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January 31, 2006

Plod's Problem

The Policeman's Blog

If you have never read anything that I have linked to before, READ THIS.

It's a PA Consulting report on the problems with 24/7 response policing, funded (I think) by the Police Federation, and it should be printed out by every response officer and left in offices in Police Stations across the country.

Go on - read it. The madness that is destroying the Police Force Service is exposed, and it stands as a warning as it creeps through out the rest of the public services.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Party of Openness

Politics, news, comment from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

DAVID CAMERON, the Conservative leader, has triggered his first internal revolt by trying to impose a lifetime gagging order on all the party's employees.
The Times has learnt that the confidentiality agreement was sent to all staff, irrespective of their seniority or how long they have worked for the party, without any warning or consultation at the end of last week...
The mere fact that the existence of the confidentiality document has been leaked will be the first test of whether it is legally binding or not. ....
Mr Cameron, who has unashamedly modelled his first few weeks as Opposition leader on Tony Blair, has also borrowed the idea from the Labour leader, whose early iron grip on his party was criticised as “control freakery”. All Labour Party employees sign a confidentiality agreement.

Obviously I can't comment - even though the chances of me being offered a job at Central Office are as small as Pete Burn's Willy.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

15 milliseconds of fame

Inside Out - West:
Wiltshire - the only place on the planet where you can get a Pint and a chance to shoot old rifles at the same time, or something...
Our little ten minute slot about the The Devizes and District miniature rifle league - with fleeting shots of Mr FM and myself was fair enough, no stitch up as some feared.


Posted by The Englishman at 6:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Still planning your holiday?

Shooting to thrill in Cambodia - Destinations - Times Online

Thunder Ranch, the wood, brick and bamboo shooting range is run by Cambodia's 911 Paratrooper Commandos and allows Rambo fantasies to be played out daily by young backpackers and middle-aged upmarket tourists - at fixed, per-bullet price.
Thirty rounds for an AK47 or M16 cost $30 (£17). One hundred for a US-made M60 light machine gun and the similar Russian-made K57 LMG costs $100 (£57). Then prices jump for an M79 launched grenade, which cost $100 per shell. However, you certainly get more bang for your bucks- an M79 can knock down a small building. A B40 rocket propelled grenade costs $200.
Presenting the "menu", a helpful staff member explains that if a visitor wants to fire the grenade and rocket launchers, it means a trip to another shooting range about 40 minutes' drive away. To enhance the experience, he adds, old cars can be procured for target practice.

“My lasting memory of Phnom Penh is that it’s the only place on the planet where you can get a beer and a machinegun at the same time.”

Posted by The Englishman at 6:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 30, 2006

Begging for a caption - or photoshop!


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2006/01/30/ublview.jpg

The Telegraph

Hattip Gareth

UPDATE: Misty kindly provides a clean photoshop "improvement" - such an innocent mind she has:

aublview.gif
The caption is: "Smiles all round as Bliar finally listens and acts on what the public want from him"
or something along those lines

Posted by The Englishman at 6:03 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Live Tractor Blogging ~ Incoming!


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Image taken on 30/1/2006 15:34

Posted by The Englishman at 2:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not a peck of sense

BWMA/News in Brief reports:

In an interview with EUpolitix.com on 19 September, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry Günter Verheugen denied that he intends to force the UK to implement metric measures. He said: "I am not pressuring the UK to go metric. As long as I am in Brussels I will not touch the issue. Full stop ... I personally have a lot of sympathy for the pint and for the mile in the UK ...


And yesterday this in my morning paper:
Pinta and sliced loaf may face EU ban - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

LAWS that threaten the British "pinta" and traditional loaf of sliced bread are set to be waved through the European parliament this week....
The legislation is set to go through by a majority in the parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday, despite amendments tabled by the UK Conservatives.

The plans have come about because the European commission wants to harmonise EU rules on pre-packaged food quantities that prescribe the size of packs in which some types of food — such as milk, butter and bread — must be sold.

UPDATE: EU Referendum Blog sorts the story out - I wondered why they hadn't mentioned it earlier.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stuck on Stupid

The Business Online

GREAT Britain is facing long-term economic decline and social chaos unless it urgently improves its schools, business leaders and economists warned this weekend after it emerged that children have suffered an unprecedented drop in reasoning ability.
Employers said a groundbreaking study of 10,000 children, which reveals that 11- and 12-year-olds are between two and three years behind where they were 15 years ago in terms of their ability to think and reason, confirmed their worst fears. They said that better skills are essential in the global knowledge economy and to compete against highly skilled workers from India and China.

Hattip to http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com/ - worth a read, if you can. Of course exam results are always improving so all is well in sunny nuLabout Land.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Government's latest crap idea

The Times has learnt that Margaret Beckett, the Environment Secretary, is to produce detailed codes of conduct telling pet owners how to feed their animals and where they should go to the toilet, (for instance the cat code says "Ensure that cats’ preference for privacy is met by giving them a hidden away place with cat litter to relieve themselves. This advice forms part of a nine-point guide for “going to the toilet”.
Every domesticated animal will have a code of conduct tailored to their species, each of which is expected to run into dozens of pages. This will form part of the Animal Welfare Bill, expected to clear Parliament in the next few months.

"Going to (the) Toilet" Aaargh! It is bad enough the semi-literate helpers at schools teaching my children such foul words but when people start talking about animals "going toilet" my gorge rises and the blood starts hammering at the back of forehead.
There is a small dinner party set I have been banned from when a charming woman (who seems to have forgiven me) mentioned her horse going to the toilet, "Horses stale" I shouted before descending into scatological drivel. I have shifted more tons of animal muck than you have had hot dinners, animals stale, piss, shit, crap, dung, poo, go to the bog... - all decent Saxon words - only our poncy Norman overlords witter on about toilets and lavatories.

Oh, and the rest of the idea is as daft as box of frogs, talking of which I will be interested in the codes they produce for frogs and lobsters....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

CAP Madness

Telegraph | News | Blair EU deal means 40pc cut for 'green' farming

Officials at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are so embarrassed by the emerging implications of the deal that they have cancelled meetings with farming bodies to explain the details....

It has emerged that despite it having been the Government's policy for the past nine years to switch farm subsidies from production to paying "public money for public goods", the result of Mr Blair's EU budget deal is a cut in payments for green farming, with standard single payments to farmers left as before.

Instead of cutting Pillar 1 payments - "bad" CAP payments in Defra's eyes - it cut Pillar 2 payments, the only "good" form of Common Agricultural Policy payments, in the interests of a reduction in the overall size of the EU budget.

The environmental payments are the justifiable part of Government funding for farmers and are doing real good as can be seen as you drive the countryside - they are also my main budgeted source of income for the next few years....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2006

T- Shirt Update

An Englishman's Castle: Your favourite T Shirt
Still time to send your pictures in!

Posted by The Englishman at 9:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tory Hammers Fan

Iain Dale's Diary - one to go on the blogroll - even though he is upsetting me by going on about The Hammers all the time, being from Millwall Manor that ain't showing respect to me, but then nobody likes us and we don't care.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 28, 2006

A Book to Order

Amazon.co.uk: Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs: Books

In this irreverent and provocative book, he gives us the full story: how British soldiers are sent off to war with some of the worst guns in the trade, how the MOD keeps financing useless toys (at huge expense to taxpayers), and how decisions seem to be made with an eye, above all, for the interests of British Aerospace. He shows how politicians and the top brass are hopelessly entrenched in yesterday's wars and pouring their talents and energies into making sure that money is wasted right, left and centre. "Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs" does for the military what "Not on the Label" did for supermarkets - it takes us behind the scenes and exposes the real ingredients whipped up in the name of 'defence'.
From the Publisher
A short polemic on the curious ways of the British military - examining its habitat, mating rituals and scandalous procurement practices - by a brilliant young former Naval Officer.

Sounds even more interesting than Amazon.co.uk: The Bumper Book of Government Waste: The scandal of the squandered billions from Lord Irvine's wallpaper to EU saunas: Books

Posted by The Englishman at 12:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 27, 2006

Live Tractor blogging ~ Friday afternoon update.


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Image taken on 27/1/2006 13:58

Posted by The Englishman at 1:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Green Vision

Telegraph | News | Back to the future in a horse and cart

Britons could face a future in which most people travel by bicycle or horse and air travel becomes a distant memory, a Government think tank said yesterday....

The apocalyptic scenario, following an energy crisis, was one of four outlined by Foresight. The team was asked to predict how Britain and its transport infrastructure could look in 50 years' time. Underpinning all its predictions is the belief that huge changes will be needed to cope with the problems of congestion and climate change.

.... Britain would meet the Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions targets by 2022.
Cities of the future would resemble the packed Asian model, rather than the American urban sprawl. Farmers' markets would be commonplace and the use of the car would decline markedly.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Blair seems to be going increasingly mad

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

BRITAIN'S most senior policeman said yesterday that the coverage of Ian Huntley's murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham was proof that the media were "institutionally racist".
"If we look at the murders in Soham almost nobody can understand why that dreadful story became the biggest story in Britain," Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said.
In contrast, stories about black or Asian victims were relegated to a mention deep inside the newspapers.

A lot of Bloggers, including Laban have documented where white victims have received much less coverage than black victims of similar crimes. Their complaint is the exact opposite of Sir Ian's. Who is right?

I think neither - Press coverage is an example of Chaos theory with almost random Tipping Points into major coverage for some stories. Once a story starts getting coverage it gets more. But within that caveat Soham was particularly nasty in that it invoked nightmares for many in that the children were murdered while being "safe", in pair staying together, in a "nice" area near home, a trusted adult etc. Following all the rules that parents set their children. And that is nastier and more worrying than a random murder.

UPDATE: I don't know if it applies in this case but I know of other cases where the Police ask the Media to constantly question and photograph a "witness" who the Police believe to be guilty. The pressure tends to make them start slipping out extra details - not under caution - and makes them easier to break. The way Huntley was treated makes me believe this technique was used, so maybe, why was there so much Media attention? The Rozzers asked for it!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Sea level rising - we are all doomed

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Sea level rise 'is accelerating'

Global sea levels could rise by about 30cm during this century if current trends continue, a study warns.
Australian researchers found that sea levels rose by 19.5cm between 1870 and 2004, with accelerated rates in the final 50 years of that period.

Source:
A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise

John A. Church
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

A quick look at the abstract shows he has been busy "reconstructing" lots of data, and he has been at it for years. Strangely he doesn't seem to have taken a walk out of his office down to the harbour, I mean Tasmania can't be that big, can it? Because the late, sadly missed John Dalyon his website points out a few errors in this theory and provided evidence in Tasmania, and back in 1999 the BBC picked up on it. ( http://www.john-daly.com/ has a more recent photo and data than 1999 and nothing has changed)

7 October, 1999 BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Mark of hot dispute

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Is this the picture that takes the heat out of global warming? It shows an Ordnance Survey Bench Mark engraved into a rock face on a little island near Port Arthur, Tasmania.
It was put there in 1841 by the famous Antarctic explorer Captain Sir James Clark Ross and amateur meteorologist Thomas Lempriere to mark mean sea level.
What is so fascinating is that the mark appears to some to be 30 centimetres above the current mean sea level. Scientists who are sceptical about the existence of global warming say it clearly undermines oft-repeated claims that sea levels have risen over the past century because of rising temperatures on Earth.
"This is the oldest known such bench mark in the world," says greenhouse dissenter John Daly, who took the photograph. "Ross put it in an ideal location which is both geologically stable and open to the vast Southern ocean, with no local estuary effects to distort the tides."
The benchmark - a broad arrow containing a horizontal line about 20cm long - was cut into a sandstone cliff on the Isle of the Dead, so-called because it was used as a cemetery for dead convicts.
It has been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny in the last few years. Australia's Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) have resorted to satellites, sophisticated tidal gauges, and precision surveying to measure sea levels in the local area today.

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

January 26, 2006

What a woman!

BBC NEWS | England | Lincolnshire | Reach for the sky from the garage

Susan Lipscombe-Ridley, like many people, needs more space in her garage.
But rather than being cluttered with old toys, unused tools and bottles waiting to be recycled, it is filled with a full-sized Spitfire.
And far from being an impulse buy at a car boot sale it has been built, from the blueprints and rivets up, at her Lincolnshire home.

Puts my feeble DIY efforts to shame...

Posted by The Englishman at 8:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Private Property - Letters from The Times today

Letters to the Editor The Times Sunday Times Times Online

Sir, Your readers may not know that 105 MPs recently appended their names to an early day motion designed to extend "freedom to roam" into a "freedom to row" allowing canoeists and other users of non-powered craft to paddle at will on rivers and lakes which are, outside tidal waters, private property.
This was done without consultation or consideration for riparian owners, other river users and interested parties. ....

Sir, The proposed Artists’ Resale Right strikes at the heart of the notion of a commercial bargain — once an object has been sold, all rights pass to the purchaser.
There is no justification for an artist being the only manufacturer to dictate the fate of his product, and any future increase in value need not necessarily have a link with activity on the part of the artist.
....
If the artist is unwilling to surrender his rights to his work then do not sell it....

The notion of real ownership of property is an outdated one in modern Britain, one of the most important foundation stones of freedom and prosperity has been chipped away at so much it will soon crumble completely.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

However you cocked up last year - it wasn't this bad..

Business 2.0: 2005's 101 Dumbest Moments in Business - February 1, 2006

101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Posted by The Englishman at 7:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I almost wish I had watched it

Politics, news, comment from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

AS A culture, we must all now, surely, fear the ageing process just that little more than we did previously. Before Celebrity Big Brother 2006, it was generally held that a body became incrementally wiser as the years passed. But now that the nation has had nearly three weeks to witness 52-year-old George Galloway, MP for Bethnal Green & Bow, go out of his way to destroy his career by taking part in a notoriously ludicrous game show, we can only speculate just how much the intellect is robbed by the passing of the years.
Is there a medical test in existence that could explain WHY HE DID IT? He claimed it was to “reach out to the young”. Just how effective this technique was can be judged by a comment from Chantelle, Galloway’s 22-year-old housemate. “What’s George’s band called?” she asked, after spending 21 days in 24-hour contact with Galloway. ..

Initially bullish, during his post-eviction interview Galloway had the increasingly waxy pallor of someone gradually realising that he is in quite a lot of trouble.

Firstly presenter Davina McCall showed Galloway some of the many hooting headlines his performance had inspired, before inquiring: “What do you think your most infamous moment has been?” ... Davina then showed him the cat footage, which turned Galloway a hue I recognised to be “Clunch” by Farrow & Ball.

Then Jeremy Paxman popped up on a screen, like a big hammer. “When you’re ready to talk, so are we — with or without your leotard,” Paxman drawled.

Perhaps realising just what kind of news story would prompt a BBC current affairs anchorman to appear momentarily on a Channel 4 game show, Galloway strobed right through to “Lamp Room Grey”.

A quick perusal of the colour charts this morning has made my day...Farrow & Ball, Traditional Paint & Wallpaper

Posted by The Englishman at 7:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Straight Choice

Guy Fawkes' blog of parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy: Simon Hughes : The Straight Choice

Simon Hughes made his name in the early 80s winning working-class Bermondsey from Labour in a vicious battle. The gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was his Labour opponent. Hughes made it clear in this election pamphlet that he was the "straight choice".

Oh Dear - looks like he was not being quite "straight " with his voters:

BBC NEWS | Politics | Hughes admits gay relationships

Liberal Democrat leadership contender Simon Hughes has admitted having had homosexual relationships.
In an interview in the Sun newspaper, the 54-year-old said that his admission would not affect his leadership bid.
"I am perfectly willing to say I have had both homosexual and heterosexual relationships in the past," the Southwark and Bermondsey MP said

Its not what you get upto in the bedroom that matters it is about the lying. Hughes campaigned as being "straight"; Oaten launched his campaign with a lovely photoshoot of him with his lovely wife and children in their charming cottage.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2006

Live Tractor BIogging

Hot Tea this morning thanks to a Kelly Kettle
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Image taken on 25/1/2006 9:40

Posted by The Englishman at 8:43 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Your favourite T Shirt

Looking through my dressing room for something warm to wear on this frosty morning I realised the vast numbers of T Shirts I have accumulated from hanging around with people who understand IT - however I think my favourite one to wear on Summer days, down the Pub to wind people up, is one I picked out of a charity bin..
tshirt.jpg

What is your favourite one?

(Pictures to the address on the right WILL be published)

Ooh - here's one that looks familiar, the barmaids at the local wear them, but not so well....

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From guess who? Thanks Misty!

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From George Lee

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From - do you think I'm going to tell you!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

From the Forum

Free Market Forum :: View topic - Italians get there goolies back.

Italy approves self-defence law

The Italian parliament has passed legislation allowing people to shoot robbers in self-defence.
The law permits the use of guns and knives by people in homes or workplaces to protect lives or belongings.
The reform was introduced by the Northern League party, a right-wing member of the ruling coalition with a strong anti-crime platform.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4645228.stm

This isn't one of those EU wide things is it that are the great advantage of the EU is it? Why not?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

LibDem video worries

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | TV's 'sleep' button stands accused

Britons waste the equivalent of around two power stations' worth of electricity each year by leaving TV sets and other gadgets on standby.
Last June Environment Minister Elliot Morley, responding to an MP's question, revealed that electrical equipment in sleep mode used roughly 7TWh of energy and emitted around 800,000 tonnes of carbon.

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat's environment spokesman, favours a "polluter pays" approach to the standby problem: "In the end, there has to be costs in the form of manufacturers paying something to recognize the damage they are causing.

I think I prefer Numberwatch's view and for LibDems to keep their attentions out of my home...

Numberwatch - 2006 January

It is almost unbelievable that Greenie politicians have managed to drag up that old canard about standby modes. This trivial problem is becoming more trivial with every technological development. It might have been notable when all electronic systems were based on thermionic valves (vacuum tubes) because they had to have their cathodes permanently heated to save a long warming up period. This has persisted to a small extent because the cathode ray tube operates on the same principle, but this device is rapidly being replaced by plasma and LCD.
Modern electronic equipment, however, works on integrated circuits, which consume very little power and do not need warming up. Standby in such systems requires only that the receiving sensor for the remote controller is powered, a negligible amount, together with a micro-powered LED to show that the system is ready.
The estimates of power consumption produced by the politicians are ludicrously high. Why do they create these chimeras and parade them before the gullible populace? It is all to do with the principle of sacrifice. They have done no calculations. They simply invent numbers to impress the groundlings and rely on the fact that virtually the entire media are of the same religious persuasion as themselves.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pity the Yeoman Farmers of England

Telegraph | News | IT debacle 'puts farmers in danger of going bust'

An information technology fiasco in the Rural Payments Agency means that England's 120,000 farmers may get only part of their new subsidy payments next month, a minister admitted yesterday.

Farmers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already been paid their single farm payments in part. They cannot be paid in full because this has to wait until England has worked out each of its farmers' entitlements...

Lord Bach, the farming minister, said there had been continuing problems with the IT system chosen by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to administer the new single farm payment in England.

He was responding to criticisms voiced in a Commons committee that blamed him for showing "an unacceptable degree of complacency" about the likely financial impact on farming businesses of late payment of the new European Union subsidies.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee said it was "deeply unimpressed" by the failure of ministers and the agency to plan the introduction of the payments properly.

The payment in full was meant to be paid by the end of 2005, which would be a continuation of the previous system which gave an approximately 12 monthly payment and a planable cashflow. So at the moment you have the Farmers of England only struggling with their cash. Their last large cheque from the EU would have come before Xmas 2004 and they don't know when they will get another, or how much it will be. For small businesses that is hard.

The argument as to whether they should be subsistent on state handouts and the wisdom of the whole CAP scheme is separate, this story is about Government incompetence in implementing a scheme, its effect on small businessmen and why it is only the English who are suffering.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2006

Up and down like Jodie Marsh's Drawers

Sorry BT Broadband has been misbehaving all day, so I never got to finish my piece about the hysterical reaction to the possible upset to a couple of curlew that might be avoided by spending £200 million (and that is not an exaggeration of the numbers involved.) Nor could those half crafted witticisms about the Media frenzy about Wally the Whale being a PODcast (Pod - group of whales, geddit, oh never mind) or the documents on Mr Oaten being a LOGfile ( A Log being slang for, no, forget it..) or even how strange it was the only day a whale died in London was the only day the Family FM goes to London. So many missed pearls, but tomorrow I hope to be back to normal.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Stonehenge madness

Stonehenge Tunnel U-Turn Would Wipe Out Birds - UK News Headlines - Life Style Extra

One of Britain's rarest birds faces being wiped out if plans to build a road tunnel near Stonehenge are scrapped by the Government, campaigners have warned.....

There is a madness in the air again - It is about time the roads around stonehenge were removed, tunnelling is too expensive, building one road and closing two seems to offer a obvious environmental benefit.
The bizarre thing is that the biggest visual improvement around the site would be if they grassed the whole area down and grazed sheep across it, without the fences. This wild open landscape is visible all over the military training areas near by and would be a huge improvement over the rusty barbed wire fences and patchwork fields. However the stone curlews wouldn't like that either, they like cultivated ground!
In their attempts to get stone curlews breeding farmers around here are paid to cultivate and leave bare acres of ground - and when a nest is spotted a Beardie from the RSPB would come along and mark it with a cane so Mr Farmer didn't run it over. However crows aren't stupid and they quickly realised that canes marked nests with yummy eggs for breakfast below!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2006

Proud to be a Klowänden des Internets

As the leading blog for German humour I am little put out to discover the Germans are doing it themselves now - all because some PR guy complained they were ripping the piss out of the "Du bist Deutschland" loveyfest....

SCHOLZ .. jens scholz .. .. .. proud part of the "Klowände des Internets" (Jean-Remy von Matt) ..

Das Ziel: Die Miesepetrigkeit bekämpfen.

Der Dank: Miesepetrigkeit. Glücklicherweise nur von den Gruppen, von denen man nichts besseres erwarten konnte:

The aim: to fight grumpyness.
The thanks: grumpyness. Which, fortunately, came only from the groups you wouldn't expect anything else from:
....

2. Von den Weblogs, den Klowänden des Internets. (Was berechtigt eigentlich jeden Computerbesitzer, ungefragt seine Meinung abzusondern? Und die meisten Blogger sondern einfach nur ab. Dieser neue Tiefststand der Meinungsbildung wird deutlich, wenn man unter www.technorati.com eingibt: Du bist Deutschland.)

2. Weblogs, the toilet walls of the internet. (What on earth gives every computer owner the right to exude their opinion, unasked for? And most bloggers really just exude. This new, lowest level of opinion-forming becomes evident when you search for "Du bist Deutschland" on www.technorati.com.)

Hat tip - Drinking From Home: Du bist Deutschland

Posted by The Englishman at 8:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

WeIcome To WiItshire


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Image taken on 23/1/2006 14:21

Posted by The Englishman at 1:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The importance of education

Mark Oaten - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oaten was educated at Watford Comprehensive School and Hatfield Polytechnic.

I was wrong - I had him down as the product of a Public School up near the Welsh Borders - somewhere like Shrewsbury. But I suppose he would have got it all out of his system if had been. Shows the importance of a decent education for chaps, eh?

Posted by The Englishman at 11:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Defender of the Flag

The Cabarfeidh Pages (Highland Warriors) says what needs to be said about Scotland, the Union and the Union Flag, which us below the Border can't....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

You can stop now.

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

THE Royal Mail has saved an animal rights group from bankruptcy after hunt supporters cost it £500,000 by bombarding its Freepost address with junk mail and heavy parcels. ...

A round-robin e-mail was sent to hunters urging them to abuse the system by sending Christmas cards, empty envelopes and bulky packages.

Within a fortnight, van loads of bricks, telephone directories, heavy books, abusive letters and animal excrement were sent to the league’s offices in South London. One hunter posted a dead squirrel. ...

Now the Royal Mail has agreed that the league should pay only for those items of mail sent before it alerted the postal service to the problem and cancelled the Freepost address.

This means that the league’s bill will be about £2,000, not the estimated £500,000, which would have almost certainly bankrupted the group.

Wanda Wyporska, spokeswoman for the league, which was set up in 1924 to stop violence against animals, said that half the sacks of mail were from the West Country. Some senders, she said, had used company franking machines. “We are delighted to say that the hunters’ attempt to bankrupt the league has failed spectacularly. They have wasted the time and resources of the police and the Royal Mail through their petty and spiteful campaign. Next time the price of a letter goes up, you have the hunters to thank.”

Police said that they were investigating whether the culprits could be charged with theft, fraud or sending malicious post. Just forwarding the e-mail could lead to criminal proceedings. A spokesman for Royal Mail added: “There is no point sending any more mail, it will be returned or destroyed.”

So why should ordinary users of the Royal Mail subsidise a cockup by the LACS marketing department? Do you think the Royal Mail would have done the same for the Countryside Alliance, who have had more sense than set up a Feepost address, or Nestle, Monsanto or any other fashionable villain?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 22, 2006

The recipe for today

Whale Steak - 4 portions

4 slices of whalemeat @ 150 - 180 g
Salt and pepper, preferably freshly ground
4 onion rings
2 dessert spoonfulls of finely diced green or red peppers
1 dessert spoonful of finely diced parsley
1 dessert spoonful of finely diced gherkins

Carve the meat into slices of about 1.5 to 2 cm thick, beat them with your hands and press them into shape. Preheat the frying pan and melt some butter in it. Brown the butter before adding the meat. Fry the steaks on both sides. Whale meat should be fried for about 4-5 minutes on each side. The steaks taste best when they are medium rare, but they should be warmed right through and not eaten raw. Serve the steaks on a plate, place an onion ring on each of them and fill it with peppers, parsley and gherkins. Potato scollops taste good together with the steaks. Serve with a bowl of good, crisp lettuce and salad.

or

Joint of Whale Meat Steeped in Red Wine Marinade
6-8 portions:
1 1/4 kilos of whale meat
3 dl red wine
1 dl vegetable oil
3 ground cloves
1/2 teaspoonful of coarsly ground pepper
2 teaspoonfuls of salt


The Marinade
3/4 litres of juices from the meat Thickening (milk and flour) 4 dessert spoonfuls of sour cream (20% rømme) Sugar colouring Salt

It may be a good idea to bind the joint to help it keep in good shape. Place it in a small oven dish and pour the marinade over. Leave the joint there until the next day, turning it at regular intervals. Remove the joint from the dish, dry it well and rub it with salt. Cook the joint until it turns a pleasant brown colour all over, turn down the heat and add water to reach 2-3 cm up the side of the joint, approx. 3/4 litre. Let the joint simmer for about 20 minutes, turn it over and leave it for another 20 minutes. Measure enough of the juices to make enough marinade, about 3/4 litre. Add the thickening to the marinade, and then the sour cream to taste. Serve with boiled beans or other vegetables, and potatoes - boiled or fried in the pan.


Posted by The Englishman at 8:56 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 21, 2006

Guido - how could you miss it?

Guy Fawkes' blog of parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy

And not a mention of Liberals and Rentboys.

Giggle, and back to crack open another bottle of Tinto...

Posted by The Englishman at 9:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Australian Papers report - from a reader.

Bio-Terrorism Rocks London

By Special Correspondent Harry Lord.
21. Jan 2006

Londoners woke this morning with a sigh of immense relief knowing that Scotland Yard’s boys in blue have yet again covered themselves with well deserved glory.

Hot on the heels of the radical Terrorist Group, Father’s 4 Justice’s plot to kidnap little Leo, The House of Commons was packed for an Emergency Sitting at 5 am to hear how the Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Tony Blah, had personally directed the action at the soon to be notorious “ Pig and Apple’ pub in Devizes, previously famed only for its scrumpy.

SWAT teams from four counties were on the scene in helicopters within minutes of a sinister figure at a table in the snug, believed to be a father, uttering the threat “a pox on all their houses”. Patrons were herded into the car park after smoke and shock bombs were tossed into the main bar amid ‘awed’ imbibers.

Landlord, Jim Elfixit said “ Oi didn’t even ‘ave toim to cawl larst orders”. His heavy west country brogue and middle-eastern sounding name was enough to arouse suspicion and he was bundled into a daddy-wagon and is believed to being held somewhere in Paddington. He is the only person being held at present, but a Police Spokesman said “ we are following leads. There are a lot of fathers in Devizes”

A helmeted figure was seen escaping on horse-back across the fields minutes later, stopping only to pluck a few apples in a nearby orchard. The helicopters sent in pursuit failed to find him.

Forensic scientists were flown in from Tasmania as part of the Australian Prime Minister, Mr John Howard’s aid to his ‘ally in the War on Terror’ and are examining droppings in a five mile radius. Mr Howard told a group of reporters from the Australian ABC, who flew with the scientists, that “Australia has fathers too”. He spoke to them by phone from Kirrabillie.

The pub was destroyed shortly after by members of a nearby Tank Regiment “as a precaution”.

PM Blah dangled his son Leo on his knee as he told reporters that "Leo can sleep safely knowing his Daddy's workplace has safe employment practices".

To make sure his message reached into the heartland of terrorism and that he, personally was leading the efforts, he announced, "My fax machine and mobile phone nearly melted. I will be introducing New and Radical Measures in the coming weeks to cover the phone bills. It just has to be done. We can’t have proper fathers, like me, financially disadvantaged." Mr Howard concurred.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 20, 2006

For when Lidl is too posh

Two pairs of cotton trousers, two pairs shorts, three cotton shirts and five pairs of boxers - total cost £19.
Ain't capitalism great, especially when the Matalan Clearance shed is holding an end of sale clearout - nothing over £3.

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

Fettes for the Sweaties, Oil Drum Lane Comp for the English...

Scotsman.com News - £1,000 extra per pupil - so why are our schools not doing better?

MINISTERS were accused last night of failing to deliver improvements in schools despite the fact that state education spending in Scotland is now £1,000 per pupil higher than it is south of the Border.
Scottish Executive figures yesterday showed education spending was £4.2 billion in 2004-5, an increase of £300 million on the year before.
Broken down, that worked out at £3,855 per primary pupil and £5,428 for every child in secondary school. Nationwide, that equates to an average of £4,641 per pupil.
In England, local education authorities will spend £3,411 per pupil in 2005-6, rising to £3,643 the following year.
Spending on state education in Scotland is also edging closer to independent school levels, where the average non-boarding fee in 2004-5 was £5,820.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Traitor's Will

Telegraph | News | Heath leaves £5m to preserve his beloved house

Sir Edward Heath, the first Conservative prime minister from humble roots, left more than £5 million in his will, a record for a British premier.
The son of a carpenter and a maid from a seaside town in Kent, Sir Edward, who died last July aged 89, left most of his £5,410,364 (£5,362,240 after liabilities, including funeral expenses) to a charitable foundation in his own name, primarily dedicated to maintaining his own legacy ....He added that the trustees should preserve the house and its contents, including all his papers, saying that he wanted to see "the advancement of education by the facilitation and encouragement of access to and the study... and research of my papers and the publication of the useful results of that research".

£5 million - not Euros or Yuan as might have been expected. So shall I apply for a grant to see what results can be drawn from studying his papers, or can I just summarise it in a sentence?

Or is it another poetry competition theme?

Sir Edward Heath
Died fat and rich when he should
have been hanged instead

Your efforts?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Competition Results

You may remember the David Cameron Poetry Competition

I extracted all the entries and present them below, so they were judged without seeing the writer.
It was a hard choice, a very high level.
On rereading them the one that captured the pointlessness of "Dave", was accurate and made me laugh most was:

David Cameron
Tory MP for Witney
But not Houston

So open the envelope it was written by:
Esbonio!
Sir, I owe you a drink or two. If you would care to Join Mr FM and myself at the bar tonight the tankard will be kept full of the foaming, otherwise I suppose I better send you something in the post if you send me details.

Dave Cameron - Poetry Muse

David Cameron
Thinks we need another posh
New Labour Tory

Tony Blair
Doesn't care
If it will be Brown
or Dave Cameron

David Cameron -
Tony Blair, taught at Eton;
Max Hastings' wet dream.

Nice Dave Cameron
So central touch-ee feel-ee
Niice Dave Cameron

David Cameron
Tory MP for Witney
Oxford and Eton

David Cameron
Is the Tory leader of
The opposition

David Cameron
He is neither Red nor Blue
But both - He's Maroon

David Cameron
Tory MP for Witney
But not Houston

David Cameron
Leading Conservatism
Beware of schism

Ginger whinge drinker
Binge lying in November
Shoot Libdems don't they?

Cameron, oh so nice guy
Came with a great plan
To stuff the ole' Tory man

Such a nice guy Cameron
To all but a Baron
For old values are out
White males matter nowt

Am Tory Party;
For Cameron did not vote
Please re-clone Thatcher ?

Yet another way
For Tories to lose their shirts;
David Cameron.

It seems to me
That this may be
The end of the Tories
And happy stories.

Conservatives seek
Power at any price with
Their own Tony Blair

Young David Cameron
Is here to pour scorn on
The Thatcherite schemes
Of Conservative dreams.

The Tory voters chose Dave Cameron,
And gave Dave Davis a thorough hammerin.
But I Dave Cameron now abhor
And expect he soon will cross the floor.

Our Dave Cameron
Some Medici connections
All canvas, no paint

There once was a young man called Dave,
Whose Party thought him terribly brave.
When he swung to the Left
We all felt bereft:
Our white hope was a socialist knave...

Newbie Cameron
It seems he only wants to
Be on camera

David Cameron
is an authoritarian,
drop dead fuckface twat.

Do we really need
A conservative leader
Modelled on Tony?

David Cameron
Smiles when the camera's on.
But we all know that deep within
He aspires to be Blair's twin.

Eager for office
Desperate Tories call on
David Cameron

[AA_Milne]
Dave Dave Cameron Cameron
Head of the Tory crew
Took great care of his party
Though he was only two.

Dave Dave said to his party,
'Colleagues', he said, said he.
'We will never see our
Returning to power
Unless we act like Tony.'
[/AA_Milne]

or
[belloc]
There was a boy whose name was Dave
(Who barely had begun to shave)
Sent off to sleep with fairy stories
And woke up leader of the Tories -
A task at which strong men had quailed
(His predecessors all had failed).
But Cameron would be the man -
He had a strategy, a plan...

Although he knew it was quite phony
He tried to sound a lot like Tony
(Without the lying and deceit
Which, frankly, would be quite a feat).
The tone of voice, the fake concern -
These were the hardest things to learn.
Sincerity, they say, is best.
If you can fake that, then the rest
Is easy. He with practised smile
Replaced the substance* with mere style
And party programmes - dumped the lot.
Till in the end while he had got
The policies, the look, the patter
And if he won - it wouldn't matter.

*I point out, lest you think I'm joking
These substances were not for smoking.
[/belloc]

Posted by The Englishman at 7:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

Ovine Proclivities

I'm glad to see The Times maintains the old standards of erudition:

Rachel Campbell-Johnston Arts Notebook Times Online

FOR MANY, mention of sheep summons ribald jokes and not romantic fantasies. They too have their roots in Theocritus. His homoerotic imaginings added spice to his poems. But I was amused to come across a scientific report into homosexual proclivities among ovines. They appeared to have a biological basis in rams. But how will we ever know for ewes? The female, apparently, when she wants to elicit interest, stands perfectly still. Who knows how many ewes are out there waiting patiently for a same-sex partner?

So horny ewes just stand there looking blank - that explains a lot about the Welsh...

Posted by The Englishman at 4:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Tax it

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Austrian leader calls for EU tax

"It's absurd that today short-term financial transactions are completely exempted from tax. It's absurd that there are tax gaps - that international aviation is part of a tax gap," he said.

Listen to that outrage that something isn't taxed - the horror!
I think that tells us more about the European mentality than any detailed analysis of his proposal for a EU tax.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gitmo value

Michelle Malkin reports:

Here's a very interesting story from Reuters: "Guantanamo prisoners tied to London bomb probe."
Excerpt:
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Prisoners at the Guantanamo base in Cuba provided important information in connection with last summer's London transit bombings that the United States shared with authorities in the United Kingdom, the general in charge of the prison said.

Good to keep in mind when the hysterical Gulag Card-playing crowd argues that Gitmo should be shut down and detainees all should be freed because they no longer have any intelligence value.

There is one worrisome detail at the end of the Reuters piece. Army Maj. Gen. Jay Hood noted "that the Guantanamo prisoners learned about the London bombings shortly after they occurred, probably from visiting lawyers who are challenging their detention in the U.S. courts."

You mean once they get a lawyer in there they let them out again? What a wasted opportunity!
I will wait to see if the UK MSM picks this up and its hand wringing reaction.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thundering on The State of The Nation

Britain isn't working - Comment - Times Online

Perceptions about the "state of the nation" tend to change only gradually. In the 1980s the belief that Britain was doomed to decline lingered for some time after the Thatcher reforms had paved the road to economic recovery. Labour, by contrast, has benefited from revived national confidence that Britain had rediscovered the secrets of market-led success. That confidence appears increasingly misplaced. If, as as yesterday's dismal unemployment figures indicate, Britain's actual prospects have become markedly more precarious, there is no wisdom, and much risk, in ministerial attempts to deny that there is serious cause for concern.
...
The Chancellor is a masterly mythmaker. The past eight years have seen a marked “continental drift” in Britain. Taxes here are now higher than in Germany for the first time in a generation. According to the OECD, which is as objective as any institution, British state spending will swallow a bigger slice of national wealth next year than the famously profligate German welfare state. The myth has currency no more. Britain is in danger of becoming the laggard of a lagging continent.

The supertanker of state is out of control and heading for rocks, and the Lame Duck PM can't do anything and Pilot Brown who wants to take over won't, as it would be admitting his follies...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 18, 2006

Scenes from An Englishman's Kitchen

olive oil.gif A pre-Elizabeth David bottle of Olive Oil - only available from Chemists - 2 1/2 fl oz (half used) "a fine mild oil for kitchen or table" alongside, for scale, a pound pack of Dripping (half used).

I know someone who will be horrified!

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Brown's Turkey Army

National Statistics Online

Employment in the public sector rose by 72,000 in the year to September 2005, compared with an increase of 115,000 in the previous year to September 2004.

The largest increases in public sector employment in the year to September 2005 were in health and social work (45,000) and education (25,000). There were also increases in the police service (including civilians) (10,000) and public administration (3,000).

There were decreases in HM Forces (8,000) and construction (7,000).

I'm surprised at the proportion of workers though:

National Statistics Online

Public sector employment in the United Kingdom as a proportion of total employment was 20.4 per cent in June 2005. This was still below the June 1992 figure of 23.1 per cent but above the low point of 19.2 per cent in June 1999.

From 1991 to 1998, public sector employment fell every year, with an overall reduction of 816,000 over that period. From 1998 public sector employment rose every year to 5,846,000 in June 2005. This was 680,000 higher than in June 1998. Private sector employment rose by 1,241,000 (5.7 per cent) from June 1998 to June 2005.

In the year to June 2005 Northern Ireland (30 per cent), Scotland (24 per cent), and Wales (23 per cent) all had higher proportions of their workforce working in the public sector than England (20 per cent).

In England the regions with the lowest proportions of their workforce in the public sector were the South East and the East Midlands (both 18 per cent). In contrast the North East (24 per cent) and the North West (21 per cent) had the highest proportions.

Still that shows a pretty clear picture where England's Taxes are spent...

UPDATE - of course I missed the way thousands of Government jobs are hidden in private contractors and charities...

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

"Community Justice"

Opinion - Magnus Linklater Times Online
rightly roughs up Blair on his plans for bypassing the courts:

.. what a strange concept this is. It presumes that crimes like mugging, theft or drunken brawling pose threats to society so much greater than those of previous centuries that they require new concepts of justice to combat them. It believes that “the community” is more likely to be reassured by the summary powers of the police than by the open administration of the courts. And it argues that a system that addresses the circumstances of each individual case, weighs them openly and treats them on their merits lets down the community, because it places the rights of the accused before those of the victim.

This is just the latest in a series of deeply illiberal proposals by this Government. From the attempt to reduce trial by jury to the removal of the right to silence, the “rebalancing” of justice in favour of the victim, the use of hearsay evidence on character, the introduction of previous convictions into the evidence and the undermining of the reputation of judges, the Blair administration has steadily undermined civil liberties and left an indelible stain on its reputation for fair dealing.

Worse, Mr Blair has called Hobbes in its defence and distorted his evidence. In Leviathan, Hobbes wrote: “If a man be interrogated by the sovereign or his authority, concerning a crime done by himself, he is not bound (without assurance of pardon) to confess it; because no man . . . can be obliged by covenant to accuse himself.” My case rests.

This needs saying over and over again, because Blair continues to revisit his vision for "Community Justice" which bypasses all those inconvenient safeguards that have been established for centuries - As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. "Proverbs 26:11"

Posted by The Englishman at 7:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Send in the clowns

Telegraph | News | 'This is how God punished us for invading Iraq'

The mayor of New Orleans has provoked new outrage by calling Hurricane Katrina God's punishment for invading Iraq and insisting the city become "chocolate" again.

You have to pity the poor people out there having such leaders - but i suppose that is their choice.

Of course he isn't the first to suggest God was angry - others have been condemned for suggesting God might have smote a city of sin and sodomy, or as other alternative theories regarding Hurricane Katrina have it, for reasons from the legalization of abortion and homosexuality to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq to the creation of reality television....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2006

Homeward bound

The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

60GF0291.jpg
Image taken on 17/1/2006 16:54

For thousands of years farmworkers have followed this track from up on the Downs to the farmstead below - you can just see the welcoming lights below the tractor - it seemed to me this is the continuity of England I love.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.


Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain,
Of such as wand'ring near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.


Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.


The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, and the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.


For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care,
No children run to lisp their Sire's return,
Nor climb his knees the envied kiss to share.


Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke,
How jocund did they drive their team afield,
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stoke!


Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure,
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th'inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.


Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.


Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?


Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid,
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire,
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.


But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll,
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.


Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear,
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.


Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.


Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
The treats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes.


Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone,
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined:
Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne,
Or shut the gates of mercy on mankind.


The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenious shame,
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride,
With incense, kindled at the muse's flame.


Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life,
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.


Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memories still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.


Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
The place of fame and epitaph supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralists to die.


For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resing'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind?


On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.


For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate:
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall enquire thy fate.


Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
'Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn',
'Brushing with hasty steps the dews away',
'To meet the sun upon the upland lawn'.


'There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech',
'That wreaths its old fantastic roots so high',
'His listless length at noontide would he stretch',
'And pore upon the brook, that babbles by'.


'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn',
'Muttering his wayward fancies, would he rove';
'Now drooping, woeful-wan, like one forelorn',
'Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love'.


'One morn I miss'd him from the custom'd hill',
'Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree';
'Another came; nor yet beside the rill',
'Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he'.


'The next with dirges due in sad array,'
'Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne',
'Approach and read, for thou cans't read, the lay',
'Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn'.

The Epitaph
Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown;
Fair science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And melancholy mark'd him for her own.


Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to mis'ry all he had, a tear,
He gain'd from heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.


No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose),
The bosom of his father, and his God.



Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
a poem by Thomas Gray


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No 1 Icon - Foxhunting

Fox Hunting - Icons of England
is the most popular Icon of England - you read it here first; the reasons are its influence on art, culture, clothing, countryside, wildlife management and getting up Blair's nose.
Do vote if you haven't already.

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Paedo Panic

David Aaronovitch The Times
The paedophile panic: why we have reached half way to Bonkers Island

...The Mail describes as "one of the most disturbing cases" of all, that of William Gibson. Gibson "the weekend's cause célèbre" was convicted of indecent assault against a minor, but subsequently found to be teaching in a boys school on the south coast. According to reports many of the parents are deeply unhappy with the discovery. Mary Nunn, mother of 16-year-old Darryl, told the Mail how dreadful it all was, and how threatening...

But Gibson's more detailed history was that he had had sex with a 15-year-old girl pupil a quarter of a century ago, subsequently married her and had a child with her. The chances of a Portchester pupil being made pregnant and then wed by this particular maths teacher must be rated as slim. But then, I don't know Darryl.

It’s pretty obvious that Gibson is not a paedophile and is no kind of threat to adolescent boys...

This "one size fits all" approach to Sexual Offenders is mad. Obviously there are some Paedophiles who commit such disgusting crimes that the only suitable punishments I can think of would make Saddam blanch at the severity And with luck being known as a "nonce" in prison will provide them with an opportunity to experience many of them.
On the other hand we read of Jodie Marsh losing her virginity at 14 and don't think of an appalling crime having being committed, we vote Charlotte Church "Rear of the Year" when she has just turned 16 and don't hand all of ourselves in for being kiddy fiddlers. But if you are 16 and bed your 15 year old girlfriend you risk being lumped together with the real pervs on the "Banned for Life" list as a danger. Is that fair and proportional punishment?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Telegraph | Education | No prayers nor bells for the finest

(The) pleasure in great poetry is being denied to older children because of the politically-correct restrictions of GCSE English. Instead of the exam presenting a perfect opportunity to learn about the golden treasury of English verse - Chaucer, Milton, Tennyson - the focus is on poems and stories from other cultures.
Take the OCR exam board English literature course I've taught for the last two years. Yes, the pupils still have to study "War Poetry" but, instead of focusing on all-time greats such as Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon, nearly half the poems on the syllabus are written by little-known women. ...Moving lines such as "What passing bells for those who die as cattle?" give way to "There they go marching all in step so gay!" ....

The only advantage in studying such poetry is that, instead of spending hours going through a truly powerful poem such as Owen's Strange Meeting - surely one of the best anti-war poems ever written ("I am the enemy you killed, my friend") - it takes only minutes to uncover the complexities of Hinkson, Letts and Margaret Postgate Cole. Yet one of the few chances many of these teenagers will have to be hooked on poetry for life has vanished.

One third of OCR's English GCSE course is now devoted not to an appreciation of classic English writing - George Orwell's famous advice on how to write clearly in Politics and the English Language, for example - but to "different cultures".....

The problem, of course, is not that children are being exposed to other cultures but that, in many cases, inferior works of literature are being promoted at the expense of great ones, purely because they come from those cultures. As my teacher friend observes: "Why shouldn't these kids learn some really powerful English poetry instead? We are making them study all these other poems because of our obsession with multi-culturalism, and we're putting them off poetry for life."

I recommend a crash course in Wilfred Owen (Anthem for Doomed Youth), William Blake (Tyger), Thomas Gray (Elegy) and Shakespeare ("All the world's a stage") to put matters right.

And it is not just the poetry they miss out on - there is a bedrock of common culture that educated youths throughout the Commonwealth used to share, and reference through out their lives. I often use Poem titles as headlines - even Metallica have used the one I chose today..
Today's lesson can therefore be compare and contrast the two versions presented below.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


Metallica
For Whom the Bell Tolls

Make his fight on the hill in the early day constant chill deep inside
Shouting gun on they run through the endless grey on they fight for the right
yes but whos to say
For a hill men would kill why they do not know
Stiffened wounds test there pride
Men of five still alive through the raging glow gone insane from this pain that
they surely know

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Time marchs on
For Whom the Bell Tolls

Take a look to the sky just before you die, its the last time you will
Blackened roar, massive roar fills the crumbling sky, shattered goal fills the
soul with a ruthless cry
Stranger now are his eyes to this mystery, hears the silence so loud
Crack of dawn, all is gone except the will to be.
Now they see what well be blinded eyes to see...


For Whom the Bell Tolls
Time marches on
For Whom the Bell Tolls

Posted by The Englishman at 7:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Stern Warning

Telegraph | News | Warning over Viagra and damage to sight

Men who take drugs for impotency such as Viagra ... may have a 10-fold increased risk of damaging their eyesight

There was also a small increased risk in those who had had a stroke.

Or two - also warnings of the dangers of developing hairy hands and spots were given by Victorian parents.

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Good Work - Carry on

BBC NEWS | England | Oxfordshire | Suicide prisoner was given razors

A man who shot dead his estranged wife and sister-in-law killed himself with razor blades given to him by prison staff, an inquest has heard.

For many categories of prisoners I believe each cell should come equipped with a legth of rope and a hook in the ceiling, I for one wont be missing him.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2006

MSM errors of the Year

Regret The Error: Crunks '05: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections
From the Liverpool Daily Post in England:

Technology has revolutionised most of our lives in recent years and the media has particularly benefited from developments in IT and communications. But all technology should always be treated with a degree of caution. This was a lesson brought into sharp focus last week following a review of the Welsh National Opera's double bill performance of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci at the Empire Theatre. The problem arose when the computer spell checker did not recognise the term "WNO" (Welsh National Opera). A slip of the finger caused it to be replaced with the word "winos". All stories in the Daily Post go through a series of checks for error, but unfortunately this one slipped through the net. It just goes to show that it's hard to beat the good, old-fashioned dictionary.

Calling Welsh Musicians "Winos" isn't normally an error!

More serious ones at the site as well.

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Today I'll mainly be down the pub

MR FM Forum.gif
Mr Free Market has opened his public forum - what larks!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2006

Jelly-bellied Flag-flapper.

I note that Bishop Hill: Jelly-bellied flag flapper and Liberal England: Rudyard Kipling answers Gordon Brown and Tim Worstall and Crooked Timber » » A flag in every garden and Langford Home Page (Pardon?) have finally caught up with a suggestion I have been making for eighteen months:

Last bastion of a scoundrel


A Government that seems to hate Britain and has been systematically destroying the fabric and heritage of this country suddenly now wants to wave the flag. Wonko brings us news of the latest plans such as : Britain's first 'Citizenship...Posted in An Englishman's Castle on August 12, 2005 07:34 AM

Election code word - "Britain"


BBC NEWS | Election 2005 | Election 2005 | Kennedy set to 'talk Britain up' 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...Posted in An Englishman's Castle on April 11, 2005 07:11 AM

Wrapped in the Flag

BBC NEWS | Politics | Brown outlines 'patriotic vision' A "patriotic vision" of Britain's future will be at the heart of the pre-Budget report, Gordon Brown has said. "The theme of the pre-Budget report will be that the next decade...Posted in An Englishman's Castle on December 1, 2004 08:48 AM

Politicians, Flags and fighting men.


As a little treat today I reread The Flag of their Country - from Stalky & Co. - Rudyard Kipling It must be a hundred years old but the story is of how a politician comes down to a school... Posted in An Englishman's Castle on May 18, 2004 07:57 PM

I'm pleased to see them catching up!

So here we go Jelly-bellied Flag-flapper.

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Wiltshire Responds to Tony

Telegraph | News | Yobs reply in writing on the wall for Blair

On Tuesday, in a blaze of publicity, Mr Blair arrived in Swindon to announce a raft of eye-catching initiatives on anti-social behaviour and "respect".
As the photographers' lights flashed, he hosed away graffiti on a wall at the Toothill Village Centre.
The Prime Minister's message was emphatic: he was getting tough on antisocial yobs.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal, however, that in the early hours of Friday morning the yobs delivered their emphatic response: "F*** off, keep off our land Blair" - spray-painted in 3ft-high letters across a 20ft section of the wall...

Oh naughty naughty boys....

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January 14, 2006

The Pub will be open soon...

Free Market Forums

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

Scotsman wants English to work at Britishness

The Cep reports:

Gordon Brown has had what seems like a great idea. Under his leadership students that volunteer for community work will have their tuition fees paid for by the Government. This, believes Brown, will encourage "strong modern patriotism" and "an agreed British national purpose".

The glaring problem with this is that it will not apply to Brown's constituents in Scotland and likely as not it won't apply to the Welsh either.

Why should English students have to volunteer to have what the Scots get for free? And in the name of building an agreed British national purpose!

More at The Scotsman and the BBC

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January 13, 2006

The Tebbit Test

BBC NEWS | Politics | Tebbit warns of Cameron dangers

David Cameron risks leaving right-wing voters feeling disenfranchised as he tries to shift the Tories to the centre, Norman Tebbit has warned.
Ex-Conservative chairman Lord Tebbit told BBC Question Time it was "dangerous for the democratic system" if the parties looked too similar.

See the problem is that Tebbit went into politics to say what he believed in whereas Blair and Cameron take the advice of marketing experts and employ The Hotelling-Downs Model of Spatial/Political Competition. So much more 21st Century, and if you feel disenfranchised you are some right or left wing nutter.

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

January 12, 2006

Prescott's Pad

Prescott's Pad.jpg The ever numerate Mr NBC points out that Prescott has only reluctantly paid Council Tax of about £478 per year on the above pictured Gaff - a quick check at Westminster Council Council Tax Bands & Rates shows that it must be a Band B property - or it could be a Band A if he has had the decency to pay the interest. This would mean it is valued at £40,001 to £52,000 freehold. I wonder if they would take an offer? Or maybe it is time for the VOA inspector to make a visit and barge in with his right of entry....


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Be like Dad, Keep Mum, Careless talk costs lives...

BBC NEWS | UK | Secret retreat marks 60 years of diplomacy

A diplomatic hideaway in the south of England, scene of decades of international deals, is marking its 60th anniversary - quietly.

You won't find Wilton Park on a map.

But the breathless BBC does link to this supersecret hideaway's website - Wilton Park - which notes that "When Wilton Park conferences are not in session, all the facilities and the beautiful historic environment are available for business meetings, management training and away days, and also weddings. " Contact details, Map and even the signs on the road which help you find it are all noted.
Well if that really is the most secretest place our Foreign OFfice can manage I think we can sleep safely in our beds tonight.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Fat Slug Salted

Politics, news, comment from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

John Prescott today apologised for "inadvertently" charging the council tax bill for his official London residence to the public purse.

The Deputy Prime Minister admitted £3,830 of taxpayers' money had been paid out on his grace-and-favour apartment in Admiralty House, near Trafalgar Square in London, since 1997.
Mr Prescott, whose department has presided over a hugely unpopular 76 per cent rise in council tax since Labour took power, said the payment was the result of an "inadvertent error... based on a genuine misunderstanding."
The Deputy Prime Minister has a second official residence at Dorneywood, a manor in Buckinghamshire, where the council tax there is covered by an independent trust which owns the house.

He is entitled to claim back the tax on his family home in Hull on parliamentary expenses, meaning that until today the Deputy Prime Minister - whose 'two Jags' nickname has cheekily been upgraded to 'three pads' - paid no council tax out of his own pocket.

No comment by me needed, but I think I will allow myself an extra glass tonight - Cheers!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:57 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

More on Tiger Hunting in South Africa

Alert readers will know I asked why in the excellent book - Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy FitzPatrick - Sir Percy talks about Tiger hunting. Thanks to some readers I now know the answer.
Of course if I had read another chapter further on I would have found descriptions of "Tigers" and illustrations to show the beast in question. All is now clear as the scan below the fold shows...

South African Tiger.jpg

Posted by The Englishman at 9:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Face of Labour

The Devil's Kitchen puts the boot into a Labour Fuckwit who says things such as:

It terms of low level punishment for low level crimes, it is BETTER to punish the innocent than to let the guilty go free.

Leaving aside it isn't just about the money, to boast of those beliefs in a post call "Why Tony is Right" shows exactly why Tony and his arselickers are wrong.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:16 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I think I need to have a fundraiser

Boomershoot 2006

Due to the further implementation of a police state in the UK I'm offering British subjects free entry to Boomershoot 2006. Notify me a month early and I will supply the rifle and ammo. Show up a couple days early and learn how to make reactive targets.

It is bad enough probably not being able to afford to get to the States but when nice guys do nice things like this it makes me want to cry, or go and shoot something....

As the man says:

Q: Why does the average Boomershoot participant attend the shoot?"

A: As with some other things that are beyond what our ape-like evolution prepared us for, explosions are, at some level, very odd and curious things. Our brains are programmed to pay special attention to strange and unusual things -- 'magic' things. Explosions invoke that curiosity of magic in our brains. A gun with its 'action at a distance' capability is a magic tool. But at long distances there typically isn't the immediate confirmation that something really happened 'out there'. I change that. By creating a sort of Walt Disney-like world where 'magic' happens, I give the shooter an escape from reality. This is a Magic Kingdom for long range shooters. For one day I give them the keys to the Kingdom where they get to perform their own magic.

Joe Huffman

Posted by The Englishman at 6:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

To subsidise or not to subsidise that is the question.

Telegraph | News | Shakespeare's Globe makes £1.5 m profit without any subsidy

The Shakespeare Globe Theatre turned conventional thinking about arts subsidy on its head yesterday when it disclosed that it had made a pre-tax profit of about £1.5 million every year since it opened a decade ago.
The Globe's profits contrast sharply with the financing of its heavily subsidised rival, the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Arts Council subsidy to the RSC, which aims to break even, is now running at almost £13 million a year.

Well obviously that is one cheque the Art's Council shouldn't bother to write next year then. Surely?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watch the Green's heads explode!

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Plants revealed as methane source

"We now have the spectre that new forests might increase greenhouse warming through methane emissions rather than decrease it by sequestering carbon dioxide."

major implications for the rules of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which allows countries and companies to offset emissions from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil by funding the planting of new forests ...

How will they blame Bush for this one?
As the BBC fairly says:

The study highlights, however, the extreme complexity of the relationship between the biological processes of the Earth and the chemistry of our atmosphere - and how much there is yet to discover.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

Votes please!

Fox Hunting - Icons of England

Now to see if they add Conkers!

Posted by The Englishman at 10:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Calling South African help.

My bedtime reading at the moment is the great Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy FitzPatrick - a fine yarn with great illustrations.
Now I believe Sir Percy knows what he writes about, apart from having travelled the Bushveld he also was educated at Downside which Blognor Regis points out is also the Alma Mater of Mr Free Market and Tim Worstall and Peter Briffa. Good company then.
He talks of hunting "Lions and Tigers". My "Standard Natural History" was printed in 1931 and cost 25 Shillings, so it is of good quality, and it seems to imply that Tigers are not to be found in Africa - My Google search throws up one Tiger in South Africa doing sterling work but not herds of them wandering the bush. I have never been to the old Cape Colony so would one of my kind readers who knows more than me please enlighten me as to what, as well as Lions, he was hunting.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tiger vs Goblin

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Zoo tiger kills SA crime suspect

A criminal suspect on the run ended up being mauled to death by a caged tiger, South African police say.
The man took refuge in the Bengal tiger's cage at the Bloemfontein Zoo. A visitor to the zoo on Sunday noticed a body covered in bite marks in the cage.
"The man was involved in a robbery and was chased by security guards," police spokeswoman Elsa Gerber told the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
"He had nowhere else to go, so he jumped over the zoo fence," she added.

I have always liked tigers!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Death of Enterprise

As I search around for an opportunity to earn a few Shekels to prevent me having to send the Englishettes back up the chimneys and The Mrs back to the Toothill streets, I have been working up some business plans.
With the few pigs running around the place and mindful of the official support to "add value" to farm produce on farm I hit upon the cunning wheeze to produce Air-dried ham. Any wizened old crone in the southern European Mountains knows how to do it so it can't be that hard to do. A bit of research and now I have a small sample batch maturing - tastes good! And it is not just ham, there are the Biltongs, the Jerkies, Venison, even Skerpikjöt to add to the range. The market seems to be there for it, and price looks good. It is something I'm interested in, I can afford to set it up, I want to do it.
So all systems go?
No.

EU Referendum constantly reminds us that "we have "two cultures": the increasingly bureaucratic world of legislative food safety, dominated by the EU, and the real world of food safety, where intelligent men and women are taking their own steps to ensure our food is safe."
Traditional time proven methods, backed up with pH testing etc. will not be good enough. I talked to a on-farm food processor at the weekend. His advice, which I am taking, is just don't enter that world of pain of death by a thousand regulations. Bugger, I may have to look for a real job now.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 10, 2006

More on those Tony Blair Respect Committees

Drinking From Home notes that:

ad hoc committees meet once a month and are chaired by the president of the people's committee. The committees are a control measure for ensuring respect for public authority and conformity to the dictates of socialist society.


in North Korea.....

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Build your own Mr Potato Head Mr Tory Leader

David Cameron.jpg Cameron.jpg
A flexible toy for all to enjoy as you change his appearance to whatever you want.
Please note some accessories previously included in the Mr Tory Leader kit, such as a belief in Toryism, are no longer available.

Posted by The Englishman at 12:21 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

A Defence Cut Too Far!

EU Referendum
has done sterling work in highlighting the daft and dangerous policy of buying our defensive equipment from Johnny Foreigner but a reader reminds me that it is not only bombs and bullets we are going to rely on the French for...

Times Online

FOR centuries the cavalry, in both fighting and ceremonial roles, has relied on one company to supply steel swords.

Now, after a unique relationship with the British Armed Forces dating back to 1772, Wilkinson Sword is to close the plant where 14 craftsmen make swords worth up to £1,000 each. The demand for high-quality swords is not what it was, and the company, better known for its razors, can no longer keep this side of its business going.

Future generations of cavalrymen will probably have to rely for their ceremonial swords on companies that outsource some components from China and India..

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Education, Educashon, Edducashun

A TANGLED WEB reported:

David Cameron was proposing to ensure that our secondary level education system continued dumbed down - as meritocracy was prohibited. But Dave has been a busy boy today. He has subsequently decided that student fees should be maintained in our increasingly worthless Universities and that student numbers should be without limit. So, that's tertiary Education screwed as well. Hurray! Would the last person leaving the country please turn out the light? This is truly appalling stuff - all aimed at currying favourable headlines from the MSM as the Conservative Party is driven ever leftwards....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

People's Committees to control police

BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair to unveil 'respect' plans

...scrutiny committees whose work would be triggered by "community calls to action", would work in a similar way to Parliament's select
committees.

The police and other agencies would have a duty to respond to the committees' findings.

Mr Blair set up a "respect" task force last year and the plans are the first real fruits of its work.

And exclusively I can bring you a picture of one of the first People's Committees meeting with Mr Blair.

lenin.jpg

And beyond satire the other "fruit" of the review is the official Nanny State plan....

A "national parenting academy", to train social workers, clinical psychologists, community safety officers and youth justice workers about advising parents, is another part of the action plan.

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

January 9, 2006

Icons of England

Cup of Tea
Thermos
Green hills
Red tractor
Grey Day
608B0287.jpg
Image taken on 9/1/2006 12:32

Posted by The Englishman at 11:34 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

More on that Icons of England site

The main site is broken - or at least not launched yet - hey it was only a million pound website - but you can sneak in the back door via Icon Nominations - Icons of England - funny how they have 184 nominations before it opens!
Get in early - vote early vote often.

My nomination - I wonder if they will publish it?

Fox Hunting

Fox hunting is the traditional sport of England - as well as being the cause of the preservation of much of the green and pleasant land and its wildlife, it also gave us the riding attire which has developed into the suit and tie which has been a major English influence on the world!

Posted by The Englishman at 9:30 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Health and Safety Inspector..

Telegraph | News | Schools alarmed over orange pips

Orange pips and plum stones have become the latest concern for health and safety enthusiasts, a report reveals.

Some schools, which are giving out free fruit to their pupils under a health initiative funded by the Scottish Executive, believe that fruits with pips are dangerous and so are avoiding them.

So no more counting rhymes as the stones are arranged around the bowl. Stick to the deep fried Mars Bars - they are much safer...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 8, 2006

Icons of England - time to vote!

FIRST it was John Major’s vision of a Britain of “long shadows on county grounds, warm beer and invincible green suburbs”. Then new Labour tried to rebrand the country as cool Britannia, promoting the merits of Blur and Britart.
Now the government is funding a list of national icons that some hope could save England from the “white van man” image of a St George’s flag stuck to the inside of a vehicle window.

The Icons Online project, which will choose items after votes from the public, will be launched tomorrow by David Lammy, the culture minister.

The symbols will focus on England rather than Britain because of a belief that the country has lost out in terms of identity in recent years to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Sunday Times

OFFICIAL LIST

Alice in Wonderland
Angel of the North
Cup of tea
SS Empire Windrush
FA Cup
Henry VIII by Hans Holbein
King James Bible
Punch and Judy
Routemaster bus
Stonehenge

We must be able to do better than those!

http://www.icons.org.uk/

Posted by The Englishman at 9:26 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Govt Waste....

Who's a pretty wasteful prime minister, then? - Sunday Times - Times Online

A forthcoming book will reveal the chancellor’s stewardship of the economy has resulted in an unprecedented squandering of public money.

Few countries can rival Britain’s versatility in this respect, according to Matthew Elliott, co-author of The Bumper Book of Government Waste. “Added together, they come to £82 billion of wasteful and useless spending,” says Elliott, who is chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance. “That’s more than the annual turnover of many east European countries, or more than £4,000 per family in Britain.”

Posted by The Englishman at 9:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Snodgrass - Your friendly local spy

Telegraph | News | No identity card? You could be fined £2,500

Town hall bureaucrats are to be given sweeping new powers to investigate homes for identity card evasion and to impose heavy fines on occupants found without one.
The revelation, in an obscure Whitehall consultation paper, calls into serious doubt the Government's repeated promises that planned ID cards, already hugely controversial, will be voluntary and that no one will be forced to carry one.

The chief principle of a well-regulated police state is this: That each citizen shall be at all times and places ... recognized as this or that particular person. No one must remain unknown to the police. This can be attained with certainty only in the following manner: Each one must always carry a pass with him, signed by his immediate government official, in which his person is accurately described. There must be no exception to the rule.
-Johann G. Fichte, THE SCIENCE OF (TM)GHTS_ Originally published 1796. Translated from the German by A. E. Kroeger. London: Trubner and Co., 1889, pp. 378-379 [1].
We need to create an atmosphere such that each citizen feels that without [his government papers] he will be unable to travel anywhere, that the single document confirming his identity is [his government paperwork]. The first question you must ask a detained citizen is show me your [government id].
-Genrikh Yagoda, the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs, in a top-secret speech of April 16, 1935 at a conference convened by the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD) [2].


Source

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January 7, 2006

Understanding Women

I came in from a windy cold day out hedgeplanting, face red and tight from the weather.
"Darling, you ought to put some moisturiser on that." Mrs Englishman exclaimed.
"Daddy, do you want to eat some dead stuff?" Elder Englishette asked.
I only took one of the suggestions - what a great girl!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Competition time

I think it is time that we had a poetry competition here - so a prize for the best Haiku or Clerihew on David Cameron.
Prize will be a suitable amount of Alcohol if I can arrange it.

Haiku
Three lines, 5,7,5 syllables per line - so David Cameron fits either the first or third line.

David Cameron
Thinks we need another posh
New Labour Tory

Clerihews:
They are four lines long.
The first and second lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.
The first line names a person, and the second line ends with something that rhymes with the name of the person.

Tony Blair
Doesn't care
If it will be Brown
or Dave Cameron

I'm sure you can do better...

Posted by The Englishman at 1:16 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

January 6, 2006

New Lib Dem Leader

May I suggest Jeremy Thorpe

He can't be any worse than the present choices - unless you are a Great Dane that is...

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

Four Things Thing

From Kim

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: Pig Farmer, Pesticide Salesman, Webpage Designer, Totter.

Four movies you could [and do] watch over and over: Babe, The Searchers, The Dambusters, Casablanca.

Four places you’ve lived: The Castle - I don't do strange places.

Four fiction books you can’t live without: - Shameful Harvest, A G Street; Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy; Watership Down, Adams; The Tailor of Gloucester, Beatrix Potter

Four non-fiction books you consider essential: The Selfish Gene, Dawkins; The Red Queen, Matt Ridley; The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry 1920-1945, Pitts; The Origin of Species, Darwin.

Four TV shows you love to watch: Fred Dibnah, House, Doc Martin...Can't think of a fourth..

Four places you’ve been on vacation: London; Amsterdam; Colorado; New Zealand

Four websites you visit daily: Free Market Fairy Tales; Kim; Telegraph News; BBC news

Four of your favorite foods: Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding; roast leg of lamb; steak, Syllabub.

Four places you’d rather be: in bed with Mrs Englishman; at the shooting range; a Wiltshire pub (with Kim and Mr. Free Market); a good bookstore.

Four albums you can’t live without: Undertones, Beethoven 7th, Elvis Love Songs!, Beethoven 9th - Fall of Berlin Wall Concert

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Another Big Brother Debate

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Galloway joins Big Brother house

Anti-Iraq war MP George Galloway and entertainer Michael Barrymore are among the 11 contestants who have entered the Celebrity Big Brother house.

I have never followed the Big Brother television show - being locked in a house with a bunch of randy weirdos reminds me too much of my first term at St Cakes' Boarding School, but I seem to recall the house has chickens as well as people; surely there is a case for a bringing in those from a Turkish Poultry farm....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Big Brother Debate

No not that one - the debate over the National DNA database that has been grown by stealth....

BBC NEWS | UK | Call for inquiry into DNA samples

The government should look into why black people are over-represented on the UK's DNA database, says a black police officers' group.

World's biggest DNA database gets larger - silicon.com

Just over five per cent of the UK population is on the database, compared with one per cent in Austria - the second biggest user of the technology - and half a per cent in the US.


DNA pixie dust fails to solve all UK crime, shock horror | The Register

The Home Office has boasted of a quadrupling of detection of crime via DNA technology over the last five years, during which period the UK's National DNA Database has trebled in size, and now exceeds 3 million records. An enthusiastic report from the Home Office's Forensic Science & Pathology Unit (DNA Expansion Programme 2000-2005: Reporting achievement) lists impressive improvements in detection rates, thanks to DNA, which is "a powerful aid to crime investigation."
Under, erm, certain circumstances. The report happily shares the glad tidings of how much better clear up rates are with the addition of DNA (e.g. domestic burglary up from 16 per cent to 41 per cent, and theft from vehicle clear-ups boosted from 8 per cent to 63 per cent), but is rather less forthcoming on the extent to which these welcome improvements can be achieved on real burglaries......

Posted by The Englishman at 6:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 5, 2006

Boar hunting with a Bowie

With Wild Boar in the news a lot I thought it worthwhile reposting this - come on you Devon lads, show us that Drake's spirit isn't dead!
Just in case you missed it the comments to Be careful out there! are worth reading. Especially when we started talking about hunting boars with a knife.

Thanks to George for this:

The photo below shows a 12 year old kid with 2 wild boars that he took with a Bowie. Each boar weighed 225 lbs. Three catch dogs were used.

This was at a place called Buck and Boar in South Carolina.
http://community.webshots.com/photo/105987163/105988017iMZJhS

That is one hell of a kid - and a hell of a great place to be brought up.


Posted by The Englishman at 8:27 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

That Charles Kennedy Speech in full

You're my best mate, you are. I really really love you, all of you. What you want a leadershitttttttttt, sheep, hip, hip hurray, leadership contest eh? Think you're hard enough? Come on outside.....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Failure is the norm

I have just finished reading the excellent Paul Ormerond's book 'Why Most Things Fail'.
One snippet stood out - In the book he argues that Companies, policies, initiatives etc fail more often than we realise and that the process is hard to predict - read the book for the full argument, needless to say the Market mechanism and constant innovation are the answer.
As a side issue it is how we deal with failure that is important - we know how slow Governments are to recognise failure and act. Coca Cola made a bit of a hash of it when they introduced "New Coke" - Huge investment in research, money and prestige, but they got it wrong. New Coke introduced 23rd April 1985 - withdrawn and Old Coke back 11th July 1985. That is the speed the Market makes things happen.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

That PC debate

UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog has an excellent round up of the Browne Vs Brown "debate" - go and read it all.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 4, 2006

On Guard

Don't even think about it!
60390285.jpg
Image taken on 4/1/2006 10:43

Posted by The Englishman at 9:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Farm Crime

Telegraph | News | Car thief killed farmer after early release from jail

The family of a farmer who was run down and killed as he tried to stop two gipsy brothers stealing his Land Rover yesterday demanded to know why one of them had been let out of prison early following a spate of identical crimes.

Mr Boffey's brother, Roy, 67, said: "The fact that one of them was on licence when they did this to Michael just sums up what is wrong with this country.

"It's what happens if you are soft on these people - they harm ordinary law-abiding citizens."

.... Yesterday it emerged that Squires and his brother Fred, 24, who had dropped him off at the farm, had made a career out of stealing from farms.

Both were jailed in 2003 for a robbery in which Ashley Squires drove a van at a farmer. His brother got two years and he was sentenced to three and a half years.

But Ashley Squires's release on licence after 19 months meant he was free to kill Mr Boffey...

Noticing the keys in the ignition of Mr Boffey's Land Rover, they parked nearby before Ashley Squires walked back to steal the car.

He attempted to run down Christine Russell, a farm worker, before hitting Mr Boffey, a father of three.

Ashley Squires admitted manslaughter and his brother admitted conspiracy to steal and assisting an offender. The pair, who have no fixed address, will be sentenced on Monday.

Yesterday their grandmother, Lena, said they were "good boys". She said Mr Boffey's death "was just one of those things".

Sounds like a murder and two attempted murders to me, but hey what do I know? 19 months for the previous attempted murder so what will he get for this "manslaughter"?

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

JFK assassination - the truth!

Telegraph | News | Did the Cubans assassinate Kennedy?

The Cuban secret service was behind the assassination of President John F Kennedy, according to evidence presented in a new television documentary....

Oh not another theory - I have never taken much interest but strangely I was sent a link to New Version of the Zapruder Film yesterday. Slow to load, but it seems quite clear where the headshot appears to come from.

It was Jackie! - she has a small silver large-calibre Derringer in her hand, JFK turns and looks at it as the first shot fires, she shoots him in the temple, the gun jumps from her hand and skids across the trunk of the Limo, she dives out of her seat and sprawls back across the trunk to retrieve it and stows it in her handbag before acting the caring widow. I'm surprised no one has realised this before; I'm off to write the book and TV show.......

Posted by The Englishman at 6:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

New Year's resolution

Drink more Claret.
For the last few years I have been tempted by the cheap reliable New World Shirazes and Merlots. But at Christmas I went back to try some of the new crop of Clarets, better priced and better made thanks to the competition. Wonderful. So less of the perfect airbrushed Brazilian-waxed, blonde bimbo Australian wines, reliable and lovely everytime but boring! - no this year let us drink dangerously, take another look at that MILF in the corner of the bar, she may have been round the block once or twice and share the bath with the Labrador but when she puts out she doesn't hold back.
More Camilla, less Diana in the cellar will be my motto. Cheers!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

'Miraculous' rescue for US miners

BBC NEWS | News Front Page

Twelve men trapped underground after an explosion in a US mine on Monday are found alive.

Good news.

UPDATE - Sorry, as you know now the story was sadly wrong - it seems only one survived and he is in bad shape. I checked a couple of sources and waited for the BBC to put up a full story rather than a headline before posting. But it seems it was all based on overheard phonecalls rather than a confirmed statement. The blame is being passed around by the MSM.

Michelle Malkin pointed out how " The shameless Blame Bush nuts are already starting in" - "But they voted for him...West Virginia went for the guy by a nine point margin if I am not mistaken. I also know that the town where the accident took place went for him by over 70%. ,...You vote for this guy knowing very well that you may loose your job or even your life..well tough luck..you yourselves are to blame!" -"Now let's have a bunch of nice funerals, heavy on the bunting, and be done with it shall we."

I wonder how they will respond now

Posted by The Englishman at 5:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 3, 2006

Dave Cameron's Schooldays Chapter Three

"Get off you rotter, "squealed Simpkins of the Fourth Form. "Ouch, I haven't got any more sweets, Fatty Brown has already stolen them all. But I'm going to work really hard in the holidays and earn some money and spend it all in the tuck shop when I get back to school and I will let you have some sweets then.."

"Ah, but then I will be Headboy", snarled Cameron, "No more Nicey-nicey Tony and his two henchmen Fatty and Even Fattier. I will run the six form then! And if your tuckbox increases in size then we "share the proceeds of growth" between my friends and if you are really nice to me, Oh Peachy Bum, then I might let you have a few Gob Stoppers, not you let me have some. Now Simpkins run away, and get back to fagging, my top hat needs a damn good brush.
Come on chaps, I have heard that the scruffy Gardener's Boy, Goldorf or some other stupid Bog-trotter name, has a few postcards from Africa, got naked darkies on them, think I better confiscate them, fnarr fnarr...

Posted by The Englishman at 12:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A lesson "Dave" should learn from the Awful Gordon

Conservative Party - Article
Cameron: "I've always thought that when it comes to Black Wednesday, there are two types of politician - those who learnt the lesson and realised we should never give up control over interest rates, and those who failed to learn that lesson, campaigned for the euro and still insist it's a matter of when, not if, we should join."

Dave, mate, as I believe I am instructed to address you, there is actually a THIRD type as well, one who realised it is better to hand over the control of interest rates to NON-politicians....maybe someone can explain to you over a your ciabatta soup that there are somethings Politicians shouldn't control, actually there are an awful lot but hey, that is an old fashioned Conservative view not nu-Tory.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Welcome to some dangerous ideas

Edge

The Earth can cope with global warming, schools should be banned and we should learn to love bacteria. These are among the dangerous ideas revealed by a poll of leading thinkers.
John Brockman, the New York-based literary agent and publisher of The Edge website posed the question: what is your dangerous idea?

One I picked out as interesting is "Marx was right: the "state" will evaporate and cease to have useful meaning as a form of human organization" by JAMES O'DONNELL

Posted by The Englishman at 7:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 2, 2006

Centenary Year

Greener.gif
No shooting tonight due to the holiday so a chance to discover some background reading about the Devizes and District Miniature Rifle League and my beloved Morris Tubed Lee Metford...

The Parable of Boy Jones - Land & Sea Tales - For Scouts and Guides - Rudyard Kipling
The Parable of Boy Jones

THE LONG shed of the Village Rifle Club reeked with the oniony smell of smokeless powder, machine-oil, and creosote from the stop-butt, as man after man laid himself down and fired at the miniature target.....

NRA-ILA :: Articles
Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle both witnessed the lethal fire that Boer farmer-riflemen rained on British troops in 1899. They returned home to promote civilian marksmanship through the expansion of rifle clubs in England. ...

"What the `clothyard shaft and grey goose-wing` effected, when guided by an English eye and an English hand at Crecy and Agincourt, the rifle bullet will do in any future contest...." wrote Hans Busk in The Rifle and How to Use it.

The London Times went so far as to editorialize: "The change from the old musket to the modern rifle has acted on the very life of the nation, like the changes from acorn to wheat and stone to iron are said to have revolutionized the primitive races of men."

Despite the NRA`s best efforts during the previous 40 years, the war in South Africa demonstrated clearly that England was not yet a nation of marksmen. In May 1900 Prime Minister Lord Salisbury called for the formation of civilian rifle clubs to redress the shortcoming. In a speech to the Primrose League, he stated his goal was no less than that "a rifle should be kept in every cottage in the land."
..
Writing to the London Times in June 1905, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle presented his case, making the inevitable comparison to the Middle Ages: "The first point which is worth insisting upon is that a man trained at a miniature range (whether Morris Tube or otherwise) does become an efficient shot almost at once when he is allowed to use a full range. What with the low trajectory and absence of recoil in a modern rifle the handling of the weapon is much the same in either case. I am speaking now of an outdoor range where a man must allow for windage and raise his sights to fire . . . It was skill at the parish butts which made England first among military powers during the fourteenth century. My suggestion is that the parish butts be restored in the form of the parish miniature range."

Posted by The Englishman at 8:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Twat of the Year 2006 Nomination

BBC NEWS | UK | EU boss 'most powerful man in UK'

Europe Minister Dennis McShane said it was "an urban myth" to suggest that Britain's laws were decided by Europe.

An early start for the 2006 Twat of the Year nominations but dear old Dennis isn't one to let us down...

Meanwhile for 2005 there is still time to send in some nominations:
Wonko's World: Twat of the Year

Posted by The Englishman at 4:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Where's the beef?

Telegraph | News | Cameron says he is breaking with legacy of Thatcher

"we need open minds"

Even an old cynic like me can't believe how appalling the Tory Boy is turning out - it isn't an open mind he has got but an empty one. His sole political ideology is to get "Dave" elected, by whatever means and by embracing whatever his focus group likes the sound of. He truly is just aping Tony's rise to power. And it is working, the media loves him and the public are responding. But it is all sizzle no steak, without a firm foundation of conviction as Thatcher had it is hard to build a lasting structure.

Henry V, Act 4, Scene 4

I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart; but
the saying is true- the empty vessel makes the greatest sound.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack