Saturday, 28 February 2009

Why Can't Politicians Speak Plain English?

Cranmer has a post regarding the speech by Hazel Blears, Community Secretary, said speech reported in the Church Times.

In her speech, The Poisoned Dwarf - who is one my least favoured Labour MPs - said that a growing coalition of support needed to be built and that government wanted to 'empower' new voices and support people standing up for shared values.

What a load of 'non-speak'! What does 'a growing coalition of support' together with 'empower new voices and support people standing up for shared values' actually mean? Those two phrases could be taken by both the ethnic minority and those of the Christian faith as support for their views. We have seen what Blears means by 'empowering' people with her socialist dogma, especially with her reasons for the creation of Multi-Area Agreements which are supposedly to bring democracy closer to the people but will in fact drive it further away into the hands of unelected bureaucrats.

If Blears feels that our 'values' have become 'lost' one has to ask where the hell she has been for the last twelve years. As Cranmer says:

"One has to wonder why she has been silent on this matter for so long. And why is she speaking now? Did she object to the banning of Geert Wilders from the United Kingdom? Did she speak out against Lord Ahmed’s threat against Parliament? Has she uttered a word in defence of Catholic adoption agencies? Has she defended the manifest educational benefits of schools with a Christian ethos? Has she sided with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor in his concerns about Labour’s understanding of tolerance, which is fundamentally intolerant of anything Christian? Or Labour’s façade of democracy, which is Marxist and totalitarian?"

Who created the 'society' in which we now live Blears? You and your Socialist ilk!

Get off the fence you obnoxious woman and tell us - are you siding with the those of Christian values, values on which this country has been buiilt or are you siding with the ethnic minority? Is this just a 'speech for all' with a view to securing your re-election as an MP?

Let me put this question of 'cultural difference' to you this way Blears. Let me come and stay with you, in your home, for a period and let me change your home life, let me insist that you live according to 'rules' I demand and then let me see you accept that without complaint - because that is what is happening under your very nose and which you and your kind have been 'allowing' and even promoting ever since you came to power, under false pretences I might add, in 1997.

Iain Dale, in his post, mourns the fact that Blears has been absent from our lives recently. Any chance you could make that permanent Hazel?

Oh and Hazel - while your at it, would you also take Harriet Harman, Jacqui Smith, Caroline Flint and Barbara Follett with you? Sod it, on second thoughts make sure all your colleagues join you - on a permanent basis!

'M' 'N' 'M'

Those amongst us who know nothing of 'Rapping' (other than that required for presents at Christmas, or on Birthdays) will not appreciate the outpourings of Marshall Bruce Mathers III, otherwise known as Eminem.

It does appear however that our 'home grown' 'M' and 'M' should be of interest to each and everyone of us if the latest report is anything to go by.

It appears that Michael and Mary Martin have been on one or two 'jollies' at the taxpayer's expense. Since 2002 they have visited Hanover, Berlin, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Rome, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Singapore, New Zealand, Nairobi, Bahamas, New York, Georgia, Alabama, Montebello, and Hawaii.

Don't you just love Freedom of Information requests?

The 'Blair Witch' Consultancy

The Telegraph today reports on the story that Tony Blair has set up a consultancy, Tony Blair Associates, to advise world leaders and that his first client is the government of Kuwait.

The Telegraph report includes the fact:

"Mr Blair is counselling the constitutional monarchy of the oil-rich state on "good governance", according to his spokesman."

This would seem to leave Tony Blair open to charges under the Misrepresentation of Goods Act - purely on the use of the word 'good'!


An anagram of Blair is B Liar - I know, I know its an old joke but you know what they say - the old ones are the best ones!

Talking of jokes - a cracker from a Tory Councillor - see the story here.

An immigrant is handed a free eight-bedroom house by a fairy (no, not who you think - Ed.) after arriving in England. In the punchline the new foreigner's house and other new-found gains are stripped away after he asks to become native, with the fairy explaining "Now that you are English, you're entitled to f*** all."

The 'Li-on' Bank Bonuses To Enter The Daniels Den

From the Telegraph today comes a twist on the 'Goodwin Pension Fiasco' in that the CEO of Lloyds Bank, Eric Daniels, is in line for 'take home' pay that could reach £10million.

The report notes that "Lloyds claimed last night that the Treasury had been consulted over the deal" and that a spokesman for UK Financial Investments (UKFI), part of the Treasury who oversee the Government's involvement with banks, confirmed that it had received details of Lloyds' executive pay deals.

What 'consultations' took place and when were 'details received'? Was a 'Myners' strike' involved in the process and if so to what extent did he sink his 'shaft'? It does seem that this entire question of government/banks/bankers has reached the 'pits' and that there is a bit more than a 'pony' involved.

We will await further revelations with bated breath!



Mandelson Really Is A Duplitious Individual

'Lord' Mandelson - the 'Foy Boy' - has opened his mouth to pass judgment on the 'Goodwin Pension Fiasco' and is quoted in the Telegraph as saying:

"I admire his professional guile trying to shift the focus on this......"

Listen 'you ennobled individual with the queer title' - what the hell did you do when announcing your proposed 'part-sale', or 'privatisation', of Royal Mail in which there was no mention, by you, of the need to meet the requirements of the European Union Directives in respect of competition within the postal market?

If only you were able to exhibit 'professional guile' - 'guile' you most certainly do posses, but 'professional'? Having spent your time in the Young Communist League, Lambeth Borough Council and the Labour Party, what professional qualifications do you have? If truth be known you are no more than an over-promoted, over-bearing and over-serving (or is that under-serving - not being an expert on such matters) bureaucrat?

Self-imposed restraints on this blog prevent me using a more basic form of our language to describe my feelings. Suffice it to say that, hopefully, on the 'day of reckoning' you will be amongst the first to decorate a lamp post.

Why Socialists Will Never Understand Competition

A story in the Telegraph today focuses on the dominance of Google in the 'search engine market' and reports that 25 Labour MPs have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) which urges ministers to “consider measures to prevent the monopolisation of the online search advertising market”

“A monopoly is unhealthy,” said Andrew Dismore, one of the Labour MPs backing the motion. “Google cornering the market is not good for competitive pricing or quality of service. The Government should recognise that there is a potential problem."

Just because Google may have increased its share of the market to nearly 90 percent must surely be due to the fact that users have a choice of search engines and consequently have made that choice.

How, Mr. Dismore, would you propose regulating which search engine is used? How would any monitoring system work and who would implement it? Welcome Big Brother?

If a monopoly is unhealthy, Mr Dismore, then what pray is the NHS if it is but a monopoly based on the fact we have no choice other than the NHS if we want free healthcare? A number of your colleagues, Mr Dismore, are reportedly 'up in arms' over the 'privatisation of Royal Mail; but what is Royal Mail, if privatisation does not go ahead, but a monopoly?

What, Mr Dismore, are political parties if not monopolies as only members of a party can select their candidates as prospective parliamentary candidates? To follow your argument Mr. Dismore, then it would be necessary that open primaries are held for the selection of any prospective parliamentary candidate whereby anyone, regardless of political beliefs, could have a vote.

It would appear, Mr. Dismore, you have caught the affliction of your Great Leader - you haven't a clue what the hell you are talking about!

Words Of Wisdom

Courtesy of An Englishman's Castle are some words written by Philip Pullman. It would appear that the article appeared in the Times but was 'pulled' from the on-line version. However thanks to Google (you know - the site that 25 MPs wish to 'censure' due to its 'monopoly' - more in a separate post) it has been found.

Pullman's article is well worth reading and deals with the subject of loss of our liberties. Some extracts:

"Expressing an opinion is a dangerous activity

Whatever your opinions are, we don’t want to hear them

So if you threaten us or our friends with your opinions we shall treat you like the rabble you are

And we do not want to hear you arguing about it

So hold your tongue and forget about protesting

What we want from you is acquiescence."





Friday, 27 February 2009

In A Nutshell

Daniel Hannan, not always, writes well and this latest offering contains some telling points.

"Look, I don't like the idea of Sir Fred Goodwin's £693,000 a year pension any more than you do. But keep a sense of proportion: a similar sum is spent by the Government every 35 seconds."

"Why is it that, when the rest of the country is having to make savings, the public sector remains immune? I'll tell you why, my friends: because Labour now has nothing to lose. It would rather bankrupt the state than forfeit its last electoral base."

So true - do go read the whole piece.

Monkeying Around

A story in the print edition of the Telegraph reports that two black officers are claiming £200,000 from the Met for 'racist monkey taunts'.

(Aside - not being able, quickly, to find the article on-line I input 'two black officers are claiming £200,000 from the Met' into their search engine and this was the result - laughable, no?)

These two, PCSOs, claim that a white officer performed 'ape impressions' in front of them, swung his arms and pulled 'ape-like' faces. They are claiming the money - £100,000 each - as they felt 'distressed and humiliated' and are therefore claiming 'aggravated damages and compensation for hurt feelings'.

So the next time Lenny Henry impersonates a white man and 'mocks' our way of speaking and our accent, I can claim for 'distress', 'humiliation' and 'hurt feelings'? Yeah - right!

Tell you what - promote them to 'full' officers and then stick them on the front line of the next demonstration when there are bricks and other missiles flying about and then they will really know what 'hurt' means!

Seems to me that this whole affair is 'monkeying' around with the means to 'get rich quick' via the law!


Where The Real Power Lies

I was struck by this headline in the Telegraph: "UK given approval for £2.3bn auto bail-out".

Business Minister, Ian Pearson is quoted as saying:

"We are grateful to the Commission for its swift response and approval of our state aid application,"

'We are grateful to the Commission for its ...... approval'? So we have to ask permission whether we can use our taxpayer's money to prop up our own industries?

If nothing else demonstrates that we are no longer allowed to govern ourselves, this does!

And MPs still believe they are the 'governing representatives' of we the electorate?

EU MPs might think that - but we know different!



The Sign That The UK Has 'Wasted' Away

It must be a sign of the times and an indication of how low the fortunes of the UK has sunk when we cannot even produce good quality rubbish!

In the print edition of the Telegraph today (no link) Mal Williams, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Recycling (CRR) which represents reprocessors said that some councils were producing low quality recycled material because of a method known as 'co-mingled recycling', when householders put out paper, plastics, and other dry materials in one container. He went on to say that at least 10 percent of co-mingled recycling ends up in landfill as it was of such poor quality and could not, therefore, achieve a good price in the market.

This just underlines the stupidy of this whole 'waste' question and the resultant 'mess', all because we have to 'obey' a 'law' (Directive) imposed on us by an unelected and unaccountable 'foreign' cabal.



Labour And Pensions (3)

The matter of 'Sir' Fred Goodwin's pension arrangements should be the subject of a full Parliamentary inquiry and this inquiry should not only focus on the actual pension 'deal' that was agreed as part of the process whereby Goodwin 'stepped down', but should also, more importantly, also focus on the 'who knew what and when' scenario in relation to Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Quoted in the Telegraph (note: online edition slightly different to print edition in content):

Gordon Brown: "I became aware of this deal a few days ago, and immediately demanded action"

Alistair Darling: "This agreement was not negotiated by the Government, nor was it approved by the Government."

Stephen Hester (RBS CEO): "Arrangements for my predecessor's departure were negotiated directly between past directors of this board, the Government and him."

The letter from Goodwin to 'Lord' Myners' can be read here and Myners' reply here

Gordon Brown bitterly complains and says that he shares the public's anger over Goodwin's pension and is quoted in the Telegraph, when speaking to the BBC, "When people make mistakes and the banks fail the public the people cannot and should not run off with entitlements and with additional discretionary payments"

Now, as an aside, this is a tad rich when one considers all the mistakes Gordon Brown has made whilst Chancellor and Prime Minister. "When people make mistakes and .....fail the public the people cannot and should not run off with entitlements....." - so where is the difference Mr. Brown viz-a-viz your pension?

Keith Vaughan, Great Strettin, Leicestershire, writing in a letter to the Telegraph today, says "The Treasury has claimed that it was unaware of Sir Fred Goodwin's gold-plated pension until two weeks ago. This is an astonishing admission of incompetence.The Government spent billions on a controlling stake in RBS. Did it not look at the 2007 accounts before doing so?The accounts show that at December 31, 2007, Sir Fred had an accrued pension entitlement of £579,000 with a capital value of £8,370,000, which was topped up to £16,000,000 at his departure."

It is obvious that 'due diligence' was not carried out by either Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling or the Treasury and it is also obvious that someone is being 'economical with the actualite', or in plain English, lying.

We the people, who after all fund this incompetent collection of 'Honourable Gentlemen' and 'Honourable Ladies' (their words - not mine) with salary, allowances and expenses have a right to know the truth.





Conviction Of Belief

Having just watched a programme on BBC2, 'The Making Of The Iron Lady', I was struck by one thought. Love or hate Margaret Thatcher, since Churchill, she has been the only politician to have exhibited possession of the requirements that the leader of a country needs.

Strength, Resolve, Determination - and a Brain!



Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

Regardless of the wish of the present government to control the thoughts, actions and speech of its electorate, both juvenile and adult, whilst there is reasoned thought, as exhibited by the following, there is hope.

The following was written by a 16 year old, one Toby Hale.


"I often ask myself what is so unappealing about politics? What stops the younger generations actually being interested? There could be endless theories on the matter, but I think I have a few explanations myself. Amongst all ages, there is a complete lack of understanding of UK politics. Lack of understanding in large numbers can lead to two things.

These two things are:

*
Those people will never bother to vote.

* Those people will blindly vote for a party for any reason possible.


British politics is actually not as complicated as people might think. The only complication is that we, the public,do not seem to be offered an alternative opinion. Day after day we hear about the three main stream parties plastered on the face of the media. The truth is, we're being offered the exact same polices from each party. The Liberal Democrat, Conservative and Labour Parties all want us to stay in the European Union, which means that we, the people, cannot decide what is best for us and what isn't.

A recent poll showed that 64% of British citizens want a different relationship with the European Union. If the main stream parties believe that the United Kingdom should stay in the EU, it is hardly serving in the interest of the public at all. It is a known fact that over 75% of our laws are now written in Brussels. Are we happy to continue having all the major decisions made for us in another country? Or is it time we became independent and have a self-governing democracy?

It has been proposed that every citizen in the UK should have a national ID card to fight terrorism. Is this really the correct way to fight terrorism? The simple answer is ,no. This is another irrelevant and inefficient government scheme. Some will even say it's an infringement of our rights. For example, do you know that from March 2009 the government will store all emails we send? Is it fair that the taxes we pay contribute to monitoring ourselves? Is it fair that taxes we pay will contribute towards large governmemt spending schemes, such as the 2012 Olympics, where jobs will go to more foreign workers than British workers? Is it fair that the EU is trying to force the Constitutional treaty upon our nation without the consent of the people? I shall not try to force an opinion down your throat- I will leave you to decide for yourself.
It is very clear now that our voice is being ignored by the European Union. We currently have a completely open immigration system, where anyone that lives in a country inside the European Union can come and live and work in the UK. We cannot even control our own borders. Once a law is passed in the European Union, there is not one single person in England that can refuse that law. We have no say on the subject whatsoever. It is also believed that the huge drop of voters is due to people thinking that their vote will not make any difference. Let it be known that your vote can make a difference. Your vote will make a difference!

It is time to let the people know that there is an alternative! UKIP offers a completely different manifesto to Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats. UKIP proposes a withdrawal from the entangling European Union. UKIP offers a work permit system to control the amount of migrants we have. UKIP believes in self-governing democracy and will restore the power back to local governments. UKIP will never tell us, the people, what to think!

The UK Independence Party. The Part of Freedom, Independence and Democracy."

Hear, Hear!

Afterthought: Why cannot our politicians be just as honest?


Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Blame Game

Back on 11th February I posted 'The Blame Game Commences' and now it seems Mervyn King is getting into the act. According to The Coffee House:

"He dumped on Brown, saying that Britain entered the recession "with a pubic deficit that was too high" so leaving less room for a meaningful splurge."

Well Gordon - the 'public deficit that was too high' was the fault of America then?

Labour & Pensions (2)

It now gets murkier........

According to ConHom:

Earlier today Stephen Hester, Fred Goodwin's successor as CEO, told BBC Radio 4 that "the arrangements for my predecessor's departure were negotiated directly between past directors of this board, and the government, and him."

Alistair Darling says he did not know; George Osborne says his City Minister did.

I suppose any attempt with an FOI request would be 'destrawed' by the government!

Update: Guido Fawkes now has Goodwin's response to Myners - getting 'nasty'!

Labour & Pensions

Disregarding all the other matters on which it is apparent that this Labour government are totally clueless, the one big subject is that of pensions. What is it about pensions and Labour that just do not go together - well other than the first one requires a brain to understand, something lacking in the second. We have had the 10p tax increase fiasco, the public sector pensions scandal with the latest addition to the taxpayer's liability of £6billion Royal Mail pension 'brown hole' and now we have the small matter of Sir Fred Goodwind's £650,000 annual pension.

If true it is incredible that the Government never questioned Goodwin's pension arrangements when the deal was struck whereby his early retirement secured the original bail-out. We are now told by Gordon Brown that he will use the law to 'claw-back' some of this pension - so having thrown the taxpayer's money about bailing out banks, he now intends using more of the same trying to break what presumably is a legally constituted pension arrangement and one, no doubt, of which he knew the details.

Quoted in the Times, Alistair Darling told Radio 4 “I think people will find it very difficult to understand how you can get paid £650,000 a year for the rest of your life when just look at the state that RBS is in at the moment,” and “You cannot justify these excesses, especially when you’ve got such a failure of this magnitude.”

In which case it is also pertinent to ask a similar question of Gordon Brown viz-a-viz his stewardship of the economy and his pension for life as an MP and ex-prime minister.

Update: A legal viewpoint on the possibility of such a 'claw-back' as mentioned above. Either way two factors means it would not be cheap - (a) lawyers are involved and (b) so is Gordon Brown!

Ahmed Sentence - What's That Smell

'Lord' Ahmed, he of Wilde(r's)beest fame, receives a 3 month sentence whilst Philippa Curtis receives 21 months
and a three year driving ban.

Setting aside the points that (a) Ahmed, if he ever serves any part of his sentence, would probably serve only half, namely 42 days; (b) odd that parliamentarians can be incarcerated for 42 days after conviction yet wish us to be detained for the same period without even the benefit of a trial - some intriguing questions remain.

If as quoted in the Telegraph Ahmed stopped texting 1.86 miles, or two minutes, prior to the accident then Ahmed was (a) doing less than 60 mph on a motorway; (b) the Audi Ahmed hit was stopped and covering the middle and outer lanes, facing the wrong way; (c) this (b) means that Ahmed was proceeding at less then 60mph in the middle or outer lane - why?; (d) On Christmas Day, night time, when the accident occured, there cannot have been much traffic on the road; and (e) if (d) means that traffic was light, why was Ahmed not in the inside lane?

Something smells here - and its not curry!






Scientific Logic?

In the print edition of the Telegraph today a short item notes that research shows commercial breaks make watching television more enjoyable.

Published in the Journal of Consumer Research, 'findings' showed that the break refreshed people's capacity to concentrate, According to Dr. Leif Nelson, University of California, viewers enjoyment diminished the longer they watched.

If this is true why does enjoyment not diminish when watching a film, either on dvd or in the cinema, and might not this have something to do with the Continuously Repugnant Abhorrent Programming that is featured on television?

Reflections

Having refrained from blogging yesterday as I had no wish to comment on the sad loss suffered by Samantha and David Cameron, it will also be my intention to refrain from passing any comment on David Cameron during the period he is reported to be taking off work.

Yesterday's events in Parliament were extraordinary to say the least though and the suspension of PMQs and Parliament for that time highly questionable. I tend towards the view that this was an act with which David Cameron may well not have been in agreement and it will, in the fullness of time, be interesting to hear his views.

My reason for questioning the suspension of Parliament is twofold. Firstly, the obvious objection is that of making a special case for an MP when at PMQs, virtually every time, a statement - which appears to be becoming increasingly 'robotic' - of sympathy and condolence is given for members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in Afghanistan or Iraq. Is not the level of grief suffered by those families similar? Have the parents in those families also not lost a child?

Secondly, and a suggestion for which I expect to be villified, bearing in mind this government's history of press manipulation, I wonder how much PR featured in the decision to suspend Parliament, coupled with the question of how much it may raise Brown's profile in the press.

Just a thought.......

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Ivan Cameron

Most of what I write is critical not only of this government, but also of the Conservative Party and David Cameron. As a result there will be no posts today.

Samantha and David Cameron's loss today of Ivan has effected me in a manner that I have no need to, nor will not, explain.

A separate message of sympathy and condolence has been sent.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Hoist On Their Own Petard

So Jack Straw has vetoed publication of the Cabinet minutes covering meetings held in the run-up to the Iraq war, even though the Information Tribunal had ruled that they should be published.

I would remind Jack Straw, Justice Secretary, of a Government slogan, which I paraphrase.

If the Government has nothing to hide, then the Government has nothing to fear.

Government News Manipulation

The BBC reports on the growing anger amongst Labour politicians, Royal Mail workers and unions about the 'privatisation' plans due to be announced on Thursday by The Boy From Foy, Peter Mandelson.

Great play is made of the pension deficit, of £5.9billion, and how this will increase if the 'sell-off' does not happen. Postal Affairs Minister, Pat McFadden says "We will not privatise the company but what we want is to bring in the experience to drive forward that change precisely so we can continue the universal service for the future," The government maintains that this is not a 'sell-off' but a partnership which maintains the manifesto pledge made in the 2005 election manifesto.

In this instance, this is not 'spin' by the government, rather it is blatant news manipulation worthy of North Korea and the former USSR.

1. Needless to say there is no mention on the BBC website story about the requirements of this 'sell-off' to meet EU requirements in the field of competition coupled with their inability to continue paying the subsidy to the Post Office, something else dictated by the EU


2. Witness the timing of a letter written by Jane Newell, chair of the trustees of the Royal Mail pension scheme, warning of the likely rise in the deficit of £5.9billion.


3. Witness not one word from MPs, as with the BBC, about the EU 'connection' .

4. Look at the protestations of the reported 125 Labour MPs who are against this deal, yet again on the BBC website no mention is made of how many of those 125 MPs actively supported the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and thereby, membership of the EU.

5. No mention is made either of the hypocrasy of Labour MPs, who having given away the right of this country to govern itself, incorporated in which is the right to run our postal service as we see fit, then protesting about their party's actions and plans.

6. No mention is made of the fact that the criticism Labour is beaking its manifesto pledge is unjust, bearing in mind Labour has shown previously that manifesto pledges are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Is it any wonder that the public have lost confidence in both politicians and the BBC when this demonstrates that neither of them can speak the truth?

A Simple Astronomy Lesson

Prodicus has an interesting post today on the subject of 'dying stars'.

Only matter of contention is that he speaks of a 'black hole' - I think he means a 'brown hole'!

Things Are Not Always What EU Think They Are

A few days ago a story appeared in the blogosphere that on visiting the BBC studios at Tunbridge Wells it was found that all the spaces had been repainted in order to make them bigger; and that the council had said this was to comply with an EU Directive.

Intrigued, as after searching up-hill and down-dale (I think that is the right way round) and being unable to unearth anything on the EUwebsite, I e-mailed Tunbridge Wells Council:


"There has been comment by someone visiting the BBC studios in Tunbridge Wells where he found the parking spaces, apparently owned by Tunbridge Wells Council, being enlarged. On querying this with the operatives he was told it was to comply with an EU Directive".


Today a response has been received from Simon Blundell, Tunbridge Wells Council, who states:

"I am not aware of any EU Directive relating to the bay sizes at Great Hall car park or to whom you may have spoken.

The re-lining of Great Hall car park was undertaken as part of on-going planned maintenance. The old lines had faded in places and some of the directional arrows had almost faded away completely.

We therefore took advantage and asked for the whole floor plan to be revised. The current car park floor plan is the result, giving extra disabled bays, better road markings and all bays not less than 2.4m wide."

It would appear that this is a 'Con' - unless EU know different?

Monday, 23 February 2009

Immigration

Not too sure if anyone in the blogosphere has come up with this query previously.

We, as a country, are supposed to have adopted the principle of being a non-racist, diverse people which loves all mankind and therefore with our minds cleansed of all xenophobic thoughts (well that is what the Government think we should be anyway).

If we are discriminating between the entry of EU nationals to the UK, about which problem we can do nothing, but putting barriers in the way of those wishing to come here from countries outside the EU; are we not then discriminating on race?

You Can't Get A Cigarette Paper Between Them

One of the phrases that Nigel Farage came up with in his condemnation of the three main political parties, on the subject of Europe, is that of the heading.

Well he was wrong on one small detail - its not just Europe!

Today we have Chris Grayling, in what was supposed to be a reasoned speech (reasoned?) coming up with this brilliant idea to deal with youth crime:

"Our police should have powers to go straight to a magistrate and get an order against that troublemaker confining them to their homes for up to a month"

Listen CG - in case it has yet to sink into the Conservative mindset - watch my lips (to coin a phrase). We have had the cautions, the ASBOs and all the other stupid, time consuming and ineffective ideas of the present collection of f'wits and what has been the result?

None of these ideas worked or solved the problem - and now you want to join the same club and try more of the same?

Perlease!

Recycling Rubbish

Here, in West Oxfordshire, we have just received the latest (Spring 2009) edition of 'Creating Futures', the PR 'comic' from West Oxfordshire District Council.

The latest edition of 'Creating Futures' states

"As waste decomposes at landfill sites it releases carbon dioxide and methane gases. Both these gases contribute to global warming. There is also a land shortage for landfill sites. For these reasons it is essential to keep recycling."

This is, in fact, blatant propaganda as the following will show.

We already have the technology to extract and utilise methane from landfill. This is well documented and the New York Times carried an article on the use of methane gas, to create electricity, in a number of US states on 13th September 2008.

Last June, through pages accessed on the DEFRA and the UK Minerals Year Book websites, both of which are no longer 'available' but of which paper copies exist, this is the position with regard to landfill capacity in this country.

As Raedwald said in a post on 1st June 2008:

"We quarry about 260 million tonnes (mt) a year of land minerals, mostly limestone, granite and sand and gravel, plus 9mt a year of opencast coal. In terms of volume, that equates to new holes with a capacity of about 110 million cubic metres (mcm) a year. Our existing licenced holes have a capacity of about 700 mcm. We produce less than 100mcm of waste and refuse a year. The system, as scientists would say, is therefore in equilibrium.

The 'crisis' has been created artificially by a combination of EU blind stupid regulation and the Labour government's cupidity. Tyres, for example, are now classed as 'hazardous' waste in the same class as hospital waste and strange glowing chemicals. Artificially witholding waste disposal licences from perfectly suitable holes in the ground creates an artificial shortgage. And the government have not only imposed an aggregates levy that taxes minerals coming out of the holes but a landfill tax that taxes waste going back in to fill them up."

It is also worth noting the following by the CLG Select Committee in the opening paragraphs of their report 'Refuse Collection'.

"Yet the strength of reaction that rubbish inspires may seem disproportionate to its true significance. Municipal waste collection in England accounts for less than one tenth of all waste: the rest comes from commerce, industry, mining, quarrying and construction (in all of which sectors, it is fair to say, recycling rates are higher than for municipal waste). Once the commercial waste that some councils collect is removed from the municipal total, the household component - what we put in our domestic bins, bags and boxes - is only around 7 percent of the nation's waste. The efforts of the past decade may have quadrupled the household refuse recycling rate, but it is rarely pointed out that this equates to less than 2 percent of the resources in the nation's total annual waste stream."

So a little more factual information from government generally and a little less propaganda might be in order?

A Horse 'Tail'

Also in the print edition of the Telegraph today is a story about a man who has been arrested for allegedly trying to poison a police horse by feeding it drugs, which turned out to be a white powder. Arrested on suspicion of attempting to poison a protected animal he was subsequently released on bail.

Presumably if this ever reaches trial the perpetrator will, in pleading not guilty, issue a denial, or in this case, 'neighsay'

It is also possible his defence may contain a promise not to 'bridle' against authority; to do his 'bit' and not 'stirr up' further trouble; not to 'saddle' the police with wasting their time and to 'rein in' his activities?

Cutting Services

The print edition of the Telegraph reports that police were called to an incident at a post office in Batley, Yorks, when Mubin Lahar was approached by two men carrying scissors who threatened to cut off his trousers.

On the basis that police, in investigating a crime, always look at possible motives - may I offer the following theory?

Mr. Lahar had gone to the post office in order to withdraw some money, a fact known by the assailants. Said assailants were in fact agents of MandelFoy who, as his wont and because he really can't help himself, decided that this was a case where he really could 'trouser' the proceeds.

The Foy Boy

One hundred and twenty Labour MPs are a tad upset with The Foy Boy, Business Secretary Mandelson, so the Telegraph reports.

One little snippet in the article also informs us that the Government with a view to making the 'sell-off' more attractive to investors, will take over the £7billion pension fund deficit of Royal Mail which costs taxpayers around £600million each year - so more personal debt for us taxpayers!


If these 120 Labour 'rebels' are true to their stated beliefs and actually show some bravery in voting against the proposed 'sell-off' then we are informed that the Government will have to rely on Conservative support; the Conservatives being in favour of the deal.

Of course MandelFoy needs to get the deal through, for two reasons. Firstly, it is no longer in this country's hands how it runs its own postal service, this being an EU competence; and secondly, to retain his EU pension MandelFoy must work to promote EU objectives. As for Conservative 'support', what can one expect from a party committed to EU membership?

It never ceases to amaze me how EU politician 'luvvies' continue to project the false image that they actually formulate the laws of this country when they are, in reality, in thrall to the EU and reliant on being told what they can and cannot do by that same obnoxious collection of foreigners - hows that for a bit of xenophobia?

MP Landlords

An article in the Sunday Herald shows that the snouts are deeper in the trough that at first appears, in that the paper alleges around 40 MPs claim the additional costs allowance while also acting as landlords. The charge involves buying a second home and then renting it out; and that it is possible, under the rules, to buy two homes and then rent one of them out.

Among those named are Darling, Reid, Kennedy and McAvoy - three Labour and one Liberal Democrat - who are all Scots.

Canny as in 'allowed in the rules' or Crooked as in 'on the make'?

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Oh God - They're All At It (As If We Didn't Know)

On the Telegraph website I see there is a story involving Michael Ancam and his claiming expenses for the removal of moss from his £1.5million 'second home'. Also included in the expenses is painting and guttering.

This information has come to light via Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat, submitting an official complaint to the Speaker. (Isn't that 'coals to ........').

Now, were I to put links on my blogs, in this case I suppose I would have to use 'gutter' (ing) and 'snipe' (ing)?

Afterthought: Didn't realise you could get an MA in moss removal!

Yet More 'Please Don't Sack Me' Labour MPs

Following on my post about The Poisoned Dwarf attempting to keep her place at the trough I now find that the Mail on Sunday has other examples of Labour MPs suddenly getting a tad nervous about their employment prospects too.

David Drew, MP for Stroud, majority 360 - nbr 62 on the Tory 'hit list'; and Geraldine Smith, MP for Morecombe * Lunesdale, majority 4,768 - nbr 98 on the Tory 'hit list' - have both come out in condemnation of Jacqui Smith and her 'living expenses'.

Well Geri and Dave - methinks the horse has bolted!

WTF Do We Need A Director Of Digital Engagement For?

Virtually struck dumb by a story in the Mail on Sunday that taxpayer's money is to be spent on the above and that another £160,000 is on offer!

This appointment is to get ministers and colleagues to use Facebook and Twitter to 'get their message across'. What is even more outrageous, as noted in the article, is that three members of Downing Street's 'digital communications team' follow Gordon Brown round, not just at home but round the world, to report on his encounters.

Another nugget from the article is the fact that the lowest paid member of this 'digital communications team' earns £18,776 a year, according to a Downing Street spokesman. Yes and the free flights, food, etc, etc, etc. This is what I pay tax for?

On the basis that I don't think we have enough, I wonder if it is possible to get a grant from the EU for more hemp and lamp posts?

Dancing Out Of Step?

In what must be the quote of the week, reported in the print edition of the Mail on Sunday, is that of Sir John Gieve, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, on the recession strategy.

"The footwork of the Bank, the Treasury and the FSA may have owed more to John Sergeant than to Fred Astaire."

Now where has Gordon gone? He was here a minute ago!
Oh, of course silly me, where Gordon is concerned there is no 'I' in SH*T when that is being thrown around, is there>

The Poisoned Dwarf Sees The Light

The Mail on Sunday, as does the Sunday Telegraph, reports on the latest utterings of The Poisoned Dwarf, otherwise know as the Rt. Hon. Hazel Blears, Communities Secretary.

Writing in the Telegraph, Melissa Kite - Deputy Political Editor - writes that this is an attack on Harriet Harperson in view of Harperson's perceived attempt to position herself at the head of the field to succeed Gordon Brown.

Now I think that young Melissa is flying one to be honest and that this is no more than a blatant attempt by 'Her Of The Short Legs' to save her seat and place at the trough come the next general election by currying favour with those, who are not members of the ethnic minority, in her constituency.

I know, I know - cynicism again!

'Mullin' Over Past (And Present) Labour

Now we have the Chris Mullin diaries to rival those of Alan Clark, the former's being published in the Mail on Sunday.

Included are some very pity comments about Gordon Brown et all, but then this is no surprise to anyone - is it? What I have read so far has just reinforced my belief that the whole bunch of them are dysfunctional, 'dyed-in-the-wool', mindless idiots - in other words typical socialists!

It is a well known fact that this government is 'target' driven but what was a surprise was to read that there had even been talk of setting targets for the number of people persuaded to walk to work! Chris Mullin continues "A later draft of our walking document has substituted benchmarks for 'targets'. Later still, 'benchmarks' had given way to 'reference indicators'. Orwellian!.

Presumably they were taking this idea 'one step at a time'
!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

What Are Human Rights?

In Alasdair Palmer's article in the Telegraph about Abu Qatada and the ruling from the European Court of Human Rights there is an interesting quotation by David Cameron.

"It makes a mockery of human rights if we can't protect ourselves against people who are out to destroy them for everyone else."

Let us consider David Cameron's statement and relate it to the question of what are
my human rights in what is laughingly called the democracy in which I live.

Is it one of my 'rights' to have the ability to expect that those I elect to govern me, should be accountable to me? If it is one of my 'rights' to have that 'accountability' then why is he such an advocate of our membership of the European Union?

Is not whichever political party, who wins the next general election in this country, under an obligation to provide the electorate the opportunity of a referendum on said membership, regardless of whether or not the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by all Member States? Otherwise, does this not make a mockery of the most basic of human rights, namely that of choice?

To turn David Cameron's statement round - It would surely make a mockery of our human rights if we (the electorate) cannot protect ourselves against people (the political class) who are out to destroy us (the people) for everyone else (the political class).

Friday, 20 February 2009

Democracy In The United Kingdom

Many views have been expressed in the media, both written and spoken, on the subject of our democracy; what is wrong with it and how to correct the presumed deficiencies. We have been told that we need to 'strengthen Parliament'; curb executive power; devolve power down to the lowest level; democratise our police; that we need a Bill of Rights; decrease the level of bureaucracy; fix our education, health and welfare systems; the list is virtually endless and, it appears, is governed by 'personal interest'. We are also informed that, basically there is not much wrong with it and that the problems lies in our inability to accept 'diversity' and also our inherent xenophobia, although the foregoing list would suggest otherwise.

Therefore, a few thoughts. As Parliament is supposed to be the 'governing body' from which our laws emanate, logic suggests that this should be the area in which any attempt to deal with our perceived democratic shortcomings should commence. So let us examine what is wrong with our parliamentary system per se.

Parliament:
In order to counteract the power of any Prime Minister (more later) it is necessary that we have a stronger and thereby less corrupt Parliament. MPs at present are dependent on the patronage of a Prime Minister for personal advancement to ministerial or any other rank and as a result they will never confront party diktats, resulting in their representing party wishes instead of those of their constituents and the country.

Should MPs of ministerial rank be paid more than ordinary MPs? If not. would that not mean ministers would be more willing to confront the executive as their fortunes would not be dependent on their salary? On this subject of salary, examples of 'bending the rules on allowances' have been numerous in recent days, so why not scrap allowances and expenses and pay MPs a salary comenserate with their position. This would negate accusations of 'bending rules', buying second homes and employing members of their own family.

In most cases Parliamentary Committee membership is 'weighted' in favour of the government of the day. Committee membership should be 'neutral' with equal number of government and opposition members so that the Committee Chairman's opinion would only be required where instances of a casting vote were needed. Also it should be mandatory that any such hearings are held in public, with public access permitted.

Parliament today is full of MPs with no practical experience of the commercial world. Too many MPs only have bureaucratic experience, their life having been spent working for local authorities, think tanks and the like. So why not limit MPs tenure of office thus ensuring fresh blood being introduced into the political system. An argument against this is that experience may be lost, however the counter argument is that if being an MP was not a lifetime career it would attract people with commercial experience who also felt they had something to contribute to public life.

Another suggestion to improve Parliament would be to make MPs actually represent their constituents, which is after all the reason they are elected, rather than supporting the 'party line' as happens at present. To ensure this perhaps a 're-call' system should be instituted, whereby if a percentage of constituents sign a petition the MP is called back to answer complaints and, if necessary, removed. That suggestion just might concentrate one or two minds!

Executive Power:
At present too much power lies in the hands of a Prime Minister and those political appointees working in Downing Street, all needless to say at public expense. The Prime Minister currently authorises the use of nuclear weapons, signs foreign treaties, effectively appoints bishops, ambassadors, judges, members of quangos, hands out peerages and honours. He also has in his power the ability to control grace and favour homes and appoints ministers, government whips and all the other political jobs. Remember power corrupts those exercising said power.

Party appointees should not have power over civil servants and all appointments, other than ministerial posts which whould remain the privilege of the Prime Minister, should be carried out in open hearings conducted by panels, or committees, of MPs.

The basic requirement of any change is that Party must be divorced from State!

Local Government:
Today, local government has been emasculated to the extent that it is just a local administrative centre for central government policy and diktats. With the introduction of the Local Government Act 2000 and the 'Cabinet' system it has left virtually 90 percent of councillors disenfranchised. In fact, in 2002, a report on the progress of the Local Govcrnment Act 2000 stated that an emphasis on the change to 'cabinet-style'structures had not helped to restore self-confidence of local government and had isolated non-executive councillors from the decision making process.

Ways in which to strengthen local government would be a return to the 'Committee' system; allowing local authorities to retain all of the business rates levied; by scrapping VAT and allowing local authorities to impose a local sales tax - not a local income tax as this is a tax on work, which is not the optimum method of raising taxes - although this is, of course, dependent on our removing this country from the 'embrace' of the EU. A local sales tax would also provide something never before seen in this country - tax competition - which would, of necessity, drive down taxes as a local authority that set a sales tax too high would inevitably achieve the result of 'driving away' revenue.

All 'ring-fencing, auditing and similar rules need to be torn up and local authorities' performance judged at the ballot box. It is generally acknowledged that local authorites are not performing satisfactorily and that is because they have no power themselves. Were local authorities to raise and spend their own money it might just concentrate councillor's minds and therefore result in local people receiving the services they want. It would also mean that people have an incentive and reason to vote at local elections; the disinterest in local elections being something that all parties 'complain' about, yet a problem about which none of the three main parties wish to address in any meaningful manner.

Perhaps all local authorites should have a directly elected mayor, someone who electors could praise when things are right and fire when things go wrong; someone with whom the public can immediately equate.

Law & Order:
There is nothing which has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament which could not be devolved to local authorities and on that basis the implementation of policing and law should be devolved. Having a Sheriff, elected by the voters, would ensure that people get the level of law and order that they want and this Sheriff should have the power to set local policing priorities, control police budgets together with setting local sentencing guidelines.

Bill of Rights:

Proponents of a new Bill of Rights wish, basically, this to replace the Human Rights Act and have suggested that it should contain the right of housing, education, health care, environmental rights and a 'standard of living' right. This idea is approaching that of a Constitution. Any constitution commences as a simple set of management rules which then expands into a complicated 'bible' and negates the principle that in a free society people's rights do not need to be set down in writing.

Any Bill of Rights needs to be very simple - it should focus on subjects such as fair treatment without discrimination; protect us from the threats of violence; that we are not bullied and harrassed by authority; that the state doesn't interfere with our lives; give us the right to 'due process of law', to be presumed innocent and give us the right to silence; the right to trial by jury, the right not to be subject to summary justice (spot bureaucratic fines); the right not to be arrested for trivial offences under the auspices of terrorism laws and should also take into account local laws set by local people through their elected local law enforcement officer. Restrictions imposed by Health & Safety laws should be covered by insurance, not bureaucratic diktat, likewise licensing laws may well vary district to district.

Tax:
An emotive subject. Tax should be less complicated and the tax-free personal allowance needs to be raised. Instead of having differing rates of tax why not one rate of say 20 per cent? Why not raise the tax-free allowance to £12,000 thus negating the situation whereby people have worked out they are better staying on benefit than having a job? Stealth taxes need to be brought out into the open with VAT and duties on fuel and alcohol displayed so that people can see what they are, in reality, paying as tax and whether said tax is good value. National Insurance is a stealth tax in that whilst first conceived as an 'insurance premium' against illness and pension, an insurance premium does not increase with income as does national insurance.

Education:
Our education system is a joke and a sick joke which allows a child, aged 12, to know how to father a baby but who does not know the meaning of the word 'financially'. For years education has been funded and managed by central government and yet no-one in central government has realised that this is the cause of the problem. Who are schools used by - central government? No - they are used by parents so give parents the means to dictate how well schools perform. Provide parents with the funds for their children's education and let them 'shop around'. Schools that provided good education, provided discipline, provided what parents (ie the 'customer') wanted would flourish and those that did not would be forced to close - simple example of 'market forces' (ie choice) at work.

Health:
The National Health Service, like education, is a joke too in that there is no choice - the NHS has a 'captive' market. Unlike education, where costs are reasonably standard, health is different in that some people may require expensive treatment whilst others may never see a doctor in their entire life, or at least until very old age. Health must be a public sector that could be, generally, catered for with insurance. Whilst obviously there are some medical treatments which are hard to insure due to uncertain costs, such as dialysis etc, others are fairly standard like broken limbs etc.

As Dr. Eamonn Butler in his book, 'The Rotten State of Britain', mentions there exists a scheme started in Singapore called medical savings accounts. This calls for a contribution from wages which can be used for medical expenses using whatever kind of treatment is considered best and part of these contributions could be used to fund insurance for 'larger' treatments. Any money unused by the age of retirement could be used to fund a larger pension. By devolving health care to local authority areas and thus to local people will result in control passing from state to the non-state sector, ie the patient. By bringing into health care what is a form of competition would drive down costs and increase quality of care.

All of the above ideas are those put forward by Daniel Hannan and Douglas Carswell in 'The Plan' and by Dr. Eamonn Butler in 'The Rotten State of Britain'; books that MPs of all political persuasions should be forced to read. The Conservative Party, which this week, presented their plans for devolving power to the people are still insisting on retaining central control methods. Whilst their ideas are a start, they do not go anywhere far enough if they, as a party, truly believe in devolving power down to the lowest level.

In summary change is needed to our democracy and that change should restrain the power of our leaders; assert the rule of law and the principles of justice and, most important of all, return power to the people thus enabling them to exercise the greatest freedom of all - that of choice.

Postings

Apologies but due a busy day with meetings and attending a Dinner in Birmingham this evening, postings will resume tomorrow.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Has She Seen Sense?

Headline of an article in The Coffee Shop:


The British Foreign Secretary gets stood up


Trixie - have you seen sense at last??

When Will Politicians Get The Message?

Conservative Home has an article by John Purvis MEP on the proposal from the EU Parliament for a cut in VAT rates in certain areas, by national governments, down to a minimum of 5 per cent.

"The Council of Ministers should now speedily approve these plans so that governments have greater flexibility in applying VAT rates."

Listen JP, like all your fellow EU loving Conservatives why cannot you accept that firstly, 'one size does not fit all' as has been amply demonstrated with those states constrained by their membership of the euro and, secondly and more importantly, we should not be beholden to an unaccountable and unelected body as to what rates, nor types, of taxation we can have in our our damn country - Understand Dumbo?

Confirmation Of Conservative Policy On EU Membership

From Conservative Home, Jonathan Isaby notes the following in an article about "the number of immigrants working in Britain (but don't mind if they're from elsewhere in the EU)"

"Shadow immigration minister Damian Green added:

"There cannot be anyone left in this country who believes Gordon Brown's pledge of British jobs for British workers. This shows the continuing failure of the Government's immigration policy. A Conservative Government would introduce an annual limit on work permits for people from outside the EU. That's the only way you can get some control into the system."

However, there was no comment forthcoming from a Conservative spokesman on a new MigrationWatch study also published today, which shows that there are up to four times the number of EU workers employed in the UK as British-born workers employed in the other 26 countries of the EU.

According to its research, 286,000 UK nationals are working elsewhere in the European Union, whilst 1,172,000 of those born elsewhere in the EU are now working in the UK.

I gather that the party opted not to comment on this study on the basis that it has no intention of trying to change the EU rules on free movement of labour."

Two points worth noting: firstly, the fact "it has no intention of trying to change the EU rules on free movement of labour" , coupled with Damien Green's assertion that "A Conservative Government would introduce an annual limit on work permits for people from outside the EU. That's the only way you can get some control into the system." demonstrates that (a) The Conservative Party acknowledges it has no control over immigration and is beholden to the EU and (b) it stands as much chance of changing said rules as the electorate has of David Cameron admitting that, as Prime Minister, he will not be able to govern on behalf of the people who elect him and who pay his salary, allowances and expenses!

When can we leave - please?

The Rotten State Of Britain

Having just read the above,written by Dr. Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, I would recommend it to everyone.

The recommendation is based on the fact that, having received it in the post this morning, it has been 'devoured' in one sitting - hence lack of posts today!

Robotic Conservative Party & MPs

Picking up on a post by Old Holborn in which he recounts how a friend wrote to his MP, Charles Hendry; and how he (Old Holborn) also, separately, wrote to his MP, Brooks Newmark and that both received an identical, word for word, reply - funny he should mention that!

Back in 2006 I wrote to David Cameron on 18th March on the subject of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill. The response I received from David Cameron's office, dated 23rd March was unsatisfactory so I wrote again on 29th March and the response, dated 6th April was, again, identical - word for word. What is even more remarkable is that the person in David Cameron's office who signed the letter had a surname just one letter different from mine. Now, I am sure that anyone responding to a letter sent to them with a surname so similar would recall the fact they had only written to this person just days ago? If that was not enough, the reply dated 23rd March, received from Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury where I lived at that time and to whom I had sent the same original letter, was identical to that of David Cameron's letter of the same date.

Later the same year, on 21st November, I wrote again to David Cameron castigating him for his silence on the subject of the European Union (no change there then!) stating that, for him, the European Union appeared a subject, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, that 'Dare Not Speak Its Name'. I received a personally signed reply from David Cameron, dated 23rd November. What a surprise when the next day I received another letter, again personally signed by David Cameron, which was identical - word for word - as the previous response!

What do we pay these politicians and their staff for? If they cannot run an office efficiently, should we trust them to run the country?

Caroline Flint - Another Incompetent

In keeping with a number of politicians, generally those in the government, Caroline Flint, Europe Minister, does not seem to 'engage brain prior to opening mouth'.

In a letter to the Guardian on 17th February she wrote "Let me be clear - there are no plans for a European army......" yet what do we read this morning, just two days later? Bruno Waterfield, writing in today's Telegraph states "A blueprint charting a path to a European Union army will be agreed by MEPs today".

Richard North has an excellent critique, as always, with an extensive history of the background to this proposal on his blog today. As he points out, this plan has been on-going since it was raised in 2006.

Is Caroline Flint deaf, blind and dumb as well as being a cretin? Should not a Minister for Europe at least know what is on the agenda of the European Parliament? Is it asking too much that she should take an interest in her brief?

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Darling Brown's Salvation?



Bet both of them would like to know where this store is!







Some Topical Questions

In answer to a couple of requests, with apologies for the banality which due to rather short notice, some topical questions.

Is the current education policy of the government 'all balls'?

Has our Chancellor been the 'dearest darling' ever?

Is it true that the perma-tanned Member of Parliament for Neath is truly 'browned-off' with our Prime Minister?

When the Department of Justice conduct 'consultations' do they do it by means of taking 'a straw poll'?

Is our Secretary of State for Transport really the 'buffoon' he appears?



Another 'Countess' Story

In the print edition of the Telegraph today we are regaled with a story about another 'countess' (this is the second one in two days - they seem to be springing up like their other fake counterparts, charities) who had been fined for allowing a rabbit to live in the kitchen of her hotel.

Convicted of 17 food hygiene breaches, she was fined by Norwich magistrates court £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of the same amount.

If she fails to pay, do we have a case of 'Welch Rabbit'?


Spy Chiefs Warning Utter Nonsense

According to a report in the Telegraph, although the print edition differs somewhat from that on-line, our employment minister - one Tony McNumpty - has said Dame Stella Rimington's warning about us being pushed into a police state is "abject nonsense".

As it is one of the few freedoms I have left, I would wish to voice my disagreement and state that the only one talking "abject nonsense" is said minister.

Leaving aside the question as to what part of the employment portfolio is state security - which I believe to be that of our 'Second Home' Secretary - the burning question is how did McNulty/McNumpty (what's in a name - when the end result is still mediocrity) ever manage to reach the low rung on the government ladder that he has.

A Religious Conundrum

Cranmer has an interesting post on the question of where the Qur'an should be placed, in relation to the Bible, in British libraries - well worth a read

In view of the subject matter - a slightly irreverent thought. In view of the nature of the subject under discussion - and one that could be considered likely to re-ignite passionate arguments - should our Secretary of State for Culture, under whose responsibility libraries rest, have such an incendiary connotation to his surname?

Just a thought.

Another thought: In the Mail article, to which Cranmer refers, I notice that there is a quote from the Culture Minister, Barbara Follett. Err - Culture Minister:Barbara Follett - an oxymoron?

Some Pithy Comments

Irwin Steltzer has a comment piece in today's Telegraph which is well worth a read, especially in view of his 'cutting' comments. Some examples:

"But immigration that requires natives to adapt to the customs of the newcomers, rather than the other way round, fragments society and creates social tensions....."

"Brown's legacy will also include a bloated public sector that has reduced portions of the country to complete dependence on public-sector jobs and that will so burden the wealth-creating private sector that economic growth will be stunted for decades to come."

I can just imagine this article, written in 'Sun' prose......................

Reporting Facts (2)

Oh Dear - back on the 'sloppy' journalism tack again - apologies, but it really does make me almost incandescent with rage. Witness the second item in today's editorial of the Daily Telegraph that comments on the Conservative Green Paper, 'Control Shift', to devolve power to the electorate.

"Not only will they sweep away the regional bodies that have cost us billions, and delivered precious little in return,...."

Nowhere in the Green Paper does it state that regional bodies will be swept away. In fact the opposite is the case as the Green Paper, on page 27 states: "abolish all regional planning and housing powers exercised by regional government" and "refocus the Regional Development Agencies on economic development, stripping them of their powers over planning....." Note the word "refocus".

Now, how about some objective reporting?


David Mills' Italian Holiday (2)

I notice amongst the coverage in the Telegraph today is the fact that whilst David Mills and Tessa Jowell are separated they are still very much in love with each other.

Little seems to have been mentioned in the press, as far as I can see, how the incarceration of David Mills will benefit his fellow inmates. It must be a matter of great advantage to any inmates of a prison to learn that they will shortly have a lawyer in their midst to help them with resolving any problems experienced by, or as a result of, their imprisonment.

Therefore, for these particular inmates, this must be a case of 'Mills and Boon'!