« July 2009 | Main | September 2009 »

August 31, 2009

"The council is prepared to voluntarily grant a reasonable amount of expressions of freedom" - Glasgow Council

Pay to march, Orange Lodge told - Scotsman.com News

The contribution will be voluntary because, as a non-profit organisation, the Orange Lodge is exempt from paying for any policing. However, police and council chiefs will warn that if the Lodge does not pay, they will restrict the number of parades which can take place every year.

One senior source said: "A reasonable starting point is the deal the police have done with the football clubs. We want to say to the Orange Lodge, let's talk about how you contribute to the cost of this. It would be a voluntary agreement that reflects the fact that the council is prepared to voluntarily grant a reasonable amount of expressions of freedom."

If the Lodge refuses to pay, the source said, then "the authorities will be more prepared to refuse them permission, and that includes the Irish organisations which have been deemed to be inflammatory". The source added: "We are also considering going to the Scottish Government and saying we need legislation that allows us to limit the number of parades which draws a limit of what is deemed to be an acceptable number on what freedom of expression is."

The Lodge says it is prepared to cut down on the total number, but last night warned it would vehemently oppose any payment regime.

Ian Wilson, the grand master of the Orange Lodge, said: "I don't think it would be just us who would oppose this. This is a libertarian matter.

"The police force is a public service. This is a democratic society and we should be free to demonstrate."

So Glasgow Council think that they decide what is, and can generously grant permission for, a "reasonable amount of freedom of expression" do they? Well they can fuck right off, or is that an unreasonable expression of freedom that they won't allow.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:27 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

82% Labour Candidates Public Teat Sucklers

Would-be MPs mainly men who know little outside politics, survey says - Times Online

The survey from the New Local Government Network (NLGN) think-tank found that half the candidates from the three main parties come from local government. More than 60 per cent of all Liberal Democrat candidates are councillors while the figures for the Tories and Labour are nearly 45 per cent and 44.2 per cent.

In addition, 15 per cent of prospective candidates have either worked for a political party or as a special adviser, and 10 per cent have worked in the Commons as a researcher.

The study, the first of its kind, suggests that the current model of the career politician is set to continue. The analysis does, however, show that the Tories have been successful in attracting a high number of candidates (46 per cent) with business backgrounds. The Liberal Democrats have 30 per cent, while 18 per cent of Labour candidates have worked in the commercial sector.

I'm not so worried about the number of councillors, unless they are bearded liberals. It is a sensible first step in political activity but yet again too many are divorced from the real world. I wonder of those that boast a background in commerce how many have actually sweated over running a business and how many count a shelf stacking job as experience? How can the Tories only manage a minority of candidates who have actually worked? A plague on all of them.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Boys and girls at work and play

Neeeoww! Let’s stick up for boisterous boys
Dreary coursework and earnest women teachers have let pupils down. Many prefer the excitement of sudden-death exams

...In reaction against the days when bigots argued that educating girls caused sterility, and more recent decades when girls were denied sciences other than Domestic, the system has swung over into a bias against boys. As fewer and fewer primary teachers are men (rightly scared of demonisation as child molesters), a feminised culture rises. Boys, says the staffroom, are “exhausting”: lazy, aggressive, disrupters and debunkers, too fond of rude jokes....Quite apart from the literal feminisation of the teaching profession, even school routines militate against young male biology: as fewer children walk to school, boys arrive with natural surplus energy, which it is a torment to suppress. One primary school that used to start with a quiet assembly tried replacing it with ten minutes of energetic running at the start of the day: boys’ disruption in class fell away.....
For those of us who have been uneasy about this for years, and hated the growing triumphalism about girls outperforming boys, there was a considerable buzz in last week’s exam figures. GCSE coursework is a plodding, dreary business, less a test of knowledge and understanding than of compliance and tidy punctuality. It has ruled the roost under new Labour, but after various scandals is gradually being cut down in favour of the more daredevil, challenging ordeal of the “sudden death” exam where you have to pull out all the stops on one hot summer day.
They cut coursework from maths for this year: and what happens? After nearly 20 years of girls outdoing boys in that subject, the moment the coursework is dropped the boys surge slightly ahead. QED. It is only one small proof, but underlines the strong probability that the style, the ethos, the expectations of schools are demoralising boyish boys.
And hear this: such a bias also damages and demoralises quite a few boyish girls, too. For just as some boys are quiet and anxious, some females are not compliant, quiet, teacher-pleasers prone to apple-polishing and recreational times-table-testing. There are swashbuckling girls who take risks, stir things up, laugh at inappropriate moments, hit deadlines in an adrenalin rush, and prefer the risky terror of the examination hall to organised, deliberative female steadiness.

Foreplay vs Vinegar strokes.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NHS Equipment Shortage Solved - It's in the patient

Surgeons leave 300 instruments in the bodies of patients - Scotsman.com News

SURGEONS left behind more than 300 instruments and pieces of equipment in patients' bodies in Scottish hospitals over the past five years. The exact spread of the problem is not known because boards with fewer than five cases a year refuse to publish the data, citing patient confidentiality.
The new figures were revealed in a parliamentary answer by Nicola Sturgeon, the health secretary, only weeks after NHS figures showed patients underwent more than 5,500 botched operations in Scotland over the same period.

File under "quality control in a monopoly supplier".

Posted by The Englishman at 6:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 30, 2009

And Brutus is an honourable man

Ted Kennedy earned C grades at the private Milton Academy, but was admitted to Harvard as a "legacy" -- his father and older brothers had attended there, so the younger and dimmer Kennedy's admission was virtually assured. While attending, he was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly signed up for four years instead of two. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to England, pulled the necessary strings to have his enlistment shortened to two years, and to ensure that he served in Europe, not Korea, where a war was raging. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank of Private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged.

Senator Edward Kennedy was buried with full military honours - Telegraph

Pass the bucket....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dad's Army - The Bullet Is Not For Firing

Soldiers banned from training with live rounds - Telegraph

Ministry of Defence cutbacks mean that troops are being issue with blank rounds, which cost about 10p, instead of live rounds which cost about 30p. The MoD said the "ever-improving quality" of computer simulation had also reduced the need for live fire training.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:52 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Spelling - I blame the tecahers!


The Times 30/8/2009

And who says standards have dropped....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Olympic Drugfest Will Cost NHS Dear

Olympic medical call-up will blow holes in NHS - Times Online

HOSPITALS and GP surgeries will have to draft in thousands of costly agency staff during the 2012 Olympics as National Health Service staff are diverted to jobs at the Games, according to an official report.
Huge extra demand on ambulances and emergency units are predicted and there are concerns that sexual health clinics will not be able to cope because of an increase in promiscuity.
A leaked NHS circular warns of the huge impact of the Games on health services, estimating that an extra 4,600 medical professionals will be needed in London during the month-long event.

I thought the athletes all brought their own drugs to enhance their performances, I didn't realise we were also going to pay for their little blue pills.

I must start planning where to go for that month, hiking across the Rockies or something, any suggestions of how to avoid the whole tawdry spectacle?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

God Speed the Plough

Less food for more people. It doesn't add up - Telegraph

Is it beyond the minister's wit to realise that leaving land uncultivated in this country to encourage wildlife simply passes the food production buck abroad? The fact that this policy was given serious consideration suggests a worryingly blinkered view, as does Mr Benn's apparent lack of concern that the RSPB is trying to turn 677 hectares of productive agricultural land on Wallasea Island, Essex, into a nature reserve. Unless we're going to divert the national diet to wild duck, that will be of little use if there are food riots in our cities. One wonders how Mr Benn thinks the rising population will be fed in an uncertain future.


Blythburgh Marsh last week - the mudflats were drained and worked for hundreds of years, twenty five years ago fences and gates were still visible across them. Now they are barren of crops and flocks of red-legged anorak-pleasuring squarkers have sole use. The plough still rests under the trees at the edge waiting to be called back into use.

As Rod Liddle points out:

...our valiant fight to reach the 100m population mark around about Easter 2112, by which time we will all be stacked horizontally in warehouses on wooden pallets, like in those weird Japanese hotels, and eating one another.

There are plenty of learned people around who worry that Britons — and Europeans in general — are being rapidly outbred in their homelands and will soon constitute a minority in their “own” countries. I don’t much care, frankly, who is stacked above me snoring on one of those pallets (so long as it is not a Belgian); it is the sheer weight of numbers I find alarming. The quicker the problem of overpopulation can be uncoupled from alarmist racial rhetoric, the more likely we are to address the real problem.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 29, 2009

Seen through a long lens in Suffolk - "Thousands of them!"


...The old brigadier liked to keep a few Zulu warriors in the shed at the bottom of the garden to remind himself of happier days....

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

Damson Snow Recipe

Today I have mainly been making Damson Snow - an ancient 16th Century recipe we all love

1lb of Damson
Cup of cold water
4 oz of honey or 3 of sugar
1/4 pint of Double cream (I have heard of yoghurt being used instead)
2 large egg whites.

Stew the damsons in the sweetened water (adjust honey/sugar to taste, it wants to be pretty tart.)
Pass through a colander to remove stones and allow to cool.
Whip the cream lightly, mix it in.
Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and then fold in. Don't over mix at this stage, should be like pink and white snow. Put into individual glasses and keep cool.

Looks and tastes fantastic and with the bumper year of damson we are having there is no excuse not to make it.

Posted by The Englishman at 1:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Freeing Terrorists - Just STFU

I hope the oil deal is worth it because there has been enough screeching to disturb my post Adnamite lunchtime snoozes on the beach.

May I just mention Menachem Begin (Irgun Zvei Leumi) , Gerry Adams who attended Obama's inauguration, Jomo Kenyatta a leader of the Mau Mau, (Obama's grandfather was imprisoned for supporting that terrorist movement) and of course Mandela as a few exemplars

Terrorists have always been released, and with a touch of historical revisionism welcomed into the world of realpolitik.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Seaside Property Porn


Durrants are delighted to offer for sale this quite charming and delightful Georgian cottage with many of its original features still intact. The cottage enjoys offset sea views from both ground and first floor level, including partial views of the Pier. To the rear, is a delightful enclosed courtyard garden and a charming little sun room, from which to enjoy the garden. Modern conveniences have been carefully incorporated into the cottage, including secondary glazed windows and night storage heating.
Included with the sale of the property, is a wonderful history of all the owners dating from 1802, together with a copy of an abstract title from 1970 and a copy of a Conveyance of January 1971 when the cottage was sold for the grand sum of £6,000!

Council Tax Band: E

How much then?

Guide Price £475,000 - I guess there are still bonuses out there burning holes in pockets.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 28, 2009

I couldn't possibly comment

Teetotallers suffer higher levels of depression than drinkers - Telegraph
Those who abstain from alcohol are also more likely to lack social skills and have higher levels of anxiety, it was claimed.
One reason why non-drinkers were more gloomy could be that they have few friends, the study suggests.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Exclusive - Gordon Brown's Holiday Address

Last year 2008 Gordon graced the delightful town of Southwold with his presence, and the press was lead to believe that he was staying at Shadingfield Hall.
I have just spent an excellent week on Bulcamp Drift in the Whitehouse Barns and a man doing the drains swore that Gordon spent his week in the wonderfully secluded Bulcamp House - Bulcamp House map from Ordnance Survey (The footpaths across the marshes to it are all impassable at any level of the tide as the sea has been allowed to take the area back).
I may be wrong but in my experience a man who does the drains knows a lot of secrets.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday Night is Music Night (Sweet GV Edition)

(Back in the saddle from a week away - more later)

Posted by The Englishman at 4:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 21, 2009

Friday Night is Music Night (The Great Escape Edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

And on that bombshell....

Britain owes £801,000,000,000 - Scotsman.com News

THE Treasury was forced to borrow a record £8billion to keep public services running last month, as the UK's national debt hit an all-time high.
In the first quarter of this year, net borrowing soared by £49.7bn, compared with £15.9bn last year, while tax revenue plummeted. The nation's debt, at £800.8bn, accounts for 56.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), its highest level since records began. It is equivalent to £13,400 for every man, woman and child.

More from UK National Debt Clock - DebtBombshell.com

Posted by The Englishman at 6:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Another reason for a Defence Minister to resign

Auditors can find 'no evidence' £6.6bn worth of MoD equipment really exists - Scotsman.com News

AUDITORS have been unable to verify the existence of £6.6 billion worth of Ministry of Defence assets such as vehicles, weapons and radio equipment, they said yesterday.
In a damning report, the National Audit Office (NAO) criticised financial controls in the department as "inadequate", and also branded its payroll function as "not fit for purpose" after finding tens of millions of pounds worth of wrong payments had been made to soldiers.
Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: "At this time of high operational demand, it is more important than ever for the Ministry of Defence to have accurate records of where its assets are.

That's not just sloppy, not just a few items "liberated" it is a bloody disgrace. No wonder troops are ill equipped if the bean counters don't know where the kit is.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Negative on Positive

Tories 'full of second-class citizens' - Scotsman.com News

THE Conservative Party will be full of "second-class citizens" selected for their ethnicity or gender, former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe has said, as she slapped down David Cameron's candidate selection policy.
"I believe, as a woman, that every woman in parliament should be able to look every man from the Prime Minister downwards in the eye and to think she got there on exactly the same basis that he got there. And if she can't, she's a second-class citizen. We're going to have a Conservative Party full of second-class citizens," she said.

Tokenism is insulting to the tokens and unfair on everyone. I just want the best person for the job, not the best "tick-the-box" applicant. And when the local Tories pick their candidate here I will let them know that.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2009

Für „Bad“ Boys und Girls.


Guns in Roses/Handseife
Rosige Zeiten für „Bad“ Boys und Girls. Mach die Wanne zum Tatort.
Duft: Rose · ca. 14×10×3 cm

H/t Bishop Hill who prefers the teabags

Posted by The Englishman at 11:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Carbon Credit Scam?

Seven arrests in suspected £38m carbon credit fraud - Telegraph

Officers said further arrests are likely, adding that the proceeds of this alleged crime have been "used to finance lavish lifestyles and the purchase of prestige vehicles".

In other news: Al Gore Hits the Waves with a Massive New Houseboat

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

Steamy Nights

Weather eye: Warmer than average summer
...even though most of us think this has been an appalling summer. ...it has been warmer than average; this month so far temperatures in England and Wales were 1C (1.8F) above the norm,... So why do we feel so cheated by this summer? Perhaps it was because daytime temperatures were not very exciting. In fact, it was the nights that were warm — when most of us were asleep.

As has been pointed out before the rise in the recorded average temperature in England is nearly all due to the rise in the minimum rather than the maximum temperatures that the thermometers pick up.

Minimum Central England Temperature

We are all tucked up under a warm wet cuddly cloudy blanket every night sweating in the stored heat from all the concrete around us, rather than enjoying the clear blistering days we are hoping for, and warned against.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ed the Horse can talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

Climate Change department keep air-conditioning rather than open windows - Telegraph
The trial was abandoned after three days because staff at the department complained about noise from construction works, "the wrong kind of breeze" and the potential security risk.

Wow, all that saving energy and returning to pre-industrial times stuff is not as nice as enjoying the fruits of our labours is it? Now will you kindly shut the fuck up about how everyone else should do it and put up with it.

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

August 19, 2009

If you are working in the hot sun this afternoon - a little relief.

Posted by The Englishman at 12:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Off with their heads!

David Cameron's 'decapitation strategy' for Labour ministers - Telegraph

Oh good, I thought he is getting tough at last, though decapitation is for errant Queens and Frenchies; what's wrong with a stout length of Empire grown hemp?
Then I gathered it is a cunning Tory wheeze to keep Darling, Balls, Bradshaw et all stomping their own pavements hoping to save their own skins rather than battlebussing round the country.
I still prefer my idea though.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A Wee Small Voice of Common Sense

Pupils confined to school at lunchtime in junk food ban - Scotsman.com News

The scheme, first mooted in December 2008, is part of a wider attempt to instil healthy eating habits in pupils and tackle the issue of obesity.

But Judith Gillespie, head of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, believes that the council is taking the wrong approach: "I really get depressed at authorities thinking that they can control what is ultimately personal behaviour. People will make mistakes, it's their right to make mistakes to a certain extent. All that happens is that if you put them (children] in a straitjacket now, when you finally take it off, they will go wild. You might get short-term gains, but that's not what you're after."

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

Denier! Unclean! Kill Him!

Man-made climate change is a myth – and economic crash is good news, says Tory guru
DAVID Cameron's latest political guru plunged the Tory leader into an embarrassing controversy yesterday after saying he did not believe in man-made climate change.
Former Wall Street trader turned author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who penned the book The Black Swan about the perils of high-impact and unpredictable events, and politicians' failure to deal with them, shared a stage with Mr Cameron in London yesterday....
Mr Taleb waded into controversy by making a series of pronouncements about climate change, and that he liked market crashes.
He said: "I'm a hyper-conservative ecologically. I don't want to mess with Mother Nature. I don't believe that carbon thing is necessarily anthropogenic (derived from human activities]."
Mr Taleb, who is a professor of chance theory, also said of the economic crisis: "I like crashes. I just like the world to be robust about them."
The contentious remarks were seized on by Mr Cameron's opponents. Liberal Democrat MP Willie Rennie said: "David Cameron can get pulled around by huskies all he wants, but by cosying up to climate change deniers, he shows his true colours."

He is not of the true faith, all good Liberals know that any questioning is banned, even a hint of dissent is too dangerous to be allowed.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2009

That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.

Police cannot be trusted to hand out summary justice and will act as “judge and jury” if given powers to issue more on-the-spot fines, magistrates have warned.

A problem that we have recognised and dealt with before:

"Clause [29] No Freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right." (Magna Carta, 1297 version)
This was amended in 1354 by Edward III to read as follows: “. . . no man of what estate or condition that he be, shall be put out of land or tenement, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to death, without being brought in answer by due process of law.”

And of course the Bill of Rights of 1689 gives us the headline. How careless of us to forget.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:01 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why Sceptics should encourage AGW engineering solutions.

The need to promote geo-engineering as a solution to AGW.

There may not be be a Global Warming Crisis about to happen, but politicians have invested too much political capital to suggest this. Politicians need to be "doing something". Let them plan all sorts of shiny new toys, such as cloud ships, which ill solve the problem if it comes but can remain largely unbuilt if it doesn't. This would be a far cheaper displacement activity for them than letting them tax and control "carbon".

I think that sums up the argument

UPDATE - See article on WUWT for more.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2009

Here Comes The Summer....

Summer back... for a few days | The Sun |News
BRITAIN'S elusive "barbecue summer" will briefly appear this week - with parts of the country basking in 29°C (84°F) sun.
The warmest weather is predicted to hit London and the South East on Wednesday.
But the heatwave is not expected to last. By Thursday it will be back to the low 20s (around 70°F) as a cool front moves in from the West.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Libertarian Linky Love

Constantly Furious: And the winner is...
Big shout out to the the other 19. Mutual backslap, dudes! Why not publish this, or similar, on your blog, and we can all share a little link lurve.

1 Guido Fawkes
2 Devil's Kitchen
3 Old Holborn
4 Obnoxio the Clown
5 Underdogs Bite Upwards
6 Tim Worstall
7 Samizdata
8 Boatang & Demetriou
9 Dick Puddlecote
10 LPUK Blog
11 The Last Ditch
12 Constantly Furious
13 Anna Raccoon
14 Freedom to Choose
15 Rantin' Rab
16 Plato Says
17 Charles Crawford
18 An Englishman's Castle
19 Frank Davis
20 Oxford Libertarian Society

(I forgot all about this so thanks to anyone who voted for me without being asked to. Much appreciated)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Water woes

Green and confused: How can I convince my family to save water? - Times Online
Living in a rural area, we don’t have our water metered but I’m always telling my menfolk not to leave taps on. They say there’s plenty of rain and I shouldn’t badger them. Do you have some ammuntioon (sic) to convince them?

....we waste water — flushing needlessly large amounts down the toilet, leaving taps running, literally throwing it away. We should all visit a village in northern India or Central Asia where people have to walk miles for just one container of precious water. Climate modellers predict that the high temperatures experienced in the summer of 2003 could be the norm by 2040. Rainfall patterns will alter: while little change is likely in the North of Scotland, the South of England could experience a 40 per cent decline in summer precipitation, meaning aquifers would dry up, rivers become a trickle and crops and gardens wither. The average consumption of water a person in the UK is 150 litres a day. But add in the “virtual water” content used to produce and transport food, clothing, computer chips and other items in the UK and that figure comes to a 4,600 litres a person a day.
We live in an interdependent world in which water resources are under severe strain. So tell your family to keep quiet — and shut off that tap.

I hadn't realised I was wasting all that water. We are going to run out in 2040 and then I will wish I hadn't poured it all away for it never to be seen again. Where is it all going? How can we get it back to recycle it? If only millions of us had descended on the thirsty and drank their water we would have known better.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:37 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Nutrition and Nitration

Do not feed your children ham sandwiches, warn cancer experts - Scotsman.com News

Processed meats are usually manufactured using sodium nitrite, a colour fixer which is carcinogenic...People should increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables they eat...

You can't have it both ways, vegetables are also stuffed full of nitrites. As the ever indispensable Sandy says:

70% (in UK) to over 97% (New Zealand) of human consumption of nitrates and nitrites comes from vegetables alone, regardless of organic or conventionally grown. On average, about 93% of the nitrites we get each day comes from the nitrates in vegetables.

(Do read the whole of her article)

Her conclusion is: Many studies implicating nitrite and nitrate in cancer are based on very weak epidemiological data. If nitrite and nitrate were harmful to us, then we would not be advised to eat green leafy vegetables or swallow our own saliva, which is enriched in nitrate. There’s still plenty of summertime left and lots of regional hotdog specialties and BLTs left to enjoy, along with those garden vegies. With a little more science under our belts, hopefully everyone can enjoy it all with a lot less worry.

(An old Nature paper is also interesting:

Nitrates, nitrites and gastric cancer in Great Britain - David Forman, Samim Al-Dabbagh & Richard Doll

The authors are at the Epidemiology and Clinical Trials Unit of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Gibson Building, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford OX2 GHE, UK.
Nitrate and nitrite were measured in the saliva of two populations who differed in their risk of developing gastric cancer. Surprisingly, the levels of both ions were significantly higher in the low-risk group.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

An ideal world

Do not feed your children ham sandwiches, warn cancer experts - Scotsman.com News

David Bartolo, a consultant colorectal surgeon said: "Food is to some extent toxic to us so it is a matter of getting the right balance.
"People should increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables they eat, take exercise and not eat red meat every day. In an ideal world, if we were living like our ancestors, it would be a treat eaten perhaps once a week."

I suppose it depends on your definition of "ideal". Living on scavenged left overs and nuts and berries fails mine.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2009

Holiday Reading

An email just in....

Amazon Recommendations for you based on items you purchased or told us you own.

* Tickle, Tickle
* Home Run: Escape from Nazi Europe
* Maisy Goes to Bed
* Tiddler
* The Sausage Book

That about sums it up....

Posted by The Englishman at 10:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Death toll from hospital bugs hits new high - Telegraph

More than 30,000 people have died after contracting the hospital infections MRSA and Clostridium difficile in just five years, official figures will show this week.

My children have carelessly nearly died several times and it is only through the care and professionalism of Doctors and Nurses they are still here. I'm very grateful but that doesn't mean I love the NHS. And even if I did love the NHS that doesn't mean it is unpatriotic to suggest it is capable of improvement.

The level of debate over DanHan's comments is pathetic and Cameron lost any pretence of a backbone in his wishy washy handwringing. But then to suggest that a serious debate should or even could be held is absurd.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 15, 2009

From The Castle Archives - Local Sites


Just down the road from me, Wiltshire Council still maintains these huts. They were Camp 23, they are now a Depot, but in the future? I better be careful what I say...


Pictures from For Fuhrer and Fatherland: SS Murder and Mayhem in Wartime Britain

Posted by The Englishman at 7:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Mr Free Market's busy schedule involved several drinks last night at the King's Arms as it was his birthday. As we celebrated him getting his bus pass I seem to remember showing off how on a GPS enabled phone Google searches were localised and results showed what was available locally. Fantastic for weather forecasts and pubs. I find this morning that my phone is still searching for bukkaki. I think that is when I made my excuses and left...

( We also toasted Mr and Mrs Devil's good news)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

An Englishman in France


There is something very wrong and unsettling about this picture, it is unnatural.

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

August 14, 2009

Friday Night is Music Night (Les Paul Edition)


Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 13, 2009

Government Health News

Sick benefit people 'must exercise' - Andy Burnham said.

He will also announce that Arlene Phillips, who was recently dismissed as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, has been recruited as a “dance champion” to encourage more people to join dance classes. The Government’s “Dance Champions Group” will be chaired by Rod Aldridge, the former head of Capita, and feature Angela Rippon, the newsreader who danced into TV history on Morecambe and Wise; the Strictly star Darren Bennett; and the model and TV personality Lisa Snowdon.

The kohl eyed muppet is obviously copying his style and intellectual heroine St. Diana who famously gushed about her love of dance, and tight trousered cavalry officers. Is he visiting Paris any time soon?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cheering Health News

Beer could stop bones going brittle - Telegraph

It is thought that the high level of silicon in beer slows down the thinning that leads to fractures and boosts the formation of new bone, the journal Nutrition reports.
Beer is also rich in phytoestrogens, plant versions of oestrogen, which keep bones healthy.

Silicon and oestrogen, beer boobs?

I do know the difference between silicon and silicone but through my blurry eyes first thing in the morning....

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

Real Health News

Junkfood Science: The myth of unhealthy belly fat

Not only excellent on belly fat but also a masterwork on the scientific method, do read it.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 12, 2009

Bombay Mix up on Global Warming

Global youth pool climate ideas
Five hundred teenagers are meeting in Denmark for a competition to design new products to help tackle climate change.
Many of the teenagers at the camp have already experienced the impact of climate change first hand.
Yashvardhan Gusani, 15, lives near Mumbai in India.
He says: "The cities are getting hotter all the time. I feel like we have hardly even had a winter".

The wisdom of youth - you wouldn't expect him to remember back very far but last year shouldn't be a problem for him, should it?

Temperature lowest in Mumbai in 45 years Saturday, January 26, 2008
New Delhi: Chilly conditions continued to prevail in north India today with some cities recording sub-zero temperatures while the mercury plummeted in Mumbai to a record low in 45 years.

Mumbai and Global Warming March 30th, 2009
This year, winters in Mumbai set new records for being the coldest the city had ever witnessed, or say, for past 40 to 50 years. The temperature set new lows everyday, where a normal winter would record a temperature of 18-25 degrees, this year the temperatures descended to as low as eight degrees. It just took one year, in fact only some months, for global warming to give an evidence of what it is capable of. This winter brought about chaos in the lives of almost everyone concerned. Not that winters with eight degrees have never been witnessed elsewhere; but, for a place like Mumbai, it is sure an exception.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Local Sit Vac

Marquess of Lothian, Earl of Lothian (created 1606), Earl of Lothian (created again 1631), Earl of Ancram (1633), Earl of Ancram (created again 1701), Viscount of Briene (1701), Lord Newbattle (1591), Lord Jedburgh (1622), Lord Kerr of Newbattle (1631), Lord Kerr of Nisbet, Langnewtoun, and Dolphinstoun (1633), Lord Kerr of Newbattle, Oxnam, Jedburgh, Dolphinstoun and Nisbet (1701), and Baron Ker, of Kersheugh in the County of Roxburgh (1821), all but the last in the Peerage of Scotland.

And they are all not going to contest my local seat in the next election, I do hope there is an open primary so I can put my hat into the ring..

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

Councils to Kill Businesses to Raise Cash

Parking charges 'could increase to counter recession' - Telegraph

Car parking charges will overtake council tax as a source of revenue for many local authorities as they put up prices to counter the effects of the recession, experts are forecasting.

When I discover a Council that puts up the charges its staff pay and not just the customers and staff of hard presses businesses then I will be amazed. Every town centre I drive through round here is dying, I don't stop because I won't pay to park. Not just because I'm tight but I don't have the change and I don't want to risk the fine by overstaying.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Global Warming causes...

Global warming causing birds to shrink - Telegraph

First it was the fish, then the sheep, now the birds, the horror of it!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2009

Organic Food an attack on Civilisation

Organic food is just a tax on the gullible | Dominic Lawson - Times Online

There are two reliable ways of telling if you have won an argument. The first is if your disputants switch from discussion of the facts to accusations about motives; the second, more obviously, is if they descend to mere abuse.

Ben Goldacre, an NHS doctor and author of the acclaimed book Bad Science, remarked: “In my experience the [comments of the] organic food, antivaccine and homeopathy movements are unusually hateful and generally revolve around bizarre allegations that you covertly represent some financial or corporate interest. I do not; but I do think it reveals something about their own motives that they can only conceive of a person holding a position as a result of financial self-interest.”

His linking of the organic movement with homeopathy is telling. They are cults masquerading as science, rather like the creationists of America’s Bible Belt – but at least the latter have the self-awareness to acknowledge their opinions are based on faith. The organic movement, philosophically, is based on an inchoate faith in nature, seeing any human interference with nature as in some way bad and destructive of the “roots” of creation.

As Luc Ferry, the French philosopher, wrote in The New Ecological Order: “The hatred of the artifice connected with our civilisation... is also a hatred of humans as such. For man is the antinatural being par excellence... This is how he escapes natural cycles, how he attains the realm of culture, and the sphere of morality, which presupposes living in accordance with laws and not just with nature.”

Posted by The Englishman at 6:47 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gross Stats

Food standards chief calls for flapjack ban
Research has found that, without action, about 90 per cent of today’s children will be overweight or obese by 2050

I could do that research, you take how much a child weighed last year and how much it weighs this year and plot that on a graph. Extend the line out to 2050 and blooming heck they are all really really heavy. Where do I pick my research grant up from?

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

Food Security - Veggie Rations The Answer

Two-for-one supermarket deals face the axe - Times Online

Rationing and vegetarianism – taste of things to come - The Scotsman

Local olives: what we'll be eating in 2030 - Times Online

etc. - Google News

Even to begin to analyse this effluvia would, however, be a waste of time and effort, EURef tells us The only thing that this initiative tells us is that we have a government in denial. This is nursery government, with about as much relevance to reality as kiddies playing doctors and nurses.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:36 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2009

Indulgences to pay for absolution

Government's green energy plan may cost 17 times more than its benefits - Telegraph

The Government's plans to increase the proportion of Britain's energy generated by "green" sources is set to cost between 11 and 17 times what the change brings in economic benefits.
The figures are buried deep in the Government's Renewable Energy Strategy paper produced last month.
According to the document, while the expected cost will total around £4bn a year over the next 20 years, amounting to £57bn to £70bn, the eventual benefit in terms of the reduced carbon dioxide emissions will be only £4bn to £5bn over that entire period.
The figures make up part of the Government's impact assessment of the policies, which include plans to raise the proportion of British electricity produced by renewable sources from 5.5pc today to 30pc.
It is the Government's assessment that the non-monetary benefits of the policies will compensate for the possible £65bn shortfall, but economists are sceptical as to how much of this sum such factors can make up.

It is enough to make Trappist Worstall break his vow of silence and pronounce Ed Miliband is an incompetent, ignorant, waste of space fuckwit if he’s actually bothered to read the report put out under his name.

It is certain that when the penny jingles into the money-box, gain and avarice can be increased, but the result of the intercession in the Climate is in the power of God alone. Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences

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

Give us today our daily bread

The government is consulting on how it can ensure that the UK's food supply remains secure in the future.
"It is to stimulate a debate within the UK on what a food policy should be, and how do we define and look at food security more broadly," said Defra's chief scientific adviser Professor Robert Watson.
"Food is absolutely essential, and over the past few years we did see a food price increase - not only in the UK, but across the globe," he told BBC News. "So the [test] for us will be, as the Earth's climate changes, what will be the challenges not only in the UK but throughout the world?"
In July, the Sustainable Development Commission - the government's environmental watchdog - warned that the current food system was failing. The report's author, Professor Tim Lang - a member of the UK government's Food Council, said the system had to radically change.
"We are going to have to get used to less choice, and we are going to have to eat differently," he told BBC News.
"For climate change; for water; for energy; for all sorts of reasons our diet is going to change. Consumers are not going to like it, although it is probably going to be healthier and definitely more sustainable.

Food Council, Sustainable Development Commission, Defra investigation, lots of taxpayer's money being splashed about to produce this rubbish. There will be more choice, more food and more handwringing as long as food producers are allowed to get on with it.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Something to celebrate with a cup of tea and a small slice of cake

As legacies go, it is a mixed one. The image of the dour, joyless, you'll-have-had-your-tea Scot has always been laid at the door of John Calvin, the French theologian who was born 500 years ago this week.

It is an important birthday for Scotland, for it heralds the arrival of the Protestant Reformation.

Scotland’s leading historian has challenged the doom-laden image of the Protestant Reformation’s influence on the country and says that, far from being negative, it was a key factor in the flowering of the Enlightenment.

Professor Tom Devine makes the claim in an article in The Times marking the 450th anniversary of the Reformation in Scotland, so far largely unmarked. Opposition politicians say the Scottish Government appears to have ignored the anniversary.

And why is it no surprise that they don't want to remember how Scotland used to promote hard work and self reliance as the way to thrive, and exported this ethos to the world with great success.

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

State Snooping - it is getting worse

A request to snoop on public every 60 secs
The authorities made more than 500,000 requests for confidential communications data last year, equivalent to spying on one in every 78 adults, leading to claims that Britain had “sleepwalked into a surveillance society”.
An official report also disclosed that hundreds of errors had been made in these “interception” operations, with the wrong phone numbers or emails being monitored.
A Home Office spokesman said: “It’s vital that we strike the right balance between individual privacy and collective security and that is why the Home Office is clear these powers should only be used when they are proportionate.”

That's a new meaning of the word proportionate I haven't come across.

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

August 9, 2009

For those of you going off on holiday...

...what's the point of being treated like sheep. What's the pointof going abroad if you're just another tourist carted around in buses surrounded by sweaty mindless oafs from Kettering and Coventry in their cloth caps and their cardigans and their transistor radios and their Sunday Mirrors, complaining about the tea - "Oh they don't make it properly here, do they, not like at home" - and stopping at Majorcan bodegas selling fish and chips and Watney's Red Barrel and calamares and two veg and sitting in their cotton frocks squirting Timothy White's suncream all over their puffy raw swollen purulent flesh 'cos they "overdid it on the first day. And being herded into endless Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Continentales with their modern international luxury roomettes and draught Red Barrel and swimming pools full of fat German businessmen pretending they're acrobats forming pyramids and frightening the children and barging into queues and if you're not at your table spot on seven you miss the bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, the first item on the menu of International Cuisine, and every Thursday night the hotel has a bloody cabaret in the bar, featuring a tiny emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some bloated fat tart with her hair brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for Foreigners. And then some adenoidal typists from Birmingham with flabby white legs and diarrhoea trying to pick up hairy bandy-legged wop waiters called Manuel and once a week there's an excursion to the local Roman Remains to buy cherryade and melted ice cream and bleeding Watney's Red Barrel and one evening you visit the so called typical restaurant with local colour and atmosphere and you sit next to a party from Rhyl who keep singing "Torremolinos, torremolinos" and complaining about the food - "It's so greasy isn't it?" - and you get cornered by some drunken greengrocer from Luton with an Instamatic camera and Dr. Scholl sandals and last Tuesday's Daily Express and he drones on and on about how Mr. Smith should be running this country and how many languages Enoch Pow ell can speak and then he throws up over the Cuba Libres. And sending tinted postcards of places they don't realise they haven't even visited to "All at number 22, weather wonderful, our room is marked with an 'X'.
Food very greasy but we've found a charming little local place hidden away in the back streets where they serve Watney's Red Barrel and cheese and onion crisps and the accordionist plays 'Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner'." And spending four days on the tarmac at Luton airport on a five-day package tour with nothing to eat but dried BEA-type sandwiches and you can't even get a drink of Watney's Red Barrel because you're still in England and the bloody bar closes every time you're thirsty and there's nowhere to sleep and the kids are crying and vomiting and breaking the plastic ash-trays and they keep telling you it'll only be another hour although your plane is still in Iceland and has to take some Swedes to Yugoslavia before it can load you up at 3 a.m. in the bloody morning and you sit on the tarmac till six because of "unforeseen difficulties", i.e. the permanent strike of Air Traffic Control in Paris - and nobody can go to the lavatory until you take off at 8, and when you get to Malaga airport everybody's swallowing "enterovioform" and queuing for the toilets and queuing for the armed customs officers, and queuing for the bloody bus that isn't there to take you to the hotel that hasn't yet been finished. And when you finally get to the half-built Algerian ruin called the Hotel del Sol by paying half your holiday money to a licensed bandit in a taxi you find there's no water in the pool, there's no water in the taps, there's no water in the bog and there's only a bleeding lizard in the bidet. And half the rooms are double booked and you can't sleep anyway because of the permanent twenty-four-hour drilling of the foundations of the hotel next door - and you're plagues by appalling apprentice chemists from Ealing pretending to be hippies, and middle-class stockbrokers' wives busily buying identical holiday villas in suburban development plots just like Esher, in case the Labour government gets in again, and fat American matrons with sloppy-buttocks and Hawaiian-patterned ski pants looking for any mulatto male who can keep it up long enough when they finally let it all flop out. And the Spanish Tourist Board promises you that the raging cholera epidemic is merely a case of mild Spanish tummy, like the previous outbreak of Spanish tummy in 1660 which killed half London and decimated Europe - and meanwhile the bloody Guardia are busy arresting sixteen-year-olds for kissing in the streets and shooting anyone under nineteen who doesn't like Franco. And then on the last day in the airport lounge everyone's comparing sunburns, drinking Nasty Spumante, buying cartons of duty free "cigarillos" and using up their last pesetas on horrid dolls in Spanish National costume and awful straw donkeys and bullfight posters with your name on "Ordoney, El Cordobes and Brian Pules of Norwich" and 3-D pictures of the Pope and Kennedy and Franco, and everybody's talking about coming again next year and you swear you never will although there you are tumbling bleary-eyed out of a tourist-tight antique Iberian airplane.......

I'm staying at home next week.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Turned out nice again

It’s raining bonuses at the Met Office

The government-owned body has already awarded £1.1m. More than 1,700 staff are getting a “forecast accuracy” bonus of about £650 each — after a series of bungled predictions.

I wonder how much they would have got if their forecasts had turned out right?

Met Office: Comparing forecast accuracy
...we have verified our forecasts by comparing forecasts of mean sea-level pressure with subsequent model analyses of mean sea-level pressure. These comparisons are made over an area covering the North Atlantic, most of western Europe and north-eastern parts of North America....

So as long as your subsequent model analyses agrees with the forecast for air pressure all is well. Am I wrong in wondering how the forecasts agree with actual reality? Or even how they agree with actual weather we get, which is rather more important than how high the mercury is.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Beetle Problems

Shooting season hit by plague of beetles - Scotsman.com News

THOUSANDS of acres of grouse moor have been stripped bare by a plague of heather beetles ahead of the Glorious Twelfth.
Some estates in the north of Scotland may now have to cancel planned shoots as a result of being infested with millions of the beetles per square acre earlier this year.
A mild winter followed by a warm and wet early summer has provided ideal conditions for heather beetle larvae to thrive....
Dr Adam Smith, spokesman for the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, said "They erupt like this for reasons probably related to climate."
Climate change, producing mild wintebrs and wetter summers, is making periodic heather beetle outbreaks more likely, experts say.

Something must be done!

But Scotland had an absolutely average winter in terms of temperature - here - is someone blaming warming for other causes?

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

Eagle Dicers that the RSPB Supports

Deadly blades; death toll mounts as wind farms massacre birds of prey

It seems that the best locations for profitable wind farms are the same open, windswept scenic areas needed by wildlife. In this case, why doesn’t the wind industry just come out and say that this is NOT an ecologically friendly alternative, but they think it’s important enough/produces enough energy, to be worth sacrificing our wildlife and wild lands for?

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

August 7, 2009

Friday Night is Music Night (Let it Roll Edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 9:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 5, 2009

Disgraceful Mockery of The Joker


I'm shocked, it can only be because people are racist..

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

Big Brother in Your Bathroom, Coming Soon

CCTV in every home? Not likely according to Sunny Balls

Of course the Express got the story wrong, Balls is happily denying it. Everyone jumping up an d down about it is looking a bit silly, except we know how this works. Fly a kite, quickly pull it down, let the storm blow over and then gently, quietly start doing it. It's old news then when anyone realises and they are all spluttered out.

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

Refurbishing the Sty

Speaker orders £20,000 re-fit - Scotsman.com News

He needs to make it more suitable and safe for little people...£7,524.30 on a new sofa and window seat cushions for the drawing room....£3,600 has been spent on fitting locks to the windows and having workmen check that access ducts in the wall panelling are lockable or childproof....In the kitchen, a new large clock is being provided at a cost of £80, together with a noticeboard and blackboard, costing £86.73, a hob guard at £47.88. Quite right, you wouldn't want boiling oil tipping all over the little chap, would you.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stiffing the Tax Payer for Minister's Hot Air

Taxpayer may pay for green failures - Scotsman.com News

The failure of Government departments to cut emissions could leave the taxpayer facing large bills under a new carbon trading scheme coming into force next year, MPs have warned.
The CRC will require around 5,000 organisations to buy "allowances" costing £12 per tonne for all the CO2 they emit each year, and be judged on how much they are doing to cut their emissions.
Under the scheme, the money for purchasing allowances will go into a central pot and those cutting their emissions the most will get their original payment back plus a bonus, while those doing worst will be penalised by getting less back than they paid in.
MPs are concerned that if the Government does not cut emissions enough, the taxpayer will end up contributing "large sums" to companies who have done more.

Good news for those companies giving up all that nasty dirty making stuff in this country, they will now get a bung for doing so.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 4, 2009

Let them eat turbines

Climate change protesters glue themselves together - Telegraph
...students backing the workers' sit-in...union took legal advice about the treatment of the workers after claiming they were being denied access to adequate supplies of food...."we are calling on the police to take urgent action against their private security company to stop this outrageous affront to basic human rights".

So you illegally occupy a factory, lock yourself in and then whine that you are missing out on your takeaway curries which is an "outrageous affront to basic human rights". They should have packed some sandwiches.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Only a year? What do they spend the rest of the time doing?

Men spend a year staring at women - Telegraph

The average man will spend almost 43 minutes a day staring at 10 different women.
That adds up to 259 hours - almost 11 days - each year, making a total 11 months and 11 days between the ages of 18 and 50.
But researchers found that the males of the species are not the only ones admiring the opposite sex as women sneak a peek at six men for just over 20 minutes a day, on average.
That adds up to almost six months spent admiring men from afar between the ages of 18 and 50.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:57 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

At Times Like This You Need a True Friend

Raise a glass to the science of beer - Telegraph

Dogs may be man's best friend, but there is another species that has been with us for at least as long, and that has, arguably, made a greater contribution to human happiness and welfare than any quadruped. The species in question, the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, may be less cuddly, but thanks to the deceptively simple conversion of sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, it has an almost symbiotic relationship with us. The discovery of fermentation several millennia ago led to two practices that lie at the heart of what I believe makes us human: baking and brewing.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Immigration Swings and Roundabouts

Latest immigration plan: Go home and we'll give you a British passport - Scotsman.com News

The proposals are intended to encourage "cyclical migration" from the UK to other countries, to help tackle the brain drain of talented workers from developing countries.

The citizenship process would be quicker for those who contribute to civic life, through voluntary work, being a school governor, canvassing for a political party, or trade union activities.

Do I need an exit visa yet?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 3, 2009

The T is silent as in Harlow

Turning on the TV to find a weather forecast I caught a ten second clip of Rupert Everett talking about Byron's valet (I think). He pronounced the t in valet. Even the Americans don't do that. Maybe as he is several degrees posher than any of us that is why he did it. Just as we giggle at Septics when they lose the t on fillet, imagining they are showing continental sophistication, maybe the Norman classes here are reclaiming the t in valet and giggling at those not in the know.

I note the reference quoted below states such pronunciation to be considered ignorant or old-fashioned. I think I will risk being considered ignorant rather than being tarred with being considered modern or worse.

From now on I shall call my man a valet, with a t.

In English, the word is nowadays generally pronounced with a silent 't', as in French, the older pronunciation in which the 't' was pronounced (so 'valet' rhymes with 'pallet') being considered old-fashioned or even ignorant.

Fillet (pronounced “fill-it”)

(But Covert, as in the coat or the small wood every home should have to the north east, will remain T less.)

Posted by The Englishman at 9:48 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, lest thou be consumed.

Letter to The Editor-Times Online

..a matter of clear and pressing importance.
...the persistently flagrant disregard of the local health teams’ concerns and requests...
Dr Sam Guglani Consultant Oncologist
Kate Gegg Tobacco Control Lead, NHS Gloucestershire
Sister Anne Elyan
Dr Sean Elyan Consultant Oncologist
Dr Sally Pearson
Dr Shona Arora Director of Public Health, NHS Gloucestershire

It must be serious for such highly paid specialists to take the time to write to the Times.

It's some cigarette butts in a shop window display, but then they are also disgusted because the shop "aligns reflecting “real life” with its declared position as “outfitters to the gentry”." And that must not be allowed, especially when they have demanded it stop.

In other news The Times reveals Conservative plans to squeeze the NHS budget. I have an idea.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 2, 2009

Intruders in the House - The Times suggests

Where burglars fear to tread - Times Online
....gadgets that keep the baddies at bay

Fake cans of paint and dummy alarms... you may have other ideas they don't mention. The comments section is open.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Intruders in the Garden - The Times suggests

Foxes in your garden. How to — legally — get rid of these pests
..it is a criminal offence to deliberately “mutilate, kick, beat, nail or otherwise impale, stab, burn, stone, crush, drown, drag or asphyxiate” them.

Even those with opposable thumbs?

Posted by The Englishman at 8:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Global Temperature Graph that is "Unacceptable"

If you swing by Wikipedia to look at global satellite temperature readings you won't see this graph.

Mid-tropospheric and lower stratospheric temperature data processed by the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) through 2008

It has been removed by the self appointed guardians of Climate Change truth Reverted to revision by William M. Connolley; "Sorry, graph is unacceptable."

Not wrong, not inaccurate, "unacceptable".

Posted by The Englishman at 8:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 1, 2009

No one ended up only injured so success for Health and Safety

Policemen no longer need to be able to swim, inquest told - Telegraph

The change in policy was disclosed at the inquest of a man who was knocked into a ditch by a car and whose body was left in 18 inches of water for three hours before being rescued.
Yesterday's inquest heard how Mr Malton, a mechanic, was walking home on an unlit road to the village of Crowland on May 13 last year when he was hit at about 40 mph by motorist Peter Western.
The father-of-three was thrown into the ditch, where he was knocked unconscious and suffered broken ribs but was not fatally injured.
Mr Western called for an ambulance but told by the operator to remain in his car, the inquest heard.
Two crews of retained firemen and more than 10 police officers arrived at the scene, and started placing a ladder on the bank.
Fire group manager Edward Holliday decided that they should wait for the specialist water rescue team of firefighters to arrive from Lincoln, more than 50 miles away.
"I made the assessment that it would be inadvisable to enter the dyke until a properly trained and prepared crew arrived," he said.
Mr Malton's body was finally recovered by boat at 2.18am. The inquest heard how he would have been after 10 minutes in the water and a post-mortem examination concluded he had died from drowning.

That's health and safety for you, drown in knee high water as the professionals look on.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est

I know nothing of Bobby Robson and I'm sure his death is a sad loss to his family. But, but half the front page of The Times, a twelve page pull out special on him, an obit, a leading article and a double page spread in the news? Is that proportionate? I have leafed through them to try and work out why and seems to my uneducated eye to have been a man who was moderately successful in a dull game in a dull era in a dull part of the country. What am I missing?

Posted by The Englishman at 10:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Cost of The Spy in the Meter

Smart meters in every home will cost each household more than £300 - Telegraph

At the moment the Government expects the consumer to pay the £11 billion cost by paying £15.78 extra per annum on electricity bills over the next 20 years, or a total of £315.60.
...Once the meters have been fitted, households could save £1.43 per annum because they will be better able to monitor energy use.


Posted by The Englishman at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack