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March 31, 2006

Summary Justice

Times Online

The Lord Chancellor announced that thousands of low-level offences, including speeding, will be removed from the courts and handled under a bulk "summary justice" system...“What people are looking for is plainly a fair process but one that is more speedy, simple and more summary where appropriate,” he said.

The old liberties of England, still believe they are safe under this bunch of power crazed nutters? Summary Justice has a certain appeal I admit, I think I could sort of the whole Loans for Ermine scandal much quicker than the courts will, and I think you will agree that decorating the spikes on the Tower with the Noble Lordships would be a quick and just result. And while some may quibble there is the danger of punishing the innocent, the risk of that happening with Tony's Cronies is negligible, unlike the risk to the poor public under this latest proposal.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Papers Please

Telegraph | News | ID card laws gain Royal Assent in return to the wartime past

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Honourable Members

Telegraph | News | Taxpayers forced to fill hole in MPs' pensions

The parliamentary pension fund - one of the most generous in Europe - is facing the same difficulties as most other public and private schemes.

Its deficit has almost doubled to £49.5 million because of increased life expectancy and reduced investment returns, partly caused by Gordon Brown's £5 billion a year "stealth" tax on dividends.
While people in occupational schemes and millions of local government workers are being told they will have to work longer, taxpayers will foot the bill for the MPs' shortfall.
...Mr Blair and Stephen Timms, the pensions minister, insisted that the taxpayer could not be expected to bail out people whose pension schemes had collapsed. (apart from MPs obviously).

Up to a million Council staff walked out on Tuesday in protest against the pension changes, and further strikes are planned for next month.

At the centre of the dispute is the so-called Rule of 85. This allows council employees to retire at 60 without suffering loss of pension for early retirement, provided their age and years of service add up to 85. The Government claims it must go because of EU rules.

However, MPs will continue to benefit from their own early retirement "Rule of 80". While their normal retirement age is 65, they can draw their full pension from 60, provided their age plus service as an MP totals 80 years or more.

..thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: - No just dreaming. Their snouts are so welded to the trough whatever anyone says makes no difference, until the election, or The Glorious Day, which ever comes first, and just in case if I'm not in when you call this morning I will be down in the barn oiling up 635 lengths of hempen rope

Posted by The Englishman at 6:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 30, 2006

From the family archives

macgill patent 05.jpg
Many years ago Father-in-Law had a patent for a new Hand Gun mechanism granted - I know some of you will interested, and if anyone knocks some up please let me know as it never was made - shame!

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Posted by The Englishman at 7:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Complete Rubbish

I finally got fed up at looking at the old pile of scrap iron, so I swapped it for a grubby envelope with some money in. Strangely I didn't need the help of Kennet's Recycling Education Officer or the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Officer, maybe that is because the old iron has a real value, the stalwart members of the community who will start it on its journey to the smelter are happy, and will make something out of it, and I'm happy with some notes that smell of oil and grease rather then the more rarefied substances our city friends leave on their notes. I also note that gold and silver recycling contiues without help from our taxes.
The great Worstall has gone over this before, but I'm a bear of little brain so I need reassurance, subsidising recycling is wrong, isn't it? Our lords and masters are saying that they can value stuff, and allocate resources much better than the market. The market is saying that waste cardboard is valueless, because there is plenty of it around, the boys with the wide braces have checked and there is no point in storing it for when it runs out so they aren't running positions on it, but on the other side the council believes it should have a value so they set up a complicated internal market (much of it just to satisfy Central Gov's target) in the old rubbish. And every time they rig a market like this they are taking resources away from other uses. Correct?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Punch and Punch

Sorry, little time for blogging - spent this morning watching Prescott on Prime Minister's Question Time (Broadband suggested) - best comedy I have seen for years.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 29, 2006

Envy is a nasty thing

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Smartcards the 'envy' of the UK

Smartcard technology which will help run Scotland's free bus travel scheme for pensioners could be used in a large variety of other services.
The National Entitlement Card means that schemes operated by the 32 councils can be brought together.

Developers said it could be used for libraries, leisure centres, home meals and even a bus stop audio service.

'Marvellous' technology

Colin Mair, chief executive of the Improvement Service, jointly run by the Scottish Executive and the councils, said: "The cards that will be issued for travel purposes on 1 April will also be able to be used for a wide variety of other purposes.

Oh lucky lucky Scotch, as they gorge on the free gee-gaws the state provides all they have to do is flash their shiny "Saltaire emblazened" cattle tag and the nice people at the council will give them something else - and guess who else loves this brave new world that is the "envy" of the UK...

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Oyster data use rises in crime clampdown

Police hunting criminals are increasingly seeking information from electronically stored travel records, such as those created by users of the popular Oyster card in London.
Figures disclosed today show a huge leap in police requests to Transport for London, which operates the Oyster cards used to travel on buses, trains and the underground.

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Failure to understand Market

BBC NEWS | Business | EU cracks down on mobile charges

Mobile phone users could pay less for making calls from abroad to their country of origin, under proposals put forward by the European Commission.
The Commission said it would draft a law to crack down on "unjustified" high charges for using mobile phones abroad.
"It is high time that the EU's internal market delivered substantially lower communication charges for consumers and business people travelling abroad," said Ms Reding.
"I therefore propose that an EU regulation be used to eliminate all unjustified roaming charges.
...Mobile phone operatorsay calls abroad cost more than domestic call charges, because there are additional costs involved in delivering calls through foreign networks.
In a statement, T-Mobile said that it should be left to the market to decide mobile phone charges.

So the EU doesn't understand how markets work yet again, what a surprise. Of course the BBC shouts about how this will be a victory for the little man against the nasty big businesses. What happens to Vodafone shareholders, and all our pensions that have a little bit riding on the profitability of the mobile operators? All so Mandy and Renaldo can whisper sweet nothings wherever they are for less.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

One source of hot air the climate could do without.

Politicians will answer to God over climate, says Archbishop - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, told political leaders yesterday that they would face "a heavy responsibility before God" if they failed to act to control climate change.
"Nobody likes talking about governmental coercion in this respect" ... "And yet, unless there is a real change in attitude, we have to contemplate these very unwelcome possibilities if we want the global economy not to collapse and millions, billions, of people not to die."

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

And it was all the fault of Land Rover drivers and the evil Bushchimpmonkey warned the wizard of Wales...

Posted by The Englishman at 5:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 28, 2006

Red Ken spits venom

London mayor calls US envoy a 'chiselling little crook' - Britain - Times Online

The Mayor of London made the off-the-cuff comment while giving his opinion of the US Embassy's decision not to make its diplomats pay the congestion charge when driving into the centre of the capital...

The little git has a fun time indulging in madness as Tony called it, of Yank bashing - what about this little list from Evening Standard
Embassies that don't pay Algeria America Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Egypt Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Germany Ghana Guinea Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa Sudan Swaziland Switzerland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe

(Embassies that pay Andorra Antigua and Barbuda Canada Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Cambodia China Croatia Denmark Ecuador Egypt France Greece Italy Poland Japan Romania Turkey)

Why not attack them as well?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


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

BRITAIN'S youngest drink-driver attacked a lawyer and threw a jug of water at magistrates yesterday as she was sentenced for her second offence of driving while drunk.
Leanne Black, 14, screamed obscenities and kicked over a chair before lunging at the prosecutor and punching her in the back.
Black, wearing a shiny white tracksuit and fake gold jewellery,...The disturbance in Newbury was not limited to the court. As Black arrived she had hurled eggs at photographers as her mother stuck out her buttocks at them. As the family left, there were further scuffles.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:10 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

The old songs of England

England - famous for its folk music and traditional shanties, subtle but powerful tunes resonant of the common man and the glories of the countryside can welcome a new addition to the genre in time for the Association Footer matches this summer - World Cup Song 2006 - Tits Out for the Lads by Branded! This oeuvre seems to embody all the culture and subtlety that we expect from the soccer supporting classes.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

Chilling words

The Times Online guest contributors Opinion

.... when the biological parent fails, the corporate parent in the form of the local authority must understand its legal obligations and honour them.

I really don't like the idea of my local authority being "the corporate parent" to my children - but I'm not sure what should be done to rescue children from the feckless and cruel - though I have a fair idea of what should happen to the F&C parents, the only counselling I would suggest would involve a breaking a baseball bat on them and sticking the splintered end where the sun doesn't shine, repeatedly.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

To be corrected

BBC NEWS | Politics

Blair admits resignation mistake
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair regrets announcing plans to stand down before the next election.

Yep, talk not action was a mistake, easily corrected though...

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Regimental vandalism

Goodbye to the Black Watch - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

“SAY something, laddie, even if it’s only ‘Goodbye’!” screamed the purple sergeant-major in a Black Watch kilt. The officer cadet was dithering to time his command of “Abooowt TURN” as the left feet of the squad hit the tarmac. His squad was marching rapidly towards noyade in the Tweed. On Tuesday we say goodbye to 281 years of history, as the Black Watch is subsumed with the other Highland and Lowland regiments into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland,....

The stramash will not do Gordon Brown much good in his constituency, which lies in Black Watch recruiting territory. The Army would never have dared to sack the Black Watch while the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother, whose brothers and uncles fought and died with the Watch, was alive. Field Marshal Lord Wavell, who, like the Queen Mother, was Colonel of the Regiment, said: “It will be a sad day and an evil day for the British Infantry if the reformers ever succeed in weakening or destroying the regimental tradition.” So goodbye, Black Watch. And thank you, in blood and tears.

I will leave it those better qualified than I to provide a full lament but I will just add my small voice of disgust.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The wisdom of Adam

After more than 200 years, science admits it: Adam Smith was right
Science Notebook by Anjana Ahuja - Times Online

IF YOU want to get a feel for cutting-edge science, may I recommend Adam Smith? Yes, the same Adam Smith who wrote Wealth of Nations. He also penned, in 1759, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, a melodic work in which he describes the powerful, instinctive nature of “sympathy”:
“Man, say they, conscious of his own weakness, and of the need which he has for the assistance of others, rejoices whenever he observes that they adopt his own passions . . . and grieves whenever he observes the contrary . . . But both the pleasure and the pain are always felt so instantaneously, and often upon such frivolous occasions, that it seems evident that neither of them can be derived from any such self-interested consideration.”

Smith saw sympathy (compassion and commiseration for another person, even if you don’t share his troubles), or empathy (if you do), as an innate characteristic of man. It served, Smith suggested, as man’s moral compass, was difficult to overcome, and from it flourished an unwritten code of ethics that held society together.

During the past ten years scientists have confirmed Smith’s insights.

...our moral code is so ingrained that substituting it with formal regulation can lead to worse behaviour...

The old boy he spoke sense again.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 24, 2006

She's back home, running around and arguing with her sister - fingers still crossed.- And thanks for the messages!

I just can’t help believin’
When she smiles up soft and gentle
With a trace of misty morning
And the promise of tomorrow in her eyes

I just can’t help believin’
When she’s lying close beside me
And my heart beats with the rhythm of her sighs
This time the girl is gonna stay
This time the girl is gonna stay
For more than just a day

Oh, I just can’t help believin’
When she slips her hand in my hand
And it feels so small and helpless
As my fingers fold around it like a glove

I just can’t help believin’
When she’s whispering her magic
And her tears are shining honey sweet with love
This time the girl is gonna stay
This time the girl is gonna stay
For more than just a day
For more than just a day

(words & music by b.j. thomas)

Posted by The Englishman at 7:36 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 23, 2006

Going off line

Maybe away from the blog for a day or so - eldest daughter was rushed to hospital by ambulance this afternoon having gone from being normal to a seizure and respiratory failure in half an hour, seems to be getting better now.
Thank goodness for the staff at the sharp end of the NHS and modern medicine, but still a worrying time.

Update - they think it was a nasty Febrile Convulsion, hopefully coming home in the next twelve hours. Fingers crossed.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:09 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

More Salt

As the health fascists scream about salt - see below the latest American study shows an inverse relationship between salt and death rates, not that salt is going to kill us all!

American Journal of Medicine, The

US Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily sodium intake <2300 mg, but evidence linking sodium intake to mortality outcomes is scant and inconsistent. To assess the association of sodium intake with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality and the potential impact of dietary sodium intake <2300 mg, we examined data from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II).
The inverse association of sodium to CVD mortality seen here raises questions regarding the likelihood of a survival advantage accompanying a lower sodium diet. These findings highlight the need for further study of the relation of dietary sodium to mortality outcomes.

Hattip Numberwatch

Posted by The Englishman at 7:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Accumulating our money

Inheritance trust tax grab 'lays waste to careful plans'- Times Online

The Chancellor announced plans to apply a triple tax to trusts set up to enable beneficiaries to avoid inheritance tax.

"Accumulation and maintenance trusts" are set up by parents and grandparents wanting to bequeath assets free of tax while preventing them from being squandered.
The action against the trusts is retrospective, forcing people to reorganise their financial affairs or leave their heirs with an unexpected tax bill.
Maurice Fitzpatrick, of the accountants Grant Thornton, said: “This is the big story of the Budget. Thousands of people in Middle England routinely use this technique each year. It’s quite commonplace among families with assets including homes in the £500,000 to £1.5 million range

“The Chancellor has spoken of alleviating the inheritance tax burden for middle-income families yet is penalising those who thought they had secured a future for their family. The measure is retrospective for many trusts, laying to waste the carefully laid plans of a generation.”

He can't be doing with people actually providing for and paying for their children, that is the state's job - remember he can spend your money more wisely on your children than you can.

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

March 22, 2006

Taking it with a pinch

15,000 'at risk' after U-turn on salt in food - Times Online
BRITAIN'S food watchdog was accused last night of endangering the lives of 15,000 people a year after backing down on strict guidelines designed to limit the amount of salt in food.
Health campaigners were furious at the decision by the Food Standards Agency to publish revised targets to cut salt in 85 types of food products by 2010

Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at St George’s hospital, London, believes that if we reduce our salt consumption from the current 9.5g a day to below 6g, it will result in “the biggest improvement in health since the introduction of clean water in the 19th century ”.
MacGregor says there is overwhelming evidence that a high-salt diet contributes to medical problems including heart disease — the cause of 50% of British deaths. A reduction of 3g a day in our intake would, he believes, save 35,000 people from death by stroke each year. ....

We are doomed!

"Where is your evidence?" we sceptics cried. Well, CASH have now published it on their web site, and a delectable item for number watchers it is. Not only is it based on that most dubious of constructions, a meta-analysis, it also depends on a creative bit of line-fitting that will delight collectors. On this basis they are now claiming reductions in the virtual body count of over 50,000. The data are actually of blood pressure and excreted salt, so it requires a further creative leap to convert this to dietary salt and bodies. Just look at the Trojan Numbers:
The best way to study the dose-response relation between salt intake and blood pressure is to look at the blood pressure responses to several levels of salt intake for a long term. So far, there are only 2 well-controlled trials that studied 3 salt intakes, each for 4 weeks. One is our double-blind study in 19 patients with untreated essential hypertension, and the other is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)- Sodium study,18 in which 79 untreated hypertensives and 116 normotensives were studied on the normal American diet, and 81 untreated hypertensives and 121 normotensives were studied on the DASH diet.

Despite the overwhelming nature of this evidence from well-controlled studies on as many as 79 people, it is inevitable that some number watchers will prefer to listen to infidels such as.. Numberwatch...

Maybe, just maybe, it is "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be enjoying themselves" as the philosopher HL Mencken once defined Puritanism, that drives these health fascists.

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

Si monumentum requiris, circumspice

FT.com "Incapability Brown’"

Don Foster MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “The Diana fountain is increasingly looking like a 21st century folly by ‘incapability Brown’.” Gordon Brown, the chancellor, chaired the Diana memorial committee, one of the organisations criticised in Tuesday’s report for failing to manage the project efficiently.

The cost of the 210m circular fountain rose from the original budget of £3m to £5.2m and will cost Royal Parks £250,000p.a. in maintenance costs.

So this gutter has cost £25,000 a yard to build and a thousand quid a yard per year to get Parky to clean out the leaves and stop children paddling in it - this pointless aimless waste of space really is a fitting memorial to Diana and her extravagance.

(And I like the phrase "Incapability Brown" - we must use it more!)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Don't mention the mortgage

Guardian - Yesterday in parliament

Simon Hughes -"Why is the Blair legacy at housing people at a cost they can afford so dreadful?" The prime minister said the rise was linked to "an immensely strong" economy.

I thought it was because he had a pushy wife with the grasping instincts of a scouser who believed she should live like the lady she isn't.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Clearing Accounts

Telegraph | News | We want our money back

Labour was plunged into a full-blown financial crisis last night after millionaire businessmen embarrassed by the disclosure that they had made "secret" loans insisted on the party paying back at least £6.5 million.
Dr Patel said he expected his £1.5 million to be repaid in August. But a spokesman said later: "What he does depends on what the Labour Party asks him to do."

Poor trusting fool still hoping for Tony to be nice to him if he doesn't ask for his ball back - Tony has no idea of loyalty to anyone and by August he will be busy filling his diary with speaking slots in the USA, and vestiges of him caring for the Labour party long gone.

I suggest he might have more luck with this :Free Final Demand Letter Template

Posted by The Englishman at 6:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TB and it's not the Badgers

BBC NEWS | Health | TB care boost as cases increase

The number of cases of tuberculosis in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has risen to over 7,000 a year, figures from the Health Protection Agency show.
They show levels of TB - which kills 300 to 400 people in the UK each year - have been rising everywhere in the UK, except Scotland, since the late 1980s.
Meanwhile, the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued new guidance on treating TB.
It says there should be more screening and better support for patients.
It can affect anyone. But almost three quarters of those who develop the disease are born abroad in countries where TB is endemic.

"This guideline is not about pointing the finger at the non-UK born who are disproportionately affected by TB" - Professor Peter Ormerod
Adviser to NICE

And what did the Tories say a year ago?

Tory screening plans fuel UK immigration row - (United Press International)

The Conservative Party has unveiled plans for mandatory HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis testing for those entering Britain from outside the European Union, a move condemned by critics as "pandering to prejudice."

I think I prefer a bit of pandering to coughing my guts up with "the White Death".

Posted by The Englishman at 6:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 21, 2006

Danger UXB - in my kitchen cupboard..

The Lyle's Black Treacle treacle 1.jpg
has this fearsome warning on it,
treacle warning.jpg
and the "Best Before" date seems a while ago,
treacle best.jpg

Oh, what to do? Any suggestions?

Posted by The Englishman at 9:12 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Twelve good men and true I hope they are round at Labour HQ this morning asking for their "loans" back, as the terms seem not to have been fulfilled....

ITAS? - Improved Target Aquisition Site

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Anatomy of a scare

The headline - Pesticides in food 'increase risk of cancer in babies and children' - Times Online Babies and young children may be at risk of developing cancer through exposure to pesticides in food, say scientists.

The press release -
Environmental chemicals implicated in cancer, say experts

Previous studies in cancer causation have often concluded that exposure to carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting chemicals, for example, organochlorines (OC) - found in pesticides and plastics - occurs at concentrations that are too low to be considered a major factor in cancerous disease. Now new research at the University of Liverpool, published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, has found that exposure even to small amounts of these chemicals may result in an increased risk of developing cancer - particularly for infants and young adults.
The research consisted of systematic reviewing of recent studies and literature concerning the environment and cancer...found that genetic variations, which can predispose some people to cancer, may interact with environmental contaminants...
Environmental contaminants - in particular synthetic pesticides and organochlorines with hormone-disrupting properties - could be a major factor ...The research team has also looked at anecdotal evidence, from practicing physicians in pre-industrial societies, which suggests that cancerous disease was rare amongst particular communities, such as the Canadian Inuits and Brazilian Indians. This suggests that cancer is a disease of industrialisation. ..."This research is very important"

The Paper: -
Taylor & Francis Group - Article

Results. Cancer incidence rates have increased in the Western World and this increased incidence affects the whole age spectrum. Epidemiological studies have provided some evidence of an association between exposure to environmental contaminants such as organochlorines and increased cancer risk. However, many epidemiological studies have been inconclusive. Similar reviews concerning environmental influences in cancer aetiology concluded that exposures to carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting chemicals exist at concentrations too low or have carcinogenic potential too weak to be considered a major factor in cancer aetiology....even if healthy adults are not at risk, it would seem that the developing foetus, infant, child and young adults are at risk. In addition, studies discussed in this review show that low oestrogenic potency cannot be used as a marker of the capability of a chemical to cause oestrogenic responses and endocrine disruption. Genetic polymorphisms, which can predispose people to cancer, may interact with environmental contaminants such as organochlorines and endocrine disrupters, thus providing a modifying effect. Prevention measures have hitherto predominately centred on tobacco smoking cessation and diet education. Anecdotal evidence from practising physicians in pre-industrial and traditional living societies, i.e. Canadian Inuits and Brazilian Indians suggests malignant disease was rare...
Conclusions. It is feasible that chemical environmental contaminants, in particular synthetic pesticides and organochlorines with endocrine-disrupting properties, could be major factors in cancer aetiology....
Preventative measures other than education about tobacco, diet and the promotion of physical activity should be considered.... Further research .. may be warranted.

A quick scan of the (Full Article) doesn't seem to show how they square the circle between " increased (cancer) incidence affects the whole age spectrum" and "even if healthy adults are not at risk, it would seem that the developing foetus, infant, child and young adults are at risk" and they seem to ignore the fact that Brazilian Indians don't get cancer because they die too young. But as they say MORE RESEARCH needed, even if it consist just of reading everything in the Library and putting out press releases. So panic over! - a typical data dredging scare, nothing I'm going to worry about.


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


Kim - Oh, well, it was fun while it lasted.
Mr. Free Market’s Bulldog Postal Match - The Son&Heir was unable to send in an entry because of Dad's skullduggery and treachery he was at a Boy Scout meeting. Nevertheless, he shot one of the target sheets on Friday,..."

I took my S&H down to the Pub range last night and let him have his first go with the club rifle (He has only shot my old bat before) - this is his target - scoring 33 out of a possible 35 - next week he reckons he will have got his eye in..


(The top left ring is for two sighters, and then it is 7 shots, 5 if it touches the bull, four if out - my score from last night is a secret...)
Mr FM promises the results of the great shoot will appear any day soon...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

Celebrate the fat of the land

Bonhams sale of Naive Art -Times Online

Rosettes at agricultural shows in the 19th century were given to the largest and bulkiest cattle, pigs and sheep. For their owners, the size of the beast plus the fattiness and marbling of the meat were important. The phenomenon produced its own genre of naive art as farmers commissioned portraits of their prime animals....

I'm pleased that here at the castle we have some examples of this type of picture - here are a couple of examples of the fattier Porkers...




Posted by The Englishman at 8:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The knives are out for another one of Tony's little helpers

£42,000 'lost in black hole of Kelly allowances' - Times Online

Ms Kelly has been accused of claiming £72,000 to cover utility bills and interest payments that she makes on her mortgage for her constituency home near Bolton.
Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday suggested that her annual mortgage interest payments should amount to only about £5,000 a year. Neighbours of Ms Kelly in her constituency said that gas, electricity and water bills in the area amounted to an annual average of £2,000.
The Tories have claimed that this leaves a £42,000 "black hole" in the amount Ms Kelly has received under the tax-free Additional Costs Allowance scheme. As well as mortgage repayments and domestic bills, Ms Kelly, 37, is entitled to claim for home insurance and security measures. These allowances are on top of her £134,000 Cabinet salary.

Apart from the joy of see little Miss Righteous being hounded, it is a pity she claims to be female otherwise her face would be up there with Milibrand's as needing a smack, it is noticeable that it is all of Tony's gang that are getting it in the neck. The knives are out. I suppose Gordo wants to prove how prudently he can run the country well before the next election, and the Tories want the country to see how prudently Gordo runs it well before the next election. So everyone wants Tony out.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Prime target

Telegraph | News | Blair and his inner circle blamed for loans crisis

Opinion polls showed that Mr Blair's standing had sunk to an all-time low following the row. An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph showed that 70 per cent of voters now thought his Government was as "sleazy" as John Major's scandal-hit administration "or sleazier".
A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times showed that 56 per cent thought Mr Blair had given peerages for money; only 14 per cent thought he had not. Mr Blair's personal approval rating has slumped to 36 per cent.

It is as refreshing and heartening though that 14% of the UK population don't believe Tony sold ermine for cash. Now all I have to do is work up the business plan to see what I could offer them, dehydrated water, timeshares on the moon, anything from the Scott's of Stow catalogue, magnetic spiritual ion protector pendents; Rodney we are going to be millionaires!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2006

Scenes from my kitchen. 2

Doing the washing up after roast sunday lunch
Image taken on 19/3/2006 13:34

Posted by The Englishman at 2:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 18, 2006

Scenes from my kitchen

One Iamb rescued from the cold
Image taken on 18/3/2006 13:50

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Miliband - Twat - Twat - Twat - twat - tewqt-taet- reufe- iuyfesiuyg.uyger.ygbvuyh.y fuck him

David Miliband | odpm.gov.uk/davidmiliband

The day of discussion yielded real lessons for the future of urban policy.
First, the regional tier is a vital binding unit, bringing together different authorities for shared endeavour. Second, proximity is key in an age of globalisation, and the East of England is near both London and the continent.
Third, distinctive strengths are based on history and location "for example the coastal strip" but are also man-made, for example through the university developments that are now criss-crossing the region.

I suppose I ought to deploy razor sharp arguments against Miliband's thesis - "proximity is key in an age of globalisation" and "the regional tier is a vital binding unit" but the pub is closed and I can't be arsed, he is simply a pimply-faced arse-licking propaganda-regugitating traitorous I-wouldn't-choose-you-as-my-fag games-skiving toothy-grin-in-need-of-a good-smack, pimply-faced, so-what-if-I'm-repeating-myself twat. If there was a just god he would be confined with his stupid inane schoolboyish face in a prison cell with Gary Glitter forcefed with Viagra, (Gary being the one viagrad up) and an extra large value industrial tub of valve grinding paste..

Posted by The Englishman at 12:48 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 17, 2006

Happy St Paddy's Day

On a Friday night, so Mr FM and myself will be celebrating in true style at the Pub - I'll bring the Lambeg Drum and he can bring the flute....

It is old, but it is beautiful,
And its colors they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim,
Enniskillen and the Boyne. ...

Sure I'm an Ulster Orangeman,
From Erin's Isle I came,
To see my British brethren
All of honour and of fame,
And to tell them of my forefathers
Who fought in days of yore,
That I might have the right to wear,
The sash my father wore!

It is old, but it is beautiful,
And its colors they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim,
Enniskillen and the Boyne.
My father wore it as a youth
In bygone days of yore
And on the Twelfth I love to wear
The sash my father wore.

For those brave men who crossed the Boyne
Have not fought or died in vain
Our Unity, Religion, Laws,
And Freedom to maintain,
If the call should come we'll follow the drum,
And cross that river once more
That tomorrow's Ulsterman may wear
The sash my father wore!

And when some day, across the sea
To Antrim's shore you come,
We'll welcome you in royal style,
To the sound of flute and drum
And Ulster's hills shall echo still,
From Rathlin to Dromore
As we sing again the loyal strain
Of the sash my father wore!


The Sash My Father Wore

Posted by The Englishman at 6:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Annual Live Tractor Blogging

They promised a warm sunny afternoon it is bloody freezing

Image taken on 17/3/2006 13:43

Last year!

Posted by The Englishman at 1:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The West Glamorgan Question

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

THE only Welsh language school outside Wales has been saved by a deal struck during the frantic horse-trading for MPs' votes over the Education and Inspections Bill.

Ministers were so desperate not to lose the timetable for their Bill that they agreed to secure the future of the school in exchange for abstentions from two Plaid Cymru MPs.

Adam Price, the MP for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, said: “This is the only Welsh-medium school in the world outside of the territory of Wales, so symbolically it has a very special place in people’s hearts in Wales. It has been in existence for almost 46 years and has never had a penny from the maintained education sector in England.

“There have been several attempts in the past to get them into the state sector because this is an anomaly. They are inspected by Ofsted, they teach the National Curriculum and they meet all the key criteria. They happen to do it through the medium of Welsh.

“So we had to overcome the obstacle to Welsh language teaching and frankly we managed to do it largely because of the new political arithmetic we have in the Commons.

Remember "The White Paper set out policies for schools in England and in relation to Wales stated: 'The policy objectives set out in this White Paper are those for England. The Bill will cover England and Wales, but most of the provisions will apply only to England.'

It isn't just the Scotch that are voting on English matters.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How heros are treated in England.

Blaze hero pulled gun - Times Online

A MAN who pulled an imitation gun on police officers who tried to stop him rescuing his wife from their burning home has been jailed for a year.
Gloucester Crown Court was told that David Collinson had been woken by the noise of the fire in December and, thinking burglars were in the Cheltenham building, had gone to investigate, taking the gun. Once outside his second-floor flat, he found three police officers, who had tried to get everyone out of the building but had been beaten back by thick smoke.

Collinson received a call on his mobile telephone from his terrified wife, still inside. As he tried to go back in, the officers stopped him. He produced the gun, pointed it at them and ran inside to rescue his wife and their dog. Afterwards he apologised to the officers.
Police had later gone into the flat and found a ball-bearing pistol and an air pistol.

A year in jail for doing what he had to do to be able to rescue his wife, and dog, from burning to death! Makes me ashamed of our country.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 16, 2006

Those Loans

I notice they are at an "undisclosed" though commercial rate of interest, I presume they are unsecured, though it would interesting to see what security a job lot of unfinished Kinnock speeches and Socialist Rule books would cover - but the simple question I have been shouting at the Labour loyalists who have been on the radio all day is "have any of the loans been repaid?" Or are the the sort of "soft" loan I ask Mr FM for when I can't afford to buy him another pint?

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

English Single Farm Payment Cock-up

Full CAP payments to farmers will begin in February

English farmers will start receiving full payments in February under the Single Payment Scheme, Farming Minister Lord Bach ..

A total of £1.6 billion will be paid directly into farmers' and growers' bank accounts or by payable order, starting at the end of February and with the bulk complete in March..

Today - Margaret Beckett statement on the Single Payment Scheme 16/03/06

Ministers have throughout been advised that, following the validation of claims, the RPA expected to make the bulk of payments by the end of the month.
Late on Tuesday afternoon the Chief Executive informed me that their latest reassessment of the position was that this would no longer be possible. This is an unacceptable situation.

The CLA said ; "At the end of the day, we have to remember the farmers who are being affected by this fiasco.

“Many have been waiting for payments for months and will now have to renegotiate facilities with banks and rearrange plans to transfer entitlements. Others will have to put plans to develop their business on hold.”

The NFU said it was utterly dismayed at the continued incompetence of the RPA, so was not surprised by DEFRA’s announcement that the agency will fail to pay the bulk of support payments to farmers by the end of March.

The RPA this week revealed that fully validated Single Payment Scheme claims total 58% (or approximately 69,000) of claims, but as of 14 March only 7,539 claims (or 6.2% of the 120,367 applications received) had been paid out.

Along with many English Farmers the SFP is my largest source of income so this continuing cock-up is not the best of news (I would point out that the Scots and Welsh were all paid at Xmas time). 120,367 applications to process in nine months is not actually rocket science. As ever it shows the folly of us having destroyed an independent agricultural industry and replaced it with subsidy dependents. (I was very happy years ago farming without subsidy but I couldn't compete with the CAP so I gave it in....)

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

"buy your way into the legislature by simply giving a lot of money"

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

A PROPERTY developer who made a secret loan of up to £2 million to the Labour Party has withdrawn his name from the list of nominations for a life peerage.
Sir David Garrard, 67, is the second donor to abandon his nomination after being blocked by the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

The departure of Sir David has inflicted further embarrassment on the Labour leadership, which, the The Times disclosed last week, had omitted to tell the Appointments Commission that three nominees, Sir David; Chai Patel, the founder of the Priory Clinic; and Barry Townsley, a financier, had all made loan deals of more than £1 million.

The commission has a duty to investigate all financial links between nominees and the party they will represent in the House of Lords but because the loans involve an undeclared rate of interest they are regarded as commercial transactions and do not have to be disclosed.

Lord Levy, the Prime Minister’s fundraiser, persuaded the three nominees to make loans rather than donations in the belief that their financial support would not become public.

The funding row took a new twist last night when Jack Dromey, the Labour treasurer, denied all knowledge of the loans, which were negotiated by Lord Levy.

I wonder where the Treaurer thought the large lumps of cash that were appearing his accounts were coming from.

So stand by for "Public Funding of Political Parties" as the Labour party cash register has run dry now, no chance now of a making you wife a Lady by giving Tony money, so they will want to squeeze the tax payer for their dosh - though the sight of them trying to exclude the odious BNP from the payee list will almost be amusing enough to make it worthwhile.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Very little brains

Don't say Pooh to tradition
By Bruce Anderson - Times Online

IT IS Winnie the Pooh's fault. The cult of sentimentality inspired by the bear of little brain is a threat to an important military tradition: the bearskin, as worn by the Brigade of Guards. A Labour MP, Chris Mullin, is leading a campaign to force the Guards to use artificial fabric.
He claims that the bearskin has no military value. That is nonsense. Anyone who talks to senior officers will rapidly become aware of a recurring preoccupation: how to ensure that men stand and fight. History is full of examples of small units fighting well above their weight, whose heroism turned battles. Our generals want to ensure that British troops always fight like that, not like the French in 1940.
The bearskin is part of that bonding and pride. Of course the regiments would survive a ban, but it would help to convince the soldiers that the politicians neither understand them nor respect them. They already have to cope with being underpaid and overstretched. If, on top of that, their traditions are treated with contempt, morale will suffer, as will recruitment and retention. That is why our Army gives so much thought to training, discipline, morale and esprit de corps.
Throughout North America, bears are numerous. They raid dustbins and put picnickers to flight. Their numbers have to be controlled. Bearskins are made from the pelts of animals that would be culled anyway. Instead of being discarded, the fur is used to enhance the excellence of our finest soldiers. That is a point that only a politician of very little brain could fail to appreciate.

And I wonder if the importance of tradition and bonding also applied to all those other regiments that have been swept away in the rush to cost saving modernity, or is it only important in the Ceremonial Regiments which largely escaped the cuts?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum

Telegraph | News | Call to ban minors from Armed Forces

Britain should be banned from recruiting "child soldiers" under the age of 18, ... according to a draft report from Europe's human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe.
The strongly-worded report, written by a Bulgarian member of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly...

Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

... No more little Drummer Boys....

I suppose the delicate little darlings are far better off hanging around Malls dressed as Burberry Apes and helping little old ladies across the road rather than being in the Army...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:08 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I've got that sinking feeling.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tower of London on climate list

UN experts are meeting to determine the risks which climate change poses to some of the world's special places.

The UN's cultural and scientific wing Unesco says climate change threatens World Heritage Sites such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Tower of London.

The two-day meeting aims to develop plans of action to mitigate the threat.
As well as adding Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Greenland's Ilulissat Ice Fjord, and Mount Kilimanjaro to the global list of threatened beauty spots, it also says that World Heritage Sites built by human hand are compromised by human emissions.
Floods, it says, threaten the Tower of London and other sites in the UK capital.....

Yes London is at increasing risk of flooding - because as the Met Office says "the south-east region of the UK actually sinking at the rate of about 1 cm each year".

It is all to do with Scotland bouncing back from the last ice age which depressed it, and like a see saw as the top bit goes up the bottom bit goes down. So I suppose it is global warming to blame for bringing the last ice age to an end. But hey why let facts get in the way of a UN boondoongle.

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

March 15, 2006

That £1m Icons of England website is still going...

ICONS Newsletter 01 2006 - Icons of England

The pro-fox-hunting lobby went to town after the Countryside Alliance signposted the fox-hunting nomination on its home page - word spread quickly and thousands of votes were received. Opponents of blood sports have expressed their concern at this support for fox-hunting - an activity now declared illegal - but many report they did not realise people can vote against nominations as well as in favour of them. The vote is changing hourly (both for and against) as more people get to hear about the controversial debate surrounding this nomination. The fox, itself, has also been nominated and is attracting votes in its own right.

ICONS partners, the Foundation for Science, Technology & Civilisation has opened its 1001 Muslim Inventions touring exhibition at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry (www.icons.org.uk/introduction/partners/1001).

A book and website is also being launched - www.1001inventions.com
Information about our Muslim heritage is featured on the ICONS website from March onwards. You can find out how the Muslim world handed down many things we take for granted nowadays like clocks, architecture and libraries.
Teachers packs and education posters are available.

So please vote against Fox Hunting and celebrate "our Muslim Heritage" and all the wonderful things Muslims have given us like the English countryside, paintings, songs, poetry, the three piece suit, the tie, pubs, three day eventing, community, fine buildings, bloodlines and the healthiest fox population in the world - no sorry, that is Fox hunting that did that, Muslims gave us something else, I must go and find out what.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:39 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

"Going down the Pan"

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

A father of fourteen children is demanding a larger house to share with his wife, girlfriend and eight children. Mick Philpott, 49, says that his four-bedroom council house in Allenton, south of Derby, is too small.
He lives with Lisa Willis, who is expecting his fifteenth child, and his wife, Mairead. Mrs Philpott, 25, has four children, aged 7, 6, 3 and 2, who live at the house. Miss Willis, 22, is stand-in mother to a six-year-old from another relationship, and mother to three other children living there, aged 4, 2 and 11 months. Mr Philpott has six children, aged from 19 years to 5 months, with other women. When two or more of his children visit, he says, he has to sleep in a tent in the garden.

The family get £2,000 a month in benefits. Mr Philpott, who is unemployed, said that the council had failed him, adding: "I think the country is going down the pan."

I agree with him, definitely going down the pan...

Though it might help if he slept in the tent more often, on his own!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Wildlife management

Bang goes the 'harmful man' theory
Magnus Linklater
Grouse moor owners are heroes not villains of conservation - Times Online

....every conservation body worth its salt will assure you, where man intrudes, wild life is on the retreat.

It is a message that is applied not just to the Himalayas but to the hills and moorland of Britain. It bolsters the ethos and the coffers of impeccable organisations like the WWF, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and government-sponsored bodies such as English Nature and its Scottish and Welsh equivalents. Their running theme, rarely challenged in public, is that, where wild birds and animals are in decline, the hand of man, whether farmer, landowner, forester or sportsman, can be detected. Intensive farming, commercial exploitation and leisure pursuits such as hunting or shooting have driven some species to the point of extinction. Unless these human activities can be reined in, goes the story, the future for wildlife is bleak

It is a deeply flawed message — at best a half-truth, at worst a deliberate distortion. Past masters at selling it are the RSPB, which last week issued yet another grim account of persecution, this time in the Peak District, which is to be the subject of an adjournment debate in Westminster Hall today.

Peak Malpractice, as the report is titled, claims that birds of prey, such as goshawk, hen harrier and peregrine, are in steep decline because of “illegal persecution”. “The scale of decline is shocking and to bird-of-prey experts, there is no natural explanation,” an RSPB statement says. English Nature is blunter. It places the blame firmly at the door of grouse moor owners. “Areas where protected species have been affected coincide with driven grouse moors,” it says. “These include some of the most important conservation sites in Europe.”

You will find any number of similar stories on the RSPB’s website. What you will not find are some very inconvenient facts, based not on propaganda but on science, which have been issued by the Game Conservancy Trust. Its own report, Nature’s Gain, presents a very different picture. It shows that on land that is managed for shooting, whether moorland, woods or pasture, wildlife is thriving. Over the past ten years, on grouse moors, for instance, golden plovers, curlew (pictured) and lapwing, which are under threat in so many parts of England and Wales, have multiplied by up to five times. The merlin, Britain’s smallest bird of prey, is twice as common on grouse moors as elsewhere. In the North Pennines area, which the RSPB complains about, curlew have increased by 18 times more than in the Berwyn Special Protection Area, which is managed as a bird reserve.

Pheasant shooting, widely condemned by conservationists, has done wonders for small birds such as robins, blackbirds and finches. The cultivation of woods and verges and the planting of game crops have resulted in wild bird numbers quadrupling in some areas. On one sample farm, in Leicestershire, where modern farming goes hand in hand with shooting, song birds, brown hares and harvest mice have shown dramatic improvement. The explanation is simple. In these places, nature is “managed ” to encourage wildlife. Heather is burnt, which stimulates new growth. Vermin are controlled. Predators such as foxes and crows are kept down.

Contrast this with the RSPB’s own lamentable record. On Langholm Moor, where the society, allied with Scottish Natural Heritage, presided over an experiment to withdraw all gamekeeping, the number of birds, including hen harriers, grouse, waders, and all songbirds, has crashed. It is now, to all intents and purposes, a desert area. On Lake Vyrnwy, a reservoir area in Mid-Wales managed by the RSPB, curlew, plover and lapwing have declined to near-zero. Black grouse, which once thrived, are being wiped out, not just by foxes, but, embarrassingly for the RSPB, by the goshawks that they so much favour. Data for other species, like stonechats and short-eared owls, are simply not recorded — perhaps because the results are so bad.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:59 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Trouble in the Holy Land

Britain's diplomacy counts for little now - World - Times Online

British Council offices in Gaza City and the West Bank town of Ramallah were set alight by angry mobs, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned all British citizens to leave the area. ..

Last year Britain spent £60 million in support of the Palestinian Authority and projects in the Palestinian territories. But there is little to show for the effort and Gaza remains isolated, poor and unstable. ..

Last night British officials said Britain was determined to resume its role in the region once the situation has calmed down. A Foreign Office spokesman said that diplomats would resume their work as soon as the situation allowed.

Why bother returning? and why write them another large cheque for them to piss away?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

You're nicked

Telegraph | News | Pay-out for white rejected by police

Avon and Somerset police force has agreed to pay a rejected white male recruit undisclosed compensation after being warned that its recruitment policy might be illegal.

I mentioned this back in November so am pleased to see a result, I hope the rest of the rejected candidates also threaten to sue. But of course none of the payout comes from "The Diversity Committee" members or the Chief Constable's own pocket - no the poor bloody ratepayers are mulcted agin.

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

March 14, 2006

A Question for Mr FM

Do you agree .that 357 is better than 38 for drilling holes in an old oil tank?
Image taken on 14/3/2006 15:40

See how the .38 specials don't penetrate the tank whereas the .357 FMJs make nice holes to let the oily crap out, having just taken that nice close up for you the tank exploded ripping the side off.
Image taken on 14/3/2006 15:42

Posted by The Englishman at 3:46 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 14th - Today's the day!

Steak and Blowjob Day

See below for a picture of what I'm hoping for!


Posted by The Englishman at 12:38 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Spare a dime?

Adam Smith Institute Blog

Today though, I announce the pending demise of the internet screens. A couple of years ago, I thought these a great invention. You take a comfortable seat in front of a nice, wide, flat screen, pop £1 in the slot, and surf or e-mail away to your heart's content.

But there are noticeably fewer screens than there were even a few weeks ago. I fear their days are numbered.

The explanation is that, just a couple of years after they first apeared, they have become dinosaurs. Half the world's compulsive emailers like me have a blackberry. The other half simply use their own laptops on the airport wi-fi.

I guess someone who invested money in airport internet screens and enjoyed brief success is now feeling pretty sick. Think of all the jobs, and the hungry families, who depend on this technology. Surely the government should do something? After all, they gave millions trying to save Britain's outdated steel, shipbuilding and car manufacturing sectors. Surely high-tech stuff like this is even more worthy of taxpayer support. If not, why not?

Yep - thats me, (I founded a firm that did that ten years ago) and those starving children are mine - it did seem like a good idea which is why we spent millions doing it - but I'm back on the farm now. Of course I wouldn't mind a little handout but it is right I don't get one, just like it would be right if the rest didn't....

Posted by The Englishman at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An apology to those very nice people of Pewsey

Just looking through my Activity logs on this site I notice that a lot of people are interested in what I have said about Pewsey (see below), I'm just a tad worried that maybe when I go shopping there I might meet someone I have upset - sorry it was just light hearted jesting...everyone in Pewsey really is normal and jolly nice and hospitable..
In fact I broke down just outside Pewsey one night and an old farmer was so hospitable he even invited me in for a cup of tea whilst I waited for a breakdown truck - "Come in," he said, "meet my wife and sister." And she was really kind as well.

Date IP Address Log Message
2006.02.16 23:05:35 Search: query for 'Pewsey'
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2006.03.03 13:13:09 Search: query for 'Pewsey'
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2006.03.05 16:25:28 Search: query for 'Pewsey'
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Tales from the Tap Room

So we gathered at the Pub last night and with a Welshman present we soon got onto Bill, our local farmer, and his Adopt a Sheep For Meat website - hurry up and do it as soon there will only be the ugly ones left.
The other day Bill came into the pub after a long day of rounding up his sheep on the Downs above the village.
Old Ray looked up from his pint and said "Funny name that is for a dog."
Bill: "What?"
"Could hear you calling your sheepdog from all round the village. My Missus noted it as well, as I said, a strange name for a dog that is."
"What name?"


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Soon only panty liners will have wings

Scotsman.com News - UK - Para recruits 'not trained to jump'

FEWER than one in four new recruits to the Parachute Regiment are being trained to jump because of a shortage of planes.
The number of trainees completing the parachute course at Brize Norton and gaining the coveted "wings" and red beret has fallen from 93 per cent in 2003 to just under a quarter last year.
The figures are even worse for Territorial Army paratroopers with only one weekend soldier - a medical student who reported sick and was granted extra time off - passing the test with the adequate jumps last year.

"Red Bull gives you wings" I believe the advert says - more than the MOD does then...

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Oooh Matron!

Telegraph | News | German prostitutes to retrain as nurses for elderly

A small ray of sunshine as decrepitude and soup-dribbling imbecility beckons.

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March 13, 2006

Guess who couldn't give a toss about English farmers

Tesco plc | Buying locally

We have dedicated buying teams in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, whose task it is to seek out and develop relationships with suppliers. In the UK, Tesco stocks over 7,000 local products. All products are labelled with the country of origin and, where appropriate, with national flags.

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"Will work for food" sign seen in Downing Street.

Blairs' mortgage debt pegged at £4 million- The Times of India

Tony and Cherie Blair's extraordinary mortgage debts stand at almost £4 million. Public records show they took out a £3,467,500 mortgage much more than previously thought when they bought their London townhouse in 2004.

Mortgages on their other properties in Bristol and Durham add at least £472,500 to the debt mountain.

The news raises fresh questions about just how the Blairs can afford their property investments, which are thought to involve mortgage repayments of at least £16,000 a month.

Mortgage experts have also questioned how the Blairs could obtain a 95% mortgage on the £3.65 million London property when their lender, the Cheltenham and Gloucester, was offering only 75% in similar cases.

The Blairs are currently trying to find a new tenant for the London property, as film director Michael Caton-Jones is about to move out.

If the house stays empty, providing no rent, the mortgage repayments would swallow Blair's entire salary of £183,392 (£113,000 after tax) in eight months.

Documents held by the Land Registry show that the Blairs jointly signed for the mortgage on their house in Connaught Square, Central London, on September 2, 2004.

They also have mortgages totalling £472,500 on two flats in Bristol which Cherie's controversially bought in 2002, and a mortgage for an undisclosed sum on Blair's constituency home in County Durham, bringing their total liabilities to at least £3,940,000.

At the time the Blairs bought the Connaught Square house, Downing Street said they would be selling the Bristol flats to help fund the purchase.

But the flats, in the Panoramic development, went down in value, so the Blairs decided not to sell. It meant they could raise a deposit of only 5% £182,500 on Connaught Square.

In unrelated news also:

Cherie embarks on money-spinning lecture tour


The Blairs, a £4m mortgage and a loss of moral authority | the Daily Mail

Either the couple have access to other funds or they have managed to persuade their building society they can be very confident of a large future income.
Such an income could come only from a future book deal on the couple's memoirs, linked with newspaper serialisation rights and the likely earnings they could expect from the lecture circuit. Both will depend completely on Mr Blair retaining his current popularity in the USA.
The Prime Minister has put himself in a position where he cannot risk offending American public opinion, because to do so could leave him financially submerged.

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Pecunia non olet

Telegraph | News | Labour MPs' fury over 'loans for peerages'

Cash for Honours - what a surprise!

Strange it is only Labour MPs who are kicking up about this, but then Labour MPs seem to be the only opposition party in Parliament these days. One bunch briefing against Tony because they want him gone as quickly as possible and without his "legacy", the other bunch briefing against Gordon as they can't stand him. All the blather about the English Parliament has blown up now as a stick to beat Gordon with, I'm happy to join in, but don't forget why it has suddenly appeared as an issue.

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How that Handgun ban works in full.

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

TWO hitmen attempting a gangland execution were killed themselves yesterday when armed pub customers chased and shot them dead in front of children playing football. ...

Witnesses suggested that the incident happened shortly after 2.30pm when two men of mixed race entered the pub during the busy lunchtime period.

They appeared to single out and shoot two white men in the crowded bar before fleeing from the pub and across the playing fields to their getaway car, a black Mondeo, parked some distance away.

At this point a number of people in the pub, obviously armed, gave chase. One of the fleeing men was shot in the back of the head.

The second man stopped and turned to see what had happened and was shot in the side of his body. Then, witnesses suggest, he was shot in the head “execution-style”.

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March 12, 2006

The English - a view from Scotland A tax Haven - part 2

Interview: Jasper Gerard talks to Sean Connery - Sunday Times - Times Online

I've a wee issue with the English

And If I said I have a wee problem with whining expat Sweaties I suppose I would be racist...

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The English - a view from Scotland part 1

Self-rule for Sassenachs is a dead duck - Sunday Times - Times Online

.. opinion polls indicate that the English tolerate Scottish and Welsh devolution. But they don't want England to be "compensated" by having their country chopped up into a bunch of bureaucratic, soulless regions.

However, apart from the Campaign for an English Parliament, a pressure group which regards Scots as foreigners, there is no clamour for a devolved England. Unless the place has undergone a dramatic transformation since I was last there, the English are as bored by talk of constitutional change as they were in the run-up to devolution in Scotland and Wales.
Nor does the resurgence in English self-identification and awareness in the wake of devolution to Scotland and Wales strike me, in my Scottish fastness, as overbearing. The flag-waving of the St George’s Cross has only been slightly more vigorous. Love of England by the English has not been noticeably strengthened or weakened by devolution. In categorically ruling out an English parliament “in any kind of future”, Falconer has shot a paper tiger.
Blair will not ban Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland MPs from voting on matters that don’t directly concern them, saying that creating “two classes of MPs” will get parliament “into all sorts of problems”. He forgets that problems exist: they need to be addressed. The simplest solution would be for Scottish MPs to withdraw during English-only debates.
Is it conceivable that Scotland’s Labour group would quietly do the same, perhaps in a few months after the education bill has passed on to the statute books, and thereby resolve the West Lothian question once and for all, by convention rather than law?

Not a chance! Soon there will be a new, unmistakeably Scottish, prime minister’s majority to uphold. Stand by for more blather about Britishness, not self-rule for the Sassanachs.

Aye, from across the border, love, to you and all your media lovey friends everything looks rosy. The only options for England are the regional breakup or putting up with Gordon's Gang running roughshod. Let me give you a hint, think Braveheart, but instead of the knicker-dampening brave Celts with Australian accents think those horrible white-van-driving beer-swilling football-supporting Englanders who you never met when you swanned about in Soho Square - they are coming to get you!

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BBC NEWS | England | Accelerator jam car hits 135mph

A motorist drove for 60 miles at speeds of 135mph after the accelerator on his BMW car jammed and his brakes failed. ...
"I took my foot off the accelerator because it's automatic - but I wasn't slowing down at all. ...
BMW's UK media relations manager, Duncan Forrester, said: "I would certainly like to reassure anybody driving any BMW that we see this as really nothing more than a freak accident.

"We have absolutely no record of anything such as this happening in the past, hence the reason why we want to take a close look at it."

Many years ago it happened to me in a BMW 320i, came out the pub, driving home across deepest rural Suffolk, accelerator jammed on, round a corner straight into an oak tree. I came to and walked home and poured my self a large whisky to steady some pretty shook up nerves. Leaving the pub I had for once been sober - long story but it was full of police and striking miners and I had only narrowly escaped from the tender embrace of an NUM steward. But of course when the nice young WPC turned up at my house I thought saying I had been home for an hour and had a drink was a pretty thin story. But it was true. When she went outside I poured my self an ever larger whisky and was drinking it when she came back with the Breathalyser. She told me I couldn't drink it, I explained it was my own home and until she arrested me I could do what I liked. I blew a mouthful of whisky into the Breathalyser which probably ruined it. A long time later at the Police Station after we has established my alcohol content, the brand of whisky I was drinking, the glass I was drinking from and the level it was filled to they were pretty pleased as they informed me it was easy to back calculate. So I asked if they had forgotten a question. "What?"
"How many glasses had I drunk?"
"Is that relevant?"
"Oh yes, How many glasses did you drink?"
"I can't remember, you have already noted that I was suffering concussion, but it was several, I just can't remember how many...."
I was let off with a snotty letter from the Chief Constable.

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March 11, 2006

Bath night

Dirty work this rabbit hunting.
Am l clean enough to come and sit in front of the fire yet?
Image taken on 11/3/2006 20:5

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BBC Poll

BBC NEWS | Politics | No English parliament - Falconer

(previous link deleted as no longer works)

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The essential Profumo

Telegraph | News | John Profumo

In May 1939 he was adopted as Conservative candidate for Kettering, and on the outbreak of war joined the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry. In 1940 there was an unexpected by-election at Kettering, and at the age of 25 he became the youngest MP in the House.
In the vote of no confidence in Chamberlain's war leadership after the Norway crisis on May 8 1940, Profumo was one of the 30 Conservative MPs who joined with Labour in bringing Chamberlain down, thus ensuring Churchill's succession.
Profumo had a distinguished military career, being mentioned in dispatches during the North Africa campaign, and being appointed OBE (military) while serving on Field Marshal Alexander's staff in Italy. He was present at the surrender of the German forces in Italy and was later appointed Brigadier and Chief of Staff to the British Liaison Mission to General MacArthur in Japan. He also landed in Normandy on D-Day with an armoured brigade, and took part in the fierce fighting at Caen and in Operation Goodwood....

Comment - Yorkshire Post

...the ramifications from this resignation remain as relevant today as they were in 1963. His downfall saw 13 years of Tory rule end a year later, the electorate disillusioned with the Conservatives and the Profumo affair regarded by many as the final straw.
Given its recent distractions, New Labour would be advised to take account of this turning point. And it should study the dignified manner in which the ex-Minister conducted himself after his resignation.
Mr Profumo's private wealth meant he could have emigrated to anywhere in the world to escape the furore. But he chose not to do so. Instead, he devoted the next four decades of his life to helping the poor in the East End of London, accepting responsibility for his misconduct and seeking to repay his debt to society.
Furthermore, he shunned countless offers to cash in on his notoriety. "His has been a very good life," declared Lady Thatcher who, on her 70th birthday, insisted that the former War Minister sat next to the Queen.
Yet, contrast Mr Profumo's 40-year silence with the nature of Ministerial resignations witnessed in the modern era. Far from accepting responsibility, disgraced Ministers, both Labour and Conservative, have sought to exploit their misjudgment for financial gain before, in some cases, resuming their political careers.
This is why voters hold politicians in such low regard, and why there was much to commend in John Profumo's quiet dignity, despite his infamy.

We could do with more like him - (and how good of Mrs T. )

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Vicki Woods on Charlie Falconers rejection of England having democracy,,

Telegraph | Opinion | England will never have a parliament

There will never be an English parliament because the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has already set up the English regional assemblies (like the Welsh Assembly, only much richer) in all the English regions of the European Union....I thought Prescott tried to get the North-East to have one and everyone in the North-East said, Oh, get away with you, we don't want one, waste of money - naff off....
Well, he set the things up anyway.

This is the future for England, folks. Forget the English parliament.

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March 10, 2006

Super-mad, me

Older readers may remember the Dear Hugh Letters I was given to publish (If you haven't read them please go and do so now! - the July 8th letter is a masterpiece).
The author has now started to publish more of his work over on a Yahoo group - along with some background - In 2004, after 15 years together, Paul McCartney fired me as his head of publicity because – or so he told the world in a press release – I had become “increasingly unstable”.

So in the interests of continuity I have stolen the first chapter and present it here - you will have to go and join the Yahoo group for the rest and all the background and gossip...

GeoffBaker : BOM CHAPTER 1


A personal study of instability,
how Homo Sapiens 2 are coming,
why life is a dress rehearsal and
other better ideas from
a miscellany of month of madness


January 3rd 2006

In 2002, possibly 2001, I began to have a nervous breakdown.

A number of factors contributed to my breakdown; a then-angry marriage made angry by me, extreme misery in my job , as many as three grams of cocaine some days and no less than half a gram every day every day for three years, the habit of showing off my prodigious and socially-damaging capacity to drink more alcohol than others did and a nagging instinct that I was thinking differently from almost everybody I knew.

There were a number of other things and people responsible for me falling to bits, but I’ll out them later. What I want to explain at this stage is that the main cause of my breakdown was an awareness that I was mad.

By most people’s standards, I am still mad. By those same standards, I hope never to be sane again.

Like almost everybody, at first I thought it was bad to be mad and I set about trying out all those psycho charlatans who advertise their alleged ability to “right” your balance. I went to shrinks in Harley Street and to others in their cosy and quaint homes.

But it was a waste of time once I discovered that these all of these psychiatrists of varying qualification were useless to me, principally because they did not “get” my problem. In the end and with all of them, I wound up just telling them what they wanted to hear and never kept the next appointment.

For a long, long time this “it’s bad to be mad” hang-up which I had picked up from some idiot in my infancy crippled me. I could not get out of bed in the morning, or for most of the day, because life seemed to threaten me and my bed was my only safe place. I bored myself to the point of wrist-slashing by reading a lot of self-help (sic) books and paid as much heed as I could muster to a lot of stupid aphorisms that were predicated upon the “pull yourself together” philosophy.

For a long time I felt that the only person who made sense to me at all was my dog, Jimi. Sometimes he seems to me to be the spirit of a dear friend who died some years ago.

I only claim that because I am what is populistly known as psychic. This does not mean that I have constant flashes of the future – I have only had about eight of those in my life. By psychic, I mean that I am more sensitive to invisible changes in the moods of others, more perceptive and aware of the accuracy of my instincts. We shall return to this later as everybody has the capacity to become more psychic, if they want to. It’s all only a matter of letting yourself feel.

In 2004, after 15 years together, Paul McCartney fired me as his head of publicity because – or so he told the world in a press release – I had become “increasingly unstable”.

Leaving Paul greatly assisted my breakdown, not because I had been rejected but because it was plain to me and some others that even at my most “unstable” I was better at doing the job than the bulwarks of stability who replaced me; it was the illogic of getting fired that sent me spiralling into further depression, I fell right apart simply because sacking me was not the best idea.

When I was young, I studied Philosophy for three years at the Hatfield Polytechnic that some twat in Whitehall decided to rename The University Of Hertfordshire for the purposes of being pompous.

I enjoyed Philosophy because I had always loved ideas and had also always marvelled at how few people had any good ones. However, it was not until I began to near the age of 50 that I realised that the whole point of Philosophy was not to recite or remember things that Wittgenstein or that fool Descartes had said, but to use Philosophy to think for myself.

I realised that so few people think at all these days. Internets and computers and the spirit-shattering working for corporations supply your thinking and the most that is ever individually required of your mind is to deliberate which programme to watch on television and which ready-made meal to choose as a means of accelerating your obesity.

I began to wonder why it was that I thought so much and why others thought so little. I also became fascinated with wondering why it was that non-thinkers got so irritated that I was thinking all of the time – and how anybody with even the tiniest brain could defend the intelligence behind advice like “you think too much”.

To me, that is as nonsensical as telling me that I breathe too much, because thinking is what humans are meant to do. Thinking is what defines us as homo sapiens; it’s our gig.

Then, at the Christmas of 2005, the penny dropped.

I realised that not only was I mad but that if this was mad, then I had been mad since birth. Or rather, since I was old enough to understand that I did not see the world as most other people did and that I did not see the point of living in this world, mine or theirs, in the way that most people did.

My epiphany, aptly, came from a pulpit. I was sitting in the back pew of All Cannings Church, in Wiltshire, pretending to be Christian for the purposes of enjoying the village schoolchildren’s Nativity interpretation.

The service was one of those Nine Carols and Nine Lessons productions that people who do not have children believe will interest kids and stop them fidgeting and whispering to ask when this God-numbing charade would finish and would there be mince pies afterwards.

Brian Ball, churchwarden of the Cannings parish, got up to read a lesson and because I like him, I listened instead of pretending to look as if I was listening. Brian read a few paragraphs from Genesis, the bit about how Man got to be cast out of The Garden of Eden.

As he began to read aloud, I felt myself “talking” to God; just for the craic. At that point I was unemployed and with no hope of work. I had lost a job that had paid me between $180,000 and $210,000 a year, my wife appeared to loathe me, Christmas was not feeling at all Christmassy and if it had not been for the fact that I had recently discovered what it is like to be dead (more on that later too), I would have happily have ceased to be.

Correction (already); I did not “talk” to God and I do not want you to get the impression that I have become some form of irritating Bible-basher. What I meant was that I felt like I was communicating with God. And basically what I vibed Him was “give us a hand, for fuck’s sake, because I’m on the point of just giving up completely”.

By the way, I do not believe that it is wrong or bad or infringes that absurd concept of sacrilege to use the word “fuck” when dealing with God. I cannot bring myself to accept that anyone who created all of this will be offended by swearwords which, by definition, are actually His creation in the first place.

Anyway, having sent this thought to God I expected nothing to happen as usual. But then I heard Brian Ball reading this bit of Genesis, Chapter 3:

14: The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel”.

Now, looking at it like that – retyped verbatim from The Bible, it is clear that in verses 14 & 15 God appears to directing his anger and smiting at the snake and we know this because of where the speech marks (“ “) begin and end.

But, if you read it like that, it is utter balls.

Casting aside for one moment the natural inclination to wonder why it was that God felt that upon your belly you shall go was a punishment for a fucking snake – which to me is cause enough to ask if God had had a few – I puzzled over why Adam, Eve and The Snake should be especially bothered by enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.

If you’re Adam or Eve, or The Snake for that matter, you’re hardly going to consider it to be The Greatest Punishment Possible to be told that you are not going to party together anymore.

It defies reason.

“What’ve you done?”

“Oh, we’ve broken the one rule that God told us not to, the absolute capital crime”.

“Shit! You’re for it. What did God say?”

“He was fucking livid; he said that as a punishment we would never get along with snakes”.

“Bummer. Err…were you planning to spend much time with snakes?”

“Not especially”.

“Hmm. Sounds like God’s doing his mysterious ways thing again”.

Thousands of years of received wisdom (sic) has been based on believing this crap. Entire religions and the ways of life for billions of people has been based upon weirdness like this. Wars are fought and deaths happen in droves because people believe it.

And then the penny dropped – hang about, God wasn’t talking to the snake at the bit when the Bible claims he was. He was talking to Adam, who wasn’t paying attention at the back.

Hearing the words read from the pulpit, instead of reading them with the assistance of the quotation marks, made me see what God was actually saying.

Never mind the bit about the snake; who cares what happens to snakes anyway? He was saying the important bit to Adam, to the Man. The “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed” bit is directed at the man, not the bloody snake.

Now, reading it like this, it’s a hell of a punishment; a real shit-kicker of a curse. And now, instead of looking like some bumbling idiot who just makes women and snakes hate each other, he’s really fucking up your day.

He was actually saying: “You have so pissed me off, so much so that I am going to punish you by making men and women antagonise each other; I’m going to make you think in completely different ways”.

And that, you will surely admit, IS a punishment – to inhabit the world with Men and Women, give them dominion over everything on the planet, but to fix it so that Men and Women piss each other off. To coin a phrase, Christ, that‘s a brilliant punishment; very God-like.

Anyway, in bed that night I began to think “how did this happen?” How had we, mankind, spent all these eras not realising that we had misinterpreted The Bible because of a punctuation mistake?

For those of you who don’t understand punctuation, what I’m saying is that there should have been speech marks ( “ ) after dust you shall eat all the days of your life to indicate that that bit was directed at the serpent and the next bit – I will put enmity etc – was not.

Again I thought, how did this happen? God is not by all accounts a cretin, so how did he misrepresent himself so enormously?

Then I realised, God did not write The Bible. Man wrote The Bible.

And as we know from two to three thousand years (and the rest) of sheer bloody misery, man gets it wrong. Over and over and over again, man (by which I mean humans) screws up.

Quite simply, whoever wrote or sub-edited The Bible got the dictation wrong or read his notes back incorrectly. It happens.

And what The Bible was actually saying was: Men and Women will never see eye to eye; they’ll need each other in order to breed and continue the existence of the race, but they will never get along.

Not only is that a great punishment, it also shows that God has a fantastic sense of irony. That and the fact that he’s a spiteful bugger.

Anyway, I then thought – well, how come I get this and nobody else has noticed it? Am I more clever than Abraham? Cripes!

And it was then that this and a bunch of other thoughts copulated and formed the theory of Homo Sapiens 2.

The theory of Homo Sapiens 2 is, like all that has previously passed for genius, very simple.

Life is all evolution, right?

We, Homo Sapiens, have evolved from fish by way of reptiles, apes and Neanderthal Man and various other sub-thinkers, right?

So, if Life is all evolution, we must still be evolving.

And yet we have had the ridiculous conceit to assume that evolution has stopped with us.

Bullshit. Why should it stop? Why aren’t we still evolving?

Why should Homo Sapiens be anything other than just another form of the evolution?

And then I thought – maybe Homo Sapiens ARE constantly evolving and developing.

OK, if that’s the case, how are we evolving?

It must be that we are getting cleverer. We, the Homo Sapiens of 2006 are generally cleverer than the Homo Sapiens of 26 BC, we can read and write for starters.

Then I realised that maybe we are evolving very, very, very slowly in becoming Homo Sapiens 2 – a new man that is distinguished by thinking deeper and better than the ordinary, non deluxe model.

Then I realised that evolution of a species does not all take place at the same time. We did not all of us cross a line at one point and cease to be fish all at the same time.

Evolution is gradual and that means that some of the species will evolve faster than others.

So I thought: OK, if we are evolving into a cleverer Homo Sapiens, as seems reasonable, maybe prototypes of this Homo Sapiens 2 have occurred over history.

If that is the case, how would they be noticeable? By their thinking.

OK, so what is Homo Sapiens 2 Thinking and how does it differ from Homo Sapiens Thinking?

And the answer came: It is a better idea.

By now I was seeing that I was not mad in the slightest. I was and am Homo Sapiens 2 and it was that which was considered to be madness.

Let me explain madness.

Madness is thinking abnormally.

Abnormally means – not normal.

What is normal?

Normal is the state common to most people, to the majority.

So madness is just not thinking like most people do.

So madness is not a mental deficiency, it is a social deficiency that over time we have been led to believe is an absolute.

Whereas in fact it is nothing of the kind, it is not an absolute like time or space, it is an entirely relative term (sorry to lapse into Wittgenstein but that’s what you get from sending your kids to college).

Basically, what I believe is that those of us who are considered to be mad and whom society has castigated over the centuries as mad, may actually just be people who think differently, think better, than the rest of the mob.

And that throughout history there have been early examples of Homo Sapiens 2 who generally have had a rough time because their Homo Sapiens 2 thinking clashes with the more basic thinking of Homo Sapiens 1.

Early examples like Jesus Christ, for instance. We’ll come on to him, later as well.

The more I thought, the more I realised that Homo Sapiens 2 looks at the world in a better way. That is the one certain distinguishing feature of HS2, we have better ideas. HS2 are more perceptive, more sensitive, and a lot more loving than HS1.

HS2 are not violent. HS2 do not start or fight wars. HS2 sees that consumerism and capitalism are each a really bad idea.

And a lot more else that will be explained later. Basically we’re just better thinkers.

Simply put, Homo Sapiens 2 are more humane than the HS1 mob.

And this book will tell you how HS2s think and why you are so wrong to still be thinking HS1. Not that you can help it, you haven’t evolved enough to be anything else yet.

You should also know that HS2 thinking believes in the possibility that this life IS a dress rehearsal.

And you ought to worry about that. A lot.

More NOTES (to be written up properly later but I can’t be arsed just now)

HS1 attraction to the physical is ridiculous. That doesn’t advance anything.

HS2 thinking – humans are like seedlings, a Divine Being seeds out the best of us for next stage. The most HS2 are picked. Because you wouldn’t want a bunch of angry, beastial HS1s running around Paradise spewing over everybody they weren’t already hitting.

HS2 thinking that HS1s are wrecking the planet and if HS2s don’t intervene, there won’t BE a planet for when, in millions and millions of years, all people are HS2. So in order to preserve the evolution of the race, HS2s are trying to save the planet and alter HS1 thinking.

So I thought, if I’m right – and the logic seems to me to suggest that I am – then I had better write this all down in the hope that maybe it might help to explain how HS2 thinks and for you to see whether you are HS2 or not.

By the way, you’re probably not; judging by the way you behave.

But you could be. I do know other advanced HS2s. I know two in particular; three if you count my youngest daughter. A lot of my friends and loved ones have HS2 in them, but these three are especially advanced.

Anyway, it’s a bit more complicated than that and it all connects with the HS2 view of Creation.

HS2 thinking

If, as I am quite prepared to accept in lieu of a better idea, that The Big Bang created everything, then that means that this cataclysmic explosion of 12 billion years ago created not only life, it also created consciousness.

That must be the case. Where the fuck else does consciousness come from?

So consciousness is a part of the universe that was created by the Big Bang.

HS2 thinking is that the universe must therefore be one big mass of consciousness and that after our bodies die the one thing that does not die is our consciousness.

Instead, our consciousness just goes back to the universal pool of it.

It gets a little bit more complicated but don’t worry, the racy good stuff is just a few more pages on.

HS2 thinking is that there are Good and Bad forces in the Universe and that the Universe is essentially things in a state of harmony. When the harmony is harmonic, all is Good. But


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Student Doctor Network Forums - Things I Learn From My Patients

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That Report in full...

Waffle Generator
Keep refreshing and cutting and pasting into that report you have to write today before you can get out to the pub.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Book recommendation

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

"a sort of user's guide to the Armed Forces as well as an expose of all the waste and corruption that goes on. It is actually very funny at times"

Agreed - buy it - Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs by Lewis Page

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The hand of Doom

Mrs Englishman's little Mercedes A class started playing up - wouldn't idle and stalled at junctions. In the good old days a quick tweak of a screw under the bonnet would solve this sort of problem. So I took it to the Grease Monkey yesterday, he said it was the Combined Air Mass Meter and ECU
which had failed,and I need to take it to a main dealer, along with my passport and proof of ownership of the car, plus £1000. Just because a sensor is misbehaving. Oh the benefits of modern car engineering (the ID is required because they have to recode the Electronic "Ownership" of the car...
Luckily eBay may be my friend as I have discovered a company - BBA-reman.com - that offers a rebuild for sale there, so £200 down and now looking to taking the engine apart myself...
Came in and the Mrs Englishman was crying because the television refused to show her recording of "Desperate Housewives" - TV knackered so out it goes, get the old one out the shed, that refuses to work now, so that is two tellies to take to the skip today, or shall I wait and take the broken microwave as well, I am just hanging on until the new bargain one arrives, the old one still sort of works if you don't mind that eyeball frying feeling if you are in the same room as it as it warms up the gravy for my sandwich.
So I'm not touching anything I might break today...

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Lying fornicating adulterous homosexual as the norm - the BBC

Civitas releases today a report on a BBC program Little Kinsey
which show how the BBC misepresents the report and British society of the period 1945-55. "Its central argument was that the restrained
attitudes towards sexual activity which would have been considered as
typical of the era were hypocritical, that men and women were commonly adulterous, that family life was frequently unhappy, that many men used prostitutes and that homosexual activity was common."
This rewriting of history may suit the BBC's view of Britain but it is simply a lie.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 9, 2006

Keep on rocking in the free world

February 2006 saw the release of a new Suzi Quatro CD entitled "Back To The Drive"
I hope it was worth her braving my geese to get to the recording studio next door to The Castle, my order is in for a copy, and I hope to see her here again soon.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Low prices bad for consumers

The Competition Commission has released a report on Supermarkets

We found that all the main parties (with the exception of M&S and Lidl) engaged in the practice of persistently selling some frequently purchased products below cost, and that this contributed to the situation in which the majority of their products were not fully exposed to competitive pressure and distorted competition in the supply of groceries. We took account of the fact that some consumers could benefit from being able to buy goods below cost, particularly low-income consumers, but at the same time that the practice damaged smaller reference stores and non-reference grocery outlets. This would in turn impact adversely on consumers, in particular the elderly and less mobile who tend to rely more on such stores. We conclude that the practice of persistent below-cost selling when conducted by Asda, Morrison, Safeway, Sainsbury and Tesco, ie those parties with market power, operates against the public interest.
We found that the practice of varying prices in different geographical locations in the light of local competitive conditions, such variation not being related to costs (which we termed ‘price flexing’), was carried on by Budgens, the Co-ops, Netto, Safeway, Sainsbury, Somerfield and Tesco. We found that this practice contributed to a situation in which the majority of their products were not fully exposed to competitive pressures and which distorted competition in the supply of groceries. We conclude that the practice, when carried on by Safeway, Sainsbury and Tesco, who have market power, operates against the public interest because their customers tend to pay more at stores that do not face particular competitors than they would if those competitors were present in the area.
The evidence we received showed a high degree of satisfaction with supermarkets by those who shopped in them

So low prices are bad for consumers for some reason and the normal market mechanism which indicates a stronger than average demand in a geographic area (higher than average prices), and thus a signal for competitors to move in is "unfair". A sensible planned economy wouldn't allow these anomalies, in fact it would be much more sensible if there was just one government run store and the citizens were told what to buy.....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Long Cecil - revisited

I'm short of time this morning, I must get back down to my workshop and finish cutting and welding the tubes onto the tripods, so please indulge me if I presetnt a repeat of an earlier post from two years ago which some of you may have not read before...

click to enlarge.

I know there is an element of my valued visitors who appreciate guns so this morning I thought I would bring the remarkable story of "Long Cecil" to your attention.

In 1899 during the Boer War Kimberly was besieged by the Boer but the garrison showed true fighting spirit and during the four months in many way kept the upper hand in the actual skirmishes. They had one problem though, the Boer could drop shells into the town and nothing they had could respond.

"Nobody really knows who first mooted the idea of making a gun in Kimberley which could outrange the Boer artillery, but credit is usually given to George Labram, an American engineer in the town. He had come to South Africa in 1893 to erect a new crusher plant for one of the Kimberhey mines, staying on to become Chief Engineer to De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, the company owning all the Kimberley diamond mines and which was under the chairmanship of Cecil Rhodes. In August 1899 Labram resigned his post with De Beers to take up another in the gold-mining town of Johannesburg but, for some reason, was still in Kimberley when war broke out. A good mechanical engineer with a fertile brain, Labram not only designed and made 'Long Cecil', for which he is perhaps best remembered, but during the first three weeks of the siege he designed and constructed a plant for the bulk refrigeration of perishable foodstuffs - essential with shade temperatures averaging about 31 degrees C. He had also installed an emergency fresh-water supply system, which became the town's sole supply (apart from one or two wells) for the whole siege, and had given much practical assistance and advice to the Royal Engineers in laying out controlled minefields around the town, and with the design and actual construction of the defences. Then, as the garrison's artillery had expended nearly a third of its ammunition by the end of November, Labram turned part of De Beers' workshops over to making shells, charges, and fuzes for the 2.5-inch guns. His greatest triumph perhaps was turning the workshops into a gun factory as well, never before having had anything to do with gun-making.

Labram had noticed a billet of steel, 3 metres in length, ordered originally as shafting for one of the workshop machines, which was lying in the workshop yard. As it had a diameter of almost 28 cm it occurred to him that a fairly large calibre gun might be made from it. There were no books on gun-making in Kimberley but he remembered attending a lecture given some years previously by Sir William Anderson on the engineering aspects of the subject.

After 24 days continuous work, much of it under shellfire (one or two direct hits had been scored on the workshops and there seem to have been several near-misses), gun and carriage were completed on 18 January 1900.

On Friday, 19 January, 1900, the gun, nicknamed 'Long Cecil' in honour of Cecil Rhodes, was taken for testing and calibration to one of the three emplacements already prepared for it. Rhodes, who had taken a great interest in the gun and its manufacture, was present, along with a number of local dignitaries and senior officers of the garrison. He invited Lt-Col Chamier, as the senior Gunner, to fire the first round. The story goes that Chamier refused on the grounds that, as a member of the Royal Regiment, he was permitted to fire only such guns as had been officially approved by the War Office and that 'Long Cecil' definitely did not fall within this category! Rhodes, so the story continues, then told Chamier to remove himself to a safe distance and sent his pony and trap to fetch Mrs Pickering, wife of the Secretary to the De Beers Company. On her arrival, Rhodes handed her the end of the firing lanyard, inviting her to pull it. This she duly did, with some trepidation, and fired the first round from 'Long Cecil' - of this latter part of the story there is no doubt. The round landed and burst in the middle of a hitherto safe and quiet Boer laager at the Intermediate Pumping Station some 7200 metres away, causing considerable alarm and dismay according to Boer letters written at the time, some of which were later intercepted by the British.

During its 28 days in service (including four days when it was out of action and Sundays when no firing took place) 'Long Cecil' fired 260 rounds in action (most published accounts give a slightly lower figure) Assuming the RCA and DFA section comanders adhered to normal practice by ensuring that their guns each fired roughly the same number of rounds, it may safely be said that 'Long Cecil' did more firing whilst in service than any other gun in Kimberley throughout the whole period of the siege! Not a bad performance for a home-made gun.

The full story is at: South African Military History Society - Journal- LONG CECIL The Gun made in Kimberley during the Siege

Posted by The Englishman at 8:40 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Live Workshop Blogging

Can you see what it is yet?
Image taken on 9/3/2006 8:23

Posted by The Englishman at 8:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I vow to thee my country

'I will refuse to fill out the 2011 UK census unless 'English' is included as a nationality' - PledgeBank

The national Census is to include a question on national identity so people can say if they consider themselves Welsh, Scottish, Irish or British.

Sign the Pledge!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:28 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 8, 2006

An Englishman's house is Prescott's Castle..

Selective Licensing of other residential accommodation - Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)

Housing Act 2004 - Factsheet 5:
Part 3 of the Act provides that a local housing authority (LHA) may make a licensing scheme for privately rented accommodation in its area, or any part of it, providing certain conditions are met.

A scheme may be made if the area satisfies one of the following conditions:
An area has low housing demand (or is likely to become such an area) with a significant stock of privately owned houses let on short term arrangements and the LHA is satisfied the introduction of licensing, when combined with other measures taken by the LHA, solely, or in conjunction with others, would lead to an improvement in the social or economic conditions of the area.
Most private landlords will be required to obtain a licence (either for themselves or for their managing agents) in order to let or manage residential property in an area where a licensing scheme exists.
If the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and is required to be licensed under Part 2 of the Act (see Factsheet 3) no licence is required under a selective licensing scheme.
A licence fee is payable.

Controlling or managing a house which ought to be licensed, but is not licensed, without a reasonable excuse for doing so will be a criminal offence, subject to a maximum fine of £20,000.
A Part 3 licence may include conditions relating to:

The management of the house, including taking such steps as are reasonable to deal with anti social behaviour of the occupants and people visiting it;
The use and occupation of the house.

A Part 3 licence must include conditions requiring the licence holder to:

Present a gas safety certificate annually to the LHA, if gas is supplied to the house;
Keep electrical appliances and furniture (supplied under the tenancy) in a safe condition;
Keep smoke alarms in proper working order;
Supply the occupier with a written statement of the terms of occupation;
Demand references from persons wishing to occupy the house.

Simply put, if the LHA bunch of bureaucrats decide it would make an area nicer, more to their liking, then they can seize control of houses that private landlords own, and make the Landlords pay for the privilege of being told what they can do with their own property. Who said Socialism was dead?

The Housing Act 2004 contains provisions about the occupation of privately owned empty homes. The device for securing occupation of empty homes is known as an Empty Dwelling Management Order. Once the legislation has been commenced, an Empty Dwelling Management Order would enable a Local Housing Authority, in certain circumstances, to take management control of a dwelling in order to secure occupation of it. The legislation is intended to operate alongside existing procedures for securing occupation of empty homes..... When an EDMO is in force, the LHA takes over most of the rights and responsibilities of the relevant proprietor and may exercise them as if it were the relevant proprietor. A relevant proprietor is not entitled to receive any rent or other payments from anyone occupying the dwelling and may not exercise any rights to manage the dwelling whilst an EDMO is in force.

So don't dither about with that empty property for more than six months or the nice men at the council will take it away from you for the good of the community...

Posted by The Englishman at 10:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

One to watch tonight

BBC NEWS | Politics | Tory! Tory! Tory! (Part one)

You can watch the first part of Tory! Tory! Tory! on BBC Four tonight at 2100 GMT and again at 0010GMT.

The story of how a Chicken Farmer saved the world, with a bit of help from Hayek, Seldon and Harris and the continuing good works of the IEA...

Encouraged by Hayek, who advised him not to go into politics but to concentrate instead on influencing opinion, Fisher founded the IEA, hiring Cambridge-trained economist, Ralf, now Lord, Harris, to run it.

The IEA's research director Arthur Seldon ensured a constant flow of pamphlets on every kind of issue - including early calls for privatisation of nationalised industries.

Seldon and Harris were, Harris recalls in the film, two "state educated lads", who had a lot of fun mocking what they saw as the absurdities of state planning - as well as the "public school types" from the Conservative Party, who could only grasp a "parody" of their arguments.

(I'm afraid it seems the "public school types" have seized control of the Tory party again!)

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Poll time!

The Sunday Herald is holding a poll about banning ALL firearms, 10
years on from the Dunblane atrocity.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kennet Council Tax

Kennet Times Spring 2006 from Kennet Council

Where does your money go...?
by Cllr. Chris Humphries,
Leader of the Council

As Leader of Kennet District Council, residents sometimes ask me: “What do we get for our money from Kennet”.
It occurs to me that many of you may be asking yourselves the same question so, on the following pages, are some facts and
figures about what we do....
Refuse and Recycling services - 32p per week
“Street Scene” services - 23p
Environmental Health and Protection - 24p
Housing Services - 19p
Council-run Leisure Services - 39p
Planning Services - 22p
Transport services - 8p
Local taxation and benefits - 23p
Other services - 37p

If you were to add up all the council
taxes per week given in the tables you
would find that it totals just £2.27 per
week. I do not know what others will
think about this, but for me this represents
excellent value for money for all the
council tax payers in Kennet.

So Kennet provide all these services for a household for about £120 a year - (breakdown) The police cost about the same, and the firebrigade about £50 so what does Wiltshire County Council spend the £900 it mulcts from us on?

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

March 7, 2006

Forget the Oscars - this is the big one.

FREE MARKET FAIRY TALES: The Bulldog Shooting Club 2006 Postal Shoot

The time of reckoning is nearly here, so get those cards in quickly - with my rhumey eye and tremensed fingers I stepped up to the mark last night and spluttered shots like sparrow farts all over the target. So I'm not putting forward my targets from last night, instead here is one I prepared earlier, when there was a litle less blood in my alcohol stream and I was feeling more gruntled...


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Branding plans under attack

Clash over compulsory ID cards - Times Online

PLANS for ID cards hit a constitutional impasse last night with ministers vowing to overturn a second blockage in the Lords and force people to buy a card when they renew their passports.
Peers said this was “compulsion by stealth” and went against Labour’s manifesto promise to introduce ID cards “initially on a voluntary basis”.
Andy Burnham, a Home Office minister, said if people really wanted to avoid buying an ID card, they could renew their passport before the proposed scheme came in in 2008 or 2009.

ID cards also came under attack from the Institution of Electrical Engineers which said that the technology behind them was “high-risk” and could fail without further rigorous testing.

Mr Burnham replied that the technology was robust and was the same as that already being used in the United States.

So that is alright then, the technology is the same as the US is using for its compulsory ID cards for all its citizens, I'm obviously not up to speed on all American news but I'm a tad surprised I haven't heard of these cards before, obviously they are just meekly accepted, though I could have sworn some of my favorite (sic) bloggers would have said something.....

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Eeny meeny miney mo - another rhyme has had to go..

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

... Instead of singing “Baa baa, black sheep” as generations of children have learnt to do, toddlers in Oxfordshire are being taught to sing "Baa baa, rainbow sheep".

The move, which critics will seize on as an example of political correctness, was made after the nurseries decided to re-evaluate their approach to equal opportunities.
Stuart Chamberlain, manager of the Family Centre in Abingdon and the Sure Start centre in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, told the local Courier Journal newspaper: "We have taken the equal opportunities approach to everything we do...."
In keeping with the new approach, teachers at the nurseries have reportedly also changed the ending of Humpty Dumpty so as not to upset the children and dropped the seven dwarfs from the title of Snow White.

OK I'll be a critic but I won't seize on it as an example of Political Correctness - I'll call it plain daftness. And this approach is not protecting children it is ruining their lives, the world is not made of cotton wool. I'm still extremely pissed off at a some absent mummy who upset the elder Englishette. The nursery she goes to looks after the children fantastically, and if I didn't trust them I wouldn't let them look after my children. A special trip was planned, our little girl was all excited about it, we had got her all dressed up, packed her wheelchair, put on her special outdoor gloves and when she gets to the nursery some pushy mummy had telephoned from work to say she wasn't happy, could she be sent the risk assessment form, staffing details etc before her little darling could go on the trip. The hassle caused the trip to be postponed and a lot of upset little children. I hope the sanctimonious cow felt she had done a good days work, and after the nanny had dried the tears and mummy had eventually popped into to see her daughter after a busy day at the office her little darling still gave her "what for".

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March 6, 2006

Blogging the Party Line

Guy Fawkes' blog notes the prospect of a cabinet minister, David Miliband, setting up a blog... but I also notice other similar politicians are ahead of the game - according to The Times:
...parliament jumping on the blog bandwagon with weblogs for its members as it meets this week. So far only eight delegates are approved for the Strong Country Blog at blog.people.com.cn, but many more have applied. Most toe the party line, pledging to listen to the people and praising the weather as the session opened, but there are a few surprises. Under “latest blog photos” are pictures of women in lingerie, with such captions as: “Such a charming photo is easy on the eyes.”

Posted by The Englishman at 6:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

All your children are belong to us

Well children, have you met your targets today? - Jill Kirby - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

Did your child eat five portions of fruit and vegetables yesterday? If not, then maybe your local council should be informed, as this may affect the council's ability to meet its annual performance assessment.
By the end of next month every local authority in England must have in place a Children and Young People's Plan to show how it will achieve the government's prescribed outcomes for children.
To enable local authorities to carry through the strategy, all services to children and families are being reorganised, to centre on “children’s trusts”. These trusts will bring together education, childcare facilities, child mental health services, parenting advice, family support and child protection. The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) says the trusts will enable all children’s service providers to work in multidisciplinary teams and to share information about the children they are dealing with.

It will soon be possible for local authorities to monitor every child’s use of services too, thanks to the introduction of the child database, which will cost £224m to set up and £41m a year to operate.

The government recommends that these trusts should be used to “co-locate” children and family services in “children’s centres” (for those aged 0-5) and “extended schools” (for those aged 5-18). This ties in neatly with the government’s plans for universal childcare. By 2010 local authorities are to have in place a network of 3,500 children’s centres and all primary and secondary schools are expected to be extended schools, offering “wraparound” childcare from 8am- 6pm, along with health and social care, after-school activities, behaviour management, parenting education and job advice for parents.
The government is explicit in its desire to ensure that all childhood experiences are the same. Under the bill, local authorities must not only improve the wellbeing of all children, they must also act to “reduce inequalities” between them. The government does not appear to have considered the possibility of conflict between these duties — better results for some children could lead to a widening of the equality gap.

The clear impact will be to limit the freedom and judgment of schools, teachers, childminders and, above all, parents.

Jill Kirby’s new report, The Nationalisation of Childhood, is available online.

With this desire to have total control over the population I'm surprised that the Government doesn't also suggest natty little uniforms for the children, and I'm sure as part of Citizenship lessons a saluting a portrait of Dear Leader and singing a patriotic song is purely logical....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 4, 2006

Video Choice for the weekend

BBC NEWS | UK | Spitfire celebrates 70th anniversary

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March 3, 2006

It's friday afternoon - even in Sweden

Ole and Sven were out deer hunting in da northwoods. Sven shot a really
nice buck and Ole was helping him pull it out of the woods. They had a
rope tied to one of the hind legs and they were pulling and struggling,
going through the deep snow with the other three legs sticking out and
getting caught on every clump of brush and whatnot along the way.

About that time the Game Warden came along. After checking their
licenses, he said, "You know, it would be easier if you fellas tied the
rope to the antlers and pulled him from the other way. Then the legs
wouldn't get caught on everything."

Ole looked at Sven and said, "By golly, I tink he's right."

The Game Warden went on his way and Ole and Sven re-tied the rope to the
antlers and started pulling. It was a lot easier. After about twenty
minutes, Sven said, "Ole, dat Game Warden sure was right. Dis is a lot
easier, but aren't ve getting furder avay from da truck?"

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Live Silver Slider BIogging

Image taken on 3/3/2006 13:38

Posted by The Englishman at 1:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Which one spouts crude Anti-American "oil-for blood" clichés and inflames the Middle East?

syriana06.jpg khaled Meshaal.jpg

And which one is just the leader of Hamas....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

My lunchtime sorted

Cheers To A Silver Slider (from This Is Wiltshire)

WADWORTH Brewery has produced a special beer to celebrate Shelley Rudman's silver medal in the Winter Olympics...The beer was brewed by Andy Weaver and is described as having a refined, easy drinking malt taste. It will be sold The Antelope at Upavon; The Crown, Bishops Cannings; Golden Swan, Wilcot; Royal Oak, Pewsey; Kings Arms, All Cannings; Three Horseshoes at Stibb Green near Burbage; The Millstream, Marden; Wiltshire Yeoman, Chirton, and the Moonrakers at Pewsey.

It would be churlish not to just try a half, wouldn't it.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scary Movie

A film with a happy ending - via Kim....

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Even Hatters notices a stink

Comment and opinion from the Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

A taxing moral paradox
by Roy Hattersley

Whatever Ms Jowell’s eventual fate, the argument surrounding her husband’s business interests marks a watershed in Labour Party history.

The analyses of his activities, which have preoccupied the newspapers recently, have all described him as a specialist in tax avoidance, hedge funds and off-shore investments. Such is the transformation, for which Tony Blair must take credit, that not one commentator has expressed surprise that the husband of a Labour Cabinet minister should earn his living in this fashion.

If the Treasury operates in the way it did when I was a secretary of state, senior civil servants spend a great deal of time working out ways of closing “tax loopholes”. Mr Mills occupies his days opening new ones. We must assume that Ms Jowell, being an honourable woman, finds no conflict of interest in her husband working to frustrate the wishes of the Chancellor with whom she shares the Cabinet table. But she will, I hope, accept that the situation is a paradox.

Mr Mills, I understand, was himself once a Labour councillor and he retains his party membership. Does he, I wonder, believe that his party should welcome the rich making arrangements to reduce their tax liability? Or does he draw a distinction between David Mills the sharp lawyer and David Mills the social democrat? Whatever his answer, the most fascinating aspect of his position concerns not him but the party he supports. Twenty years ago — despite the legality of Mr Mills’s business and his wife’s apparent ignorance of his affairs — Labour would have been outraged by the way in which the Jowells pay their grocery bills. We, the cry would have gone up, can have no truck with tax avoidance. How times have changed.

The hypocritical and amoral conduct of our taxing elite was a point I was going to make, but it has more weight when it comes from an old Labour hack harking back to the old spotless idealistic days of Lord Kagan, Sir Eric Miller, T Dan Smith etc.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Times Online

Ming 'ready to take risks'
Should he try and walk up the stairs without taking a little rest first?; what about going completely bonkers and risking a new pair of nice comfy slippers?, wouldn't want to trip; but bravery only goes so far, I bet a man of his age wouldn't risk wearing light colour trousers....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Electronic Babysitter

ITV takes on the Beeb in crowded kids' TV market - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

IN THE daily battle between Dora The Explorer, Charlie and Lola and SpongeBob SquarePants, it takes a brave broadcaster to launch a new children's channel with the promise that it will become the most-watched commercial service within 18 months.
That was the bullish prediction offered by ITV when it unveiled CiTV, a £30 million response to the BBC’s dominance in children’s television that will feature Horrid Henry and an animated version of the top-selling Bratz dolls.
Launched on March 11, CiTV will be the first commercial children’s channel available on Freeview, now a fixture in almost seven million homes. However, it must also compete in a saturated market with 21 other commercial children’s channels on satellite and cable services

Let me offer a marketing tip for free to ITV - Who has control of the remote? Mummy or Daddy, what do they want? Eye Candy. It's the presenters, stupid. So lets have more Eva Alexander, not that I have noticed, we only have CBeebies on as it is educational, only 5'2", small hands, I always find them so flattering.....

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

March 2, 2006


Three months later and that is three Km of hedge planted
Image taken on 2/3/2006 11:42

The start of the great hedge planting campaign - here

Posted by The Englishman at 11:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Castle defences

Windows Defender - a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software.

Looks good - an improved version of Microsoft's Antispyware program which is an essential part of the armoury.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cherie and Torture

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

Intelligence from torture saves lives, says Cherie Booth
By Frances Gibb, Legal Editor

THE Prime Minister's wife yesterday backed the use of information from abroad even if obtained under torture if it might save innocent lives in the fight against terrorists.

Or is it:

Telegraph | News | Law lords right to rule against Government on torture, says Cherie

Governments must stand firm against torture in all its forms, Cherie Booth, QC, said in a lecture yesterday,

Well that is clear then, our exalted MSM journalists can spin a speech which ever way they like - or was it that it was just a typical Lawyer's speech which after half an hour and a small retainer you know you have listened to something very well reasoned but you are still not sure what it meant...

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

Might I suggest one takes up blogging Sir?

The Times has some scoops on Prince Charles and his missives to the Government - as they quote - "he relays information he has received in his role as Colonel-in-Chief of many regiments or through his charities. He is always polite and argues his case."

Which seems to me be an entirely right and proper thing for the C-in-C to do - and when one reads what he says, Prince Charles to Lord Chancellor: full text of letter in which he takes the Government to task over the Human Rights Act then I am glad that he does take Derry to task. I am sure there are very few people that The Right Honourable Alexander Andrew Mackay Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg, PC, QC considers of equal status to himself and so can't be ignored like Hoi Polloi.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 1, 2006

Can I go home as well?

It's snowing and I'm cold.
Image taken on 1/3/2006 13:20

Posted by The Englishman at 1:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Mutiny down on the farm

Peter Kendall is elected as NFU president

Peter Kendall is the new president of the NFU, Farmers Weekly can reveal.

The former vice-president beat off the challenge of Better NFU candidate, David Handley, and ousted sitting president Tim Bennett in the closely fought election battle on Tuesday 28 Feb.

It is the first time in the union's recent history that a president has been voted out of office.

As an NFU member I ought to care more but the NFU and the whole farming industry has a serious problem and this election highlights it.
On one hand you have the thousands of farmers who work long hours in awful conditions for bugger all, and they believe that they should get more money and they don't really care if it is the evil supermarkets or taxpayer who pays them - they were represented by David Handley. On the other side are the realists who recognise taxpayers are getting tired of paying farmers to farm and that the supermarkets are players in a global market, farmers to thrive need to either play by those rules or find a niche - Tim Bennett was that spokesman. Peter Kendall seems to be the David Cameron of the industry, basically he believes in all the right things but the way forward is through marketing and communicating ideas better.. I wish him well but fear for the future.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy St David's Day to my Welsh readers

I note Lidl are doing Welsh Flags for £3.99 - so that leaves plenty of change for some Brains...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I'm just here for the hunting

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

Doubts over Tessa Jowell's future as Italians vent fury at Home Office

THE Home Office blatantly jeopardised an investigation designed to bring Tessa Jowell's husband David Mills to trial, according to Italian prosecution documents seen by The Times.

I also note:

"a report published by the Christian Socialist Movement (CSM)said “Causing suffering for sport is intrinsically evil. Hunting, therefore, belongs to that class of always morally impermissible acts along with rape, child abuse and torture. Members of the CSM include the Prime Minister, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and Alun Michael."

I suppose I should bother to try and understand if Tessa and her "tax avoidance specialist lawyer" husband are guilty or not - but hell why bother? Lets just enjoy the sight and sound of the Fleet Street pack as it picks up the scent:

Soft, fleecy clouds were sailing
Across the vault of blue.
A fairer hunting morning
No huntsman ever knew.

All nature seemed rejoicing
That glorious morn to see;
All seemed to breathe a fresher life -
Beast, insect, bird and tree.

But sound and sight of beauty
Fell dull on eye and ear;
The huntsman's heart was heavy
His brow oppressed with care.

High in his stirrups raised he stood,
And long he gazed around;
And breathlessly and anxiously
His listened for a sound.

But nought he heard save the song bird
Or jay's discordant cry;
Or when among the the tree-tops
The wind went murmuring by.

No voice of hound, no sound of horn
The woods around were mute,
As though the earth had swallowed up
His comrades - man and brute.

Then round he turned his horse's head
And shook his bridle free,
When he was struck by an aged fox
That sat beneath a tree.

He raised his eye in glad surprise,
That huntsman keen and bold;
But there was in that fox's look
That made his blood run cold.

He raised his hand to touch his horn,
And shout a "Tally-ho"

An Englishman's Castle: The Fox's Prophecy

Posted by The Englishman at 7:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Polecat tastes blood

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

Then Lord Tebbit stood up, so thin that he hardly takes up even a breath of air. He is a sinuous figure, almost cadaverous if you can be such a thing in pinstripes. He sported a thin smile as he faced Baroness Scotland of Asthal on the Government’s front bench.

How she must have rued the sight of this man who carries such weight on this subject. In 1984 Lord Tebbit was badly hurt in the IRA Brighton bomb and his wife was crippled for life. Yesterday, a few benches away, Baroness Thatcher had turned to watch him speak. These days she is a silent presence and often her eyes seem very far away. But this was not the case as she watched her old friend.

At present, he noted, most of the victims of terrorism in this country had suffered from a conflict that had its roots much closer to home. "I have long been concerned that it has seemed impossible to take proceedings against Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness who have and still do glorify terrorism," he said. A Labour peer must have shaken his head, for Lord Tebbit bit back: "We have all seen those two gentleman standing at military-style funerals with hooded gunman firing guns in celebration of the terrorists. If that is not glorification of terrorism, I think it would be rather difficult to define what is."
So, he asked, would those two men be prosecuted under this new legislation? Lady Scotland had made much of the fact that the Bill needs to tackle inflammatory placards as well as speeches. "If placards are to be brought into this legislation," he demanded quietly, "might I ask the noble lady what about the murals on the walls in Belfast and London, which glorify both republican and loyalist terrorism. Would the creators of those murals be likely to be found guilty of glorifying terrorism?"

And you wonder why I prefer him to David Dave's vacuous pledges that all Conservatives will love Mom's Apple Pie and be kind to kittens from now on..

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack