Sunday, January 24, 2010

Godfrey Bloom on Climate Change scammers


Lest we forget

Today the name of the 250th serviceman to die in Afghanistan was named as Rifleman Peter Aldridge, 19, of A Company 4 Rifles. He died on Friday while on foot patrol with 3 Rifles Battle Group near Sangin in Helmand province.

Our Armed Forces keep us safe, not our politicians and I think we should take a moment at this bloody milestone to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in this conflict.

Private Darren John George, from the Royal Anglian Regiment
Corporal John Gregory of the Royal Logistic Corps,
Sergeant Robert Busuttil of the Royal Logistic Corps,
Private Jonathan Kitulagoda, the Rifle Volunteers,
Lance Corporal Steven Sherwood, 1st Battalion, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry,
Corporal Mark Cridge, 7 Signal Regiment,
Lance Corporal Peter Edward Craddock, 1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment,
Captain Jim Philippson, 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery,
Sergeant Paul Bartlett, Royal Marines,
Captain David Patten, of the Parachute Regiment;
Lance Corporal Jabron Hashmi, Intelligence Corps,
Corporal Peter Thorpe,Royal Signals,
Private Damien Jackson, 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment,
Lance Corporal Ross Nicholls, Blues and Royals,
Second Lieutenant Ralph Johnson, Household Cavalry Regiment,
Captain Alex Eida, Royal Horse Artillery,
Private Andrew Barrie Cutts, Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps,
Private Leigh Reeves, Royal Logistic Corps,
Lance Corporal Sean Tansey, The Life Guards,
Corporal Bryan James Budd, 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment,
Lance Corporal Jonathan Peter Hetherington, 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare),
Ranger Anare Draiva, 1 Royal Irish Regiment,
Mne Joseph David Windall, Royal Marines,
Corporal Oliver Simon Dicketts, the Parachute Regiment,
Sergeant Gary Paul Quilliam,
Sergeant John Joseph Langton,
Sergeant Benjamin James Knight,
Flight Sergeant Adrian Davies,
Flight Sergeant Gerard Martin Bell,
Flight Sergeant Stephen Beattie;
Flight Sergeant Gary Wayne Andrews,
Flight Lieutenant Steven Swarbrick,
Flight Lieutenant Allan James Squires,
Flight Lieutenant Gareth Rodney Nicholas,
Flight Lieutenant Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore,
Flight Lieutenant Steven Johnson,
Private Craig O'Donnell, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland,
Corporal Mark William Wright, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment,
Lance Corporal Luke McCulloch, 1 Royal Irish Regiment,
Lance Corporal Paul Muirhead, 1 Royal Irish Regiment;
Marine Gary Wright, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Marine Jonathan Wigley, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Marine Richard J Watson, 42 Commando Royal Marines,
Lance Bombardier James Dwyer, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery,
Marine Thomas Curry, 42 Commando Royal Marines,
Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Marine Jonathan Holland, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Marine Scott Summers, 42 Commando Royal Marines,
Lance Bombardier Ross Clark
Lance Bombardier Liam McLaughlin;
Marine Benjamin Reddy, 42 Commando Royal Marines,
WO2 Michael 'Mick' Smith, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery,
Private Chris Gray, A Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment,
Guardsman Simon Davison, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards,
Lance Corporal George Russell Davey, 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment,
Guardsman Daniel Probyn, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards,
Corporal Darren Bonner, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment,
Corporal Mike Gilyeat, Royal Military Police,
Lance Corporal Paul "Sandy" Sandford, 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters,
Guardsman Neil 'Tony' Downes, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards;
Drummer Thomas Wright, 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters,
Captain Sean Dolan, of 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters,
Sergeant Dave Wilkinson, from 19 Regiment Royal Artillery,
Guardsman Daryl Hickey 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards,
Lance Corporal Alex Hawkins, of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment,
Guardsman David Atherton, from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards,
Sergeant Barry Keen of 14 Signal Regiment,
Lance Corporal Michael Jones,
Private Tony Rawson, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment,
Captain David Hicks of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment;
Private Aaron James McClure, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian
Private Robert Graham Foster, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian
Private John Thrumble, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian,
Senior Aircraftman Christopher Bridge from C flight, 51 Squadron RAF,
Private Damian Wright, of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Private Ben Ford, of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Private Johan Botha from The 2nd Battalion of The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters),
Sergeant Craig Brelsford from The 2nd Battalion of the The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters),
Lance Corporal Ivano Violino from 20 Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment,
Colour Sergeant Phillip Newman of 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Private Brian Tunnicliffe of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Major Alexis Roberts, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles,
Lance Corporal Jake Alderton of 36 Engineer Regiment,
Captain John McDermid of The Royal Highland Fusiliers,
Trooper Jack Sadler of The Honourable Artillery Company,
Sergeant Lee Johnson of 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment,
Corporal Darryl Gardiner of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers,
Corporal Damian Stephen Lawrence of the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment,
Royal Marine Corporal Damian Mulvihill,
Marine David 'Dave' Marsh of 40 Commando Royal Marines,
Lieutenant John 'JT' Thornton of 40 Commando Royal Marines,
Senior Aircraftman Graham Livingston of the Royal Air Force Regiment,
Senior Aircraftman Gary Thompson of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force,
Trooper Robert Pearson of the Queen's Royal Lancers,
Trooper Ratu Babakobau of the Household Cavalry Regiment,
James Thompson
Dale Gostick, of 3 Troop Armoured Support Company, Royal Marines,
Private Charles Murray of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (2PARA),
Private Daniel Gamble of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (2PARA),
Private Nathan Cuthbertson of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (2PARA);
Lance Corporal James Bateman, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 Para),
Private Jeff Doherty, of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 Para),
Corporal Sean Robert Reeve of the Royal Signals,
Paul Stout, TA SAS
Corporal Sarah Bryant of the Intelligence Corps,
Lance Corporal Richard Larkin, TA SAS
Warrant Officer Class 2 Michael Williams of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA),
Private Joe Whittaker, (2 PARA)
Warrant Officer Dan Shirley, B Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Lance Corporal James Johnson, B Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Corporal Jason Stuart Barnes from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers,
Lance Corporal Kenneth Michael Rowe of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps,
Sergeant Jonathan William Mathews of The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland,
Private Peter Cowton from 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment,
Signaller Wayne Bland, Signal Regiment,
Corporal Barry Dempsey The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland,
Ranger Justin James Cupples, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment,
Warrant Officer Class 2 Gary O'Donnell GM, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic,
Private Jason Lee Rawstron of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment,
Lance Corporal Nicky Mason, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment;
Trooper James Munday from D Squadron, the Household Cavalry Regiment,
Rifleman Yubraj Rai of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles,
Royal Marine Neil Dunstan,
Royal Marine Robert McKibben,
Nepalese Gurkha Colour Sergeant Krishnabahadur Dura,
Marine Alexander Lucas, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Marine Georgie Sparks, 42 Commando Royal Marines,
Marine Tony Evans, 42 Commando Royal Marines
Corporal Marc Birch, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Sergeant John Manuel; 45 Commando Royal Marines
Marine Damian Davies, 45 Commando Royal Marines
Lance Corporal Steven 'Jamie' Fellows 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Lieutenant Aaron Lewis from 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery,
Rifleman Stuart Nash from 1st Battalion The Rifles,
Corporal Robert Deering from the Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines,
Lance Corporal Benjamin Whatley, 42 Commando Royal Marines,
Corporal Liam Elms, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Serjeant Chris Reed of 6th Battalion The Rifles,
Marine Travis Mackin of Communications Squadron, United Kingdom Landing Force Command Support Group (UKLFCSG),
Captain Tom Sawyer, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery;
Corporal Danny Winter, 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Acting Corporal Richard 'Robbo' Robinson, 1st Battalion the Rifles,
Corporal Daniel 'Danny' Nield, 1st Battalion, The Rifles,
Marine Darren Smith, 45 Commando,
Lance Corporal Stephen Kingscott of 1st Battalion The Rifles,
Rifleman Jamie Gunn from 1st Battalion The Rifles,
Lance Corporal Paul Upton from 1st Battalion The Rifles,
Corporal Tom Gaden, from 1st Battalion The Rifles,
Marine Michael Laski, from 45 Commando Royal Marines,
Lance Corporal Christopher Harkett, from 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh.
Corporal Graeme Stiff of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards,
Corporal Dean John, member of the Light Aid Detachment of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards,
Lance Sergeant Tobie Fasfous, of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards,
Corporal Sean Connor Binnie, from the 3 Scots 'C' Company Royal Regiment of Scotland,
Rifleman Adrian Sheldon, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Sergeant Ben Ross, from 173 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment,
Corporal Kumar Pun, from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles,
Lieutenant Mark Evison, of the 1st Battalion, The Welsh Guards,
Marine Jason Mackie, of Armoured Support Group, Royal Marines,
Fusilier Petero 'Pat' Suesue, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Sapper Jordan Rossi of 38 Engineer Regiment,
Lance Corporal Robert Martin Richards from Armoured Support Group Royal Marines,
Lance Corporal Kieron Hill from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett, of the Light Dragoons,
Corporal Stephen Bolger, (1 PARA),
Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher, of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Private Robert McLaren, from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland,
Lieutenant Paul Mervis of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Major Sean Birchall of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards,
Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.
Trooper Joshua Hammond of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment,
Lance Corporal David Dennis, from The Light Dragoons,
Private Robert Laws, from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Lance Corporal Dane Elson from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards,
Captain Ben Babington-Browne, from 22 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers,
Trooper Christopher Whiteside, The Light Dragoons,
Rifleman Daniel Hume of the 4th Battalion The Rifles,
Private John Brackpool of the Prince of Wales' Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards,
Corporal Lee Scott of The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment,
Rifleman Daniel Simpson of 2nd Battalion The Rifles
Rifleman Joseph Murphy of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Rifleman James Backhouse of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Rifleman William Aldridge of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Corporal Jonathan Horne of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Rifleman Aminiasi Toge, of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Corporal Joseph Etchells, of 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers,
Captain Daniel Shepherd from 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment,
Guardsman Christopher King, of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, The Royal Logistic Corps,
Bombardier Craig Hopson from 40th Regiment Royal Artillery,
Warrant Officer Class 2 Sean Upton from 5th Regiment Royal Artillery;
Trooper Phillip Lawrence from The Light Dragoons,
Craftsman Anthony Lombardi from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), attached to The Light Dragoons, Corporal Kevin Mulligan from the Parachute Regiment,
Lance Corporal Dale Thomas Hopkins from the Parachute Regiment,
Private Kyle Adams from the Parachute Regiment,
Private Jason George Williams, from The 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Lance Bombardier Matthew Hatton from 40th Regiment Royal Artillery,
Rifleman Daniel Wild from 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Captain Mark Hale from 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Private Richard Hunt of 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh;
Sergeant Simon Valentine of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers,
Lance Corporal James Fullarton of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers,
Fusilier Simon Annis of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers,
Fusilier Louis Carter of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment, Fusiliers,
Private Jonathan Young of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's),
Serjeant Paul McAleese of 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Fusilier Shaun Bush from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers,
Sergeant Lee Andrew Houltram of the Royal Marines,
Sergeant Stuart Millar of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland,
Private Kevin Elliott of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland;
Lance Corporal Richard James Brandon of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers,
Private Gavin Elliott of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Corporal John Harrison from the Parachute Regiment,
Kingsman Jason Dunn-Bridgeman,
Trooper Brett Hall from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment,
Acting Serjeant Stuart McGrath from 2nd Battalion The Rifles,
Corporal Michael Lockett from the 2 Battalion The Mercian Regiment,
Private James Prosser from 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh,
Acting Corporal Marcin Wojtak of the Royal Air Force Regiment,
Guardsman Jamie Janes, from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
Lance Corporal James Hill of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards,
Corporal James Oakland of the Royal Military Police,
Corporal Thomas 'Tam' Mason from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS),
Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmid, of the Royal Logistic Corps,
Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith of the Royal Military Police,
Corporal Steven Boote of the Royal Military Police,
Guardsman James Major of 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards,
Sergeant Matthew Telford of 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards,
Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant of 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards,
Serjeant Phillip Scott of 3rd Battalion The Rifles.
Rifleman Philip Allen, from 2nd Battalion the Rifles,
Rifleman Samuel John Bassett, of the 1 Platoon, A Company, 4th Battalion The Rifles,
Rifleman Andrew Ian Fentiman from 7th Battalion The Rifles,
Corporal Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas from 33 Engineer Regiment,
Sergeant Robert David Loughran-Dickson of the Royal Military Police,
Sergeant John Amer, from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards,
Lance Corporal Adam Drane, from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment,
Lance Corporal David Leslie Kirkness from 3rd Battalion The Rifles,
Rifleman James Stephen Brown, from 3rd Battalion The Rifles,
Corporal Simon Hornby, from 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard of the 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police,
Lance Corporal Christopher Roney of A Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles,
Lance Corporal Tommy Brown from The Parachute Regiment,
Rifleman Aidan Howell, from 3rd Battalion, The Rifles,
Sapper David Watson of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Royal Engineers,
Private Robert Hayes, of 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment,
Captain Daniel Read of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, the Royal Logistic Corps,
Corporal Lee Brownson from 3rd Battalion, the Rifles,
Rifleman Luke Farmer from 3rd Battalion, the Rifles,
Rifleman Peter Aldridge, of A Company 4 Rifles.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Spelthorne Primary

Last night was the Spelthorne Primary where local voters decided who would be the Conservative candidate, and thus probably the next MP.

There were a few candidates, as I have mentioned before, with one in particular actually being a local woman.

Contact this morning was from pissed off Spelthorne voters who had concluded that the Liberal Democrats flooded the primary and selected the candidate least likely to get appeal from the general population of Spelthorne: aspirational middle classes who prospered under Thatcher, people who work at Heathrow Airport and the occasional Toff.

Alas, because Central Office refuse to listen to what people on the ground say, these people now have a non local cambridge attending intellectual who is being supported by Boris Johnson and George Osborne.
The brief given to potential voters is below, emphasis mine:


Kwasi Kwarteng for Spelthorne: I am delighted to be a candidate for the Open Primary for Spelthorne this coming January. I promise to live in the constituency and be accessible to all constituents.

My two immediate priorities as an MP will be to improve Ashford Hospital and to to make sure that any decisions on the third runway are made only after widely consulting local opinion.

I will be a powerful voice for Spelthorne's interests in Westminster. I will talk to, and meet, as many constituents as I can. I will always have time to listen and learn. Please contact me on my e-mail: or visit my website at

I was born in 1975 to hard-working parents, who came to Britain from the Gold Coast in the 1960s. I was taught to work hard and believe in Britain. At Cambridge University, I earned a Bachelor's degree and a PhD in British History and also appeared on University Challenge in Jeremy Paxman's first year as the host.

I have worked as a company analyst in the City for 7 years, and as a journalist. I am currently writing a book, Ghosts of Empire, about the global legacy of the British Empire. This will be published by Harry Potter publishers, Bloomsbury, next year.

A quick look at the website (very short, one can only imagine that he hasn't actually had his eyes on representing Spelthorne for long but that any seat would do and central office would sort it out for him) brings us this nugget:
Dad went to the LSE, where one of his classmates, though only for a few months, was Mick Jagger.

His Dad once shared a class room with a former rocker? Jeez, he'll really listen to my problems and do what's best for the constituency and not the party. I bet he already has an opinion on the proposed housing development on Green Belt which was in the paper this week.

Vague connections to a walking scrotum with lips and a fictional wizard doesn't really compete with knowing the local area and understanding the concerns of the people who live there.

I also highlighted his points about Heathrow Airport, for a good reason. This proposal has been in the pipeline for a long time. It's just another indication of how Spelthorne is a means to an end for Mr Kwarteng and his CCHQ chums so he can whizz up the parliamentary career ladder and Cameron can say, "look, it's another black chap; we're not the nasty party of old at all!". Anyone who actually had any desire to represent the seat for the sake of wanting to represent that area would have a clue about the Third Runway. He hasn't a fucking clue because this is a last minute fix up by the people who are more interested in PR than actual politics.

One thing's for sure and that's that traditional Tory voters in Spelthorne will now suffer no moral crisis if they vote UKIP.

And phone calls I've had already with Tory party members are saying they hope he doesn't get the seat to send a message to Tory HQ that voters are there to be listened to.

There were good candidates in that list. I don't think this guy was one of them.


Many thanks to The Devil for confirming some earlier received Intel that Mr K does, in fact, have another link to our would be Prime Minister:
Having checked, I note that Mr Kwarteng modestly left off his years at Eton from his biog quoted in your post.

I can't imagine why he'd want to leave that off.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pigs Might Fly

It's so annoying when you're on public transport and some guy is taking up two seats because he's a porker. They're taking up a seat someone else who paid could be using when we all know he only paid for one. But we're supposed to just ignore it and be squished into a corner whilst they scowl, daring you to ask them to move up.

Well, this could be a thing of the past if you fly KLM!

Overweight people unable to squeeze into a single seat will have to pay for the one next to them – at a 25 per cent discount. Air France-KLM claimed the double charge, being brought in from April 1, was for safety reasons. We have to make sure that the backrest can move freely up and down and that all passengers are securely fastened with a safety belt,’ said company spokeswoman Monique Matze.

Seems perfectly sensible to me and it might go some way to making the poor person who can't get out of their seat for the entire duration of the flight feel better. Can you imagine a long haul flight next to someone who is virtually guaranteeing you some kind of deep vein thrombosis.
By paying for both, the overweight passenger will be assured two seats will be available next to each other.
so they've thought it out...
Another airline representative, Jerome Nguyen, said: ‘If an extremely corpulent passenger can’t fit into one seat and they don’t want to pay for a second, then they can’t fly.’
Their airlines, their rules.

Of course, France being France (and I think there is some state funding somewhere with Air France?) there are people crying 'mon dieu!'
The policy was condemned by Nadine Morano, French secretary of state for the family. ‘If people have to pay twice because of their illness, I find that shocking,’ she said.

Er, what? Sorry, can you run that past me again?

Your illness?
What illness is this that forces people to eat too much and not do any exercise? That restricts movement except a stroll to the fridge and some bicep work bringing cake from the table to the mouth? We're not talking about someone with a broken leg who can't go jogging, now, are we.

That's not an illness, is it. You're ill if you've got the flu or cancer. You're not ill because you struggle to walk past the chip shop without popping in for a large portion. I'm not speaking from that much of a moral highground: I like a cake as much as the next person but if I'm overweight it's no ones fault but my own and certainly nothing to do with me being ill!

Are we not allowed to accept responsibility for anything anymore? Must the state always be there to protect us should there be a deviation from the view that we are homogenous and one-size-fits-all? I know that some people are naturally skinny and others lean to the portly side, but when you have 25 chins and your trousers all have elasticated waists it might be time to put the cake down and pick the trainers up. Not to eat, though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

From our US correspondent

From the Shoes US correspondent, also known as "Ann Coulter's Love Toy"

In a stunning act of political lese majeste, the people of Massachusetts have elected a Republican to the “Kennedy seat” in the United States Senate. Martha Coakley’s team ran an undisciplined, but not terrible campaign, her performance in the debate was average and she clearly preferred hob-nobbing with members of her Party’s elite than pressing the flesh in her home state. She made a series of gaffes, most notoriously in this sport-obsessed state when she said on-air and inaccurately that one of Boston’s iconic Red Sox was a New York Yankee (bit like saying Wayne Rooney plays for Chelsea FC). Her campaign was complacent, seemingly justifiably because it believed it was cruising to an election landslide; why waste money on expensive political television advertisements in Massachusetts?

What the Coakley campaign managers didn’t take seriously was the depth of anger toward the agenda of coastal liberal Congressional Democrats (or the “axis of granola”). Team Coakley underestimated how skilled a populist politician Scott Brown had become. They underestimated how much the Republican Party and its sympathizers were working beneath the radar to cause an election upset. Coakley’s managers fooled themselves on what a poor candidate they had until it was too late. Disdainful and lazy, Attorney General Coakley gave the impression that it was somewhat beneath her to ask for votes and seemed to believe that she would be borne aloft to the US Senate by her sense of entitlement alone. Humility is an alien concept to Coakley and previously, so too was defeat; thankfully she was introduced to both of these sensations this morning.

Normally one of these factors alone wouldn’t matter, but the combination of all of them turned the race toxic for the Democrats - and their consequences? It now seems that healthcare, the political cause of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s life will be struck down by the man sent to Washington to replace him. Forty one Senators means the Republicans can happily stall and destroy legislation.

Aside from the messy and intriguing legislative battles ahead in Congress, what happens now? This result reshapes not just the current Congress, but the next. While one special election does not a trend make, this result will embolden and enthuse the Republican Party – and I’m not talking about morale:

    The Republicans will suddenly find excellent candidates coming forward; these will be remarkable, self-funding candidates who’ve sat on their heels waiting for a positive party tide. The gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey last November hinted at what was to come and this tide has now solidified in Massachusetts

    There will now be a rush of Congressional Democratic retirements, as Congressmen and Congresswomen in marginal districts find the Capitol exits for themselves, before their constituents show them the door in November

    The legislative ambitions of the Democrats on the Hill and in the White House in the remaining months of this Congress will be severely cut-back.

    The GOP is about to receive a massive influx of money; both to the national campaigns and to individual candidates. Scott Brown is the proverbial crow-bar that has pried open major donor’s cheque books; he has given contributors hope that the Republicans can win for the first time since 2004. Similarly, corporations will need to hedge their bets in case of a Republican House from next January.

In the Senate, the GOP will hold their five open Senate seats and they are likely to pick up between five and seven more; this includes the Nevada seat of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who, as is predicted in all recent polls is likely to lose in November

This campaign has been remarkable; one of those unlikely, impossible stories which rarely occur in politics. For the first time since Nixon, Massachusetts has elected a Republican who gained sufficient momentum to take on an entrenched political machine, in a state which defines liberalism. Brown is now a poster boy for the GOP. He ran a campaign which has given his party a blueprint for recovery in the mid-terms, both in New England (which has no Republican Congressmen) and beyond. What role he has to play in the future, is open to conjecture. At first glance, Brown is following a similar trajectory to that of the President. But this is a shallow observation.

Like Brown, Obama was a state senator before his election to the US Senate. Sen. Obama served only two years before being elected President and Brown only has two years left before he needs to run for re-election in 2012, a date which neatly coincides with the next Presidential election. Brown has had a career and worked as a street-fighter against the overwhelmingly Democratic establishment in Massachusetts. Obama had a few years experience as a community organizer (a social worker in the Chicago projects) and never sought to challenge the standard issue 1960s and 1970s liberal dogma which he inherited along with a safely Democratic senatorial seat in Illinois.

If Obama can rise to the Oval Office on such flimsy professional and personal achievements, armed only with a specious litany of random verbs, nouns and adjectives, who knows what Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) can do? There’s no comparison. Can Obama drive a truck? Does he/has he ever served in the armed forces? Has he ever run a successful business? And I don’t remember seeing BO’s spread in Cosmo…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Britblog round up

is here. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

lifting the veil on the debate

I've been watching the reaction to UKIP's latest policy statement with some interest but little surprise. I'm afraid I'm not one of those people who consider the rights of others to repress more important than those they are repressing. I also do not hold any regard for a religion which values women less than men. Nor do I consider it right or sensible that there are people in this country who think they can live by different rules.

One country: one legal system. Stick it or fuck off.

The insistence that multiculturalism is the only way to succeed in this country has not brought about cultural harmony. Far from, for we have home grown fundamentalists who would happily see people who fund their education and benefits smeared on the sides of a tube carriage wall or British soldiers succumb to the red mist.

The covering of an entire face bar a letter box slit is a clear example of an area of British society which has not assimilated. An entire section of the community singled out by the garments they don't so much wear, but smother themselves in. They make themselves unapproachable and many people find them intimidating. I fail to see how it is not repressive to expect women to look like they've misread the instructions on some camping equipment; to not be able to take exercise with other people or to have to go to different cafes because their male dominated society tells them to.

This is a country where we had a female Prime Minister in 1979 and we have not had anyone who is her equal since.

I do not want Sharia law in this country, I do not think the murder of women should be referred to as an 'honour killing' by anyone and I don't see why people should be able to break the laws of this land because of some belief in a being.

As Nigel Farage said on the Daily Politics yesterday, we can't wear a motorcycle helmet in a bank. One country: one rule.

I don't believe in any religion and I don't wish to be governed by any. I don't see why people should be treated differently because of their unfounded beliefs and I think that doing so creates a two tier society which breeds jealous and conflict. This policy doesn't advocate the obligatory wearing of hot pants for all women, it just says that actually there shouldn't be a group of people in this society who wander around like the demi monde, unrecognisable except en masse for their masks. It's an easy one for anyone wanting to avoid detection. I don't agree with the excessive amount of CCTV cameras but I also don't agree with fundamentalist muslims dressing up in Burkhas and veils knowing that they can't be recognised and that as a society we're so terrified of upsetting minorities, being branded a racist and having to listen to Harriet Harman blather on about it that we don't do anything.

And personally, I feel that's a situation which needs to change.

Most importantly, though, I feel this is a subject which needs to be discussed. If anything comes out of this statement it should be a discussion on how different groups in society are treated and it should make the establishment realise that the average Brit, whoever (s)he is, isn't happy with the way things are going. If you ever went down a pub for a pint you'd hear people talk about this. Alas our politicians don't tend to do that as they're too busy trying to close them down.

Friday, January 15, 2010

From the lands of Ulster

Hormones: they make you do crazy shit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Labour launch their class war

The airwaves are alive with the sound of bullshit as Labour seek to drag prejudice, fears and jealousy to the table in the run up to the General Election.

Being black or Asian in the UK no longer means you will be automatically disadvantaged, Communities Secretary John Denham will say in a speech later.

He says progress made since 2000 means that, while racial discrimination still exists, disadvantage is now more linked to poverty, class and identity.

See what he's done there? He's saying that the Labour Party have solved the problem of racism and now are going to address class issues again, presumably by slagging off people who went to non state schools and raising taxes for successful businesses.

In an interview this morning on Radio 4 I heard him talking about 'closing the gap' in schools where ethnicity was no longer so much of an issue in school results.

I'm still not sure why skin colour has any implication on school results: one doesn't write an exam paper with ones skin. Athletics is about the only area I can think of any difference and then it's poor old skinny ginger white boy that's lagging at the back of the class, glasses askew. This obsession with everyone being the same is utterly tedious and damaging our business ethic. They ratchet up concerns and give people an excuse not to just crack on and get down by playing the card of one of a huge number of 'isms'.
"people feel that their concerns have been addressed by the state"
the listeners were told: a dangerous precedent which alas is de rigeur in this country where the committee knows the answer and the official rules the roost. If someone has a problem why don't the try sort it themselves and also work out whether it's actually a problem or just some miserable git having a whinge because they can't get something for nothing? It's not the job of the state to bash everything down to the lowest common denominator, riding roughshod over ability and determination so that some 'victim' has an excuse for being average.

It's also obvious that the Labour Party are trying to recover from their years of neglecting the ordinary white British bloke which was self evident as their vote in the European Elections dropped. It didn't go to the BNP, though, before we all start panicking: the BNP got two seats because turn out declined.

Of course, we still do have a racist immigration policy by virtue of our membership to the European Union. We allow unchecked access to people from traditionally white, Judeo-Christian backgrounds, allowing our social services to be exploited by people from countries with a lower GDP per Capita than ourselves. I'm not blaming the people themselves but the mechanisms which allow it. I don't want to provide child benefit for a kid who doesn't live in this country. Bite me if you are offended at that, it's my bloody money and I work hard for it.

At the same time, people from our Commonwealth - often not white - have to jump through hoops. This isn't often a good plan, particularly when it comes to Doctors from our Commonwealth. Why should doctors from the EU be excused a language test when English isn't their first language? Why should they be treated differently from the doctor from India?

On the subject of discrimination, the candidates for the Spelthorne Primary have been announced.

There are four women and two men, one of whom is white and single. I am told that he's "qualified to be selected" according to the agent. What does that mean? Does that mean that he's passed the 'positive discrimination selection procedure' because he's not white, straight and male?

Those candidates, for all their individual qualities, are insulting to the people of Spelthorne because they are tailored to fit some modern, caring Conservative image rather than what's best for the tax paying resident. The agent has said that the association were given candidates, but they weren't imposed. I presume that means 'if you don't be nice about this we will impose them so let's just play the game'. It clearly shows the manipulation which goes on in politics these days where it's all about image and fuck all to do with substance. One of those people sounds like a good egg so I hope she gets it. It's just a shame that people will be able to say to them that they weren't chosen because they were the best person for the job but because of some perceived minority status due to their gender, race or sexuality. However good they are, discrimination of any kind allows those statements to be said.

Really, who gives one as long as they work hard and don't take the piss with expenses? Spelthorne might have had an MP who resigned over his expenses (I think he was stepping down anyway) but he was a bloody good constituency MP who put his beliefs before his career. It's convenient for the iDave generation that people like him go because he addressed concerns rather than towed the PR line. 10 years it took to get a decision on T5 and he did so by continually asking people concerned their opinions. I do hope that whoever is selected for the Tories - and who will thus almost certainly be elected- has a sensible policy on the third runway. A huge amount of business and wealth is generated in Spelthorne because of Heathrow and that won't happen if the hub moves to Charles de Gaulle.

In other news, does anyone else see the irony in the government forgetting our dementia policy?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How not to respond to a story

I was devastated on Sunday to hear that a friend of mine had been killed in Afghan. Sunday Mirror defence correspondent Rupert Hamer was a wonderful man who really cared about those he was writing about. It came across in his work with soldiers, senior military figures, families and charities. Tributes poured in after the news was announced because he was a man who was a joy to work with and a pleasure to know.

He knew the risks of being out on the front line but also knew that if he was going to do his job properly that meant leaving the perimeter fence of Camp Bastion.

Some people, however, can't just leave it at that. They have to use his death to promote themselves. Mr Eugenides points me towards this article today from a young lass who thinks that she was the first journalist to die in Afghan. She didn't actually die, of course, because she's still alive. Still, if it helps her get copy, eh? I won't go through the entire article because frankly reading it once was enough. I was lost for words, except a few choice sweary ones. Rupert died on Saturday: have some fucking respect.

ON 6 JULY, 2008, for four minutes my heart stopped. In those few moments, I was briefly the first British journalist to die in the war in Afghanistan. I had already been declared a fatality by soldiers on the ground after collapsing with acute heatstroke in the frontline town of Musa Qala while on foot patrol with British soldiers and US Marines in temperatures of 54C.

Yes, it's bloody hot out there and dangerous. Lots of people decide to prepare for their embed by doing a lot of phys and making sure their body is in tip top condition. The last thing a foot patrol needs is someone who will be a liability because it takes four people to carry a body on a stretcher and the Chinook which comes in to collect casualties is a target when it does so.
That Hamer has assumed the title that so nearly befell me is a tragedy. I did not know him personally, but I understand he was one of the best – skilled and dedicated to what he did. Both he and Coburn were seasoned professionals, veterans of both of the dusty wars our armed forces have fought in the past decade.

Assumed the title? The bloody title? He hasn't been awarded a peerage, he died in ghastly circumstances and leaves behind a wife, young children, friends and colleagues who will miss him dreadfully. Can you imagine having to explain to your children why daddy isn't coming home? He was a professional and I cannot imagine him ever using the death of someone else to get coverage no matter how much it's wrapped up in statements proclaiming the bravery of our troops and MERT. We know that because we read all too often of the deaths, the casualties and those people who save their lives. The Royal Army Medical Corps have 27 Victoria Crosses awarded to their numbers with two out of the three VC and Bars being awarded to soldiers in the Corp.
I will always bear the scars of what happened to me in Afghanistan. There are the nightmares, the occasional flashback, and the knee injury which my doctor keeps nagging at me to get physiotherapy for.

But these are minor scratches. Just over 18 months on, what has left the deepest mark on me is the profound respect I have for the British military, for our soldiers and for those journalists who, like Hamer and Coburn, accompany them into battle.

I think, love, that they're nothing like the scars that other people carry. They're minor, yes, but still rather handy when you want to dash out a piece to illustrate just how brave you are, it seems. Other people who don't write about their 'tragedy' in the papers just days after a father to three young children was blown up.

I suggest that if you want to really do something for the troops then it's probably worthwhile you fundraising for a charity of their choice rather than put pen to paper because frankly, this article is repulsive. Bad choice, Scotsman; Bad choice.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

It's Party Time!

So, as the country is gripped by really rather chilly weather and the roads and pavements where I live are still covered in snow and ice, an e-mail arrives in my inbox inviting me to a lovely party. Oooh, goody. I love a good party.

Only downside is that it's from a Green company They want to tell us all (mainly environment correspondents) how in 2010 we've all got to sell being green in a cuddly way rather than the whole polar bear falling from the sky scenario. Obviously, given that they are lots of money (Trixy is a friend of philanthropy) there will be buckets of champagne. We'll be able to sit around doing cock all, wallowing in the stuff.

Have had request of things I'm not allowed to talk about from the person who invited me, though:

  • European Union (hatred of)

  • The Environment (generally)

  • Man made climate change (specifically)

  • Hair shirts/tie-dyed t-shirts (our avoidance of)

  • Tambourines

  • Hunting with hounds

  • Melanie Phillips (our love of)

  • Nick Clegg/Jean Lambert/Caroline Lucas (our hatred of)

  • Lord Lawson / Lord Monkton

  • Capital/corporal punishment/birching for shoplifters etc.

  • Gosh. That doesn't leave much to talk about. Have managed to come up with a list of suitable conversation topics which shouldn't upset the greenie-weenies and thus will keep the booze flowing.

  • The Guardian: is it ever wrong?

  • Toe nails: can they ever be too long?

  • Finger nails: can they ever be too dirty?

  • Should society welcome the opportunity of a separate course for humous at dinner parties?

  • Cheesecloth: how many items of clothing should one own?

  • Did socks with sandals ever go out of fashion?

  • Pop music: is it bad for the environment?

  • Pop socks: are they bad for the environment?

  • Nigel Farage: he's wicked but wouldn't it be such a thrill to shag him?!?

  • All this has come on the day when the papers have reported that the BBC are finally going to look into their reporting of science, specifically 'climate change'. Which is good but will presumably not make these people happy because they've received a handy chunk from them.

    People have been asking what the 'we're all going to die unless we cycle everywhere' brigade have been during this rather brisk weather and what their angle is on it all. I've discovered that when it's cold like this, they're sitting in their offices sending e-mails saying that:
    people should realise there is a difference between weather and climate

    Yet, of course, when it bloody pours with rain in the summer, it's because of man made climate change. It must be nice to make your money from just making shit up to fit in with what's happening.

    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    Brit Blog roundup - the Happy New Year edition

    Is over at Brackenworld this week. Do pop over and have a read.

    Food Tsar

    Jeez, now we're to have a fucking 'Food Ombudsman' according to the Tories. How on earth does that tie in with cutting public spending and rolling back the state?

    And why do the poor bloody householders, aka the Taxpayer, and the farmers who generally get buggered every which way by DEFRA and the bastard European Commission have to increase productivity and efficiency?

    How bloody hypocritical is it of any MP to tell someone else to slim down and crank up production whilst the biggest wasters of all sit there stuffing their faces at our expense? Is there no end to their meaningless drivel? Is there any area of life which will remain free from some MP's chum being given a snazzy new title and fat public salary?

    We've got a Dancing Tsar, a children's Tsar, a racial equality commission; what's next? The Honey Monster will expand his portfolio away from simply promoting various types of breakfast cereal and start appearing on the Today programme talking about the welfare of honey manufacturers and how fibre is important for regular bowel movements? Is Ronald McDonald to slip gracefully from the low end burger market to promote the importance of respecting circus life? Are we to see the Andrex Puppy traveling around schools advising children to wipe 'front to back' before popping in for a quick chat on newsnight backing up the Honey Monster and his tales of fantastic fibre?

    Someone has to pay for this and it's not the bloody people coming up with these ideas, it's Joe Public who is perfectly happy in the knowledge that he should probably eat more vegetables, drink a bit less go for a jog every now and again and not beat his child around the head with a brick.

    It makes me so angry that I can barely type these words on my keyboard without sounding like I'm trying to break the bloody thing! Stop it! Go away and leave us the bugger alone!

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    Swine Flu Swindle?

    Taking time out from reading the Daily Star 'Horoscope Special' which tells me that Gordon Brown has had a rough time last year because of Mars rather than because he's an incompetent moron with as much of a grasp on economics as the plastic bag I'm currently using as a bin, I see that the BMJ has published a letter from a layman on the swine flu research the other day.

    I make no claims to be experienced in understanding clinical trials, nor even to have a medical background: I am by training an engineer. However, it was clear as long ago as June that the use of oseltamivir in combating the current 'pandemic' A/H1N1 strain was neither straightforward, nor without an element of risk.

    Under the auspices of Godfrey Bloom MEP (Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire) I undertook an analysis of existing publicly available information relating to oseltamivir treatments and arrived at conclusions which, to a layman such as myself, do not differ greatly from those in this report.

    Several questions arose from this research which deserved an answer much earlier in the debate. These included:

    whether the widespread use of oseltamivir would result in increased resistance as appeared to be suggested by de Jong, Thanh and others (New England Medical Journal, 12/2005) and Dharan, Gubereva, Meyer et al (Journal of the American Medical Association)

    Whether oseltamivir was more dangerous than the A/H1N1 it was supposed to treat/prevent, as suggested by the US FDA (Pediatric ADRs to Tamiflu, 2007), Maxwell's Tamiflu and neuropsychiatric problems in adolescents (BMJ) and the work of Rokura Hama.

    Whether the rush to use oseltamivir to treat A/H1N1 was related to the imminent expiry of stockpiles purchased in 2005 in the previous 'bird flu' scare which would have lead to the destruction of pharmaceuticals worth £500m in the UK alone.

    As someone involved in advising policy on these matters, I was mystified as to why the scientific community could not address these issues at the time and, worse, actively sought to deflect dissent to the prevailing view which appeared to amount to 'unless we all take oseltamivir we'll die of H1N1'. I am perfectly happy to accept that my understanding of medicine may well be at fault in my interpretation of at least some of the studies I quote, but there has always been a significant body of opinion which has questioned both the seriousness of the supposed A/H1N1 pandemic, and the efficacy of oseltamivir as either a treatment or a prophylaxis. For any who are interested, my own analysis was published at . My apologies for the title, but I am a journalist and not a medical professional.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mark Croucher
    Head of Media
    Europe of Freedom & Democracy Group, European Parliament, Brussels

    Before Christmas we had Liam Donaldson berating the middle classes for being middle class and generally not voting Labour daring to subject their children to alcohol before they were 18. His comments were roughly that this 'obsession' of introducing children to alcohol slowly and when they were younger wasn't working. His reason that it wasn't working was because there was a problem with alcohol in the young. A comment which he then followed up by saying that actually, most children first experienced alcohol in the local park without their parent's knowledge which did rather suggest to me that perhaps more parents should be introducing their kids and maybe there'll be less park/alcohol experiences.

    Back to the topic: it does appear that most things which Liam Donaldson says are in some way flawed. I'm not a particularly avid follower of all things medical but from my political interests over the last few years suggests that our Liam is the barometer in what's not going to happen.

    I could be wrong: the insistence of the Labour Party that we all take something which only relieves symptoms because H1N1 is a virus when they'd a massive stock pile of the stuff could be the right thing to do. However I do notice that most of the people who were supposed to have died of swine flu were found to have other problems and it also appears to have vanished from the continual rolling media.


    Saturday, January 02, 2010

    Too little too late: Brown on terrorism

    So our mighty Prime Minister has decided to pretend that he gives a shit about protecting anyone but himself by holding a 'summit' on terrorism.

    Gordon Brown has called a summit in London to discuss radicalisation in Yemen, after the alleged failed bomb attack on a US plane over Detroit.
    No 10 said the 28 January event had support from Washington and the European Union, and Mr Brown aimed to attract Saudi Arabia and Gulf states.

    I'll just summarise my thoughts on terrorism right now, before I write anything else: Terrorists are murders regardless of what they are killing in the name of. I also think that the Government has been using the fear of terrorism to tighten it's controls on our daily lives whilst appearing to favour minority groups.

    I don't care what colour, religion or gender someone is: we should all live by the same rules and be treated equally. Just because someone believes and says they act according to the writings of a book I consider to be fictional does not mean they should be treated any differently to anyone else: and that means better or worse.

    Back to Brown.

    It all looks like he's trying to be quite the statesman, doesn't it. He's skating over that criticism of the UK's record on terrorism by American advisors and going straight to the top with his charity ball top level summit. It's not unlike politicians to do such things and conveniently ignore all that they did before which assisted the situation in the first place.

    Below is a letter sent to me by a reader who tried to get opposition politicians to ask questions to the government. Of course, he received no reply.

    I heard what you said on Sky this lunchtime regarding Pakistani students. You may have heard the Radio 4 programme File on 4 recently concerning foreign war criminals and child molesters being in the UK and unable to be sent back to their own countries. What was inexplicably not mentioned was that there are many foreign terrorists in the UK that we harbour, as they have not committed crimes here cannot be sent back because they may face punishment in their own country that we (i.e. the EU) does not approve of. Whilst it may sound good to simply jump on the bandwagon of blaming Student Visas it is papering over the cracks because anyone wanting to come here for purposes of terrorism can just arrive and claim asylum.

    It is not just Labour that has harboured terrorists; the Conservatives did as well. Remember the Spanish train bombers? It ook 22 months of legal fighting to get one of them extradited to the UK from his hiding place in the UK. And as soon as the court case started he arrived back in the UK - but the EU is a huge supporter of freedom of movement. There was also the case of Rachid Ramba that we would not extradite to France which you can read about here.

    Going back further, the UK government supported Abu Hamza and his henchmen, including his nephew, that were found guilty of bombing a Hotel, the British Consulate and a UN office in Yemen. The Government successfully managed to get those terrorists freed and back to the UK for protection. How is this looking after the interests of the public? Abu Hamza of course is another one that we protect from the USA as well as his home country. Then there is Hizb ut tarir with its HQ in London and Saad al Faqih. Blair promised the Saudi Royals that he would send them back to Saudi if the King released some British convicted bombers. He then reneged on the deal and very nearly lost us the Typhoon contract.

    I could go on but would probably be arrested. However, I must mention Binyam Mohamad who, much to Labour’s pride, is in the UK and on target to be a millionaire for his terrorist activities. Of course George Bush wanted to close Guantanamo Bay but could not find homes for the suspects there as few countries were willing to take back people with terrorist links. The UK not only wants its own: it fights to get back anyone with a link to UK and any others that they can conceivable convince the US authorities to give to us. Labour even rubbed the British peoples’ noses in it by flying back Mohamed in a private jet to the Royal Squadron at Northolt.

    It is incredible and I dearly hope that Blair, Brown and the other supporters of terrorism are brought to justice, not least for their abuse of UNSCR 1373.

    Yours etc

    So why didn't Brown do something about this all when he had the chance? They waste no time in limiting the rights of law abiding citizens through draconian measures whilst pissing our taxes up the wall on projects dreamt up in the dining rooms of islington during the humous course. But doing something simple like not giving asylum to people who don't abide by our laws whilst giving them our hard earned cash to do so is apparently de rigeur for spineless MPs bound by their love of the EU and the knowledge that the British People only really get upset about something that happens on a television programme.

    Needless to say the media will report the basics of this summit and gloss over the complicated bits. i.e the detail.

    But worry not, chaps, for there's particularly gripping series of adverts on the BBC about the 25th anniversary of EastEnders to keep you entertained whilst they waste our money and limit our freedoms.

    Friday, January 01, 2010

    New Year, New you?

    Happy New Year, dear readers. It's been a quiet time over Christmas whilst I decided to drink myself into a stupour in preparation for my abstinence in January. As we left 2009 with claims from David Cameron that they Tories were much the same as the Lib Dems (Isn't that something they should be keeping quiet? The Lib Dems are Dagenham) and that the man who has near ruined our economy thinks he's the man to save himself it.

    It would appear that the New Year is to start in much the same futile, pointless waste of money way with those who want to get fit being told that they should get down and dirty under the duvet instead.

    The NHS has some new advice for people struggling to schedule a fitness routine into their daily lives - a workout between the sheets.
    According to the NHS Direct website, "sexercise" can lower the risk of heart attacks and helps people live longer.

    I'm sure this is all well and true, provided that one's partner has a decent amount of stamina, but surely most people spend a huge amount of time trying to get some action? To simply turn around and say the answer to getting fit for busy people with no time is to grab their partner by the hand ignores the fact that about 95% of people, if they were being truthful, aren't getting as much as they would like?

    That aside, why is it the role of the NHS to tell people how to get exercise? The reason that we need doctors is because they have knowledge that we don't have whereas most people can realise that a jog around the park or a trip to the gym is a good way of getting exercise. We don't need the blubbery NHS to tell us how to get fit: what we need for them is to put us back together when we break.
    he advice, published under the headline "Get more than zeds in bed", is one of several sexual health-related articles to be found on the NHS Direct website.
    Sex with a little energy and imagination provides a workout worthy of an athlete, the article says.

    Gosh, thanks! Do we perhaps get hints and tips and diagrams, along with a warning not to get in the mood with a quick snifter and enjoy a post coital cigarette? Can citizens of this great land look forward to master classes where your local 60 year old health worker demonstrating the best way to get fit between the sheets?

    And to think that I was questioning whether the NHS wastes money or not.

    Look, love: I don't need to be told that moving around in bed is the same as moving around standing up (and the more imaginative among us would know that anyway) and the fact that I have to pay for this 'advice' makes my blood boil on New Years Day before I've even been awake for an hour.

    Being this administration, of course, there will always be controversy and this is no different:
    Sexual health experts said such claims could not be scientifically proven.
    "It's good to see the NHS are promoting sexual wellbeing," Dr Melissa Sayer told the Guardian newspaper.
    "Yes, there is evidence that sex has benefits for mental wellbeing, but to say there is a link with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer is taking the argument too far."

    What have you got to say to that, NHS?
    NHS Direct, however, told the paper the content was "backed by science and clinical evidence" and "isn't just a bit of fun".

    NHS DIRECT? They can't even work out how to answer the telephone to someone bleeding profusely so why are they now the official voice of the National Health Service? Are they to be using this leaflet in dishing out advice to the sick who are lucky enough to speak to a medical expert?

    Caller: I'm experiencing stomach pains and vomiting and I've had a headache which won't go away.
    NHS Direct: Right then, love: have you tried asking your wife for a spot of 'how's your father?'. It's very good, you know. Not only will it help shed a few pounds but if your symptoms are related to cancer then this handy article said that this could do something about that.

    Happy New Year, everyone: it's the one where we get to vote out the current shower of shits. Okay, so the alternative are also shit, but one thing at a time, eh?