December 31, 2005
End of the year roundup
So the end of another year and my best wishes to all of you for 2006.
It is customary to do a full and serious roundup of the year's events, so thinking back through 2005 what do I remember?
Suzi Quatro being chased by my goose, I'm sure there was other stuff but after a good lunch with Mr FM and Mr Watton and respective wives, ageing relatives and young children all causing chaos in the local Pub, having been there for the Hunt Meet that is all I can remember, so let me leave you with that mental picture of 2005 - Mr Englishman's Goose chasing Suzi Quatro!
Cheers, have a good one.
December 30, 2005
Your local tax money going down the pan.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has scooped £100,000 in grants for its real nappy project.
The project aims to get parents to use reusable nappies on their babies rather than disposable nappies.
And this is six months after the Environment Agency
showed there was no environmental benefit to using "Real Nappies". Yet again it is our tax money being wasted just to encourage lentil-chewing whey-faced lumpen earth-mothers to leave stinking buckets of Tabithina's shit around their filthy kitchens along side the Peruvian Tofu baskets and their mangy familiar cats.
December 29, 2005
Hello Hello Hello - you're nicked.
Police are to be given sweeping powers to arrest people for every offence, including dropping litter, failure to wear a seat belt and other minor misdemeanours.
The measures, which come into force on Jan 1, are the biggest expansion in decades of police powers to deprive people of their liberty.
At present, officers can generally arrest people if they suspect them of committing an offence which carries at least five years in prison. They will now have the discretion to detain someone if they suspect any offence and think that an arrest is "necessary".
Hazel Blears, the Home Office minister, said: "It is vital that the police are equipped with the powers they need to enable them to do their jobs properly and effectively. The powers need to be updated to reflect modern policing priorities and the changing nature of criminal activity.
The only reason criminal activity is changing is because nuLabour have brought in 5300 new arrestable offences in the last few years! Liberty is becoming an absent friend we should remember on New Year's Eve.
As I said before:
Is it me or are we sinking into Third World standards of justice. Of course it is hard to convict people, especially clever people of crimes. That is the whole bloody point otherwise we end up like Constable Savage....
"Come in, shut the door."
"Now then, Savage, I want to talk td you about some charges that you've been bringing lately. I think that perhaps you're being a little
"Which charges did you mean then, sir?"
"Well, for instance this one: 'Loitering with intent to use a pedestrian crossing.' Savage, maybe you're not aware of this, but it is not illegal to use a pedestrian crossing, neither is 'smelling of foreign food' an offence."
"Are you sure, sir?"
"Also, there's no law against 'Urinating in a public convenience or 'Coughing without due care and attention."'
"If you say so, sir..."
"Yes, I do say so, Savage! Didn't they teach you anything at training school?"
"Erm, I'm sorry, sir..."
"Some of these cases are just plain stupid: 'Looking at me in a funny way' - Is this some kind of joke, Savage?"
"And we have some more here: 'Walking on the cracks in the pavement,' 'Walking in a loud shirt in a built-up area during the hours of darkness,' and 'Walking around with an offensive wife.' In short, Savage, in the space of one month you have brought one hundred and seventeen ridiculous, trumped-up and ludicrous charges."
"Against the same man, Savage."
"A Mr Winston Kodogo, of 55, Mercer Road."
"Sit down, Savage."
"Savage, why do you keep arresting this man?"
"He's a villain, sir."
"And a jail-bird, sir."
"I know he's a jail-bird, Savage, he's down in the cells now! We're holding him on a charge of 'Possession of curly black hair and thick lips."'
"Well - well, there you are, sir."
"You arrested him, Savage!"
"Thank you, sir."
"Savage, would I be correct in assuming that Mr Kodogo is a coloured gentleman?"
"Well, I can't say I've ever noticed, sir."
"Stand up, Savage! - Savage, you're a bigot. It's officers like you that give the police a bad name. The press love to jump on an instance like this, and the reputation of the force can be permanently tarnished. Your whole time on duty is dominated by racial hatred and petty personal vendettas. Do you get some kind of perverted gratification from going around stirring up trouble?"
"There's no room for men like you in my force, Savage. I'm transferring you to the S.P.G. -"
"Thank you very much, sir."
"- Now get out!"
from: Not! The Nine O'Clock News, Hedgehog Sandwich, BBC Records REB 421,1981
Spluttering into my port
I was admiring my large scoop of Stilton, as it tried to run off the plate, and wondering if anything more idiotic than the label that was on the original packet extisted - "Best before Nov 12 - keep Refrigerated - eat within three days of opening" - when I came across this:
The FSA said it was eager to reach a voluntary agreement with the Stilton makers but warned that mandatory limits were possible.
"We are responsible for finding a way of reducing the nation's salt and we have a target of six grams a day by 2010," a spokesman said.
Unfuckingbelievable - a glory of English Cuisine and the Snodgrasses want to ruin it on some crackpot theory whereas they should be out hanging the idiots who vacuum pack it and ruin it that way.
That Tory Appointment Policy in Full
the announcement that ‘Sir Bob’ Geldof was going to become a consultant to the Conservative Party. Of course, standards in public life have been dropping for years, but still – I thought Geldof had some principles.
Equally, some folk will cite this appointment, together with that of Zack ‘ecoloon’ Goldsmith, as further proof that Cameron has outsourced recruitment to Google, with whoever gets the most hits getting the job ....
So, the Conservatives are against poverty. I guess we’ll have to wait to hear their positions on fluffy kittens and bubonic plague. That's the problem right there. The Conservatives have appointed a barely-coherent egomaniac to help them develop policy and he's the political heavyweight. DumbJon
So a year of gloom ahead for Conservatives who think beyond the confines of smart London Dinner Party chatter...
December 24, 2005
The fire is lit, the stockings up, the presents piled around the tree and Rudolf's carrot and Santa's biscuit and glass of Sherry stand ready.
Have a Merry Christmas and Great New Year.
Dearly Beloved, I haven't asked much of you over the last year as I have served up a daily diet of tosh and vitriol. But today I am asking a small favour - please visit, or if you have a blog please link to this excellent website my brother has created. I think the name says it all.
Adopt a Sheep For Meat
December 23, 2005
A bit of a result
As it is Christmas I thought I would bring a touch of Victorian Britain to our humble abode. So out with the face topiary cutters and trim the full set I sport to look less like Gabriel Oak
and aim more for the Sgt Troy look:
(With Mrs Englishman playing the Bathsheba Everdene role).
She did spot the slight resemblance but said I looked more like a very gone to seed Terence Stamp, or scruffy pork butcher from Oldham. She has asked me not to go out like it and embarrass her... so no being dragged round the sales then!
A quick twirl of the moustache and I'm off to The Pub, If I don't write again, have a very Happy Christmas.
(And shame on you if you don't know the film - partly filmed in Devizes - I am referring to.)
Live it up
December 22, 2005
'Tis the season of Goodwill
I was a little sceptical of an email I recieved a week or so ago so I tried to look into it further - the sender now feels he is being hassled by the Rozzers for sending it so I won't use it now. However I did see this today:
Scotsman.com News - UK - Not much good will in Christmas cards from hunt lobby
The League Against Cruel Sports is currently running a money-raising drive for its Hunt Crimewatch Programme. The money will be used "to buy video cameras, hand-held global-positioning systems and walkie-talkies to monitor hunting activity".
The anti-hunt group purchased a Freepost address to make it easier for donors to send in the money.
But, as with all Freepost addresses, the host organisation has to pick up the postage charges for all mail sent to that address, with every envelope costing the recipient more than a first-class stamp. It costs £210 to set up a standard Freepost address, and the recipient then has to pay 39p for each piece of mail received.
The league spokeswoman said it was an offence to abuse the Freepost system and an offence to incite abuse of the system, both of which were being investigated.
In the meantime, the League Against Cruel Sports now has thousands of extra, and unexpected, Christmas cards with which to decorate its office.
What a shame, in the spirit of peace and goodwill to all men I will send them some money or something - that address again:
LEAGUE AGAINST CRUEL SPORTS
FREEPOST SE 5087
LONDON SE1 1BR
So if you support them send them something nice - don't be a meany and send them something heavy and useless as that is naughty and I am advising you against it.
Godwin rules that Blair has lost.
In his passionate defence of his surrender to the European consensus, the Prime Minister showed for the first time in months what a convinced European he is. Having been forced by circumstances and political reality to bury his advocacy of a single currency and a European constitution, he was back on the attack once more in championing a more federal design for Europe. "This is the year 2005, not 1945. We are not fighting each other any more."
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
Although the law does not specifically mention it, there is a tradition that once such a comparison is made, the argument is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.
Godwin's Law could be said to exclude normative (emotional) considerations from a positivist (rational) discussion. Frequently, a reference to Hitler is used as an evocation of evil. Thus a discussion which is proceeding on a positivist examination of facts is considered terminated when this objective consideration is transformed into a normative discussion of subjective right and wrong.
OPERATION ORDER 12-05 FOR: OFFICIAL VISIT OF LTG SANTA CLAUS
1. An official staff visit by LTG Claus is expected at this post on 25
Dec. The following directives govern activities of all Army personnel
during the visit.
a. Not a creature will stir without permission. This includes warrant
officers and mice. Soldiers may obtain special stirring permits for
necessary administrative action through the Battalion S-1. Officer
stirring permits must be obtained through the Deputy, Post Plans and
b. All personnel will settle their brains for a long winter nap NLT
2200 hours, 24 December. Uniform for the nap will be; Pajamas,
Cotton, Light Weight, General Purpose, OG, and Cap, BDU woodland
pattern, with ear flaps in the extended position. Equipment will be
drawn from the supply room prior to 1900 hours. While at supply, all
personnel will review their personal hand receipts and sign a Cash
Collection Voucher, DD Form 1131, for all missing items. Remember,
this is the "season of giving."
c. Personnel will utilize standard "T" ration sugar plums for visions
to dance through their heads. Sugar plums are available in "T" ration
sundry packs and should be eaten with egg loaf, chopped ham, and spice
cake to ensure maximum visions are experienced.
d. Stockings, Wool, Cushion Sole, will be hung by the chimneys with
care. Necessary safety precautions will be taken to avoid fires
caused by carelessly hung stockings. 1SG's will submit stocking
handling plans to S-3, Training prior to 0800 hours, 24 Dec. All
leaders will ensure their subordinate personnel are briefed on the
safety aspects of stocking hanging.
e. At first [sign] of clatter, all personnel will spring from their
beds to investigate and evaluate the cause. Immediate action will be
taken to tear open the shutters and throw up the window sashes. On
order OPLAN 7-97 (North Pole), para 6-8 (c)(3), dated 4 March, this
office, takes effect to facilitate shutter tearing and sash throwing.
SDO and all CQs will be familiar with procedures and are responsible
for seeing that no shutters are torn or sashes thrown in Bldg 9828
prior to the start of official clatter.
f. Prior to 0001, date of visit, all personnel possessing Standard
Target Acquisition and Night Observation (STANO) equipment will be
assigned "wandering eyeball" stations. The SDNCO will ensure that
these stations are adequately manned even after shutters are torn and
sashes are thrown.
g. The Battalion S-4, in coordination with the National Security
Agency and the Motor Pool will assign on each Sleigh, Miniature, M-24
and eight reindeer, tiny, for use by LTG Claus. The assigned driver
must have a current sleigh operators license with roof top permit and
evidence of attendance at the winter driving class stamped on his DA
Form 348. Driver must also be able to clearly shout "On Dancer, On
2. LTG Claus will initially enter Bldg 9828 through the dayroom. All
offices without chimneys will draw Chimney Simulator, M6A2 for use
during the visit. Draw chimney simulator on DA Form 2765-1 which will
be submitted in four copies to the S-4 prior to 23 Dec. Personnel will
ensure that chimneys are properly cleaned before turn-in at the
conclusion of visit.
3. Personnel will be rehearsed in the shouting of "Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year" or "Merry Christmas To All and To All a Good Night."
This shout will be given upon termination of the visit. Uniformity of
shouting is the responsibility of each section NCOIC.
FOR THE COMMANDER
Things NOT to do before you die
Here's a few things I have never done and have no intention of ever doing:
Go to Ikea
Buy the Guardian
Go to a Gym
Play a Round of Golf
Vote Liberal Democrat
Swim with Dolphins
Ride in a Rolls Royce sober
Spend a week in Paris
Backtrack in Thailand
Eat Sheep's Eyes
Listen to a Coldplay Album
I could go on, but would like to hear yours...
December 21, 2005
Secret snatched pictures from the Range
Never before have photographs from inside the local Rifle Range been made public... but with the BBC down there last night and MrFM promising a full report today I thought I would sneak a few blurry shots out in a pretence of it being interesting..
The Good News
The number of democracies around the world has reached a record level, while there have been important improvements in civil liberties in the Middle East since last year, an international monitoring group said yesterday.
Despite some of us losing some liberties many more are gaining more. Can't find the story yet on the BBC, I looked because I was wondering who is behind this great push for liberty, probably the EU I suppose.....
Born under a squandering star
Tensions between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown intensified last night as the Treasury disclosed that within five years the deal to surrender part of the EU rebate would cost the taxpayer almost double what the Prime Minister claimed.
Of course Gordo doesn't really care about us pissing away more money, it is just that he hopes to be PM then and all the postdated cheques he is also writing will start to come home then as well, so where will he find more money for a great giveaway for his second term election campaign?
December 20, 2005
The Christmas number one
I may be a little out of touch with modern beat combos and so until I read about it I hadn't heard the Number One single -JCB by Nizlopi
The story behind the JCB Song is as touching as the song is memorable. Mr Concannon, who suffers from dyslexia, came downstairs one day a couple of years ago with writer's block, and asked his father what he should write about. "What about tractors?" came the reply.
Mr Concannon used to take his son out on his digger on days when he would give him "compassionate leave" from school bullies. Mr Parker said: "It reminded him of what it was like as a kid, sitting on his dad's toolbox thinking his dad was the coolest thing in the world.
"At first I thought it had no chance, the song was a bit of a joke, but it's always been our most popular song live. People just love it."
Mr Concannon snr, 51, said of his son: "He was victimised, made to feel stupid and ridiculed on a daily basis by both students and, more disturbingly, teachers.
"He had problems literally every day and to see him in tears was not uncommon. But he still achieved three A levels and a 2:1 degree in English, so he's had the last laugh. And now he's looking at being Christmas number one."
See - kids do want Dads who are heroes who protect them from the world. Dads who do real jobs like driving diggers. Real Dads.
NHS news from Gloucester today
A woman was shocked to find maggots crawling on her mother's face in a hospital's intensive care unit.
Nyree Ellison Anjos alerted staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital when she saw the larvae wriggling near a feeding tube attached to her mother's nose.
Christine Ellison died two days later, but the family is satisfied the maggot incident had no bearing.
The hospital has apologised to the family saying it was "an isolated and rare occurrence."
A hospital trust has apologised after failing to spot a seven-year-old girl had broken her arm.
Doctors at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital told Abigail Thomas's parents she should keep moving her "badly sprained shoulder."
If you live in Gloucester try and stay well, if you feel a bit dicky get a taxi to Wiltshire...
Leafing through the magazines as I have the obligatory after pub rest on the porcelain, I pick up the Saturday Times Magazine, article extolling Juicy Couture.
"let's just say that blokeishly handsome types tend to be Juicy connoisseurs (Mr Richie, Mr Martin and Mr Brody). I mention this merely to illustrate that men's men seem to like this kit"
Well obviously I'm not a man's man then as I have never lusted after "velour low-slung bottoms and teensy zippered Barbie like hoods" and those names. Mr Richie I recognise as a Mockney who bought a decent Wiltshire shooting estate with his wife the slapper - now I wouldn't be rude about him if an invite to a high bird day was on the table but with a mantelpiece bereft of an invite I can be. Twat. Mr Martin, I presume is the singer of angsty songs in a group I can't remember the name of but the CD drones on at every Dinner party, and isn't he walking out with some long necked small brained American actress? So that makes two "men's men" who are at the beck and call of their American Mistresses! And Mr Brody - who is he?brody - Google Image Search gives me no clues. Is it Adam, Adrien or Jed? Guessing by her other choices of "men's men" it is probably Jed.
So if I'm not a Man's man what am I?
Guns in Pubs
FREE MARKET FAIRY TALES: Devizes & District Miniature Rifle League gives the full story of our little league where we shoot .22 in indoor ranges at local pubs.
The BBC is coming to film it tomorrow as it is 100 years old, still preparing for a repeat of the South African Unpleasantness. I was down there tonight with my converted Lee Metford, slightly older than the league, and was pleased as Punch with my card.
We shoot in a Z fashion; top left two sighters - you can see me getting the windage right (left/right error) and then tackling the elevation. Next shot, and the first scoring shot, is in the top right target. Not quite there with one shot! (Breaking the black of the bull is what is needed to score.) And then middle, bottom left and a final shot in bottom right. I just hope the BBC don't film me trying to emulate it!
December 19, 2005
An Unsavoury Interlude
Problem in The Castle tonight - when I converted the attic to bedrooms I "runned all the watter-pipes.. all along under the ’ang of the heaves, like... And well I hope it is a only a mouse and not, well I will let Rudyard take up the story..
To the left Stalky wriggled, and saw a long line of lead-pipe disappearing up a triangular tunnel, whose roof was the rafters and boarding of the College roof, whose floor was sharp-edged joists, and whose side was the rough studding of the lath and plaster wall under the dormer.
‘Rummy show. How far does it go?’
‘Right along, Muster Corkran—right along from end to end. Her runs under the ’ang of the heaves.
They crawled out, brushed one another clean, slid the saloon-pistols down a trouser-leg, and hurried forth to a deep and solitary Devonshire lane in whose flanks a boy might sometimes slay a young rabbit. They threw themselves down under the rank elder bushes, and began to think aloud.
‘You know,’ said Stalky at last, sighting at a distant sparrow, ‘we could hide our sallies in there like anything.’
‘Huh!’ Beetle snorted, choked, and gurgled. He had been silent since they left the dormitory.
‘Did you ever read a book called The History of a House or something? I got it out of the library the other day. A Frenchwoman wrote it—Violet somebody. But it’s translated, you know; and it’s very interestin’. Tells you how a house is built.’
‘Well, if you’re in a sweat to find out that, you can go down to the new cottages they’re building for the coastguard.’
Hi! There’s a bunny. No, it ain’t. It’s a cat, by Jove! You plug first.’
Twenty minutes later a boy with a straw hat at the back of his head, and his hands in his pockets, was staring at workmen as they moved about a half-finished cottage. He produced some ferocious tobacco, and was passed from the forecourt into the interior, where he asked many questions.
‘I’ve found out how houses are built. Le’ me get up. The floor-joists of one room are the ceiling-joists of the room below.’
‘Don’t be so filthy technical.’
‘Well, the man told me. The floor is laid on top of those joists—those boards on edge that we crawled over—but the floor stops at a partition. Well, if you get behind a partition, same as you did in the attic, don’t you see that you can shove anything you please under the floor between the floorboards and the lath and plaster of the ceiling below?
‘An’ then . . . They’ve been calling us stinkers, you know. We might shove somethin’ under—sulphur, or something that stunk pretty bad—an’ stink ’em out. I know it can be done somehow.’ Beetle’s eyes turned to Stalky handling the diagrams.
‘Stinks?’ said Stalky interrogatively. Then his face grew luminous with delight. ‘By gum! I’ve got it. Horrid stinks! Turkey!’ He leaped at the Irishman. ‘This afternoon—just after Beetle went away! She’s the very thing!’
‘Come to my arms, my beamish boy,’ carolled M‘Turk, and they fell into each other’s arms dancing. ‘Oh, frabjous day! Calloo, callay! She will! She will!’
That night was the first of sorrow among the jubilant King’s. By some accident of under-floor drafts the cat did not vex the dormitory beneath which she lay, but the next one to the right; stealing on the air rather as a pale-blue sensation than as any poignant offense. But the mere adumbration of an odour is enough for the sensitive nose and clean tongue of youth. Decency demands that we draw several carbolised sheets over what the dormitory said to Mr. King and what Mr. King replied. He was genuinely proud of his house and fastidious in all that concerned their well-being. He came; he sniffed; he said things.
The cat had gained in the last twelve hours, but a battlefield of the fifth day could not have been so flamboyant as the spies reported.
‘My word, she is doin’ herself proud,’ said Stalky. ‘Did you ever smell anything like it?
Next day Richards, who had been a carpenter in the Navy, and to whom odd jobs were confided, was ordered to take up a dormitory floor; for Mr. King held that something must have died there.
‘We need not neglect all our work for a trumpery incident of this nature; though I am quite aware that little things please little minds. Yes, I have decreed the boards to be taken up after lunch under Richards’ auspices. I have no doubt it will be vastly interesting to a certain type of so-called intellect; but any boy of my house or another’s found on the dormitory stairs will ipso facto render himself liable to three hundred lines.’
The boys did not collect on the stairs, but most of them waited outside King’s. Richards had been bound to cry the news from the attic window, and, if possible, to exhibit the corpse.
‘’Tis a cat, a dead cat!’ Richards’ face showed purple at the window. He had been in the chamber of death and on his knees for some time.
Down in the basement, where the gas flickers and the boots stand in racks, Richards, amid his blacking-brushes, held forth to Oke of the Common-room, Gumbly of the dining-halls, and fair Lena of the laundry.
‘Yiss. Her were in a shockin’ staate an’ condition. Her nigh made me sick, I tal ’ee. But I rowted un out, and I rowted un out, an’ I made all shipshape, though her smelt like to bilges.’
‘Her died mousin’, I reckon, poor thing,’ said Lena.
‘Then her moused different to any made cat o’ world, Lena. I up with the top-board, an’ she were lying on her back, an’ I turned un ovver with the brume-handle, an’ ’twas her back was all covered with the plaster from ’twixt the lathin’. Yiss, I tal ’ee. An’ under her head there lay, like, so’s to say, a little pillow o’ plaster druv up in front of her by raison of her slidin’ along on her back. No cat niver went mousin’ on her back, Lena. Some one had shoved her along right underneath, so far as they could shove un. Cats don’t make theyselves pillows for to die on. Shoved along, she were, when she was settin’ for to be cold, laike.’
‘Oh, yeou’m too clever to live, Fatty. Yeou go get wed an’ taught some sense,’ said Lena, the affianced of Gumbly.
‘Larned a little ’fore iver some maidens was born. Sarved in the Queen’s Navy, I have, where yeou’m taught to use your eyes. Yeou go ‘tend your own business, Lena.’
‘Do ’ee mean what you’m been tellin’ us?’ said Oke.
‘Ask me no questions, I’ll give ’ee no lies. Bullet-hole clane thru from side to side, an’ tu heart-ribs broke like withies. I seed un when I turned un ovver. They’m clever, oh, they’m clever, but they’m not too clever for old Richards! ’Twas on the born tip o’ my tongue to tell, tu, but . . . he said us niver washed, he did. Let his dom boys call us “stinkers,” he did. Sarved un dom well raight, I say!’
Richards spat on a fresh boot and fell to his work, chuckling.
If you haven't got it in Hardback may I recommend Stalky&Co as a Christmas read - I enjoy the stories, though some don't;
'An unpleasant book about unpleasant boys at an unpleasant school'. [Concise Cambridge History of English Literature (Cambridge, 1942), p. 959.] Comments like this one of George Sampson's have dogged Stalky & Co. since the stories first appeared in book form in 1899. And this was by no means the harshest. From Wells's condemnation of the heroes as self-righteous bullies and A. C. Benson's description of them as `little beasts' to Maugham's magisterial `a more odious picture of school life can seldom have been drawn', [See Kipling, The Critical Heritage, ed. Roger Lancelyn Green (London, 1971), pp. 306-7, 318; A Choice of Kipling's Prose (London, 1952) p. vi.] the disapproval of Kipling's contemporaries was made thunderously clear. `Mr Kipling obviously aims at verisimilitude; the picture he draws is at any rate repulsive and disgusting enough to be true,' wrote Robert Buchanan, his most virulent critic. `Only the spoiled child of an utterly brutalised public could possibly have written Stalky & Co. ... It is simply impossible to show by mere quotation the horrible vileness of the book describing these three small fiends in human likeness; only a perusal of the whole work would convey to the reader its truly repulsive character ... The vulgarity, the brutality, the savagery ... reeks on every page.'
Working this week?
So am I
The view from the office this morning
Image taken on 19/12/2005 9:59
Why the surrender?
England Expects points out:
The UK had had an informer at the very top of the IRA/Sinn Fein for over 20 years. The guy himself, Denis Donaldson was convicted of bombing in 1972.
If all this is true this fellow must have been of immense influence and power within the Republican movement and of enormous use to the legal civil authorities.
So why are we living in abject surrender to those self same republicans?
Why did Tony and nu-Labour surrender to the IRA? As someone said why do monkeys make monkey noises? It is just what they do!
That EU Budget deal in full
Tony Blair - Cheese eating surrender monkey - surrendered to the French!
NEARLY all young women are terrified of being attacked when they are out on Britain's streets.
More than nine in 10 fear a physical or verbal assault.
The Safety on the Streets study found that 95 per cent worried about being attacked.
Two in three women were so afraid of being attacked they did not feel safe walking around in daylight.
And just 16 per cent felt the countryside was a safe place to walk alone.
Most believed the police and the legal system were not doing enough to ensure their safety.
"Young women are taking precautions and doing their best to protect themselves but the law isn't doing enough to protect them.
I can't imagine life living as a rabbit, always afraid, hiding behind locked doors, depending on "the Law" as my only protection. Always clamouring for the State to provide for me and blaming society for the actions of evil individuals.
It came to mind as I read about a woman who now says: " I take control and responsibility for my life and I have the right, the courage, the discipline, and the expertise to stand my ground. "
That is real female empowerment - what about it sisters, here in the UK?
Kennet Council Killing Devizes - yet again!
DEVIZES will continue to deteriorate as a retail centre unless a new development in the central car park goes ahead...report from town planning consultancy Gillespies....redevelop the central car park between Tesco and Somerfield.
Neither supermarket has expressed any interest in becoming part of the scheme and they are not best pleased that the 162 parking spaces may be lost.
Although it is a more expensive option, Gillespies recommends that underground parking for 150 cars is created below the proposed new development.
This will still result in a large loss of parking space in the town centre because Gillespies recommends the redevelopment of a large part of the Station Road car park for housing to subsidise the retail development at the central car park.
Plan To Fill Car Park With Shops Is Backed (from The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
WILTSHIRE County Council has supported a plan to build shops on the central car park in Devizes, despite acknowledging that a loss of parking will hit the town's retail viability.
Yesterday's meeting of the county's environmental advisory panel agreed to support Kennet District Council's preferred option, proposed up by its town planning consultant Gillespies, to build two large retail units and five smaller ones on the area that currently offers pay-and-display parking.
A report from George Batten, director of environmental services, said: "The rural nature of Devizes means that a high proportion of shoppers are dependent on the car as their sole means of transport.
"The proposed loss of car parking could have a significant impact on its attraction as a retail centre."
Mr Batten's report takes issue with Gillespies' contention that Devizes is over-provided with both on and off-street car parking spaces.
He said: "It is clear from a parking study undertaken for the county council in 2000 that demand for spaces exceeded capacity on market days.
"The car parking survey undertaken by Gillespies as part of their study is not considered to be a reliable indicator of current trends."
A local story but happening everywhere - Kennet Council are mad, mad as fishes; Devizes is a pretty old market town in Wiltshire which historically has been the centre for shopping for the surrounding area, it continues to be so. It is also having a lot of new houses built on its outskirts. As with many old towns the centre is a bit scruffy and lacks large shops (most buildings are listed and can't be redeveloped).
Kennet Council has a very active "forward planning" section which happily doodles away creating five year plans at vast expense, and when they have run out of ideas they employ expensive consultants to create some more. The latest is outlined above - Get rid of the parking to create more shops to attract more shoppers who won't be able to park... (The idea of an underground car park is risible, no supermarket will be involved in a scheme that includes underground car parking as they know women don't like parking in a dark damp piss-stinking needle-strewn hole).
Kennet Council - mad, they are just mad with power.
(And there are alternatives - for instance one large site in the centre of town belongs to the Kennet Council and just has Totem poles set in the dog turd dotted grass - obviously more important than catering for nasty car drivers...)
December 16, 2005
Tim Worstall says it is December 10, 2005 as does A TANGLED WEB, The Daily Ablution makes it December 09, 2005...Have I slipped back a week through a space time warp, are there really a few more days to buy some Christmas presents? Can I put fifty quid on the horse that won yesterday's 3.45 race?
Or is it a sinister plot so that they have had to revert to a backup?
The local Charity Pantomime in aid of Paranoid Schizophrenics
descended into chaos yesterday when someone shouted
"He's behind you"
The Times Reports
Only half? You must be joking!
Cleanliness is next to Godliness
Anthroblogogy gives us an insight into the hobby of reloading. No I haven't the time.
Reminds of when Old Bull was in the arms business down these parts. He had a lot of MilSurp rounds that had gone a bit "stained"; he used to get the boy to wash them off with acid in a cement mixer before repacking them for export, yes live rounds! I believe in certain circles they still talk of when the police finally decided his old shipping container had too much sweaty stuff in it to be allowed to continue sitting behind his house in the village. Took them a week to empty it...
December 15, 2005
A salty old seaman writes
Wills and Harry, their father, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather
were all naval officers so why have they chosen the Army? Is it because they are only capable of marching about shouting very loudly but not of actually handling complicated weaponry?
The Destruction of Oxford
Oxford colleges are to lose their 800-year-old right to select undergraduates in response to Government pressure to admit more students from state schools and lower social classes.
Instead, admissions will be centralised to encourage applications from comprehensive pupils, who find the present arrangements "confusing and opaque", the university said yesterday.
Pupils will apply to the university, not a specific college, and will be interviewed and selected by the appropriate department, not by their potential tutors.
The university admitted that as a result, colleges will lose autonomy and individuality.
Yes it was bloody confusing working out how to apply, so many helpful guides I didn't know where to begin. But if you can't work it out maybe you aren't up to being an Oxford student! And the destruction of the Oxford system is not the answer when it isn't the problem.
This quote from
Andrew Adonis, Baron Adonis - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Education and Skills. points the finger where the problem is:
"Modern mythology has it that the number of privately educated children at Oxbridge is on a steadily declining path. And indeed it was - in the heyday of the state grammar schools in the 1960s. By 1969 only 38 per cent of places at Oxford were awarded to privately educated children - a sharp reduction for the private schools even on their 1965 proportion. And yet in the 1990s, thanks to the destruction of the grammar schools and the consequent decamping to the private sector of many of the most able children, the figure now hovers around the 50 per cent mark"
Of course now he is part of the problem I wonder if he still agrees with those words?
An interesting report, well presented which shows that Hospitals can achieve cleanliness, but that many don't and are in fact appalling - I won't quote from it because I note the report is:
© 2005 Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection
Items may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium
provided that they are not for commercial resale. This consent is
subject to the material being reproduced accurately and provided
that it is not used in a derogatory manner...
And derogatory is my middle name.
December 14, 2005
My Home isn't my Castle - Labour Lies Exposed!
The post below exposes the confused messages we are being given about whether a Valuation Officer can enter your home to assess it for rates. After Hazel Blears revealed that the Valuation Officers were gearing up for inspections there was outrage and denials were sent out - "staff of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) have no powers of internal inspection when valuing homes for council tax banding purposes"
Another example is this:
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 11 Nov 2005 (pt 4)
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers (a) staff and (b) contractors of the Valuation Office Agency have to forcibly inspect a property for a council tax valuation in circumstances where the resident refuses entry to the (i) inside of the premises and (ii) land surrounding the property. 
Dawn Primarolo: None.
So on one side we have Hazel Blears and saying the opposite is Red Dawn representing the Chancellor, The Deputy Prime Minister's Office and the Worker's Union. Someone is wrong, who is it?
A quick look at the VOA website reveals firstly it is part of HM Customs and Revenue and not your friendly local council and so it will have the powers the HMCR has. And it even puts its VOA Council tax Manual online. And guess what we find:
Appendix 1.2: Authority to Inspect
AUTHORITY TO STAFF UNDERTAKING INSPECTIONS FOR COUNCIL TAX PURPOSES
I hereby authorise * to enter on, survey and value dwellings for Council Tax purposes in accordance with the provisions of Section 26 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This authority should be produced with an identity document, serial number *, bearing a photograph of the holder.
The relevant act is:
26. Powers of entry.
(1) If a valuation officer needs to value a dwelling for the purpose of carrying out any of his functions, he and any servant of the Crown authorised by him in writing may enter on, survey and value the dwelling if subsections (2) and (3) below are fulfilled.
(2) At least three clear days' notice in writing of the proposed exercise of the power must be given; and there shall be disregarded for this purpose any day which is-
(a) a Saturday, a Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday; or
(b) a day which is a bank holiday under the [1971 c. 80.] Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 in England and Wales.
(3) In a case where a person authorised by a valuation officer proposes to exercise the power, that person must if required produce his authority.
(4) If a person intentionally delays or obstructs a person in the exercise of a power under this section, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.
(5) In this section and section 27 below "valuation officer" means any listing officer and any other officer of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue who is for the time being appointed by them to carry out any of their functions.
So yes they do have the power to enter, they have had for a long time, so why the lies?
But if you think I will let any cheap suited man from the council in to photograph my daughters' bedrooms, you have another thought coming.
Is my home my castle?
Wonko's World wonders who is telling porkies and why about Valuation Officer's rights.
Inspectors have been equipped with 2,126 digital cameras, costing £438,749.
Householders who refuse to let them in could be fined £500 and receive a criminal record.
In the written reply, Home Office minister Hazel Blears said: "A person who intentionally obstructs a valuation officer commits an offence and may be liable to a fine not exceeding level two (£500) on the standard scale."
The Times November 23, 2005
Sir, Contrary to the views of your correspondents (letters, Nov 21), staff of the Valuation Office Agency have no powers of internal inspection when valuing homes for council tax banding purposes.
Internal inspections are very rare and occur only when a taxpayer is appealing against their property’s banding. Even then, the householder has complete discretion to limit an inspection or refuse it altogether. It would also be extremely rare for photographs to be taken internally, and this would not be done without the owner’s express permission.
To suggest that officials have the right to enter homes, and to take photographs of private possessions is ill-informed scaremongering.
Scenic views or structural improvements will have a bearing on council tax banding only if they affect its overall value. This has been the case since council tax was introduced in 1993.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 11 November 2005, Official Report, column 777W, on the Valuation Office Agency, what powers the Agency and its agents have to fine residents who refuse entry. 
Mr. Woolas: None.
I have feeling that there is a lot of twisting here between what is the position now and what will be the position as soon as nu-Labour can sort it out.
I plan to welcome the Snodgrass in with the invitation that we won't mind him taking photos as long as he doesn't mind us taking photos of him, oh and a video as well as we are producing a little Art House movie tentatively entitled "Confessions of a Valuation Officer", meet Ingrid and Astrid who are starring, yes it is very hot, do take your tie off, yes they are very friendly....
The weather forecast
Ooh Aah my lovelies. Last night there was the clearest sky you can imagine with the most amazing ring around the moon - us old country folk always says that means the weather is about to change and it is time to cockle your stooks and whipple the heifers, and some even go on to claim that the ring that appears around the moon arises from light passing through six-sided ice crystals high in the atmosphere. These ice crystals refract, or bend, light in the same manner that a camera lens bends light. The ring has a diameter of 22° , and sometimes, if you are lucky, it is also possible to detect a second ring, 44° diameter. Thin high cirrus clouds lofting at 20,000 feet or more contain tiny ice crystals that originate from the freezing of super cooled water droplets. These crystals behave like jewels refracting and reflecting in different directions.
Amazing - wish I could have captured it on film.
Raise the Flag
Neil Herron reports that thanks to his and Jim Tague's efforts "Wear Valley District Council has succumbed to people pressure and abandoned its attempt to replace the Cross of St. George with the EU Flag."
Another victory for this great man!
That Cameron Tory Policy in Full
Imagine a long narrow beach, evenly crowded with holiday makers. Two ice-cream sellers decide to set up stalls. The ice-cream is the same and the price is the same, everyone on the beach is going to buy one ice cream that afternoon, they will simply buy the ice-cream from the nearest seller. So where do they set up stall?
If they set up equidistant from the ends and each other then the holiday makers have the least distance to walk and they both get half the business. But if our ice-cream seller on the right of the beach moves a bit to the left he then captures some of the other guy's customers. In the end the only stable strategy is for both of them to be in the middle of the beach with half the customers each and sod the poor sunbathers at the end of the beach who now have to walk further - they have nowhere else to go if they want an ice-cream.
And that Ladies and Gentlemen is the entire nu-Labour and Tory policy decision making process.
If you want to sound geeky just mutter The Hotelling-Downs Model of Spatial/Political Competition as you complain your views are ignored.
December 13, 2005
That's the spirit, and beer, wine...
People sick: Five (5)
Number of pint glasses to contain said sick: Three (3)
Floor area covered in vomit: 2 square yards
People carried home: Two (2)
Distance walked by me carrying drunks home: Four hundred metres (400m)
Plates broken: Two (2)
Washing up (cocktail) bowls split down the side: One (1)
People locked in the Loo, unable to unbolt the door: One (1)
People climbing out one window, and then into the loo to unlock said door: One (1)
Loo cisterns half hanging off wall: One (1)
Time the party finished: Five AM (05:00hrs)
Time I woke up the next day: Three PM (15:00hrs)
Not Hunting this morning at The Castle
You may wish to compare this morning's photos of a Not Hunt meet with a meet of the Hunt at The Castle from when hunting was legal.
And now you have spotted the difference award yourself an extra mince pie as a prize.
Cross Country Volvo
I love these big exensive cars crashing through my fence
How much for a tow?
Image taken on 13/12/2005 8:33
No more pheasants for the peasants
What are you planning to eat on Christmas Day? Turkey, duck - or perhaps something more unusual like pheasant, pigeon or rabbit?
If game is your thing, then make the most of it. Many dealers say they could be out of business by this time next year.
Game is big business in the West. It is estimated to bring in at least £15m annually. But that could be about to change.
It is all to do with new EU regulations on how the meat is caught and sold on.
For details see BASC
The Food Standards Agency as the Competent Authority within the UK has recognised that there are no records of food hygiene incidents resulting directly from the supply of game/venison by a shooter/stalker and that the game sector is historically a very low risk area.
...any business trading in game or venison will need H2 approval as a Meat Handling Establishment and will be required to operate at the standards currently applicable to premises licensed to export meat from the UK. This will include having an official veterinarian present during processing.
Any person who sells any quantity of game, of any kind, through a game dealer will be required to be trained. Such training will ensure that a competent person makes an assessment as to whether all game was behaving normally before being shot...
December 12, 2005
"I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me."
A ROYAL Marine who was filmed being kicked in the face during a naked fist fight has insisted he was not the victim of bullying.
Ray Simmons, 23, of Letchworth, Hertfordshire, said the man who was seen in the video kicking him in the head was "a good mate".
Excellent! So that puts to rest another Bleeding Heart investigation into our armed forces, and shows the traditional calibre of our fighting men continues.
Time Gentlemen please
ONE of Britain’s leading surgeons has called on the government to introduce curbs on the sale of alcohol, limiting the amount that customers can consume per visit to a pub or bar.
John Smith, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, believes that such restrictions would be the logical next step to improving the nation’s health following the ban on smoking in public buildings.
“I think for a government to follow the American model of saying, for the benefit of each patron, we will provide three drinks only, would be very interesting to look at.”
“I realise that not everyone is likely to agree with this and there will be those who will claim it would be another example of the nanny state,” he said.
"A Nanny State" - the thought never even occurred to me! - I just thought when you and your colleagues have finally got your house in order and stopped killing off so many of the people in your care then maybe you might deserve to be given a platform to spout off your views. But at the moment you would be better employed with a mop and a gallon of Jeyes Fluid...
Almost five thousand deaths could be prevented each year if the country's worst managed hospitals achieved a small improvement in performance, according to a study.
What we learn at School today
Children should be protected from "terrifying" Father Christmas, shielded from "alarming" pantomimes and encouraged not to send wasteful Christmas cards, a Government website has advised teachers.
When arranging Christmas parties in schools, teachers should also avoid arranging games of a competitive nature so that no child feels they have "underperformed", the website said.
Sending your child to school is "terrifying" as you can never be sure what rubbish the teachers try and cram into their heads. My only solace is the fact that most kids rebel against their teachers and do the opposite. One of the delicious ironies of life is that all those hippy-dippy tie-died teachers of the late 1960s created the Yuppy generation.
Loser lashes out
BBC NEWS | Politics | Clarke warns Cameron over Europe
or in otherwords "Loser warns Winner to back Loser's Friends in Loserville or else" Or else what?
December 11, 2005
Boom - England Blogger first with news
Dogs at work
Cold still misty morning so good scenting day. Already chased seven Deer now after Bunnies in the brambles down by the Cut.
Image taken on 11/12/2005 8:57
Tonight ve sing the old songs
Listen to the BBC, BBC, BBC,
Listen to the BBC, tra-la-la-la,
Who's preaching world democracy, democracy, democracy?
Who wants to make free people free? tra-la-la-la
MP3 to the tune of Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? by Charlie and His Orchestra
As the organiser of the Band said, and what could be a blogging credo:
"An idea always lives in individuals. It seeks an individual to transmit its great intellectual force. It becomes alive in a brain, and seeks escape through the mouth. The idea is preached by individuals, individuals who will never be satisfied to have the knowledge remain theirs alone. You know that from experience. When one knows something one does not keep it hidden like a buried treasure, rather one seeks to tell others. One looks for people who should know it. One feels that everyone else should know to, for one feels alone when no one else knows. For example, if I see a beautiful painting in an art gallery, I have the need to tell others. I meet a good friend and say to him: "I have found a wonderful picture. I have to show it to you." The same is true of ideas. If an idea lives in an individual, he has the urge to tell others. There is some mysterious force in us that drives us to tell others. The greater and simpler the idea is, the more it relates to daily life, the more one has the desire to tell everyone about it."
Of course the small problem is that Charlie and His Orchestra was a Nazi big band assembled by Hitler's minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, whose words those are.
For the full story and the more MP3s of Nazi Swing follow the link above.
December 10, 2005
Back from the pub after a drink with Mr FM to the wonderful smell of stew cooking in the slow oven of the Aga. I notice the present Mrs Englishman has used a stock cube, last but one in the packet and is throwing the box out. No "use by date" on it, but the help line number is 081 780 9051 which puts it before 16 April 1995. A few more hours cooking and then leave it at room temperature for a day and that is tomorrow's supper sorted.
December 9, 2005
Come (Not) Hunting
In January the Hunt met at The Castle - they are here again on the 13th December - all are welcome for Mulled wine and Mince pies 11:00 am. Of course this time they will be Not Hunting. Hope the weather stay good for them.
Friday Funtime - especially for RM
A man is working hard in the gold mines, and doesn't hear the ominous
rumble until too late. He comes to and realises he is trapped by the left
leg. Really trapped. He is there a long time, and although they eventually
get him out he has to have the leg amputated. Recovering in hospital, he
sinks into a deep depression. He sees a psychiatrist, and says, "I feel so
terrible. Who would ever want a one-legged gold digger?"
The psychiatrist looks over his half-moon glasses and replies, "Have you
ever thought to ask Paul McCartney?"
Friday Funtime yet again
A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for
the doctor to come in for the baby's first exam. The doctor arrived,
examined the baby, checked his weight, and being a little concerned,
asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed.
"Breast-fed" she replied.
"Well, strip down to your waist," the doctor ordered.
She did. He pinched her nipples, then pressed, kneaded, and rubbed
both breasts for a while in a detailed examination. Motioning to her
to get dressed, he said, "No wonder this baby is underweight. You
don't have any milk."
"I know," she said, "I'm his Grandma, but I'm glad I came."
It's Friday FunTime
SIPPING IN SILENCE
An old cowboy sat down at the bar and ordered a drink. As he sat sipping
his drink, a young woman sat down next to him. She turned to the cowboy
and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"
He replied, "Well, I've spent my whole life, breaking colts, working
cows, going to rodeos, fixing fences, pulling calves, bailing hay,
doctoring calves, cleaning my barn, fixing flats, working on tractors,
and feeding my dogs, so I guess I am a cowboy."
She said, "I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As
soon as I get up in the morning, I think about women. When I shower, I
think about women. When I watch TV, I think about women. I even think
about women when I eat. It seems that everything makes me think of
The two sat sipping in silence.
A little while later, a man sat down on the other side of the old cowboy
and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?"
He replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a
I come not to praise...
He will set up a policy group to look at "quality of life", focusing on the environment and reviving inner cities.
Former environment secretary John Gummer is expected to run the group ...Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith is already looking at "social justice", while former chancellor Ken Clarke is to head a "democracy taskforce". ...Ecologist Zac Goldsmith is expected to work alongside Mr Gummer, meeting environmental groups to discuss policy proposals.
Oh no - my heart sinks, old old names and tired old ideas yet again.
The only ray of hope I have is that this is the classic management technique to send the old duffers off to write a report to keep them away from the real power, and maybe come up with some sexy soundbites that the BBC will like. And then I read a Speech at the Centre for Policy Studies he made which actually seems remarkably sensible, maybe there is hope after all?
DA DADA DA DA DA DA-DA DA DADA DA DA DAH DADA
Sir David Frost is to re-make the British classic The Dambusters, complete with the original Eric Coates music.
Why? Just Why?
Reserve me the bed nearest the door
"Self-inflicted" etc etc. Strangely these evil people have all paid vast sums of tax on their sins. Whereas the tax free sins; sporting injuries, tattoos, drugs and certain sexual practices, the NHS are happy to treat and outreach to....
The Great Deception at Amazon
EU Referendum highlights the new edition of The Great Deception by Richard North and Christopher Booker.
anyone who tries to order it via Amazon must be careful to look for the new subtitle "Can The European Union Survive?" Thanks to the legendary idiosyncrasy of that computerised bureaucracy, it still shows the cover of the old edition, by which some readers have already been misled.
Bugger I had just ordered it along with a pile of other books. And yes the wrong one turns up. So I try out the Amazon return system:
But the refund looks like it doesn't add up:
1 x "The Great Deception: The Secret History of the European Union " Item Refund GBP 9.09
Non-refundable Deductions: Prepaid Return Label GBP -2.75
Refund Issued: GBP 3.59
Is that New Maths? or do I need a new calculator?
Now to see what Amazon Customer Services do....
UPDATE - Just 34 minutes later I had an email from Amazon apologising and correcting the amount - unbelievably good customer service, my faith is restored!
December 8, 2005
A land fit for Heroes
One of the most decorated British fighter pilots of the Second World War has sold his medals, diaries and other memorabilia partly to pay for a hip replacement operation for his wife who faced at least a six-month wait on the National Health Service.
Sqn Ldr Neville Duke, 83, the Royal Air Force's top-scoring ace in the Mediterranean theatre who set a world air speed record of 728 mph in 1953, put the collection up for auction rather than subject his wife Gwen to months of pain and discomfort while she waited for an operation.
Hospitals have been told to delay operations to reduce debts faced by primary care trusts,...
A letter leaked to the Times reveals hospitals within Harrow Primary Care Trust, which is reportedly facing an £8-12 million deficit, have been told to delay surgery.
The document, written by Dr Ken Walton, chairman of the trust's professional executive committee, tells GPs it has "reluctantly" asked hospitals to "do the minimum required to meet national targets".
It says: "This means that patients sent for outpatient appointments will only be seen at 10-13 weeks (national target 13 weeks) and elective surgery will be delayed until the sixth month (national target six months)."
In a statement, the trust defended its policy.
It said: "Harrow PCT is taking action to control its expenditure that will not affect the quality of care given to its patients.
"All patients in Harrow will be seen within national targets."
Similar practices are also reported to be taking place to save money at trusts elsewhere in the country.
Proud of the NHS? Proud of Britain? Proud of the Snodgrasses who think as long as "targets" are met that delays "will not affect the quality of care given to its patients"?
I know how she feels..
Lady Thatcher was in hospital last night after complaining of feeling faint earlier in the day.
Probably the excitement (not) of the coronation of "The boy-king of the Conservative Party" was too much.
Now he seems to to hit the spot for my child-bride who has a weakness for touchy feely greeny compassion but for an old cynic like me he seems like fog, I don't like the look of it but there is nothing to actually get hold of. But Brown may lose the election to him, which whatever he represents would be good.
Oh and best wishes to Mrs T.
The Spectator Blog - if they get it right this could be a centre pin of British Right Blogging - time will tell.
December 7, 2005
Which Class are you?
One of the more perplexing things about England for foreigners is understanding our class system - so to help them and any readers who are unsure of their place in society I have produced a simple quiz to help.
1) Do you let your dogs lick the plates?
a) Of Course
b) Yeuch, Dogs are so dirty we only have a cat.
c) Of Course
a) Good fun
b) Cruel and outdated
c) Good Fun
3) Your opinion of Europe?
a) Bloody Foreigners
b) Good idea and we simply love Tuscany
c) Bloody Foreigners
4) Do you get out off the bath to piss?
b) Yeuch - you are just being horrible now
5) How do you like your steak cooked?
a) Big and Bloody
b) With the fat cut off and lightly coated in delightful herbs
c) Big and Bloody
6) Do you ever worry you drink too much?
a) No and it is your round.
b) Well, I keep a diary of my units and I was ever so naughty one week and had 18 units.
c) No and it is your round.
Mostly As - You are Upper Class
Mostly Bs - You are Middle Class
Mostly Cs - I'm afraid you are working class.
How did you score?
Hard Puzzle for Torygraph readers
Telegraph newspaper online The Wednesday Work-out..
If you think you've solved it correctly, you could win a sudoku board game by posting your solution to: The Wednesday Work-Out, The Daily Telegraph...
A good old fashioned "put it in the post" type puzzle to while away the cold winter night in front of the fire. So why does it have a large red button marked "Reveal Answer"? Are Telegraph readers (a) so trustworthy so they wouldn't cheat or (b) too stupid to notice it?
Cleaning the Car
Herself needs to borrow my car this morning for the school run so I am busy tidying it out - off the back seat so far:
Whitney Blankets, unused - 2
Kukri, used - 1
Steel Helmet, 1940, blue with Police painted on it, - 1
Sweet papers, various - 8
Guns and Ammo Magazine - 2
Chestnuts - 7
An average haul, what rubbish is in your car?
Cut, cut and cut again, well not quite.
The chancellor looks like bridging the black hole in the public finances by spending cuts rather than tax rises.
Ah the BBC is starting to notice the Black Hole, and the Chancellor is going to "cut". This morning children your task is to see if you can spot any BBC bias in the article.
think-tank the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Gordon Brown has pencilled in £8bn in spending cuts as well as £3bn in tax rises.
The new strategy, if confirmed in the spending review covering the three years to 2011, would mean real pain.
And it signals the end of the era of rapid expansion of public spending on essential services funded by tax rises.
The cuts are necessary to move the budget back into surplus and meet his fiscal rules in the future.
According to the IFS, many public spending departments could face little real growth at all in the future if other key commitments are to kept.
In particular, if spending on the National Health Service keeps rising (even by a reduced 4% a year, as suggested by the Wanless report) and the government also honours its commitment to raise aid to poor countries to 0.7% of GDP, then other departments will have to grow by less than 1% in the next spending round.
This could make it difficult for the government to meet its future aim of reducing child and pensioner poverty, the IFS said.
The tight spending round...
So all these horrible cuts actual mean is that some departments, not the NHS, will not grow quite as fast....
December 6, 2005
Off for a celebratory glass of Breakfast Port!
Fresh from reporting on Ursine Arboreal habits we bring you this..
Billions of pounds are being wasted by government departments which have failed to learn the lessons of the past, a Commons committee has warned.
"Basic errors are repeated time and again," the Public Accounts Committee said, adding public services were marred by complexity and bureaucracy.
A 2% improvement in their spending could save £8bn a year, it argued
December 5, 2005
Shooting the Government
FREE MARKET FAIRY TALES points out that:
to shoot driven pheasant costs (the shooter pays) about £25 per bird, for grouse it is likely that you will be charged in the region of £50 per bird. However, to rid the country of its rather too randy 6,000 ruddy ducks is budgeted to cost £3.3m, or if you like a whooping £550 per bird (the Government is going to pay the shooters).
That Ladies and Gentlemen, is why the Government is never the solution, always the problem.
Oooh That Gordon!
Having spent yesterday afternoon watching some Rugby with some old colleagues and a beer glass in hand, and then moving via a pub where all the old Fenian songs were being sung to an "all you can eat" Chinese, my brain is not sharp enough this morning to use a rapier wit to dissect the irony of Mandy, a man who appears to understand nothing about "trade" lecturing Gordon, who probably actually has read and understood the theory. So instead I will go for the cheap laugh and ask for your caption for this photo!
And anyway The Worstall says it better at The ASI "It's easy enough to get irate with Peter Mandelson in his role as the European Union's Trade Commissioner. It's a difficult job trying to persuade protectionists to go for free trade, but it is apparent from this piece penned by him for the Guardian he still hasn't quite managed to get wholly on top of his subject."
The real recycling story
According to the Environment Agency, about half of the 8m tons of green bin material thrown out each year in the UK ends up overseas.
the BBC revealed 500 tons had been shipped unsorted to Indonesia.
Customs at Jakarta impounded containers holding mixed up paper, cardboard, plastics and cans from UK households.
According to Indonesia's environment minister, the only possible consequence of such a trail was that the rubbish from England would end up dumped on his country.
The one recycling plant in Jakarta did not receive foreign rubbish and was struggling to cope with the waste produced locally.
Rachmat Witoelar told Real Story: "Somebody has taken them [the English residents who recycled] for a ride.
"It's against international law. They should be aware of that.
"They [the exporter] are trying to dump it somewhere when we are not looking."
Yep - we are being taken for a ride by the whole recycling charade.
December 2, 2005
It's Friday Funtime
Doctor Dave had slept with one of his patients and felt guilty all day
No matter how much he tried to forget about it, he couldn't.
The guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming.
But every once in a while he'd hear an internal, reassuring voice in his
head that said:
"Dave, don't worry about it. You aren't the first medical practitioner to
sleep with one of their patients and you won't be the last.
And you're single. Just let it go..
" But invariably another voice in his head would bring him back to
.............you're a vet".
So I was preparing to spend the next couple of weeks as a Juror up in Swindon doing my civic duty, I had checked there were enough trees and rope, when they rang up; don't want me, too many jurors, not enough criminals. I offered to round up a few we could try. I think with a few show trials and packed docks I could have cleared a considerable number of parasitic scum from the country. I had a little list and I'm sure you could add some names...
I note President Bush has also had his Jury service postponed so I'm in good company - watch out scrotes next June when I'm due to help out again....
It's that time of year again. Happy Kwanzaa
And then cringe as you watch shovelfulls of our money and Liberal white guilt being ploughed into celebrating it. As I said I won't be celebrating Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa as a festival is a fraud, a Marxist fraud at that, recently founded by a torturer in sordid violence, paranoia, and mayhem some three decades ago in a section of America that has vanished down the memory hole.
December 1, 2005
Dear Blogdaughters, your opinion please.
My smart, sexy, funny and Italian Blogdaughters may be able to help me out. Is this a good deal for my Xmas wine or should I look elsewhere? I tend not to drink much white so I rely on others.
The wine that smart Italians drink in Italy - at half the price they pay. Right now this is the best quality you can buy in Britain for less than a fiver.
Araldica d'Aria Gavi - Wine of the Year 2005! The Italian equivalent of Chablis is the delicious but eye-wateringly Gavi de Gavi. The good news is that we've found a wine made in the same style, the same grape (Cortese) and in the same region, but without the expensive Gavi de Gavi label - 75cl 13% alc £4.99
Planning my cropping
Anyone caught carrying up to 500 cannabis joints is likely to escape trafficking charges under Home Office proposals published yesterday.
Do you reckon I could get away with half an acre in the Lower Forty - just for personal use?
Ponzi Pension Report
I don't pretend to understand pensions but I do know two things, firstly having worked with some Pension Investment Managers I firmly believe a dart thrown at the sporting pages of the Daily Mirror has more chances of creating a decent return than their laughable expertise, and secondly 10% of my money already goes into National Insurance to pay for my State Pension and now they want an additional 5% from my taxed income with my employer paying another 3%. I tell you if I ever find another job I'm going to be just ecstatic to be allowed to claim the shrapnel from my wages as my own after all the deductions!
Some have argued that many national social security systems, such as the Social Security system in the United States and the National insurance system in the United Kingdom, are actually large-scale Ponzi schemes. One example is conservative economist Thomas Sowell in his book, Applied Economics ISBN 0-465-08143-6.
Sowell and others point out that, under these national systems, incoming payments, made up of taxes and/or other kinds of non-voluntary contributions, are neither saved nor invested. Instead, current contributions (from one set of individuals, due benefits at a later time) are used to pay for current benefits (to another set of individuals, earlier contributors), much like a Ponzi scheme.
"What about the workers"
Actuaries claimed last night that the Turner report underestimated the impact of longevity. Further and steeper rises in the retirement age would be needed - with those starting work now unlikely to get state pensions before 75.....
There is a strange silence from the Unions on this one - not the Public Service Unions which loudly protest the rights of their members to retire just after lunch on their second day at work. No I mean the real unions, the ones that represent the few workers left actually banging bits of metal, swinging hammers and digging holes. It is fine carrying on in front of the computer until you are 75 but struggling into your overalls while hanging onto your zimmer frame ain't so much fun. Or will we see even vaster swathes of workers retiring on "the disability"?
Global warming will cool us?
Average temperatures in Britain are expected to fall significantly within a decade because the warm Atlantic current that maintains Europe's mild climate has slowed down by 30 per cent.
But go to the source and what do you find?
.....most of the slow-down happened between 1992 and 1998.
The changes are too big to be explained by chance, co-author Stuart Cunningham told New Scientist from a research ship off the Canary Islands, where he is collecting more data. "We think the findings are robust."
But Richard Wood, chief oceanographer at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre for climate research in Exeter, says the Southampton team's findings leave a lot unexplained. The changes are so big they should have cut oceanic heating of Europe by about one-fifth - enough to cool the British Isles by 1°C and Scandinavia by 2°C. "We haven't seen it yet," he points out.
Though unseasonably cold weather last month briefly blanketed parts of the UK in snow, average European temperatures have been rising, Wood says. Measurements of surface temperatures in the North Atlantic indicate a strong warming trend during the 1990s, which seems now to have halted.
As the late John Daly said in his last article:
The logical trap in linking weather events to global warming is that cold events (such as the recent Arctic cold wave which swept North America and recently south-eastern Europe and Turkey) which run completely counter to the global warming theory, must also be explained in terms of that theory. That is where this new `ice age' scare is so useful for an industry that spends its whole time (and taxpayers money) dreaming up one global catastrophe scenario after another. By invoking the possibility of `global warming causing an ice age', the industry are now in the position of being able to point to each and every weather event, whether hot or cold, as being evidence of global warming. Heads we win, tails you lose. It has become a closed logical system where the theory is now impervious to any external evidence that may contradict it. And this is an intellectual black hole which climate scientists themselves were not pushed into, but enthusiastically jumped into with scant regard for basic principles of science.
So, don't blame the media - climate science is itself to blame for this absurd situation where an entire science is now impervious to any internal or external evidence that might question the quasi-religion they have embraced. Demonstrated expertise in any complex discipline commands some authority among the non-expert public. But the many errors of this particular science are so gross that they have squandered whatever little authority they did have.