StartCounter

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

House Price fall

I see that the Nationwide are reporting the first annual fall in house prices for 12 years. Just 1% but there are six months of increases included in that period. This is just the start, the fall will continue and increase in velocity, 30%-40% is my prediction.

Gordon Brown's election broadcast

Fraser Nelson at The Spectator covers the five lies told by Gordon Brown on the Toady programme. The comments section cover the appalling bias shown by John Humphrys towards Gordon Brown and and contrast that with the attacking of David Cameron. The BBC are really scared that their beloved Labour party might be on its way out and that the "evil Tories" will get back into power; the BBC will do anything they can to prevent this from happening and if it does happen will attack David Cameron's government from day 1.

I have just finished reading Robin Aitken's excellent book "An we trust the BBC?", I recommend you do the same.

Martin McGuinness?

I read in The Telegraph that:

"Martin McGuinness is to lead an international peace mission to Iraq this summer with the goal of forging an agreement between its feuding factions."



So can we assume that in a year Muqtada Sadr will be in the Iraqi cabinet?



I haven't looked yet, but I assume that David Vance at A Tangled Web will be covering this story...

Another stealth tax

This Labour government are beyond parody, a new stealth tax a day? Read the story here and get angry.

In a totally unrelated story, it's the local elections tomorrow...

Advice for Boris

As soon as you win the election, demand all the backup media for the Exchange Server(s) at the Mayor of London's office. You want all the backup media as far back as possible, the last year end media, any media stored on-site, off-site or at a disaster recovery site. The truth as to what Ken Livingstone has been up to may be only on those media. If there are no backups then an immediate investigation is called for and remember there are people who can retrieve data from mangled media and emails deleted from Exchange.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

All in the Timing

Gordon Brown's decision to abolish the 10% tax band will have hit the lowly monthly paid at the end of last week and during this week. As it does each of these people will look at their payslips because, unlike MPs and journalists, they know what their monthly net pay is and they have budgeted accordingly. At previous places of work, a mistake in the payroll is not spotted by the accounts department, it is spotted by a married man in the warehouse who knows what he earns. I have had to explain NIc and PAYE changes to such people before and they take decreases in their net pay very badly.

So what a stroke of political genius for Gordon Brown to ensure that the abolition of the 10% tax rate hit the lowest paid workers a week or less before local elections.

Health and Safety

Nanny Knows Best gas the details of another piece of Health and Safety stupidity:

"David Smith, an elderly disabled man of 78, has been left with rubbish piling up at his home in my home town of Croydon.

Why?

It seems that is just "too dangerous" for binmen to collect it?

Why?

Does he have a dangerous dog?

No!

Does he threaten them with a shotgun?

No!

The bin men have to climb the four steps to the house to collect it.....

A Croydon Council spokesman said:

"Several health and safety issues have been identified by the council's contractor with regard refuse collection in a number of roads.

The council is currently investigating alternative methods of collection and the affected residents will be notified.""

Feral Youth (part xx)

Would scum be too strong a word to describe the scum in this story?

"As an ex-policewoman, Julie Pickford thought she knew how to deal with rowdy teenagers.

So when she politely asked a boy to stop throwing popcorn at other passengers on a tram she was confident he and the rest of his gang would behave.

Nothing could have prepared her for the shocking and violent attack that followed.

Without warning, one girl stood up and punched her in the face and then a mob of up to 30 teenagers joined in, punching her and stamping on her.

Mrs Pickford, 47, a mother-of-two who has a judo black belt, was powerless to stop the attack and briefly blacked out.

With blood streaming from her injuries and £50 stolen from her handbag, she was thrown off the tram at the next stop in Sale, Greater Manchester.

She was taken to hospital with a suspected fracture to her eye socket, a badly-cut mouth and severe bruising and grazes. Mrs Pickford, who runs a commercial property firm, was discharged the next day but went back to hospital after she began passing blood because of suspected kidney damage....

"They were a pack of animals," she said.

"I'm a fit and healthy woman. Had it been someone a bit older it could have been
another Garry Newlove."



No respect for anyone, no sense of decency, fairness or restraint - scum would seem to be a fair word. IF anyone is found guilty of this crime, you can imagine their bleeding-heart lawyer blaming their upbringing etc. and the judge giving them the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. I despair of what this country has become, I want out.

Kate Hoey

Kate Hoey is a Labour politician with some integrity, a rare breed. Her views on Northern Ireland put her beyond the pale for many Labour bigots and in recent years I have wondered whether she and Frank Field would not be happier in the Conservative party. Today I learn that if elected Mayor, Boris Johnson would have her join his administration as a Non Executive Director in charge of promoting competitive sport and monitoring the Olympics. A good choice Boris.

But if he was a Conservative ex-Mayor...

I see that:

"A FORMER Mayor of Hebden Royd has been arrested on suspicion of child porn offences.

Stewart Brown, 59, was a Labour candidate for the Elland ward in next month's council elections.

But he has now been suspended from the Labour Party.

Officers from the West Yorkshire Police Child Protection Unit arrested Mr Brown on Tuesday. He was questioned by detectives before he was bailed, pending further investigation."



Not a word on the BBC website of course, but if he had been a Conservative then it would be on the front page of the news.

The BBC, we will do anything for Gordon Brown and Labour.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Are the shredders being started up again in Mayor Livingstone's office?

Since Mayor Livingstone admitted to shredding documents before the Freedom of Information Act came into force, I wonder if the process has started again in case he loses the coming election?

BBC misinformation?

The BBC have a helpful(?) explanation of the London Mayoral voting system including this:

"1) The Mayoral ballot paper is pink. You can vote for your first choice candidate and also vote for a second choice candidate.

* You do not need to cast a vote for a second choice candidate, but not making a second choice does not improve the chances of your first choice. Your second choice vote gives you the chance of still having a say if your first choice candidate is eliminated.
* If you cast your first and second choice votes for the same candidate, then the second choice will not be counted
* If you only cast a second choice vote and not a first choice vote, your second choice vote will not count."




True as far as it goes but surely they should be pointing out that the only first preference votes that will count are those for Ken and Boris, for all other candidates it is the second preference that will count when their first choice candidate is eliminated. In reality, a second preference vote for Ken or Boris is worth precisely the same to them as a first preference vote. Of course explaining this point might stop some Lib Dems putting Ken as their second preference and would never do, would it BBC?.

Humour must have a basis in reality





Thanks to The Last of the Few for the spot.

Humph again

I have been catching up on some reading and just dipped back into "Narrow dog to Carcassonne" as an antidote to the Peter Oborne, Simon Carr and Peter Hitchens authored books that I have finished (of which more in the coming weeks). Almost immediately there is a description of a conversation about the great Jazz musicians being dead and then there is this comment:

"Humphrey Lyttleton is OK., he said. Thank God, I said, something beside remains."


So once again I am sitting partly remembering the Jazz but mostly the laughter I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue gave me over the many years of listening. I'm glad that at the last live show I attended, the whole audience stood and applauded his entrance and his exit and showed him the love we all felt for an English institution.

I hope wherever he is now, he has his favourite discs and that Samantha is happily sitting on his right hand.


There is a nice obituary for Humph in The Times entitled "Farewell to Humphrey Lyttelton, the old stager who kept nation laughing" and it includes some more Samantha gags two of which I shamelessly reproduce here:

"Samantha has to go now as she’s off to meet her Italian gentleman friend who’s taking her out for an ice-cream. She says she likes to spend the evening licking the nuts off a large Neapolitan"


"After tasting the meat pies, Samantha said she liked Mr Dewhurst’s beef in ale; although she preferred his tongue in cider"

Sunday, 27 April 2008

The disappearing car door

New from Jatech comes the disappearing car door...




Very clever but didn't the BMW Z1 have a similar feature nearly 20 years ago?






Thanks to The Last of the Few for the Jatech spot and to myself for loving the Z1 and nearly having owned one.

BBC finally report the opinion poll giving the Conservatives an 18 point lead

The BBC studiously avoided reporting the ICM opinion poll giving the Conservatives an 18 point lead last week. They do mention it today, by putting it in context and at the bottom of a rousing piece regarding David Miliband's support for Gordon Brown (my emphasis):

"The ICM survey for the News of the World suggests 131 Labour MPs would be ejected from the Commons in favour of their Conservative challengers.

The findings point to a 9% swing from Labour to the Tories, giving Mr Cameron a 64-seat majority.

But another poll by ICM, for The Sunday Telegraph, puts the Tories on 39% nationally, 10 points ahead of Labour on 29% and the Lib Dems on 20%.

It suggests a shortening lead for the Conservatives, who had an 18-point lead in a survey by the same organisation last week."



The BBC only reporting the bad polls for Labour when a better poll comes out.

TfL fares to rise or not?

Ken Livingstone promised in October 2007 that:

""The funding package for Crossrail does not require a fare increase.

"It is the fares generated by Crossrail that do that."



However the BBC report:

"But in emails seen by the BBC, the fare rises were included in Transport for London's (TfL) business plan, which had been signed off by the mayor.

Mr Livingstone explained that TfL wanted the price rises but that he reconsidered and revised the plan."




I wonder what the truth is.

"a resurgent Islamism"

Does anyone see a problem with this story?

The BBC "report" that:

"Muslim Scholars in Algeria say a government ban on pictures of veiled women in passport photographs runs counter to Sharia law."



I see an issue with a passport photo of a veiled woman, maybe a touch tricky to identify her. A question, how long before a Muslim woman in the UK tries to see if she can have a veiled photo of her as her passport photo? How many "Human rights lawyers" would queue up to take on her case?

Matthew Parris on Gordon Brown and the Conservative party

A must read article by Matthew Parris in The Times.

"But those of us who maintain our long-held judgments about Mr Brown's utter incapacity for office need no more trouble ourselves with wondering what will humiliate him next than we need to study tide and weather charts to determine the moment when the incoming waves will breach the walls of a sandcastle. The castle is made of sand: it will yield. Gordon Brown is a vacuum: he will implode.

The implosion, however, will be ugly. Mr Brown is unlikely to go quietly. He may be mad but he's quite used to being mad, he's been mad for a long time, he doesn't see it, and on some ghastly level the prognosis is stable."



Coruscating stuff indeed and as ever with Matthew Parris, beautifully written.

Barack Obama and links to supporters of terrorism

This story has been developing in a most interesting way. Take a look at how the Obama campaign had a web page on its official site for Hatem El-Hady, former chairman of the Toledo-based Islamic charity Kindhearts (closed by the US government in 2006 for terrorist fundraising). On this page three people had chosen to be listed as friends, one of these being Michelle Obama. This was spotted by LGF and then Michelle Obama's name disappeared, how odd. Now El-Hady's page has completely disappeared, even odder.

Will the Main Stream Media (MSM) pick up on this story? In the US, maybe but in the UK not a chance. For the BBC in the UK, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cannot be criticized, one of them must win the upcoming election; to this end criticism of John McCain is compulsory.

Law and order in 2008

Read this and wonder just what the UK legal system is there for:

"The family of a drowned teenager stormed out of court yesterday when his killers were jailed for only five-and-a-half years.

Shane Owoo, 16, was frogmarched to a pool for a "punishment swim" by two men in their twenties who accused him of stealing a bicycle.

He was forced into the flooded clay pit while his attackers, who were described as behaving like vigilantes, beat him with sticks and stones until he drowned.

Judge Peter Coulson at Birmingham Crown Court described the crime as "the worst kind of bullying" and "horrific" but there was uproar when it emerged that Christopher Lewis, 22, and Marvin Walker, 21, will be free in only two years....

Lewis and Walker - who faced a maximum life sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter - will be released on licence at the half-way point in their sentence.

But time served on remand since their arrest in October will be deducted from that term, meaning they will be free by June 2010."



That is all a man's life is worth today, we have lost control of the streets and this Labour government is more than just complicit in this.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Matthew Norman on Gordon Brown

"Gordon has already become, in less than a year, as pitiable a captive of his backbench critics as ever John Major was. Despite a healthy majority in the mid-60s, where Major's was down to single figures, he now has approximately a six times greater chance of winning gymnastics gold in Beijing on the asymmetric bars than of getting his nonsensical 42-day detention period on to the statute book. From this day forth Gordon is a legislative quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down and reliant on uncaring backbench carers for the most basic of his parliamentary needs."



Do read the rest here.

Impartial, my ass!

Impartial my ass, to paraphrase Gil Scott-Heron, would seem to be the verdict on David Dimbleby's chairing of the London Mayoral Question Time. Read this for more detail.

I fail to see why anyone is surprised that a BBC big beast is biased towards his masters at the Labour party. What about Humphrys and Naughtie doing their best to set the pro-Labour agenda every day on the Toady programme. Then there is Victoria Derbyshire and Simon Mayo with their Labour love-ins on Radio 5-Live. Pro-Labour bias at the BBC is endemic and probably not removable.

Gordon Brown - Open and inclusive or running scared?

"Details of where Brown went, whom he saw and what he said were not released."


So running scared would seem to be nearer to the truth. Read the whole story in The Guardian.

Farewell Humph

The great Humphrey Littleton has died and I am really sad. Mrs NotaSheep and myself have seen I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue being recorded a few times, the last just a few weeks back and that evening was over two hours of solid laughter. I know that I didn't think anyone could replace Willy Rushton and I was nearly right, but replacing Humph seems impossible to me - maybe the show has to die with him.

Why do the great have to die so young?

Surveillance Society

Words fail me having read this from Spy Blog. It appears that London drivers are being monitored 24/7 by the ANPR and LEZ cameras that I have blogged about before. Read the whole article and then wonder at how we became this spied upon society, oh yes a quarter of the adult population voted Labour.

Pope Benedict XVI, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi and the Jews

Do take a read of this article comparing the words of Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the Roman Catholic church, often accused of being anti-semitic and Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt and as close to being the academic leader of the Sunni Muslim as anyone.

One wrote this in December 2000:

"Down through the history of Christianity, already-strained relations deteriorated further, even giving birth in many cases to anti-Jewish attitudes, which throughout history have led to deplorable acts of violence. Even if the most recent, loathsome experience of the Shoah was perpetrated in the name of an anti-Christian ideology, which tried to strike the Christian faith at its Abrahamic roots in the people of Israel, it cannot be denied that a certain insufficient resistance to this atrocity on the part of Christians can be explained by an inherited anti-Judaism present in the hearts of not a few Christians."



The other wrote this in the late 1960s:

"Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61/ 3:112], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness. . . . Only a minority of the Jews keep their word [Koranic citations here]. . . . All Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not."



One said this when visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in May 2006:


"Deep down, those vicious criminals, by wiping out this people, wanted to kill the God who called Abraham, who spoke on Sinai and laid down principles to serve as a guide for mankind, principles that are eternally valid."



The other wrote this in 2002:

"Suppose that the series has some criticism or shows some of the Jews' traits, this doesn't necessitate an uproar. . . . The accusation of antisemitism was invented by the Jews as a means to pressure Arabs and Muslims to implement their schemes in the Arab and Muslim countries, so don't pay attention to them."



I am sure you have worked out which gentleman is associated with which comment...



Andrew G. Bostom concludes his piece with this passage:

"Thus it is unimaginable that Cardinal Ratzinger, 20 years prior to being elected Pope Benedict, could have written a 700-page treatise detailing and rationalizing the most virulent anti-Jewish motifs extant in Christian theology, and then continued to extol these motifs unashamedly while pope. Sadly, what is unimaginable in Christendom has not only occurred, but passes virtually without recognition, in the Islamic world."

Friday, 25 April 2008

"It was meant to be offensive"




Background here.


I find Ken Livingstone very offensive, let's hope that after May 2nd I won't have to worry about him causing me offence or embarrassing London.

Geek heaven and very hypnotic

Who's updating what Wikipedia entry at this moment. You can even click on "diff" to see the changes that were just made, I am in awe of the programming.




Thanks to Last of the Few for the spot.

Second preference votes

The BBC are as usual doing Labour's work for them. They "report" that:

"Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick has warned his rivals he will not be endorsing either - in the battle for voters' second preferences.

Labour's Ken Livingstone said he shared "90%" of policies with the Lib Dems and once urged Labour voters to back a Lib Dem MP in a marginal seat in 2001.

But Mr Paddick, who polls place third, said it was a "naked attempt" to get his second preference votes.

Tory Boris Johnson said he did not want to be BNP voters' second preference."



Beautifully done BBC, you report that Brian Paddick won't endorse either of the two main candidates, then "report" how Lib Dems are closer to Ken than Boris and finish up by associating Boris with the BNP - excellent work, Gordon will be pleased with you. Especially as I have blogged previously the only first preference votes that will count are those for Ken and Boris, for all other candidates it is the second preference that will count when their first choice candidate is eliminated. In reality, a second preference vote for Ken or Boris is worth precisely the same to them as a first preference vote. I don't expect that the BBC will be pushing that point as it might stop some Lib Dems putting Ken as their second preference.

Galileo funding gets approved

Daniel Hannans article complaining that MEPs vote through funding without knowing what they were approving should surprise nobody. The fact that the example he and Chris Heaton-Harris used was the GNSS surprises me even less. The EU juggernaut rolls on and we are powerless to stop it. For more on the GNSS/Galileo system take a read of these articles.

Labour Minister - Do as I say, not as I do - Shock!

Sky News report that John Hutton, currently Business Secretary but with probable designs on becoming Prime Minister, may not practice what he preaches:


"The support of Business Secretary John Hutton for a campaign for better tips for waiters has prompted an irritated response from Sky News staffer Kris Jepson.

Mr Hutton told Sky News this is "an important issue" and that "we should support" waiters and waitresses.

Says Kris: "It's a pity he didn't feel this way when I used to serve him and his children dinner at the Fisherman's Arms Hotel in Baycliff, Cumbria. He ate at the establishment several times during my stint there as waiter and NEVER tipped us!""



What a shock, a Labour Minister who doesn't practice what he preaches; who would have thought it...

"We know a word for this sort of behaviour, don't we children"

"Lord" Goldsmith has apparently declared himself against the extension of the maximum period pre-charge detention of terror suspects from 28 to 42 days. It seems that whilst giving evidence to the Commons' Counter-Terrorism Bill standing committee, Lord Goldsmith said:
"The case has not been made out for that extension and I can't personally support it."



Of course "Lord" Goldsmith was the Attorney General when the same Labour government tried to get the increase to 90 days through Parliament?



Maybe you know a word for this sort of behaviour? If you are going to suggest anything on this blog be careful, Joyce Grenfell might be reading from above.

Harriet Harman has defected to the Conservative party?

Read all about it at Guido Fawkes and the BBC. Fortunately for the Conservative party it is a hoax, the result of Harriet Harman's expensively produced website being hacked. Don't worry, I am totally convinced that the security on the National Identity Register will far more stringent...



You can see the hacked site in all it's glory here.


As of 12:32 if you visit Harriet Harman's website you just see this message - "The blog is temporarily closed." Surely the deputy leader of the Labour party has the staff to rectify the problem, sorry I see what assumptions of competency I made there.

More Muppets songs



That's REM and the Muppets with "Shiny Happy Monsters"





And this is Elton John and Miss Piggy with "Don't go breaking my heart"

Pulp Muppets & The Muppet Matrix

Following on from my find of Paul Simon and The Muppets on You Tube, I started looking and one thing led to another...




I am a huge Pulp Fiction fan and this film should have been made, Miss Piggy as Mia Wallace is inspired.




Not as good, but still worth a watch is The Muppet Matrix

Strange BBC bias

I believe that it is compulsory for all candidates and their parties to be mentioned in news reports, so this BBC article rather odd. The article itself concentrates on the three main candidates - Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick - and then lists the other candidates:

"Gerard Batten, UK Independence Party
Lindsey German, Left List
Richard Barnbrook
Sian Berry, Green Party
Alan Craig, Christian People's Alliance
Matt O'Connor, English Democrats
Winston McKenzie, Independent"

Two things strike me:

1) in what order are these listed, it's not alphabetical by name or party?

2) why is Richard Barnbrook's party not reported? Is even mentioning the BNP verbotten at the BBC?

How safe are the streets?

Not very it would appear. The regularity of these stories says a lot about the state of law and order in the UK in 2008 under a Labour government.

Selective reporting of opinion polls

The BBC have stopped reporting opinion polls on the grounds that they just don't report every opinion poll. Of course the truth is somewhat different, they were perfectly happy to report opinion polls that showed a Labour lead such as this from August 2000 and this from June 2007; however they are less inclined to report the results of opinion polls now that their beloved Gordon Brown has been found out. I note that they have decided not to report that the latest YouGov poll gives the Conservatives an 18 point lead over Labour - Conservatives 44%, Labour 26%. If you want coverage of this story then you will have to resort to The Telegraph or Sky News.


The BBC sticking their collective fingers in their collective ears and going "la la la, it's not happening".

Has Ken Livingstone been caught out lieing?

A shocking and surprising question I know... Dizzy Thinks has the story.

A Labour automaton interviewed

Yvette "Mrs Balls" Cooper doing what she and most Labour ministers do best, waffle and parrot the party line, whatever the question. If I had been doing the interview, I would have stopped asking questions and said "since you are not going to answer any of my questions, good night".







Thanks to Dizzy Thinks for the spot.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Green tax is more tax than green

From The Telegraph:

"The "green levy" on motorists announced in Alistair Darling's first Budget will double car tax revenue to £4 billion but reduce vehicle emissions by less than one per cent, Treasury figures have showed."



You mean it was just a way of raising taxes, who would have thought that?



"Justine Greening, a shadow Treasury minister who obtained the figures, said last night: "This is a massive tax hike which will have virtually no impact on the environment.

"Despite their claims, the Government don't expect this move to change behaviour at all - it is just another eco-stealth tax of the worst kind.""



Well done Ms Greening, now will the Conservatives commit to repeal this tax?

Consistency Brown

"I will not allow house prices to get out of control and put at risk the sustainability of the recovery."
Gordon Brown, 1997 Budget Statement.


"We’ve seen house prices rise by about 180 per cent over the last ten years."
Gordon Brown, 2008 BBC Radio 4’s The World at One.



Compare, contrast and vote...

One from the blogs

I found this on the blogs, I think it was a comment on Biased-BBC:


To the tune of Paul Simon's "50 ways to leave your lover"

"50 ways to leave your Leader"

chorus
You just slip out the back, Jack
get off the phone,Digby-Jones
Take to the hoof, Ruth
leave him in June, Hoon
get a new pal, Al
You just need to be brave, Dave
Just get yourself free

Hop on the tram, Harman
You do your best,Admiral West
Take the ferry, Gerry
Just drop off the key, Lee
Leave the den, Ken
Take the bet, Yvette
Jump out of bed, Ed

And get yourself free,
Angela Smith do you hear me..
There are...50 ways to leave your Leader, Yes, 50 ways to leave New labour..

[repeat to fade into history]"







Here's the Paul Simon original...





and here's the Muppets...

The BBC view of the UK?

Take a look at the map of the UK on one of the Question Time pages. The numbers of questions asked are shown against a map of the UK but just show one figure for Scotland and one for what I thought was an unidentified England, the figure appearing just where the words United Kingdom appear. The identifier "England" does appear, over Cornwall and part of the English Channel. In fact the more I look at that map, the more crap I realise it is: Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool are completely omitted, Poole is the only "city" on the south coast between Kent and Devon (I wonder what has happened to Southampton and Portsmouth), the biggest city in the North East is apparently Darlington not Newcastle. But leaving the geography aside, what is the point of knowing how many questions are from each region, but not from where in each region - is it just a crap graphic or standard BBC incompetence?

PMQs

Could we save time by disallowing planted questions at PMQs? Some of the Labour backbencher's "suck-up" questions are quite beyond belief.

"A pathetic figure"

Watch PMQs from yesterday and does anyone else think that the Labour backbenchers cheers are somewhat muted compared to 6 months ago. David Cameron is actually quite good, bearing in mind that Gordon Brown cannot answer a question except with statistics and slurs.

As Simon Carr in The Independent writes:

"In cold print, his defence of the "tense pence" (sic) looks very odd. "Everybody now agrees the 10p rate is not the best way of tackling poverty," he said as though correcting yet another Tory blunder. Later, he denounced the Tories for having opposed the introduction of the 10p band. But as he'd opposed it himself last year (to the point of abolishing it) his backbenchers became confused. Were the Tories right? Was their leader a Tory himself?"

Did Ken Livingstone lie about the Chinese torch bearers?

The Londonist report that:

"a Metropolitan police authority report has revealed that said security presence cost a whopping £750,000. And while it’s not Londonist’s style to bluster about taxpayer’s money and wotnot, according to Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, the very same Chinese torch escorts that Ken Livingstone chided as "thugs" and denied association with afterwards, were actually authorised as part of a Greater London Authority agreement with Chinese officials.

Paddick said:

The MPA report makes it quite clear, in direct contradiction to what Livingstone has told us, that the Chinese security guards were part of the legal contract between the GLA and the Chinese authorities.

For the Mayor to say he knew nothing about it - and would not have allowed it - is simply not true. "



I am shocked...

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Nick Robinson still parroting Gordon's message

"Gordon Brown looked freer at PMQs than I have ever seen him as he fiercely defended his anti-poverty credentials and attacked the Tories for their cheek in daring to take him on on this territory."



In BBC/NuLab land the Conservatives are not allowed to talk about eradicating poverty as only Labour, under whichever of their supremely talented leaders is in power this week, has the moral authority. Makes me feel rather nauseous to be honest, but I doubt that Nick Robinson will allow that comment on his "blog"/propaganda page.

Half the story? Not even that...

The BBC "report" that:

"Israel has allowed fuel to be delivered to Gaza's power plant, averting the possibility that it would be forced to shut down within hours.

Palestinian officials had warned that the plant would run out of fuel on Wednesday, plunging large areas of Gaza into darkness.

The resumption of supplies followed mediation by the European Union.

Israel is restricting fuel supplies to Gaza in an attempt to halt rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.

Human rights organisations denounce the policy as an illegal collective punishment, but Israel insists that its actions are legitimate.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the cutting of fuel supplies punitive and unacceptable. "



Read the rest of the article and see if you can find out why the oil supply was restricted... Here we are, the very last line reads:

"Fuel supplies have been more sporadic that usual recently due to attacks by militants on the Nahal Oz depot through which they pass."



No more detail BBC, how about telling us what happened in the last of the "attacks"?
Obviously you ran out of space or time to tell us that on 9 April, half a dozen Hamas raiders cut through the Gaza border fence, attacked the Nahal Oz oil terminal in Israel and murdered two workers, Oleg Lipson and Lev Cherniak. Why so coy BBC?

Are you celebrating St George's Day?

You should...

Take a read of Simon Heffer in The Telegraph.


... and here's Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March with some accompanying video to piss off any republicans watching...






and here's Jerusalem, all together now...








Meanwhile in Bradford, this. England, oh my England what is happening?

Did Des Browne/MOD lie or just explain the situation badly

Take a read of The Register discussing where the British sailors were when captured by the Iranians and decide for yourself.

Possibly the sickest film beginning that I have seen

If this is for real then I think it is in very poor taste...




UPDATE:
It appears that this is for real, "Postal - The Movie" by Uwe Boll opens in the US in a month. Is this really a subject for a comedy film?

The importance of second preferences to the London Mayoral Election

Andrew Gilligan explains it rather well (my emphasis):

"How it works is this: first, they count all the first-preference votes. Every candidate bar the top two (almost certainly Boris and Ken) is eliminated. Then they look at the second preferences of those who voted (for) the... eliminated candidates. Any for Ken are added on to Ken's first-round total; any for Boris are added on to his first-round total. Second preferences for any other candidate are ignored.

That means two things, neither widely understood. To begin with, there is no point at all in giving anyone except Boris or Ken your second preference. Second preferences for Sian, Brian or the others (favoured by 67 per cent of Londoners for their second pref in today's poll) are a waste of time.

And Point B is this: if you vote for Brian, or Sian, or one of the other lesser parties as your first choice, and Boris or Ken as your second, it is your second choice vote that will count, not your first.

Across London, there does seem to be a substantial desire to kick the Mayor. But Livingstone activists' road to victory may be to claim that you can somehow satisfy that desire, and "register a protest", by giving someone else your first preference, and Ken only your second.

In practice, a second preference vote for Ken or Boris is worth precisely the same to them as a first preference vote. The only way to register a protest against either man is not to vote for them, first or second. (There is, incidentally, no obligation to cast a second-preference vote.)

...

In a tight race, second preferences could be really important. So it's vital that people don't cast them without fully understanding what they're doing."



Spread the word, so people know what the voting system means. If I had my way then only people who understood the voting system would be allowed to vote. Mind you if I had my way then only people who had paid income tax in the last 3 years would be allowed to vote...

Gil Scott-Heron interview

I have blogged before about my penchant for the songs of Gil Scott-Heron. I am not a fan of his politics but still can't stop listening to his music. The BBC have a six minute interview (dated 4 March) with Gil Scott-Heron the Today Programme listen again page, take a listen and note how he talks about Barack Obama, just six weeks after a certain blogger remarked "I have just realised who Barack Obama reminds me of when he is full rhetorical flow, and that is Gil Scott Heron.".

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

"Gordon Brown pays the price for dishonesty"

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Gordon Brown may be reaping what he sowed; oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Rachel Sylvester in The Telegraph writes:

"There was a fixed smile on Tony Blair's face as he sat through Gordon Brown's final Budget in the House of Commons last year.

The then prime minister had been given the customary 48 hours' notice of his Chancellor's intentions but he had not been told how Mr Brown would present the Government's tax and spending plans to Parliament and the country.

When he heard his anointed successor announcing with a dramatic flourish at the end of his speech a cut in the basic rate of income tax (a cut which was to be paid for by the abolition of the 10p rate that had been slipped out earlier) his grin froze in horror.

He returned to Downing Street, complaining that the Budget was a disaster that "played into all the worst perceptions of Gordon".

Mr Brown, Mr Blair told colleagues, was trying to pull the wool over people's eyes by giving the impression that his Budget was a tax-cutting package when it was not. The whole thing would, he predicted, soon unravel."



Of course, it has unravelled and Gordon Brown is well on the way to experiencing the deserved hatred of the majority of the population and into the record books not as a "political colossus" or "economic genius" but as an inept politician and the mastermind behind the near bankrupting of the UK. Successful and well-loved ex Prime Ministers used to awarded a title or a property by a "grateful nation". Maybe in Gordon's case the ungrateful nation could take back his state funded final salary pension, after all he has screwed up most of the UK population's pensions in one way or another.

Why do they do it?

"And here's what puzzles me. Why do they continue to do this? Is is because they're too thick to realize what the public think of them? Or is that they know but have become so corrupted by power that they just don't care? Or is that that they do know and do care, but just have no idea how to behave differently?"



For what this is all about, take a trip over to Stumbling and Mumbling - an excellent post.

Fatally flawed?

Who'd have though it? The press are reporting that Zimbabwe's regime has been accused of a "concerted effort" to rig the election for Robert Mugabe as it emerged that seals protecting ballot boxes have been broken. Wow, who could have seen that coming? Well me on 30 March for a start and regularly since.

The power of Putin

I see that whilst President Putin will step down as president on May 6 in favour of his puppet (is that too strong a word?) and President-elect Medvedev. He has also accepted another position, Chairman of United Russia, the official party in the Russian Duma. This means that Putin will control the Duma as well as deal with the day to day affairs of government, leaving Medvedev to focus on foreign affairs, if he is allowed to.

Monday, 21 April 2008

The jockeying for position to replace the dead duck PM has started

Gordon Brown is holed below the waterline, he (to badly mix metaphors) is a dead duck PM. He has all but anointed Ed Balls as his successor and that is as poor a decision as he has ever made. As I noted last week, Charles Clarke may have started some subtle campaigning. Today I see a letter from Charles Clarke in The Times that brings open warfare in the Labour party closer:

"Sir, Ed Balls’s extraordinary interview with you (April 18) is most revealing and provokes a response.

His injunctions about the “indulgent nonsense” of “private briefings against the Labour leader” certainly come from one who is well acquainted with this kind of activity. Such things do discredit politics and take us back to the days of faction and party-within-a-party that were so damaging in the 1980s. As he says, we’ve seen it over this parliamentary recess, as I know to my cost from the totally false briefing (to which he refers) that I am considering running as a “stalking horse” against Gordon Brown. I hope that he’ll do what he can to stamp it out.

His references to “disappointment” resonate. It’s certainly true that many Labour MPs, including myself, are disappointed by policy decisions such as the abolition of the 10p tax rate, the over-bureaucratic and insensitive nature of the post office closure programme, and the problems arising from lack of preparation for a Northern Rock-style economic challenge. These all stem from Treasury positions with which he is very familiar. It’s also true that many, including myself, are disappointed with many aspects of his education policies, of which the most serious is the absence of a coherent and focused reform strategy for the 14-19 curriculum, along the lines of Mike Tomlinson’s proposals.

As far as his remarks about “falling for false prophets” are concerned, I would advise him to examine himself and his own role. He should stop attacking others anonymously or in code and look to his own performance and record.

Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP "



Charles Clarke denies that he is thinking of running as a "stalking horse" and that is true; Charles Clarke considers himself a "big beast" and if/when he stands it will be to win. This battle between "big beasts" and "little rats" could be fun.

The fragile ecology

We are endlessly informed how fragile the world is. Every time there is an oil spill we are shown pictures of dying birds and seals and told that the sludge on the beaches will never clear away and every time people fall for it and every time in a matter of a few years the sea and the rain have done their work.

We are also always made to feel guilty for even looking at the fragile coral reefs, lest our eyes alone might damage this most fragile of ecosystem. The rise of even 1 degree in sea temperature I remember reading would kill whole reefs. The trouble is that "SOME corals are again flourishing on Bikini Atoll, the Pacific site of the largest American atom bomb ever exploded". That's Bikini Atoll and coral is reappearing, now do you believe that a 1 degree increase in the temperature of the sea will kill coral reefs? It's called scaremongering and it's what the eco-movement specialise in.



An aside, the report has a rather odd grasp of physics:

"The 15 mega-tonne bomb was a thousand times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima in Japan in WWII.

It vapourised three islands, raised water temperatures to 55,000 degrees, shook islands 200km away and left a crater 2km wide and 73m deep."



I have my doubts that the "water temperature" reached 55,000 degrees; I would have thought the water would have vaporised around 54,900 degrees below that.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Techie corner

Paypal are planning to block users from accessing their service as part of an effort to reduce "phishing" attacks. Very reasonable, the killer line is that Paypal state that it is "an alarming fact that there is a significant set of users who use very old and vulnerable browsers such as Internet Explorer 4". Indeed some are apparently still using IE 3, now that is old - although I do remember when IE3 was "state of the art".


I have just looked at my visitor's browser breakdown and you seem fairly up to date:

IE7 - 46%
IE6 - 26%
Firefox 1.x - 19%
Safari 1.x - 5%
Opera 9.x - 2%
Firefox 2.x - 1%
IE5 - 1%

Democrats for McCain?




Watch the clip to the end for the question and the answers... Very interesting, it could be that Democrats would rather vote for John McCain than many Republicans.

BBC double standards

The BBC have covered the Chinese arms shipment to Zimbabwe but can you imagine the level of coverage if it was a US arms shipment, or the ultimate in evil - an Israeli arms shipment?

The BBC view?

"The final answer, frankly, is the vigorous use of State power to coerce and repress. It may be my Presbyterian background, but I firmly believe that repression can be a great, civilising instrument for good. Stamp hard on certain 'natural' beliefs for long enough and you can almost kill them off."


That was Andrew Marr, I wonder how many of his colleagues feel the same way?

Saturday, 19 April 2008

The Sunday Times London Mayoral poll

This shows first preference figures of Ken 45%: Boris 44%: Paddick 9%. After second preferences are taken into account Boris and Ken are on 50:50. For why this poll may not be as accurate as it should be, take a trip over to Political Betting.

One rule?

Although the Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith seems to have happily broken the purdah rules when announcing 300 "new" police positions in London, it appears that
"The report into the police shooting of Charles de Menezes is now two months overdue. As the Standard reports today, it’s being sat on because of “political sensitivities” surrounding the race for London Mayor – i.e. it could damage Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and, by extension, his great supporter Ken Livingstone."


You can read more at The Spectator Coffee House.

What's the latest on Tibet?

Agam's Gecko reports that:

"Monastery raids by the Chinese security forces and re-education sessions by "work teams" continue to be met with resistance by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople across the Tibetan plateau. Violent responses against the steadfast Tibetans also continue to be reported."

Also Reuters reports that armed police raided Rong Gonchen Monastery monastery on Thursday, detaining hundreds of monks and locals.

"The police seized audiovisual disks and pictures of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the source, who has wide contacts among Tibetans, quoted relatives of the monks as saying.

They took away four fifths of the monastery's inhabitants -- around 200 people -- and dozens more lay locals, some of whom had tried to prevent police from detaining the monks."



Other reports from Agam's Gecko include:

"Since the beginning of April, nearly all the nuns of Shar Bhumpa nunnery in Lhasa have been arrested, leaving only seven of the 60 nuns who had studied there. One of the nuns, Tsering Lhathog was beaten and tortured, suffering a serious head injury before her release to Jang Ga-shang Hospital."



"former abbot Alag Khatso-tsang, aged 80, from Rongpo Monastery, who tried to calm down the situation was badly beaten and injured by the Chinese army. Furthermore, about 140 people including the monks and lay people alike were detained, and the monastery has been kept under tight vigilance and no one is allowed to move in or out of the monastery."



If you want to keep up to date with what is happening in Tibet and let's be honest the Main Stream Media have all but stopped covering the story, then Agam's Gecko looks a good place to start.

Has Gordon Brown found another way to screw up the economy?

Following on from Brown bottom and the off-balance sheet PFI schemes, we now may have Gordon Brown swapping nice clean gilt-edge government bonds for a large amount of the banks' dodgy mortgages. The fact that the share value of many banks have increased since Gordon Brown and the Bank of England's inspired intervention leads me to believe that they know who has got the better of the deal.

The making of Margaret Thatcher

Take a look at this , it is a letter that the South East regional agent Beryl Cook wrote in February 1950 about the impact that the 24-year-old Margaret Roberts, the daughter of a Grantham grocer, was making as the candidate in the safe Labour seat of Dartford.

Also this being a confidential party memo written by John Hare, the vice chairman in charge of candidates in 1952 saying that the newly married Mrs Thatcher should be put forward for a safe or marginal seat in the London area.


Very interesting documents indeed, I wonder who the leading political lights of 2033 are now, or even if they have been born.

When the Mirror attacks

I have very little time for the Mirror, I stopped paying it any attention when a previous fat Labour fraud, Bob Maxwell took it over. However this article entitled "Axe this unfair tax" has been pointed out to me. Here's an extract:

"...the abolition of the 10p tax rate was down to Mr Brown.

In his last Budget as Chancellor it was Gordon Brown who wanted to make a dramatic gesture of cutting 2p off the main rate of income tax.

It was Mr Prudence who decided to pay for it by abolishing the 10p starting rate, meaning many low-paid workers forking out more rather than less.

Labour governments should not be in the business of taxing the poor more.

It is made worse when the rich are left to exploit tax loopholes to evade what they should pay.

The growing rebellion among Labour MPs over the abolition of the 10p rate is the most dangerous yet of Mr Brown's short reign.

The Prime Minister must accept his responsibility. He must reverse an ill-thought out and unfair tax policy."

Friday, 18 April 2008

Signs of spines

David Anderson, Jeff Ennis, Celia Barlow and David Kidney may be showing signs of growing a backbone, even the BBC have to report that:

"Four more ministerial aides have joined protests at the abolition of the 10p tax rate.

The four junior government members have called on Gordon Brown to help 5.3 million low-paid workers who have lost out as a result of the changes....

The four parliamentary private secretaries to have called for more help for those affected by the reforms on the 10p band are David Anderson, Jeff Ennis, Celia Barlow and David Kidney. None has threatened to resign over the issue.

Mr Ennis, aide to Cabinet Office minister Ed Miliband, told the Evening Standard: "The die is cast on the 10p rate but we have to listen to what people tell us and in future redress the balance."

Mr Anderson, aide to higher education minister Bill Rammell, told the Standard: "We should not be making poor people poorer and at the same time giving people extra money through inheritance tax."

But he said he would not threaten to resign over the issue.

Celia Barlow, aide to science minister Ian Pearson, said in a statement she was not planning to resign her position.

But she added: "I have, however, written to the prime minister and the Chancellor to express my concern over the effects that the abolition of the 10p tax rate will have on some of my constituents.

"I have also forwarded them copies of constituents' letters and e-mails that I have received detailing the effects of the abolition."

Mr Kidney, aide to junior transport minister Rosie Winterton, has also written to the prime minister about the abolition of the lowest tax band.

He said it was his job as a constituency MP to raise matters of concern with ministers."



I wonder what Gordon Brown will have to promise them to get them to back off?

Does Charles Clarke really think he can replace Gordon Brown?

Nadine Dorries thinks he might be:

"There are many places where MPs meet guests in the House of Commons. Some are private, some not so.

Over the last few months I have noticed Charles Clarke hosting numerous cups of tea and coffee with numerous Labour MPs and Peers.

Charles Clarke is no fool, he is known as a very shrewd Parliamentary operator.

The first day I noticed his prolific tea drinking it was as though MPs were playing musical chairs .The seat next to him had hardly gone cold before another one arrived. I remember thinking in my Wind in the Willows way, “mmm, what’s occurring”? He was so obviously networking with a sense of urgency.

Gordon Brown had only just been elected leader, he hadn’t yet had a chance to warm his seat up.

As I said, the man is no fool; he could probably see the writing on the wall a long time before anyone else.

Question is, is he a stalking horse for someone else, or is his eye on the main game?"



I cannot believe that Charles Clarke really has a chance of becoming Prime Minister, too much baggage and an image only slightly better than Gordon Brown's.

BBC coverage of Israel

I wonder if the BBC care that Israel is under rocket attack every day, their news website would indicate not. If you search for "Israel" on their news website the top 3 returns from BBC Audio and Video are:


"Israel launches attack on Gaza

An Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip has reportedly killed nine Palestinians.
16 Apr 2008"


"Israel's Gaza policy criticised

The UN has criticised Israel's policy of trying to isolate Hamas by restricting food and fuel supplies in Gaza.
15 Apr 2008"


"Israel's Gaza policy criticised

The UN has criticised Israel's policy of trying to isolate Hamas by restricting food and fuel supplies in Gaza.
15 Apr 2008"


Maybe things are more balanced if one looks at more items:

Maybe not... The next three are:

"Israel's African migrant woes

Israel's government is struggling to cope with an influx of migrants, who have entered the country illegally.
14/04/2008"


"Israel restricts Gaza fuel

Israeli authorities have launched air strikes in Gaza after a rocket attack killed Israeli civilians on Wednesday.
11/04/2008"


and bizarrely "Current Affairs highlights

On Panorama, Robert Hall reports from inside Haut de la Garenne as Jersey's children's homes begin to give up their secrets. Gerry Northam investigates how girls, as young as 12, are being groomed for prostitution by gangs on the streets of Britain.
08/04/2008"


How about the next three results?

"US in new Mid-East peace bid

Condoleezza Rice has begun a visit to Israel to try to add fresh impetus to the Middle East peace process.
29/03/2008"


"Cooking in the Danger Zone: Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Food writer Stefan Gates travels to Israel and the West Bank he discovers that the conflict between Jews and Arabs is rooted in land but expressed in food - and often the lack of it.
28/03/2008"


"Mambo creator 'Cachao' dies

Cuban-born jazz musician Israel Cachao Lopez, credited with inventing the mambo, has died aged 89.
23/03/2008"


It is not until result 10 that one gets a positive piece about Israel, although in BBC eyes I think that US support for Israel is definitely a negative...

"US support for Israel security

US Vice-President Dick Cheney addressed the issue of security as he began talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
22/03/2008"


Results 11 & 12 are:

"Medical tourism in Israel

Israel is the latest country advertising its healthcare services to 'medical tourists' who don't want to wait for treatment.
14/03/2008"


"Abbas hits out at Israel

Palestinian president accuses Israel of waging a campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' in East Jerusalem.
14/03/2008"


The fist mention of attacks on Israel in on page 2.


The BBC, we love Hamas and Fatah, hate that "shitty little country" Israel though.

NotaSheep's Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISFP)




Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISFP)



Your personality type is caring, peaceful, artistic, and calm.



Only about 7% of all people have your personality, including 8% of all women and 6% of all men

You are Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving.

Polygamy

I am confused; the BBC are paying a lot of attention to the polygamy/child abuse case in Texas and rightly so. However they pay no attention to any of the cases that are reported out of Islamic countries, where girls as young as nine are married of to adult males. This act is justified as Mohammed himself married Aisha when she was nine. Here is just the latest such story; this one is from Saudi Arabia:

"Riyadh, 18 April (AKI) - A 23 year old girl, forced to marry at ten in Saudi Arabia was ordered to pay the equivalent of 16,750 euros to obtain a divorce from his husband, according to Saudi daily al-Watan.

The girl, deemed as a 'rebel' by a judge in the capital, Riyadh, was forced to marry a 67-year-old man due to her family's economic problems, in exchange for a dowry of 100,000 Saudi riyals (16,750 euros).

According to the judge, the girl does not have any grounds for divorce, but if she wants to divorce the husband, she must return the dowry given to the family 13 years ago.

The father of the girl, regrets having married her daughter so young, saying "I made a mistake by forcing my daughter to marry. If she wants to re-marry, it will be her decision who to do it with."

The father of the 23-year-old woman also pleaded for help in order to collect the 100,000 riyal dowry that must be returned.

"I ask those who have the possibility to help my daughter to find the money needed to return the dowry. I cannot help her because our family does not have the economic means," concluded the father."




Double standards? Or just another example of the way the BBC loves to beat up the US.

"The CPI figure is just a joke - how stupid does the goverment think people are?"

That's a comment to this Daily Mail article on the real level of inflation. Of course this Labour Government's preferred measure excludes all housing costs and gives a large weighting to restaurants and electricals, the latter of which naturally fall in price whilst the former may be of less relevance to most people in this Country than it is to MPs with their snouts well and truly in the trough.

I, and many others, have been banging on about the fixed inflation rates for ages without any support from the MSM because they were in the thrall to Tony Blair. Only now that they have decided that it is safe to attack Gordon have the MSM joined in.

The Terminal 5 song



Quite amusing...

"I only do this job to help people"

"I only do this job to help people"
So said Gordon Brown during his visit to the US. Presumably he means PFI specialist companies, human rights lawyers, Labour appointed heads of quangos,large firms of City accountants etc., because he can't seriously mean the average taxpayer.

Our glorious leader continued:

"My concern every day is what's happening for the person looking for their first home, what's happening to the mortgage payer.

"That's why I'm in politics. It's about people's lives, it's about people's hopes."


That's odd because three days ago Gordon Brown's "sole focus" was keeping the economy on track. Do you think he makes it up as he goes along?

EU Constitution update

I can do no better than to urge you to read this from The Spectator Coffee House. It includes this quote from the great Europhile Ken Clarke:

"Will you stop all this nonsense about it being different from the constitution, because it is plainly the same in substance, and explain why it is better not to have a referendum but have it decided in parliament. You are getting into trouble because of the deviousness and, at times, ridiculousness, of the arguments you are using."



This from Professor Steve Peers, EU law specialist:

"The different structure of the Reform Treaty (i.e. amendments to the current EC and EU Treaties) as compared to the Constitutional Treaty means that the two treaties will look quite different. However, the content, as proposed in the draft mandate is largely the same."



This from Philip Stephens, the trenchantly pro-euro FT columnist:

"The government did promise a referendum on the now defunct constitutional treaty; and, rhetoric and legal form aside, the Lisbon document is substantially the same as that rejected by the electorates of France and the Netherlands."



This from Michael Connarty, the Chairman of Parliament's independent European Scrutiny Committee:
"Every provision of the Constitutional Treaty, apart from the flags, mottos and anthems, is to be found in the new Treaty. We think that they are fundamentally the same."



There are also the usual quotations from EU leaders declaring that the EU Constitution is essentially the same as the EU Treaty. The only people willing to disagree are Gordon Brown and his increasingly discredited Party. As Diane Abbot told the BBC just after the final commons vote:

"I think that we should have a referendum because we promised one... but actually if you had a referendum it would be disastrous for the Labour Party because you would lose... Everyone knows that the Treaty is the same as the Constitution."

Multiculturism or supremacism?

Decide for yourself as you read about the father and his five-year-old son who were turned away from their local swimming pool because they were the wrong religion... the Sunday morning session was reserved for Muslim men only." Read the whole article here and decide for yourself.

For myself, if this story is true then the mania for giving Muslims special consideration has clearly gone too far.

Snuffy - Parents Evening & Discipline

The must read story of life as a teacher in an inner city school has another couple of excellent episodes.

One re a Parents' evening and a sad one re classroom discipline.

Every time I visit "To Miss with Love" I come away feeling something. Unfortunately it is usually despair at the way this Country's education system has been so debased and at the disappearance of discipline. Sometimes it makes me feel hopeful as there are some teachers who "get it". The fact that I always feel such a powerful reaction makes me think that "To Miss with Love" is a truly great blog.

BBC pro-Brown propaganda

Take a listen to Nick Robinson's extended piece on the Radio 4 Toady programme from around 08:13 for a hymn of praise to Gordon Brown and previewing his "letter to America". I feel almost physically sick at the way the BBC promote Gordon Brown, they are no better than the propaganda arm of this Labour government; scum is not too strong a word to describe the BBC.

Hillary "pinocchio" Clinton







Thanks to USS Neverdock for the spot.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

That Kevin Bacon video from The Graham Norton Show

Abu Izzadeen (aka Omar Brooks)

Abu Izzadeen (aka Omar Brooks) has been found guilty of incitement to terrorism abroad along with three of his associates, Abdul Rehman Saleem, also known as Abu Yahya, the convert Simon Keeler, also known as Suliman Keeler, and Ibrahim Abdullah Hassan. Brooks, Keeler and two other men, Shah Jalal Hussain and Abdul Muhid were found guilty of collecting money for terrorists in Iraq. Hussain skipped bail while the jury were deliberating and is now on the run.

This is the sort of thing that Abu Izzadeen said:

"“Allah will remove all the kufr [disbelief] from the earth, and how? With dua [prayers] or with some books? No my dear Muslim brothers with jihad for the sake of Allah...So we are terrorists, terrify the enemies of Allah.”

Brooks said anybody who sought “dignity outside of shariah [Islamic law]” would be “humiliated.”"



The guilty men will be sentenced tomorrow.

Has anything embarrassing ever happened to Gordon Brown whilst campaigning?

I only ask because the BBC following up the story about the youth wiping snot on David Cameron's back are running a piece entitled " Campaign trail classics". This has nine examples - three about David Cameron, two about John Prescott, two about Tony Blair and two about Charles Kennedy. The BBC probably think that this covers them against any claims of bias - four Labour, three Conservative and two Lib Dem. Very clever, but of course the only person who is still a party leader or deputy is the Conservative.

The BBC never too proud to try and cast aspersions on Conservatives.

What!

A post or not a post

I was going to post about two ridiculous items that pissed me off royally but the anger just wouldn't decrease enough to make it feasible. So for commentary on:

1. the matter of abu Qatada, Osama bin Laden’s right hand man and, the most important al Qaeda operative in Europe, and why he cannot be deported to Jordan under human rights law because witnesses in any future prosecution of him might themselves have been tortured by the Jordanians

and

2. on the matter of the Royal Navy being instructed not to arrest Somali pirates because doing so may breach their human rights and that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain


Please take a trip over to Melanie Phillips instead.

Who is "innocent"?

I have blogged before about the the never asked question "Who is innocent". Inayat Bunglawala and Muhammad Abdul Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain were oft heard to say in the days after the London bombings that
"we condemn the killing of all innocent people wherever they are" or "Those who seek to deliberately kill or maim innocent people are the enemies of us all..."


I pointed out Anjum Chaudri's revealing explanation
"When we say innocent people we mean Muslims, as far as non-Muslims are concerned they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God... As far as Muslims are concerned, you are innocent if you are a Muslim, then you are innocent in the eyes of God. If you are a non-Muslim then you are guilty of not believing in God"

"I must have hatred to anything that is not Islam"



I now note that al Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al Zawahiri, has issued a declaration that includes this
"we haven’t killed the innocents, not in
Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else. And if there is any innocent who was killed in the Mujahideen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error, or out of necessity as in cases of al-Tatarrus [taking of human shields by the enemy]... we are confronting the enemies of the Muslim Ummah and targeting them, and it may be the case that during this, an innocent might fall unintentionally or unavoidably, and the Mujahideen have warned repeatedly the Muslims in general that they are in a war with the senior criminals – the Americans and Jews and their allies and agents – and that they must keep away from the places where these enemies gather."

"I think it's time to recriminalise crime"

"I think it's time to re criminalise crime. What I mean by re criminalising crime is taking your experience of crime seriously and not endlessly downgrading things that happen, assaults, thefts of mobile phones, and just calling it anti-social behaviour. This is a crime!"


That's from Boris Johnson's latest campaign video - you can watch it here.

Why are we so poor compared to the rest of Europe

Mr Eugenides has the details...

"Snot Guilty"

"A LANK-HAIRED lout shocked David Cameron on a walkabout yesterday – by smearing SNOT on his back."


So the Sun reports today. I know what you are thinking and no Gordon hasn't flown back especially to do this. It appears that there is another snot loving lout in the UK.

Vulcan XH558

I have written before about Vulcan XH558 and the Vulcan to the Sky Trust and was really pleased when I read that the old girl has been test flying over the last week and with great success.

Then I spotted this piece on the BBC, it's entitled "Symbol of destruction takes to the air" and is quite a mean-spirited article including the line "The debate over whether a symbol of destruction should be restored will continue".

The BBC proud to hate anything British. Thank heavens they have so little knowledge of history that they don't know about the Vulcan's mission to bomb the runway at Port Stanley airport during the mission to retake the Falklands. Do read the book Vulcan 607 for the fascinating story of this mission.

More problems for Gordon Brown

Whilst Gordon Brown's US visit is failing to attract much attention in the US, as his team of PR experts managed to book him in during the Pope's visit, back at home his problems multiply.

Here's a Labour Home piece and comments on the problem with Gordon. Tony Hannon's article includes this:


"with Gordon. I look at the conference Q&A where barely a question from his own Party members went satisfactorily answered. The video link is out there somewhere. Waffle and platitudes around the topics raised.

Whenever there was a crisis for Blair – Gordon was nowhere to be found and a statement came a few days after the fact. We’ve now stumbled from issue, to crisis, to non-issue for almost a year and this guy never makes his argument convincingly.

To put it frankly – someone who has hidden away from difficult conversations with the public and the press has no real right to associate himself with courage.

Someone who contrived relentlessly and remorselessly to oust the most successful leader this party has ever had is in ill a position to expect loyalty.

Someone with the least credible ability to argue a case or policy has no right to call himself leader."


As ever, the comments are even more cutting...



Meanwhile, The Guardian report on the call by some Labour MPs for a new type of inheritance tax, just the policy Gordon Brown wants to be associated with...



If Gordon Brown wasn't quite such a monumental disaster for this Country, I'd almost feel sorry for him - almost!

A breach of the Trade Descriptions Act?

Cannon & Ball
Paul Daniels
Frank Carson
Jimmy Cricket
Brotherhood of Man
The Krankies

The above is the advertised line-up, "coming to a town near you" for the show:

"Best of British Variety Tour 2008"


I think not...

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Koyapigaktoruk

"Global warming is not pushing the robin to extinction. Au contraire: It's expanding the robin's range northward, into places where it's never been seen. Robins are venturing so far north that they've even been sighted in the Inuit territory of northern Canada, where, Sen. John McCain tells us, there isn't even a word for the birds. Yes, even John McCain has feathered his political nest with the robin's expansion. Back in 2004, after a hearing McCain organized as chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, The New York Times' Andrew Revkin noted that he was particularly concerned about the rapid warming of the Arctic. "The Inuit language for 10,000 years never had a word for 'robin,'" McCain lamented, "and now there are robins all over their villages." The BBC even titled a program on arctic warming "No Word for 'Robin': Climate Change in the Canadian Arctic." What a shame! Pretty little birds invading the Arctic, bringing joy with their whoop of spring!"


Of course the Inuit do have at least one word for the robin - Koyapigaktoruk. Read the whole story at Greenie Watch.

"Labour government breaks rules"

Hardly earth-shattering news as they have form in this area. In this instance it seems that the Conservatives are reporting Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, of breaching Whitehall election rules and have reported her to the cabinet secretary. The reporting follows Jacqui Smith's announcement of 300 "new" police jobs to counter the threat of terrorism. (Off subject but having listened to Jacqui Smith's bad tempered interview on the not quite as Toady as she hoped programme this morning, I am not 100% convinced that this is new money) There is meant to be a three week purdah before the local elections and the Conservatives have complained that the police announcement "breaks both the convention and official rules that official Civil Service resources should not be used to attempt to influence elections in the three weeks up to elections".

The ever impressive Eric Pickles has written to the less impressive Gus O'Donnell
"It is clear that Labour ministers have intentionally broken Cabinet Office rules in an attempt to create a political smokescreen.

"They are trying to hide the fact that police authorities across the country are now axing the number of police officers, whilst hiking the police levy on council tax bills."

He added: "I fear that this is growing evidence of the politicisation of the civil service under Labour, as ministers desperately try to salvage a sinking election campaign."



Of course the Labour government believe that normal rules do not apply to them, after all they are "the political wing of the British people".

"Gordon Brown is not up to the job"

Hardly an earth-shattering view, but do take a read of Simon Heffer's column in The Telegraph. Here is an extract:

"I do not think Mr Brown is dishonest. I think he is blinkered by sociopathy, narrow-minded and inflexible in a way that is bad enough when you are right but fatal when you are wrong.

He also seems to detach himself and his actions from the consequences that are now being played out, notably in the economic arena.

Finally, he is a poor judge of people, having kept in important jobs people who are either incapable or who have the knack of instantly repelling the public. That is why his party now languishes in the polls: it is also why, given the absence of a big idea, the odds are against it reviving enough to win an outright majority at an election."



As always do read the whole article and take a browse through the comments section beneath.

"a different type of politics - a more open and honest dialogue"

"a different type of politics - a more open and honest dialogue" that's what Gordon Brown promised when he became Prime Minister back in June last year. The deputy leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman, said that under Mr Brown, there would be "no spin". However I read that
"he dramatic reversal in his popularity at the end of last year apparently triggered a dip in confidence that has led Mr Brown to appoint, on average, a new adviser every fortnight since the start of the year.

As a result, the annual wage bill for the Prime Minister's special advisers was estimated to have risen by more than £350,000 to £1.75 million - roughly the same as when Mr Blair was at No 10."



I seem to be writing a lot about the inadequacies of Gordon Brown at the moment, as are many other commentators. However I would like to point out that unlike many of them I have been doing this for more than a couple of months.

The war on drivers (yet more)

Further to lower blood alcohol limits, redefining potholes and increased motor offence fines, all news stories from the last month; today I learn that a new weapon has been unleashed against the motorist. This time it is a trial of average speed cameras monitoring a five-mile stretch of the A13 between Canning Town and the Gorsebrook interchange in the east of London.

I have experienced driving though areas controlled by average speed cameras, normally where there are roadworks on A roads or motorways. The presence of average speed cameras seems to increase the chance of accidents occurring; I find myself driving with one eye one the speedometer almost the whole time in case I should stray above the usually reduced speed limit. The other thing that happens is that the I, a very law abiding citizen, find myself resenting yet another restriction on their my life and liberty and have to come home and blog about it!

This Labour government and their local authority and police fellow travellers in the war on the motorist and the raising of revenue through fines, will not stop ratcheting up the fines, penalties and restrictions until the motorist fights back.

I am convinced that there are votes aplenty available to a political party which promised to reduce the stringency with which motorists are monitored.






UPDATE:

I think Pete Moore at A Tangled Web might agree with this article. Go and take a read.

For the record I have a clean driving licence now, although I have had a few points over the last 20+ years. Happily they have long ago expired from my driving licence.

DWP incompetence

You really couldn't make it up...

The Sun report that:

"A WOMAN who claimed a bad back made it impossible for her work was employed at the SAME Government department that paid out her benefits.

Twenty-four-year-old Joanne Kirman fraudulently obtained over £9,000 whilst employed at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)....

Prosecuting for the DWP, Warren Spencer said Kirman stated she was incapable of work but it was discovered she was employed 37 hours a week at the DWP national helpline centre in Blackpool.

The court heard it was a £15,000 a year job which Kirman obtained through a disability advisor at the Department of Work and Pensions."



You really couldn't make that sort of story up, could you?

First GOAT to leave government

It's OK, not me but Lord Jones, Curly has the detail.

BBC pro-Labour bias

The Toady programme sounds more and more like the Labour party's house radio station. For the most part overly positive about the Labour party and its leader; with a negative article allowed every so often so as to show that they are not totally under the spell of "the man". Of course these pieces of "independent thought" are always "balanced" by a more serious and harder hitting attack on the hated Conservatives. David Cameron and other leading Conservatives have a problem; if they want not to be totally savaged by the BBC then they have to try and tickle the BBC's collective tummy by sounding as cuddly and "liberal" as possible. Of course the BBC hate the Conservative party and will look for any excuse to attack them and their policies so the Conservative leadership have to as anodyne as possible when interviewed by the BBC. This lack of policy teeth then allows the Labour/BBC axis to attack the Conservatives for having no distinctive policies.

As the BBC will not change its spots and as the bias of the BBC is becoming more obvious to the general public; the question is should the Conservative leadership make clear their distaste for the pro-Labour bias of the BBC.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Keeping the economy on track is Gordon Brown's "sole focus"

Hmmm, is that a sensible thing for the Prime Minister to say? Obviously he should be concerned about the state of the economy, after all he is largely responsible for the dire state that it is in. However, from now on, is he going to completely ignore the threat from Islamic terrorists, the major problems with the NHS, the ever increasing crime and fear of crime, uncontrolled immigration and the tensions that that is exacerbating, etc. etc. etc.

Has Gordon Brown reached the point where he really has little more than a tenuous grip on reality? I think that the upcoming local election results will cause more than a little panic amongst Labour backbenchers who fear for their seats on the "gravy train".

The Breakdown of Family Life

"Without being in any way over dramatic or alarmist my prediction would be, looking back and seeing where we have come from and projecting forward on the present trajectory, that the effects of family breakdown on the life of the nation and ordinary people in this country will, within the next 20 yrs be as marked and as destructive as the affects of global warming. We are experiencing a period of family meltdown whose effects will be as catastrophic as the meltdown of the ice caps. For what is the point of pouring resources into the physical protection of society if its mental health is so damaged and undermined that life for many is so miserably unhappy that it is hardly worth living anyway."


Read the rest of a speech by Mr Justice Coleridge to the Resolution National Conference on 5 April 2008 here and weep at what this country has become and where it is heading.


"It is a never ending carnival of human misery. A ceaseless river of human distress."

Gordon Brown rumbled?

The BBC Have Your Say entitled "Can Gordon Brown revive the economy?" is eliciting lively comments. Take a look at the Readers Recommended comments; distinctly "off message".

Delusional?




Does Gordon Brown even know what he is talking about any more? This is a clip from an interview with Adam Boulton on Sky News. The captions are 3rd party, obviously.

"We had to diversify into gold", what is he talking about? As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was responsible for selling half of the Country's gold reserves in 1999 after pre-announcing the sale and so depressing the price he could obtain - rather similar to his recent prediction of an interest rate fall before the Bank of England decision and so pushing the value of Sterling.

It has been estimated that his decision to so much gold has cost the Uk around £5 billion. You might be interested in reading this article as well.
Why does Adam Boulton not pick Gordon Brown up on this?

I am all but speechless...