Friday, February 26, 2010

Question Time: the fists are still clenched

I'm past expecting journalists to be informed and knowledgable about the EU because it really is a tremendous bore for them not just to have to monitor Westminster but about four organisations in Brussels and admit that most legislation comes from the EU and that there's no real different in voting Labour, Liberal Dem or Conservative especially now that the Lisbon Treaty has gone through.

But Question Time is still the main media output which is causing a rise in my blood pressure and I don't think I'll calm down any time soon because I don't like bias and manipulation.

Biased BBC, the experts on this, have summed up last night's reason for not paying the license fee beautifully.

Oh, and just a point: Wales loves the EU so much that one of its four MEPs is John Bufton who, incidentally, is from UKIP.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A damp rag, and other stories - updated

Nigel Farage admits that his statement which has caused some rumpus around Europe wasn't what he originally was going to say. But he sat there in Brussels, listening to Rumpy Pumpy blather on about untold amounts of bullshit all whilst earning a completely unjustified salary and just thought he'd tell it how he saw it.

He was later attacked by Martin Schultz, a German Socialist who previously has called Farage a fascist for demanding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Slightly twisted logic you'll grant, but then he is a socialist and therefore completely devoid in sense or reason.

It's not that the EU doesn't understand democracy: they do but they just don't care because most people are more interested in Cheryl Cole's marital status than they are their own liberty. The reason they crack on with their beloved project is because there are very few people trying to stop them. Brown, Cameron and Clegg all gang bang the EU social model and most newspapers in Britain try to deny the existence of UKIP. Even Melanie Phillips promotes the BNP rather than pretend there's a non racist approach to immigration control.

It's been a long time since I've seen a speech from an MEP make it onto the 10 o clock news. There are matters more important than the bun fight which is Westminster happening every month but it would take more effort than they require to give for our beloved 4th estate to monitor properly.

The Full Speech!

random headline of the night

Goes to the Press Association for this:


Gay people: they'll stand with anyone.

They'll sleep with even more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

one can get repetitive strain injury writing about the EU because the words 'fucking stupid', ''what idiot thought up this' and 'economics of the mad house' can be applied to just about everything which emerges from the beast.

And today is no different, with a blast from the past given a new gloss of paint as the lesbians wimmin's committee of the European Parliament vote to make it harder for women to get jobs.

MEPs today voted on an EU-wide extension of maternity leave to 20 weeks on full pay. This will cost an additional £2 billion a year to the Treasury at a time when we're talking about slashing the defence budget while we're at war.

Current UK rules give pregnant women a full year off, with just six weeks paid at 90% of the mother's average pay, followed by 33 weeks on Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) of £123 a week - 55% higher than sick pay. The rest is unpaid.

Under existing EU rules agreed in 1992, minimum maternity leave is set at 14 weeks, with pay for the duration to be no lower than sickness pay in the member state concerned.

Can I take you back to 2004 when a certain Godfrey Bloom said that no self respecting small businessman would employ a woman of child bearing age?

Mr Bloom said: "This is the economics of the madhouse.

"At this time of economic crisis this proposed legislation is stupid and wrong. I said this years ago and I repeat it now - no small businessman or woman with two brain cells will employ a woman of child-bearing age.

"It is stupid because rather than increasing employment possibilities for young woman, it make them scarcer as hard-pressed businesses factor in the risk of losing staff - whilst paying them for months on end.

"And it is wrong because it is the small businesses that create wealth and innovation. Doing this strips them of the ability to invest effectively in staff.

Of course most people in the European Parliament are several sandwiches short of a picnic. A short while in a committee meeting or plenary session is enough to hammer this point home as they drivel on endlessly about things they've no concept about, only some rough grasp on left wing political rhetoric.

I imagine the lefties will come out screaming over this, grasping their pubic hair and trying to hit people with copies of the Guardian but you see, lovies, it's true. The left don't seem to understand this because they all work for Islington Borough Council in the 'soft centred chocolates for the elderly' department and the concept of innovation and risk of ones own money and assets is something they tend to read about in the Daily Mail when no one's looking. It's certainly not something to be discussed around the dinner table when the lentil and chick pea curry is being served.

But what's so endlessly desperate about this situation is the way that our government has to go begging to these clapped out old fools not to vote this into being legislation. After the committee stage this goes to the full plenary in Strasbourg where all MEPs vote on this. Even if every single British MEP voted against it it could still go through. And when was the last time you heard of a full debate and vote in Westminster on a piece of EU legislation? Even the age discrimination legislation was only discussed in a committee for 46 minutes and that included a conversation about Estee Lauder's anti wrinkle cream.

It's very simple to grasp that making legislation where people get paid for not working is going to be very hard on small businesses. It gives control to the women when they are employed and the way the company can keep control is by not employing them. Wonderful. Well done, politicians.

But how much fucking money do we give to the EU for them to shaft us relentlessly and ruin the competitiveness of this country? Why is a Minister of the Crown having to lobby some twat from Lithuania, asking them not to be an ignorant, mendacious bastard by voting in this monstrous heap of cow shit?

Where has our dignity gone? We should be looking at such proposals and laughing, before saying 'what nonsense, Hugo. Thank goodness we've nothing to do with these ghastly people.' and then making a good stab at throwing the balled up paper into the office bin.

Instead we: you, me, everyone, pay them to dream up this shit and cost this country more money.

For the love of God please! Can we just leave?

Monday, February 22, 2010

No more snowfalls

An (icy) blast from the past comes to us in the form of climate change bullshit

By Charles Onians
Monday, 20 March 2000

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent.

Anyone who hasn't been in a coma for the past few months may of course beg to disagree:

Britain colder than Canada as temperatures plunge to -18c... with more snow on the way

Last updated at 10:44 AM on 22nd February 2010

If you thought the start of March would herald warmer weather, think again.
Forecasters said today that the wintery weather which has settled over Britain since December will continue for another two weeks.
Commuters faced a miserable start to the week on 'miserable Monday' as snow flurries and heavy rain causing widespread disruption across Britain's transport network

So that's nice.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

All in the name of research

A busty blonde who was shafted by some dozy football player has written a book about dating the species. Francesca Amber Sawyer has the requisite number of opposing statements regarding morals in her delightful interview with the screws. but we should not mock, for she has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Not only has she wapped out her bazongas for us all to understand the complex editorial issues but:

Blonde Francesca dated more footballers for research for her book, following her split from the cheating player.

For research, ladies and gentlemen.


My quotation of the week

But anyone who changes their mind about voting for Gordon Brown as a result of watching him being deepthroated by a dripping wankstain like Piers Morgan doesn't deserve that vote; they deserve a public horsewhipping. I don't want this man "humanised". I want him out.

who else


I went to the pictures last night to see Wolfman, mainly because Gay friend wants Emily Blunt to be his wife in his straight fantasy world. It's not my normal choice of film: bonnets and heaving bosoms or war films, but it did have the occasional nice frock.

The thing with this werewolf, though, was that it didn't look like a wolf at all.


Wolfman 2010

See: wolfman doesn't have that wolf like face. In fact, he looks like quite a different character

Now, hands up: who would rather have Bungle in charge instead of Gordon Brown?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eurozone countries take supportive stance against Greece

Financial ministers have sent a strong message of support to Greece in the wake of its financial crisis.

Eurozone ministers have taken a brotherly, collective stand against the beleaguered country by declaring that it needs to sort out its problems because it's making the rest of them look bad.

The country, which has a public deficit t of 12.7% of GDP, was initially expecting support from other countries which also sacrificed their monetary independence when joining the single currency.

But statements from politicians indicate that the message appears to be one of blame and disappointment.

"The Greeks were expecting support from other eurozone countries" said a senior insider. "But instead they feel like a Muslim girl who has been attacked by a man. They've brought shame on the single currency and it's only the outward perception which matters, not the fundamental flaws in the original plan."

Euro Politicians had been following strict Commission guidelines when they made statements announcing support which were completely devoid of any fact or meaning. Instead of help and assistance, it's been made clear to Greece that they need to sort out their mess and stop bringing shame on the rest of the family.

"We all know that the reason Greece are in such trouble is because they've given up the ability to devalue which is the best way to solve their problems" said a treasury insider.

"But if they admit that then they'd be admitting that the single currency is fundamentally flawed and nothing but a vanity project.

Feta and Olives: the Greeks will try to restore faith in their financial system through a massive export programme and legislation to ban plate smashing

"And that would never do because these clever chaps with shiny suits need the world to know that what they did was right and good."

Eurocrats have been pouring scorn on protestors in Greece who are unhappy at the severity measures being put in place by a desperate government.

"It is so selfish of these people to want jobs and pensions" said a German spokesman. "Don't they understand that their country isn't allowed to undertake normal measures to get themselves out of zis debt because there are more important countries, like France and Germany, to take into consideration?

"Like zee Royal Bank of Scotland, this Gross Projekt which we have signed up to is too big to fail and so is must be zee little people who get fucked so the politicans don't have to eat the 'umble torte."

A French Treasury official said "Eef they didn't want to be in zis club wiv all zee risks that small countries in parteecular take zen zey shouldn't have let their government said 'oui' to eet.

"I know that our government didn't leesten to our people when they said 'NON' to ze constitution but zat is different."

Fancy that

It's quite clear these days that despite politicians taking us for a ride, spending our money feathering their nests and sacking off most of their work to the European Commission we still don't treat them properly.

Take this unacceptable piece of news which I've heard via the PA newswires:

Veteran Tory MP for Macclesfield Sir Nicholas Winterton has hit out at the new expenses culture at the House of Commons, saying he is "infuriated" that he can no longer travel first class on trains.In an interview with Total Politics magazine, Sir Nicholas claimed the Commons "reforms" being introduced in the wake of the expenses scandal will "make things much worse".

He said: "They want to stop Members of Parliament travelling first class. That puts us below local councillors and officers of local
government. They all travel first class. Majors in the Army travel first class. So we are supposed to stand when there are no seats. I'm sorry, it infuriates me."

It infuriates me, too!

How can we do that to people who are in an incredibly over prescribed job? Fancy having to stand up sometimes on a train? For a ticket that they don't even pay for, but we do!

It's not like most people who travel to work on public transport have to stand up; those poor people who pay his wages and his wife's wages and their second home allowance and their bills...

When I travel in using public transport the chance of actually being able to get on a fucking train would be nice, Sir Nicholas. I spend most of my commuting time waiting on underground platforms for a tube to pull up which actually has space for me to squeeze in. The prospect of getting a seat is a pipe dream; a reality only for those who live at the end of a tube line.

That's why, Sir Nicholas, I invested in a bicycle because it was the quickest, if not also the most dangerous, way to travel to my office. And unlike your boss, I don't have a car following me with my documents in: I have a rucksack on my back.

MPs: you're so out of touch. If you don't like it then fuck off and get another job because the state this country is in, it's quite clear you're shit at the one you have.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

chocolate euros: prone to meltdown

Despite being away this week I have still had time to watch the compulsive viewing which is the Greek financial crisis. As the News of the World failed to mention today, there's one huge difference between the shit which we in the UK are in and the shit that Greece are in: because we stayed out of the Euro we have control over our monetary policy and they don't. They are fucked, and not in a good way.

Hind Sight, it is often said, has 20:20 vision. No one likes a smug know it all but this video is from over 12 months ago:

With reference to the comment about Greek bonds, Tim Worstall commented on it at the time:

Following today's attempt by Mr Farage to attack the EURO through provocative statements on Greece's membership to the EMU -during the plenary debate on the 10th anniversary of the EURO-, the Greek EPP-ED Delegation (Nea Demokratia) would like to inform you that today's tender of government bonds yielded a total amount of 2,550 billion Euros at an average rate of 2,51%, well below the Euribor rate of reference. The final result covers more than 6 times the amount targeted by the Greek government.
This offers a tangible response to any Member seeking to establish the truth regarding the credibility of Greece's performance as a trustworthy member of the Eurozone.
Mr Farage was really unlucky to attack Greece on the same day that markets proved their confidence to the Greek economy.

I love it when they do stuff like that:
Actually, the Greek government didn't issue bonds. They issued bills. Bonds are for more than a year, bills for less than one. Also, they didn't get "below Euribor". Euribor was 2.19% yesterday for 360 day bills. The Greeks paid 2.67%. This is known in financial circles as "more" than, not "less than" or "well below". The implication of this is that the markets think that the Greek government is a worse risk than your common or garden bank.
pointed out Young Master Worstall.

So 13 months down the line and we have the vote for the approval of the European Commission. Of course Labour and the Lib Dems were frothing at the gash to register their approval of 27 people who the poor chaps who pay their wages have no say over, but that's socialism for you. And the Tories? Well, what do you expect that fine, upstanding bunch of eurosceptics did?

Abstain, of course. Still, at least there's some opposition:

Lord Mandelson, of course, remains committed to selling this country down the river. but then the man's a wanker and what did we expect?
The Business Secretary spoke of the "remarkable success" of the beleaguered euro despite the problems which have beset the single currency in recent weeks.
The peer was speaking just as a group of key eurozone countries lined up to pledge “determined and co-ordinated action” over Greece.

I hope to dear God that you and I don't get asked to bail out this political project dreamed up by a group of twats with tiny todgers. Our economy is bad enough without Brown getting any more involved in it and handing us another huge bill. We are like Blackadder's proverbial pelican in this country.

Mandelson, of course, doesn't appear to understand that monetary flexibility is a good thing and let's have a look at what he said last June:
Britain "obviously" remains committed to joining the euro following the currency's "success" in helping its members to weather the economic crisis, Lord Mandelson said.

The newly promoted First Secretary of State, speaking in Berlin, hailed the euro as a saviour that had brought stability to the European Union during financial turmoil.

Looks it.

But then if anyone in Labour had a grasp of economics perhaps we wouldn't have such huge debts and such pitiful growth.

I wish I had faith that the next lot would be any better: I'll have to cling on to the hope that it would be nigh on impossible to be any worse.

Britblog Roundup - Happy Pancake Day

Welcome aboard Britblog flight 260 bound for Greece, the only subject I've been following whilst I've been away from it all on hols.

Luckily, to avoid you all having to read about how I hate the Euro (cruel as it might sound, am rather enjoying watching this monetary breakdown) I have a whole list of posts to point you in the direction of. Busy things you are: whilst I have been hurtling down mountains with bits of wood strapped to my feet, some people have actually been writing and thinking beyond the firm buttocks of the ski instructor in front.

And it's just as well that others have been able to keep record of their finds in the blogosphere: for when it comes to my personal admin my strengths included integrity and doggedness but not record-keeping and office tidying and my "office is piled high with paper, fragments from over the years, tens of thousands of pieces of paper."

But enough of that, let is crack on with the goings on on t'interweb.
Natalie Bennett looks to the way her Grandmother used to live: 'green' living before such things were a lifestyle choice rather than a necessity pre mass consumption and credit cards.

What ever happened to Lady Billiana Harley?

Penny Red would like a good conversation instead of chocolate on Valentines Day. If there's a third option I'll go for that one: 400 calories an hour, it burns. Or to put it in more realistic terms, 100 for 15 minutes.

The F Word isn't that impressed with Labour's efforts to win over the 'white working class' with their policy of grass on your neighbour. I presume this action is something to do with the fact the BNP won two seats in the European Elections which were previously held by Labour and there's a General Election coming up. I'm sure there are easier ways to deal with benefit cheats than pitching a community against each other.

The Daily (Maybe) comments on a jury finding Ali Dizaei guilty when he wrongfully arrested a man with whom he had a personal dispute. Personally I've no idea why there is a 'National Black Police Association'. Aren't they all part of the same organisation? Why would they seek to separate themselves and distinguish themselves as 'different' based on the colour of their skin?

Those of you in town may wish to visit this show or instead you could stand around on a red car with your mates. Or not. Stand on a fence post and see if I care.

Staying in town, ornamental passions points to the irony of the Royal Institute of British Architects residing in a really shit building.

Women, know your limits and have dinner on the table to let your husband know you've been thinking about him all day.

Moving onto politics and A Place to Stand considers what the Conservatives should do if we get a hung Parliament come the imminent General Election. Side with the Lib Dems is one option, the other is avoid it by getting some policies.

The excellent Bishop Hill has a number of items the panel chosen to investigate those CRU e-mails including this rather interesting nugget on the views of a couple of the chaps chosen to come up with a conclusion. You can hold your breath if you like, or you can let out a huge sight and blow the mounds of paper around Prof Jones's office.

Mark Reckons that the dislike of taxes leads to politicians bringing in rises through the back door. With both Labour and the Conservatives looking at raising VAT to 20% the so called regressive tax (which I don't agree with: if you buy more expensive things then you pay more tax so it all balances out in the end) look forward to being able to spend less of your own money until someone realises that tax cutting is a fiscal expansion. Or grows a pair and gets down to some public spending cuts.

In this global village, is the entire British economy a 'local' issue, asks To much to say for myself? Local MP Chloe Smith seems to think so.

Green Party candidate Gayle Donovan takes issue with detention for asylum seekers and those wishing to migrate to this country. Some locals are joining in a hunger strike which is being undertaken by detainees to complain at conditions.

Sticking with the concept of injustice, Harry's Place discusses more MPs expense scandals, this time involving their staff and alleged donations to their political parties.

A facebook group I've joined recently, because I know exactly how to let people know what I think and take a stand, is regarding the hypocrisy of Amnesty International for sacking Gita Sahgal after a Sunday Times article where she spoke out about her concerns. She felt Moazzam Begg, a Guantanamo Bay inmate, could damage Amnesty's reputation:

“To be appearing on platforms with Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment.”

Speaking of gross errors of judgement, His Grace has made the mistake of juxtaposing 'dark recesses' and 'Harriet Harman' which is something of a body blow. Don't read that until you've digested your evening meal even if you find the fact that the Equality and Human Rights Commission has been subject to 15 employment tribunals quite amusing.

Charles Crawford details Tony Blair's decision to open the UK labour markets to A8 countries following EU accession in 2004 and how the Polish government did not believe him, straight from the horses mouth. It would have been nice, I think, if the policy on open borders hadn't been based on a German study of how many workers would migrate there.

Sticking, or rather not sticking, to Teflon Tony, Pajamas Media comments on Blair's defence of the illegal war in Iraq. And that's me being unbiased before anyone moans: I could have written a lot more.
And finally, thanks to Master Worstall for pointing those of us with a concern for the anatomy of Haridan Harperson towards this little snippet

She may not have a spine so winning 'Rear of the Year' may compensate in some way.

And if that doesn't then this gift suggestion by the lovable clown should do the trick...

Next week we're paying a visit to philobiblon which will be lovely.

Send your super suggestions to britblog [at] gmail [dot] com

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Brown: how dumb does he think we are?

Sitting on the bus going home yesterday evening I was flicking through the Standard and noticed a large double page piece on Gordon Brown.

And flicked through to the next page.

Because what can that man possibly say to a journalist that I actually believe or trust? I wasn't the only one. I glanced around the bus to see passengers all flicking over this piece of which Gordon must have been so pleased. The standard writing about him: gosh. Things are about to change and we really can win the general election!

Except that not even someone as absent from reality as our Prime Minister can believe that, can they? The news that he wished to change the voting system seemed to me an announcement to the country saying 'even we don't really think we can win'.

Labour of course lured the Liberal Democrats in the 1990s with their promise of electoral reform. And funnily enough, when it was obvious that they would smash the opposition via the First Past The Post System, there was no appetite for electoral reform.

To me, the polls these days show how shit all the parties are, rather than how inspirational any of them will be. The Tories will be tinkering pointlessly around the edges and the fact that they aren't in for a landslide victory at the General Election, leaving the disastrous Labour Party floundering around in a death dance, like a wasp in summer after an effective blast of 'raid' sadly says more about them than it does about our government.

But the declaration that Brown wants a new voting system to somehow rebuild trust in this shattered parliamentary democracy we have left is laughable, were it not so insulting. 'I want to give Parliament back to the people' he declares: the very man who refused us a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and thus on our own future.

The AV system involves voters ranking their candidates in an order of preference. If a candidate receives a majority of first-place votes, he or she would be elected just as under the present system. However if no single candidate gets more than 50 per cent of the vote, the second choices for the candidate at the bottom are redistributed. The process is repeated until one candidate gets an absolute majority.

The Labour Party have moved boundaries around to benefit them in the first past the post system and now it seems that they will not win for a fourth time under FPTP, they wish to fiddle it so they have a fighting chance.

In the old days, before the Tories elected a leader who was missing a vital part of his skeleton, Labour and the Lib Dems were both on the left with the Tories on the right. In alternative voting this means that Labour and Lib Dems will do better because their supporters will rank each other 1 and 2 with the Tories ranked much lower down or, if you're a tactical voter like me, not ranked at all.

It's why the Lib Dems have long supported it and why now the outgoing government wishes to support it. It's to pretend to those who don't understand the complexities of gerrymandering that not only will they be tough on expenses *cough* but they will also make the parliamentary system more accountable.

I've long been an advocate of a change to the voting system because whilst there are flaws to proportional voting I think that universal suffrage is hampered if people have 'wasted votes' because they live in a strong hold. It also means that people end up voting for the big party they hate less rather than vote for the party they actually feels represents their views. European Parliament elections don't have these same constraints which is why there is a much broader spectrum of political views represented from your left wing Labour, BNP Labour and Green (although I suspect people who vote for them do it for the kittens rather than because they actually know what they stand for) through to your centre ground Tories and then tipping right towards UKIP. In simple terms.

What do we get in Westminster? A group of people barely distinguishable from each other who are occasionally joined by a chap in a crumpled suit and some well meaning gentleman who wandered into a village hall and was then unexpectedly elected to represent the 'Save Piddlington Hospital' party.

Gordon: if you'd said this when you were winning I might have wanted to punch you in the face less. But the fact that you've said it when you're losing and desperate to pick up votes from the Liberal Democrats makes me want to find a brick to fit snugly in my clenched fist.

At least I can be sure of one thing: it doesn't matter what he says as most people just don't care.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Quotation of the picosecond

Comes from crook ex MEP Tom Wise:
He also said that one of his "most prized possessions" in prison is a Christmas card signed by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney when he visited parliament recently.

He told the friend, "I keep it under my pillow. You have to be careful as this place is full of thieves."

You said it. Can we have our money back?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

inverted snobbery

Fuck off with your non RP accent.

I've got one, fucking live with it. I live in a nice part of town, I've worked fucking hard to get to where I am in my job and so fucking what if the post code I'm most familiar with is SW1.

If you have a problem with that I suggest you take that up with yourself. It's no reason for you to try to make me feel small, you pathetic people, because I don't happen to know all the areas around where I've just moved to. Why should I? I have time for that and right now I know how to cycle to work, I know how to cycle to the gym and I know how to get to my favourite lunch spots and night spots.

Everything else, I get a nice black cab for.

If you think that makes me some stuck up London bitch I suggest you take your patronising, jealous, smug little ugly face and shove it up your arse. Fuck off.

I live by my rules and not yours, you desperate wanna be social climber. It's not my fault you have a chip on your shoulder about your own background and your own accent: if you were enough of a person it wouldn't give a flying fuck.

The reason you don't get invited to the places you want to go to is because of your own attitude. Why would someone invite you somewhere if you have this hatred pinned to your clothing? It's like inviting me to a green party.

Of which, more to follow...

From our US Correspondent: Bin Laden and the environment

"Terrorist ring-leader pretends to care about climate change" shocker

It’s such a relief. Now we know why Bin Laden’s disciples keep hijacking aeroplanes. They’re worried about airline emissions and the deleterious effect that they have on our environment. How could we have been so dumb to think that they were attacking the developed world for being morally vacuous, secular, pluralistic and democratic!

Bin Laden’s TV spot on Al Jazeera was among the most bizarre online viewing last week; more bizarre even than Boris strutting his stuff at a City Hall Christmas Party or President Obama requiring a teleprompter to deliver a speech to a class of eleven year olds in their school. It seems strangely incongruous for Bin Laden to care passionately about climate change – a twenty-first century concern. This afterall, is a man committed to turning the clock back to the eighth century, where men were ruthless warriors, women were chattels and gays and infidels were dead.

Bin Laden has political and financial motives for his latest telly spot; his motives have nothing to do with ice caps melting and polar bears dying. He is trying to appear to make common cause with the left and their pet issue: the environment. This enables American Republicans to label Democrats as friends of Osama in the mid-term elections in November. Anyone who says they care about the environment will be labeled “Bin Laden’s soul mate on carbon” etc. Bin Laden knows this and knows the way politics work – if this happens he expects the American people to elect Republicans, resulting in a far more right of centre Congress. Electing largely anti-regulation Republicans to Congress will halt the development of alternative or renewable energy sources.

Bin Laden is worried about his long term funding. The US reported last week that wind power had increased by 39% in the past year. The US is the only nation on the planet with the capacity to develop affordable alternatives to fossil fuels – if the US carries on in this vein then maybe they could have alternative sources to oil in a decade – who knows?. This terrifies Bin Laden because he needs the US to remain reliant for oil on Arab producing states; the very nations that fund his terrorist activities. Saudi Arabia is the single largest source of money and men for Al Qaeda. For instance, according to the United Nations Security Council Report, “Terrorism Financing: Roots & Trends of Saudi Terrorism Financing” of December 2002, Al Qaeda has collected between $300 million and $500 million in donations since the late 1980s, almost all if from sources inside Saudi Arabia. If the oil money dries up (and the Saudis have done nothing to diversify their single product economy while they’ve been swimming in cash) who will pay for all the detonators and semtex? They’ll be no one to fund the next round of horrifying fireworks in Washington, DC, Madrid, London, New York, Tel Aviv (delete as applicable).

Whether you believe in man made climate change or not – and this post is not about that issue; whether you’re George Will or George Monbiot, don’t let Bin Laden be a factor in your decision – he doesn’t deserve your consideration.