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April 30, 2008

How I nearly got sent to the Tower...

Blogger 'Guido Fawkes' is led off to the Tower - Pandora, Columnists - The Independent

"I had been speaking at the Adam Smith Institute," Guido explains. "They have made a lot of money so the booze is usually pretty good. I moved on with a few people to the Westminster Arms, where I bought drinks, and then to the Kennington Tandoori to show everyone the picture of Prezza on the wall. Then I was giving a few people a lift to Victoria station when the fuckers pulled me over."

Bugger, it was a good curry though, and from where I was sitting in the back in the baby seat he seemed to be driving better than I do when in town.

Posted by The Englishman at 2:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Squeezing us dry.

Secret tax adds £200 to cost of running family cars - Times Online

Tens of thousands of families will have to pay up to £245 extra a year under new road tax rules after a covert government decision to include cars up to seven years old.

The Treasury admitted to The Times last night that it was quietly abolishing the exemption for older cars from the highest rates of vehicle excise duty. This means that owners of larger cars bought since March 2001 will find that their road tax will rise steeply from next April.

The increases are being introduced in two stages, with many owners who are now paying £210 a year being charged £300 in 2009 and up to £455 in 2010.

Those who try to sell their cars will find that the value has fallen sharply because of increases in fuel prices and road tax. The AA said that many people were falling into a “negative equity” trap, with their cars worth thousands of pounds less than outstanding loans.

Motoring groups said that it was unfair to penalise families who bought their cars several years ago, when people knew less about the consequences of CO 2 emissions.

Yep we certainly know more about CO2 emissions now than in 2001 - they are largely unrelated to global temperature but closely linked to the state's ability to mulct ever more money under a cloak of righteousness. Besides only crazy and probably dangerous individualists and libertarians actually want the "freedom" to drive themselves around when the ever benevolent state supplies transport to take us where it wants us to go when it suits it.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Only four meals away...

UN moves to head off food riots - Scotsman.com News

THE United Nations' secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, yesterday said he was setting up a task force to tackle the global food crisis, in an attempt to avert "social unrest on an unprecedented scale".
"The immediate priority is that we feed the hungry," Mr Ban said after a meeting with UN agency heads and other leading international officials in the Swiss capital, Berne.

THE UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's food price index, measuring market prices of cereals, dairy produce, meat, sugar and oils, rose 57 per cent in the year to March. The surge is due to increased demand in developing countries, higher fuel costs, drought in Australia, use of crops for biofuels and speculation on global commodity markets.

It is getting serious - many US restaurants have done the previously unthinkable and introduced smaller food portions served on smaller plates.

MI5’s maxim is that society is “four meals away from anarchy”. In other words, the security agency believes that Britain could be quickly reduced to large-scale disorder, including looting and rioting in the event of a catastrophe that stops the supply of food. So forget possible "climate change wars" that might take decades to forment it is the ever daily need to feed that is important.

As EU Referendum says:

What I find utterly bizarre about all this though – although perhaps I should not – is the way agriculture, food supplies and "climate change" have dropped out of British politics. But Cameron has bought into to the AGW myth, so the Conservatives are totally compromised, while the government is more concerned with the revenue-raising potential of environmental taxes than it is with the reality.

With agriculture being an EU "competence", that rules out any discussion on that issue, which means that the minor question of whether in the future we get to eat – or can afford what is on offer – is off-limits to our politicians. It is a funny old world, as a former prime minister once observed.

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

Fake Lesbians

We're the true Lesbians, say islanders | Herald Sun

RESIDENTS of the Greek island of Lesbos have launched a legal case against a gay group, insisting they are the real Lesbians.
Two inhabitants of the island of Lesbos along with a member of a nationalist pagan association today launched a legal case to ban the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (OLKE) from bearing the name "lesbian".

Lesbos was the home of the poet Sappho, who expressed her love of other women in lyric verses written in the early sixth century BC.

Lesbos residents now suffer "psychological and moral rape" from the "seizure" of their island's name by gays, said the activist Dimitris Lambrou, in a text titled The Misfortune of Being Lesbian, published on his website.

I can here the arguments now.

"GIs (geographical indication of origin) inform consumers that a product has been produced in a particular place and that it benefits from certain characteristics peculiar to that place. In the sense that GIs operate to restrict who can use them, GIs are similar to trademarks.
Place names that could become GIs are in fact prohibited from being registered as trademarks (as per Article 3(1)(c) of Directive 89/104/EEC).
The global framework for the protection of GIs is laid down by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which requires member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to legislate for their protection. Within the European Union, GIs are governed by EC Regulation 2081/92 (the GI Regulation). This divides GIs into protected geographical indications (PGIs) and protected designations of origin (PDOs).
Look is it coz you're a Lesbian you won't sleep with me or just you don't fancy me?"

Posted by The Englishman at 6:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2008

The missing hockey stick is found hiding in central England

Tamino has been looking at the CET - Central England Temperature record - and does some clever stuff picking out a few potential problems with the older records. (The direct link above to the blog post doesn't seem to be working so you may have to go Tamino's main blog page to find his article.) But he ignores the fact that this "longest single instrumental temperature record" has been buggered about with, especially since 1974. with station changes, adjustments and tweaking, all with the good intention of "improving" the record.

But no matter because he takes this: The monthly temperature anomalies - the difference between each month’s value, and the average for that month during a reference period (the entire time span ).

cet1yr.jpg

And by his sooper secret process - " I used a *modified* Savitzky-Golay filter because I apply a weighting function of my own design, tailored to minimize the impact of noise on the result. I called it "Savitzky-Golay" without the "modified" because this post is not about filters, so I decided to keep it simple. I'm working on a peer-reviewed publication to introduce my new weighting function. Furthermore, I also applied a wavelet filter and a low-pass filter. The results are the same. The very large warming in the last 30 years is real, and shows up just as prominently in all the filters I applied."

He turned it into this!

cetsmooth.jpg

Hurray! The hockey stick is back! Trebles all round! But he can do better: "I’ve also plotted lines marking out the episodes of known changes in the precision of the data...If we plot only the most precise part of the data, from 1800 to the present, we get a very clear picture of the climatological changes in CET for the last two centuries:

cetlater.jpg

Bish, bash, bosh; job done.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Pants on Fire


The Reference Frame: Tropical troposphere: not warming

This is the graph of the day, discussed at Climate Audit.

tropic53.gif

The three complicated colorful lines are the temperature data for the tropical troposphere - where the warming should be most rapid - according to RSS MSU, UAH MSU, and CRU: they seem to almost fully agree with each other. In terms of words, there has been no warming over there since 1980...the IPCC predicts a warming of nearly 3 °C per century on the surface which should mean almost 5 °C for the hot spot in the tropical troposphere.

Al Gore should now ask his favorite question: Did the CO2 levels and Temperature levels ever fit together? Most ridiculous thing I ever heard. The relationship is very complicated, but there is one relationship that is more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature of the tropical troposphere doesn't give a damn. :-)

I don't expect Al Gore gives a damn either...

The Really Inconvenient Blog » Gore Pockets Another Cool Million

Al Gore has just won the Dan David Prize for social responsibility. Thats another $1 million...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Science Reporting - RIP

Iain Hollingshead on the reporting of science in the media | Media | The Guardian

....The Daily Telegraph's science correspondent, Nic Fleming, is believed to be in negotations over plans to make his role redundant and, should he go, there do not seem to be plans to replace him. The Telegraph declined to comment on his possible departure. The situation has reinforced the view that the media fail to recognise science's popularity with, or relevance to, the public. Reporting is either dumbed down, sensationalised, or spiked by executives with humanities degrees and an inability to distinguish one end of a hybrid embryo from another.

While science journalists proudly trace their origins back to JG Crowther in the 1920s, doomsayers fear their field is being slowly invaded by technology correspondents (who first appeared in 1985), encroached on by health correspondents and made to seem marginal by the more recent obsession with the environment. "All science hacks are left with is the throwaway crap like 'Dinosaurs may have died of Aids' - which could be taken straight off the wires by a kid on work experience," says one former broadsheet science correspondent....

Quite, when did you last read anything worthwhile in the dead tree media about science? Thank goodness for the blogs.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Local tax

Parish council levies hide true council tax rises - Telegraph

The true level of council tax rises is being disguised because parish councils are imposing levy increases above inflation, the Conservatives claim in a report to be released today...
Above-inflation increases in council tax are a major issue in this week's local elections. Labour has introduced new safeguards to block increases of more than five per cent.
However, councils have been accused of using loopholes to get around the rules - such as passing responsibilities on to parish councils...

On our Parish Council we are often reminded we aren't capped so if the village wants a service the District Council has been providing we ought to mulct our ratepayers even more because the District Council has more important things to spend its money on. I'm pleased at last that the Tories have woken up to this. Of course as southern councils have also complained about a readjustment of central government grants with more money being awarded to poorer areas, particularly in the North which has allowed many Labour councils to keep council tax rises down this means that it is the Tory controlled southern District Councils that have been doing it mainly...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Seeing red over going green

Eco-friendly wood burning
Wood burners operate at around 75% efficiency meaning that 75% of the heat generated by burning the wood is radiated out into the room and only 25% is lost up the chimney. By comparison an open fire is likely to operate at around 15-20% efficiency

I was going to show how I spent a happy few hours at the weekend fettling and welding a collared register plate to fix a high efficiency log burner in the place of my very inefficient open fireplace. I could have even said how pleased I was when I tried it out and how I had to open the windows so unexpectedly great was the heat from it, but I can't. If I had been silly enough to to put a log burner onto my existing hearth and poke its flue up my own chimney I would have been a very naughty boy. A man from the council would have to been called in and given his approval before I could have done that, and as he didn't I obviously haven't.

All domestic combustion appliances are subject to Building Regulations. This is for the benefit of yourselves, and is not just a money grabbing exercise by the Building Control body.
Adequate ventilation and air replacement for the safe combustion process is required , fire risk to other buildings, fire risk to your home, locality of any combustible material to the flue ie floor joists etc,locality of windows etc to flue terminal, correct flue type for the combustion appliance etc,etc,etc are all issues which need to be satisfied for YOUR safety.
Another issue is conservation of fuel and energy, yes, again a building regulations issue, how do you know how efficient the proposed system will be???How do you know the appliance has been safely installed?????
Irrespective of whether it is a log burner or not IT IS A COMBUSTION APPLIANCE used for heating.
SAFETY FIRST and if your not qualified in these matters then seek professional advice. A simple call to your local Building Control body is the best advice, w'ere not monsters were here to help and protect you (some of you need protection from yourselves).

Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

An Ugly Duckling

Earliest hatching of Abbotsbury cygnets for 600 years - Times Online
Swannery hatches earliest cygnet in 600 years - Telegraph

The first cygnet of the year has been hatched at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset and, according to folklore, that means summer is here.

A mild winter and recent warm weather is thought to have encouraged the fluffy grey cygnet to come out of its shell three weeks early

A miracle - neither paper mentions Global Warming! Are they starting to see the light?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Aaronovitch Brown noses

The rats are sinking Brown's ship | David Aaronovitch - Times Online

If it is a matter of faith with you that Gordon Brown is mad, terminally dithering, responsible for all the ills you suffer while entirely innocent of all the benefits you enjoy, sub-Stalinesque, constitutionally unable to empathise with your plight (whatever that consists of) and utterly incompetent, it may be better if you move straight on to the column below.

Done...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Price Fixing

OFT investigates 100 household brands over price-fixing allegations - Telegraph

About 100 leading household brands, including PG Tips, Coca-Cola and Aquafresh, are at the centre of an investigation into allegations of price-fixing, The Daily Telegraph can disclose...Several leading supermarkets - including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's - were raided last week by OFT investigators and lawyers

Apart from some recent rises it isn't the supermarkets and staple foods that are the rip-off in this country. How about the OFT investigates Council Tax, the BBC licence, National Insurance......

Posted by The Englishman at 6:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 28, 2008

The Sun is Shining - I'm Off to Work.

Work is the curse of the blogging class, no time for sitting indoors today. The Devil's Kitchen is on fire yesterday and today ripping apart the EU, NHS, Labour wankers, and even Oxford Students. Far better stuff than the meagre gruel you would have read here, and I suppose I ought to warn you far swearier...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 27, 2008

Another "How the EU and Regulatory Capture are destroying small businesses" story.

EU Referendum: Vintage Booker

It is a vintage EU "red tape" story. ....

That we do this type of story less often does not mean that the burden of "red tape" is any less – far from it. However, there is a limit to the number of stories we could write about mainly small businesses, usually owned by distinctly unphotogenic middle-aged men suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous Brussels legislation. Eventually, even we tired of writing them.


The great problem was that, with the Tories just as complicit as Labour in accepting this tidal wave of legislation, there was never any political traction which could pull the stories out of their "red-tape ghetto" and propel them into the mainstream...Anyhow, the Booker story speaks for itself, although even he can barely touch on the complex ramifications of this issue – and so very few people care that we have to be sparing with the details....

It is at this point, as we dive into the detail that we lose most of our readers. Their eyes glaze over and they more onto the more entertaining fare of Mr Dale's Diary. ......

At this point, I fully appreciate that I have completely lost anyone who might have come back into the fray and tried to follow the gist of what I am writing. But complexity is what EU law is all about. You can see why the politicians run for cover and why the real political bloggers concern themselves with far more important things like Harriet Harman's blog password.

For the likes of Dr Chowdhary though, what all this incomprehensible guff means is that, unless her company coughs up £6 million or so – or such unspecified lesser sum as the regulators may decide, but haven't yet – in order to duplicate the information that numerous other companies and consortia are also providing, QuatChem is out of business. Outside the listing process, she will not get her "letter of access" and will not be able to sell the product her company makes.

But, like I said – who the hell cares? This is all far too complicated. The bones make for a good little story in the Booker column and, to the delight of the Sunday Telegraph, Dr Chowdhary isn't a middle-aged man, so she photographs well.

Next week, we will do another story. Dr Chowdhary will be left with the mess and, in due course, her company will go out of business, like the thousands more before her, and the thousands to follow. Vintage Booker, it may be, but it is not one in which our politicians, or their groupies, are the least bit interested.

Thank you for listening.

No, thank you for writing. Every small shaft of sunlight acts as the best biocide as it exposes the rotten core of the project.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Like Ferrets in a Bag

Lord Levy's book: 'I warned Tony Blair about long massages with Carole Caplin' | the Mail on Sunday

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Lord Levy gave further details of his role in trying to persuade Mr Blair to stay away from Miss Caplin.

'Bright red': Blair's reaction to the claim
Asked about the Downing Street gossip that led to their meeting, he said: "The rumours were that when he was stressed out, if she was at Chequers she would occasionally give him a massage so as to take away some of the anxieties and pressures."

Lord Levy said he had "no idea" whether Mrs Blair was at Chequers at the time.

Lord Levy's book: 'Mandelson's telling people I'm gay... and I am NOT GAY', says Brown | the Mail on Sunday


What larks! The extracts are the essential read this Sunday. With the papers happily saying that Gordon is mad, is cracking up, dysfunctional and a liability, the infighting is starting. And odious creeps like Ed Balls actually believe they have a chance of becoming Prime Minister so the off record briefings are coming thick and fast. As Matthew Parris said it could all self-destruct in very short order.

Posted by The Englishman at 2:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Koinophilia

Kim du Toit ponders the Top Five FHM Beauties whilst Just a Girl in short shorts talks about top limey lesbian pin-ups.

I think the latter may win my vote.

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

April 26, 2008

Darkies, they come over here, take over the neighbourhood, infect our girls....

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Highlands and Islands | Grey squirrel 'may have hitched'

The first grey squirrel to be officially reported in the Highlands may have arrived on the back of a lorry carrying hay or straw bales.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | South of Scotland | Squirrel pox confirmed on estate
Tests have confirmed cases of the squirrel pox virus at three sites on an estate in the south of Scotland.
The disease, which is fatal for red squirrels but can be carried by greys without harming them, has been found on the Queensberry Estate near Dumfries.

"This is worrying news," said Miles Barne, chairman of the European Squirrel Initiative (ESI).
"It is vital that squirrel control efforts are focused in this area. Squirrel pox infected greys can speed up the decline of red squirrels by up to 20 times."


Look out greys: black squirrels are on march | Environment | The Guardian
Having usurped the red squirrel in most parts, grey squirrels are now getting a taste of their own medicine from stronger, more aggressive black upstarts.

Populations of the black squirrels are taking a firm hold in areas of East Anglia and experts believe they could dominate many eastern counties within a decade.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Postman Pat's Lunchbox Police

The packed-lunch police - Times Online


The School Food Trust, the body set up by the Government to turn round school dinners, suggest drawing up a policy for packed lunches - a few basic rules to bring them in line with a healthier school environment - and make sticking to it part of a code that parents have to agree to.

Alan Johnson, the Health Minister, has suggested that schools should check lunchbox contents.

Sensible chap - a lunch box might contain £1,675 as a dodgy donation....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Enviro-crime - lets all get dressed up and pretend we are Eliot Ness and The Untouchables

Mother fined for dropping 'a bit of sausage roll' - Telegraph

A single mother has been fined £75 for "littering" after her daughter dropped a piece of sausage roll on the pavement.

Sarah Davies, 20, was feeding Chloe, four, when the roll slipped from her grasp inches from her daughter's mouth and fell to the floor...

“A tiny bit missed her mouth and fell on the floor and seconds later some pigeons flew down and grabbed it. I crossed the road and was approached by two men - at first I thought they were canvassers as they were dressed in tracksuit bottoms.

“But one came up to me, said he was from the council and said I was going to be fined for dropping litter.”

She added: “I felt really small and humiliated. I was treated like I was a criminal. Where is the common sense? It was a small, bite-sized piece - just big enough for her mouth.

“I went back to take a picture of the 'litter’, but it had been gobbled by pigeons. There was no litter there at all.”

Hull City Council confirmed a fixed penalty ticket had been issued by a member of its Environment Crime Unit.

A spokeswoman for Hull City Council said: “The issuing of the fixed penalty notice is the result of the mother’s actions and not as a result of child’s.”

Hull City Council : News and press releases

Hull City Council is stepping up the battle to tackle enviro-criminals by using the CCTV and covert surveillance equipment.

In a bid to proactively catch enviro-criminals and to reduce anti-social behaviour, Citysafe's Environmental Crime Unit is working with colleagues in the council's CCTV network, Civic One, to obtain footage of environmental crimes..

Already the use of surveillance equipment covertly deployed within neighbourhoods and the Council's CCTV network is starting to make a real difference....n addition, the Council will also make CCTV footage available to the local media to show the crimes in action and to name and shame those involved.

Hull City Council's zero tolerance on environmental crime means that culprits will be dealt with swiftly and strongly.

I wonder if they have a Enviro-crime Thought Police, could they arrest me for just imagining littering the lamp posts of Hull with the bodies of local politicians?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:56 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

April 25, 2008

Friday Night is Music Night (So last century)

Those heady days after Free Love and the Pill arrived and before AIDS started casting its shadow. No wonder my friend "The Glam Rockstar" looks back with a wry smile....

Posted by The Englishman at 5:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Harriet Harman - quick, visit her official site

Harriet Harman: Home Page

Latest from Harriet's blog

Harriet Harman Resigns From Labour, Defects to Tories (PRESS STATEMENT)
To friends, foes and fans, Below is a copy of the resignation letter that landed on Gordon’s desk this morning. I couldn’t be bothered to type a completely new one, seeing as Quentin Davies (LO-SER!) had written a perfectly good one here, I thought I’d just change the relevant sections… a swap for a swap if you [...]

VOTE BORIS JOHNSON FOR LONDON MAYOR...

More at her blog...

Yes it is her real site, but maybe, just maybe some one has been a bit naughty....

Hat Tip Guido.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dave and the curse of premature electioneering

Iain Dale's Diary: Telegraph Column: Drive a Stake Through Brown's Political Heart?

When a politician is on the floor, bleeding heavily, it's hugely tempting for his political opponents to kick him to death. The spectacle of a political murder always cheers the party faithful and provides good copy for people like me - but it's not always a wise strategy...

There are two schools of thought as to how the Conservatives should attack Labour over the next few months. Some believe a softly, softly approach is best, in which the strategy would be to let the Government swing on a gibbet of its own making. The counter view is that it's time for a bit of rumbustious opposition.

David Cameron's strikingly aggressive performance at Prime Minister's Questions this week indicates that the latter approach is winning the argument. But there are dangers. Intemperate attacks on Gordon Brown send subliminal signals to people about nasty Tory leopards not having changed their spots. Also, they might hasten the day of the Prime Minister's departure, but for the Tories that would be to lose their biggest electoral asset. Many Tory MPs have already signed up to the "Save Gordon Brown" campaign.

The truth is, neither of these strategies are mutually exclusive. It's about getting the balance right.

There is a huge danger that the Tories will peak too soon, Dave's a young man, he isn't used to being close to pulling it off, the temptation is great but he must pull back from the vinegar strokes, try thinking hard of Margaret Beckett, that always works for me.

As the text books say:

If the premature electioneering occurs so early that it happens before commencement of the hustings and the man is attempting election as Prime Minister, then election as Prime Minister can be impossible to achieve. Perhaps the most affected organ system is the psyche of the party. Both parties are likely to be dissatisfied emotionally and physically by this problem.

Premature electioneering has historically been considered a psychological disorder. One theory is that males are conditioned by societal pressures to reach electoral success in a short time because of fear of discovery when canvassing as teenagers or during early conference experiences "in the back seat of the hall" or with a manifesto. This pattern of rapid attainment of political release is difficult to change in elected or long-term roles. The fact that electorate arousal requires more time than politician arousal is being increasingly recognized, and this may result in increased recognition and definition of premature electioneering as a problem.

Some have questioned whether premature electioneering is purely psychological. A number of investigators have found differences in nerve conduction/latency times and hormonal differences in politicians who conduct premature electioneering compared with individuals who do not. The theory is that some politicians have hyperexcitability or oversensitivity, thus preventing down-regulation of their sympathetic pathways and delay of electioneering.
One might find some logical sense, from an evolutionary point of view, that politicians who can provide a renta-quote rapidly would be more likely to succeed in getting votes than politicians who require prolonged stimulation to reach electoral success....

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

The Choosing of Our President - Not that we will be consulted.

Tony Blair’s much-vaunted candidacy is seen as one that would consolidate an inter-governmental approach to the EU that dismays Federalists and defenders of the Commission’s powers. : April 2008 : Bruno Waterfield : Foreign : Telegraph Blogs

There’s more about those behind-the-scenes talks about the new European Union President created by the Lisbon Treaty. The secret discussions are shaping up to be a power struggle for control of Europe.

During a June 19 summit of European heads of state and government the question of who will be the EU’s first president will trigger a race for supremacy in Brussels.

Tony Blair’s much-vaunted candidacy is seen as one that would consolidate an inter-governmental approach to the EU that dismays Federalists and defenders of the Commission’s powers.

If he takes the post, it will be a clear signal that the new President is to be a major international power player, a development regarded as being at the expense of other EU institutions.

EU officials are worried that a new President, especially if Mr Blair, will muscle the Commission out the lead during global climate change talks in Copenhagen next year.




Tony Blair - Not eurofedralist enough for the EU! I believe the Pope considers him a liability in the church for being too Catholic as well.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 24, 2008

Did Gordon Crash The BA 777?

British Airways Boeing 777-236/ER (G-YMMM (cn 30314/342)), flight BA038 from Beijing (PEK) to London Heathrow (LHR), landed short of runway 27L at LHR - January 17th, 2008

Air Accidents Investigation Branch: Accident to Boeing 777-236, G-YMMM, at Heathrow Airport on 17 January 2008 - Initial Report Update

As previously reported, whilst the aircraft was stabilised on an ILS approach with the autopilot engaged, the autothrust system commanded an increase in thrust from both engines. The engines both initially responded but after about 3 seconds the thrust of the right engine reduced. Some eight seconds later the thrust reduced on the left engine to a similar level. The engines did not shut down and both engines continued to produce thrust at an engine speed above flight idle, but less than the commanded thrust.

Recorded data indicates that an adequate fuel quantity was on board the aircraft and that the autothrottle and engine control commands were performing as expected prior to, and after, the reduction in thrust.

All possible scenarios that could explain the thrust reduction and continued lack of response of the engines to throttle lever inputs are being examined, in close cooperation with Boeing, Rolls Royce and British Airways. This work includes a detailed analysis and examination of the complete fuel flow path from the aircraft tanks to the engine fuel nozzles.

Further factual information will be released as and when available.

The latest official report still has no more explanation of what caused the crash.

But there is a rumour out there which I have checked with people who know about these sort of things, the sort of people who fly into Kandahar and Baghdad, and they think it rings true...

From the Aero Farm Forum

So what caused the engines to fail to produce enough thrust on the final
approach? The engines were still operating (though at idle) when crash crews
attended. The thrust levers were at full (or may be go round) position. So
what might have happened? Given the aircraft had fuel, it was not
contaminated and the engines were operating...?

I have had reports that at the time as the aircraft passed over a perimeter
road, (by an extra-ordinary coincidence) it passed low and directly overhead
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's car detail; delivering Brown and his
entourage to Heathrow. This cavalcade apparently travels with a significant
and powerful electronic counter measures (ECM) package to jam (fry) roadside
IED's, deflect and avoid incoming missiles and so on. Here is one Vendor
http://www.netline.co.il/page/index.aspx of this technology.

Did the PM's ECM package interfere with the engine management controls
(called FADEC) on the B777. FADEC has been in operation for decades - first
operated on the B767 and the B777. It has had millions of miles of trouble
free motoring and is apparently extremely robust in an operational sense.

FADEC power plant operation provides for independent engine operations,
therefore any FADEC problem would not normally lead to a double engine
failure. Unless of course, the problem existed in the parameters and/or the
engine control information provided to the FADEC due a malfunction [or
possibly ice] or maybe after being subjected to extremely high intensity
electromagnetic radiation from a nearby source.

Given ice has been ruled out - and there was a double malfunction; could an
ECM response have contributed?

So far all reports about this crash have covered the outstanding airmanship
by the crew to limp the stricken aircraft at a very low altitude and low
speed over the perimeter fence and crash land with no loss of life (or
serious injuries) AND the complete bafflement as to what caused this
aircraft to crash - given the fabulous operational record to date its type.

Perhaps there will be no conclusion entered? If Brown's security measures
contributed will that fact ever see the light of day?


Posted by The Englishman at 7:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

That OGC logo, you read it here first!

ogc logo - Google Blog Search

That OGC logo story has gone big time - Times, Telegraph, NBC etc.
But Google searches, when sorted by date, show where the story broke - here. (I got it from a conference on CIX, an old pre-web system that continues to function).

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

This blessed plot

Food crisis: rationing introduced in bid to protect rice supplies - Times Online

British shopkeepers and the US retailer Wal-Mart have rationed rice sales to protect dwindling supplies.

The move by the world’s biggest retailer, which owns Asda, constitutes the first time that food rationing has been introduced in the US. While Americans suffered some rationing during the Second World War for items such as petrol, light bulbs and stockings, they have never had to limit consumption of a key food item.

In Britain rice is being rationed by shopkeepers in Asian neighbourhoods to prevent hoarding.


Petrol panic fear as strike threatens supplies - Telegraph
Fuel supplies could be disrupted by a planned strike at a major refinery, a minister warned, as pump prices hit a new record high.

John Hutton, the Business Secretary, pleaded with motorists not to panic-buy


Households feel the bite as credit crunch hits - Telegraph
More than four out of 10 people fear they will be financially worse off this year as the credit crisis starts to bite, a report shows.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Brown Down, Nation Yawns.

Sketch: how Brown and Cameron squared up in parliament - Times Online

Gordon Brown did a spectacular U-turn yesterday as only he can. One moment he was going full steam ahead with his plan to tax the poor more and the next he was outraged at the very thought of anyone perpetrating such a wholly despicable act.

At first it reminded me of someone who utters a swear word and then slaps himself for saying it. Except Gordon didn’t slap himself for, of course, he won’t admit to saying it. So instead he accused David Cameron of saying something worse and slapped him....There was no apology, no admission of error. Instead, he launched a broadside against the Tory party, the cause of all poverty. At this, Dave screamed right back: “Does the Prime Minister have any idea what a pathetic figure he cuts today?”

And they were off. Dave stabbing away, his logical ice-pick pumping away like mad. Gordon was a spectacle of stubborn fury...

So who won? Neither Gordon nor Dave really, who ended up locked together in sort of exhausted stagger. Of course, there is always the poor, the 5.3 million people ostensibly at the centre of this storm. But don’t count on it: this was about politics, not poverty.

Cameron needs to remember who his real audience is, not the handful of people who saw him in the Commons, not the few thousands who are interested in the debate but the millions out there who will vote. And I'm not getting the feeling he is showing them how pathetic Gordon is.

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

Polar Bears, again.

Climate fears as Arctic ice sheet thins to record low - Scotsman.com News

POLAR ice is melting faster than previously believed and could have reached a "tipping point" beyond which it may not be able to recover, a report warns today.
The warning from environmental pressure group WWF ...Polar bears are one of the species most obviously affected as their habitat shrinks with retreating ice in Arctic regions.

Not the bloody polar bears again - let me spell it out simply so even a journalist can understand - THERE IS MORE POLAR ICE TODAY THAN THERE HAS BEEN FOR YEARS.

current_cycle.jpg

Source - 'State of the Canadian Cryosphere'

More on the state of the ice here

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Darling's Green Fig Leaf Slips Revealing His Naked Greed

'Useless' green levy on drivers rakes in £4bn - Telegraph

The "green levy" on motorists announced in Alistair Darling's first Budget will double car tax revenue to £4 billion but reduce vehicle emissions by less than one per cent, Treasury figures have showed...
Mr Darling claimed that the duty increase was designed to encourage motorists to switch to greener cars and to reduce the environmental impact of driving...
The car tax increase is the latest example of policies that may be unpalatable being repackaged as environmental measures.

It's a con, and more and more people realise it is a con, and whilst they shrug their shoulders at the cant as it increasingly hits them in the pocket they will start punishing the bogusmongers.

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

April 23, 2008

Annual Subscription Reminder

OK - here's the deal! If you enjoy, or even if you don't, visiting these pages, go here:

Justgiving - Tim Burgess's Fundraising Page

Help for Heroes intends to fund a new swimming pool and gym at Headley Court, particularly to help those coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The current gym was last refurbished after the Falklands War in 1982 and the only swimming pool is the local public pool - you may have seen the awful reaction of some members of the public when limbless soldiers were swimming there recently.

Help for Heroes website

Posted by The Englishman at 7:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tally Ho!

Off to The Gentlemen's St George's Day Lunch at The King's Arms.
Wish me luck, last year I fell asleep with my face in The Stinking Bishop at the end of the meal...
This year in a bout of bizarre optimism Mrs Englishman has be booked to do some babysitting this evening.

If you are celebrating, have a good one, and be careful how you go.

Posted by The Englishman at 12:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A snippet of good news to cheer us up.

In brief: Police told to keep investigating Hain - Times Online

Prosecutors have told detectives to continue their investigation into Peter Hain over his late declaration to the Electoral Commission of payments to his campaign to become Labour’s deputy leader, The Times has learnt. The disclosure contradicts Labour Party officials who said that the inquiry was about to collapse.

There is a length of rope in the barn with the oleaginous orange one's name on it....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tories, Traitors and The EU

On St George's Day, EU wipes England off map - Telegraph

England has been wiped off a map of Europe drawn up by Brussels bureaucrats as part of a scheme that the Tories claim threatens to undermine the country's national identity.

nengland123.gif

The new European plan splits England into three zones that are joined with areas in other countries.

The "Manche" region covers part of southern England and northern France while the Atlantic region includes western parts of England, Portugal, Spain and Wales.

The North Sea region includes eastern England, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and parts of Germany.

A copy of the map, which makes no reference to England or Britain, has even renamed the English Channel the "Channel Sea".

Each zone will have a "transnational regional assembly"...German ministers claimed that the plan was about "underlying the goal of a united Europe" to "permanently overcome old borders" at a time when the "Constitution for Europe needs to regain momentum".

The Tories are drawing attention to the plan today, St George's Day. Eric Pickles, the shadow secretary of state for communities and local government, said: "We already knew that Gordon Brown had hoisted the white flag of surrender to the European constitution.

Cue outrage etc. but these "regions" have been around for a while with Councils eagerly dipping their snouts into pan-european funds earmarked for each region. And if the Tories are going to wrap themselves in the flag today does that mean they are going to tell the EU to fuck off? Of course not, there are as many traitors in the Tory Party as in Labour.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Dispose the Day

And as it is a national holiday today (isn't it?) The Breach Scene - Cry 'God for Harry, England and Saint George!' is below.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Have you seen the little piggies Crawling in the dirt?

MEPs vote to cover up expenses inquiry - Telegraph

Members of the European Parliament voted yesterday to cover up a report showing widespread abuse of allowances worth £125 million every year.

They also threw out demands from a public information watchdog for scrutiny of generous pension perks.

What do you expect if you put pigs in charge of their own feed store? They don't even care any more that we can see how corrupt they are.

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

April 22, 2008

Community doublespeak

New rule for emergency mobile priority - 17 Apr 2008 - Computing

Local police commanders are to decide who has priority for mobile phone network access in the event of a disaster such as the 7/7 London bombings.

Under the Mobile Telephone Privileged Access Scheme (MTPAS) ­ priority can only be activated by the police’s “gold commander” ­ – the person who co-ordinates incident response.

Previously, privileged access was controlled centrally from the Cabinet Office. The new system is designed to provide a more agile response, according to Nigel Brown, head of resilient communications in the Cabinet Office.

“We want to help our responding community to have the best access they can,” he said.

Oh yes, "community" - what you mean is "Officials", the community will have to go fend for themselves as the prioritising and evaluating teams congregate and conduct evaluations before acting, without the annoying populace getting in the way by self organising and responding..

Posted by The Englishman at 8:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That sinking feeling

Times Online ...(House) subsidence is a problem of buildings not trees. In many cases trees are not the main culprit. It’s other reasons such as Victorian drains, poorly installed double glazing or climate change.”

Another one for John's List - A complete list of things caused by global warming

Posted by The Englishman at 7:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Save Planet Earth - Destroy Capitalism

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Leaders warn on biofuels and food

Two Latin American leaders have issued warnings about the effects of biofuel production on food supplies.

Speaking at the UN in New York, Bolivian President Evo Morales said the development of biofuels harmed the world's most impoverished people.

Opening a UN forum on the global impact of climate change on indigenous peoples, Mr Morales said that capitalism should be scrapped if the planet is to be saved from the effects of climate change.

"If we want to save our planet earth, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system," he said.

And how could you be so cruel to disagree with this saviour of indigenous peoples and Gaia as you sip your Fairtrade ethical double shot, half decaf, skinny latte? Your Guardian reading neighbour who works for the Media won't.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Miliband and Mugabe, pots and kettles.

David Miliband accuses Robert Mugabe - Times Online
At least Mugabe allowed his people a vote on who rules them, he might be being a bit naughty about abiding by the result, but at least he let them vote unlike the traitorous Miliband who lied and squirmed as he refused us the chance to vote about who rules us. Mugabe should take no lessons from Miliband and his EU cronies on democracy; that he should take a lesson from something even smaller than Diddy David, say something 7.62 x 39 mm, is another matter.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Olympic sport of lying and squandering

HE London Olympics could cost £12 BILLION – three times more than originally predicted, MPs warned yesterday. The Sun


It soared from £4billion to £9.3billion, but a Commons report unearthed further bills of £3billion.

They include £2billion for “staging costs” – like hiring venues such as Wimbledon and Wembley and paying staff – plus the £650million cost of buying the Olympic Park land, says the Public Accounts committee.

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: “We are financially on track.”

Yep, on track for £20billion plus..

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

Britannia ponces about ineffectually on the waves.

Irons in the Fire: Oh Britain, how you have fallen:

While the French were flying six of the captured pirates to Paris to face trial, the British Foreign Office issued a directive to the once vaunted Royal Navy not to detain any pirates, because doing so could violate their human rights. British warships patrolling the pirate-infested waters off Somalia were advised that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain and that those who were returned to Somalia faced beheading for murder or a hand chopped off for theft under Islamic law.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, the anti-piracy watchdog of the International Chamber of Commerce, over the past 10 years 3,200 seafarers have been kidnapped, 500 injured and 160 killed.

Claim asylum? Claim asylum on the end of a yardarm with my good friend Henry the Hempen rope would be more fitting. These pirate "hostages" become slaves, two hundred proud years of patrolling the seven seas boarding slavers and dispatching pirates comes to end because we are worried about the "human rights" of the pirates and that if we drag them back to Blighty all they will do is claim asylum.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:39 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 21, 2008

Darling's helping hand

Alistair Darling tries to buy off 10p tax rate rebels with ‘help for poor later’ - Times Online

The Chancellor launched the fightback yesterday by promising that he would seek to compensate low-paid workers made worse off by the abolition of the 10p tax rate.

He insisted that there could be no immediate concessions, however, and said that the current “constrained circumstances” limited what he could do for those on low pay.


Tim Worstall - Times Online
to tax the poor so that bureaucrats can give money to the poor is simply ludicrous


Alistair Darling plans unprecedented £50bn bank bailout - Times Online
An unprecedented £50 billion injection to bail out Britain’s ailing banking system could be doubled if it fails to stave off a collapse in the housing market.


Overnight MarketWatch
UK markets

London shares rose more than 1 per cent on Friday to their highest close in seven weeks. Banking and finance stocks led the way as investors warmed up to the concept that a recovery might be in sight.

Among the top banks, Royal Bank of Scotland rose 4.9 per cent on reports it is preparing to launch a 10 billion pound rights issue to shore up its balance sheet. Barclays was up 3.6 per cent and HBOS closed 1.4 per cent higher.

Elsewhere in the sector, Lloyds TSB added 2.4 per cent and Alliance and Leicester picked up 4.5 per cent.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Grousing that green energy schemes will ruin the environment.

Will giant pylons mean this is the last dance for iconic Grouse? - Scotsman.com News...the black grouse remains under threat, especially those that flock to Ardverikie.

Three years ago, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, a subsidiary of Scottish & Southern Energy , and SP Transmission, a subsidiary of ScottishPower, published a proposed route for a 400,000-volt overhead electricity transmission line. Since then, a £10 million public inquiry has heard the merits and downsides of the 137-mile line, which would cost £350 million to erect.

The energy companies insist the line is vital to transfer power from green energy initiatives in Scotland's most northerly regions to markets in the Central Belt and England. Conservationists, however, point to the nuts and bolts of the scheme: some 600 vast pylons, each up to 213ft high, which they claim would forever taint the area's natural beauty.

More than 18,000 objections have been submitted, and many organisations believe the plan would wreak environmental havoc. It is opposed by the likes of the National Trust for Scotland, the John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Ramblers' Association.

In its submissions to the inquiry, the RSPB has made clear its fears over six lek sites where black grouse congregate....

It is not just the whirlygigs themselves but the whole apparatus of operating that creates this environmental madness, is there no end to it?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The English Question

At last, an answer to the English Question - Telegraph

Wednesday is St George's Day; so how stands England? Is it, as Ross says when asked the same of Scotland in Macbeth, a case of "Alas, poor country!/Almost afraid to know itself"?

The English Question will still need to be addressed even if Labour loses the next election. This is not about party advantage, nor is it about the Barnett formula, free prescriptions or university fees, however much these issues might rankle with English voters.

It is about identity and governance. Within a Union, it will never be possible for one ancient nation to be satisfied on these matters if the other, bigger, ancient nation feels its claims are being ignored.

Alex Salmond yesterday promised to force "Westminster to dance to a Scottish jig"- Telegraph

The First Minister set a target of winning 20 seats at the next General Election, a total which he claimed could give the party the balance of power in the Commons.
In a tub-thumping speech at the SNP conference yesterday, he promised to use this leverage to force the Government into a series of concessions.

In the early 1600s, one E. Rogers wrote "A good fence helpeth keep peace between neighbours. But let us take heed, we make not a high stone wall to keep us from meeting."

Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Climate change is a feminist issue

A world of hemp lingerie? No thanks | Melanie Reid - Times Online

My real problem with the eco-alarmists is the pleasure they take in austerity; their evident desire to strip away pleasure. Deep down, they disapprove of skiing, even on a Scottish scale. They dislike colour, excess and fun. They really do want to see us imprisoned in a narrow, grey, scratchy world of recycled car tyres and hemp lingerie (and no, I didn't make that up).

Hence their gleefulness in the economic downturn, because it will mean that people are poorer, and will be forced to do things their way. Slowly but surely, the roundheads will take over the Earth. In their ideal world we will not travel, except by bus; we will read gloomy books like A Short History of the Future (on recycled paper); and luxury will consist of a wind-up MP3 player.

What amuses me, wryly, is how this new religion is following in the path of all traditional ones in its impact on women. Climate change is indeed a feminist issue. Who will be the victims of the eco-smug; of this pious gospel of make-do-and-mend? Why, women - who will have to forgo their washing machines and their dish washers, carry supermarket shopping on the bus, and return to the horror of reuseable nappies.

Read the whole article.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 20, 2008

Brown Balls Shaft Miliband

Mr Miliband gets it wrong - and is locked in | John Redwood

Mr Miliband today has allowed himself to be used. He has argued a contradiction. He both tells Labour to start seeing things the way electors do, and told Labour MPs to knuckle down and support the abolition of the 10p band. They cannot do both successfully! Electors are fed up with paying so much tax for so little in return, and most electors think taxing those on lower incomes more is wrong.

Mr Milliband is an intelligent man, but he has allowed his own intelligence to be replaced by Labour stupidity....

So it’s back to the drawing board, Mr Miliband. Mr Brown has played a blinder getting Mr Mililband to do his dirty work for him by arguing for the 10p band removal. It is good internal politics, associating one of his alleged rivals with one of his most unpopular policies.

(I note that John Redwood's webpage is called "mr-miliband-gets-it-wrong-and-is-stitched-up" which seems to be a more accurate headline....)

Posted by The Englishman at 8:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The pipes, the pipes are calling

Pipe down! Brussels slaps a noise order on heart of Scotland - Times Online

....bagpipes are to be quietened by an edict from Brussels.

From this month, pipers must adhere to strict volume limits or risk breaking European Union health and safety laws. Bands have been ordered to tone down or wear earplugs to limit noise exposure to 85 decibels.

Typically, a pipe band played at full volume peaks at 122 decibels outdoors, noisier than the sound of either a nightclub or a chainsaw, which rises to 116 decibels....

Pipe majors claim it is virtually impossible to play quietly or to tune a band when the musicians are wearing earplugs, raising the prospect of a cacophony at showcase events such as the Edinburgh military tattoo.

And the difference will be what exactly?

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

Liz Hurley's unmitigated hell

Ship shape: Liz Hurley is back in her bikini - Times Online
“Shooting bikinis is now my life, which, as you can imagine, is unmitigated hell,” she says, in her golly-gosh diction, which is peppered with words like “unpleasant-making” and “jolly”. “I can’t think of anything worse in the world than another bikini shoot – and I’ve got two next month. It’s unbearable, and I bring it all on myself. I’ve got nobody else to blame. It’s literallah torture.

Grin and bare it old girl, it is a public service you are doing

Posted by The Englishman at 7:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Land Value Tax

Size will matter as Greens plant the seeds of garden tax - Scotsman.com News

A TAX on big gardens is set to be piloted in Scotland as part of a deal to overhaul local government finance, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
The Land Value Tax (LVT), under which homeowners are charged on the size and location of the land they own and not just the building, will be considered as part of a deal to replace Council Tax.
Valuers base their calculations on the assumption that the land is put to its "highest and best use". This means that owners of derelict land and homeowners with gardens which could be developed are charged accordingly.

Mark Wadsworth will be pleased, him and that other greenie Tim Worstall - " Everyone, poor and rich alike, business or individual, farmer and government, should pay a levy on the unimproved value ofthe land they occupy or work. Forit is precisely the society around that land that gives it value, whether it be by the infrastructure of a city or whatever.
This is all old Henry George’s idea (and he wanted it to be the only tax) but the important point is that it is not the structure or the improvements that are taxed, but the land itself."

Posted by The Englishman at 7:42 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Den Engländern "stinkt" es

Luftreinheit: Briten leiden unter Gestank aus Europa - Nachrichten Vermischtes - WELT ONLINE


Den Engländern "stinkt" es – und zwar im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes: Ein fauliger Geruch vom europäischen Festland verpestet im Süden Großbritanniens die Luft. Der Gestank sei eine Mischung aus Dung und Industrieabgasen, über den sogar die Queen die Nase rümpft, heißt es. Schuld daran sind deutsche Schweine.
Die Briten können Europa nicht besonders gut riechen – und diesmal hatten sie einen besonderen Grund: Über weite Teile Südenglands bis nach London wehte seit Freitag ein fauliger Geruch vom europäischen Festland. Selbst die Queen war angeblich von „The Great Stink“ betroffen. Die Ursache für die dicke Luft war am Wochenende schnell gefunden: Der Ostwind und die deutschen Schweine. ...

Der Euro-Wind blies zu guter Letzt auch der Deutschen Botschaft harsch in Gesicht. Reporter der „Daily Mail“ wollten den Diplomaten eine offizielle Stink-Entschuldigung entlocken. Jedoch vergeblich. Mitarbeiter der Botschafter hätten „nichts ungewöhnliches“ in der Luft bemerkt, schrieb das Blatt. Stattdessen habe man darauf aufmerksam gemacht, dass der Duft ja auch aus Frankreich kommen könne – das sei schließlich näher.



The Englishmen "stinks" it - namely, in the truest sense of the word: A fauliger smell from the European mainland to the south of Britain contaminates the air. The stench was a mixture of manure and industrial waste gases, which even the Queen rümpft the nose, they say. Blame are German pigs.

The British can Europe not particularly good smell - and this time, they had a special reason: over large parts of southern England to London since Friday blew a fauliger smell from the European mainland. The cause of the air was thick at the weekend quickly found: The East Wind and the German pigs.

... The euro wind blew at long last, and the German Embassy in harsh face. .. the "Daily Mail" wanted an official apology Stink-elicit. Employees of the ambassador had "nothing unusual" in the air noticed, the paper wrote. Instead, we have pointed out that the scent also could come from France.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sepp and NIPCC - here's the link to that report.

Christopher Booker Stop the CO2 scare, before it's too late - Telegraph

Dr Singer played a key part in last month's scientific conference in New York organised by the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), and gave me an advance copy of its new report (which is now available online - just Google "sepp" and "NIPCC").

I'm a little confused because he seems to be talking about Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate - Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (pdf) which was released and commented on here in February. It is a long summary well worth reading. I can't find a fuller newer report; if there is one please tell me and Mr Google.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 19, 2008

Another Government Logo Cockup?

It is being claimed that The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has spent £100,000 on a new logo to be revealed at the end of the month...

ogc.jpg

Try rotating it 90 degrees as I have below...

ogc%20logo.gif

Posted by The Englishman at 10:03 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Health Myths

Fact or fiction? Ten traditional cures - Telegraph

The Telegraph tries to unspin some old wives' tales and so does The Times....

The top medical myths - Times Online

Good to see The Times giving a little space to debunking myths about diets and cholesterol, breast examination and so on, and even the dangers of sex....

Research shows that the chances of a 50-year-old non-smoking male suffering a heart attack is about one in a million in any hour. Having sex increases these odds to two in a million, but doubling a barely existent risk means that risk is still negligible.

Any related myths? That sex is a form of exercise. In fact, it equates only to climbing two flights of stairs.

Two flights of stairs? I must be doing it wrong, I prefer to take the lift anyway....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The firm hand of nanny

BBC NEWS | England | Hereford/Worcs | Nurse sacked after smacking son

A former school nurse is to take legal action after she was sacked for smacking her 10-year-old son at home.

Susan Pope, from Malvern in Worcestershire, was arrested and her children taken from her after her eldest son reported her to police.

She said she was detained for 32 hours by West Mercia Police after the incident in May last year....Charges against her have since been dropped and her son has withdrawn the accusations. The family has been reconciled.

"We were having quite serious teenage rebellion problems with our eldest son and our middle son started swearing at me," she said.

"I warned him that I would smack him and he did not stop swearing at me so, I smacked him."

"The nanny state has come down on us with a sledgehammer to crack a nut and criminalised us for something that is not a criminal offence."

Posted by The Englishman at 8:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mr Brown went to Washington

Gordon Brown's star falls still further - Telegraph

The trip to America was supposed to boost the PM's faltering fortunes. But, reports Andrew Porter, it went wrong from the moment he landed in Washington

An article of sheer joy as it details how the incompetent, embarrassing amateur totally cocked up, and best of all it gets worse as he comes home. He is becoming a figure of fun, Mr Bean, and while he can deal with hate and disagreement he can't deal with being laughed at. So laugh.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The call of the beaver

Hunt launched for beavers illegally released into wild - Scotsman.com News

...at the moment it is a criminal offence to let them into the wild, and is punishable with a maximum two-year jail term or unlimited fine.

Although the animals have not be seen, teeth marks on tree stumps are evidence that they are on the loose....

Mr Gaywood fears the creatures must be lonely, and said that is one reason why they should be caught as quickly as possible.....

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is leading efforts to catch the beavers, trying to entice them into traps with carrots and apples....

"Carrots and apples" have never worked for me when tracking down lonely wild beaver, something sparkling and chilled with oysters is a better bet.....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 18, 2008

Would make a change from The King's Arms

Today.Azerbaijan - English pub The Camel's Toe

Azerbaijan is among the most tolerant countries of the world.

However, foreign citizens, residing in our country, should not make use of this tolerance.

We will present a little example, which reflects disrespect of British citizens towards the local population. It should noted that we do not try to wage international enmity, we are just presenting a fact.

A pub named The Camel's Toe which initially seems to mean what it means -"A toe of a camel" functions in the very center of Baku, several meters away from the passage, at 22. Mamedaliyev street.

But, in fact the name has a double meaning. .......

A question comes to mind: was it named so on purpose? And what does the logotype of the pub, which locates in one of the most popular streets of Baku, mean?

See photo in linked article.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Friday Night is Music Night (Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova)

Downtown is a pop song composed by Tony Hatch following a first-time visit to New York City. Petula Clark released her first version in late 1964 topping music charts worldwide (with 3 million copies sold in the US alone.

English singer Emma Bunton released "Downtown" in November 2006. The single was selected as the 2006 BBC Children in Need single, with all proceeds from the release going to the charity.

Directed by Harvey & Carolyn, (the directors who also directed her video for her single "Maybe") the sexually suggestive music video for the single is set in a hotel bedroom featuring Bunton as a maid. It includes appearances from contestants from the BBC's reality television show Strictly Come Dancing (the format to which has been sold worldwide under the name Dancing with the Stars) and features cameos from Matt Dawson, Louisa Lytton, Carol Smillie, Spoony, Mark Ramprakash, Claire King, Peter Schmeichel, Craig Revel Horwood, Anton du Beke, Brendan Cole, Erin Boag, Lilia Kopylova, Karen Hardy, and Darren Bennett. Though the lyrics are innocuous, in the video Bunton's body language clearly twists the song title into a euphemism for sexual activity.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:53 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Europe Stinks

Das Stink: Germany to blame for terrible smell engulfing England blown in by freak weather | the Mail on Sunday

It wafted in on the morning wind and immediately set noses twitching.

When a curiously "organic" odour swept across southern England today the hunt was soon on to discover the source. ..the finger of suspicion was pointing towards our continental neighbours.

With a fresh easterly wind in the air, at first it seemed the stink may have been le stink - confirming the longheld suspicions of some about Gallic smells.

But a closer look at the direction of the wind turned suspicions towards Germany and the Low Countries.

Now it appears the invasive stench may in fact have been der stink or der gestank to be precise.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Passive Drinking - an update from Numberwatch

Numberwatch coined the term “passive drinking” for the 2000 book Sorry, wrong number! Coupled with “toe-nail cancer” it was meant to be so absurd that no one could mistake it for a real example.

But there are no jokes in the world of the zealots, so now we have this.

It illustrates so many of the contentions in March of the zealots, particularly the way the success of the anti-tobacco campaign has inspired the other puritans.<

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Customer Complaints

McDonald's prides itself on only one complaint for every 8.3m burgers sold.

And they sneer at McDonald Degrees, let's have more graduates who are trained to deliver that level of customer satisfaction.

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The "most seductive woman of all time"

Beauty survey perfects the art of seduction - Independent.ie

A survey has invented the "most seductive woman of all time" after polling women about celebrities' bodies.

Women fused Marilyn Monroe's white dress, Angelina Jolie's pout, Bond girl Halle Berry's eyes, singer Jennifer Lopez's nose and TV star Kelly Brook's hair and body -- to create Angelle L'Brook.

I note they didn't ask men, but they seem to be on the right track, maybe more research is called for....

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Let it snow...

Bellamy's theory that good skiing disproves climate change 'is hot air' - Scotsman.com News

SCOTLAND has enjoyed its best ski season for a decade – but experts have insisted the spell of cold weather is no sign that climate change is a myth....

In his letter, printed earlier this week, Dr Bellamy, a self-proclaimed global-warming sceptic, said: "The Scottish skiing season is expected to extend into May. What is more, it is almost a decade since the global high-temperature record was last broken, with world temperatures now flat-lining or falling.

"The time has surely come for the people of Scotland to realise that man-made global warming possibly never was or, if it was, that it has come to an end."...

...Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, disputed the claim that the cold winter disproved global warming.
"One year's regional statistics are not proof of a global trend and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly that the global trend is one of warming at a dangerous rate."..

Dr David Coley, global-warming expert from the Centre for Energy and the Environment at Exeter University, said there was no scientific evidence to support any theory that global warming was non- existent.

"The fact that climate change is occurring doesn't mean there's a uniform warming across the planet at any one time. It's not a simple case that everything just gets warmer without any natural variability,"

And he said the temperature of the sea was a far more accurate way to measure global warming.

"One cold winter doesn't mean anything, one warm summer doesn't mean anything," he said. "But if you look at the sea temperature, that takes a very long time to change and they are all rising."

Except they are not, slightly cooling maybe, but the most accurate readings taken by 3000 robotic worldwide sensors show that There has been no significant change of the ocean temperature since 2003. Have these "experts" got no shame?

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One blogger tells us more than 403 MSM outlets

Junkfood Science: News stories for the bird cage

Does a single drink a day really raise a woman’s risk for breast cancers? That’s what 403 media stories (and counting) have been reporting, based on a new study said to be “the largest of its kind.” But not all studies reported in the news are worth taking seriously or let worry us. Here’s why this one shouldn’t have even registered on our radar....

Sandy as ever does the hard lifting on this story, unlike the credulous newspapers who lazily just rewrite a press release...

...this paper came with a press release. Science doesn’t issue press releases. Marketing departments do that.... it was released directly to the media. It bypassed the scientific community altogether, as well as any expert critical analysis......this study was not even published... anywhere. It was presented at a meeting. It hasn’t been peer-reviewed, nor is the study available for healthcare professionals to evaluate its methodology or findings for themselves. .... it was a data dredge looking for correlations, the associations found must be tenable — above random chance or computer modeling error — meaning, at least several times over null. In this case, they were unable to find a single genuine correlation. According to the press release, one drink/day was associated with a 7% increase in relative risk for developing this type of breast cancer over 7 years. Three drinks was associated with a 51% higher relative risk compared to nondrinkers. Nowhere close to viable links. This study was a nonfinding....Not only were the authors unable to find a viable correlation, even using poor-quality data, we have no information on if they even adjusted for the other factors that might play a role in explaining this correlation.....There was simply no credible evidence presented to base any fears or make any reasonable conclusions.....

Is there a body of research giving us reason to fear that moderate alcohol consumption increases our risks for breast cancer or premature death? Far from it.... no meaningful association between alcohol (or any food) and incidences of 17 cancers....

The strongest evidence we do have is of marketing. Epidemiological correlations are most readily misused for marketing because statistical associations can be, and have been, drummed up to implicate virtually any and every aspect of our diets and lifestyles with some deadly disease. Epidemiological correlations have been twisted into causations and used to convince us that health is a matter of personal responsibility under our control, and to blame people’s “bad” behavior for any health problems they develop

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Merit or Quotas?

'Too white, too male' - Scotsman.com News
THE body in charge of selecting judges and sheriffs, the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland, is to carry out a major investigation aimed at ending the virtual monopoly that white men have on the bench.
...
Equality campaigners fear the lack of women and non-white sheriffs and judges is damaging public confidence in the legal system. They argue that the predominance of white men in the judiciary is off-putting to some victims, for example women who are raped.

Sir Neil MacIntosh, the chairman of the board, insists women who apply to become sheriffs or judges have as much chance as men. But he told The Scotsman too few were putting themselves forward for the most senior positions.
...
But Sir Neil rejected far more radical moves to improve diversity. "We don't operate quotas," he insisted.

Nicky Kandirikiria, executive director of the equality campaign group Engender, is among those who believe the composition of the judiciary is damaging the justice system.

"You have to consider whether having such a male-dominated judiciary is contributing to the fact we have one of the lowest conviction rates for rape in Western Europe," she said. "We know many women who suffer violence don't go to court because it's so male-dominated. More women judges would help."
...
Osama Saeed, the chairman of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation, said: " The dispensing of justice requires juries to be of your peers, and the judiciary similarly has to be representative of society. It has an impact in the trust in the system."

Under the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Bill, the appointments board will have to give people posts "solely on merit". However, there are some in the legal profession who believe a candidate's suitability for the job should be based partly on whether they will help create a more diverse judiciary.

But one senior figure said such action could result in the wrong judges being appointed.

Lord McCluskey, a retired judge, said: " The nature of justice does not vary in its character depending on whether the person administering it is male, female, black or white.

"If I go into hospital for brain surgery, I want the very best person for the job. I don't want to be told 'it's your turn to be operated on by someone brought in to create diversity for Bangladeshi immigrants'."

Solely on Merit - what an old fashioned concept, it can't last much longer in these social engineering times.

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A call to arms against the miserablists.

The war on ‘passive drinking’ : April 2008 : Bruno Waterfield : Foreign : Telegraph Blogs

European Union and United Nations officials are plotting to make drinking as socially unacceptable as smoking.

Hectoring campaigns over “passive smoking” are credited for Europe’s almost total smoking ban. Now alcohol is in the sights of the public health miserablists and they have invented the concept of "passive drinking" as their killer argument.....

The link made by between alcohol and crime today, whether violence or child abuse or other social ills, follows not from hard facts but from an outlook that sees human characteristics as damaging in general. And if human beings, particularly when under the influence of stimulants, are destructive, then, the argument goes, social intervention must follow. The idea that almost any activity – drinking, eating, speaking, even thinking – can cause harm is often blown out of proportion and used to generate frightening figures and policies.

The sheer absurdity of the idea of “passive drinking” would be funny if the public health lobby was not so powerful and unpleasant. I found that in a twist of irony, probably lost on po-faced public health types, that the expression "passive drinking" seems to have originated as a spoof in two Peter Simple columns in the Daily Telegraph....

It is no longer a joke or satire – do read more here on Spiked. We need to stand up to these people.

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Swords into ploughshares

Welcome back to Edge of England's Sword 3.0 Iain Murray and The Really Inconvenient Truths Blog.
Pace Iain Dale itis more than just a climate change skeptical blog, he promises it will also be about British Politics and includes a brilliant observation on Cameron.

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April 17, 2008

Back Home

The Adam Smith Institute Bloggers Do

Aargh my head, an excellent and interesting evening, followed by more conviviality with fine minds, all went swimmingly until the Police intervened.....

Still thanks to all and I can recommend the Easyhotel at Victoria, very clean, simple and comfortable with an great shower, what more do you want?

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April 16, 2008

It's London!

Chocks away, see you later at the Adam Smith Institute for a drink or two.

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For peat's sake!

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Highlands and Islands | Wind energy company in Euro call

A major wind farm developer has asked European Commissioners to acknowledge support for its 181-turbine proposal for Barvas Moor on Lewis.

Wind farms or peat bogs: Scotland's green dilemma - Scotsman.com News
POETS and scientists alike have sung its praises. The vast swathe of peatland that covers much of Lewis is held in high regard for its environmental qualities and the rich wildlife it sustains.
Scotland's vast expanses of peat bogs are regarded as our equivalent of the rainforests, and 17 per cent of the world's "blanket bog" is in this country. In all, Scottish peatlands cover some 1.9 million hectares and contain about two billion tons of carbon – roughly four times the UK's annual output – as well as "sucking in" carbon from the atmosphere.

But the wild land on Lewis could be turned into an industrial landscape if the building of 176 turbines is granted approval, and other vital peatlands face the same fate.

Campaigners against the proposal say building a renewable energy facility on an area of peatland is a massive contradiction, as it will release the very carbon dioxide that renewables are meant to reduce.

The Scottish Government has said it is "minded to refuse" the £500 million project but has yet to make a final decision. If it does go ahead, thousands of tonnes of peat would be excavated from the moor and huge amounts of concrete and aggregates poured into the ground to accommodate the foundations, roads and sub-stations.

The effect on the peatland, which has been built up over thousands of years, is a growing concern, not just on Lewis but in other parts of Scotland under pressure from the renewables race.

Last week, the Scottish Government approved an application for a 35-turbine development at Gordonbush, on the edge of the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands Special Protection Area, despite local and national objections.

Is there no end to this madness? We look on in horror now how James Matheson in the mid 1800 set up an oil refinery there, burning the peat to make paraffin from it. I'm happy for the conservationists to argue that the peat bogs have an important role in absorbing CO2 or whatever, there are only two acceptable uses for peat that I believe make it worth digging up. To flavour the whisky and to bank up the cottage fire you enjoy it in front of.

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Stick to your last

BBC NEWS | Health | Ethnic clothes mental health link

Bangladeshi pupils who wore traditional clothing were significantly less likely to have mental health problems than those whose style of dress was a mix of traditional and white British styles.

When this was broken down by gender, it appeared that only girls were affected.

No similar effect was found in white British adolescents who chose a mixture of clothes from their own and other cultures.

Make of that what you will, I will stick to my own traditional ethnic clothes. Checked shirt, mustard cords, tweed jacket and rambler-kicker brogues.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What could be more destructive than a 15 megatonne hydrogen bomb?

Marine life flourishes at Bikini Atoll test site - Telegraph

It was blasted by the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated by the United States but half a century on, Bikini Atoll supports a stunning array of tropical coral, scientists have found.

In 1954 the South Pacific atoll was rocked by a 15 megatonne hydrogen bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the explosives dropped on Hiroshima.

The explosion shook islands more than 100 miles away, generated a wave of heat measuring 99,000コF and spread mist-like radioactive fallout as far as Japan and Australia.

But, much to the surprise of a team of research divers who explored the area, the mile-wide crater left by the detonation has made a remarkable recovery and is now home to a thriving underwater ecosystem.

The scientists - from Australia, the US, Germany, Italy and the Marshall Islands - found corals up to 24 ft high with 10 inch thick trunks.....

Remember the good old days when all we worried about was a nuclear winter and the destruction of all life on earth. Just shows how resilient nature is, good news you would have thought but no, our intrepid scientists have to get a little dig in about, oh you can guess....

That did not mean, however, that the threat to coral reefs around the world from climate change had been overstated.

"Climate change is an ongoing struggle to survive with coral, with no reprieve in sight,"

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April 15, 2008

The rest of the world? Sod EU!

Planet Ark - Europe's Food Supply Not At Risk From Biofuels – EU

"We see that we don't have an enormous danger of too much of a shift away from food production towards biofuels production," European Commission agriculture spokesman Michael Mann told a daily news briefing....In Europe biofuels are still a fledgling and marginal industry and overall supply should remain bolstered by imports, the Commission says.

Who cares if those little brown people go hungry when we buy their food to burn in our cars? It keeps our farmers happy! Result! Triples all round!

H/T JBB

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Brown's Recession coming home to roost.

BBC NEWS | England | Jobs to go at chicken factory

The rising costs of wheat and fuel have been blamed for the likely loss of 450 jobs at a chicken-processing factory.

Faccenda Group Ltd is cutting jobs in Sutton Benger, near Chippenham, Wiltshire under restructuring plans.

The recession it is no longer if, but when, how long and how deep.

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At least it isn't the SA-80....

Afghan troops told to lay down trusty AK47s - Times Online

For a country with a fighting history such as Afghanistan, where invading forces have so often been humbled, there could be no greater indignity than to be told to hand over your guns and fight with the weapon of the infidel.

Yet the new recruits to the Afghan National Army (ANA) are being asked to swap their beloved Kalashnikov AK47, probably the most famous weapon in the world, for the American M16.

The reason for this dramatic change in the fighting culture of the average Afghan soldier is not to boost the coffers of the American manufacturer of the M16 —- although it undoubtedly will.

Rather, it is designed to improve the efficiency of the ANA and teach its soldiers how to preserve ammunition to ensure that, when a battle is fought, the enemy is defeated before the bullets run out.

Traditionally, the Afghan will fire his Kalashnikov from the hip as he advances, spraying the enemy in all directions on automatic mode until every bullet has been expended.

But that is not the way of the British or American soldier who uses his ammunition stocks with greater husbandry and fires to kill, rather than to deluge the enemy with a wall of bullets.

The M16 is fired automatically but in triple bursts, not a constant stream, and never from the hip but with aimed shots from the shoulder. It is against the very nature of warfare as practised by an Afghan soldier, but at Camp Tombstone the first attempts are being made to consign the AK47 to history.....

The reaction of the soldiers of the ANA's No 3 Kandak (battalion) of the Afghan 4th Brigade, normally based in the southern province of Uruzgan and now spearheading the switch to the M16, said it all.

“This is made of plastic, it will break,” one cried. They held up the M16 in ridicule.

“The Kalashnikov is cleaned just by covering it in diesel. It comes out looking spotless,” Major Robert Armstrong, the Royal Irish Regiment officer responsible for training the Afghan soldiers, said.

“But we tell them that the M16 is lighter and more accurate than the AK47 and I think they'll come round. There's no question, though, that the AK47 is a good rifle. You can bury it in the sand for 100 years, dig it out and it'll fire first time.”

Sergeant Rab McEwan, of the 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, had the task of introducing the Afghan soldiers to the M16. “I'm happy with the way it has gone so far but for the Afghans, the Kalashnikov is a cultural thing —- they'll take time to get used to the M16,” he said.

Colonel Neshat had one reservation. “I'm concerned whether there will be enough ammunition with the M16. My soldiers are used to firing hundreds of bullets.”

The British military instructors nodded and smiled.

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Grunt, grunt, snuffle.

In brief: Public pays millions towards party offices - Times Online

Britain’s main political parties are receiving millions of pounds in public money for renting offices to their own MPs (Francis Elliott writes).

It emerged that a quarter of MPs paid to hire party-owned offices out of their expenses, and that the rents were significantly higher than those paid by MPs to independent landlords. The Conservative Party collected £737,995 in rent from its MPs in 2006-07, compared with £376,975 by Labour and £186,682 by the Liberal Democrats.

"Significantly higher" eh? Reminds me, it is time to go out on the farm and feed the pigs.....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Halcyon Days of a Warmer Europe

Climate Hot Spot: Cleaner Air Means a Warmer Europe - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Europe is heating up much faster than climate researchers expected, and now they think they know why: air made dramatically cleaner by anti-pollution programs. With less particle pollution clouding the air, more sunlight is coming through and the continent is getting warmer.
...

"Our findings contradict the IPCC," said Rolf Philipona of MeteoSwiss, Switzerland's national weather service. He and his colleague Christian Ruckstuhl, who now works as a researcher in California, analyzed data from 25 weather stations in northern Germany and eight in Switzerland.

"We found that the increase in radiation on the ground is considerably greater under a cloudless sky than a clouded one," Philipona told SPIEGEL ONLINE. The direct impact of particulate pollution is about five times greater than the indirect impact, he explained. That shows, he claims, that sulfate aerosols play "a truly important, immediate roll" in Europe's climate conditions.
...

Europe's air is not likely to get much cleaner than it is now -- neither in summer or in winter. "The concentration of aerosol is stabile," said ETH Zurich's Wild. And Philipona of the Swiss weather service, is sure that "this increase in temperature, as we saw in Europe in the 1980s, will not happen again."
(via Junkscience)

I have previously blogged on the Central England Temperature record and pointed out that the rise is mainly due to the rise in the Tmin (minimum temperatures) recorded at Rothamsted.

Tmin.jpg

Rothamsted shows a marked increase in minimum temperature compared to other UK sites, and that it probably was the one most affected by the decrease in smoky chimneys.

Rothamsted Research Sulphur (pdf) gives us a simple graph showing the decrease in Atmospheric Sulphur (No apologies to my valued American visitors, that is how we spell Sulfur!)

Woburn%20Sulphur.jpg
(Woburn is 25 miles north west of Rothamsted and is an outlying station.)

Just north and north west of Rothamsted lies the Bedfordshire brick fields, an average distance would be about twenty miles away. There used to be over 130 chimneys there belching out sulphurous fumes. As we know this sort of pollution cools the atmosphere and is bad, so they have all been knocked down apart from one or two, which try to be as non polluting as possible.
This is the area in 1974:
Bedfordshire%20Brickworks.jpg

No wonder it is a bit warmer at Rothamsted now!

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Brown misses the market, again

David Miliband's official home 'for sale' - Telegraph

What great timing as ever from Gordon "Goldfinger" Brown...

House prices decline at record levels - Telegraph


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April 14, 2008

Gardening Advice - How to get out of digging the vegetable patch.

Pointy%20thing%202.jpg

Tip 1: Find pointy thing underground and offer to get pickaxe to dig it out. "It just needs a good whack to free it..."

Pointy%20thing%201.jpg


UPDATE: On closer examination it turned out to be made of rubber and be a conical mount/spring from some agricultural machine - must have been in the load of muck I dug in with the digger last winter.

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The poor die because you want to be green

Tesco green fuel ‘adds to climate change’ - Times Online
Tesco has made false claims about the source of the green fuel sold at its service stations, according to an investigation that found that the chain sold one of the most environmentally damaging types of biodiesel.

An investigation by Greenpeace found that 30 per cent of the biofuel in Tesco diesel came from palm oil. A litre of Tesco diesel typically contains 5 per cent biofuel.

Researchers from the group bought biodiesel from a Tesco filling station in Edmonton, North London, on April 3 and sent it to Germany for analysis by ASG, an independent laboratory.

The remaining 70 per cent of the biofuel was from soya more sustainable than palm oil but linked to concerns about global food prices as fuel companies outbid other buyers.

From tomorrow fuel suppliers will be legally obliged to ensure that at least 2.5 per cent of the petrol and diesel sold in Britain comes from crops...
And so we've watched as the price of corn skyrocketed by 80% in the past two years, world wheat prices jump by 70% and dairy prices surged by 90%.

This is threatening millions of people worldwide and sparking protests around the globe. So far we've seen deadly rioting in a number of countries, including India, Egypt, Indonesia, Peru, Haiti, Pakistan, Thailand, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

Growing middle class and bio-fuels are blamed - Telegraph

From the villages of Bangladesh to the slums of Haiti, millions of the world's poorest people have been cast into even greater penury by sharply rising food prices. At a stroke, this swift and devastating change in the global economy - which has gone almost unnoticed in the rich world - has inflicted immense suffering.
Rice is the staple diet in both these countries and its price has doubled in the last 12 months. If you happen to live in Dhakar or Port-au-Prince, this effectively means that your already meagre standard of living has suddenly been cut in half. Riots and violent demonstrations have been the result....

Soaring food costs risk 'starvation and unrest' - Telegraph
The world's poorest countries face starvation and civil unrest if global food prices keep rising, the head of the International Monetary Fund has said.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in Washington that "hundreds of thousands of people will be starving". "Children will be suffering from malnutrition, with consequences for all their lives," he said.

And not a word about whose law it is that is forcing us to burn food in our cars.... if you need a hint it is two letters and rhymes with "fuck you".

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

At least there is one Marathon runner we can admire

Marathon's no sweat if you stop for a pint and a fag halfway, says Buster (aged 101) - Scotsman.com News

"I'll do what I always do and have a pint and a fag. People ask what's my secret but I haven't got one. They say fags and booze are bad for you – but I'm still here, aren't I?"

Expected to complete the race in 12 hours, he was well on target at the 13-mile mark, where he stopped for a beer, cigarette and some homemade sandwiches.


Marathon man, 'Buster' Martin, may be up to some old tricks - Times Online
He finished the race in slightly more than ten hours; his exact time will not be known until later date because the tracking system which monitors runners’ results was removed at 7pm, some 45 minutes before he crossed the finishing line.

Now that is what you call a proper sportsman... though the hacks at The Times are accusing him of fakery - "Mr Martin is a mere spring chicken of just 94....‘Buster’ Martin ‘likes to tell stories’." And so what? Far better than crapping in the gutter like Paula Radcliffe in front of the cameras and being the darling of the media.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Advice to New Fathers

‘Let dads spend night in ward after birth’ - Times Online
Fathers should be allowed to stay overnight in hospital after the birth of their baby, according to a senior government adviser on maternity services.

Why would you want to? You have just finished being ordered about for months and put up with being in hospital when you aren't ill. It was bad enough you had to stand around being bored with her nails digging into the back of your hand reminding her to bloody breath for hours, can't pregnant women remember anything? And then all that gungy stuff, and swearing silently to yourself you are never going near that end again. You need a break. Go to the pub, get bought beer and cigars, go home and take one last look at a house not engulfed in plastic toys and stinking of sick, go out again just because you can without negotiating a babysitter, sleep across the bed without worrying about a mewling bundle of poo beside you; you are starting a twenty year sentence, enjoy your last night of freedom.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 13, 2008

Climate Change Skeptics - Undemocratic Sophists engaging in an “epistemological filibuster”

Manufactroversy

The Art of Creating Controversy Where None Existed

With all the sophisticated sophistry besieging mass audiences today, there is a need for the study of rhetoric now more than ever before. This is especially the case when it comes to the contemporary assault on science known as manufactured controversy: when significant disagreement doesn’t exist inside the scientific community, but is successfully invented for a public audience to achieve specific political ends.

Three recent examples of manufactured controversy are global warming skepticism, AIDS dissent in South Africa, and the intelligent design movement’s “teach the controversy” campaign. The first of these has been called an “epistemological filibuster” because it magnifies the uncertainty surrounding a scientific truth claim in order to delay the adoption of a policy that is warranted by that science.....

As a scholar of rhetoric, I have studied some modern cases of manufactured controversy to discover how to best confute these contemporary sophists, and I have come up with some preliminary hypotheses about what makes their arguments so persuasive to a public audience. First, they skillfully invoke values that are shared by the scientific community and the American public alike, like free speech, skeptical inquiry, and the revolutionary force of new ideas against a repressive orthodoxy. It is difficult to argue against someone who invokes these values without seeming unscientific or un-American. Second, they exploit a tension between the technical and public spheres in postmodern American life; highly specialized scientific experts can’t spare the time to engage in careful public communication, and are then surprised when the public distrusts, fears, or opposes them. Third, today’s sophists exploit a public misconception about what science is, portraying it as a structure of complete consensus built from the steady accumulation of unassailable data; any dissent by any scientist is then seen as evidence that there’s no consensus, and thus truth must not have been discovered yet. A more accurate portrayal of science sees it as a process of debate among a community of experts in which one side outweighs the other in the balance of the argument, and that side is declared the winner; a few skeptics might remain, but they’re vastly outnumbered by the rest, and the democratic process of science moves forward with the collective weight of the majority of expert opinion. Scientists buy into this democratic process when they enter the profession, so that a call for the winning side to share power in the science classroom with the losers, or to continue debating an issue that has already been settled for the vast majority of scientists so that policy makers can delay taking action on their findings, seems particularly undemocratic to most of them.

Leah Ceccarelli is an associate professor in the Communication Department at the University of Washington. She teaches rhetoric and is the author of the award-winning book Shaping Science with Rhetoric.


Stick to rhetoric - science isn't democratic, at least discovering the truth isn't. When only one person believed that balls of different weights would fall from the tower at the same rate he was right and the consensus wrong.

As Wikipedia says: An argumentum ad populum (Latin: "appeal to the people"), in logic, is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it; it alleges that "If many believe so, it is so." In ethics this argument is stated, "If many find it acceptable, it is acceptable."

This type of argument is known by several names including appeal to the masses, appeal to belief, appeal to the majority, appeal to the people, argument by consensus, authority of the many, and bandwagon fallacy, and in Latin by the names argumentum ad populum ("appeal to the people"), argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number"), and consensus gentium ("agreement of the clans"). It is also the basis of a number of social phenomena, including communal reinforcement and the bandwagon effect, and of the Chinese proverb "three men make a tiger".

Posted by The Englishman at 5:37 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Rachel Johnson - No one gives a huq about my blog....

Rachel S Johnson
complains in The Sunday Times:
I don’t get blogging. It’s not only that I’m reluctant to write for nothing. ... Still, a few weeks ago I started to write one. It’s very easy - even a middle-aged woman can do it. I wrote about what I was making for supper that night. And food shopping in the Portobello market. Then I checked to see the global response to my debut. Nothing. On my next five posts? Zero comments....

Well, there is no danger of me having a coronary at my laptop triggered by exhaustion and anxiety about page hit rates. It’s quick and easy to start a blog, as I’ve discovered. It’s even quicker and easier to stop.

Harder to get attention in the cut throat world of blogs than the cosy newspaper world, eh? Go on, go and give her a comment on her blog - you know you want to...

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Gordon, pop down to Lidl and save us a bundle.

AFP: PM pledges to donate 20 million mosquito nets

Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged Wednesday to donate 20 million mosquito nets to African families and challenged world leaders and businessmen to contribute another 100 million in an effort to eradicate malaria....

At a cost of five pounds per net, according to Brown, the total value of the donation will be approximately 100 million pounds

Lidl Online Mosquito Net £3.99

Well that has saved him £20 million and makes the perfect illustration of how wasteful the state is.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

That was the week that was

I spent last week on holiday in a delightful converted water mill in Somerset. Delightful for my children and 5' 3" tall wife as it had 5' 4" doors. Oh how they rocked with laughter as Daddy fell like a poll axed ox to the floor unable to see through swirling stars and unable to unleash the full appropriate Anglo Saxon commentary on the hobbit like builders for fear of upsetting the ungrateful spawn of my loins. And a tip for gentlemen of a certain age, a converted water mill still has the mill race alongside, all night long it was like being next to a bloody waterfall, so up I would have to get and navigate unfamiliar furniture, all good solid oak, and not wake the house as the bloody lintel caught me yet again.

Still I laughed myself silly over the Olympic torch, at long last a fascist symbol gets an appropriate welcome around the world; cringed as we allowed uniformed Communist goons to police our streets to "protect" said torch; shared The Remittance Man's lack of surprise at the revelations of council snoopers - see we weren't just being paranoid; and toasted the tossers at the BMA, and the eager beaver hacks at the BBC who loved to report it, who want to only serve wine in thimbles with a decent gargle. As Winston knew Champagne should only be served in Imperial Pints!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Brief Encounter with Health and Safety

Station champagne romance hits health and safety buffers - Times Online

When Michael Leventhal, a London publisher, wanted to impress his date on her birthday, the longest champagne bar in Europe at the new St Pancras station seemed to be the perfect setting.

Leventhal asked whether he could bring a candle and have it surreptitiously placed on a cake, brought to the bar and presented to his companion when she was least expecting it.

In its 140-year history, St Pancras has survived steam trains, bombing raids and a massive electrification programme - but a candle was too much. Leventhal was baffled to be told that a full risk assessment of the 4in children’s candle would have to be made before it could be allowed on the premises....

Leventhal was shocked by the response - not least because St Pancras was built at the height of the steam age when blazing furnaces filled the station every day....If permission had been granted, a spokesman said, a fire extinguisher would have had to be on stand-by in case the candle burnt out of control.

The date, in February, went ahead but without the cake and candle. The couple found themselves in an empty bar staring at a parked Eurostar. She is no longer in contact with him.

They could make it into a film...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Flag flapping

Victory for Armed Forces Day campaign - Telegraph

Britain is to have a "special day of celebration" for the Armed Forces after Gordon Brown endorsed the idea in a victory for a campaign by The Sunday Telegraph.

Oh goody, get out the bunting and prepare for unctuous speeches from chicken hawk politicians. I'm pretty gung-ho for supporting our boys but I don't need a bloody official day to do it or Gordon bloody Brown's permission or its toadying lapdog paper's preening. We don't need boots-boots-boots-boots-movin' up an' down again in the town square; we need proper support for them everyday and especially for the returned on those dark days when they hide away with their brains screaming.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2008

Hello Hello I'm Back Again

Sorry for the break - I wasn't trying to steal the Olympic torch just feel up Konnie Huq. So seven days for a touch of the tits seems fair enough.....

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April 4, 2008

Friday Night is Music Night (Leaving the best for last)

His rendition is a little fast for my taste, but then what do I know? But when, hopefully many years in the future, my worthless husk is wheeled off on the bier I would appreciate this being played.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saving the environment with 350 tonnes of paper

I have spent the afternoon having an Environmental Health Check (paid for by Defra).

The first hour was answering questions such as:

Do you comply with The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 No. 2078:

Environmental enrichment:: To enable proper investigation and manipulation activities, all pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of material such as straw, hay, wood, sawdust, mushroom compost, peat or a mixture of such which does not adversely affect the health of the animals. You sure they don't want PlayStations as well?

Noise levels: Pigs must not be exposed to constant or sudden noise. Only when the buggers bite me....

Then we had ensure I had all the documents that I have to have a copy of. These aren't forms, these are the pamphlets the Government sends out and I must keep.

The file weighs 3.5kg - there is an estimated 106,700 farmers who have to keep these documents in the cause of protecting the environment. Has Defra never heard of putting stuff online?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:50 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

More Governmental Logo Balls

End of the rainbow debacle? Not yet : April 2008 : Three Line Whip : Politics : Telegraph Blogs

I fear it’s a dunce’s hat for Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, whose department’s recently-unveiled logo — designed at a cost of over £5,000 — is, er, a six-coloured rainbow.

As every child knows, rainbows have seven colours, hence the mnemonic: Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.
The inaccurate logo remains on the departmental website, yet Balls’s people now claim that it is generations of schoolchildren, and not they, who are in error.

I blame bloody designers and their Apples - the old logo only had six colours (and in the wrong order) (Ducks from the Devils wrath).

Posted by The Englishman at 8:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

ITSO - it's all about control

Who will benefit from ITSO?

This is a Powerpoint about ITSO, and right there are the slides about
citizen control.

"But ITSO is wider than just Transport, it will enable Citizen Cards"

The ITSO standard will make it easy for local government to introduce:

Citizen Cards for Entitlement: Libraries, Leisure and Social Inclusion

"Electronic Purses" ie electronic tokens to pay for fares, parking and other
services

Loyalty and reward schemes for regular users and to encourage green
policies, or cap expenditure(?), (or even act as a carbon smart card?)

H/T Dennis Ambler

Posted by The Englishman at 8:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Savage Political Lampoonery is our Heritage

Satire offensive: if Headcases isn't cruel, it won't work - Times Online

It's got to hurt. If it doesn't bite it doesn't work. And if it doesn't shock, it won't stick.

To know why that is true of political satire you would have to be more than one of The Times's parliamentary sketchwriters, as for 13 years I was; you would have to be a psychoanalyst or priest. All I know is that for at least the past four centuries England and Ireland have excelled at the art of political lampoonery, and almost everything that survives from it is savage....

And the best of the current lampoonery is on the blogs, go to it chaps!

Posted by The Englishman at 7:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That Progressive Governance Swastika - the designer tells all.

puffbox.com No10’s new microsite by Puffbox

Fresh from its success with Twitter, 10 Downing Street is preparing for a weekend of social media experimentation, in association with Puffbox.


This Saturday, Gordon Brown is hosting a gathering of around 20 left-leaning world leaders under the banner of Progressive Governance, ....

Promoting%20Prosperity.gif

The site went live late this afternoon - sort of. There’s very little to see so far: the supporting materials, and our ideas of what to do with them, are still coming together. In fact, I fully expect to be coding up new templates and functions live on the day. I know rapid development has become a bit of a Puffbox trademark, but we’ve never cut it quite this fine before. :) ...

If you’re interested to see what we make of it, believe me - so am I.

Get much sleep last night, Simon? And did you design the logo or was it one Gordon had doodled as he dreamt of world domination?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:42 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gordon has his snout in the taxpayer's funded trough

Expenses of party leaders revealed - Telegraph

Gordon Brown will today admit that the taxpayer has paid his grocery bills in the past, and David Cameron will reveal he has claimed tens of thousands in mortgage bills for his constituency home.

The information will be disclosed by the House of Commons Speaker, who has finally agreed to release some detailed information about MPs' expenses....

The release of the information will prove highly embarrassing to Tony Blair and John Prescott, who both claimed tens of thousands of pounds in expenses despite having lavish grace-and-favour properties....

The revelation that Mr Brown has claimed for food was seized upon last night by campaigners who are pushing for a clampdown on MPs' expenses.

The committee charged with reviewing the system conceded earlier this week that the system which allows MPs to claim up to £400 a month for groceries may be unacceptable.

Last night, Mark Wallace, the campaign director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is amazing that a man earning well over £100,000 a year felt the need to make taxpayers pay his grocery bill as well."

Yea Gods, I didn't realise we were literally as well as metaphorically paying for the swill these pigs eat.

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

Promoting Prosperity - the money saving way

Iain Dale notes Government Removes Swastika Logo and wonders how much this débâcle is all going to cost as Gordon hosts his "Promoting Prosperity" event today.

I think I have a cost saving answer, they have done it all before and the results are available.

Promoting Prosperity - COMMISSION ON PUBLIC POLICY

(ISBN: 0099747618) Soft Cover, B Format.

Offered for GBP 0.50 = appr. US$ 0.98 by: Bargain Bookstore - Book number: 009185

50p - I'll lend Gordon that myself.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BBC notices it isn't warming

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Global temperatures 'to decrease'

Global temperatures this year will be lower than in 2007 due to the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.

This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.

A minority of scientists question whether this means global warming has peaked and the earth has proved more resilient to greenhouse gases than predicted.

But Mr Jarraud insisted this was not the case and noted that 1998 temperatures would still be well above average for the century.

"When you look at climate change you should not look at any particular year," he said. "You should look at trends over a pretty long period and the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming...what is important for climate change is that the trend is up."

....Experts have also forecast a record high temperature within five years.

Yep, there is a very long term trend upwards but it doesn't correlate let alone appear to have causation with CO2 levels, that is the important news.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 3, 2008

New Labour Macht Frei

Iain Dale has noticed something about the logo from tomorrow's Progressive Governance Summit which Gordon Brown is hosting. Does it remind you of anything? I wonder how long it will last on THIS page of the Number Ten Website.

Um, yes in a certain light there does seem to be a resemblance to something, can't quite put my finger on it though.....

Promoting%20Prosperity.gif

Posted by The Englishman at 10:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Pub News - Ban the lot of them!

BBC NEWS | Politics | Minister attacks alcohol tax rise

Licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe has suggested the government was wrong to increase alcohol taxes in the Budget.

He told a newspaper pubs were "right to be upset" - but he later distanced himself from the remarks saying he actually supported the price rises.

The Publican - Home - Budget will cause 8,000 pub closures
A pubco chief has today sent out a “Mayday warning” to the government, claiming that 8,000 pubs face closure as a result of the Budget.

Speaking to MPs, supermarket representatives and trade figures in Parliament, Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame, said there was “visceral resentment” towards government as a result of the tax hikes on alcohol.

"It’s too late to save some pubs. The implication is profound. When history looks back, it will remember two things: the needless loss of pubs and the arrogance and thoughtlessness of government.”

Posted by The Englishman at 5:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Politicians, Tree, Rope...some assembly required

Ed Balls and Andy Burnham go swinging - Telegraph

The BBC has the video

No, not that sort of swinging, there are ropes involved, the pictures on the Telegraph site looked promising with them with their feet off the ground dancing a Tyburn jig, holding onto a rope hanging from a gibbet, but sadly it looks like damn fool forgot to tie it around their necks. You just can't get the staff....

Posted by The Englishman at 4:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The future "President of Europe" resigns

The 'Teflon Taoiseach' quits amid inquiry into corruption - Scotsman.com News

HE WAS dubbed the "Teflon Taoiseach". But Bertie Ahern – the most successful Irish politician for more than half a century and the man synonymous with the Celtic Tiger economy and the peace process in Northern Ireland – has finally come unstuck.

Bertie Ahern said of a previous crooked Taoiseach Charles Haughey


“He had an immense ability to get things done and he inspired great loyalty amongst many of his followers both inside and outside Fianna Fáil.

In recent times, these achievements have become clouded by the revelations that are the subject of inquiry by the Moriarty Tribunal. History will have to weigh up both the credit and the debit side more dispassionately than may be possible today, but I have no doubt its ultimate judgement on Mr Haughey will be a positive one."

Will history be as kind to Bertie? But then as he is hoping to be President of Europe, he has every qualification to be so, will he care?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Drinking limit recommendation "just made up" again, this time it is water.

SaltSensibility: No justification for dietary recommendations, water or salt

Today's news services ran an interesting story regarding the recommended dietary intakes for water of 9 - 13 cups as highlighted in the Institute of Medicine's Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (2004). CBS, NBC, ABC, the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph and Daily Mail, among others have all featured articles saying that there is not a single drop of evidence behind the myth of drinking eight glasses or more of water a day.

It turns out that the dietary recommendations from noted medical authorities as well as self-appointed health gurus to drink two or more liters of water per day are totally unsupported by any scientific evidence....

Indeed, it is unclear where this recommendation came from," the University spokesman added....


Because we all have specific individual needs for water, Stanley Goldfarb from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia recommended, "If you're thirsty, drink. If you're not thirsty, you needn't drink."

Having previously shown how the recommended alcohol units were also just made up by the nannies this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

The Salt Boys obviously note:

This most recent article highlights the specificity of an individual's metabolic need, a situation paralleled by salt intake. The human body has an ability to excrete 250 times the maximum recommended intake of salt - an amount of salt that is virtually impossible for anyone to consume. In other words, our salt consumption is not limited by our ability to excrete it, but rather by our innate senses - sensory perception and biological feedback mechanisms. Both of these mechanisms are specific for every individual, just as water is.

For this reason, it is the very same folly to apply a "one size fits all" set of policy recommendations to salt consumption as it is for water consumption. Salt consumption is self-limiting and regulated by nature's biology, not by shortsighted dietary recommendations.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sun very, very hot, scientists discover.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | First movie of 'tsunami' on Sun

Astronomers have captured the first footage of a solar "tsunami" hurtling through the Sun's atmosphere at over a million kilometres per hour......David Long, from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland, commented: "The energy released in these explosions is phenomenal; about two billion times the annual world energy consumption in just a fraction of a second.

Now that is some power!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sun not guilty of warming earth - latest

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | 'No Sun link' to climate change

Scientists have produced further compelling evidence showing that modern-day climate change is not caused by changes in the Sun's activity.

The research contradicts a favoured theory of climate "sceptics", that changes in cosmic rays coming to Earth determine cloudiness and temperature.

As far as I can tell from the BBC report (and a google for more details) the scientists have found there is "no significant link" (BBC) or "a very weak contribution" Terry to cloud cover from cosmic rays. This is pouring doubt on a proposed mechanism not on the actual results which is the global temperature that we are worried about. For more on the bigger picture see, for instance this as a starting point:
Evidence of a Significant Solar Imprint in Annual Globally Averaged Temperature Trends - Part 1 ォ Watts Up With That?

Having failed to find one mechanism our hero returns to the comfy fold of another unproven mechanism with an evangelical zeal. He has failed to find the angels on the end of a pin so they must be on the ends of needles.

The BBC report ends:

According to Terry Sloan, the message coming from his research is simple.

"We tried to corroborate Svensmark's hypothesis, but we could not; as far as we can see, he has no reason to challenge the IPCC - the IPCC has got it right.

"So we had better carry on trying to cut carbon emissions."

Posted by The Englishman at 6:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 2, 2008

16th April, I'm in Town looking for some fun.

Adam Smith Institute - The bloggers are coming to town

Wednesday April 16th, and the bloggers are out in strength at the Adam Smith Institute. The evening's theme is "Curbing the Crap Artists," with three top line bloggers to show how.

It starts at 6.30pm in the ASI's Westminster offices. Ask Steve nicely for an invitation at events@adamsmith.org.

I'm booked in for it, and Στέλιος Χατζηιωάννου is putting me up in his Victoria pad for the night... (£38 as I opted for the cell with a window). So I will be looking for some debauchery after the serious stuff at the ASI and before I cuddle down with the best that the back streets behind Victoria Station has to offer.

If you fancy a drink, let's meet.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mr FM's in Texas - watch the metal detector

The Other Side of Kim du Toit - TheOtherSideofKim Front Page

I note with envy that Mr FM is visiting Texas, I'm not saying this recent ruling at Dallas airport is the reason why he has at long last finally decided it is safe to do so, but I'm not saying it isn't.....


US allows visual inspections of nipple rings | The Register

The US's Transportation Security Administration has announced some good
news for aficionados of nipple piercings - they will no longer have to
remove them with pliers before boarding internal flights.

The policy review came shortly after 37-year-old Mandi Hamlin fell foul
of a handheld metal detector in Lubbock, Texas, while trying to catch a plane to Dallas on 24 February.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Teachers don't want independent school governors, wonder why.

Paid workers may replace school volunteers - Telegraph

Thousands of volunteers running state schools may be replaced by paid professionals, under proposals being considered in a Government review.

The move to replace the traditional school governors, who are all volunteers, with salaried workers, is aimed at boosting education standards.

It comes amid growing fears that the existing system of running schools is no longer "fit for purpose".

More than 300,000 volunteers are currently responsible for primary, secondary and special schools in England and Wales, but critics claim many are not cut out for the increasingly complex role.

Last week, the NASUWT teachers' union said that "massive investment of public money should not be in the hands of untrained volunteers, however well-meaning".

Volunteer governors, I mean they actually work for the benefit of the children for free with out going out on strike if they are asked to use a stapler or miss their afternoon nap. What we need is more people like us, more NuLabour union stooges who understand schools are there to provide employment for teachers and not awkward parents who wonder why their kids aren't being given the education they pay for. Look what a success the LEAs and teacher unions have made of schools, give us complete power and the tractor production will soar....

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

Question 22. Are you a Luvvie, Lover or a Love?

Arts funding row over sex orientation demands - Times Online

Under new Arts Council requirements organisations applying for grants are being asked to state how many board members are bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, lesbian or whose inclinations are “not known”.

Audrey Roy, the director of grants, said that the council needed to understand who its audience was and to whom its funding was going. “We see diversity as broader than race, ethnicity, faith and disability,” she said. Question 22 of the Grants for the Arts forms, relating to sexual orientation, was not compulsory, she added, although the form states that it must be answered.

The application form notes that the question is for government purposes only and will not enter into the grant decision, but that claim was contradicted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Its spokesman said: “We appreciate that, as a responsible public body they need to monitor their overall grant-making programmes. But it is absolutely not the case that sexual orientation monitoring is a government requirement.”

But now that we have been given the idea, it soon will be....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Smoked Haddock

Happy Birthday Haddock
who smacks nulabour's bitch up over the drug law changes.

Wasn't there meant to be a review that was going to produce suggestions before Gordon and Jacqyuiii ignored it and kneejerked out new laws?

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

Italian efficiency to the rescue of Terminal 5

BA Terminal 5 bags sent to Milan for sorting - Times Online

British Airways is sending thousands of suitcases by lorry to a warehouse in Milan because its staff at Heathrow are unable to cope with the backlog of at least 20,000 bags

Oh, I am looking forward to the Olympics, are we sure it isn't too late to let Paris have them?

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

Your World Democratic News in Brief

Endgame in Zimbabwe as Hillary Clinton nears exit - Times Online

The ruinous reign of Hillary Clinton was drawing to a close last night as aides worked to secure her a facesaving exit after defeat at the polls.

Talks began after Mrs Clinton’s closest cohorts gathered at State House to inform her that she had not only failed to win an outright victory in the weekend’s presidential election, but was beaten into second place by her challenger.

Late last night Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, refused to declare victory but told reporters that he had achieved “above the constitutional requirement” to avoid a run-off.

He vowed to wait for the Election Commission to announce official results before declaring victory, raising suspicions that a deal with Hillary Clinton was already in place.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I have that Warm Touched feeling

How an app called WarmTouch nailed a grenade-stockpiling cyber extortionist | The Register

By applying an algorithm that analyzes the word choice and other characteristics of his writing, the program helped analyst Eric Shaw develop a hypothesis that the suspect was a technically adept man older than 30 who had trouble fitting in at work and in social situations. Building off those findings, Shaw later surmised that he might also own a stockpile of weapons.

WarmTouch uses a scoring system to guess at a suspect's psychological characteristics. An overuse of the word "me," for instance, might suggest an exaggerated sense of passivity, an indication the person may feel like a victim. The program can sniff out other clues about the individual, such as whether he is more of a loner (as evidenced by frequent use of the word "I") or more of a team player (indicated by using "we" instead). The program also pays close attention to rhetorical questions, which are said to be a strong indicator of anger.

Just don't run this blog through the app please otherwise what might I be banged up for? (Rhetorical question only please note.)

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

That artillery barrage in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh yesterday...

It is a shame but it wasn't the start of regime change, just the well deserved celebration of the TA

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | History and Honour | TA Centenary starts with a bang

Cannons were fired today in each of the nation's capitals to mark the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Army (TA) and launch TA100 – a major campaign to acknowledge the contribution of Territorial Army soldiers since 1908.

Happy Birthday, and thanks.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 1, 2008

Not an April Fool

Gordon Brown still Prime Minister

Posted by The Englishman at 7:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Swiss Climate Statistical Goldmine Shows No 21st Century Warming

Some April Fool’s jokes are becoming a reality - Times Online

...the joke is that the winters in Switzerland are growing milder. Trees, flowers and grasses are blooming earlier than normal, with cherry blossom out 20 days earlier than usual.

Never one to miss an opportunity for some Climate Alamism - I presume Paul Simons got his information from here:

MeteoSchweiz - Phänologische Beobachtungen seit 1808 (Mr Google will happily translate if your skills in German are as rusty as Mr Mosley's).

But the graph needs no translation:

phaenologie.Par.0010.Image.jpeg

Which way do you think the trend has been going for the last few years?

Of course the admirable Swiss in their efficiency have a whole website crammed with facts and figures on the climate, most of it in english.

MeteoSwiss - Climate

Go and have a dig around - here's the headline graph

temperaturtrend_schweiz.Par.0002.Image.gif

The annual variation of temperature in Switzerland from the longtime average (1961-1990 standard) as an impressive example of climate change. The years when it was too hot are shown in red and those when it was too cold in blue. The linear temperature trend between 1864 and 2004 is +1.1 degrees Celsius per 100 years, so the entire warming 1864-2005 amounts to +1.5 degrees Celsius. The linear temperature trend for the 20th century (1901-2000) is +1.4 degrees Celsius per 100 years, and this corresponds to the entire warming of the 20th century.

I'm not sure how surprised I should be that the years 1901-2000 correspond to the twentieth century, but I think it is hard to say that the 21st Century has shown much warming....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

This Week's Tax News

Philanthropist flees UK to escape non-dom tax. Scotsman.com News

In a colourful broadside, Carol Colburn Hogel says she is furious at the UK government's tax on non-domiciles and will quit her Edinburgh home.

Ms Hogel, a former pianist raised in Chicago, has donated £20 million to the arts over the past two decades. She runs the Dunard Fund, a charitable trust funded by her family's electrical business, which has given lifeline donations to the Edinburgh International Festival. Money from the fund has also been given for concerts by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and exhibitions at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

She said the tax clampdown, which comes into effect today, would force her to pay a £30,000 levy just for continuing to enjoy non-domicile status.

As well as the new levy, announced in last month's Budget, the arts community fears funds brought into the UK from off-shore-held trusts could be targeted for tax in the future.

Labour donor Lord Sainsbury avoids £27m capital gains tax - Telegraph
Lord Sainsbury, the former minister and Labour's biggest financial backer, transferred £340 million worth of shares last night in a move that experts claim will save him more than £27 million in tax.

The shares were transferred to a firm he controls, which will allow him to pay CGT at the lower rate of 10 per cent before it rises to 18 per cent this week.

Asked whether it was hypocritical for a former Labour minister to appear to be reorganising his affairs to avoid tax changes brought in by a Labour chancellor, a friend replied: "You could argue that. But he does not see it that way."

A person familiar with the situation said: "The purpose is to preserve the flexibility that exists today in the interests of Lord Sainsbury's intention, over his lifetime, to devote his personal wealth to philanthropy."

Ah, preserving the flexibility to do as one wishes with one's own assets! How old fashioned a concept that is.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack