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September 30, 2008

Nannystate misery-guts spoilsportism - they said it!

Consumers should cut meat and milk intake to combat climate change - Telegraph

Consumers will have to satisfy themselves with four small portions of meat and one litre of milk a week to slow down escalating climate change, a major new report has warned.
The study also recommends a cut in consumption of low nutritional value foods such as alcohol, chocolate and sweets, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by their production, along with a return to wartime practices of shopping on foot, buying local products and cooking in bulk.
It concedes that people are unlikely to make such changes voluntarily, and so suggests caps on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and carbon pricing to control what food is available at what price.

However, it concedes that this approach "raises enormous questions and accusations of nannystate misery-guts spoilsportism".

Posted by The Englishman at 12:24 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Whistle along


"Things are going to get so bad something will have to be done in the next few weeks. Banks will sink, credit markets will seize, the economy will go into something much worse than a recession."

Financial crisis: FTSE expected to fall 200 points, wiping £48 billion off the market - Telegraph

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

Time to come to our senses about global warming

Global warming: why cut one 3,000th of a degree? | Bjørn Lomborg - Times Online

Britain's efforts to reduce the speed of global warming will cost huge sums of money and have a pitifully tiny effect

....The British Government estimates the cumulative carbon saving from all its plans at somewhere between 950 and 1,100 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.....

The temperature increase by 2100 without Mr Brown's plan would have been 2.4536181C. With the best-case scenario the huge UK effort means that the temperature at the end of the century would be 2.4532342C. The effect is a difference of about 0.00038C - or about one three-thousandth of a degree in a hundred years. This is the equivalent of delaying the temperature increase by the end of the century by a little less than a week.
...the investment involves paying £1 to do less than 4p worth of good.

The UK emits about 2 per cent of global CO2. Thus we could imagine the world as composed of 50 UKs, each emitting one fiftieth of the carbon. If all 50 of our “UKs” paid a £100 billion to reduce temperatures by one three-thousandth of a degree in 100 years, the result would be still be trivial: one sixtieth of a degree by the end of the century. Costs would most probably increase similarly, fiftyfold to £5,000 billion. This amazing sum would simply postpone global warming and its problems by a mere 11 months by the end of the century.

The cost of £5,000 billion is equivalent to a hundredfold increase in global donations to developing countries. To make a simple comparison, the UN estimates that for about £40 billion annually, we could solve all major basic problems in the world - we could give clean drinking water, sanitation, basic education and healthcare to every person in the world. But instead we are spending a fortune achieving almost nothing.

Of course, we shouldn't ignore global warming. But instead of trying to cut CO2 emissions, we should focus on dramatically increasing the funding into energy research and development. What matters is getting low-cost low-carbon technology available faster. If the price of renewable energy dropped below the cost of fossil fuels by mid-century, everyone - including China and India - would switch to the greener alternatives.

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

Local Punishments for Local People

Local people can set punishments for offenders for first time - Telegraph

As part of pilots in six areas of the country, citizens' panels will able to tell probation officers and council officials what community sentences would help their neighbourhoods most.

Meetings to discuss community "pay back" schemes will take place regularly in each of the pilot areas.
Officials said that if the pilots in Leicester, Manchester, Suffolk, Hampshire, Wiltshire and north Wales were successful they would be expanded nationwide

Wiltshire? Please Sir may I be on the panel to set the punishments, it won't be just the local swings being repainted, oh no, driving down the A303 will be whole lot nicer as the tarmac is swept clean with toothbrushes everyday by chained gangs in orange boilersuits....

Why do I guess it won't happen and it will just be panels of the local do gooders who get appointed? Because there is a chasm between what punishments local people really want to see and what the system provides. ..Though I wonder if we could get Mrs FM snuck on board, she would have them picking oakum before they knew it...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2008

Dig for Victory

Return to the Good Life is the solution to the food crisis - Telegraph

Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, "If you depend on Tesco or Sainsbury's or Waitrose, you are a consumer. In other words your food supply is under their control. But if you garden and can grow at least some food to eat, however little, then you are injecting a little food democracy into your food supplies and asserting your food citizenship." .."A global food crisis is looming. This crisis can be solved by the democratisation of gardening - opening up and encouraging everyone to grow their own produce where possible in their own back garden or local community - changing thinking from food miles to food metres." ..."There is a moral quotient. Anyone that thinks we can continue to get our food from places like Kenya and Murcia in Spain that are suffering massive water shortages needs their head examined," he said.

Put me first in line for the examination, he really doesn't get the idea that consumers boss supermarkets round, not that they are helpless pawns does he. "Food citizenship" "democracy of food supply" - utter tosh, but phrases I fear we will hear more of.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:33 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Have Tories got the substance, or are they just thriving on abuse?

Conservatives in Birmingham: Tories appreciate the need to 'seal the deal' with voters - Scotsman.com News

there is no doubt that voters favour the Tories, at least when talking to pollsters. The difficulty is in turning that theoretical lead into reality. One problem is in overcoming the effects of the electoral system, with its in-built Labour advantage. There is the danger of complacency. Thirdly, there is the need for the Tories to present a compelling case of their own rather than merely relying on current Labour unpopularity. These are dangers that are familiar to Mr Cameron. The phrase in vogue at Conservative headquarters is that the party has yet to "seal the deal" with voters. As Mr Cameron told the BBC yesterday: "People say: 'They haven't sealed the deal.' They are right, we haven't, but we can and we will."

According to John Curtice, a politics professor at Strathclyde University, the Tories need to deliver a clearer message on tax. He said the party needed to recognise that, following a decade of massive state spending under Labour, there was now a mood for lessening the tax burden on individuals.

It is time to reveal the beef, the promised school policy sounds excellent (as a start), this week the Tories need to show they can deliver.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Good Morning, I seem to be owed more money.

Bradford & Bingley savers get the Abbey habit, but taxpayer is left holding the bill - Times Online
“I think people will wonder why on earth the British taxpayer is being asked by Gordon Brown to bear the full risk of the mistakes that were made, not just by the management of Bradford & Bingley but also by the regulatory system that Gordon Brown set up,” Mr Osborne said.

The effect on the public finances will depend on the precise structure, but it looks as if the Exchequer will have to take on £50 billion of liabilities. Analysts suggested that the Government may have to provide a guarantee of about £20 billion to cover Santander for the B&B deposits.

If the borrowers behind the assets, which include £25 billion of higher-risk buy-to-let mortgages and £9 billion of self-certified mortgages, default in large numbers, it seems likely that taxpayers would have to foot that bill. Self-certified mortgages are given to borrowers without proof of income and are seen as particularly risky.

Wonderful isn't it, the bloody Government not content just to piss my taxes up the wall are now using my credit, after all a government debt is just them making a promise that we will pay in the future, to place bets on dodgy deals that no one else will touch with a barge pole.
Banks have got too big to be allowed to fail, so failure no longer pays the price. And the price should be that "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest, this shall be the portion of their cup." We need to clean the ground and out of the ashes let vigorous new businesses grow. But that is not the way with the sclerotic democratic socialism that rules:

So let us adopt democratic socialism, said Galbraith. Let us concede that the new industrial state is one of massive corporations facing massive unions, under the benevolent and skillful regulation of massive governments. “The small competitive firm cannot afford the outlays that [modern, big-time] innovation demands,” he wrote. If modernity needs big corporate bureaucracies to do such big stuff, surely we need big governments to coordinate everything; the so-called free price system won’t do. “If the market is uncontrolled,” Galbraith wrote, “it will not know” when the new car will roll off the line or when a new drug will pass FDA approval.

How fucking depressing that the old fraud has won.

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

September 27, 2008

Earth: The Climate Wars - The Offical Complaints

BBC investigated over climate change documentary - Telegraph

The BBC is being investigated by the television watchdog over claims that it misrepresented global warming sceptics in a documentary.

Earth: The Climate Wars, which was broadcast recently on BBC Two, was billed as a "definitive" guide to the history of global warming....

Ofcom confirmed that it was looking into a "fairness complaint" about the BBC documentary.

A BBC spokesman said: "We stand by the programme."

They would say that wouldn't they having spent huge amounts of money flying Dr Iain around the world to produce this wet fart of a programme.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Still oiling the rope

Brown reprieved, but gallows still being built - Scotsman.com News

All the post conference round-up you need to know

Posted by The Englishman at 6:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

God Blogging

Thou shalt not upload: religious leaders draw up Ten Blogging Commandments -Times Online
Church leaders have drawn up a new set of the Ten Commandments aimed at delivering “God bloggers” from the temptations of the blogosphere.

Alarmed by the extent to which religious blogs can descend into vitriol, senior evangelical clergy are calling on bloggers to obey the new commandments or risk perdition.

The commandments order bloggers not to put your blog before your integrity; not to “make an idol” of the blog; not to misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin and to remember the Sabbath by taking one day off a week from blogging. They also order: “You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind.”

That's you Theo they are talking to!

The “instant access” nature of most blogs means people posting comments often do so in the heat of passion and rarely stop to reflect, as they would if giving a lecture or writing a letter.

The result can be intemperate and sometimes foul language..

Be warned Devil

Church leaders are growing increasingly concerned at the defamatory and inflammatory content of some blogs, which unlike newspapers and television are unregulated.

Free thinkers are dangerous.....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:32 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 26, 2008

For unto you is born this day...


Just a random shot from the camera phone of the smokers huddled in the shelter as I left the pub - it couldn't be, could it?

No, the chances of finding a virgin or three wise men are beyond belief....

Posted by The Englishman at 11:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Friday Night is Music Night ( Bristol Edition)

The kids in Bristol are sharp as a pistol
When they do the Bristol Stomp
Really somethin when they join in jumpin
When they do the Bristol Stomp

Whoa, whoa they start spinnin every Friday night
They dance the greatest and they do it right...

(No 2 son started at Bristol University today studying Animal Behaviour with pharmacology as an option.... Not sure what course he is on though.....)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

CO2 - the numbers don't stack up

CO2sceptics News Blog | Analytical Chemist: Numbers don't add up for global warming

Our greatest greenhouse gas is water. Atmospheric spectroscopy reveals why water has a 95 percent and CO2 a 3.6 percent contribution to the "greenhouse effect."

Carbon dioxide emissions worldwide each year total 3.2 billion tons. That equals about 0.0168 percent of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration of about 19 trillion tons. This results in a 0.00064 percent increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number. The yearly increase is many orders of magnitude smaller than the standard deviation errors for CO2 concentration measurement.

"Scientific" computer simulations predict global warming based on increased greenhouse gas emissions over time. However, without water's contribution taken into account they omit the largest greenhouse gas from their equations.

How can such egregious calculation errors be so blatantly ignored? This is why man-made global warming is "junk" science.

Some numbers there I haven't seen, or been able to find, before...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Welcome to the future, you are a number.

Britons face carbon spotchecks • The Register
Britons should be subjected to random carbon spotchecks and intensive surveillance of their diets, transport and waste disposal habits, says the Government's architecture and design quango in a new report today.

The word "monitoring" occurs 19 times in the 32-page publication by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE). If the proposals in the report What Makes An Eco Town?are implemented few aspects of life will go unrecorded.....

The Carbon Cult also wants to choose what you food you eat, and will carefully pre-select only the most righteous retailers. Veggies will be pleased to read that the report recommends "actively seeking retailers on site who will commit to supporting residents in reducing the ecological footprint of their food consumption, in particular providing a wide variety of healthy, low meat and dairy options."

One statistic that won't be recorded is the mortality rate from suicide caused by living in such a grimly regimented and obsessively monitored environment...

You can download the report from here - and it's well worth a read. It has the zeal of a Maoist revolutionary order, as written by the most anally-retentive bureaucrat who ever lived. ®

Posted by The Englishman at 7:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Libdems learn about truth in advertising

Liberal Democrat 'nuisance calls' invaded householders' privacy - Telegraph

The calls were described as a "nuisance" by opponents, and complaints were made to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)...after a short investigation, the party has now been issued with an enforcement notice under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations ordering officials to cease using the tactic or face prosecution.

"The ICO has consistently made clear that the promotion of a political party counts as marketing. "

Does that mean they have to be truthful as well now or they can face prosecution if they tell porkies?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

RIP "Nappy" Brown

Nappy Brown video below:

(No news on the rocking horse...)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sarkozy "pleased to see" Pope

Paris Match journalists are up in arms over a photo in the glossy weekly featuring President Nicolas Sarkozy of France sporting a 'third leg'" as he stands next to the Pope - Telegraph

Anything in a dress gets these Frenchies going....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Badger Risk

Woman ‘given bovine TB by garden badger’ - Times Online
A woman who contracted bovine tuberculosis is believed to have caught the disease from a badger that wandered into her garden, raising fears over the spread of TB and its threat to human health.

The woman, 42, whose identity is not known, could have inhaled infection from badger urine or pus while touching soil or grass, or transmission may have been via broken skin.

The case was reported in The Times this month amid fears that the high incidence of bovine TB in cattle and badgers in areas such as the South West, the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire border and parts of South Wales may lead to more infections in humans and pets.

Of course not only would it be illegal to do so but also I don't fancy catching TB so I will fold away my old recipe book again....

Badger are at their best from October to November, being fat and succulent by then.

The flesh can be treated as young pig meat in every respect, it being just as rich and having the flavour of a young pig. It can be cured by salting, the hams being exceptionally good fare. Badger pies are even better than pork pies, hot or cold.

Badger Ham, To Bake

A badger ham will weigh 7 to 8 pounds and needs cooking very carefully. Soak the ham for at least 6 hours in cold water. Wash it after soaking in lukewarm water. Cover it with a rough paste made with 3 pounds of flour and 3 pounds of water; make sure to wrap it well. Bake in a moderate oven, pre-heat to 350 F for 21/2 to 3 hours.

Remove the paste and cover with bread raspings whilst still hot, if to be served cold. If to be served hot, serve with broad beans and fresh parsley sauce or cider sauce.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pub Sign Update

The Publican - Home - Support for pub asked to remove road sign
A pub asked to remove its road sign, due to fears it could encourage drink-driving and distract drivers, has been inundated with letters and calls of support.

As revealed on ThePublican.com last week the Black Dog in Chilmark, Wiltshire was ordered to take down its sign by the Highways Agency

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “The local authority were cracking down on the number of illegal signs in the area anyway and that is why I believe the sign was refused, not on the basis of [local Highways Agency planning manager] Mrs Ashman’s regrettable comments. The comments about drink-driving, should not have been made and won't lead to any precedents being set.”

That whirring sound you can hear is furious backpedaling - sometimes public pressure works.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hairy Lefty Fund Management Part Two

Church of England admits profiting from short selling - Telegraph
Managers of the Church's £5 billion investment portfolio have lent shares, for a fee, to traders who can then make huge profits by betting that the value of the stocks will fall.

The Anglican Church's shrewd fund managers have achieved an impressive 9.5 per cent average annual return on their assets over the past decade.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, described short sellers as "bank robbers and asset strippers" earlier this week....

For some reason I think I trust the fund managers more than the Archbishops....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2008

Stop people like me being bossy says Hazel

Hazel Blears: Middle-class professionals patronise the working class - Telegraph

People working in the National Health Service and local government should leave working-class people to manage their own lives...

Um, nothing about patronising prats in central government then Hazel? Do you actually realise how people see you and your ilk?

ht DW

Posted by The Englishman at 11:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Climate Change - iea gets up ageist Guardian nose

iea : Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists
There is currently a consensus amongst the political establishment – and amongst the intellectual communities that feed into it – that detailed and wide-ranging government intervention is necessary to combat the effects of climate change. This monograph challenges that consensus.

The authors look in detail at a number of the underlying assumptions and proposals of the policy activists and find that there is enormous uncertainty relating both to the economics and to the science of climate change. As one author shows, the policy activists have form: alarmists have been wrong, time and time again, about ecological disasters.

However, the authors of this monograph have more humility than their critics. They do not argue that there is no threat from climate change, merely that the level of uncertainty is huge. Given this uncertainty, and the historic failure of central planning to do anything other than undermine economic welfare, the editor, Colin Robinson, one of the country’s leading energy economists, argues that it is prudent to proceed with caution. The flexibility of the market economy will deal better than central planning with any problems arising from man-made climate change. The wide ranging array of regulations, taxes, subsidies and artificially created incentives proposed by climate change activists should be rejected.

Download the full publication

Eco Soundings: September 24 2008 | Environment | The Guardian
Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists, and is remarkable, even by IEA standards, for its dullness and scientific illiteracy. Eco Soundings wonders if the authors, most of whom must be over 70, should rethink their outrage at society being asked to fork out about $25bn a year to tackle climate change

Posted by The Englishman at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Highway Robbery

Workplace Parking Levy Campaign

Come April 2010, there could be a new tax in the UK - the Workplace Parking Levy (WPL). This would be a tax on jobs and competitiveness; is unpopular with businesses and workers alike - and frankly couldn't come at a worse time for business. The WPL is being described as a blueprint for future transport income generation. Nottingham is looking to be the first city to impose the tax and others would probably follow.

For each liable parking space, - in privately-owned car parks or spaces paid for in public car parks - Nottingham City Council plans to charge an annual levy of £185, rising to £350 within four years of its planned implementation in 2010. The WPL's stated purpose is to raise funds to extend Nottingham's tram system, invest in its local bus services and redevelop its railway station.

Bloody leeches, is there no end to their grasping destructive behaviour, and as ever they wrap it in a figleaf of greenery...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Trying to get councils to obey the law

Man takes on parking wardens in landmark legal challenge - Telegraph

Neil Herron, known as the "metric martyr", will appear at the High Court today to ask for a judicial review into the parking regime.

Mr Herron has two claims - that many tickets are invalid because of flaws in parking regulations, and that the adjudicator who deals with complaints is not independent.

He said: “The law is a two-way street and it is not acceptable for councils to themselves ignore the law whilst claiming to uphold it.”

The 45-year-old market trader from Sunderland is known as the “metric martyr” after he successfully opposed attempts by the EU to impose metric measurements on Britain.

Not forgetting his role also in the defeat of the regionalisation of England and the NE assembly. The man is a national hero.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Softening us up for ID Cards

BBC NEWS | Politics | Foreign national ID card unveiled
The Border and Immigration Agency will begin issuing the biometric cards to the two categories of foreign nationals who officials say are most at risk of abusing immigration rules - students and those on a marriage or civil partnership visa.

Both types of migrants will be told they must have the new card when they ask to extend their stay in the country.

The card cannot be issued to people from most parts of Europe because they have the right to move freely in and out of the UK.

Phil Booth, head of the national No2ID campaign group, attacked the roll-out of the cards as a "softening-up exercise".

"The Home Office is trying to salami slice the population to get this scheme going in any way they can," Mr Booth told the BBC.

"Once they get some people to take the card it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

"The volume of foreign nationals involved is miniscule so it won't do anything to tackle illegal immigration.

"They've basically picked on a group of people who have no possibility of objecting to the card - they either comply or they are out."

Wouldn't tattoos be easier?

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

David Blaine who cares? Part Two

An Englishman's Castle: David Blaine who cares?

I have been proud of the way nearly the entire British nation has treated him, as a joke. I think he believed he would get "respect" - no he got eggs thrown....

The ninth post ever on this blog, one that I was reminded of as people have been searching it out this week....

David Blaine rubbished over breaks from hanging upside down - Times Online

After discovering the 35-year-old with feet firmly on a platform, and seemingly breaking his promise to drink through a straw while hanging and urinate through a catheter, journalists and bloggers have brought back memories of the disdain surrounding his 2003 London stunt, in which he spent 44 days in a Perspex box, by penning scathing criticisms of his effort.

It seems some things never change.

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

Hairy Lefty Fund Management

Archbishops of Canterbury and York blame capitalism excesses for financial crisis - Telegraph

... the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, warned in a magazine article that modern devotion to the free market is a form of idolatry and that Karl Marx was right in his analysis of the power of "unbridled capitalism".

Dr Williams - a self-confessed "hairy lefty" - said he was not arguing for "rigid Soviet-style centralised direction" but agreed that the ban on short-selling was right and added: "Governments should not lose their nerve as they look to identify a few more targets."

I hope none of this effects the £4 billion portfolio of his church....

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

September 24, 2008

Nannying the old dears

Wiltshire holds slipper exchanges

Older people in Wiltshire are being invited to put their best foot forward and take advantage of free slipper exchanges.

To help keep people safe Wiltshire County Council are organising slipper exchanges in Salisbury, Devizes and Amesbury.

Wednesday 1 October is International Day of Older People and the Slipper Exchange is taking place at a celebration of the skills and achievements of older people living in South Wiltshire, organised by Age Concern Salisbury District.

At all the Slipper Exchanges there will be advice and information available from a range of organisations including Age Concern, Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

People will also be able to find out about a variety of county council services including trading standards, care and support services for older people and libraries.

People over 65 can bring along a pair of old, worn-out slippers and exchange them free for a new pair which will be fitted by trained fitters. The new slippers are comfortable, warm and safe and will help reduce the risk of falls.

Words fail me.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Conference Trimmings

Labour needs a wand to make Gordon Brown disappear | Alice Miles - Times Online
Oh that was painful. Agony. It was squirmingly, screamingly, startlingly bad. It was dull. It was plodding. It was morose....delegates lapped it up. This is Labour at its worst, introverted, dogmatic, and huddled around a loser.

It was “an excellent conference speech”, said David Blunkett afterwards - “it'll need a bit of assessment as to how much it reaches the public outside”. Nicely put.

Yes, we need a new settlement, with an exit door for Gordon Brown. He has to go and he will. In the strange otherworld that has passed for a conference this week - “taking tea on the Titanic”, as one minister put it - that much is absolutely clear. Mr Brown is a good, decent man but he cannot lead Labour to the next election

Sometimes I give thanks for MSM journalists as it is only they who are paid to, the deluded who want to and the bizarre who choose to, who actually listened to the ramblings from the conference platform. I had better things to do, and thank you, yes my toenails are now nicely trimmed.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Where's the RSPB's Poultry Fund?

Lamb not on sea eagles’ menu, says RSPB - Times Online
A furious row has broken out between crofters in the remote western Highland moors and the RSPB after the conservation charity rubbished claims that sea eagles have been taking lambs.

The farmers, to the anger of conservationists, say that sea eagles have been targeting their lambs and destroying their already meagre income.

In the bad old days fox hunting gentlemen persuaded farmers not to commit vulpicide by establishing a "poultry fund" whereby non-hunting farmers were compensated for livestock taken by foxes. Obviously it was hard to verify the losses so it was normally administered by a local gentleman trusted by all, and empowered to overlook some exaggeration in the name of maintaining good relations. The RSPB could learn from this rather than calling farmers fibbers. It is after all far richer than any fox hunt ever was.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Airports to play Spot Mr Angry

New airport screening 'could read minds' - Telegraph

The Department of Homeland Security is testing a type of body scanner that seeks out invisible clues that a person might be harbouring criminal intent, such as raised body temperature, pulse and breathing rate.

That's me for the Marigolds then, even just the thought of the cattle crush that a US airport is starts to bring on the red mist. How anyone can endure being pushed and prodded for hours through them without either being fortified with strong liquor, or knowing that at the top of the stairs you will be turning left, or both is beyond me.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Let the Wirral kids go organic!

'Chemical cosh' Ritalin: The facts - Telegraph

Prescriptions vary widely around the country with the Wirral dispensing one drug such as Ritalin or similar for every seven children compared to Stoke on Trent where there was just one prescription for every 159 children

It is safe to presume that the vast majority of children "diagnosed" with ADHD are male, the "always on the move, running, climbing or jumping, as if driven by a motor that cannot be switched off" are very male characteristics. So up in the Wirral 2 out of 7 bys are drugged to control their behaviour, it isn't for their benefit, though much is made of it being necessary for them so they do well at school. It is for the benefit of their parents, and teachers, giving them control through drugs. Is that the way children should be brought up?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 23, 2008

EU Blogger Silenced

England Expects: "ironique et eurosceptique"

I am sad to announce that from henceforth England Expects shall be consigned to the dustbins of history. I say this with a heavy heart, but it is the case. And this is why.

Yesterday I was summoned by my Secretary General and informed that a formal complaint had been made about my posting on this blog. My activities were found to be in contravention of the Staff Code of Conduct....

More at EU Referendum: Freedom of speech – EU style
That, ladies and gentlemen is freedom of speech EU-style. Where they can, they shut down debate and, if they could, they would close it down on the blogosphere and everywhere else.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Heads in Sands, Hands in Wallets

- Bishop Hill blog - Mysterious announcement from the MetOffice

There's a news article just published at the Guardian reporting the announcement from the Met Office that "climate sceptics have their heads stuck in the sand".

His Grace wonders where this mysterious press release is, I think it maybe not that it has been pulled but that it hasn't yet been released. I sense a teleconnection with:

Met Office: Climate change - what you need to know
A seminar for professionals 2008
23 September 2008, Westminster, London
Cost for the one-day seminar per participant is £550 inc. VAT including tuition, handouts, lunch and refreshments

There's gold in them thar sands.....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gordon's Kirsty

Labour Party Conference: Gordon Brown's speech depends on Kirsty McNeill - Telegraph

When Gordon Brown delivers the speech he hopes will save his premiership, he will owe much to a young Scotswoman with an uncanny ability to "get inside his head".

A local councillor from Southwark who tried and failed to unseat Simon Hughes. She is described as having a ferocious intellect coupled with an ability to speak the language of real people nearly as well as she does that of the often tongue-tied Mr Brown...

One friend said: "Kirsty understands the new media - she knows that in this day and age it's as important for a politician to be seen on handbag.com or Nigerian Women's Radio as it is Newsnight."

Um, so the best Gordon can get is a failed candidate, a carpet-bagger from Scotland - A colleague in Number 10 described her in less glowing terms however, referring to her "typical left wing feminist streak." Someone who is as into Nigerian Women's Radio as she is into Paxo. Someone who is inside his head, joining in with all the other voices. Is it her idea that the big relaunch is based on giving scrotes £700 to get online, so bizarre it is laughable as being the "big idea"?

If you want to find out more she is available: Second Saturday of every month, 11.30am to 12.30am, Mardyke T&RA Hall, Townsend Street, London SE17.

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

David Miliband's Vinegar Strokes


politicalbetting.com asks "Is this the face of Gordon’s successor?" or has David "Jaffa" Miliband peaked too soon - his "not-Heseltine" speech is being widely derided. Has been taking the "There's something about Mary"'s advice not to go into battle with a full load too much? Has his lust for glory worn the poor litlle sap out?

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

September 22, 2008

Smith Lawson and Company - The man in charge

I recently blogged about the duplicitous and misleading Smith Lawson and Company , the pretend debt collectors who are part of the Student Loan Company - which is wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills and Scottish Ministers.

Having checked on the CV of the head man of the SLC I shouldn't have been surprised:

LOOK up Keith Bedell-Pearce in Who's Who and you will read that he is a distinguished solicitor with an impressive record in the boardrooms of some of Britain's top firms. His rewards from these years of service include a £3 million mansion.

But you will not read that he presided over the worst of the pensions and endowment misselling that has blighted the finance industry for the past two decades. ..He was the man in charge of Prudential's salesforce just when mis-selling of pensions and mortgage endowments reached its shameful peak in the late Eighties. ....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Words made to be used by agrestic oppugnant bloggers as they vilipend our olid leaders

How you can help to save some cherished words from oblivion - Times Online

Dictionary compilers at Collins have decided that the word list for the forthcoming edition of its largest volume is embrangled with words so obscure that they are linguistic recrement.

Collins has agreed that words will be granted a reprieve if evidence of their popularity emerges before February, when the word list is finalised.

Some of the words heading for extinction:

Abstergent Cleansing or scouring

Agrestic Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth

Apodeictic Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration

Caducity Perishableness; senility

Caliginosity Dimness; darkness

Compossible Possible in coexistence with something else

Embrangle To confuse or entangle

Exuviate To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)

Fatidical Prophetic

Fubsy Short and stout; squat

Griseous Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey

Malison A curse

Mansuetude Gentleness or mildness

Muliebrity The condition of being a woman

Niddering Cowardly

Nitid Bright; glistening

Olid Foul-smelling

Oppugnant Combative, antagonistic or contrary

Recrement Waste matter; refuse; dross

Vilipend To treat or regard with contempt

Posted by The Englishman at 7:26 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Wiltshire Hospitals - back to the Stone Age

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Dig pinpoints Stonehenge origins

Archaeologists have pinpointed the construction of Stonehenge to 2300 BC

"Stonehenge would attract not only people who were unwell, but people who were capable of [healing] them," said Professor Darvill, of Bournemouth University.

"Therefore, in a sense, Stonehenge becomes 'the A & E' of southern England."

And 4300 years later it is now closer than any other A&E center for me as the NHS has decided that central Wiltshire doesn't need one, and as for a European Centre of Health Excellence being nearby, as it is suggested it was, don't make me laugh.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Today's news

Latest news, breaking news, current news, UK news, world news, celebrity news, politics news - Telegraph

Plotters bottle battling Brown

Socialism takeover of markets - but no one notices.

Brown initiative on housing has little impact.

Brown initiative on fuel poverty loopholes revealed - poorest to miss out.

Pensioners lose out in rule change.

Seinfield still unfunny.

Business as usual - and if you work inthe City and you ironed five shirts over the weekend you are an optimist and welcome to it - I'm off out to cut some logs.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Earth - The Climate Wars Part Three

BBC - Earth: The Climate Wars - Part Three tess.jpg

Apologies - your humble monitor could not stay awake through this pile of tosh, a combination of annoyance at the condescending rubbish, a long evening the previous night at my old college being wined and dined amongst real scientists and the attractions of Tess next door, led to a Lehman like slump on the sofa of sloth....

I'm sure others are more dedicated at bringing you the truth.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 20, 2008

Smith Lawson and Company - Dodgy Debt Collectors

Smith Lawson and Company sends threatening letters out to people the Student Loans Company thinks owes the Government money. The SLC takes no part in determining if debts are actually due but just acts as the bag man collecting payments.

You might think from the form of the letters and the appearance of them that Smith Lawson and Company is a proper debt collection agency or firm of solicitors, but it isn't.

From the Student Loans Company Report - ,Smith Lawson and Company is our in-house collections brand or as others might put it a make believe collections agency designed to threaten debtors by pretending to be something it isn't. If the SLC actually goes down the legal debt collection agency it employs an outside agency. You might expect this dodgy subterfuge from a Rachmanesque agency but not from a Government department.

Having checked on the CV of the head man of the SLC I shouldn't have been surprised:

LOOK up Keith Bedell-Pearce in Who's Who and you will read that he is a distinguished solicitor with an impressive record in the boardrooms of some of Britain's top firms. His rewards from these years of service include a £3 million mansion.

But you will not read that he presided over the worst of the pensions and endowment misselling that has blighted the finance industry for the past two decades. ..He was the man in charge of Prudential's salesforce just when mis-selling of pensions and mortgage endowments reached its shameful peak in the late Eighties. ....

Posted by The Englishman at 11:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Miliballs Minor Begs

Plea for unity to begin Labour week - Scotsman.com News

Labour's annual conference is kicking off in Manchester with a plea from one of Gordon Brown's closest Cabinet allies, Ed Miliband, for the party to unite

Please, please be nice to each other, and let my brother take over really soon in a nice caring way.....

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

Disseminating a moronic ... whoops! two banned words already...

The phrase Old Masters is sexist, authors and students are told - Telegraph

The list of banned words was written by the British Sociological Association, whose members include dozens of professors, lecturers and researchers.

The list of allegedly racist words includes immigrants, developing nations and black, while so-called "disablist" terms include patient, the elderly and special needs....
the BSA warns authors against using civilisation because of its "racist overtones that derive from a colonialist perception of the world".

Among the "sexist" terms to be avoided are "seminal" and "disseminate" because they are derived from the word semen and supposedly imply a male-dominated view of the world.

Prof Frank Furedi, a sociologist at the University of Kent, said he was shocked when he saw the extent of the list and how readily academics had accepted it.

"I was genuinely taken aback when I discovered that the term 'Chinese Whisper' was offensive because of its apparently racist connotations. I was moved to despair when I found out that one of my favourite words, 'civilised', ought not be used by a culturally sensitive author because of its alleged racist implications."

Prof Furedi said that censorship is about the "policing of moral behaviour" by an army of campaign groups, teachers and media organisations who are on a "crusade" to ban certain words and promote their own politically correct alternatives.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:03 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 19, 2008

Friday Night is Music Night (Rebel a go-go edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 4:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sums it up

Gordon Brown Calculator

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Liberals too stupid for their own good - science shows

How scary is this spider? That may depend on your politics - Times Online

The participants were then given two laboratory tests, to establish their physiological responses to frightening or unexpected stimuli.

Those with “markedly lower physical sensitivity to sudden noises and threatening visual images” tended to support liberal positions, while those with strong responses tended to be more conservative.

This would fit with the hypothesis that people who have more fearful responses to perceived threats are more likely to be conservative, while those who have weaker responses develop more liberal views.

"Fearful" not in running away but hormonally preparing the body for one of the three Fs; Fight, flight or the other one. In other words being more aware of the surroundings, of potential threats and opportunities and being prepared to react to them. Liberals show a bovine stupidity and inability to notice or react to the world. They are a danger to themselves and to the rest of us.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:30 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Slopping Out

Plans to introduce 'slop bucket' collections to food scraps - Telegraph

Families will be expected to keep a kitchen "slop bucket" of food scraps, under a scheme proposed by Government advisors to allay worries about fortnightly rubbish collections.

The waste leftovers will be collected weekly, but the remaining household rubbish will only be picked up once every two weeks, under the proposals.

Researchers found that people living in areas that already have fortnightly rubbish collections - about half the population - were keen to have their food waste picked up once a week.

However, those who still on weekly collections were no so enamoured with the thought of keeping a slop bucket, the WRAP report said.

..more than one in 20 of those who trialled the slop buckets complained that they had suffered from pests.

Phillip Ward, from WRAP, insisted the scheme would help the environment. He said: "We must ensure that the food waste which is produced is diverted from landfill, so that we can avoid the production of methane and other global warming gases."

However, the local authorities responsible for collecting the leftover scraps have warned they will need new dustcarts and machinery to cope with it.

The cost would amount to around £10 per household, a charge likely to appear on council tax bills.

The Conservatives have said the food waste scheme is a device to justify the spread of fortnightly collections.

Shadow Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: "Rather than helping the environment, this will only lead to a surge in fly-tipping and backyard burning. Under Labour, families are paying ever more in taxes, but their local services are being cut."

Slop buckets in kitchens might be alright if you live in a big house with a scullery but for ordinary people crammed in to our hutch sized housing it is a stinking dangerous disgusting idea. And when will someone slap the twat from WRAP around the face with a week old kipper carcass and remind him that we already collect the bloody methane from landfills to make power, we simply don't need an expensive new system.

(Well we might do because the Eu is banning our landfills and so we are having to pay for their stupidity, but that is another story).

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Talking Hot Air

Greenhouse gas emissions jump 5% in year - Scotsman.com News

SCOTLAND'S greenhouse gas emissions rose by more than 5 per cent in a year, new figures show. In contrast, in England during the same period, emissions dropped by 1.4 per cent.

So that explains the awful summer we had..

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

Silly Old Woman Demands Silly Old Women Put Down For The Good Of Society

Baroness Warnock: Dementia sufferers may have a 'duty to die' - Telegraph

Lady Warnock, a former headmistress who went on to become Britain's leading moral philosopher, insisted there was "nothing wrong" with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society.

The 84-year-old added that she hoped people will soon be "licensed to put others down" if they are unable to look after themselves.

No one has a problem with those facing dementia reaching for the club Webley, no one objects to soup dribblers in hospital being eased on their way for their own relief. But there is a line there and the stupid old bat has crossed it, when we license people to kill the old and feeble for the good of society we are a sick and evil people.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Something for the weekend Sir?

Help for Heroes Reminder

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This site is banned in France

France ban on internet alcohol advertising hits industry - Times Online

France may be home to some of the world's finest wines but it could be about to join the tiny club of Muslim states that forbid their promotion on the internet.

Winemakers and other players in the drinks industry are fighting to avert a ban on advertising, sales and even vineyard websites that has been looming ever since a court ruled that the internet should be included in France's strict laws regarding alcohol advertising.

...drinks brands have shut out French visitors for fear of prosecution. “Today in France, the sight of a bottle of wine has become as offensive as a picture of war or pornography,”

Diageo demands sexy fake Guinness viral is pulled - Spoilsports.

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

Play up and play the game

Hedge funds clipped by short-selling ban - Telegraph

...short-sellers simply expose companies which are overvalued. They don't target companies which are well run and properly priced.

"Rather than blaming short- sellers for what's going on, we should be looking at the chief executives of companies whose bad decisions make their firms vulnerable. Remember, those chief executives are guaranteed a big payoff if things go wrong, but hedge fund managers stand to lose everything if they make a bad call."

HBOS boss Andy Hornby will receive Lloyds TSB shares worth £2 million

If Sam Tarran Were In Charge: The Rules of the Game

You can't change the rules of the game when it's not going in your favour. Inevitably, in markets some companies are going to go bust, some people who make risks are not going to gain on them. Markets are not inherently stable. You cannot turn to socialism just because times are hard. It case is the same as that for the introduction of 42-days detention because of terrorism; the case is the same as the case for limiting free speech because some people say things that offend others. It's the same as supporting a club when it wins games, but shunning it when it looses a couple of home ties. It's being a Man United fan.

Be worried: it's a slippery slope from here.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2008


The filming of BBC drama Tess of the D'Urbervilles has taken place in Wiltshire.

They were filming in West Woods at Lockeridge back in the summer, all parked up in a layby I have often stopped in, many years ago, whilst I was kindly giving a popsy from the village a lift home after an evening out in Marlborough. I had to swallow hard to keep quiet on Sunday as I watched it, as the evil squire Alec D'Urberville give poor innocent Tess a lift back from the market town and stopped there to have his wicked way with her. I think I may have to sue.

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

The Coaching Inns of Olde England - Banned

Wiltshire pubs told to remove signs by council in move that could set precedent

Fears are growing that pubs across the country could be asked to take down their road signs to prevent drink-driving following action by a local authority.

The Highways Agency backed a move by Wiltshire County Council to block signs pointing drivers towards pubs – leading to concerns from trade chiefs that it could set a precedent.

Tom and Trisha Russell, who run the Black Dog in Chilmark, have built their business on passing trade from the A303. But the couple have now been ordered to remove their road sign – two and a half years after it was put up.

Jacqui Ashman, local Highways Agency planning manager, said that the Black Dog’s sign was “potentially providing the temptation to drink and drive”.

She said: “No alcohol is allowed to be served or consumed in service stations on motorways as a matter of principle and we would wish to continue this principle by not encouraging drivers to break their journey in a public house.”

Jacqui, you just make sure there are enough lamp posts; come the glorious day we will do the rest.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Climate Wars - an opposing salvo

Climate Resistance

Dr. Iain Stewart’s new BBC2 series Earth: The Climate Wars

The debunking.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

All the people all the time


...research showed that only 16 per cent of people thought that "the Government uses figures honestly when talking about its policies".
A new code of conduct which is likely to be published by the end of the year should ensure that there is a clear demarcation between Government policy and official statistics...

16%? Have I got a bridge to sell them....

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

Regulate the Interent

Internet needs a strong system of self-regulation - Times Online

John Whittingdale is a Conservative MP and chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

I also believe that the internet industry should establish a self-regulating body. If the leading sites subscribe to an agreed set of standards, which can then be monitored and verified, then they will be able to reassure users, and parents in particular.

We have all seen how effective self regulation is with our politicians.... just bugger off and leave things beyond your ken alone.

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

A Hanging in Trafalgar Square

Herbert Crossman, 60, a security company manager from Harrow, northwest London, hung upside down for two hours. He said that he was protesting against the “take, take, take attitude” of the Government. Mr Crossman demonstrated how the public was “haemorrhaging money” by placing tubs beneath him to catch money as it fell from his pockets. “It’s our money the Government is wasting, not their fat-cat salaries,” said Mr Crossman, who plans to start a Let-The-Penny-Drop political party.

Bob Piper points out he has a history of forming new parties...

"Elected as a Lib Dem councillor for Ridgeway ward in 1994. Resigned from the Lib Dems in August 1995 and announced he would sit as an Independent. In September 1996 he became PPC for the Referendum Party in Harrow West. In November 1997 Crossman formed "The Constituents' Party" with another Independent councillor, but this grouping dissolved in March 1998 when Crossman joined the Conservative Party. Unsuccessful Conservative candidate in May 1998 for Rayners Lane ward. In February 2002 he formed yet another local "party", the "People's Independent Party" (PIP) who fielded a number of candidates at both the 2002 and 2006 elections. Makes a reappearance at this by-election as an Independent. Known locally as Herbie '5 Parties' Crossman."

Maybe he should take up blogging instead....

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

September 17, 2008

Brown in the Bunker

FT.com / World - Brown focuses on ‘big issues’

David Cairns’s self-characterised state of “wretchedness” in quitting his government post could stand as an epithet for the present state of the Labour party, seemingly unable to prevent a slow slide into ever more bitter in-fighting...

Downing Street hopes that this turmoil may help Mr Brown’s political survival. Aides stressed on Tuesday the prime minister was “focusing on the big issues facing the country”, rather than being distracted by minor matters such as the gathering insurrection. The prime minister’s reply to Mr Cairns’ resignation letter sought to ram home this point, saying: “I do not agree with you that this is the time at which the Labour party should be focused on internal debates.”

Even the aides mention the gathering insurrection but Brown continues to say; "Don't bother me, I'm in my bunker moving the soldiers around on the map, I'm the only one that can save us in this hour of need and that distant rumble is only thunder" -

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

Is England a Nation? Petition asks Gordon Brown

England Nation Petition - Britology Watch

A new petition that has appeared on the 10 Downing Street website. This reads as follows:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to state whether he recognises that England is a nation.”

The background to this is the conclusion I’ve come to - which I know is shared by many - that England presently has no official or constitutional status as a nation whatsoever: effectively, England does not exist in any meaningful legal, political or constitutional sense.

If the answer to the petition is ‘yes, England is a nation’, this presents the English-nationalist cause with a major boost: at last, an official acknowledgement that England is to be regarded and celebrated as a nation.

If, however, the government says ‘no, England is not a nation’, then this could become a major focus for protest. Again, an official statement; but this time an explicit government acknowledgement that England is no more as a nation, as opposed to the term the government prefers - ‘country’ - which carries no political or constitutional weight, as it’s just a territorial jurisdiction.

The further details of the petition tie acknowledgement of England’s nation status in to that of Scotland and Wales; i.e. if England is a nation, then Scotland and Wales are to be recognised as nations, too; but if England is not a nation, neither should Scotland nor Wales be accepted as such. This means that any rejection of the petition effectively also denies nationhood to Scotland and Wales; hence, the protests against it could be greatly magnified....

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

The Times - Missing in Action

Times Online - The Times and Sunday Times - claiming the site is very busy! Are they doing a much needed update on the piss poor website - it is about time as they have fallen far behind other papers in their usability.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Lottery of Life

Why we're all winners in the lottery of life - Scotsman.com News

FROM multi-million-pound grants aimed at transforming landmarks of Scotland's heritage to small sums preserving an endangered habitat or helping children research their local history, the Heritage Lottery Fund has proved to be a lifeline for many.....

Ah, the difference between Scotland and England; the Scots think they have won the lottery of life because pennies from heaven rain down on them whereas the English know they have, because as Rhodes said in some form or other, simply because they are English.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cloggy's Nuisance Calls

If you get a call tonight, it might just be Nick Clegg - Scotsman.com News

MORE than 250,000 British households will have their lives interrupted by the Liberal Democrats tonight as the party turns to United States-style election tactics.
An automated recording featuring the voice of leader Nick Clegg will be played down the phone to randomly chosen households in 50 key UK constituencies as part of the party's plans to connect with voters.

The whole process could take up to four minutes – but party chiefs denied the calls were likely to anger people trying to watch TV or put children to bed.

I note that there are two N Cleggs listed in the Sheffield telephone directory, just noting, that is all. Nothing I welcome more than a baby faced tosser's recorded ramblings being played to me down the phone having gotten me up from the sofa of sloth and the carefully poured beer I was enjoying after a hard days work. A concept so alien to the out of touch Clogg that it it isn't worth trying to ram in through his shiny pink ears with my hobnails, but it might be fun trying anyway.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2008

Canine Racists - Will the BBC ban them?

Kennel Club threatens to end 42-year contract with BBC - Telegraph

Shown last month, Pedigree Dogs Exposed showed how some of Britain's most popular dogs are plagued with health problems, ranging from cancer, epilepsy and heart disease, after decades of inbreeding.
The documentary said that some dog owners desperate to win rosettes at shows such as Crufts were deliberately breeding in deformities.

From what I have seen of the Dog breeders themselves they also have suffered from years of inbreeding and their bizarre obsessions with "breed standards" surpass any nose measuring Nazi or colour chart matching Boer for sheer nasty racism. Give me a dog with a bid of hybrid vigour anyday; a working sheepdog, a Jack Russell, a Fox Hound... and you can keep your flat faced wheezing balls of fluff for you to dream of breeding a master race with.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Climate Wars - the discussion continues elsewhere

BBC "Climate Wars" ォ Climate Audit go and join the discussion:

The BBC describes the series as "The Climate Wars, geologist Dr Iain Stewart (Earth – The Power Of The Planet) presents a definitive guide to the history of climate change."

Definitive to me suggests some impartiality - but as I have linked elsewhere Dr Stewart is an activist, with an agenda. He finished the second programme saying how the third programme will show how our freedoms need to be curtailed. And in the BBC article above he finishes with:

Blaming scientific uncertainty is now not an option to delay action. Sure, actions by individuals can make a difference, but real progress will only come when individuals come together with a strong, common voice to demand that rhetoric turns into regulation. And that's where I see my role – in convincing ordinary folk that this is an issue that they should care about, not because it will affect them but, more insidiously, it will be their legacy to their kids and grandkids.

I think we can see how the series is building up to be a polemic demanding regulation rather than as any sort of definitive history.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

What if the whistle blows and no one else goes over the top?

politicalbetting.com » What did you do in the great Labour rebellion Daddy?

Spare a thought a thought this morning for Labour MPs as they agonise over what to do. Do they join the still handful of their colleagues who have taken massive risks with their careers to become part of the initial batch or do they wait and see?

It’s a very hard call because like all rebellions there will come a moment when the outcome is clear. Brown will go or have to face up to a party election or it will all fizzle out. At the moment it is hard to say.

Market turmoil will increase the pressure for them to act, even though The Great Helmsman is ringing round as I type saying now is no time to change the pilot and threatening the gang plank to any rebel. It might not be the threat of being fingered by Iain Dale that is worrying them, but that the Party never forgives rebels, however justified, especially if they force an early election which derails the gravy train.

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


Gordon Brown will reshuffle his Government in "two or three weeks" - Telegraph


"Well, there'll have to be a reshuffle because they've been saying there will be one. But he hasn't got much scope for big changes - he's just too weak Reshuffles can be dangerous. If he tries to move someone who refuses to go, he'll end up harming himself.

Picture of Deckchairs on The Titanic from titanic-model.com

Posted by The Englishman at 6:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Streets are paved with Platinum

Where there's muck there's … platinum - Scotsman.com News

Roadside dirt contains one part per million precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

This is not much lower than the quantity in mineral mines in South Africa, where the content varies from two to ten parts per million.

Rhodium is worth about £90 per gram, meaning the process could bring in a considerable amount of money to local authorities, although it would be a long process to collect enough dirt for one ring.

Ms Murray, from Tarbet, on the shores of Loch Lomond, said: "In an average street, you would have to sweep three kilometres of road for a year to gather up 30 grams of precious metals for a nice ring or pair of earrings."

However, this would be worth about £2,500 to the local authority. "Even recovering relatively minor amounts has a huge value," Ms Murray added.

The precious metal in the dirt comes from catalytic converters in cars, meaning the busier the traffic, the more precious metal is available.

Up to 70 per cent of metals previously found in car catalysts currently end up on the roadside.

Quick - Buy Mr Remittance Man a broom, no more big Cats and stuff that goes bang for him, just sweeping The Great Westway....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lehman Brothers Principles For Sale


Item number: 290260997617

Operating Principles cube that opens up in different ways and you can read all the different principles like...

"Demonstrating smart risk management"

"Demonstrating commitment to excellence"

"Doing the right thing"

"Maximizing shareholder value"

Current bid: US $5.50

Seems over-priced to me....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 15, 2008

Offending the Celtic

Irish Government raises Rangers 'famine' chant with Alex Salmond - Telegraph

Celtic fans were left incensed by a Rangers chant, nicknamed the Famine Song, which makes repeated reference to the Irish potato famine...

Scores complained to the Irish Government, who was so concerned at the reports they raised the issue for the first time in talks with their SNP counterparts at Holyrood.

In an effort to force the authorities to take action, Irish ministers also urged disgruntled fans to contact the clubs, the police and Fergus Ewing, the SNP minister responsible for tackling sectarianism.

So Celtic fans go running to the Irish Government for help because it is suggested that they are Irish rather than Scottish? Eh?

Posted by The Englishman at 8:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Remember the Relaunch?

Gordon Brown has 'only weeks' to save premiership - Telegraph

he Prime Minister is desperate to stop Labour conference being dominated by discussion of his leadership, but his attempt to focus attention on what he is doing to help those affected by the credit crisis and turn Labour’s fire on the Conservatives appears to have been ruined.
As one former minister admitted privately: “The relaunch has just not happened. It was hyped that as something that would allow us to get on the front foot again and attack the Tories, but there has been nothing to inspire people.”

Oh yes the relaunch, I had forgotten all about that, some guff about lagging the pipes and that was meant to swing a 20 point opinion deficit around back to Gordon! Pathetic wasn't the word for it. Even David "Jaffa" Miliband could squeak out something more substantial.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

London Fashion

London fashion week, the showcase for a £4 billion textile and clothing industry, has opened against a background of controversy and crisis.


Yep - not all of them are wearing scarves....

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

Shock Horror - Heterosexual Catholic Priest Beds Mature Woman

Italian man catches wife in bed with priest - Telegraph

An Italian husband returned home early from work to find his wife, 37, in bed with their local priest.

Details of the incident in Chioggia near Venice emerged on Sunday in Italian newspapers and the local bishop Angelo Daniel has now confirmed that the adulterous priest has been sent to another parish for "reeducation".

Disgraceful, you can't have Catholic priests taking Milfs to bed, there are traditions they have to follow....

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

Dennis Bashing Journalists

PC brigade put boot into Dennis 'the gay-basher' - Scotsman.com News 14th September

Euan Kerr... has spoken out in a book chronicling the official history of the comic, which will be published later this month.

He said: "I definitely felt a sense of responsibility in making sure the characters did nothing that was easily imitable. The evidence is that the kids understand a comic is a comic and that it isn't anything like real life.

"But the relationship between Dennis and Walter was always one that worried me. There were accusations from certain quarters that it was a little like gay-bashing. This obviously wasn't the way we intended it to be perceived."

Not only does he say it in a book The Scotsman picked up yesterday but today he has said it to The Times::

Euan Kerr,...
“I definitely felt a sense of responsibility in making sure the characters did nothing that was easily imitable,” he told The Times.

“The evidence is that kids understand a comic is a comic and that it isn’t anything like real life. But the relationship between Dennis and Walter was always one that worried me.”

Papers of record - you know you can rely on them.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 14, 2008

Earth: The Climate Wars Part Two

Last week's "Earth: The Climate Wars" was bland enough, but part two was a disgrace. Climate activist Dr Iain Stewart ignored and misrepresented a lot of scepticism. His basic problem is that he believes sceptics are "against science" - maybe some are. The climate sceptics I read on the web are actually pro-science and are looking for the truth and it is the "consensus scientists" who seem to be anti-science, wanting to close down the debate. He was astonished that sceptics weren't foaming at the mouth and accepted that the earth has warmed over the last century and that man has an impact - this acceptance was taken as showing that the sceptics were losing the battle.

Four highlights.

Michael Mann was interviewed and we were left with the impression that because sceptics have said nasty things about him this proves he was basically right.

The spaghetti graph was shown as proof that the hockey stick graph was right all along - ignoring the fact on the screen behind him that the proxy series don't show the uptick at the end.

He stated that "the earth is continuing to warm, fact". He castigated "The Great Global Warming Swindle" for cutting off one of their temperature (and sun activity) graphs twenty years ago and gleefully added on more modern temperature data, but cut that off around ten years ago with no explanation. And no showing of the last ten years temperature plateau.

And spent longer implying it is all a Republican/ big business plot to deny the consensus than any attempt to explain the real issues that web sceptics are exploring.

Next week he is looking at how bad it will get - deep joy.

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Sitemeter responds - rollsback changes

SiteMeter Rollback ォ SiteMeter News & Announcements

We have received and heard your feedback concerning the latest changes to the website. We will implementing a rollback to the website immediately.

I can feel the pain - lets see if it returns to its old usable simplicity. I've been there with a software company when you have got it wrong, I can imagine the screaming and frantic activity as they have read the barrage of criticism. So praise to them for recognizing that their months of hard work, innovative thinking and big plans got it wrong so quickly. Don't you just love the way market pressure works - never hear a politician recant so quickly. I hope for their sake they manage to get it right quickly and salvage something from this debacle.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The new SiteMeter is a stinking pile of crap

or as the more cultured and erudite put it: The Reference Frame: New SiteMeter is much less usable than the old one

Anyone know of a simple replacement that allows me to see referrers simply? - It is the only use I have for a sitemeter, to see if someone has linked and is sending lots of visitors over.

Posted by The Englishman at 1:34 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Iain's having a laugh!

Iain Dale's Diary: The Top 50 Liberal Democrats: 50-41

You don't catch me out, the idea that there are 50 "influential" Lib-dems and here are No.s 41-50, yea, yea, yea. It is up there with famous Belgians and world renown Canadians. Try again tractor-boy!

Posted by The Englishman at 1:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Windmills - waking up to the con

Windfarms: One of the great deceptions of our time - Telegraph - Must Read

Wind farms fail to deliver value for money, report claims - Telegraph

Excessive subsidies make them an expensive and inefficient way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a study by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) think-tank says.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Fat Police

Fat-buster nurses won't give an inch - Scotsman.com News

A TEAM of NHS nurses is patrolling Scotland's streets to target pot-bellied members of the public and tell them how to lose weight.

Armed with measuring tapes to check waists and equipment to test blood pressure, the "Street Nurses" are policing busy shopping centres, supermarkets and community centres.

Any man with a paunch, or woman with an "apple-shaped" body whose waist measurement is higher than recommended limits is given diet and lifestyle advice or referred to local slimming classes.

Um, I wonder if the nurses get given any suggestions as to where they might go when they pounce on the unwary Rangers supporters enjoying a pie and a pint....

Posted by The Englishman at 9:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Time To Bash Some Softies Again

PC brigade put boot into Dennis 'the gay-basher' - Scotsman.com News

A long-running Beano editor... says that he stopped Dennis from menacing fellow character Walter the Softy in the late 1980s because of fears that his behaviour appeared to endorse the violent bullying of homosexuals. But the DC Thomson veteran now feels the pendulum has swung too far in favour of political correctness and hopes there will be a return to the comic's anti- establishment roots.

"We decided the best way to approach it was to make sure that even though he and Dennis didn't get along, Walter was completely happy about who he was and a confident, likeable character in his own right. We eventually give Walter a girlfriend too, as a measure to combat any further criticism."

"The comic has certainly changed over the years to come in line with political correctness," he said.

"For example, every strip used to end with the rogue of the piece being punished in some way – usually a smack across the head or a slipper across the bottom.

"This sort of corporal punishment became outdated and eventually it was phased out."

Similar changes took place at the Dandy, where the burly cowboy Desperate Dan, who used to shave with a blowtorch and smoke tobacco by the bucket-full, was forced to go on a diet and had his six-shooter replaced by a water pistol.

But Kerr believes the time is right for a swing away from political correctness.

"Luckily for us, I think there is a real resistance to the overt political correctness creeping into British life and the Beano can hopefully use this to its advantage."

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September 13, 2008

Don't leave food out

Woman dies after being scratched by rat - Telegraph

Arthur Hooper, the deputy coroner for Brighton and Hove, said: "The public should be made aware of the dangers of leaving food out, deliberately or unintentionally, that might attract animals like rats. If you must come into contact with rats please wear gloves."

Please copy to those recommending us to pile up our rotting food in the hope it will compost in our overcrowded towns and cities. I had a dog die of leptospirosis caught from a rat, the only safe way to handle them is with a lump of lead.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Scotland saved from child eating triffids by the Government

GM plants found in Scottish fields - Scotsman.com News

GENETICALLY modified seed-lings have been discovered growing among oilseed rape in three fields in Scotland...

Mike Russell, the environment minister, said: "Had these plants been allowed to mature, the risk to the environment could have been very serious. However, prompt action by the Scottish Government is ensuring that the situation is remedied. This further emphasises the continuing need for rigorous controls on GM material and for Scotland to remain a GM crop-free zone.

And what exactly is it "a very serious" risk of happening to the environment if they hadn't realised they had planted the wrong seed.

It has to be a risk of "something", not just a "risk", what is that something?

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

Habituating the kids to a surveillance society

PFI schools 'designed like jails', say experts - Scotsman.com News

The design of the playground was a major concern at the PPP school, which was not named, with one teacher describing the small outside space, surrounded by a high fence and monitored by cameras, as "like a prison courtyard".

Another issue some raised with the new school playground was that the space was too open and very noisy, with no "nooks or crannies or semi-private spaces", making it difficult for groups of pupils to find a quiet spot.

Dr Brown added: "There seems to be evidence that we are now experiencing a new era of surveillance in our schools."

Posted by The Englishman at 7:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 12, 2008

What a Carry On

Gordon Brown faces leadership challenge from Siobhain McDonagh - Telegraph

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Friday Night is Music Night (Howling Edition)

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The Big Drain

NHS productivity falls as spending rises by billions under Labour - Telegraph

The National Health Service has become less efficient despite Labour pumping millions into its budget.

"Despite"? "Because of" I think.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Spinning our moral obligations

Honour blind -Times Online

Britain's small-minded treatment of the Iraqi interpreters remains a disgrace

Few issues have more shamefully exposed petty, penny-pinching ingratitude by Whitehall bureaucrats than the fate of Britain's Iraqi interpreters. Alone among countries with forces in Iraq, Britain held out against any offer of relocation or asylum for the interpreters, drivers and other locally employed staff who risked abduction, torture and murderous reprisals by extremists bent on punishing “collaborators”.

Outrage at 'cynical' manipulation of scheme to resettle Iraqi aides - Times Online

A scheme to help Iraqi interpreters was devised to maintain the Government's reputation and “respond to perceptions” that it had a moral obligation to its local staff, The Times has learnt.

...the plan should “be generous enough to maintain HMG's reputation as a caring and committed employer of local staff in our overseas networks/deployments, and to respond to perceptions that we have a moral obligation to many of our Iraqi staff, over and above our legal duty of care”.

The documents show that officials wanted to limit the scheme because they feared hostile media coverage if large numbers of Iraqis were to come to Britain; they expected negative coverage about cost, housing pressures and “social cohesion difficulties”.

Where are your tributes to justice and courage now, Gordon Brown? - Times Online

It takes a special kind of hypocrisy to invoke the names of some of the most courageous heroes of the 20th century as moral mentors and then spit on their principles. But perhaps only a prime minister could do it eight times.

In his book Courage: Eight Portraits, Gordon Brown pays homage to eight men and women he admires who took a stand against tyranny. Several paid with their lives....

These are names not lightly invoked. But the principles by which these men and women lived - and died - are the very opposite of the Brown Government's craven refusal to relax the stringent conditions for Iraqi interpreters that must be met before they can settle in Britain.

Nobody asks Mr Brown to make the ultimate sacrifice, risk his personal safety or even a further weakening of his crumbling political base. It is more likely that the British sense of fair play, the belief that those who risk their lives to aid our Armed Forces should be properly treated, would bring Mr Brown electoral benefit. ...

As far as the Iraqi interpreters are concerned, justice's mighty stream is dammed at 10 Downing Street. Mr Brown can clear it with the stroke of a pen. He need not look far for guidance. As he told the Knesset: “My father taught me that loyalty is the test of a real friendship. Easy to maintain when things are going well, but only really tested in hard times.”

As Tim says about the officials; Hang them but the buck stops with Gordon Brown himself - it is his responsibility.

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

Brown Daft Draft Excluder Plan

Gordon Brown's energy package unravels over insulation numbers - Telegraph

He's got a death wish hasn't he? He can't be this monumentally stupid can he? What the public /focus groups want is a short term sticking plaster remedy to help with the bills that are landing on their doorstep any day now. Of course, who wouldn't want some free dosh? To offer them the prospect of having the loft insulated and the cost of it added onto everyones bills is ludicrous. My loft is already stuffed full, my walls are woolly it is of no help to me, but I know I'll be paying for the foolish virgins whose lights have gone out.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 11, 2008

Dodge City

Chelsea barrister shooting family attacked for asking too many questions - Telegraph

The parents of a London barrister shot dead by police fled a courtroom and his sisters broke down in tears after they were attacked by lawyers for asking too many questions about his killing.

Look, Plod isn't used to the relatives of those it shoots being well educated English speaking professional people. Why can't they just shut up, and trust the State and not ask awkward questions?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:29 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Bin Surveillance


I wonder if they get a smart uniform to wear as they monitor our bins...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack



Posted by The Englishman at 7:14 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Remembering Heroes

Nation honours the bravest of the brave - Scotsman.com News

THE Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall yesterday paid tribute to current and former holders of the Victoria Cross and the George Cross.

Present were:

1 Henry Flintoff GC, aged 77:

Stopped a runaway bull in North Yorkshire in 1944.

2 Awang anak Raweng, GC, 82:

Serving as a tracker in Malaya as part of 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. His platoon was attacked by 50 communist terrorists. He was wounded, but pulled a fellow soldier to safety and repulsed further attacks.

3 Keith Payne, VC, 75:

While with the 1st Mobile Strike Force Battalion in Vietnam in 1969, he secured the withdrawal of his men while injured and under fire.

4 Dr Dick Butson GC, 85:

Was involved in a rescue mission down a glacial crevasse in the Falklands in 1947.

5 Corp Willie Apiata VC, 36:

Carried a wounded comrade across a battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004.

6 Corporal of Horse Chris Finney GC, 24:

A member of the Blues and Royals, he twice returned to a burning car in Iraq to rescue his gunner and driver.

7 Kevin Walton, GC, 90:

Involved in rescue mission down a glacial crevasse in the Falklands in 1947.

8 Derek Kinne, GC, 78:

Withstood torture at hands of Chinese Communist forces during the Korean War in 1951.

9 Jack Bamford, GC, 71:

Saved two boys from a house fire in Newthorpe, Nottinghamshire, in 1952 by crawling through the flames into their bedroom.

10 Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry, VC, 29:

Twice saved members of his unit from ambushes in 2004 at Al-Amarah, Iraq. Sustained serious head injuries, requiring brain surgery.

11 Barry Johnson, GC, 56:

Defused a mortar bomb in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1989. It detonated, causing him serious injury.

12 Michael Pratt, GC, 53:

As a policeman, while off-duty he tackled three armed men trying to rob a bank in Australia in 1976. Blocking the entrance with his own car, he took on the men while armed only with a car jack. Shot and badly hurt.

13 Henry Stevens, GC, 80:

While on patrol as a policeman in London in 1958, he chased a burglar and was shot in the mouth. He still grappled with the man who was finally arrested.

14 Alf Lowe, GC, 77:

Serving on HMS Illustrious in 1948, Mr Lowe was involved in a rescue while the ship was in Portland Harbour in Weymouth.

15 John Gregson, GC, 84:

As an apprentice with the Merchant Navy, played part in a shipboard rescue in 1943.

16 Charles Walker, GC, 94:

As a petty officer with the Royal Navy, was involved in a rescue during convoy to Malta in 1942.

17 Jim McDonald, Chairman of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC Foundation

Representing his force which was awarded a collective George Cross in 1999 for fighting terrorism in the 30 years of Ulster's Troubles, during which 302 of its officers were killed.

18 Margaret Purves (nee Vaughan), GC, 73:

Swam into sea against current to rescue three Scouts cut off by rising tide off Glamorgan coast in 1949.

19 Col Stuart Archer, GC, 93:

As Second-Lieutenant with the Corps of Royal Engineers, worked on defusing 200 German bombs, in 1940-41.

20 Dr Michael Refalo, High Commissioner for Malta, GC:

Representing his country which was honoured in 1942 with a collective GC for its resilience to 3,000 enemy bombing raids.

21 Flight Lt John Cruickshank, VC, 88:

As a flying officer with the RAF, on 17 July, 1944, his aircraft was hit while on anti-submarine patrol. With one crew member dead, the others injured, he sustained 12 wounds but still managed to release his depth charges, sinking a U-boat. He then helped to fly his plane back, despite passing out several times from his injuries.

22 Jim Beaton, GC, 65:

As the Queen's Police Officer, Chief Superintendent Beaton received the George Cross in 1974 for protecting Princess Anne from a kidnapper during an attack in The Mall. The attacker had shot the chauffeur and was trying to drag the princess from the car. The officer was shot in the thigh.

23 Tony Gledhill, GC, 70:

Displayed heroism on 25 August 1966 while a constable in the Metropolitan Police. He and his partner were on patrol when they were ordered to chase a car driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Fifteen shots were fired at their car during the ensuing chase. The criminals' car crashed into a lorry and they attacked the officers, injuring them, but they managed to subdue the men until help arrived.

24 Rambahadur Limbu, VC, 67

As a Lance-Corporal in the 2nd Battalion, 10th Princess Mary's Own Gurkha Rifles, during the Indonesian Confrontation. On 21 November 1965 in Sarawak, Borneo, he rescued two comrades and their weapon while under fire from an enemy gunner whom he then charged down and killed.

25 Major Peter Norton, GC, 45:

Major Norton, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was awarded the George Cross for his service in Iraq. In 2005, while going to the aid of a US army patrol which had been hit by roadside bomb, he was hit by a second device and lost his left leg and part of his left arm. He continued to give instructions and refused to be evacuated until situation was under control.

26 Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun, VC.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Remembering the victims of terrorism

Baroness Thatcher, who survived an assassination attempt by the IRA, attended a poignant service at St Paul's Cathedral to honour the 300,000 members of the Armed Forces who served in Northern Ireland.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 10, 2008

Tax Havens - Good for us all

YouTube - The Economic Case for Tax Havens

Statist politicians and international bureaucracies such as the OECD and UN routinely attack tax havens, claiming that they lead to "harmful tax competition." Yet at no point do critics bother to provide any evidence for this claim. This mini-documentary from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity looks at the empirical data and scholarly research and reports that tax havens actually have a very positive impact on the global economy.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wiltshire - the home of the BBQ

Stone-age pilgrims 'held barbecues at Stonehenge' - Telegraph

Analysis of animal remains found near to Stonehenge has shown that cattle were brought to the area from as far away as Wales or even the Scottish Highlands.

Dr Jane Evans, from the British Geological Survey who carried out the research, said: "It looks like people were driving cattle to the area from a significant distance away.

"The area must have been an important place for rituals and gatherings long before the first stones were laid at Stonehenge itself.

"People are coming from considerable distances and dispersion in order to have feasts and were bringing their own food supplies for what must have been a kind of bring your own beef barbecue."

As I have blogged before about slightly more recent remains in the same area:

An Englishman's Castle: Conspicuous Consumption and Global Warming

The East Chisenbury midden is a famous example of a large dump, dating to the 1st millennium BCE. Sited on Salisbury Plain in the United Kingdom, the midden mound contains discrete layer upon layer of flint, charcoal, bones, pottery and excrement. It survives to a height of 2.5m and measures 140m in width despite 2,500 years of weathering. The accumulation is believed by some archaeologists to have a ritual basis, with ritual deposition of produce and waste being suggested as an explanation for its size and longevity.

Sampling of the site suggests that it was produced in less than a hundred years and contains half a million butchered sheep remains, plus some cows and a few pigs. That is some feasting! - Look at the size of it again. My compost heap rots down to a couple of inches high very quickly - this one is still over two metres thick after 2500 years, and it covers the area of 6 football pits.

All Cannings Cross is the same, and so it seems is another one less than half a mile away from All Cannings Cross, and there is probably a third one where my house is built!

And how could Iron Age Wiltshire man afford such extravagance? - the climate was a couple of degrees warmer than now and a bit dryer, so agriculture was more productive. When that little episode of global warming stopped and the climate went wet and cold again it all stopped!

Posted by The Englishman at 10:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dim Juries and Tories

Apologies if a previous post of mine suggested that I considered juries to be a bedrock of sense. Whilst they are our best hope for justice, especially against the excesses of the State, that doesn't mean they are always sensible. Obviously they can be as stupid and contrary as the next man, if the next man happens to be a Greenpeace activist. Or as EU Referendum points out David Cameron's "environmental policy adviser".
As they ask, is vandalism and criminal damage part of the Tory policy to push us back to the dark ages?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:54 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Nice way to spend the money

Nice 'spends £1m more on spin than evaluating drugs' - Telegraph

The National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has come under fire in recent months for the time it takes to decide which drugs can be given on the NHS and for rejecting some life extending medications as too expensive.

Official figures show that Nice spent almost £3.4 million, 10 per cent of its budget, evaluating new drugs and technologies last year.

But the organisation spent around £4.5 million, 13 per cent, on communications.

The Tories, who uncovered the figures, claimed that they showed that the body was wasting money on "spin doctors".

Judging by those figures NICE's total budget is £34 million, and NICE are complaining that the figures are wrong because testing drugs is done by the "R&D section of the Department of Health" and doesn't show up on their budget. So what exactly does NICE do with all that dosh, especially as Scotland seems to get on quite well without NICE determining which drugs its patients can have.

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

Calling the shots at the East Anglia Polytechnic

Cambridge University's Alison Richard condemns push for state pupils - Times Online

In Cambridge today she will condemn attempts to force elite universities to recruit more pupils from state schools and disadvantaged backgrounds.

In a robust attack on government “meddling”, Alison Richard, the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, will say that universities are not “engines for promoting social justice”.

Poor love, she obviously hasn't grasped the essential reason behind the State's funding of education across schools and universities. The State is the piper and is paying for the institutions to turn out what the State wants, obedient productive citizens in regulated proportions of class and colour. Any individual's benefit or education, as opposed to training, is purely a fortuitous byproduct. Her speech continues, and shows her appalling naiveté, she wants more State funding - and still she hopes for less interference...

University funding ‘must be increased or brightest minds will go elsewhere’ - Times Online

In a speech in Cambridge, Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, says that higher education in the UK is hopelessly underfunded and that the Government should not use the excuse of the economic downturn to keep a lid on funding.

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

Sweaty Subsidies

Taxpayers' £8,000 Barnett Formula bill for services in Scotland - Telegraph

Government spending on public services in England was £7,535 per person in 2007-08. In Scotland it was £1,644 higher. In Wales the gap was £1,042 and in Northern Ireland spending was £2,254 higher.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have had a cumulative extra £200 billion in public spending since 1985/86, compared to what they would have received if they had been funded at English levels, a new report says today. £200 billion is the equivalent to £8,000 for every household in Britain.

The differences are caused by the controversial formula, which allocates public money around the UK and leads to claims that England is "subsidising" the three smaller nations.

Claims that England is "subsidising"? Why would anyone think that eh?

A spokesman for the First Minister said it was clear from the Scottish Government's official figures that Scotland was not subsidised by England.

I can't see what he does call it instead though.....

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September 9, 2008

And now the end is nigh...

Large Hadron Collider - will it cause the end of the world? - Telegraph

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When the floods come stick to the tried and tested.....

FloodSax®, the innovative self-inflating flood defence system are set to revolutionise the way we control damage due to flooding. FloodSax® Pioneer Presented With Green Hero Award in recognition for their environmental project - FloodSax®. The Shields are awarded annually in recognition of companies, councils and communities carrying out projects that enhance the environment. FloodSax® Got The Thumbs Up From The National Disabled Fire Association endorsing FloodSax® as a product designed with disabled people and the elderly very much in mind.

Green, innovative, designed with the disabled in mind, what could possibly go wrong with these sandbag replacements...

residents complained yesterday that flood defences simply floated away. They had been given packs of expanding pillows, designed like nappies, to soak up 20 litres of water.

Simon Richell, 40 and wife, Gez, 38, saved their three sons, aged 11, 4 and 9 months, then tried to protect their riverside home. “We got handed these bags which expand to absorb water but they just floated off,” said Mr Richell. “We ended up filling sandbags from the kids’ sandpit.”

Posted by The Englishman at 6:56 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Jury Trial Victory

Police in crisis after jury rejects £10m terror case - Times Online

Police and prosecutors were locked in crisis meetings last night after what they believed to be the strongest terrorism case ever presented to a court was rejected by a jury. ..

The outcome of the case will be seen as a severe blow to Britain’s anti-terrorist effort.

The jury’s indecision in the face of a detailed Crown case raises questions about the public perception of the terror threat that could undermine government attempts to introduce further security legislation.

The Crown Prosecution Service indicated that it was likely to seek the retrial ....even though the jury at Woolwich Crown Court convicted three of the eight defendants of conspiracy to murder.

Prosecutors met to discuss their options amid concern that the jury could not decide on a separate charge specifying that airliners had been the targets of that conspiracy.

The jurors also failed to reach verdicts on serious terrorist charges against four other men...Another defendant, described in court as a shadowy figure with terrorist connections, was acquitted of all charges and cannot be retried.

The jurors deliberated for 52 hours, but their discussions were disrupted by a two-week holiday, frequent sickness breaks and other commitments.

Scotland Yard refrained from comment last night, but the senior officers of their disappointment over the outcome of the case.

Andy Hayman, former assistant commissioner for special operations, said: “This was one of our strongest cases – there will have to be an intensive debrief. But now is not the time for that, now is the time to prepare for retrials.”

Do you get the feeling the jury is getting the blame here, that they are being portrayed as unpatriotic, unreliable and almost too stupid to understand the importance of rubberstamping the Police's suspicions? Thank goodness that juries don't, thank goodness they weigh the evidence and aren't swept along with the hysteria. Maybe the suspects were innocent of the charges, maybe the evidence just wasn't there, maybe the police and CPS despite having spent £10 million didn't put together a good enough case. Maybe they should look at their own failings and join me in celebrating the independence of the jury and its central role in protecting us from injustice. Because if it is prepared to let off "shadowy" brown people with "links to terrorism" because it looked at the evidence presented rather than the insinuations then there continues to be hope for us all.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:44 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

You must remember this.

Meat, fish and milk 'protect against memory loss' - Telegraph

The findings suggest a key vitamin found in the foods helps to prevent brain shrinkage, which has been linked to memory problems.

The vitamin, B12, found in meat, fish, fortified cereals and milk, is crucial to the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system.

Research has shown that many elderly people have low levels of the vitamin.

And it's in beer - one pint supplies 50% of your RDA of B12, so two pints a night sounds about right. Though for some reason the spoilsports at the NHS caution "The vitamin B12 found in beer, fermented foods and yeast is not a reliable source of this vitamin." Typical, you always get let down by promises in pubs. So I suppose if it isn't reliable then just to make sure you need to double the dose...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:31 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 8, 2008

Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb.

EU Referendum: Idiots abroad - brings us the latest Warmist roundup - which seems also to have been captured in this video..

Posted by The Englishman at 8:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Sick System

Schizophrenic rapist taken to see horror films - Biggleswade Today

A violent schizophrenic was taken on trips to the cinema to watch horror films by staff before he escaped from a low-security hospital near Bristol and raped a 14-year-old girl, a court has heard.
Darren Harkin, 21, was also allowed to build a vast collection of horror and pornographic DVDs while being detained for stabbing his six-month-old stepbrother to death in his cot.

The judge said the case highlighted a number of concerns including why Harkin, who had a history of absconding, was moved to a low-security unit, why staff waited nearly half an hour before telling police about his escape, and why neighbouring police forces were not alerted.

A number of concerns? A number of fucking concerns? I should bloody think so. There should be P45s being mass stamped for everyone involved after they have explained in person why their unbelievable behaviour and laxness has resulted in a schoolgirl being raped. And as for the choirboy, he obviously is beyond being ever being safe to be released. I used to know an ex-marine who had then been a "nurse" at Broadmoor for ten years, he had got to know all of them, all the never-to-be released ones, and his opinion having dealt with them and on reflection of the options was simple - hang the lot of them.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Greens kill little black babies.

Green activists 'are keeping Africa poor' - Times Online

Western do-gooders are impoverishing Africa by promoting traditional farming at the expense of modern scientific agriculture, according to Britain's former chief scientist.

Anti-science attitudes among aid agencies, poverty campaigners and green activists are denying the continent access to technology that could improve millions of lives, Professor Sir David King will say today.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Europe and America are turning African countries against sophisticated farming methods, including GM crops, in favour of indigenous and organic approaches that cannot deliver the continent's much needed “green revolution”, he believes.

Sir David said that the
slow pace of African development was linked directly to Western influence.
“I'm going to suggest, and I believe this very strongly, that a big part has
been played in the impoverishment of that continent by the focus on
nontechnological agricultural techniques, on techniques of farming that
pertain to the history of that continent rather than techniques that pertain
to modern technological capability. Why has that continent not joined Asia
in the big green revolutions that have taken place over the past few
decades? The suffering within that continent, I believe, is largely driven
by attitudes developed in the West which are somewhat anti-science,
anti-technology - attitudes that lead towards organic farming, for example,
attitudes that lead against the use of genetic technology for crops that
could deal with increased salinity in the water, that can deal with flooding
for rice crops, that can deal with drought resistance.”

“For example, Friends of the Earth in 1999 worried that drought-tolerant crops
may have the potential to grow in habitats unavailable' to conventional
crops. The priority of providing food to an area of the world in greatest
need appears to not have been noted.For decades, approaches to international
development have been dominated by this well-meaning but fatally flawed

Posted by The Englishman at 7:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sky of blue and sea of green

Beatles music more than 'auditory cheesecake', scientists find - Telegraph

Scientists have discovered that even after more than 40 years, people can still vividly recall where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the Fab Four’s music.

Yep - going the the Marlborough Mop in 1966 and Yellow Submarine was playing, and I won a goldfish.


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

Obama's sudden military memory recall

Barack Obama wanted to join the US military - Telegraph

Barack Obama has said he considered joining the United States military when he left school but decided not to because the Vietnam war was over and ".. but keep in mind that I graduated in 1979 we weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue."

The aspiration was not mentioned in either of his two volumes of memoirs.

Sure you did, I mean 1979, was the cold war over? The US Embassy hostages in Iran, was that a different 1979? Soviets had invaded Afghanistan, but that was 1978. Yep, I remember 1979 well, peace and harmony around the world, no need for anyone to join the military...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Freeing Britain from the EU Monolith

Britain 'should be able to opt out of EU deals' - Telegraph

Mr d'Estaing will tell the conference organised by the Daily Telegraph and campaign group Global vision: "Integration is vital for Europe: it is a question of scale that will become vital in the world of tomorrow. The European Union has already come too far with the project of closer integration to stop now.

"However, we have to accept that not all countries share the same vision, or are comfortable proceeding at the same speed. If countries such as Britain do not want to move to the next stage we should be prepared to agree with them on a special status that would preserve close ties, but avoid them acting as a brake on the progress of others."

More of a case that we should free to not have our progress braked by the others methinks.

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


It could get worse on the way to a record, sodden September - Times Online

And this summer was not particularly cold – amazingly, it was the 96th-warmest summer across central England in records going back 350 years.

Wow, that must prove something....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Reap what you sow

Red tape stops farmers harvesting wet fields - Telegraph

The farmers say the rules to protect soil sub-structure by banning the use of heavy machinery in damp conditions, such as this summer, are directly blocking their ability to collect the harvest.

A spokesman for Defra said the measure to stop farmers from using motorised vehicles on waterlogged soils was introduced to "protect soils from compaction and structural damage caused by using vehicles when the soil is too wet".

Guy Gagen, chief arable adviser at the National Farmers Union, said farmers could be fined thousands of pounds if they broke the heavy machinery rules.

"...You can restore any ruts later. It is an enormous frustration. This rule was put in when food production was not considered important and now that is clearly not the case."

Yes the Government micromanages every farm in the country and even though farmers may own and depend on the soil the man in Whitehall still knows better whether to get the combine rolling this morning or not. Frustrating and maddening but there is a but. The reason why the Government sets these rules is that it is part of a contract, in return for a suckle on the public teat, you Mr Farmer will do as we say about how you keep the land. We set the rules, you follow them or you don't get paid whether they are sensible or not. As an industry farmers forget that.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 7, 2008

Earth: The Climate Wars

BBC - BBC Two Programmes - Earth: The Climate Wars

Dr Iain Stewart traces the history of climate change from its very beginning and examines just how the scientific community managed to get it so very wrong back in the Seventies.

Thanks to a tip off I managed to catch this tonight - not too bad until he got to the end where he trailed what is coming up, when he will be talking about the "well organised" sceptic movement and how it challenged science, but how science wins in the end...

I gather from this youtube clip he considers himself as an activist whose duty is to spread the word and encourage action about AGW, so my hopes of an impartial BBC program aren't too high....

More on Part Two

Posted by The Englishman at 10:22 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Hansen; over paid, over hyped and over here

Christopher Booker

Maidstone Crown Court, where six Greenpeace activists face charges of criminal damage at Kingsnorth power station.

What elevated this case into more than just a local incident was the presence, as Greenpeace's chief witness, of Al Gore's friend James Hansen, head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who has done more than any other scientist in the past 20 years to promote alarm over global warming.

Mr Hansen told the court that the new power station alone would be responsible for the extinction of "400 species".

It might seem odd that a senior US public official should fly the Atlantic to support the defendants in a criminal trial, but Mr Hansen regards it as a test case in the campaign by greens on both sides of the Atlantic to close down all coal-fired power stations in the next 20 years.

Before his court appearance it was reported that he met with the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, a passionate supporter of the environmentalists' cause, but it is strongly supported by the Business Secretary, John Hutton...The reason Mr Hutton was so vehement was that, as minister in charge of energy policy, he is the one senior politician who recognises the scale of the approaching crisis. In the next decade, we are due to lose 40 per cent of the generating capacity that keeps our lights on and our economy running....

To address our looming energy crisis with the urgency it calls for, we would not only have to ignore the fantasies of Mr Hansen and the green lobby, but also directly confront our government in Brussels, which stands in the way of almost every measure we need to take. In this sense, in terms of what it will cost us, energy looks to become the defining issue of our EU membership.

At last week's Republican Convention delegates were given a card that put "energy independence" at the top of the party's national agenda, a message reinforced by the vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin. Threatened with the same suicidal green stranglehold on its energy policy, it seems America may just be waking up to reality in time. But, apart from the faint voice of Mr Hutton, which politician here has the faintest grasp of what is at stake?

I hadn't realised the little shit had come over here to try and force us back to the Stone Age - why did he fly, couldn't he row across the Atlantic? As the US wakes up to the nonsense he is peddling I'm sure he finds it refreshing to be welcomed by the numpties over here.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:40 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Gov Orders Children to Have Happy Thoughts

Pupils taught how to be happy - Times Online

The weather is grim, the economy is in a mess, but ministers believe that they can restore the feelgood factor – by teaching children how to look on the bright side of life.

The government is backing a new project designed to “immunise” youngsters from getting the blues by educating them in the art of happiness at a young age.

Among the ministers who are backing the project are Ed Balls, Ed Miliband and James Purnell, who will give the keynote speech at the Conference on Wellbeing.

The only way those three on a platforn could make me happy was if there were three lengths of rope, a lever and a trap door also involved...

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

Roastless Sundays?

The Reference Frame: IPCC boss: meat-free Sundays

"Dr" (no, sorry, I won't recognize his degrees) Rajendra Pachauri, who is already a vegetarian, now requests that people should have one meat-free day a week unless they want to become heretics. "Give up meat for one day (per week) initially, and decrease it from there," the official planetary chief to deal with the climate emergency ordered. The main culprit are Sundays. You may want to start today.

I have just been rubbing the salt into the skin of lump of my own home produced pork preparing it for Sunday lunch so I think you can guess my answer.....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:15 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 6, 2008

Local History for Local People

I was generously given by Richard Ozzard a large amount of All Cannings history to share on the web. I haven't had the time to reformat them for the web so here is a link to the file list.

The folder AC2000 contains his Millennial book which features histories of every house in All Cannings (see the 100MB Houses of the village.doc)

Other files include the Birth, Death and Marriage Registers for All Cannings from the earliest records up to 1997, The Daily School Log book from Victorian times (fascinating) and many other gems.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Enviro-crime Jugend

Children aged eight enlisted as council snoopers - Telegraph

The youngsters ... in some cases are being offered £500 rewards if they provide evidence of minor infractions.

The "covert human intelligence sources", as some local authorities describe them, are also being asked to pass on the names of neighbours they believe to be responsible, or take down their number-plates.
Ealing Council in West London said: "There are hundreds of Junior Streetwatchers, aged 8-10 years old, who are trained to identify and report enviro-crime issues such as graffiti and fly-tipping."
Harlow Council in Essex said: "We currently have 25 Street Scene Champions who work with the council. They are all aged between 11 to 14. They are encouraged to report the aftermath of enviro-crimes ...
“The scheme isn’t just about them reporting environmental problems, they also take part in projects to help them learn new skills and in a wider context, about citizenship.”

I think you can draw the chilling similarities from European history yourselves without my help.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 5, 2008

Friday Night is Music Night (Another average night down the King's Arms edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 5:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A new Dear Hugh letter surfaces

The Diary Of A Madman: DEAR HUGH 21

Dear Hugh,

Well yes it has been a long time....

Old timers around here will remember the original series - linked here - new comers are in for a rude treat.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Windy Days and Power Shortages

Breakdowns spark National Grid crisis in power supply - Times Online

The crumbling state of Britain’s electricity network was exposed yesterday when power station breakdowns caused the first energy shortage of the autumn.

National Grid was forced to call for more power from electricity generators..power suppliers were asked to bring all their available generating capacity online, including expensive oil-fired units.

But it's very windy out there today, what do you mean the whirligigs won't supply us enough juice?

BBC NEWS | Magazine | When the wind doesn't blow

By 2020, more than a third of Britain's electricity will be generated by wind power, according to government plans. One problem - six out of 10 days aren't windy enough to make sufficient power. So what happens then?


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

Palin - The Green Meltdown

Pit-bull Palin, enemy of the greens, could be McCain's Achilles heel - Telegraph

The European press has yet to pick up on Mrs Palin's extreme anti-conservation record - that's how the Sierra Club, a non-partisan organisation, described it. Time says she is on the "far right" on green issues - further to the right than her running mate and even George W Bush. Governor Palin, on the other hand, was described to me flatly by the head of one American environmental group as "Dick Cheney in go-go boots".
Only last month she questioned whether man-made fossil fuel emissions were responsible for global warming - even though temperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than anywhere else.
She has also opposed the federal listing of the polar bear as an endangered species. She is a promoter of aerial hunting, in which wolves and bears are shot unsportingly from airplanes.

Environmentalists detest her - which the Republicans may have calculated is an electoral advantage in some states.....

What if she got elected? It's unclear how much Mr McCain would let her do. Sarah Palin might be smart enough to broaden her horizons in office but she would be unlikely to change her spots.

With a rapid countdown to a new international climate treaty after the presidential election, that could spell trouble. Who said America's isolation on environmental issues would be over with the election?

Oh the horror of it all!

Posted by The Englishman at 8:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Salt - the coppers friend

Obese criminals who eat junk food 'easier to catch' - Telegraph

A police scientist has developed a way of analysing the corrosion on bullet casings and knife blades that is caused by microscopic amounts of salt in hand sweat.
Dr John Bond suggested that those who eat junk foods - which contain large quantities of salt - will give away the most clues.

And that is why you should listen to your Mummy when she tells you to wash your hands after eating as well as before....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gloomy Friday - The Only Response

Weekend wash-out expected as severe storm drenches Britain - Telegraph
Car sales crash as economy hits skids - Times Online
Housing gloom deepens as prices plunge 12.7% - Times Online

A priest, a Pentecostal preacher and a Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa .They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.
One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear.One thing led to another and they decided to do an experiment. They would all go up to the Smokies, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they're all together to discuss the experience.
Father Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches, and has various bandages on his body and limbs, went first. 'Well,' he said, 'I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him I began to read to him from the Catechism.
Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So, I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle a lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.'

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, with an arm and both legs in casts, and an IV drip. In his best fire and brimstone oratory he claimed, 'WELL brothers, you KNOW that WE don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD!
But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So right quick-like, I DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus.'

They both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IV's and monitors running in and out of him. He was in bad shape. The rabbi looks up and says,

'Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.'

Posted by The Englishman at 8:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Worked to Death

David Blunkett says people should work until they are 'incapacitated' - Telegraph

Britain's workforce should keep working until they are no longer physically able to do so, according to former cabinet minister David Blunket. In a speech to the Counsel and Care charity in London, he said people should stop assuming that the Government had "prime responsibility" for supporting them through "the ever increasing years of retirement".

I have no problem with taking responsibility for my own soup dribbling years but I do with the State mulcting my income to provide for me and then not doing so...

Posted by The Englishman at 8:15 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 4, 2008


In the last couple of days I have started to rummage around in the junk comment folder - the system automatically junks about 20 comments an hour (And those are ones that have penetrated the outer moat where many more are sunk with out trace.)
There are a lot of good comments getting junked because people don't type in the magic verification word - if I spot them I rescue them but don't rely on it. If you think your comment has been unfairly blocked then email me, even if I disagree with it I will allow it provided it doesn't breach the basic rules of legality, relevance and anything else I decide on.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:57 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Tommy this, an' Tommy that

Kim du Toit - RCOB Moment - 2007

A wounded soldier home from Afghanistan on sick leave was forced to spend the night in his car after a hotel refused him a room.

Corporal Tomos Stringer was told by staff at Metro Hotel, in Woking, that it was company policy not to accept members of the armed forces as guests. The 24-year-old had travelled to the Surrey town to help with funeral preparations for a friend killed in action.

Kipling - Tommy - 1890

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, 'We serve no red-coats 'ere.'
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed and giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again, an' to myself sez I:
Oh, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy, go away':
But it's 'Thank you, Mister Atkins,' when the band begins to play -

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Flight BA 38 - Unique Ice Problem Takes Gordon's Rap

BBC NEWS | England | London | 'Ice in fuel' caused BA jet crash

...probably brought down by ice in its fuel system, an accident report says....But investigators say they still do not know how the ice could have formed....levels of water found in fuel recovered after the 17 January crash were very low for a Boeing 777....the temperatures involved were not "unique"....The investigation team have built a test rig and introduced pre-prepared ice into the fuel system to see if it would clog up. But the amounts they had to put in to make this happen were far greater than is normal....The accident flight was unique in that this has been the only recorded case of a restricted fuel flow affecting the engine performance...The report goes on: "This is the first such event in 6.5 million flight hours and places the probability of the failure as being 'remote'."

Others report 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.....

Posted by The Englishman at 5:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Speccie Twat all at sea in the Arctic

Global warming opens up Northwest Passage | Coffee House

The Northwest Passage has been a focal point for both environmentalists and shipping companies for years. The sea route along the North American coast has been blocked for hundreds of years by a pack of Arctic ice. But through climate change the pack is melting away....

I expect better in the Spectator.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Palin Pulls It Off

Republican Convention: Sarah Palin makes speech of a lifetime - Telegraph

"I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country."

More from CentreRight and more about Rudy's excellent warm-up here

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

Jordan's Horsey Love

Why shouldn’t city folk feel the horsey love too? | Simon Barnes: Commentary - Times Online

Well it is easier with this....

Introducing glamour model Katie Price – the new face of British equestrianism - Times Online

Today, at the Burghley horse trials, Ms Price will be unveiled as the face of Hoof, a campaign run by the British Equestrian Federation.

It aims to challenge the widely held perception that London is a difficult place in which to pursue a career in three-day eventing.

Even that old curmudgeon Mr Free Market might be persuaded to watch some donkey walloping if it features Jordan, in fact I think he may already have the video....

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

The Three Nations, and England

Scots Secretary role consigned to history books after 305 years - Scotsman.com News

THE post of Scottish Secretary is set to be scrapped at Westminster as a consequence of the IRA being declared redundant as a paramilitary organisation.
The post – which was created in 1703 and even pre-dates that of prime minister – will be replaced by a Secretary of State for the Nations...amalgamating the posts of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish secretaries.

And of course England isn't a Nation, just a bunch of regions....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What the Romans did to us.

Britons may be more vulnerable to Aids due to Roman invasion - Telegraph

Researchers found that people who live in lands conquered by the Roman army have less protection against HIV than those in countries they never reached
They say a gene which helps make people less susceptible to HIV occurs in greater frequency in areas of Europe that the Roman Empire did not stretch to.

A case for reparations and public apologies I think, Ferraris all round should ease the mental anguish of the English of being a damaged and subjugated nation.

To save you looking it up here's the Monty Python - What have the Romans ever done for us? sketch from Life of Brian.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

In like a bullet

Iain Dale's Diary: The Total Politics Top 100 UK Political Blogs

Thanks to Iain "Fluff" Dale for compiling and for everyone who voted, I must admit I didn't bother to vote or campaign for votes, so a respectable showing of being in the top 100, right of centre and libertarian categories. I must try harder at writing policy wonkery....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 3, 2008

Palin - the feminist meltdown

Sarah Palin: a loveable woman, but an appalling candidate | Alice Miles - Times Online

Call that a woman? A gun-toting, vehement anti-abortionist with the hide of a grizzly bear draped over her sofa, who was so aggressive on the basketball court that she was nicknamed Sarah Barracuda? She makes Barack Obama look like a girl....

...So sick are we in Britain, with our centre left-centre right politicians of the centre, not one daring to have a view out of line with the very thin consensus that passes for acceptable opinion here, that we stand stunned by a woman who opposes abortion and shoots moose; who believes in creationism and drilling for oil in the Arctic wildlife refuge; who supports the aerial shooting of wolves and opposes same-sex marriage; who says to hell with the kids and just get back to work; who even campaigned against saving polar bears!

Could you be less politically correct than suing the Federal Government to prevent it making polar bears an endangered species because the move would restrict oil drilling?

Nothing like Mrs Palin has, could ever, be seen in the British political system. She turns liberals into conservatives and conservatives into feminists. Stand back, Mr Obama, a new character is storming the ratings.

How Hillary Clinton, all safe lines and patronising empathy, must be hating it. How fast Michelle Obama must be recalibrating her soft little tales about baking cookies and enjoying The Brady Bunch. Mrs Palin would eat Carol Brady for breakfast, and still have space for some moose stew. Hell, yes.

But the Sarah Palin Story is not just a show and in America, they are equally agog but not aghast - they are adoring. The American Right loves this woman. They would have her in charge of the country.

Seriously. And that is where the trouble starts.

Trouble? Opportunity more like. As she says we are so sick in Britain we can't have a candidate like her here, well some of us are fed up of being sick and we want to be cured and not continue to wallow in the hospital bed of mediocrity and self-pity. We want our own Sarah Palin.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:31 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Organic - will it make sense at $200 a barrel?

Organic food to be cheaper than other produce - Telegraph

..a study suggests that the price of oil could soon make cereal crops grown with fertilisers more expensive than those produced more naturally....

With oil predicted to reach $200 a barrel within five to 10 years, the profit margin on organic wheat, barley and oil seed rape would be as much as £411.

This compares with up to £348 for the same crops produced by non-organic methods, according to the study by Andersons, the farm business consultants.

I can't find the report this is based on, but that extract is completely meaningless; profit per what? Organic farming needs more labour, so what is the cost of labour? It needs more cultivations, are the harrows pulled by horses? And are they comparing at the same selling price with no organic premium? I don't know, though you can guess I am sceptical of it all. If you come across a copy of the report please forward it to me.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Chrome - follow the porn

Of course I have been trying Chrome out - runs quickly and I like it, not enough to ditch Firefox yet but then it is how easy it is to blog from it that counts...

Official Google Blog: Google Chrome now live

Visit http://www.google.com/chrome to download and start exploring. (For the moment, it's available only for Windows users)

Features : Incognito mode

For times when you want to browse in stealth mode, for example, to plan surprises like gifts or birthdays, Google Chrome offers the incognito browsing mode. Webpages that you open and files downloaded while you are incognito won't be logged in your browsing and download histories; all new cookies are deleted after you close the incognito window. You can browse normally and in incognito mode at the same time by using separate windows.

Oh, yes, buying your wife flowers, that is why you want to browse in stealth mode. They are no fools, the golden rule of how to make money, and where the cutting edge of the Internet is, has always been "follow the porn".

(hattip NBC - who should be working not reading this...)

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

Darling - heading for a breakdown

Bloomberg.com: U.K. & Ireland

British consumer confidence held at the lowest level in at least four years in August after economic growth stalled, Nationwide Building Society said.

An index of sentiment taken from the responses of 1,000 people in a survey stayed at 52, the same as in July, which was the lowest since the survey began in May 2004

And Darling's quivering performances are pushing confidence and the economy lower. Last night I heard him blather that; "in common with all the countries in the world Britain faces a unique set of circumstances". Blather, or as the sainted Iain says (using the scottish version blether) If our economy is so strong, why is it that our economy is the only one of the G7 economies likely to meet the technical definition of going into recession, according to the OECD today?

I actually feel sorry for Darling as he holds back the tears as he is interviewed, it is getting too much for him, it is beyond him. Will he crack up before he is sacked? Is Brown growing stronger as he sucks the life blood from Darling or will he go first. So many options.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gordon's helpless little burp

Brickbats for Brown's stamp duty masterplan - Scotsman.com News

GORDON Brown's hopes of generating a political recovery by announcing measures to kick-start the housing market were fading last night as he faced a welter of criticism from industry experts and at Westminster.
The Prime Minister had looked to regain the political initiative after dire opinion poll ratings and repeated rumblings about his job security

Really, I mean really, did anyone expect this masterplan to help him? It is pathetic, unimaginative and nearly useless. If it is the best he can come up with then he is as bad as we have been saying.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 2, 2008

No wood in Mann's hockey stick

Following my post about Mann's resurrection of his hockey stick one point is worth noting - he is abandoning the use of tree based proxies:

(sorry about the quality of the image)

Another victory for Climate Audit where they have been publishing treeless reconstructions, and the reasons why trees are suspect. Strangely their treeless reconstructions differ from Mann's....

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

Brown to save the nation

It’s not that bad, say business leaders baffled by gloom forecast - Times Online

Business leaders accused Alistair Darling yesterday of exaggerating the risks of a recession and said that his doom-laden prophecy could become self-fulfilling.

In an unusual reversal of roles, the CBI and economists rejected the Chancellor’s claim that Britain faced the worst economic conditions for 60 years and criticised him for failing to emphasise the fundamental strengths of the economy.

All a bit odd, why is Darling dissing the economy - pound down, credit crunched etc. Is it becasue he is a dithering fool under orders for a even more dithering fool or is there some cunning plan at work? A comment from a union boss suggests a reason.

Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, said: “If the Chancellor is gauging the situation correctly then it makes the case for decisive government intervention in the economy even more strongly.

“If it is the worst economic conditions for 60 years then we need intervention in the form of a windfall tax on the oil companies and action to protect people from the risk of redundancy and to protect their homes.”

They wouldn't be scaring us into accepting even more state intervention would they?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Palin backward, antifeminist and social antiquated - suits me

Alpha Mummy - Times Online - WBLG: Palin's a woman but not a pro-woman candidate

Because there is only one sort of pro-woman candidate and a strong independent woman who fails to follow the herd mentality bleating about "quality childcare and reproductive freedom" is "backward, antifeminist and social antiquated".

(Funny how non of the pro-women candidates ever get tagged with the vpilf label isn't it...)

Posted by The Englishman at 7:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Chrome - the new browser

Official Google Blog: A fresh take on the browser

Introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome with a comic.

We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.

Gets the old techie juices running, I was selling Internet connectivity before browsers existed and so remember the launch of Netscape, altavista, the first Microsoft Browser, .... kids today, they don't believe you if they say there was a time before the web....

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

The Machine in Control

'Have-a-go heroes' an increasing rarity in a Britain that has developed Robocop justice system, says report - Scotsman.com News

BRITAIN has become a nation of "passive bystanders" with fundamental changes needed on policing and criminal justice to tackle the issue, a report warns today.
The study, by the independent think tank, Reform, finds that the public are uninformed about crime and unlikely to participate in maintaining justice.
In a 36-page report entitled The Lawful Society, Reform says Britain has the most expensive criminal justice system in the world but that over-centralisation is failing to deliver results.
It also says the "have-a-go hero" is an increasing rarity, with Britons the least likely in Europe to intervene when a crime is taking place.
The report found that six out of ten people in Britain would be unlikely to challenge a group of 14-year-old boys vandalising a bus shelter, more than Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France and Spain. In Germany, six out of ten would challenge the group.
The authors said that Britain had developed a "Robocop" criminal justice system where human judgment and engagement had been replaced by bureaucracy.
They said: "The result is a criminal justice system without a human face – bureaucratic, technocratic and machine-like.
"If the face of British criminal justice was once George Dixon of Dock Green, the new face might be the Robocop of Detroit's fictional future."

The system is winning, for us to be more of a sheeple than the Germans et al is a bloody disgrace.

(And if Reform launched this yesterday at lunchtime why isn't a copy on the web this morning, too good a lunch boys?)

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

September 1, 2008

"The hockey stick is alive and well"

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Climate 'hockey stick' is revived

A new study by climate scientists behind the controversial 1998 "hockey stick" graph suggests their earlier analysis was broadly correct.

Michael Mann's team analysed data for the last 2,000 years, and concluded that Northern Hemisphere temperatures now are "anomalously warm".

Different analytical methods give the same result, they report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

UPDATE : Study is now online here http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/09/02/0805721105.full.pdf+html

The 1998 hockey stick was a totem of debates over man-made global warming. ...But some academics questioned its methodology and conclusions, and increasingly strident condemnations reverberated around the blogosphere....

Michael Mann's conclusion is that far from being broken, "the hockey stick is alive and well".

I'll be keeping an eye on the obituary writer..

Update - More details at Mongabay which unlike the BBC gives the citation:

Mann et al. (2008). Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia. PNAS September 9, 2008 vol. 105 no. 36


Composite "composite plus scale" (CPS) methodology and "error-in-variables" (EIV) regression method ("total least squares") North Hemisphere (NH) land and land plus ocean temperature reconstructions and estimated 95% confidence intervals. Shown for comparison are published NH reconstructions, centered to have the same mean as the overlapping segment of the CRU instrumental NH land surface temperature record 1850 - 2006 that, with the exception of the borehole-based reconstructions, have been scaled to have the same decadal variance as the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) Climatic Research Unit instrumental surface-air temperature data (CRU) series during the overlap interval. Image courtesy of National Academy of Sciences, PNAS (© 2008).

Posted by The Englishman at 11:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Blinky Balls Botoxed?

I just caught a snippet of Chancellor Blinky Balls on the news - he didn't appear to blink once, not even the normal blinks we all do.

Botox was first licensed by the FDA in the 1980s for the treatment of eyelid twitching - he couldn't have done, could he?

I wonder if it would work on Darling's trembling lower lip as well....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

We are all going to die from the heat

Temperature rises 'will be double the safe limit' for global warming - Scotsman.com News

IT IS "improbable" global warming will be kept below 4C – double the rise considered safe to avoid climate catastrophe – according to an influential new report.
Internationally, it has long been agreed governments should be aiming to keep a global temperature rise below 2C, to avoid climate change spiralling out of control.

However, a bleak new study by scientists at the Tyndall Centre.....

Extreme and risky action including geo-engineering the only way to tackle global warming, say scientists in collection of Royal Society papers | Environment | The Guardian

Political inaction on global warming has become so dire that nations must now consider extreme technical solutions - such as blocking out the sun - to address catastrophic temperature rises, scientists from around the world warn today.

Ghost ship fleet couRapid climate change needs a global solution, says scientist - Telegraph

It looks like something out of a Dan Dare comic book, and it might just help to save the world. A scientist at the University of Edinburgh has devised a new weapon in the fight against global warming: a fleet of 1,500 unmanned sailing ships creating wakes that whiten clouds to reflect the heat of the Sun better.

Rapid climate change needs a global solution, says scientist - Telegraph

James Lovelock of Oxford University says schemes to reflect sunlight from the atmosphere or increase the uptake of the greenhouse gas CO2 by the oceans should be considered to hold back disastrous climate change.

But the scientist also warned that such projects may do more harm than good and argues the best option could be to let nature take its course.

Writing for the Royal Society, Prof Lovelock warned even with geo-engineering, any course was "likely to lead to death on a scale that makes all wars, famines and disasters small".

Yet Prof Lovelock also said carrying on with "business as usual" would probably kill most of us this century....

Is it just me, or is the rhetoric getting shriller and more desperate?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Playing with a Guardsman's Helmet

Buckingham Palace Guards may lose bearskin hats - Telegraph

Peta has now enlisted a host of anti-fur fashion designers, including Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, to create a new helmet.

I can't wait to see what the old slapper comes up with, pink with feathers probably. At least we know that the MOD has no more serious equipment supply problems to worry about...

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

English Style

Prince Philip has 51-year-old trousers altered to fit latest trend - Telegraph

The Prince is known to keep some of his favourite items of clothing for years, repairing or altering when necessary.

At naval events he is often seen in the same uniform that he wore at his wedding in 1947... He is still lauded by fashion experts for his impeccable taste, and in the latest list of the best-dressed men in Britain, compiled by GQ magazine, he appeared at number 33.

I have blogged before of how the English country set wear old clothes, for a Greek, you know, he is starting to fit in...

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

Choice and Enjoyment

Stores are attacked for cutting prices of fatty foods - Home News, UK - The Independent

Supermarkets are undermining healthy eating by bombarding shoppers with cut-price offers for unhealthy food during the credit crunch, according to a National Consumer Council report into the £90bn grocery market.

"The volume of in-house promotions for fatty and sugary foods the supermarkets are all offering is staggering," said Lucy Yates, the report's author. "We expected to see evidence of big improvements since our last investigation, but we've been sadly disappointed.

"Despite their claims, the supermarkets all still have a long way to go to help customers choose and enjoy a healthier diet."

Don't you love the way that nanny insists it is all about helping the consumer "choose and enjoy", not allowing us to choose and enjoy things we like but choosing and enjoying the things that will make us free...

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

Arctic Ice

Arctic becomes an island as ice melts - Telegraph

The North Pole has become an island for the first time in human history as climate change has made it possible to circumnavigate the Arctic ice cap.

Well not exactly an island as the ice is floating and only if your view of human history only extends back as far as 1979, sort of like saying Margret Thatcher was the first Prime Minister ever.

For a more balanced view may I suggest Steve Goddard here

Posted by The Englishman at 6:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack