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Thursday, 31 July 2008

Googling (update 15)

This blog appears at position two or three when people search google.co.uk for Brown Southwold and also Gordon Brown Southwold - I am surprised but happy. Of course my stories are more interesting and less biased than those of the BBC who are positioned well below me.

Not the whole story?

The BBC are "reporting" that
"There was a 9% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in the first half of 2008 compared with the same period last year, a charity has reported.

There were 266 incidents up to June, compared with 244 last year, according to the Community Security Trust (CST)."
This article is illustrated with a photo of a swastika painted underneath a Star of David. Now I cannot find the CST report for the first six months of 2008 on their website but I did find their report for the year of 2007. In that year there seems to have been a fairly high number of anti-semitic attacks by those of an Asian, Arab or black appearance. This sort of information is of course not allowed to be reported on the BBC in case it damages Community Cohesion. Community cohesion being a phrase used to describe the way that some minority groups receive special treatment so as to try and stop some of their communities from killing members of other communities.

A dissembling he goes

Here's something to remind you why David Miliband is eminently qualified to lead the Labour party. The debate over the EU Treaty was full of half-truths and worse, here's a fine example from the Labour party's putative leader:
"The real issue is the content of the treaty; and in its structure and consequence, as well as its content, it is different from the constitution and does not meet the bar of whether it constitutes fundamental constitutional change."
See Hansard
You may want to contrast that view with those of the following:
"Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly... All the earlier proposals will be in a new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way...What was [already] difficult to understand will become utterly incomprehensible, but the substance has been retained."

Valéry Giscard D'Estaing, President of the Convention on the Future of Europe which drafted the EU Constitution.


"Our constitution cannot be reduced to a mere treaty for co-operation between governments. Anyone who has not yet grasped this fact deserves to wear the dunce's cap"

Valéry Giscard D'Estaing, President of the EU Convention, speech in Aachen accepting the Charlemagne Prize for European integration, 29th May 2003.


"Most people don't know what has been decided,we continue step by step until there is no turning back".

Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, The Economist, September 24, 2004


"The difference between the original Constitution and the present Lisbon Treaty is one of approach, rather than content."

Valéry Giscard D'Estaing, The Independent (London) October 30, 2007."


You may care to peruse some of my articles on the EU Treaty for more on the performance of David Miliband, this one would make a good start.

Fifteenth winner of the weekly NotaSheep "No shit, Sherlock" award

The BBC are "reporting" with some degree of shock that:
"Defence solicitors in England and Wales have warned serious offenders are getting off lightly because police are chasing performance targets.

They said on-the-spot fines and cautions are overused to boost convictions and avoid court cases."


"serious offenders are getting off lightly because police are chasing performance targets" and "on-the-spot fines and cautions are overused to boost convictions and avoid court cases" - No shit, Sherlock

Interesting Gordon Brown/David Miliband theory

The Mirror speculate that Gordon Brown may offer David Miliband the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer to "bind him in" and make him heir apparent.

Just think about it, the man who fell for this trick when played by Tony Blair is rumoured to be trying it on David Miliband. Now who would be the more stupid, Gordon Brown for trying the trick he fell for, on someone else or David Miliband if he fell for it?

Crime and punishment

I have planning a big post on this for a while but work has got in the way, so here's a taster.

The news is being reported today that
"serious offenders are getting off lightly because police are chasing performance targets"

and that
"I've known a caution for a serious offence of actual bodily harm where the victim required stitches." ... "A caution was issued for having a house full of cannabis plants. A 20-year-old man who had unlawful sex with a 15-year-old was cautioned."
and that
"Solicitors have also described how some offenders exploit the system by giving false addresses and said there was no proper confirmation of their identity. They also said half of fines are not paid in full. Mr Johnson said: "The criminals play the system day in day out. They admit the offence quickly to qualify for a ticket, which is the fastest way of getting out of the police station.""

We also learn that
"Another solicitor who works with the Ministry of Justice described the system as "staggering and deranged". "The bottom is falling out of the criminal justice system, workload in London courts is easily down by half."

We further learn that
"The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank and file police officers, says that pressure on forces to improve crime detection rates is to blame. A federation spokesman said officers are being "encouraged to dispense instant justice where at all possible". He said: "It's a dumbing down of the criminal justice system. Persistent offenders, like shoplifters for example, can cross county borders picking up £80 fines and never pay them.""


What is really happening is this, the government has run out of money for the criminal justice system, they cannot afford to build any more prisons. They want to appear tough on crime but are infested with the kind of people who think that criminals are really just victims of society. The government also want to reduce the crime figures so as to reassure an ever more worried public and offence reduction is a good way of doing this, it also has the side-benefit of increasing crime detection rates.

There is of course still one area where no leniency is given, no allowances made for the perpetrator of the "crime". That is the area of traffic offences; if you park on a traffic meter for 2 minutes over the length of stay you have paid for, you will get a £40 or £50 fine. If you exceed the 50mph speed limit on an empty A-road at 4am and are caught on a speed camera, you will get a fine and three points and have your insurance increased as a result. Get caught four times in five years and you will lose your driving licence and so possibly your job.

In Labour Britain a repeat burglar will get chance after chance before even getting sentenced to a community sentence (which he need not even attend). In Labour Britain a thug may cause physical damage and yet just receive a fine (which he need not pay). In Labour Britain a driver will be charged, sentenced and fined all before he gets out of his car. Justice, don't make me laugh.

In Labour Britain in 2008 I worry more about being caught speeding and so losing my driving licence than any scrote worries about being caught and punished for carrying a knife, or burgling a house or dealing drugs.

Well done Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the succession of incompetent Home Secretaries who have presided over the collapse in law and order in this Country over the last 11 years. Thanks also to the increasingly politicised police force for worrying more about inclusivity and community relations than crime prevention and detection. Between you, you have well and truly screwed this Country over - are you proud?

Which is the least trustworthy?



David Miliband or Ed Miliband, tough choice isn't it? You can also "enjoy" the equally viable Hilary Benn.

I know I have posted this video before but since David Miliband is accused of wanting to be our Prime Minister, I think it only right that the public see him in all his glory.

David Miliband keeps it up?

The appearance of David Miliband on the Jeremy Vine Radio 3 show from 1pm today could be interesting. The show's website says that
"After 13:00 Jeremy will be speaking live to the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who'll answers listener questions on the Labour leadership, Europe and Iran."
I wonder which David Miliband will be on show today, the one who fearlessly wrote an article for Comment is Free outlining the way for Labour to fight back, without once mentioning Gordon Brown, or the one who subsequently had to perform a partial recant. I think a certain "Gordon of Southwold" might want to ring in with some questions of his own or maybe he will leave that to "Ed of dual subsidised mortgage".

More good news for Gordon Brown

This is news from the weekend but it is still worth considering the implications of it. The Telegraph reported that:
"Gordon Brown has suffered a fresh blow to his political authority with an opinion poll showing the Conservatives enjoying a 24-point lead among voters in key marginal constituencies."
A poll carried out by CrosbyTextor in 30 key marginals showed the following voting intentions - Conservative 41%, Lib Dems 18%, Labour 17%. A year ago a similar poll had Labour six points ahead of the Conservatives (32% to 26%). Of the 30 seats in which the opinion poll was held, 20 seats are held by Labour, nine by the Liberal Democrats and one by the SNP.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Rumours, rumours, rumours

The Scotsman is reporting that
"PANICKING Labour ministers are considering a 'suicide election' to give the party a fresh start under a new leader, following their humiliating defeat at the hands of the SNP in the Glasgow East by-election.
Senior figures disillusioned with Gordon Brown want a senior Cabinet minister to take over the party leadership and head immediately to the polls either this autumn or next spring, even if defeat is the likely option.

They believe such a move would be better than Brown clinging on to office until 2010 when, they fear, the party would face a wipe-out on the scale of that inflicted on the Tories by Labour in 1997."
The ferrets in a sack fight it out:
"Jack Straw, the Lord Chancellor, is being touted as the ideal stop-gap leader.

There were claims last night that MPs close to Straw were actively seeking support on behalf of the Justice Secretary.

One Labour MP is reported as claiming that backbencher George Howarth had told him Straw was "ready to tell Gordon that the game was up" so long as he had enough backing.

The Justice Secretary's spokesman insisted last night, however, that Straw had "not sanctioned this behaviour", adding that MPs needed to "calm down" over the crisis.

One minister said: "The worst case scenario for the Labour Party is that we carry on with Gordon as leader and then have an election at the time of his choosing.

"If we got rid of him and went for an immediate option, that would still be a better result for us than waiting for him. There is no one in the Labour Party who is capable of running the party worse than him."

"This isn't about Gordon any more," said another senior party figure. "This is about the Labour Party and the number of people who are looking at their jobs."

Other reports suggested one contender for the job, James Purnell, had formed a pact with Foreign Secretary David Miliband, promising not to stand in his way if Miliband stood following a Brown resignation.

One senior Scottish party figure said of the 'suicide' option: "We get it over now and we don't allow the Tories to build a swing like the one we had in 1997. The way things are going, we are heading for a Tory Party victory on the scale of 1997."

Last night, one Government source opposed to Brown said: "The Cabinet now has to do something. What is Alistair Darling going to do and what is Jack Straw going to do? We have to get rid of him. There is no support for him staying."

Those who back deposing Brown say that, even if they were to lose the snap election, it would be better than staying on in power. They say David Cameron's Conservatives would be forced into power without having prepared enough for the tough economic times ahead."


Can you smell the fear and the panic amongst the Labour chiefs, doesn't it smell good?

More bad news for Gordon

I see that in June David Miliband was voted top in a vote of the British politicians single gay men in the country would most like to take on a date. The Milipede received 39% of the votes beating David Cameron (20%) into second place, Douglas Alexander was third with 17%, Nick Clegg was fourth place with 13%, fifth came Alan Duncan with 11% (as far as I am aware the only gay politician in the top five). Not a sign of Gordon Brown in the list, he must be gutted.

Recant time

David Miliband has had to recant
"Can Gordon lead us into the next election and win? Yes. I'm absolutely confident about that"
David Miliband has had to name Gordon Brown in his press conference reference to his article in Comment Is Free.

I imagine that the phone lines from Suffolk to London must have been red-hot today and the Milipede has backed down because like all of the "challengers" he is a coward. Milipede chickened out of challenging Gordon Brown last year and unless Gordon Brown goes gracefully, he will checken out again; I don't think Milipede has the balls to fight Gordon Brown.

The in-fighting continues

This could be the spectator sport of the summer; watching the Labour party fighting like ferrets in a sack. Following this and this I now learn that Gordon Brown's team are fighting back, The Standard are reporting that
"Gordon Brown's allies today hit back with savage anger at David Miliband after he unveiled his vision to rescue the Labour Party.

They accused the Foreign Secretary of being "disloyal" and "self-serving" and of lacking "judgment and maturity"."

...

One of them said: "I think MPs will be appalled. David Miliband has shown himself to be not only disloyal but also self-serving.

"People at least thought he was a serious figure and a grown-up politician but by allowing his head to be turned by this leadership nonsense, he has revealed a surprising lack of judgment and maturity."


In further news, 600 Labour councillors, activists and union members are said to have signed a letter backing a potential "stalking horse" to force out Mr Brown.


Having a nice break in Southwold Mr Brown? Keen to come back to Downing Street are we? Southwold's not far from London so why not nip back and see if your Downing Street pass is still valid.

Downfall of Gordon Brown



Yet another Downfall re-subtitling job, and a rather good one.

Someone just asked me if I felt at all sorry for Gordon Brown, the mouthful of Diet Coke that came out of my mouth as I snorted with derision probably was answer enough. No humiliation meted out to Gordon Brown will be enough as far as I am concerned.

The manoeuvering continues

David Miliband has apparently got a nationwide pre-conference tour planned for next month and rumours abound that his conference speech will range wider than his Foreign policy brief. John McDonnell's website has been updated and he looks ready to enter the competition to succeed Gordon Brown. Harriet Harman has had to deny reports that she said "this is my moment" when she watched television reports on the Glasgow East by-election. 10 junior ministers are rumoured to be considering resigning to force Gordon Brown out. John Craig reports that there may be some Prosecco plotting. Finally, for now, it is rumoured that Nick Clegg is ready to target Labour seats rather than Conservative ones, this could mean Labour winning even less seats than is currently predicted - some are even predicting that they may win less seats than the Lib Dems.

Having a good holiday Gordon?

David Miliband's article decoded

Andrew Pierce does the decoding, take a read...

Has the race to succeed Gordon Brown started?

First we had Harriet Harman clumsily claiming to be in charge whilst Gordon endures his holiday in Southwold. Then we had Harriet Harman's quite dangerous proposals on changing the laws on murder and manslaughter to the benefit of women; proposals that BBC 5Live seemed ready to approve of, some very positive publicity for Harriet there. Then David Miliband managed to write an article for the Guardian's Comment is Free entitled
"Against all odds we can still win, on a platform for change - Labour must stop feeling sorry for itself, enjoy a break, and return afresh to expose the emptiness of the Tory alternative"
without mentioning the great helmsman Gordon Brown even once.

So that's Harriet and one Miliband on the leadership trail, how long can Jack Straw, Ed Balls and the media favourite Alan "I don't think I've got the capabilities" Johnson leave it before they start their push?

Vague and misleading questions?

I blogged recently about the The YouGov poll for the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) that found that almost a third of British Muslim students believe killing in the name of Islam can be justified and that two in five Muslims at university support the incorporation of Islamic sharia codes into British law. Thankfully it appears that we can stop worrying as the National Union of Students' president, Wes Streeting, has said that the Islam on Campus report was a "reflection of the biases and prejudices of a right wing think tank -- not the views of Muslim students across Britain".

Somehow I am not completely reassured. Wes Streeting posted a report of the July 2005 NEC Meeting that followed the 7th July bombings, when four Muslim men blew themselves and many innocent commuters and travellers up in the name of Islam, What did Wes Streeting have to say on that occasion? Here's an extract:
"Response to the terrorist attacks on London

The events of the previous Thursday were on our minds and the NEC agenda. Jamal and I had both submitted Emergency Motions on the terrorist attacks, but we all agreed that it would be more productive under the circumstances to have an informal discussion based around the motions and the issues to decide what we could do collectively to tackle some of the challenges arising out the attacks.

There were really three things on my mind during that discussion: outrage at what had happened and sorrow for those affected; gratitude towards the staff and management of NUS who had spent a great deal of time phoning around to make sure everyone was safe; and horror at an e-mail I had received from the Muslim Safety Forum over the weekend recounting a spate of unjustified and unprovoked attacks against black people and people of different faiths following the attacks. A Mosque in Leeds was attacked with a petrol bomb, there had been an arson attack on a Sikh Gurdwara, reports of ABH, malicious communications (including towards NEC members) and other racist and fascist attacks. I’ve since learned that the BNP have been peddling their racist filth through the letter boxes of Becontree, near where I live, where a by-election is taking place with slogans like ‘Isn’t it time you listened to the BNP’ and images of the attacks. That the BNP should use these attacks to spread fear and suspicion and misdirect outrage against terrorism into hatred towards innocent people is despicable. Whatever your party, whatever your politics, I would urge everyone to get involved in the fight against fascism wherever it presents itself."
Always good to see a leftist taking an attack by some Muslims and turning it into an "all the fault of the BNP" type piece.

In October 2007 Wes Streeting posted a piece entitled "Academic freedom, religious freedom and progressive political leadership", it's the text of a speech he gave to the "annual conference of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies". Take a read of this and draw your own conclusions.

I was also interested by Wes Streetling's piece pre the London Mayoral election. Unsurprisingly the slogan "Re-elect Ken" is prominently displayed as is Wes's slightly warped world view - apparently:
"Ken’s the kind of mayor who’s shown real leadership. From his stoic response to the 7/7 bombings that united London, as terrorists tried to turn us against each other and the Muslim community came under attack"
Ah it was the Muslim community that came under attack, odd I thought that the people who died, including a friend's wife, and those that were injured were attacked by some Muslim terrorists. I do not condone any reprisal attacks on Muslims as a result of the 7/7 bombings as the majority of Muslims are peaceful citizens of this Country BUT to turn the horrendous attacks of 7/7 into being about an attack on the Muslim community is just not a fair reflection of events.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Men are bad, women are good

I've read the reports of Harriet Harman's proposals, I've listened to the justifications and I have read the articles by Julie Bindel that praise Harriet Harman's proposals. If I am right then it appears that the "provocation defence" will be removed from men whilst a woman who cold-bloodedly and pre-premeditatedly kills her "abusive" partner would not be charged with murder.

If you want some background to this story, can I suggest you read Julie Bindel's Guardian "Comment is Free" article entitled "Why I hate men" and also Erin Pizzey's article in The Mail.

This proposal leaves me feeling rather uneasy about what further legislation may follow. I suppose that if Harriet Harman succeeds Gordon Brown as Prime Minister then we men will just have to suffer under the feminist boot. Harriet Harman joked that if she became Prime Minister the airports wouldn't be able to cope with the numbers of men fleeing the Country, she may not be too far from the truth...

Thanks to "Young Mr Grace" on Guido's blog I have found the images I wanted. One of the Two Ronnies' serials was "The worm that turned" about a UK now run by women with men doing all the subservient work. The women were always in tight leather uniforms with very short shorts, ah the memories...

Barack Obama or "We are the world"

The Bitch Girls have a great quiz to see if you can tell whether phrases are Obama’s or are lifted from "We Are The World". have a go at the quiz yourself...

Sorry, this isn't satire!


When I saw this advertisement I assumed it was an Onion style spoof. I am staggered to learn that MoveOn.Org is a real Democratic Party supporting organisation. Take a look at the rest of their "news", I especially enjoyed their
"Al Gore's bold challenge to get 100% of our electricity from cheap, clean sources within 10 years is already under attack from the oil and coal companies. Can you sign our petition to help turn back Big Oil's attack on Al Gore?"
It's going to take more than HOPE.

The new John Prescott

Last week we were told by the BBC that:
"Gordon Brown will be in charge of the government this summer even while he is away on holiday...

When his predecessor Tony Blair jetted off for sunnier climes, his deputy John Prescott famously took the reins.

But this is not the case for Mr Brown. His spokesman said: "The prime minister is the prime minister and remains in charge whether he's on holiday or not.""

Today we are told that:
"Harriet Harman has sought to end the questions over who is in charge while Gordon Brown is on holiday by saying: "I'm minding the shop this week."

Downing Street had earlier said that Ms Harman was one of "a number of senior ministers in London to deal with the day to day business of government".

The spokesman said "the prime minister remains in charge while on holiday".

But, after her comments, he said "she is the minister who is co-ordinating government business this week".

When Tony Blair used to holiday abroad it became an annual tradition that John Prescott would act as stand-in prime minister during August.

But the prime minister's official spokesman had declined to say that Ms Harman was in charge when he was asked repeatedly about it at Monday morning briefing for lobby journalists.

He said she was one of the senior ministers seeing through the daily business of government - and stressed that Mr Brown was still in charge during his bucket-and-spade English beach holiday.

He did admit that Ms Harman, who appeared on BBC1's Andrew Marr programme on Sunday and GMTV on Monday, "has held meetings in Downing Street this morning".

Later on Monday Ms Harman was asked what her role was by the BBC's Carole Walker, which is when she said she was "minding the shop while the proprietor is on holiday".

After this, No 10 agreed that she was the person co-ordinating the government's work "this week".

Different senior ministers are due to take on the coordination role in the next two weeks - expected to be Chancellor Alistair Darling next week, followed by Justice Secretary Jack Straw."

Just feel that confusion as to who is in charge and when. Of course the real problem is that Gordon Brown cannot bear to have anyone in charge except himself and fears a challenge to his remaining authority coming from any and all angles. As the paranoia kicks in, his actions do seem less and less rational; I wonder how long he has left as Prime Minister.

So do you feel safer with Harriet Harman in charge rather than Gordon Brown? Will you feel safer with Alistair Darling in charge? How about Jack Straw? Don't tell me that you long for the days when John Prescott was left minding the shop!

Death in the sun

The death of Catherine Mullany and serious injury to her new husband Benjamin has affected me quite a lot. Mrs NotaSheep and myself stayed at at the same Cocos Hotel, Antigua a few years back and one of the photos of the honeymoon couple is in a place where we have photos of us. The cottages at Cocos are no less secure than others that we have stayed in in the Caribbean, although compared to a European hotel that is not saying a lot. Caribbean hotel cottages like those at Cocos often have very simple door locks but those at Cocos are also very open on the sea-side of the room, the room we stayed in had wooden shuttered doors that opened onto a balcony with a tiny lock and a bathroom that opened onto the end of the same balcony (where the open air shower was). Security in Caribbean hotels has worried us for some years to the extent that we have chosen hotels with air-conditioning rather than relying on the tradewinds and open doors. This is a real shame as sleeping with the sound of the Caribbean sea crashing against the sand or rocks is so restful. I understand that the storage of keys was not all that secure as a woman being interviewed on 5Live this morning said she saw the keys some years ago sitting on nicely numbered pegs in an unsecured room.

The Caribbean is a place of great contrasts, beautiful beaches and friendly people and Mrs NotaSheep and myself love it. Many of the hotels we have stayed at have had security guards on patrol but this is the Caribbean and the guard is as likely to be an "old retainer" type as a young fit guard.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Clever chimp

Clever chimp.

Education and the power of fear

To Miss With Love has an excellent piece about why children turn from obedient year 6's into lippy year 7's. The reason appears to be that
"these children have been told just how strict secondary school is going to be. They have been read lists of rules and consequences, by several different people. They have been told how lucky they are to be at this school, and they know that they should be grateful. They don't want to jeopardize their places at this wonderful school which they and their parents fought so hard to get into. They are frightened on so many levels..... Come September of course, these children will still behave angelically. They will be angels for about 4 to 6 weeks. Over that time, reality will slowly dawn on them. They will begin to notice that while school SAYS that X is expected, in reality, it is not. While school SAYS that X behaviour will result in one losing one's place at the school, in reality, rarely, if ever, does a child get permanently excluded."

As Miss Snuffleupagus says at the beginning of her article
"Fear of getting caught does not have an effect on crime they say. Fear of punishment is not a deterrent they say. Well, I'm not too sure about what they say."

One of the troubles with this Country is that we are no longer allowed to make anyone feel uncomfortable lest they complain or sue. Fear is a good motivator to keep people law-abiding, but it is not a weapon that we have in our armoury any more.

"Why Bush has been a liberal's best friend"

Nick Cohen's article in Sunday's Guardian Comment Is Free section is well worth a read as it identifies the "left's" potential problems with having a black liberal American president:
"the liberal-left in Europe and North America has been lucky to have Bush.

By building him up into a great Satan, the oil man who invades countries to seize their reserves and the Christian who orders bloody crusades, they have hidden the totalitarian threats of our age from themselves and anyone who listens to them. Bush allowed them to explain away radical Islam as an understandable, even legitimate, response to the hypocrisies and iniquities of American policy. Even those in the European elites who do not buy the full 'America has it coming' package believe that Bush is a cowboy who doesn't understand that the postmodern way to end conflict is to compromise rather than fight.

In January, Bush will be history, leaving liberals all alone in a frightening world. Little else will change. Radical Islam will still authorise murder without limit, Iran will still want the bomb and the autocracies of China and Russia will still be growing in wealth and confidence. All those who argued that the 'root cause' of the Bush administration lay behind the terror will find that the terror still flourishes when the root cause has retired."

The liberal left in the US and Europe love Barack Obama mostly because he is the anti-Bush and partly because he is black. When/if Barack Obama becomes President and has to make unpopular decisions they will learn to deride him, just as the left in the UK learnt to deride and then hate Tony Blair.

As I said last week, many people have fallen for Barack Obama in the way that many fell for the easy charm and the "pretty straight guy" persona of Tony Blair. I believe that Barack Obama is as straight a politician as Tony Blair was. Just like Blair, Obama wants power and probably also the money and lifestyle that goes with that power. Eventually the penny dropped that Tony Blair was not a "pretty straight guy" and one day the same will happen re Barack Obama. I just hope that America and the world do not have to suffer because the US electorate were taken in by a smooth talking (when on auto-cue) salesman, supported by a star-struck liberal media.

Remember this in six months or so

The BBC are reporting that:
"Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has warned that any leadership challenge to Gordon Brown would be "pointless" and "divisive".

He said no potential successor had the "right skills" to replace the PM."

Remember that "no potential successor had the "right skills" to replace the PM" comment and be ready to quote it back to John Prescott when a new leader takes over from Gordon Brown and John Prescott is lauding the new leader as just as skilful as Gordon Brown.

Time is relative

The Number 10 website has an email the PM page. The page has read as follows for over a month now:
"This service has been temporarily suspended for maintenance work. Don't worry, we are still accepting faxes and letters, and you can still let us know your opinions via an epetition or on our new Twitter service.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We hope to be back up and running in a few days.

23 June 2008"
"A few days" or five weeks, I suppose it doesn't matter when you are listening and learning and keeping on...

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler & others



Hmmm

Pick a song

It is reported that David Cameron's present to Barack Obama included albums by Radiohead, The Smiths and Lily Allen. I idly wondered what songs would relate to Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. "This Charming Man" for David Cameron, "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" for Gordon Brown, but for Barack Obama?

It's exam time...

Don't cheat now, this is a really important exam question....

This exam has only one question, but it's a very important one. By giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally.
The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision.
Remember that your answer needs to be honest, yet spontaneous.
Please scroll slowly down the question and give due consideration to each line.


The situation:

You are in England, York to be exact.
There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding.
This is a flood of biblical proportions.
You are a photo-journalist working for a major newspaper, and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless.
You're trying to shoot career-making photos.
There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing into the water.
Nature is unleashing all its destructive fury.

The question:
Suddenly, you see a man in the water.
He is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken down with the debris.
You move closer...
Somehow, the man looks familiar...
You suddenly realise who it is...
...It's Gordon Brown!
You notice that the raging waters are about to take him under forever. You have two options:

You can wither save the life of Gordon Brown or you can shoot a dramatic prize-winning photo, documenting the death of one of the country's most powerful men!

The question:

Here's the question, and please give an honest answer...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
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.
.
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Would you select high contrast colour film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?

Social cohesion?

The Times reports that:
"ALMOST a third of British Muslim students believe killing in the name of Islam can be justified, according to a poll.

The study also found that two in five Muslims at university support the incorporation of Islamic sharia codes into British law.

The YouGov poll for the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) will raise concerns about the extent of campus radicalism. “Significant numbers appear to hold beliefs which contravene democratic values,” said Hannah Stuart, one of the report’s authors. “These results are deeply embarrassing for those who have said there is no extremism in British universities.”

...

The researchers highlighted Queen Mary college, part of London University, as a campus where radical views were widely held. Last December, a speaker named Abu Mujahid encouraged Muslim students to condemn gays because “Allah hates” homosexuality. In November, Azzam Tamimi, a British-based supporter of Hamas, described Israel as the most “inhumane project in the modern history of humanity”.

James Brandon, deputy director at CSC , said: “Our researchers found a ghettoised mentality among Muslim students at Queen Mary. Also, we found the segregation between Muslim men and women at events more visible at Queen Mary.”

...

In the report, 40% of Muslim students said it was unacceptable for Muslim men and women to associate freely. Homophobia was rife, with 25% saying they had little or no respect for gays. The figure was higher (32%) for male Muslim students. Among nonMuslims, the figure was only 4%.

The research found that a third of Muslim students supported the creation of a world-wide caliphate or Islamic state."

I foresee trouble ahead; the recent rioting in Paris, Amsterdam and other European cities will be replicated in London and further afield.

The fine is the important thing

Yet again I read of a local council in full revenue collecting mode. This time it is Harringey council who fined a Muswell Hill shop owner £75 a bag for four bags of rubbish left out in black (residential) rather than grey (trade) bags. Apparently the fashion boutique manager said that officials burst into the shop in front of customers and accused her of committing a crime. The news that the council has backed down and dropped the fine does not really reassure me, we are living in times where the rule of law is diminishing across this Country but local councils are happy to concentrate on fining people for minor waste disposal infringements and parking fines, whilst the Police issue crime numbers for burglaries as they are only interested in speeding motorists.

The worst might be over?

Mortgage experts are claiming that the fact that mortgage rates have eased slightly is the final proof that the worst of the financial turmoil is over; they are wrong, so very wrong. I am expecting further banking collapses and at least one insurance company to fail before the end of 2008.

Opinion polls

I have just found Sky News' Poll Tracker, rather useful and interesting. I especially like looking at period June 2007 to June 2008, I can't think why!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Welcome Today listeners

I see that my blog is appearing as the first "REACTION FROM AROUND THE WEB" link on the Gordon Brown will he stay or will he go story. I appear above James Forsyth in The Spectator and David Jones MP, but after a quotation from The Osterley Times - fame at last, just as shame it's not my best piece.

Gordon Brown's Southwold holiday

When this was announced we were lead to believe that this was a move away from the starry holidays taken by Tony Blair in Barbados etc. I presume we were meant to think of him staying frugally in a little B&B somewhere. Sky News are reporting this slightly differently; they believe he will be spending £4,500 a week to stay here...

Keeping Chiswick clean



The dancing bin man/street cleansing operative Ziggy Dust (real name Zbigniew Colbecki) keeping Chiswick clean and entertained; in this case, specifically Turnham Green Terrace.

Gordon Who?

The BBC are reporting Barack Obama's visit to the UK with a picture of Barack Obama meeting Gordon Brown (further on there is a photo of Obama and Blair, I doubt that a photo if Obama and David Cameron will be up there soon).

CNN get their priorities right, leading with the photo of Obama and Blair, rather than Obama and Brown.

I would have thought that Barack Obama would want to be seen with the next Prime Minister of the UK rather than an ex-Prime Minister and a soon to be ex-Prime Minister. On that basis maybe he should make time for a meeting with Jack Straw as well as David Cameron.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Catchiest song of the year so far



Kendel Carson - "Big Trucks"

I first heard this on Danny Baker's excellent afternoon Radio London show, then found it on a Word magazine compilation album and now here's the video.

The video above is fairly poor quality, you can find a better quality one here.


I seem to be enjoying Country Music more and more as I get older, why is that?

Gordon Brown reacts to bad news

"My job is to listen and to lead, and that is what I will do..... people want to be assured that the government will steer them through these difficult economic times. I think that over the next few months it will become clear that the decisions we have made ... will see the economy through and ... will prepare the economy for the upturn and for prosperity to follow."

That quotation from a Q&A by Gordon Brown was not from today and the aftermath of the Glasgow East by-election, it was from May 2 this year as Gordon Brown reacted to his party's drubbing in the local elections. You can see the video at The Guardian website.

Has the economy improved over the last "few months"? Are we ready for the "upturn and prosperity to follow"? Is Gordon Brown the most deluded man ever to be Prime Minister of this Country?


Today Gordon Brown and his cabinet of knaves has been spouting the same crap about having to listen and learn and him being the right man to lead the Country. You can see some of this on the Sky news website. But it is all rubbish, does anyone outside of Government believe it? Does anyone in Government believe it?

A successor to Gordon Brown

The Sun reported in May that an opinion poll showed that however unpopular Gordon Brown was the alternatives were worse:

"But Labour would be doing EVEN WORSE if Gordon Brown was dumped for another leader, our exclusive YouGov survey reveals....

Our poll shows that Labour would be in deeper trouble even if they were led by Tony Blair.

And it confirms potential successors Ed Balls, David Miliband, Jack Straw, Harriet Harman, Andy Burnham, Alan Johnson and James Purnell would ALL make things even worse in voters’ eyes.

Asked if voters would back Labour under a different leader, all of the suggested alternatives have a minus net reading.

This means they would all make Labour’s position in a general election worse...

YouGov asked voters if they would be more or less likely to vote Labour if a string of candidates were leader instead of Mr Brown.

Taking the two results, Tony Blair would have a minus three rating.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw would be on minus four and Foreign Secretary David Miliband the same.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson would also be on minus four as would Culture supremo Andy Burnham.

Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell notched up minus five.

And least popular would be deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman and Schools Secretary Ed Balls, both on minus 10."

Sweet reading isn't it?

Is that the sound of a bell tolling for Gordon Brown?

I hear that Paul Kenny the leader of the GMB Trade Union has said that Gordon Brown should stand in a leadership election this autumn so as to gauge his own support within the Labour party.

I predict that this will not happen, the Labour party are very panicky at the moment - even the LabourHome website is reporting "The host server has taken too long to generate a HTTP response"., but Gordon Brown has not waited over a decade to become Prime Minister only to lose it without a fight. He is a very stubborn man and he believes matters will come round if only he and his team work longer and take more control; he's completely wrong about this, but he does believe it.

As I have said before and no doubt will say again:

1. The problem for the Labour party is that Gordon has coveted the position of Prime Minister for so long that he could no more give it up voluntarily than a drug addict could give up his drug of choice. Gordon Brown understands that to leave office without a general election win to his name would destroy his place in history so he will soldier on, hoping for a change in fortune or a self-inflicted disaster to strike the Conservative party; something, anything.


2. I will be happy to see Gordon Brown forced out of office against his will as he has been a disaster for the UK for the past 11 years, although no doubt an excuse will be found as to why he has had to retire. What worries me is that Labour will then call a general election and lose it leaving the Conservatives to shoulder some of the blame for the coming economic firestorm.

I want Gordon Brown, Jack Straw, Alistair Darling, Ed Balls, Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, David Milband, Des Browne, Hilary Benn, Douglas Alexander, Ruth Kelly, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband, Charles Clarke, Alistair Milburn, David Blunkett and the rest of the current Cabinet and ex-Cabinet members to have to shoulder all of the blame for what is going to happen to the UK and I want them to hate every minute of it. The look of embarrassed discomfort on their faces will be something to enjoy whilst the UK economy and society collapse around us. I fear that what is coming will be extremely unpleasant and I wish that I and Mrs NotaSheep had joined the two million and left the UK before this year.


3. The Labour party have such financial problems that they may not be able to afford a general election campaign in the short-term. Their best chance of getting money is via the tried and trusted method of allocating grants for union modernisation and receiving the money back as union funding of the Labour party. Dare they tread that route again?


For what it is worth, I think that it is soon for a general election. The economy has not yet collapsed and when it does I want there to be a Labour Prime Minister and I want that PM to be Gordon Brown. Although I do believe that Gordon Brown may now be following a "scorched earth" policy and that he can do a lot of damage over the next 22 months, I do also want Gordon Brown to suffer for as long as possible and for his image and reputation to become as low as it is possible to be. I want him to be so despised and derided that he wants to leave the Country and never come back. Except to prevent this, I want his passport taken from him and him made to live amongst the chaos that he has masterminded.

Conservative supporters don't approve of the BBC!

Conservatives don't approve of the BBC is the amazing conclusion being drawn from the PHI5000 report that (my emphasis)
"The panel have been asked since April to give their opinion on a range of British institutions. The BBC has consistently received the highest net approval rating of all the institutions included in the PHI5000 tracker,and currently has a score of 30.

However, a breakdown of figures by political affiliation reveals that this high rating is due to the overwhelming approval of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters, who each currently give the BBC a net approval rating of 50.

In contrast, the score from Conservative supporters stands at just 7, meaning it has now fallen not only below 'Broadsheet newspapers’, but also ‘British Business and Businessmen’ and the Bank of England in their estimation."

Now why would Labour and Liberal democrat supporters be relatively happy with the BBC and Conservatives not? Puzzling isn't it?

By-election, what by-election?

I was driving and listening to Radio London this morning and was - I was going to write "shocked" or "surprised", but in reality I am neither - unsurprised to hear that last night's by-election result had completely dropped off of the news bulletins. It's not a London story and we had already covered it pre 09:00 might be the excuse proffered. So let's look at the running order of the 10:00 news bulletin:
1. Oyster card problems on London's transport system - a good, current, breaking news local, story
2. UK economy grew by 0.2% in second quarter of the year - a good, current, breaking news, national story
3. Barack Obama is flying to France and then the US following his speech in Berlin - an international story with an upcoming London angle - the first story deemed worthy of an outside broadcast piece
4. The GP practices petition - a national story with local implications, but no real urgency to it
5. The Qantas plan's emergency landing - The plane had left the UK from London so I suppose it had some local news value
6. The furore over Enfield council's closure of a sports ground - a local story but worthy of two outside broadcast pieces?
Then the news moved onto Sport and Weather.

So in the whole news bulletin, not a word about the Glasgow East by-election. A by-election where the party that is in government in Westminster lost its 25th safest seat in the country. A result that leaves larger questions hanging over Gordon Brown's future as Prime Minister. Not a word about the result? Do the BBC in London not have a duty to inform London of major national political stories? Who decided not to cover the story in the news bulletins? I think we can all guess at the reasons.

Why the Photoshopping?


I saw this piece yesterday but couldn't confirm the authenticity of the pictures and so didn't blog it. From the coverage spreading it would appear that the Sun did indeed edit a photo of Prince William and his comrades by erasing the rastafarian "driving" the boat. Three questions strike me: first, why erase the man in the first place? Second, why leave his knee there, having erased the rest of him? Third, why also erase the engine, how do they think the boat is powered?

A slave!

Up until now I just couldn't bring myself to comment on Sepp Blatter's comments that modern footballers were victims of "modern slavery" or Cristiano Ronaldo's comments that he was being treated like a slave by Manchester United. The whole ridiculousness of the remarks left me unable to respond properly.

Today I see that The Daily Mash has covered the story with their usual aplomb:
"FOOTBALLER Cristiano Ronaldo is being lined up to star in a multi-million dollar remake of the epic TV series Roots.

Producers say the star's treatment at the hands of Manchester United make him the perfect choice to portray the young African slave who is beaten by his brutal masters.

The Portuguese winger said he had been traumatised by 'outrageous' demands that he honour the £125,000 a week, legally-binding contract, which has brought him only, misery, adulation and Gemma Atkinson.

Speaking from the titanium gazebo in the rose garden of his 31-room mansion, Ronaldo said: "I feel I can relate to the suffering of African slaves."

Do read the rest of "The Daily Mash" article, it captures the sheer lack of proportionality that this story shows.

Seen through the Labour prism

As is generally the case, the BBC are reporting the SNP's victory in the Glasgow East by-election from a Labour point of view.
"SNP stuns Labour in Glasgow East" - "The Scottish National Party has pulled off a stunning by-election victory by winning Glasgow East, one of Labour's safest seats by 365 votes.

The SNP overturned a Labour majority of 13,507 to win with a swing of 22.54%.

The SNP polled 11,277 votes in the contest, while the Tories came third with 1,639 and the Lib Dems, with 915 votes, came fourth.

SNP candidate John Mason said the victory was "off the Richter Scale", while Labour expressed disappointment.

Voter turnout was 42.25%, down on the 48% figure at the last election, with 26,219 votes cast.

The result was declared at Glasgow's Tollcross Leisure Centre in the early hours of Friday, after a re-count was requested by Labour, which won 10,912 votes in the contest."
The SNP victor, John Mason is given a couple of lines to express his views and then it is straight into Labour party navel gazing, complete with the Labour reflex line from Douglas Alexander that his party needed to "learn the lessons" from the "bad result" and from Margaret Curran that "I do believe the Labour Party has to listen and has to hear the message from the people of Glasgow East." Yet again we hear of the need for Labour to listen and learn; surely the public are speaking VERY LOUDLY and what they are saying is "we are sick of you, please go away".

The BBC allocate another few lines to the SNP further down the article before returing to the Labour party prism:
"BBC Scotland's political editor, Brian Taylor, said it was an appalling result for Labour in a constituency it had held in various guises virtually since the party came into existence.

He said: "Will it add to the pressure on Gordon Brown? Of course. Frankly, though, I don't expect him to stand down any time soon.

"He already knew he faced a tough fight. It will, however, increase the trepidation around him."



I decided to look at the other pages devoted to the Glasgow East result and consequences. The page entitled "'Shockwaves' for Labour" although headed "How serious is defeat for Brown?" on the actual page. This page is devoted almost entirely to the effect of the result on the Labour party's fortunes. The next page is entitled "SNP delivers political earthquake" but begins
"Margaret Curran started her campaign in Glasgow East by declaring that the "Labour fightback starts here"."
and is more of a history of the by-election result than anything else and devotes more time to the Labour party than the SNP.


I shall be listening to the Toady/Today programme to see how funereal it is this morning. If James Naughtie is presenting then I forsee much gloom.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Another Barack Obama misspeak

Barack Obama seems to have a problem with exaggerating, some might say with telling the truth. There are plenty of examples on the web and many on this blog, see my last post for some examples.

The latest example comes from a news conference in Israel

How odd, Barack Obama calls the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, "my committee". Very odd as the members of this committee are listed as:

"Christopher J. Dodd Chairman (D-CT)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Robert P. Casey (D-PA)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Richard C. Shelby Ranking Member (R-AL)
Robert F. Bennett (R-UT)
Wayne Allard (R-CO)
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
Mel Martinez (R-FL)"


As far as I am aware, in his long and brilliant career in the US Senate, Barack Obama has held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs up until December 2006. In January 2007, he left the Environment and Public Works committee and took additional assignments with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. He is also Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs. Barack Obama's website seems to agree with me and not him - here.

What was he thinking of? Surely he wasn't deliberately fibbing so presumably he will set the record straight at the earliest opportunity.

I presume Barack Obama's mistake will be headline news on the BBC today, or is that privilege reserved for American Republican and British Conservative politicians not for American Democrats and British Labour politicians?


UPDATE: The story gets even more strange, it appears that Barack Obama is on record as opposing the bill he claimed to have


PowerLine report that (my emphasis):
"Senator Obama did not appear in the Senate to vote on the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment calling on the government to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist entity and thus suffer the imposition of sanctions. On the day of the vote on the amendment, however, Obama issued a statement announcing that he would have voted against it. In the statement, the closest he came to addressing the merits of the amendment was his assertion that "he does not think that now is the time for saber-rattling towards Iran." The amendment passed the Senate 76-22 on September 26, 2007, with many Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Richard Durbin, and Chuck Schumer voting in its favor."
Do read the PowerLine piece as it also details the three very different positions on this matter that Barack Obama has taken subsequent to the vote.

Many people have fallen for Barack Obama in the way that many fell for the easy charm and the "pretty straight guy" persona of Tony Blair. I believe that Barack Obama is as straight a politician as Tony Blair was. Just like Blair, Obama wants power and probably also the money and lifestyle that goes with that power.

Eventually the penny dropped that Tony Blair was not a "pretty straight guy" and one day the same will happen re Barack Obama. I just hope that America and the world do not have to suffer because the US electorate were taken in by a smooth talking (when on auto-cue) salesman, supported by a star-struck liberal media.

Barack Obama yet another misspeak that will get little publicity

I have previously blogged here, here and here examples of Barack Obama's unbelievable errors when speaking; errors that if made by a Republican would be headline news, but as they are made by the new messiah`they seem to receive little or no mainstream coverage.

The latest example is from Barack Obama's trip to Israel:
"Let me be absolutely clear," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said today at a press conference in Amman, Jordan. "Israel is a strong friend of Israel's. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under a McCain...administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change."

Yes, apparently Israel is a strong friend of Israel and that will continue under a McCain presidency. He's really on the ball this Barack Obama, isn't he? And yet the left criticise George W. Bush for his language problems.

Do have a look around my site for other examples of the ineptitude of Barack Obama, because you won't hear or read about it on the BBC.

Barack Obama seems confused again

I read in many places that Barack Obama ever keen to avoid giving offence on his trip to Middle East had issued some helpful hints to female reporters accompanying him on the trip. These hints included:

Do not wear nail polish.
Women should only wear a limited amount of jewelry.
Shoulders and arms must be fully covered (no strapless tops, no tank tops, no short sleeve shirts.)
Do not wear green. (Explained later as the color of Hamas)
Closed-toe shoes, women should also wear stockings.


NeoCon Express has some photos that show "modest" Israeli girls.

Barack Obama was of course confusing the multi-cultural, democratic country of Israel with the Islamic theocracies that mostly surround it.

How tall should James Bond be?

Apparently Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton were both a relatively lofty 6ft 2ins, whilst Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan were 6ft 1.5ins. Daniel Craig is a more height restricted 5ft 10ins. The tallest James Bond however was also the shortest serving, George Lazenby was 6ft 2.5ins tall.

Two interesting pieces of Opinion Poll news

The first is from America and relates to the US Presidential elections. From the BBC coverage of these elections you would assume that a Barack Obama victory was a dead-cert as almost every interviewee expresses a preference for Obama. However I see on Gallup that
"Obama Has Modest 4-Point Lead" and that "Barack Obama maintains a modest 46% to 42% lead over John McCain among registered voters nationally in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, with no sign yet of a significant "bounce" from Obama's high-visibility world tour."


Meanwhile I noticed a very telling remark on Political Betting where in an article on the latest MORO opinion polls I read (my emphasis)"
These are the figures with comparisons on a month ago CON 47% (+2): LAB 27% (-2): LD 15% (-2). These figures, like all MORI surveys are based on those “certain to vote”. The fieldwork ended on July 20th - so it’s up to date.

The pollster which is the only one that does not applying a political weighting to its samples. has undergone a major methodological review which took place following the London Mayoral election. All surveys are now done by telephone and the pollster takes measures to ensure that it is not over-representing public sector workers in its samples.
Now why would not over-representing public sector workers be important? Could it be that Gordon Brown's client state is more likely to vote for the hand that feeds it than the rest of the population?

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

A Labour Home Secretary completely ignores the point

The BBC report the, what should be shocking but isn't, news that:
"More than 500,000 official "spying" requests for private communications data such as telephone records were made last year, a report says.

Police, security services and other public bodies made requests for billing details and other information.

Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Paul Kennedy said 1,707 of these had been from councils.

A separate report criticises local authorities for using powers to target minor offences such as fly-tipping.

Figures show public bodies made 519,260 requests to "communications providers" such as phone and internet firms for information in 2007.

Under available powers, they can see details such as itemised phone bills and website records. But they are not allowed to monitor conversations.

The total number of requests for last year - amounting to more than 1,400 a day - compared with an average of fewer than 350,000 a year in the previous two years.

...

But a separate report, by Chief Surveillance Commissioner Sir Christopher Rose, criticises the techniques employed by local authorities to deal with minor offences such as fly-tipping or avoiding council tax.

He said some councils had a "tendency to expose lack of understanding of the legislation" and displayed a "serious misunderstanding of the concept of proportionality".

Some authorising officers were inexperienced and suffered "poor oversight", he added.

He called on town halls to invest in properly trained intelligence officers who could operate covertly."


Sounds dreadfully worrying, but our (as crap as the previous holders of the position) Home Secretary was on hand to completely miss the point as she reassured us thus:
"The commissioners' reports offer valuable oversight and provide reassurance that these powers are being used appropriately.

"These powers can make a real difference in delivering safer communities and protecting the public - whether enabling us to gain that vital intelligence that will prevent a terrorist attack, working to tackle antisocial behaviour or ensuring that rogue traders do not defraud the public.""

Don't you feel reassured? What, you don't, but Jacqui Smith says the powers are being used appropriately, so surely they must be...

Hate Speech?



This New Yorker cartoon has generated a lot of fury as the usual suspects have fulminated long and hard at the sheer vileness of portraying Barack "messiah" Obama and his delightful wife as anything other than pure of mind and deed. Even John McCain had to condemn the cartoon or face the full fury of the liberal media.

I wasn't going to bother posting about this as it seemed so predictable, but then I found this article by "A Western Heart" which points out that a cartoon depicting John McCain in a Vietnamese bamboo cage being tortured by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and oddly George W. Bush received no such condemnation. The John McCain cartoon is this one...
As A Western Heart says:
"It is an example of the golden rule of hate speech: Only conservatives can utter hate speech (or hate cartoons) while anything that Leftists say is "free speech", no matter how offensive it is."

"He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy"

The Peoples Cube have a piece that accurately reflects the deification of Barack Obama. Here's a short extract
"With the refrain that "it is all Bush's fault" echoing through the halls, it was little surprise that the New-Age Faiths offered their unanimous endorsement to Senator Barack Hussein Obama's presidential campaign.

"Here we have a true Lightworker," explained Alexis Virago, High Harridan of the Church of the Holy Hooter (commonly known as the Boobtists). "He is probably not really human, or at least not totally human; I suspect that his father was a spiritual being residing temporarily in physical form in order to accomplish The Obama's incarnation.""
Do read the rest, it is seriously funny and worrying.

I feel unwell

"There may have been something sticky on his hands but it was only for a few seconds that he touched the prime minister"
Do you really want to learn more?

The above quotation is from a piece on the BBC website and has some more interesting quotes amongst the levity.
"A campaigner against Heathrow Airport's third runway has attempted to glue himself to Gordon Brown at a Downing Street reception."
Seems a rather foolhardy act, did he know when Gordon Brown last washed his hands?

"Dan Glass, a member of Plane Stupid, was about to receive an award from the prime minister when he stuck out his superglued hand and touched his sleeve.

Plane Stupid says Mr Glass, from north London, then "glued his hand" to Mr Brown's jacket as he shook his hand.

But Downing Street said there had been "no stickiness of any significance".
"No stickiness of any significance"? If this was Superglue then it is not a great advertisement for their product.

...

"Downing Street confirmed an exchange had taken place but denied that Mr Glass had glued himself to the prime minister.

"There may have been something sticky on his hands but it was only for a few seconds that he touched the prime minister," a spokesman said. "There was no stickiness of any significance."

He added: "This was certainly not seen as a serious protest. It was very light-hearted. This was not a serious incident."

I am trying to picture the scene, Gordon Brown goes to shake hands in his very natural way with a member of the public and the member of the public tries to grab hold of his jacket sleeve so as to glue himself to it...

"Speaking afterwards, Mr Glass said: "My left hand was covered in superglue and I stuck it to his sleeve.

"I just glued myself to him and after 20 seconds he tore my hand off - it really hurt. He had to give it a couple of tugs before it came away."
So the Downing Street spokesman said the incident lasted "only for a few seconds" whilst Mr Glass said it lasted "20 seconds" before his hand was torn away from the Prime Ministerial jacket. A wise move to choose the jacket and not the tie as we know what Gordon stores on the back of his ties...

"He was just grinning about it. He didn't seem to take me seriously."
No Mr Glass that's Gordon Brown's set expression when meeting "ordinary folk", he thinks it shows that he has a cheery disposition - he is so wrong.

Now here is the best line -
"The Metropolitan Police said there had been no breach of security."
Now why does that not surprise me? A man superglues himself to the Prime Minister using glue smuggled into Number 10 in his underwear, but there was no breach in security. I wonder what would constitute a breach in security? I drove near Whitehall today and saw the armed police that are now a familiar part of the London scene. I t would appear that they are very happy to carry arms and look "hard", but less happy to acknowledge breakdowns in their security systems.

US election campaigning - Jib Jab style

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!


"...I've got one or two things to say about change, like the change we must change, to the change we hold dear, I really like change, have I made myself clear?"

The BBC censoring their own output

I saw this report on the temporary banning of "crispy duck ovens" in Chinatown on heath and safety grounds, when it went out early on Monday evening. What the BBC are not showing is the appalingly inept interview that followed this piece. The interviewer asked a question that was so poor that the interviewee (Ching-He Huang) even made a "what the heck was that about" face and the cameraman had to pan awkwardly away from her and onto the young female interviewer.

The myth of consensus on Man Made Climate Change explodes as the APS opens a global warming debate

The science of climate change is settled, or so assert some of its leading proponents, including Al "The science is clear and compelling. We humans are changing the global climate" Gore, John "There’s no longer any serious debate among climate scientists about either the reality of global warming or about the fact that its substantially caused by human activity…" Quiggin and David "I think that the scientific debate has now closed on global warming, and the popular debate is closing as well" Miliband. of course the truth is somewhat at variance with these statements but those trying to impose their "truth" and policies on us, don't care too much for the truth. I have blogged many times about the inaccuracies that bedevil much of the Man Made Climate Change propaganda.

Now I learn from Daily Tech that
"The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming "incontrovertible."

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.""


The article continues:
"The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors"

In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, "I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC's 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central 'climate sensitivity' question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method."

According to Monckton, there is substantial support for his results, "in the peer-reviewed literature, most articles on climate sensitivity conclude, as I have done, that climate sensitivity must be harmlessly low."

Monckton, who was the science advisor to Britain's Thatcher administration, says natural variability is the cause of most of the Earth's recent warming. "In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years ... Mars, Jupiter, Neptune’s largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth.""

Man Made Climate Change is a myth, unfortunately to say so invites derision and hatred from the liberal intelligentsia who unfortunately do run this Country.

Boom boom

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window.

The driver rolls down his window and asks, 'What's going on?'


'Terrorists down the road have kidnapped Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, David Miliband, and Jack Straw.

They're asking for a £10 million ransom.

Otherwise they're going to douse them with petrol, and set them on fire.

We're going from car to car, taking up a collection.'


The driver asks, 'How much is everyone giving, on average?'


The reply - 'Most people are giving about a gallon.'



Boom boom as Basil Brush would say...

An end to the era of celebrity (part xx)?

I have blogged several times before about Gordon Brown's false promise regarding ending the era of celebrity; now I read on the BBC that
"Tony Blair was well known for inviting showbusiness figures to his country home Chequers - and it seems Gordon Brown is carrying on the tradition.

Film legend Lord Attenborough, Beatles producer Sir George Martin and Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard Curtis have visited in the past year.

Sir Alan Sugar - star of BBC One's The Apprentice - and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson also attended.

...

From the media world, Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, Sun editor Rebekah Wade and former Mirror boss Piers Morgan - now a TV talent show judge - visited.

Playwright Sir Tom Stoppard and novelist and historian Lady Antonia Fraser were entertained.

Retailers on the list include Sir Terence Conran - founder of the Habitat shop chain - Marks and Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose and Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy."

The BBC try to defend "their man" with these weasel words:
"While many of Mr Brown's guests are household names, there is not quite the celebrity focus of the list given for Mr Blair last year.

That included the likes of singer Charlotte Church, DJ Chris Evans, TV presenter Adrian Chiles and the then England football coach Steve McLaren."
However they then list the people invited to be brave and sup with Gordon Brown:
"Among the more famous guests invited by Mr Brown were:


ROYALTY

Duke of York

SHOWBUSINESS

Sir Alan Sugar, child psychologist Tanya Byron, screenwriter Richard Curtis, presenter Emma Freud, chief executive of Royal Opera House Tony Hall, Beatles producer Sir George Martin, playwright Sir Tom Stoppard, Lord Attenborough

AUTHORS

Kathy Lette, Richard North Patterson

OTHER CELEBRITIES

Designer Sir Terence Conran, architect Lord Foster, historian Lady Antonia Fraser, former Mirror editor, writer and TV judge Piers Morgan, architect Lord Rogers"


Hmm I do wonder at some of those names.


The first time I blogged about Gordon Brown ending the era of celebrity was this from May 2007 when I wondered
"wasn't it GB who was first politician to comment on the earth shattering Shilpa Shetty affair? Wasn't it also GB who had "secret" drinks with that political guru Kylie Minogue. I presume he wanted to keep that meeting secret and that it was leaked to the Sun by a political enemy, maybe not... Maybe he has always admired Kylie's musical ability and shapely bottom. Maybe he admires "Kylie Minogue, the pop sex goddess of the moment, hip chick, gay icon, and a fair old belter out of a dance tune" (David Lister, Independent, 23.02.02), I wonder why? I am sure that the lunch had a serious purpose, who else attended? Stephen Fry, one of my favourite comics and I am sure one of GB's as well."
. The next time was later that same month when I blogged
"the person who awarded the Greatest Businessman prize to Innocent Smoothies was Gordon Brown. I am sure he had a very good reason for being there but I doubt if it helped show he is serious about ending the era of celebrity. You can read more about the awards presented here or you could just luxuriate in the natural warmth of Gordon Brown's smile"
The next time was in November when I blogged about Gordon Brown's incredible Countdown birthday message. The next time was when I blogged about Gordon Brown's possible job offer to GMTV's Fiona Phillips - completely unconnected with his love of appearing on the GMTV sofa for a long hard interview.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

An article by John McCain that will get very little publicity

Whilst Saint Barack Obama continues his tour of photo-opportunities and the BBC and other western media moisten as they cover his passage, you might have thought that some coverage of John McCain would be in order. The only coverage that I have seen was of John McCain playing golf with George Bush (George W.'s father), shown in order to make him look as old as possible. If you, unlike the BBC, are interested in the issues and what John McCain has to say, then take a look at this piece on Iraq.

Interestingly this article was written as an "op-ed" piece for the New York Times but was rejected by that impeccable left-of-centre paper. As The Drudge Report reports:
"An editorial written by Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES -- less than a week after the paper published an essay written by Obama, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The paper's decision to refuse McCain's direct rebuttal to Obama's 'My Plan for Iraq' has ignited explosive charges of media bias in top Republican circles.

'It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece,' NYT Op-Ed editor David Shipley explained in an email late Friday to McCain's staff. 'I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written.'...

Shipley, who is on vacation this week, explained his decision not to run the editorial.

'The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.'

Shipley continues: 'It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq.'"

In other words, we won't publish a John McCain article unless it meets some new criteria that we have just thought of... oh yes, and don't forget to VOTE OBAMA.

Any chance of Gordon Brown and his "team" following suit?

I note that:
"The Ivory Coast government is halving the salaries of its ministers to pay for a reduction in the price of fuel.

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro said the managers of state-owned companies would also have their pay cut in half, to pay for a 10% cut in fuel prices.

"Having heard the people's cry from the heart, the government has decided to cut the price of fuel," Mr Soro said."
So how about it Gordon, do you feel our pain?

Bad news chaps

The BBC are reporting that
"Gordon Brown will be in charge of the government this summer even while he is away on holiday...

When his predecessor Tony Blair jetted off for sunnier climes, his deputy John Prescott famously took the reins.

But this is not the case for Mr Brown. His spokesman said: "The prime minister is the prime minister and remains in charge whether he's on holiday or not.""
So it looks as though there will be no relief from Gordon Brown's terminal stupidity for the whole week he might drag himself away from the office for.

Margaret Thatcher's state funeral

I must lay my cards on the table; I don't think that Lady Thatcher should have a state funeral, they should be reserved for royalty although I would have agreed with one for Winston Churchill. However the venom directed by the usual suspects on the left of politics has been pretty disgusting. Here are some of the comments from contributors to The Guardian online:
"I don't care what method people use to celebrate the fact that the bitch is dead. But for most people it will be a celebration. Dancing on her grave? Too bloody right, I will.
yeractual

A 19-GUN salute? Only if they were all aimed at her.
imasmadashell

I rather like the suggestion that whatever happens she is going to be buried at sea, by the time everyone has finished p***ing on her grave...
greymatter

State funeral! She should be burned at the stake!
4danglie

‘The country owes her a 19-gun salute.’ Yeah, but we’re not cruel, she can have a blindfold as well!
BurgermaS

A state funeral would be a farce. But how about nationwide street parties or perhaps auctioning coffin nails? I’d pay good money to hammer the lid down.
Ifweworkers

I'll be there protesting and throwing eggs even if they promise to extraordinarily rendition me. Never. It’d be a crime to honour this self-serving, divisive politician who governed with minority support and who created the s*** we live in today. She did more to destroy ‘the family’ than a hundred Roy Jenkins ever could. No, no, no. Just throw some petrol on the corpse, chuck a match and let the wind do the rest.
bass46

I'd go along with it on three conditions: 1) The son Mark is stripped of his hereditary baronetcy. He has done nothing to deserve it and everything to lose it. 2) We can get it over with as soon as possible. Friday week would be good for me. 3) We do a special offer (Buy One Get One Free) with the current Prime Minister. The fact that both of them are still breathing should be no obstacle.
EastFinchleyite

State funeral? A televised public execution would be far, far too good for her.
RoyalFamily

Why waste money when half the country will be having a party to celebrate her demise, anyway?
NemesistheWarlock"

Lovely people, the "left" are so much nicer than the "nasty party" aren't they?

There have been some equally disgusting remarks on some other "left" forums:
"When Margaret Thatcher was Minister for Education, she took away free milk from schoolchildren. I created the slogan ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher’ and put it on a wanted poster with her picture. When she became prime minister, we wrote to her from the Chiswick Women’s Aid refuge and asked her what she would do for victims of domestic violence. A minion replied on her behalf and said that she was ‘not interested in women’s issues’. A state funeral would be an insult to this nation.
Erin Pizzey, Guardian newspaper."

Do you think Ms Pizzey is missing the point of Margaret Thatcher's comment that she wasn't interested in women’s issues, might she not have meant that she was not a WOMAN PM, she was a Prime Minister who was a woman.

"The headline ‘State funeral planned for Lady Thatcher’ is deeply irresponsible. When it appeared, I honestly thought that the week had got off to the best possible start.
Chris Gibson, Guardian newspaper."

Oh very witty Chris Gibson. Are you happy being on record wishing someone dead?


I see that some other non-Royals have been given State Funerals in the UK:
* Sir Philip Sidney (1586)[citation needed]
* Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (1806)
* Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1852)
* Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1865)
* Charles Darwin (1882)
* The Rt Hon. William Gladstone (1898)
* Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar (1914)
* Edward Carson, Baron Carson (1935)
* The Rt Hon. Sir Winston Churchill (1965)

Looking through the above list, maybe Lady Thatcher should have a State Funeral after all.

The law of unintended consequences

I hear that the RAC are reporting that rising petrol prices seem to be having another unwelcome result as breakdowns caused by the theft of fuel from cars have more than doubled since the start of the year. Apparently the problem is worst in London where there has been a five-fold increase between January and June.

Yet another Treasury U-turn

The Telegraph has a nice report on Alistair Darling's latest U-turn, this time on the matter of taxing the foreign profits of UK based companies. You can read all the details in the Telegraph article but I reproduce here a handy list of Alistair Darling/Gordon Brown's recent U-turns:"
1 Fiscal rules: Treasury to reconsider Gordon Brown’s two closely watched borrowing rules.

2 2p fuel tax.

3 Abolition of the 10p rate of tax

4 Income shifting: Last December the Treasury announced plans to tackle “income shifting”, where family firms structure their affairs to minimise their tax bill. In the Budget it announced that the plans would be delayed until 2009.

5 Tax on non-doms: Darling used his first Pre-Budget Report to announce a new levy on non-domicile workers. After heavy criticism he was forced to write a letter to tax advisers “clarifying” his plans, effectively watering down the plans.

6 Capital Gains Tax: Alistair Darling surprised businesses last autumn by introducing a new flat-rate CGT of 18pc. In January, after uproar from businesses and entrepreneurs, he announced that the first £1m of any gains will be taxed at 10pc.

7 Foreign profits: This move effectively dilutes a number of the proposals laid out by the Treasury in relation to multinationals’ tax treatment."

Prudence is dead, as is consistency; all that is left is panic.

Nick Robinson is confused

Nick Robinson reports on his BBC blog that
"I began a spot of moonlighting presenting the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning. Feeling pretty smug at not messing up I emerged from the studio to be told that I'd spent the whole of a discussion about a possible cure for cancer referring to prostrate instead of prostate cancer."
I presume that Nick Robinson is thinking of how he normally prostrates himself in front of the Labour politician he is interviewing.