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Monday, 31 August 2009

How one black man beat the Ku Klux Klan


This is a truly funny, albeit shocking, story about how one black pastor beat the Ku Klux Klan. A brave man who refused to respond to racism with racism or anger, preferring humour. The story is told by the Klan leader he defeated, Johnny Lee Clary.



Thanks to My Own Doubts for the spot.

The fifty-first weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's prize goes to scientists (including Professor John Edwards) from Bournemouth University who The Mail report that
"After studying the food offered to (prison) inmates and across the NHS, they found patients face more barriers in getting good nutrition.

...

If you are in prison then the diet you get is extremely good in terms of nutritional content,' he said.

'The food that is provided is actually better than most civilians have.'"
Of course that is the case; prisoners have rights and may sue, patients are using scant resources and if they die then just think of the savings.


"The NHS is the envy of the world"?


In Labour Britain prisoners are fed better than hospital patients - "No shit, Sherlock"

They are our roads, we have already paid for them... many times over

The news that NM Rothschild have proposed a radical plan to raise £100 billion by privatising the motorway network leaves me really angry. These roads have been paid for, many times over, by our Road Fund Licence and petrol taxes and I will not pay again.

Yes, the UK needs the money as Gordon Brown incompetently spent more money than he could afford on fripperies and building a Labour voting client state. This is not the way to raise the money though; a better way would be a 90% tax on all Labour MPs income for the next 1,000 years and a special "now do you understand why you shouldn't vote Labour" tax payable by all the fools who voted Labour since 1997. This tax would be on a sliding scale: 2% for those who voted Labour just in 1997 (they can be almost, but not entirely, forgiven their lack of common sense), 5% for those who voted Labour in 2001 (surely you should have noticed what sort of people the government were by then), 10% for those who voted Labour in 2005 (I can see no possible excuse for their level of stupidity). Of course people will still vote Labour at the next election and they should have an additional "they fucked the economy up and ruined the country" tax of 10% applied to their income, if any.

How fast are sea levels rising

Climate Audit report that the rate "dropped a remarkable 15% overnight from 2 mm/year to 1.7 mm/year" recently. Do have a read as to why; and wonder what other "errors" are in the data that is being used to justify the taxation and control policies being imposed upon us.

Tasteful?

"I wish he had died in that crash and that he had been decapitated and that his head had rolled off in front of his wife and that a jagged piece of metal debris from the car had got stuck in his eye and blinded him.

And then his head had rolled on a few more yards into a pool of boiling oil and that his head had retained just enough neural capacity for him to be able to think "ooh, this is bit hot" before the whole thing exploded into tiny pieces."

..."I wish Richard Hammond HAD died and I wish he had been decapitated. Of course, it’s a joke. But coincidentally it’s also what I believe."
That's comedian Stuart Lee on Richard Hammond, according to The Daily Mail. I wonder if Stuart Lee will apologise to Richard Hammond. Somehow I doubt it because lefty tossers like Stuart Lee, like to push the comedy envelope and no doubt see Top Gear presenters as fair game, they being completely not right-on. Apparently it was a joke; sounds rather more angry and personal to me.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Ronald Reagan and socialised medicine (aka Obama Healthcare)


Ronald Reagan, what a speaker. It is odd how the leftist narrative is that Republican Presidents are idiots whilst Democrats are wise and caring. Somehow I'd rather have Ronald Reagan as President than Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

Thanks to Guido Fawkes for the spot.

Compare and contrast the BBC and The Telegraph

The Telegraph report that:
"Jack Straw has admitted the Government caved in to Libyan demands that the Lockerbie bomber be included in a prisoner transfer deal with Britain.

The Justice Secretary said he originally wanted Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi omitted from the agreement, but relented and agreed the bomber should be eligible.

He said the Libyans deserved "something" in return for giving up their nuclear weapons programme but vehemently denied striking a "backdoor deal" over Megrahi. "

Meanwhile the BBC prefer to concentrate on another aspect:
"Justice Secretary Jack Straw has said reports the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was released over an oil deal are "wholly untrue".

He denied a "back door deal" was done to transfer Megrahi because of UK trade talks with the Libyan government.

Letters leaked to a newspaper show UK ministers agreed to include him in a prisoner transfer deal in 2007 because of "overwhelming national interests". "

So you pays your money... Well you do to the BBC, The Telegraph online is free.

Three Dead Kennedys


Teddy, Bobby and Jack as Jello Biafra et al.



"California Uber Alles"


Thanks to Theo Spark for the spot.

Glen Beck's spelling Bee (or rather C)


I like watching Glen Beck; he can be quite thoughtful, if sometimes prone to ranting. However this piece of video may cause his credibility a few problems.
OLIGARHY?

Mind you I did like his "I am tired of being a sheep, I am tired of being a victim, I am tired of being pushed around..."; made me feel at home.

I wonder if the new gown will incorporate an "optional" head-covering for female patients

News that the NHS are to phase out traditional hospital gowns wards across Britain, after patients complained that the garments left their bottoms exposed, left me feeling conflicted. Whilst I am glad that I will no longer have to perform the the rather odd clutching the rear of the gown walk in the future, I am awaiting with interest the redesigned gown expecting an "optional" head-covering to be incorporated. Am I being unduly cynical? Time will tell.

Tony Blair's sellout unravels

In 2005 Tony Blair accepted a reduction in the UK budget rebate in return for a complete review of all EU spending. Unsurprisingly whilst the UK's rebate has been cut, so UK contributions will rise from £4.1million in the year ending Apr 2010 to £6.9 billion in the calendar year 2011 and £7.3bn in the year ending April 2011, the promised review looks like not happening. The Telegraph reports that:
"the full and wide-ranging review" of EU spending promised to Mr Blair for this year is being abandoned because officials fear that it would be too contentious - and would disrupt other work which they regard as more important.... the review, already delayed by several months, has now been cast into serious doubt because of a crowded and sensitive political timetable for the European Commission, which must make the initial proposals. "
So once again Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have been shown up as poor negotiators and/or the EU as devious. I am not surprised but I am angry, very angry. The sooner the UK leaves the EU and adopts a trade-only relationship with it, the better.

That last sentence I think shows why this blog is a "right of centre blog" not a "Conservative blog".

I am shocked, I never saw this coming!

With the health warning that this is sourced from The Express, I read that:
"THE cancer-stricken Lockerbie bomber, far from being close to death, is “getting better by the day”, his family said yesterday.

Relatives claim the health of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, 57, has shown marked signs of improvement and they now hope he could even make a full recovery.

...

The Sunday Express can reveal that Megrahi’s elderly father, Ali, has told Arab newspapers that he believes Scottish ministers and western media have painted a “darker picture” than necessary of his son’s condition and claims he is regaining his strength.

He said: “I see that he is getting better day after day, and is much better than the first day that he returned to his homeland. I think that the sick are not just cured by medicine but also by having a high morale and a sense of freedom and these were not available to Abdulbaset in prison.

“He was diagnosed with cancer less than a year ago.

“A relative was diagnosed with a similar disease and he was treated and recovered completely. We hope that Abdelbaset recovers his health as well.”"

Al-Megrahi getting better after his release on compassionate grounds, who would have thought it? I presume that if he does recover, that he will be brought back to Scotland to serve the balance of his sentence; maybe not.


Amongst other news that does not surprise me in this case is:
"The British government decided it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, eligible for return to Libya, leaked ministerial letters reveal.

Gordon Brown’s government made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards.

The letters were sent two years ago by Jack Straw, the justice secretary, to Kenny MacAskill, his counterpart in Scotland, who has been widely criticised for taking the formal decision to permit Megrahi’s release.

The correspondence makes it plain that the key decision to include Megrahi in a deal with Libya to allow prisoners to return home was, in fact, taken in London for British national interests. "

You might also want to read the latest news in The Sunday Telegraph, not online, regarding Peter Mandelson and Libya; fascinating.

An excellent posting on Michael Crick's Newsnight blog

Beeb Bias Craig has managed to get a posting accepted onto Michael Crick's blog that is not quite what it seems.

"Well done Michael, a funny story that shows just what the Tories are like! This makes it your 6th post (out of 8) this month about the Tory Party. I've loved them all. Three have been firmly anti-Tory (well done again!), and the others merely slanted against the Tories (great!). None have been specifically about the Labour government (and why should they have been?). I know some people think you hate the Tories, but I hate them too and I don't see anything wrong in that. I think you're doing a great job. Go on Michael, keep socking it to them!"


It would appear that the BBC don't understand irony.

Looking at the next comment, it would seem that commenter A_View_From_France doesn't get irony either:
"CraigMorecambe, the joke is on you, especially when the Conservatives trounce Labour at the next election (Super Great!).

So yes, let Mr Crick continue with his pointless blog, all he is doing is ensuring that he will be looking for a new job sometime in the next 8 months....."

Teddy Kennedy "funny guy"


"one of his favorite topics of humor was Chappaquiddick itself."
What a funny guy! I suppose if you abandon a young woman to drown at Chappaquiddick then consorting with the godfathers of IRA terrorism is just a short step.

Another "odd" appointment by Barack Obama

Barack Obama has appointed a certain Van Jones as a Green Czar. The Huffington Post report the story thus:
"Since the drafting of Van Jones to the Obama administration, people have wondered what exactly his job will be and what it will mean for the future of green jobs. Jones is a rising star among environmental activists, author of The Green Collar Economy and had been CEO of green jobs activist group Green For All until his government appointment caused him to step down."

US News reports the appointment thus:
"Author, activist and think tank fellow Van Jones will be joining the Obama administration next week as a special adviser on green jobs, reported the White House Council on Environmental Quality today. Jones will work with agencies and departments to advance the administration's climate and energy initiatives, with a special focus on improving vulnerable communities, according to a White House statement. Jones is the founder of "Green For All," an environmental group dedicated to bringing green jobs to the disadvantaged, and the author of "The Green Collar Economy." Environmental groups are, of course, thrilled with the decision - in their opinion, no one knows green jobs like Van Jones.

...

Jones has long been a proponent of environmental justice. He, along with other advocates like Majora Carter, try to raise awareness of the fact that the communities most hurt by unsustainable practices are often the poorest. "

Oddly, neither news source manages to report this from 1992
"Jones had planned to move to Washington, DC, and had already landed a job and an apartment there. But in jail, he said, “I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’” Although he already had a plane ticket, he decided to stay in San Francisco. “I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary.” In the months that followed, he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. “I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th,” he said. “By August, I was a communist.”"


A Tangled Web reports that:
"One day after the 9/11 attacks, President Obama's "green jobs czar" Van Jones led a vigil that expressed solidarity with Arab and Muslim Americans as well as what he called the victims of "U.S. imperialism" around the world.

...

Jones was the leader and founder of a radical group, the communist revolutionary organization Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM. That group, together with Jones' Elle Baker Center for Human Rights, led a vigil Sept. 12, 2001, at Snow Park in Oakland, Calif."

Another Marxist in the White House team, is anyone surprised? I warned you all about Barack Obama some time ago, looks like I was right.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Now that's a different looking laptop


Gizmodo have details of a "dual screen" laptop... from gScreen. It's a dual 15.4-inch screen Spacebook with two full screens.

Because women never lie to men...

The Mail reveals "The lies men tell women about sex and love". I wonder if a follow-up article on the lies women tell men will follow soon. The Mail article has four lies that men tell women, how about four that women tell men? We could start with: "Of course I am still on the pill", what other lies can you think of?

It's only taxpayers' money after all

I note that two swine flu call centres are to close just weeks after opening because staff have been spending most of their time playing cards and board games as the number of calls has not met expectations. The two call centres that will close are in Farnborough and Watford are run by NHS Professionals which supplies temporary-workers to the health service.

So we have call centres allegedly staffed by 16-18 year olds with minimal training and according to The Mail play games when there are no calls to answer.

A Labour government wasting money on a scare story; what a shock.

Enobled in secrecy - sums Labour up doesn't it?

The Telegraph reveals that:
"Michael Martin, who stood down as Speaker of the House of Commons over his response to the expenses scandal, has had his peerage quietly confirmed... His peerage was not publicly announced by Parliament, but slipped out in the London Gazette, the little-read official record of public announcements... A number of peers from all parties had called for the former Speaker Martin to be denied a title, which is in the gift of the Queen. Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Chancellor, had led calls, saying that he had “let parliamentary democracy down”. The warning was echoed by Lord Desai, a Labour peer, and Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat, who both said that the ex-Speaker would not be welcome in the Lords. "
Good old Labour, everything in the open and transparent.

"I can charge you with whatever I want to charge you with"


Officer Wesley Cheeks Jr explaining the death of free speech in America. Welcome to the proto-fascist state that we in the UK have been enjoying for the last 10 years or so.

Younger brother problems and Oasis

Noel Gallagher has announced that he is leaving the rock band Oasis because he can no longer work with his younger brother Liam. I understand Noel, I really do, younger brothers can be complete sods, that's why I don't speak to mine.

Pravda and tractor stats


Tractor stats, have the BBC no concept of irony?

The envy of the world?

The NHS is the envy of the world? Really? The Mail reports that:
"Surgeons from Sweden, Denmark and Finland were flown into Britain between 2003 and 2006 as part of a £3million scheme to speed up hip and knee replacements.

But concerns were raised about the quality of the work carried out and many patients fear the surgeons were insufficiently trained or skilled.

More than one third of people operated on at Weston-super-Mare General Hospital (WGH), Somerset, had an unsatisfactory result and six legal cases are now being considered."
Read the rest of the story.

That's a lot of money for a sheep


£231,000 for a tup lamb, Deveronvale Perfection who was bred in Banffshire and sold to another local sheep farmer at a sale in Lanark. The lamb will be used for breeding in the hope of more than recouping the purchase price.

Friday, 28 August 2009

What's a grassroots movement?


Stephen Crowder goes undercover

The end of free speech in the USA


Glenn Beck & Rush Limbaugh on Barack Obama ending Freedom Of Speech

Nobody warned us

Back in June I blogged about just nine of the many articles that warned of what was to come. At the time I asked
"So did Gordon Brown and his highly skilled paid team not read the major UK newspapers, the BBC reports, the Bank of England's reports or those of the IMF between December 2003 and 2008? If they did not read them then they were surely negligent as they should have. If they did read them and did not act then they were surely negligent as why did they not act, did they assume they knew more than the experts? Maybe they really believed that Gordon Brown had abolished "boom and bust" economics. "
In fact it seems that Gordon Brown was even more culpable, Paul Waugh in The Standard reports that:
"Gordon Brown ignored a stark warning that "toxic" bank loans could lead to global financial collapse, a leading US hedge fund chief has revealed.

Jim Chanos said that Mr Brown, while Chancellor of the Exchequer, was given a briefing that predicted banks were in dire danger - more than a year before the crisis hit last year.

Mr Chanos, who made his name correctly predicting the downfall of Enron, said that Mr Brown and other G7 finance ministers were told of the "canary in the coal mine" but chose to carry on regardless.

...

At a closed session at the US Treasury in April 2007, G7 finance ministers were warned that banks were holding massive loans that could never be repaid. Mr Chanos told a BBC Radio 4 documentary: "We were completely and officially ignored." ."

Maybe David Cameron and George Osborne could start the new session of parliament by pointing out yet another "Brownie".


The financial crash was foreseeable, you can find plenty of articles on this blog for a start. When people started to live beyond their means and rely on the increasing value of their house via equity release etc. then alarm bells should have started to ring. However Gordon Brown and Tony Blair needed to give the impression of continued prosperity ahead of the 2005 general election. In effect they were buying votes, it's just a shame that it was on the back of increasing debt and the resulting near bankrupting of the UK.

The end of an era

"The curtain is finally coming down on Britain's longest running unreality show. Now in its 13th year, it has suffered a catastrophic collapse in ratings as viewers have become bored and deserted in droves.

Once hailed as an exciting social experiment, whose sole purpose was 'education, education, education', the series has descended into little more than a repellent freak show.

New Labour has demeaned its contestants and audience alike, coarsened our culture, debased living standards, promoted a climate of bullying and exhibitionism and lowered Britain's standing around the world. It has become a byword for corruption and incompetence, obsessed with sex, greed and racism."
Richard Littlejohn in The Mail on the freakshow comparisons between Big Brother and the Labour Government.

"The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the Truth Faith; unbelievers... should live in a state of subordination"

"Unrecognized inside the mosques we were able to enter, I was warmly received as a potential convert and laden with books and pamphlets explaining the wonders of Islam -- including, courtesy the Finsbury Park Mosque, a copy of the Koran with illuminating commentary: “The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight,” we’re told, “is not, as one might think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam.”

Feel better? Don’t. “Rather, its purpose is to put an end to the suzerainty of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over people. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the Truth Faith; unbelievers who do not follow this True Faith should live in a state of subordination.” So much for liberty and justice for all."
More here by Robert Spencer.

Stealing body parts

The Swedish newspaper "Aftonbladet" recently accused the Israeli Army of trading in Palestinian body parts. There was no evidence and the newspaper have now apologised but the story is out there and another "blood libel" is spread. Here's a picture of a demonstrator at a recent pro-Hamas demonstration in London.
I wonder if this demonstrator will be outside the Chinese embassy as the China Daily - citing unnamed experts - said this week that more than 65% of organ donations came from death row prisoners. It is acknowledged that China executes more people than any other country; Amnesty International said at least 1,718 people were given the death penalty in 2008.

Fascinating BBC headline - "Tories continue welfare attacks"

"Tories continue welfare attacks" what does that mean to you? That the Conservatives are in some way attacking welfare payments or people on welfare? That's how it read to me, which is why I clicked on the article to see which Conservative politician was being misquoted now. The actual story starts:
"The Tories have stepped up their attack on Labour's employment record, accusing them of leaving people trapped in a "vicious cycle" of welfare dependency.

Shadow work secretary Theresa May said unemployment had become entrenched in many families with dire social effects.

Figures released on Wednesday showed the number of UK households with no-one working has risen to a 10-year high."
So a somewhat different story from that which the headline alludes to, I wonder why the headline was chosen...

The BBC then report the frankly incredible claim that
"Labour said the Tories' failure to help the unemployed in the 1980s had left a disastrous legacy."

Thursday, 27 August 2009

What a relief


Iain Dale has announced Total Politics's Top 100 Right of Centre Blogs and I am somewhat pleased to have risen from 93 to 59 in the rankings.

Many thanks to all of you who voted for me.

I must admit that I have been feeling somewhat demotivated about blogging recently, now I feel re-invigorated.

Here's the history of this blogs annual ratings:
2007/08 - Number 90 Conservative blog
2008/09 - Number 93 Right of Centre blog
2009/10 - Number 59 Right of Centre blog

"We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"

"The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny."
More at Greenie Watch.

"The government can"


That's Tim Hawkins with his "The government can" song and very good it is too.


However do you remember Greg Morton's "Obama man can" from May?

"Who can take tomorrow, spend it all today?
Who can take your income and tax it all away"

Does Jack Straw want to be the next leader of the labour party?

I just wondered as the BBC report that:
"Jack Straw is to amend plans allowing life peers to resign from the House of Lords, to stop them standing as an MP for up to five years, it is reported.

The FT reports the justice secretary wants a "cooling off" period inserted into the Constitutional Reform Bill. "
Now I know that Peter Mandelson was reported as saying that he saw
"no prospect... of standing as leader of the Labour Party....A peerage is for life. A life peerage is a life peerage.... "It is me officially ruling it out"
But as I blogged at the time
"The odd thing is I think he may have still left himself a get out; at present he is correct to say "There is no opportunity for me to divest myself of my life peerage. A peerage is for life. A life peerage is a life peerage" but once that barrier is lifted could he say that now the law has changed and because the Labour party and the Country needs him..."

So is this Jack Straw making sure that Peter Mandelson is definitely out of the running to be the next Labour leader? And if so on his own behalf or for someone else?

Using science to cut carbon in the atmosphere

If you still believe that CO2 in the atmosphere is the cause of global warming and if you still believe that humanity is the prime cause of this CO2, then I would have thought that you would greet today's reports that scientists can envisage artificial tress being placed alongside motorways that could scrub all of the emissions from UK transport from the atmosphere with joy and relief. It seems I would be wrong because just as I was waking up this morning I heard the tail-end of a BBC Radio 4 news report that ended with a quote something like "even if this technology did work, it should not stop us from reducing the output of CO2". How odd, one might be forgiven for thinking that the aim of the enviromentalists was not the reduction of CO2 but the destruction of Western civilization and science in the name of "fairness". Those that abandoned Marxism have reappeared wearing the clothes of Greenism, the reasons may differ but the aims are the same.

BBC coverage of Israel and the Palestinian territories

Yesterday I blogged about the story of Hamas killing 22 and injuring more than a hundred Palestinians in an attack on a mosque in Rafah. I pointed out the lack of coverage on the BBC. Whilst posting that item I noticed the following two stories that the BBC decided did warrant covering:

1. "Palestinians killed in Gaza raid - "At least three Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike on a tunnel between Gaza and Egypt, Palestinian officials say.
They said several others were wounded in the attack, which occurred near the southern border town of Rafah."

2. "Shots exchanged over Gaza border" - "A Palestinian man has been killed and an Israeli soldier injured in exchanges of fire over the Israel-Gaza border."


So the death of one Palestinian in a clash with the Israeli army is newsworthy, the deaths of three Palestinian smugglers killed by the Israelis is newsworthy but the death of 22 Palestinians and injuring of 100 more by other Palestinians is not newsworthy... I wonder what the BBC decision making process is?

30 years ago today

30 years ago today Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC along with The Dowager Baroness Brabourne, The Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull and local teenager Paul Maxwell, were killed in Ireland by a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA.

Some facts about this IRA bombing that are often forgotten:
1. Nicholas Knatchbull's mother and father, along with his twin brother Timothy, survived the explosion but were seriously injured. The injured are often the forgotten victims of bombings and that is as true today in Afghanistan or in London on 7/7 as it was then. Their suffering continues for long after the attack and may like Lady Tebbit's last a lifetime.

2. Sinn Féin's then vice-president Gerry Adams said of Mountbatten's death "The IRA gave clear reasons for the execution. I think it is unfortunate that anyone has to be killed, but the furore created by Mountbatten's death showed up the hypocritical attitude of the media establishment. As a member of the House of Lords, Mountbatten was an emotional figure in both British and Irish politics. What the IRA did to him is what Mountbatten had been doing all his life to other people; and with his war record I don't think he could have objected to dying in what was clearly a war situation. He knew the danger involved in coming to this country. In my opinion, the IRA achieved its objective: people started paying attention to what was happening in Ireland." No compassion, no remorse from Gerry Adams. I wonder what Martin McGuinness has to say about the attack?

3. On the same day that Earl Mountbatten and his companions were killed, the IRA also ambushed and killed eighteen British Army soldiers at Warrenpoint, County Down in what became known as the Warrenpoint ambush.

4. The only bomber arrested for this murderous attack, Thomas McMahon, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in the Republic of Ireland on 23 November 1979, but was released in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. He served less than 20 years for these murders and was released as part of the deal that gave power to the political wing of the organisation that he was part of and was responsible for the killing of so many innocent people.


Earl Mountbatten, Baroness Brabourne, Nicholas Knatchbull and Paul Maxwell - "At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them"

"Clinicians who have assessed Mr Megrahi have commented on his relative lack of symptoms when considering the severity & stage of underlying disease"

"Clinicians who have assessed Mr Megrahi have commented on his relative lack of symptoms when considering the severity and stage of underlying disease."
Now why might that be? Maybe al-Megrahi has considerably more than three months to live. Maybe al-Megrahi's release was due to factors other than his imminent demise.

That quotation is from The Scotsman's article entitled "Medical advice on Libyan bomber 'in doubt'". Here are a few more telling extracts from the article that deserve wider coverage:
""Whether or not prognosis is more or less than three months, no specialist would be willing to say."

The report suggests that only one doctor was willing to support the claim that Megrahi had just weeks to live."

"suggestions that the doctor who gave the prognosis may have been employed by the Libyan government emerged in the report's notes. It said that a professor from Libya had been involved in Megrahi's care and the medical officer who wrote the report had been "working with clinicians from Libya over the past ten months"."

"despite promises that Mr MacAskill will publish "all relevant documentation" once permission has been received from the parties involved, a source close to the justice secretary said this would not include information about the doctor – including his or her name and qualifications."

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The latest atrocity in the Middle East

The latest atrocity in the Middle East has not been reported on the BBC and I don't understand why not. It seems that:
"Earlier this month, Israel launched a devastating bombardment of rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire against a mosque in Rafah. The attack killed at least 22 Palestinians, including an 11-year-old girl. Over 100 more were injured and the mosque, which belonged to an Islamist faction, the Jund Ansar Allah, was left riddled with bullets. The adjacent building was destroyed. Yet Israel's disregard for the sanctity of a house of worship, and its contempt for the lives of neighbouring civilians, is unlikely to be the subject of any probing reports from Human Rights Watch."
Oh sorry, my mistake.... That would be a story that the BBC would cover and would fulminate over and "Today" would aggressively interview Ron Prosor. However the truth us that I replaced "Hamas" with "Israel" in the above passage and deleted the word "rival" from before "Islamist faction".

So why are the BBC not covering this story? Could it be because it does not fit the narrative they like to spread? Maybe the Balen report would give us some answers...

More on BBC bias in their coverage of Israel tomorrow.

Creationists are mad but legal rights for tree supporters become advisors?

The left in the USA and their friends in the media (especially the BBC) love to attack people as Creationists and allude to that disbarring them from playing any part in public life. Oddly it appears that believing that trees should have rights is no bar to becoming an advisor to Barack Obama and the left wing media have not even managed a sqwark.

John P. Holdren, a man who now advises President Barack Obama on science and technology issues wrote in the 1970s that giving "natural objects" (such as trees) standing to sue in a court of law would have a "most salubrious" effect on the environment.

As ever the media destroy anyone on the right whose views they find "odd" and against normality but give a free pass to politicians on the left.

More false-positives

To add to AVG, CA and Kaspersky you can now add Microsoft! It seems that Microsoft's SmartScreen Filter, which is built into IE7 and IE8, labelled every uk.com site as a phishing site following an overnight rule change. Many of the affected sites have now been unblocked, but others remain labelled as potentially dangerous to surfers to anyone using Microsoft's SmartScreen consumer protection technology.

Well done Microsoft.

In the USA soon and how long before it finds it way to the UK?

Barack Obama's administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to support "net neutrality" and go after anyone who violates its tenets. So that will be the left stopping free speech on the Internet but allowing big corporations to suck up to Barack Obama in the USA and the Labour party in the UK. The legislation is designed to keep the left wing advantage in all things media. "Net neutrality" isn't about fairness, it's the product of the leftist state of mind. A state of mind that compels liberals to silence the opposition by any means necessary - all in the interest of "neutrality" and "fairness", of course.


Here's Andrew Klavan explaining why the left just want opponents to "Shut up!"

The NHS "The envy of the world"?

Maybe not:
"Man collapses with ruptured appendix... three weeks after NHS doctors 'took it out'"
Yes that's right... do read the whole story and glory in the NHS - "the envy of the world".

Edward Kennedy RIP (?)

Edward Kennedy is being lionised in death with barely a mention of Chappaquiddick which resulted in the death of his female passenger and no mention at all of his support for IRA Republicanism during their overt terrorist phase.

Last week Edward Kennedy was one of the US senators who wrote a letter to the Scottish Justice Secretary urging not to release al-Megrahi. My "tribute" to Edward Kennedy are the words that I ended that article with:
"Is this the same Edward "Ted" Kennedy that gave support to the terrorist IRA during the 1980s and 1990s?

Is this the same Ted Kennedy who routinely greeted the supporters and masterminds of IRA terrorism on St Patrick's Day in the USA?

Is this the same Edward Kennedy who in 1971 compared the British military presence in Northern Ireland to America's unpopular involvement in Vietnam, a slight difference being that Vietnam was not part of America whilst Northern Ireland is part of the UK and the majority population want to remain that way.

Is this the same Edward Kennedy who called for the immediate withdrawal of the British army from Northern Ireland claiming that Protestants who could not accept a united Ireland "should be given a decent opportunity to go back to Britain", even though they were born and raised in Northern Ireland?

I could go on and I could bring up Chappaquiddick and wonder why Ted Kennedy gets a free pass on his involvement in the death of an innocent woman whilst a conservative US politician in a similar scandal would never be allowed back into public life, but I won't. I will just point out that the day anyone should take seriously the words of Edward Kennedy on any matter of terrorism or of safe driving has not yet come. "

Dinner with Mandelson (reminder)

The press and especially on-line news media are full of speculation about why Peter Mandelson's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have become so anti-file sharing all of a sudden. The government commissioned Digital Britain report, published as recently as June, gave Ofcom until 2012 to consider what technical measures to catch pirates were necessary.
Suddenly, according to a statement from BIS, that timeframe is now considered "too long to wait".

What has changed? Well Stephen Timms, minister for Digital Britain, said: "We've been listening carefully to responses to the consultation this far, and it's become clear there are widespread concerns that the plans as they stand could delay action, impacting unfairly upon rights holders." So BIS proposes that ISPs are obliged to take action against repeat copyright infringers and suggests that the cost of tracking down persistent pirates be shared 50:50 between ISPs and copyright holders. I wonder if any particular responses carried particular weight with BIS and its head Peter Mandelson? Entirely coincidentally I blogged a week ago that:
"It is interesting how effective having dinner with Peter Mandelson can be. To Oleg Deripaska and his favourable EU aluminium tariffs we can add David Geffen whose dinner with Peter Mandelson at the Rothschild’s holiday villa on Corfu was entirely coincidentally followed by Lord Mandelson ordering officials to draw up draconian regulations on internet piracy. Peter "Mandelson is understood to have demanded that internet service providers be given new powers to cut off the accounts of British web users who persistently download music and films for nothing.". Also coincidentally we may be able to add Peter Mandelson meeting Colonel Gaddafi’s son at the same Corfu villa and then Ali al-Megrahi's release becoming considered.

All entirely coincidental I am sure as Peter Mandelson has always upheld the highest levels of probity in public life. It was, of course, purely bad luck that led Peter Mandelson to have to resign twice from the Cabinet."

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Gordon Brown declined to say whether he supported the move to release al-Megrahi

That line from the BBC report on Gordon Brown's courageous press conference just about sums up Gordon Brown.
"BBC political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg said Mr Brown had chosen his words carefully because of the many sensitivities involved in the case and that No 10 clearly hoped his remarks would draw a line under the matter."
And the BBC will be there helping Gordon Brown to draw that line and stop covering the story except from the SNP angle, not that isn't exactly what they've been doing for the last few weeks.

If only it was just £257 per household

The statement that every household will have to pay £257 towards the EU next year after Labour signed away much of Britain's hard-won budget rebate has become a much repeated "fact" in recent days. This is said to result from Tony Blair's duplicity a few years back. I am here to inform you that the £257 figure is rubbish, absolute bollocks in fact. My household will pay way, way more as probably will yours. The figure assumes that every household pays equally and that is not the case. Those living off the fat in benefit Britain will pay nothing, neither will the NEETS or the unemployed or any of the myriad of non-taxpayers. The true cost to the taxpayers in this country will be far, far higher; could anyone work it out?

Where's Gordon?

I was going to write a coruscating attack on the cowardice of Gordon Brown. It would have pointed out the way that he has evaded even giving an opinion on the early release of al-Megrahi, using the excuse that it was because it is a devolved matter. I was going to contrast this behaviour with his previous willingness to congratulate quiz shows for reaching a milestone and enquire after the heath of "talent" show contestants, all matters just as outside of his remit. What's the point though? The BBC have decided that the release of al-Megrahi is a story solely about Scottish politics and "compassion" and does not impinge on Gordon Brown or Peter Mandelson at all. The BBC's top three stories on its web site this morning are "Jackson 'had lethal drug levels'", "US names CIA abuse investigator" and "'Legal highs' set to be banned". The only mention of Gordon Brown is "Brown holds talks with Netanyahu" a story that is about a meeting that hasn't even happened yet and is presumably there to imply that Gordon Brown has more important things to do than comment on the release of a convicted mass-murderer
"UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is due to hold talks with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on the future of the Middle East peace process.

During a Downing Street meeting, Mr Brown is likely to push for a halt to the expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory."

The BBC do have an analysis piece hidden away on their politics page that purports to cast some light on why Gordon Brown is not commenting but in reality just drifts away.

If you want real comment, try Richard Littlejohn; in a piece entitled "Gordon Brown's yellow streak is the width of the Yangtze river" he takes Gordon Brown to task, here's an extract:
"In their amoral universe, there is little difference between theatrically letting Jade Goody's boyfriend out of prison for his stag night and freeing a convicted terrorist involved in the murder of 270 innocent civilians.

It's all a game to these cynics. Surely, say the sophisticates, Gordon wouldn't have gone along with this simply because he thought it would damage the SNP at the next General Election. That's precisely why he would have gone along with it. Every decision he ever takes is predicated upon what it can do for him personally and how much damage it will inflict on his political opponents. And to hell with the consequences.

Despite the preening world statesman posturing, Gordon is as much of a petty, point-scoring, partisan pygmy as the puffed-up playground posers in the SNP.

His stony silence is almost eloquent, serving both to insult our intelligence and remind us of the yellow streak the width of the Yangtze which passes for his backbone."
Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson are the triumvirate that schemed to get "New Labour" elected and have shown that the true New Labour project was not about fairness but power, money and control.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The fiftieth weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's prize goes to a joint study conducted by scientists from the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), Emory University in Atlanta and Andrews University in Michigan for the incredible discovery that
"frequent gamers tend to be fatter and of less sunny a disposition than non-gamers."
and that:
"Internet community support and time spent online distinguished adult videogame players from non-players, a finding consistent with prior research pointing to the willingness of adult video-game enthusiasts to sacrifice real-world social activities to play video games."

Gamers are fatter than non-gamers and gamers spend longer online than non-gamers; "No shit, Sherlock"

The BBC compare and contrast coverage of George Osborne and Gordon Brown/Peter Mandelson

When the George Osborne Corfu boat story broke the BBC gave it wall to wall coverage. A special report by Michael Crick on Newsnight, lead items on the news and the top story on the website for days and referred to for months. A more important story about possible secret deals and lies being told by senior government ministers is not even mentioned on the front page of the BBC news website where the Greek fires, the stabbing of Premier League footballer Calum Davenport and the cricket are the top stories.

George Osborne's statement was picked apart and discredited as often as possible whereas Peter Mandelson's statement is taken at face value and Gordon Brown's lack of comment is hardly mentioned.

Indeed the BBC sole concern in this story seems to be to spin it into an issue for the SNP. Cynics might think that this is an attempt to boost Labour's vote in Scotland in an upcoming general election and in the Glasgow North by election that they still have to call.

Meanwhile I had to turn to The Guardian to read that:
"Gordon Brown faced fresh questions tonight after it emerged that he discussed with Colonel Gaddafi detailed conditions for the Lockerbie bomber's return nearly six weeks ago... Downing Street released the text of a cordial letter sent to the Libyan leader on the day that Abdulbaset al-Megrahi was released, asking that the event be kept low key because a "high-profile" ceremony would distress his victims and their families.

But critically the letter also refers to a meeting between the two leaders six weeks earlier at the G8 summit in Italy, adding that "when we met [there] I stressed that, should the Scottish executive decide that Megrahi can return to Libya, this should be a purely private family occasion" rather than a public celebration.

Previously officials have said that the two men's conversation in Italy at the beginning of July was brief and that, while the Lockerbie case was raised, Brown merely stressed the matter was one for the Scottish government to decide.

However, the new letter, addressed to "Dear Muammar" and signed off by wishing him a happy Ramadan, suggests that the decision was well enough advanced and Brown well enough briefed to set terms for a homecoming – albeit unsuccessfully."

This story gets murkier and murkier but the BBC seem keen not to investigate it. It is almost as if they want to protect Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson's roles from scrutiny; why?

Monday morning catch-up

So much I wanted to post on this weekend but not enough time, so here's a catch-up post:

1. Over 25% of A-level students get A grade and something like a third of prospective entrants to University mathematics courses fail a maths exam.


2. The Times reports that: "A devastating official report suppressed by ministers has revealed that soldiers’ lives are being put at risk by “endemic” failures at the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The secret dossier blames “political fudge” and Whitehall incompetence for the plight of soldiers in Afghanistan who are provided with inadequate frontline kit."


3. My Own Doubts riffs on a theme I have touched on before as he explains why, contrary to the agreed media narrative, racism is a problem of the "left" not the "right".


4. The Spectator think that there is a "stench of realpolitik" about the release of al-Megrahi.


5. The Telegraph reported that:
"Britain's payments to the European Union will soar by almost 60 per cent next year, according to figures "buried" in government documents.

The Treasury statistics show that the UK's net contribution to the EU will increase from £4.1 billion this year to £6.4 billion in 2010/11.

The figures were published in the Treasury's annual Community Finances statement, which was slipped out last month just before parliament broke up for its summer recess. "
Do read this story as it reminds us of Tony Blair's duplicity and Gordon Brown's capitulation over the UK rebate.


6. This Telegraph article from last year may give us pointers on how Gordon Brown will look to raise money if he manages to somehow win (or avoid) the general election - raiding private pension funds in the name of serving the collective welfare.


7. The Mirror reported that: "John Prescott has landed his most bizarre job yet - as professor of climate change at a Chinese university.


8. A site that is becoming a daily must read for me,Beeb Bias Craig, takes Michael Crick to task for anti-Conservative bias in two wee researched articles - here and here.

9. The Mail reports that: "Traditional lightbulbs will disappear from our shops in just ten days.

All conventional pearl, incandescent lightbulbs are being banned by the European Union to slash energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

The move covers every type of frosted traditional bulb, from the 60 watt pearl bulbs used in table lamps to more specialised opaque 25 and 40 watt bulbs shaped like golf balls and candles.

Clear and frosted 100 watt lightbulbs will also not be on sale from September 1."

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Not a waste of a sunny Sunday afternoon


The sun has been noticeably absent from this English summer so should I have spent this afternoon "catching some rays" to help my endless fight with my psoriasis? Probably I should have but since lunch I have instead been watching the fourth day of the final test on TV and I feel it has been worth it. England have regained The Ashes and that makes me feel very good indeed.

That's why it's called the anti-discrimination "industry"

The Times reports that:
"HARRIET HARMAN is set to embrace yet another minority group who claim to be victims of discrimination – naturists.

The Government Equalities Office, which is overseen by Labour’s deputy leader, is promoting claims that devotees of skinny dipping and nudist campsites suffer prejudice equivalent to that experienced by gays, ethnic minorities and the elderly.

A submission written by British Naturism has been included in a review into discrimination. “Naturists encounter prejudice in employment,” it reads.

“This is a particular problem for people in the caring professions and education. Any occupation requiring an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau check is potentially a serious problem.”"
Do Naturists really "encounter prejudice in employment"? I doubt it, but having attacked discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion etc. the indstry needs to take on another "wrong" in order to justify its existence. Of course if in doing so Harriet Harman can gain a few votes for Labour then so be it.



Declaration of a personal interest in this subject. Mrs NotaSheep and I have been known to enjoy naturist beaches when on holiday, but only on beaches where this is allowed or in private non-overlooked villas.

Does Peter Mandelson read The Telegraph?

This morning's Sunday Telegraph will not make cheery reading for Peter Mandelson. This article claims that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had a conversation with al-Megrahi on the flight back to Tripoli and that it was recorded:
"In a transcript obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Gaddafi tells Megrahi: “You were on the table in all commercial, oil and gas agreements that we supervised in that period. You were on the table in all British interests when it came to Libya, and I personally supervised this matter. Also, during the visits of the previous prime minister, Tony Blair.... Frankly, we did a lot of work, secret and public, which involved all parties and took years. The work was constant to get your release.”"


So that's Tony Blair fingered, meanwhile
"Downing Street confirmed last night that Gordon Brown had discussed the possible release of Megrahi with Colonel Gaddafi when the two men met on the fringes of the G8 summit in Italy last month. A letter the Prime Minister sent to the Libyans, dated last Thursday, the day of the release, said: “When we met I stressed that, should the Scottish Executive decide that Megrahi can return to Libya, this should be a purely private, family occasion.”"

So that's Tony Blair and Gordon Brown fingered, now to possibly the slipperiest of the trio who designed New Labour (for what real purpose we may very soon discover), Peter Mandelson. Many have been speculating about Peter Mandelson's links to Libya and this morning The Telegraph make some astonishing claims:
"An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has disclosed that the Business Secretary’s controversial businessmen friends, Oleg Deripaska and Nat Rothschild, have a closer relationship with Mr Gaddafi than has so far been publicly known:

Earlier this summer Mr Gaddafi hosted a birthday party where the guests included Mr Deripaska, a billionaire Russian oligarch, and Mr Rothschild, a wealthy British financier.

The 37th birthday celebrations took place in Montenegro, a tiny country whose interests have been championed by Lord Mandelson and where Mr Deripaska and Mr Rothschild have substantial business interests.

Late last year Mr Rothschild hosted a party in honour of Mr Gaddafi in New York.

Lord Mandelson has met the Libyan at least twice in the past four months. Last week he admitted to a “fleeting” discussion with Mr Gaddafi about the convicted Lockerbie bomber at the Rothschilds’ family estate in Corfu. It came just days before it emerged that preparations were being made for Megrahi’s release and raised questions from opposition politicians. "

Libya’s talk of trade deals has shone the spotlight on Lord Mandelson, who is facing mounting questions over his links with Mr Gaddafi, 37, the man widely tipped as his country’s next leader."
It is this news that Peter Mandelson has met Saif al-Islam Gaddafi not once but twice in recent months that interests me most. Peter Mandelson's office have stated that re the Corfu meeting the pair spoke only briefly but they did discuss Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. "There was a fleeting conversation about the prisoner; Peter was completely unsighted on the subject". Maybe a journalist will be brave enough to ask what was discussed at the other meeting with Colonel Gaddafi's son...


So read the whole of The Telegraph article I have quoted from as there are more juicy morsels to savour there. You might also want to read this Telegraph article about the seemingly murky world of Peter Mandelson's friends and contacts.

I wonder if Peter Mandelson might soon have to resign from government for a third time...

Will I be pulling my punches in the run up to the general election?

As the election looms I won't be pulling my blogging punches but then I don't consider myself a Tory blogger. I am a blogger whose views are closer to those of the Conservative party than the Labour party; but not that close to the current Conservative leadership. If I vote Conservative at the general election it will be to assist with excising a malignancy from the government of this country and to hopefully help to rid my constituency of a prime Labour toady. Sometimes one has to hold one's nose and vote for the party most likely to behave responsibly and reverse much of the insanity of the last 12 years.


This blog is my answer to Iain Dale's question "As the Election Looms, Will Tory Bloggers Start to Pull Their Punches?"

What's sauce for the goose...

"Dear President Obama, U.S. Senate and Congress:

I'm planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my husband's health, and I would like to ask you to assist me. We're planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and we'll need your help to make a few arrangements.

We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Calderon, that I'm on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.
2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.
3. All Mexico government forms, printed in Spanish, need to also be printed in English.
4. I want my kids to be taught Spanish by English-speaking (bi-lingual) teachers.
5. Schools need to include classes on American culture and history.
6. I want my kids to see the American flag flying on the top of the flag pole at their school.
7. Please plan to feed my kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.
9. I do plan to get a car and drive in Mexico, but, I don't plan to purchase car insurance, and I, probably won't make any special effort to learn local traffic laws.
10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from their president to leave me alone, please be sure that every patrol car has at least one English-speaking officer.
11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top, put U S. flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start.
13. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be extremely nice and never say a critical things about me or my family, or about the strain we might place on their economy.

I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all his people who come to the U.S. from Mexico. I am sure that President Calderon won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.

Thank you so much for your kind help.

Sincerely,
U.S. Citizen & Taxpayer"


The above is doing the rounds of email but this is from a good spot by Eye on the World

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Don't upset Libya

The Swiss government tried to stand up to Libya and had to back down and apologise recently. Another of Colonel Gaddafi's sons and his pregnant daughter-in-law were held by Swiss police in July 2008 accused of assaulting their servants at a Geneva hotel. The Libyan couple were freed on bail after two days in custody and the complaint against them was dropped after a lawyer for their two Moroccan and Tunisian servants said they had received an undisclosed amount in compensation. End of the matter? Not when dealing with Colonel Gaddafi, who retaliated by closing Swiss businesses in Libya, arresting Swiss nationals and throwing Swiss diplomats out of Libya. Libya also suspended oil deliveries to Switzerland and withdrew Libyan assets worth nearly £4 billion from Swiss banks. So what did the Swiss do? Their president, Hans-Rudolf Merz, issued an apology during a joint press conference in Tripoli. He said he was sorry for the "unjust arrest of Libyan diplomats by Geneva police". Explaining the apology Swiss officials said the apology was aimed at restoring bilateral relations between Switzerland and Libya and ensuring the release of two Swiss businessmen, who had been barred from leaving Libya.

Libya just the country to do business in; if your home country upsets a Libyan diplomat you could be held hostage until an apology is received. It really is a shame that so much of the world's oil lies under the ground of countries whose regimes are so violent and vile, or maybe the presence of the oil is what allows the regimes to be so.

“Manningham belongs to Muslims. We don’t want whites. We rule Bradford. We are going to get you out.”

The Telegraph has the details:
"A teenager, Amir Rehman, who stabbed and slashed a random passer-by in a brutal racially motivated attack in Manningham, West Yorkshire, has been jailed for five years.

Rehman, 18, shouted racial abuse as 51-year-old Ronald O'Connor walked to a shop for a loaf of bread, near the gates of Lister Park, Manningham, last December.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Rehman shouted: "Manningham belongs to Muslims. We dont want whites. We rule Bradford. We are going to get you out."

His victim tried to get in the shop, but Rehman ran towards him and stabbed him twice in the upper arm with a four to five-inch bladed knife.

Rehman, of Manningham, tried to slash Mr O'Connor's face and the victim also had the palms of his hands slashed as he tried to defend himself.

Richard Gioserano, prosecuting, said: "Rehman was swinging at him over and over again with the knife. Mr O'Connor was in great pain and in fear, literally, of his life." "
I have heard Muslims describe areas as "ours" before, remember Abu Izzadeen telling John Reid "How dare you come to a Muslim area when over 1,000 Muslims have been arrested? ... You are an enemy of Islam and Muslims, you are a tyrant. Shame on all of us for sitting down and listening to him." Expect more of this talk as the demographics change in many British cities.

Release of al-Megrahi was linked to a trade deal? (update)

Further to last night's piece, Newsnight now have last night's edition on iPlayer and the relevant question is from around 12:12 and runs thus from Gavin Esler:
"I notice, just while we've been on air, from Tripoli, Mr Gray, the son of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is saying that this release was linked with trade deals with Britain, is that right?"
You can then watch Iain Gray evade the question and answer a completely different one and Gavin Esler does not press the point on a Labour MSP.


Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is the son of Colonel Gaddafi whose interests include diplomatic roles on behalf of his father and has said that Libya admitted responsibility (but not admitted "guilt") for the Lockerbie bombing simply to get trade sanctions removed.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is the son of Colonel Gaddafi who has further admitted that Libya was being "hypocritical" and was "playing on words", but Libya had no other choice on the matter.

Saif al-Islam Gaddaffi is the son of Colonel Gaddafi who has said that a letter admitting "responsibility" was the only way to end the economic sanctions imposed on Libya.

Saif al-Islam Gaddaffi is the son of Colonel Gaddafi who when asked about the compensation that Libya was paying to the victims' families, again repeated that Libya was doing so because it had no other choice.

Saif al-Islam Gaddaffi is the son of Colonel Gaddafi who last night said that this release was linked with trade deals with Britain.

Saif al-Islam Gaddaffi is the son of Colonel Gaddafi who met with Peter Mandelson (currently still Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills and President of the Board of Trade) at that now infamous Corfu villa a week before the release of al-Megrahi was announced.

Saif al-Islam Gaddaffi is the son of Colonel Gaddafi who according to The Independent has played a "decisive role" in "each of the major diplomatic breakthroughs that have brought Libya in from the cold and advanced it to the status of "strategic partner" to the UK... he has been at the centre of the secret accords, trade deals, compensation packages and prisoner exchanges that have marked the country's return to respectability."


Which journalist will be the first to question Peter Mandelson about the claims of Saif al-Islam Gaddaffi? I note that The Telegraph have questioned David Miliband, who as Foreign Secretary has some responsibility in this area, however it is Peter Mandelson who may have more to reveal. As I blogged recently, the Financial Times reported that a spokesman for Peter Mandelson said that
"the pair spoke only briefly but they did discuss Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. “There was a fleeting conversation about the prisoner; Peter was completely unsighted on the subject,” he said.

...

Lord Mandelson said through his spokesman that he had had no involvement in the decision and only learnt of it through the BBC. Mr Megrahi’s possible release was a decision entirely for the Scottish government rather than London.

“It was entirely coincidental,” the spokesman said. "
Interestingly Peter Mandelson's spokesman denied that his boss and Colonel Gadaffi's son discussed in any depth the release of al-Megrahi, but he was not questioned about the trade deals that link Libya and the UK, were they discussed?


The more I find out about the al-Megrahi "compassionate" release, the more I think that this story has legs and could actually prove to be the downfall of this Labour government. More and more people are beginning to realise quite how this Labour government operates, in the interests of money & power and not of justice and the people don't like it. Maybe soon a point will be reached where enough people feel angry enough that a general election may be forced upon Gordon "courage" Brown and Peter "twice disgraced" Mandelson.

The best example I have found so far

It was a gift to satirists to learn that Peter Mandelson had a problem with a benign prostate. The general theme has been around the idea of something malignant getting rid of the only benign part. Resistance is Useless has the best one that I have seen so far with a piece entitled "Well Loved Growth in Emergency Op Shock ", here are the best bits:
"One of the UK's best loved tumours has been admitted to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington for urgent surgery to remove a malignant First Secretary of State. The tumour, known locally as Colin, was described by neighbouring cells as 'A lovely growth' and 'benign as you could wish for, not like that malevolent arsehole that surrounded him'.

Interviewed earlier, Colin had this to say. "Well, one day you're just dividing normally, dreaming of the day you can get on and metastasise and then wallop! You find you've developed an unelected fraudulent two-time loser""

Friday, 21 August 2009

Release of al-Megrahi was linked to a trade deal?

Tonight's Newsnight is claiming that one of Colonel Gaddafi's seven sons is claiming that Mohamed al-Megrahi's release was linked to trade deals. I wonder if Peter Mandelson, one of whose many responsibilities in government is Trade, would like to comment; maybe with reference to his meeting in Corfu with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (one of Gaddafi's sons).

Another question that needs answering is was the son Newsnight are quoting the same one that Peter Mandelson met?

Wikipedia records re Saif al-Islam Gaddafi that:
"In 1997, he founded the official charity, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, which has intervened in various hostage situations involving Islamic militants... Saif also performs public relations and diplomatic roles on behalf of his father... On December 10, 2004, shortly before a trip by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin to Tripoli, Saif requested in an interview with The Globe and Mail a formal apology from the Canadian government, for joining U.S.-led sanctions against Libya after the Lockerbie bombing... In an August 2008 BBC TV interview, Saif said that Libya had admitted responsibility (but not admitted "guilt") for the Lockerbie bombing simply to get trade sanctions removed. He further admitted that Libya was being "hypocritical" and was "playing on words", but Libya had no other choice on the matter. According to Saif, a letter admitting "responsibility" was the only way to end the economic sanctions imposed on Libya. When asked about the compensation that Libya was paying to the victims' families, he again repeated that Libya was doing so because it had no other choice. He went on to describe the families of the Lockerbie victims as "trading with the blood of their sons and daughters" and being very "greedy": "They were asking for more money and more money and more money"... Interviewed by French newspaper Le Figaro on December 7, 2007, Saif said that the seven Libyans convicted for the Pan Am Flight 103 and the UTA Flight 772 bombings "are innocent". When asked if Libya would therefore seek reimbursement of the compensation paid to the families of the victims ($2.33 billion), Saif replied: "I don't know." Saif is involved in negotiating compensation from Libya's former colonial power, Italy, and according to prime minister Silvio Berlusconi a bilateral "friendship treaty" is expected to be signed by the end of August 2008. He is also negotiating with the United States in order to conclude a comprehensive agreement making any further payments for American victims of terror attacks that have been blamed on Libya — such as the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing — conditional upon U.S. payment of compensation for the 40 Libyans killed and 220 injured in the 1986 United States bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi""


I think the al-Megrahi release story has legs as more facts emerge could actually prove to be the downfall of this Labour government. More and more people are beginning to realise quite how this Labour government operates and they don't like it. Maybe a point has been reached where enough people feel angry enough that a general election may be forced upon Gordon "courage" Brown and Peter "twice disgraced" Mandelson.

Ann Widdecombe talks sense on climate change

The last two weeks I have heard quite a lot of Ann Widdecombe as I cannot bear Victoria Derbyshire's Radio 5 show and in the absence of Vanessa Feltz BBC Radio London has been off-limits. So I have been dipping in and out of TalkSport and LBC; and the last two weeks LBC have hadd Ann (no "E") Widdecombe hosting their morning phone-in. She's not at all bad, not a polished presenter by any means but she talks a fair amount of sense and doesn't keep going "nnnh". She does like to summarise what each caller says after each call, but after a while, I have found that quite endearing.

Today I read something in Ann's interview with Total Politics that I found interesting:
"It so happens that I know that an awful lot of people in our party - and by that I mean a lot - are deeply unhappy with the way that we've signed up apparently quite blindly to the climate change agenda. It isn't that they don't want sensible things like recycling, it isn't a silly rebellion. But there is a deep unease that we're rushing in virtually to a theology: those who asked questions are 'deniers'. The language is theological. We're rushing in to what has become a theology imposed by the equivalent of what has become the mediaeval church and that nobody's allowed to question it. And that even by questioning it, you're doing the world a massive disservice and bringing it under perdition. A lot of us are very unhppy but when it came to a division on climate change; three of us actually opposed the bill. I was almost surprised that there were that many. Supposing instead of three of us, there had been so many of us that there were a few votes in the balance. That becomes a much bigger question. It's easy to be one of three. It's very difficult to be one of three who make a difference and embarrass the party big time by doing so."
Well said Ann, but why have I only found out your views on Climate Change nine months before a general election when you will be standing down? Maybe you could publicise your view a bit more when you leave Parliamentary politics...

I also am cheered to read that Ann's Favourite comedian is Ken Dodd; unfashionable but great entertainment, rather like Ann Widdecombe.

Caster Semenya - man or woman?



The fuss over what is Caster Semenya's gender reminds me of an athlete from the 1980s, Jarmila Kratochvílová. Jarmila Kratochvílová was a Czech woman 400 metre runner who ran her first public 800 metre race and broke the world record (a world record that has never been surpassed). 10 days later she had won both the 400 metre and 800 metre events at the first World Athletics Championships in Helsinki (she also won gold in the 4x400 metre relay). Jarmila Kratochvílová was an incredible athlete and at the time questions were raised about her gender and her drug taking.

It seems to me that there are girly girls and manly women and Kratochvílová was in the latter camp. As for Caster Semenya, time will tell although when I saw the last lap of the 800 metre final race live I did immediately notice that she was a very different physique to the other athletes; see what you think...

BBC Today programme opinion poll

On visiting the BBC website I was asked to fill in an opinion poll. Standard rubbish designed to tick boxes in a report, but two questions struck me:

"Could you please rate the Today site with a mark out of 10, where 10 is the highest score?"
Rate for what? Looks, features, excitement, ice-cream flavours available... I get really fed-up with badly worded questionnaires.

"This website is impartial"
Oh come on!

Are A-levels getting easier?

I know I have discussed this before but I found an interesting BBC magazine piece that I think bears wider coverage. BBC's John Hand took an A-level in Italian and concludes
"I outperformed my 1989 D grade for English Language Studies, based on a couple of hours of Italian study each week.

If I had the full six hours of classroom time each week, maybe I too would be in possession of an A grade. "
Two hours of study a week and he got a C at A-level, does that not seem a little "dumbed down"?

Somehow I think John Hand feels conflicted by this finding as he is keen to pint out first that:
"as a journalist, I am well versed in the art of gaining short-term knowledge of a subject."
and second that to fit in with "the narrative" on exam results:
"having seen the range of skills needed to gain top marks, it is important to value the efforts of those 18-year-olds who have done well today."

The return of Lily Allen

I have not blogged about Lily Allen for quite a while, since 26 July in fact. However I see she was at the Oval yesterday to watch the cricket and she wore "a see-through pink vest and no bra".

It looks like Lily just can't help herself, thankfully...

Pulling rank, Labour style?

I see that Ed Balls winning of the selection contest for the new Morley and Outwood seat is coming under renewed scrutiny.

The current Rothwell Labour MP, Colin Challen, has claimed he is being pushed out of Parliament to make way for cabinet minister Ed Balls to contest the new merged constituency. Colin Challen has made a submission to the Committee on Standards in Public Life that goes against what he originally said when he announced he was standing down as an MP in order to take up a job after the next election with Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the Treasury's global warming report. Do bear in mind the connections between Ed Balls, ex of the Treasury, Nicholas Stern and Gordon Brown.
Colin Challen's submission in a letter, marked "strictly private and confidential", to Sir Christopher pointed out that the manner of a politician's departure from Parliament can sometimes be "unusual". It is claimed that he said:
"An MP who – like me – is effectively 'pushed out' in a selection contest, eg, after a Boundary Commission review, is no less entitled to view the matter as a form of redundancy as is an MP who loses their seat in a general election. I am happy to talk to you about this if you wish, but it is very politically sensitive."


Oops that may have let the cat out of the bag. Rothwell Today reports that:
"Mr Challen, who is currently in the South Pacific, was unavailable for comment.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire and the Humber Labour Party said: "The selection process in the new Morley and Outwood Constituency was conducted in a normal and fair way in accordance with Labour Party rules as set down by the NEC."

Mr Balls was unavailable for comment."
Somehow I don't think this will make the BBC news. I wonder if Ed Balls will be asked any questions regarding this matter by anyone.

Peter Mandelson has an operation for a "benign condition of the prostate",

The BBC report that:
"Lord Mandelson has been admitted to hospital to have an operation for a "benign condition of the prostate", a government spokesman has said."
It is an article that deserves a "fisking".

"The business secretary, 55, is in St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, and it is expected he will remain in overnight."
Is he in a private room or on a NHS ward or a private room of an NHS ward. If he is not "going private" and he is not on a general ward, how was the accommodation decision arrived at?

"Lord Mandelson returned to the British government last year after serving as European Union trade commissioner.

He is known as the "comeback king" of British politics and was appointed to one of the most powerful jobs in Europe after being sacked twice from the cabinet."
I think Peter Mandelson has more common nicknames than the "comeback king" but I'll not dwell on that. More pertinently, why was Peter Mandelson "sacked twice"? No mention on the BBC is ever made about Jonathan Aitken, Lord Archer etc. without mentioning exactly why they had to leave government in disgrace, why is Peter Mandelson not treated in the same way?

Does it seem odd that just as Mohamed al-Megrahi is released on "compassionate grounds" and only days after Peter Mandelson met Colonel Gadaffi's son in Corfu, Peter Mandelson has to go into hospital where he will be unfortunately unable to be asked any probing questions about his role (if any) in the affair?


On the subject of Peter Mandelson's operation; I am surely not the first person to remark that it may be the first time in history that a benign condition has been excised from a malignant person.

Also is Peter Mandelson being treated under the NHS or privately? Is he in a private room or a general ward at St Mary's? If he is being treated on the NHS but in a private room, what were the medical reasons behind this decision? If he is being treated on the NHS, why is he using up an NHS bed when he has the money to be treated privately and so free up an NHS bed for someone unable to pay privately?

David Miliband on the Today programme

"Withdraw that slur"
It would seem that John Humphrys has struck a raw nerve this morning with his interviewing about the release of al-Megrahi.

Of course John Humphrys cannot interview a Labour minister as robustly as he did Alex Salmond earlier this morning and so did not follow up this line of questioning.

Something smells distinctly fishy about the "compassionate" release of Mohmed al-Megrahi and I wonder if we will ever find out the truth.

al-Megrahi

Have a listen to the 07:31 Today programme interview with Alex Salmond and see if you can spot where John Humphrys asks the important question and Alex Salmond avoids answering the questions asked.

The key passage starts at 07:15:
"What conversations have you had with British Authorities?"
Listen to the tone of Alex Salmond's voice

"Did the British government suggest to you whether they thought he should be let out, or not?"
Spot the long pause and the evasive answer involving the word "recommendation" rather than "suggestion"...
"Not recommendation but dod they give you any indication as to what they thought?"
Another evasive answer.
"It was your understanding that the British government wanted him released?"
Another evasive answer using "recommendation" again


There is a truth to be discovered here and maybe John Humphrys will get a straight answer out of David "there are circumstances in which terrorism is justified" Miliband; but somehow I doubt it.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

19.19!

Usain Bolt is unbelievable although he only broke his own world record by 0.11 seconds this time. Looking at the race that looked a pretty near perfect run; a fantastic start, an incredible bend, he kept running to the line and even put in a little dip.


It is not long ago that to break 20 seconds would get you a medal in a major championships 200 metre; tonight the first five athletes all broke 20 seconds.

What I would love to see is the video of Michael Johnson's 19.32 world record run at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics superimposed on Usain Bolt's run. The contrast in running styles between these two supreme sprinters would be fascinating, neither is a classical athlete but both are so fast. No coach would encourage his students to copy Michael Johnson's upright running style and few could run as easily and loosely as Usain Bolt but maybe 'different' is actually more effective than 'correct'.