As a follow-up to this recent post I have found this rather interesting video, do watch it...
Peston’s Productivity Puzzler
33 minutes ago
I am not a sheep, I have my own mind
I have had enough of being told what and how to think
Whilst we are still allowed the remnants of free speech,
I will speak out.
I also reserve the right to discuss music, geekery, sport and Doctor Who
"The rescue plan, a result of tense talks between the government and lawmakers, was rejected by 228 to 205 votes in the House of Representatives.
About two-thirds of Republican lawmakers refused to back the rescue package, as well as 95 Democrats."
"The climate change expert Mark Lynas has been scorned by eco-colleagues for daring to speak up for atomic power"Do read the whole of Mark Lynas' article, it shows the eco-movement up for what it really is, and many of its adherents up for the thugs and preventers of free-speech that they are.
"Specialist intermediary broker service to commercial banks, investment banks and other liquidity providers in the wholesale financial markets."I think I can see why their shares might have ended down 23.58% yesterday.
"With a burst of flame and smoke, a Chinese rocket blasted off into orbit yesterday. But it was the state news agency that moved faster than the speed of light, publishing the transcript of an “in-space” conversation between the astronauts before they had even left Earth.I would rather the world's media ignored the fakery and instead concentrated on the systematic imprisonment and murder of citizens opposed to the regime in China and on the use of slave labour both in China and abroad to support China's "economic miracle".
The Xinhua news agency posted an article on its website breathlessly describing the Shenzhou VII spacecraft in orbit and quoting exchanges between the crew, possibly during the most important part of the mission: China’s first spacewalk. The only problem was that the crew were still on terra firma.
The story had disappeared by the end of the day and its appearance was described as a technical error. The gaffe highlighted China’s readiness to resort to sleight of hand — if not outright fakery — to present a perfect public image, such as the little girl who lip-synched at the Olympics opening ceremony because the child who did the actual singing was not deemed pretty enough."
"These poor, hopeless, angry people exist by grubbing for scraps of cobalt and copper ore in the filth and dust of abandoned copper mines in Congo, sinking perilous 80ft shafts by hand, washing their finds in cholera-infected streams full of human filth, then pushing enormous two-hundredweight loads uphill on ancient bicycles to the nearby town of Likasi where middlemen buy them to sell on, mainly to Chinese businessmen hungry for these vital metals.Well at least they put on a good Olympics, that counts for a lot doesn't it?
Many perish as their primitive mines collapse on them, or are horribly injured without hope of medical treatment. Many are little more than children. On a good day they may earn $3, which just supports a meagre existence in diseased, malarial slums.
We had been earlier to this awful pit, which looked like a penal colony in an ancient slave empire.
Defeated, bowed figures toiled endlessly in dozens of hand-dug pits. Their faces, when visible, were blank and without hope.
We had been turned away by a fat, corrupt policeman who pretended our papers weren't in order, but who was really taking instructions from a dead-eyed, one-eared gangmaster who sat next to him."
"did not regret the economic mess the country was in and the personal cost of it in terms of repossessions, soaring interest rates and unemployment."
"Cameron believes - hopes - that Gordon Brown's pledge to end the "era of irresponsibility" is another similar gaffe."
"Lamont was, in fact, simply cracking a joke to try to avoid answering a skilful question posed by my colleague John Pienaar in the Newbury by-election in May 1993. Pienaar asked Lamont at a press conference whether he most regretted claiming to see "the green shoots of recovery" or "singing in his bath". He replied by quoting the Edith Piaf song "Je ne regrette rien"."
"A MUSLIM man who was found guilty of encouraging two boys to whip themselves as part of a religious ceremony has escaped jail.A suspended sentence, A SUSPENDED SENTENCE!
Syed Mustafa Zaidi was found guilty of child cruelty last month after the two boys, aged 13 and 15, told a court he had forced them to flagellate themselves with a bladed zanjeer whip as part of a traditional Shia Muslim ritual.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court convicted Zaidi of two counts of child cruelty, but in sentencing yesterday he was handed a suspended sentence."
"Superintendent Paul Savill from Greater Manchester Police said the force had implemented a working code of conduct for adults about involving children in the self-flagellation ritual since Zaidi was convicted."Oh wow.
"Mr Safdar Zia, general secretary of the Jaffria Islamic Centre said while the ceremony could not be eliminated, mosque leaders would now work within the law.Oh what has happened to the UK?
"This sort of practice has been going on throughout the Islamic world for centuries and although there have been cases like this in the past they haven't been brought to court,” he said.
"We cannot eliminate this practice, but we can and will work to a code of practice so that the children don't get hurt, the law isn't broken, and the people who do want to take part don't get prosecuted.
"We have to take into account people's beliefs and their rights, and we will respect them. But we are not above the law and we never will be and working with the authorities is the best chance we've got to prevent any harm being brought against any children.
"The best way of achieving our aims now is to try and understand the law better and work within the law to move forward.""
"Vaz under pressure over 28-day query
Emails suggest Prime Minister was approached in advance of publication of independent report
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, sought the private views of Gordon Brown for an independent report into government plans to extend the detention of terror suspects beyond 28 days.
Emails which have been seen by The Observer suggest that the MP for Leicester East spoke secretly to the Prime Minister about the committee's draft paper and proposed a meeting because 'we need to get his [Brown's] suggestions'.
The disclosure has deeply concerned committee members and civil liberties campaigners. Select committee reports are supposed to be compiled independently of government influence.
Shami Chakrabarti, the director of Liberty, said: 'This email is obviously cringeworthy - a "Yo, Blair!" moment - but the real concern is a select committee chairman seeking the Prime Minister's suggestions for an independent report. Judges deciding cases don't email one of the parties in private seeking their suggestions on the eve of their decision.'"
"This government and its advisers are rapidly losing the plot, maybe they realise that their time in power is coming to an end and they are now pursuing a scorched earth policy."In July I blogged about Fraser Nelson's article that included these passages:
"The Scorched Earth policy has begun... In the vernacular, Brown has realised that if the Tories win the next election the he is now spending with Cameron’s Gold Card – every by-election bribe, every union sellout will be funded by borrowing with the bill sent to D. Cameron Esq. Cameron will have to tax us to pay for what Brown is today spending.
My take is that Brown doesn’t care, not any more. Like a retreating army, he doesn’t want the advancing Cameroons to have any advantage at all.
Brown, however, is on a mission to raise state spending - and, right now, it looks likely to be a Tory government that pays tomorrow for the money he borrows today. It is impossible to understand Gordon Brown without understanding his approach to debt. It is his weapon of choice, and if he loses the next election he can right now start turning that weapon on the Tories. So he will have to feast on humble pie, and his own words, as he tears up his rules and lets debt soar above 40%. Yes, he may lose the election. But he has realised one upside to this inevitability: he can start spending David Cameron's budget now."
"Gordon Brown plans to leave any future Tory government a financial "scorched earth" by borrowing too much, shadow business secretary Alan Duncan says.This message needs pushing, it is the dagger to the heart of Gordon Brown and the failed New Labour project. The Labour party pushed the "Tory sleaze" line at every opportunity in the years running up to the 1997 general election and the Conservatives must do the same from now until 2010. Of course Labour were aided and abetted by the BBC in the run up to the 1997 election, whilst in the run up to the next election by way of contrast Labour will be aided and abetted by the BBC...
He told the BBC News Channel's Straight Talk that the prime minister wanted to "scupper" his party by leaving "a legacy afterwards which is difficult"."
"He also shies away from today's celebrity culture, thinking much of it schmaltzy and insincere."This is the same Gordon Brown who opined on the Shilpa Shetty affair, had secret drinks with Kylie Minogue, who recorded a tribute to Countdown on its 25th birthday, who offered GMTV's Fiona Phillips a peerage and a place in cabinet. The same Gordon Brown whose invitees to Chequers include Lord Attenborough, Beatles producer Sir George Martin and Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard Curtis, Sir Tom Stoppard, Lady Antonia Fraser, Piers Morgan and Kathy Lette.
"The Bradford and Bingley mortgage book is a lower quality book of mortgages, it is a worse asset than Northern Rock," said Charlie Parker, of Citywire.Remember that the next time some left-wing fool drones on about how this is all the fault of the US sub-prime market. The Bradford and Bingley failed largely because it made 100% mortgage loans and often on a self-certification basis.
"It has experienced double the arrears rates of other lenders."
"A restaurant owner in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem has come up with a novel use for the Israeli-built concrete wall that passes his premises.Interesting and worthy of coverage but then the BBC get their "facts" somewhat messed up. The owner, Mr Butto,
Tourists and locals alike can now choose their meals from a menu painted on to the West Bank barrier.
Bahamas seafood restaurant has recently reopened, after closing due to lack of business in recent years."
"says the restaurant has been closed since the Palestinian uprising - or intifada - broke out in 2000, and business was "devastated" by the building of the barrier."However in the next line the BBC states that:
"Israel began building the West Bank barrier in 2002"How odd, how can a business closed in 2000 be devastated by construction in 2002? Of course to the BBC mind the Israelis can be blamed for everything, but surely even they could have spotted that logical flaw.
"Immigration levels have pushed population density in England to a higher level than any other major country in Europe.I can now reveal that the population of Greater London has increased by over half a million over the last 10 years. That's an increase of 542,000 to 7.56 million - an increase of 8 per cent which is well above the average UK population growth rate of 5 per cent.
The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, indicate there is an average of 395 people in every square kilometre in England.
This is an increase of five per sq km in the past two years.
The increase has pushed England's population density above the previous highest figure set by the Netherlands."
"Mountains of controversy are swirling around Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's strange policy of forcing rape victims to pay for their own rape kits while she was mayor of the now-infamous town of Wasilla."Shocking, appalling, disgusting - but also not true. As my Egyptian friend explains:
"In reality, and had any journalist in the MSM outlets bothered to do their job instead of working for the Obama campaign 24/7, there was a state law forbidding charging victims of rape for their rape kits since 2000. As for where it all came from, the chief of Police( chief of police, not Palin) in Wasilla wanted to have the Insurance companies(Insurance companies, not the victims) to pay for them, with the intention of billing it ultimately to the rapists eventually. However, there isn;t a single piece of record that shows that a single victim's insurance was ever billed for it. If this practice still seems creepy or exclusive to macho,
rough-and-tumble Alaska, well, it happens to be the practice in other
states, too, like North Carolina (until recently) and … Illinois.
And can you guess who co-sponsored that bill in Illinois?
Can you say Barack Obama?
Have a nice day! "
"Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary."with this "elegant" prose alternative:
"Every citizen of the Union shall, in the territory of a third country in which the members of state of which he is a national is not represented, be entitled to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any member state, on the same conditions as the nationals of that state."The single market is on the verge of becoming the single state, is it too late to stop it?
"Police in Germany have arrested two terrorism suspects on a plane preparing to take off from Cologne-Bonn airport.Careful BBC you mentioned the word "Islamic" in that report. Maybe it would be best to get rid of that word, after all you don't want to give people the wrong impression.
The two men, both in their early 20s and of Somali origin, were under surveillance for months, police say.
They were said to be "possibly planning attacks" and had left suicide notes at their flats expressing their wish to die in a "holy war".
The KLM airliner, which was bound for Amsterdam, was eventually allowed to take off after a luggage search.
He said the suspects - a 23-year-old Somali and a 24-year-old Somali-born German citizen - were "under suspicion of participating in a jihad [holy war] action and of possibly planning attacks".
The remaining passengers were ordered off the aircraft for a baggage inspection.
The plane was cleared for departure just over an hour later and has since landed in Amsterdam.
Germany's federal crime office said on Thursday it was hunting for two Islamic militants believed to be on their way to Germany."
"The image of Obama that the press has presented to the public is not a fair approximation of the real man. They consciously have ignored whole years of his life and have shown a lack of curiosity about such gaps, which bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct.
The mainstream media ruthlessly and endlessly repeat any McCain gaffes while ignoring Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird little Web sites to see all the stammering and stuttering that Obama needs before getting out a sentence fragment or two. But all you see on the networks is an eventually clear sentence from Obama. You don't see Obama's ludicrous gaffe that Iran is a tiny country and no threat to us. Nor his 57 American states gaffe. Nor his forgetting, if he ever knew, that Russia has a veto in the U.N. Nor his whining and puerile "come on" when he is being challenged. This is the kind of editing one would expect from Goebbels' disciples, not Cronkite's.
More appalling, a skit on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last weekend suggested that Gov. Palin's husband had sex with his own daughters. That show was written with the assistance of Al Franken, Democratic Party candidate in Minnesota for the U.S. Senate. Talk about incest.
But worse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting are the shocking gaps in Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply have not reported on Obama's two years at New York's Columbia University, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter-mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers. Later, they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks, the media have focused on all the colleges Gov. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago, and the close criticism of the political opponents Gov. Palin had when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
But in two years, they haven't bothered to see how close Obama was with the terrorist Ayers.
Nor have the media paid any serious attention to Obama's rise in Chicago politics. How did honest Obama rise in the famously sordid Chicago political machine with the full support of Boss Daley? Despite the great -- and unflattering -- details on Obama's Chicago years presented in David Freddoso's new book on Obama, the mainstream media continue to ignore both the facts and the book. It took a British publication, The Economist, to give Freddoso's book a review with fair comment.
The public image of Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Obama, his publicist (David Axelrod) and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media."
"I realise that I keep going on about it, and I realise that I dissent from the view often expressed here that the next British government (Cameron's) will probably be no better than this government now, but if I were allowed just one more thing to say about Gordon Brown and his government, it would be that I wish people would stop saying or writing this:Do read the rest, all good stuff and quite accurate too.
Mr Brown is a good, decent man but ...
Mr Brown is not a good, decent man. He is an utter shit, and his utter shitness is inseparable from the difficulties he now faces in continuing to be Prime Minister despite his obvious unsuitability, and to the miseries he is still inflicting upon the rest of us.
I will not expand at length about Brown's shititude. Suffice it to say that Gordon Brown is the living embodiment of the phrase "he won't be told". When he is told, he shouts like a spoilt but thwarted seven year old, until whoever it is just gives up or goes home and pretends to be ill. And all his henchmen are like this too."
"The family of a Palestinian shot dead after his car ploughed into pedestrians in Jerusalem challenged on Tuesday Israeli police allegations he had carried out a deliberate attack.and second The Jerusalem Post report:
More than a dozen soldiers, on a late-night excursion to Jerusalem ahead of the Jewish New Year next week, were injured in Monday's incident. No Palestinian group has made a credible claim of responsibility.
Police called it a "terrorist" attack, the third of its kind using vehicles against Israelis in the city since July and involving Palestinians from East Jerusalem and its environs who live on Israeli-annexed land and have wide freedom of movement."
"Four Palestinians were arrested Wednesday afternoon after they allegedly tried running through a roadblock near the settlement of Ma'ale Levona north of Ramallah. No one was wounded in the incident."
"Terry Anderson, an African-American talk show host in Los Angeles, provides a list of 39 things Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama claims are facts, but further investigation shows they are not exactly correct.
Senator Obama is easily sailing through his campaign without media scrutiny, while reporters rummage through Gov. Sarah Palin's past in order to discover anything that may hurt her politically.
While Oprah Winfrey practically lap-danced for Obama, she's refusing to have Palin as a guest on her show (see petition urging Oprah to invite Gov. Palin to be a guest on her syndicated television show http://www.palinpetition.com).
Anderson's list is quite interesting:
1.) Selma March Got Me Born - NOT EXACTLY, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 - Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965. (Google'Obama Selma ' for his full March 4, 2007 speech and articles about its various untruths.)
2.) Father Was A Goat Herder - NOT EXACTLY, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government.
3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter - NOT EXACTLY, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had.
4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom - NOT EXACTLY, your cousin Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Kenya . It is the first widespread violence in decades. The current government is pro-American but Odinga wants to overthrow it and establish Muslim Sharia law. Your half-brother, Abongo Oba ma, is Odinga's follower. You interrupted your New Hampshire campaigning to speak to Odinga on the phone. Check out the following link for verification of that...and for more. Obama's cousin Odinga in Kenya ran for president and tried to get Sharia muslim law in place there. Whe n Odinga lost the elections, his followers have burned Christians' homes and then burned men, women and children alive in a Christian church where they took shelter.. Obama SUPPORTED his cousin before the election process here started. Google Obama and Odinga and see what you get. No one wants to know the truth.
5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian - NOT EXACTLY, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn't allow her to have been one of 14 wives to 1 man.
6.) My Name is African Swahili - NOT EXACTLY, your name is Arabic and 'Baraka' (from which Barack came) means 'blessed' in that language. Hussein is also Arabic and so is Obama. Barack Hussein Obama is not half black. If elected, he would be the first Arab-American President, not the first black President. Barack Hussein Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side and 43.75% Arabic and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side. While Barack Hussein Obama's father was from Kenya , his father's family was mainly Arabs.. Barack Hussein Obama's father was only 12.5% African Negro and 87.5% Arab (his father's birth certificate even states he's Arab, not African Negro). From....and for more....go to.....http://www.arcadeathome.com/newsboy.phtml?Barack_Hussein_Obama_-_Arab-American,_only_6.25%25_African
7.) I Never Practiced Islam - NOT EXACTLY, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years, until your wife made you change, so you could run for office. 4-3-08 Article 'Obama was 'quite religious in islam'' http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=60559
8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian - NOT EXACTLY, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book). February 28, 2008. Kristoff from the New York Times a year ago: Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it'll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as 'one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.' This is just one example of what Pamela is talking about when she says 'Obama's narrative is being altered, enhanced and manipulated to whitewash troubling facts.'
9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian - NOT EXACTLY, not one teacher says you could speak the language.
10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia , I Have More Foreign Experience - NOT EXACTLY, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn't even speak the language. What did you learn except how to study the Koran and watch cartoons.
11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs - NOT EXACTLY, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise), you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies.
12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion - NOT EXACTLY, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify - your classmates said you were just fine
13.)An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office - NOT EXACTLY, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist.
14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life - NOT EXACTLY, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist.
15.) I Won't Run On A National Ticket In '08 - NOT EXACTLY, here you are, despite saying, live on TV, that you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first.
16.) Voting 'Present' is Common In Illinois Senate - NOT EXACTLY, they are common for YOU, but not many others have 130 NO VOTES.
17.) Oops, I Misvoted -&nb sp;NOT EXACTLY, only when caught by church groups and Democrats, did you beg to change your misvote.
18.) I Was A Professor Of Law - NOT EXACTLY, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.
19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer - NOT EXACTLY, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE.
20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill - NOT EXACTLY, you didn't write it, introduce it, change it or create it.
21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass - NOT EXACTLY, it took just 14 days from start to finish.
22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill - NOT EXACTLY, your bill was rejected by your own party for its pandering and lack of all regulation - mainly because of your Nuclear donor, Exelon, from which David Axelrod came.
23.) I Have Released My State Records - NOT EXACTLY, as of March, 2008, state bills you sponsored or voted for have yet to be released, exposing all the special interests pork hidden within.
24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess - NOT EXACTLY, you were part of a large group of people who remedied Altgeld Gardens . You failed to mention anyone else but yourself, in your books.
25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America - NOT EXACTLY, your 111 economic policies were just combined into a proposal which lost 99-0, and even YOU voted against your own bill.
26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois - NOT EXACTLY, even your own supporters claim to have not seen BOLD action on your part.
27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year - NOT EXACTLY, they were not YOUR bills, but rath er handed to you, after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist you in a future bid for higher office.
28.) No One on my campaign contacted Canada about NAFTA - NOT EXACTLY, the Canadian Government issued the names and a memo of the conversation your campaign had with them.
29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism - NOT EXACTLY, you missed the Iran Resolution vote on terrorism and your good friend Ali Abunimah supports the destruction off Israel
30.) I Want All Votes To Count - NOT EXACTLY, you said let the delegates decide.
31.) I Want Americans To Decide - NOT EXACTLY, you prefer caucuses that limit the vote, confuse the voters, force a public vote, and only operate during small windows of time.
32.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate - NOT EXACTLY, you passed 26, most of which you didn't write yourself.
33.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics - NOT EXACTLY, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you.
34.) I Don't Take PAC Money - NOT EXACTLY, you take loads of it.
35.) I don't Have Lobbysists - NOT EXACTLY, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting.
36.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad - NOT EXACTLY, your own campaign worker made the ad on his Apple in one afternoon.
37.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq - NOT EXACTLY, you weren't in office to vote against it AND you have voted to fund it every single time.
38.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care - NOT EXACTLY, your plan leaves us all to pay for the 15,000,000 (That's 15 Million) who don't have to buy it.
39.) My uncle liberated Auschwitz concentration camp - NOT EXACTLY, your mother had no brothers and the Russan army did the liberating."
"For what we are witnessing here in Manchester is not the beginning of the end of Gordon Brown. It is the beginning of the end of new Labour.
Ten years ago in our kitchen table Conservative paper, written at a moment when Tony Blair was more than 15 points ahead in the polls, Andrew and I thought we could see three failings that might eventually make Labour unpopular.
The first was that Labour was spending a great deal of money on public services without reforming them. At the time this was shrewd - the public didn't want market reforms and they did want more spent. There was, however, a small problem: spending more without proper reform would not work. The improvements would not live up to voters expectations. And they would become angry. They wouldn't blame themselves for this failure - remembering their resistance to reform - they would blame Labour. And there would be a change in mood. Fury at Labour, greater acceptance of reform and a change in attitude toward government spending.
The second failing was that Labour believed “there is a political solution to every problem”. They couldn't see a social issue without intervening. This made good headlines in the short term, but in the long term would stoke an anti-politician feeling. People would believe new Labour had betrayed them and had turned out to be just another bunch of politicians.
And finally there was this: “When people begin to feel really let down by the Labour Government, it is likely that the one thing they will most loathe is the slick over-packaging.”
If you doubt this, consider what happened last summer. When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister there was a brief period in which voters accepted that perhaps he represented change. Labour's popularity soared. Then it dawned on the electorate that Brown was not change and their popularity plummeted.
So to win again, Labour has to change. And to change it has to accept that voters criticism of their failings - on public services, on spin, on all their tiny micro-interventions - are not only a fact of political life but fair and reasonable."
"Lessons in healthy lifestyles and sex education could replace traditionalThat's from The Mai but the story is elsewhere as well.
academic subjects in a shake-up of primary school teaching planned by Ed Balls.
Pupils could even be assessed on their ‘personal development’ as well as the three Rs.
The Schools Secretary has ordered an inquiry into primary school lessons to consider whether pupils are currently studying too many subjects.
Now the team behind the review has said heads and teachers agree there should be reductions both in the ‘number of subject areas’ and the subject content pupils cover.
Instead they want pupils to study ‘concepts and skills’ that cut across traditional curriculum areas and a stronger focus on personal development, including healthy eating, ‘self-esteem’, sex and relationships, drugs and philosophy."
"Russian warships are sailing towards the Caribbean for the first time since the Cold War to take part in a joint naval exercise with Venezuela.
In a display meant to show off Russia's military resurgence and to provoke the United States, four vessels from the Northern Fleet set sail on a mission replete with an atmosphere of Soviet-era bombast and brinksmanship."
"Serious about the economy - and substantial when talking about the Labour agenda."Or you could read Nick Robinson's blog
"The conference reacted with joy and relief at seeing a Gordon Brown that some had never seen before. He restored some of their faith in him and themselves. It is, though, the public's verdict that will decide whether the party will keep him as their leader."Or you could look at what the public think at Have Your Say, here's the first page of most recommended:
"I bet when he is "bigging himself up" over his mythical & delusional prowess as Chancellor, he neglects to mention some very big bills that future generations of taxpayers in Britain, some not even born yet, will have to deal with:
* Hundreds of millions of pounds committed to PFI projects.
* Uncosted & unfunded public sector pensions
* Northern Rock
* Massive overseas aid committment via the Department for International Development
He shouldn't be sacked, he should be prosecuted.
I predict more of the usual,
Britain well placed...........I'm right man for the job.........mass immigration good for Britain.......all good news down to me........all bad news down to others......blah...blah
But whatever he says, he's finished!!
I would like to hear:
I am sorry! We are sorry! I am very sorry! We are very sorry!
I am sorry! We are sorry! I am very sorry! We are very sorry! ... ad nauseam
For losing touch with reality; for leading the British people up the garden path, for our entire cabal of politicians who (as I've said before) are immersed Mouth, Body & Soul in the Trough with only their gleefully wiggling tails being seen; while pensioners die of cold and serving plus returning soldiers are left high and dry!
Captain In-the-Dock, Lost 'n' Found in Britain
Gordon Brown has finished giving one of the most important speeches of his political career. What did you think of it?
The only important speech that imbecile will ever give is his resignation speech, and the day cant come soon enough.
I will not even listen I would not trust this traitor if he wrote it personally in his own blood!
Louis Cannell, Northampton, United Kingdom
It took 10 years as chancellor to blow 640 billion of our cash.
it took only a few months to bankrupt this country.
it will take years to put this country back on its feet it took labour 11 years to put it on its knees.
boom and bust gone forever he said tax and spend never left labour.
We are broke
We are taxed to the hilt
We are going to see more stealth taxes under labour.
We are sick of talk.
call the election NOW.
leon hughes, mold, United Kingdom
The prime minister is expected to underline his experience and commitment to create a fairer society.
Labour have, over their tenure, widened the gap between the rich and the poor more so than any previous Government.
Labour have failed. They've failed themselves and they've failed the country.
No speech can rectify the damage they've done to this nation over the last ten years. They should do the only honourable thing left - call a General Election.
[CeeofGee], Oxford, United Kingdom
His last conference speech he stole an oft touted & common sense BNP slogan:
"British Jobs for British Workers".
Which common sense BNP policy statement will McStalin steal this time I wonder?...no doubt never to implement.....
If Gordooms career were a horse, it would be illegal to leave it suffering.
Someone do the decent thing......
PS BBC: Marr & Robinson - what planet are they on? Planet Brown?
Righty RightProud, Coalville
All we've had under NuLabour is immigration immigration immigration.
What happened to 'Education education education'?
Reduce immigration and stop paying the workshy to watch sky TV,
Reduce the tax burdon on the low paid ( How about a 10% entry tax, thats a novel idea)
Stop bailing the banks out with taxpayers money whilst they buy new yachts with their annual bonus's
gey MP's to live in the real world and see what its like to pay a third of their take home pay on get to work costs
john Adair, England Not Britain, Virgin Islands (UK)
Lies, spin, and repeated garbage.
I notice that he turned the place into a fortress - is that to prevent us tax payers from making an appearance and spoiling it for him by hanging him in public?
badger fruit, resistance hq, United Kingdom
I wonder if he will still give us his favourite line "no return to boom and bust"
I somehow doubt it!
steve jones, Liverpool
Unless the speech amounts to his resignation, and the promise of an immediate General Election, I'm not really interested.
What would I like to hear?
" Good afternoon - I resign - goodbye"
Totally Disgruntled, Wokingham
"People, I spent the last 11 years taxing, borrowing and squandering. Now that there is a global economic crisis, the UK is badly placed to weather the storm. After proving yet again that all Labour governments end in financial chaos, I hereby tender my resignation."
That's what we want to hear.
"So to give teenagers the best chance of becoming a happy, productive adults, all their circuits need regular workouts. They need to challenge, to be challenged, to experiment, to take risks and learn from experience. If they’re prevented from this, they become stuck in a permanent childhood of dependence, caution and clone-like acceptance."I am sorry to tell you this Ms Leith, but "dependence", "caution" and "clone-like acceptance" are just the qualities that this Labour government want in its population. Far from this happening by mistake, this is government policy working; an underclass of people dependent on the State for income, information and entertainment.
"Britain may have to borrow £90 billion next year – almost twice as much as the Chancellor had expected - to deal with the ongoing ramifications of the credit crisis.Does the expression we are well and truly fucked cover this?
The sharp rise in borrowing has sparked fears that the Government may have to raise taxes to plug the growing shortfall in the public finances.
Economists calculate that income tax would have to rise by the equivalent of five pence in the pound to cover the extra borrowing. An analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts that Government borrowing will be £63 billion this year and £90 billion in 2009-10 – the equivalent of £1,500 for every person in Britain next year.
Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, previously predicted that Government borrowing would be just £43 billion this year.
Another forecaster, Capital Economics, has predicted that the budget deficit – the gap between taxes raised and public expenditure which is covered by borrowing – will reach £100 billion in 2010-11. Britain already has the largest budget deficit of any developed country and the predicted increase in borrowing is likely to lead to a fall in the value of the pound.
Douglas McWilliams, the chief executive of the CEBR, said: "Ninety billion pounds is a huge amount of borrowing. Although there is little room to do much about it in the short term, it will overshadow public policy for many years to come." "
"A secret Government report has condemned compulsary Home Information Packs (HIPs) for property-sellers as a "waste of time".Who could believe that this Labour government would introduce a rubbish policy, bury negative reports on this policy and keep on coining the tax?
Research commissioned by ministers, but never published, found that both sellers and buyers view the packs as "long, boring and technical" and see them as being of "no benefit".
The report concluded that house buyers and sellers "don't see the purpose" of the packs and show a "a lack of engagement, experience and interest". It added that "neither buyers or sellers are proactively enquiring about HIPs".
While the Government has spent almost £900,000 on an advertising campaign to promote the packs, the report also found that "amongst buyers and sellers, awareness, knowledge and understanding of HIPs is poor" and that consumers are "not sufficiently interested enough to ask to see a HIP".
The study also found that "estate agents struggled to think of positive comments about HIPs", with the majority considering the packs a "waste of time".
Grant Shapps, the shadow housing minister, said: "The Government has been caught red handed trying to hide a damning indictment of this pointless and expensive red tape. One year on, the public don't trust the paper these packs are written on.""
"Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary David Miliband were caught plotting against Gordon Brown in the chapel of a Benedictine monastery, it was revealed last night.This is a difficult area for me to decide which of the three was/is the bigger threat to the UK. Tony Blair was a con-man who successfully fooled a lot of people before disappearing at just the right time to drop Gordon Brown in it. Gordon Brown inherited a healthy economy and managed, through intimidation and with the assistance of a compliant left-wing media who "believed" he would put Labour back on the right path. He convinced many that he was some sort of economic genius when in fact he was a lucky Chancellor who increased tax revenues at a time when rising house prices made people feel wealthier. David Miliband is dangerous, he is a true Europhile and will happily sell this Country out to the EU. If David Miliband is elected there must be a general election immediately otherwise there may never be another general election in the UK.
The extraordinary rendezvous took place at Burford Priory in Oxfordshire at a birthday party for media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth.
While other guests drank champagne in the palatial Jacobean-style mansion until the early hours of the morning, Mr Blair and Mr Miliband slipped away quietly for a private conversation in a candlelit chapel which adjoins the priory.
As they sat on the pews whispering conspiratorially, two fellow guests, who were exploring the house, stumbled across them by chance.
An embarrassed Mr Blair and Mr Miliband immediately pulled back from each other, as though they had been caught out.
It is an open secret among senior Labour figures that Mr Blair supports Mr Miliband's ambition to succeed Mr Brown as Prime Minister."
"The CRA forces banks to make loans in poor communities, loans that banks may otherwise reject as financially unsound. Under the CRA, banks must convince a set of bureaucracies that they are not engaging in discrimination, a charge that the act encourages any CRA-recognized community group to bring forward. Otherwise, any merger or expansion the banks attempt will likely be denied. But what counts as discrimination?I know this is not the agreed narrative but it is the truth.
According to one enforcement agency, "discrimination exists when a lender's underwriting policies contain arbitrary or outdated criteria that effectively disqualify many urban or lower-income minority applicants." Note that these "arbitrary or outdated criteria" include most of the essentials of responsible lending: income level, income verification, credit history and savings history--the very factors lenders are now being criticized for ignoring."
"All I wanted to know is whether, if I bought a Scirocco, it’d cause me to have more sex than if I bought a Golf. ...
the new car is like an old girlfriend you meet after hooking up on Friends Reunited. To everyone else she’s just an ordinary middle-aged woman, but to you she’s a bit more than that . . . "
"The tax system makes slaves of us all: we have no option but to pay the tax, and thus we are serfs to our lords and masters. Because they have the law to back up their means of collection, and thus we must pay said taxes whether we wish to use the services provided or not, our lords and masters force other providers out of the market—both through monopoly laws and through ensuring that no one has the money left over to pay competing providers anyway."
"The NHS IT programme is a complete, utter fucking mess. It doesn't work and it never will work. It will eventually be scrapped, and if Liebour were still in power it would promptly be replaced by something even more useless and expensive.The amount of money this Labour government have wasted is hard to comprehend but is insignificant when compared to the money they have committed the country to spend on PFI scams.
It will end up costing the taxpayer twenty billion pounds. Do you understand what twenty billion pounds are? Let me help you:
On the day that Queen Victoria died, I put half a million pounds in used fivers in a suitcase, took it out into the woods, and burnt it in a bonfire. There wasn't any good reason for doing this—in much the same way as there isn't any good reason for much of Liebour's 'public spending'—but I did it anyway.
Then I did the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next. Every day of every week of every month of every year since the day that Queen Victoria died I have been burning half a million pounds in used fivers in a suitcase in a bonfire in the woods.
And I'm still not at twenty billion. I've still got nearly two years to go."
"Fears are growing that pubs across the country could be asked to take down their road signs to prevent drink-driving following action by a local authority.
The Highways Agency backed a move by Wiltshire County Council to block signs pointing drivers towards pubs – leading to concerns from trade chiefs that it could set a precedent.
Jacqui Ashman, local Highways Agency planning manager, said that the Black Dog’s sign was “potentially providing the temptation to drink and drive”.
She said: “No alcohol is allowed to be served or consumed in service stations on motorways as a matter of principle and we would wish to continue this principle by not encouraging drivers to break their journey in a public house.”"
"Half of a council's traffic wardens have quit their jobs or been sacked after management began carrying out immigration checks...
New contractors NCP Services took over on August 1 and immediately decided to run checks on the immigration status of their staff.
Many of the staff simply failed to show up to work, but several of the 48 brought in passports which turned out to be forgeries.
It is believed they were either illegal immigrants or "overstayers" who did not have the right to work in the UK.
Lambeth Council, are now set to investigate the way the former contractor recruited its staff."
"Harry Potter author JK Rowling has donated £1m to the Labour Party, the party has announced.That's a piece of nice and helpful news ahead of a potentially very difficult Labour conference. What might Ms Rowling's motivation for this donation be? One clue may be in the next line of the BBC's report:
Ms Rowling said she was motivated by Labour's record on child poverty and opposed a Conservative plan to give tax breaks to married couples.
Mr Brown said he was delighted to have the backing of "one of the world's greatest ever authors"."
"JK Rowling, whose fortune was estimated at £560 million in this year's Sunday Times Rich List, is known to be a personal friend of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah."Ah...
"The last that ever she saw him
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
He passed on worried and warning
Carried away by a moonlight shadow.
Lost in a river last saturday night
Far away on the other side.
He was caught in the middle of a desperate fight
And she couldn't find how to push through
The trees that whisper in the evening
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Sing a song of sorrow and grieving
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
All she saw was a silhouette of a gun
Far away on the other side.
He was shot six times by a man on the run
And she couldn't find how to push through
I see you in heaven far away
I see you in heaven one day
Four am in the morning
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
I watched your vision forming
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Star was glowing in a silvery night
Far away on the other side
Will you come to talk to me this night
But she couldn't find how to push through
I see you in heaven far away
I see you in heaven one day
Far away on the other side.
Caught in the middle of a hundred and five
The night was heavy but the air was alive
But she couldn't find how to push through
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Far away on the other side"
"TUCSON, AZ - The son of a U.S. Congressman from was arrested in Willcox Sunday, charged with human smuggling. According to court documents John F. Boyd son of Florida Congressman Allen Boyd, attempted to drive through a Border Patrol checkpoint in Willcox on Sunday with five illegal immigrants, including a 6-year-old girl.
In a statement sent Tuesday, Congressman Allen Boyd said, "On September 14, 2008, my 30-year-old son, John Boyd, was arrested in Arizona, and at a preliminary hearing yesterday, he was charged with alien smuggling."
"This is a family matter that my family and I will be dealing with privately. John is a grown man and must face the consequences for his actions, but he has the love and support of his family," says the elder Boyd.
A criminal complaint states, "At the primary inspection area, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the possible presence of illegal aliens in the bed of the truck. A primary inspection agent approached the truck and saw an individual hiding under a piece of plywood in the bed of the truck."
According to court documents the illegal immigrants said they were to pay Boyd $3,000 each to be smuggled into the United States and transported to their final destination.
Court documents also state that the vehicle contained, "two plastic bags that contained several rocks of crystal methamphetamine, four unopened syringes, a spoon with white residue and burn marks on the bottom, and three knives. A further search of the vehicle revealed a Beretta 22LR pistol loaded with eight rounds of ammunition and a spare magazine loaded with eight rounds of ammunition in a suitcase in the bed of the truck."
Boyd is expected in federal court on Wednesday."
"Taoiseach Brian Cowen yesterday directly linked failure to pass the Lisbon Treaty referendum to the economic downturn.Maybe someone could ask Brian Cowen to explain his remarks, because they make sod all sense to me.
He said the Government did not explain to people that rejection of the treaty could make the economic situation even worse.
Mr Cowen said the economy and Lisbon cannot be separated when the country looks at its place in Europe after the referendum. "It is increasingly obvious to me that our economic difficulties and the political dilemma posed by the Lisbon Treaty are linked,'' he said. "We failed to address people's genuinely held concerns and we failed to get the message through that a rejection of the treaty could exacerbate the already tough economic situation.""
"TOKYO, Sept. 16 -- North Korea has tested the engine mechanism for an intercontinental missile that might be able to hit major cities on the U.S. West Coast, according to an account published Tuesday in the South Korean press.So that's Iran and North Korea, who next? Meanwhile the United Nations restricts its activities to criticising Israel for being ... (well, just for being) and debating banning Islamophobia. Does "going to hell in a handcart" cover the world situation?
A previously unknown missile launch site on the west coast of North Korea was identified last week by Jane's Defense Weekly, which cited commercial satellite images. The facility has a mobile launch pad and a 10-story tower that would support the North's largest ballistic missiles, Jane's reported.
Appearing before a parliamentary committee in Seoul on Thursday, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee said the launch site is about 80 percent complete. His remarks added to the growing body of information about the site in recent media reports.
If accurate, the reports indicate that while North Korea has pursued on-again, off-again negotiations with the United States and four other countries on abandoning its nuclear weapons program, it has continued to work on developing a long-range ballistic missile and is diverting scarce resources from a collapsing economy that has brought about chronic food shortages."