« October 2004 | Main | December 2004 »


November 30, 2004

Bathtime reading

Having been taught biology at Oxford by Dawkins (well Richard's uncle) I always grab the latest pop science book on genes etc. The massive tome for I'm struggling through during my weekly bath is Amazon.com: Books: The Ancestor's Tale : A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins

But why is he such a prat to have short term pops at George Bush when I want to learn why a hippo is closer to a whale than a pig.

As The Sunday Times
says:
Anti-Americanism keeps intruding in the new book. There is a very irrational paragraph on nuclear strategy that stoops to lampooning Bush's pronunciation "nucular"....

Shame as generally I admire him...

Posted by The Englishman at 9:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

An Englishman's home

home.jpg
BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Couple 'defying' demolition order

A couple in Somerset are refusing to demolish their bungalow near Taunton, despite a court ordering them to do so.
Richard and Linda Gosbee have been ordered to leave their house by midnight on Tuesday, after an extensive legal dispute with their local council.

Remember that a Judge ruled that Gypsies couldn't be evicted from their illegal homes:
Gypsies win human rights battle in the Court of Appeal - 5 October 2004

Lord Justice Wall said "The rights were to respect for the homes, which they had created - homes admittedly created in breach of planning laws,- he said. The council's "legitimate action" in issuing enforcement notices to get the families off the land was "an interference with those rights, and the question for the inspector was whether, under Article 8(2) the interference was justified and proportionate".

Of course I don't know the whole story but a pound to a penny the council are "mad, bad and dangerous to know" in exercising their rules - planners who needs them?
The destruction of someone's home is a huge and monstrous punishment - was their "crime" really that bad?
Someone ought to hold this bunch to account:
Sedgemoor District Council - Councillors
---
Cllr D. McGinty -
Conservative - East Poldens
Ward
The Barn, Moor Road, Sutton
Mallet, Bridgwater, Somerset
TA7 9AR
Tel: 01278 723208 - mobile:07802 706943
Email: Duncan.McGinty@Sedgemoor.gov.uk seems to be in charge of Planning, I think I will drop him a line.

Email sent:

Duncan
I gather you are in charge of Sedgemoor's planners. I will also note that I'm not a local and don't know the full story. But I'm outraged that the council is using the courts to get a perfectly normal bungalow knocked down and ruining the owners lives - are you sure that "under Article 8(2) the interference (is) justified and proportionate".(To quote Lord Justice Wall)

It is drastic step to take - please think again!

Regards
Tim

Posted by The Englishman at 8:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Geography Question 3

Which London Underground Station Name shares none of its letters with the word "Mackerel"?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 29, 2004

Was I dreaming?

Driving over to Free Market Towers at 7 am on Saturday morning the BBC News came on and I noted a story. I have tried to find it online to bring it to you. All I get is story not found. So did anyone else hear the bleating about how after four years of education about the "unequivocable man made climate change" "agreed by most leading scientists" "worse than terrorism!" the public hadn't changed their mind one bit - exactly the same percentage were worried/unworried about it as back then.
Hurray, I thought - headlines "Public ignore experts" etc - but then nothing more was heard. Maybe I was still suffering from Friday night and just dreamt it. And after a few of Mr FM's Damson Gins and getting some lead into the air - I forgot all about it until today.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:38 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Kill or cure?

BBC NEWS | Health | Waterloo lessons could aid medics

Of the 52 privates in the 13th Light Dragoons wounded by sabre, gunfire and cannon injuries at Waterloo, only two subsequently died.
Professor Singer said: "Despite the non-existence of antibiotics, blood transfusions, life-support machines and other paraphernalia of modern intensive care, most of these soldiers recovered, often from life-threatening injuries.
"Yet with all our technical advances in medicine, mortality rates from conditions such as sepsis (bacterial infection of the bloodstream) haven't improved dramatically over the past century.

Could it be our interventions hinder the body's strategies to heal itself?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

GM studies...

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Study finds benefits in GM crops

A major study of genetically modified crops in the UK has found no evidence that they harm the environment.
....
However, Emily Diamand, senior farming researcher with the anti-GM Friends of the Earth, was sceptical that Bright really had mimicked normal farming practice.

Speaking before the findings were available, she told BBC News: "Nenenene, I can't hear you, talk to the hand because the ears arn't listening, yaa boo sucks......

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2004

What is...Pajamahadeen?

Times Online - Newspaper Edition

What is...Pajamahadeen?
...
Rather had denounced his blogging nemeses as “partisan political operatives”, but it was left to another television executive, Jonathan Klein, to inspire a resonant image appropriate to this series on buzzwords. Surveying the bloggers, he declared: “You couldn’t have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of checks and balances (in television news) and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.”

Given a sense of history, Klein might have realised that a considered and satisfying sneer is infuriatingly liable to be appropriated with pride by its target. Methodism and neoconservatism both started life as terms of abuse. The guys in pajamas likewise speedily adopted for themselves the felicitous collective term “Pajamahadeen”.

Conventional journalists criticise bloggers for being parasitic rather than investigative, and Pajamahadeen, with its metaphorical connotations of guerrilla warfare, scarcely dispels that suspicion. It is admittedly a ready vehicle for dilettantes bearing grudges, and at its worst it attracts political obscurantists. But at its best it offers additional checks and balances on the flow of information.

Had there been an equivalent force in this country — a Pyjamahadeen to match the Pajamahadeen — the Hutton inquiry might not have been necessary. Concerted scrutiny on the internet of that notorious broadcast might have spared the BBC later embarrassment — and the rest of us Greg Dyke’s self-regarding memoir.
...

Posted by The Englishman at 10:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Constitutional History Footnote

The Spectator.co.uk

A footnote also vouchsafes the information that according to Barbara Cartland the Wales's marriage collapsed because Diana wouldn't have a go at oral sex.

She always looked like a prissy princess whereas Camilla is the sort of country girl who is quite use to the rougher end of grooming with a healthy attitude to life and lust.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 26, 2004

Uniform Day

One of the advantages of not moving house very much is that we - in the words of Kim du Toit Comments -
live cheaply. We buy stuff that lasts not only our life time but is also passed down.

I was having a good rummage in the wardrobes this morning as I've been dragooned into going to some "Dinner Dance" tonight, and told I must behave. Bloody invite just says "Posh clothes".
Does that mean my Father's black suit and Uncle Percy's Overcoat, (his Dinner suit made in 1932 is still fine apart from a torn shoulder where I fell of my bike whilst wearing it, but it no longer buttons around my middle) or is the Dinner Jacket a Glam Rock Star gave me when he no longer fitted into it? Which ever one I choose it will be wrong.
Tomorrow Mr FM has invited me for a bit of shooting - he assures me it isn't too posh so I may get away with my peasant farmer look - old shirt, Dunhill tie and Barbour pullover - not a Barbour coat though - something a bit more waterproof.
And to take with me?
Pictures
Obviously the semi-auto would be frowned on and neither the old Farm Manager's nor my Grandfather's gun is useable. So that leaves a choice between my Fathers tidy little Covert Gun or the over-and-under which I found. All quality stuff that hasn't cost me a penny.
I thought I ought to wash the boots as well this morning, but the Pig Blood seems to have stained them - any tips or do you think I will get away with it?

Posted by The Englishman at 11:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Big Bullies

Scotsman.com News - UK - Anger as Asda targets pressure group

THE pressure group Farmers For Action, whose members face legal action from Asda over blockades at its retail depots, is demanding to know how the supermarket company could have hand-delivered letters to the homes of more than 50 of its co-ordinators and activists without breaching the Data Protection Act.

The letters, threatening to bring injunctions and claims for damages if the blockades continue, come as dairy farmers say milk prices in the industry have hit an all time low. "We only get 17p per litre, yet it sells in the supermarkets for 50p," said John Cummings, a Stranraer dairy farmer and a member of Farmers For Action (FFA).

"We won't be bullied because we are threatened by a giant bully. We want to warn Asda that we won't go away, we can't afford not to fight.

The countryside is revolting in many ways. And the guess is that ASDA got the names and addresses from number plates via the Police which is very very naughty.

The police won't even give me the name and address of the owner of a car that crashes through a fence and is left upside down in my field. Of course if the owner doesn't claim it I'm liable for the costs of removing it, but if I move it and damage it then the owner could sue me. Thank goodness the wind seems to pick them up and drop them back onto the roadside where the council have to deal with them.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:24 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Big Nanny

Telegraph | News | State has a role in family life, says minister

The government has the right to intervene in family life because there are social implications in the way parents bring up their children, one of Tony Blair's closest allies said yesterday.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Margaret Hodge, the children's minister, said the state had always influenced young people's lives through schools and she wanted to extend that influence to the home.
..The NHS had to deal with the implications of mothers who feed their children an unhealthy diet

I think we can all see where this is going - Hodge also revealed yesterday that:

Scotsman.com News - UK - Nursery children do better in class

CHILDREN whose parents enrol them in nursery classes do better at primary school than those who stay at home, according to research published yesterday. and one commentator said on the radio that the reason, and it was a positive reason in her view, was that the children were more used to the "schooling institutions" - in other words they were instituionalised and more compliant. I'm not sure that is a great recommendation...

And for the foul Hodge's background see: An Englishman's Castle: Burn Her! - quite right.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gun "privilege" withdrawn

Telegraph | News | 'Liar' Hewitt can't have gun licences back, says judge

Judge Charles Byers, sitting at Blackfriars Crown Court, denied Hewitt's appeal to have his licences returned. He ruled that Hewitt had "flagrantly abused the privilege" that came with being allowed to possess shotguns and rifles.
The judge, sitting with two magistrates, said they were "satisfied he lied to police" after being detained earlier this year outside a restaurant with the TV presenter Alison Bell, and was found to have.361 grams of cocaine stuffed in a trouser pocket.
Earlier, James Rankin, appearing for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, told the court: "A drunken man with a gun is capable of being very dangerous." Hewitt could not be "trusted with possession of a gun... because he lacked proper self control".

He wasn't "in possession", the gun was in his home - he was out getting drunken with a blonde... I have got no time for Hewitt, a dim cad. But the case is interesting for what it reveals.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 25, 2004

EU did/didn't meet with Hamas

EU chief held secret talks with Hamas - Report -

The European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, announced on Thursday that he had held secret talks with the Palestinian Hamas movement.
"I have had direct contact with Hamas but not in the last few days," Solana told BBC Radio....

Later, Solana's office denied the report and released a statement saying; "With reference to the BBC interview broadcast today, the office of the High Representative, Javier Solana, clarifies that at no time Dr Solana wished to imply that direct contacts between himself and Hamas had taken place,"

Well that is clear then - one of the statements is a lie and I think I know which one - a trainee salesman would be sacked for misleading customers like that - can anyone remind me again why we are in the EU?

Posted by The Englishman at 9:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I'm Free!

Regulars will be bored of my tussle with Kennet Council. And my thanks to those who have helped and are going to help by inserting (a title="An Englishman's Castle: Welcome to Kennet - my arse!" href="http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/archives/001044.html")Kennet Council(/a). (Replace round brackets with pointy ones) is immense - it really makes a difference to know people are behind you.
Anyway I refused to roll over and demanded my time in front of the Magistrates who were decent sensible people. They agreed with me that I had acted reasonably and had tried to pay my rates upto date and refused Kennet Council's application for costs for issuing a summons and the hearing. And I can pay the rest of month by month as I requested. So total victory! It shows it pays to not give in and gives me a renewed belief in Local Justice.
Now for a pint or two to celebrate.

Posted by The Englishman at 3:47 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 24, 2004

Smile as you wave me goodbye..

So I'm off to court tomorrow because Kennet Council believe it is appropriate to welcome a new business into the Kennet area with a summons rather than a pleasant welcome - just using their documents they claim I am about 35 days late paying an invoice which they admit was wrong. My defence is a bit more complete than that but just in case anyone from Kennet is reading this I will leave it to the magistrates.
I would appreciate it if anyone has a moment that they could drop the Glorious Leader of the Council: Cllr CP Humphries a polite email to ask WTF is going on - and is this stupid bureaucratic behaviour the best way to help Kennet attract business.

For the background see: Kennet Arse

And if you think this is just a personal whinge, you may be correct. But I believe it is more, it is alright ranting away on blogs and down the pub when the bastards try and grind you down. And of course in each individual case it is easier and cheaper to give in - pay the Danegeld. But if you don't stand your ground when it hits you personally you are just full of hot air - so I'm standing - are you behind me?

Posted by The Englishman at 10:39 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Better say No

Dan Hannan's EURO BRIEFINGS

What would happen if we voted 'no'?

What would happen if Britain voted “no” to the EU constitution while most or all of the other countries wanted to go ahead? Would the other heads of government tear up the draft in deference to the British? And, if not, where would that leave us? Staying where we are would not be an option, since the existing treaties would no longer exist: they would all have been folded into the new constitution.

I was only wondering today - so am pleased to see an erudite answer - basically we would be much better off.

Posted by The Englishman at 2:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Lord tells you to be armed!

Christian Guide to Small Arms Online v.1.0

The Command of Christ
And He said to them, "When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?" So they said, "Nothing." Then He said to them, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors.' For the things concerning Me have an end." So they said, "Lord, look, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough." -Luke 22:35-38

Not so much "Gentle Jesus meek and mild" - more "John Wayne" - I love that - Hey I've got two swords!" "It is enough"....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:34 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 23, 2004

"Putting them on Boss" *

Kim du Toit

It looks as though the Brits have finally nailed the coffin closed on freedom, with the passage of the Civil Contingencies Act (CCA). I'll spare you the reading of it -- I already did the heavy lifting -- and point out that it basically says the following:
1. government can do pretty much anything it wants in the event of an emergency;

2. government will decide what constitutes an emergency; and

3. there's no way the citizenry can gainsay any of it.

All this and ID cards as well!

The headline is from...

Cool Hand Luke (1967) - a moving character study of a non-conformist, anti-hero loner who bullheadedly resists authority and the Establishment.

In the opening scene, set in the South in 1948 [the film was shot on location in Stockton, California], Lucas "Luke" Jackson (Paul Newman) is arrested for the minor offenses of being drunk and destroying two long rows of parking meters in a defiant act of rebellion. As he lazily cuts off the heads of the meters with a pipe cutter, the red, two-hour time limit VIOLATION warning pops up, foreshadowing his own imminent arrest. Luke is detached toward police when they arrive at the scene and arrest him for social defiance - under a streetlight's glare, he laughs at them with a big grin. The next scene, playing under the credits, is of the typical, grueling road work forced upon prisoners - an imprisonment which reflects the authentic horrors of life on a chain gang in a Southern prison.

The vehicle bringing Luke and three other prisoners to a correctional Southern prison is reflected in the mirror-lens sunglasses of one of the guards. In a lineup in front of the main prison guard, the authoritarian Captain (Strother Martin), the new inmates are taught obedience: "You call the Captain 'Captain'...and you call the rest of us 'Boss', you hear?" [The scene has been compared to Christ's appearance before Pontius Pilate.] Luke is there for "maliciously destroyin' municipal property while under the influence." The soft-voiced Captain is astonished at the uniqueness of Luke's irreverent crime: "We ain't never had one of them before." Luke describes his own feelings about destroying bureaucratic, regulatory property: "I guess you could say I wasn't thinkin', Captain." Although he performed well in the war, a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and a couple of Purple Hearts, and attained the rank of Sergeant, he "come out the same way" he went in: "Buck Private." Ultimately alienated, Luke had often fought the system - and lost: "I was just passin' time, Captain."

The reticent loner is given a two year sentence to work on a chain gang (Division of Corrections, Road Prison 36) with forty-nine other prisoners. He is instructed in the preliminary line-up:


You gonna fit in real good, of course, unless you get rabbit in your blood and you decide to take off for home. You give the bonus system time and a set of leg chains to keep you slowed down just a little bit, for your own good, you'll learn the rules. Now, it's all up to you. Now I can be a good guy, or I can be one real mean son-of-a-bitch. It's all up to you.
Luke is placed in an isolated environment with strict rules, guards, and regimentation and his fiercely individualistic spirit immediately clashes.

In the bunk house, a litany of rules are delivered by a strutting, cigar-chomping, broad-waisted, white-uniformed guard-floor walker named Carr (Clifton James). Each infraction is rewarded with "a night in the box":


Them clothes got laundry numbers on 'em. You remember your number and always wear the ones that has your number. Any man forgets his number spends the night in the box. These here spoons, you keep with ya. Any man loses his spoon spends a night in the box. There's no playin' grab-ass or fightin' in the building. You got a grudge against another man, you fight him Saturday afternoon. Any man playin' grab-ass or fightin' in the building spends a night in the box. First bell is at five minutes of eight...Last bell is at eight. Any man not in his bunk at eight spends a night in the box. There's no smokin' in the prone position in bed. If you smoke, you must have both legs over the side of your bunk. Any man caught smokin' in the prone position in bed spends the night in the box. You'll get two sheets. Every Saturday, you put the clean sheet on the top and the top sheet on the bottom. The bottom sheet you turn into the laundry boy. Any man turns in the wrong sheet spends a night in the box. No one will sit in the bunks with dirty pants on. Any man with dirty pants on sittin' on the bunks spends a night in the box. Any man don't bring back his empty pop bottle spends a night in the box. Any man loud-talkin' spends a night in the box. You got questions, you come to me...Any man don't keep order spends a night in the box.
Carr immediately senses Luke's cool contempt: "I hope you ain't gonna be a hard case." Hulking boss convict Dragline (George Kennedy) bullies one of the new convicts with his own top-dog attitude: "Boy, you're new meat. You're gonna have to shape up fast and hard for this gang. We got rules here. In order to learn 'em, you gotta do more work with your ears than with your mouth." Luke soon draws the attention of Dragline and is eyed suspiciously as a con-artist - he is treated as a hostile, spirited and flippant outsider. The newcomer is advised: "You don't have a name here until Dragline gives you one." As the acknowledged leader of the gang, Dragline has a preliminary name for Luke and they have their first sparring:


Dragline: (About Luke) Maybe we ought to call it No Ears. (To Luke) You don't listen much, do ya, boy?
Luke: I ain't heard that much worth listenin' to. There's a lot of guys layin' down a lot of rules and regulations.
At dawn, the shackled men quickly assemble to be driven to work. During the drive in the van, Dragline continues to belittle Luke, the "war hero," about his crime:


Dragline: Tearin' the heads off of, what was it, gumball machines? What kind of thing is that of a grown man?
Luke: Well, you know how it is. Small town. Not much to do in Eaton. Mostly was just settlin' an old score.
In the searing hot sun, the road-gang convicts endure back-breaking physical labor - chopping dusty weeds by the side of the highway. The men must ask permission, e.g., "Takin' it off, boss," when they want to do something out of the ordinary, such as remove articles of clothing in the heat.


Posted by The Englishman at 9:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What happens if you protest...

Mirror.co.uk - TALLY BLOW

HUNT protester Otis Ferry has had guns seized by police after a raid on his home.
The 21-year-old - who led the storming of Parliament by pro-hunt campaigners - had a .22 rifle and 12-bore shotgun taken away.
Police said they removed the legally held weapons because of concerns over the behaviour of rock star Bryan's son during protests.
His cottage in Shropshire was searched for six hours.
Ferry, who had licences for the firearms, is the youngest Master of Foxhounds and a member of the South Shropshire Hunt.
A police source said: "This was a thorough operation involving more than a dozen officers. The premises were searched for six hours and every room was looked at.
"A .22 rifle and a 12-bore shotgun were removed.
"A computer was also taken away.
"I understand Mr Ferry believes the measures were heavy-handed, but the officers had a job to do." Police from the West Mercia force sent four vans of officers and dogs, three marked cars and two unmarked cars to Ferry's home.
Police trained in search techniques even climbed into his attic.

Nice to know the Police have the resources when they need them. It is fairly obvious the message they are trying to send out to protestors. Remember Otis, as far as I know, has never been involved in or threatened any violence to anyone. Maybe he should have swung a punch when he had a chance in The Commons....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

German Humour at its best

"You've never been this awake"

This is is an advertisement from Germany. When they finished filming
the ad, the people who made it, noticed something moving along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist.

If you turn up the sound, you can also hear whispering.

The ad was never put on TV because the unexplained ghostly phenomenon
frightened the production team out of their wits. Watch it and about
halfway through (after the car comes from behind the trees) look closely and you will see the white mist coming up from behind the car and then following it along the road!

http://www.drmenlo.com/flicks/carghostclassic.mpg

Posted by The Englishman at 8:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The pursuit of Justice

UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog

30 years ago an IRA team destroyed two crowded Birmingham pubs, killing 21 drinkers and injuring 200, many seriously.
In the early 1980s Chris Mullin was a Guardian journalist. In his articles at the time, and later in his 1986 book 'Error of Judgement', he claimed to know the identity of the killers - indded, to have spoken with them.

Chris Mullin is now a Foreign Office Minister.

I must admit to finding it strange that a Minister of the Crown should withhold from the police the names of the killers of 21 innocents and the maiming of hundreds more, that he should be happy for the killers to escape justice - and that seemingly everyone else is happy with this. It appalls me.

Mr Mullin's decision to withold the information is no secret. Yet I've never heard a single question from the Tory benches or from anywhere else on this subject.

Amazes me - but doesn't surprise.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

Vote early, vote often

Nominations - Best UK Blog

Nominate your choice for Best UK Blog. The UK Blog category includes Great Britain and Ireland.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No 1 on Google for Jacques Barrot is a criminal

Google Search: Jacques Barrot criminal

We are the top pick - Quelle Honour! Oh and by the way - Jacques Barrot is a criminal!

Posted by The Englishman at 11:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Child Killers at work

English GP takes 32 week pregnant student to Spain for abortion

Further complicity between UK abortionists and the Spanish abortion clinic, Ginemedex, is revealed in The Sunday Telegraph (UK) today. An English GP admits to having accompanied a student to Barcelona to terminate a 32-week pregnancy for social reasons. Once again the UK abortion provider, British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), focus of an earlier scandal unravelled by the same Telegraph team, features regularly in the report.

˜Anybody involved in any way whatsoever in the termination of an unborn child at 32 weeks gestation is a barbarian,' said a spokesperson for Comment on Reproductive Ethics. ˜It is absolutely against the law in both countries, and there is no way this act can be justified. I feel as disturbed by this killing as I have been by the execution of innocent hostages in Iraq.

˜The involvement of BPAS is no surprise. This ill-named organisation has never offered meaningful pregnancy advice. It exists to promote abortion, seeing it as its messianic mission - no reason too trivial, no date in pregnancy too late. Dr Adlakha, the GP involved in The Sunday Telegraph expose, is obviously part of the same network and mindset. There is a viciousness about those organising these abortions and their mania for destroying the unborn child which is almost beyond human understanding.

Sick sick sick - on the radio the excuse the abortionist offered is that it is better to kill the child than offer it up for adoption as you don't know what will happen to it then. Well some of who were adopted are happy that we ended up where we are rather than as a bloody mess in a bowl. Will we see rigourous prosecutions of all concerned? Don't hold your breath.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

My kids are on drugs

I'm as harsh a critic of the NHS as any but I hope I also praise when it is justified. No.2 Son (The Spare) was rushed to hospital yesterday as his Appendix decided to blowup. There was a complete lack of healing crystals and homeopathy, just a good old mix of Class A drugs, a scalpel and huge amounts of antibiotics which means he is hopefully on the road to recovery - rather than the slab as would have been a couple of generations ago.
We have never lived in better times and when it comes to emergencies the NHS is pretty good - thanks.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:56 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Blunkett's Spitzel Plans

Times Online - Newspaper Edition reports:

MINISTERS are frantically attempting to devise a quick fix to delay enforcement of the hunt ban to prevent widespread civil disobedience in the countryside before the general election.
David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said yesterday that a delay was desirable for police to gather intelligence on potential hunt rebels and he had voted for a delay to allow time for "intelligence-based policing" to be developed.
Special Branch officers around the country have been attempting to recruit informants from pro-hunt organisations and hunt staff who are prepared to give police regular tip-offs about illegal hunts and any other acts of civil disobedience.

So nuLabour turn the country into a network of furtive sneaks and jobsworths - so much for building trust in the community.
Let me save them some time - I will be breaking the law - don't know when, don't know where, but I'm sure the Jack Russels will continue to turn a deaf ear when I ask them not chase the cuddly furry-wurries...

Posted by The Englishman at 9:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 20, 2004

I'm a criminal in France

EU Referendum points out:

Jacques Barrot, the French commissioner, is a convicted criminal, back in politics only through the generosity of his political boss. Chirac has given him a complete pardon, so comprehensive that it becomes a criminal offence even to mention that the man is a criminal.

I suppose that is only right and proper coming from a president who, but for his own immunity stemming from his office, would be in jail himself, having robbed and pillaged the state coffers for as long as he has been a politician.
...

Vice-President of the EU commission, Siim Kallas, the Estonian commissioner .., was convicted in 2001 of providing false information during his trial for the theft of $10m from the Central Bank of Estonia in a oil-trading scam in 1993. He was acquitted of charges of abuse and fraud in relation to the oil deal.

Furthermore, Kallas had also appeared in court just five years earlier when he appeared as a witness following the disappearance of Russian Roubles from the Estonian Central Bank, of which he was then the president.

Unbelievably, notes UKIP, Kallas has been appointed a Vice-President of the EU Commission, and has been given the anti-fraud portfolio. Says Nigel Farage, in a refrain that is not uncommon on this Blog, "You simply could not make it up."

And the MSM ignores it though when a Commissioner commits the crime of being a devout Chrisitan, who believes in the Church's teachings, there is a witch hunt.

And just to make sure I'm breaking the law in France let me say "M.Barrot was a convicted criminal" - and soon it will be a criminal offence here to say it as well....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

For the horn of the hunter 's now silent,

Source

For the horn of the hunter 's now silent,
On the banks of the Ellen no more,
No in Denton you'll hear its wild echo,
Clear sound o'er the dark Caldew's roar.


For forty long years have we known him,
A Cumberland yeoman of old,
And thrice forty years shall have perished,
Ere the fame of his deeds shall grow cold.
No broadcloth nor scarlet adorned him
Nor buckskin that rivals the snow.
But of plain Skiddaw gray was his garment,
And he wore it for work, not for show.

Chorus
For the horn of the hunter 's now silent,
On the banks of the Ellen no more,
No in Denton you'll hear its wild echo,
Clear sound o'er the dark Caldew's roar.
When darkness at night draws her mantle,
And the coal round the fire bids us still,
Our children will say, “Father tell us
Some tales of the famous John Peel.”
We'll tell them of Ranter and Royal,
Of Britain and Melody too,
How they put up our fox at Keswick
And chased him from scent to full view.

Chorus

From Denton to Brighton to Skiddaw,
Through Isel, Bewaldeth, Whitefield,
We galloped like madmen together,
To follow the hounds of John Peel.
So long may we hunt with each other,
Till the hand of old age you can feel,
And men feel like sportsmen and brothers,
So remember the hounds of John Peel.

Chorus
----------------------
- The other song is:

"John Peel"
Do ye ken John Peel
with his coat so gay?
do ye ken John Peel
At the break of day?
Do ye ken John Peel
When he's far, far away
With his hounds and his horn
In the morning
Twas the sound of his horn
Brought me from my bed
And the cry of his hounds
Aas me oftimes led
For Peel's view holloa
Would wake the dead
Or a fox from his lair
In the morning
Do ye ken that hound
Whose voice is death?
Do ye ken her sons
Of peerless faith
Do ye ken that a fox
With his last breath
Cursed them all as he died
In the morning?
Yes, I ken John Peel
And auld Ruby, too
Ranter and Royal
And Bellman so true
From the drag to the chase,
From the chase to the view
From the view to the death
In the morning
And I've followed John Peel
Both often and far
O'er the rasper fence
And the gate and the bar
From Low Denton Holme
To the Scratchmere Scar
When we vied for the brush
In the morning
Then here's to John Peel
With my heart and soul
Come fill, fill to him
A brimming bowl
For we'll follow John Peel
Thro fair or thro foul
While we're waked by his horn
In the morning

Posted by The Englishman at 1:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 19, 2004

Too much regulation?

The Animal By-Products Regulations 2003

In accordance with regulation 13, 14 and 40 of the Animal By-Products
Regulations 2003 and Article 18 of Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002, the
Secretary of State approves any premises to:

(d) cure horse tails for use on rocking horses.

Well that is a relief!

Posted by The Englishman at 9:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Life's a bitch sometimes

As I walked through the door at home tonight my four year old girl said: "Look, the Stallion has come home!". "Bright Girl" I thought and walked a little taller - I realised later that she was merely playing at being a Foal and that Mrs Englishman was less pleased at being called "The Mare" all the time....

Posted by The Englishman at 9:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What DVD players and wet saturday afternoons are made for:

Greetings from Amazon.co.uk,

We thought you would like to know that the following items have been sent...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ordered Title Price Dispatched Subtotal
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Dukes Of Hazzard - Vol. 2 12.99 GBP 1 12.99 GBP

Ah memories of happy days of poculation and snoozing in front of a fire as a happy batchelor waitng for the Daisy Duke Legged Girlfriend to finish work and arrive....

(Thank goodness the present Mrs Englishman doesn't know of this blog....)

Posted by The Englishman at 9:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Truth in advertising

The alternative ads that never made it.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Shouldn't be allowed to run a whelk stall

Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Auditors Mark Decade of Failing to Clear EU Accounts

The European Union's financial watchdog has refused to give the annual euro-accounts the all-clear for the 10th year running.

A report from the European Court of Auditors repeats concerns about the accuracy of the books on the 2003 budget totalling nearly £70 billion.
...
“The Court indicates that nearly 95% of the EU budget has serious problems with regard to accountability and effective spending. It is time that Tony Blair and his government refused to sign off the EU’s dodgy accounts.

“After 10 years in the Commission, the latter five as Vice-President for Administrative Reform, Neil Kinnock’s legacy to the taxpayer is a decade of failure.”

Unfubeckinglievable - and the bastards want us to trust them and give them more powers and more of our money to spend.

Posted by The Englishman at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tory Lemmings

The Edge of England's Sword

..why the Tories are incapable of emulating the successes the Republicans have achieved

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2004

Oh to be in England now that nuLabour's here

This post from The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler is spot on - and he hasn't added in the punishment you will get if your terrier chases a Hare and not a Rabbit...

Ah, to be an Englishman at home in England, enjoying the liberties that only an Englishman doth possess.
continues

Posted by The Englishman at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Parliament has decided

BBC NEWS | Politics | Hunt ban forced through Commons

Mr Gray said passing a ban with no delay would send a hidden message to the countryside: "a message which reads 'Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war'."

Posted by The Englishman at 9:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Spool Chicken for Firefox

SpellBound

Spell checker for Firefox - need I say more for all you geeky gurus - no more excuses for mistakes in blog posts.

Posted by The Englishman at 3:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hunting Key to Human evolution

BBC NEWS | Health | Running 'key to human evolution'

Long-distance running may have been a driving force behind evolution of the modern human body, scientists say.

American researchers said humans began endurance running about 2 million years ago to help hunt for prey, influencing the development of the human body.

Previous studies have suggested running was purely a by-product of walking.

But the study, published in Nature, said humans evolved big buttocks, a balanced head and longer legs to help gather food.

Professor Dennis Bramble, of the University of Utah, and Professor Daniel Lieberman, of Harvard University, reported that early human beings may have needed to run long distance to help hunt prey or scavenge animal carcasses on the African savannah.

Without the development from running, humans would be much more like apes with shorter legs, smaller heads and a hunched posture, the scientists said.

What a great day to publish this! Just think without Hunting we would all look like Robin Cook!

Posted by The Englishman at 11:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Go Hunting!

Want to go hunting? Don't know where to go?
http://www.btinternet.com/~countryside.webservice/huntfoxindex.htm has all the links and contacts.
Tally Ho!

Posted by The Englishman at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Prince Old fashioned on education - and that is a criticism?

BBC NEWS | Politics | Charles 'out of time' says Clarke
Prince Charles wrote:
"What is wrong with everybody nowadays?"
"What is it that makes everyone seem to think they are qualified to do things far beyond their technical capabilities?"
He goes on to blame the "learning culture in schools" and a "child-centred system which admits no failure" and tells people they can achieve greatness without "putting in the necessary effort or having the natural abilities".

And where is he wrong?

Posted by The Englishman at 9:30 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The view from the countryside

BBC NEWS | England | Coventry/Warwickshire | Hunt supporters 'defiant, determined'

"The countryside is fed up. We're a law-abiding community. I've never been in trouble in my life, but I'm prepared to stand firm on this.
"People here are very, very angry. This bill pleases no-one. It's just a law that is appeasing anti-hunting MPs."

My thoughts exactly.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

German Joke of the Day

Französischer Terrorist Alarm angehobenes (Mittag 11/15/04) AP und UPI berichten, daß die französische Regierung heute verkündete, daß sie sein Terroralarmniveau "vom Durchlauf" angehoben hat "sich zu verstecken.", Die einzigen zwei höheren Niveaus in Frankreich sind "zusammenarbeiten" und "Auslieferung". Die Zunahme des Alarmniveaus wurde durch das neue Feuer ausgefällt, das eine von Frankreichs weißen Markierungsfahnenfabriken zerstörte und sperrte ihr Militär.

More Jokes

Translation below.

French Terrorist Alert Raised (noon 11/15/04) AP and UPI report that the French Government announced today that it has raised its terror alert level from "run" to "hide." The only two higher levels in France are "collaborate" and "surrender". The increase in the alert level was precipitated by the recent fire which destroyed one of France's white flag factories, disabling their military.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 17, 2004

Vote (please)

Crossofstgeorge Debate :: View topic - Neil Herron

The Daily Telegraph are running a series of awards, described below...

This is your chance to endorse this man's efforts on our behalf to
challenge the political class. A process which is gathering momentum
and will continue to do so.

Please spare two minutes of your time and make your vote count.
Vote for Neil Herron.
Remember, democracy is not a spectator sport.


To vote...

Please click here www.greatbritons04.co.uk

Then click on 'VOTE NOW' on the right hand side and then mark the
'CAMPAIGNER' category and follow the instructions.
Many thanks.

As a Director of the North East No Campaign I have nominated the
Campaign Director, Neil Herron in the category of Campaigner. His
tireless efforts over the past two years were instrumental in
delivering the massive landslide of a 78% 'No' vote in the recent North
East Referendum. Although based in the North East he has become
recognised as the most formidable people's representative in the
campaign business nationally. The emphatic result was testament to his
ability to challenge and expose the political classes and take the
people along with him.

Also as Campaign Director of Referendum04 last year he created the
campaign which forced Blair to concede to a referendum on the European
Constitution.

The massively supported Metric Martyrs Campaign which first brought him
into the arena some four years ago is still ongoing and his
intervention has ensured that there have been no further prosecutions
under the 'Metrication Regulations' since 2000.

This is your chance to endorse this man's efforts on our behalf to
challenge the political class. A process which is gathering momentum
and will continue to do so.

Please spare two minutes of your time and make your vote count.
Vote for Neil Herron.
Remember, democracy is not a spectator sport.

Yours faithfully,
Colin Moran
Director
North East No Campaign
Frederick Street
Sunderland
SR1 1NA
Tel. 0191 565 7143

Posted by The Englishman at 6:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Can you see what it is yet?

countycartlinear.png+


Election result maps

Posted by The Englishman at 5:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MR Englishman went to town

Just back from The Smoke where Mr Free Market and myself went to an ASI event - also reported on at Samizdata.net Democracy and the blogosphere “ no big deal".
I think the effects of Blogs on the US election is well recognised now - stopping errors being propagated by the Main Stream Media. It is only just beginning to happen in the UK - mainly by people such as Scott Burgess who it was a pleasure to meet, as were the other bloggers there. After that I think we went to the pub and a Chinese before I was poured into a Hansom Cab and sent back to my club....

Posted by The Englishman at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2004

Quite right old chap

BBC NEWS | UK | Britons 'funny but drunken' breed

Americans in Chicago said British politeness and pride were positive, but others, especially the Milanese, said British politeness was "off-putting" and Britons were reserved, uptight and snobbish.

The Italians also thought Britons were tied to outdated traditions and customs.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Date for your Diary

Whatever the fox hunt vote the local hunt is meeting at The Castle on January 2nd 2005 - Mulled Wine and Mince Pies will be served to mounted and foot followers alike. If you are in the area pop along and enjoy it.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I thort I thaw a Puddy Cat acreeping up on me

Mr FM popped over at the weekend to help annoy the neighbours - it was bloody cold so I stuck a silly hat on..Download file 250k

Posted by The Englishman at 7:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Poor little victims

BBC NEWS | Politics | Asbos 'to criminalise youngsters'

Children's Society policy director Kathy Evans told BBC News Online: "Youngsters being stigmatised as being the problem, is a problem in itself."
And National Youth Agency development officer Bill Badham accused ministers of "stoking the fear of crime".

Sorry if you are going to use the horrible word "Criminalise" don't blame the results of the criminalisation activity blame the horrible toerags who commit crimes. If they don't do it they won't get blamed for it - and it sin't courts handing out sentences that stoke the fear of crime its the bloody criminals.
And don't forget for all the middle class concern, it is the neighbours and peers of these scrotes who suffer, not nice people who run Societies from leafy parts of London.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gazooks - a Judge speaks sense.

BBC NEWS | UK | Tagging criminals 'damages trust'

Allowing electronically-tagged prisoners out of jail early may be undermining trust in the criminal justice system, a report has argued.
Lord Coulsfield, who headed a review, said the scheme interfered with the court's decision.
He said it could suggest to the public "that what the court says is not what actually happens".
And Custody Plus, which combines a short jail term with supervision in the community, should be reviewed, it said.
Lord Coulsfield said Custody Plus sentences had "little or no value" in deterring or reforming criminals.

The retired Scottish judge said a criminal sentenced to two years in prison should serve the full term rather than being released early on parole..

Can't argue with that.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 15, 2004

Fiddle, Fudge and Failure

BBC NEWS | Business | Greece admits fudging euro entry

Before editing the BBC said "Greece admits fiddling euro entry".. which was probably more truthful.....

And also out today:

.. as the cost of hosting the 2004 summer Olympics reached 7bn euros (£4.8bn) (BBC)...
or ...... Olympics was nearly 9.0 billion euros (11.5 billion US dollars), almost double the amount forecast a year before the Games, Greece's Finance Minister George ...

as every one else says.

Can anyone think of a good reason why we would them hop skip and jumping all over London hoovering up money and drugs?
I'm backing Paris for the Olympics.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Geography Question 2

From 1714 the island (actually two islands) was Danish until seized by the British in 1807 during the Napoleonic wars.

Britain gave up the islands to Germany in 1890, and gave up their interests in Madagascar to the French, in return for those countries quitting their claims to the island of Zanzibar in Africa (currently in Tanzania), largely so the British could intervene there to suppress the slave trade.

Under the German Empire, the islands became a major naval base, and during the First World War the civil population was evacuated. The islanders returned in 1918, but during the Nazi era the naval base was reactivated. During the Second World War the islanders remained on the main island, but on 18 April 1945 over a thousand allied bombers attacked the islands leaving nothing standing. The civil population was protected in rock shelters, most of the 128 people killed being anti-aircraft crews. The islands were evacuated the following night.

From 1945 to 1952 the uninhabited islands were used as a bombing range. On 18 April 1947, the Royal Navy detonated 6800 tons of explosives in a concerted attempt to destroy the main island. While the military installations were destroyed, most of the island remained.

It is now a holiday resort once again and enjoys a tax exempt status,..

Where is it?

Posted by The Englishman at 9:05 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Metric kristallnacht

Blithering Bunny reports on:

The metrification bullies turn violent.

..a trading standards official of Torbay council in Devon walked into Dennis Webb's fruit shop. When he saw that, despite a previous warning, Mr Webb was still using scales that measured only in pounds and ounces, Mr James produced a hammer and a metal punch with which, according to Mr Webb, he struck the scales so hard as to render them unusable.

Might have guessed it would those nutter down ther - we have mentioned them before.

And on Metrication Madness let me present you the regulations on Honey:

WEIGHT MARKING

Honey may only be packed in certain metric quantities. These are as follows:

57g, 113g, 227g, 340g, 454g, 680g, or a multiple of 454g.

The imperial equivalent may also be shown (i.e. 2oz, 4oz, 8oz, 12oz, 1lb, 1 1/2lb, and multiples of 1lb).

So you can't sell a pound of honey or a kilogram of honey - complete madness...

Posted by The Englishman at 12:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 12, 2004

Fair and balanced?

BBC NEWS | Politics | Inquiry into BBC 'pro-Euro bias'

The BBC has commissioned an inquiry into whether its coverage of the European Union is biased.
The independent panel will investigate claims the BBC is "systematically Europhile" and has excluded pro-withdrawal voices from its coverage.

Any bets on what they will decide?

Posted by The Englishman at 8:48 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Timeshare Holidays

To the first and only level of approximation that is needed everyone involved in any business connected to timeshare holidays are scum.
Apologies to those who are of a more sensitive disposition but I feel the need to say..

FUCK OFF AND DIE the lot of you.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Geography Question

The article the post below references discusses a quick survey that showed how bad young Americans were at Geography - so Dear Reader, knowing how smart you are, here is a quick question.
Sailing through the Panama Canal on Christmas Day, the midday sun is streaming in through your port porthole - which ocean are you sailing towards?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:09 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

The State we are in

The Washington Dispatch

What's So Great about Great Britain?
-----------------------------------
Commentary by Martin Kelly

...the liberals control social policy with a rod of iron. Children are presented with images of sexuality from the earliest age - politicians express shock when they start having sex young. Intercourse is presented as an entertainment without consequences - the Sunday Telegraph has recently reported that the taxpayer-funded British Pregnancy Advisory Service is sending women to Spain in order to obtain abortions that are illegal in the UK due to the stage of their pregnancy. The debris of this ruinous liberalism wanders round our towns at all hours of the day and night. The institutions of the state, provided by the citizen for their own protection, do not function unless in this liberal atmosphere. The citizen is not permitted to protect his home without having to make a lawyerly judgment in a split-second decision in combat against intruders, in the middle of the night. So paralysed is the police service by its institutional liberalism that it cannot keep the streets of Nottingham and Birmingham free from a gun culture that would shame LA's ganglands.

This is Great Britain now. This is your ally.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:08 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Question for fellow bloggers

As a kid, or as a grown up, did you keep a diary writing up what you did everyday? Is blogging a continuation from that or are you like me and never wrote a thing?

Posted by The Englishman at 5:57 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Persian War has broken out!

Over at this post An Englishman's Castle: Iranian Race the Assyrians, Iranians, African-Americans, Irish and others are fighting it out - go and help please. (scroll down the comments).

Posted by The Englishman at 5:54 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 11, 2004

"Plucky little Belgium" surrenders

Fainting in Coyles Belgium is no longer fit to be regarded as a democracy, nor is it fit to be regarded as a liberal tolerant society. By acting in this way it merely hastens the day when it will collapse.

Tolerance is endangered in Europe..


Posted by The Englishman at 8:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

At the going down of the sun..

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke, War Sonnet V, The Soldier

Posted by The Englishman at 8:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Science based ban?

BBC NEWS | Politics | Peers vote for new hunt law delay

..peers voted to allow unrestricted hunting to continue until the end of November 2007.
Any restrictions after then could only come into force if the government had received a report from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on "the relative pain, suffering or distress caused to wild mammals by hunting with dogs compared with other methods of controlling those with wild mammals", they said.

Seems fair enough - if it is cruelty the banners are worried about what can they object to in that?

Of course because no one understands Tonys muddled reforms of the Lords 95% of people still think it is full of Bufton Tuftons down from the shires - it isn't. Tony packed it with his choices, and because they are free from the tyranny of the polls they still back sense and compromise rather than prejudice and intolerance.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Disease thatdare not speak its name

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Arafat's illness still a mystery

It is still a mystery to the BBC or is it a cover up?

israelinsider: diplomacy: Suspicions grow that Arafat is dying of AIDS

Former White House speechwriter David Frum has joined the growing chorus of pundits, medical experts, and intelligence operatives who claim Yasser Arafat is likely suffering from AIDS.

Frum, a key figure in Republican politics and the man who coined the terms "axis of evil," writes in National Review Online that Arafat's undisclosed illness is well-known, but has been kept under wraps by the mainstream media.

"Speaking of media bias, here's a question you won't hear in our big papers or on network TV: Does Yasser Arafat have AIDS?" asks Frum, who also writes for the National Post.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:21 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 10, 2004

The Google killer?

As a geek I like to see what is coming - this is Microsoft's Search technology preview - it is up and down like a proverbial at the moment - I'm only No.2 for Englishman so I still prefer Google. More toys in the sandbox.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

11th of the 11th

BBC - Remembrance - How we Remember - this is what the BBC can be good at - a collection of articles and clips from the years.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 9, 2004

My thoughts exactly

German For Beginners

I have been watching British TV for the past couple of weeks and can't believe the cynicism and outright stupidity of many broadcasters/politicians. That a worldwide broadcaster like the BBC sends a satellite signal out with the message that "if troops from a particular regiment are attacked/injured/killed we will want all British troops removed from Iraq" is unbelievable and would surely ... encourage anti-coalition forces to target those particular troops.

The edit is because Neil uses a very British spoken phrase "would surely not" which written looks confusing as it means "surely would" - I think....

Posted by The Englishman at 9:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It s the CATS not the CAP

Euroserf notes that " BirdLifes scientific studies from the last 30 years have shown that 70% of the 173 different priority bird species which are dependent on farmland habitats in Europe are endangered. This dramatic decline is clearly associated with the Common Agricultural Policy which over the last 40 years has stimulated changes in land use in Europe that have had a devastating effect on bird populations, other wildlife and natural habitats.

Now the CAP is a BAD thing for many reasons -though helping me pay off my mortgage means it has at least one redeeming feature - but killing the songbirds? - modern agriculture wherever doesn't help - that is nothing to do with CAP just progress. But CAP reform means that there is money for providing for the birdies - I have just trousered £10k for various schemes to make the Castle more environmentally friendly last year, it is more profitable and fun farming wildlife than wheat I have discovered. So beat the CAP for its sins but leave Jenny Wren out of it.

A real villain is elsewhere - one without any redeeming features at all (though no politician will go after it...

It is a fact that the single most devastating killer of small birds is the domestic cat. Something like 100,000,000 small birds are killed by dear pussy on an annual basis.

Put a collar and a bell on every domestic cat in the country.

This is the primary objective of the Save Our Songbirds Society. All paid up members of the Society will be given a set of collars and bells to give away to their cat loving friends, and a sheaf of leaflets explaining the benefits to wildlife that will accrue from this endeavour.

There is a lot of nonsense talked by those who should know better. The Magpie is a well known raider of eggs and chicks, is now said not to endanger small birds. The Sparrow Hawk is a merciless killer of the vanishing Song Thrush and Blackbird and has doubled in numbers but is unassailable.
The Harrier - reported in the Langholm
Report to have killed 956 Meadow Pipits on two moors alone in a year, not to mention all the grouse, is protected from cull. The Peregrine Falcon, the Goshawk Hawk, are all afforded blanket protection at the expense of the songbird. This madness must cease. Of course it is possible to have a good population of avian predators, but when their numbers swell to the disadvantage of all around them, then something must be done.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:35 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Lardy speaks

Baron Hattersley gives his opinion on losing the vote:

I do not believe that the North East is opposed to regional assemblies.

I was on the winning side. We had triumphed in the arguments and our leaders were far more attractive and articulate than their opponents.

No you weren't you oleagenous pompous twat - the people gave a clear view - 80:20 against. Sometime you will have learn to accept the peasants are right - and now would be a good time to get your nose out of the trough and smell the coffee..

Hat tip to The Road to Euro Serfdom (Blogger trackback not working again for me..)

Posted by The Englishman at 9:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

15 years ago

Thanks to Tim for reminding me:

Tim Worstall: Berlin Wall Anniversary

as PJ O'Rourke put it in rather better style:
"We won, and let's not anybody forget it. We, the people, the free and equal citizens of democracies, we living exemplars of the rights of man tore a new asshole in international communism. Their wall is breached. Their gut-string is busted. The rot of their body-politic fills the nostrils of the Earth with a glorious stink. ... The privileges of liberty and the sanctity of of the individual went out and whipped butt."

One of the really important dates in world history.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Non German Humour

FREE MARKET FAIRY TALES brings graphic pictures of Beer adverts for Spitifre Ale - an excellent sup.

In a miracle of sense previous adverts weren't banned:

Adverts poking fun at Germans and gay men have been cleared by watchdogs.

The Bottle of Britain ads for Spitfire ale used on the London Underground were accused of being racist and homophobic.

The Advertising Standards Authority received 19 complaints, but ruled they did not cause serious offence

Advertisers had argued that to ban the advertisements would be overzealous political correctness.

The posters carried statements such as "Votz zo funny about zeez posters?", "German Beer is Pants" and "Have the sunbeds. We're going to the bar" .

In an apparent reference to gay men, another of the posters read: "Rear gunners drink lager shandy."

Spitfire beer was launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and a proportion of its revenue is donated to the Royal Airforce Force Benevolent Fund.

The advertisers argued that the tongue-in-cheek campaign merely reflected an aspect of British cultural history.

And they said that in their experience Germans were capable of finding the campaign humorous.


Posted by The Englishman at 4:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 8, 2004

No regional assemblies..

BBC NEWS | Politics | Prescott rules out regional polls

Referendums on regional assemblies have been ruled out in the near future by the deputy prime minister.
John Prescott told MPs last week's "no" vote in the North East meant plans to allow the assemblies would not go before Parliament this session.

Well that is alright then - except we will be expected to vote again and again until we vote the right way.

So why are we spending £4 Million a year on the South West Regional Assembly? Which seems to just be a jobsworth talking shop - sorry that is it: "exists to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of all who live and work in the region. It reviews and develops wide ranging strategies at the regional level to provide an over-arching vision for the South West. It works to provide a voice for the region and aims to develop the capacity for further action at the regional level." Yep - bollocks.

Of course the real problem is not that we spend £4 million a year on a fancy care in the community project which keeps some wasters off the streets, but that the civil servants employed are bright and industrious people. So they write reports, and ask questions and create rules - and the £4 million we waste on them is multiplied many times by the work they create to keep themselves in jobs, so they drain 16 - 20 - 40 who knows how many millions from us. If only they would just draw their salary and not do anything, that would be a relief.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:36 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Pigs are squealing

The two sows and piglets are are a bit annoyed this morning - their breakfast is late. I'm waiting for the feed lorry to turn up, hopefully, at 7:30 as I have run out. As they squeal roud the trough I'm reminded of a story in the news...

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Lawyer loses £50,000 slip claim

One of Scotland's leading lawyers has failed in an attempt to sue Edinburgh City Council for £50,000 after he slipped on an icy pavement.
Gordon Jackson QC, who is also a Labour MSP,.(£48,000 + perks).Mr Jackson was criticised last December for taking a directorship at Kilmarnock Football Club.

Scottish National Party MSP Nicola Sturgeon accused Mr Jackson of showing "contempt" for his constituents in Glasgow Govan by making another commitment outside Holyrood.

He was, at the time, the only MSP not to have spoken in a Holyrood debate since the May elections.

When elected as an MSP, Mr Jackson came under fire when he said he would be continuing his legal work.(£243,000)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Windfarms causing climate change

Article: Weather hots up under wind farms | New Scientist

Wind farms can change the weather, according to a model of how these forests of giant turbines interact with the local atmosphere. And the idea is backed up by observations from real wind farms.

And on the subject can we have break from "fuel cells" and Hydrogen as the answer..

"Hydrogen has the potential to power our cars without pollution," U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry said in an interview.

Hydrogen is not a source of power; it's a medium for distributing power. It still has to be manufactured before it goes into a fuel cell to work its pollution-free magic. If that manufacturing process uses conventional fossil fuels, the only real environmental advance of fuel cells is in shifting pollution from one place to another.

That is the whole point - move the pollution to where the poor people live rather than on our streets...

In a new study of the impact of using "green" sources of power to produce hydrogen for fuel cells, two researchers at the University of Warwick have calculated that it would take 100,000 new wind turbines or 100 new nuclear power plants to replace all of the U.K.'s oil-burning vehicles with "green" hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

That's a wind farm the size of Wales... Source

Posted by The Englishman at 6:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cause and effect?

The New York Times > National > Despite Drop in Crime, an Increase in Inmates

The continuing increase in the prison population, despite a drop or leveling off in the crime rate in the past few years, is a result of laws passed in the 1990's that led to more prison sentences and longer terms,..

"Despite"? Huh - I think if they got their heads out of their liberal arseholes they would realise they meant to say "has caused".

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 7, 2004

BBC - crying for Arafat

Barbara Plett BBC correspondent, West Bank reports on Arafat's leaving - she can't quite explain why so few came to see him off but makes up for it herself...
BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Yasser Arafat's unrelenting journey

Yet when the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose above his ruined compound, I started to cry...
I remember how Palestinians admired his refusal to flee under fire. They told me: "Our leader is sharing our pain, we are all under the same siege."
And so was I.

That is the authentic voice of the BBC. Unbelievable isn't it?

Hat tip to Harry's Place: Tears for Arafat

Posted by The Englishman at 2:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

And that is why they do it..

BBC NEWS | UK | Burglars see theft as 'risk free'

"Once inside a property, residential burglary for this sample of offenders was regarded as virtually risk free."

Need I say more....

Posted by The Englishman at 2:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 5, 2004

You thought you had a bad week..

Neil Herron: Oh Mr. Anderson...and we thought you were a gastronome and europhile

Councillor Anderson can't be a happy man this weekend - and that gives me an excuse for a minor happy dance on my way down to the pub....

Posted by The Englishman at 9:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Welcome to Kennet - my arse!

Today's question is why is Kennet District Council so anti-business?

I am extremely pissed off with Kennet District Council - I think my letter to the leader of The Council
and the Press explains it all. - You will remember to send me a cake with a file in it when I am languishing in the Gaol, won't you?

A few years ago I started up a business in Marlborough which luckily was successful. Marlborough is a lovely town but parking for businesses was a nightmare. When the Council proposed measures to make it worse we objected and wrote to the press. We said the changes would drive business from the town. The changes went ahead so when we received several million pounds of investment we didn't look for new premises in Marlborough, we went to Newbury where we created 60 highly paid jobs.

Six weeks ago I started a new business, in Devizes this time. It is going very well and the people and businesses in the area are fantastic. How does Kennet District Council welcome us? Is there a nice automated note from the Leader welcoming us to the area, thanking us for contributing to the local economy, a helpful booklet explaining the area and what the Council can do to help? No. The first thing we get from the Council is a summons for non-payment of rates. No rates bill, no reminder, just a summons. I don't know when they think we should have paid the rates as I haven't had the bill, but it can't have been more than a week or so overdue so a summons seems completely out of proportion.

In all my years of business I have never been summoned for non-payment before so I ring up the council and explain we have not had a rates bill, or a rates valuation or even seen a reminder. Could they please send me copies of everything so we can pay our way. I am told they "don't have any documents, we just have a list we take to the court". So it makes it a bit difficult to pay an invoice if they won't send a copy doesn't it! Hopefully the Magistrates will drill some sense into the Council .

And as we expand this new business I will remember Kennet's Council anti-business attitude.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Remember Remember

The 5th of November...

Apart from saluting the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions today is a day to remember at The Castle.
Ten years ago today was when the Present Mrs Englishman and myself got hitched. I believe my credit card is going to take a ceremonial beating later today in Bath - she wants to revisit the shop where I bought her the engagement ring (though my request to the staff for "My Usual" did not go down well at the time).
So it must have been 4th November 1994 that I first had a meal in a No Smoking Restaurant. I had gathered together a few chums for a civilised Stag Night the night before the wedding. What is the point of doing it a week or so before? Where is the frisson of danger? Black tie, plenty of claret and I'm afraid we left the restaurant at about 11:30 and drove to my local pub for a few after hour drinks - I remember Pedro being asked if he wanted another pint, missing the bar and landing flat on his back but the pint glass was still vertical, so that was taken as a Yes! Happy Days.

I hadn't realised the restaurant was No Smoking but the owner was charming.
"If you want to smoke please use the Drawing Room".
Geoff - "Marijuana?"
"Out by the stables please."

If only other places were so civilised.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

French kissing

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | 'Lewd rubbing' shuts Paris statue

Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris has fenced off a famous tomb to prevent lewd acts being performed on a statue.
The effigy of 19th Century journalist known as Victor Noir has long been popular with women visitors.
The statue shows Noir in a frock coat and trousers lying flat on his back, with a distinct enlargement in the groin.

We are always being told what great lovers the French are - seems lying cold and still on your back is enough to satisfy the Filles...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The 5th November

The old traditions are strong today - parading a Guy round the streets asking for a Penny before tossing him onto the bonfire - long may it continue..


Posted by The Englishman at 6:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Good News - NO to the regionalisation of England.

BBC NEWS | Politics | North East votes 'no' to assembly

People in the North East have voted "no" in a referendum on whether to set up a new regional assembly.
The total number of people voting against the plans was 696,519 (78%), while 197,310 (22%) voted in favour.

Headlines from earlier in the week:

BBC NEWS | Politics | NE referendum 'too close to call'

BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair and Kennedy push 'yes' vote

Time for the second happy dance of the week...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 4, 2004

I'm going to be rich...

Dear Sir/Madam,

May I crave your indulgence to open this business discussion with you by
an informal letter of this sort. It is pertinent that a business of this
magnitude should have commenced properly with a formal meeting between you
and us to enable both parties know ourselves, have a fore knowledge of the
nature of the business, discuss and acquaint ourselves with the
responsibilities and functions of both parties and
appropriate shares accordingly.

Following the sudden jailing of my brother Jeremy Jaynes of Raleigh, N.C.
I have been thrown into a state of utter confusion,
frustration and hopelessness by the
present civilian administration, I have been subjected to physical and
psychological torture by the
security agents in the country. As a woman that is so
traumatized, I have lost confidence
with anybody within the country

You must have heard over the media reports and the internet on the
recovery of various huge sums of
money deposited by my brother in different security firms abroad, some
companies willingly give up their
secrets and disclosed our money confidently lodged there or many outright
blackmail. In fact the total
sum discovered by the Government so far is in the tune of $25 Million
dollars. And they are not relenting
to make me poor for life. I got your contacts through my personal
research, and out of desperation
decided to reach you through this medium.I will give you more information
as to this regard as soon as
you reply.
I repose great confidence in you hence my approach to you due to security
network placed on my day to
day affairs I cannot afford to visit the embassy so that is why I decided
to contact you and I hope you will
not betray my confidence in you. I have deposited the sum of 20.000.000
million dollars with a security
firm abroad whose name is witheld for now until we open communication.I
shall be grateful if you could
receive this fund into your account for safe keeping.

This arrangement is known to you and our friend Richard Rutkowski alone,
so he will
deal directly with you as
security is up my whole being.I am seriously considering to settle down
abroad in a friendly atmosphere
like yours as soon as this fund get into your account so that I can start
all over again if only you wish, but
if it is impossible,just help me in diverting this fund into your account
which will accrue you 30% of this
fund.

Please honesty is the watch word in this transaction.I will require your
telephone and fax numbers so that
we can commence communication immediately and I will give you a more
detailed picture of things. In
case you don`t accept please do not let me out to the security as I am
giving you this information in total
trust and confidence .I will greatly appreciate if you accept my proposal
in good faith. Please expedite
action by sending your reply to my son email addresses below.

Sincerely Yours,

Jessica DeGroot

Posted by The Englishman at 7:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Prison hulks

BBC NEWS | England | Dorset | 'Costly' prison ship may be shut

The UK's first prison ship for 200 years could be closed unless an expensive facelift is carried out.

The ship, opened in 1997 off Portland, Dorset, is "unsuitable, expensive" and "in the wrong place".

Of course it is in the wrong place - once it is full up it should be going off to Australia not languishing in Dorset. Full steam ahead!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Voter intimidation in Ohio

Boing Boing: Michael Moore "protect the vote video team" member's Ohio account

They didn't know who the white guys with clipboards were, but they didn't like their looks and shot about ten minutes of footage of them. These were not blue-suited Republicans. They were twenty-somethings with short haircuts wearing black crewneck or turtle neck sweaters. One stood at a table examining voter documents with a severe look, while holding his pen in a "stabbing" grip and clicking the button repeatedly in a strange menacing way. His two male friends carried clipboards and wandered around, looking over people's shoulders. They talked to each other or to people outside with cell phones, and a short haired blonde woman came in to confer.

Wow! that was scary - some one dressed up like an arts student with "short hair" actually clicking his pen and holding it in a frightening manner. - Of course they don't mention what a film crew racing round filming people voting (I bet they were wearing "black crewneck or turtle neck sweaters" as well) looks like to other people. Tossers.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The reason why..

Michelle Malkin -

IT'S ALL THE BLOGGERS' FAULT. AGAIN.

One day a serious analysis of the 2004 Presidential Election will dissect the role Bloggers had - without them:
The Swift Boat Story would not have been aired.
CBS would have got away with a fake story.
Etc.
And the whole MSM (main stream media)would not have been on their guard, as they now are, against the force of distributed knowledge fact-checking them.
And because Bloggers come from all sides both sides have to be more truthful - which must be a good thing.
Well done Blogosphere.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Beer!

S. Worthen | weblog reports:

A spokesman for a major British brewing company was feeling combatative when he was interviewed by the BBC on the degree to which wine is infringing on beer's place in Britain's alcohol consumption.

"I have seen the odd occasion where I have walked into a pub and seen a man drinking a glass of wine," he says. "I find that totally unacceptable."

Quite - interesting article on the different perceptions of wine and beer over here - wine is for meals, beer is for drinking!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 3, 2004

Time for the happy dance!

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Kerry admits US election defeat

Posted by The Englishman at 4:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Is it over?

It is never over until it is over but you can get 50 pounds back for every quid you bet on a Kerry victory over at Betfair
- that sounds like confidence.

I bet twice last night - Bush at 1.81 and Bush at 3.7 so if he wins I'm in the money! And it shows I put my money where my mouth was even as the odds slipped...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 2, 2004

It is going to be a long night....

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Timetable: US election results

Memo to self - get some sleep, watching it won't change it - and think positive, if Kerry wins Bitch Clinton won't in 2008.

And I put my trust in people who put their money at stake - http://www.tradesports.com/ and http://www.betfair.com/ rather than polls.

(Betfair went up to 1.82 for Bush but back to 1.76 before I could place a bet) watch it live to get the pulse.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:24 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Are Parking tickets illegal?

More and more Jobsworths are being given the right to issue on the spot fines so I was interested in the following:

BWMA/Parking ticket campaign

Bill of Rights Act 1689:
"That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void".

I have pasted the whole article in below because I can't find it on the BWMA site now so have linked to the Google cache.

I almost can't wait for my next ticket....

A member of the public who received a parking fine through the post appears to have brought the collection of the fine to a halt by quoting the Bill of Rights Act 1689:

"That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void".

"Before conviction" means that no fine can be imposed until and unless the individual is convicted in a court of law. Of course, under constitutional law, the Bill of Rights Act 1689 is repealed by the Road Traffic Act 1991. This is because the Road Traffic Act provides for fining outside of a court and, under British law, it is always the later Act that takes precedence.

However, Lord Justice Laws said in the 'Metric Martyrs' judgment (sections 62 and 63):

"We should recognise a hierarchy of Acts of Parliament: as it were "ordinary" statutes and "constitutional statutes". The special status of constitutional statutes follows the special status of constitutional rights. Examples are the Magna Carta, Bill of Rights 1689, The Act of Union … Ordinary statutes may be impliedly repealed. Constitutional statutes may not…"

Thus, he ruled, the European Communities Act 1972, requiring metric, could and must repeal the Weights and Measures Act 1985 (allowing lb/oz), because the former was "constitutional" and the latter "ordinary". This point led to Steven Thoburn's conviction.

Herein lies the conflict. If the Lord Justice Laws judgment is true, every Local Authority, Government agency and police force that fines people through the post, or on the spot, is now acting illegally, since the Bill of Rights Act 1689 was specifically named by Laws as a "constitutional Act". The Road Traffic Act 1991, by contrast, is an "ordinary" Act. Unless the Road Traffic Act expressly refers to the Bill of Rights Act in its text (which it does not), it must fall by the wayside, since the Bill of Rights Act cannot be impliedly repealed.

So, if the Laws judgement is sound, and constitutional Acts like the Bill of Rights and the European Communities Act cannot be impliedly repealed, why are public authorities still collecting revenue from the public outside of the court process? Obviously, Local Authorities do so because they do not agree with Lord Justice Laws; they, like BWMA accept that the Bill of Rights Act was repealed in 1991 to the extent that it conflicts with the 1991 Act. But, if this is so, what is the legal basis for prosecuting traders using pounds and ounces?

Got a parking ticket? Fined for not paying the London Congestion Charge? Take action!

1) Write or email the fining authority, asking it to identify the Act providing for its legal authority to levy the fine.
2) Look up the Act on the internet using a search engine, for example, http://uk.altavista.com/ or http://www.google.co.uk
3) Search the text of the Act for the words "Bill of Rights" or "1689" (this is made easy by going to Edit on your tool bar, and selecting Find from the drop-down menu)
4) If there is no reference to the Bill of Rights Act 1689, print out the following:
- Extract from Bill of Rights Act 1689
- Extract from "Metric Martyrs" Judgement, February 18th, 2002
5) Copy-paste this proforma letter into a word processing file and edit it to suit your particular circumstances.
6) Send the letter and enclosures and await the response

If you never hear from your authority again, it means that it does not consider the cost of arranging a court hearing to collect your fine as viable in which case you may never pay the fine. Please note, there is nothing unlawful in this, since the proforma letter makes it quite clear you are prepared to pay the fine if the correct procedure is followed.

------
BILL OF RIGHTS ACT [1689]


An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown


[Extract]

And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare:

That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal;
That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal;
That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious;
That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal;
That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;
That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;
That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;
That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;
That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;
That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;
That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;
That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently.

-------

"Metric Martyrs" Judgement, Divisional Court, 18 Feb 2002


[Extract]


62 Where does this leave the constitutional position which I have stated? Mr Shrimpton would say that Factortame (No 1) was wrongly decided; and since the point was not argued, there is scope, within the limits of our law of precedent, to depart from it and to hold that implied repeal may bite on the ECA as readily as upon any other statute. I think that would be a wrong turning. My reasons are these. In the present state of its maturity the common law has come to recognise that there exist rights which should properly be classified as constitutional or fundamental: see for example such cases as Simms [2000] 2 AC 115 per Lord Hoffmann at 131, Pierson v Secretary of State [1998] AC 539, Leech [1994] QB 198, Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd. [1993] AC 534, and Witham [1998] QB 575. And from this a further insight follows. We should recognise a hierarchy of Acts of Parliament: as it were "ordinary" statutes and "constitutional" statutes. The two categories must be distinguished on a principled basis. In my opinion a constitutional statute is one which (a) conditions the legal relationship between citizen and State in some general, overarching manner, or (b) enlarges or diminishes the scope of what we would now regard as fundamental constitutional rights. (a) and (b) are of necessity closely related: it is difficult to think of an instance of (a) that is not also an instance of (b). The special status of constitutional statutes follows the special status of constitutional rights. Examples are the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights 1689, the Act of Union, the Reform Acts which distributed and enlarged the franchise, the HRA, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 1998. The ECA clearly belongs in this family. It incorporated the whole corpus of substantive Community rights and obligations, and gave overriding domestic effect to the judicial and administrative machinery of Community law. It may be there has never been a statute having such profound effects on so many dimensions of our daily lives. The ECA is, by force of the common law, a constitutional statute.

63 Ordinary statutes may be impliedly repealed. Constitutional statutes may not. For the repeal of a constitutional Act or the abrogation of a fundamental right to be effected by statute, the court would apply this test: is it shown that the legislature's actual – not imputed, constructive or presumed – intention was to effect the repeal or abrogation? I think the test could only be met by express words in the later statute, or by words so specific that the inference of an actual determination to effect the result contended for was irresistible. The ordinary rule of implied repeal does not satisfy this test. Accordingly, it has no application to constitutional statutes. I should add that in my judgment general words could not be supplemented, so as to effect a repeal or significant amendment to a constitutional statute, by reference to what was said in Parliament by the minister promoting the Bill pursuant to Pepper v Hart [1993] AC 593. A constitutional statute can only be repealed, or amended in a way which significantly affects its provisions touching fundamental rights or otherwise the relation between citizen and State, by unambiguous words on the face of the later statute. 64 This development of the common law regarding constitutional rights, and as I would say constitutional statutes, is highly beneficial. It gives us most of the benefits of a written constitution, in which fundamental rights are accorded special respect. But it preserves the sovereignty of the legislature and the flexibility of our uncodified constitution. It accepts the relation between legislative supremacy and fundamental rights is not fixed or brittle: rather the courts (in interpreting statutes, and now, applying the HRA) will pay more or less deference to the legislature, or other public decision-maker, according to the subject in hand. Nothing is plainer than that this benign development involves, as I have said, the recognition of the ECA as a constitutional statute.

--------

Proforma Letter - amend as necessary

Chief Executive [Address of Local Authority]

Dear [name],

Please find enclosed a copy of Parking Ticket [insert reference number] which I received on [date]. It was issued by [name of company issuing ticket] on behalf of [Local Authority] and is attempting to impose a 'Penalty Charge' of £XX (reduced to £XX if paid within XX days).

Upon checking the legislation, I was surprised to find that [Local Authority], or its agents, appear to be attempting to extort money from me in an unlawful manner. Please find enclosed a copy of the Bill of Rights Act 1689, enacted and formally entered into Statute following the Declaration of Rights 1689. I draw your attention to the section that I have highlighted:


"That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void".
This states that a conviction is necessary before a fine can be imposed. As stated in the 'Metric Martyrs' Judgment in the Divisional Court (18th February 2002) by Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Crane (I will paraphrase, but have included a copy of the judgment's relevant sections 62 and 63):


62."We should recognise a hierarchy of Acts of Parliament: as it were 'ordinary' statutes and 'constitutional statutes.' The special status of constitutional statutes follows the special status of constitutional rights. Examples are the ... Bill of Rights 1689 ... 63. Ordinary statutes may be impliedly repealed. Constitutional statutes may not…"
The Divisional Court states that the Bill of Rights is a "constitutional statue" and may not be impliedly repealed.

I also enclose a copy of the contents of the [insert contents list of relevant Act eg Road Traffic Act 1991] which, as you can see, makes no reference to repealing the Bill of Rights 1689.

Therefore, it would appear that [Local Authority] and its agents have no lawful authority to demand money for any alleged offence until or unless it has been dealt with by a Court of Law. Please accept this letter as formal notice that I require any allegations against me to be referred for trial in a proper and orderly manner, should you wish to proceed against me for the alleged offence.

Please also confirm to me in writing that you have advised the relevant officers of the Council and its agents that they are breaking the law by attempting to claim powers which are forbidden to them, and that all issuing of fines is being done only after conviction by a Court of Law.

Yours sincerely, etc

ENCLOSURES
1. Photocopy of Penalty Charge Notice
2. Copy of [contents list of relevant Act]
3. Extract of the Bill of Rights Act 1689
4. Extract of Metric Martyrs Judgment, sections 62 and 63.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:53 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

November 1, 2004

My England

Some site visitors today are coming from Kim's site and his pictures of Wiltshire and I'm very pleased to welcome them - so here are some more, which also tie in with a story below - they were taken on 1st November 2003:
+
My father's memorial sarsen stone on the hill above "The Castle".

+

The view South - where I live.

+

The view East (the view to the west and north are of a side of a hill from this particular point. The stone is on the rampart of an Iron Age Hill Fort which surrounds the top of a hill).

Posted by The Englishman at 7:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Defending your Castle

Telegraph | Opinion | Where I come from, our homes are still our castles

Whatever became of the Englishman's castle? He did not lose the right and means to protect himself at once. It was teased away over the course of some 80 years by governments claiming to be fighting crime, but actually fearful of revolution and disorder. When the policy began, crime was rare. For almost 500 years, until 1954, England and Wales enjoyed a declining rate of violent crime....This trade-off of rights for security has been disastrous for both. Crime has rocketed. A UN study in 2002 of 18 developed countries placed England and Wales at the top of the Western world's crime league. Five years after the sweeping 1998 ban on handguns, handgun crime had doubled. As was forecast at the time, the effect of outlawing handguns has been that only outlaws have handguns...

By Joyce Lee Malcolm is Professor of History at Bentley College, Massachusetts, and Senior Advisor, MIT Security Studies Program. Her book, Guns and Violence - the English Experience, is published by Harvard University Press.

Go read it all...Hat tip to Instapundit.com -

Posted by The Englishman at 6:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Remembrance

A year ago on this blog - An Englishman's Castle: 1st November - I told a story that brought out the courage and compassion of my father as he fought 62 years ago in the "sandpit" of his time. He was typical of his generation and of our fighting men today. My thoughts are with them.

Last Year's Entry:

It’s ten years today – 1st November 2003 – that my father died. It’s 61 years since he and the rest of the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry took part in the battle of El Alamein. Having been in the vanguard of the attack at the beginning of the battle they had lost most of their tanks and were rehorsed in Grants and Shermans for the second main attack on the 2nd of November. That morning they charged the German guns; on the flat plain there was no cover for the tanks against the dug in Panzers and 88s. The only way they could destroy an 88 was to run it over and crush the gun and crew. Of course a hit from an 88 destroyed a tank. And when they brewed up they burnt very quickly. Of the 50 tanks that started only four survived the day, many of the crews got out and some including my father were captured and spent the rest of the war in POW camp.

I would like to share a story about Dad – Herbert William Daw – which I only learnt at his funeral. He would never have mentioned it himself. A comrade of his told me he could have got back to the British lines but he stayed with his wounded driver; cowering behind a burning tank in the middle of a battlefield. And the driver had been wounded when the tank had been hit; he had been trapped by his arm. My Dad crawled back into the tank, amputated the arm and got him out. And I’m glad to say they both made it to the 50th year anniversary dinner.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack