April 30, 2005
The Sparky warning
Down in the comments of this post An Englishman's Castle: The Saloon Bar we have been favoured by a long article from The Sparky about living in "multicultural" London.
A Nation of Ostriches!
The Saloon Bar
I''m very lucky to have some kind and erudite readers who email me things, so I thought I would try a small experiment. This is an "Open Comment" post - I will keep it at the top for a few days and I invite you to post comments on anything you want to. Don't be shy! (The usual rules apply - this is my private property so I will remove anything I want to but I take no responsibility for the views expressed etc.)
So.. "Wet for this time of year, eh?"....
Election - what election?
The Sun - I normally defend the Sun against the slings and arrows of middle class perceptions but sometimes even I despair? It is almost as though a message from on high " don't rock the boat" has been received.
April 29, 2005
Anglo saxon world
L'Ombre de l'Olivier - Di2.Nu weblog points out:
Go to http://maps.google.co.uk/ and zoom out to may then navigate left and right. Oh look, there is Canada, Alaska, USA, and The British Isles in the Ocean - but no Europe - what a refreshing view!
Marching to Serfdom
MUCH INK has been spilt in an effort to explain why this election campaign has failed to engender excitement in the streets. Allow me, as a quasioutsider, to offer a provocative thesis.
... The British people are steadily being reduced to a state of cringing dependence on an ever-more voracious and aggrandising Government and a political establishment of almost unconquerable scale that supports and sustains it.
The response of our once competitive political system has been not to offer an alternative to this long march to serfdom but, hemmed in by the tightening constraints of politically permissible debate, to produce feeble dissent around the margins of a vast consensus whose core no one dare challenge...
After years in which the UK actually managed to restrict the growth of government, a period not coincidentally that created the conditions for the best economic performance in a couple of generations, the tax take is set to rise sharply. Within three years, taxes will account for more than 40 per cent of gross domestic product, the highest level in 25 years, and beginning to close the gap again with the levels in sclerotic Western European countries. ...
The Government now backs a more or less open-ended commitment to pouring ever more resources into the demonstrably inefficient bureaucracy of the NHS. Pensions, welfare benefits and education will devour tens of billions more even than current projections suggest. ..
But what are the opposition up to? The Tories say the answer is wait for it a £4 billion tax cut. Mercy! Will the entrepreneurial instincts of the British people be liberated, and the impending socialisation of more than half the UK economy halted, by a measure that will reduce the size of the state by a whopping 0.6 per cent? ...
But as the British publics liberty is sold into the serfdom of the British Establishment, Shelleys words have a curious resonance.
Its useless in this final week of the election, given the paucity of choice, to expect them to echo to any effect now. But soon enough, maybe, the British people will heed them:
Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are many. They are few.
Now that is the best article I have seen all election - go and read the whole thing (if you can with the Times strange registration policies!)
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh (the father of independence and the first leader of North Vietnam whose name was given to Saigon a year after reunification) died in 1969 and his successors imposed a command economy, destroying what prosperity Vietnam had and leading to starvation in the countryside. In 1986 market reforms known as doi moi - renewal - were introduced and, despite being one of the world's last five communist dictatorships, Vietnam now has a booming capitalist economy...
So the Capitalists are winning the war - taking a long time but the Greenback is more powerfull than the bullet.
Good nes for the environment and farmers
Farmers growing genetically modified rice in field trials have reported crop yields up by 10 per cent, pesticide use down 80 per cent and fewer pesticide-related health
Overall, use of the GM rice enabled the farmers to reduce pesticide use by 15 pounds per acre, an 80-per cent reduction when compared with pesticide use by farmers using conventional varieties.
Prof Huang added: "Sixty-two per cent of the farmers who planted insect-resistant GM rice applied no pesticides to their GM rice fields, and nearly 90 per cent of them sprayed no pesticides for the borers."
The average yield of the GM Xianyou 63 and GM II-Youming 86 were six per cent higher, and average yield of the GM Xianyou 63 variety alone was nine per cent higher than that of conventional rice varieties.
"Annually, more than 50,000 farmers are poisoned in farm fields, of which some 400-500 die," Prof Huang said. But the survey indicated that none of the farmers in the trial reported experiencing adverse health effects from pesticide use in either 2002 or 2003.
A vast reduction in pesticide use (and insecticides are nasty stuff), more food, hundreds of direct deaths prevented - good news all round.... isn't it?
April 28, 2005
Tour of Britain? Eh?
Tour of Britain.. I'm against cyclists in principle unless they are wearing Plus Twos, a Norfolk Jacket, Tattershall shirt and tie, and stout Brogues, preferably hand stiched in Nottinghamshire. I realise one or two of the Lycra fetishists are decent enough bloggers and no disrespect to them; but really I wish they wouldn't do in on the streets and frighten the horses. In the privacy of your own homes please chaps. Oh and quite right, English teams in this thing, whatever it is, sounds like a good idea, I think.
Missing - One elephant
perfect.co.uk provides a rundown of tonights Question Time of the three leaders. The BBC's choice of questions was bizarre.
On Howard about half the time was devoted to immigration. Of course he should be questioned on it, but is it really the most important Tory policy or is it the one that it is easy to get a few impassioned questioners on?
Blair, vast amount of time on todays news re the Attorney Generals advice - Good to make him sweat a bit, but it is wonk territory. The only glimmer of real issues was accidentally the massaging of Doctor appointment waiting times to meet targets rather than patient need came up. It was a real surprise to Blair, who like the Queen believes all hospitals smell of new paint.
And of course not a mention of Europe, reaction to "global warming", ID cards, the real threat of terrorism, rural disquiet, rationalisation of England, West Lothian question, nuclear power - to name some issues off the top of my head that are worth debating....
A view of the Tories from Scotland
Whatever the Tories are at the moment, they are not a genuine UK party. They are an English party, and it is maybe time for them to begin to face up to the implications of this reality.
Hattip to Officer Dibble
Scottish Labour Lie - now corrected.
Scottish Labour has ensured no full-time undergraduate student has to pay up-front tuition fees in Scotland.
CEP Blog points out:
English students studying at Scottish universities currently pay upfront tuition fees of £3,600 for a four-year degree course while Scots pay a £2,000 endowment after they graduate.
And Gareth continues : Please, if you have any spare time tomorrow, do phone Scottish Labour on 0141 572 6900 and complain about this. It's great fun, you'll enjoy it. And let me know if they use the term 'Reflective of Devolution' - I have the feeling that a memo has been passed around their office.
I have just done it and spoken to a charming young lady who tells me it is an old page that shouldn't be on the website - the link from the front page now goes to http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/holyrood/ which has corrected it.."Scottish Labour has ensured no Scottish domicile full-time undergraduate student has to pay up-front tuition fees in Scotland."
L'Ombre de l'Olivier is looking for Captions for a photo -
BLAIR: "So anyway, to get to the punch line, Pauline holds her hand up like so - and Cheri and Sarah lean across from either side and whisper, "No, Pauline ... Lorraine was asking us to describe our husbands' last ELECTION, dear!"
Can you do better?
"I have never told a lie," he said. "No. I don't intend to go telling lies to people. I did not lie over Iraq."
A saint, I tell you the man is a perfect saint...
Even the Tory traitors agree:
Kenneth Clarke, the former Tory chancellor, said he would not use the word "liar" and was "not sure" he would have sanctioned the party's latest poster.
I must admit I hadn't realised that Clarke was still around - I must check the stock of Piano wire..
A few articles aren't so sure:
Blair is a complete flake: in any other avocation of society he would be a psychiatric couch potato. "Trust me, I'm a compulsive liar," is his Clinton-style pitch to the British electorate. For the Great Charlatan, who has charlatanry in his blood and bone, does not simply lie to get himself out of tough corners: he loves a good lie, just for the hell of it.
Instance his claim, in a wireless interview in 1997, to have watched his "teenage hero" Jackie Milburn, of Newcastle United, from behind the goal at St James's Park. As football fans quickly pointed out, Milburn had left Newcastle when Blair was four years old and there were no seats behind the goals until the 1990s. Yet Blair told this pointless porkie in the same year in which he became Prime Minister. Why? To make himself more blokeish; to share - if purely in his imagination - the experience of his constituency?
So, how does one explain the inane lie that he told Des O'Connor about having stowed away at Newcastle airport on a flight for the Bahamas, when he was 14? In fact, no flight from Newcastle in those days ever went to the Bahamas, or even long-haul. This was a Richmal Crompton version of Blair: Just Tony. When a grown man indulges in such Walter Mitty fantasies, we can feel concern; when that man also has the power to unleash war, that concern becomes downright alarm.
Blair has no apparent notion of the difference between truth and lies. We saw that from his earliest days in power - Bernie Ecclestone, et al - and then, more sinisterly, in the Iraq drama. Robin Cook has described how, on March 5, 2003, he told Blair that Saddam possessed no strategic weapons, only battlefield ordnance. Recently we have learned that, long before that, Jack Straw had warned Blair that chaos would result from any invasion. By the time Blair rose to mislead the House of Commons, intelligence that was "sporadic and patchy", "little" and "limited" had suddenly become "extensive, detailed and authoritative".
Of course, the Great Charlatan does not want us to dwell on such morbid matters, so he has started to indulge in diversionary lectures on the moral vapidity of the 1960s, or the perils of global warming.
And while the Tories are half heartedly attacking Blair for his lies - (Howard is direct about the war: "You could have gone to war and told the truth. That's what Mr Blair didn't do." Which is fair enough.)- the Peace camp is in full cry after him...
DJ Paul Edge Blog: Blair Faced Lies - Arrest Blair Now
Tony Blair is a liar. His lies have brought about the deaths of coalition troops and Iraqi citizens. ..He should be standing in a court room under trial for War Crimes. I urge people to distribute this list of LIES to anyone who is thinking of voting for Tony Blair....
The Motion for War
"This House ... recognises that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles, and its continuing non-compliance with Security Council Resolutions, pose a threat to international peace and security." - Tony Blair, 18 March 2003, House of Commons
Lies made about the existence of Iraq's NBC weapons before intelligence had assessed that Iraq possessed these weapons
1) "We know they are trying to accumulate weapons of mass destruction."- Tony Blair, 3 March 2002, Channel 9 News, Australia
2) "That there is a threat from Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction that he has acquired is not in doubt at all."- Tony Blair, 11 March 2002.
3) "We know that he [Saddam Hussein] has stockpiles of major amounts of chemical and biological weapons, we know that he is trying to acquire nuclear
capability, we know that he is trying to develop ballistic missile capability of a greater range."- Tony Blair, 3 April 2002, NBC news
4) "There is a reason why weapons inspectors went in there and that is because we know he has been developing these weapons. We know that those weapons constitute a threat."- Tony Blair, 6 April 2002.
5) "Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked. He is a threat to his
own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also."- Tony Blair, 10 April 2002, House of Commons
Lies about a "threat" from Iraq's weapons
6) "there is no doubt at all that the development of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein poses a severe threat not just to the region, but to the wider world. He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also."- Tony Blair, 10 April 2002, House of Commons
7) "Iraq poses a real and a unique threat to the security of the region and the rest of the world."- Tony Blair,3 September 2002, Press Conference
8) "So let me tell you why I say Saddam Hussein is a threat that has to be dealt with. He has twice before started wars of aggression. Over one million people
died in them. When the weapons inspectors were evicted...from Iraq in 1998 there were still enough chemical and biological weapons remaining to devastate the entire Gulf region."- Tony Blair, 10 September 2002, TUC Conference
Written Lies - Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government of 24 September 2002
9) "Iraq has chemical and biological agents and weapons available ..from pre-Gulf War stocks."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002
10) "Plants formerly associated with the chemical warfare programme have been rebuilt. These include the chlorine and phenol plant at Fallujah 2 near Habbaniyah."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002
11) "According to intelligence, Iraq has retained up to 20 Al Hussein missiles They could be used with conventional, chemical or biological warheads and, with a range of up to 650km, are capable of reaching a number of countries in the region including Cyprus, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002
12) "Saddam Hussein's "military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002
13) "A current and serious threat to the UK national interest....I am in no doubt that the threat is serious and current, that he has made progress on WMD, and that he has to be stopped..The assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt .. that he [Saddam Hussein] continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002
The Lies Continue
14) "The reason [for the publication of the September dossier] is because his chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programme is not an historic leftover
from 1998. The inspectors aren't needed to clean up the old remains. His WMD programme is active, detailed and growing. The policy of containment is not
working. The WMD programme is not shut down. It is up and running."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002, House of Commons
15) "It [the dossier] concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes ... and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002, House of Commons
16) He has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes...Prime Minister's Iraq statement to Parliament ......In addition, we know Saddam has been trying to buy significant quantities of uranium from Africa.- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002, House of Commons
17) "The dossier shows that Iraq continues to produce chemical agent for chemical weapons; has rebuilt previously destroyed production plants across Iraq; has bought dual-use chemical facilities; has retained the key personnel formerly engaged in the chemical weapons programme; and has a serious ongoing research programme into weapons production."- Tony Blair, 24 September 2002, House of Commons
18) "There is no doubt about the chemical programme, the biological programme, indeed the nuclear weapons programme. All that is well documented by the United Nations."- Tony Blair, 30 May 2003
19) "the UN has tried unsuccessfully for 12 years to get Saddam to disarm peacefully."- Tony Blair, 2 March 2003, Independent on Sunday
20) "Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and the threats they pose to the world must be confronted."- Tony Blair, 3 February 2003, House of Commons
21) "The intelligence is clear: he [Saddam Hussein] continues to believe his WMD programme is essential both for internal repression and for external
aggression."- Tony Blair, 25 February 2003, House of Commons
22) "Now I simply say to you, it is a matter of time unless we act and take a stand before terrorism and weapons of mass destruction come together, and I regard them as two sides of the same coin. And the reason why Iraq is important is Iraq is the issue around which this has come to have focus."- Tony Blair, 13 January 2003:
23) "Over the past few weeks, we have seen powerful evidence of the continuing terrorist threat... At the same time, we know too that Iraq is not alone in developing WMD... I repeat my warning: unless we take a decisive stand now, as an international community, it is only a matter of time before these threats come together."- Tony Blair, 3 February 2003, House of Commons
24) "Those two threats [terrorism and states with NBC weapons] have, of course, different motives and different origins, but they share one basic common view: they detest the freedom, democracy and tolerance that are the hallmarks of our way of life. At the moment, I accept fully that the association between the two is loose, but it is hardening. The possibility of the two coming togetherof terrorist groups in possession of weapons of mass destruction or even of a socalled dirty radiological bombis now, in my judgment, a real and present danger to Britain and its national security."- Tony Blair, 18 March 2003, House of Commons
25) "I asked for more intelligence on the issue not just of terrorism but also of WMD....But then we had to confront the states with WMD. We had to take
a stand. We had to force conformity with international obligations that for years had been breached with the world turning a blind eye. For 12 years
Saddam had defied calls to disarm....my judgement then and now is that the risk of this new global terrorism and its interaction with states or organisations
or individuals proliferating WMD, is one I simply am not prepared to run."- Tony Blair, 5 March 2004
26) "there is some intelligence evidence about linkages between members of al-Qaeda and people in Iraq."- Tony Blair, 21 January 2003, House of Commons Liaison Committee
Lies about Non Compliance with the Inspectors
27) "as more negotiations go on and he fails to comply and you know that he is developing these weapons of mass destruction..."- Tony Blair, 6 July 2002, House of Commons Liaison Committee:
28) "Is it not reasonable that Saddam provides evidence of destruction of the biological and chemical agents and weapons the UN proved he had in 1999?"- Tony Blair, 25 February 2003, House of Commons
29) "After 12 years is it not reasonable that the UN inspectors have unrestricted access to Iraqi scientists - that means no tape recorders, no minders, no Intimidation, interviews outside Iraq as provided for by Resolution 1441? So far this simply isn't happening."- Tony Blair, 25 February 2003
30) "Journeys are monitored by security officers stationed on the route if they have prior intelligence. Any changes of destination are notified ahead by telephone or radio so that arrival is anticipated. The welcoming party is a give away."- Tony Blair, February 2003
31) "Escorts are trained, for example, to start long arguments with other Iraqi officials 'on behalf of UNMOVIC' while any incriminating evidence is hastily being hidden behind the scenes."- Tony Blair, February 2003
32) "We issued further intelligence over the weekend about the infrastructure of concealment. It is obviously difficult when we publish intelligence reports"-
Tony Blair, 3 February 2003, House of Commons
33) "The reason why the inspectors couldn't do their job ... was that Saddam wouldn't co-operate..."- Tony Blair, 4 April 2003
34) "On 8 December he submitted the declaration denying he had any WMD, a statement not a single member of the international community seriously
believes."- Tony Blair, 25 February 2003, House of Commons
"Russia does not have in its possession any trustworthy data which support the existence of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and we have not received from our partners such information"- President Putin Russia
35) "I have absolutely no doubt whatever that he was trying to reconstitute weapons of mass destruction programmes....[Saddam Hussein] has always been intending to develop these weapons..."- Tony Blair, 8 July 2003, Commons Liaison Committee
Lies To Justify The Commencement of Hostilities
36) "Tonight, British servicemen and women are engaged from air, land and sea. Their mission: to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction..."- Tony Blair, 20 March 2003, televised address to the nation
37) "I have always said to people throughout that ... our aim has been the elimination of weapons of mass destruction."- Tony Blair, 25 March 2003, Press Conference
38) "Our aim has not been regime change, our aim has been the elimination of weapons of mass destruction."- Tony Blair, 25 March 2003, Press Conference
39) "I have got absolutely no doubt that those weapons are there. once we have the cooperation of the scientists and the experts, I have got no doubt that we will find them."- Tony Blair, 4 April 2003
40) "On weapons of mass destruction, we know that the regime has them, we know that as the regime collapses we will be led to them."- Tony Blair, 8 April 2003, press conference with George W. Bush
41) "I stand absolutely 100% behind the evidence, based on intelligence, that we presented to people
I have no doubt at all, as I said to you earlier, that the
assessments that were made by the British intelligence services will turn out to be correct."- Tony Blair, 2 June 2003
42) "You know, you asked me right at the very outset, do I stand by the essential case? I do stand by the essential case. I also stand entirely by the intelligence we put in the September dossier, which after all was the main thing that we brought before Parliament . I simply want to tell you today and, through you, the country that I believe we did the right thing, I stand 100% by it, and I think that our intelligence services gave us the correct intelligence and information at the time... I do not believe that our intelligence will be shown to be wrong at all. I think it will be shown to be right. I have absolutely no doubt whatever that he was trying to reconstitute weapons of mass destruction programmes and that the intelligence that we were getting out of Iraq about those programmes and about the attempt to conceal them was correct. that intelligence I have no doubt at all was valid intelligence."- Tony Blair, 8 July 2003, House of Commons Liaison Committee
43) "I believe the intelligence we received is correct. So that is my view, it has been my view all the way through"- Tony Blair, 30 July 2003
44) "We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves."- Tony Blair November 2003
45) "The Iraq Survey Group has already found massive evidence of a huge system of clandestine laboratories, workings by scientists, plans to develop long-range ballistic missiles"- Tony Blair, 16 December 2003, British Forces Broadcasting Service
46) "It is absurd to say in respect of any intelligence that it is infallible, but if you ask me what I believe, I believe the intelligence was correct, and I think in the end we will have an explanation." - Tony Blair, 25 January 2004, at least six months after MI6 had withdrawn key reports on Iraq's weapons,
Lies Justifying Lies
47) "Only then [after Hussein Kamel's defection] did the inspectors find over 8,000 litres of concentrated anthrax and other biological weapons, and a factory to make more."- Tony Blair, 2 March 2003, Independent on Sunday
48) "The UN inspectors found no trace at all of Saddam's offensive biological weapons programme which he claimed didn't exist until his lies were revealed by his son-in-law."- Tony Blair, 2 March 2003,the Independent on Sunday
After he defected to Jordan on 7 August 1995, Hussein Kamel told UN inspectors "I ordered the destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed".
49) "We have already found two trailers, both of which we believe were used for the production of biological weapons"- Tony Blair, 30 May 2003, Press Conference in Poland
Finally The Truth
"we were almost all wrong [..] it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed militarised chemical and biological weapons there." David Kay, US-led Iraq Survey Group (ISG) , 28 January 2004, US Senate Armed Services Committee
Unbelievably, Tony Blair Continues To Lie
50) "In a land mass twice the size of the UK it may well not be surprising you don't find where this stuff is hidden..."- Tony Blair, 11 January 2004, Interview with David Frost
51) "Well you can't say that at this point in time. What you can say is that we received that intelligence about Saddam's programmes and about his weapons that we acted on that, it's the case throughout the whole of the conflict..."- Tony Blair, 11 January 2004, Interview with David Frost
52) "As for the existence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, there can be no doubt ... that those weapons existed. It is the job of the Iraq Survey Group to find out what has happened, which it will do..."- Tony Blair, 21 January 2004, House of Commons
April 27, 2005
Booed or Boomed?
Reports that the prime minister was booed were, apparently, inaccurate. Rather, a few pupils shouted out "boom" from the back of the hall.
After the initial embarrassment, some pupils were shuffled in front of journalists to explain that this meant they were happy to see the politicians, and not showing any disrespect.
The school's headteacher, Gary Phillips, backed up that interpretation, telling reporters: "Different cultures celebrate in different ways."
But some confusion remained. Other students told journalists that they had indeed booed the prime minister. ..
And Mr Phillips courted controversy by endorsing a Labour victory at the May 5 poll.
"I believe much of what we have done at Lilian Baylis has been made possible by the policy of this government. I believe the commitment of the prime minister and the government to schools like ours has been outstanding.
"Just as we have more to do at Lilian Baylis, so this government has more to do, and I personally hope they are elected to do it."
Mr Phillips acknowledged that he was not supposed to be "overtly political" on such occasions, but insisted he had a "unique insight" into the differences between the two main political parties and the politicians who led them.
Mr Phillips, you are telling porkies, you Blairite lapdog. What I object to is the dragging of a few kids in to tell those porkies for you. "Simpkins, did you Boo the Prime Minister?" "Oh, No Sir"....
Listen for your self.
BBC NEWS | Election 2005 | Weblog | Boos? You decide
The Tory gets my vote
I was meant to go to a public meeting last night to
heckle listen to all of our Parliamentary Candidates but I was too hung over and tired from Monday Night Rifle Practice at the Pub which degenerated after that light weight wuss Mr FM left...
So I'm sorry I have had to make my mind up on our local candidates by reading their leaflets. The Lib Dem one was so forgettable I have forgotten it. Ms Nu-labour just simpered how wonderful life is under Tony and how the Big Bad Tories want o come back and eat your first born. She also made her main point "protecting local NHS" to try and get votes from people who don't want our local hospital closed. As a loyal little Blairette she tried to spin her way out of how closing local hospitals makes local services better...
UKIP has probably the worst candidate photograph I have ever seen - basically the passport photo of someone who looks like a dodgy history teacher with an interest in cardigans and steam trains. And their pamphlet is mainly concerned with "immigration". Sorry, not one of my major worries and uncomfortably close to the BNP. And to make the fifth major point banning GM crops and unbanning vitamin supplements is basically a joke.
So that leave the Tory...Michael Ancram (see he observes the decencies of closing his MP website).
His leaflet has him talking to a lovely baby - obviously the loveliest baby in the whole constituency, if not the whole of Christendom, wait - look, it is the younger Englishette! He has chosen one of my beautiful daughters to show off how lovely babies are in his constituency. What a man of taste, got my vote. Policies? who cares? this is personal.
April 26, 2005
One for your PDA
ChairGun2 is the Ultimate Pellet Trajectory Calculator
ChairGun Mobile is fast becoming a favourite too as a stand-alone trajectory calculator - but now you can generate CGM data files on your desktop and download them into your PDA - it's become even more convenient.
(It seems to be designed for airguns but it may work for rifles as well if you have the data.)
The (soviet) state we are in..
PARTS of the UK are as dependent on the state as some Soviet bloc countries were at the time communism collapsed, a new analysis based on official figures shows.
It paints a picture of large areas of the country whose prosperity in recent years owes everything to Gordon Browns largesse with taxpayers money, and which will struggle when spending slows down to more normal levels.
In the North-East public spending constitutes 59% of GDP while in Scotland that figure is 52%. That compares to us poor beknighted souls in London and the South-East - the area that actually produces the wealth - where only one third of GDP is public spending.
Thanks to a loyal reader reminding me of this article.
April 25, 2005
Worrried - do I look worried?
Two polls over the weekend showed that the "no" campaigns are gaining ground in France and the Netherlands, which votes three days later. More than 20 successive polls have predicted that the French will reject the constitution. The latest put the ânoâ vote at 62 per cent, the highest yet. The latest Dutch poll showed 52 per cent planning to vote "no".
On Friday the Commission admitted that it was concerned for the first time. "It is very clear that the Commission, like everybody else, is worried by the turn of the statistics," a spokeswoman said.
Signor Prodi went further, telling a French newspaper that if France rejected the treaty "there will be no more Europe".
My worry is that somehow the ballot boxes will say something different - but apart from that I'm preparing for a "happy dance"...
What do bears do in the woods?
The MSM seems to have been shocked and dismayed that the new Pope is a Catholic and not a woolly liberal agnostic so they are now facing a second shock in that Tony Blair is being exposed as a liar.
Michael Howard has opened up a new front in the second half of the election campaign with his most direct attacks yet on Tony Blair's honesty and trustworthiness.
Asked if he was calling the prime minister a liar, Mr Howard said "yes"
For the second day running he has accused the prime minister of being a liar.
And in Entertainment News - shock revelation that Dolly Parton sleeps on her back....
Kids are a blooming nuisance.
A mother who gave birth to a twin girl after an abortion failed is suing the hospital for £250,000 to help bring up her daughter.
Stacy Dow discovered she was expecting twins when she was 16 and decided, because of her age and inability to support a child, to have an abortion.
The procedure was carried out when she was around seven weeks pregnant and she was given a contraceptive injection afterwards...
"When I got to 33 weeks I went to the GP again and he told me I was pregnant. I was absolutely stunned. I didn't know what to say or do. It was obviously too far on to do anything.
''My mother told my boyfriend's parents for me. They were shocked too.
"I had no option but to go through with the birth.
"Although I love her to bits, I have a child now that I wasn't planning to have and I believe the hospital should take some responsibility.
''None of us would be without Jayde now but looking after her has been a financial struggle.
"It has totally changed my life and my parents' lives."
The court papers say that as a result of the failed termination Miss Dow suffered "stress and anxiety upon the discovery of her continuing pregnancy".
The papers add: "She has the financial burden of care and upbringing of Jayde. She suffers an impediment in her ability to obtain employment in consequence of her care for the child."
With hundreds of women spending thousands of pounds on IVF and flying round the world to Chinese orphanages and so on to get a baby didn't anyone suggest to this ungrateful cow she might like to give up the little tot for adoption so it had a chance to escape the type of life she leads?
UPDATED - thanks to a reader for pointing out that I had made an erroneous assumption about the father of the child - I have deleted that portion of the post.
April 23, 2005
A Scotsman reminds us:
Henry V Act-3 Scene-1
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hardfavour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of warproof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'
April 22, 2005
Have a Happy St George's Day
In case I don't blog tomorrow have a Happy St George's Day and "Here's to England, God knows she needs all the help she can get."
As for myself I'm babysitting the Englishettes tonight so no drinks with Mr FM and The Good Colonel - which might be good for my liver for once.
With the girls asleep; as Pope Gregory would have said:
Responsum est, quod Angli vocarentur. At ille: "Bene," inquit; "nam et angelicam habent faciem, et tales angelorum in caelis decet esse coherides." it is time to crack open a bottle of Lidl's best Red Wine.
I consider it self financing now with my new money making scheme. It might not quite be up there with The Worstall's schemes but it works. The trolleys unlock with Pennies as well as Pounds, so I pop in and unlock a trolley with 1p - wait for an old dear to look confused as she searches for a Sov and offer her my trolley - take the odd coins she has and I'm 99p up on the deal. Do it three times before the first old girl has made it past the checkout and pop in for a bottle of Vino on offer at £2.97. Easy.
Cheers and tootle pip!
Help - a reader writes..
I am looking for some good quality adhesive English flags with the dragon to stick them on my kayak?
Have you any tips?
By the way, you will love this one. Our mad scientist government is to change the Civil Code on marriage. Domestic work is to be shared equally between husband and wife. I wonder how are they going to keep track of infringements ... I bet that social services will come up with a task force. The witches of Salem revisited with that goody-goody flair.
Maybe next thing would be a enforceable policy of being nice to old people or perhaps, compulsory daily showers.
Thank you in advance,
Ignacio-Wenley Palacios Iglesias
Journal on open sea and coastal kayak paddling - Journal
Ah - Wenley old mate - the ones with the Dragon on are not English - try the top blog...
INn 2000 it was reported: Europe set to replace .com in 2001 - vnunet.com
Plans mooted by European government and business leaders to drop .com for .eu as the flagship European domain extension are on course, and registrations may start next year.
Ian Lynch, vnunet.com 04 Oct 2000
In 2003 I reported the follow up:
An Englishman's Castle: .eu bollocks
In 2004 I reported another follow up:
An Englishman's Castle: Couldn't run a whelk stall
And today in 2005 the BBC reports:
BBC NEWS | World | Europe | EU to launch its own web domain
The European Commission has said that the new internet domain name ".eu" will be up and running by the end of 2005.
.eu the only domain it has taken 10 years to set up! I think that tells you all you need to know about the thrusting, modern, dynamic Europe commission.
Little progress has been made in the war on malaria because the global body set up to fight the disease in 1998 is failing, a medical journal says.
Roll Back Malaria, an international partnership of 90 organisations, aimed to co-ordinate the response to malaria.
It said cases of the infectious disease were on the rise, with nearly 50% more cases than at the time of the Abuja Declaration.
In a comment piece, the Lancet said: "Five years on from the Abuja Summit, it is clear that not only has RBM failed in its aims but it may also have caused harm."
Maybe it is because the RBM is a typical WHO Quango - It is Malaria Day soon so let us see if they are pushing for a good brush round with DDT and swamp draining - the two really effective methods -
Singing, drama, dancing, drawing, writing or similar activities organized in classrooms, local communities, and national events;
Poster and essay competitions with winning submissions showcased at national or local community centers;
Collaboration with local celebrities such as musicians to host a malaria-control concert or other event;
Red Rose Ban
A Liberal Democrat council has banned its staff from wearing red roses on St George's Day.
Pen dipped in vitriol - ready to write, Lib Dems, council banning, St George oh this is going to be good.
Oh - actually no -
A Stockport Council spokesman said: The red rose initiative for St Georges Day was organised last year by the market traders and we contributed to the cost of the celebration, which included roses to be worn by the traders themselves.
However, we now have legal advice that if we used public money to fund the issue of red roses this year, during the run-up to an election, there would be a real risk that it would be unlawful, since the red rose is the symbol of a political party.
Instead, this year we are making arrangements to get in stocks of hundreds of small St Georges Day flags and bunting to help the market celebrate that day.
The plan is for little flags, rather than red roses, to be funded. In addition, Stockport Town Hall and the Market Place will be flying the flag of St George on the day.
Oh, that sounds fair enough.
April 21, 2005
Stotty's new webpage
filling up nicely with good things such as:
1 The world is wholly contingent.
1.1 The world is the totality of changes.
1.11 The world is determined by the changes, and by there always being change.
2 It is a river-bed proposition throughout all time that climate changes.
2.1 Climate change is a tautology.
2.11 Climate is always either 'warming' or 'cooling'.
2.12 Climate changes with, or without, human contingencies.
2.13 Human influence neither creates nor halts the fact of change.
2.2 The world divides into the facts of change.
2.21 Doing something, and not doing something, are equally contingent.
3 Causality is not a law which Nature obeys.
3.1 Causality is the form in which propositions are cast.
4 Monocausal propositions deny contingency.
4.1 Monocausal propositions are but the witchcraft of their time.
4.11 Monocausal propositions lead to authoritarian actions.
5 Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.
5.1 Human monocauses are inherently self-deceptive.
5.11 The world is independent of my will.
5.12 There is no logical connection between my wish and the world.
5.121 fx = "x is controllable"; "fx is false for all values of x".
5.122 How likely then is ($x).fx?
6 Logical climate space can be reduced to three words.
6.1 Climate always changes.
6.11 Climate is uncontrollable
7 What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.
Torygraph owners take advantage of EU law
Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, the owners of The Daily Telegraph, have launched criminal libel proceedings against The Times over a report about their business activities, it was confirmed yesterday.
Officers from Scotland Yard's extradition squad arrived at the London office of The Times on Tuesday evening to serve a summons on the editor, Robert Thomson, and his media editor, Dan Sabbagh.
They and their newspaper are required to appear before a court in Paris on June 23, when a date will probably be set for their trial. If convicted, they could be fined.
You couldn't make it up - British newspaper owners sue another British newspaper and use the EU wide arrest warrent and French courts rather than the London courts. I'm just surprised they didn't use the Greek courts. And there was me thinking the Tlegraph was against this sort of thing...
Prescott buys votes with ratepayers money
Council tax is expected to rise sharply after the election following Labour's decision not to raise the retirement age for local government workers from 60 to 65, leaked Government papers revealed last night.
Last month's decision by John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, not to proceed with the higher retirement age averted a 24-hour strike by a million council workers as the election approached.
Ministers agreed to revoke changes, due to come into force on April 1, after workers, from binmen to dinner ladies, threatened to walk out.
I feel like going on strike against having to work longer to support these bastards. I hadn't realised that all the Local Government workers clocked off at 60 to enjoy a taxpayer funded holiday - while the few wealth creating ratepayers left tend to keep bloody working to pay the bills.
Hertfordshire County Council is afraid the goggles could spring back, hitting children in the face. It says they can be worn only "in exceptional circumstances".
Children in Gloucestershire are being advised not to wear swimming goggles because they are a "safety hazard".
And as always the Council comes up with some weasel words:
Susan Robbins, from Gloucestershire County Council, said the authority was not banning wearing goggles.
"What we're doing is giving schools advice which is based on national safety advice and we're saying children shouldn't be wearing goggles for school swimming lessons. It is a safety hazard," she said.
Wearing goggles is the minimum safety clothing I think you should wear with the average council run pool being a 50:50 mixture of Chlorine and Piss - what with "Senile Water Aerobics", "Toddler Leaking Nappy Funtime" etc. - and I suppose those saddoes who thrash up and down the lanes in their Speedos take their cue from Paula Radcliffe and think winning is more important than getting out the bath to pee.
You wouldn't catch me in one even though Kennet Council mulcts me for hundreds of pounds every year to subsidise their "Leisure Centres".
April 20, 2005
Of course it isn't our fault..
European companies may be to blame for a lack of growth within the euro zone, according to an EU Commission report released Monday (18 April).
Of course lazy old companies and silly businessmen not working hard enough or spending their moeny in the wrong way (Major European companies, including those posting record profits during 2004, are giving money back to investors or buying back shares rather than reinvesting it into more jobs or investing in technology.) are to blame for the EU's piss poor performance.
German Jokes - Part III
Federal Express who?
I dont know. I just deliver packages.
Pizza delivery guy.
Pizza delivery guy who?
You ordered a pizza?
Im the guy delivering it.
And before anyone complains, yes I borrowed them from somewhere else! _ but I must get Google back sending people to my site for German Jokes and not for Paula Radcliffe Pissing Pictures, which is what most of my visitors today have been after.
A new one for the Favourites folder
Cry for St George
A shopkeeper has been ordered to remove his flags celebrating St George by council officials who say they breach health and safety rules.
Phil Moffat has been told the 20 flags hoisted from lampposts near his shop in Tuebrook, Liverpool, are dangerous..a council spokesman said: "We are not trying to be spoilsports.
"There is a clear danger to Mr Moffat himself and an obvious road safety hazard. The flags could distract drivers, fall off and hit cars or pedestrians and it could encourage others to follow suit."
I suggest a few Council spoilsports tarred and feathered hanging from the posts would be a suitable alternative.
UPDATE : "A council which ordered a patriotic shopkeeper to remove England flags from outside his business has backed down. "
Everyone else is doing it...
UKIP's primary focus is on Europe, where the party is strongly against joining both the EU constitution and the Euro. UKIP is also firmly in favour of limiting immigration. The party does not take a clear line on some other policy issues, but supports scrapping university tuition fees; it is strongly against income tax rises and favour reducing fuel duty. Take the test at Who Should You Vote For
Who should I vote for?
Your expected outcome:UK Independence Party
Your actual outcome:
Labour -23 Conservative 40 Liberal Democrat -22 UK Independence Party 49 Green 4
You should vote: UK Independence Party
UKIP's primary focus is on Europe, where the party is strongly against joining both the EU constitution and the Euro. UKIP is also firmly in favour of limiting immigration. The party does not take a clear line on some other policy issues, but supports scrapping university tuition fees; it is strongly against income tax rises and favour reducing fuel duty.
Take the test at Who Should You Vote For
Maybe I will - maybe I won't.
"Banana Republic" voting methods challanged
THE general election could be postponed if a Liberal Democrat bid to make postal voting more secure is agreed by the High Court.
Tomorrow, the deputy leader of Britain's largest local authority will ask for a judicial review of electoral procedures, amid widespread fears that the postal voting system is open to abuse.
John Hemming, leader of the Lib Dems on Birmingham City Council, will press his case and call for a full hearing as a matter of urgency. ...
He was involved in raising the alarm about postal fraud in Birmingham council elections last summer, which led to six Labour councillors being expelled from office.
At a special hearing, the election commissioner, Richard Mawrey, QC, described the electoral fraud at the council election as something that "would disgrace a banana republic" and warned that the postal voting system was wide open to abuse.
UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog on children dying, collapsing pensions and crime and punishment - the stories that should be being covered elsewhere but aren't.
"Politics with integrity"
Guy Fawkes' blog of parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy brought to my attention the first interesting story of this boring election:
You are a businessmen, you give a £50,000 donation to the Labour party, you get to have a business breakfast with the Prime Minister, you give a second donation of £50,000 to the Labour party while the government is weighing up who should be awarded a £32m contract you are bidding on. Surprise, you get awarded the contract, you make £20m profit on it. What value for money for the taxpayer, what a return on investment!
Loaded now, you give another £500,000 donation to New Labour, and get made a life peer by Mr Blair six weeks later. The amazing life and times of Paul Drayson and Tony Blair...
Scotsman.com News - Tony Blair's leadership - Getting cosy with Tony has a fuller round up of this story.
He banked £32 million after securing the contract to supply smallpox vaccines in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
And before that deal, PowderJect won a government contract to supply TB vaccines, although ministers insisted there was no connection between the contracts and the £50,000 donation to Labour made by Lord Drayson while the government was deciding who should be given the contract.
An inquiry by the National Audit Office found no link between Lord Draysons gift and the initial contract.
The then health minister, Lord Hunt, was accused of misleading parliament by claiming the government had had no choice but to use PowderJect to get the smallpox supplies, even though Lord Draysons firm was merely acting as a middleman.
The peer told the Lords that ministers were unable to go directly to Bavarian Nordic, the vaccines manufacturer, because it had said it would deal only through Lord Drayson for contractual reasons.
But Asger Aamund, chairman of Bavarian Nordic, said he would have supplied the vaccine direct - cutting out Lord Drayson and saving taxpayers millions - but was never asked to do so. The National Audit Office criticised the handling of the deal but found no impropriety.
The BBC election website seems not to have a story on it yet - so will this just be yawned away as the sort of thing we now expect from Labour?
Not very long ago the one thing about British politics you could rely on was that the leaders were basically honest - wrong maybe but honest. We now have Prime Minister who is a unashamed liar - no one cares; Labour is up to its neck in sleaze that makes the few Tory chancers of the eighties rank amateurs - no one cares; we have massive election fraud - no one cares; we are ruled by the EU - an unaccountable pit of corruption - no one cares.
Before the election I had noticed how the US bloggers had held the candidates and press to the fire to help ensure decency and truth in their election. And I wondered if it would happen in the UK - it hasn't, because no-one cares that the body politic is rotten to the core.
April 19, 2005
Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise abolished!
It is true they are no more!
The shame is they have been replaced with the shiny new HM Revenue & Customs, and of course the powers that the Exciseman alone used to have are now available to the Taxman.
As the sound of Last Post drifted across the Commonwealth war cemetery in Alexandria, five simple wooden coffins, draped in Union flags, were carried to their final resting place by Royal Navy sailors in crisp, white uniforms. The coffins were lowered into the graves and three volleys of gunfire provided a final salute.
The train operating companies have produced a free guide to spotting wildlife on 10 of the nation's busiest routes..While the guide will have its work cut out assuaging the anger of delayed travellers, it does remind anyone who spends most of the time on trains doing the crossword how much of our native wildlife could be just outside the window.
What's the point? You can't open the windows and you can't carry the trusty shotgun, so pointing out it is a target rich environment just the otherside of a double glazed window will not make us feel happier.
Pass me the Cluebat
One of the BBC's voter's panel
Name: Paul Holdsworth
Lives: Aberystwyth, Wales
"At the moment the US is able to get away with a lot of actions that I find appalling, simply because there is no political block powerful enough to challenge it.
I see Europe as a vital structure representing people who share a more common sense and ethical view of the world...
The European Union can do a lot for its citizens but only if it is handed more power.
Just that stupid student grin makes me want to smack him - and the more I read the more I want to see his teeth meet his sphincter, the pretty way down.
April 18, 2005
Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
Das Englander Castle Average 1022.33 2304.44 5218.61 85.39 MB
The Competition Average 1151.33 2125.22 14263.28 647.65 MB
And the Bastard can shoot straighter, but I think I can pee higher up the wall.
But when we look at his class of visitors I think the difference really tells, here are the search phrase that bring visitors to the sites:
Search Keyphrases (Top 10)
haiti 4.8 %
paula radcliffe toilet 4.5 %
paula radcliffe toilet break 3.2 %
paula radcliffe toilet picture 1.1 %
paula radcliffe marathon toilet 0.8 %
hate 0.8 %
radcliffe toilet marathon 0.6 %
free market 0.6 %
paula radcliffe toilet pictures 0.5 %
how to kill a chicken 0.5 %
Which seems to me to show a certain lavatorial bent in his readers, whereas I think you, gentle reader, show a much nobler inclination; three latin phrases in the top ten for instance!
german jokes 3.6 %
rent a german 2.6 %
honi soit qui mal y pense 1.1 %
where does oil come from 1 %
bos primigenius 0.9 %
entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem 0.7 %
syllabub 0.4 %
defending a castle 0.4 %
otis ferry 0.4 %
flying pigs 0.4 %
So stick with the Castle for a cultured debate!
Just glancing at my referrers this morning I noticed a heap of perverts looking for Google Search: paula radcliffe london marathon piddle and Pee and Shit etc.
Which perplexed me. Not wanting to disappoint my visitors I did some research. I rescued the sports pages from the bin and looked through - Yee Gods the bloody woman just squatted down and took a dump on the side of the road, in front of the crowds and live on TV - Photo. And they say she is an inspiration to the young. I tell you athletics are bad for your body - have you seen the state she is in? I couldn't fancy that even after six months in solitary ; bad for your brain - have you ever heard an intelligent word spoken by an athlete - they have to use a coach to learn how to breathe, for Gods sake; and bad for society.
And people want the Olympics in London - it might be acceptable to squat in the gutter in Paris - in fact I believe it is the norm. But in London?
If I want to see women peeing I believe there are clubs for that sort of thing - not on the streets please.
Labour wants to Move On
The Labour Party has hired the controversial cyberactivist responsible for running the Democratic Party's internet campaigns during the 2004 US presidential election.
Zack Exley was hired by Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry after setting up the political website MoveOn.org, which engaged in grassroots campaigning and claimed to have built an online community of some 2 million political activists.
But Exley made his name some years earlier when he snapped up the gwbush.com domain for $70 and promptly used it to set up a website to post fake photos portraying the now-US president as a cocaine-snorting alcoholic.
Left it a bit late for this election? But the tidal wave of sleaze from Labour is growing and so this is only to be expected.
Do you like Kipling?
"I don't know I have never Kipled"
Or as L'Ombre de l'Olivier says:
Somehow though I suspect that the people who ought to be reading Kipling (and Orwell) are those who dismiss both as dated, simplistic and/or wrong. I do note that many in the military and those who support the military - what one might call the "red-state" crowd - are both aware of Kipling and enjoy both his prose and poetry whereas the sophisticated label him as "imperialist" or "proto-fascist" and depict his work as little better than "talentless hack journalism" despite borrowing phrases such as "the white-man's burden" from him when they wish to criticise the Hegemonic or Imperialistic Neo-conservatives.
Sit back with a cup of Columbian's finest and read the rest,
New word of the week
World Wide Words is always a good read - this weeks newsletter (one week ahead of the web page) introduces us to this useful word:
"dragon fodder", the peace offering German husbands make to their wives when they have engaged in some inappropriate behaviour.
Fighting the Good fight
Free Trade v Fair Trade
A Debate Organised by Christian Aid
St Margaret's Church, Westminster
The Evening of Friday 15th Aril 2005
12:15am - 1:15 am
A Speech Together with Introduction and Brief Commentary
by Sean Gabb...
I took a telephone call about a week ago from a young man called Leo Bryant. He worked for Christian Aid, he said, and was organising a joint conference with Oxfam on world poverty. Would I like to sit on the panel and debate the issue? The provisional title of the debate was Free Trade v Fair Trade. Would I speak for free trade? I should normally have said yes at once. The conference was to be in St Margarets Church in Westminster, and would draw an audience of around 700. I had long been scandalised by the socialist takeover of English Christianity, and this would be the closest I might ever get to addressing one of my sermons to a real congregation.
The problem was the timing. The whole event was set for Friday evening, and my debate was to be after midnight. I thought of having to wander round Central London with nowhere to go between the closing of my university and the beginning of the debate, and was inclined to turn Mr Bryant down. But he offered me a bed for the night, and urged on me the size of the audience. So I agreed.
As it happened, Central London was just as cold and lonely as I had expected. But there I finally sat last night, about 20 feet in front of the altar in St Margarets. Beside me was Alex Singleton from the Globalisation Institute. Beside him was Alan Beattie of The Financial Times, who would chair the meeting. Beyond sat Martin Khor from Third World Network and Prosper Heoyi from Oxfam. Before me was the large audience I had been promised. They were a fragment of a vast procession that had streamed all evening through Westminster, waving banners and candles and singing the rather feeble stuff that has since the 1960s passed for religious music.
Not all was grim, though. I had some friends there. David Carr, David Goldstone, Paul Coulam and a few others had braved cold and boredom to be there. More would have come, but were appalled by the timing of the event.
We began with Alex Singleton. He put the case for free trade in its most orthodox form. Trade benefitted both parties, he said. It was not an act of charity for us to open our markets to poor countries, but obvious self-interest. As for the poor countries themselves, those that had liberalised their domestic economies and opened up to foreign trade and investment had enjoyed the best growth rates over the past few decades. It was all true and all very well said.
I had expected to speak at the end of the debate. I had agreed with Mr Singleton that he should use the first five minutes to put the case for, and that I should use the next to last five minutes. However, Mr Beattie turned to me and asked me to go next. This was a nuisance. I had been settling into a gentle doze in preparation for the fair traders, and I think it was amusingly plain to the audience how I unprepared I was for immediate action. However, I had written and largely memorised a speech, and I delivered this, cutting where necessary to fit it into the time available.
Though I was praised afterwards, I know that I am a poor speaker for short occasions. I am not frightened by large audiences. I can speak clearly and grammatically. Give me 40 minutes to outline a case, and I can do a fine job. I am, after all, a lecturer. But I do not shine when it comes to the short speech. So it was last night. I had been awake for nearly 20 hours. I had given four lectures during the day. was half asleep. I found my eyes wandering to my text. If praise was due at all, it was for the content of what I was saying, not for my manner of saying it. Yet the speech was a good one. I can write well.
These reservations being made, here is what I said::
If you think that I came here tonight to defend multinational corporations and the international government institutions, you have chosen the wrong person. These are dishonest. They are corrupt. They are incompetent. They have blood on their hands.
But do not suppose for a moment that the world trading order as it actually exists is liberal or more than incidentally connected with free markets. A free market is a place where individuals and groups of individuals come together to transact voluntary exchanges without any backing of government force. To call the actually existing order liberal or neo-liberal is as taxonomically accurate as calling the old Soviet Communist Party syndicalist. That order is based on tariffs, subsidies and a web of other often invisible regulations. The international institutions are a projection of Western states. The multinational corporations are creatures of these states. They shelter behind the privilege of limited liability. They get their political friends to cartelise markets, and do favours in return.
This is not market liberalism. It is a fraud played on us all by our ruling classes these being those politicians, bureaucrats, educators, lawyers and media and business people who derive wealth, power and status from an enlarged and activist state.
But this being said, the fair trade solution is easily worse than the problem. The ruling classes in any country never have at heart the best interests of their subjects. But in the West, we can just about afford corporatism. We still have some heritage of market liberalism. Our ruling classes are to some degree restrained in their predations. That is not so in poor countries. The ruling classes there are naked kleptocracies. All that keeps them from utterly starving their unfortunate subjects is their own idleness and incompetence. The fair trade talk may well be of import substitution or rational planning or picking local winners. The reality will be to turn poor countries into sealed territories ruled by the law of the jungle a jungle in which only the well-connected will survive. Presented in the lilting, caring tones of helping the poor, what we have is nothing more than the old Nazi policy of autarky.
Let me give one example of how fair trade works in practice. On the 1st January this year, import taxes were raised in Kenya and in several other African countries on second hand clothing from the West. The stated purpose of this was to give local textile manufacturers the chance to grow big enough to face foreign competition. Of course, the textile interests will never be able to face open competition. Infant industries never grow up. Protect them, and prices rise. Money that would otherwise be saved and invested is spent on paying the higher prices. Money that would otherwise be spent on other goods is spent on paying the higher prices. The country gains a sector in which it may have no comparative advantage - or in which it might have a comparative advantage only in less well-connected hands. Those sectors in which there might be a comparative advantage suffer. But the lucky capitalists who are protected make big profits, and their friends in government collect the usual gifts. And the people at the bottom? Norman Nyaga, a Kenyan Member of Parliament can answer here. Writing in The Kenya Times last month, he accused the Government of deliberately rigging the textile market in favour of some foreign investors. He said the effect would be to damage the livelihood of 10 million Kenyans who work in the second hand clothing sector, and to lower the incomes still further of the 56 per cent of Kenyans who live below the official poverty line and who must buy second hand clothes or go without.
I do not support the present system of world trade. But give me a straight choice between this and the economics of the jungle that is fair trade, and I will choose the present system. Global corporatism may be unfair. But it does at least allow some wealth to be created. It does allow at least some rational economic calculation. Fair trade simply gives even more power to politicians and bureaucrats and favoured business interests in poor countries - that is, to the very people and interests that made and have kept these countries poor.
If you really want to improve the lives of the poorest, forget all this kumbaya socialism - which is a cocktail of bad economics and bad theology, held together by self-righteous candle-waving. Either settle for what we have - which, unfair as it is, delivers something - or campaign for a system of real voluntary exchange. Fair trade can never be fair. But free trade can be free.
Had I been giving a lecture rather than a brief speech, I could usefully have elaborated on some of my points. I have written at length elsewhere about the political and economic implications of the Christian faith, and so will not repeat myself here. But I grow increasingly convinced that allowing the creation of joint stock limited liability corporations was one of the greatest legislative mistakes of the 19th century. Their existence is based on a separation of ownership from control. The owners are released from all responsibility. The controllers form a separate class of corporate bureaucrats little different in outlook from civil servants. The usual psychology operates. They will commit immoral acts for their organisations they might not consider committing for themselves. The owners will assent. The legal privileges and unlimited lifespan of these corporations let them grow to enormous size and wealth. The opportunities exist for highly effective immorality. Collectively, they become part of the state apparatus, and work to destroy true, unregulated enterprise.
These corporations could not exist in any natural economic order. I have heard other libertarians argue that they might emerge without legal privilege on some loose contractual basis. But I do not agree. The shareholders would still be liable in tort, and that alone would deter them from any involvement with a business that they did not personally control. As for the utilitarian argument, that large undertakings need large companies, I also disagree. So long as it showed an acceptable return on investment, there is no project too big to be taken on by clusters of sole traders and partnerships. No doubt, things like the Channel Tunnel would not have been built but I fail to see how not having that would have made the world a poorer place. Even if some highly valuable projects might not be undertaken, their lack would be compensated by the greater general innovation to be expected in an order of small, unregulated firms.
Indeed, the matter of what to do about the corporations is more interesting to me than world poverty. As I said in my speech, people in places like black Africa are poor because they have maniacally corrupt and oppressive governments. They would do better even with the most cartelised global corporatism than left in the clutches of their own rulers. And that is it. But how can this corporatism be replaced by a system of voluntary exchange between legally responsible small firms? I think I have a few answers here, but will give these at another time.
Outside the church, I bumped into the personal assistant for one of the Conservative leaders. The usual sort of well-dressed, well-connected young man on the make who appeals to such people, he insisted I might have brought a few people over to my side had my speech been less abrasive. I replied by noting how eight years of being soft and gentle had got his Party nowhere. I also pointed out that five minutes speaking time is best given up to blunt expression, when what is expressed is probably new to the audience. I know that a few mouths had fallen open at my dismissal of self-righteous candle waving. But that effect was my intention. I wanted the audience to go away with a few memorable phrases. These might eventually provoke a chain of thought in the hearers mind, or be passed on in conversation to someone else more receptive.
There are times when arguments can be won by moderate expression and compromise. But this was not such a time. It was not even a time for argument. An hour chopped into little blocks of comments from the panel and questions from the audience does not allow for argument in any meaningful sense. As said, it was a time for blunt expression.
I wish I had been able to stay longer and have some real arguments, but I could now feel great waves of tiredness sweeping over me. So I went off to bed. The audience remained in the church, singing responses in a language unknown to me and set to music that might have been more suited to lullabies for an idiot child. The rest of the procession had taken to resolute candle waving, and had moved down Whitehall to Downing Street, where hopes were expressed of waking up Tony Blair. A pity, I thought at the time, the Salvation Army had not sent a few of its brass bands to join in the parade.
And that is it. A fuller account would mention the grotesque nonsense uttered by the other speakers. They had obviously never opened an economics textbook in their lives. Nor had most of the audience that so warmly applauded their nonsense. But I cannot be bothered to record any of what was said on the other side. There will be a DVD of the whole event, and this will speak for itself.
On balance, it was worth attending. I waved the flag for the Libertarian Alliance. I handed out several dozen business cards. I might be invited to speak at other events where I can outline my objections in more detail to the heresies of theological socialism. Together with Mr Singleton, I might even have started a few trains of thought in unknown minds.
An artist who randomly vandalised nearly 50 cars as part of a project said yesterday the owners should be happy they were involved in his "creative process"....
His work will be displayed on Wednesday night in a launch party at The Arches, an exhibition venue in Glasgow. It is the latest bizarre stunt by the postgraduate in the history of art from Goldsmiths College in London.
McGowan, who has described himself as "the British alternative to David Blaine", nailed his feet to an art gallery last year - in a protest against leaves.
I would more than nail the little scote's feet to the floor if he "keyed" my car...
April 16, 2005
A Good Man gone
April 11, 2005 - Merck & Co., Inc. today announced the death of Maurice R. Hilleman, Ph.D., D.Sc.
"Dr. Maurice Hilleman created a legacy of accomplishment and achievement that dwarfs that of any other scientist working today. His work has saved literally millions of lives and has protected many millions more from disease," said Adel A. F. Mahmoud, M.D., Ph.D., president, Merck Vaccines. "Dr. Maurice Hilleman is one of the true scientific leaders of our time. His work has helped to protect millions from diseases ranging from pandemic flu to chicken pox, and has revolutionized public health, without question. There are few people alive today - or who have lived in any other age in history - who can say that they helped eliminate a disease and saved millions of lives, not just through their discovery, but through their insistence that the fruits of their labor be brought to all those in need. Maurice Hilleman is one of those very few."
We need more like him - see "evil" white coated scientists working for heartless American multi-nationals do more good than the empty headed pontificating of their enemies.
In Brussels, a funeral procession saw coffins filled with rice, chickens and tomatoes to highlight, what campaigners say, is the affect the EU free trade has on communities and livelihoods in developing countries.
With such great economists as Ronan Keating, Beverley Knight, Vanessa Redgrave and Pete Postlethwaite on board it is hard to argue with them but let me try.
The Trade Justice demands are:
1. The EU should unilaterally end agricultural export subsidies now
2. The EU should support changes to trade rules to enshrine the right of
developing countries to protect their domestic agricultural sectors on the
grounds of food security, livelihood security and sustainable rural
development. As a first step at the WTO, the EU should ensure developing
countries are able to self-select products on these grounds to be exempt
from any further liberalisation...
They really don't get it do they? To accuse the EU of "Free Trade" is bizarre. It is the non-Free Trade of Agricultural subsidies that causes the problem. And the solution - to encourage developing countries to create their own CAPs is plain bloody stupid. But "Free Trade" is now the "problem" when actually they are against "Freedom" and want to organise the little brown peasants; because in that smug liberal caring way deep-down they dont believe little brown peasants are capable of organising their own lives...
April 15, 2005
So this Texan who visits the UK to sample Wadworth's 6X and other fine beers is in London and decides to explore the city on his own. He wanders around, seeing the sights, and occasionally stopping at a quaint pub to soak up the local culture, chat with the lads, and have a pint of bitter.
After a while, he finds himself in a very high-class area...big, stately residences... no pubs, no shops, no restaurants, and worst of all... NO PUBLIC TOILETS. He really, really has to go, after all those pints of bitter.
He finds a narrow side street, with high walls surrounding the adjacent buildings and decides to use the wall to solve his problem. As he is unzipping, he is tapped on the shoulder by a London Bobby, who says, "I say, sir, you simply cannot do that here, you know."
"I'm very sorry, officer," replies the American, "but I really, really HAVE TO GO, and I just can't find a public toilet."
"Ah, yes," said the Bobby, "Just follow me".
He leads him to a back "delivery alley", then along a wall to a gate,
which he opens.
"In there," points the Bobby. "Whiz away Sir, anywhere you want."
The fellow enters and finds himself in the most beautiful garden he has ever seen. Manicured grass lawns, statuary, fountains, sculptured hedges, and huge beds of gorgeous flowers, all in perfect bloom. Since he has the cop's blessing, he unburdens himself and is greatly relieved.
As he goes back through the gate, he says to the Bobby, "That was really decent of you... is that what you call "British Hospitality?"
"No sir", replied the Bobby, "That is what we call the French Embassy.
The Times has learnt that the Government has, for the first time in a general election, invited international observers to monitor the last week of the campaign. The Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights will decide in the next two days whether to accept the invitation. "We don't investigate and we would not micromanage the police, but postal voting will be looked at if we accept," a spokeswoman said.
So Zimbabwe had Commonwealth and EU monitors - Iraq had a Canadian based organisation and Labour invites a Warsaw based group here... funny old world eh?
Humanism through Strength
Remember Jack Straw saying, This Constitution is a victory for Britain and the British view of Europe.
Now there is a message that we ought to take out adverts in France to spread, because as Chirac trys to rally the Yes vote we get a slightly different message from him!
BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Key quotes: Chirac on EU constitution
So, there were two possible solutions - either letting things drift, as we have done so far, in other words, a solution leading to the kind of Europe which is driven by the ultra-liberal current, an Anglo-Saxon, Atlanticist kind of Europe. This is not the kind of Europe we want.
The second option is a humanist Europe, but one which in order to impose its humanism, its values, must be organised, must be strong, the kind of Europe which has the necessary power in order to be counted in the world of tomorrow...
And this means that it needs to be organised, that it needs to have shared ambition, and this organisation which gives it its strength needs rules, of course.
And why does the phrase "impose its humanism" with "organisation" and "strength" send shivers down my spine?
April 14, 2005
What did the Romans ever do for us?
Years of division among academics over whether the Romans or the Normans introduced rabbits into Britain appears to have been resolved...
So they brought the Rabbit huh! - Well it was an Ancestor of The Englishman who introduced the Rabbit to Australia - won a Medal and Cash prize in gratitude for doing so - funny the last Oz farmer I mentioned this to didn't seem as grateful....
To save you looking it up here's the Monty Python - What have the Romans ever done for us? sketch from Life of Brian.
Yeah. All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!
Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.
And the sanitation.
Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like?
Yeah. All right. I'll grant you the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.
And the roads.
Well, yeah. Obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads--
Huh? Heh? Huh...
Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.
And the wine.
Oh, yes. Yeah...
Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if the Romans left. Huh.
And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.
Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order. Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this.
Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Oh. Peace? Shut up!
Pass the cruet set please.
As man and boy my breakfast has consisted of one Weetabix with a covering of Kellogg's Cornflakes with unrefined dark Cane sugar served in a hemispherical bowl with semi-skimmed milk and a heavy "Old English" pattern spoon. (Every item in this list is essential and is not variable if it is going to tast right - if one is missing or it is very cold than I choose Scotts Porage). Now the bastards are messing with the Cornflakes - if they start tasting like non-Kelloggs one my days will be ruined and I will become a grumpy old man every morning.
Labour's manifesto launch was overshadowed yesterday by a warning from the International Monetary Fund that the next Government would have to rein back spending or raise taxes.
Gordon claims they have got their sums wrong - I don't think so.
April 13, 2005
More Brummie Vote Fraud?
The elections officer for Birmingham was suspended last night after the discovery of a hidden box containing an estimated 1,000 uncounted postal votes from the 2004 local authority elections.
The Slavery of free trade
Kofi is a victim of free trade. He earns £1 a day breaking rocks to make gravel. He used to be a tomato farmer. But that livelihood, which bought food for his family and schooling for his children, has been taken away from him.
Free trade means a country's economy is run without government intervention. It is a policy that rich country governments and international institutions are forcing poor countries to accept.
Free trade is imposed on poor countries through:
agreements between two or more countries
conditions and 'economic advice' given to poor countries in return for loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank
agreements at the World Trade Organisation.
The effects of free trade can be seen across the developing world. Millions of poor people's livelihoods are being threatened, and their governments are powerless to prevent it.
If we are serious about having a world free from poverty, then poor countries must be given the chance to work their own way out of poverty.
Trade could be that chance.
And they are taking out full page adverts to push this nonsense - I hope they don't rattle a collecting tin under my nose in the near future.
A different sort of Double Barrel
Spartan Gunworks :: Rifles & Combos Shotgun Upper / Centerfire Rifle Lower - Rifle/Shotgun Combo - now how would I get that on my ticket?
They also do 410 shotgun / .22 Rimfire rifle combo gun!
Tall poppy syndrome
Tesco announce a 5% profit margin (pre tax) and most commentators clamour for "something to be done" to cut them back down to size.
But not all as I found on :
BBC NEWS | Have Your Say | Has Tesco become too powerful?
"It's typical of this country to lend support to a failing company like Rover and then criticise a success like Tesco."
Lloyds of London Audit evidence
A kind reader sent me Ian Hay Davison's Affidavit regarding the sorry state of the auditing at Lloyds of London prior to the crash that ruined a lot of good people. Download file.
PRESIDENT CHIRAC embarks on a make-or-break attempt tomorrow to persuade voters to approve the European Union constitution after a poll yesterday showed the "no" majority increasing before the French referendum on May 29.
Of course there may be other ways for the Crook to win - all those ballot boxes from the territories for instance.. as
Michael Portillo said of a previous French vote:
"Within minutes of the ballot boxes being sealed Major received a call from Paris to tell him that the vote had been carried by 51% to 49%. That surprised me. In my experience of elections it had never been possible to know the outcome of such a close contest so quickly. To this day I harbour shameful doubts about how the French government could be so sure so soon."
Turkeys NOT voting for Xmas
Members of the European Parliament rejected moves yesterday to clean up scandal-ridden arrangements for their travel allowances and expenses. Their decision prompted anger and disbelief from British MEPs, who voted for proposed reforms.
In a series of votes carried by a margin of six to four at a full session of the parliament in Strasbourg, MEPs resisted proposals for audits of their accounts and turned down calls to impose sanctions on those found to have defrauded the taxpayer.
No comment needed.
April 12, 2005
Die Spam, Die!
SpamLookup is a new MT plugin to kill Spam - If you have an MT blog, go get it and install, until we can use cattle prods on spammers it is the best we can do.
(Mr FM - as you were - it is up and running on your blog - check the main page for its control panel.)
German Jokes - Part II
The most popular post on this blog is still Jokes from Germany - so for fans of Teutonic Humour here are some more:
What do you get when you cross a chicken with a centipede?
A media circus about the debate over the morals and ethics of genetic
So, there were an Irishman, an Englishman and an American wrecked on an island. One day, they found a bottle, and when they opened it, a ghost came out and offered them each a wish. However, even though they wished for different stuff, nothing happened, as the three guys of varying nationalities were just having shared hallucinations from hunger.
How do you drown a blonde?
Hold her head underwater until she can no longer breathe and stops
Why did the blonde get fired from the M&M factory?
Repeated absences and stealing.
So a mushroom walks into a bar, sits down, and orders a drink.
The bartender calls his psychiatrist to report that he is hallucinating again.
How do you brainwash a blonde?
A rigorous schedule of psychologically breaking down their confidence and resistance to outside suggestion.
A black man is going to get a vasectomy. He shows up to the doctor's
office wearing a suit. The doctor says "Why are you wearing a suit?" The black man says "I just got back from a funeral"
Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?
Because it was just the decomposing remains of a long forgotten murder
case in a remote field.
What do you say to a woman with two black eyes?
" Would you like an ice pack? "
Jesus is hanging on the cross and John approaches.
John says: "Jesus, its John. How may I serve thee ain thy time of need?"
Jesus replies: "YEEEAAAAAAAARGGHGGGHGGHGGGHGGHGGH!!!!!"
You want more?
A man spends his first day in prison talking to his cell mate. His cell mate gives him a few tips on surviving maximum security in his first weeks there, and then pauses to look outside the bars of the cell.
"I got an escape plan", says the man's cell mate.
"What is it?"
"Put this blanket over your head, and I'll tell you what to do when the guard comes back."
The man puts the blanket over his head, and his cell mate begins to rape him.
A man walks into a bar
He drinks 6 Newcastles, 4 shots of Jack Daniels, hits on the waitress
unsuccessfully, takes his wedding ring off, tried again and fails, drinks 3 more shots, drives home, beats his daughter for coming home late, and cries himself to sleep realising that he hates his life.
Patrick and Michael were walking along in a forest, when Patrick falls
over and breaks his leg on a tree root.
In agony, Patrick turns to Michael and says "Quick, call me an
Michael replies " Okay I'll just go to that public telephone we saw
earlier down the path - I'll be back in five minutes. ".
A duck walks into a bar...
Animal control is promptly called, the duck is then taken to a near by park and released.
Why did the deaf man take his parrot to work?
He was weird.
What's the difference between a post box and a vagina?
A post box is a public container for the deposit of outgoing mail, and a vagina is the passage leading from the opening of the vulva to the cervix of the uterus in female mammals.
Why do Mexicans not like going out in the rain?
A horse walks into a bar, and the barman says "Why the long face?". The horse replies:
"I'm deeply troubled by the anthropomorphic aspects of my existence and the extent to which I am now protected by law."
The wallet inspector!
Ditch the jokes and come inside, Tim, it's fucking cold.
A chicken begins crossing the street and is hit by several fast moving
metal boxes with wheels.
A Blonde and a Brunette jump off a tall building at the same time. Who hits the ground first?
Both of them hit the ground at the same time. Hair colour doesn't affect acceleration due to gravity.
A man walks into a bar.
He is an alcoholic whose drinking problem is destroying his family.
What's worse then finding a worm in your apple?
Why was six afraid of seven?
It wasn't. Numbers are not sentient and thus incapable of feeling fear.
A man walks into a whorehouse and pays a prostitute for sex. He contracts an STD and passes it onto his pregnant wife. Their child is born deformed and has a difficult life.
When asked if he could see the humour in the situation, the child replied "No. No I don't."
A man called a lawyer and asked, "How much will you charge me to answer three questions?"
The lawyer said "$400."
"Wow," said the man. "Isn't that a lot?"
"I guess so." said the lawyer. "When are you going to ask your questions?"
How do you know when a Frenchman has been near your house?
You don't, really, unless you were there to see him or if one of your
neighbours saw him. I wouldn't worry about it, really.
Three men are at the FBI Building for a job interview. The interviewing
FBI agent tells the first man, 'To be in the FBI you must be loyal,
dedicated, and give us your all. Your wife is in the next room. I want you
to go in there and shoot her with this gun.'
The man takes the gun, hesitates, and says, 'Sorry, I can't do it.'
The next interviewee enters the office and the agent tells him the same
thing he told the first guy. The second man takes the gun, walks into the
room, and walks out. 'Sorry, I can't.' he says.
The last man enters the office and the interviewer said yet again explains
the test.' The man says "I'm sorry I love my wife too much to do such a
harmful thing, I guess the FBI is not for me after all."
A guy walks into a doctors office.
The doctor tells him, "You need an operation".
The guy says, "I want a second opinion."
The doctor says*, "Okay, my colleague, Dr. Saknussem, would be happy to
provide you with the appropriate consultation. Here's his address, and
I'll have my receptionist call him and schedule an appointment. Please try
to see him soon, though. At the moment, I'm concerned about the size and
location of this tumour, and I think we should move quickly if we're going
to get our best results."
What's sad about 4 black people in a Cadillac going over a cliff?
They were my friends.
A wealthy businessman is flying to New York for two weeks, and he wants to
keep his wife satisfied lest she sleep around. He drives his BMW to the
adult store and asks the shop assistant for advice on the most pleasurable
sex toys in the store. After being shown all of the options, every dildo
and every vibrator, he is still unsatisfied. His eye then catches on a
hand carved ivory box which is behind the counter. 'What about that one'
he asks. The assistant tells him,
'I'm very sorry sir, but that isn't for sale, it's a very special voodoo
'Well what's so special about it?'
'It is a genuine African hand carved dildo. It was given to the owner of
the store as a gift. It's really just for show, and it could possibly
The man leaves with nothing and heads off to New York. His wife has hot
hot threesomes every night because she married for the money. They were
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Earlier that morning the farmers daughter had inadvertently left the gate
to the yard open as she was preoccupied by her worry over a maths test set
for that day. She hadn't studied for the test as she was still deeply
distressed over her fathers recent heart attack. This, coupled with the
added burden of household chores now delegated to her because her mother
was out trying to get the west field prepared for sowing, had made her
quite forgetful and distracted of late.
Whilst several chickens escaped, only one strayed so far that it actually
encountered the road facing the farm. After crossing the road and gorging
itself in a soybean crop, the chicken was struck by a furniture
removalists van as it attempted to make its way home.
Several hours later the dead chicken was spotted by a Community Mental
Health Worker who was doing his bi-weekly rural clinic run. The chicken,
being a bantam caught the eye of the Mental Health worker, who was a keen
"Cool" thought the mental health worker- "those feathers will make for
excellent trout flys". He stopped and plucked a handful of the most
iridescent blue, green and orange feathers and placed them in an envelope.
He rolled himself a cigarette, sat on the trunk of his car and admired the
clouds. "God, I love this job", he muttered to no one in particular.
Satan takes the form of Jesus and appears to three priests saying that if
they do something evil, he'll let them drink of the holy water.
The three priests discuss the offer and come to the conclusion that Satan
must be tricking them into committing sin. When confronted with this
accusation, Satan reveals his dastardly plot and salutes the priests on
their cunning and steadfast faith.
Why couldn't Helen Keller drive?
Because she was blind and deaf.
A husband, proving to his wife that women talk more than men, showed her a
study which indicated that men use (on the average) only 15,000 words a
day, whereas women use 30,000 words a day.
She thought about this for a while and then told her husband that women
use twice as many words as men because they have to repeat everything they
Looking stunned, he said, "That's hardly true. You just talk to much,
which was possibly the point of the study."
The Pope walks into a bar. The bartender says, what'll ya have, Pope? But
the Pope's grasp of English is tenuous at best, so he mumbles something in
Latin. The bartender doesn't know any Latin. The Pope gets frustrated and
Have you seen Stevie Wonder's new house?
Well, it's really nice.
Where did Hitler keep his armies?
The brunt of his forces were applied to the Eastern front, but throughout
different periods of the war, a sizable chunk were used to protect the
Atlantic Wall and a handful of divisions were used in Africa, to secure
An old man marries a younger woman, but cannot satisfy her in the bedroom.
They go to counselling and the therapist suggests they take a vacation to
somewhere romantic. They do so, but they old man is still unable to
satisfy his new wife. He makes a call to the therapist who recommends the
old man hire a pool boy to wave a white towel over them during their love
making session. The old man will try anything to please his new bride, so
he hires a pool boy for the job, but he still cannot please his young
wife, so he calls the therapist again. This time the therapist says he
should wave the flag while the pool boy has a go at the wife. The old man
says indignantly, "That's the fucking stupidest idea I have ever heard!"
and hangs up. They live out the remainder of his short life miserable and
never are intimate again.
A couple just got married and on the night of their honeymoon before
passionate love, the wife tells the husband, "Please be gentile, I'm still
a virgin." The husband being shocked, replied, "How's this possible?
You've been married three times before." The wife responds, "Well, I marry
older men for their money and then wait until they die. Usually I don't
have to have intercourse with them. They have alzheimer's and I just tell
them it was the best I ever had."
A kid is riding down the street when his chain pops off his bicycle. The
kid yells "God damm!" as he begins to fix it. A priest walking nearby
overhears the boy taking god's name in vein and says "Don't say 'God damm'
say 'God help us'".
The kid says, "I am an atheist, get away from me".
What's the difference between a Jew and a pizza?
A Jew is a person adhering to the Jewish faith and a pizza is an
oven-baked, flat, usually circular bread covered with tomato sauce and
cheese with optional garnishes.
What do you get when you turn 3 blondes upside-down?
An embarrassing situation
Why did the blonde tattoo her zip code on her stomach?
She was a schizophrenic
How do you confuse a blonde?
Paint yourself green and throw forks at her
What's the deal with airline peanuts?
The packaging is generally poorly designed and cheaply made, as a method
of cutting distribution costs. After all, most passengers wouldn't want a
"Peanut Fee" attached to their already costly ticket prices in order to
cover the expenses of higher quality wrappers. What are you complaining
about, anyway? It's free food, and it's a nice snack. If you're really
that bent on not enjoying the peanuts the airline so graciously provided
you with, just save them and give them to the next homeless person you
see. People these days are really selfish.
How do you make a swiss roll?
Generally it involves a thin layer of sponge cake and a layer of either
jam or cream. The resulting flat sheet of cake and cream is then rolled
into a cylinder. It's quite delicious, actually.
Telegraph | News | Woman who turns pets into pillows faces death threats
While female taxidermists are a rarity, Miss Hall - a keen shot since childhood, when she used to go hunting with her grandfather - previously made her name working not only with conventional elk heads and bear rugs, but producing oddities such as deer testicles mounted on a plaque for $125.
Miss Hall likes to target wild hogs with her Remington 7400 rifle. She once explained her passion for taxidermy by saying: "You get an animal that's blasted and shot up, and you think, how on earth am I going to fix this? But it comes back to life again. I love getting the expression in the eyes."
Miss Hall says that she follows her golden rule for an off-duty taxidermist looking for love: "Never pick up road-kill on the first date".
Now that is a woman I wouldn't want to piss off - otherwise I fear it might be my testicles stuffed and mounted!
BBC finds businesses and people feel over taxed and over regulated!
Priorities for the Police
TRAFFIC police are being awarded points for arresting law breakers in a new system to boost productivity.
Officers in the Thames Valley have been set a minimum haul of 200 points a month, with different crimes attracting different points. Under the scheme, police will be given ten points for arresting a rapist or burglar compared with five for a motorist talking on a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt.
Says it all doesn't it about priorities - so if you are driving in the Thames Valley watch out!
Local Village Website wars
lynehamvillage.co.uk is getting a lot of stick from the official lynehamvillage.com, or at least the twat running it. Asking for ASBOs and bannings - madness - deatils are here - Websitewar. Even though the joker is anti-tory, anti-fox hunting etc he gets our official support.
A man was killed in an affluent village yesterday after confronting yobs who police were said to have repeatedly failed to tackle.
No wonder people walk past on the other side.
Confused - you will be!
Alan Milburn, Labour's election co-ordinator, confirmed that Labour was now accusing the Tories of both wanting to cut and increase spending.
"At the same time as planning to cut £35 billion from Labour's public spending plans, the Conservative manifesto makes billions of pounds of additional spending commitments,"
What - no accusation that they intend to leave public spending exactly the same! - Still pity that the Tories aren't running on a cut, cut and then cut again policy.
April 11, 2005
Checking the plants this morning I'm glad to see all 100 seem to be growing - £1.15 of public subsidy well spent on each one I think you will agree.
Some confusion - I should have said this is a Horse Chestnut sapling - Aesculus hippocastanum - growing in a protective tube. I mentioned - post - I was going to buy some. I have no idea what some of you were thinking!
Tory Manifesto - backdoor English Parliament?
Now that exclusively Scottish matters are decided by the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, exclusively English matters should be decided in Westminster without the votes of MPs sitting for Scottish constituencies who are not accountable to English voters. We will act to ensure that English laws are decided by English votes.
Election code word - "Britain"
Kennedy set to 'talk Britain up'
He joins Gordon "Tax and Waste" Brown in his sudden call for "Britain". Deciphered this word now means that I'm a Scottish MP and I want to rule England - England is not a country but a bunch of regions as decided by the EU - I'm wrapping myself in the flag as a scoundrel does so you don't see my traitorous intent to the English.
Mark this word on your Election Bingo card and tick it off as it is uttered by various sleaze merchants.
Scotch want more tax
Most people in Scotland want higher spending on schools, hospitals and pensions and would pay more tax to finance it, a BBC Scotland poll says.
Here's an idea - how about them starting by paying their own way first instead of leaching of the poor bloody English taxpayer. Maybe they wouldn't be so keen on more tax if they were actually paying it themselves.
As others see us...
The French are being offered a new guide to the English that portrays les rosbifs as a binge-drinking, pet-obsessed race which still leads the world in pop music and humour but dresses with dubious taste and treats sex as a subject of national embarrassment.
Agnès Catherine Poirier, a writer and broadcaster, bases her conclusions on the "strange, insular people" of Britain on the 10 years she has spent observing its inhabitants while living in London.
In her book, Les Nouveaux Anglais, published in France this week, she says many stereotypes that spring most readily to French minds when reflecting on their cross-Channel neighbours are already things of the past.
Sound about right.
April 8, 2005
Now there's a funny thing
Listen, listen, are you listening, right. Father and son, the boy would be 8 or 9, he may be 10, we don't know, who cares anyway? His father took him to a cattle show on Saturday afternoon where the farmers were buying the bulls and cows, mostly bulls, when all of a sudden the little boy saw a farmer go up to a bull and the farmer started feeling the bull all along the back, he was feeling it, all down and all round, feeling all over. And the little boy said, "Daddy what's he doing?" And his father told him. His father said, "He's feeling to see if there is any meat on it. If there's any meat on it, he's going to buy it." The boy thanked his father for telling him. Two or three weeks later, the boy went to see his father at breakfast. The father asked him what he wanted. The boy said, "I think the butler wants to buy the cook."
There were eight women in a boat and one was expecting a happy event. The other seven wanted to help her, but they were all in the same boat.
Now there's a clever one!
Have you heard about the girl of eighteen who swallowed a pin, but didn't feel the prick until she was twenty-one?
I was walking along this narrow mountain pass - so narrow that nobody else could pass you, when I saw a beautiful blonde walking towards me. A beautiful blonde with not a stitch on, yes, not a stitch on, lady. Cor blimey, I didn't know whether to toss myself off or block her passage.
Boys will be boys, won't they? Lucky for you, girls, otherwise you'd get no fun ... no ... listen!
April 7, 2005
Happy Dance II
It is not the Present Mrs Englishman's Birthday today and any suggestion that, if it was, it would be a significant number involved is scurrilous, but that is me done for the day - off to party!
Happy Dance 1
A year or so ago I refused to deal with a company as I thought they were crooks, and my refusal caused certain problesm. So imagine my delight this morning to see that the FTC is keeping $1.5m of their money as a settlement!
Attention les voteurs de France
As part of the new campaign to tell French voters that the English want them to vote "oui" here is today's PR:
Allo Mes Braves. Vous will 'ave noticed cette article dans notre Newspaper:
Telegraph | News | EU seeks £4bn migration budget
The European Commission yesterday unveiled proposals for a pan-European immigration system.
The commission asked member states to provide more than £4 billion for Brussels-led programmes to manage legal and illegal migration during the life of the next European Union budget from 2007 to 2013.
An "integration fund", worth £1.2 billion, would offer help to national and local governments to integrate newcomers, with "civic orientation courses, intercultural training and handbooks".
Britain, along with Ireland, has not signed up to the core of the Schengen agreement, and maintains border controls. It will not contribute to the new funds.
Remembez-vous that tout les immigrants will be integrated dans La France et avec la dosh from Le UE they will buy up votre miasons et couchez ave votre filles. Les Anglais wont let them in so they will be stuckes ave vous! Cette what la tout UE is about n'est pas, Vous knows it makes sense, votez OUi pour le sake de Angleterre.
Tax and waste
Tony Blair will refuse to rule out further tax rises in Labour's election manifesto to help fund a £95 billion increase in public spending over six years, senior party officials said last night.
April 6, 2005
Funds for mums against guns
The former treasurer of a national anti-gun crime organisation has been charged with stealing funds donated to the group. ..Mothers Against Guns was set up by Lucy Cope in 2002, following the death of her son Damian, and is funded by grants and donations, including money from the Home Office.
Sorry - why does the Home Office give money to a single issue lobbying group - does the BASC get money from the taxpayer as well?
Oui or Non?
The towering figure of Charles de Gaulle has been dragged into France's debate on the EU constitution, with backers and opponents arguing over whether the former president would have said "Oui" or "Non" to the treaty.
As three opinion polls yesterday showed that the "No" vote would prevail in the May 29 plebiscite, each camp redoubled its efforts to ally itself with the man who epitomises France's national identity.
And they are even trying to buy M. Marché Libre's vote...
French hunters have become the latest beneficiaries of their government's feverish attempts to ensure a "Yes" vote in the referendum.
The move to buy votes from the traditionally Eurosceptic hunters came in the form of a push for a relaxation of the rules of a 1979 EU directive on the shooting season.
The prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, has offered the country's 1.5 million hunters an extension of the season for certain species and the ecology minister, Serge Lepeltier, has promised to delay a ban on lead cartridges.
Of course, tacticaly we should all urge the Garlic Eaters to vote "Yes" - because us Anglo Saxons want to turn the EU into a Thatcherite Market and we want to buy up all their homes and sleep with their boys (you know about us Englishmen - eh, Garcon)and let the Turks in (and you know about the Turks too don't you Pierre!)and ban unpasturised cheese and make you drink English wine... So remember the English want you to vote "Oui" - so what are you going to do?
Turncoat turns again
Uncharitably I suspect he wants a post election honour and a couple of nice part time jobs on Quangos and of course I would be wrong...
April 5, 2005
A new special forces regiment is to be operational from Wednesday, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has announced.
The Special Reconnaissance Regiment, or SRR, will provide specialist support for overseas operations, particularly those against international terrorism.
Just like that - a new regiment! With the SAS giving up on the RAF, prefering the Petrols to provide instruction on how to fall out of things, and the SBS under extreme pressure to shape up or else, times are interesting in the murky world of Special Forces...
Why cleanliness matters
The family of a six-year-old girl who had her hands and feet amputated after contracting meningitis have confirmed she has caught MRSA.
"She's a six-year-old girl. She's fought her way back from death with meningitis.
"She then had to have a quadruple amputation, then a week later she had to have skin grafts. She's a little girl who's been through enough. I am devastated."
She added: "The doctors, they have done their best. They saved my granddaughter's life, there's no doubt about that.
"But there are big doubts and big question marks over cleanliness and I am angry."
And so it should make all of us - if you have children the story is beyond horror.
Is Blair pissing himself?
Maybe he has seen the opinion polls...
A short film
The English Progressive and Liberty Party - no idea who they are - but this film is good stuff.
The Cabarfeidh Pages (Highland Warriors) brings us:
THE 11 COMMANDMENTS - EDUCATION SHOULD:
Promote positive values, active citizenship and increased awareness of community and culture
Encourage positive attitudes to further learning
Have a positive impact on social exclusion and reduce alienation
Enable young people to play an active role in decisions which affect them.
Promote young peoples self-esteem, social development and sense of identity.
Encourage flexibility and diversity in teaching without detracting from common entitlements
Promote creativity and higher-order intellectual skills and encourage emotional was well as cognitive development
Encourage the valuing of all kinds of achievement
Help young people deal with change and uncertainty and promote their capacity for constructive dissent
Help teachers to develop professionally, increasing their self-confidence and autonomy.
Encourage parents to realise their role in supporting children's education
No mention of actually teaching the children anything, just PC bollocks!
Going through the process of finding a school for the eldest Englishette I have noted this problem before. What I want from a school is simple - I want it to turn her into a decent well educated kid who has been encouraged to reach her highest potential in all areas. The school we were recommended only talked to us about how it promoted "peer socialisation" i.e. it let the kids play together. We turned that one down.
Britain a Banana Republic
The judge in a vote-rigging trial says the postal voting system is "wide open to fraud" and has strongly attacked the government's attitude to the problem.
Richard Mawrey QC was speaking as he ruled there had been "widespread fraud" in six Birmingham council seats won last year by Labour.
He accused the government of being not only complacent, but "in denial", about the failings of the system.
The judge said he regretted the government had dismissed recent warnings about the system's failings as "scaremongering".
He pointed to a government statement which said: "The systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working."
Mr Mawrey said: "Anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising...
Remember this when the election results are announced because the system is not going to be changed before May.
Gentlemen, time to start your engines.
With Tony Blair due to announce the election date today four new polls this morning show that the race could be much tighter than was being forecast. All of them show Labour leads over the Conservatives to be on the decline and one has Michael Howard's party five points ahead.
The Media has been giving Blair a shoo-in - might it be a more interesting race? Howard has been positioning the Tories to gain as much territory as possible, and that means being as close to the enemy as possible, because the hinterland behind him which stretchs off to various peaks of indignation about Europe, Liberty etc has no where else to realistically go. Come the hour it will be a choice of vote for the Tories or accept responsibility for more Blair. And Blair has a problem of a lack of enthusiasm to get his supporters out. (Obviously with postal voting that isn't a problem for the Labour Party).
I see I can get 8 to 1 at Betfair on the Tories - I'm tempted.
April 4, 2005
A search is on to find 13 miles of old rope to rig a replica of Horatio Nelson's warship HMS Victory which is to be set on fire for charity.
I hope the Yard Arms are good and strong, because with 13 miles of rope to quote Gilbert and Sullivans Lord High Executioner of The Mikado:. I have a little list, of those that won't be missed...."
April 3, 2005
Kennet Council Diversity
I have been kindly sent an invitation to a Kennet Council Diversity Task Group event - 10am - 4 pm Mon 25th April:
"Kennet is a wonderfully diverse community. As a key member (Woh - that sounds like elitism - are they suggesting I'm more important than others..)you are warmly welcomed to an innovative, informative and enjoyable event to explore diversity in Kennet and what it means for you and your organisation.
Three especially commissioned plays will help us all to understand the needs of our diverse community, the issues.... No please, not bloody Street Theatre as a political weapon. I'm almost tempted to take some unpaid time off work to go along and mock...
I thought I would Google a bit on the Kennet Diversity Task Group and the wonderfully named Chair - Karolyne Fudge-Malik
firstname.lastname@example.org (01380) 722475
Karolyne aims to enable people from a diversity of cultures to access appropriate services from the voluntary sector. Much of the work is arts-based.
And I have found out what their problem is...
Kennet isn't diverse enough!a Report
It proved particularly difficult to fill out the limited picture presented by the statistical data in relation to racist crime. The minority ethnic population of Kennet is very small, almost certainly under 1%, and there are no minority ethnic communities of any size in the District.
Wiltshire Racial Equality Council has not yet succeeded in making and
sustaining links with more than a handful of minority ethnic residents in Kennet, so it was not possible to identify a group of people able to describe the experience of crime and harassment of minority ethnic residents in the District. It will be a priority for the Diversity Task Group to make the necessary contacts with minority ethnic residents to supplement the information coming from the police and the Incident Self Reporting Forms.
In other words there is bugger all racist crime so we are going to bully people to find it.
With regard to homophobic crime, there was a similar difficulty in
putting together a focus group of gay and lesbian residents. This was
less to do with a lack of numbers if national estimates were to be
applied to Kennet, they would suggest a likely gay and lesbian
population of at least 4,000 than with the absence of a centre or
meeting place within the District where gay and lesbian residents can
gain mutual support and identify issues of shared concern.
Ditto Queer bashing - but if we had a nice friendly centre maybe they would come and report crimes..
Fewer travellers settle in Kennet than in some other parts of
Wiltshire, a reflection of the lack of authorised sites in the District, its position in relation to the main routes used by travellers (Avebury apart), and the rapid enforcement procedures of the County Council and the Police against those using unauthorised sites. Nevertheless, a clearer focus on travellers, both as victims and perpetrators of crime and disorder, would help to protect those whose way of life tends to attract prejudice and harassment, and to bring together those in the voluntary and statutory sectors who hold welfare and enforcement responsibilities.
And even the Pikey's don't complain...
So despite there not being any need for it there was a demand for :
the setting up of a Diversity Action Group, responding to the needs of minorities and others who are, or feel themselves to be at greater risk of victimisation than the general population.
And if there aren't any victims we will manufacture them.
Yes I think I will try and go along for an hour or so - I wonder if Mr FM would like to come along as well - after all he suffers prejudice..
Reporting for Duty
2. Citizens of the Union shall enjoy the rights and be subject to the duties provided for in the Constitution.
But it doesn't seem to say what those duties might be... Call me cautious but when the RSM called for "volunteers" I always managed to be busy elsewhere, and volunteering for unspecified duties is still not something I'm keen on.
April 1, 2005
What I need to drink today
Google Gulp four impressive flavours - sound great especially the cool stuff it does to you - get in early, you don't want to be like the last kid on the block to get Gmail or use Google instead of Yahoo, again, do you!
Another trough they have their snouts in.
The Government is preparing for a showdown with its European Union partners over the more than £14 million that Britain spends every year subsidising a network of elite schools for the children of EU bureaucrats.
Few taxpayers have even heard of the "European Schools", established 50 years ago to provide a free, highly academic education for the children of EU officials and accredited diplomats.
2,000 of the 20,000 pupils at European Schools are British
Britain spends proportionally more than any other nation on funding the 13 schools, whose overall budget this year is £160 million.
I was going to say unbelievable but no it is all too believable with the whole crooked European Empire.