September 30, 2006
Prescott - a tribute
Numberwatch offers an elegant tribute to Our Deputy PrimeMinister which might be summed up:
Stand not on the order of your going, but go at once.Lady Macbeth
A bit delicate today as I went back to the old college last night to meet some old friends - and a welcome to them if they are reading this.
It is reassuring to see civilisation is still live and well in one corner of this benighted kingdom. And I think Jamie Oliver hasn't had too much influence on the menu of Dinner yet as the menu below shows.
Students eh? They don't know how lucky they are!
Family Planning Advice
September 29, 2006
Abandon hope, all ye who enter here
A CORONER has criticised a hospital for offering “despicable” and chaotic treatment after hearing that four elderly patients died in painful and degrading circumstances.... He condemned as “absolutely despicable” the treatment of Watkins Davies, an 84-year-old war veteran, who went into hospital with a fractured hip and contracted MRSA, the hospital superbug, The inquest was told that Mr Watkins, a widower, was the victim of a catalogue of failures in basic nursing care. When he fell out of his chair, while trying to wash himself, no X-ray was carried out to assess any additional injuries.His family claim that he was left to lie in his own waste and was in severe pain for hours because of shortages in nursing staff. His meals were left up to 6ft out of his reach.....
....Mrs Douglas, a voluntary worker from Droyls- den, near Manchester,.. broke her hip when she fell from a hospital trolley without sides. There was no record of the fall.
Edward Douglas, her son, said: “There was one nurse per three beds and the nurse said she could not cope.” He said that medication had been left on the floor.
Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, the coroner said he found this astonishing. “What if that had been vital medication?” he asked. “It is absolutely chaotic.”
A third inquest heard that Raymond Lees, from Ashton-under-Lyne, who died in May, contracted MRSA after undergoing a knee replacement operation. During his time in the hospital his waist shrank by 14 inches.
John Lees, his son, said that it had taken him three hours to discover that his father had not been bathed and that hospital staff did not appear to know his name.
“The nurse said, ‘He gets himself up, dresses himself and does his own teeth’,” Mr Lees said. “In fact, he was wearing the same pyjamas he had been wearing for three days. The nurse was cruel and cynical.”
A fourth inquest was told that James Kelly, a pensioner from Stalybridge, Tameside, was recovering from surgery but died from pneumonia after he was left sitting in his dressing gown in a draught.
Mr Pollard said: “In most of the issues, the nursing care, not the operations or the general medical staff, but the basic care of people, has been in question.....
Andrew Burnham, a Health Minister, said: “I understand that the hospital trust has in place a range of measures to ensure that patients receive the high-quality nursing care they have every right to expect.
In 2000 Prime Minister Tony Blair launched a reform programme for the NHS in England that he believed would once again make it "the healthcare system the world most envies."
Cash on Demand Justice
SERIOUS crimes such as assaulting a police officer and mugging will be punished by instant fines of up to £100 from next year under plans to keep hundreds of thousands of offenders out of court.
Proposals drawn up by the Home Office, and seen by The Times, envisage a huge extension of fixed-penalty notices from early 2007. They would apply to nearly 30 offences, including assault, threatening behaviour, all types of theft up to a value of £100, obstructing or assaulting a police officer, possession of cannabis, and drunkenness.
A review of the Government's speed cameras policy was demanded yesterday after official statistics showed that only five per cent of crashes are caused by drivers breaking the speed limit....
There are more than 5,400 camera sites in England and Wales, which raised £113 million in fines in 2004-5
Leaving alone for a minute a society which judges assaulting a Police Officer or Mugging (up to £100) as only as naughty as low level speeding what the hell is going on? Are we really becoming a place where at every turn some uniformed goon can demand cash with legal menaces? Oh there will be due process, if you demand it and don't mind your life being turned upside down for two years, but you won't demand it, will you? You will just swipe the card and get on with your prole like existence.
September 28, 2006
Power witout responsibility
For more than a year, Olive Rack lived with the threat of seeing her business ruined – even of losing her liberty – because she diligently carried out her job as a nursery teacher.
Earlier this week, she was cleared of assaulting a toddler in her care and said she wanted to get on with her job running a successful independent school in Kettering, Northants. Magistrates said there was ''no convincing evidence" to sustain the charge. In which case, why had it been brought? These things do not just drop out of the sky. There is a lengthy chain of responsibility here that blighted Mrs Rack's life for 15 months. Are any of those involved in it to be held responsible?
Read the rest of the article for a damning indictment of the systme but if you believe that the answer to the question is "yes" then I've got some bad news about Santa Claus and th Totth Fairy for you.
Not to be read on a full stomach
“I saw Gordon’s brilliant vision of the future,” he gushed, “and I heard the Prime Minister’s magnificent valedictory.” At this both men, watching from the stage, began to glow like lava lamps. Bill said that Tony’s speech had been “proud but humble, hopeful but cautionary”.
He then added: “The most important thing to me, as somebody who’s been there, was that it was appropriately full of gratitude, devotion and love.” It was sickbag stuff...
Oh dear that seems to be making the fried slice and sausage want to reappear. I bet Tony was on his knees in front of Clinton in thanks....
The "most hated" tax in the country
More than two million households in England, many of them pensioners, struggle to pay their council tax, according to an independent report published today.
It found that one in 10 households had difficulty paying the tax, which according to a recent poll is the "most hated" tax in the country.
One in four households in band A, the lowest value band for properties, receives a summons, and one in seven in band B...
...report comes as Sir Michael Lyons's carries out a review of council tax for the Government. Sir Michael's interim report last year suggested he was considering introducing the same system of local taxation now being rolled out in Northern Ireland.
Current council tax bands would be abolished and replaced with an annual levy calculated using the value of each property.
Residents would typically be charged at 0.78 per cent of their home's value each year, more if they enjoyed good views, pushing the average bill from £1,056 to £1,492.
So it isn't just me then that objects. Pensiners have had their pensions robbed at one end by Gordon and now the Council each year mulcts them at the other. Thank goodness and Adam Smith that the shopping basket gets cheaper each year because it in some ways balances the inflation caused by the public sector. The thought of a huge rise is enough to get me down the barn sharpening the sickle.
September 27, 2006
Sir, The primary chemical exposure of all human beings is not to traces of synthetic chemicals (“Man-made toxins are found even in the best diets”, Sept 21, and letter, Sept 23) but to the thousands of natural pesticides which we eat and consume in our fruit and vegetables every day.
Each fruit or vegetable makes its own unique complement of natural pesticides and with the novel fruits and vegetables currently available in supermarkets, the risk is increased again.
Toxicologically the majority of natural pesticides test as carcinogens; others are nerve toxins, oestrogen mimics, teratogens, chromosome breakers, allergy inducers or damage the blood, skin or thyroid.
These are precisely the same toxicological properties of synthetic chemicals that concern WWF, but natural pesticides are consumed in amounts many tens of thousands of times higher than any synthetic traces. Mankind is not adapted to these natural chemicals; at the appropriate dose they will damage and have done so in the past.
Against this enormous toxic natural background, traces of man-made chemicals are of little or no consequence, but the risks of additive or synergistic effects of natural chemicals are also thousands of times higher.
Professor in Plant Biochemistry
University of Edinburgh
Europe rewards a traitor
George Blake, who spied for the Soviet Union, won a human rights claim against the British Government yesterday, 40 years after he escaped from prison in London and fled to Moscow.
Britain was ordered by judges in Strasbourg to pay 84-year-old Blake £3,350 in damages and £1,340 costs for breaching his right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time.
It took the European Court of Human Rights five years and eight months to decide Blake's case.
May I suggest the money is made available for "collection in person only" - preferably on top of a wooden trap door under a beam with a noose...
Prescott not bent
John Prescott will not face a formal criminal inquiry into a claim that he broke anti-corruption laws by staying on the ranch of an American billionaire who owns the Millennium Dome.
A bit of a relief, otherwise with the way other investigations are going they would have been holding Cabinet meetings inside the Scrubs soon....
Miss Manners advice to The Labour Party
Dear Miss Manners,
Is there any polite way to ask guests to leave? ..I understand when you host a party, the guests are expected to stay a couple hours. However, I feel that guests that come to our home more than overstay their welcome...I drop subtle (and not so subtle) hints that it is getting late and we need things to end. I make sure I am seen cleaning up plates and food. My husband has made comments of "Gee, it is getting late and I have to work tomorrow." I've made announcements such as "All the kids need to get out of the pool. They've been in there for eight hours now."
Nothing seems to work. Our comments are pretty much ignored... Is there a kind way to ask guests to leave?
Don't give up ..
The least subtle way to get rid of guests that is still polite is to say goodbye to them. This is done almost as if you were the ones who were leaving. You stand up, approach them, and say, "It was wonderful having you here. We must do this soon again." If you remain standing in front of them, Miss Manners promises that they will arise, too, and then you can slowly walk toward the door.
Or you could just say, "Piss off Tony, pack your bags now and don't bother with the final final farewell tour".
September 26, 2006
Poor old Mr Brown
BARN OWLS, emblematic of the country idyll, have suffered a catastrophic drop in numbers, with up to 75 per cent feared to have been wiped out.
A cold March and a wet May combined to kill off parent birds and create appalling breeding conditions .... blamed changing weather patterns caused by global warming...
Strangely the old boys down the range were talking about the lack of Barn Owls last night - we didn't blame Global Warming but had noticed the huge rise in the number of Buzzards and Red Kites, and strangely how now there are more large predators there seems to be fewer hares and ground nesting birds as well... but no the old country boys must be wrong, it is global warming..and of course did you see what Cherie said, giggle.
Mr Brown as seen by Beatrix Potter - Endangered! Ha Ha!
I say Chaps, let's get serious.
EU Referendummakes clear his "irritation (which) also extends to the British political bloggers who seem quite content to follow in the wake of the MSM and prattle endlessly about exactly the same issues.
Often the humour and analysis is about the level one would expect of the 4th form of a second-rate boys boarding school and I have heard more intelligent comment from college students in fifth and sixth forms in the lectures I have been given to schools recently.
In a nutshell, the Tony and Gordon show is fluff – nothing is going to be decided immediately and much water is going to pass under the bridge before things come to a head. Meanwhile, we are a nation at war, we do have troops committed to a dangerous foreign venture and, if the material we have accumulated in this and our previous reports is at all representative of the situation, there is the potential for the situation to go seriously belly-up. In that case, over the winter, we could be seeing soldiers coming home in coffins in very large numbers.
He is quite right of course, I should show more maturity and bring you world class analysis of the important issues. But I haven't anything new to add to those, so pricking the pomposity of our glorious leaders seems to be as good of use of my time as any.
Besides having spent last night drinking in the pub with an old friend and ex-"terrorist", (a short jail term for an explosion outside a barracks), my exclusives on the war on terror would mostly consist of his accounts of getting through US customs and the snapping on of rubber gloves in the white tiled room you hope never to be lead to.....
UPDATE - It has just occurred to me to wonder if as old "Bomber" and I discussed the good old times that I had a rifle propped up against the bar with me might have been why that nice Australian couple seemed to leave the Pub in a hurry...
That Conference report in full
Gordon, yawn; Prescott does his colouring book while Gordon, yawn, speaks; Cherie, ROFLUWRDML.....
Rolls on Floor Laughing Until Wee Runs Down My Legs in geek speak...
September 25, 2006
Margaret Beckett's Holiday Video
The Runners and Riders
Frank Luntz is a leading US pollster. His interviews will be broadcast on Newsnight tonight but here he gives a potted formbook, as complied by Labour and Labour leaning voters:
The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, the obvious frontrunner; - he looks and sounds just like every other politician in pre-Blair Britain: a canned stump speech and insincere sincerity... No one believed him. None...almost half the group opposed being led by a Scotsman. I pushed them hard — and they pushed back. “It’s not racist. I want someone who is English running England.”
John Reid, Home Secretary;- the clear winner in our session, but he has a way to go. Only a fraction of our participants could name Mr Reid just from his photograph. But two words immediately came to mind as their familiarity grew: “strong” and “tough”.
Alan Johnson, Education Secretary; - the perfect biography. Participants felt he had the right life-experience. ...But for almost everyone, his presentation is, in a word, boring.
Alan Milburn, former Health Secretary;- suffered the same fate. His repeated references to “the public” and “the people” in his speeches were not well-received by the public and the people.
and David Miliband, Environment Secretary earned exactly the opposite reaction. His official photograph drew laughter from the audience (several participants said he looked like a Tory Boy), and the initial reaction to his unbending defence of Mr Blair was poorly received...
The Anyone But Gordon crowd can draw some strength there, but they need to pick their challenger, though like an old fairground boxing booth it might be good tactics to put a young boy in first to soften up the old pro and absorb his wrath first, before putting forward the one carrying the money. Can Johnson's men fool Miliband into being that naive fool who gets a bloody nose in a hopeless attempt on the crown?
Watch the lips
Mr Blair urged his party to focus on "big issues" at the conference. Interviewed on BBC's Sunday AM programme, he repeatedly refused to endorse Mr Brown, although he pointed out that he had already said the Chancellor would make a brilliant prime minister.
"Gordon has been a fantastic Chancellor," he said. "He has been a great servant of the country and the party and I don't resile from anything I have said before."
Resile? -Be honest how many times a day is that a word you use, either Mrs Blair with her lawyer speak has been prompting him or he has too much time on his hands and doing The Times crossword everyday. There was a time when Tony's internal antenna would have twitched before using a word that betrayed he isn't just an ordinary bloke on the Telly, maybe he no longer cares.
Dr Brown's Casebook
Earlier in the year, 36 per cent of voters thought he would prove to be a good prime minister. That figure has fallen to 27 per cent, while the proportion thinking he would probably fail as prime minister has risen from 33 per cent to 44.
The Conservative leader has a five-point lead over Mr Brown as "the best prime minister"
No wonder poor old Middle England is about to be hit with a charm offence from Old Brown who hopes our folk memories will see him as the trusty old Dr Finlay. I fear he may be as popular as the 90s remake of that fine program and sink with out a trace.
Not many people know it but Pigs and Humans share the same pheromones, it is just that pigs react to them more. Last week Dolly the 300lb Glouscester Old Spot was on heat, and feeling lonely. As soon as I walked into the pen she bounded over to me and whacked me round the back of the legs. She then planted her legs wide apart and stood stock still - this strangely familiar ritual is standard pig foreplay. Brown's entreaties to the English Middle Classes has the same subtlety and attractiveness...
September 24, 2006
Fools seldom differ
"It is very simple. If people don't value a party enough to voluntarily pay for it then tough, it has failed in the marketplace of ideas".
He concluded: "Why should honest people now have to pay, just because the Labour Party can no longer count on living on the proceeds of acts currently under investigation?"
I said a couple of days earlier:here:
It is very simple; if people don't value a party enough to voluntarily pay for it then tough, it has failed in the marketplace of ideas. .. Why because you can no longer count on living on the proceeds of (an alleged) crime should honest people now have to pay?
Hattip The Devil
Continuing our guide to the English Class system
The surest guide to a family's position in the Class system is to visit the bathroom.
Working class - the bath in "the Bog" is unused except to wash Tyson the dog after he has been fighting - copies of the Racing Post lying about. Stinks.
Lower Middle - the bathroom is called the "Toilet" and is Avocado green and each member of the family has a scatter of products and ointments. Towels by BHS. Smells of unwashed bodies and cheap perfume.
Middle Class - the bathroom is called the "Lavatory", is white and apart from neatly folded towels from M&S is completely bare except for three unused display bottles of French Toiletries , smells of air freshener.
Upper Middle Class - the bathroom was the spare room and is called "The Bathroom", a designer bath stands proud on the stripped pine floor. The White Company towels are hidden in a Morrocean cupboard and are unused as she showers at the Gym and he at his Mistress' flat in Pimlico on his way home from the office. Smells of beeswax and fresh flowers.
Upper Class - the bath in "the Bog" is unused except to wash Tyrone the dog after he has been fighting - copies of the Racing Post lying about. Stinks.
September 23, 2006
Shock Horror - Oleaginous Hain nearly tells the truth
Labour is in danger of getting a reputation as a "big brother" Government with a tendency to ban everything and curb individual freedom, Peter Hain says today.
The Pope is also in danger of getting a reputation of being a Catholic and if Bears aren't careful they might be known to shit in the woods.
It is nice that the orange one has noticed he problem but would I trust the oily old criminal to do anything about it? Would I coco!
September 22, 2006
Kennet Council rubbish bin charging idea
KENNET District Council is facing another PR disaster in the wake of the chip in the bin fiasco by looking to charge for the recycling of cardboard and plastic.
That was the message delivered at a meeting of Kennet's community development executive committee,...Mark Smith, Kennet's director of environment and leisure services, told the meeting that the council is under pressure from its council tax payers to provide facilities to recycle cardboard and plastic.
But the council's current waste minimisation and recycling strategy precluded officers from offering the service, unless it paid for itself.
So what you will need is a way to do it, some sort of recording device on the bins, something like an electronic bug,.... but that is impossible as Councillor Chris Humphries, Lord High Leader of Kennet District Council, has said there are no bugs on Kennet Bins, and no plans to introduce them, and that people like me who found a reprogrammable read-write RFID chip hidden under the lip of our bins are deluded...
Glos Police guilty of racism
Follow up and a result on a story we have covered before.
A POLICE force that rejected 108 potential recruits because they were white men has admitted positive discrimination and agreed to pay compensation.
Gloucestershire Constabulary said that it had been trying to increase diversity with its policy of selecting women and candidates from ethnic minorities. But at an employment tribunal in Bristol yesterday, the force admitted that its actions were unlawful and agreed to pay compensation to one potential recruit. Further claims from the other 107 men, who were told by the force that they had been “randomly deselected”, could now follow.
Clive Tomer, chairman of the tribunal, said yesterday that Gloucestershire Constabulary had been “at the very least disingenuous and at worst misleading”.
Sue the bastards
Last week’s announcement that the World Health Organization lifted its nearly 30-year ban on the insecticide DDT is perhaps the most promising development in global public health since… well, 1943 when DDT was first used to combat insect-borne diseases like typhus and malaria.
Overlooked in all the hoopla over the announcement, however, is the terrible toll in human lives (tens of millions dead — mostly pregnant women and children under the age of 5), illness (billions sickened) and poverty (more than $1 trillion dollars in lost GDP in sub-Saharan Africa alone) caused by the tragic, decades-long ban.
Much of this human catastrophe was preventable, so why did it happen? Who is responsible? Should the individuals and activist groups who caused the DDT ban be held accountable in some way?...
Business are often held liable and forced to pay monetary damages for defective products and false statements. Why shouldn’t the National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club and other anti-DDT activist groups be held liable for the harm caused by their recklessly defective activism?...
In addition to the day of reckoning and societal rebuke that DDT-ban advocates should face, we should all learn from the DDT tragedy.
With the exception of Rachel Carson (who died in 1964), all of the groups and individuals above mentioned also promote global warming alarmism. If they and others could be so wrong about DDT, why should we trust them now? Should we really put the global economy and the welfare of billions at risk based on their track record?
Failing Whelk Stall owners seek Taxpayer support
LABOUR wants taxpayers to plug a gaping hole in the party’s finances caused by a collapse in donations after the cash-for-peerages allegations.
Hazel Blears, the party chairman, told The Times yesterday that Labour, as the party of government, should get more public money to support political work.
Why am I surprised that the Party itself is now a welfare scrounger whining that the taxpayer should support it in the manner it has become accustomed. It is very simple; if people don't value a party enough to voluntarily pay for it then tough, it has failed in the marketplace of ideas. Don't come whining to me that I should have my money mulcted to support your pampered lifestyle, your friends and the expensive habits of your advertising gurus. Why because you can no longer count on living on the proceeds of (an alleged) crime should honest people now have to pay?
All your people are belong to us
The only way for Britain to be safe from terrorism is to surrender its national veto over new European Union laws covering cross-border police and judicial co-operation, the EU's leading justice official said last night.
Franco Frattini, EU commission vice-president for justice, liberty and security, said that the requirement to reach unanimous agreement among all 25 member states was holding up key new initiatives and putting British lives at risk.
It was time to put aside "national jealousies", said Mr Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister. It was time to allow Europe's national police forces, secret services, court systems and prosecutors to leap over frontiers and borders when in pursuit of terrorists, organised criminals, paedophiles and other serious offenders, which the EU says includes those guilty of racism and xenophobia.
I suppose I will accused of xenophobia if I express a hestitation in welcoming magistrates from Naples, rozzers from Paxos and spooks from Madrid to spy, arrest and judge Her Brittanic Majesty's Subjects - I hope my cell has a decent view over the Med...
An old man mutters in his sleep
Campbell shows party who's boss with attack on 'unpleasant' Tories - Britain - Times Online
"And while you’re at it, Mr Disraeli, you should apologise for the last
Tory manifesto, which you wrote - one of the most reactionary,
unpleasant, right-wing manifestos of modern times.
But now, when it comes to policy, Disraeli’s Tories are a substance free zone.
Their idea of political principle is to say, tell us what you don’t like
and we’ll abandon it.
September 21, 2006
Tha family tree
The Devil's Kitchen reveals that "(his) grandfather lived, for very many years, in Wotton-Under-Edge"..
Aaargh! So did mine - in fact my father was born and brought up there. We aren't related, are we?
The Prison Walls close in
Speculation continues about the identity of a third man arrested over Labour "cash for honours" allegations....
It couldn't be could it? I picture wailing Cherie joining all those other Scouse women crying out their man is a good man, he never did it..
"The third man arrested is not understood to be anyone who works in Downing Street"
Bugger - it seems according to the Telegraph that the arrested man was Prof Sir Christopher Evans, the founder of Merlin Biosciences, who lent the Labour Party ｣1 million between January and May last year....
Where's Guido when you need him?
September 20, 2006
Make Love Not War
Some whining Cambridge Greenie is complaining that Iain Dale (PBUH) ignored alt.politics blogs in drawing up his Big Boy's Bouncy Book of Blogs - a quick flick through said East Anglian's scribbles - The Daily (Maybe) - brings me this, which illustrates in one picture far better than any number of pontificating articles the love that dares not speak its name behind Greens, anti-war, anti-capitalism, anti-whateverism:
Safety Camera? My Arse! - More like a cash cow
The percentage of drivers exceeding the speed limit at this site is recorded as 69%.
The above photograph shows the nominal parking place for either the enforcement van or motorcycle.
That's £60 gone from the coffers - the bastards - and yes the road is as empty as that most of the time. When ordinary people have given up even bothering to report all the petty criminality that happens to us because the Police haven't a fecking clue how to sort it out the only evidence we see of the Rozzers at work are these simple cash withdrawal machines. No wonder they have lost the respect of most of us.
Buff Hoon waves white flag to French
Telegraph | News | Ministers abandon Britain's EU veto
By Toby Helm and Leo Cendrowicz
Ministers were accused last night of planning to abandon Britain's EU veto over sensitive justice and home affairs matters in a move that would see parts of the European constitution introduced "by the back door".
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said he was "astonished" that such a move was even being considered, after Geoff Hoon, the Europe minister, refused to rule out moving to majority voting in decisions on EU police and judicial co-operation.
In a furious letter to John Reid, the Home Secretary, Mr Davis said: "To surrender the veto would directly contradict the pledge given by the former foreign secretary that 'there is no plan, proposal or intention to slip elements of the constitution through the back door'."
He added: "Retaining the national veto over policing, our courts and our criminal laws is vital to the UK national interest and to the rights of British citizens."
"Roll me over In the clover, Roll me over, lay me down And do it again..." The long surrender continues, there used to be a waterside gate at the Tower of London for people such as these, can we unblock it?
September 19, 2006
Day 2 - Sir Ming turns on the style
Lib Dem conference at-a-glance
All you need to know about day two of the Liberal Democrat conference 2006:
...within minutes of Mr Kennedy's big speech, Sir Menzies and campaigns chief Ed Davey will be heading off for a photo opportunity at a non-alcoholic juice bar..
Kennedy wows them at the Lib Dem Conference
Mr Kennedy looked confident and relaxed as he spoke without notes in his first big speech since admitting a drink problem and quitting as party leader.
He said "the best is yet to come" for the party and insisted it could be a force for change in British politics.
This year had seen the "best of times and the worst of times", he said.
Lib Dem Conference Excitement
All you need to know about day one of the Liberal Democrat conference 2006:
Bush and I agree on this.
SCIENTISTS have discovered just why it is so hard to get some children to eat their greens: some people, it seems, are genetically programmed to find vegetables such as broccoli more bitter than others.
The reason is that evolution has prejudiced them against foods that contain a compound called glucosinolate, which interferes with iodine getting to the thyroid gland.
A lack of iodine can cause mental and sexual problems as well as a condition called goitre...In tests, people with a certain genetic make-up found some vegetables, such as broccoli, turnips and watercress, about 60 per cent more bitter than others....The former US president, George Bush, famously disliked broccoli....
Date: June 28, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY - A genetic variation seen worldwide in which people either taste or do not taste a bitter, synthetic compound called PTC...People who can taste PTC are less likely to eat cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli...The ability to taste or not taste PTC was discovered in 1930..
I can't stand broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, radishes etc. and have known about these taster genes for ages so why the new press release? The children are force fed broccoli by their mother so I'm not sure if they have inherited it or not, but then they haven't inherited my eye colour or hair colour.. in fact they don't even look anything like me......
The guns are out for Gordo's challenger
ALAN JOHNSON’S image as the “nice guy” of the Cabinet was dented yesterday when he became embroiled in allegations that his aides had attempted to bury the bad news of poor primary school test results last month. The news represents a blow to the Education Secretary, who will be a candidate for the position of deputy leader of the Labour Party and has been mentioned in connection with the leadership.
The dispute centres on the decision of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to publish two important sets of school results, primary school tests and GCSEs, on the same day. A series of e-mails made public yesterday showed that civil servants at the department had cautioned repeatedly against the clash, pointing out that they had been published on different days in previous years. But their concerns were overruled and officials were told that the Education Secretary’s special advisers “positively want” the results published on the same day. Both sets of figures were published at 9.30am on August 24. The GCSE results rose for the eighteenth successive year.
However, the primary school test results revealed falling standards in reading, writing and maths among seven-year-olds and standards among 11-year-olds which stalled well below government targets.
The smoking gun email which The Times doesn't link to - come on hyperlinky thingy are what the web is about chaps, get with it.
September 18, 2006
.. But I don't use it as a rule - Boom Boom!
Chinese surgeons have performed the world's first penis transplant on a man whose organ was damaged beyond repair in an accident this year....Doctors spent 15 hours attaching a 10cm penis to the 44-year-old patient...Although the operation was a surgical success, surgeons said they had to remove the penis two weeks later. "Because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis regretfully had to be cut off," Dr Hu said. An examination of the organ showed no signs of it being rejected by the body.
10 cm in real money seems to be only four inches or a handsbreadth - no wonder the missus and him were upset - what use is that?
Note to DC - Tax cutting modernising right winger wins election
SWEDEN’S centre-right alliance won a narrow general election victory to end 12 years of Social Democrat rule last night after a campaign dominated by the future direction of Europe’s most generous welfare state.
Fredrik Reinfeldt, the youthful right-wing leader likened to David Cameron for the way he dropped traditional policies to modernise his party, saw off the veteran Göran Persson, Europe’s second longest- serving Prime Minister....
Mr Persson had raised fears that the so-called Swedish Model, built on the back of his Government’s high-tax regime, would be dismantled by the Right, but Mr Reinfeldt insisted that he would simply repair and modernise it. He also promised income tax and property tax cuts and a dose of privatisation.
The Social Democrats had governed Sweden in all but nine of the past seventy-four years.....
The Tory party wonks will be wet with excitiment as they crawl over these results looking for the key - I could save the party lots of money in researchers fees, the words are "tax-cutting"..
UPDATE - I notice Iain Dale is ahead of me -but then he does it at night when I'm a morning man myself...
How to win an Election
Promise to cut taxes and curb the welfare state. Simple, isn't it? Look at the Swedish election result tonight. The Conservative opposition won tonight after twelve years out of power.
Glad to be Grey
YOUNG people will have to hand over almost half their salary to the taxman, according to a report which shows the escalating financial pressures facing new graduates.
Rising taxes and the overhaul of the pension system mean that students starting at university this year will be spending 48 per cent of their income on tax and other payments until they are 35. ...
The report by Nick Bosanquet, Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College, London, for the think-tank Reform, blames Labour’s changes to the tax and benefit system, which it says have “significantly penalised young workers”.
It gives warning of a crossover generation of people who pay the cost of the welfare state without being able to expect many of the benefits and labels them the IPOD generation — Insecure, Pressured, Over-taxed and Debt-Ridden. ...
No wonder the young are so studious as the aging bastards in charge have dropped the tab on them to pay for their "enjoy now - pay later" lifestyles. I just hope they carry on working their fingers to the bone to subsidise us, they won't wake up and realise the con, will they?
We are watching you
Big Brother is not only watching you - now he's barking orders too. Britain's first 'talking' CCTV cameras have arrived, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly.
The system allows control room operators who spot any anti-social acts - from dropping litter to late-night brawls - to send out a verbal warning: 'We are watching you'. ...
Law-abiding shopper Karen Margery, 40, was shocked to hear the speakers spring into action as she walked past them.
Afterwards she said: 'It's quite scary to realise that your every move could be monitored - it really is like Big Brother.
'But Middlesbrough does have a big problem with anti-social behaviour, so it is very reassuring.'
Reassuring - not the word I would have used...
September 17, 2006
If you are in you're in, if you're out, you're history
Health and Safety Warning of the Day
“lead used in ammunition can harm the environment and pose a risk to people”.
September 16, 2006
Failed the shibboleth
Iain Dale's Diary: EXCLUSIVE: The Top 100 Conservative Blogs - nope I'm not there, nor in the top Labour or top Lib Dem lists... will I make the non aligned list?
I creep in at Number 40 - that is 39 people off my Christmas card list straight away. As I tell my children show me a good loser and I will show you a loser. But my respect goes to Iain for having waded through so many blogs - my patience would have been gone after about four of them...
September 15, 2006
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reversed a 30-year policy by endorsing the use of DDT for malaria control.
The chemical is sprayed inside houses to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
DDT has been banned globally for every use except fighting disease because of its environmental impacts and fears for human health.
WHO says there is no health risk, and DDT should rank with bednets and drugs as a tool for combating malaria, which kills more than one million each year.
Knock me down with a feather sense, at last. It is almost as though they have been reading Junkscience.com -- 100 things you should know about DDT
Roger and Out
Raymond Baxter, who has died at the age of 84, was the face of Tomorrow's World for 12 years, bringing science and technology to generations, but his versatility also saw his commentary skills sought for sports and state occasions.
These included the annual Festival of Remembrance, the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and the 1953 Coronation...
He competed in the Monte Carlo rally and during World War II he flew Spitfires. He was twice mentioned in despatches.
It was Baxter who described Concorde's first flight. He was the first to broadcast live from an aeroplane, an ocean-liner and a submarine under water.
Born and brought up in Ilford, Essex, he joined the RAF in 1940 at the age of 18, and became a squadron leader.
Tomorrow's World was my favourite program for many years - in fact I still think of Thursdays as being a "good day": Tales of the River Bank when I was younger, growing up through Blue Peter, Tomorrows World and Top of The Pops. With him gone a part of my childhood has gone, and without his voice commentating on Remembrance Day or a Flypast a connection with a greater generation has been extinguished.
ID cards - another reason against
No system works perfectly all the time, but for something as fundamental as being able to prove who you are and get access to what you’re supposed to be able to do, we need to set things up so there’s a fall-back plan.
Breaking your identity up into pieces is good for security...
Read the rest for a reasoned argument - just don't tell the clowns in Whitehall who think a central database and card are a better idea..
EU Referendum brings news of yet another EU law. The rule here has been that if a farmer suspects a beast has BSE or other nasty disease he can call the man from the Ministry in, they take it away and he gets paid full compensation - from January he probably wont get any compensation under new EU rules, so have a guess what will happen. Do you think diseased animals will be pulled out of the food chain or will they be given the benefit of doubt and sent off to be minced up?
As Richard says:
With one fell swoop, therefore, the commission is putting at risk the whole world. It is also abandoning a system that has been in place in the UK for several centuries - before most EU member states were countries - which is well founded, relatively equitable (not that all farmers would agree) and which gives the authorities a fighting chance of containing disease epidemics.
But our government in Brussels has spoken. No longer in vast areas of public policy and lawmaking are we an independent nation and, in this case as with so many others, our job is but to obey – like it or not.
You sometimes wonder who has the spongy brains, the cows, the EU or us for letting it happen.
nuLabout apply the NIMBY test to reform
A SECRET meeting has been held by ministers and Labour Party officials to work out ways of closing hospitals without jeopardising key marginal seats, The Times can reveal...
Details of the meeting, revealed in e-mails passed to The Times, show that it included Hazel Blears, the Labour chairman, political advisers from No 10 and even — at the request of Ms Blears — a Labour Party representative...
The e-mails show that Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, called for those at the meeting to be provided with “heat maps”, showing marginal Labour seats where closures or reconfigurations of health services could cost votes. She also asked for lists showing hospitals where the European Working Time Directive is likely to hit hardest, making 24-hour rotas hard to sustain.
Ministers have always insisted that the directive will not affect hospitals, but the e-mails suggest otherwise....
The smell of panic is in the air as the electorate get restless - good!
Lib Dem - whose to blame?
Charles Kennedy's drink problem helped drive Mark Oaten into his encounters with a male prostitute, his wife claimed yesterday.
Makes a change from the tired old line - "my wife doesn't understand me" it is now "my leader doesn't understand me". I think we have all been under a bit of stress in our lifetimes, some of us under a huge amount. Maybe it is just me but whenever I have nearly been overwhelmed with it I have never though I know lets work our way through those cards in the phone box until I find a couple of nice young boys who will let me **** as they **** and ******* with ****** ********* and ******* gloves and a glass table. ****** ******* a line ***** ****** smooth ****** ******* ****** bottom.
Bu then I'm weird.
September 14, 2006
THE first hunt on horseback in Central London in almost 60 years is to take place on Sunday.
About 25 men and women on horseback, and following hounds, will chase an artificial scent through Hyde Park.
The event has been organised by the Connaught Square Squirrel Hunt, which was set up to cock a snook at Parliament’s ban on the sport from February 18 last year. It is also an attempt to embarrass Tony Blair, who owns a townhouse in the square.
Poor Tony - he must be getting used to feeling like a defenseless animal being harried by slavering hounds by now....
Cameron misses a chance
Mr Cameron will use his first conference as leader to transform the annual seaside gathering...
The debates will feature a wide-range of speakers. Rosie Boycott, the former Fleet Street editor and recovering alcoholic, and... George Monbiot,..
I've searched the rest of the article but while they seem to being having the Chief Moonbat in the hall I can find no mention of stocks, rotten eggs, cattle prods or horsewhips being provided, just electronic voting handsets. Call that a Tory conference?
A funny thing happened on my way to the Forum
Friends of the Amarone bring us jokes about Italians and Europeans to join the collection of continental humour here....
September 13, 2006
Breaking the nuLabour Blogging Law
How can I start blogging?
There’s lots of software on the internet that allows you to set up a blog. Here are two you might look at – they are established and widely-used.
Don't use either of those.
What makes a good blog?
* You should provide local answers to local questions and issues.
Nope - unless pointing out some suitable lamp posts and providing the rope for the Councillors is considered an answer.
* You should debate national and international issues.
Debate? - No, I rant - debate is when you want to hear someone else's point of view - I don't.
* You should promote contrary and interesting opinions - a personality, or sense of humour, helps!
Gratuitous use of exclamation marks doesn't a comic make - I bet you are the sort who has a "you don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps" sign in their cubicle.
* You should avoid personal attacks.
Bollocks, you spotty-faced scrawny wonk.
* You should avoid being wholly negative.
How else can you talk about Gordon Brown?
Some other advice
As a general rule, using a blog to mount attacks on one's political opponents is very unattractive to readers, and should be kept to a minimum – unless it can be done with great style and wit! Criticism has its place, but appearing too negative, or too partisan can reduce your credibility.
That is why no one reads this then.
* Personal articles are fine. Swearing is a no-no, and late-night blogging may not seem such a good idea in the morning.
Bugger another nuLabour guideline I'm breaking. No wonder they are so good at it.
Community, Identity, Stability - Cameron's Brave New World
Maybe I was being a bit unfair here: An Englishman's Castle: Community, Identity, Stability - Blair's Brave New World - So to redress the balance...
David Cameron "I've spoken about community. Today I want to talk about the third vital part of our identity."
The Cameron Leadership Blog Archive » David Cameron: "a sense of national identity is becoming more, not less, important."
BBC NEWS | Politics | Speaking from India, Mr Cameron said: "If you have a choice, then stability must come first.
SparkNotes: Brave New World: ..its guiding motto: “Community, Identity, Stability".
The Two Things Question
“You know, the Two Things. For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.”
“Oh,” I said. “Okay, here are the Two Things about economics. One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
Ever since that evening, I’ve been playing the Two Things game. Whenever I meet someone who belongs to a different profession (i.e., a profession I haven’t played this game with), or who knows something about a subject I'm unfamiliar with, I pose the Two Things question.
So what are The Two Things for what you do?
For Farming I would say:
1 Farm as though you will farm forever, live as though you will die tomorrow.
2 The best manure is the Farmer's boot - (also known as management by walking about)
For a landowner I would say:
1 Be mature enough when young to plant a tree.
2 Be immature enough when old to climb it.
I look forward to hearing yours.
Send him down
Iain Dale's Diary: 09/01/2006 - 09/30/2006 brings us the Judge's address to Richard Reid the Shoe Bomber as he was sent down - a fine speech. Oh for more Judges like this.
The life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice. You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or if you think you are a soldier. You are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice. So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said: "You're no big deal." You are no big deal. What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know. It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges. We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, ! to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice. See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the Unite d States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will. Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.
Ask the Family
"Everything I would do in government would have to pass one simple test. Will this help families to do more of what they do?"
Er, everything? Good to see an emphasis on the family but don't overdo it Dave. There are other things politicians decide on apart from the domestic and there are some families who do things which we don't want them to do more of, otherwise there won't be a car not on blocks nor a crack-free street for miles.
As an aside is it just an ugly rumour that David Cameron and family were one of those annoying smug teams on Robert Robinson's Ask the Family? I can see him now with his little fat eager face, rosy cheeks and greased down hair going "Mummy, Mummy I know that, it was Pitt the Younger". Nothing a good smacking round the back of the bike sheds wouldn't have put right.
We'll keep a welcome in the hillsides
...the English – are arrogant, unfriendly and have almost no sense of humour.
Well piss off then you unwashed oiks....(Whoops!)
So what do they think of us?
The French do not perceive they would receive a warm welcome if they visited the UK. And why should they?
the Italians rated us the second least funny people in the world from a nation that elects Zappo the Clown to office that is a compliment, so who do they find less funny? The Marx Brothers?
German respondents believed that only the Russians were less friendly than the British And whose fault is that Fritz? I bet they love you in Stalingrad. If the knuckleheads weren't so preoccupied with greasing their lardy bodies in the sun they would notice what the rest of the ex-occupied countries think of them.
Argentina, meanwhile, ranked Britain 31st in terms of friendliness. "Improving Argentines' perceptions of the welcome is a key challenge for the industry," Keep your thieving hands of our land and we might be nicer.
Italian respondents ranked the UK eighth in the category of being honestly and fairly governed - Thanks, but from the Italians, love them dearly, that is hardly a ringing endorsement, a bit like the French saying we seem to wash.
English-speaking nations such as America, Australia and New Zealand still perceive the British to be welcoming, as did the people of Malaysia. Strange isn't it the very people our leaders insist we shouldn't be close to and have shafted over the years are still our true friends, whereas the great European family is as dysfunctional as Blair family Christmas.
Still the gurus say: "Our sense of humour is very different. It's dry and quirky. That is one of the things that makes us such a unique destination – we have to get that message across."
September 12, 2006
Community, Identity, Stability - Blair's Brave New World
Tony Blair "At the heart of my politics has always been the value of community"
Tony Blair:"We will pursue identity cards because they are right;.... I should also say that if we want to keep track of people in this country, in the end we will have to face up to the difficult decision on identity cards. "
Tony Blair "the yearning is for order and stability"
SparkNotes: Brave New World: ..its guiding motto: “Community, Identity, Stability".
Today's lesson: Compare and Contrast:
A fat boy on a gap year regurgitating half baked green and "new world" political theories versus a simple dignified pilgrimage to show support.
Innocent until proved guilty
Allies of Jacques Chirac went on trial yesterday accused of vote-rigging at the time the French president was mayor of Paris.
The case, which reached a Paris court 17 years after the alleged offences, has added to the suspicions of sleaze that have dogged the president's career since he was mayor.
Oh yes, suspicions, I sort of have a suspicion that the sun rose in the east today and that it will go down in the west, but it is only a suspicion and until proven we ought to remain openminded on that and M Chirac's sleaze.
September 11, 2006
Cyclists who wear protective helmets are more likely to be knocked down by passing vehicles, new research from Bath University suggests.
The study found drivers tend to pass closer when overtaking cyclists wearing helmets than those who are bare-headed.
Dr Ian Walker was struck by a bus and a lorry during the experiment. He was wearing a helmet both times.
But the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said tests have shown helmets protect against injuries.
To carry out the research, Dr Walker used a bike fitted with a computer and an ultrasonic distance sensor to find drivers were twice as likely to get close to the bicycle, at an average of 8.5cm, when he wore a helmet...
"This study shows that when drivers overtake a cyclist, the margin for error they leave is affected by the cyclist's appearance.
"By leaving the cyclist less room, drivers reduce the safety margin that cyclists need to deal with obstacles in the road, such as drain covers and potholes, as well as the margin for error in their own judgements.
"We know helmets are useful in low-speed falls, and so definitely good for children, but whether they offer any real protection to somebody struck by a car is very controversial.
"Either way, this study suggests wearing a helmet might make a collision more likely in the first place,"
To test another theory, Dr Walker donned a long wig to see whether there was any difference in passing distance when drivers thought they were overtaking what appeared to be a female cyclist.
While wearing the wig, drivers gave him an average of 14cm more space when passing.
In future research, Dr Walker hopes to discover whether this was because female riders are seen as less predictable than male riders or because women are not seen riding bicycles as often as men on the UK's roads.
8.5 cm? That's less than a hand's breadth if my reading of a ruler is correct. I tell you if anyone gets within 8.5 feet of me a cycle back the hill tonight from the pub with my Lee Metford strapped to my back they can expected scratched paintwork at the very least.
The Stranger within my gate..
Driving into Marlborough I heard on the Radio that a plane had crashed - a small mention on the news so I assumed it was a minor incident. I turned over to the BBC's News station where they were discussing manures for the garden. A little later I was in the barber's shop with mindless MTV playing on the screen above my head when an Army Captain came in to wait for a cut - he asked if they could switch to the news channel. So for the next hour I sat in the chair with the barber taking random snips as we watched the drama unfold. So that's how I got the worst haircut in my life, and the world was turned upside down. Others have different memories, may they find a peace within themselves.
911 Remembered: Rick Rescorla was a soldier
Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can't you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors' pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!
More on that turbulent priest
That's better - The Diocese replies with classic English understatement..
There is some surprise in the diocese that Mr Hart failed to make any mention of his conversion to Hinduism when making his application for renewal. His permission to officiate is being reconsidered.
May I reassure your readers that Mr Hart does not hold any post and is not a licensed priest within the Diocese of Ely.
September 10, 2006
EU Referendum muses on blogging - and it boils it down to:
"democracy is not a spectator sport"
Some of us aren't as skilled or knowledgeable as the great bloggers of our time but I believe our picas and banderillas do their bit as well.
Inches: And how are you this morning, Sir?
Churchill: All right, I think. Thank you for asking. Missing her, of course, but that’s to be expected. No point in dwelling on her absence. We must KBO.
Inches: Yes, Sir. Keep buggering on at all times, Sir.
Churchill: KBO. That’s the order of the day.
"Thou shalt not kill but needst not strive, officiously, to keep alive."
Even if you think, as I do, that Huntley's crimes are so horrible that the world would be a better place if he were now dead, there are solid practical reasons for believing that we should not have a policy of punishing killers by cold-bloodedly killing them. If Huntley decides to try to end his own life, however, that is a very different matter. The exercise of state power, which always requires a rational justification, is not involved when he kills himself; it is deployed in forcing him to stay alive. What possible purpose is served by making it impossible for him to commit suicide?
Advocates of forced resuscitation say that it ensures that Huntley cannot "cheat justice". What they don't do is explain how making him live serves the cause of justice. It seems to me to be simply an exercise in sadism. Some people evidently believe that Huntley deserves to be tortured for the rest of his natural life. That response is understandable, it is what I might feel if he had murdered my children, but it's not a call for justice. No sane person thinks that torturing someone until they die can ever be a part of fair and just punishment.
Then there is the factor of cost. Putting Huntley on permanent suicide watch will require, according to the Prisoner Officers' Association (POA), spending between £300,000 and £500,000 extra on him every year. The central difficulty for those who think that money is well spent is to identify the benefit that will be gained by it. There is no benefit to Huntley: he wants to be dead. And there is no benefit to the rest of us either: most of us feel it would be an improvement if he were dead.
Quite - Prison is for rehabilitation, restitution, removal from society or revenge. He can't be rehabilitate, he can't make restitution, dead or alive he is off the streets so the only point of straining to keep him alive is revenge - well if the public want him to be alive like Ian Brady so they can delightfully shiver at the thought of all that evil safely locked up why not go the whole hog and commission Channel Four to make a series of reality revenge programs? I'm sure half an hour a week of watching the scum bag being chased by wild beasts in the Colosseum would be a ratings winner. If you don't want that then leave a bottle with a couple of hundred Paracetamol by the sink in his cell (oh and that is a nasty way to go - don't try it at home).
Apart from the money we would save think of the Carbon Saving - it's for the planet!
Gone, Gone! And never called me Mother!
Sorry don't know where this site disappeared to today - you have been spared my accumulated wit and wisdom on today's events - count yourself lucky.
If it goes again I will talk to the hosts.
"I am the Law"
Sergeant Neil Haley, from West Yorkshire police, defended the force's actions. He said: "We appreciate that anti-social behaviour can be frustrating for people but they should not take the law into their own hands."
Good little proles should not take an active part in their community trying to make a better place to live, they should lock themselves in their homes and let the men in uniform keep them all warm and cosy.
Once upon a time the Police were there to help the community keep order not to be a total replacement for ordinary people doing the right thing, but that was then and this is now. A spyed on, swabbed and tagged herd of cattle at the whim of our masters, and they won't even allow us bread and circuses without nanny's lecture..
If her swear word was worth £120 then I'm looking at a five figure sum for the blasting I gave a noisy party the other night....
September 9, 2006
Takes me back
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
Police have taken a dim view of a man's glowing garden gnome and threatened him with arrest unless he removes it.
The solar-powered policeman figure stands sentinel in the garden of Gordon MacKillop's home in Treovis, near Liskeard.
His neighbour, former policeman John McLean, says the gnome is annoying and upsets buyers viewing his home.
Now police have served Mr MacKillop with a notice for "placing a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment".
Mr MacKillop, 46, was woken in the night (at quarter to midnight) by two officers who warned him that the gnome was offensive to his neighbours.
The notice, under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, also accuses Mr MacKillop of intimidating potential buyers of Mr McLean's £209,000 cottage.
Mr McLean has told officers that the garden gnome, which comes complete with police dog and solar light, was in an "annoying position".
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: "This isn't just a petty issue."
When a felon's not engaged in his employment
Or maturing his felonious little plan
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is just as great as any honest man
Our feelings we with difficulty smother
When constabulary duties to be done
Taking one consideration with another
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
When constabulary duties to be done, to be done
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling
When the cutthroat isn't occupied in crime
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
And listen to the merry village chime
When the coster's finished jumping on his mother
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun
Taking one consideration with another
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
When constabulary duties to be done, to be done
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
When the drunkard shows no sign of where the drink went
He nobly bids all alchohol farewell
When the juvenile delinquent to the clink went
He hung his mother's picture in his cell
When the cardshark's finished wiping out his brother
He buys a rattle for his little son
Taking one consideration with another
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
When constabulary duties to be done, to be done
A policeman's lot is not a happy one
September 8, 2006
Oh to be in England now September is here
A unexpectedly wonderful Indian Summer evening.
The Barbecue has been retired to the barn so I lifted a couple of slabs and built a fire pit - the Mrs wasn't completely sure if I was still sane or not. Combined with a glass or two of the newly arrived 2001 Hochar Père et Fils, and a trip to The King's Arms later, it would be hard to find a finer place.
In fact the only improvement I can think of is a brace of politicians slowly being turned over the dying embers.
Have a good weekend.
A PRIEST with the Church of England who converted to Hinduism has been allowed to continue to officiate as a cleric.
The Rev David Hart’s diocese renewed his licence this summer even though he had moved to India, changed his name to Ananda and daily blesses a congregation of Hindus with fire previously offered up to Nagar, the snake god. He also “recites Gayatri Mantram with the same devotion with which he celebrates the Eucharist”, according to The Hindu, India’s national newspaper.
The Hindu this week pictures him offering prayers to an idol of the elephant god Ganesh in front of his house. However, he still believes he is fit to celebrate as an Anglican priest and plans to do so when he returns to Britain.
I'm not much of a God Botherer myself but I do have strong views as to what constitutes a proper CofE service. I'm a straight down the middle man - smells and bells have me reaching for my sash and at the other extreme the first sighting of a guitar will have me hightailing it out through the vestry.
But the real problem the dear old CofE has had is that the Skypilots no longer have a bloody clue where they are navigating us to. But I do know worshipping snake gods shouldn't be on the list - it would be as confusing as the Waitrose checkout girls wearing "Buy at Lidl" badges. If he can't swear to The 39 Articles then he should be chucked out on his henna coated ear. I would particularly draw 22 and the "repugnancy" of the adoration of Images to his attention.
See below for the hard to find 1662 version of the 39 Articles - which however much the Church tries to fudge and ignore is still the official text which Ministers are required to affirm their acceptance to.
Articles of Religion.
A Table of the Articles
1. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
2. Of Christ the Son of God.
3. Of his going down into Hell.
4. Of his Resurrection.
5. Of the Holy Ghost.
6. Of the Sufficiency of the Scripture.
7. Of the Old Testament.
8. Of the Three Creeds.
9. Of Original or Birth-sin.
10. Of Free-Will.
11. Of Justification.
12. Of Good Works.
13. Of Works before Justification.
14. Of Works of Supererogation.
15. Of Christ alone without Sin.
16. Of Sin after Baptism.
17. Of Predestination and Election.
18. Of obtaining Salvation by Christ.
19. Of the Church.
20. Of the Authority of the Church.
21. Of the Authority of General Councils.
22. Of Purgatory.
23. Of Ministering in the Congregation.
24. Of speaking in the Congregation.
25. Of the Sacraments.
26. Of the Unworthiness of Ministers.
27. Of Baptism.
28. Of the Lord's Supper.
29. Of the Wicked which eat not the Body of Christ.
30. Of both kinds.
31. Of Christ's one Oblation.
32. Of the Marriage of Priests.
33. Of Excommunicate Persons.
34. Of the Traditions of the Church.
35. Of the Homilies.
36. Of Consecrating of Ministers.
37. Of Civil Magistrates.
38. Of Christian men's Goods.
39. Of a Christian man's Oath.
I. Of faith in the Holy Trinity.
THERE is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
II. Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very man.
THE Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.
III. Of the going down of Christ into Hell.
AS Christ died for us, and was buried, so also is it to be believed that He went down into Hell.
IV. Of the Resurrection of Christ.
CHRIST did truly rise again from death, and took again His body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, wherefore He ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until He return to judge all men at the last day.
V. Of the Holy Ghost.
THE Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
VI. Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
HOLY Scriptures containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of Holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
Of the names and number of the Canonical Books.
The First Book of Samuel.
The Second Book of Samuel.
The First Book of Kings.
The Second Book of Kings.
The First Book of Chronicles.
The Second Book of Chronicles.
The First Book of Esdras.
The Second Book of Esdras.
The Book of Esther.
The Book of Job.
Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher.
Cantica, or Songs of Solomon.
Four Prophets the Greater.
Twelve Prophets the Less.
And the other books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine; such are these following:
The Third Book of Esdras.
The Fourth Book of Esdras.
The Book of Tobias.
The Book of Judith.
The rest of the Book of Esther.
The Book of Wisdom.
Jesus the Son of Sirach.
Baruch the Prophet.
The Song of the Three Children.
The Story of Susanna.
Of Bel and the Dragon.
The Prayer of Manasses.
The First Book of Maccabees.
The Second Book of Maccabees.
All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive, and account them canonical.
VII. Of the Old Testament.
THE Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. Wherefore there are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet, notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
VIII. Of the Three Creeds.
THE three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius' Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed; for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.
IX. Of Original or Birth Sin.
ORIGINAL sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated, whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek phronema sarkos (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire of the flesh), is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess that concupiscence and lust hath itself the nature of sin.
X. Of Free Will.
THE condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.
XI. Of the Justification of Man.
WE are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort; as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.
XII. Of Good Works.
ALBEIT that good works, which are the fruits of faith and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins and endure the severity of God's judgement, yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.
XIII. Of Works before Justification.
WORKS done before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School authors say) deserve grace of congruity: yea, rather for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.
XIV. Of Works of Supererogation.
VOLUNTARY works besides, over and above, God's commandments which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. For by them men do declare that they do not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for His sake than of bounden duty is required: Whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to do, say, We be unprofitable servants.
XV. Of Christ alone without Sin.
CHRIST in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which He was clearly void, both in His flesh and in His spirit. He came to be the lamb without spot, Who by sacrifice of Himself once made, should take away the sins of the world: and sin, as S. John saith, was not in Him. But all we the rest, although baptized and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things: and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
XVI. Of Sin after Baptism.
NOT every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, which say they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent.
XVII. Of Predestination and Election.
PREDESTINATION to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, He hath constantly decreed by His counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom He hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation as vessels made to honour. Wherefore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God's purpose by His Spirit working in due season; they through grace obey the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works; and at length by God's mercy they attain to everlasting felicity.
As the godly consideration of Predestination and our Election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons and such as feeling in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: so for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation or into wretchlessness of most unclean living no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth in Holy Scripture; and in our doings that will of God is to be followed which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.
XVIII. Of obtaining eternal salvation only by the name of Christ.
THEY also are to be had accursed that presume to say that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out to us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
XIX. Of the Church.
THE visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.
XX. Of the Authority of the Church.
THE Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God's word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation.
XXI. Of the authority of General Councils.
GENERAL Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment and will of princes. And when they be gathered together, forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and word of God, they may err and sometime have erred, even in things pertaining to God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of Holy Scripture.
XXII. Of Purgatory.
THE Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, worshipping and adoration as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saint, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture; but rather repugnant to the word of God.
XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation.
IT is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching or ministering the sacraments in the congregation, before he be lawfully called and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to this work by men who have public authority given unto them in the congregation to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard.
XXIV. Of speaking in the Congregation in such a tongue as the people understandeth.
IT is a thing plainly repugnant to the word of God and the custom of the primitive Church, to have public prayer in the Church, or to minister the sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people.
XXV. Of the Sacraments.
SACRAMENTS ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses and effectual signs of grace and God's good will towards us, by the which He doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm, our faith in Him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.
Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel, being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not the like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same, have they a wholesome effect or operation: but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith.
XXVI. Of the unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.
ALTHOUGH in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometime the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the word and sacraments; yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ's, and do minister by His commission and authority, we may use their ministry both in hearing the word of God and in the receiving of the sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as by faith and rightly do receive the sacraments ministered unto them, which be effectual because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men.
Nevertheless it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church that inquiry be made of evil ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally, being found guilty by just judgement, be deposed.
XXVII. Of Baptism.
BAPTISM is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christian men are discerned from other that be not christened, but is also a sign of regeneration or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God, by the Holy Ghost are visibly signed and sealed; faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in the Church as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.
XXVIII. Of the Lord's Supper.
THE Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves, one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
XXIX. Of the wicked which do not eat the body of Christ, in the use of the Lord's Supper.
THE wicked and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as S. Augustine saith) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ, but rather to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a thing.
XXX. Of Both Kinds.
THE Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for both parts of the Lord's sacrament, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.
XXXI. Of the one oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
THE offering of Christ once made is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the priests did offer Christ for the quick and the dead to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.
XXXII. Of the Marriage of Priests.
BISHOPS, Priests, and Deacons are not commanded by God's laws either to vow the estate of single life or to abstain from marriage. Therefore it is lawful also for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
XXXIII. Of Excommunicated Persons, how they are to be avoided.
THAT persons which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful as an heathen and publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance and received into the Church by a judge that hath authority thereto.
XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church.
IT is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places one or utterly alike; for at all times they have been diverse, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word. Whosoever through his private judgement willingly and purposely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church which be not repugnant to the word of God, and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly that other may fear to do the like, as he that offendeth against common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the magistrate, and woundeth the conscience of the weak brethren.
Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man's authority, so that all things be done to edifying.
XXXV. Of Homilies.
THE second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome doctrine and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth: and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the ministers diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people.
Of the Names of the Homilies.
1. Of the right Use of the Church.
2. Against peril of Idolatry.
3. Of the repairing and keeping clean of Churches.
4. Of good Works: first of Fasting.
5. Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.
6. Against Excess of Apparel.
7. Of Prayer.
8. Of the Place and Time of Prayer.
9. That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known tongue.
10. Of the reverend estimation of God's Word.
11. Of Alms-doing.
12. Of the Nativity of Christ.
13. Of the Passion of Christ.
14. Of the Resurrection of Christ.
15. Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
16. Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
17. For the Rogation-days.
18. Of the state of Matrimony.
19. Of Repentance.
20. Against Idleness.
21. Against Rebellion
XXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.
THE Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops and ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, doth contain all things necessary to such consecration and ordering; neither hath it anything that of itself is superstitious or ungodly. And therefore whosoever are consecrate or ordered according to the rites of that book, since the second year of King Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same rites, we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated or ordered.
XXXVII. Of the Civil Magistrates.
THE Queen's Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England and other her dominions, unto whom the chief government of all estates of this realm, whether they be ecclesiastical or civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not nor ought to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction.
Where we attribute to the Queen's Majesty the chief government, by which titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended, we give not to our princes the ministering either of God's word or of sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen doth most plainly testify: but that only prerogative which we see to have been given always to all godly princes in Holy Scriptures by God himself, that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be ecclesiastical or temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.
The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death for heinous and grievous offences.
It is lawful for Christian men at the commandment of the Magistrate to wear weapons and serve in the wars.
XXXVIII. Of Christian men's goods which are not common.
THE riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast; notwithstanding every man ought of such things as he possesseth liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
XXXIX. Of a Christian man's Oath.
AS we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, so we judge that Christian religion doth not prohibit but that a man may swear when the magistrate requireth in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the Prophet's teaching in justice, judgement, and truth.
THIS Book of Articles before rehearsed, is again approved, and allowed to be holden and executed within the Realm, by the assent and consent of our Sovereign Lady ELIZABETH, by the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c. Which Articles were deliberately read, and confirmed again by the subscription of the hands of the Archbishop and Bishops of the Upper-house, and by the subscription of the whole Clergy of the Nether-house in their Convocation, in the Year of our Lord 1571.
Who really runs Britain
The European Union's highest court yesterday banned many British employees from choosing how much overtime they want to work.
The ruling by the European Court of Justice struck down legal guidelines issued by the Department of Trade and Industry, which tried to give British employees the freedom to choose their hours of work, within the constraints of the EU's working time directive.
Thousands of workers in many industries will no longer be able to choose to work overtime that would stretch their working day to more than 13 hours, or to work through all seven days of the week.
The Tony and Gordon show is just an amusing distraction, the real seat of power is elsewhere.
As Article 37 of the 39 Articles, see above, has it:
THE Queen's Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England and other her dominions, unto whom the chief government of all estates of this realm, whether they be ecclesiastical or civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not nor ought to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction.
September 7, 2006
Climb every mountain to escape Global Warming
You may have noted this report which seems to imply that we are about to be over-run with migrating herds of wildebeests..
As well as the northward migration, some 70% of species shifted the elevations at which they commonly live, climbing on average by between five and 10 metres per decade.
You may remember from school that temperature .. varies with height and this change, or 'lapse rate', may be as much as 10ｺC per 1000m of ascent for dry air (although in wet conditions it may be much less than this). The usually quoted figure is 6.5ｺC per 1000m of ascent. Source
Crunch those numbers together and an average scamper to the hills of 7.5m is consistent with compensating for a temperature rise of 0.05 degrees in ten years or 0.005 per year.
JunkScience.com -- Pub trivia guide to global warming says that Earth's estimated rate of warming then is approximately one-half of one degree (C) per century (~0.005 ｰC/year)
So the migrating beasts seem to back the half a degree change in a century. I'm not sure how you track with accuracy a decade long ascent of the height of a small house, but at least it shows the scale of the problem. If you want to escape ten years worth of Global Warming climb to the top of your stairs.
Climb every mountain, search high and low
Follow every byway, every path you know.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, 'til you find your dream!
A dream that will need
all the love you can give,
Every day of your life
for as long as you live.
Climb every mountain, ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow, 'til you find your dream!
To see oursel's as others see us!
Thanks to my new friends at www.our-scotland.org forum I have been lead to this excellent analysis of the North Britons.
You are all invited - bring a bottle.
With Guy Fawkes being as silent as Gordon Brown - (he couldn't be, could he? - has anyone ever seen them in the same room?) it is everyone round to Iain's today to watch the big fight - I'll bring the Party Seven if you can bring some Popcorn and Pringles..
I may start flying again
Toothpaste is out.
Hairgel is out.
"Topical or rash creams" are out.
Lip gels are out.
Shampoos and conditioners are out.
Personal lubricants are... just fine.
I blink. I find I'm suddenly unsure whether or not that means exactly what I'm certain it does mean, so I google "personal lubricants" and yes, it's talking about exactly what I think it's talking about. Up to 4 oz. of personal lubricants are just fine.... practically the only liquid you can take with you onto a plane.
4 oz - enough for a short flight anyway....
A must see
The last time that the rattle of the Turing Bombe was heard, it was the greatest secret of the British Empire.
With a rumble that turned into a roar, a sound not heard at Bletchley Park for more than half a century, the machine that was at the heart of Britain's wartime code-breaking triumph began to work again.
The King is Dead - Long Live the Interregnum
...the workings of Whitehall could be paralysed well before Mr Blair leaves.
And this is bad news? "That government is best which governs least." as Thomas Paine, or Henry David Thoreau, but not Thomas Jefferson said. I believe the US economy had its best months while the hanging chads were being counted and it was leaderless - I believe the same is happening here.
September 6, 2006
Tories for Gordon
Peace in our time
Three fifths (62 per cent) agree that “in order to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks on Britain the Government should change its foreign policy, in particular by distancing itself from America, being more critical of Israel and declaring a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq”. Women (66 per cent) and Liberal Democrat voters (74 per cent) agree with this view particularly strongly.
Nonetheless, a similar proportion of voters (63 per cent) believe that “Muslim extremists hate democracy and the Western way of life, and if Britain’s foreign policy were different they would find another excuse for their terrorist activities”. This is a widely held view, backed by two thirds of Labour and Tory voters, but only just over a half (53 per cent) of Lib Dems.
Make of that what you will, our future leaders will take it as a vote for appeasement and responding to the muezzin's adhan.
Hey Hey ALB - How many days will it be?
One of the gossip moles works for labour and they've said that tomorrow is the most important day for Blair and if there is a major rally against him he will be out by the weekend. But it has been confirmed he will be out by May....
Anyway, let us intensify the pressure on Blair and get him to go at the very soonest opportunity. This weekend would be choice: anytime before Christmas would be a bonus.
The gong has sounded but he is refusing to leave the stage - in vaudeville days, the so-called 'stage hook' supposedly came out from the wings and and hooked the performer off the stage - we are waiting and not for the grand farewell tour the Pooterish detail of which were leaked yesterday.
Off , off, off....
September 5, 2006
Chris Huhne - economic idiot?
Commenting on statistics released today revealing the beneficiaries of millions of pounds from the Common Agricultural Policy, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary, Chris Huhne MP said:
"The Government should consider a windfall tax on big farm subsidies that would claw some of this largesse back for the taxpayer.
"Subsidies designed to maintain the countryside are one thing, but subsidies to maintain the Dukes of Marlborough, Richmond and Westminster are quite another. These Dukes are quite big enough to fend for themselves now."
Now either Chris Huhne is an economic idiot though with an Oxford first in PPE and the fact that before his political career, he was a City economist, and before that an economic commentator for The Guardian, The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, that is probably unlikely; or worse he is prostituting his knowledge in a base attempt to win favour with the envious and grasping.
If subsidies are being paid per acre to maintain the countryside why does the owner's name or acreage matter? - and if you look at the list of payments their Lordship's names aren't even very high - page one is below the fold.
I guess the largest claimer, Business Link in Devon are acting as agents for lots of small farmers but No.2 on the List with £2.6 million is the good old Co-op - the same one as you used to shop from and get your divi stamps - why isn't Huhne picking on it?
(Disclosure - To my shame I'm on page 278 out of 287)
Customer Payment Region
BUSINESS LINK DEVON AND CORNWALL LTD £3,048,002.62 Devon
FARMCARE LIMITED £2,601,757.56 North Yorkshire
YORKSHIRE RURAL COMMUNITY COUNCIL £1,788,011.61 North Yorkshire
STRUTT & PARKER (FARMS) LTD £1,635,134.45 Essex
BUSINESS LINK SOUTH YORKSHIRE £1,586,929.29 South Yorkshire
DUCHY COLLEGE HOME FARM £1,524,165.29 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
MEAT AND LIVESTOCK COMMISSION £1,500,000.00 Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
SOUTH WEST TOURISM £1,437,122.01 Devon
TAMAR FOODS (A DIVISION OF SAMWORTH BROTHERS £1,418,697.56 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
CORNISH HORTICULTURE ENTERPRISES LIMITED £1,308,487.77 Devon
LILBURN ESTATES FARMING PARTNERSHIP £1,264,202.95 Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
ALBANWISE LTD £1,247,065.46 East Anglia
SIR RICHARD SUTTONS SETTLED ESTATES £1,117,139.97 Inner London
CUMBRIA COUNTY COUNCIL £1,084,969.45 Cumbria
PARKERS OF LEICESTER LTD £1,073,529.62 Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire
FOREST OF DARTMOOR COMMONERS ASSOCIATION £1,058,202.65 Devon
BLANKNEY ESTATES LTD £986,594.86 Lincolnshire
AGRESERVES LTD £947,639.48 East Anglia
THURLOW ESTATE FARMS £906,406.27 East Anglia
KENSEY FOODS DIVISION OF SAMWORTH BROTHERS L £871,918.68 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
LIMESTONE FARMING CO. LTD. £864,310.45 Lincolnshire
RSPB £850,720.69 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire
WARTER PRIORY FARMS £807,284.48 East Riding and North Lincolnshire
THE BIRDSALL BEEF CO LTD £770,588.42 North Yorkshire
ELVEDEN FARMS LTD £743,211.23 East Anglia
OLDE ENGLISH MEATS LTD £665,886.60 Lancashire
COMPTON BEAUCHAMP ESTATES LIMITED £638,032.68 Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
J S R FARMS LTD £634,969.79 East Riding and North Lincolnshire
MR R COLLINGWOOD-SMITH £634,843.22 East Anglia
MR RMR WINGFIELD £633,538.74 Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset
TASTE OF THE WEST LTD CORNWALL £626,590.52 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
LORD RAYLEIGHS FARMS LTD £618,083.51 Essex
ROBINSON FARMS (CARBROOKE) LTD £603,373.58 East Anglia
R J & A E GODFREY £594,909.80 East Riding and North Lincolnshire
LOVEDEN ESTATES LIMITED £589,191.30 East Riding and North Lincolnshire
THE NATIONAL TRUST £583,360.10 Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
HEATHPATCH LTD £582,707.83 East Anglia
H R PHILPOT & SON (BARLEYLANDS) LTD £574,359.20 Essex
R H TOPHAM & SONS LTD £568,519.64 East Anglia
WORKING WOODLANDS HOLDINGS LTD £560,491.39 Devon
HR BOURN AND SONS £553,646.77 Lincolnshire
MERSEY FOREST COMPANY LTD £553,502.00 Cheshire
ISLE OF WIGHT ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP LIMITED £548,858.89 Hampshire and Isle of Wight
WESTCOUNTRY RIVERS TRUST £540,629.67 Devon
BECKHITHE FARMS LTD £538,635.95 East Anglia
FOLD HILL FOODS LTD £531,644.38 Lincolnshire
SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL £529,030.33 South Yorkshire
MIDDLETON AND PORTWAY FARMS £517,930.94 Hampshire and Isle of Wight
THE NATIONAL TRUST £517,417.01 Surrey, East and West Sussex
I KEMSLEY FARMS LTD £515,486.37 Kent
BLENHEIM FARM PARTNERSHIP £511,435.59 Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
WALDERSEY FARMS LTD £502,855.33 East Anglia
WILLOUGHBY FARMS LTD £500,409.41 Lincolnshire
HEATHCOTE FARMS LTD £497,793.83 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire
TRADITIONAL NORFOLK POULTRY £496,282.50 East Anglia
M.D. HAMILTON FARMS LTD £490,296.87 Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
BEDFORDIA FARMS LTD £490,246.25 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire
FT WALTON £478,688.35 Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
LONGFORD FARMS LTD £476,587.66 Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset
RAMSBURY ESTATES LTD £473,141.43 Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset
MERCER FARMING LTD £466,175.13 Shropshire and Staffordshire
STOWELL PARK ESTATE LTD £464,720.32 Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset
JH HEATH LTD £463,594.73 Lincolnshire
AW SMITH & SONS LTD £462,009.58 Lincolnshire
THORPE AND ASGARBY ESTATE LIMITED £459,708.41 Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire
EARL OF PLYMOUTH ESTATES LTD £459,171.99 Shropshire and Staffordshire
RIBBLE VALLEY B C £457,098.00 Lancashire
MYERSCOUGH COLLEGE FEC £456,677.18 Lancashire
THE GOODWOOD ESTATE COMPANY LTD £456,404.51 Surrey, East and West Sussex
BUCKMINSTER FARMS £454,509.96 Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire
Tony Blair - the James Blunt of politics.
BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair urged to go by Labour MPs
Tony Blair - the James Blunt of politics. No one can quite remember how or why the mockney public school boy was popular once and all claim that hey weren't ever a fan - now. That embarrassing CD was a gift from a friend - oh no they wouldn't ever have bought it....
Dave's new friends
Shadow Secretary of State Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Conservative
Shadow Secretary of State, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Liberal Democrats
COLIN CHALLEN MP
All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change
Stop Climate Chaos
Friends of the Earth
So who are the Tories new friends?
A Lib Dim - Tories should always treat Lib Dims as they did the fat ginger boy who smelt at school - in fact the Lib Dim probably is that boy. So no cuddling up there please.
COLIN CHALLEN MP
A beardie Labourite who believes in an article he claims on his website to have written in the future 28 March 2008 Climate change means that business as usual is dead. It means that economic growth as usual is dead.... Contraction and Convergence... Yep - give up and go back to great days of the 1970s.
Stop Climate Chaos - if it is a trendy "charity" it is here shouting out dubious "facts" such as "Over 3 billion people in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent could be facing acute shortages of water" - what is the population of that area? Quite.
Friends of the Earth - who are really against the current corporate industry driven systems.
Christian Aid - Their disgraceful anti Free Trade adverts - need I say more?
So they are the nuTories - does that make you want to join their party?
A'hunting we will go
A retired police officer has admitted twice flouting the new hunting law by allowing his terrier dog to chase and kill a mouse and a mole...
Mr Morrison said he was not taken seriously when he reported himself, but was eventually cautioned. He was later told no further action would be taken.
When Chip repeated the offence, the matter was again brought to police attention and a sergeant and constable conducted a second interview.
Again the Crown Prosecution Service did not bring proceedings.
So I might be safe in admitting the sad end to Sammy Squirrel who was plagueing the garden until the two Jack Russells caught scent of him....
September 4, 2006
No Contratorydictions here
The Conservatives are set to make an "unambiguous commitment" to giving more funds to public services.
A Tory policy group has called for the promise...the party's policy chief, Oliver Letwin, says the shadow cabinet is "almost certain" to back the demand. "We believe that all Conservatives should embrace an unambiguous commitment to the growth of public services, as part of a growth of general well being,".
However, the right-wing No Turning Back Group is proposing possible cuts to inheritance tax, income tax, stamp duty on homes and capital gains tax.
In a foreword to the pamphlet, former Cabinet minister John Redwood, said: "This is a plea for early action to cut our tax rates.
"If you keep tax rates down, the economy grows much quicker.
"Lower taxes are not a desirable extra you can add when everything is fine. Lower tax rates are the way to get everything going well."
Mr Letwin said there was no contradiction between the two themes.
I suppose it depends if the growth is greater or lesser than the general growth rate of the economy - of course only a cynic might think that there was a smidgen of fat and wastage that could be trimmed before further money was thrown in.
FASBO candidate No.1
Oh sorry wrong story - other people's, poor people's, problem families, not his own disfunctional family with its problems that aren't mentioned...Glass houses and stones come to mind.
(FASBO = Foetal Anti Social Behaviour Order)
Off out to work
After thirty years of labouring I have eventually got to a put a tie on for work this morning - bugger I'm late already....
I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
Picked up a shovel and I walked to the mine
I hauled Sixteen Tons of number 9 coal
And the straw-boss said, "Well, bless my soul"
You haul Sixteen Tons, whadaya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store
Born one morning it was drizzle and rain
Fightin' and Trouble are my middle name
I was raised in a canebrake by an old mama lion
And no high-toned woman make me walk the line
See me comin' better step aside
A lot of men didn't and a lot of men died
I got one fist of iron and the other of steel
And if the right one don't get ya, the left one will
Born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
Picked up a shovel and I walked to the mine
I hauled Sixteen Tons of number 9 coal
And the straw-boss said, "Well, bless my soul"
Local Democracy and Prescott
The Deputy Prime Minister is accused today of undermining local democracy and stifling free speech by imposing "draconian" rules on thousands of councillors.
A damning report reveals how local authority members are being barred from speaking or voting on subjects simply because they are perceived to have taken a position on the issue.
Even councillors who have been elected specifically to fight a particular issue have fallen foul of the rules and found themselves told they cannot speak or vote on it.
The controversy centres on the Standards Board for England, which was launched by Mr Prescott in 2001.
...example, John Pickersgill, a member of Derwentside council in Co Durham, organised a local referendum on plans to build more wind turbines in his ward. His survey found that four out of five local people opposed the proposals.
However, when he tried to raise his findings in a council meeting on the issue, he was judged to have a "prejudicial interest" and was excluded from the room.
The crime of "predeterminism" in the larger world of politics would be called keeping to a manifesto - and it is strange how it is only "predetermined" ideas from car owners, non-greens, objectors to Government policy that are brought to book.
Prescott and ethics - cue old joke he the only ethics he knows is a place east of London...
September 3, 2006
Get out in the sun more
All Asian children under the age of two should get vitamin D supplements, according to scientists....
According to Dr Christos Zipitis, lead author of the study and a paediatrician, the rate of deficiency in Asian children was one in 117 compared with one in 923 children overall.
He said as well as having increased skin pigmentation, Asian children often had diets low in vitamin D.
The team then analysed the cost of treatment for these 14 patients, covering the cost of medication, hospital care and follow up appointments. It averaged up to £2,505 per patient.
They then looked at the cost of vitamin D supplementation needed to prevent one case of deficiency in the whole population of children, based on their figures.
They did so based on guidelines by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA), which recommend varying levels of vitamin D over the first two years of a child's life. They found it be £47,534 per child.
But when they looked at the cost of preventing one case of deficiency in an Asian child, it came to £2,410.
The BBC fails to note any other possible reasons - unlike a fuller report I have mentioned before.
Reuters Health Information (2006-08-04): Vitamin D often low in seemingly healthy girls
... measured vitamin D levels in 14 white and 37 non-white 14-16-year-old girls attending an inner city multi-ethnic girls' school in the UK.
Thirty-seven girls (73 percent) were vitamin D deficient, and nine (17 percent) were severely deficient.
Average vitamin D levels were higher in white girls than in non-white girls.
For the group as a whole, the vitamin D concentration correlated with the estimated duration of daily sunlight exposure and percentage of body surface area exposed, but not with estimated intake of vitamin D.
"This is in keeping with the fact that the main source of vitamin D is that produced by the action of solar ultraviolet B radiation acting on 7-dehydrocholesterol in skin," the team explains. "Only small amounts are obtained from dietary sources."
As they note, "Avoidance of exposure to sunshine for religious and cultural beliefs that encourage wearing of concealing clothing and restriction of outdoor activities has previously been reported as a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency
And judging by the Middle Class' hysterical fear of their darlings playing in the sun it soon won't just be swaddled Asians in trouble.
Trains, Planes and AutoTories
Guido pointed out writing about Sir Alfred Sherman R.I.P.
After doing an economic analysis of British Rail Sherman concluded that the best thing to do would be to tarmac over the railways and turn them into private autobahns. Mrs Thatcher found it a teensy bit too radical. Unacceptable politically, but practical and right because it would have saved billions in subsidies.
As the independent Transport Watch proves that is still the only sensible policy, so it is no surprise that the Tories are doing the opposite..
Politicians seem to be falling in love with the railways.
High-speed trains: the politician's friend
Earlier this week the Conservatives sent out a press release announcing that not only Chris Grayling, the party’s transport spokesman, but also George Osborne had taken a train journey.....
the party now seems to have gone full circle. Chris Grayling is making his mark as a huge supporter of the industry, lambasting the Government not for spending too much on the railways but for what he sees as its inability to cope with growing demand.
In many ways the Conservatives appear more excited by the whole concept of high speed rail travel than Labour
Perhaps the bottom line is that trains are an ideal backdrop for a photocall for any politician.
But then William Huskisson, MP for Liverpool, also thought it a good idea to be seen on the railways. Unfortunately he was killed when he was run over by George Stephenson’s rocket.
September 2, 2006
Coldest August this millenium
WE SO sweltered in July that we complained about the heat, then we moaned again as a wet August brought us back down to earth and we felt like we were drowning.
But despite the gloom, August was warmer than average...
It was a huge shock to crash from a sweltering average 17.8C (64F) in July to 16.1C (61.0F) in August
16.1 degrees to add to our spreadsheet for Central English Temperatures - and yes that justifies my alarmist headline.
The average August Temperature for the years 2000 - 2006 are: 16.6 16.8 17.0 18.3 17.6 16.2 16.1
That Banned Defra Wiki Page is here - including the Owl Magnet!
Poor Dave Miliband and his Wiki experiment.
This was the last publicly edited page before the Defra wonks pulled the plug.
Wonko's World ｻ Defra Wiki is another slightly different version - the more kept and displayed for history the better!
Apologies for the formatting and settle yourself down for a good read...
Hi there. I'm David, Dave, Milliband. I've set up this big conversation
Dear Defra "It's Wikid Man" user,
A new dawn has broken, has it not?
The questions and answers below are intended only as a starting point
To edit the text you just need to click on 'edit page' at the top right
If you would like to explain why you've made certain changes or discuss
Tony Blair (Ms)
What is this environmental contract for?
We believe that the environmental problems we face, like sharks (which are
largely caused by incompetent governments in backward, hegemonic countries)
represent the gravest threat to human life and prosperity, and to the natural
resources and assets on which it depends (apart from psycopaths with nuclear
capability who have never been near a battlefield front-line in their life and
if they can possibly help it never will). Besides which we just can't help but
meddle, interfere, impose our views on others, and generally use taxpayers
resources in ways that are wasteful except in our own
We believe that current levels of worldwide consumption are
unsustainable, and that what we cannot, because of European Community
straight jackets, and will not, because of blatant self
interest, extend to every citizen of the planet should not form the basis
of our modern existence.
We believe that each of us has the capacity to play a part in tackling these
problems and that action by individuals will be needed. But too often we are
dissuaded from doing so by doubts about whether our actions will make any
difference, and whether they will leave us unfairly disadvantaged (self
interest, you mean).
We propose this environmental contract as a way to overcome such doubts, by
creating a framework which makes clear our own responsibilities towards the
environment, and the responsibilities we can expect others to bear in return and
the actions we can expect them to undertake.
country, its citizens, their progency and their legacy are all creations of a
Higher Being (insert Higher Being of your choice here), and any attempts to
alter the natural order of things will have divine repurcussions. Therefore,
we'll do nothing and blame it on God.
Where is the party for the environmental contract? Can I come? Will there be
The contract is between citizens and their government. All are welcome to
take part but it is too late to wait for the unconvinced. Action must begin
today (Accenture need the cash) and from this action it is hoped that others ( class=wikiCreate
will be inspired to play their part in the process.
What are the principles on which the environmental contract should be based?
An environmental contract should be based on the following principles:
- Reciprocity: government won't ask citizens or businesses to do
anything without saying clearly what it is going to do in return, without
committing to provide the necessary infrastructure, information and support
systems and without explaining clearly why something needs to be done.
- Subsidiarity: environmental contracts should be negotiated at the
lowest appropriate level. Sometimes that will be global or supranational,
sometimes national, other times local.
- Equity: costs and benefits should be allocated fairly. Polluters
should pay; environmental stewards should be rewarded; those who have made a
bigger historical contribution to pollution have a correspondingly greater
obligation to respond to it. The likes of Jeremy Clarkson, in promoting
pollution, should be penalised thrice over. Once for driving vehicles above
and beyond the speed limit, causing both noise and exhaust pollution. Twice
for writing for the dead-tree press, contributing to deforestation (a glossy
magazine won't print so well on recycled paper). Thrice for leading naive
post-pubescent teenagers astray from environmentally friendly commuting (stay
at home with Mother - and yet Mother is so fearsome! I weep).
- Empowerment: as far as possible the environmental contract should
be designed to encourage individual action; choices should be informed; and
options judged unacceptable through a transparent and democratic process
should be excluded.
- Convenience: being a good environmental citizen should become the
easy option, enabling environmentally friendly behaviour to be the default;
wherever possible citizens should be made to opt-out of environmentally
unfriendly behaviour not obliged to opt-in.
- Cocopopity: this is when a man lets you kiss him on the
What tools can be used to deliver the environmental contract? Spade,
Organic Yoghurt Stirrer, Old washing up liquid bottle, Sticky Back
To deliver the environmental contract, we believe policy-makers need to use a
range of different approaches and tools.
These tools need to:
- Remove the Thames barrier and put in place a row of coracles
- Create the right incentive frameworks to shape individual choices
Communicate and engage with people effectively
Utilise simpilisitude to congruate philiteens
Show that government practises what it preaches
Tools that remove barriers include:
Providing simple, trustworthy and timely hen attacks.
Offering convenient and well targeted personal advice and support for
Providing essential infrastructure
Equipping people with necessary skills
Tools that create the right incentive frameworks include:
Environmental taxes and charges
Grant schemes for working towards environmental targets
Emissions trading schemes and other market based incentive schemes
Product standard regulations -- and a clear forward path
Voluntary and negotiated agreements
removal of subsidies to environmentally unfriendly behaviour
- Big Stick
- Owl magnet
Tools that communicate and engage with people effectively include:
Working through NGOs and community based organisations
Well targeted advertising campaigns
Tools that show that government practises what it preaches include:
Sustainable public procurement
Politicians modelling good environmental behaviours such as using public
transport rather than ministerial Jaguars, not visiting remote locations
purely for PR (such as flying themselves and a load of journalists around the
world to look at melting glaciers) etc.
Setting high sustainability standards when disposing of land for
Adequate funding for information, advice and support services
A clear framework for assessing and improving the sustainability
performance of local and central Government
- Tony Blair mask
- Full Tony Blair outfit
What would an environmental contract for waste look like? Will it look like
separate household wastes and use the facilities provided
pay variable charges depending on the amount of waste their household
produces and how much they recycle
use compostors to recycle garden and some household waste
encourage their neighbours to spy on each other.
have sex with everything and everyone, including owls
think about waste when purchasing e.g. food as well as using products
appropriately and use offsetting to remove guilt.
recognise the need for facilities to extract energy from waste is a
talking point which can raise social standing.
- pay a higher proportion of their income to the government, and see little
tangible improvement in their standard of living.
In return, government will:
collect your rubbish and clean streets individually, while smiling and
provide convenient, personalised “kerbside” recycling facilities
give simple advice to customers on what they can recycle
insist that recycling and waste contractors stick to a code of
conduct on what is collected and what is not collected
offer composting products to citizens on a cost recovery
create arrangements for variable charging to ensure that public services
are paid for using a stealth taxing system.
place obligations on key sectors to reduce waste from their products
except where the waste has a propaganda value.
send you photographs of Tony Blair in his pants
reward neighbourhoods that agree to situating waste facilities in their
area and create ghetto enviroments for non Labour wards.
participate in trading schemes aimed at reducing landfill which produce a
non disclosable revenvue stream.
give complete transparency over the costs involved and allow citizens to
sack incompetent officials and to reduce government waste
- hire more special advisors and press officers.
respect general and sector specific waste regulations
pay additional landfill taxes
identify opportunities to increase resource productivity and use waste as
- reduce the use of packaging in all products while still maintaining the
risk avoidance attitude which made the packaging a requirement in the first
- endeavour to produce products locally, remembering that we are now a
In return government will
incentivise business to use less weight through landfill tax by
shortchanging and using flimsy materials.
provide pre-natal advice and support programmes
enforce regulations to prevent other businesses free riding or finding a
way of increasing untaxable profits
work with the packaging industry to reduce packaging waste/ increase
recyclability by closing all href="http://wiki.defra.gov.uk/WikiHome/EnvironmentContract/MacDonalds?create=1&sourcePage=%2FWikiHome%2FEnvironmentContract">MacDonalds?.
work with retailers to reduce waste at the end
What would an environmental contract for energy look like? Will look like my
face? My beautiful face?
- insulate homes they own through the use of generious grant schemes
- buy the most efficient lights and appliances at a lower than cost price
(subsided through taxes... erm...)
- reduce unnecessary energy use, e.g by turning off appliances when not used
- choose low carbon modes of transport where available
- buy the lowest carbon vehicles appropriate for their needs through the use
of generious grant schemes
- drive efficiently which might involve travelling faster than the posted
- consider using new green technologies such as microgeneration where
- encourage their family, friends and neighbours to do all these things and
saving the government the PR spend
In return government will
set clear targets for reducing carbon emissions and the reintroduction of
lead by example it its own activities and encourage local government to
support organisations and networks that deliver change at the local
continue to use the tax system to encourage subsidise energy-saving
support businesses to green their consumer products and services,
including through energy regulation, and
regulate to remove from the market products that are unnecessarily energy
develop policies that ensure nuclear power is a good thing
What would an environmental contract for water look like? Will that look
like my face too?
think about water usage in their homes
turn off taps when not using them
- place a brick in their lavatories
never wash, use government promotional material to promote the benefits
of uncleanliness (i.e the great benefits of sores and bubonic
drink less tap water, only consume bottled water
use rainwater for watering garden, washing etc.
obey restrictions on water usage in times of water stress.
ensure adequate supplies of safe, clean, affordable drinking water
(so there will be no water restrictions to obey, right?)
regulate to ensure that new and renovated buildings incorporate water
saving features as standard - except when building houses for Labour voters in
work with the industry and the regulator to tackle leakage and wasted PR
promote efficient use of water although will stop short of issuing
- place a brick in all Westminster lavatories
provide incentives for companies to supply bottled tap water at a high
price to citizens
offer rainwater barrels to citizens on a cost recovery
commission research into the effects of climate change on the
availability and quality of water in the UK
ensure that planning authorities are obliged to take into account
availability of water when considering planning applications
work with the farming and water industries to tackle the problem of
diffuse water pollution from agriculture
What would an environmental contract for sustainable finance look like? My
faaaaace. My beautiful faaaaaaace.
- understand the impact of their savings and investments on environment and
- spend the financial gains from their savings and investments in a
- explore ways that they can use their investments to support sustainable
businesses and promote one planet living;
- ensure that their voice is heard by voting at company annual general
meetings in a way that supports sustainable business;
- check that their fund manager is actively voting their shares in a way
that is consistent with the principles of one planet living;
- request regular reports on the responsible ownership actions of their
- ask fund managers for the portfolio of companies where their money is
invested and check that the companies in these portfolios are consistent with
their own principles;
- encourage neighbours to think about the environment when saving and
In return, government will:
- provide access to high quality, fictional information on how savings and
investments impact on environment and society;
- ensure that consumers are asked whether they would want advice on one
planet finance as part of their general financial advice;
- give simple advice to customers on what information they should ask
financial institutions to provide;
- provide better access to information to consumers on company voting to
The finance sector will:
- provide a range of sustainable savings and investment products that
support one planet living;
- expand the range of financial products in which environmental and social
factors are taken into account integrate environmental and social
considerations within ‘mainstream’ financial analysis and decision making;
- be long-term in the way that it analyses companies and ensure that it does
not actively encourage company directors to externalise costs on the
- seek to grow assets under management in specialist sustainable and
responsible investment funds (including both negatively and positively
- bring market failures that are detrimental to sustainable development to
the attention of government policy makers, and support corrective action;
- formally recognise in policy statements that there are responsibilities of
share ownership that arise from electing company directors to represent their
interests, including challenging and supporting these directors to ensure that
the company is developing in a sustainable way;
- uphold the responsibilities of share ownership by actively voting at
company annual general meetings;
- be transparent to its clients by providing information on performance,
portfolio and votes;
- identify opportunities to increase resource productivity, reduce energy
consumption and minimise waste.
- ensure charges to citizens do not exceed 10% annually
- move to a less rigidly regulated country, leaving the City of London in
In return government will
- give public recognition to financial institutions that practice
sustainable and responsible investment;
- incentivise sustainable and responsible finance through fiscal measures;
- focus on changing investment culture and building long term sustainable
- launch a sustainable investment task force at a great expense to the tax
- enforce regulations to prevent other financial institutions, such as the
government, free riding on the responsible ownership activity of others;
- provide advice and support programmes to the finance sector, including
specific guidance for pensions schemes promoting the production of an annual
report explaining what actions have been taken in support of the social,
ethical and environmental clause within the Statement of Investment
- not be afraid to legislate to deal with market failures in a way that
enhances long term investment returns;
- ensure that all government funds are invested in a sustainable and
- use all future public procurement of investment services to deliver
Government policy commitments to sustainable development through markets
- sustain the DEFRA/DTI/HMT focus on environmental technologies (including
renewable energy, water treatment, waste management etc) and sustainable
production and consumption.
- blame the Tories and their policies when things go