Thursday 31 December 2009

Here's to 2010 (part 2)

Further to my earlier post, here's a few more.

Ten other predictions for 2010:
1. An Islamic jihadist attack will succeed and hundreds will die but still 'the West' will not acknowledge the reality of the threat
2. Iran will test a nuclear device and the UN will still pretend that they pose no threat to Israel or anyone else
3. The Man Made Climate Change religion will increase its hold on the western world's politics and the 'warmists' will make holding 'deniers' views even more difficult
4. Microsoft will release Office 2010 to replace Office 2007 but most businesses will still stick with Office 2003
5. Nigel Farage will beat John Bercow to take his Buckingham seat
6. Matt Smith's portrayal of The Doctor will not match up to David Tennant's
7. The Big Brother team will engineer a 'controversy' for the final series, I won't care
8. England will not win the World Cup
9. Andy Murray will not win the Wimbledon title
10. NotaSheep will continue to blog

Happy New Year...

"Specifically designed for women..."

The manufacturers did realise, didn't they?

Amazingly some US chat show hosts think this is funny:
Jimmy Kimmel

Ellen Degeneres & Queen Latifah

And someone has made a parody, was that really necessary; "over your chest, with no need to clean up afterwards..."

Daily Mail idiocy

This Daily Mail article on celebrities New Year Caribbean holiday plans is the usual envy raising article and an excuse to show pretty women in bikinis, and none the worse for that BUT then I saw this
"Celebrities staying at other islands in the Caribbean, including Barbados, have been reportedly offered private jets to ferry them to St Barts to welcome in 2010."
Private jets landing on St Barts? Really? Here's some video of small propeller powered planes landing at SBH, fancy landing a small jet?

Here's an experienced pilot getting it wrong in a slow landing propeller powered plane...

crash SBH from Mo Po on Vimeo.

Here's to 2010

The blogosphere seems almost full of predictions for 2010, including Iain Dale's ten predictions for what will happen and Letter From a Tory's 10 things that won't happen. So who am I to miss out?

Five political predictions for 2010:
1. Gordon Brown will continue to try and create spurious and contrived dividing lines with the Conservatives, the BBC will assist by pushing the dividing lines
2. The election will be held on May 6 (along with the local elections) because Labour cannot afford to run two campaigns and this way they will maximise their vote in the council elections
3. The pre-election leader's debates will produce a surprise win (in the view of opinion polls) for Gordon Brown
4. The pre-election leader's debates will produce an increase in support for the Lib Dems
5. Labour win the general election, postal votes being a key factor, and the protests about vote-rigging are dismissed as "losers' sour grapes"

Five economic predictions for 2010:
1. With a Labour victory at the general election (see above) the UK's credit rating will drop from AAA and the resultant rise in interest rates will produce the second half of the 'W shaped' recession
2. The re-election of a Labour government will mean that the exodus of bankers and other financial institutions to more financially friendly locations
3. The ever larger hole in the Treasury's tax receipts will mean that the higher rate of income tax rises to 60% and VAT to 20%
4. The Pound will reach parity with the Euro and the price for IMF and EU assistance for the "sick man of Europe" will be joining the Euro. Being at parity will make this an easier sell for Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson
5. Having dropped to around USD 1,100 at the end of 2009; gold will rise ever higher, reaching USD 1500 by the end of the 2010

Five BBC related predictions for 2010:
1. The BBC will become ever more blatantly biased in favour of the Labour party, the Conservatives won't realise how serious a problem this is
2. The tone of the BBC's leader's debate will be clearly pro-Labour, the Conservatives won't realise how serious a problem this is
3. The BBC will minimise their coverage of the postal voting scandal (see above), the Conservatives will finally realise how serious this BBC bias is but it will be too late
4. The BBC will continue to push for the withdrawal of British armed forces from Afghanistan
5. The BBC will continue to vilify Israel at every opportunity and revel in the coming further military attacks on Israel

More to follow...

Wednesday 30 December 2009

The underwear bomber is no laughing matter

I have heard several people joking about the underwear bomber as though 80 grammes of PETN explosive in his underpants would cause him injury but not be serious for the plane. Well here's video of 50 grammes of PETN exploding...
Imagine that going off in an aeroplane; not so amusing now is it?

Thanks to Riehl World View for the video spot.

The BBC shamelessley set 'the narrative'

I find that I can only listen to 5 or 10 minutes of the BBC Today programme before the bias drives me to the off button. So this morning's 08:00 news should not have surprised me. Three articles set the pro-Labour 'narrative' nicely: first news that some UK manufacturing companies were bringing manufacturing back to the UK positive economic news), second a report that Gordon Brown was to deliver an upbeat New Years message (to contrast with Conservative pessimism/realism) and third that papers released under the 30 years rule showed how Margaret Thatcher wanted deeper cuts than her economic team (shamelessly linked to predictions about an incoming Conservative government).

Five minutes of radio that sum up the pro-Labour approach that the BBC Today programme takes and will increasingly push as a general election approaches. Five minutes, and an attitude, that the Conservative leadership need to address urgently, leaving it until after an election might be too long; the BBC need to be tackled about their blatant bias now.

More odd google searches

Czech Google - Nigella porn - This blog is number 6

United Arab Emirates Google - www.oral sex in israil - This blog is number 3 and who was this person in the UAE? And shouldn't they be able to spell Israel? - Alan greenspan wearing fur hat - An odd thing tp search for and this blog at number 6 - "23 Jan 2008 ... a military cap or, in colder climates, a Russian-style fur hat or Ushanka). ... This way of wearing the keffiyeh in turn became a symbol of Arafat as a person and .... Has Alan Johnson just boobed? 4 hours ago ..... Alan Dershowitz (1); Alan Duncan (2); Alan Greenspan (2); Alan Johnson (27) ..."

It's a weird world.

Meanwhile here's some real Nigella porn from someone with way too much time on their hands...

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Something odd re Farouk Abdulmutallab

A CNN report that Farouk Abdulmutallab may not even have had a passport and was placed on the Detroit bound plane by a well-dressed Indian man at Amsterdam airport.

It seems that the one part of the explosives were sewn into Farouk Abdulmutallab's underpants
So I presume we can look forward to having to be be imaged by full body imagers at airports and consequently even slower crawls through security. I also presume that it will be decided that no profiling will be allowed so 70 year old Nuns will be scanned as well as 20 year old bearded Muslims.

I am sorry to have to report yet again that we are at war. We may not want to accept that we are at war but war has been declared on us again and again. Islamic jihadists have declared war on the West and as part of that war they have blown up planes, trains & buses, they have blown up holidaymakers in Bali & commuters in London & Madrid, they have blown up soldiers and civilians all over the Middle East and Afghanistan, they have executed civilians in Somalia, the Middle East and elsewhere. When will the West realise that this is a war, a long war and that we need to act accordingly?

Has Graham Swann bowled too well for his own good

Graham Swann's three wickets (so far) in South Africa's second innings take him to 52 test wickets for the year; I believe that he is the first England spinner to achieve this landmark. Unfortunately it looks as though he will be stranded on 452 runs and so not make the 500 runs and 50 wickets double that looked a possibility a day or so ago.

In 2009 Graham Swann has averaged 45.2 with the bat and 28.25 with the ball; is he England's all-rounder? By comparison Stuart Broad has (so far) taken 46 test wickets in 2009 at an average of 28.43 and has a batting average of 25.35.

Monday 28 December 2009

Shame and scandal in Indian politics

It seems that a member of the ruling Congress Party and the senior representative in Andhra Pradesh state, N D Tiwari, 86, has had to quit after a television channel aired the compromising footage showing him in bed with three young women. Iqra News reports that:
"Governor ND Tiwari was caught red handed while involving in sexual acts in Raj Bhavan by hiring brothels. ABN Andhra Jyothy Channel has given this exclusive report today much to the astonishment of entire citizens of AP. The photographs taken from spy cameras are shown on channel with censor cuts. The girls were brought from various corners of the country and place them as workers in Raj Bhavan initially. But eventually they will be taken to the bed room of Tiwari. This 85 year old Governor makes those girls aged between 17 and 25 do all nasty things right from massages to ‘BJ’s. This stunning fact has reached people today. Governor’s OSD is also involved in these forcible sexual acts."
Here's some video of the Indian news coverage...

I found a lovely phrase on Indian blog that I think deserves repetition: "Reportedly, many websites have also posted N.D. Tiwari scandal picture, which is grabbing many eyeballs."

It is of important to remember that:
"At the same time, the veteran Congress politician has denied the allegations of his involvement in any sex video clip and has also termed the sting operation as an attempt to malign his image and jeopardize his party. Reportedly, a lawsuit has been filed against the news channel for supposedly defaming the Governor, after hidden cameras caught N.D. Tiwari in a compromising position with three women."

Sunday 27 December 2009

The cheapest ever Pop Video?

Sparks on TV AM in 1985 to promote their new single "Change". Incredibly the interview comes complete with Ron Mael speaking!

As I Can't find the original on YouTube, here's the 1997 remixed version of "Change" from the excellent "Plagiarism" album...

Minor but so indicative

The news that:
"A bingo caller has been advised to stop using phrases such as "two fat ladies" for fear of offending his audience."
is a minor story but is so indicative of the mess this Country is in. Apparently:
""The concern was that if there might be two large ladies in the audience when I said 'two fat ladies 88' or someone might think I was looking at their legs when I said 'legs 11'," he said.

"I was advised that someone might take offence and we could end up being taken to court." "
And of course a po-faced official was on hand to primly pontificate":
"A council spokeswoman told the East Anglian Daily Times: "In particular with John being a councillor we have to be politically correct."

She added: "It is very sad because it is part of the fun of bingo but unfortunately in today's society people take it literally." "

I want my Country back; it was a sensible Country.

Saturday 26 December 2009

Air terrorism and airport security

I fly often and get really fed-up with the randomness of airport security. I travel with the same cabin luggage every time I fly and found recently that I had unknowingly taken four flights with a Swiss army penknife in an interior pocket that I had forgot was there and that three different European airport's cabin luggage x-ray machines had missed it. On two occasions I was selected for a search of my cabin luggage and in both cases the penknife was missed and on one occasion one of the compartments of my bag was not even opened up.

Thus when I heard that an Islamic terrorist attack had been thwarted I was not too surprised. Airport security is not consistent but more importantly treats everyone as an equal threat. I and the vast majority of passengers will pose no threat but we are all scanned and searched (albeit often inadequately) whilst the small percentage of threats are subject to no extra checks. Rather than adding more restrictions on the majority of flyers, why not concentrate on the possible threats? The part of The Telegraph piece that struck me was this:
"The suspect was on an intelligence database but was not on the government’s no-fly list, meaning he was known to authorities but not considered a high risk"
I don't want to fly with anyone who is on a terrorist intelligence database whether or not the authorities consider them "a high risk"; do you?

Are the EU plotting a takeover of National Parliaments?

Quentin Letts' thinks so, have a read...
"Europe is making moves to give British MEPs the 'right' to sit in the House of Commons at certain times in the year.


This cunning plan, as Baldrick might put it, was on the agenda at a Swedish gathering of speakers of Europe's various national assemblies.

It went further than what I have just outlined. It proposed, furthermore, that MEPs should have 'the right to be invited once a year to speak in plenary sittings of national parliaments'."

Friday 25 December 2009

Is the UK economy about to collapse?

A piece in The Telegraph has knocked my Christmas cheer for six. Reality is back as I read that:
"The cost of borrowing for the British Government has surged to within a whisker of Italian levels as global markets issue their punishing verdict on the Government’s spending plans.

The yield on 10-year gilts spiked Wednesday to 3.97pc, 46 basis points higher than costs on French bonds. Britain and France were neck and neck as recently as last month, before Labour’s pre-Budget report raised deep concerns among Chinese, Arab, and Russian investors about the credibility of British state.

But what has caught market attention is the narrowing gap with Italian bonds, once mocked as the symbol of an ill-governed nation in thrall to the Dolce Vita.

Yields on 10-Italian treasuries have been hovering just above 4pc despite the eurozone’s Greek crisis, dropping as low as 3.98pc earlier this week.

Julian Callow, Europe economist at Barclays Capital, said Britain is nearing the eye of the storm as the Bank of England starts to unwind quantitative easing.

“The Bank has bought more gilts over the last nine months than the Government has issued. It has magically eradicated the cost of financing the deficits, but this is going twist dramatically the other way in early 2010. Markets know this. They are demanding a risk premium on sterling.”

“On top of this you have all the uncertainty over the election. We have the highest deficit in the EU as a share of GDP after Latvia and Ireland. It is not clear whether the next government will have the nerve to push through the tremendous fiscal tightening we need,” he said.

Britain is vulnerable to a “gilts strike” because foreign investors own £217bn of UK debt, or 28pc of the total. These are footloose funds and likely to sell large holdings if Britain loses its AAA rating.

They have other tempting places to park their money, such as Turkey, Brazil, or India, where demography is healthy and growth prospects are better. Chile has already undercut British debt yields on some maturities.

Simon Derrick, currency chief at the Bank of New York Mellon, said global markets are unimpressed by the pre-Budget report and do not believe the UK Treasury forecast for 3.5pc growth in 2011.

“The Government will have borrowed an extra £700bn by 2014. And the national debt will reach £1.5 trillion, which is equal £48,000 per head of the working population. The market response is entirely rational,” he said

Italy has its own problems, of course. Public debt was much higher before the crisis began. The IMF expects it to reach 120pc of GDP next year. However, this debt is mostly owned by high-saving Italians, who are less fickle than foreign funds.

Italy’s household debt was 34pc of GDP in 2007, compared to 100pc in the UK. “If you look at private and public debt together, they are in better shape,” said Marc Ostwald from Monument Securities.

“Unless our Government gets a grip soon were going to see Gilt spreads widen to 120 basis points over Bunds, with the risk of 150 if there is no clear winner in the election,” he said."

I wonder how quickly we can sell-up and leave this Country?

Doctor Who - The End of Time (part one)

Wow, a mess but a hugely enjoyable mess! Logic was thrown to the winds which grated but since when has Russell T. Davies felt constrained by logic?

David Tennant was as excellent as ever but was outperformed by an ever more manic John Simm, although The Master in a dress did just look wrong. Bernard Cribbins made an excellent temporary companion, but is there more to Wilf than meets the eye? Maybe he and Donna are both part Time Lord. And talking of the Time Lords, didn't the Gallifrey interior shot owe rather a lot to the Galactic Senate in Star Wars The Phantom Menace?

I did 'like' Russell T. Davies's idea that Barack Obama was about to solve the world's economic problems but was thwarted by The Master; yeah that's likely.

So what's for New Year's Day? Timothy Dalton looks like a less than pleasant Time Lord but then in times gone by the Time Lords were not always the good guys. How did the Time Lords survive those much talked about Time Wars? Did the Time Wars even happen? Will Russell T. Davies reset this part of the history of time and thus wipe much of the slate clean for Matt Smith? I just hope that the New Year's Day second episode ties up the loose ends and is something to remember David Tennant by.

Odd spot - the old chap taking the photo of June Whitfield was one half of the old ballroom dance couple in Hi-de-Hi, Barry Stuart-Hargreaves.

I am also informed that Bernard Cribbins character's name "Wilfred Mott" is an anagram of "Time Lord WTF"

Christmas Day at the NotaSheeps

On the plate: Roast goose, boiled brussel sprouts with chestnuts, Delia's red cabbage with apple, two types of roast potato, roast parsnips, homemade goose gravy and a handmade cranberry confit.

In the glass: Amarone Della Valpolicella 2002

On the stereo: Phil Spector's "A Christmas Gift for You" Yellowman's "A very, very Yellow Christmas"

And now there's Doctor Who to look forward to; now that's what I call Christmas...

Thursday 24 December 2009

The sound of Christmas

"Christmas Wrapping" - The Waitresses

Buggered by Brown

Not a nice thought, but then he's not a nice man...

Thanks to Man Widdicombe for the spot.

And a thought from Donal Blaney:
" "Dear Mr Grim Reaper

So far this year, you have taken away my favorite dancer; Michael Jackson, my favorite actor; Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress; Farrah Fawcett, my favorite comedian; Soupy Sales, my favorite pitchman; Billy Mays and my favorite sidekick; Ed McMahon.

Just so you know, my favorite politician is Gordon Brown"."

The BBC updating the news (even further update)

The BBC Poll Tracker story has some new developments. First I have received a reply to my questioning email to the BBC. My query was:
"Why is your Poll Tracker still showing as its latest poll the ICM poll from 15 December that showed a reduced Conservative lead of 9%? Why have you not included the You Gov poll from last weekend that showed an increased Conservative lead of 12%? Do the BBC not have the resources to update Poll Tracker as and when new polls appear or are the BBC trying to protect the Labour party from adverse news?"

The reply is as follows:
"Dear Sir/Madam,

We have had some minor technical problems with the polltracker which are being rectified this morning. Both polls will shortly appear. Please be assured there is no intent to distort the data in favour of any of the main parties.


BBC News website"
I am intrigued as to what the "minor technical problems" might have been.

I am even more intrigued having looked at Poll Tracker this evening. Of course what the BBC appear to have done is waited until a poll more favourable to Labour has appeared because "The 'default' poll shown selected is the most recent added to our database". So ComRes's 22 December poll is the latest and the casual observer of Poll Tracker will only see a narrowing poll gap and be spared the horrors of a Conservative poll lead that they would have seen had the BBC not experienced "minor technical problems".

"Please be assured there is no intent to distort the data in favour of any of the main parties."
Yeah, right!

Even at Christmas the world's hatred of goats continues

The BBC report the appalling story that:
"A giant straw goat - the traditional Scandinavian yuletide symbol - erected each Christmas in a Swedish town has been burned to the ground yet again.

The 13-metre (43-ft) high billy goat has been torched 24 times since it was first erected in Gavle in 1966.

The goat was set alight in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the city north of Stockholm. "

The article has a section heading "Blogging goat" but it does not herald a quote from me but this:
"The city's website offers a bilingual blog and Twitter feed, as well as webcams to allow fans to follow the beleaguered goat's fate.

In one of its last entries, the goat writes: "Terrible night! Slept so well under my beautiful snow blanket, when it suddenly became awfully hot. It was fire!!! At 0300 someone managed to set me on fire and destroy the amazing Christmas spirit in Gavle." "
Sad, very sad; hopefully this NotaSheepMaybeaGoat will have a better Christmas.

Can the BBC not see the relevance of this news story to the UK?

Hidden away off of the Europe News page and not referenced from the main news pages I found this news story:
"The Greek parliament has voted to adopt big budget cuts designed to lower the country's high levels of debt.

Greece aims to shrink public debt to 9.1% of overall economic output next year, down from 12.7% this year.

To do this, it has outlined measures to cut public spending and boost revenue by cutting back on red tape.

Concerns about Greece's high level of debt have led the three main international credit ratings agencies to downgrade Greek government bonds.

Greece's public debt currently stands at 300bn euros ($428bn; £268bn). "
Might drawing parallels with the UK not have been useful? After all that is now Greece and Ireland who have started programmes of budget cuts and yet Gordon Brown persists with his claims that cutting public expenditure now would be a dangerous and wrong thing to do.

"It is returning through the dark... he will knock four times"

Just 36 hours to go...

"It indicates a clear intention to introduce higher government control of a critical internet function..."

"It indicates a clear intention to introduce higher government control of a critical internet function through what may appear to be a purely technological discussion"
What does and does it really?

Take a read of this from the BBC and keep an eye on The Register for their take on this.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Jack Bauer interrogates Santa Claus

Excellent job...

Thanks to Armchair Commentary for the spot.

Dancing on 'Thatcher's grave'

I chanced upon this conversation thread at Amazon UK. It's entitled "Who's going to party on Thatcher's grave, and what music will we play?" and shows that the left's hatred for Lady Thatcher is undimmed by time and reason; here are few examples:

Elvis Costello singing Tramp the Earth Down.

Billy Bragg singing Between the Wars.

UB40 singing 1 in 10.

The Ruts singing Babylons Burning "

"The Fall - "A New Face in Hell"

"The obvious choice is Morrissey, 'Margaret on the Guillotine' - though it's not exactly a party track. Maybe save it for the last dance."

"Music for Maggies funeral....Hmmmmm....What about Ding Dong the witch is dead??
As befits her legacy in Scotland I shall be pouring a bottle of whisky on her grave but passing it through my kidneys first. No tears will be shed in Scotland on her demise"

I wonder if these are the same people who wear Che Guevara T-Shirts or even name their children after the mass murderer Che Guevara?

"...without the hearings being used as a platform for political advantage."

I read reports that the Chilcot Committee "has decided to wait until after the election to hear from those Ministers who are currently serving in the roles about which the Committee wishes to question them." Apparently this is because
"The Committee believes that only after the General Election can these Ministers give their evidence fully without the hearings being used as a platform for political advantage."
I think that a very important point has been missed; by not calling serving Ministers political advantage is being conferred upon those serving Ministers.

In truth this matters very little for as I blogged back in July:
"The news that Sir John Chilcot has said that Tony Blair would be among those asked to give evidence and that he did not expect anyone to refuse does not fill me with great confidence. Unless Tony Blair and others are under oath, wired to a polygraph and given a sodium pentothal injection first, I will find it hard to believe their version of events. "
Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and others have lied to the Country more than once, why should we assume that they will not do so again?

The BBC updating the news (further update)

I see that the BBC have still not updated Poll Tracker with the latest You Gov poll released on Saturday evening that shows the Conservatives on 40%, Labour on 28%, Lib Dems on 18% and others on 14%. I wonder how long they will go before they feel they have to update Poll Tracker and if they will move Poll Tracker from the politics front page before or after they get around to updating Poll Tracker?

This is not even half way amusing, the BBC seem once again to be deliberately not reporting news that is detrimental to the Labour party. How can they be made to be unbiased?

What's behind the story in The Telegraph that "Rift between Gordon Brown and Lord Mandelson threatens Labour revival"?

Today's piece in The Telegraph revealing that: "A rift between Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson is threatening to derail Labour’s plans for a New Year fight-back, it can be disclosed." is a fascinating read. Apparently:
"A series of disagreements have strained the close political relationship between Mr Brown and Lord Mandelson that helped the Prime Minister survive as leader earlier this year.

It is thought it could lead to more uncertainty over the Labour leadership with the election just months away.

Lord Mandelson has been credited with ensuring that Mr Brown survived as Prime Minister when he successfully rallied cabinet colleagues behind Mr Brown when a series of resignations in June threatened to force him from office.

However, he has grown increasingly disenchanted with Mr Brown and in recent weeks the relationship has deteriorated further.

Last night, one close friend of Lord Mandelson told The Daily Telegraph: “Peter thinks that Gordon has used him to stay in place and has now just disposed of him. He clearly thinks he has served his purpose and Peter is upset about that.”

Disputes over policy have stretched the relationship between the two men to breaking point. A source claims that Lord Mandelson feels he has been “ganged up on” on various issues.

This month’s pre-Budget report, which attacked the bankers and failed to offer a more credible route for paying off the deficit further, infuriated the Business Secretary.

He made it clear he did not agree with “banker-bashing” but was over-ruled by Mr Brown. "
The article goes on and on from the viewpoint of Peter Mandelson and seems as though some repositioning is going on at the top of the Labour party with Peter Mandelson moving away from the dead duck that is Gordon Brown whilst Ed Balls moves back into favour with Gordon Brown.

I wonder who will be taking Christmas presents to who over the Christmas break...

Tuesday 22 December 2009

The sixty-fifth weekly "No shit, Sherlock" award

This week's award goes to The Times for reporting the incredible news that:
"West warns that Somalia is becoming a haven for international terrorists"

Somalia "a haven for international terorists", "No shit, Sherlock".

The 10 Commandments are not as important as you thought

I heard Vicar Tim Jones on the BBC yesterday and it seems that this 'man of God' believes that the the eighth commandment "Thou shalt not steal" can be ignored by the poor as "God's love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich". Apparently the Vicar has said that "I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices." Well that's OK then...

My how I hate this Labour government

The Labour government's war on the UK people continues apace. Back in October legislation was introduced that prevents acquitted defendants from recouping the full legal costs of defending themselves. Now these innocent people can only claim back legal aid rates, which can be as little as a third of the true cost. Why the change? Well it will save around £25 million a year - which used to sound a lot but under Gordon Brown's mismanagement of the economy is a drop in the debt ocean. I think the real reason may be somewhat different; let's say you upset the State/Labour government then they can just charge you with something complicated and financial and then even when you are found not guilty you could still be bankrupted by your no longer covered legal costs.

This is just the latest in a long line of Labour dilutions of the legal system: now we can be tried twice for the same crime, the presumption of innocence has been diluted, some people no longer have the right to see the evidence against them, summary punishment (fines) without trial are common place, innocent people's assets can be confiscated before trial and kept even the defendant is not found guilty. And don't forget that the amount of compensation you receive for loss of earnings whilst wrongly imprisoned is now paid less the cost of your prison bed and board.

Despicable, evil, insane? Well that's a Labour government for you.

And what do the protectors of civil society have to say?
"The Police Federation of England and Wales is backing the action because police officers are more often subject to criminal proceedings."
Fed up with the UK yet?

The BBC updating the news (update)

I see that further to my post on Sunday, the BBC have still not added the latest You Gov poll released on Saturday evening that shows the Conservatives on 40%, Labour on 28%, Lib Dems on 18% and others on 14%. I wonder how long they will go before they feel they have to update Poll Tracker and if they will move Poll Tracker from the politics front page before or after they get around to updating Poll Tracker?

This is not even half way amusing, the BBC seem once again to be deliberately not reporting news that is detrimental to the Labour party. How can they be made to be unbiased?

Monday 21 December 2009

The election debates - some points

Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson have pulled their last legal/moral card out of the pack by agreeing to a series of three live televised debates, desperate times entail desperate measures. Of course the BBC are doing their best to spin this story to Gordon Brown's advantage; as an example the headline on the BBC website for this story is currently "Brown to face three televised election debates", so it's just Brown facing the debate? What about David Cameron and Nick Clegg, do they not count?

The three debates will be shown live; the first on ITV, the second on Sky and the last one on the BBC. As I feared when the prospect of such a debate was mooted some months ago, David Dimbleby will be the BBC's moderator. Here's a reminder of why I consider David Dimbleby is not fit to be the impartial moderator of the debate...Any potential moderator who allows himself to be controlled so easily by Labour's Harriet Harman has no place being the impartial moderator of such an important debate where his impartiality may be key.

The dhimmi BBC

To add to the BBC's habit of describing the founder of Islam as "the Prophet Mohammed" and describing a Muslim festival as "The Holy Month of Ramadan", you can now add web and radio descriptions of "the holy city of Qom".

These should properly be described as "the Muslim Prophet Mohammed", the "Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan" and the "Muslim holy city of Qom".

Ali al-Megrahi update - two stories

The BBC content themselves with reporting that (my emphasis):
"The condition of the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber has deteriorated, it has been confirmed.


The Tripoli Medical Centre in Libya said a scan has shown that the prostate cancer from which Megrahi is suffering has spread throughout his body. "
Interesting how the BBC use the word "confirmed" rather than "claimed", as though they want us to believe what they believe that releasing al-Megrahi was the right thing to do.

The BBC have no comment on the report in The Times that:
"The Lockerbie bomber had £1.8m in a Swiss bank account when he was convicted eight years ago, it has been revealed.

The Crown Office, Scotland’s equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service, has confirmed it refused to grant bail to Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi as recently as November last year because of concerns he might try to gain access to the money.

The existence of such a large sum in a personal account casts doubt on claims by the Libyan government that Megrahi was a low-ranking airline worker.

The disclosure also raises further questions about the wisdom of the Scottish government in releasing the bomber, who has terminal prostate cancer, on compassionate grounds in August."
Interesting? Not to the BBC for whom this fact would cloud their story and maybe get people asking questions. The al-Megrahi defence if this money had been raised at any appeal would apparently have
rested on claiming either that he had been given the money by Libyan Arab Airlines, his employer, to buy aircraft parts abroad in breach of the western trade embargo in place against his country at the time of the 1988 bombing of the Pan Am plane over Scotland, in which 270 people died or that that Megrahi had been entrusted with the funds to finance an attempt to include Libya in the Paris to Dakar rally. Are you convinced?

It seems that the issue of the secret bank account was never raised by the prosecution at the original trial because it came too late to be introduced as evidence.

So would you rather believe that the money was for buying aircraft parts, getting a Libyan car into a rally, for buying explosives and paying bribes to people or compensation for his upcoming incarceration?

Sunday 20 December 2009

The BBC updating the news?

I see that the BBC's Poll Tracker which made its triumphant return to the front page of the BBC's Politics News page just as the opinion polls started to show Labour narrowing the Conservative lead is still showing as its latest poll the 15 December ICM poll that showed Conservatives on 40%, Labour on 31%, Lib Dems on 18% and others on 11%. Oddly they have not yet updated the charts with the latest You Gov poll released overnight that shows Conservatives on 40%, Labour on 28%, Lib Dems on 18% and others on 14%. I wonder how long they will go before they feel they have to update Poll Tracker and if they will move Poll Tracker from the politics front page before or after they get around to updating Poll Tracker?

Saturday 19 December 2009

Dealing with the false prophets of Climate Change - a lesson from history

A small preview piece in The Telegraph's TV listing caught my eye today. It concerns a programme called "Man on Earth" showing on Monday at 9pm. The bit of the preview that I thought interesting was this:
"When the rains failed the Mayan Indians of Caracol(now part of Belize) in about 400AD they offered human sacrifices to their gods and then, when that didn't work, they killed their ruling elite by putting out their eyes and tongues and flaying them."
I think it importnat to learn from history, don't you?

Friday 18 December 2009

"The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geo-engineering quite hopeless..."

Yet another quotation from the 'hacked' CRU emails. Here's the full version of the email quoted above from The First Post:
"Other landmines include particularly telling emails from Kenneth Trenberth, a senior scientist and the head of the climate analysis section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. On October 14, 2009, he wrote to the CRU's 'Tom': "How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are nowhere close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geo-engineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!"

In other words, only a few weeks before the Copenhagen summit, here is a scientist in the inner AGW circle disclosing that "we are not close to knowing" how
Greenhouse gasses in the cold upper atmosphere cannot possibly transfer heat to the warmer earth
Global warming climate change smoke

the supposedly proven AGW warming model might actually work, and that therefore "geo-engineering" – carbon-mitigation, for example - is "hopeless"."
Do read the rest of the article and spread the word about the facts of Climate Change.

Another ‘don’t you know who I am?’ Labour minister

I see in The Mail that Vera Baird (the Solicitor General) is accused of following in Harriet Harman's (Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal and Minister for Women and Equality) in thinking she is above criticism and the law. The Mail reports that:
"The drama started when Mrs Baird, 58, was walking her puppy in King’s Cross train station in Central London in October.

A mother with her young child confronted the minister after allegedly seeing her fail to pick up the dog’s mess after it fouled the platform.

It is an offence if an owner does not clean up immediately after their dog has fouled land to which the public has access.

The fine is usually a £50 fixed penalty notice. According to sources, Mrs Baird took great offence at being challenged by the woman and gave her a ‘complete mouthful’.

When a police community support officer turned up to deal with the altercation, a by-now furious Mrs Baird made it clear she felt she was being humiliated and allegedly said ‘don’t you know who I am?’. The minster denied this today.

Eventually, the PCSO took Mrs Baird’s details and submitted a report suggesting the minister be investigated for a low level public order offence for causing ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ – which carries a maximum fine of £1,000.

The incident was officially logged as a crime."
So was this senior Law Officer prosecuted? What do you think? This is Labour Britain so I was not surprised to read that:
"According to sources, a number of officers thought charges would be brought. But, after reviewing the evidence, senior transport police officers ruled that the case be dropped.

One source claimed they ‘lost their bottle’ because of Mrs Baird’s position."

I was also interested to read that Vera Baird is reported to have said:
"'My new puppy was unwell and made a mess on the platform at King’s Cross some weeks ago. A member of the public complained to me and she and I had an argument.

‘As it ended, a PCSO arrived and spoke to me. I complained to the BTP about his attitude.

‘I have received an apology from the BTP and as far as I am concerned the matter is closed.’

She added: ‘I asked for, and got, help from the station cleaner as it was not possible to pick up the mess.’"
How dare a PCSO question a member of the Labour Politburo, do they not realise how important Vera Baird is and that the laws of the land do not apply to such as she?

I am also so pleased to see that Vera Baird managed to get one of the little people to clear up her puppy's mess for her. I would hate to think of a Labour minister having to soil her hands with dog shit, that is a job for a menial member of the public not an high flying Labour minister. Shovelling shit onto us is the job of a Labour minister.

Climate Change - a sceptical voice

Take a read of Joanne Nova's blog on the science of 'climate change', a fascinating read and one in the eye for the BBC's Richard Black...

Am I immature for thinking where's Groucho when watching this video?

The video is the first ever video of the UK cabinet meeting in 10 Downing Street, it is of Andrew Bonar Law's Conservative government. A fantastic period piece and interesting to see the moving faces of some figures who I know of but have never seen except in news photos. I had two problems when watching this video; first that the title cards put me in mind of a Charlie Chaplin film, as did the moustaches of the Duke of Devonshire and Viscount Peel and second that in the opening sequence I kept wondering when Grouco Marx was going to enter the room.

The video is from a fascinating Times article that has video of every Prime Minister from David Lloyd George to the current idiot.

Managing Copenhagen 'climate change' talks expectations

The BBC did a marvellous job yesterday convincing us that the chances of agreement being reached in Copenhagen were slim and that there could be a six or even 12 month wait for agreement to be reached. Every news bulletin was full of worried newscasters interviewing very concerned experts about why agreement would not be reached and how this would be a disaster.

This careful preparation means that when a watered down accord is agreed to today it can be presented as the result of the diplomatic skills of Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Barack Obama, who have all saved the world from total climate disaster.

The BBC managing expectations for a Labour government since 1997.
"Picture this, a day in December
Picture this, freezing cold weather"

Blondie - Picture This - Top of the Pops 1978 - Ah the memories...

Blondie were one of the most perfect pop bands I have listened to and seen live: tight band, good tunes and a naturally beautiful lead singer.

"Should homosexuals face execution?" becomes "Should Uganda debate gay execution?" after the BBC Have Your Say board was closed

You can read more bout this tale of BBC incompetence and attempts to hide this very incompetence at Harry's Place and Biased BBC.

Thursday 17 December 2009

The science is certain?

In November 2004 the BBC reported that:
"Environmentalists are warning that the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas could spell disaster for millions of people living in the region.

They claim the situation is not being adequately monitored; the last major studies having been done in the 1990s.

Swelling glacial lakes would increase the risk of catastrophic flooding.

In the long term, the glaciers could disappear altogether, causing several rivers to shrink and threatening the survival of those who depend on them.

"It is high time we did field studies to assess the situation or else a big natural catastrophe could hit us anytime," said Arun Bhakta Shrestha, from Nepal's Department of Hydrology and Meteorology.

Rising temperatures

There are 3,300 glaciers in the Nepalese Himalayas and 2,300 of them contain glacial lakes. These lakes are quietly growing because of rising temperatures, but a sufficiently close eye is not being kept on them, campaigners say.

Between 1970 and 1989, Japanese researchers discovered most of the glaciers in the Khumbu region had retreated 30-60m. In Nepal's Dhaulagiri region, field studies until 1994 showed the same trend.

And Nepal's most studied glacier in Tsorong Himal underwent a 10m retreat between 1978 and 1989."
Worry, fear and an unmentioned but clear implication that Man Made Climate Change is to blame.

Five years on and today the BBC report that:
"A scientific debate has been triggered over the state of glaciers in the Himalayas.

Some recent findings seem to contradict claims that the glaciers are retreating rapidly. Some glaciers are even said to be advancing.

There are clear signs of glacial retreat and ice melt from other parts of the world, but few field studies have been carried out in the Himalayas.

Its glaciers too were widely believed to be receding fast.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had said that Himalayan glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world.

The panel observed: "If the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate."

This report sparked concerns that there could be increased flooding in the short term, as glacial lakes suddenly overflowed.

In the longer term, major glacier-fed rivers, it was feared, would run dry, affecting millions in the region.

Glacial conflict

But some scientists claim that glaciers in the Himalayas are not retreating as fast as was believed. Others who have observed nearby mountain ranges even found that glaciers there were advancing.

Kenneth Hewitt, a glaciologist from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, is one of these scientists. He has been doing field studies in Pakistan's Karakoram Mountains at the western reaches of the Himalayan range for the last 40 years.

Just back from that region, he told BBC News that he saw at least half a dozen glaciers that had been advancing since the last time he saw them - five years ago.

"Dozens of smaller, high altitude tributary glaciers have advanced including seven of Biafo Glacier and four of Panmah," he says. "
Of course since Climate Change is a fact and to state otherwise would make one a 'denier' the following has to be added:
""It means climate change is happening here too, but with different consequences."

Scientists have also described a phenomenon called glacial "surge". This is thought to be caused by melt water underneath the glacier lubricating its ground contact and causing it to move forward.

This is different from a real advance of a glacier, which is caused by an increase in the volume of ice. "
There you go, if a glacier shrinks it is due to climate change, if it advances then it is doe to climate change. Whatever happens it is the fault of climate change because that is the new religion and the excuse for 'changing the world'.

Gordon Brown leads Al Gore into the wrong room

Oddly Gordon Brown and Al Gore's jackets are buttoned up when Gordon Brown leads Al Gore into the 'wrong' room and yet 5 seconds later when they come out their jackets are unbuttoned; why, how?

Thanks to Guido Fawkes for the spot.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Is having gone to Eton such a bad thing?

It's odd how old-Etonian is thrown around as an insult. Gordon Brown, Ed Balls and mush of the Labour party seem to think that just by pointing out that David Cameron, Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith went to Eton that they have destroyed their credibility and voter appeal.

However, does anyone disagree that that Eton provides a seriously good standard of education, maybe some of the finest education that money can buy? If an Eton education is so good then is the argument being put forward not really that old-Etonians are too well educated to be Prime Minister? Would the UK rather be governed by well educated politicians or those who admit that they are not very good at mathematics?


I note that this blog is the number two returned site if you google - Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and the third time is enemy action meaning - I am so happy...

See here and here. And in case you didn't know, the quotation is my favourite Ian Fleming line; it's from Goldfinger, in fact it's said by Auric Goldfinger himself
"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

Climate Change update

Three pieces today:

1) The Telegraph reports that those delightful leftist 'warmists' don't like 'deniers':
"Veteran children’s TV presenter Johnny Ball was booed off stage last night after denying man-made climate change before an audience of liberal atheists. "
Read the story and feel the hatred of the warmists for anyone who dares to doubt 'the revealed truth'.

2) Here is some video of how journalists who dare to question 'warmists' are now treated...

3) Minnesotans for global warming...

"... Being aroused pretty much 24-hours a day is exhausting."

I imagine it would be rather exhausting, so I feel somewhat sorry for Joleen Baughman aged 39, who
"was hurt in a collision two years ago, which damaged a nerve in her pelvis which controls desire, leaving it permanently switched on.

She now becomes sexually aroused by the slightest movement – while vacuuming, sitting on a bus, bending over, or even simply walking across a room. "

I suppose the neighbours of Caroline Cartwright are just glad that she doesn't have the same condition or it could be even noisier in Washington on Wearside.

Where is Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi?

The Times reports that:
"Mystery surrounded the Lockerbie bomber last night after he could not be reached at his home or in hospital.

Libyan officials could say nothing about the whereabouts of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, and his Scottish monitors could not contact him by telephone. They will try again to speak to him today but if they fail to reach him, the Scottish government could face a new crisis.

Under the terms of his release from jail, the bomber cannot change his address or leave Tripoli, and must keep in regular communication with East Renfrewshire Council. "
Ho hum...

Only Lord Ashcroft?

The BBC are in full attack the Tories mode at present and this piece is typical. It's entitled "Tax attack on Tory peer Ashcroft" and reports
"The Lib Dems have said new laws should be brought in immediately to remove MPs and peers who do not pay tax in the UK from Parliament.

Mr Cable, standing in for Nick Clegg at prime minister's questions, accused Tory peer Lord Ashcroft of not paying tax in the UK on overseas earnings.

The Conservatives have said they will pass a law requiring all MPs and peers to pay tax in the UK if elected.

For Labour, Harriet Harman said peers and MPs must "set an example" on tax.

When he was made a Conservative peer in 2000, Lord Ashcroft gave an undertaking that he would pay taxes in the UK but has since refused to comment on his tax status, insisting it was a private matter.

As well as being deputy chairman of the party, Lord Ashcroft is one of the Conservatives' largest donors. "
The entire piece is about Lord Ashcroft's tax affairs, so I assume he is the only 'non-dom' politician in the House of Lords? Hold on though, didn't I read recently about Lord Paul, the major Labour donor who has just been made a Privy Councillor, isn't he a 'non-dom'? Lord Paul in case the BBC have never heard of him has many links to Gordon Brown and the Labour Party, here are a few:
" * Lord Paul’s Caparo gave £45,000 to Brown’s Leadership campaign
* Caparo Industries, a company in the Caparo Group chaired by Lord Paul, gave donations of £25,000 and £20,000 to Gordon Brown’s leadership campaign (Electoral Commission).
* Pledged to bankroll Labour’s election campaign
* In August 2007, Lord Paul said to Channel 4 News: ‘all I know is that if there is an election and the money is wanted, whatever I can pay, I will pay...I am a believer in Gordon Brown and his leadership.’
* When he was asked how much he would be ready to give Labour, he said: ‘As much as I can afford.’ (Lord Paul, reported in The Daily Mail, 22 August 2007)

According to The Sunday Times, ‘other top donors non-domiciled for tax purposes include Lord Paul of Marylebone whose companies have given £400,000 to Labour and who has been appointed Blair's unofficial envoy to the Indian subcontinent’ (Sunday Times, 24 February 2002).

According to The Mail on Sunday, Lord Paul funded Gordon Brown’s private office in opposition: ‘Lord Paul, whose fortune is estimated at £450million, funded Mr Brown's private office in opposition and has pledged to “give whatever he can afford” to help ensure Labour is re-elected.’ (Mail on Sunday, 9 September 2007)

A news story on the Caparo Website reveals that Sarah Brown presented Angad Paul, Lord Paul’s son, with a prize in September 2007:

‘Angad Paul, Caparo Group chief executive officer has received the GG2 Leadership and Diversity award for Entrepreneur of the Year in recognition of his dynamic role in the expansion of the group. ‘Sarah Brown, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, presented the award to Angad, in a ceremony attended by over 800 dignitaries at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in London on September 10th.’

(Caparo Website, 11 September 2007;)

* Lord Paul bought 6,000 copies of Gordon Brown’s book Courage to distribute to secondary schools (The Times, 25 August 2007).
* Caparo Group donated £15,700 to Keith Vaz between 1993 and 1997. However, Vaz failed to declare one of these payments which totalled £3,000 (The Daily Telegraph, 22 April 2001; )"

Maybe the BBC would like to consider some other Labour supporting 'non-doms' whilst they are looking into Lord Paul - Sir Ghulam Noon, Lakshmi Mittal, Sir Ronald Cohen,
Ron Sandler. In the meantime, here's a written question and answer from Hansard 02.12.09:
"Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Prime Minister whether (a) he and his predecessor and (b) officials in the Prime Minister's Office have had meetings with Angad Paul in each of the last three years. [303112]

The Prime Minister: My officials and I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a range of subjects."

The war on the motorist continues

Two small articles re the war on the motorist caught my eye today.

1) Under the gusie of a positive headline "Speed bumps: the beginning of the end?" The telegraph is really reporting that:
"Councils will be allowed to introduce the (20mph) 'go-slow' zones without also having to install traffic calming measures such as the 'sleeping policeman'. "
You can read more about these 20mph zones here, awful & dangerous idea.

2) I read that:
"Motorists in some regions of Britain are twelve times more likely to be given speeding fines and points on their licence than in other areas, according to new research which highlights a "postcode lottery" of motoring prosecutions. "
Of course the truth is that
"The Government has been accused of "milking'' motorists to raise £88 million a year with little improvement in road safety.
Overall, drivers have been fined almost £1 billion for speeding offences in the past decade, and there has been a thirteen-fold increase in the number of tickets issued by some police forces. "
But hidden away is this lovely thought of what is to come:
"Meanwhile, the number of speed cameras across Britain is about to rise. At least six new models, which will take digital pictures and link to a control centre, are set to be approved by the Home Office."
And so motorists will continue to be treated as cash cows regardless of which party is in power.

How do most of the delegates travel to the Copenhagen Conference? Clue mostly it's not on the free bus..

So is it a March general election

Gordon Brown can't risk having his puppet Chancellor present a Budget in March 2010, a budget that would have to show (wouldn't it) that the economy has not performed as well as promised in the recent deceitful PBR. Also can another fiscal year really be planned without talking about actual and vital cuts? Of course not, well not without the financial markets taking flight from Sterling and the ratings agencies downgrading the UK's sovereign rating.

So are Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson planning a March election, an election to be fought on lies and spin about Labour 'investment' versus Tory cuts? With the BBC already becoming more overtly pro-Labour, or more accurately anti-Conservative, by the day, it is clear the pre-election campaign is under way. The Today programme is being used, even more than usual, to set the agenda in as anti-Conservative manner as possible, but the other BBC programmes will do their best to assist. Do keep an eye on Beeb Bias Craig for his measurements of BBC bias.

Tonight with Political Betting reporting that
"The government’s main communications arm, the COI, is said to be pulling all outdoor advertising from after the end of February. This could be just precautionary but the convention, as I understand it, is that there is a big restriction on advertising by government during election periods - and you can see the reason why."
It seems that 25 March may be election day.

With an election set date for before any Budget the BBC would be free to forensically examine the Tories plans, run scare stories about 'Tory cuts', rises in unemployment and a return to uncaring early 1980s, meanwhile leaving Labour to claim all would sweetness and light under a returned Labour government. The most worrying thing is that this Labour/BBC plan might just work and Labour's destruction of the UK could continue - if so it's bye bye UK for many.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Climate Change data investigated

Watts Up With That has an incredible analysis of Climate Change data. Do read the whole long article, it is very detailed and quite eye-opening:
"Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celcius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celcius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C.


What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

One thing is clear from this. People who say that “Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK” are wrong. At least one part of the data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero."

Note the downward sloping (blue) raw data line, the upward sloping (red) adjusted data line and the adjustment line (black) itself.

Note the downward sloping (blue) raw data line, the upward sloping (red) adjusted data line and the adjustment line (black) itself.

Any passing warmists care to comment?

Bankers bonuses

I see that:
"LLOYDS Banking Group, which yesterday successfully completed a record-breaking £13.5bn rights issue, is preparing to pay out its bonus pool in full. The move, which follows mounting anger in the City over the government’s super-tax, will see the firm having to hand over an estimated £100m in payments to the Treasury as part of the 50 per cent levy.

The payment of the bonuses, the bulk of which will be for amounts between £20,000 and £40,000, will surprise government ministers who expected most banks to rethink compensation policies in the light of the imposition of the bank bonus supertax in last week’s pre-Budget Report.

Lloyds’ bonus pool is expected to reach between a quarter and a third of that of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Only a very small number of its staff are in line for very large, £1m-plus payouts.

But City A.M. has learnt that Lloyds, which is still 43 per cent owned by the government, is determined to bite the bullet and pay bonuses it feels its staff deserve even if that means taking a substantial hit.

Just as remarkably, most other banks in the City are now preparing to follow suit, according to sources that have been involved in discussions between the different institutions. This is especially likely to be the case at many US firms, which feel they cannot allow massive pay differences to arise between London and New York. "
Interesting, very interesting. I expected that the big banks would cut back on bonuses but it seems not. This could mean that this one-off (yeah right) tax could net much more than the estimated £500 million. If so can you imagine any government stopping this source of tax revenue next year. Labour would happily take the money and could the Conservatives really do without it?

Labour's enabling legislation means that the one-off bankers tax could be extended to YOU

Devils Kitchen has a must read post that includes this frightening and very plausible thought:
"the law might be aimed at bankers' bonuses right now, but we know that NuLabour has also attacked the remumeration of many other so-called "fat cats", e.g. energy company bosses. So, sure, NuLabour will pass this law and it will be aimed squarely at bankers' bonuses—after all, everyone hates the bankers, eh?

But watch out for the mini-Enabling Act clause in the Bill: it will be something that allows a government minister to change the terms of reference, probably by statutory instrument.

And then watch the law become extended to cover energy company bosses, and then other private company managers, and then—sooner or later—you'll find it's your company and your money in the firing line."

Whatever you want to call this oft used Labour tactic: 'Salami tactics' (per Yes Minister) or Pastor Niemoller tactics, the effect is the same. More power accrues to the state and less to the citizen:

"First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me."

Maybe today:
"First they came for the smokers
and I did not speak out
because I was not a smoker.
Then they came for the climate change deniers
and I did not speak out
because I was not a climate change denier.
Then they came for the bankers
and I did not speak out
because I was not a banker.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me."

Is John Bercow running scared of Nigel Farage?

I read Iain Dale's interview with John Bercow the other day and neglected to post about this extract:
"You are facing a challenge at the next election. Isn't this convention that the Speaker isn't challenged a fundamentally undemocratic one?

I don't think it is fundamentally undemocratic because it isn't a rule, it's not a law. It is a convention and I think that you have to look at what the alternative would be. If you said, well, party candidates from the main parties will stand, it will be quite difficult to get anybody to stand for the role of Speaker. It would be very difficult to have more than a one-term Speaker because obviously a lot of people do vote, even now with declining party loyalties, on the basis of party allegiance. If we chose to reconfigure the Speakership in the way that it operates in many other countries - where the Speaker does vote in all normal votes, not just where there's a tie as here, and does campaign for a party - that would be a different situation. But I don't sense any enthusiasm on the part of the House to do that.

The second point is that now and again - I'll try and deal with it up front - it is suggested perhaps what should be done is that the Speaker should be given a separate constituency, usually known as St Stephen's, which represents a small area around Westminster, and that the local constituency he or she is taken from should be able to hold a normal party election. The House of Commons can always decide to do that if it wants. My attitude is that, as such a decision would affect me directly, it's not right for me to be either an advocate of it or resistant to it. The only thing I would say is I do enjoy having constituents and believe that I'm still well and truly able effectively to represent the people of my constituency. I do just want to underline the fact that it is both possible and it would be necessary for the Speaker to continue to be a highly active constituency MP, but I won't face, I suspect, major party competition, but I will face opponents."
Is John Bercow preparing the way for him to be able to opt out of facing Nigel Farage, an opponent who might well win the seat? A nice little rotten seat would no doubt suit our rotten Speaker.

Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Sunday Times reported last weekend that:
"A TORY peer has been caught using someone else’s home address to claim tens of thousands of pounds in expenses.

Lord Taylor of Warwick, a 57-year-old former barrister, told the House of Lords that his main home was a terrace house in Oxford which he neither owned nor lived in.

The property’s owner, Tristram Wyatt, a university academic, said he was unaware that his address had been used as the peer’s main home.

Wyatt’s companion is the peer’s step-nephew, Robert Taylor, who admitted to The Sunday Times that his uncle has never lived at the house. “He doesn’t live here, he hasn’t lived here,” he said.

The neighbours confirmed that only Wyatt and Robert Taylor had been resident at the property in recent years.

Taylor has lived in his family home in Ealing, west London, since 1995. By claiming his address was outside the capital he accumulated more then £70,000 in subsistence expenses between 2001 and 2007.

When confronted earlier this year, Taylor claimed he had lived at his mother’s home in the West Midlands during those years. However, this claim was false as his mother died in 2001 and her house was sold that year.

His former wife has also confirmed that he lived in London, and nowhere else, until their separation in 2003.

The disclosures will be looked at by the police team investigating peers and MPs. Taylor declined to comment last week. "
If this is true why has Lord Taylor not resigned as a peer? If he does not have the self-regard to resign, then why has David Cameron not had him thrown out of the Conservative party?

The BBC in full anti-men mode

The BBC's propensity to blame most of the world's troubles on men, especially white middle class men, has been commented on before but even I was amazed to read this piece by Richard Black. He asks (my emphasis): "Why are virtually all climate "sceptics" men?" and comments:
"So what's going on? Why is this issue such a gender-divider?

You might think it's a trite question; but I would argue it's not, for the following reason.

There are two distinct views of why climate scepticism exists in the way it does today.

One - promulgated by many sceptics themselves - speaks to a rigorous, analytical deconstruction of a deeply-flawed scientific edifice that is maintained by a self-interested cabal of tax-hungry politicians and careerist scientists.

The other is that climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads "climate hell".

As one ex-scientist and now climate action advocate put it to me rather caustically a while back: "I've been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn't be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood".


But a report from the US think-tank American Progress probed a little deeper and came up with a more nuanced view.

It split citizens into six categories depending on how they felt about man-made climate change, from "alarmed" through to "dismissive".

The genders were roughly equally represented in the middle groupings, but at the margins the divide was absolutely stark: "Almost two-thirds of the Dismissive are men (63%), the largest gender split among the six segments," the report concluded.

What else did the survey reveal about the "dismissive" group?

"More likely than average to be high income, well-educated, white men... much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention, anti-egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic growth over environmental protection... have a specialized media diet, with a higher than average preference for media sources that reflect their own political point of view."

That paints a picture of the "dismissive" - and dominantly male - psychology, without however going to the roots of why men and women diverge so much on their tendency to be "dismissive".


If a rigorous deconstruction of flawed and politically-motivated science is at the bottom of climate scepticism, why aren't women getting it?

I'm out of ideas. What do you think it all means?"

I think I'll turn the floor over to two commenters on Richard Black's blog:
"7. At 2:53pm on 15 Dec 2009, ImranCan2 wrote:

Richard - Are you serious ? Jeez man .... this is completely desperate ! I have read some of the recent enviro-nutter blogs at the Guardian (Ben Goldacre) trying to explain away the fact that no one takes the AGW story seriously anymore. Any excuse under the sun ... except the obvious one. But this article takes the complete biscuit ! Trying to aportion scepticism to some ethnic/sexist/ageist/educational bracket.

How about "those that have actually thought about this ?"

There is only one reason there are sceptics in this world and that is because you have singularly failed to make any convincing case on virtually any aspect of the AGW theory.

You can't explain why it hasn't warmed for 10 years.

You can't explain why the current global temperatures are under the entire envelope of predictions for the IPCC TAR.

You can't explain why the Antarctic sea ice is growing - or for that matter why the summer minimum in the Arctic has grown 10% year on year since 2007.

You can't explain why there are less hurricanes now than in the 40's and 50's.

You can't explain why the Metoffice can get their seasonal predictions wrong 6 times in a row. Even a 4 year old has a 50/50 !

You can't explain why sea level rise has all but stopped even though you keep wailing about it accelerating.

You can't explain why the Maldives is supposedly going to drown when it clearly survived 130m sea level rise since the last ice age.

You can't explain why CO2 drives climate when it clearly follows temperature by ~800years when looking at ice core data over the past million years.

You can't explain why CO2 which is a trace gas supposedly has bigger impact than the sun (which if you stand in it for 10 minutes will burn you).

Yo be honest, I don't think I have ever heard a clear explanation about ANY question I have ever asked.

And so finally, at the very death of the AGW movement, you resort to the nonsense you have written above. Get with it man or you will be out of work in very short order - no one is going to want to employ a flatearther !"

"20. At 3:17pm on 15 Dec 2009, KZwert wrote:

Speaking as a scientist and as someone who knows that global warming is a fact, I find your 'question' deeply disturbing.
Do you have statistically valid evidence showing that there is a statistically significant basis for saying that more men are climate sceptics than women, or are you like most people speaking from personal (that is to say anecdotal) experience?
Secondly, if you have carried out survey research with a number of compartmentalised conditions and found statistically significant evidence to show that men are more sceptical than women, have you researched what is it about politicians, particularly male politicians, that makes them so sceptical when compared with women?
What form of selection process and therefore sample bias occurs in the political process and do you think it might affect the result? What form of sample bias is there in your personal experience?
What is it about (for example) BBC magazine writers that leads them to draw hasty conclusions in the absence of statistical data? Could it be that they are not scientists?
Most interestingly of all, what evidence can you adduce to show that people's views on climate change/global warming are shaped by childhood experiences? Would this be an unscientific Freudian view, or something more substantial that fits the current Darwinian paradigm?
This uncritical, new wave, yap-yap, men are more dangerous than women is very dangerous, ill thought out and lacking scientific data/reasoning. Your remarks leave me feeling deeply uncomfortable, not least because of their ad hominem nature, which does not predispose your targets to respond in any other way than in kind and, if you are to get this discussion off the tracks of personal comments, and on to the tracks of discussing the data, you had better drop the ad hominem sword.
You are doing nothing to help matters. It is childish, inane and counter productive.
Oh, and yes, there are serious problems with our climate, they were seeded about 11,000 ago when people started chopping down forests, the UK is over populated probably by more than 20 million people, economies under the current energy regime can only grow if we over populate the world, and both Cameron and Brown are fools for offering tax breaks to an uncritical electorate if they have children, but I nowhere see *you* dealing with these issues and, yes, I am hopping mad. This wasn't even a conversation piece, it was IMNSVHO silly and childish, containing far less science than I have put in my off the top of my head reply.

Richard Black, another BBC journalist whose name goes into my little black book of BBC idiots.

Climate Change

A comment I found on a blog somewhere that I thought needed repeating:
"Simply look at the surface data of GISS /> and try to find something reliable in the tropics:
Look e.g. to the data for Salvador, a town of 1.5 million inhabitants. That should be compared with rural stations to correct for urban heat island effect. But the nearest rural stations are 458-542 km away from Salvador (Caetite, Caravela, Remanso). And their data are so spurious, that it is impossible to deduct any trend from them. Quixeramobin is the nearest rural station with more or less reliable data over a longer time span, and shows very different trends than Salvador. Or look at Kinshasha (what a mess!), 1.3 million inhabitants, Brazzaville (opposite the Congo stream), and something rural in the neighborhood (Mouyondzi – 173 km, M’Pouya – 215 km, Djambala – 219 km,…). East Africa is not better: compare the “trends” of Nairobi with these of Narok, Makindu, Kisumu, Garissa,… Rural data trends with some reliability on a longer time span are very rare in the whole tropics. Only expanding towns have (sometimes) longer data sets which are hardly correctable. The unreliability of the data in the tropic range is thus obvious, that one can wonder how a “global” surface temperature trend can be calculated to any accuracy… But temperate or polar Russia is not better. All but one rural station ceased operation in 1980 ( I imagine this was caused by Russia's near economic collapse about that time). What is left are large cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg (heat islands)

How can the CRU brazenly claim (global) warming with more than half the world's info completely missing?"
Would any passing warmists care to address this query?

A thought on the BA staff strikes

I think I am right that BA already fly from Gatwick with the reduced crew numbers that they want to implement at Heathrow and have done for quite a while.

Falsifying the figures

That graphic is clearly from Fox News whose coverage of falsified research is a little suspect if they can't even ma three figures add up to 100% - 59% + 35% +26% = 120%

Thanks to Mr Eugenides for the spot.

Ed Miliband is innumerate

Hansard reports (my emphasis):
"The hon. Gentleman knows that we have published our own home energy efficiency plan for 700 million households to be insulated by 2020 and we have said that we will pilot it in the low-carbon transition plan, which we will be announcing shortly. The problem with the hon. Gentleman's position is that he says that we can give £6,500 to everybody on day one. I do not know how he will pay for every household to have that. I asked him in my speech to clarify-perhaps he can advise us now-how he will pay for that £6,500 on day one."
700 million households? Either there is more immigration than even Migration Watch think might be possible or Ed Miliband has no idea what he is saying. Bear in mind that Hansard is the official record and if Ed Miliband (or an official) had gone to Hansard and said I said the wrong figure I believe they would have let him change it for the record. Maybe Ed Miliband and his team just don't care about the official record or the truth; or more likely they know that this figure is no more ridiculous than many other figures published by this Labour government. As I blogged the other day
"But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty's figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty's forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at one-hundred-and-forty-five million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than one-hundred-and-forty-five millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain."
That's from 1984 and I know that resorting to 1984 parallels is somewhat trite, but with this Labour government it is just so perfect.