Monday, December 13, 2010

Just for the record...

Ah when you're busy enough in your life trying to set up new businesses, doing pro bono work for little charities who are trying to make a difference rather than use beneficiaries to promote themselves and endlessly waiting for people to get back to you so you can finish jobs, you get another little lump of dog turd in the post.

Care of my previous employers an accusation of defamation (Yes, even though they're an organisation.) amongst other little gems.

Initial response once picked self back off chair is Arkell v Pressdram but it would be nice if people realised that the 1996 Defamation Act doesn't exist for people who take offence at truthful remarks to have their egos stroked better through the medium of a civil case. If it were then, let alone be on a Prime Time TV show, Craig Revel-Horwood would be in the debtors prison.

Recalling the times in Brussels when friend and I played volley ball with writs written by MEPs who had taken umbridge at being featured in a less than attractive light. Ah, such happy days.

Sadly for these folk, I'm not going to withdraw my complaint against them. I'm made of sterner stuff than that.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

nudge nudge, pass the salt

So Christmas is upon us and frankly all I can say is


My tree is up, I have crept out under the cover of darkness and pinched holly, Ivy and some other stuff with berries on to adorn my mantlepiece, mirrors and the fireplace because some dick blocked up the chimney.

Even the presents are beautifully wrapped under the tree and the cards are in the post. With stamps on this time.

All it is left now, following the purchase of my Christmas Party Dress, is for mama and I to finalise the recipes for the festive season. A time of tradition and indulgence. But not if this rather earnest and irritating group get their way.

High salt levels in ready made Sunday lunch warning

Including too many ready-made items in a Sunday roast could lead to excessive salt intake, says research from a health charity.

In a survey of 600 supermarket products, Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) found that unnecessary amounts of salt are being hidden in certain items of pre-prepared food.

I always wonder about the phrase 'hidden in food'. It makes the company making them, no doubt some unscrupulous multi national which uses child labour and burns kittens to keep the generator running, sound like it's being malicious. It's quite hard not to hide ingredients in food to the extent that they tend to be incorporated in a finished item. I, for example, would not like to buy a cake which, instead of creaming the butter with the sugar, left it dolloped on top to ensure that I knew there were fat products in there.

That aside, it's this continuing push towards having our entire life regulated by busybody do gooders which makes me want to reach for the salt cellar. It's up to me what I eat. End of. If you want people to take more care of their diet I suggest you get rid of the NHS and have some insurance scheme.

But why are you all so bothered? Why are people still putting up with a government who continually uses our money to tell us what to do? In PR week the other week there was a survey on 'nudging' which I, as something of an expert, was asked to fill in. Did I think the government should get involved with 'nudging' which is, for those of you who don't know such terms, a strategy to coerce people into doing the *right* thing rather than telling them to do so. It's things like putting apples on the eye level shelf rather than the fried slice.

I seem to recall that my reply was something along the lines that the government should not be concerning itself with such matters and should, in fact, fuck right off.

But of course this charity is determined that something must be done, and as usual it's not the concept of individual responsibility.

Sarah Cordey from the British Retail Consortium said the survey disregarded the large amount of fresh food customers use when preparing a Sunday meal.

She said the big supermarkets are doing "all they can" to reduce salt content...

However Professor Graham MacGregor from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, and chairman of CASH, said they should do more.

"Unnecessary amounts of salt are still being hidden in our food," he said...

"It is the food industry's responsibility to take the salt out."

I actually think it's the food industry's responsibility to satisfy their customers. Call me radical, I know. I want to decide what food I eat and what food I don't. Packaged food doesn't taste half so good but still, it's up to me and you and everyone else if we want to consume yummy additives and salt or if we want to make our own.

Personally I can't understand people who don't add salt to their vegetables when they are cooking them. Salt brings out the flavour of beautiful food and I don't want some over zealous scientist who enjoys eating flavourless mung beans to take away my option of that.

A glance at their list of supporters shows an impressive number of supermarkets and well as top chefs. I'm sceptical about this; they probably, like the green lobby fanaticism, feel obliged to sign up to this as some corporate social responsibility and PR strategy.

Looking over the rest of the website we see that they are really utterly sanctimonious when it comes to salt. Salt Awareness Week comes bounding into our lives in the form of patronising posters aimed at all ages including, of course, children who can in turn go home and nag their parents not to have salt and vinegar on their chips. Or edamame beans. I wonder if these people dare to take a risk to the seaside incase they inadvertently swallow some sea water. The dead sea is probably going to be the victim of the next campaign and I fully expect to see adverts taken out in Cosmopolitan and FHM warning that should we get a little too frisky with our partners, a true sign of love would be to ensure that oral sex did not damage my health and that 6g of salt a day was quite enough. Spit For Health could be their next catch phrase, perhaps? Watch out for the campaign next valentines day.

But more than that, I don't want them ruining my favourite time of year with their nagging 'nanny knows best' attitude, telling me that I can't have stuffing and do I really want a huge bucket of bread sauce with my roast potatoes when what I want to do is eat an entire box of quality street before breakfast and spend the rest of the day bloated, half pissed and farting.

Bugger off CASH, I say. Some things are sacred.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Ah, it's been a while but it was a well needed rest. It's also nice not to have employers reading my blog trying to find reasons to get rid of me for daring to have an opinion of my own. They're in the past (mostly) thank goodness so here I am! Yippee!!

An awful lot has happened in my life and the world since I have stopped tapping my thoughts onto my little pink blog and it's a combination of a really shit government, a fucking awful opposition and a series of ghastly reality TV programmes taking over the lives of people which has once again enraged me.

First stop as always for me will be the EU and that Irish bailout but there's also so much nonsense happening in Westminster that it should keep the fires burning for a while.

So watch out for some bile and vitriol heading this way!



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Still ill...

But in the mean time enjoy this

And hopefully I'll be inspired soon enough to write something about politics or something. You never know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My protest on Parliament Square

The other day I was in the vicinity of Parliament Square and there were lots of young men and women in military uniforms. Given their ages I presumed it was something to do with Cadet 150. It was great to see them wearing their uniforms with pride, and their families delighted to be with them on this day.

So I was horrified to hear that one serviceman had had abuse hurled at him from the squatters on Parliament Square in their so called 'peace village'. You may be able to guess from my turn of phrase that I am on the side of Boris Johnson and would like these people removed so we can have access to our public space again and not be bombarded with their nonsense.

Because they are taking up space and they are also stopping other people with their right to protest. I personally wish to protest about cuts to the defence budget because there's still a huge amount of work to be done in areas like Armed Forces accommodation and ensuring that troops are properly equipped and paid a decent salary. I also do not agree with cutting numbers of troops and think there should be an increase in infantry numbers.

But where would I pitch my tent on the square? There's no space to put up my poncho no matter how much para cord I might have. I could try, I suppose, and it would be interesting to see what the 'peace' protesters make of me.

But I think I'd like some company. Would anyone care to join me?!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Beyond satire

Being off work for a few weeks gave me the opportunity to undertake some reading beyond my usual Jilly Cooper-esque novels. One of the books I particularly enjoyed reading was about how Princess Victoria of Kent became Queen and indeed, came into existence. The Georgian era is one which one doesn't tend to study much which is a shame as it's rather interesting. And so I didn't know very much about the changes in Europe or indeed that King Leopold was in line to be Prince Consort of Great Britain having married Princess Charlotte, only child of George IV.

When Charlotte died after disastrous medical treatment and the brothers searched Europe looking for suitable princesses to marry, Leopold was invited to become King of Belgium.

Because Belgium is a constructed country and one which is also falling apart. That's why I found the speech by Nigel Farage rather fitting, given that they've just taken over the presidency of another constructed country, forcing people who don't wish to be together into union.

Following Timothy Kirphope's comment about Tory MEPs actually doing what's best for the country in the EU (which faction?) I thought I'd introduce those who weren't aware of this little creature to you. No, not Timothy Kirkhope, although it's fair to say most people haven't heard of him.

This little creature.

It's called a mudskipper and I decided it was a good name for Tory MEPs. Mudskippers can't decide which environment they want to live on, see. In the water or on moist land. I'm sure you can see where I make the link between them and eurosceptic/intergrationalist/federalist/withdrawalist Tory MEPs...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Vote for ME!

here at the Total Politics lovely blog list whatsit.

Pretty Please.

With sugar on the top

*flutters eyelashes*

Road Pricing. Again

The RAC has said that road pricing is "inevitable". I'm afraid that I disagree. It might be inevitable because of political pressures but it's certainly not needed if we actually take action and deal with the issues blighting our lives and this country.

A reader clearly feels the same way and has copied me into an email on the subject. As a cyclist you might wonder why I am so against road pricing when I just whizz past the queues of traffic in rush hour anyway. Simples; because I am sick of the amount of money being taken from people with the excuse that it's with our best interests that it is done.

It's not: road pricing, just like global warming is politically motivated. Lord Stern, formerly Sir Nicholas Stern, was knighted on the request of Gordon Brown. Stern had written his report which affects the way that our government policy, council policy and education of children is implemented and taught. It also allowed the Treasury to raise taxes in the name of saving us from ourselves. Well done, Nick. Have a gong.

Road Pricing will also be taught to us as helping protect against climate change or some similar tosh. I suspect very little will actually be said about the fact that it's a revenue stream for the EU across all EU countries which they are incredibly keen on, as well as allowing the central EU bureaucracy to continue with their push for control on cross border justice and home affairs. Road cross borders and so do cars, so who better than the EU to keep an eye on what we're all doing in our vehicles?

There's also the subject of Galileo. For those who don't know, Galileo is the 'spy in the sky' system which was set up by Yankophobe Europeans set on rivaling the GPS system. It hasn't worked, it's a black hole for your cash and you need to stump up for it because it sure as hell won't be profitable or have private investors. You will pay for it by allowing it to monitor you and because you don't take enough interest in how your lives are run and where your money goes, you probably deserve it.

But how should we deal with the problems on our roads? Well, given that the problems particularly in London are man made, in the sense that they are politically altered in order to ensure there is a continual argument for more charges and thus more money and power to socialist politicians, here are a few options in that email.:

· Open up the many thousands of miles of roads that have been closed or made unusable by barriers, signage, humps and other means.

· Remove the road width restrictions that have been placed on many thousands of miles of roads.

· Remove Prescott imposed traffic lights and remove ALL traffic lights from roundabouts.

· Re-phase traffic lights to pre-Prescott timings.

· Remove dark/death phase pedestrian crossing lights and revert to sensible phase Pelican crossings. (when all lights are black - T)

· Revert to speed limits applicable in the pre-Prescott era.

· Remove bus lanes. They delay all traffic including buses.

· Remove cycle lanes on roads that have been imposed to satisfy Labour’s requirement that central funding for road ‘improvements’ would only be given if the work included anti-car measures.

· Have more cycle lanes off road and more shared pedestrian/cycle lanes where appropriate. Force cyclists to use cycle lanes where they are available.

· Permit left turn on red.

· Left filters on signalled junctions should be the norm.

· Provide more free parking areas to allow roads to be clear of parked vehicles and hence allow traffic to flow.

I'm sure that some of you are tutting and thinking that there aren't altered traffic light phases and the such. Well, there are and the reason for them were openly admitted at a members meeting for the Institute of London Transport. Traffic was flowing rather too well, you see, and there needed to be a reason for Ken to call for a £25 congestion charge and expansion to West London.

As for the report's author, well he's very involved in this whole road pricing scheme. I'm sure he'll be put on another committee or executive board to help bring this all into being which will no doubt help his own coffers...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Fantastic Mr Fox

I don't like foxes. I'm not one of these deluded people who think they're all cute and fluffy. I'd like to get on the back of a muscle packed stallion and chase one across the countryside and then know that it's been killed by some dogs.

But it's not that I dislike animals; quite the contrary. I'm a huge animal lover. I've been vegetarian for the past 18 years despite dreaming about steak (not one of those ghastly preaching ones, though), I actually communicate often like I'm a bloody cat and I do generally prefer animals to people. It's my love of animals, particularly the gorgeous ones I live with, that I want a bit of equilibrium to be restored and man to be the natural predator of foxes again.

For years in the suburbs there have been urban foxes causing a nuisance: ripping bins apart, screaching into the night and stinking and being infested with fleas. They don't run when they see a human; why should they? What can we actually do? They're the ones with sharp teeth and rabies. We should run from them.

And we know from news reports that foxes attack people and maul children. Those people who feed foxes and encourage them into urban areas think that sleeping children provoked a fox into scarring their faces and chewing their arms but this is bullshit.

My first pet, a rabbit called Christopher was killed by a fox who just took his head. Over the years we all came to know foxes as pet killers as a series of fluffy animals were taken as trophies despite our best efforts to keep them safe. Now we keep chickens and cats and it's another round of ensuring that people watch them even during the day and that all animals are locked up at night.

This morning I woke up to a text message from my friend who lives near saying that her kitten was killed last night by foxes.

Yes, you 'animal rights ban hunting stop pest control' people: a kitten was killed by a fox. You with all your 'save me' posters of foxes didn't have to clean up that one in your garden, did you.

So I had a look to see what can be done about dealing with the fucking pests. Here's the government website. Essentially, in much the same way as people have been told for the last decade about rape and burglary, it's your responsibility to stop it happening to you.

Blocking empty living spaces
If the space is occupied by foxes (or other animals) it’s illegal to trap them by blocking the entrance. Instead, wait until the foxes stop using the space and then block the entrance before the next breeding season, which lasts from December to May...

Legal protection for foxes
It’s against the law to treat foxes cruelly. Find out more information on foxes and the law on pages six and seven of 'The red fox in rural areas'.

And of course make sure there's no rubbish anywhere and don't fly tip. Of course, there's more rubbish around since we don't get it cleared up ever week (landfill directive) and more fly tipping (weee directive) so thanks EU.

In the mean time, if you've got a fox which is making your life unpleasant, remember that the last Labour government thought it more important than you. Perhaps we should get some changes included in this Great Repeal Bill?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

How to be a tabloid journalist part 24638

Not that tabloids overreact in their coverage, often stringing a few comments into a double page feature, but this coverage of the pantomime wedding in the News of the World had me hooting with laughter:

Women and children were forced to FLEE the scrum - some in floods of TEARS

It's a church in Surrey, not the Rwandan fucking genocide.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Britblog Roundups: the 'football team's coming home' edition

Hello! And welcome to this sunny BB round up which is taking place on a Monday as no sun worshipper worth their salt would have been in on a day like yesterday.

So from a bronzed Trixy towers, here is a selection of the posts from the blogosphere in the week where England finally ended their world cup challenge and thus people finally took down those tacky flags with 'The Sun' or 'England' emblazoned across them. Yippee!

I'm going to start this week with an excellent post from Mark Reckons who notice an air of hypocrisy around the writing of Simon Heffer:

Quite aside from the fact that his logic is severely flawed (we have had crack-down after crack-down on drugs for the last 40 years and use has risen hugely), where is the liberal Simon Heffer who wants the government to back off from people's freedoms to drink beer and smoke tobacco? Both of these drugs harm and kill far more people each year than all illegal drugs combined. Why is there such a clear difference in his mind between the two groups of drugs, those that are legal and those that the government (sometimes seemingly arbitrarily) deem illegal?

Moving from one sin to another in the eyes of the pure, our man in Hanoihas noticed that the British Embassy has an interesting freebie. Each to their own, I guess...

Moving onto the subject of football, Matthew writes about why he thinks England could never have won the world cup this time around. I've always wondered why people get so attached to clubs given that they bear little resemblance to clubs which were started up for players of that area. Players move around all the time, as do managers. Someone who is the favourite one minute then becomes in some way a traitor or hated for doing what he probably did before he joined the club one supports. It's a marketplace and to me it's like supporting a favourite shop. I love shopping in Gina but if they secure a new marketing manager and the shares go up I'm just as happy as before because, well, it's a business.
Let us though not try and place the blame for this defeat solely on to others, when the real reason lies, at heart, with the English ourselves.

We have sold our best clubs to foreign owners. Foreign managers oversee them and foreign players dominate the 'English' Premiership line-ups. If you want a vision of England's future, take a look at Scotland today.

I'd like the oiks who threw eggs at my windows to understand that but I doubt very much they can actually read.

Brian Barder writes about Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection which, despite the fact that he employs the phrase 'Polly Toynbee is right' reads very sensibly. I don't tend to get too involved with the whole crime thing, in the sense of committing it or what one should do with prisoners because, let's face it, one can't be interested and informed in everything. And I'm interesting and informed in a whole raft of topics so I'm sure you'll forgive me. And anyway, the tan makes up for it.
These people are in preventive detention, being punished for future offences they haven’t committed, often with no hope of release, fearing that they are in prison for life, having already been punished for often quite minor offences. The onus is on them to prove a negative about the future, which is conceptually impossible as well as reversing the normal onus of proof. The proportion of IPPers so far released is minuscule.

Staying on the same blog, but moving over to the subject of Afghanistan. The headlines were full of Cameron's statement that he wants British troops to withdraw from the country by 2015. But why is that? Like Obama's statement, war is not something you can put a definite time on (and if you do you'll probably be wrong) unless you don't actually have to be there. Is this the case in Afghanistan? Technically speaking it was not an illegal war because it's not actually an international conflict but lives have been lost, bodies have been shattered and hearts have been broken.
Our political leaders are, I think, inhibited by two fears, neither of which can possibly justify a single additional death or maiming of another British soldier.

The first is the fear that our withdrawal will be interpreted as a failure, and a defeat for British arms. But it need not be so. Britain has been second only to the Americans in the size and effectiveness of our contribution to the war over nine years, and in the cost of it in blood and treasure. It can reasonably credibly be claimed that our war effort has real and tangible achievements to its credit: al-Qaeda’s presence and power virtually eliminated, Taliban control of towns and villages removed and girls’ schools reopened, social development schemes instigated and funded under British military protection, Afghans given political options denied to them in the years before 9/11 and the arrival of NATO forces.

Neil Craig is getting a bit misty eyed at the prospect of the Norwegians building a tunnel for ships. I agree that one in Scotland would be fantastic but it would be late and about 10 times over budget, I guess.

Finally, because Chameleon said she enjoyed it (although I think that was only to remind me to write the round up this week!) here is my post on the budget and how I think the Tories still have a shit EU policy.

I've just been informed that I am not allowed to support Germany in the world cup, despite the egg throwing incident but have to support The Netherlands. This is because my Dutch housemate hates Germans because they 'start wars and stole my grandfather's bicycle'. Well, it won me over.

Until next week, get nominating your favourite posts at britblog [at] gmail [dot] com

Pip pip!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Finally a budget for single people

For years, especially under the socialist government of Labour we've had to listen to all the benefits which would be going to 'hard working families', how 'schools n' hospitals would have as much money as they wished and how 'the poor' must get everything they want without having to actually get a job.

It was all to get us to be involved in the state. Child Tax Credits are clearly inefficient as a way of redistributing income and a higher personal allowance would do the job of ensuring the lowest incomes don't pay tax to keep them in an unemployment trap, but that wouldn't have worked for Gordon. He wanted you to be dependent on the state; to love it and him for its generosity.

So since I've been paying tax it's been a slavering socialist at the dispatch box telling me how much more of my money he's going to be taking from me to throw into his pit of money to waste on pointless projects.

But last week it was different: here was a budget which actually pleased me in many ways.

For now I don't have to pay so much for other people's children or the endless pursuing of the married couples' vote with one off lump payments for newborns and endless nonsense about monitoring schools. You may think I'm being unreasonable but for thirteen years the single and childless were shouting 'What about us?' at the TV and into newspapers. We don't get benefits, we just bloody pay for it all and sit there struggling to get a deposit for a house, ineligible for any tax credits or council housing because we've chosen not to spawn.

The rise in VAT is annoying because of course it increases money we give to the EU which is already far too much. It's politically preferred, of course, as whilst it will affect inflation until the 13 month rolling average sorts that one out it isn't a headline grabbing increase in income tax and doesn't show on the monthly salary statement which is the general view of how we all work out how better or worse off we are.

I only hope that in November the coalition will have the guts to realise that what they've started is a good thing. We shouldn't be worrying about winter fuel payments because if we didn't rape the pensions system and get taxed to kingdom come then people would have enough for their retirement. Stop state dependency and grow a pair. This country started the industrial revolution and it was the Victorian work ethic which allowed us to be great whilst at the same time improving conditions for the poorest in society. That concept has been hidden but I do hope that it hasn't been lost.

And whilst we're on the subject of growing a pair, the increase in the number of MEPs gives the chance that the Tories and Cameron said he wanted to get rid of this Lisbon Treaty. They came first in the country in 2009 with eurosceptic rhetoric and claims that they wanted to repatriate powers to Westminster.

But at the first chance he has he's already been wooed by Barroso over eggs and bacon and a quick kiss and cuddle at the first summit he attended as Prime Minister.

We cut the defence budget but ring fence international 'aid' which harms the chances of free trade and global development whilst Cameron bleats on inaccurately about how he'll push ahead with bilateral trade agreements for the UK. Not since we joined the EEC, Cameron old chap. We have a single trade policy now: we don't even get a seat at the WTO...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Euro is a victim of its own success

Yes, yes: that is what the President of Europe said. Nothing to do with the fact that this currency is based upon a political pipe dream which ignores economics and the democractic wish of the people who foot the bill. Nothing to do with the fact that the criteria for joining the currency were wishywashy themselves and even then were ignored by many of the Club Med countries in the EU. It's such a success, that's why Germans are bailing out other countries. And don't you forget it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lack of judgement or wounded pride?

President Obama hasn't been having a good couple of weeks. First of all he's had to launch a full scale attack on BP and ignore any US involvement to ensure that he keeps up his protectionist stance. Now Gen McChrystal is coming under fire from the politician and his advisors, mainly for comments made by his aide.

At the White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gen McChrystal is expected to face:

Joe Biden. Gen McChrystal had mocked the vice-president when asked a question about him. "Are you asking about Vice-President Biden? Who's that?"
Karl Eikenberry. Gen McChrystal said he felt "betrayed" by the US ambassador to Kabul during the long 2009 White House debate on troop requests for Afghanistan
James Jones. One of Gen McChrystal's aides says the national security adviser is a "clown stuck in 1985"
Richard Holbrooke. Gen McChrystal says of an e-mail from the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan: "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke... I don't even want to open it"

Stanley McChrystal has been praised as the best commander in Afghanistan in the nine year war and has reduced civilian casualties by 44% which will have a positive impact on the 'hearts and minds' battle in the country, vital for intelligence on local Taliban activities.

But instead of concentrating on that, Obama has some wounded pride to see to. If members of his administration haven't been supporting the troops properly than I think it's important that people know about it. If his attitude has been less than helpful yet he and his administration are using trips to see the troops to raise their profile then I think it's a valid thing for people to know about. After all; who pays the bill?

Former CGS Gen Sir Richard Dannett was outspoken about the last Labour government and many people think this is why he never became Chief of the Defence Staff at a time when the Army was, has and will continue to take the brunt of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By its very nature and the emotions the Armed Forces bring about, troops will always be a political tool. It's just that only rarely do those stories make the front pages and when they do, it's the military which get blamed by the politicians for being irresponsible.

Friday, June 18, 2010

So stats aren't his strong point

If I showed someone a graph which had a direct correlation between two sets of figures one can say that one has an effect on the other. Economists calculate this using the formula r squared, or the correlation coefficient.

r squared is between 0 and 1: at 0 there is no correlation. 1 is where the two are entirely dependent on each other. I used to have a great time during my degree collecting all kinds of data and calculating if they had anything to do with each other. And it also enabled me to occasionally throw into conversation the word heteroskedasticity.

This EU summit has, alas, proven that our new Prime Minister isn't up there with even basic stats, let alone yummy econometrics.

Mr Cameron said a larger EU had diluted the tendency for further bureaucratic integration. He said: “Now Europe is so much wider and broader, with the countries of eastern and central Europe as members, that will help push us in a more intergovernmental direction, which I support.
“The wider and broader Europe takes some of the pressure off further integration. But you also have to be on your guard.”

This was the excuse used for Greek entry to the EU in the 1980s and actually was an A Level economics question (where you don't tend to use any stats apart from the terms of trade).

It's quite clearly a nonsense which doesn't require any complex analysis but a basic look at the different treaties over the past 50 years.

When the A8 countries joined in 2004 the EU didn't have as many powers as it does now. One of the criteria for them joining in their accession treaties were that they signed up to the EU Constitution, now in law as the Lisbon Treaty.]

Before Greece joined, Cyprus joined, before Finland and the UK there weren't the powers in the original documents as there are now. I know that the Tories use the reason for supporting expansion as saying that the pond will become wider and less deep but it's a nonsense. It's the reason they're using for their support of Turkey joining and countries like Serbia, but it's a fucking nonsense.

What I'm trying to establish in my own mind is that are the Tories, and Cameron in particular, being mendacious in their statements or are they being ignorant?

Answers on a shoebox, please.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ups and Downs in the EU

Whilst Cameron and Hague are having a love in with Barroso and the EU, agreeing that people who lead an organisation who haven't had their accounts signed off for fifteen years should approve our budget, one man who has never traded his principles gave another warning on the Euro.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Bonus time for bootleggers?

(I'm posting this on behalf of the Lovely One.)

So it's only been a few weeks but I'm still yet to be bowled over by the repealing of detrimental legislation which was piled on this country by the combination of Brussels and the ghastly ex-Labour government.

ID cards were satisfying but quite frankly I'm hungry for more. We had thirteen years of incompetence and those people running the country into the ground and what I'm looking for is something more, well, groundbreaking. As far as I can tell it's still illegal to do things which are normal things to do like, for example, smoke inside, and at the same time we have the Lib Dems trying to force the utterly ruinous rocketing of CGT which people like Jackart don't seem to think so terrible for some reason. I've no idea why that is except, like a second marriage, it's a triumph of hope over experience.

A rise in CGT will stop people investing in, well, most things. Second homes which are pension provisions especially since Gordon Brown raped our pension pots. Shares which boost many areas of economic life through injections of liquidity. Even for demand side economists who worship the Income Equation, a generous boost of 'I' is just what the doctor ordered in these economically uncertain times.

But here's a basic thing that the coalition could do, which wouldn't really need much effort and would be a step in the right direction both for our civil liberties and small businesses.

SALES of blackmarket cigarettes could outstrip legal sales in Britain unless ­Labour’s draconian over-the-counter ban is reversed for shopkeepers.

In Canada a similar ban saw contraband sales in parts of the country overtake shop sales within 12 months of the new law coming in.

If the same thing happened in Britain, hundreds of newsagents would go to the wall and the Treasury would lose out on millions more in unpaid taxes.

One hardly expects a Labour government to do anything remotely sensible which is part of the reason why we're in the mess we are in. But I'm afraid that a Tory majority coalition should not have the excuse of incompetence to hide behind.

They are supposed to be the party which abhores excessive regulation and wants to promote freedoms and small businesses. I do hope that this marriage of convenience with the Lib Dems does not turn out to be more like an affaire de coeur with a mere mistress having undue influence.

It's about time that this country had a government with a vague grasp on the right thing to do. And this one seems pretty simple to me.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's nothing personal...

I've had a mentally challenging day and so have decided to indulge by reading all the shit in newspapers, mainly about Cheryl Tweedy, as we're to know her as. It's as sinful as licking the bowl of the chocolate cake with fresh strawberry frosting which I have made for a friend. But less fattening.

There are fabulous flashes of genius, though:
Cheryl is said to have broken the news to Ashley by telling him frankly: “It’s nothing personal but I never want to see or hear from you ever again. Please respect that.”

Nothing further to add, your honour.

The world according to the Estonians

Enjoy this rather splendid clip by the Estonians whilst I have a look at the results of the Georgian elections and see who will be pissed off most by the results and if Russia will start attacking them again in the knowledge that the EU are too shit scared of them to comply with international law and defend Georgia.

Britblog Roundup

Slightly late, for which I apologise but life is still rather kunterbunt at the moment, but here is the excellent Britblog Roundup as hosted by the talented Chameleon.

Next week we're going to see Jackart who I don't think has forgiven me for still lusting after David Miliband.

Ah, well.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Laws unto themselves

It's like last summer never happened. The expenses scandal which rocked the establishment and led to mass resignations and MPs being arrested was a figment of our perverse imaginations.

This new coalition we are being governed by appears to think that the election of them is enough to make us forget that it's our money they are stealing from us.

As Mr Laws MP said in the Western Gazette on the 17th October last year,

I believe strongly that all expenditure by MPs – whether it is on staffing and office costs, or for reimbursement of our own expenses – should be made available regularly for the scrutiny of those we are accountable to, our constituents.

I do not give one whether David Laws is gay, straight, asexual or transgender. I don't care if he's black, white, pink, northern or southern. What I care about is that someone who has seen the justifiable public outcry against the expenses MPs claim should then think it's okay that he gives £40000 to someone he is also giving one to.

Some of us can't afford one mortgage let alone have the opportunity to supplement our partner's lifestyle with tax payers cash.

It's also a demonstration of just how beige this new ConDem coalition is that both Clegg and Cameron jump to his defence.
Responding to Mr Laws' resignation letter, Mr Cameron said he was an "honourable man", adding: "I hope that, in time, you will be able to serve again."

Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he had always admired Mr Laws' integrity and he hoped he would one day be able to return to government.

He said Mr Laws' privacy had now been "cruelly shattered".

Mr Cameron wrote: "The last 24 hours must have been extraordinarily difficult and painful for you.

"You are a good and honourable man. I am sure that, throughout, you have been motivated by wanting to protect your privacy rather than anything else.

"Your decision to resign from the government demonstrates the importance you attach to your integrity.

As the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister it would be nice if they, in reference to the fact that they are the servants of the people and were elected by us, would just occasionally leap to our defence. Is it too much to ask that we have in the government people who will just live by the rules? How is this man an example of someone with integrity? He's resigned over the scandal caused by his behaviour and there are people calling for his resignation as an MP.

Integrity? I'd hate to see the person Cameron and Clegg thought a bit dodgy.

And it really is one law for them and one for us. Just over a month after David Laws made a statement on expenses whilst lining the pockets of his lover, a staffordshire man was arrested for much the same thing.

A BENEFITS claimant has been jailed for two months after he failed to tell council officials about a change in his living arrangements.

David Griffiths, of Swansmoor Drive, Hixon, near Stafford, received just over £10,600 in housing and council tax benefit between August 2006 and December last year by claiming to be the only person living in his home. He also got more than £7,000 in income support.

Griffiths failed to tell Stafford Borough Council or the Department for Work and Pensions about a change in his circumstances.

The 39-year-old was actually living with a partner.

A click of the heels to Mark Croucher for pointing that one out.

All of this just confirms my believe that whilst this coalition may repeal a fews laws which I didn't like they are just papering over the cracks of our problem.

It's impressive in a way, though. Rebellions over the catastrophic increases in Captial Gains Tax, expenses scandals and resignations in the same month as the election: normally it takes years for a government to achieve this level of incompetence.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A woman with worse taste in men than me

I was rather amused this morning when I read a shocking story about a Colombian beauty queen who in involved in drugs trafficking..

The Argentine press, who have dubbed her "Narco Queen", say she moved to Mexico in 2005 where she became romantically involved with a well-known drug trafficker known as The Monster.

Now, I do have disastrous taste in men but I think even someone as stupid as me when it comes to love and romance would think twice about dating someone called 'The Monster'.

Whilst the discussion as to the nickname would provide an interesting chat over the starter at Pizza Express I suspect that the reasons would not provide an inducement for me to take my knickers off.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

That abortion advert

I thought I'd wait until the advert aired on Channel 4 to make a few comments about the Marie Stopes advert.

As predicted, the usual suspects have thrown their hands in the air at the concept that women are able to make an informed choice about an unplanned pregnancy.

It's 32 seconds long so take a look at it here:

The people who protest against an advertisement offering a medical service are the same people who complain if it's advice given by a medical professional. It's not the medium in which it's been given that is their problem but the fact that they wish to deny people the choice over their own body because they don't agree with it.

Michaela Aston, a spokeswoman for anti-abortion charity Life, said: "To allow abortion providers to advertise on TV, as though they were no different from car companies or detergent manufacturers, is grotesque.

"By suggesting that abortion is yet another consumer choice, it trivialises human life and completely contravenes the spirit of the 1967 Abortion Act, which was supposed to allow for a small number of legal abortions in a limited number of hard cases, but has been twisted and distorted to allow for mass abortion on demand."

It's not an advert asking people to pick them for their 'Buy One Get One Free' abortion offer or some sexed up alcohol advert with citrus fruit flying over the screen: it's a couple of women going about their life looking concerned because they've missed their period. They're not asking you to buy their product at all but call up if you need advice. ADVICE. Yes, Marie Stopes offer abortion services but all you pro choice people, if they didn't then old Agnes round the back streets would do just as well with some gin, a hot bath and a coat hanger.

In such a situation isn't it best to get informed advice rather than worry, be unsure about what to do or have a baby which one can't afford, have no support for bringing up and is ill advised?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

blogging break

I've been signed off work sick for a couple of weeks and instructed to do lots of exercise and get out in the sunshine. I can deal with that: I am already a nice shade of pink brown.

But given my precarious health at the moment was it wise to give me the mobile number of my current lustful fantasy? Really? I've managed to control myself so far but these tablets do funny things!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

commemorative mug

For those of you reveling in the civil partnership between Dave and Nick, why not show your feelings with this commemorative mug?

Mine is on order. I'm going to drink weak tea and herbal remedies from it, or possibly blend the two in a beverage style metaphor of our government.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The true colours start to shine through

It's hardly a new generation of government when one wakes up to this sort of nonsense
Darling George, the man who probably does have actual wallpaper on his computer screen, the man who is ill equipt to be in charge of our economy at this important time, has told his core voters that he wishes to shaft them.

I think it would have been pretty clear for anyone coming into office that there was a substantial problem with capital gains tax and avoidance of income tax,' Mr Osborne said.

Reform of capital gains tax was unavoidable because of the 'enormous amount of income shifting' happening by people looking to avoid paying income tax, which currently attracts much higher rates

Fundamentally, Georgy, people don't like paying tax because they see how much money pointless twats like you waste. You've been in power long enough to send out a note to local councils informing them that you won't be funding cycling workshops or lesbian tea dances and yet all I've really heard is that the so called Conservative Party has jumped into bed with their coalition partners with the enthusiasm that the builder's son who secretly dressed up in his mum's clothes does with the first pretty boy he meets at university.

It was always there for it to be this keen.
But the original Tory commitment that 80 per cent of deficit reduction should be achieved through spending cuts and just 20 per cent through tax hikes has been quietly abandoned.

Brilliant. The party which came third is successfully trying to ruin our economic recovery. Of course, if the Tories actually had a backbone or even an inkling of economic nous they would tell Cleggy to shut his pretty mouth and let them get on with the job of trying to dig this country out of the ghastly mess which socialism and neglect has brought.

But they're not. They could have stood with no UKIP candidates if they'd trusted the people enough to give them a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union, which would do a damned site more for the economy than a rise in VAT (which brings them in line with other EU countries and of course is a way that the EU gets money without asking national governments for it) but they declined.

Yet Osborne might have problems with his proposed rises, as a reader writes to me to say:

'I’ve heard your policy on raising the rate of CGT from 18& to 40% on more than three occasions from yourselves & your local candidate.

I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt & assuming that you are not aware why the rate has been ‘lowered’ to 18%; either that or I am missing something which means that
three of you have not described your proposals properly, or you are proposing to commit theft.

I don’t support your party; I’ve met Vince at Guildford Theatre last year; you both seem to be very able politicians & decent people which is why I’m puzzled by your proposals re CGT.

Canvassing for my party I’ve found that few members of the public understand what the deficit is; how much we owe: what Gordon Brown means by saying he’ll halve the deficit etc.

To them, your proposal to charge ‘rich’ people 40% on capital gains must sound attractive – it may well win votes.

The thing is you’d be challenged in the courts if you tried to do this. Let me explain simply CGT has always been complicated:

  • CGT was introduced some 40 years ago as Sch.D case VIII.

  • In the early days, in order to establish & quantify a gain, tax consultants and HMIT had to resort to opinions from valuers etc. this could be a time consuming, costly process

  • There have always until recently (with the introduction of the flat 18% rate) been problems associated with establishing the true gain, i.e after allowing for inflation.

  • Let us assume that I bought a second home 10 years ago for £100,000. I could have bought a Rolls Royce for that but I chose the house.

    Let us also assume that inflation/indexation would have increased the value to £130,000 and that I sell the house tomorrow for that figure.

    Under present rules, after deducting the annual tax free allowance (say £10,000) I’d pay CGT of 18% on £20,000 i.e £3600. It is arguable whether I actually made any gain, and my Roller would still cost £130,000, but at least the calculation is simple.

    Under your proposals (as I understand them), you’d reduce the annual allowance to £2,000 leaving a chargeable gain of £28,000 on which I could pay tax at 40%.

    Thus my CGT liability could be £11,200 on a gain that, as a result of inflation, did not actually occur. That would not stand up in court if challenged.

    Vince said today that very few pensioners would actually pay 40% CGT. That is not true. There are thousands of people who’ve invested in second homes for their retirement or student homes for their children or grandchildren, who will not be reliant on state handouts, who you are proposing to rob, if my understanding of your proposals is correct (I apologise if I’m wrong)

    I look forward to your reply and, if appropriate, to a public withdrawal from an unfair (you being the party proposing fairness) tax.'

    This letter was originally written to the Lib Dems during the election but I think given this new state of affairs it's worth flagging up to Mr Osborne.

    Gentlemen; we won't hold our breath.

    Britblog Roundup

    Apologies for the delay in pointing you over towards the delectable Mr Eugenides for this week's Britblog Roundup but I'm afraid I'm ill at the moment and not on the planet all of the time.

    Anyway, go read it. He's written it just for you.

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Oh dear...

    I still have a thumping great crush on David Miliband. I've tried to rid myself of it by spending time with soldiers but they're all the bloody same and not the kind of people you want as anything other than mates.

    Come here, Mili-lover, and bring that banana with you.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Osborne gives in on first EU trial

    It appears that despite the Tories pretending they have any interests of protecting British interests in Europe, he's going to cave in at the first hurdle.

    Some years back I wrote about proposals in the European Parliament to limit Hedge Funds which a socialist MEP Joe Leinen said were an ‘alien concept in Europe.’ Presumably, this is because they make money and are lightly regulated.

    The proposals also caused Boris Johnson to go to Brussels to try lobby against this directive, without of course realising that his own MEPs had voted in favour of it at the first reading in the European Parliament which is the only chance a proposal can be thrown out.

    Sources close to the new Chancellor of the Exchequer said that although the British Government still disagreed with large parts of the directive, the process was now too far down the track to be stopped.

    “We know we have to pick our battles and this was one we had already lost,” one source said.

    This is the nonsense about being in the European Union; that we have to 'pick our battles'.

    Fuck that, we should trust our politicians to do what's best for the country all the time and that is why it's a fallacy that being a member of the EU is anything but undemocractic and disastrous for this country.

    The City is vital to the long term financial interests of this country and by passing a directive which will see Hedge Funds vanish abroad hardly stands up this argument that our new Beloved Prime Minister and his predecessor used to say that our membership is necessary for 3 million jobs.

    That was based on the number of people who work in sectors which export to the EU as if somehow over night all the countries in the EU will wish to cut off their noses to spite their faces and stick two fingers up to their biggest clients.

    I hardly think that the regulation of car windscreen wipers is a requirement for multinational trading deals in billion pound industries and more to do with the level of intellect and scope that most MEPs are capable of.

    ID cards may be scrapped in the immediate future but given that we're still grabbing our ankles for the EU monster I fail to see how this coalition government is going to be wildly different.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    If you are bored..

    Then type 'David Cameron side profile' into google images.

    And don't say I never give you anything.

    Quotation of the election

    According to Brian Reade in The Mirror of all places goes to Nigel Farage:
    "Get me out of this f****** thing." Sums up his policy on Europe perfectly.

    Nice that UKIP won something.

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Euro bail out reveals true EU concerns

    The bail out of Greece tells you all you really need to know about the priorities of the European Union.

    Germany, admittedly itself a recipient of loans which did rather propel the Western part into a thriving economy, will provide huge amounts in order to help Greece to prevent them defaulting on their debts.

    I don't particularly want any of the money this country does have going to Greece because they are using my tax money to prop up a political ideal. All of a sudden the soon to be ex (I hope or I'm off) Chancellor is talking about lending 'only' £8bn.

    Hold on: a couple of weeks ago when you were facing the public vote the concept of not increasing taxes by £6bn was considered to be some kind of disaster strategy only considered in the minds of people who were mad. Never mind the fact that anyone who thinks 'cutting taxes is taking money out of the economy' should be in any position of responsibility (for where do you start with someone who is that dumb); this is hypocrisy.

    So not news, then.

    Okay, so it's a loan, but with all financial arrangements there are risks and we might not get that cash back.

    Olli Rehn made the priorities of the EU clear when he said:

    we shall defend the euro whatever it takes

    Whatever it takes. They will defend an unnecessary political experiment they took with the lives of ordinary people in order to keep their pet project, their egos and their wish that they all had huge penises, alive.

    Greece would be much better leaving the european single currency and taking control of its own monetary policy and thus able to devalue rather than stick to a rate of interest which suits Germany and France.

    Of course it would also be helpful if the country didn't descend into strikes every half hour but in the short term I suspect there's more chance of me turning into a life sized statue of Bette Midler carved out of feta cheese than that happening.

    Headline of the day

    From the Press Association:

    And who amongst us hasn't?

    Saturday, May 08, 2010

    How the Tories could have that majority

    This election has been a game of numbers. But there's one set of numbers which hasn't been pointed out and that's the seats which UKIP theoretically lost the Tories.

    Via Mark Croucher it seems there are 21 seats where the UKIP vote was greater than the Tories lost by.

    Firstly, why is Cameron so frightened of allowing the British people to have a say on the nations relationship with Europe. His u-turn on the 'cast iron' guarantee he offered on the Lisbon Treaty baffled many Conservatives, particularly as, when he withdrew his worthless pledge, he could instead have stiffened Czech resolve by promising to back the stance taken by their president, Vaclav Klaus. Had he done so, the Lisbon Treaty may have remained unratified by all member states, and Klaus could have held off his critics by pointing to the British Conservatives.

    The second is how he thinks he will be able to govern with the support of the Liberal Democrats, the most publicly pro-European party. With their support for the Euro and the creation of a federal state, it is not difficult to see that the problems will begin almost as soon as anything of importance occurs in Europe which, with the imminent threat to the Euro, is likely to be in fairly short order.

    I'm glad I didn't vote for the Conservative Party and thus didn't lend my approval to Cameron's policy of being a dripping wet who is more comfortable cosying up to federalists who want us to be nestled cheek by jowl with other EU countries rather than letting the British people decide their own future.

    One can't imagine Thatcher doing deals with people on the opposite end of the political spectrum, but then she didn't have to because she was a strong people who told the world what she believed in.

    Other countries are looking on us trying to take in this coalition with bemusement for they frequently have coalition governments. But then they also don't have a first past the post electoral system which eliminates the possibility of variety and people having the chance of expressing their views beyond voting for the party they hate least.

    I can't imagine a coalition working for long given the urgency in our financial situation. I suspect there'll be another election before long and then maybe Cameron should remember that if he trusted the people he could have been a Prime Minister outright with no bending and curtsying to a political party who want to outsource what's rest of our Parliament like some dodgy mobile phone company.

    Friday, May 07, 2010

    Polling Day Blues

    I'm still not at all excited about the election results. I think the British people sent out a strong message of 'er, kinda' to the politicians.

    My plans for polling station duty were cut short when I heard about Nigel Farage's plane crash and that's been the focus of my attention rather than three similar parties fighting it out to not make much difference in the long run.

    And on that note, I was reading an update from Associated Press when I noticed the advert at the bottom of it...

    Fear of flying? I should think so.

    Monday, May 03, 2010

    Sunday, May 02, 2010

    Saturday, May 01, 2010

    The Right to Vote?

    In my chats with soldiers it's unusual to find one who is a Labour supporter. There's no surprise for this: if they're in the Army then by defnition they're employed, they don't have a council house, they're patriotic and put themselves on the line for other people.

    So there are people questioning if it's any coincidence that despite Parliamentary Questions and assurances from ministers that something will be done to ensure that those serving away from home, particularly in Afghanistan, can vote, it appears that they have been backtracking on this statement in recent weeks.

    Service personnel based overseas will generally have insufficient time to receive a postal ballot and return it in time for polling day, and therefore the MOD and Electoral Commission continue to encourage appointing a proxy as the best way to vote.

    An additional Service Voting and registration campaign is being run specifically for those who will be in Afghanistan during the forthcoming election period.

    However, this scheme will not work for every Service person in Afghanistan and due to the tight electoral timeframe, electoral timeframes and operational priorities, success cannot be guaranteed. Service personnel are therefore still encouraged to register to vote by proxy.

    Given that the election was always going to happen before June could there not have been more effort made to ensure that those who are risking their life and limb on the order of politicians can at least have their one in five year opportunity to actually express their opinion?

    Or do the government think that given the cluster fuck which is the Labour Party's defence policy it's just best not to ask them?

    We had record numbers of lives lost and serious injuries ensuring that the Afghan elections went smoothly and as many civilians could vote. It's a shame that this government don't consider the rights of our soldiers to be able to do the same anywhere near as important...

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    Immigration: they finally tell the truth

    Finally after how many years and the three leaders of the tired, old parties have a debate on immigration.

    Listening to it I actually think the most harmful policy is that of the Conservative Party. Why? Well as Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown correctly pointed out one can't control immigration within the European Union.

    Let's leave aside the fact that Labour, Tory and Lib Dems voted for unlimited immigration and expansion of the European Union and support Turkish entry to the EU. The fact is that you either have immigration controls which treat everyone coming to this country for economic reasons the same or you don't.

    It's not the highly skilled Kiwis I have a problem coming to Britain it's the Bulgarian pimps. Under Cameron's system what we'd end up with is companies not being able to employ the best people for the job based on their country of origin and that is not good for our businesses and so fundamentally, for our economy.

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Whilst the country tightens its belt

    It's been an interesting day on the financial markets following Greece having it's credit rating demoted to 'junk' as Spain has its credit rating cut from AA+ to AA. A much bigger economy that Portugal or Greece, investors had their eyes on the much bigger country as an indicator of how a country in deep financial mire could get itself out of the mess. Not easily, it would seem and losing control of interest rates and control of the currency makes the whole process a hell of a lot harder.

    Meanwhile, back in the UK and away from our moronic Prime Minister calling a woman who didn't agree with him a bigot, the fundamental policy people are concerned about is also the economy.

    So here's a number we should all be looking at: £7 billion. This is the increase the European Commission have decided to hoist upon us tax payers, blithely ignoring the fact that they are a detriment to our democracy and our economy.

    As the UK is the second biggest contributer to the EU pig trough this will see our contributions soar by £450 million a year.

    Experts last night pointed out that the final budget is likely to be higher still as the Commission has not including the cost of setting up the EU’s new diplomatic service, which is expected to add billions to the total.
    EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said the huge spending increase was needed to allow Brussels to help aid the economic

    And you can rest assured that it won't go on anything beneficial for this is an institution which requires two parliamentary buildings, one which is only in use for 40 days a year, that hasn't had its accounts signed off for 15 years and which is stuck in some soviet system of economics where ten year plans are rolled off the production line by seemingly unembarrassed bureaucrats who ignore the inconvenient truth that every plan they've put in place turns to shit. They're hailed as successes by plastic politicians who have as much economic sense as a fused 1960s toaster.

    No. Instead our hard earned money; what remains once the Treasury have bent us over their mahogany desks and taken us roughly from behind; will go on a variety of pointless, nay harmful projects, including an 18% rise in 'regional funds' which can't be accounted for but examples include your money being spent on underground systems in Eastern Europe. Also on the list is a 14% increase in spending to 'tackle climate change'. With their eyes screwed shut and their hands over their ears they miss information like statistics and great fucking volcanoes spewing more ash than 50 years worth of Sloanes in their 4x4s. The politicians are right; the people are to blame.

    Remember that when they say that 'Europe' isn't relevant to this election: that it's all about the economy, squabbling over £6bn 'will they, won't they' taxes on jobs...

    Remember that when you look at Clegg and wonder if he's worth the risk: the man who used to work in the European Commission and who says he thinks that the reason we don't like the EU is because it reminds us of losing our Empire. Not the democratic deficit or the huge waste, the massive injustice and the fact that they could not give one fuck about us. No; it's all about the Empire.

    Remember that next Thursday.

    It may not be illegal but...

    Via this blog post I have just discovered comes some very interesting news regarding 'anti sleaze candidate: self appointed' John Stevens:

    And yet, when Stevens was an MEP, he received a set payment, currently worth around £40,000 per year, to run a constituency office. As MEP for the old Euro constituency of Thames Valley, when he first was elected in 1989, he listed in the 'grey list' - the European Parliament's official list of MEP contact details, an office at 70, High Street, Sunninghill, Ascot. However, by the official list published on the 18th February 1991, that address had disappeared, and his official contact addresses were listed as 40 Smith Square, London SW1, and 15 St James's Place, London SW1.

    40 Smith Square is a house (in the most expensive area in London), while 15 St James's Place were the offices of his employers, Rothschild Asset Management.

    So how much money did squeaky clean John Stevens get from the tax payer to have an office in the UK?

    In today's money he would have received over £300,000.

    Comments from Mr Stevens, anyone? Should I call Lib Dem HQ and ask them, as he's such a supporter?


    According to information from the European Parliament office, Stevens only had a constituency office for 19 months out of the ten years he was an MEP.

    This means there's about £212000 meant for his office which didn't go on one.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    The Britblog roundup is here!

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    And why would you vote Labour?

    Just a quick reality check in the form of a blast from the past, chaps.

    Why would anyone vote Labour when we still are in doubts over the truth of the Hutton Inquiry?

    You know, when three men resigned over investigative journalism in the public interest, a weapons expert died in quite obviously mysterious circumstances having spoken to the press and the PM's spin doctor was trapped, Aragog-like, circa 'Return of the King' but got off scot free...

    And we forgive these cunts and almost one third of the voting population want them back in power?

    Seriously? This is not some student party where my warm vodka and tonic comes mixed with mind altering drugs?

    We appear to be a nation engrosed with Belle de Jour and her saucy tales of S and M for we desire a mentally deficient crag of rock to beat us before taking us against our will and charging us for the pleasure.

    And why would you vote Labour?

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    In, Out, shake it all about

    This leaders' debate is really much better when you watch it with the sound off. And read text on a different web page.

    Last week I was involved. I listened to all of it, hurling insults at the screen and seriously reducing my life expectancy by dramatic raising of blood pressure. And for what? The Three Musketeers couldn't hear me and even if they could they would have responded the way they do to the rest of the population by simply ignoring me.

    But tonight they managed to spend about three minutes having a quick discussion about the place where most of our rules are made: Brussels.

    Beforehand we have been treated to some round ups by various news outlets including some pushing the line that Clegg, gang-banger of the EU social model, wanted to have a referendum on in or out.

    I'd like to think that my darling readers, as well as being aware of my natural attributes, are also smart cookies who wouldn't trust a Lib Dem as far as they could throw one. But it's often best with these rather important topics to hammer the point home, as it were.

    The Lib Dems were the party who denied the country the right to have an In-Out referendum on our continued membership of the European Union.

    They denied us the right to have a referendum on Lisbon.

    Shall I remind you?

    Hold 3 line whip to abstain; ignore snide comments that 'only the Lib Dems would have a three line whip on not doing anything from prominent opponents of the EU.

    Do complete u-turn. Ignore comments that you should be supporting the amendment in the House of Lords calling for a referendum on membership since you have been calling for it, including on high profile morning radio programmes.
    9. Vote against the referendum you desired to avoid a referendum on what you promised. Send out anonymous spokesman to talk about why you want a biased referendum on an issue you think you have the better chance of winning even though the amendments requesting a referendum by you and another party were identical.

    Look; I know you don't trust the bastards. Just make sure you tell your friends as I bet they aren't half so intelligent as you



    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Did the earth move for you, darling?

    There are times when these stories just write themselves and this, as you can probably guess, is one of those occasions.

    A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

    Where do I go from there? This is a part of the world where a woman revealing any part of her barnet is tantamount to the scandal which would be created in Western society if a stripper decided to receive the Body of Christ in Church by smearing it on her erect nipples. And yet these whores are now responsible for tectonic plate movement?

    Hands up, I'm an atheist. There is little one could do to convince me of some great and wondrous being short of actually proving it and it's fairly simple to correlate any religious fundamentalism with the restriction of freedom of speech and the freedom of women in particular.

    But it's a sad state of affairs when people are taken seriously for this kind of nonsense:
    "A divine authority told me to tell the people to make a general repentance. Why? Because calamities threaten us," said Sedighi, Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader. Referring to the violence that followed last June's disputed presidential election, he said: "The political earthquake that occurred was a reaction to some of the actions [that took place]. And now, if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God's power, only God's power ... So let's not disappoint God."

    Why hasn't the centre of SoHo been hit with some calamity, aside from litter and drunken tourists? Given the propensity of crotch-skimming skirts and boob tubes, shouldn't the businesses there be struggling to get insurance given the number of divinely driven disasters which rock the streets in outrage at the blatant two fingers to the strict moral code of religion?

    Why are the bars serving anything but communion wine, I ask myself.

    We are heading straight for a disaster and it's all the fault of underwired bras. And hormones.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    A bit rude at shell?

    I'm not sure what my friend was searching for when he found this website but it made me laugh. It made my colleague a little confused because she took the survey and it started telling her about swinging.

    Britblog roundup: the Eyjafjallajoekull edition

    Apologies for the delay in this week's edition but I've been stuck on an island in the North Sea and I've only just made it back to the mainland. It was tough going: I only had a fun sized mars bar (which as a vegetarian I cannot eat anymore and thus had to use it as a paddle) and a lilo in the shape of a crocodile.

    This volcano has been something of a fag for all those wishing to commute anywhere apart from Dunstable or similar but luckily Mr Eugenides has flagged up this incredibly useful BBC site keeping you abreast of all your ash cloud related enquiries.

    For those not just concerned with travelling, there is also a handy BBC article on ash related health questions. Thank goodness for that.

    But of course the General Election is still on. It must be quite frustrating for candidates that despite their best efforts to get voters involved, they are being outdone by an inconvenient cloud of dust. As exciting as it is that for the fifth day people can't travel, might it not also illustrate that this campaign is really quite dull?

    And this is despite the 'historic' leaders' debate which saw three men stand in front of lecterns clearly demonstrating the difference in their parties through the medium of ties in primary colours.

    Not a Sheep has written about the one topic which saw the largest increase in support from those who were being monitored during the debate: immigration.

    Meanwhile Letters from A Tory asks if the country can extricate itself from Cleggmania and looks at some stats being released this week which should have an impact on the news agenda.

    Keeping on the subject of television, this week had a big impact in our world when The Devil decided to, well, dream up imaginative ways of killing people following an interview on The Daily politics.

    Jackart doesn't think he should have apologised so quickly and although I agree, it's much easier to say that from behind a computer screen.

    Does anyone think Chris, Old Etonian and decent chap would actually feed someone to a bath full of fire ants? Or make them suffer "Candiru fish craziness"? Any more than I would Skull-fuck the entire Labour cabinet to death or fire them into the North Sea using trebuchets? No. It is just saloon-bar invective, in Chris' case well written and, in context, highly entertaining. I think the apology and retraction were a mistake.

    Meanwhile, Stumbling and Mumbling" picks up on Gordon's claim that Labour will be 'relentless reformers'.

    Wat Tyler has been canvassing and finds that people aren't loving politicians, despite the promises to 'clean up politics'. [But then they did elect a speaker who was also embroiled in the expenses scandal himself: perhaps not a wise move?] The result of this apparent move towards a hung parliament is that this coalition people might wish for will instead be a 'Lib-Lab wash up'.

    Technically this was last week, but Charles Crawford writes about the the legacy of Lech and maria Kaczynski.

    Meanwhile, whilst we've all been looking at domestic politics and sqabbling over whether we should have a £6bn tax or not, A Place To Stand points out that we may have sight of the end of the cold war.

    That's all from me, and for those of you wondering why it was a slightly right of centre round up it's because I only had one nomination this week.

    When we're at Charlie's place next week, please do send in nominations to britblog [at] gmail [dot] com or I will send obo round to lead the entertainment at your children's birthday party.

    Until then, pip pip!


    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Bercow's new buddies?

    New to my blogroll is Skeptyk Blog which takes an interest in the assorted collection of nutters who spend their time creaming themselves over the thought that UKIP have done something wrong.

    It's very remiss of me being so late to the party on this one [that damned 'work' nonsense keeps getting in the way!] particularly as apparently I write the thing. Gosh, well done me!

    The latest post raises a couple of interesting questions also flagged up by The Common Man regarding none other than our esteemed Speaker, Mr Bercow:

    The Common Man has been out on the campaign trail once again, and saw a very interesting meeting yesterday in Buckingham. While sipping a G&T in the White Hart, who should appear - miles from where they should have any business - but Nikki Sinclaire and Gary Cartwright, the liberal nazis. Surprising as that was, it was even more of a surprise to see incumbent and soon to be unemployed speaker of the Commons John Bercow enter with his campaign team shortly afterwards.

    In a day of surprises, and just to top it all, they then all greeted each other cordially before the two elected members left together, with their entourages, out of the back door.

    It's generally quite hard to miss Nikki Sinclaire although lofty John Bercow could skate under the radar. Perhaps this is the UKIPper the Guardian was talking about, handing out Lib Dem former Tory MEP John Steven's leaflets?

    It's odd that someone elected on a UKIP ticket who decides that she doesn't want to sit in the EDF group where there is an obligation to pool allowances to fight continent wide campaigns is all of a sudden appearing to support pro-EU candidates.

    A little bird did tell me that in one of her many conversations - honestly, the beauty of the prose and the well meaning statements can easily lead you to confuse the woman with Katherine Hepburn or similar - she told former UKIP leader Farage that she would ruin him. Makes a change from threatening to sue people, I suppose.

    Maybe this is all part of the plan? She's throwing EU withdrawalism to the wall and climbing firmly into the Pro EU camp. Or perhaps it's that more traditional political trait of mud slinging? My enemy's enemy and all that...

    Still, it does point to Bercow being concerned about holding his seat, which is a positive thought.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Discrimination more costly than amputation

    It really does fuck me off when I read about women who sue their employers because they get knocked up and want the world to revolve around them. But it really winds me up when these women are in the Army, and an Army at war, at a time when one only needs to open a paper to see real courage whilst the defence budget gets slashed.

    Sadly, Tilern DeBique appears to be one of those women who thinks her right to every weekend and evening off because she had sex without using contraception means that her colleagues should work more evenings and weekends.

    A single mother soldier was today seeking a substantial six figure payout after winning her sex and race discrimination claims against the Army.
    Tilern DeBique, 28, was serving with the 10th Signal Regiment and expected to be available for duty around the clock.

    The mother-of-one was disciplined after failing to appear on parade because of childcare difficulties.

    Her commanding officer told her that the Army was a 'war-fighting machine' and 'unsuitable for a single mother who couldn't sort out her childcare arrangements'.
    Miss DeBique, a Foreign and Commonwealth soldier from St Vincent and the Grenadines, had two-bedroom family accommodation at Chelsea Barracks in south-west London.
    But she had no-one to look after her daughter and wanted to bring her half-sister from St Vincent to the UK as a live-in carer.

    I agree with the CO on this one. He has a Battalion to care about, not just one soldier.
    A panel at Central London Employment Tribunal criticised the Army for not making any appropriate childcare arrangements for Miss Debique - especially after its costly recruitment drive in the Caribbean.

    I'm thinking that there are better ways of spending the defence budget than child care?
    It ruled that the Army had treated Miss DeBique less favourably than male soldiers and her non-Foreign and Commonwealth counterparts.

    Her colleagues who didn't insist on having every evening and weekend off work. They were treated differently to her but presumably they aren't allowed to complain?

    The landmark rulings are embarrassing for the Army, which must now consider the implications for its recruitment policy.

    Do you remember when Godfrey Bloom said legislation pushing for 'rights' for women in the workplace was harming employment prospects for young women? A case in point here. Why would the Army make a point of recruiting women now, especially since there are only so many areas they can work in but men can work in all areas in the forces?
    Miss DeBique was today seeking compensation for loss of earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages at Central London Employment Tribunal.

    Selfish cow.
    She says that had she not suffered discrimination, she would have seen out her full 22-year period of service.

    Which most people don't serve.
    It is believed that she is seeking a substantial six figure sum.

    Funny, that. Easy street for her whilst former colleagues fight for their country.
    Lawyers for the Ministry of Defence told the tribunal that the parties remained 'a very long way apart' after negotiations over a payout.
    Miss DeBique told the tribunal today that it had always been her 'dream' to join the Army in England.

    But to be treated differently to other soldiers because of her lifestyle choice?
    She gave birth in August 2005 and made arrangements that she would work from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays but would not undertake weekend duties.

    Miss DeBique had childcare but in December 2006 her daughter fell ill and she missed training.

    In January 2007, she failed to appear on parade for 'a reason relating to childcare difficulties'. She was told this was a serious offence and that she faced disciplinary action.

    Maybe this makes me a complete bitch but I think the most important point about the Army is that it's a unit where everyone works together as a team. People risk their lives for each other and that bond is probably closer than many family units. This is called into question when certain people decide that they don't want to play by those rules.

    I don't think that having children is a right, I think it's a privilege. As I have said on many occasions, I don't want children and it annoys me that because of that I don't leave work on the dot of 1700 but work unpaid overtime whilst my colleagues with kids wander off and expect us to continue filling the gaps.

    But what really winds me up about this story is that Miss Childcare 2010 will get more for her one night of passion than someone will for losing a leg.

    And if she thinks that is right then what the fuck was she doing in the Army in the first place?

    Labour Lies go unchecked by mainstream media

    Look. The government cannot impose language tests on EU workers regardless if they work as a GP, plumber or stripper.

    Labour’s policy document says current English language requirements that apply only to non-EU public workers will be extended “to ensure all employees who have contact with the public have an appropriate level of…competence”.

    The fact that all three parties jumped on the bandwagon last week regarding GPs when they all voted for it in Strasbourg and now Labour include it as part of their manifesto just shows that they could not give a shit what they tell you.

    I haven't heard a journalist yet question Brown on his desire to break fundamental rules in EU legislation and I suspect that's ignorance.

    And it makes me fucking sick.

    They lie, knowing that people will vote for them anyway.

    Don't vote for them.

    And remember that this is the first manifesto launched by the Labour party since Gordon Brown's barrister used their inability to be trusted as a legal defence.
    "manifesto pledges are not subject to legitimate expectation".

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Who said it?

    If a telephone directory were published in Brussels, the Honourable Gentleman would believe that it was the forerunner of a European Constitution. We are not going to have such a constitution, so I am happy to categorically deny his statement


    it will be no more binding than the Beano or the Sun,

    Try this next one:
    This is not a major change, There is no need for a referendum


    I am not saying it has got no substantial constitutional significance. Of course it will have...
    [gosh - T]

    and then....wait for it
    Our task is nothing less than the creation of a new constitutional order for a new, united Europe.
    Whoa! Where did that admission of truth come from? Ah, DG FT....

    The connection is that they both held the same job. One took over from the other one after a passport affair and was then given a job in Home Affairs (natch).

    Quite a significant change in the way our country is run but obviously of no consequence to this General Election as we instead talk about tiny sums of money and allow Nick Clegg to be unquestioned in his frankly dangerous economic statements.

    Essential reading

    Once again comes from Christopher Booker, highlighting how little the voters realise about the importance of this election and why, by three party consensus, we are not being told just how very fucked we are.

    Friday, April 09, 2010

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    Political Poetry

    The election appears to be progressing with the entire debate hinging around a measly £6 bn which in the grand scheme of things is fuck all. If the Tories hate National Insurance so much why don't they get rid of it.

    Anyway, my contribution to the political analysis comes to you in the form of a (very short) poem.

    If you want to win an election,
    shag your wife without protection.

    That is all.