greece during a 24-hr general strike and protests against the imposed austerity measures.
The rallies held as part of the country's general strike were the target of tear gas, flash grenade (intended for use by anti-terrorist units in enclosed spaces) and the use of motorcycle units who were used to chase and intimidate demonstrators.
Some days it seems as if we're the only country in the world not out on the streets.*



* That reminds me - it's being reported that the SAS will be deployed some time soon on the streets of London.

Here's a heart-rending plea from a doctor in Bahrain:

Now, This IS Funny

After the lame jokes of the past few days it's a relief to see some real humour (watch the language):



With thanks to Katabasis

More on Census 2011

The bandwagon against Census 2011 has rolled into the online press this morning with an article by AN Wilson in the DM.

Apparently, Francis Maude (Minister for the Cabinet Office & Paymaster-General) has tacitly accepted that it's a useless exercise but so much has already been spent on it that to scrap it would cost even more.  (I think we've heard that one before).  The questionnaire will be translated into sixty different languages and have a choice of 918 tick boxes.

I hope the rejection of the census gathers momentum and people finally stand up and say: enough is enough.

The Mail also has an article denouncing the tendency of disgraced politicians to milk the limelight instead of retreating gracefully (Smith, Prescott, Campbell etc)  and a strange snippet about Blair's priest and transvestite 'nuns'.

UPDATE: Some of those languages: Twi, Sinhala,  Ibo, Amharic, Tigrinya and Lingala

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cheer Up; Mustn't Grumble

Listen here

A Little Light Relief

A little light relief- otherwise known as an outlet for 'Grrrrrwoooaaaaaarr'.

Apparently, it's National Fish & Chip Week so, in honour of our Great British dish (I've already got my coat):

What do you call a fish with no eyes?…Fsh
How do fish go into business?…They start on a small scale
A fish swam into a wall and said, “Dam!”
What bit of fish doesn’t make sense?..The piece of cod that passeth all understanding
Two parrots sitting on a perch.  The first one says to the other, “Can you smell fish?”
Where do fish wash?…In a river basin
What day of the week do fish hate?…Frydays
Why are gold fish orange?…The water makes them rusty
What’s the difference between a fish and a piano?…You can’t tuna fish
What do romantic fish sing to each other?…Salmon-chanted evening
Why are fish so gullible?…They fall for things hook, line and sinker
What fish goes up the river at 100mph?…A motor pike
1st kipper: ‘Smoking’s bad for you’…2nd kipper: ‘It’s OK, I’ve been cured’
There was an awful fight at the seafood restaurant...four fish got battered
What do you call a man with a large flatfish on his head?...Ray

And, finally, how many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?...Fish.

Below, the best fish and chip shop in the world:

A Little Light Relief #1

Dear Glenda

I am a crack dealer in Islington who has recently been diagnosed as a carrier of the HIV virus. My parents live in Haringey and one of my sisters, who lives in Barnet, is married to a transvestite.

My father and mother have recently been arrested for growing and selling marijuana and are currently dependent on my other two sisters who are prostitutes in Camden.

I have two brothers. One is currently serving a life sentence for murder of a teenage boy in 2004. The other brother is currently being held on charges of neglecting his three children.

I have recently become engaged to marry a former Thai prostitute who lives in Brent and, indeed, is still a part-time "working girl" in a brothel.

My problem is this: I love my fiancé and look forward to bringing her into the family and of course I want to be totally honest with her.

Should I tell her about my uncle who voted for Nick Clegg?

Signed

Worried About My Reputation

Ghettoes Of Affluence


"Walled or fenced housing developments to which public access is restricted, often guarded
using CCTV and/or security personnel."

The number of gated developments has been rising in the UK since they first emerged in the US some twenty-odd years ago and at the last official count I can find on't'web (2003) there were roughly 1,000 here.  I should think that 7/8years on there are now considerably more.

I can see the initial appeal, at least as touted by the developers: safety, a degree of peace and quiet, like-minded neighbours, but I've never liked the concept.  To me they are a physical symbol of division, of pulling up the drawbridge and I'm alright, Jack.   What must it be like for these set-apart people when they go outside their gates?    Are they locked in or locked out?  To the people who move out of areas they consider unsafe or unsavoury,  I say if you don't like the broken windows* in your street, don't move away, don't emigrate, stay and do what you can.

There are natural 'gates' too, such as rivers, woods or parkland that delineate the grander estates where some politicians live.  I wonder how many past and present MPs live in gated communities or on family estates, ushered to and from their place of work by security officials in chauffeur-driven cars.  These politicians don't live as normal people live.  They are removed and remote from the daily cares of the people who elected them; they have grand ideologies to put in place or self-imposed 'missions' to fulfill.  They want to change the world, to benefit all mankind and leave a grand splash of a political legacy in future historical footnotes.  Such bravado and self-aggrandisement; such self-interest and disregard for what really matters: the wishes of the electorate.

Neither gated developments nor seclusion on family estates will help in the long-run - theirs will be the first walls to come a-tumbling down ...to take Donne's words out of context, "never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee".

Actually, the title of this post isn't quite right since it's a state of mind rather than affluence which primarily determines whether someone will choose to isolate themselves from the realities of society.  However,  the common acceptance seems to be that you have to have money before you can afford to to live in a GC so I'll leave it at that.

* broken window theory

Things That Have Made Me Eggy Today

The first one really should be called 'Quote of the Day':

‘I came to England seven years ago because this is where the love is. We will speak to other people from all over the world to come here and live because it is so easy. Why can’t we live anywhere we want?

Gadaffi: "Rivers of blood" used in a literal sense
Go on then
Geithner is right
After days of warning, Iranian warships enter the Suez Canal
Cameron is the one 'at odds with reality' - Kuwait isn't a democratic country
Everyone wants the press on their side - even the police
Profiling children 'many years off', says government

Really, there's too much to list but this must take the biscuit:  Italy backs Libya.  I'll leave it to you to wonder why.

Biggest Invasion Since 450AD
















Thanks to the thirteen years of Labour-engineered open-door immigration policy the 'white English' will be a minority by 2060.  Official figures show that the equivalent of one immigrant every minute arrived between 1997 and 2010 - the biggest influx of foreigners for more than a thousand years.
“When you consider that three million extra people on this island equates to the creation of three cities the size of Birmingham, seven the size of Manchester or 20 the size of Harrogate with all that that means for the pressure on our roads, railways, housing, infrastructure, the environment, schools, hospitals and the general quality of life it gives some idea of the scale of what Labour has bequeathed to us all.”
The report* - Mass Immigration: Labour's enduring legacy to Britain speaks of 'the UK' and 'Britain' but the greatest influx has been to England and it is the English who are and will continue suffering from these policies.

The Immigration Minister (Damian Green) and Shadow Minister (Gerry Sutcliffe) continue to spout their useless denials and platitudes about current policy and urge everyone not to be too concerned but despite their condescending rhetoric long-term immigration will continue and the illegals will still find ways into the country.
The damage is done - it's too late!

DT article

* There seems to be a glitch in the .pdf and it can't be accessed at the moment but there is a brief comment here .

Monday, 21 February 2011

"We Will Be Knocking On Doors"

So says Glen Watson, Census Director of the Office for National Statistics, but only if you haven't filled in your 32-page questionnaire and only to 'help and advise' you.



Jedis & witches, unite!

If Only...

... Norman Tebbit could have access to a phantasmagorical regeneration machine we could whizz thirty years off his age and have him back in government - as PM.   He doesn't suffer fools gladly and it's well nigh impossible to put one over on him.  Wishful thinking over.  Here's what he has to say...

  On Common Purpose:
"As to the role of “common purpose” in all this, I find it difficult to be sure whether the whole idea was designed to pervert our democratic system, or if it began as an exercise in bringing better organisation into government and is being used by some for their political purposes. Certainly if I were a Minister today, I would treat it with caution."
  On banks:
"On the problems of the banks, I think there was some very poor regulation but much of the blame must fall on the bosses of the banks, or at least some of them. Regulation has to bite, but the bite should be on the managers, not the owners, the shareholders. I have said it before and I will say it again. I think a number of those in charge should have been prosecuted for false accounting. That would have done more to concentrate minds than any amount of toothless regulation."
  On the EU:
As to why Prime Ministers have all finished up keeping us in the EU, well look at what happened to Thatcher once she denounced its plans to morph from an association of sovereign states to a single sovereign state. That was the end of her. Nor should anyone underestimate the sheer scale of the process of leaving. It will require either a popular uprising or a giant of a political leader to do it. The softer option is to let it drift.
 So much common sense in one article.  Long live the Polecat.

Blood For Resources

I'm cheating a bit this morning - I posted these photos of Gadaffi being feted by the internationalistas last September.

This post isn't intended to condone or excuse the questionable dealings with Libya  (I'm with Kampfner on this one); it's intended to highlight the hypocrisy of other nations pointing the finger. Who remembers this record US/Saudi arms deal?  To paraphrase Cameron: They're all in it together.

US/UN 'condemn' UK
US accuses UK
Kampfner article: UK always happy to oblige



France
Russia
Italy
The EU

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A Little Light Relief

A woman in her fifties is at home happily jumping unclothed, on her bed and squealing with delight. Her husband watches her for a while and asks, "Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look? What's the matter with you?"

The woman continues to bounce on the bed and says, "I don't care what you think. I just came from having a mammogram, and the doctor says that not only am I healthy, but I have the breasts of an 18 year-old."

The husband replies, "What did he say about your 55-year old arse?"

Your name never came up," she replied.

**************

I've been flicking through my external hard drive - has everyone seen these two?

video

video

FFU

If I could write a string of swear-words I would - but some of you probably know better ones than I do so I'd only be showing my ignorance. I don't swear during conversations in 'real life' but it does tend to creep in when I'm blogging about politicians, so I'd just like to say that I'm f@cking fed up with a capital FFU.

The very concept of Cameron's Big Society with its Neighbourhood Army and state-led Leaders fills me with trepidation. Whose policies will these middle-ranking Leaders be supporting? Who will they report to?   How are they made accountable?  How will they liaise with local councils? How many administrators will one Leader need?

But it's not only that - it's just about everything. Why do people keep re-electing the same local council f/tards who assume office and then go and do as they please ... and pay themselves what they please? Why do elected officials suddenly release their inner Stasi agent when they have control of a Borough? And why are so many otherwise normal people so ready to fall into line and obey?  And yes, the questions are rhetorical.

This is the article that put the icing on today's perfect cake:  a Christmas tip is a bribe.

JUST SAY NO!

I might do a Sunday Round-up next week but maybe the time's come to change it - it's two years old now anyway. By the time I've finished schlepping through the online press and checked stories against each other and sorted out the quotes, it's taken hours plus I'm fit for nothing except running out naked into the garden and screaming at the sky in impotent fury. The state of this country makes me weep but what's worse is that Cameron doesn't show any capability for changing it in any meaningful way. It's true we no longer have Brown and Blair but Cameron seems little different overall - he differs only in minor detail.  I've been so disappointed by him that I can barely watch or listen to him any more without biting my bottom lip;  invariably I bolt into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

Here's a message for any jobsworths, community leaders, councillors, quango chiefs, nosey parkers, lobbyists,  fake charidee workers, in fact, anyone who gets a kick out of assuming control over another person:



Sunday Reflection

Sunday Round-up

Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough but I don't see much 'new news' in today's Sundays: they're mainly regurgitating old stuff so the usual round-up is a mix.

‘Any new policy statements with spending or economic implications will be cleared with the Leader’s office and Shadow Treasury teams, working closely together.
'Where there are policies with neither spending nor economic policy implications they will need to be cleared by the Leader’s office.
‘Issues for clearance will include: any public statement by a frontbencher spokesperson, whether in speech or article or Press statement; any contribution to Parliament.
'It should also include public campaigns you intend to support. A template has been circulated showing the information required to facilitate sign-off.
'It is imperative that all statements made which change our existing position or language on spending or taxation are cleared in advance with the Shadow Treasury team in addition to the Leader’s office.
'It goes without saying that this applies...to the entire Shadow team.’
'Locality' has been chosen as the government's preferred 'national delivery partner' to co-ordinate 500 Leaders @ £20k a throw so that the rest of us can be 'empowered'.  It seems the phrase 'Broken Britain' did its job well and has given way to 'Something must be done'.
A new case, involving four patients at secure mental hospitals and one former patient, is among a series of extraordinary claims being considered by Strasbourg, demonstrating the extent of the court's influence over Britain.  Other new applications to the European Court, disclosed for the first time today, include a convicted terrorist claiming it was "inhuman and degrading" to increase his jail sentence and a paedophile claiming that his "right to a family life" was breached when the Prison Service banned visits from his infant son.  The criminals detained at Broadmoor and other psychiatric hospitals claim it is discriminatory to prevent them claiming Income Support, pension credits or Jobseeker's Allowance, which are paid to some of their fellow patients.
Low staffing levels, assaults on prison officers and criminals being sent to inappropriate prisons are some of the complaints raised by the POA.  However, an un-named Prisons Service spokesman schooled in nu-speak refuses to take his head out of his backside and says: "Prisons are secure and ordered environments housing a complex and challenging population.  Incidents are dealt with professionally and efficiently by trained Prison Service staff.  We take the safety of our staff and security within our prisons very seriously.  Staffing levels across the prisons estate are strictly risk-assessed and there is a zero tolerance approach to violence against staff.  Incidents such as those at HMP Ford are thankfully rare but do demonstrate the difficult challenges that prison staff face and it is to their credit that prison regimes are peaceful and well-ordered."
The financial crisis engulfing the MoD is now regarded as so severe that, following Britain's withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2015, the size of the Army will be reduced to "circa 80,000", according to one senior defence source.  This would make the Army the smallest since the reign of George IV, when troop numbers were drawn down after the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Skilled IT professionals will bypass the Government’s new immigration caps and then be free to undercut struggling British graduates, despite soaring unemployment.  They will be exempt from National Insurance in their first year, yet be able to use the NHS for free. Britain is preparing to accept 20,000 skilled Indian workers every year for the next five years, 40% of the proposed quota for all 27 countries in the EU.  The deal was initiated by Marrakesh Mandy in 2007 and is expected to be signed by the end of June..
All, supposedly, to benefit tourism.  It was not clear last night whether the proposals would mean a two-hour shift every spring and autumn, or whether winter time would also advance from GMT to GMT+1, bringing Britain into line with most of the European continent year-round.
Barclays said it complied with all taxation laws in the UK "both in the spirit and the letter".  "In 2010 the Group paid over £2.8bn in taxes in the UK and £6.1bn globally... The corporate tax affairs of an organisation with the global footprint of Barclays are complex and not reducible to simplistic comparisons; any link between Barclays Group profits and the amount of tax paid to the UK Government is inappropriate – there is no direct correlation."
This year's intrusive 32-page census is already part of a trial run on an EU data sharing project but Lockheed Martin's involvement seems to have gathered together disparate groups calling for a boycott.  Protesters say they are willing to break the law and face a £1,000 fine and a criminal record by refusing to fill in the 32-page questionnaire. Resistance to the decennial census is growing as a coalition of anti-war groups, pacifists, religious organisations and digital activists begin raising public awareness about the role of Lockheed Martin, America's largest arms manufacturer.
Recently, there have been those who might want to hang the Big Society label around the necks of the lighthouse men and women. The people in Happisburgh have little time for this and show scant interest in David Cameron's pledge this weekend that community organisers in the Big Society will be paid £20,000 during their first year.  The volunteers don't foresee going cap in hand to the Government for money any time soon. "That cash will come laden with caveats and be impossible to get hold of ... We've learned how to manage ourselves."
They were 'celebrating' the 3rd anniversary of Kosova's independence.   More money is obviously the answer to this problem on our streets:  Luljetta Nuzi, project director for Shpresa, a group for Albanian speakers in the UK, said that the violence was a reminder of the work that needs to be done in addressing divisions within the expatriate community.  "It is very sad to hear these things are happening, when we are trying to integrate in the community ... We know there are gangs of young people in Barking and Dagenham and we did some work with them previously. Unfortunately, there is not enough funding to continue the preventative work we were trying to do."
CRB checks reveal only UK convictions.   They failed to disclose that, according to the summary indictment issued against him by the Rwandan authorities, Ugirashebuja chaired meetings after the genocide began and ordered the killing of Tutsis.   The indictment alleges: 'The defendant issued instructions that they were to be taken to a certain place and killed.'
Dr Zakir Naik addressed the Oxford Union on Friday despite the exclusion order against him entering the UK.  Naik gave a speech and answered questions via video link from India to a crowd of students and other onlookers at the event, organised by the famous debating society.  In his speech, Naik blamed the “virulent propaganda” in the media for the “misconception of Islam” and for his own ban on entry to the UK. He claimed the media printed portions of his speeches “out of context” and so portrayed him as a “preacher of hate”.
A small number of "muslims who have got upset" protested to David Cameron about Britain's foreign policy.
Research, commissioned in 2005 and scheduled for publication in 2007,  has not been released to the public.  Officially, the Environment Agency says the report is still being peer-reviewed. However, it was submitted to the peer-review process "more than a year ago". The Environment Agency does not have a date for its publication, except to say that it will be soon.  I wonder if there's something they'd rather we didn't know.

And, finally, why it's pretty pointless relying on others with vested interests for unbiased news:
Red meat good
Red meat bad

Saturday, 19 February 2011

WHEDFU


EU/US accused of cover-up on Kosovan organ trafficking. And that includes the UK. A Council of Europe investigator, Dick Marty, says that 'Europe is now unwilling to properly investigate the situation for fear of being exposed'. Marty also said that credible witnesses were reluctant to come forward to give evidence to EuLex, the EU team investigative team, because EuLex was in disarray and leaking like a sieve.
"If I gave [Eulex] the names of the witnesses I interviewed [as called for by the EU], their lives would immediately be under threat."  Calling for an independent special investigation unit Marty added, "Europe is never going to accept that. Because it knows that my witnesses would really talk and reveal that a large part of the European politicians knew all along what was going on in Kosovo. Do you really think that Brussels wants to hear something like this."
Still so-so An investigation has shown that about a sixth of MEPs check in for work on a Friday in order to receive the £258 daily allowance before leaving almost immediately for the weekend. A third of MEPs turned up for work with luggage for the weekend. Conservative MEP Robert Sturdy and Labour MEP Peter Skinner were both filmed signing in and then arriving at the Eurostar in a chauffeur driven car, to catch the 8:29am journey to London.  (Signing in, sodding off).
Playing at Space Cowboys  I find it hard to believe this simulation cost only $15m.
Britain seeks guarantee on fiscal sovereignty Britain is trying to secure an opt-out on national budgetary frameworks including "new rules on public accounting systems, statistics, forecasting practices and many other stages in the budgetary process."
House of Lords criticises EuPol in Afghanistan  "... after four years of work, around 70% of Afghan police cannot read or write and process basic paperwork, many ask for bribes to carry out day-to-day tasks, operate out of "desolate" huts and violate human rights. After completing their six-week-long EUpol course, 75% of them vanish."
A Conservative MEP questions the UK's continuing membership of the Council of Europe   "This latest ECHR ruling has persuaded me that maybe it is time for the government to consider whether the benefits of full Council of Europe membership outweigh the costs. Is it really in our national interest to be part of this organisation. What benefits do we get and what would leaving actually mean?"
Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee publishes a report on Malta. My first thought was why Malta? Why not, eg, Turkey? Then I flipped to the committee members page and saw that Turkey holds the current rotating chairmanship of the CoE.
How's your French?  French Defence Minister: “We live in an unpredictable world and it would be irresponsible of the EU not to mutualise its forces. We need to encourage, push this process which does not move ahead spontaneously, we need to involve the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland.”
EU sued over India trade talks  Advocacy group claims deal will be detrimental to farmers and will widen inequality.  More HERE "...  also accusing the Commission of violating transparency rules, and of favouring corporate lobbyists in the decision-making process."
EU does an Ireland on Portugal A financial rescue plan is already in place and expected to be called upon within the next few weeks. An unnamed "eurozone source" said: "Portugal is drowning. It's not going to be able to hold on beyond the end of March."
Austria under fire over 'free movement'  EC commissioner Reding gave Vienna until the end of February to fall in line with EU regulations or face treaty violation procedures.  Among the commissioner's criticisms was the fact that Austria's current law does not clearly define criteria for deporting EU nationals. While EU citizens were required to carry a proof of identity at all times, this was not the case for Austrians.
A call for 80-95% reduction in EU CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2050. Roadmap 2050:




One-liners:

How's your German? Taxpayers might be ultimately liable for shortfall in MEPs 2nd pension fund.
... and Spanish?  EU gives 17m euros to Tunisia with another 258m euros in the pipeline.
MEPs call for "common standards" of prisoner care overseen by the EU's FRA
Security staff moved to other duties after armed robbery
Belgium 251 days without a government

In the press:
Osborne refuses to sign off EU's 2009 accounts
“Taxpayers face huge EU financial penalties if targets to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill are not met”.
Ireland threatened with 3.2m euro fine for failure on farming directive
Britain's oldest Bitter under threat
UK Register of herbal medicine practitioners limits impact of EU directive
Cameron's new SpAd denies he's a pro-EU, anti-family nutjob

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

PMQs: Summary

Tributes were paid to Private Lewis Hendry;  Private Conrad Lewis and  Lance-Corporal Kyle Marshall who died within the last week in Afghanistan.  More at Afghanistan Trust  and UK Forces Afghanistan.
*******************************************

With RPI @ 5.1%; CPI @ 4%; unemployment up; claimants up; wages down, it would have been surprising if Miliband had led on anything else.  He divided his six questions into two sections again this week and first addressed the economy - stalled growth, rising inflation, youth unemployment.  The second three asked about selling off woodlands.

It was all very deja-vu with the usual nodding dogs, the usual soundbites,  the usual 'jokes', the usual accusations and the usual rebuttals.  Cameron gave a good answer to Tony Lloyd - Manchester Central - and in response to Philip Davies about the Supreme Court ruling (sex offenders) he said that a British Bill of Rights was in the pipeline.

MPs who spoke:
John Mann, Lab, Bassetlaw;  Mark Lancaster, Con, Milton Keynes North;  Nicholas Soames, Con, Mix-Sussex;  Nick Raynsford, Lab, Greenwich & Woolwich; Julian Smith, Con, Skipton & Ripon; Bernard Jenkin, Con, Harwich & North Essex;  Ben Bradshaw, Lab, Exeter;  Andrew Bridgen,  Con, North West Leicestershire;  Brian Donohoe, Lab, Central Ayrshire;  Duncan Haymes, LibDem, Chippenham;  Michael Connarty, Lab, Linlithgow & Falkirk East;  Jason McCartney, Con, Colne Valley;  Tony Lloyd, Lab, Manchester Central;  Philip Davies, Con, Shipley;  Nia Griffith, Lab, Llanelli;  Jonathan Evans, Con, Cardiff North;  Hazel Blears, Lab, Salford & Eccles;  Charlie Elphicke, Con, Dover;  Jim Shannon, DUP, Strangford;  Gavin Williamson, Con, South Staffordshire;  Nigel Dodds, DUP, Westminster Leader;  Julian Huppert, LibDem, Cambridge;  Sharon Hodgson, Lab, Washington & Sunderland West.

Topics raised:
Increased fees in care homes;   travelling abroad for treatment unavailable on the NHS;  de-regulation of businesses;   tourists/Olympics games/Ken Livingstone/homelessness;   rural broadband;  PSC Inquiry into the Big Society;  NHS waiting times;  reduced spending by  local councils;  "throwing youngsters on to the streets of the UK";  care homes and DLA; opting out of the EU's  human trafficking directive;  housebuilding and the Localism Bill;  Manchester's spending cuts;  ECHR and sex offenders' register;  stronger labelling on alcohol;  rising insurance costs for women;  the Speaker's Internship;  Labour's refusal to heed IMF warnings; NI Coastguards/closure of Bangor station;  welfare dependency;  pensioners;  new system for control orders;  NHS/special education needs.

All followed by a Statement from Home Secretary Theresa May about the Supreme Court ruling on the sex offenders' register.   ("Disappointed and appalled").  Minimum possible changes, tougher than Scotland's present law, will be made.  No automatic appeals.

Hansard



Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Dashed Hopes

After God knows how many years of dictatorship the Tunisian people finally have the chance of creating something good to benefit them all - jobs, food on the table, education.  I hoped against hope that something approaching democracy would result from the protest and bloodshed but, no.

Sadly, the first thing some of them thought to do was to go and wave their flag of jihad outside the Great Synagogue of Tunis and shout vile anti-semitic slogans.  Some people never learn -what's happened to the true meaning of "hope not hate?"    It's a pitiful display - they should be ashamed of themselves.

"Jews wait, the Army of Mohammed is coming back."


H/t:  Vlad Tepes

Wikileaks/Palantir & Berico

 Last week Anonops uncovered plans to further undermine the reputation and ability to function of Wikileaks. A team of three 'private security' companies had apparently been hired by lawyers (Hunton & Williams) on behalf of Bank of America (remember Assange saying before Christmas that the next leaks would affect an American bank?). It's all a bit of a mess now since Anonops discovered the plan and someone (Anonops say it wasn't them) hacked into emails between the three (known collectively as Team Themis), subsequently publishing them on line.

As well as naming individuals working for Wikileaks, tactics suggested by Team Themis (available in full at the link above) included the following:
* Feed the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions of sabotage or discredit the opposing organizations. Submit fake documents and then call out the error.
* Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed not to be secure they are done.
* Cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project. Since the servers are now in Sweden and France putting a team together to get access is more straightforward.
* Media campaign to push the radical and reckless nature of WikiLeaks activities. Sustain pressure. Does nothing for the fanatics, but creates concern and doubt among moderates.
* Search for leaks. Use social media to profile and identify risky behavior of employees.
TechHerald has all the details including the news that two of the companies have now disassociated themselves from the third amidst all the unsavoury publicity.  They also have details of another instance where Team Themis, on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce, targeted unions & political opponents including their families and children.

You don't need me to tell you what a dirty, filthy business this is and how we'd be kidding ourselves to think it doesn't happen here too so I'll just say 'good' for Wikileaks and Anonops and long may they continue the fightback against sordid politicians and institutions.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Beware A Man On A Mission

Especially when that man's a politician from the tips of his buffed, shiny toecaps to the tips of his neatly-gelled hair.

Big Society
Big Society Bank
Big Society ISAs
Big Society Stock Exchange
Big Society University
Big Society Network

and, to oversee it all, a Big Society Evangelist.

The BS University isn't about night-schools or teaching skills to enable the man on the street to climb the employment ladder, it's about state-sponsored training of community volunteers and  "social entrepreneurs".  This isn't localism or power to the people, it's another layer of state-funded bureacracy and interference between the people and those whom they elect to govern.  It's a further distancing from the unelected and unreachable powers-that-be in Brussels.  It's Red Tories, the Third Way, Agenda 21 and communitarianism writ large.

Cameron may declare himself a man on a mission, but it isn't his mission, it's a UN mission and the UK isn't the only country to be affected.  We're all in it together with a common purpose.



You can find more in the sidebar - Kissin' Cousins 'Living outside the dialectic'.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Sunday Reflection

Prisoners' Votes: The MPs Who Abstained

If you want to check whether your MP was one of those who abstained from Thursday's vote on the ECHR ruling and prisoners' votes, go  HERE.  Government Ministers and their Opposition counterparts didn't vote by prior arrangement.  Only 24% of LibDems and 27% of Labour could be @rsed to turn out.

Sunday Round-up

Our twisted immigration laws: 
Such is the bizarre state of our immigration laws that, thanks to European legislation, we cannot deport a citizen of an EU country, even a rapist or murderer. Meanwhile, judges prevent the deportation of a Pakistani who knocked down a 12-year-old girl and caused her to “die like a dog” as she was dragged along by his car. But a man who has sustained permanent injury in the field in the defence of Britain cannot be allowed to live in our country, although his only wish is to stay peaceably and to work for his living. 

Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader attacks government over Military Covenant 
"He added he had been excluded from the committee stage of the Bill, saying it "smacks of a stitch-up - in the same way as this toothless clause is stitching up veterans".

Bernard Jenkin: Cameron's 'new politics' is a sham:
"The way the whips are operating at present makes a complete nonsense of David Cameron's pledge before the election about strengthening parliament and improving scrutiny of legislation and the executive.  And the Sarah Wollaston case raises very fundamental questions about what the House of Commons is for and how it operates. We all know that persuasion is an important part of politics, but the style of whipping – particularly of new members – has become so disrespectful and demeaning that it betrays an attitude that we must surely question."

Another Ch.4 'undercover investigation':
"The person who's got less than a fistful of beard, then you should stay away from him the same way you should stay away from a serpent or a snake.  The disbelievers, they are the worst of all people.  The Hindus do, they drink piss, I've told you this.  Do they have any intellect? No."

MEPs weaken child pornography legislation. 
"... it is expected to approve a controversial measure that would compel EU member states to inform publishers of child pornography that their images are to be deleted from the internet or blocked. Child pornographers will also have to be informed of their right to appeal against any removal or blocking. The measure would make the UK's system for blocking and removing child pornography without informing the publisher illegal."

The Labour MP who hasn't held a Constituency Surgery for more than 14yrs 
"Sir Stuart, a former aide to ex-deputy Labour leader Roy Hattersley, was criticised in the expenses scandal when he tried to stop MPs’ claims being exposed and said the way information was leaked was ‘disgraceful’. At one point he said MPs could be justified in refusing to pay back money. He also led an unsuccessful campaign to stop discredited Speaker Michael Martin from being sacked. Before entering politics he lived in France for 20 years and wrote a pornographic novel called Paris 69."

Church of England speaks out against halal food in schools 
"The Church is only just waking up to this. We have been pathetic and mealy-mouthed but we should be really concerned about this. There is a lot of fear about upsetting Muslims but as a Christian you have to stand up for Christian values. Because we are unwittingly eating halal meat, we are spreading the practice of sharia law."

Greek compensation claim for nazi horrors sparks unease: 
Under Nazi occupation from April 1941, more than 300,000 Greeks starved to death, 130,000 were executed in reprisals, and most of the Jewish community was sent to the gas chambers.

Robert Fisk:  The fruits of a military dictatorship: 
"They are everywhere in the capital, the 50,000 street children of Cairo, Mubarak's shameful, unspoken legacy, the detritus of the poor and the defenceless, orphans and outcasts, glue-sniffers, many of them drug-addicted, as young as five, the girls often arrested and – according to the children and charity workers – sexually molested by the police. "

Privatisation of forests raises fears for rare wildlife 
"Kent Wildlife Trust has raised concerns about forests classed as small commercial forests which are home to rare species ranging from nightjars and firecrests, to Heath Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy butterflies.  And Northumberland Wildlife Trust has labelled the proposals to sell Kielder Forest, which has been categorised as a large commercial forest, as "misguided", warning that breaking the forest up among a series of private owners could risk England's greatest stronghold for red squirrels."

Cameron defends his 'Big Society' 
"Unsurprisingly, some people want to attack it rather than join it, but unlike so many other political ideas which are dropped or forgotten within days of being suggested, I believe all the interest and debate means we're on to something."

Clegg undermines Cameron's 'Big Society' 
"Angry Tory officials say the Deputy Prime Minister has made it clear he thinks the idea is a ‘waste of time’ and the term ‘Big Society’ is not allowed in the Cabinet Office where he works."

14,000 objections to Nocton's 'super dairy'. 
"The fault is not the consumers or even the supermarkets, it's probably our own. Dairy farmers have spent years selling this image of a cheery cow with a daisy in her mouth leaping about a green field, but cows don't live like that. So we can't complain because we have been a bit reclusive and have lost a lot of connections between the public and our farms.  But this is not new, just bigger. And greener, more sustainable – the carbon footprint will the lowest of any dairy in Britain – we will recycle waste and use renewable energy. People have been saying it's terrible that our cows will be indoors for six months of a year, but most British cows are. Otherwise, their pastures would be destroyed."

Equality legislation may allow gay civil partnerships in Church  No mention of mosques.

Rumsfeld has memoirs to sell: 
"While generally loyal in the extreme to Mr Bush, he does offer a critique of the last president for not managing his advisers better. He also says Mr Bush asked him about the Pentagon's strategy for an attack on Iraq just two weeks after the Sept 11 2001 terror attacks – six weeks earlier than the then president mentioned such a discussion, according to his own memoir."

Paul Theroux:  Another book to sell - the writer recalls England of the 70s and 80s from an 'alien' perspective.
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