June 30, 2007
An Ancient Prejudice Returns
Ironically I enjoyed my first legal cigarette in a pub for many years when supping with the Devil the other night. I thought I ought to remind myself how bloody good they taste and fitting they feel when drinking with chums at the bar, before that pleasure is denied us. And it was a Lucky Strike....
Jacob Smyth chased three youths out of his hardware shop in Penzance, Cornwall, when he was set upon. When he was kicked in the groin by one of the hooded youths who had stolen cans of spray paint Mr Smyth hit back.
Police issued fixed penalty tickets to the shoplifters but charged Mr Smyth and a colleague with assault.
Yesterday he pleaded guilty to assault at Truro Magistrates’ Court. He claimed after the hearing that he had been advised to plead guilty because otherwise he could have faced a six month prison sentence.
The court was told that Mr Smyth, a father of three, caught the youths stealing the spray cans in October last year. Two of them turned on him and he was kicked in his groin just weeks after a vasectomy operation. He retaliated and punched 18-year-old Craig Spiller to the ground.
Speaking outside court, Mr Smyth said: “I did nothing wrong. I was getting a good beating from this lad. I had no choice but to defend myself.
“We get shoplifters all the time - one after the other. We call the police but nothing is ever done. We called them on this occasion and ran after the lads to try and get my property back but then they turned on us. “Am I not allowed to protect my stock and premises from thieves?”
The answer is "NO", not now in England.
Your right to remain silent isn't a right
The owners of cars caught by speed cameras can be prosecuted if they fail to tell police who was driving at the time, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ruled.
Judges in Strasbourg heard the cases of the two men last September and gave their verdict today.
Mr Francis said after the verdict: “The fight for freedom goes on. We can’t allow the tyrants, who are taking away our rights, to succeed. They have to be stopped.”
The two motorists lost their case because the human rights judges threw out their claim that the right to remain silent and the right not to incriminate oneself are “absolute rights”.
The judges also disagreed that human rights were breached by direct compulsion requiring an accused person to make incriminatory statements against his or her will.
Rubbing my woody beats plastic pleasure
Mr FM was trying to tempt me to the joys of a plastic rod yesterday, great fun, and a real buzz but, but they aren't the real thing...
To redeem myself I had to get my woody (Marlin 1894c) out on to the table for a proper polish. I'm annoyed because I have used Rusty's ttakedown instructions before but I had missed his fix for the "Marlin Jam", which I occasionally suffer from. If only I had read it when I first got the gun.
I applied the small file to the offending edge and, while I haven't test fired it since the action feels a lot smoother - I hope I caught it before it got too bad....
Fixing the dreaded “Marlin Jam”
By Rusty Marlin
How the Action Normally Works:
As the lever is cycled, it slightly lifts the cartridge carrier which allows one shell to come onto the carrier. And the carrier blocks the other shells so they stay in the magazine tube.
The "Marlin Jam" as it is affectionately known is caused by an inherent design/manufacturing flaw of the Marlin lever. The lever has a snail shaped cam surface that goes around the pivot screw. Every time the lever is cycled the carrier bounces on the forward edge of the cam. The forward most edge of this cam is left sharp at the factory (the flaw).
After many thousands of cycles, the sharp edge cuts into the carrier enought so that the timing is slightly changed. At first, you will feel a slight "hitch" when cycling, then the timing will get worse; the carrier nose gets lower in relation to the magazine tube opening so that two shells are allowed to exit the magazine. The first shell comes in on top of the carrier as normal, and the second shell slips past the carrier nose and gets trapped between the top of the carrier and the magazine opening in the frame.
Marlin calls this "letting in two" because rather than letting in one cartridge at a time, the carrier allows two to slip by......
In sympathy with the farmers
Vegetarian Benn takes charge of environment | Earth News | Earth | Telegraph
The arrival of the bean-eating Mr Benn in charge of livestock - as part of his brief as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - has caused sharp intakes of breath in the farming world.
Mr Benn, who eats neither meat nor fish, has been a vegetarian for the past 35 years, even converting his father, Tony, to the cause.
So no point in inviting him down for the Full English at the farmhouse table then.
As you sniff along to her memory with ageing rock stars playing "for the children" console yourself it is just what she wanted as she donated her septum for the benefit of Columbian Farmers.
You have been warned
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
* drugs (3x)
* cunt (2x)
* sex (1x)
( I note having followed this link that they are trying to insert links to "Online Dating" through this viral marketing - well they can fuck off, I'm deleting their links.)
I'm more upset than I have been for many years; three different people, whom I have known for over twenty years, have decided separately that this is "have a pop at Tim week". They have been surprised, because I'm normally a very laid back person, that I have told them to "Fuck Off". I will not be insulted, I will not be wronged. Banter, fine; misunderstandings, I can deal with. But you insult me, or my family, and I will not stand for that. I will give you every opportunity to reconsider your words, and explain why I am feeling insulted, so that if you continue to insult me it is from a fully informed and chosen position.
I am extraordinarily lucky in that I am able to have a simple moral code, "what would my Dad have done?" If I follow that I never go wrong, in fact I think I may have slipped in not telling them to "Fuck Off" in a more anatomically detailed way.
I'm English, not a Euroregionalish
Gordon Brown, the new British Prime Minister and de-facto First Minister of England, has dealt what may prove to be a fatal blow to the continued existence of England.
Brown has appointed a Minister for each of the made-up regions of England. Before his coronation as unelected Prime Minister the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath made noises about resurrecting regional government in England even though it has been thoroughly rejected by voters and declared dead by Tony Bliar less than a fortnight ago.
How dare Gordon Brown, who fought for the establish of a national parliament for his own country, presume to undermine the very existence of England. For the least 10 years, New Labour has constantly attacked England and local democracy, seeking to undermine its very existence with the EU-sponsored regionalisation project.
John Prescott was the architect of the regional assemblies and development agencies that infest our country, spending millions of pounds of taxpayers money on unaccountable and unnecessary bureacracy and dividing the country into artificial, competing regions. Only one referendum was ever held on this fundamental change to local government in England. The referendum was held in the North East euroregion where support for regional government was at its highest and it was rejected by a massive 78% "no" vote.
Every local authority was recently "invited" to submit a proposal for their own demise in favour of large, powerful unitary authorities. The two-tier county/district system of local government has served the country well for centuries, allowing local authorities to benefit from working together in the form of county councils whilst retaining local accountability from district councils.
We asked the MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham, Daniel Kawczynski, what he thought of the appointment of regional ministers:
"The Conservative Party is continuing to fight this Government’s move towards regionalisation and I am deeply concerned at the appointment of Ministers for the Regions, which is just one more step in the direction of regionalisation.
What is more, I note that Gordon Brown has appointed a Birmingham MP as Minister for the West Midlands – yet again ignoring how much of the West Midlands is a rural area, whose interests are unlikely to be effectively represented by an inner city MP. This in itself demonstrates the nonsense of a regional system of government that does not reflect the diversity of an area."
The Campaign for an English Parliament has this to say on its website:
Now I’m no conspiracy theorist but it does seem like a bit of a post-devolution liberty for a Scotsman to be meddling in the internal domestic affairs of England in this way. We all know that Brown’s treasury has been the main driving force behind the regionalisation project since Prescott was kicked into touch by the voters of the North East. We all know how keen he is on the administrative regionalisation of England, democratic or not. And we all know how unkeen he is on England being allowed to decide for itself on how it should be governed (it’s more than his job is worth).
Like Gordon Brown as Prime Minister: we haven't asked for it, most of us don't want it but New Labour will make sure we get it.
June 29, 2007
Two views on that London Bomb
'We are currently facing the most serious and sustained threat to our security from international terrorism,' she said outside Downing Street.
Police and securocrats know that there aren't enough real terrorists in the world, which is why they have to keep manufacturing them. This is because citizens tire of being watched by cameras, frisked and x-rayed, having their belongings searched, giving fingerprints to so-called friendly nations on entry, contemplating the myriad government databases where their details and activities are preserved, and wondering if some dour little bureaucrat is reading their email or listening to them on the phone.
Citizens tire also of reading the rolls of the war dead fraudulently sacrificed in the name of counterterrorist "victory", and of seeing hundreds of billions spent on surveillance and private security, ridiculous wars, and security-related gimmicks and gizmos....
To keep the billions rolling in, they've got to produce a terrorist every now and then. Only real terrorists are hard to come by, so clowns and stooges with harebrained schemes end up doing bin Laden's perp walk periodically.
Today we have news from London, where a "big [explosive] device" was discovered inside a parked car near Piccadilly Circus. The device consisted of petrol, propane gas cylinders, and nails. The car containing it had been abandoned after its driver was observed piloting it erratically, crashing it, then running off, like a true professional. Ambulance workers called to assist nearby noticed what they initially thought was smoke inside the car, but which likely was petrol vapour, and contacted police.
Bomb disposal specialists made it safe, and police officials and politicians began slyly invoking the terrorist bogeyman. Heaven forbid the public should be starved of their regular fear rations.
"As the police and security services have said on so many occasions, we face a serious and continuous threat to our country", day-old PM Gordon Brown said. "But this incident does recall the need for us to be vigilant at all times and the public to be alert at any potential incidents."
And what an incident. "It is obvious that if the device had detonated there could have been serious injury or loss of life", Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke intoned gravely.
Ah, if it had detonated. Yes, it could have been a real horror. Only, the device could not have detonated. Not under any circumstances. You see, the terrorist wannabe clown who built it left out a crucial element: an oxidiser. The device was pure pre-teen boy fantasy.
"We'll heat up these propane cylinders with burning petrol, and they'll go off like bombs", boys the world over have remarked with glee. They don't realise that air is a poor oxidiser, and the only "explosion" they will get is when gas pressure inside the cylinders is great enough to burst them. Then the propane will ignite, and a nice fireball will blossom. A fireball, not an explosion.
Oh, the Piccadilly fireball would have blown the car's windows out, and popped its doors open, and sent various bits like mirrors and so forth into the air at velocities possibly fatal to people nearby. It would have looked really cool, that's for sure. But an explosive event...a detonation? Not in a million years. Sorry lads: you failed car bombing 101; you did not attend a single lecture; you did not even open the textbook.
Some stupid people did a stupid thing. Yes, they might have injured or killed one or two passers-by, but any body count would have come in spite of them, not as a product of their efforts. You and I are more likely to have been killed accidentally by the lousy driver than intentionally by his Beavis and Butthead car bomb.
This should have been dismissed for what it is: an event on the level of some teenagers getting a tremendously foolish notion, and being drunk enough for it to appeal to them. But we're hearing whispers of terrorism instead - much as we heard from the Americans when they foiled a "terrorist plot" to blow up fuel storage tanks at Kennedy International. It would have been devastating, prosecutors told us. Only that "plot" had the same hole in it: air makes a lousy oxidiser. If it had been carried out, it would certainly have made a bigger fireball than the one in London would have made. But that's about it.
So why is this such big news? Because clowns have got to be passed off as terrorists. Because a vast industry depends on terrorists, real and imagined, to justify its existence. We live now in the grip of the security-industrial complex, and that hungry beast demands to be fed. We feed it money hand over fist, and in return, it feeds us fear biscuits, which we are expected to accept with gratitude.
Roll over. Sit up and beg. See the bad man? Good citizen; here's your bickie. ®
All Shall Have Prizes
Blogging awards seem to the the in thing at the moment, so, without further ado -
The Witanagemot Club Political Blogging Awards are open for business.
* Blogger most deserving of a book deal
* Blogger you would most like to shag (it’s an anonymous survey so your secret is safe)
* Blogger most likely to vote for a donkey if you slapped the correct colour rosette on it
* Blogger most desperate to win blogging awards
But there are serious categories too! So get voting.
Devils, Drugs and Guns
I'm just back from The Devil's Kitchen's launch of LibertarianUK.net at the Old Bank of England. - Many thanks for the hospitality!
(Back via Bisley with Mr FM and Mr NBC) and past the 50 acre Opium Poppy field on Salisbury Plain..
June 28, 2007
Taking the duty of Rape oil
New Government regulations are about to come into force which will open up the market for biofuel production in the UK.
At present the law requires anyone producing any quantity of a biofuel (mostly biodiesel in the UK) to pay duty of 28.35p on every litre.
Additionally producers must submit returns to HM Revenue & Customs and hold a permit, however, from 30th June 2007 the following changes come into force:
- A production threshold of 2,500 litres per annum below which producers will not need to submit returns or pay duty, ....
This fundamental change in regulation means that everyone will have the opportunity to produce enough biofuel for their own personal consumption, duty free.
One to look into, that field of Oilseed Rape looks like a good idea ....
Today's all purpose news story
jail the Treasury in which Paris Gordon Hilton Brown stayed for ten years, Hilton Brown vowed she he'd "never do wrong," according to media reports Thursday.
"I'm a good person. I'm a compassionate person. I have a big heart. I'm sincere, and they'll see,"
Hilton Brown told media in her his first comments. Hilton Brown said that she he spent time in jail the Treasury reading the Bible and praying to God for strength.
"There was a nun who works at
jail the Treasury for all the ladies, and she he would come every day and we would pray," she he said.
"All of the inmates were very supportive. There were girls next to me,"
she he said. "We could talk through the vents and they were just really sweet."
During her first week in
jail the Treasury , Hilton Brown called television journalist Barbara Walters Jeremy Paxman and pledged to change her his party-going ways and give new meaning to her hislife by pursuing charity work, saying God had given her his a new chance.
"I was basically in the foetal position, basically in hysterics ... and having severe anxiety and panic attacks,"
she he said.
Royal Mail wrote to a Sussex woman asking her to trim her bush on health and safety grounds.
The lavender bush in her garden was said to make it difficult for her postie to get to her letterbox but Mrs Marie Zadeh said the request was absurd. She said it may simply be because it had been in flower but could see no reason why it might prove a hazard to a postal worker.
Royal Mail said they regretted the inconvenience it may have caused but said the bush was overgrown and posed a hazard.
It is unclear whether Mrs Zadeh has timmed (sic) her bush. Or whether she has dyed it...
Lockerbie - will the truth emerge?
As they say in Scotland, where lawyers still speak Latin, fiat justitia, ruat caelum: let justice be done, though the heavens fall.
Scotsman.com News - Lockerbie - Lockerbie evidence 'was tampered with, destroyed and overlooked'
* Commission expected to conclude that conviction of Megrahi is unsafe
* Key witness account brought into question and statements 'missing'
* Defence believe motive was to avoid antagonising Iran during Gulf War
"The Crown Office has a moral obligation to hold a public inquiry. If it embarrasses the Scottish judiciary, so be it. We're in danger of becoming the laughing stock of Europe." - TAM DALYELL
Story in full EVIDENCE used against Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, was subject to deliberate destruction and manipulation for political reasons, according to leaked documents from his defence team.
The allegations suggest authorities on both sides of the Atlantic attempted to mislead the original inquiry into the 1988 disaster to divert attention away from the original Iranian-backed suspects to Libya, with evidence apparently tampered with, destroyed and overlooked.
In a decision that could send shockwaves through the Scottish legal system, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) is expected to conclude this week that the conviction of Megrahi - jailed in 2001 for his part in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which killed 270 people - is unsafe.
Amid claims from his defence team of a "co-ordinated effort to mislead the court", tantamount to a perversion of the course of justice, the SCCRC is studying hundreds of documents and photographs that suggest evidence was deliberately fabricated, manipulated or ignored by police and CIA operatives.
Should Megrahi's case be referred back to the appeal court, his legal team intends to lodge an application for him to be freed while the court decides whether to quash his conviction or order a retrial.
Megrahi's team believes the evidence was manipulated to avoid antagonising Iran at the time of the first Gulf War.
In all the excitement of the Brown coronation I have rather missed the import of this shocking case. One to watch.
The Old Gold Standard
The tooth fairy is worth £20 million a year to Britain's gap-toothed children. | Telegraph
The findings show that tooth fairy inflation has leapt by 500 per cent in the past 25 years. Over the same period, the cost of living has risen by 150 per cent.
The research found that the going rate for the average lost tooth is £1.05
A guinea a tooth! Much as applaud this wide spread use of the old currency, I'm shocked the Telegraph doesn't recognise it for what it is and by the generosity of parents.
June 27, 2007
Jeb at Numberwatch reminisces about awful warnings he has given about floods:
But some of us older Wiltshire residents know floods are nothing new.
The Great Till Flood is probably the most serious event in documented history on the river Till. The autumn of 1840 was wet and in December temperatures were below zero at Salisbury 21km to the south-south-east of Tilshead, for over two weeks. The temperature was reported to have been sub-zero from 4-11 January, with temperatures as low as -11C on 8 January. Heavy snow fell the day after and then more snow on the 13th; a rapid thaw and heavy rain on the 16th on a frozen sub-soil led to the GTF. At Shrewton 36 houses were destroyed, three people were drowned, and about 200 made homeless in the area (Cross, 1967, Salisbury Journal 25/1/1841). In the following year a number of Flood Cottages were erected from the money collected towards the Charity Fund. A commemorative plaque is fixed to the cottages at Shrewton and Tilshead..
Climate Change - The Proof
Ten predictions about climate change that have come true - Times Online
Here are the hard facts about global warming that everyone should know, compiled for Times Online by internationally acclaimed writer, scientist and explorer Tim Flannery...
1) That the Earth would warm as more CO2 was put into the atmosphere (Svante Arrhenius in 1893)
Causation of which by which, or correlation? Obviously we are chucking tons of the stuff into the air, but how much effect is it actually having?
2) That we'd begin to see noticable changes to Earth's climate by around 2000 (some IPCC scientists ).
And what are these changes? And how do they differ from changeable weather..
3) That sea-level would start rising
The Dutch National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management reporting on sea-levels that have been broadly rising since at least the end of the last Ice Age...say ""The water level measurements show no acceleration in sea level rise" and "It’s not always well documented where the measurements for the data on which the [IPCC] scenarios are based ". So the Dutch, who have most to lose from accelerating sea-level rise, see no evidence such an acceleration and find the climate models which suggest such an acceleration for the future unconvincing and poorly documented. Bear in mind that the part of the Netherlands which is below sea-level (more than half of the country and where most people live), is sinking as a result of post-glacial rebound (as is the Southern part of the UK).
4) That Earth's Ice would start melting rapidly (James Hanson)
....the melting Martian Polar Ice Caps , are they caused by our Climate Change as well?
5) That hurricanes would increase in intensity (this one goes back to Alfred Russel Wallace in 1900)
6) That species would start going extinct as a result of climate change.
The linked article just says "could"...
7) That Australia would start drying out (Hadley Centre scientists) -
Ah, the The El-Niño Southern Oscillation, been going on for a long time, as have droughts...
8) That tropical diseases would increase
yes, Malaria returning to the Fens and all that nonsense..
9) That food crops would be adversely affected
No source for that one?
10) That the CO2 would begin to acidify the ocean
0.1 pH change I believe is claimed?
Now to work through the rest of the list
Fatty Bang Bang
Scotsman.com News - UK - GPs say 20mph limit will help child fitness
DOCTORS yesterday called for more 20mph speed limits on roads, especially on routes near schools, in a bid to tackle obesity ..."We are endangering our children for the sake of three minutes on our journey,"....
Dodging the traffic is the only exercise some kids get, if they can waddle across the road instead then how is that going to help them?
Bill of Rights
Make the politicians listen to you | Dt Opinion | Opinion | Telegraph
....what hope do members of the public have of influencing the debate?
The temptation to throw up our hands and say a plague on all your houses may be great - and from the tone of the comments on the Telegraph website, some readers may have already succumbed - but this is not the time for cynicism.
The urge for parties to control the debate has been accompanied by a significant fall in voter turnout. Participation at the last two general elections has been the lowest since the war. Party leaders recognise that something needs to be done to reconnect the electorate with the political process.
Gordon Brown has already shown that he is aware of the scale of the challenge, promising to take action to build trust in our democracy, using his first speech as PM-in-waiting to call for a more open form of dialogue between citizens and politicians genuinely to debate problems and solutions.
When he committed himself to bringing forward reform proposals to renew our constitution - with the first draft constitutional reform Bill later this year - many sat up and took notice.
Although viewed by many as dry and dusty, constitutional reform has the ability to address the issue at the heart of the malaise in our democracy - the loss of trust in politicians of all parties.
The first step would be to construct a new Bill of Rights, rooted in Magna Carta and the settlements of the 17th century, but also reflecting modern notions of universal rights.
Such a document would embody traditional British values of fairness and tolerance while reminding us that we have responsibilities to one another. It would also protect the rights of the individual when they come into conflict with the power of an over-mighty executive.
Ultimately, a new Bill of Rights would provide politicians with a set of rules by which we the people consent to be governed - rules that would be known by all, unlike the present situation, whereby, under our currently invisible constitution, any government with a majority can simply move the goal-posts.
But who should frame this new settlement? Surely politicians have a conflict of interest in formulating the rules that govern their behaviour? While welcoming Brown's initiative on this issue, should we just sit back and wait for him - or David Cameron - to tell us what our rights are?
The fact that Brown already has a draft Bill planned has caused concern that any consultation will be bogus, providing merely a fig-leaf for more top-down decision-making.
The time has come for people of all political persuasions and none to become pro-active in this debate. Brown has set the agenda; let us take the initiative.....
Yes, but... I'm not sure Billy Bragg's enthusiasm for Citizens' Assemblies is the answer they sound terribly French revolutionary. And I'm not sure what use there is in formulating a new Bill of Rights when our leaders tramble all over our existing one. My first step would be a robust defence of what we already have, restore the liberties therein, and if it needs amendments then discuss those line by line - a bit like the American model.
And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare
That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal;
That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal;
That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious;
That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal;
That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;
That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;
That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;
That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;
That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;
That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;
That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;
That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently.
And that the oaths hereafter mentioned be taken by all persons of whom the oaths have allegiance and supremacy might be required by law, instead of them; and that the said oaths of allegiance and supremacy be abrogated.
...... I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. So help me God.
June 26, 2007
Engineers are set to turn green into gold - Times Online
Investors in Europe’s big insurers will be among the losers as climate change hits balance sheets, while engineering companies are set to soar, according to a new report.
Made me think of this other snippet in The Times today about the advantages of placing your trust in science rather than faith...
Striking proof that lightning conductors work - Times Online
In 1769 lightning hit the tower of a church in Brescia, near Milan, and blew up the 100 tons of gunpowder stored there. The explosion levelled one sixth of the city and killed about 3,000 people, possibly the world’s worst recorded lightning disaster. The church authorities had turned down the chance of fitting the newly invented lightning conductor on the ground that it was heretical to interfere with divine will.
The Weather Forecast
Met Office: Summer 2007 forecast
Issued 30 May 2007
This forecast for Summer 2007 has been derived using global forecasting models and statistical methods. Seasonal variations usually affect large geographic areas, so the forecast for the UK is set in the broader picture of Europe as a whole. Summer, in this context, is defined as the months of June, July and August.
Since the mid 1980s the average UK surface air temperature has warmed by about 1 °C, which is about twice the global warming trend averaged over all land areas. As a consequence, summers (and indeed other seasons) warmer than the 1971-2000 average are now common (the last summer with temperatures below the 1971-2000 average was nearly 10 years ago in 1998). Moreover, the underlying chance of exceptionally warm summers, such as experienced in 2003 or 2006, has increased. Year-to-year variability can add or detract from the underlying trend, and seasonal forecasting systems are designed to detect these year-to-year changes.
For Summer 2007, our forecasting models show a signal for fewer weather patterns of the type that can bring particularly hot summer spells to the UK, and this may be partly a consequence of the expected development of moderate or stronger La Niňa conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Seasonal forecasting techniques for rainfall predictions in summer are typically less skilful than winter forecasts or forecasts for temperature.
There continues to be a high probability that mean summer temperatures will be above the 1971-2000 long-term average over much of Europe including the UK. However, for the UK it is likely that exceptionally hot spells will be fewer than experienced in the summers of 2003 or 2006. Predictions suggest that there is no more than a 1 in 6 chance that the UK summer 2007 overall will be as hot, or hotter, than 2003 or 2006.
Current indications suggest drier than average over western-central Europe and wetter than average over parts of northern Europe. This pattern suggests that southern UK is more likely to experience average or below average rainfall, while average or above average rainfall is more likely in northern regions.
The summer forecast will next be updated at 10 a.m. 26 June 2007.
I will await their update today with interest.
Vote for a Referendum
My Telegraph: Telegraph Campaigns: June 2007: Let the people decide
We believe that the EU Reform Treaty will make significant changes to the way in which Britain is governed, permanently alienating powers from Westminster to Brussels, notably through:
* A European Head of State
* An EU diplomatic corps and foreign minister
* A common system of criminal justice and a European Public Prosecutor
* The abolition of 40 national vetoes
* Bestowing on the EU the ‘legal personality’ and treaty-making powers of a sovereign state
* Reducing Britain’s voting strength in Council of Ministers meetings by 30 per cent
All three parties promised a referendum on such changes at the 2005 general election. We believe that they should stand by their manifesto commitments, and that the Reform Treaty should come into effect only following approval in a national referendum.
Let the Telegraph know if you agree or not by following the link and voting.
June 25, 2007
Kinky Katie Holmes Pictures
I must admit until I ran a Google image search on Katie Holmes I hadn't realised what a sweet bit of totty she is.
Some pictures of Katie make her look decidedly hot; in others she is teasingly almost naked in bed with her nipples tantalisingly just out of sight. Quite different from the mumsy look I imagined. And some are just plain kinky
I think I'm turning into a fan.
(Tim - is this how to do a googlewhoring post?)
Miliband's Chemical Cartel
Inquiry called for as Defra is accused of helping maintain a pesticides cartel - 20/06/2007 - FarmersWeeklyInquiry called for as Defra is accused of helping maintain a pesticides cartel - 20/06/2007 - FarmersWeekly
An independent pesticides importer has declared a “victory for British farmers” after a crown court judge accused Defra of helping to maintain a pesticides cartel in the UK.
Judge Robin Onions called for an inquiry into the pesticides industry after chemical distributor John Rawlings was found guilty of illegally storing three Italian pesticides.
At as hearing at Shrewsbury Crown Court, Judge Onions said Defra, through the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), had “unwittingly or wittingly collaborated with chemical companies to maintain a cartel”.
Throughout the seven-day trial, the court heard that UK farmers were forced to pay up to 50% more than farmers in the rest of Europe for identical pesticides.
Many years ago I used to flog pesticides for a living - it was a cartel then; Elfen Safety being the figleaf it was hidden behind. Of course what we need is some sort of free trade agreement across Europe to stop us being ripped off like this; maybe a small intergovernmental agreement mechanism could be proposed....just free trade, no need for anything complicated....
Kim du Toit mulls over rifle choices - and includes some of my favourites - I haven't been able to afford a Winchester 1894 yet though...
And I'm in quandary - I have been very kindly invited to an "Old Bill" shoot where the weapon must be a rifle of a type that was used in the First World War, and I don't think any of mine are that modern; though maybe the Tubed Lee Metford is acceptable as it was still being used to train cadets....
The homosexual teacher, Tony Blair and that night in Brussels
Numberwatch raises a point that I have been mulling over:
The not-a-constitution, largely dreamt up by anonymous authoritarian bureaucrats and rejected whenever exposed to democratic choice, has been forced through by the well-known technique of persuasion that is sleep-deprivation.
If a contract is obtained by undue influence, the document is invalid, literally as contract law theory sees it, no contract has been formed. Within the conceptual framework of contract law, no contract can be formed unless there has be a "meeting of the minds" of independent, bargaining individuals. If a contract is obtained through the use of undue influence then there has never been an actual meeting of the minds of two bargaining parties.
The concept of undue influence developed in the English courts as a means of policing unfair agreements induced by improper means of persuasion. By contrast, the common law doctrines of duress were conceived as corollaries of the law of crime and tort. The English equity courts sought to protect individuals, affected with a "weakness" that fell short of total incapacity, against improper persuasion by others in positions of authority, control, trust, familial relation, or the like, who had the means and opportunity to exercise improper persuasion.
In the US it has been ruled that undue influence also includes situations in which the weaker individual comes under the domination of the stronger, when such"strength" is based on knowledge, training, or relationship and "weakness" is a product of weakness of mind or necessities of life and/or distress.
In the most important of such cases, Odorizzi v. Bloomfield School Districts, the plaintiff was an elementary school teacher who had been arrested on criminal charges of homosexuality. In his complaint, he alleged that on that day, after his arrest, booking, interrogation by the police, and release on bail, and after he had gone 40 hours without sleep, the superintendent of the school district and the principal of his school came to his apartment to ask for his resignation. The school officials said that they were acting in Odorizzi's best interests in seeking his resignation, after which they would not publicize the arrest and thereby interfere with his chances to secure future employment. They also said that if he did not resign immediately, they would dismiss him and publicize the incident. The plaintiff signed a written resignation at that time. Later criminal
charges were dismissed. He was later denied reinstatement and reemployment. Odorizzi brought his case against the school district to rescind his resignation.
The appellate court reversed a trial court decision and said that the situation rightfully fell under the doctrine of undue influence: taking unfair advantage of another's weakness of mind or distress. The court held that improper persuasion may occur when the person being influenced suffers from great weakness or when the person exercising the influence has excessive strength.
Further, the court listed a series of criteria that indicate whether this type of undue influence has taken place:
(l) discussion of the transaction at an unusual or inappropriate time,
(2) consummation of the transaction in an unusual place,
(3) insistent demand that the business be finished at once,
(4) extreme emphasis on untoward consequence of delay,
(5) the use of multiple persuaders by the dominant side against a single servient party,
(6) absence of third-party advisers to the servient party,
(7) statements that there is no time to consult financial advisers or attorneys.
Subsequent cases hold the undue influence occurs when a number of these elements, not necessarily all, are simultaneously present. The simultaneous operation of such factors ultimately indicated that the contract was achieved by means that impaired the free will and independent judgment of the schoolteacher.
Doesn't that sound like how Blair was persuaded? If he knew a decent lawyer he should get them to cry foul on his, and our, behalf.
To be sure, Sir, I never laid a hand on it.
Scientists in Chile have been faced with a riddle after a lake in Patagonia disappeared. The five-mile long glacial lake in the Magallanes region of southern Patagonia was last seen four months ago.
The disappearance of the five-acre body of water in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park was discovered in late May by park rangers
The slur that this isn't the first time the words "mystery disappearance" coupled with the name of an Irish Traveller is ridiculous - as every schoolboy knows O'Higgins was born in Chillán, Chile. As noted in his certificate of baptism, he was the illegitimate son of Ambrosio O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno, a Spanish officer from County Sligo in Ireland, who became governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru. His mother was Isabel Riquelme, a prominent Chillán lady. O'Higgins spent his early years with his mother's family in Central-south Chile. He had a distant relationship with his father, who supported him financially and was concerned with his education, but the two never met in person ( Wikipedia)
Contempt for the law widespread.
BBC NEWS | UK | Law-abiding majority 'is a myth'
More than six out of 10 people regularly commit crimes against the government, their employers or businesses, research suggests....
They included paying "cash in hand" to avoid VAT and stealing items from work.
The study found that around one-third of those questioned (34%) paid "cash in hand" to avoid taxation and about one in five (18%) had taken something, such as stationary(sic), from work. ..
The study's author, Professor Suzanna Karstedt, said: "Contempt for the law is as widespread in the centre of society as it is assumed to be rampant at the margins and among specific marginal groups.
"Anti-social behaviour by the few is mirrored by anti-civil behaviour by the many.
So no idea why the serfs are committing petty acts of revolt? Mind you with the Government bringing in ten new laws a day, or whatever, it is hard to not break the law.....
Chirac a Crook?
Corruption inquiry looms for Chirac - Times Online
Criminal investigators are to question Jacques Chirac, the former French President, over his role in corruption scandals dating from his time as Mayor of Paris before 1995, his lawyer said over the weekend.
The confirmation from Jean Veil of Mr Chirac’s imminent session with examining judges follows the lapse last week of the immunity from prosecution that he enjoyed for 12 years. Mr Chirac’s summons was regarded as inevitable because he has so far given no account of events under his 18-year tenure as mayor and Gaullist party chief, which led to suspended prison terms and heavy fines for his subordinates.....
Chirac's office said that, because he enjoyed constitutionally guaranteed judicial immunity while he was president, he cannot ``be ordered to provide testimony'' about incidents that happened during his tenure.
Of course we are lucky in this country that our leaders don't enjoy Prime Ministerial immunity otherwise we could face the humiliating spectacle of the Saviour of the Nation (tm) being dragged in front of the judges once he has stepped down.....
Raindrops keep falling on my head....
Tepee holes put damper on an elite experience - Times Online
The aphorism that money cannot buy you happiness has rarely been felt more keenly than at the luxury tent village at Glastonbury Festival. Revellers who paid £1,650 to hire a traditional Native American tepee were furious that organisers had no way of stopping rain cascading through the hole in the middle of their tents.
Unlike traditional tepees, which have a fire in the middle to keep the damp out, Glastonbury’s tepee village is banned from lighting fires for safety reasons..... I know schadenfreude is not nice, but the idea of Piers and Emma decamping from Fulham to play at being hippies for the weekend and ending up wet and cold is just delicious..
The Case For Grammars, again.
Grammar schools needed to raise standards | Uk News | News | Telegraph
More grammar schools and low-cost private schools are needed to raise the "dire" standards of the education system, a report by one of the most respected economic think-tanks says today.
Millions of people cannot read, write or count and millions more can barely do so because of the "socialist" state-directed system and comprehensive education, the Economic Research Council says.
Better off parents have escaped the worst aspects of comprehensive education by paying private fees, buying tuition or moving home to be close to the best schools, says the report. It is families on the lowest incomes that have suffered from the progressive theories and dumbing down of standards.
The Economic Research Council, Britain's oldest economic think-tank, says it is "rotten schooling" and not grammar schools that has harmed social mobility.
June 24, 2007
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Sporran wearers may need licence
Kilt wearers could face prosecution if they do not have a licence for their sporran under new legislation which has been introduced in Scotland.
The laws are designed to protect endangered species like badgers and otters,... They also apply to other vulnerable animals like deer, wildcats, hedgehogs, bats, lynx, moles, seals, whales, dolphins and porpoises.
The regulations require anyone who owns any part of a protected animal to obtain a licence.
And so the madness spreads.
Cameron - Missing in Action
The Spectator Blog As Matt points out , whether we have a referendum or not is a political not a legal question. In ruling one out, Gordon Brown is banking on David Cameron not wanting to risk looking Europe-obsessed by banging on about the need for one. (I can already hear Brown taunting Cameron at PMQs with lines like, “he wants to talk about the arcane details of European treaties, we want to talk about schools, hospitals and the other issues that make a difference to the lives of the British people.) Whether Cameron decides to go all out in calling for one depends on if he’ll be charging the Brownite guns alone. If on Monday, The Sun and The Daily Mail demand a vote Cameron will likely come out of what, as Tim notes, is his self-imposed purdah.
As Matt points out , whether we have a referendum or not is a political not a legal question. In ruling one out, Gordon Brown is banking on David Cameron not wanting to risk looking Europe-obsessed by banging on about the need for one. (I can already hear Brown taunting Cameron at PMQs with lines like, “he wants to talk about the arcane details of European treaties, we want to talk about schools, hospitals and the other issues that make a difference to the lives of the British people.)
Whether Cameron decides to go all out in calling for one depends on if he’ll be charging the Brownite guns alone. If on Monday, The Sun and The Daily Mail demand a vote Cameron will likely come out of what, as Tim notes, is his self-imposed purdah.
Isn't Cameron meant to be a LEADER, not a follower? Isn't it time he actually grew a pair and stood up for something he believes in, or are all his beliefs just the distillation of focus groups and newspaper columns?
Or does he take the same disgusting traitorous view as Portillo The problem is that the Eurosceptics look like fanatics. They care about protecting the UK’s independence much more than about winning the election. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his country for his party, as it doesn't say in the good book. If the choice is between being a vassal state with a strong Tory party and a independent Britain without Cameron, it isn't hard to make that choice.
The Traitorous Final Deal
Referendum demand over Blair 'sell-out' | Uk News | News | Telegraph
A key pledge safeguarding British control over its own foreign policy that was secured by Tony Blair at the Brussels summit is not legally binding, it became clear last night.
The Opposition stepped up calls for a referendum after it emerged that a clause negotiated by Mr Blair allowing exemption from a common EU foreign policy was merely a "declaration of intent" and not an enforcable part of the treaty.
The Prime Minister's hard-fought deal began to unravel...
My earlier analysis stands - Tony Blair is a treacherous cunt
The Hydra of Trendy Teaching Lives On
Ditch lessons, schools are told - Times Online
STATE secondary schools are being told to ditch lessons in academic subjects and replace them with month-long projects on themes such as global warming.
The pressure to scrap the traditional timetable in favour of cross-curricular topics is coming from the government’s teaching advisers, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
It has provoked anger from traditionalists who believe it marks a return to discredited “trendy” techniques.
...The project-led approach took hold in primary schools in the 1970s after a report from a government-appointed education committee.
Teachers were told to emphasise soft skills and “learning by doing”. Schools were told to scrap projects in 1992 after an inquiry found pupils were missing out on the basics. ...
Mick Waters, the QCA’s curriculum director, believes the changes will help spur enthusiasm and cut truancy. He said: “The challenge for schools is to create a nourishing and appetising feast that will sustain learners and meet their needs.
The Hydra which lived in the swamps near to the ancient city of Lerna in Argolis. The Hydra had the body of a serpent and many heads of which one could never be harmed by any weapon, and if any of the other heads were severed another would grow in its place. Also the stench from the Hydra's breath was enough to kill man or beast. When it emerged from the swamp it would attack herds of cattle and local villagers, devouring them with its numerous heads. It totally terrorized the vicinity for many years.
Cotton Wool Kids
Scottish teachers are being told not to put negative comments in reports for fear of upsetting sensitive youngsters....And whereas reports in the past were opened with unalloyed dread, the guidance states that - in future - pupils should be spared the fear factor, by having a say in writing it.
It adds: "Pupils should be included in discussion about what he or she thinks might be included in their report. Alternatively the pupil might draft their own version prior to your completion of the report."
What the teachers might say… and what they mean
• Kylie remains in a period of deferred success in relation to her elementary mathematics skills
Kylie is forehead-smackingly thick at sums
• Kevin is always keen to share his thoughts with the class
Kevin needs to learn that when I open my mouth he shuts his
• Nigel consistently meets the highest standards and has an exceptionally enquiring brain
Nigel is a geek who bugs the hell out of me by asking too many questions
• Britney has strong listening skills and is keen to promote a good learning environment
Britney is a sneak and a sleekit little clype
• Brian is mature for his age and is keen to develop his personal and social education
Brian is a 20-a-day smoker, swigs cider at playtime and keeps trying to look up my skirt
• Michaela has a challenging attitude towards guidance and discipline
Save time by getting her measured up for a prison uniform now
June 23, 2007
Treaty 'hands swathes of power to Brussels' | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Tony Blair emerged from tense negotiations today claiming to have secured a new European treaty which protects Britain’s interests but which opponents say hands vast swathes of power to Brussels.
The Prime Minister won a legal exemption from a new Charter of Fundamental Rights, one of four "red lines" fought over during days of acrimonious negotiations.
But he surrendered Britain’s right to veto EU decisions in more than 40 other areas of policy including energy, tourism, space policy, transport, civil protection and migration.
The visibly-tired Prime Minister said the most important thing about the deal was that it allowed European nations to focus on the issues that concerned their citizens: "The truth is we’ve been arguing now for many years about the constitutional question.
"This deal gives us a chance to move on.
Only "move on" by denying the people their voice, I'm so fucking angry about this betrayal of our country I can't even begin to put together a coherent post. Tony Blair is a treacherous cunt seems to sum most of it up though.
An Oscar Winning Performance?
Blair's EU 'cave-in' ends truce with Brown | Uk News | News | Telegraph
The attempt by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to choreograph a peaceful handover of power disintegrated last night as they were involved in furious exchanges over an apparent cave-in by the Prime Minister to the French at the European summit.
Maybe, maybe not - I have given up believing a word I read about this. Good Cop, Bad Cop, Saviour of the nation, all bloody play acting. My only surprise is that the Germans aren't insisting the whole bloody charade is performed on Lunerberg Heath as a symbolic reversal.
COUNCILLORS are considering a ban on allowing the armed forces to speak in schools and colleges.
The idea has won backing among some Edinburgh city councillors after being raised by Maggie Chapman, a Green councillor and university lecturer.
She wants to put a stop to the "aggressive recruiting" of "impressionable" teenagers. Her call comes after a similar proposal was passed by the Educational Institute of Scotland, Scotland's largest teachers' union....
Ms Chapman, who represents Leith Walk in the city, said: "We oppose aggressively recruiting children who are perhaps at quite a vulnerable stage in their lives.
"It's not appropriate to go into schools and colleges and tell children that it's a great career and a great opportunity to see the world, especially if there's not a lot of information available about what it's like to work in somewhere like Iraq.
"Our concern is that armed forces' recruitment may be targeting schools in more deprived areas where children, arguably, are not going to have as many career options available."
Probably not got many career options because they haven't been taught to read and write by their trendy teachers.
More from a Traditional Tory in Edinburgh
June 22, 2007
Chilli Cook Off - Sat 23rd June
Get those BBQs warmed up - I'll be down the pub cooking Pork Abodabo - See you there.
Creating an Untermenschen
White boys 'let down by education system' | Uk News | News | Telegraph
White boys are being turned into an unemployable underclass - as they fall behind children from other racial groups at school, new research shows.
Almost half of all children leaving school without any good GCSEs are white British males, according to figures published today.
They outnumber white girls by two to one and have vastly inferior reading and writing skills at the age of 11.
In a damning indictment of the education system in England, they say that thousands of children - particularly boys, working class pupils and those with special needs - are being let down by primary schools.
After moving up many then remain at the bottom of the pile between the ages of 11 and 16 as the Government's secondary school reforms fail to have any significant impact.
Prof Robert Cassen, one of the report's authors, said that thousands of disadvantaged children were "behind educationally before they enter school".
"If boys do worse than girls at early stages, this may be part of the explanation of their later worse performance," the study says.
"The anti-education culture may be something boys take refuge in, something that gives them an alternative identity, placing value and self-esteem in things other than those offered by school."
The report goes on to say: "This is a somewhat different view from the sociological observation that working class children may be rebelling against a school experience that is essentially middle class."
There is a clear link between failure at school and a life of crime, the authors say. "Only about a fifth of the lowest achievers go on to a further education college and acquire any other sort of education or training.
"Many of them have few prospects in the jobs market. Not surprisingly, they may end up unemployed and vulnerable, and a proportion will become single parents or involved in drugs and crime."
The Government defended its record...
Labour gets a very poor school report | Uk News | News | Telegraph
A quarter of teenagers are leaving school with practically nothing to show for 11 years of compulsory education, a report discloses today.
Last year, about 147,000 pupils failed to get any GCSEs higher than a grade D. This included 28,000 - almost one in 20 - who failed to gain a qualification of any kind.
The system is broken, and we all are paying for it. I have dealt with those teenage underperforming white working class boys, of course they " take refuge" in an anti-education culture, it is the only place they can thrive. School knocks out of them all the spark, originality, inquisitiveness, boisterousness, and sheer fun of being a boy. Give them back that and they are great kids, deny it to them and they are a nightmare.
Back to Peat and Candles
SCOTLAND is to lead the world in action to combat climate change, cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.
John Swinney, the Cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, told the Scottish Parliament he was committed to an ambitious programme of cuts that would be an inspiration to the world and help to turn this country into "the green energy capital of Europe"....
Mr Swinney said the country was already feeling the effects of climate change "with, for example, increased frequency and intensity of rainfall"....
Cutting Scotland's carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 will depend to a large extent on actions outwith the control of Holyrood.
John Swinney, whose responsibilities include sustainable growth, suggested insulation was a first step ordinary people could take.
An estimated 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - about 10 per cent of total emissions in 2004 - could be saved if every house in the country had a full energy-efficiency makeover.
A host of wind farms coming on stream by 2020 should make big inroads in reducing emissions. At the current rate of progress, 54 per cent of Scotland's electricity could come from renewables by 2020.
By 2030, emissions could be cut by up to 70 per cent through new climate-friendly technologies. Green taxes and a more extensive European carbon-trading scheme could also be brought in, while capturing and storing in old gas and oilfields could be used to deal with emissions from fossil-fuel power stations.
By 2050, hydrogen produced from renewable sources or clean coal could account for about a quarter of total energy use, fuelling cars and providing homes with electricity. Biofuels would also be commonplace....
The SNP fought the Scottish election on an anti-nuclear platform and has formed a parliamentary alliance with the Greens.
I suppose when the lights go out they will come running south of the border looking for help - if you are in Scotland, buy a generator and stockpile some fuel, it looks like it is going to be a long cold winter soon as you are driven back to the stone age.
Bin Bug Problems by the cwt
Government has not 'weighed up' the real problem. Metric Martyrs reveal how rubbish 'stealth tax' will backfire
The EU Landfill Directive is getting the Government and Local Authorities into an absolute state of panic. They are descending into laughable chaos mode with some of their suggestions. Locks on wheelie bins, microchips to record data from households refuse disposal and so on. The pragmatic reality is that all of this is completely unworkable and the public, yet again, are way ahead of the politicians.
However, one aspect of all this seems to have been missed. Forget the increase in fly-tipping that will ensue, the fights in the street with the refuse collectors, dumping rubbish into other peoples bins and the horrendous cost of administration which will end up with more reams of paper for recycling. This one is the most fundamental.
If you are going to charge or fine people for the amount of unrecycled rubbish or waste they dispose of it will have to be weighed.
If money is involved, either as an incentive or as a penalty, then the determination of weight becomes a 'prescribed use' under the Weights & Measures Act 1985 and is subject to controls. We are surprised that the Government are not aware of this. They were acutely aware when prosecuting Steve Thoburn and the other Metric Martyrs. The same controls required for buying a pound of bananas in pounds sterling are the same controls required to determine whether someone will be rewarded or penalised for recycling. The Weights and Measures Act cannot be disapplied because it is a local authority doing the weighing.
It appears as though the Weights and Measures and Trading Standards authorities at both local and national level are acutely aware, but are responding to queries with vague answers about standards and regulations but there is little factual information as to the feasibility of the application. However, engineers we have consulted see the practicalities of attempting to deliver such a service an impossibility. Weighing machines will have to be calibrated in a similar fashion to shop scales. Operators will have to be fully trained, and householders may insist on being present at every 'transaction.' What about the practical problems of weighing the rubbish on dark, winter mornings with a howling gale?
The underlying principle is that wherever the determination of weight involves the exchange of money ( and in this instance 'payment' can be in the form of either an incentive or penalty), then the instrument used to determine the weight must be controlled by the requirements of the Weights & Measures Act, and all the controls involved - type approval, in-situ testing and regular certification by the Trading Standards Officer for the area concerned would have to be undertaken.
Metric Martyrs spokesman Neil Herron states: " Yet again, we see the Government coming up with policies that will not see the light of day because of the operational and implementational impracticalites. The public meanwhile grows increasingly angry that we are governed by such buffoons who, if they spent 5 minutes with us in the real world, would realise that what they are suggesting is laughable and unworkable. Like the Home Information Packs and Road User Charging they will ignore the public and press ahead until they are forced into another embarassing U-turn some many months and many millions of our hard-earned tax pounds later.
Pity they also didn't listen to us when we told them it was wrong to criminalise a man for selling bananas by the pound. Now the same legislation they used to prosecute the Metric Martyrs is going to see their recycling scheme consigned to landfill."
Metric Martyrs Defence Fund
12 Frederick Street
June 21, 2007
The Devil's Kitchen: introduces us to Celebrity look alikes - I'm too shy to post my picture but apparently I am:
56% Aidan Quinn
55% Michael Douglas
52% Jim Carrey
51% Felipe Gonzales
50% Eric Bana
50% Amitabh Bachchan
50% Willem Dafoe
49% Harold Shipman
49% Chuck Norris
Create your own on http://www.myheritage.com/
The Bogeyeater Meme
The Devil's Kitchen: The Gordon Meme tags me...
Two things Gordon Brown should be proud of
Making us wistful for Tony Blair already.
Not beating the lying treacherous bastard who has lived next door for the last ten years to death with a blunt stick for stealing his job
Two things he should apologise for
For being born
For not dying yet
Two things he should do immediately when he becomes PM
I had to look this one up...
Symptoms of PM
I think he should take the drugs and go for a lie down.
Two things he should do while he is PM
I believe knitting is therapeutic, if not he should just go off into a corner and die.
Oh and tag eight more: That is about seven more friends than I actually have, and that is including Randolph my imaginary one. So if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.
Target Rich Environment
Are we surrendering today or not - it would be nice to know.
Mr William Hague .. told the House of Commons in a debate yesterday that, "Tomorrow, the European Union's Heads of State and Government meet to try to negotiate a treaty of fundamental importance to the EU's future."
from the horse's (Mrs Beckett's) mouth, we find that today's summit is going to discuss "a draft intergovernmental conference mandate"...
Are the "colleagues" negotiating a treaty, or are they simply aiming to "agree a mandate" for a later intergovernmental conference at which a treaty will be negotiated?
....today's Daily Telegraph: "Mr Blair", it says, "is getting ready to sign up today or tomorrow to the bulk of the previous EU Constitution that was rejected by French and Dutch voters in national referendums two years ago, sources close to the negotiations allege."
The paper continues:
Sources close to the negotiations, which open formally when EU leaders arrive in Brussels today, have confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that Mr Blair will accept the loss of 52 vetoes in areas ranging from foreign policy to copyright protection.
Like I said, what do we know?
Nanny Plays Cards
Tories propose 'health miles card' | Uk News | News | Telegraph
A “health miles card”, offering reward points for giving up smoking or losing weight, was proposed yesterday by a Tory group reviewing health policy.
Such rewards could be redeemed against fresh vegetables or discounted gym membership, under plans advanced by the group.....
While much work would be required for the development, “we think that the creation of a small individual benefit scheme would change the language of health from illness to wellbeing,” the review said.
“Health miles could be given as 'reward points’ for giving up smoking, losing weight, receiving immunisations or attending screening programmes. Such rewards could be redeemed against fresh vegetables, discounted gym membership, or priority within other public services,” the group said. ....
The “preventative education” of a generation of young people must be of paramount performance if obesity strategies were to succeed.
The next Tory government should also emphasise citizens’ responsibility for their own health through decisions about exercise, diet, smoking or alcohol consumption. While they could be influenced through information or clinical advice, they would remain the citizens’ responsibility..
We could combine it with a universal card people could carry all the time, obviously to prevent fraud it would have to be a sort of ID card, plenty of room on the chip for all those pesky personal details, not just the colour of your eyes but also did you finish your vegetables up at dinner and how many units of alcohol have you bought this week. And even how much "carbon" you have footprinted. Of course it is your choice, your personal responsibility, but if you don't do as nanny says then I'm afraid you are at the back of the queue for the doctor.......
Ah ha my lads
Fearsome red Jolly Roger flies again | Uk News | News | Telegraph
A rare red Jolly Roger, the most feared of pirate flags, has been restored to its former, bloodthirsty glory.
The crudely stitched flag was captured during a naval battle off the Barbary Coast, North Africa, in 1780 by Lieutenant Richard Curry, who later became an admiral.
It might have been interesting if the MSM reporting this had revealed what the Barbary Pirates were interested in seizing from ships (Christian Slaves to sell in Muslim Africa) or even a short précis of the west's reaction, pay tribute, give in to demands, negotiate and when those tactics kept failing finally beat the living daylights out of them "to the shores of Tripoli".
Scottish Beggars Belief
Taxpayers foot bill for Scots' class size cuts | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Infants in Scotland could be taught in classes as low as 18 while thousands of young children south of the border remain in groups of 30.
In an announcement that triggered fresh accusations of an educational "apartheid" between the two countries, the Scottish Parliament yesterday paved the way for classes to be cut to a record low in the first three years of primary school. ....
Parents last night said that English schoolchildren were being condemned to an inferior education.
The comments reflect mounting anger south of the border over an emerging public services "postcode lottery" as taxpayers across Britain are forced to pay for improvements to health care and education only available in Scotland.
Last week it was revealed that university tuition fees would be abolished in Scotland. Graduates in England face debts of up to £30,000 to pay for courses.
Edinburgh will also scrap prescription charges for the chronically ill as part of a £9 million-a-year scheme to help patients with asthma, cancer and hepatitis C.
In a further twist, it emerged yesterday that teenage girls in Scotland could be routinely vaccinated against cervical cancer from as early as autumn next year, after a decision by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation. In England, the same move has been dogged by delays.
The Scottish National Party has been accused of attempting to antagonise Westminster with a flurry of headline-grabbing policy announcements designed to heighten tension between the two countries.
Last night, Gordon Brown sought to appease parents south of the border by unveiling policy reforms focusing on schools and universities, including extra help for the brightest children.
But Blair Gibbs, campaign director of the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "Sooner or later the Government is going to have to explain why it is OK for SNP ministers in Holyrood to make pledges on public spending with money raised from English taxpayers.
"Voters north of the border are within their rights to want more local control but fairness means not asking someone else to pay for it. English taxpayers once again see the SNP avoiding the logic of their own independence objective. You can't go your own way if you don't pay your own way."
The SNP are winding us up then? Consider me wound.
June 20, 2007
Hancock Falls Foul of The Nannies
One for Blognor
Go To Work On An Egg
The egg industry has been shocked to learn it will not be allowed to show the iconic Go To Work On An Egg ads, which featured Tony Hancock, on TV to mark the 50th anniversary of the British Lion mark.
Eggs are not a food restricted under the new rules on advertising but, despite this, the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) has said the ads cannot be repeated because the concept of eating eggs every day goes against the principle of eating a varied diet.
Author Fay Weldon, who headed the team which came up with the famous slogan in 1957, branded the decision “absurd”.
The British Egg Information Service (BEIS) has launched a special website www.gotoworkonanegg.co.uk where people can view the banned ads.
Prison Overcrowding - solution?
Up to 25,000 prisoners a year will be released early under an emergency scheme announced yesterday to ease the jail overcrowding crisis.
Well apart from laying the blame at NuLabour's door for not being able to perform one of the basic functions of government, providing a justice system which includes building enough gaols, is this really the only solution? Only yesterday we were told about a Child Pornographer scumbag who is just been locked up for the rest of his natural; some might suggest that there is a cheaper option for the likes of him involving a length of rope; just saying you know.
A local farmer challenged a couple of horseriders who were riding were they shouldn't on his farm, (Defra rules outlaw horse riding on field margins) and finished his traditional "Getorf moi Land" with "What's the bloody point of riding anyway if you aren't hunting?"
The prissy reply came back that they enjoyed the fresh air and exercise.
"Well if you want fresh air and exercise why don't you go home and bugger yourselves with a pair of bellows?"
Berlin is watching us
Germany piles pressure on Britain over EU | International News | News | Telegraph
Germany today turns the pressure on Gordon Brown over the EU constitution by warning that Europe's battles against climate change and illegal immigration depend on national leaders having the courage to cede more power to Brussels.
...Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany's ambassador to London, says Berlin is watching the handover from Tony Blair to Mr Brown with "great interest".
And exactly how does becoming part of The Greater Europe help us in the fight against illegal immigration? And come to that in the Great War on the Climate? Oh, because it would "let the world know that 500 million Europeans speak with one voice and mean business?" You're having a laugh aren't you?
June 19, 2007
Count me in as a redneck nutter
If you think anyone but a few fringe nutters hold pro-american positions then you are seriously touched or living in redneck county, redneck state, US of A.
Sometimes the Reg likes to think it casts a satirical eye over the day's news. And sometimes government ministers are so out of touch with reality that they do our job for us.
Thank you then to Liam Byrne, the Home Office minister who is a dead ringer for Otto Flick from 'Allo 'Allo, for today's offering.
Speaking at Chatham House Byrne said the gov's beloved ID card scheme will soon be another great British institution: "Like the railways in the 19th century or the national grid last century, the national identity system will soon become part of the fabric of British life."
Byrne said we should be reassured because: "My party has always been suspicious of growth in unregulated and unaccountable power and the risk of new inequalities."
A statement which is absolutely true provided you ignore the Labour government's concerted attack on our civil liberties including the right to silence, the right of peaceful protest, the right to trial by jury, rights of peaceful assembly and the assumption of innocence.
If you can take any more, Byrne's speech is here.
For My Welsh Readers - A Nightmare...
Keep Paying the Danegeld
THE level of spending in Scotland is a small price to pay to prevent the break-up of the Union, Tony Blair told critics of the Barnett formula yesterday.
Mr Blair also played down Labour's defeat at Holyrood and suggested he had left the Union stronger than it was before 1997, as support for "separation" had fallen. It was understandable if voters wanted different governments from time to time, he said.
He faced a grilling over whether it was sustainable to have "two classes of citizens" where Scots MPs could decide on the affairs of England through the Westminster parliament, but English MPs could not vote on devolved matters at Holyrood.
Some may compare this with the English paying Danegeld, or even "Scot and Lot". Some Scots believe that the money is worth taking, but it is paid to them at a price, as long as they continue to sponge off their neighbour they will never walk tall and free as a successful nation.
Pay to Display?
Waterstone's admit charging to promote books | Uk News | News | Telegraph
For £45,000 per book, Waterstone's, the document suggested, would place six titles in windows, front-of-house displays and in a national advertising campaign.
For £25,000, the chain allegedly offered to feature a title in a front-of-store bay as a "gift book", and at tills. For £17,000, a book, it was claimed, would be displayed as one of two titles billed as the "offer of the week" for one week in the run-up to Christmas.
A payment of £7,000 would allegedly ensure a book was promoted as a Paperback of the Year and be mentioned in newspaper advertisements, while £500 would see a book appear in Waterstone's Christmas gift guide, complete with a bookseller review.
Oh grow up! Have journalists never heard of slotting fees or allowances? The money that manufacturers have to pay supermarkets to get their products on the shelf, and how much they pay determines where on the rack they are? For many supermarkets it is as an important an source of revenue as the actual sales receipts. Is it because books should be holy and untainted by sordid commerce or is it that the art grad journalists are bog ignorant of commerce?
June 18, 2007
Badger, Badger, Badger
...badger culling did reduce cattle TB, it would have to be so extensive it would be uneconomical.
Culling badgers does not help control TB in cattle - and could even make the problem worse, a major government report has concluded.
Badger cull abandoned after TB report | Animals | Wildlife | Earth | Telegraph
Ministers are expected to abandon plans to license a widespread cull of badgers after a decade-long study by independent scientists concluded that a cull would only increase the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
Well that is clear then...
Why not cut to the chase and ignore the science - Badgers look cuddly, do you think I want to be known as Ben Badger Basher Bradshaw?
PS Any chance of a donation?
I think we have aspired enough
We're all well and truly into aspiration now. The Chancellor has been uttering the word every five seconds as part of the repackaged New Gordon campaign, and now David Cameron is to make it a key concept in the Conservatives' next phase of development.
Cameron reveals his blueprint for Britain | Uk News | News | Telegraph
I joined this party because I believe in aspiration...
education in a way that delivers aspiration and opportunity for all...
problems like family breakdown, drug addiction, and poverty of aspiration. ...
Every true Conservative believes in aspiration and opportunity for all...
The way to win the fight for aspiration is to put those things that worked in grammars...
powers can be returned to member states - not as a vague aspiration, ...
David Cameron spoke of his aspiration of social cohesion...
make lower taxes a medium term aspiration. ...
It was a "natural aspiration" to own property....
If we are to be the party of aspiration,...
....Speech given by the chancellor, Gordon Brown, to the 2004 Labour party ... A great Britain of aspiration and ambition where there are no barriers to ...
...."no cap on aspiration", The Chancellor,... ad nauseam..
- Expulsion of breath in speech.
- The pronunciation of a consonant with an aspirate.
- A speech sound produced with an aspirate.
- The act of breathing in; inhalation.
- Medicine. The process of removing fluids or gases from the body with a suction device.
Saying Boo to the EU
Brown joins drive to stave off referendum on future of the EU-News-Politics-TimesOnline
Gordon Brown is expected to hold last-minute talks, possibly tonight, with Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, to plot how to avoid a referendum on the future of the European Union.
Brown to defy Blair with public vote on EU | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Gordon Brown defied Tony Blair last night by making clear he is prepared to give the British people a referendum on plans to resurrect the European constitution.
Geoff Hoon, the Minister for Europe, revealed that Mr Brown was ready to stage a national poll if Europe's leaders try to force through a deal that was unacceptable to Britain at this week's EU summit.
Last night, sources close to Mr Brown confirmed his position, with one describing Mr Hoon's comments as a "sensible" analysis of the situation.
Europe's leaders know such a move would kill off any hopes of a treaty because the British people would almost certainly vote it down.
That's it threaten the EU with democracy, that will frighten them off
June 17, 2007
Glass Fearing Wussies
In Texas, you need to register the purchase of Erlenmeyer flasks or three-necked beakers. The same state where I do not have to register a handgun, forces me to register a glass beaker....
Hey Kim, how about moving over to Blighty where we still have the freedom to buy scary flasks without a licence?
Lightweight Cameron Rumbled in the Polls
Tories slip as 'charisma free' Brown outpolls Cameron-News-Politics-TimesOnline
...the Tory lead is back where it was when David Cameron took over as leader at the end of 2005. His honeymoon appears to be over while Brown’s may be beginning.
Asked about how they rated Brown and Cameron on a range of qualities, the Conservative leader came off second best on most. Brown was easily ahead on “sticking to his principles” (49%-19%); being strong (44%-11%); and being decisive (38%-12%). He also had a small lead on honesty (23%-18%).
Cameron, in contrast, stood out only on being charismatic; 30% said he was, against only 4% for Brown. In the Brown camp, where the decision has been taken not to try to compete with Cameron in the charisma stakes, these results will be regarded as reassuring. Asked whether they agreed with Blair’s description of Brown as a “big clunking fist”, only 35% of voters agreed.
For the Conservatives and their new director of communications Andy Coulson the challenge is to show that their man has weight and gravitas as well as an attractive public image.
Brown won when people were asked who they would prefer to share a foxhole with in the face of enemy gunfire. Cameron was ahead in the “agony aunt” stakes....
Ah - even the polls agree with my Officer Material Test.
Tony - The Final Sellout
Blair to do deal over EU charter-News-Politics-TimesOnline
Tony Blair is preparing to cave in to pressure to sign up Britain to a sweeping new human rights charter.
The prime minister is ready to do a deal over the European charter of fundamental rights this week amid fears that plans for a treaty to replace the failed European Union constitution will collapse if he refuses to compromise.
The charter sets out a series of rights and privileges in areas from the workplace to benefits. As well as enshrining the right to strike, it allows all employees to limit their weekly working hours, a law that does not apply in Britain at present.
Officially, Downing Street has said that Blair will not agree to the charter if it is legally binding. But yesterday lawyers for the government were drawing up plans for a fudge....
Senior insiders insist that the measures under consideration will not contradict Blair’s promise to refuse to accept anything legally binding. They say he would sooner walk away from the talks than break his word....
How would Tony recognise if he was to "break his word", is it a concept that he has any recognition of? Non legally binding charters? Pull the other one you worthless sack of shit.
As ever the only reliable source of news isn't the MSM but EU Referendum
Tories want Referendum
Scotsman.com News - Tories back vote on independence
The party's vice-chairman has publicly backed a referendum as soon as possible to "clear the air" over Scotland's constitutional future.
Several Tory MSPs are backing the move, claiming the poll - which is likely to reject independence three to one - would "shoot the Nationalists' fox".
The Tory calls for a referendum were led by the party's vice-chairman, Richard Cook. He told Scotland on Sunday: "I'm personally in support of a referendum bill at the earliest possible opportunity, to remove the uncertainty already being created to business.
There is increasing concern among Tories on both sides of the Border that a Nationalist government in Edinburgh, combined with a surge of English resentment south of the Border, is pulling the Union apart.
The Tories actually using their heads for once, they think they can be Scottish, by backing the referendum, Unionist, by campaigning for a No vote, democratic by trusting the people, and on the winning side for once. Makes the Lib Dems look even more stupid.
Europol Surrender Monkeys
Scotsman.com News - UK - UK's wars 'leave EU at risk of terrorism'
BRITAIN'S controversial military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have left Europe at risk of attack from Islamic terrorists, the continent's leading police chief has warned.
Max-Peter Ratzel, director of Europol, the European Union's police agency, claims the continuing involvement in the war zones has boosted the threat of reprisals from al-Qaeda and represents the biggest single threat to the security of the EU.
Sorry, remind me again who started this Islamic war. Hoping the bad guys will leave us alone if we ignore them and give in to their demands doesn't work. I'm not sure what the politically correct way to tell a German about appeasement is...
Shock News - BBC Officially Biased
THE BBC is institutionally biased, an official report will conclude this week. The year-long investigation, commissioned by the BBC, has found the corporation particularly partial in its treatment of single-issue politics such as climate change, poverty, race and religion.
It concludes that the bias has extended across drama, comedy and entertainment, with the corporation pandering to politically motivated celebrities and trendy causes.....antiAmerican and pandering to Islam.... The BBC deliberately championing multiculturalism and ethnic minorities, while betraying an anticountryside bias.
And it took a year's investigation to discover this?
June 16, 2007
Sons of Ulster
Too many hours at a wake yesterday of an young man from Ulster - what good people they are, we don't deserve their loyalty and friendship by the way we have let them down.
A Great Day in History for the Anglospheric Constitutions
By 1215, some of the barons of England banded together and took London by force on June 10, 1215. They, and many of the fence-sitting moderates not in overt rebellion, forced King John to agree to the "Articles of the Barons", to which his Great Seal was attached in the meadow at Runnymede on June 15, 1215. In return, the barons renewed their oaths of fealty to King John on June 19, 1215. A formal document to record the agreement was created by the royal chancery on July 15: this was the original Magna Carta.
Johannes del gracia rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie, dux Normannie, Aquitannie et comes Andegavie, archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, comitibus, baronibus, justiciariis, forestariis, vicecomitibus, prepositis, ministris et omnibus ballivis et fidelibus suis salutem. Sciatis nos intuitu Dei et pro salute anime nostre et omnium antecessorum et heredum nostrorum ad honorem Dei et exaltacionem sancte Ecclesie, et emendacionem regni nostri, per consilium venerabilium patrum nostrorum, Stephani Cantuariensis archiepiscopi tocius Anglie primatis et sancte Romane ecclesie cardinalis, Henrici Dublinensis archiepiscopi, Willelmi Londoniensis, Petri Wintoniensis, Joscelini Bathoniensis et Glastoniensis, Hugonis Lincolniensis, Walteri Wygorniensis, Willelmi Coventrensis, et Benedicti Roffensis, episcoporum; magistri Pandulfi domini pape subdiaconi et familiaris, fratris Aymerici magistri milicie Templi in Anglia; et nobilium virorum Willelmi Mariscalli comitis Penbrocie, Willelmi comitis Sarrisberie, Willelmi comitis Warennie, Willelmi comitis Arundellie, Alani de Galeweya constabularii Scocie, Warini filii Geroldi, Petri filii Hereberti, Huberti de Burgo senescalli Pictavie, Hugonis de Nevilla, Mathei filli Hereberti, Thome Basset, Alani Basset, Philippi de Albiniaco, Roberti de Roppel', Johannis Mariscalli, Johannis filii Hugonis et aliorum fidelium nostrorum:
 In the first place have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs for ever that the English church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired; and it is our will that it be thus observed; which is evident from the fact that, before the quarrel between us and our barons began, we willingly and spontaneously granted and by our charter confirmed the freedom of elections which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English church, and obtained confirmation of it from the lord pope Innocent III; the which we will observe and we wish our heirs to observe it in good faith for ever. We have also granted to all free men of our kingdom, for ourselves and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written below, to be had and held by them and their heirs of us and our heirs.
1. In primis concessisse Deo et hac presenti carta nostra confirmasse, pro nobis et heredibus nostris in perpetuum, quod Anglicana ecclesie libera sit, et habeat jura sua integra, et libertates suas illesas; et ita volumus observari; quod apparet ex eo quod libertatem electionum, que maxima et magis necessaria reputatur ecclesie Anglicane, mera et spontanea voluntate, ante discordiam inter nos et barones nostros motam, concessimus et carta nostra confirmavimus, et eam obtinuimus a domino papa Innocentio tercio confirmari; quam et nos observabimus et ab heredibus nostris in perpetuum bona fide volumus observari. Concessimus eciam omnibus liberis hominibus regni nostri, pro nobis et heredibus nostris in perpetuum, omnes libertates subscriptas, habendas et tenendas eis et heredibus suis, de nobis et heredibus nostris.
 If any of our earls or barons or others holding of us in chief by knight service dies, and at his death his heir be of full age and owe relief he shall have his inheritance on payment of the old relief, namely the heir or heirs of an earl £100 for a whole earl’s barony, the heir or heirs of a baron £100 for a whole barony, the heir or heirs of a knight 100s, at most, for a whole knight’s fee; and he who owes less shall give less according to the ancient usage of fiefs.
2. Si quis comitum vel baronum nostrorum, sive aliorum tenencium de nobis in capite per servicium militare, mortuus fuerit, et cum decesserit heres suus plene etatis fuerit et relevium debeat, habeat hereditatem suam per antiquum relevium; scilicet heres vel heredes comitis de baronia comitis integra per centum libras; heres veI heredes baronis de baronia integra per centum libras; heres vel heredes militis de feodo militis integro per centum solidos ad plus; et qui minus debuerit minus det secundum antiquam consuetudinem feodorum. [Articles, c. 1; 1225, c. 2.]
 If, however, the heir of any such be under age and a ward, he shall have his inheritance when he comes of age without paying relief and without making fine.
3. Si autem heres alicujus talium fuerit infra etatem et fuerit in custodia, cum ad etatem pervenerit, habeat hereditatem suam sine relevio et sine fine. [Articles, c. 2; 1225, c. 3.]
 The guardian of the land of such an heir who is under age shall take from the land of the heir no more than reasonable revenues, reasonable customary dues and reasonable services and that without destruction and waste of men or goods; and if we commit the wardship of the land of any such to a sheriff, or to any other who is answerable to us for its revenues, and he destroys or wastes what he has wardship of, we will take compensation from him and the land shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fief, who shall be answerable for the revenues to us or to him to whom we have assigned them; and if we give or sell to anyone the wardship of any such land and he causes destruction or waste therein, he shall lose that wardship, and it shall be transferred to two lawful and discreet men of that fief, who shall similarly be answerable to us as is aforesaid.
4. Custos terre hujusmodi heredis qui infra etatem fuerit, non capiat de terra heredis nisi racionabiles exitus, et racionabiles consuetudines, et racionabilia servicia, et hoc sine destructione et vasto hominum vel rerum; et si nos commiserimus custodiam alicujus talis terre vicecomiti vel alicui alii qui de exitibus illius nobis respondere debeat, et ille destructionem de custodia fecerit veI vastum, nos ab illo capiemus emendam, et terra committatur duobus legalibus et discretis hominibus de feodo illo, qui de exitibus respondeant nobis vel ei cui eos assignaverimus; et si dederimus vel vendiderimus alicui custodiam alicujus talis terre, et ille destructionem inde fecerit vel vastum, amittat ipsam custodiam, et tradatur duobus legalibus et discretis hominibus de feodo illo qui similiter nobis respondeant sicut predictum est. [Articles, c. 3; 1225, c. 4.]
 Moreover, so long as he has the wardship of the land, the guardian shall keep in repair the houses, parks, preserves, ponds, mills and other things pertaining to the land out of the revenues from it; and he shall restore to the heir when he comes of age his land fully stocked with plows and the means of husbandry according to what the season of husbandry requires and the revenues of the land can reasonably bear.
5. Custos autem, quamdiu custodiam terre habuerit, sustentet domos, parcos, vivaria, stagna, molendina, et cetera ad terram illam pertinencia, de exitibus terre ejusdem; et reddat heredi cum ad plenam etatem pervenerit, terram suam totam instauratam de carucis et waynagiis, secundum quod tempus waynagii exiget et exitus terre racionabiliter poterunt sustinere. [Articles, cc. 3, 35; 1225, c. 5.]
 Heirs shall be married without disparagement, yet so that before the marriage is contracted those nearest in blood to the heir shall have notice.
6. Heredes maritentur absque disparagacione, ita tamen quod, antequam contrahatur matrimonium, ostendatur propinquis de consanguinitate ipsius heredis. [Articles, c. 3; 1225, c. 6.]
 A widow shall have her marriage portion and inheritance forthwith and without difficulty after the death of her husband; nor shall she pay anything to have her dower or her marriage portion or the inheritance which she and her husband held on the day of her husband’s death; and she may remain in her husband’s house for forty days after his death, within which time her dower shall be assigned to her.
7. Vidua post mortem mariti sui statim et sine difficultate habeat maritagium et hereditatem suam, nec aliquid det pro dote sua, vel pro maritagio suo, vel hereditate sua, quam hereditatem maritus suus et ipsa tenuerint die obitus ipsius mariti, et maneat in domo mariti sul per quadraginta dies post mortem ipsius, infra quos assignetur ei dos sua. [Articles, c. 4; 1225, c. 7.]
 No widow shall be forced to marry so long as she wishes to live without a husband, provided that she gives security not to marry without our consent if she holds of us, or without the consent of her lord of whom she holds, if she holds of another.
8. Nulla vidua distringatur ad se maritandum, dum voluerit vivere sine marito, ita tamen quod securitatem faciat quod se non maritabit sine assensu nostro, si de nobis tenuerit, vel sine assensu domini sui de quo tenuerit, si de alio tenuerit. [Articles, c. 17; 1225, c. 7.]
 Neither we nor our bailiffs will seize for any debt any land or rent, so long as the chattels of the debtor are sufficient to repay the debt; nor will those who have gone surety for the debtor be distrained so long as the principal debtor is himself able to pay the debt; and if the principal debtor fails to pay the debt, having nothing wherewith to pay it, then shall the sureties answer for the debt; and they shall, if they wish, have the lands and rents of the debtor until they are reimbursed for the debt which they have paid for him, unless the principal debtor can show that he has discharged his obligation in the matter to the said sureties.
9. Nec nos nec ballivi nostri seisiemus terram aliquam nec redditum pro debito aliquo, quamdiu catalla debitoris sufficiunt ad debitum reddendum; nec plegii ipsius debitoris distringantur quamdiu ipse capitalis debitor sufficit ad solucionem debiti; et si capitalis debitor defecerit in solucione debiti, non habens unde solvat, plegii respondeant de debito; et si voluerint, habeant terras et redditus debitoris, donec sit eis satisfactum de debito quod ante pro eo solverint, nisi capitalis debitor monstraverit se esse quietum inde versus eosdem plegios. [Articles, c. 5; 1225, c. 8.]
 If anyone who has borrowed from the Jews any sum, great or small, dies before it is repaid, the debt shall not bear interest as long as the heir is under age, of whomsoever he holds; and if the debt falls into our hands, we will not take anything except the principal mentioned in the bond.
10.Si quis mutuo ceperit aliquid a Judeis, plus vel minus, et moriatur antequam debitum illud solvatur, debitum non usuret quamdiu heres fuerit infra etatem, de quocumque teneat; et si debitum illud inciderit in manus nostras, nos non capiemus nisi catallum contentum in carta. [Articles, C. 34.]
 And if anyone dies indebted to the Jews, his wife shall have her dower and pay nothing of that debt; and if the dead man leaves children who are under age, they shall be provided with necessaries befitting the holding of the deceased; and the debt shall be paid out of the residue, reserving, however, service due to lords of the land; debts owing to others than Jews shall be dealt with in like manner.
11. Et si quis moriatur, et debitum debeat Judeis, uxor ejus habeat dotem suam, et nichil reddat de debito illo, et si liberi ipsius defuncti qui fuerint infra etatem remanserint, provideantur eis necessaria secundum tenementum quod fuerit defuncti et de residuo solvatur debitum, salvo servicio dominorum; simili modo fiat de debitis que debentur aliis quaim Judeis. [Articles, c. 35.]
 No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our kingdom unless by common counsel of our kingdom, except for ransoming our person, for making our eldest son a knight, and for once marrying our eldest daughter, and for these only a reasonable aid shall be levied. Be it done in like manner concerning aids from the city of London.
12. Nullum scutagium vel auxilium ponatur in regno nostro, nisi per commune consilium regni nostri, nisi ad corpus nostrum redimendum, et primogenitum filium nostrum militem faciendum, et ad filiam nostram primogenitam semel maritandam, et ad hec non fiat nisi racionabile auxilium; simili modo fiat de auxiliis de civitate Londoniarum. [Articles, c. 32.]
 And the city of London shall have all its ancient liberties and free customs as well by land as by water. Furthermore, we will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.
13. Et civitas Londoniarum habeat omnes antiquas libertates et liberas consuetudines suas, tam per terras quam per aquas. Preterea volumus et concedimus quod omnes alie civitates, et burgi, et ville, et portus, habeant omnes libertates et liberas consuetudines suas. [Articles, c. 32; 1225, c. 9.]
 And to obtain the common counsel of the kingdom about the assessing of an aid (except in the three cases aforesaid) or of a scutage, we will cause to be summoned the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and greater barons, individually by our letters -- and, in addition, we will cause to be summoned generally through our sheriffs and bailiffs all those holding of us in chief -- for a fixed date, namely, after the expiry of at least forty days, and to a fixed place; and in all letters of such summons we will specify the reason for the summons. And when the summons has thus been made, the business shall proceed on the day appointed, according to the counsel of those present, though not all have come who were summoned.
14. Et ad habendum commune consilium regni de auxilio assidendo aliter quam in tribus casibus predictis, vel de scutagio assidendo, summoneri faciemus archiepiscopos, episcopos, abbates, comites, et majores barones sigillatim per litteras nostras; et preterea faciemus summoneri in generali per vicecomites et ballivos nostros omnes illos qui de nobis tenent in capite ad certum diem, scilicet ad terminum quadraginta dierum ad minus, et ad certum locum; et in omnibus litteris illius summonicionis causam summonicionis exprimemus; et sic facta summonicione negocium ad diem assignatum procedat secundum consilium illorum qui presentes fuerint, quamvis non omnes summoniti venerint.
 We will not in future grant any one the right to take an aid from his free men, except for ransoming his person, for making his eldest son a knight and for once marrying his eldest daughter, and for these only a reasonable aid shall be levied.
15. Nos non concedemus de cetero alicui quod capiat auxilium de liberis hominibus suis, nisi ad corpus suum redimendum, et ad faciendum primogenitum filium suum militem, et ad primogenitam filiam suam semel maritandam, et ad hec non fiat nisi racionabile auxilium. [Articles, c. 6.]
 No one shall be compelled to do greater service for a knight’s fee or for any other free holding than is due from it.
16. Nullus distringatur ad faciendum majus servicium de feodo militis, nec de alio libero tenemento, quam inde debetur. [Articles, c. 7; 1225, c. 10.]
 Common pleas shall not follow our court, but shall be held in some fixed place.
17. Communia placita non sequantur curiam nostram, set teneantur in aliquo loco certo. [Articles, c. 8; 1225, c. 11.]
 Recognitions of novel disseisin, of mort d'ancester, and of darrein presentment, shall not be held elsewhere than in the counties to which they relate, and in this manner -- we, or, if we should be out of the realm, our chief justiciar, will send two justices through each county four times a year, who, with four knights of each county chosen by the county, shall hold the said assizes in the county and on the day and in the place of meeting of the county court.
18. Recogniciones de nova disseisina, de morte antecessoris, et de ultima presentacione, non capiantur nisi in suis comitatibus et hoc modo; nos, vel si extra regnum fuerimus capitalis justiciarius noster, mittemus duos justiciarios per unumquemque comitatum per quatuor vices in anno, qui, cum quatuor militibus cujuslibet comitatus electis per comitatum, capiant in comitatu et in die et loco comitatus assisas predictas. [Articles, c. 8; 1225, c. 12.]
 And if the said assizes cannot all be held on the day of the county court, there shall stay behind as many of the knights and freeholders who were present at the county court on that day as are necessary for the sufficient making of judgments, according to the amount of business to be done.
19. Et si in die comitatus assise predicte capi non possint, tot milites et libere tenentes remaneant de illis qui interfuerint comitatui die illo, per quos possint judicia sufficienter fieri, secundum quod negocium fuerit majus vel minus. [Articles, c. 13.]
 A free man shall not be amerced for a trivial offense except in accordance with the degree of the offense, and for a grave offense he shall be amerced in accordance with its gravity, yet saving his way of living; and a merchant in the same way, saving his stock-in-trade; and a villein shall be amerced in the same way, saving his means of livelihood -- if they have fallen into our mercy: and none of the aforesaid amercements shall be imposed except by the oath of good men of the neighborhood.
20. Liber homo non amercietur pro parvo delicto, nisi secundum modum delicti; et pro magno delicto amercietur secundum magnitudinem delicti, salvo contenemento suo; et mercator eodem modo, salva mercandisa sua; et villanus eodem modo amercietur salvo waynagio suo; si inciderint in misericordiam nostram; et nulla predictarum misericordiarum ponatur, nisi per sacramentum proborum hominum de visneto. [Articles, c. 9; 1225, c. 14.]
 Earls and barons shall not be amerced except by their peers, and only in accordance with the degree of the offense.
21. Comites et barones non amercientur nisi per pares suos, et non nisi secundum modum delicti. [1225, c. 14.]
 No clerk shall be amerced in respect of his lay holding except after the manner of the others aforesaid and not according to the amount of his ecclesiastical benefice.
22. Nullus clericus amercietur de laico tenemento suo, nisi secundum modum aliorum predictorum, et non secundum quantitatem beneficii sul ecclesiastici. [Articles, c. 10; 1225, c. 14.]
 No vill or individual shall be compelled to make bridges at river banks, except those who from of old are legally bound to do so.
23. Nec villa nec homo distringatur facere pontes ad riparias, nisi qui ab antiquo et de jure facere debent. [Articles, c. 11; 1225, c. 15.]
 No sheriff, constable, coroners, or others of our bailiffs, shall hold pleas of our crown.
24. Nullus vicecomes, constabularius, coronatores, vel alii ballivi nostri, teneant placita corone nostre. [Articles, c. 14; 12259 c. 17.]
 All counties, hundreds, wapentakes and trithings shall be at the old rents without any additional payment, exept our demesne manors.
25. Omnes comitatus, hundredi, wapentakii, et trethingi sint ad antiquas firmas absque ullo incremento, exceptis dominicis maneriis nostris. [Articles, c. 14.]
 If anyone holding a lay fief of us dies and our sheriff or bailiff shows our letters patent of summons for a debt that the deceased owed us, it shall be lawful for our sheriff or bailiff to attach and make a list of chattels of the deceased found upon the lay fief to the value of that debt under the supervision of law-worthy men, provided that none of the chattels shall be removed until the debt which is manifest has been paid to us in full; and the residue shall be left to the executors for carrying out the will of the deceased. And if nothing is owing to us from him, all the chattels shall accrue to the deceased, saving to his wife and children their reasonable shares.
26. Si aliquis tenens de nobis laicum feodum moriatur, et vicecomes vel ballivus noster ostendat litteras nostras patentes de summonicione nostra de debito quod defunctus nobis debuit, liceat vicecomiti vel ballivo nostro attachiare et inbreviare catalla defuncti inventa in laico feodo, ad valenciam illius debiti, per visum legallum hominum, ita tamen quod nichil inde amoveatur, donec persolvatur nobis debitum quod clarum fuerit, et residuum relinquatur executoribus ad faciendum testamentum defuncti; et si nichil nobis debeatur ab ipso, omnia catalla cedant defuncto, salvis uxori ipsius et pueris racionabilibus partibus suis. [Articles, c. 15; 1225, c. 18.]
 If any free man dies without leaving a will, his chattels shall be distributed by his nearest kinsfolk and friends under the supervision of the church, saving to every one the debts which the deceased owed him.
27. Sl aliquis liber homo intestatus decesserit, catalla sua per manus propinquorum parentum et amicorum suorum, per visum ecclesie, distribuantur, salvis unicuique debitis que defunctus el debebat. [Articles, c. 16.]
 No constable or other bailiff of ours shall take anyone’s corn or other chattels unless he pays on the spot in cash for them or can delay payment by arrangement with the seller.
28. Nullus constabularius, vel alius ballivus noster, capiat blada vel alia catalla allcujus, nisi statim inde reddat denarios, aut respectum inde habere possit de voluntate venditoris. [Articles, c. 18; 1225, c. 19.]
 No constable shall compel any knight to give money instead of castle-guard if he is willing to do the guard himself or through another good man, if for some good reason he cannot do it himself; and if we lead or send him on military service, he shall be excused guard in proportion to the time that because of us he has been on service.
29. Nullus constabularius distringat aliquem militem ad dandum denarios pro custodia castri, si facere voluerit custodiam illam in propria persona sua, vel per alium probum hominem, si ipse eam facere non possit propter racionabilem causam; et si nos duxerimus vel miserimus eum in exercitum, erit quietus de custodia, secundum quantitatem temporis quo per nos fuerit in exercitu. [Articles, c. 19; 1225, c. 20.]
 No sheriff, or bailiff of ours, or anyone else shall take the horses or carts of any free man for transport work save with the agreement of that freeman.
30. Nullus vicecomes, vel ballivus noster, vel aliquis alius, capiat equos vel carettas allcujus liberi hominis pro cariagio faciendo, nisi de voluntate ipsius liberi hominis. [Articles, c. 20; 1225, C. 21.]
 Neither we nor our bailiffs will take, for castles or other works of ours, timber which is not ours, except with the greement of him whose timber it is.
31. Nec nos nec ballivi nostri capiemus alienum boscum ad castra vel alia agenda nostra, nisi per voluntatem ipsius cujus boscus ille fuerit. [Articles, c. 21; 1225, c. 21.]
 We will not hold for more than a year and a day the lands of those convicted of felony, and then the lands shall be handed over to the lords of the fiefs.
32. Nos non tenebimus terras illorum qui convicti fuerint de felonia, nisi per unum annum et unum diem, et tunc reddantur terre dominis feodorum. [Articles, c. 22; 1225, c. 22.]
 Henceforth all fish-weirs shall be cleared completely from the Thames and the Medway and throughout all England, except along the sea coast.
33. Omnes kidelli de cetero deponantur penitus de Tamisia, et de Medewaye, et per totam Angliam, nisi per costeram maris. [Articles, c. 23; 1225, c. 23.]
 The writ called Praecipe shall not in future be issued to anyone in respect of any holding whereby a free man may lose his court.
34. Breve quod vocatur 'Precipe' de cetero non fiat alicui de aliquo tenemento unde liber homo amittere possit curiam suam. [Articles, c. 24; 1225, c. 24.]
 Let there be one measure for wine throughout our kingdom, and one measure for ale, and one measure for corn, namely "the London quarter"; and one width for cloths whether dyed, russet or halberget, namely two ells within the selvedges. Let it be the same with weights as with measures.
35. Una mensura vini sit per totum regnum nostrum, et una mensura cervisie, et una mensura bladi, scilicet quarterium Londoniense, et una latitudo pannorum tinctorum et russetorum et halbergettorum, scilicet due ulne infra listas; de ponderibus autem sit ut de mensuris. [Articles, c. 12; 1225, c. 25.]
 Nothing shall be given or taken in future for the writ of inquisition of life or limbs: instead it shall be granted free of charge and not refused.
36. Nichil detur vel capiatur de cetero pro brevi inquisicionis de vita vel membris, set gratis concedatur et non negetur. [Articles, c. 26; 1225, c. 26.]
 If anyone holds of us by fee-farm, by socage, or by burgage, and holds land of another by knight service, we will not, by reason of that fee-farm, socage, or burgage, have the wardship of his heir or of land of his that is of the fief of the other; nor will we have custody of the fee-farm, socage, or burgage, unless such fee-farm owes knight service. We will not have custody of anyone’s heir or land which he holds of another by knight service by reason of any petty serjeanty which he holds of us by the service of rendering to us knives or arrows or the like.
37. Si aliquis teneat de nobis per feodifirmam, vel per sokagium, vel per burgagium, et de alio terram, teneat per servicium militare, nos non habebimus custodiam heredis nec terre sue que est de feodo alterius occasione illius feodifirme, vel sokagii, vel burgagii; nec habebimus custodiam illius feodifirme, vel sokagii, vel burgagii, nisi ipsa feodifirma debeat servicium militare. Nos non habebimus custodiam heredis vel terre alicujus, quam tenet de alio per servicium militare, occasione alicujus parve serjanterie quam tenet de nobis per servicium reddendi nobis cultellos, vel sagittas, vel hujusmodi. [Articles, c. 27; 1225, c. 27.]
 No bailiff shall in future put anyone to trial upon his own bare word, without reliable witnesses produced for this purpose.
38. Nullus ballivus ponat decetero aliquem ad legem simplici loquela sua, sine testibus fidelibus ad hoc inductis. [Articles, c. 28; 1225, c. 28.]
 No free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimized, neither will we attack him or send anyone to attack him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
39. Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut disseisiatur, aut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super cum ibimus, nec super cum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum vel per legem terre. [Articles, c. 29; 1225, c. 29.]
 To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice.
40. Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus aut differemus rectum aut justiciam. [Articles, c. 30; 1225 c. 29.]
 All merchants shall be able to go out of and come into England safely and securely and stay and travel throughout England, as well by land as by water, for buying and selling by the ancient and right customs free from all evil tolls, except in time of war and if they are of the land that is at war with us. And if such are found in our land at the beginning of a war, they shall be attached, without injury to their persons or goods, until we, or our chief justiciar, know how merchants of our land are treated who were found in the land at war with us when war broke out, and if ours are safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.
41. Omnes mercatores habeant salvum et securum exire de Anglia, et venire in Angliam, et morari, et ire per Angliam, tam per terram quam per aquam, ad emendum et vendendum, sine omnibus malis toltis, per antiquas et rectas consuetudines, preterquam in tempore gwerre, et si sint de terra contra nos gwerrina; et si tales inveniantur in terra nostra in principio gwerre, attachientur sine dampno corporum et rerum, donec sciatur a nobis vel capitali justiciario nostro quomodo mercatores terre nostre tractentur, qui tunc invenientur in terra contra nos gwerrina; et si nostri salvi sint ibi, alii salvi sint in terra nostra. [Articles, c. 3 1; 1225, c. 30.]
 It shall be lawful in future for anyone, without prejudicing the allegiance due to us, to leave our kingdom and return safely and securely by land and water, save, in the public interest, for a short period in time of war -- except for those imprisoned or outlawed in accordance with the law of the kingdom and natives of a land that is at war with us and merchants (who shall be treated as aforesaid).
42. Liceat unicuique decetero exire de regno nostro, et redire, salvo et secure, per terram et per aquam, salva fide nostra, nisi tempore gwerre per aliquod breve tempus, propter communem utilitatem regni, exceptis imprisonatis et utlagatis secundum legem regni, et gente de terra contra nos gwerrina, et mercatoribus, de quibus fiat sicut predictum est. [Articles, c. 33.]
 If anyone who holds of some escheat such as the honor of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or of other escheats which are in our hands and are baronies dies, his heir shall give no other relief and do no other service to us than he would have done to the baron if that barony had been in the baron’s hands; and we will hold it in the same manner in which the baron held it.
43. Si quis tenuerit de aliqua eskaeta, sicut de honore Wallingefordie, Notingeham, Bolonie, Lancastrie, vel de aliis eskaetis que sunt in manu nostra et sunt baronie, et obierit, heres ejus non det aliud relevium, nec faciat nobis aliud servicium quam faceret baroni si baronia illa esset in manu baronis; et nos eodem modo eam tenebimus quo baro eam tenuit. [Articles, c. 36; 1225, c. 31.]
 Men who live outside the forest need not henceforth come before our justices of the forest upon a general summons, unless they are impleaded or are sureties for any person or persons who are attached for forest offenses.
44. Homines qui manent extra forestam non veniant decetero coram justiciariis nostris de foresta per communes summoniciones, nisi sint in placito, vel plegii alicujus vel aliquorum, qui attachiati sint pro foresta. [Articles, c. 39; Cart. For., c. 2.]
 We will not make justices, constables, sheriffs or bailiffs save of such as know the law of the kingdom and mean to observe it well.
45. Nos non faciemus justiciarios, constabularios, vicecomites, vel ballivos, nisi de talibus qui sciant legem regni et eam bene velint observare. [Articles, c. 42.]
 All barons who have founded abbeys for which they have charters of the kings of England or ancient tenure shall have the custody of them during vacancies, as they ought to have.
46. Omnes barones qui fundaverunt abbacias, unde habent cartas regum Anglie, vel antiquam tenuram, habeant earum custodiam cum vacaverint, sicut habere debent. [Articles, c. 43; 1225, c. 33.]
 All forests that have been made forest in our time shall be immediately disafforested; and so be it done with riverbanks that have been made preserves by us in our time.
47. Omnes foreste que afforestate sunt tempore nostro, statim deafforestentur; et ita fiat de ripariis que per nos tempore nostro posite sunt in defenso. [Articles, c. 47; 1225 c. 16; Cart. For., c. 3.]
 All evil customs connected with forests and warrens, foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their officials, riverbanks and their wardens shall immediately be inquired into in each county by twelve sworn knights of the same county who are to be chosen by good men of the same county, and within forty days of the completion of the inquiry shall be utterly abolished by them so as never to be restored, provided that we, or our justiciar if we are not in England, know of it first.
48. Omnes male consuetudines, de forestis et warennis, et de forestariis et warennariis, vicecomitibus et eorum ministris, ripariis et earum custodibus, statim inquirantur in quolibet comitatu per duodecim milites, juratos de eodem comitatu, qui debent eligi per probos homines ejusdem comitatus, et infra quadraginta dies post inquisicionem factam, penitus, ita quod numquam revocentur, deleantur (per eosdem, ita quod nos hoc sciamus prius, vel justiciarius noster, si in Anglia non fuerimus). [Articles, c. 39.]
 We will immediately return all hostages and charters given to us by Englishmen, as security for peace or faithful service.
49. Omnes obsides, et cartas statim reddemus, que liberate fuerunt nobis ab Anglicis in securitatem pacis vel fidelis servicii. [Articles, c. 38.]
 We will remove completely from office the relations of Gerard de Athee so that in future they shall have no office in England, namely Engelard de Cigogne, Peter and Guy and Andrew de Chanceaux, Guy de Cigogne, Geoffrey de Martigny and his brothers, Philip Marc and his brothers and his nephew Geoffrey, and all their following.
50. Nos amovebimus penitus de balliis, parentes Gerardi de Athyes, quod decetero nullam habeant balliam in Anglia, Engelardum de Cygony, Petrum et Gionem et Andream de Cancellis, Gionem de Cygony, Galfridum de Martinny et fratres ejus, Philippum Marc et fratres ejus, et Galfridum nepotem ejus, et totam sequelam eorundem. [Articles, c. 40.]
 As soon as peace is restored, we will remove from the kingdom all foreign knights, cross-bowmen, serjeants, and mercenaries, who have come with horses and arms to the detriment of the kingdom.
51. Et statim post pacis reformacionem amovebimus de regno omnes alienigenas milites, balistarios, servientes, stipendiarios, qui venerint cum equis et armis ad nocumentum regni. [Articles, c. 41.]
 If anyone has been disseised of or kept out of his lands, castles, franchises or his right by us without the legal judgment of his peers, we will immediately restore them to him: and if a dispute arises over this, then let it be decided by the judgment of the twenty-five barons who are mentioned below in the clause for securing the peace: for all the things, however, which anyone has been disseised or kept out of without the lawful judgment of his peers by king Henry, our father, or by king Richard, our brother, which we have in our hand or are held by others, to whom we are bound to warrant them, we will have the usual period of respite of crusaders, excepting those things about which a plea was started or an inquest made by our command before we took the cross; when however we return from our pilgrimage, or if by any chance we do not go on it, we will at once do full justice therein.
52. Si quis fuerit disseisitus vel elongatus per nos sine legali judicio parium suorum de terris, castellis, libertatibus, vel jure suo, statim ea ei restituemus; et si contencio super hoc orta fuerit, tunc inde fiat per judicium viginti quinque baronum, de quibus fit mencio inferius in securitate pacis. De omnibus autem illis de quibus aliquis disseisitus fuerit vel elongatus sine legali judicio parium suorum, per Henricum regem patrem nostrum vel per Ricardum regem fratrem nostrum, que in manu nostra habemus, vel que alii tenent, que nos oporteat warantizare, respectum habebimus usque ad communem terminum crucesignatorum, exceptis illis de quibus placitum motum fuit vel inquisicio facta per preceptum nostrum ante suscepcionem crucis nostre; cum autem
redierimus de peregrinacione nostra, vel si forte remanserimus a peregrinacione nostra, statim inde plenam justiciam exhibebimus. [Articles, c. 25.]
 We will have the same respite, and in the same manner, in the doing of justice in the matter of the disafforesting or retaining of the forests which Henry our father or Richard our brother afforested, and in the matter of the wardship of lands which are of the fief of another, wardships of which sort we have hitherto had by reason of a fief which anyone held of us by knight service, and in the matter of abbeys founded on the fief of another, not on a fief of our own, in which the lord of the fief claims he has a right; and when we have returned, or if we do not set out on our pilgrimage, we will at once do full justice to those who complain of these things.
53. Eundem autem respectum habebimus (et eodem modo de justicia exhibenda), de forestis deafforestandis (vel
remansuris forestis) quas Henricus pater noster vel Ricardus frater noster afforestaverunt, et de custodiis terrarum que sunt de alieno feodo, cujusmodi custodias hucusque habuimus occasione feodi quod aliquis de nobis tenuit per servicium militare, et de abbaciis que fundate fuerint in feodo alterius quam nostro, in quibus dominus feodi dixerit se jus habere; et cum redierimus, vel si remanserimus a peregrinacione nostra, super hiis conquerentibus plenam justiciam statim exhibebimus.
 No one shall be arrested or imprisoned upon the appeal of a woman for the death of anyone except her husband.
54. Nullus capiatur nec imprisonetur propter appellum femine de morte alterius quam viri sui. [1225, c. 34.]
 All fines made with us unjustly and against the law of the land, and all amercements imposed unjustly and against the law of the land, shall be entirely remitted, or else let them be settled by the judgment of the twenty-five barons who are mentioned below in the clause for securing the peace, or by the judgment of the majority of the same, along with the aforesaid Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and such others as he may wish to associate with himself for this purpose, and if he cannot be present the business shall nevertheless proceed without him, provided that if any one or more of the aforesaid twenty-five barons are in a like suit, they shall be removed from the judgment of the case in question, and others chosen, sworn and put in their place by the rest of the same twenty-five for this case only.
55. 0mnes fines qui injuste et contra legem terre facti sunt nobiscum, et omnia amerciamenta facta injuste et contra legem terre, omnino condonentur, vel fiat inde perjudicium viginti quinque baronum de quibus fit mencio inferius in securitate pacis, vel per judicium majoris partis eorundem, una cum predicto Stephano Cantuariensi archiepiscopo si interesse poterit et aliis quos secum ad hoc vocare voluerit. Et si interesse non poterit, nichilominus procedat negocium sine eo, ita quod, si aliquis vel aliqui de predictis viginti quinque baronibus fuerint in simili querela, amoveantur quantum ad hoc judicium et alii loco eorum per residuos de eisdem viginti quinque tantum ad hoc faciendum electi et jurati substituantur. [Articles, c. 37.]
 If we have disseised or kept out Welshmen from lands or liberties or other things without the legal judgment of their peers in England or in Wales, they shall be immediately restored to them; and if a dispute arises over this, then let it be decided in the March by the judgment of their peers -- for holdings in England according to the law of England, for holdings in Wales according to the law of Wales, and for holdings in the March according to the law of the March. Welshmen shall do the same to us and ours.
56. Si nos disseisivimus vel elongavimus Walenses de terris vel libertatibus vel rebus aliis, sine legali judicio parium suorum (in Anglia vel in Wallia), eis statim reddantur; et si contencio super hoc orta fuerit, tunc inde fiat in Marchia per judicium parium suorum de tenementis Anglie secundum legem Anglie; de tenementis Wallie secundum legem Wallie; de tenementis Marchic secundum legem Marchie. Idem facient Walenses nobis et nostris. [Articles, c. 44.]
 For all the things, however, which any Welshman was disseised of or kept out of without the lawful judgment of his peers by king Henry, our father, or king Richard, our brother, which we have in our hand or which are held by others, to whom we are bound to warrant them, we will have the usual period of respite of crusaders, excepting those things about which a plea was started or an inquest made by our command before we took the cross; when however we return, or if by any chance we do not set out on our pilgrimage, we will at once do full justice to them in accordance with the laws of the Welsh and the foresaid regions.
57. De omnibus autem illis de quibus aliquis Walensium disseisitus fuerit vel elongatus, sine legali judicio parium suorum, per Henricum regem patrem nostrum vel Ricardum regem fratrem nostrum, que nos in manu nostra habemus, vel que alii tenent que nos oporteat warantizare, respectum habebimus usque ad communem terminum crucesignatorum, illis exceptis de quibus placitum motum fuit vel inquisicio facta per preceptum nostrum ante suscepcionem crucis nostre; cum autem redierimus, vel si forte remanscrimus a peregrinatione nostra, statim eis inde plenam justitiam exhibebimus, secundum leges Walensium et partes predictas. [Articles, c. 44.]
 We will give back at once the son of Llywelyn and all the hostages from Wales and the charters that were handed over to us as security for peace.
58. Nos reddemus filium Lewelini statim, et omnes obsides de Wallia, et cartas que nobis liberate fuerunt in securitatem pacis. [Articles, c. 45.]
June 15, 2007
Problem Council House Neighbours
Council tax re-valuers want to charge us more if we live in a nice area. That ought to mean discounts for those of us who live in rough areas.
Her car isn't taxed or insured, and doesn't even have a number plate, but the police still do not do anything.
Her bad tempered old man is famous for upsetting foreigners with racist comments.
A local shopkeeper blames him for ordering the murder of his son's girlfriend but nothing has been proved yet.
All their kids have broken marriages except the youngest, who everyone thought was gay.
Two grandsons are meant to be in the Army but are always seen out in nightclubs.
The family's odd antics are always in the papers.
They are out of control.
Let's all pick on the fat kid.
...Dr Colin Waine, the chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said it was vital that parents woke up to the dangers. "If parents are given appropriate advice and choose to ignore it, this does have very serious consequences for that child," he said.
"The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rising in children and this will have disastrous consequences on the quality of their lives."
And putting them into care, where if they are not buggered senseless, gain a drug habit, taught to be petty criminals or driven to suicide means they escape just with their minds fucked up, wouldn't have consequences? Or is it just that the State knows best?
Merkel's Murky Vision
Full text: Merkel's blueprint for Europe-News-World-Europe-TimesOnline
Blah de blah...
Settling this issue quickly is therefore a priority. ...
Look you lost... just because you keep picking at the scab doesn't mean you can unlose. And ability to deliver what exactly?
The way forward clearly needs to take into account the concerns expressed by citizens during the ratification process on the future direction of the European Union
Concerns? No they voted against it - got it? Vote, decision, get over it.
...and the effects of globalisation on its core values and policies. At the same time, there is a very strong demand for the Union to increase its efficiency, to enhance its democratic functioning and to improve the coherence of its external action.
Yep, and the only rational way of doing that is to take the whole sorry shower outside and put a bullet in the back of its neck
A certain number of Member States underlined the importance of avoiding the impression which might be given by the symbolism and the title "Constitution" that the nature of the Union is undergoing radical change....Such an approach is not incompatible with the demand from those Member States which have already ratified that as much of the substance of the Constitutional Treaty as possible should be preserved...
I suppose you call that presentation, others would call it deception.
It is generally recognised that a strengthening of the institutions will help reinforce the capacity of the Union to act, and that the Union therefore has every interest in ensuring that the current Treaties are adapted
I presume you meant "adopted", probably a mistranslation from the Gothic script, which makes that a clear statement on the EU's Nietzschian desire of "will to power".
The Presidency proposes a return to the classical method of treaty change. The IGC would therefore be asked to adopt a Reform Treaty amending the existing Treaties rather than repealing them. The Treaty on the European Union as modified would keep its present name, while the Treaty establishing the European Community would become the "Treaty on the functioning of the Union", containing all the detailed implementing provisions, including the legal bases. Both Treaties would have the same legal value. The Union would have a single legal personality.
We will win, we will, democracy is only for the little people, nothing will stand in our way, we will change the name and the fools glued to their Große Brudder will not notice...
Poland Stumbling Block to a Greater Europe
ANGELA Merkel, the German chancellor has admitted that her dream of reviving the dormant EU constitution at next week's summit in Brussels is all but dead.
It is a bitter blow to the first woman chancellor of Germany at the end of a year in which Berlin has been the president of the EU. Until recently she harboured high hopes of persuading sceptical members to sign up to a treaty. But yesterday she told the German parliament: "A deal is still not in sight."
All she could offer was the phrase usually applied to the Middle East; a roadmap to a deal in a distant future.
"We want to agree upon a roadmap next week," Mrs Merkel told the German parliament. "If this doesn't succeed, it will not yet be the downfall of Europe, but it will have ... extremely serious consequences."...
Poland is a major stumbling block....
Security guards at radio towers are on high alert against saboteurs....
June 14, 2007
Another one bites the dust.
Kurt Waldheim dies
De mortuis nil nisi bonum and all that but a dead Nazi and UN Head Honcho doesn't get the tear ducts flowing for me.
Falklands conflict was noble, Baroness Thatcher tells troops-News-Politics-TimesOnline
“The whole nation rejoiced at the success; and we should still rejoice,” she said. “Aggression was defeated and reversed. The wishes of local people were upheld as paramount. Britain’s honour and interests prevailed.”
Listen and download Margaret Thatcher's speech on the Falklands and remember what we are now missing.
Now we have the flagship in position is there any chance of regime change?
Out of His Mouth
Go on you know you want to fill the bubble....
Source The Telegraph
Local is as local does
Race plan for councils to pinpoint rural strife-News-UK-TimesOnline
It will suggest they draw up “contracts” for new arrivals that would set out the expectations of local people and define what is and is not acceptable behaviour.
Cultural briefing packs ...would be drawn up by local councils according to circumstances in their area, a commission spokeswoman said.
Just Sod Off! The idea that the local council mandating an acceptable behaviour contract is too Orwellian for words. I'm sure Daily Mail readers will love the idea of a contract that towels aren't to be worn when shopping in the High Street, but once legal immigrants are forced to have contracts why stop there? Will the local council in Golders Green or the Curry Mile in Leicester also set local rules? Will they be to the Daily Mail readers taste? Are we all to have ASBOs to make us council approved sheep? And where does pandering to the local ghetto mentality lead us? To this being acceptable and supported by a man from the council?
In a statement sent to a local newspaper, the little-known Cornish National Liberation Army threatened to firebomb the celebrity chefs’ businesses in retaliation for them “alienating” local people.
The e-mail claims that the group has substantial funding and promises to continue its campaign to remove the “imperialist English flag of St George” from Cornwall.
June 13, 2007
I would like to thank the director....
I'm very grateful and humbled by the votes - thanks.
Have you voted today yet? Updated
Today's posts start below - apologies for bumping this to the top in a shameless attempt to remind you to vote.
Now the voting starts... you know what to do, and do it as often as you can!
Not that I'm suggesting anything but ....
Ten Years Ago Today the Banning Started
The Nation of Shopkeepers remembers:
Since this removal of freedoms of the few, the bastards that run this country have clearly got a taste for it. None of you really need reminding how bad things are, and how all the elements of a closed police state are now in place, to be enacted on a whim. The difference is now they are confident enough to bring is restrictions that affect the many, rather than the unpopular few.
Let us all hope that we don’t come to rue the words of one George Orwell, when he said;
“The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage, is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
(8 January 1941 article Orwell wrote for Evening Standard.)
No Pain No Gain
The Devil's Kitchen doesn't hold back in his condemnation of Midwives, NSFW, and Dr Crippen also opines on why he has an inbuilt antipathy towards midwives and I know that, once again, I will be criticised for expressing it. But, as I have said before, if you could access the comments on Doctors.net.uk on midwives you would know that my feelings are shared, to a greater or lesser degree, by many doctors. I merely express in public what many others will only say in private.
The problem with midwives is that many are well meaning Guardian readers. They believe that nature is good, that getting in touch with real childbirth with pain is wholesome for the soul. I wonder if they go to the old woman in the village for natural root canal work or do they avail themselves of the wonders of modern dentistry. Of course their medieval prejudices are supported by many mothers who romanticise childbirth, normally right up to the time the contractions start really hurting. Time to cut the crap and view birthing as just another medical procedure like having your piles cauterised, up in the stirrups is no time or place for aromatherapy candles and whalesong music.
Grammars Help The Working Class
Study shows grammars benefit poor pupils | Uk News | News | Telegraph
It shows that an expansion of grammars in Northern Ireland - the only country in the British Isles to retain a wholly selective system - has helped poor pupils as much as those from wealthy backgrounds.
The research also revealed the presence of selective education in the province has helped boost grades in comparison to England, and that it does not have a damaging effect on children "left behind" to attend comprehensives.....
Willets asked for the evidence, it seems to be coming in now....
Go wild in the country
Dreams of a rural idyll can end in nightmares | Uk News | News | Telegraph
A survey of a home counties village found that it was a haven for gossip, backbiting and social exclusion for those who did not fit the mould of the perfect village resident.
A researcher who lived in the village, referred to as "Stonycroft" to keep its true identity secret, found that on the surface life there was idyllic with many residents saying their well-being was improved physically and emotionally for being in the country.
However, after digging beneath the surface, it was found that residents who were gay, divorced, childless and even single were victimised and even outcast by other villagers. For these people, life was stressful and in some cases it led to mental and physical health problems.
The study,... calls on health professionals to look further into the problems faced by some individuals in rural areas.
The manager of the pub, who had lived in the village since he was 11 and was now in his 20s, said he was shunned by some residents after announcing that he was gay.
He said he been victimised in the village, despite claiming that several local men had asked him for sex.
Another long-term resident said former friends in the village had given him the "cold shoulder" after he had an affair, his marriage broke up and his wife and children moved away.
Before we get swamped by "Health Professionals" looking further into our problems let's just look at those three examples again - The gay publican, has his pub been firebombed? Is an unease with homosexuality unknown in the city? Maybe people who have known him all his life are unhappy in that he lead a secret life before he came out. While crude incorrect jokes abound in village pubs in my experience true locals don't really care who or what other locals shag as long as it has a pulse, and even that isn't a hard and fast rule in the deer shooting season.
Another is a bloke who has an affair and breaks up a marriage with children, I'm not surprised or worried that that some people take his wife's side, and the final horror is wives being suspicious of their husbands spending too long with a young single woman with a biological clock racing - and that is unusual?
Any university professor conducting an anthropological study down here might have found much worse as we dragged the ducking stool out of the shed behind the pub as we waited for John the hurdlemaker to finish the wickerman....
Diana - What really happened in the tunnel
Harry: I'll never stop wondering about crash | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Both princes have stressed in the past that they believe their mother's death was a tragic accident. Their spokesman said Prince Harry's comments did not mean he believed there was any truth in the conspiracy theories that have since abounded, but that it was "natural for him and his brother to wonder exactly what their mother went through".
Is this same two Princes who complained about a television program about their mother's death? It is distasteful but hardly a great mystery as what their mother went through as she knelt in the rear footwell in front of what the Washingtonpost.com calls her coke-snorting beau (as it) crashed into a wall of the Pont D'Alma tunnel in Paris.
The Post also notes though, what we have mentioned before, that "Diana read what housemaids read -- down-and-dirty tabloids and sugary shy-virgin-marries-the-prince romances. Barbara Cartland, the pink-ostrich-plumed mother of Di's own hated stepmother, Raine, wrote hundreds of these, and would claim they were Diana's downfall: "They weren't awfully good for her." Fifteen years after the wedding (to which she wasn't invited), the Queen of Romance opined that the marriage was doomed all along because Diana "wouldn't do oral sex." Well, that wasn't in the romance novels, was it? But while we're down here in the trouser zone, it's worth noting that Diana herself called her marriage's sexual problems "geographical," and reported that Charles only sought her out every three weeks. We now learn that Charles likes to be called "Arthur" at the height of his amorous endeavors. Who would know? Not Di. But Camilla would, with her "long, languid understanding of her man"..
....Finally understanding that Charles would always love Camilla Parker Bowles, and never her, Diana began the string of affairs that spiced up the end of her short life. Tina Brown (whose book the Post is reviewing) really goes to town here. She, worldly piece of work that she is, thinks everything would have been hunky-dory if Di had only got it on with Prince Philip, the Queen's consort. He fancied her anyway, and it would have kept the fuss inside the family. But Di aimed lower. Her first affair, Tina believes, was with Di's cockney bodyguard Barry Mannakee. For this flash, Tina pumped Di's pal Dr. James Colthurst, who helped the Princess tape all the dirt used by Andrew Morton in Diana: Her True Story, the H-bomb dropped on the House of Windsor in 1992. Not only had Diana admitted an affair, Colthurst said, but she thought Barry was "bumped off" when he died. Next came the red-haired Life Guards Maj. James Hewitt, her (and the boys') riding instructor. Later, when the discarded and broke Hewitt sold his memoirs, he was widely scorned as the Love Rat.
Was he or was he not the father of ginger-haired Prince Harry? Tina Brown thinks so. "Well, I don't know what she was doing at the time," Prince Charles once responded, not too gallantly, when the subject arose. A succession of tall, handsome beaux, both before and after the official royal separation of Dec. 9, 1992, were dubbed "the Dianamen" and the "42 Longs" by her bodyguards. She fell hard for married art dealer, Oliver Hoare, becoming his "phone sex pest." She carried on with Will Carling, the rugby star. But by this time, she was already evolving into Saint Diana. The spurned but genuinely kind and empathetic princess comforted the sick, embraced AIDS patients, shook lepers' hands, touched bloody bandages. As she bent to speak to dying children or tenderly caress the wheelchair-bound, she seemed a veritable healing angel.
And now, she had a great love. He was a Pakistani heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Khan. Impressed that the devout Muslim would not consummate their affair until her divorce decree was absolute, Diana actually considered converting to Islam. She bought several sexy Pakistani outfits -- love those bare midriffs! -- cooked for him, ironed his shirts, vacuumed his modest apartment, and for his birthday turned up wearing sapphire-and-diamond earrings and a fur coat with nothing beneath. Ah, l'amour! And glamour! Unfortunately, his large, close family wanted him to marry a nice Muslim girl, and he obliged. Poor Dodi Fayed, who died in the Paris crash, was really just a stand-in.
As to what really happened in the tunnel? I cherish the hope it was the last gasp of an efficient British Security Service performing a "Wet Job" (bit like Diana) to rid us of a dangerous threat to our way of life and all we hold dear.
June 12, 2007
The Officer Material Test
Much as I dislike Gordon Brown I think he passes the Officer Material test. He would be a misery to serve under but like Montgomery he would be careful in his build up, bold with his troops and claim all the credit that was going.
Envelope Recycling News
Can envelopes, and especially window envelopes be recycled for pulp?
EU campaigns to make us poorer
The Trade Commissioner will tell his Chinese counterpart that the manufacturing powerhouse faces legal sanctions over a string of unfulfilled promises.
Under Mr Mandelson’s regime, the EU has adopted a softly, softly approach, for example, negotiating a complete opening of the textile market by 2008 after taking emergency interim measures to stop Europe being swamped by cheap Chinese imports....
Mr Mandelson said Europe’s trade deficit with the booming export giant is growing at an “intolerable” €15 million an hour. He said: “The trade deficit is neither tolerable nor inevitable,” he said yesterday in Brussels ahead of the annual EU/China joint trade ministerial meeting.
“Of course we benefit from the lower cost of many competitively priced China exports but we also know that in goods and services Europe has much to offer China and our full export potential is being hampered in the Chinese market. ....
Hooray for being swamped - Jeans at £1.50, electronic gizmos at thruppence, spanners at a guinea a gross, being able to buy goods a t cheap prices makes us richer, happier and is good news. Of course if you are hand carving spanners in a croft then it is time to wake up and smell the coffee and start doing something else.
As a wise man once said:
Because it is imports that we desire — exports being simply the tiresome labour that we must ship abroad to pay for them — negotiating with other countries about their tariffs and quotas is ludicrous. Why should we care if the foreign governments make their own citizens poorer by denying them the products of the globe? We should concentrate on what makes us richer, the abolition of all those barriers to our own wealth that we impose upon ourselves.
Coming back out of that yonder zone
Company Sergeant Major Neil Powell was surrounded and heckled by three young women in the unprovoked verbal attack at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham.
The women, in traditional Asian dress, ranted about the presence of British troops in Muslim countries.
The incident took place in a public area of the hospital used by both civilians and military personnel.
In recent months the standard of treatment for soldiers at Selly Oak has been widely criticised. Military personnel have called for greater protection and privacy away from civilian patients and visitors....
Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said: "We have reason to be extremely cautious about the security of wounded British soldiers and those who care for them.
"Earlier this year, we were told there was a detailed plan to capture a soldier in Birmingham and torture him.
"This incident demonstrates that our troops and their welfare staff are vulnerable. This is an issue we ignore at our peril."
CSM Powell said: "There was a minor incident. Sorry, I am not willing to talk about it. My concern is the morale of the fighting troops.
"I have my own opinions and part of my job is to address those opinions, but I also have a chain of command."
In recent years defence chiefs have closed military hospitals, which benefited from greater security, to cut costs.
So far no surprises, a professional response from a CSM to the way we treat our returned wounded. But even I was shocked by the shrill response from the Labour MP for Selly Oak, Lynne Jones who "refused to back calls for more secure facilities for troops.
She said: "The soldiers seem to want a little empire consisting of their own designated staff and facilities, a fiefdom.
"The point of basing the Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak was to make the most of the range of experience here. The priority should always be the standard of clinical care.
"When I’ve visited the military ward it has been cluttered with staff."
Blind to the West Lothian Question
A drug that improves the eyesight of almost a third of people suffering from the biggest cause of blindness in Britain will be available on the NHS in Scotland from today, but not in England.
While Scottish patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) will receive free Lucentis injections, thousands living south of the border could go blind if they cannot find up to £28,000 to obtain the treatment privately....
The Scottish Medicines Consortium yesterday recommended that Scottish patients should receive the drug on the NHS. Last August they also approved Macugen, another treatment for wet AMD.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) is due to rule on whether both Lucentis and Macugen should be made available in England and Wales in September.
Steve Winyard, of the Royal National Institute for the Blind, said: "The SMC's decision is fantastic news for patients in Scotland.
"We have a real chance to turn wet AMD, which devastates so many lives, into a largely treatable condition - but only if Nice follows the examples of the SMC and approves these sight-saving treatments."
The inequalities of treatment across the border are starting to be recognised, so much for Gordo's all coming together in cuddly Britishness.
June 11, 2007
Memo to Conservative Central - Copy Success, not Failure.
‘Blue wave’ sweeps Sarkozy to poll victory-News-World-Europe-TimesOnline
Mr Sarkozy and Mr Fillon are appealing to voters to endorse their crash programme of reforms, dominated by tax cuts and curbs on union powers, to “restore the value of work”....
As well as the Socialists, two other big losers of yesterday’s voting were the National Front party of Jean-Marie le Pen, who seem to have failed to gain a single seat, and the new Democratic Movement (MoDem) of François Bayrou, the centrist who for a while appeared within reach of the presidency
So that is the way to defeat socialists, racists and centrists - old fashioned Thatcherism. It would get my vote.
The Rotten Heart of Education
'Political meddling' ruining learning in schools | Uk News | News | Telegraph
It warns of the educational apartheid opening up between the experience of pupils in the state sector and those at independent schools, which have refused to reduce academic content to make way for fashionable causes.
No major subject area has escaped the blight of political interference, according to the report published by Civitas.
"The traditional subject areas have been hijacked to promote fashionable causes such as gender awareness, the environment and anti-racism, while teachers are expected to help to achieve the Government's social goals instead of imparting a body of academic knowledge to their students," it says.
Teenagers studying for GCSEs are being asked to write about the September 11 atrocities using Arab media reports and speeches from Osama bin Laden as sources without balancing material from America, it reveals.
In English, the drive for gender and race equality has led an exam board to produce a list of modern poems from around the world without a single poet from England or Wales being represented.
The new 21st-century science curriculum introduced last September substitutes debates on abortion, genetic engineering and the use of nuclear power for lab work and scientific inquiry, it says.
Designed to make science more popular, the results of a study show it has had the opposite effect, with pupils less interested in the subject and less keen to pursue it in the sixth form than they were under the previous, more fact-based lessons.
Future scientists will be even more likely to come from independent schools because the new GCSE courses will leave state pupils ill-quipped for further study, it says.
Most comprehensive schools are teaching the new science for examination next year but the vast majority of independent and grammar schools have seized the opportunity to continue to teach biology, chemistry and physics as separate subjects....
"It is insulting to the hard work of pupils and teachers to claim that the education system is just a political football to promote political or social goals," said a spokesman.
It isn't insulting to those at the chalkface, they aren't the ones being criticised. It is the vast body of leeching bureaucrats and politicians who impose these policies. Shows like Brainiacs aren't popular because they hold debates on the rights of women scientists, they interest kids by showing what science can do, make and explode.
Out to lunch
Pupils ‘should supervise lunches’-Life & Style-Education-TimesOnline
The School Food Trust, the quango in charge of improving the standard of school meals, suggests that lengthening the daily lunch break would allow pupils to relax, eat properly and recuperate for the afternoon’s lessons. It also says that teachers should sit among pupils and communicate using coloured cards.
How about a more radical idea? - teachers actually talking to their pupils rather than waving cards at them, and instead of them hiding in the staffroom while the school bullies operate the lunch money protection racket actually sit down at tables with the kids and show them by example how to be civilised at a meal time - though probably many teachers would need remedial education in this themselves first.
June 10, 2007
More Evidence That Temperature Follows CO2 levels - You Read It Here First!
This is an updated entry on the relationship between the moon, CO2 levels and temperature - it brings together for the first time two strands of research and provides support for the C02 level following temperature rather than the other way around.
Ernst-Georg Beck first said that "CO2 amount in air varies monthly with lunar phases" Higher CO2 levels occur at full moons.
1 June 1999 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Randall S. Cerveny and Robert C. Balling Jr, of Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, demonstrate a strong relationship between the phase of the Moon and the range of temperatures experienced throughout a 24-hour day (the Diurnal Temperature Range, or DTR.)
They show that for the period between 1950 and 1995, the DTR fluctuates with the phases of the Moon. It tends to increase towards Full Moon, and tends to be lowest at New Moon. Simple
The researchers look at two possible causes for the observed increase in DTR close to the Full Moon. One is that moonlight -- the solar radiation reflected by the Moon -- could actually warm the Earth at this time of the month. This effect, which will be greatest at Full Moon, is small, but appreciable when calculated over the course of a month. However, it will only have the effect of increasing night-time temperatures.
More significant is a connection between the phase of the Moon and the overall position of the Earth–Moon system with respect to the Sun. It seems that the Earth is slightly closer to the Sun at Full Moon than at New Moon, and will therefore receive slightly more solar radiation during daylight hours, increasing maximum temperatures and thus DTR as a whole. - Adapted from a cached Nature article which also says "The message should be clear: all possible sources of variation should be investigated before blaming human activity alone for observed changes in climatic parameters."
Other references abstracts:
Impact of lunar phase on the timing of global and latitudinal tropospheric temperature maxima Balling, Robert C.; Cerveny, Randall S.
Updated paper confirms a statistically significantly higher DTR occurs near the full moon (~10.23°C) while a lower DTR occurs near the new moon (~10.13°C).
And a 2000 paper - Evidence of lunar phase influence on global surface air temperature Anyamba, Ebby K.; Susskind, Joel - reports that Intraseasonal oscillations appearing in a newly available 20-year record of satellite-derived surface air temperature are composited with respect to the lunar phase. The daily surface air temperature is one of the geophysical fields derived from the TOVS data processed at the NASA Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres. Polar regions exhibit strong lunar phase modulation with higher temperatures occurring near full moon and lower temperatures at new moon, in agreement with previous studies. The polar response to the apparent lunar forcing is most robust in winter when solar influence is at minimum. In addition, the response appears to be influenced by ENSO events. The highest mean temperature range between full moon and new moon in the region between 60° and 90° latitude was recorded in 1983, 1986/87, and 1990/91. Although the largest signal is in the polar regions, anomalies tend to progress equartoward in both hemispheres so that the warming in the tropics occurs at the time of the new moon.
So just using modern CO2 measurements from Muana Loa and accurate temperature records we can see that as the temperature goes up the CO2 level follows on this cycle - I'm making the assumption that there is no mechanism for the moon to increase the CO2 levels directly.
In a previous post I also quoted this:
Dip in the atmospheric CO2 level during the mid-1960's
All your data are belong to us
Taskforce to cut 'cyber warming'
Computers and other IT equipment have been blamed for causing as much global warming as the airline industry.
The taskforce will oversee the piloting of a "green PC" service in which individual machines use 98% less energy than standard PCs.
The "green PC" service works by hosting functions such as office applications, email and internet surfing on data centres rather than on individual computers.
As MS says:
So, the latest bogeyman to frighten us with is computers wrecking climate
More at Worstall's Terminal
Scotland - Only a call away
THE biggest constitutional row since devolution has been blamed on the British love of bank holidays, it emerged last night.
In a farcical twist to 'Gaddafigate' worthy of Yes, Prime Minister, it has been claimed Scotland was not informed of Tony Blair's plans to broker a deal on prisoner transfers from Libya because all civil servants north of the Border were enjoying a day off....
Last week, the failure to make contact led to fury in the Scottish Parliament, as party leaders accused Tony Blair of plotting a secret deal to repatriate the Lockerbie bomber.
First Minister Alex Salmond said that as Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi was in a Scottish jail, ministers should have been told of the ongoing negotiations.
According to the Whitehall insiders, the 'cock-up' began after the basis for the Memorandum of Understanding was agreed on Wednesday, May 23, in a meeting in London between the Libyan justice minister and his Whitehall counterparts. Officials rang Scotland on Friday, May 25 to let them know, only to discover it was a Scottish holiday.
The next working day, Monday, was an English Bank Holiday, meaning that all of Whitehall was at home. When both sets of officials were back in, on Tuesday, Blair was already in Libya to meet Gaddafi. ...
A source close to Salmond said: "I am afraid the more Downing Street spins, the worse it gets. It's a case of, 'oh what a tangled web we weave'. First they said the memorandum was a draft, that it wasn't signed, that it had nothing to do with prisoner transfer and Mr Megrahi - and now this."
The First Minister made an emergency statement to Parliament last week on the issue.
The UK government's embarrassment increased last night after it emerged that, while Scotland was out of the loop, officials in the European Commission were aware of the deal.
So for four days there was no way of contacting the Scottish Government? It gives you confidence in the way the Whitehall is run doesn't it! What a bunch of amateurs.
The Lisa Simpson Head Olympic Logo - a sign for our times
Revealed: the ad men behind the logo fiasco | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Until Monday, when Lord Coe unveiled the new logo and hailed it "a brand we genuinely believe in" - something of a minority view as it turned out - Mr Cox's career had been glittering. His track record boasts triumphs for...Product Red, the anti-HIV campaign launched last year by Bono, the U2 singer.
To avoid further damage to the London Olympics, the organiser of an online petition against the logo stopped collecting signatures after getting 48,615 signatures in two days.
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that the logo was developed in conditions of such secrecy that most of Wolff Olins's 180 London staff knew little or nothing about it, with the few given security clearance referring to the project only by a codename. Wolff Olins representatives are still forbidden from discussing the project.
In that time, Wolff Olins has built impressive links with the Labour establishment. Sarah Brown, the wife of Gordon, the prime minister in waiting, started her career at Wolff Olins after leaving university.
Michael Wolff, the company's co-founder, was credited with creating Labour's red rose symbol in 1986, and in 1998 its representatives were called upon by Tony Blair to be part of a group of "creative thinkers" helping to "rebrand Britain" and create the brief, heady days of "Cool Britannia".
Mr Boylan is a member of the Tate Modern Council and serves on the board of the Government-funded Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, Peter Mandelson, the British Commissioner for EU trade, live nearby....
How nuLabour! how Tony! Even down to the "Sofa Government" way of working, and how Gordon! Yesterday, however, there was no sign of Mr Cox, who is in his forties, at the London home he is understood to share with his wife and two children. "I haven't seen him for four or five days," said one neighbour, "pretty much since that awful logo was released. And how much I hate them and everything they leech off us for.
The Phoney War Phase is over
Tony Blair has been forced to issue an unprecedented apology to David Cameron after a Tory anti-terrorism initiative was unveiled by Gordon Brown weeks after the Conservative leader passed on the idea in private to the Prime Minister.
This is the start of the main political story in today’s Observer and looks set to be the first Labour-Tory battle ground for Brown’s arrival at Number 10.
With both new leaders jostling to assert themselves this could be very dangerous territory.....
This tells us two things about the ending of the phoney political period that has gone on since Cameron became Tory leader: Brown will be ruthless in pursuing a strategy of policy triangulation to leave the Tories with little to talk about and that Blair is not going out of his way to be helpful to his successor.
For that Blair “apology”, if that is what it is, could give the Tories ammunition for a long time to come.
Meanwhile, on the betting markets, the price on whether Labour or the Tories will end up with most seats at the election has continued to converge. The Tories have eased to 0.81/1 while Labour have tightened to 1.18/1. In the aftermath of the May elections Labour was at 1.58/1.
I'm not sure "Dave" is ready for a real street brawl with the naked ambition of the Iron Fist, he will need to toughen up his act.
June 9, 2007
Don't hurt out of hours
Now I'm bloody angry, I'm a patient man, it takes a lot to get me angry but this morning I have had it.
Last night my sprained back went into spasm so I spent half the night face down in the Axminster in agony. My child bride ministered pain relief and eventually I was able to crawl, literally crawl, back into bed.
This morning I decided I needed some muscle relaxant. My Doctors don't do a Saturday surgery so I thought lets go to my local Hospital:
Treatment service for non life-threatening injuries including stitches for small cuts, limb sprains, minor head injuries, burns etc
Had to ring them up to find out when they open as they don't put that on the web. Went into an empty waiting room with two nurses drinking coffee. "Sorry we only deal with injuries, not illnesses"
No one answers the "out of hours" line so I go the supermarket to get more tablets - "Sorry you can only buy 16 of each".
Lunatic Global Warming
Full moon’s light has a warming effect on Earth-News-Weather-TimesOnline There also appears to be a link between the Moon and the daily range of temperature. A survey of weather records has revealed that the daily range rises slightly towards full moon, and falls to its lowest at new moon, a difference of up to 0.3C (0.5F).
One explanation is that moonlight can warm the Earth slightly at full moon, although only at night, of course. But the position of the Earth and Moon in the solar system is also important. At full moon, the Earth moves slightly closer to the Sun than at new moon, receiving a touch more solar radiation during the day and raising maximum temperatures.
And how they laughed at Ernst-Georg Beck when he first said that "CO2 amount in air varies monthly with lunar phases" . Of course if CO2 levels follow temperature then this trend he discovered makes perfect sense.
TESCO staff threatened to call cops when Andrew Williamson tried to buy EIGHT pasties.
Taxi boss Andrew, 48, was told to put two back because there was a six-pasties-only rule.
And when he argued, staff at the supermarket warned they would call police....
Dad-of-four Andrew picked them up for a family tea for eight people. He said: “I was stunned when the till girl said I could only have six....
A Tesco spokeswoman said: “We operate a commonsense approach to multi-purchasing to ensure the widest range of products is available for everyone. We would like to apologise if Mr Williamson felt mistreated and for this inconvenience.”
That is a use of the word "commonsense" I haven't come across before. I'm sure old Jack Cohen would have tried to sell him sixteen, but then he didn't have much time for rules...
Blair's Parting Gift
Britain's net payments to Brussels will double to £6.4bn within four years, according to fresh figures from the Treasury, reflecting the country's rising affluence and the cost of subsidies to Eastern Europe.
The chief underlying cause is a summit deal struck by Tony Blair in December 2005 to slash the UK's rebate by exempting the new member states, in perpetuity.
The data, uncovered by the think-tank Global Vision, shows that Britain's average net payments will rise sharply from £3.27bn a year over the last decade to around £6.4bn during the period from 2011 to 2014.
And that is just the direct cost to us.....
June 8, 2007
Friday Afternoon Fun
Just back from the King's Arms where I heard this about one of the regulars...
When he awoke he found a strange man standing at the end of his bed
"Who the hell are you?" demanded Dave, "and what are you doing in my
The mysterious man answered "This isn't your bedroom and I'm St Peter."
Dave was stunned "You mean I'm dead!?!! That can't be, I have so much to
St Peter replied "Yes, you can be reincarnated but there is a catch. We
Dave was devastated, but knowing there was a farm not far from his
"This ain't so bad" he thought until he felt this strange feeling
The farmyard rooster strolled over and said "So you're the new hen, how
"It's not so bad" replies Dave, "but I have this strange feeling inside
"You're ovulating" explained the rooster, "don't tell me you've never
"Never!" replies Dave.
"Well just relax and let it happen"
So he did and after a few uncomfortable seconds later, an egg pops out
The joy kept coming and as he was just about to lay his third egg he
"Dave, wake up you drunken bastard, you've shit the bed.
Numberwatch has excelled itself; fresh cup of coffee, get your self comfortable and read the thing, and then get someone else to do so.
Proud of exciting news that hundreds of thousands wait in agony for months
Hospitals with a year-long waiting list | Uk News | News | Telegraph
One person in eight who is admitted to hospital for a non-emergency procedure has to wait more than 52 weeks between being referred by a GP and being treated. There are also large variations in waiting times across the country.
The figures were revealed yesterday as Andy Burnham, the health minister, claimed that the Government was on track to deliver on its "historic" promise effectively to abolish hospital waiting lists by the end of next year. Previous waiting list figures have not included so-called "hidden waits" including those for diagnosis and referral between hospital specialists.
My back slipped out over the weekend and so yesterday morning I rang my specialist - a chiropractor who has been tweaking it right for many years. I saw him at 12:00, paid my £35 and we were both happy. I can see him again next Monday, if I want to, as he will make time before he rushes off to catch a train at 10:00 in the morning. Never even occurs to me to see what the NHS could do, I don't keep an appointments diary that far into the future.
Glow in the dark wolf packs thriving
Contaminated zone near Chernobyl nuclear plant becomes wildlife haven, intriguing biologists - Europe - BostonHerald.com The return of wildlife to the region near the world’s worst nuclear power accident is an apparent paradox that biologists are trying to measure and understand.
Many assumed the 1986 meltdown of one reactor, and the release of hundreds of tons of radioactive material, would turn much of the 1,100-square-mile evacuated area around Chernobyl into a nuclear dead zone.
Tough and adaptable this nature stuff, and this also exposes the scares about radiation:
"a deeper split among biologists who study the effects of exposure to radiation. Some think organisms can cope with the destructive effects of radiation up to a point _ beyond which they begin to suffer irreparable damage. Others believe that even low doses of radiation can trigger cancers and other illnesses. "
As ever the fact that low levels of radiation are not only unharmful, but actually good, even essential, for life is ignored
Mon Dieu - The French Get The Plot
Sarkozy says non to tax on overtime to boost growth-Business-Markets-Europe-TimesOnline
The measure — a key plank of Mr Sarkozy’s campaign programme — is designed to attack the 35-hour legal maximum working week introduced by the Socialist Government in 2000.
“Les 35 heures” has encouraged long weekends throughout the year as Friday afternoons have become a time of rest for many French workers.
But the President says that the reduction in working time has undermined productivity, growth and wages. Under his “Work, Employment, and Spending Power” Bill, that will go before Parliament next month, hours over the 35 limit will not be subject to social charges or income tax.
Mr Fillon, who is leading the legislative election campaign, said: “We believe that more working hours means more growth, and therefore more wealth. This measure is destined to respond to two principal problems of French society: insufficient purchasing power and shortage of hours worked.”
Pushing hard work and lowering taxes, he won the election without having to hug a hoodie or a husky..
June 7, 2007
Wrap ‘em all in a mains’l tight
As his sixth birthday approached, Morgan Smith's parents thought hoisting the Jolly Roger would be the perfect way to make the pirate-mad youngster's day.
The flag was duly run up the pole in the back garden, leaving Morgan looking forward to a party on Saturday with lots of friends wearing eyepatches and wielding toy cutlasses.
But little did the family know that out on the treacherous high seas of bureaucracy, trouble was heading their way.
Council officials branded the skull and crossbones flag "unneighbourly" and banned Morgan's parents Richard and Sharon from flying it.
The couple must apply for planning permission at a cost of £75, and then an assessment of the 5ft by 4ft flag's "impact" on the surrounding area of Stone, Staffordshire, will be undertaken....
Keel hauling is too good for them, I hope Stafford Borough Council isn't one of those councils that like to illegally fly the EU rag.
All together now...
Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil be done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
The mate was fixed by the bos’n’s pike
The bos’n’ brained with a marlin spike and
Cookey’s throat was marked belike It
Had been gripped by fingers ten and
There they lay all good dead men like
Break o’ day in a boozing ken__
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum
Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum
Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
The skipper lay with his nob in gore where the
Scullion’s axe his cheek had shore
And the scullion he was stabbed times four and
There he lay and the soggy skies
Dripped all day in up-staring eyes at
Murk sunset and at foul sur-prise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Ten of the crew had the murder mark
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
‘Twas a cutlass swipe or and ounce of lead or a
Yawning hole in a battered head
and the scuppers glut with a yawning red and
There they lay aye damn my eyes
All lookouts clapped on par - a - dise all
Souls bound just con – tra – ri - wise
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Every man Jack could ha’ sailed with old Pew
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
There was chest on chest of Spanish gold with a
Ton of plate in the middle hold
And the cabins riot with stuff un told As
They lay there that had took the plum
With a sightless glare and their lips struck dumb
While we shared all by the rule of thumb
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
We wrapped ‘em all in a mains’l tight with
Twice ten turns of a hausers bight
And we heaved ‘em over and out of sight with a
Yo heave ho and fare you well
And a sullen plunge in a sullen swell
Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Millions in NHS savings ‘should have gone on jobs and services’-Life & Style-Health-TimesOnline Patricia Hewitt was accused yesterday of aggravating regional inequalities in NHS care to meet her promise to stem health service deficits in the last financial year....
A leaked e-mail, reported yesterday by The Times, suggested that in addition to lost jobs and raids on training budgets, the climate of cost-cutting has stalled progress on the flagship policy to ensure no patient waits longer than 18 weeks for hospital treatment.
The e-mail, sent out to trusts with advice on how best to deflect media interest, showed that just 48 per cent of patients are currently being treated within 18 weeks from GP referral.
Meanwhile if I need treatment locally...
A public meeting held in Marlborough last night to oppose downgrading services at Savernake Hospital gave a clear mandate to the Town Council - tell health chiefs there is strong objection to all the proposed cuts.
Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, as part of its Pathways For Change health service shake-up, has said it is closing ... the Minor Injuries Unit...at the new £10 million hospital completed two years ago..
"Could we not do the same to provide an MIU?" he asked.
Obviously it is our fault for being a Tory area.....
Labour has been "needlessly offensive" to its core supporters by chasing headlines in rightwing papers,
to say nothing of how his gurning oleaginous orange face offends decent people as well just by existing
He said the party had been "more concerned with colluding in fantasies and fallacies" about the Human Rights Act than defending it.
Mr Hain wrote that Labour's "conscious strategy" of "flirting with the anti-liberal prejudices of the right-wing media" was dangerous, when Tory leader David Cameron was willing to embrace progressive causes.
He said Labour should not assume "progressives have nowhere else to go".
Now that is worrying, when even Peter Hain believes his party is less "progressive", read "mad socialist", than David "Dave" Cameron.
Blair's Heir Alive and Well in Scotland
THOUSANDS of criminals, including thieves, housebreakers, vandals and fine-defaulters, will be spared prison sentences under radical plans announced yesterday by the new Scottish Executive.
Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary, said he wanted to adopt a more liberal approach to penal policy....
Mr MacAskill also announced the SNP government would recruit an extra 1,000 police officers and launch a crackdown on under-age drinkers and those who sell alcohol to them.
He intended to move to ban discounted alcohol promotions in shops and off-licences and launch an anti-violence agenda focusing on changing the culture on knives.
He said the government would come down hard on serious offenders, but it would concentrate on the social and economic problems that led to many other crimes.
Lucky old Scotland to try out these policies again - I would advise any Scottish readers to keep a Mashie niblick handy around the house, just in case you want to take up golf at three in the morning.
June 6, 2007
Cash for Honours Cash
THE bill for Scotland Yard's inquiry into the cash-for-honours affair has topped £750,000.
The figure emerged as bail was extended in the past two days for three key figures - Labour's chief fundraiser, Lord Levy, Tony Blair's aide, Ruth Turner, and millionaire businessman and party donor Sir Christopher Evans....
That sort of money is almost enough to get a peerage... I'm sure once Tony has finished doing his farewell tour then it will all get interesting again.
Prim Prius Panned
A TELEVISION advert for a "green" car driven by celebrities including Leonardo di Caprio has been ditched, after watchdogs criticised its environmental claims as misleading.
In UK commercials, Toyota boasted that their Prius model, a favourite with planet-saving stars, used "one tonne less per year" than others cars.
But an investigation by broadcast regulators found these figures were not true when comparing the 1.5-litre Prius against cars with a similar-sized engine and only matched half of those with a 1.8-litre engine.
The Japanese car-maker was found guilty of breaching rules on using evidence, environmental claims, comparisons with other models and misleading advertising, said the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
So why are these "white lies" - is anything "environmental" given a free pass? If it was one of their excellent 4x4s they advertised with dodgy CO2 emission figures would that also be a "white lie"?
Nanny bans the stick on the wall
Britain's traditional barometer makers and restorers were facing closure last night after the European Parliament voted to uphold a ban on the use of mercury. The decision effectively consigns more than 350 years of unique British tradition and craft to history.
The Parliament's environment committee, including two British Labour MEPs, Linda McAvan and Glenis Wilmott, opted not to challenge a European commission ban on the use of mercury in barometers.
After a two-year phase-out period, production of thermometers and barometers containing mercury will be banned, ostensibly to prevent the toxic metal entering the food chain. The small but highly skilled barometer industry thought it had won a reprieve from the legislation after winning an initial exemption last year but yesterday's decision signals the end of their campaign to save the instruments....
The hopes of a reprieve were dashed when Lord Rooker, the UK minister for sustainable farming and food, failed to back the British barometer makers. He ruled that the use of mercury in traditional barometers, "which are essentially decorative, cannot be considered an essential use".
My old stick barometer is much more use than Lord Rooker, those MEPS and the whole European Parliament put together. The two hundred year old mercury filling hasn't harmed anyone but has provided generations of farmers with useful forecasts and been an object of beauty. You can't say that about them either.
June 5, 2007
Olympic Logo - Design Your Own
What does London 2012 mean to you? Create your own design and send us the result....
Download the design templates, do something creative with them and upload the results to our online gallery. Please note London 2012 reserves the right not to display all designs submitted.
In that case it is hardly worthwhile.....
Fur Ein Rauchfreies Leben
Thanks to MS for pointing me to The European Youth Movement - a federation of national youth councils and non-governmental youth organisations. As he says "What was the Soviet one called? Comosol? Anyway, my point is, have you ever met anyone who belonged to one of these puppet youth councils? No... Me neither. So how can they speak on behalf of all the youth of the EU. Makes you sick, doesn't it?
For some reason I can't copy and paste from their website or their pompous Manifesto - with gems such as: " We call for implementation of unified cigarette packaging, namely white with black Arial font, in order to prevent the use of colour designs as subtle, indirect advertising for tobacco products".
Miliband's Heroic Fight To Save The World
You take the high road, he’s taken the no through road-News-Politics-TimesOnline
There did not seem to be a lot of good news yesterday, at least as you and I would define it. Indeed things are so bad that Mr Miliband’s job is getting easier. For one thing, the science on climate change had become more certain. Plus, there is other news. “Significantly,” he noted, “it is becoming worse.”
Isn’t that fantastic? I wish I could tell you more good/bad news but the rest of the session was near total gibberish. Everyone talked about Stern. Stern this, Stern that. Mr Miliband said that Sir Nicholas Stern (who wrote last year’s report on climate change) has become the world’s first climate change celebrity. Can this be true? Surely, if so, he should have been in Heat magazine by now.
Numbers were everywhere. At some point Mr Miliband noted: “Stern says 550 parts per million is a very dangerous place to be. But I am nervous. It is incumbent to explain to people: we are in a place that carries dangers now.” Apparently this refers to the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In an heroic act, Mr Miliband broke free of his own gobbledegook, saying that 550ppm would mean a 3 degree increase but that even a 2 degree increase would be dramatic. “This isn’t a linear process. It would not be uncommon to have 50 degree Centigrade summers in Berlin.”
Stern isn't a climate scientist, he doesn't claim to be one, and I don't sense this growing certainty in the consensus that is being claimed but Miliband is right in one respect, it isn't linear. To put it in terms a Chav or Blairite Minister might understand if 100 ppm of CO2 acts like one layer of 70% window blackening filter then putting a second layer on the windows of your souped up Astra or Government limousine doesn't mean you are then going to be blocking out 140% of the light.
Burning Our Money
The Government's chronic inability to manage costly IT schemes effectively is well documented - indeed, it has become one of New Labour's trademarks. This morning's report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee helps to explain why Whitehall gets it so wrong, so often.
At the heart of the problem is a slapdash approach to the management of high-value projects that would not be tolerated in the private sector. The fact that the Government spends rather more than £500 billion of taxpayers' cash each year seems to have inculcated a cavalier approach to value for money that is costing the country dear.
The committee is even more exercised by the stupefying level of neglect shown by government ministers. The prudent expenditure of public funds should be a priority for all ministers of the Crown.....
What a sweet old-fashioned view, it is the priority of ministers now to spend all our money, that which they do spend for us they instruct us in how we may spend it.
You will be informed
We want to target the older drinkers, those that are maybe drinking one or two bottles of wine at home each evening. They do not realise the damage they are doing to their health and that they risk developing liver disease," a Whitehall source said.
"If I go out and buy a bottle of wine or some cans of beer that's fine, but the trouble is when you're in a pub you don't ask to inspect the back of a bottle of wine, so we do need a form of labelling that goes up in pubs and restaurants.
"On the wine list it would say at the front whether wines were high, medium or low strength, and how many units in a bottle or different size glasses. There could be similar posters in pubs.
"This is not about the nanny state, but the information state. The state's job is to give people information so that they can make informed choices."
Yes, Nanny, of course Nanny.
June 4, 2007
The Twenty Twelve Gold Mine Protection Racket
1 (1) There shall be a right, to be known as the London Olympics association right, which shall confer exclusive rights in relation to the use of any representation (of any kind)...
For the purpose of considering whether a person has infringed the London Olympics association right a court may, in particular, take account of his use of a combination of expressions of a kind specified in sub-paragraph (2).
(b) any of the expressions in the second group or any of the other expressions in the first group.
(3) The following expressions form the first group for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)-
(c) "2012", and
(d) "twenty twelve".
(4) The following expressions form the second group for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)-
(5) It is immaterial for the purposes of this paragraph whether or not a word is written wholly or partly in capital letters.
So mention the "Summer of 2012" in the wrong way and the Rozzers will be breaking down your door....
And don't forget that "2012" is a registered trademark, so what the fuck we are going to call the year between 2011 and 2013 is beyond me.
It is all about "Respect the Games' Marks" and other waffle dreamt up by Wolff Olins who seem to have several different websites:
The flashy one - http://www.wolff-olins.com/
Olympic Logo Competition - name the couple.
Theo Spark has a dirty mind, shall we call the couple Gordon and Polly?
"The new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible, reflecting a brand-savvy world where people, especially young people, no longer relate to static logos but respond to a dynamic brand that works with new technology and across traditional and new media networks," London 2012 organizers said in a statement. Others said it looked like Lisa Simpson giving head.
The £400,000 logo was designed by the international branding firm Wolff Olins... I wonder if the clothing brand Pornstar will sue for copying...
I look forward to many happy years of mocking.
Ticking the Box
http://defendingtheblog.blogspot.com/ is running a blog award - lots of categories and choices, voting starts soon so sharpen your pencils, in the meantime you can nominate and discover new blogs to visit.
Do Squirrels Screw In The Woods?
TRAPPING is cruel, shooting is tricky and poison is dangerous. If only there was a way to stop the grey squirrels advancing through Britain from breeding in the first place.
That was the thinking behind a government project aimed at protecting red squirrels from their foreign cousins by giving the grey invaders contraception.
But the £1 million project is set to end in failure and disappointment because the pesky creatures just won't take the pills....
The three-year project is part of a study funded by the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Forestry Commission. Separate trials have focused on giving contraceptives to wild boars and parakeets.
Although animal rights groups have backed the use of contraceptives, the squirrel trials, using captive greys, are taking place at a secret location due to fears of attack from animal-rights extremists.
No it isn't April 1st.
The Forestry Commission used to offer a sixpenny bounty on squirrel tales - a simple market mechanism that could be reintroduced except ..
But Natalie Smart, of the SSPCA, backed the criticism of the plan. "Offering a monetary incentive to kill doesn't make good sense,'' she said.
But Ross Minett, director of welfare group Advocates for Animals, said: "There is no scientific or ecological justification for this. Even when millions of pounds are spent over a number of years, it's next to impossible to cut the number of grey squirrels. This will lead to carnage in the countryside."
Ignorantia juris non excusat
More than seven new laws have come into force every day since Tony Blair came to power a decade ago, new research has shown.
The legislatively hyperactive Blair premiership has seen an average of 2,685 new laws introduced each year - a 22 per cent increase on the previous decade under the Tories.
A new law has come into being every three-and-a-quarter hours, and that's without adding on the new laws from Brussels, which had reached 2,100 by 2006.
Quick, name a new law that has made the country a better, safer or more pleasant place, just one out of the thousands. Nope, me neither.
ID Cards - Only The Guilty Have Anything to Hide
Civil servants have been ordered to destroy reports on controversial, multi-billion-pound NHS and ID card computer projects in an attempt to keep details of mismanagement from the public, it was claimed last night.
The order, given to officials at the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), was condemned by the Tories and Liberal Democrats, who accused the Government of trying to hide details of bungled computer schemes.
The guidance to officials, seen by Computer Weekly Online, has come to light as the OGC is involved in a legal battle to prevent the release of "gateway review reports" on the contentious £5.3 billion ID card scheme.
An official tribunal last month upheld a decision that the documents should be disclosed after a Freedom of Information Act request, but the OGC is appealing against the decision at the High Court.
June 2, 2007
Cameron - time to wake up and smell the PG tips, not just the Fairtrade cappucinos
Come on, Dave. Don’t forget to woo your lumpentoriat-Comment-Columnists-Matthew Parris-TimesOnline
The parliamentary party are easy to mock, of mixed calibre and, for the moment, easy to disregard; but they murdered Thatcher, Major and almost every leader thereafter. True, there exist among them serious Neanderthals, but if the Tory whips are to target this minority, the leadership needs to inspire more affection among the middling majority. Mr Cameron may need more friends there one day.
The grammar-school storm, ridiculously unimportant as it ought to be, was not the right way to go about winning them. The impression that a small Cameroon clique is running the show may be unfair but it is an audible grumble in the Commons corridors.
And not just there, the view that an Old Etonian elite has hijacked the party for their soppy Notting Hill dinner party policies is growing.
...new figures show that the Health Department significantly underestimated. The Department of Health estimated that the bill for the ban, that comes into force in a month's time, would run to £1.6 billion.
Initially, it set aside £1 million for "education/communication" on the law, but now admits that the total budget for advertising the ban on television, billboards and leaflets stands at £8.7 million.
It also calculated that enforcement would cost no more that £8 million. However, it has already allocated £29.5 million to local authorities to train and hire enforcement officers.
Most significantly, it estimated the implementation costs for workplaces would be "minimal".
How do think Sam Walton would react to a marketing department that budgeted £1m for advertising and then spent £8.7m (at least), the same "oh it doesn't matter, it's for people's own good" as the NHS? I thought so, that is all you need to know about how the NHS is run. And of course they also forgot about the birds - will the RSPB start a "Keep Smoking" campaign?
Birds are picking up discarded cigarette butts and using the smoke to fumigate their wings of parasites, experts said yesterday.
Rooks have been spotted swooping on to the tracks at Exeter St David's railway station in Devon and placing their wings over the smoke to collect the fumes underneath.
Your NHS, please pay again
Senior doctors are to propose that health care should be paid for through a compulsory NHS income tax....
A motion to be debated at a British Medical Association conference will suggest a means-tested system similar to those used in France and Germany.....
Contributions would vary according to income, meaning high earners would pay more.
The French pay premiums amounting to almost 20 per cent of pre-tax earnings while in Germany the proportion varies according to different providers but averages at around 13 per cent.
This equates to about £10,000 and £6,500 respectively for some one earning £50,000 per year....
About 200 of the country's leading doctors attending the BMA consultants' conference on Wednesday will debate a motion stating: "This conference believes that a means-tested compulsory form of national insurance be set up to fund the NHS."...
"The fact that the system is tax-funded and so centralised has led to something which is totally dysfunctional and increasingly unsustainable.
"Such a system will always be inefficient and will never deliver the care people aspire to."
Maurice Slevin, a leading cancer expert and founder of the Doctors for Reform campaign group, said: "The fact is the current system isn't working. The cost has more than doubled in real terms.
"The only thing that has improved is waiting times have reduced but everything else has got worse.
"We've paid for a Bentley and got a clapped out Mini. We have a large nationalised system with no mechanism to provide incentives to do things in a cost-effective, efficient manner."
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "Record investment and reform is delivering a first class NHS for patients."
I'm obviously too tired and hung over to understand why a centralised compulsory "national insurance" or income tax based on the amount you earn is going to be so much better than the present system of a centralised compulsory "national insurance" or income tax based on the amount you earn in reforming the NHS.
June 1, 2007
Mauna Loa CO2 Readings, Making Sure The Readings Are Right
Has a complete listing of the articles in "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic," a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. ...
One example is this:
Answer: Yes, it's true, Mauna Loa is an active volcano. In fact it's the biggest volcano on earth! So, should we suppose that Charles Keeling didn't know that?
Well, no, he did know it. And using subtle scientific indicators like "wind direction," he was even able to ensure that his readings were not contaminated by any out-gassing when it was occurring....
A quick look at the actual levels recorded makes it pretty hard to believe there is any volcanic influence. We have a nice, slow, steady trend with a regular up and down seasonal variation. No spikes, no dips. Nothing random....
I would be interested in knowing how he decided which readings were "contaminated" and not to be included, was it on the environmental conditions such as the wind or did he just chuck away readings that didn't fit?
VC Hero Allowed to Settle
Iain Dale's Diary brings good news:
Beddybies time, Nanny will tuck you in
Firemen are facing disciplinary action after they were accused of sleeping on the floor of their station instead of on new reclining chairs.
Three men are being investigated for "involvement in the use of unauthorised rest facilities". A colleague called it "bureaucracy gone barmy".
Firemen are entitled to three hours' rest during a 15-hour night shift.
Fire chiefs are looking into claims that they defied orders to rest on the £400 reclining chairs, which were installed as a replacements for beds in Greater Manchester's 41 fire stations last year. It is claimed that they broke regulations by deciding it was more comfortable to use sleeping bags and bed down on the floor....
Anita Wainwright, the service's director of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Risk-assessed facilities have been provided for rest only, not sleep. However, if a firefighter were to doze off on the rest facilities provided, a common sense approach is adopted."...An internal memo, issued last year, gave guidelines on how to rest at fire stations and warned of "random inspections" and threatened anyone caught out with disciplinary action.
Kevin Brown, of the Fire Brigades Union, said: "Firefighters make life or death decisions every day, but they appear to be being treated as fools."
Next to come "Dream Monitoring" - any firefighter dreaming of any sexual matter in a workplace environment will be compulsory re-educated....
How to be green, prevent wars and scare yummy mummies
A distasteful idea which is better buried-Comment-TimesOnline Sitting down to a meal is a celebration, an opportunity for companionship and shared pleasure – in Eurospeak, we might call it an instrument of social cohesion. Nigel (thousands to die) Hawkes must be a bundle of fun to sit down to eat with...
But he is right in that selling the idea of relaxing the rules on Pigs and Chickens eating waste animal protein is going to be a hard one to the scaredy cat British Public. Nothing pigs and chickens like more than a tasty bit of another animal, worms aren't exactly vegetarian food and only the other day Dolly, my Gloucester Old Spot sow, was eating a rabbit in the wood. In environmental terms it is a no brainer to recycle it into more meat rather than into one of Dave's mandatory slop buckets.And of course most wars have been caused by man's need for protein. Carbohydrates grow on trees, protein is the stuff you need lebensraum for. Alexander, Genghis Khan, the Goths, Huns and Vikings, and so on didn't roam the world for the view and to meet interesting people...
Tits like Coconuts - and other bird news from the RSPB
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has banned the use of the word "cock" when applied to the male of the species, in case it causes offence. - though Tit seems to be OK, and the RSPB is happy to show videos of fishy breathed shags.