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March 31, 2010

Advice to follow

Invest in a Generator

Posted by The Englishman at 8:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Used Rubbers


As seen on eBay

£77? Seventy seven pounds? We used to give them away, were they grateful? No, bloody ungrateful bastards. And if we added some pennies they complained even more....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Simple Answer to Improve Schools

Should businesses operate in state schools? They already can, and do - Times Online

Debate on opening the door to new providers to run schools has focused on parents, charities and teachers, conjuring images of volunteers running a school in their community.
The more significant development in recent years has been the emergence of chains of schools, run by a single operator, with a common vision, sharing back-office functions and sometimes swapping staff.
These chains — multi-academy sponsors — are the very opposite of groups of passionate amateurs seeking to open schools. They are highly professional, relentlessly focused on achievement, with sophisticated data systems to track their students’ and schools’ progress.....
Should businesses operate in state schools? They already can, and do — intervening, in their role as school improvement partners, or managing the whole show, as EdisonLearning does at Turin Grove School, North London.

The only question is whether they should be allowed to be the legal entity operating a school, rather than a contractor providing services.

The answer is "Yes, of course", but even the Tories are frit of the teaching unions and are cowardly ruling it out.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Guardian Reader's Wet Dreams

US oil company donated millions to climate sceptic groups, says Greenpeace | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Fun in the playground as all their beliefs come true...

(This message wasn't sponsored by anyone)

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

"You know, I really don't see the signal."

Blizzards and gales create chaos - Scotsman.com News

Around 30,000 homes have been left without power as severe winter storms battered parts of the UK for a second day.
Blizzards, gale force winds and torrential rain have hit Scotland and Northern Ireland, knocking down power lines and wreaking transport havoc.
The Met Office has issued extreme weather warnings for the two regions, forecasting more severe blizzards and severe drifting snow up to 50cm (20in) deep in parts.
During the distinctly un-spring-like conditions, temperatures will remain close to zero through the day.There could also be snow flurries across high areas of England and Wales, experts said.

In other news MPs say they can't spot any corruption and the global warming scare is faultless.

Headline - Nelson at Copenhagen turning a blind eye to Hyde Parker's flag.

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

March 30, 2010

MPs to say Climatic Research Unit Naughty but Right

Climate unit criticised for stonewalling sceptics - The Irish Times - Tue, Mar 30, 2010
Scientists at a leading British climate research centre had a culture of withholding information from global warming sceptics but did not deliberately manipulate data to support their case, politicians said today.

UTV News - Climate researchers 'secrecy' criticised – but MPs say science remains intact
The parliamentary science and technology select committee was also scathing about the "standard practice" among the climate science community of not routinely releasing all its raw data and computer codes – something the committee's chair Phil Willis MP described as "reprehensible". He added: "That practice needs to change and it needs to change quickly."

The latter report may be at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/30/climate-mails-inquiry-jones-cleared when the embargo is lifted.

More at The Bishop's

Posted by The Englishman at 8:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Polly Toynbee and The Winning Tory Policy

Polly Toynbee

The Tories were winning the economic argument when they kept hammering on one consistent theme: the deficit is the danger, debt is toxic, Gordon is to blame and only Cameron is fiscally serious. The City liked it, so did his party, and axe-swinging austerity seemed to give the novices gravitas.
But ever since this policy, unique around the world, got an embarrassing raspberry from the world's economists at Davos in January, the Tories lost their nerve, zigzagging back and forth. No, the cuts this year would "not be particularly extensive" after all, said Cameron.
Now it's tax giveaways again. Yet he is still promising the deficit would be cut "further, faster, deeper" than Labour. How can that be done?

Simples, ignore the gnomes in Switzerland and go back to the original policy, the one that was winning.
Dave, if you won't listen to the real Tories, will you please listen to Polly when she accidentally points out what you should be doing?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

There's Something About Claudia

Claudia Winkleman will replace Jonathan Ross as Film 2010 presenter - Times Online

The Times' front page is adorned with this picture and the momentous news that Claudia is to replace Ross on some television program.

As my copy dries out on the AGA there is something worrying me about the picture. Is it a trick of the light or is she paying homage to a celluloid classic?

Decoding the picture choices of sub-editors is always fun.


Posted by The Englishman at 7:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Climate - The Trillion Dollar Question

The trillion-dollar question is: who will now lead the climate battle? | The Observer

Some of the planet's most powerful paymasters will gather in London on Wednesday to discuss a nagging financial problem: how to raise a trillion dollars...The prices we pay for our goods do not reflect one key cost: the damage that their production does to the planet's climate system," said Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the LSE. "We need to find ways to extract payment from those who cause that damage ...

Politicians and negotiators are preparing another assault on the issue, though this time talks will be very different. For a start, climate science has suffered damaging setbacks. There was the leaking from the University of East Anglia's climate research unit of email exchanges between some of the world's top meteorologists as well as the discovery that a UN assessment report on climate change had vastly exaggerated the rate of melting of Himalayan glaciers.
The former revelation suggested some researchers were involved in massaging the truth, sceptics claimed, while the latter exposed deficiencies in the way the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – authors of the report – go about their business. The overall effect has been to damage the credibility of the large number of scientists who fear our planet faces climatic disaster. Trying to restart stalled negotiations will be very hard.

And that Ladies and Gentlemen is why the blogospherical sceptics are so important.

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

March 29, 2010

Government Doesn't Want to Know

BBC News - Drug adviser Dr Polly Taylor's full resignation letter

..We had understood that the requirement of us, as advisers, was to comply with the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees, and not to maintain the favour or trust of a minister with our advice and its communication.....
I am therefore surprised and dismayed that the government has rejected these concerns....
I feel that there is little more we can do to describe the importance of ensuring that advice is not subjected to a desire to please ministers or the mood of the day's press.....

What's the point of having advisers who offer real advice when you have pollsters and Daily Mail leader writers to tell you what to believe.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Healey wants to squeeze profiteers pips

Council tenants who sub-let could face jail for new criminal offence - Times Online

Sub-letting fraud is a civil offence punishable by a modest fine and the loss of tenancy. But Mr Healey intends to make it a criminal offence so that the courts can recover the profits made.
“By unlawfully sub-letting these properties for a profit they deprive families of the homes they need,” Mr Healey told The Times. “I am looking to make this a criminal offence, with tough penalties for the worst offenders to deter those who are thinking of making a fast buck from council housing.”

House still has only one family in it whether it is let by the council or sublet by the tenant, so it seems Mr Healey's anger is against people making a profit. There a perfectly adequate civil legal process already in place, the desire to criminalise everything is the reason Mr Healey needs to face some justice that is neither civil nor legal.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Time to Hammer the Scots (and the Welsh, and the English..)

No cut to Scottish budget, says Brown
Mr Brown’s intervention yesterday means the two main Westminster parties are going into the general election offering to leave the Scottish government’s budget to stand but also warning that they cannot put off the pain forever.
The position of the two main UK parties means if Mr Salmond’s administration decide to spend the entire budget for the coming year they could face harsher cuts the following year, putting the onus on them to impose their own savings sooner.
A spokesman for the Scottish government said: “The Scottish budget has already been subjected to a 1.3 per cent real terms cut by Westminster — which amounts to £400 million — and there is no cash injection for next year despite the fragility of the recovery.”

No cut is a cut, 1.3% reduction is savage, it isn't even a rounding error. 10% could be found without anyone even noticing, 20% without anyone caring about the cuts in diversity services and the ilk and 40% before any "front line" services had to be reduced, and 60% before any of the services that should be provided, rather than just nice to be provided, are at risk

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Zappa, Montana - Are You In The Gang?

Conformity afflicts all ages – adults can just hide it better - Times Online

Because of its associations with rebellion and standing out from the crowd, pop music is especially adept at making people feel that they are asserting their individuality yet are part of a crowd. Disney, in particular, has finessed this contradictory message in recent years. The success of the music in Hannah Montana is predicated on its ability to make pre-teen pop fans this way. As adults we might think ourselves above such manipulation, but we all take succour in the thought that there are other people who like the music that we like. We all want to fit in somewhere. Even people who hate all music have Frank Zappa.

Umm, maybe sounds better after a trip to the greenhouse...

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

Cornflake Elfen Safety Defeats her Majesty

Queen withdraws from Canadian military tattoo in row over staircase - Times Online

The Queen, 83, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 88, had been due to attend the tattoo, the world’s largest indoor gathering of its kind, in Halifax in July as part of her official visit. Then someone raised the subject of the stairs and suddenly a simple royal engagement turned into something a lot more contentious.
The offending steps lead up to the 12ft-high stage where, it was suggested, the Queen could have addressed the tattoo. There are 17 of them, rising at an angle of 60 degrees.
Too steep, said the organisers in a report, and too dangerous for the royal couple. Not at all, said the Queen’s people: the Queen and the Duke are perfectly fit.
Indeed, the Queen regularly climbs the 47 steps of the grand staircase at Buckingham Palace. Even to get to the West Terrace from her garden after a stroll with the corgis requires a ten-step ascent. What is more, the Palace said, if she cannot address the tattoo from the platform then she would not be appearing at all.
Although it is only five years since the Queen and Prince Philip visited Canada, the Canadians may have forgotten that Windsor women are made of stern stuff. The Queen Mother was still making public appearances when she turned 100, while the Queen — as a Palace source pointed out — still goes riding regularly.

I think that was a Royal Raspberry to the new breed of Canadian.

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

March 28, 2010

Earth Hour UK - The Result.

About Earth Hour | WWF Earth Hour

On Saturday 27 March 2010 at 8.30pm, billions of people around the world switched off their lights for one hour – WWF’s Earth Hour. Show you care about climate change.

The Result:


Source: National Grid: Electricity demand - Last 24 Hours

A "massive success" they claim......

Posted by The Englishman at 3:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

As I Lie Bleeding, Scoop and Run

THE NHS has wasted more than £11m using ambulances as “waiting rooms” to get around Labour’s target that patients should be treated within four hours of entering casualty.
New figures reveal the time spent by crews waiting outside hospitals for their patients to be admitted last year was the equivalent to funding 31 fully staffed ambulances to do nothing for 24 hours a day.

It is not just the money, the NHS approach of using paramedics and doing anything possible to prevent immediate access to Casualty Rooms costs lives.
The two approaches are ALS: advanced life support and BLS: basic life support (also known as Scoop and Run).
ALS they fanny around for ages trying to save your life as you lie bleeding at the accident, BLS they slap a plaster on, support your neck and rush you to a hospital where real doctors can put you back together with all their fancy machines.

Here's a research paper for more details.

Critical Care | Full text | Pro/Con debate: The Scoop and Run approach is the best approach to trauma services organization

in an urban environment with relatively short transport times (the typical clinical setting of most published studies), there is no strong evidence supporting field ALS – and only a suggestion of harm. It is acknowledged that in very selected circumstances ALS maneuvers might be life-saving, but the rarity of such patients and the difficulty in maintaining competence if practiced only in these circumstances preclude any advantage at the population level to implementing prehospital ALS. During the design phase of a new trauma system in an urban setting, emphasis should be placed on efficient transport, on limited BLS interventions at the scene and on triage to a designated trauma center

How it works in practice:

In June 2007 the Channel 4 documentary Diana: The Witnesses in the Tunnel claimed that the first person to touch Diana was Dr. Maillez, who chanced upon the scene. He reported that Diana had no visible injuries but was in shock and he supplied her with oxygen.
The first police patrol officers arrived at the scene at 12.30. Shortly afterwards, the seven paparazzi on the scene were arrested. The Princess was removed from the car at 1:00 a.m. She then went into cardiac arrest. Following external cardiopulmonary resuscitation the Princess of Wales’ heart started beating again. She was moved to the SAMU ambulance at 1:18 a.m. The ambulance departed the crash scene at 1:41 a.m. and arrived at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital at 2:06 a.m. Despite attempts to save her, her internal injuries were too extensive: her heart had been displaced from the left to the right side of the chest, which tore the pulmonary vein and the pericardium. Despite lengthy resuscitation attempts, including internal cardiac massage, she died at 4 a.m

My advice is don't wait for an ambulance, rush the bleeding twitching body to the nearest hospital and barge into the casualty area, they really don't like blood on the floor in reception, and they really, really don't like people dying there, as it ruins their bonuses. The victim will get treated a lot quicker than Joe Mug who is circling the hospital car park waiting for a slot to be allowed to enter.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Illegal Smoking

Flame-thrower scooter owner arrested - Telegraph

He was held on suspicion of possessing an object converted into a firearm, and was released on unconditional police bail without charge until May 6 pending further police investigation.

I better get my mower retuned again....

Posted by The Englishman at 8:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Time for us to go European say Tories and Labour

Labour and Tories back clock change to give extra hour of daylight | The Observer

Labour and the Tories have been influenced by environmental, road safety and tourism campaigners, who have argued for a switch to GMT 1 in winter and GMT 2 in the summer.

Or change us to Central European Time as it is known. Stop the daft clock changing completely would be a more sensible idea, and if they don't want kiddies in Scotland walking to or from school in the dark, I always forget what the argument actually is, change the bloody time the school day starts, or finishes. Simples.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 27, 2010

Today I have mainly been eating trees


Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata is also known as Midland Hawthorn or May. The Bread and Butter Tree is another name, derived from farmers' practice of nibbling on the leaves and flowers in order to take the edge off their hunger before breakfast.

Umm, I think the tiny leaves would go nicely with some salty roast lamb. One to try.

Posted by The Englishman at 10:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 26, 2010

Friday Night is Music Night (Benefits of Clean Living Edition)

"after the gig they all went home, had a mug of cocoa and went straight to bed"

Posted by The Englishman at 6:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Rumpy Pumpy - Our Next Chancellor of the Exchequer

Sarkozy and Merkel plan for economic control agreed as part of Greek bailout - Times Online

The plan will put Herman Van Rompuy, the new permanent European Council President from Belgium, in charge of “the economic governance of Europe”.
The next government in London may also face a tough fight in Europe because the German Chancellor suggested yesterday that a new treaty would be needed to give the EU extra economic powers — despite the pledge from EU leaders last year that the Lisbon treaty would be good for a decade.
President Sarkozy last night added: “The economic government of Europe is the European Council, which has been taken up by the 16 . It is still a subject for debate among the 27 members because our English friends are not on the same line. But we are making progress.”
Mr Van Rompuy, who has made no secret of his desire for more central control in Brussels over Europe’s economic planning, has been asked to lead a task force of member states, and the European Central Bank to look at “all options” for EU economic governance.
Interpretations of economic governance means vary widely and the devil will be in the detail. It could be interpreted as handing to the European Council of EU leaders the ability to tell any country how to manage its national debt or to invest more in EU priority areas such as education or poverty reduction.

It won't matter if it Darling or the other one who is No 11, the real power will be elsewhere.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Espie Desperate

The new parliament must innovate to build a low-carbon economy | Jonathon Porritt | guardian.co.uk

...the government is pressing ahead regardless, and the speed and scope of new initiatives churning out of the Department of Energy and Climate Change at the moment is mind-boggling....What's already clear is that this will be the last parliament that will be able to do what needs to be done if we're to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act. That "80% cut by 2050" target provides a false sense of reassurance that we've still got decades to play with, and can therefore comfortably defer some of the difficult things we have to do for many years to come.
Pre-empting that kind of complacency is what the Green Alliance's new report....
And all of these will have to be underpinned by a concerted effort to rebuild public support for action on climate change. A huge amount of ground has been lost over the last year, partly because of the science controversy, and partly because the government's way of engaging with the general public (through the Act on CO2 Campaign) has been ill-judged and counter-productive.
You can't beat people into submission on climate change....

We have got to more, more, more whatever. Give us a break, please.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

National Betrayal of Trust

View Larger Map

If that only metric height sign was on a public road it would be illegal
- details. But as it is private land it is up to the owner what they put up, I suppose.

The owners claim that Kennet Council forced them to put up the signs. But did they have to put up just metric signs?

I doubt it, and as the owner is The National Trust who define their role as To ensure that... our heritage is here for ever, for everyone, then I think they are betraying that role by promoting a foreign system rather than help protect our traditional one.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2010

My Local Tory Candidate Lays Her Climate Cards On The Table

Climate quiz night in Marlborough (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)

Ms Claire Perry (Conservative) laid her cards on the table. She said: “I am of the 27 per cent of people who believe climate change is happening and is man made.

“It is imperative for the sovereignty of the country that there is appropriate technology to clean out carbon dioxide.

“Even if you don’t believe humans are causing climate change, you have to recognise there is an enormous and growing economy in green technology. We need energy security and there are massive business opportunities staring us in the face.”

Stick to the pots, love. I don't think I will be wearing your rosette.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Real Global Warming Graph As Approved by Sceptics

The Air Vent, the repeatedly alleged EVIL denialist blog, lucky unwitting recipient of the biggest scientific scandal of the last hundred years, hosting the proprietor who has been snipped from every advocate website, presents a global gridded temperature from the RAW-ish GHCN data, having a higher trend than the believers will publish....


That's what the data shows.

We”re stuck with it, and this result. Remember though, nothing in this post discusses the quality of the raw data. tAV has got a lot of information on data quality, for the coming days. In the meantime, consider what would cause such a huge difference in trend between the northern and southern hemispheres....

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

Darling, was it good for you?

Budget 2010: the losers - Telegraph
Are you a loser in the 2010 Budget?

Yes, as is anyone who works or has worked for a living.

Next question, what do we do about it?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 24, 2010

BBC - Global Warming Causes Mud To Move

BBC News - Disputed Bay of Bengal island 'vanishes' say scientists

A tiny island claimed for years by India and Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal has disappeared beneath the rising seas, scientists in India say.
The uninhabited territory south of the Hariabhanga river was known as New Moore Island to the Indians and South Talpatti Island to the Bangladeshis.
Professor Hazra said his studies revealed that sea levels in this part of the Bay of Bengal have risen much faster over the past decade than they had done in the previous 15 years.
And he predicts that in the coming decade other islands in the Sundarbans delta region will follow New Moore, or South Talpatti, beneath the waves.
"We will have ever larger numbers of people displaced from the Sunderbans as more island areas come under water," Prof Hazra said.

View Larger Map

The emergence of the island was first discovered by an American satellite in 1974 that showed the island to have an area of 2,500 sq meters (27,000 sq ft). Later, various remote sensing surveys showed that the island had expanded gradually to an area of about 10,000 sq meters (110,000 sq ft) at low tide, including a number of ordinarily submerged shoals. The highest elevation of the island had never exceeded two meters above sea level...it disappeared at some point in the first decades of the 2000's..

You wouldn't guess that it was a temporary muddy shoal from the BBC report - nor would you get the Tide Gauge readings to show the rising seas...

Bay%20of%20Bengal%20Tide%20Gauge.jpg +


Posted by The Englishman at 4:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Science Museum Returns to Climate Science After Advocacy Fails

Public scepticism prompts Science Museum to rename climate exhibition - Times Online

The Science Museum is revising the contents of its new climate science gallery to reflect the wave of scepticism that has engulfed the issue in recent months.
The decision by the 100-year-old London museum reveals how deeply scientific institutions have been shaken by the public’s reaction to revelations of malpractice by climate scientists.
The museum is abandoning its previous practice of trying to persuade visitors of the dangers of global warming. It is instead adopting a neutral position, acknowledging that there are legitimate doubts about the impact of man-made emissions on the climate.

Professor Rapley, a climate scientist and former director of the British Antarctic Survey research centre, said that the museum needed to remain neutral in order to be trusted: “The Science Museum will not state a position on whether or not climate change is real, driven by humans or threatening.”

“The climate science community, by and large, has concluded that humans have intervened in the system in a way that will lead to climate change. But that is their story. It’s not our story, so that can’t be our conclusion. If we take sides we will alienate some of the people who want to be part of the discussion.

“Although there is an extreme faction who very much disagree, there is a much bigger contingent who are not convinced. We want to welcome them into the debate by being as neutral and fairhanded as we can be.”

Professor Rapley said that the gallery, which is to open in November before the climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, would refrain from scaring visitors with apocalyptic predictions of rising sea levels and would be honest about the conflicting views on the scale of possible changes to the climate.

“You can argue about how much effect the carbon in the atmosphere will have on the system and what we should do about it,” he said. “The role of the museum should be to lay out honestly and fairly what the climate science community has found out about the science.

“There are areas of uncertainty which are perfectly reasonable to raise and we will present those. For example, the extent to which the climate is as sensitive to the CO2-loading that humans have put in or not.”

Posted by The Englishman at 8:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Facebook - the dirty toilet seat of our generation

Facebook 'linked to rise in syphilis' - Telegraph

The virus has increased fourfold in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular...
Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, said staff had found a link between social networking sites and the rise in cases, especially among young women.

The Times leads, on Budget Day, with a similar scare story, with "leading" Docs demanding a ban on Smoking in Motors, even your own car when you are alone. How soon before they discover that some websites harm you through passive smoking and demand they are banned as well....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Google Exposes @ Myth

Where it’s @ — symbol time forgot becomes modern icon at a stroke - Times Online
“The @ symbol is now part of the very fabric of life all over the world,” said Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the Department of Architecture and Design. “It has truly become a way of expressing society’s changing technological and social relationships, expressing new forms of behavior and interaction in a new world,” she said.

Google has never heard of an @, so I don't believe it exists.


Can't trust anything you read without checking.....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

If it is not in your own interest whose interest is it for?

Green living is not about doing the right thing for the wrong reason | James Garvey

Appealing to people's self-interest is a step in the right direction but may distract us from the huge changes that really need to be made...Small, self-interested tweaks are not significant enough when it comes to climate change....The UN estimates that there will be as many as 10 billion people by 2050. These new people will have natural desires not just for food, water, and shelter but for the material trappings of a good and decent life – things we presently secure almost exclusively by burning fossil fuels.
Will self-interest, finding something in it for us, really be enough to stop 10 billion people from burning most of the world's fossil fuel reserves?
...self-interest can only be part of our motivation for green action, not the whole of it.
We not only need to do the right thing, we have to do it for the right reasons – we have to go green, at least partly, for other people, not just to save ourselves money. Otherwise we won't go far enough.

So we can't get people to go green enough by appealing to their self interest, which means what? Compulsion I presume...

There was a Scot a long time ago who said:

“But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chuses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.”

He doesn't mention there the thieves and politicians who steal and extort from their fellow citizens to obtain their bread.

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

To The Rescue

How one man and his tractor saved a woman's life - Scotsman.com News

A COURAGEOUS farmer is to receive one of Britain's top bravery awards for the dramatic rescue of a female motorist who was trapped in a raging torrent during the November floods.
After he learned of his award yesterday, unassuming Andrew Rennie insisted: "I don't think I'm a hero – I just did what anyone else would have done. All I did was answer a call for assistance....
He was fast asleep in his farmhouse home at Gask Farm, near Turriff, when the phone rang. On the other end was a local fireman with a simple message: "There's a woman trapped in her car. Can you take something big and heavy with you – preferably a tractor?"
Mr Rennie, 41, recalled: "When I reached the scene it was pitch black, but there was fast flowing water everywhere. You couldn't see the car from where the fire engine was.
Mr Rennie, at the wheel of the massive tractor, then began to edge his way slowly along the flooded road, with a firefighter strapped, half in and half out, to each side of the cab.
He said: "I was trying to figure out where the edge of the road was because the water was so deep. I was worried the tractor would get swept away. You had to watch where you were driving because of the strong currents.
"The whole road was a river. The biggest fear was that the water had undermined the road and we could get stranded ourselves."
Slowly but surely they reached Mrs Catto's car which has been forced sideways on the carriageway by the force of the torrent and wedged against a bank.
The two firemen eventually managed to prise open one of the car doors and free her. Mr Rennie said:
"As soon as we got back to dry land she was taken away in the ambulance. I never saw Mrs Catto but her son came and thanked me personally later in the day."

Amazing and wonderful what firemen can do when there isn't a media officer laying down health and safety rules at the scene.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 23, 2010

Bohemian Badgers Rhapsody

Queen guitarist Brian May calls proposed badger cull ‘genocide’ - Times Online Badgers.jpgmay%20and%20dobson.jpg

“This would be genocide. To me, countries do not matter; badgers are not British, they belong to the world and they belong to everyone.”
He said that it made no more sense than if it could be proved that by killing all ginger-haired people smallpox could be eradicated.

Thanks Professor for the insight, just don't let your hair go grey in a streak....

Photo - Not a Pair of Badgers,

Or is it?


Posted by The Englishman at 8:02 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Dead Sheep - The Art of Wales

A dead sheep swept down a river on a fallen tree has helped to sink Wales’s answer to the Angel of the North.
A £600,000 public art project called Turbulence has been abandoned.
Jim Evans, one of the originators of the idea to bring a work of public art to West Wales, said: “Of course I am deeply disappointed. It is not pleasant to work in a town that says no to everything.”

Don't worry Jim I gather there still is a sheep tied to a lamppost just off Napier Street in Fair Field car park labelled "Leisure Centre".

Posted by The Englishman at 7:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Big Oil Carbon Biz Boss To Independently Investigate Big Oil Carbon Biz Evidence

Lord Oxburgh, the climate science peer, ‘has a conflict of interest’ - Times Online

A member of the House of Lords appointed to investigate the veracity of climate science has close links to businesses that stand to make billions of pounds from low-carbon technology.

Details, as ever at His Grace's.

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

Pre-emptive self defence against a soft drink

Policeman who hit G20 protester with baton mistook drink carton for weapon, court hears | The Guardian

A police sergeant twice struck a female G20 protester with a metal baton in what he said was "self-defence" after mistaking a carton of orange juice in her hand for a weapon, a court heard today.

Delroy Smellie, 47, a sergeant in the Metropolitan police, said he lashed out at Nicola Fisher, 36, in a "pre-emptive strike" during a confrontation outside the Bank of England on 2 April last year.

No comment as the case continues

Posted by The Englishman at 7:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 22, 2010

Oxfam Exposes Richard North Conspiracy

Left Tit Forward brings us news that Oxfam has commissioned a fascinating new study into the way climate sceptics’ networks operate. (What do you mean you thought Oxfam was about feeding starving babies...)
It discovered that the sceptic community is extraordinarily well-networked and interwoven, with sites like Climate Audit and Climate Depot acting as hubs for a wide range of other individual pundits and bloggers.
Blah de blah, conspiracy, shadowy paymasters blah, right wing think tanks you know how will all go.
They can't understand individuals getting on and actually doing something that they believe in with out having to belong to some huge organisation.
And the quality of the research that little old ladies bought with their Oxfam donations is such that it exposes a link between Richard North and Eu Referendum.

That proves it.



Posted by The Englishman at 9:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Help record the warming spring

Welcome to Nature’s Calendar
Here you can record and view seasonal events that show the impact of climate change on our wildlife.

Over the past 30 years phenology has provided biologists with clear evidence that spring is arriving earlier.

Richard, our science advisor also comments on a regular query we receive ‘if climate change is happening, why isn’t this year as warm as last?’

Scratching around to find a trend in the observations are we?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Global Warming Causes Flowers To Lose Smell

Flowers losing scent due to climate change

A rose may stop smelling like a rose.

This is the concern of environmentalists as flowers are losing their scent due to climate change and air pollution. And their fragrance may be lost forever.
Science and Technology Professor Emeritus at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Dr Abdul Latif Mohamad, said "The aroma producing chemical compounds in flowers dry up faster now compared with before."
The only way out, he said, was to genetically modify the flowers so that the effects would not be permanent and the future generation would not be robbed of nature's beauty.

Another one for the list, excuse me as rub myself with patchouli oil and put on the garlands and start strumming "where have all the flowers gone"....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Reassembling the Pieces of Persecution

Machine pieces together the ripped secrets of the East German state
As the East German state crumbled in 1989, Erich Mielke, the chief of the secret police, better known as the Stasi, ordered his minions to destroy the most incriminating files, the hard evidence of a state founded on fear, spying, blackmail and betrayal.
The Stasi’s flimsy electric shredders (Reisswolfs: literally rip-wolves) collapsed under the strain, so the secret police continued the job by hand, working around the clock for three months. An astonishing 45 million documents were ripped up, and stuffed into rubbish bags.
The authorities had planned to burn the paper in a remote quarry, but in the chaotic final days of the communist regime it proved impossible to assemble enough trucks for the journey. So the 16,000 bags were stored in the basement of the Stasi headquarters in Berlin.
The reunified German state insisted that the files be reconstructed, and a team of 30 in Nuremberg set about manually sticking the documents together using old-fashioned puzzle methods, tweezers and lots of sticky tape.
In 1996 Dr Nickolay, an expert in image processing at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Facilities and Construction Technology in Berlin, saw a television programme about the destroyed files and set about building a prototype machine that could do the job automatically. The result is the E-puzzler, the most sophisticated digital pattern-recognition system in the world....

.....some oppose the reconstruction, arguing that it will only serve to damage reputations and reopen old wounds. Some prominent figures, including Helmut Kohl, the former chancellor, have demanded that their files remain closed.
The project is expected to cost at least £7 million a year to run and funding has been slow in coming.

I expect, and hope, that some prominent people lie awake sweating at the thought their file will be reassembled.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Turn Hadrian's Wall around

Drought, refugees, revolution and war – military prepares for climate doomsday

Gwynne Dyer, an influential lecturer in international affairs, said if the climate continues to change at its current rate there will be global conflict in decades.
Tens of millions of climate refuges unable to feed themselves in their own dried-up countries will aim for places like Scotland where conditions will remain favourable.

If Scotland is the answer then we are in deep, deep trouble.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Gullible Investment Bank to Launch

Conservatives unveil 12-point UK energy agenda including a public-private Green Investment Bank designed to further increase investment in low-carbon projects.

Budget 2010: Darling aims to launch green investment bank
Alistair Darling will use the Budget to announce the creation of a new state bank, backed by £2bn of public and private cash, which will help finance companies planning to build green energy projects and high-speed rail links. The venture is designed as a key plank in the Chancellor's platform for building growth and investment over the next decade.

Remind what the difference between them is again?

What happened to Tories and the free market? | Carl Mortished - Times Online

In a key area of economic policy — the bit that keeps the lights on, the house warm and the factories humming — the Tories have abandoned the free market and are now firmly in favour of a planned economy.
The Government has produced myriad policy documents addressing these problems but none is as radical as this. Mr Cameron wants to do nothing less than lead our energy industry by the nose with price-fixing, market-rigging regulation and state-directed investment.

Thanks, Labour are the slightly more in favour of free enterprise...

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

March 21, 2010

A bunch

Four Labour MPs implicated in 'cash for influence' scandal - Telegraph
Stephen Byers,
Patricia Hewitt,
Geoff Hoon and
Margaret Moran

I haven't laughed so much since granny caught her left tit in the mangle...

Posted by The Englishman at 3:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 20, 2010

Ploughmen of England

Ploughmen%20of%20England.jpgLocal Ploughing Match this Morning

For what avail the plough or sail,
Or land or life, if freedom fail?

Posted by The Englishman at 2:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's England France today

I think it could be a long painful day today - three games to watch at the Pub has been negotiated, if I want.
I may take a book along with me...

Posted by The Englishman at 8:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2010

Friday Night is Music Night (A Sally For Every Generation Edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 5:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Weather, not climate, hurts wildlife

BBC News - Fears harsh winter harmed UK wildlife
The harsh winter may have had a devastating impact on Britain's wildlife, it has been warned.

BBC News - Harsh Scottish winter leaves starving deer
Thousands of deer are thought to be at risk of starvation in Scotland following this year's harsh winter.
In Sutherland, there are fears that an entire generation will be lost due to the winter weather.

BBC News - 'Wildlife in crisis' in frozen UK
Britain's wildlife is being pushed to "the brink of a crisis" as sub-zero temperatures continue to grip the nation, according to conservationists.

No prize for guessing what two words beginning with C aren't used in these reports.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Filthy Libertarian Profits

Condoms: Lie back and think of England - Times Online

Britain donates more than a thousand condoms a minute to the developing world. It’s an unsung success story that should make our nation proud

the buzzword in condoms is “social marketing”, creating sexy looking brands for people to buy, which disguise the fact they are heavily subsidised by aid money. The biggest social marketer of condoms is Population Services International (PSI), an organisation with fascinating roots. It was set up in the 1970s by the American philanthropist Phil Harvey, who created a US pornography business to fund contraceptives for the Third World. As one of his employees put it, Harvey “steals from the horny to give to the poor”. (Harvey is no longer connected to PSI).

Phil Harvey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Phil Harvey is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist and libertarian who over the past 30 years has set up large-scale programs that deliver subsidized contraceptives in poor countries. Harvey is the president of DKT International, the Washington, D.C.-based charity that implements family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in 15 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is also the chief sponsor of the Liberty Project which raises awareness about freedom of speech issues in the U.S. Harvey is also the president of Adam & Eve, the North Carolina–based company that sells sex toys, pornographic films and condoms.
Over these years, Harvey has used profits from Adam & Eve to supplement support from international donors to protect millions of poor couples from unwanted pregnancies and HIV infections. During 2008 DKT International provided 17 million couple years of protection (CYPs).

Seems like helping the poor overseas isn't just the reserve of the uptight socialists using taxpayer money...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Pushbike Prats

Bloody tax-dodgers! (And there’s millions of ‘em) – I Pay Road Tax

Some motorists feel they own the road because “they pay for it”. Some hate on cyclists for being ‘tax-dodgers’ even though roads are paid for by general taxation not road tax, which was finally abolished in 1936, a process started by Winston Churchill in 1926. [It's car tax, not road tax - the clue is in the real name, Vehicle Excise Duty].

It's not a car tax, I can keep and drive whatever large engined monster i like on private property and roar around the estate as fast as i like belching out as much CO2 as I like without paying a penny. It is a tax to have a car on the road. Nice smooth shiny back stuff that makes it possible for you lycra wrapped numpties to pointlessly pedal in circles. Shut up and don't try and be the pedantic smart arse.

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

Labour's Money Laundering

Union behind BA strike receives £18m from taxpayers in ‘money-laundering’ deal with Labour
Francis Maude, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said: “This really looks like money laundering - taxpayers' money is being funnelled into Unite then put straight back into Labour's coffers.
“It's a real racket, with taxpayers' money being round-tripped into Gordon Brown's re-election fund. We must have much greater transparency on what unions are receiving from the Labour Government in return for their backhanders.”

Strong words, will the media pick up on it or continue to gasp over Ashcroft?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 18, 2010

Web Content Management Fail

(required immediately)

Closing date for applications is 3rd October 2008

As the latest news on the Dauntsey's School site is also September 2008 I guess they didn't recruit anyone, who could put a redirect on to their newer site which Google doesn't really know about.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Polar Populations Vary - Scary

Arctic birds and fish on the increase — as polar bears suffer decline - Times Online

The number of animals in the Arctic has increased during the past 40 years but those who live closest to the North Pole, such as polar bears, are disappearing, according to a new international study.
The report by the UN and other groups released in Miami yesterday concludes that birds, mammals and fish have increased by about 16 per cent since 1970, due mostly to the impact of hunting restrictions.
The biggest improvement was in the lower regions of the Arctic where the number of animals, especially those that live in the water, are up about 46 per cent. However, scientists are not celebrating the increase. Species in what is called the High Arctic dropped by a quarter between 1970 and 2004 and North American caribou are down by about one-third.
“What we’re seeing is that there’s winners and losers with rapid changes in the Arctic,” Louise McRae, another study co-author and conservation biologist at the Zoological Society of London, said that the drop in the High Arctic was troubling. That is because global warming occurs fastest in the region and is projected to worsen, so the pressure on species will only increase, she said.
There is not enough evidence to blame global warming for the loss of species but what is happening is “in line with what would be predicted with climate change,”

Go and read the report - and note for instance they only give figures for one small population of Polar Bears from western Hudson Bay. Brown Bears have suffered a much larger drop , and I thought they liked it warmer. Well the one on the floor in front of my fire does...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Troughers Licensed To Walk in Westminster

Video: Micro pig turns heads in London - Telegraph
Pig breeder, Jane Croft takes her three-month-old micro pig, Manuka on a sight-seeing trip around London.

I hope she applied for and was granted a Pet Pig Walking Licence.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mephedrone - The Fact

Q&A: Banning mephedrone - Times Online

Stupid people are taking this crap because the safer better alternatives are illegal.
And your solution to that is what?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 17, 2010

Best Drive in Wiltshire?

View Larger Map

I can't think of many better drives than the one I did today, anywhere in the world. Enjoy looking round with Google StreetView. (It is a shame they haven't got the pedestrian view from the terrace in Shaftesbury or from the Pub's balcony.)

Posted by The Englishman at 11:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Catlin On Acid

They are back on the ice!

Catlin Arctic team brave thin ice and polar bears to monitor acid oceans | guardian.co.uk

Polar ice melting, global warming that is all SO last year, it is all Ocean Acidification this year. Get with it, the sceptics can't argue with CAOA....

Posted by The Englishman at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Filthy TV Rubbish Before The Watershed!


Seen in Wilton today

Posted by The Englishman at 8:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Record Rainfall in the UK

BBC News - It's still real and it's still a problem

The evidence of change is indeed there.
The glaciers of the Alps and the Himalayas are retreating. Weather patterns around the world are becoming more erratic and more extreme.
The most intensive rainfall ever experienced in one location over a 24-hour period in England fell on Cumbria last November, and caused the tragic consequences of the severe flooding that we saw in Cockermouth, Keswick and Workington.
We cannot say for certain that these things - or indeed the intense heat recently experienced in Australia, or the droughts in Kenya - were caused by climate change.
But we can see with our own eyes that climatic, weather and temperature trends are changing, and we know that these hitherto exceptional events are likely to become more frequent over coming years.

So what does the record rainfall series in the UK look like?


Source : Record-breaking rainfall - the list of highest daily rainfall in the UK

Is that a trend or a random walk? Of course with records only higher ones are recorded as time goes on and much statistical analysis has been done on such things. Stuff like using Markov Chains to estimate the probability of rare events, I wouldn't dare try and expand on the theory and show up my ignorance, but others can.

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

Scottish Salmon Slicers Claim Subsidies

'Energy bonanza' to power 750,000 homes - Scotsman.com News

SCOTLAND has taken a world-leading role in the emerging multi-billion-pound marine energy industry by approving ten projects with the potential to power almost a third of the country's homes.
First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland could "rule the waves", as he unveiled the seven winners of a fierce two-year competition for leases that attracted applications from 20 companies worldwide. It is estimated the projects could create as many as 5,000 jobs in Scotland.
Today, the UK government will unveil its latest energy strategy, which includes more funding to drive forward the low-carbon industry.
However, there were warnings that huge challenges remain before the marine energy sector, which is relatively unproven, can take off. And taxpayers will have to fork out an estimated £1bn to create new infrastructure, such as an upgraded electricity grid and overhauled ports.
The investment needed for the ten projects would be, at about £4bn, similar to the cost of a new nuclear reactor. This will have to be funded entirely by the companies that won the ten leases, which also include Scottish and Southern Energy and E.on, bringing a likely cost to the consumer.
Prof Salter called for more financial support from government and added: "All they have done is say, 'Right, you can use your allotment, here's your licence'. They are not giving them the money for it. We are not doing enough at the moment.
"The guys who are doing this are desperately short of money."

Tidal power seems to be more sensible than wind but they are all only very happy because Scottish jobs are being created on the UK's taxpayers dollar, and that is seen as a success. Jobs Is Costs not a benefit.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Future is Girly Men

Masculine faces appeal most to women in countries where disease is rife | guardian.co.uk

Women who live in healthier countries prefer more feminine-looking men, compared with women living in regions where life-threatening diseases are rife, psychologists say. Their research suggests masculine men have the greatest appeal for women who live in areas where a strong genetic make-up is critical for survival.
Women in Mexico, one of the least healthy countries in the study, preferred masculinised faces 54% of the time, compared with only 32% of the time for women in Sweden, which is one of the healthiest countries in the world. In Britain, women preferred the more masculine faces 43% of the time.

So where genetic fitness is less important it is less important, and it is only going to get less so. Sometimes I'm glad I'm out of the running.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2010

I have a little list...from the TaxPayers Alliance

The public sector trade union UNISON recently launched an online video which claimed that cutting public spending meant leaving people without 999 operators, bin men or nurses.
In response, we now present an edited version of their film, which demonstrates the wide range of absurd non-jobs throughout the public sector which could be abolished without any impact at all on front line services.
All of these jobs are real posts in various branches of the public sector.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

IPCC - Wrong and Too Conservative - RealClimate

IPCC under fire in blogosphere for 'sealevelgate' | guardian.co.uk

From RealClimate, part of the Guardian Environment Network

In its latest report, the IPCC has predicted up to 59 cm of sea level rise by the end of this century. But realclimate soon revealed a few problems....IPCC would never have published an implausibly high 3 meter upper limit like this, but it did not hesitate with the implausibly low 59 cm. That is because within the IPCC culture, being "alarmist" is bad and being "conservative" (i.e. underestimating the potential severity of things) is good.
Why do I find this IPCC problem far worse than the Himalaya error? Because it is not a slip-up by a Working Group 2 author who failed to properly follow procedures and cited an unreliable source. Rather, this is the result of intensive deliberations by Working Group 1 climate experts. Unlike the Himalaya mistake, this is one of the central predictions of IPCC, prominently discussed in the Summary for Policy Makers. What went wrong in this case needs to be carefully looked at when considering future improvements to the IPCC process.
And let's see whether we learn another lesson here, this time about society and the media. Will this evidence for an underestimation of the climate problem by IPCC, presented by an IPCC lead author who studies sea level, be just as widely reported and discussed as, say, faulty claims by a blogger about "Amazongate"?

Ummm - The RealClimate story is three years old and didn't get any traction then. And this resurrection attempt smacks of desperation.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Keep Turkey Mating Local

Turkey bans trips abroad for artificial insemination - Telegraph

Turkey Information Sheet
They are unable to mate naturally so artificial insemination (AI) is routine. This procedure involves the male breeding turkeys being repeatedly ‘milked’ for semen collection, whilst females (hens) have to endure the process of being caught and inseminated by tube/syringe. AI completely frustrates the natural mating instincts of turkeys and is distressing for both stags and hens.

Especially I guess if they have been whisked abroad on the promise of a romantic break; keep them in Norfolk and they won't know any different.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I'll take Tea please

America wakes up to the Coffee Party | Joseph Huff-Hannon | guardian.co.uk

A group of liberal-leaning New Yorkers meeting at a place called Le Monde Café to discuss the politics of the day.....group adherence to a "civility pledge" (" … I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process"), the inaugural National Coffee Party Day was called to order. Wayne Jacques, one of the facilitators of the meeting, told me. "We wanted to make sure this thing doesn't dissolve in to a shouting match. .. frustration that the shrill voices of a newly energised grassroots right (ie the so-called Tea Party) are getting all the attention.

Anyone called Wayne who is a "Facilitator" isn't some one I'm going to enjoy a drink with.

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

Shopping Channel

My Firearm Certificate is up for renewal and so I have been browsing for what additions I should ask for. I feel a need for a P14...

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

March 15, 2010

Country is going to the Poodles

Police back Hampshire village’s patrols against antisocial behaviour - Times Online

When Marilyn Hebbron bought her house by the green in a Hampshire village she had not planned to become a crime-fighting pioneer.
It was only after she was kept awake night after night by youths who congregated on the green, and woke up morning after morning to find the green littered with bottles, drug paraphernalia and occasional comatose teenagers, that she decided to act.
She rallied her middle-class neighbours in the village of Four Marks and organised street patrols...She said: “Parties were being held until 4am on the green with lots of noise and inappropriate sexual behaviour. Come daylight teenagers would still be lying about on the roads.

Bloody incomers ruining the traditional rural way of life with their la-di-da oh so bloody nice, just a glass of Pinot Grigio, lace curtain twitching, pursed mouth tutting views of life. What are the local kids meant to do now if they can't party with lots of noise and "inappropriate sexual behaviour" on the village green?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:48 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Paying for the fantasy

Energy bills to go up with tough EU clampdown on greenhouse gas emissions - Times Online

Energy bills will rise but thousands of jobs could be created in green industries under a European plan to impose the world’s most stringent restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Government will today support a proposal tabled in Brussels for a new, much more onerous EU target for cutting carbon dioxide...The EU has already gone farther than the rest of the world by making a legally binding commitment to cut emissions by 20 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020. It is now preparing to raise the target to 30 per cent despite the failure of December’s climate change summit in Copenhagen.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has calculated the cost to Britain of its contribution to the 30 per cent target but is refusing to publish the research.
A DECC spokeswoman said: “It is the UK’s view that, given the right conditions, the EU should move to 30 per cent.”
She said that the DECC had rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act for details of the cost of moving to the 30 per cent target “because we feel it would weaken the UK negotiating position in climate negotiations”.

The EU at Work, The Planned Destruction of Our Industry, The Belief in Subsidised Jobs, CO2 Reduction Targets, Official Secrecy and The Cavalier Attitude to Our Money - where to start?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:35 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 14, 2010

Sir John Houghton - We Aren't Alarmist Enough

We climate scientists are not ecofanatics
If the IPCC has a fault, it is that its reports have been too cautious, not alarmist
John Houghton

John%20Houghton.jpg The IPCC is not a self-selected group of scientists with a political agenda.... The IPCC is too big an organisation to be captured by an ideological cabal or fall foul of group-think... I was chairman or co-chairman of the Science Working Group from 1988–2002, through the first three IPCC reports.... We had no preconceived agenda regarding our conclusions.
The IPCC process also makes it impossible for green propaganda to be slipped in... a report from Greenpeace or any other campaigning body would not be included because the science would not be considered robust enough.
A further myth is that the IPCC is alarmist. In truth, it’s far easier to find what now looks like excessive caution in IPCC reports.
Perhaps there is a criticism that can be made of IPCC scientists: they have been too slow publicly to defend their integrity. They have not been willing or able to hit the airwaves or make their case in newspapers. But scientists are now faced by powerful lobbies who are working to distort and discredit the science behind climate change. We scientists have facts on our sides — we must not be afraid to deploy them.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Timmy Too Late Elsewhere

Adonis strategy on drink-driving is the absolute limit | Tim Worstall - Times Online
The basic deal in Britain between rulers and ruled is that we’ll obey the laws as long as they don’t make any obviously stupid ones...we aren’t scofflaws because we tend not to have laws at which we scoff. .

Too late, Timmy, too late. The law is openly scoffed because of overlegislation, and we are all poorer for that.

4,300: How Labour has created a new crime every day since 1997 - Times Online
4,300 offences created by the Labour government since 1997 — an avalanche of legislation. It equates to an average of 28 offences every month since Labour came to power and it is getting worse. Under Gordon Brown the creation of offences has risen to 33 a month.
For the period since the war to around the 1980s you saw one major criminal justice bill each decade, but since 1997 we’ve seen more than 50.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Beware the Ides of March

File under classical education.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 13, 2010

Act on C02 Bedtime Story OK Because IPCC Says So

Read the ASA adjudication on climate change adverts | guardian.co.uk

As the little girl says...

Posted by The Englishman at 8:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

England - Scotland Warm-up Videos

And the Scotch have forgotten their grievance over this, not...

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

Enquiring into our libel laws

Want to see for yourself how English libel law stops you accessing
websites? Go to the National Enquirer website http://www.nationalenquirer.com They've blocked access to anyone in the UK because they fear a libel action in London.

( anonymizer.nntime.com allows me to pretend I'm in the States. )

Libel Reform Campaign - Free Speech Is Not For Sale has more.

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

March 12, 2010

ManBearPig to Eat All the Polar Bears

US to lobby for endangered species listing for polar bear | Environment | guardian.co.uk

"Sea ice changes will likely negatively impact polar bears by increasing energetic demands of seeking prey. As changes in habitat become more severe and seasonal rates of change more rapid, catastrophic mortality events that have yet to be realised on a large scale are expected to occur."
It adds: "A precautionary approach, which includes polar bears in Cites appendix I, is necessary to ensure that primarily commercial trade does not compound the threats posed to the species by loss of habitat."

Can you spot the weasel words which give away the truth that problem they want to solve doesn't yet exist?

Posted by The Englishman at 11:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Public Doubt in CAGW Won't Last

Slide in climate change belief is a temporary glitch | Damian Carrington | guardian.co.uk

Is the world warming and are we causing it? The number of people confidently saying yes to that question has slipped sharply over recent weeks, if opinion polls on both sides of the Atlantic are to be believed. That looks like bad news for those arguing that major changes to how we travel, power our homes and feed ourselves are needed to avoid catastrophe....
it seems it took a perfect storm of snow, scientific doubt and political failure to dent public acceptance of the reality of global warming by about 10%.....
For greens that could be encouraging, as all those factors will fade. For sceptics, it's more likely to be worrying, as they have never had it so good in recent years.

The genie can be put back in the bottle...

Posted by The Englishman at 11:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday Night is Music Night (From The Dusty Archives Edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 5:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What rein can hold licentious wickedness When down the hill he holds his fierce career?

Cheese-rolling race axed after 200 years... thanks to health and safety killjoys

Health and Safety - can you see any problem?

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,

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

Our Bill of Rights and Liberties

Many have argued that our Bill of Rights should be respected and obeyed so it is heartening to see some doughty MPs leaping to its defence. I do hope that as they grasp at a bizarre interpretation of one of its clauses that they have always fully observed, defended and argued for all the other ones which protect the right of the subject against the overbearing power of the state. To suggest they haven't would be to accuse them of being cynical self-serving troughers.


An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling
the Succession of the Crown

Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons assembled at
Westminster, lawfully, fully and freely representing all the estates of
the people of this realm, did upon the thirteenth day of February in the
year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty-eight [old style date]
present unto their Majesties, then called and known by the names and
style of William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, being present
in their proper persons, a certain declaration in writing made by the
said Lords and Commons in the words following, viz.:


Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil
counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to
subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties
of this kingdom;

By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of
laws and the execution of laws without consent of Parliament;

By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates for humbly
petitioning to be excused from concurring to the said assumed power;

By issuing and causing to be executed a commission under the great seal
for erecting a court called the Court of Commissioners for
Ecclesiastical Causes;

By levying money for and to the use of the Crown by pretence of
prerogative for other time and in other manner than the same was granted
by Parliament;

By raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of
peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to

By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the
same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law;

By violating the freedom of election of members to serve in Parliament;

By prosecutions in the Court of King's Bench for matters and causes
cognizable only in Parliament, and by divers other arbitrary and illegal

And whereas of late years partial corrupt and unqualified persons have
been returned and served on juries in trials, and particularly divers
jurors in trials for high treason which were not freeholders;

And excessive bail hath been required of persons committed in criminal
cases to elude the benefit of the laws made for the liberty of the

And excessive fines have been imposed;

And illegal and cruel punishments inflicted;

And several grants and promises made of fines and forfeitures before any
conviction or judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be

All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and
statutes and freedom of this realm;

And whereas the said late King James the Second having abdicated the
government and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the prince
of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious
instrument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power)
did (by the advice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and divers
principal persons of the Commons) cause letters to be written to the
Lords Spiritual and Temporal being Protestants, and other letters to the
several counties, cities, universities, boroughs and cinque ports, for
the choosing of such persons to represent them as were of right to be
sent to Parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster upon the two and
twentieth day of January in this year one thousand six hundred eighty
and eight [old style date], in order to such an establishment as that
their religion, laws and liberties might not again be in danger of being
subverted, upon which letters elections having been accordingly made;

And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons,
pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled
in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most
serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid,
do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually
done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and
liberties declare:

That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws
by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal;

That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of
laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late,
is illegal;

That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for
Ecclesiastical Causes, and all other commissions and courts of like
nature, are illegal and pernicious;

That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of
prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other
manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal;

That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all
commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;

That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time
of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;

That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence
suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;

That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament
ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of

That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines
imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which
pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;

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

And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending,
strengthening and preserving of the laws, Parliaments ought to be held

And they do claim, demand and insist upon all and singular the premises
as their undoubted rights and liberties, and that no declarations,
judgments, doings or proceedings to the prejudice of the people in any
of the said premises ought in any wise to be drawn hereafter into
consequence or example; to which demand of their rights they are
particularly encouraged by the declaration of his Highness the prince of
Orange as being the only means for obtaining a full redress and remedy

Having therefore an entire confidence that his said Highness the prince
of Orange will perfect the deliverance so far advanced by him, and will
still preserve them from the violation of their rights which they have
here asserted, and from all other attempts upon their religion, rights
and liberties, the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons
assembled at Westminster do resolve that William and Mary, prince and
princess of Orange, be and be declared king and queen of England, France
and Ireland and the dominions thereunto belonging, to hold the crown and
royal dignity of the said kingdoms and dominions to them, the said
prince and princess, during their lives and the life of the survivor to
them, and that the sole and full exercise of the regal power be only in
and executed by the said prince of Orange in the names of the said
prince and princess during their joint lives, and after their deceases
the said crown and royal dignity of the same kingdoms and dominions to
be to the heirs of the body of the said princess, and for default of
such issue to the Princess Anne of Denmark and the heirs of her body,
and for default of such issue to the heirs of the body of the said
prince of Orange. And the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do
pray the said prince and princess to accept the same accordingly.

And that the oaths hereafter mentioned be taken by all persons of whom
the oaths have allegiance and supremacy might be required by law,
instead of them; and that the said oaths of allegiance and supremacy be

"I, A.B., do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful and
bear true allegiance to their Majesties King William and Queen Mary. So
help me God."

"I, A.B., do swear that I do from my heart abhor, detest and abjure as
impious and heretical this damnable doctrine and position, that princes
excommunicated or deprived by the Pope or any authority of the see of
Rome may be deposed or murdered by their subjects or any other
whatsoever. And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate,
state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power,
superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual,
within this realm. So help me God."

Upon which their said Majesties did accept the crown and royal dignity
of the kingdoms of England, France and Ireland, and the dominions
thereunto belonging, according to the resolution and desire of the said
Lords and Commons contained in the said declaration.

And thereupon their Majesties were pleased that the said Lords Spiritual
and Temporal and Commons, being the two Houses of Parliament, should
continue to sit, and with their Majesties' royal concurrence make
effectual provision for the settlement of the religion, laws and
liberties of this kingdom, so that the same for the future might not be
in danger again of being subverted, to which the said Lords Spiritual
and Temporal and Commons did agree, and proceed to act accordingly.

Now in pursuance of the premises the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal
and Commons in Parliament assembled, for the ratifying, confirming and
establishing the said declaration and the articles, clauses, matters and
things therein contained by the force of law made in due form by
authority of Parliament, do pray that it may be declared and enacted
that all and singular the rights and liberties asserted and claimed in
the said declaration are the true, ancient and indubitable rights and
liberties of the people of this kingdom, and so shall be esteemed,
allowed, adjudged, deemed and taken to be; and that all and every the
particulars aforesaid shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed
as they are expressed in the said declaration, and all officers and
ministers whatsoever shall serve their Majesties and their successors
according to the same in all time to come.

And the said
Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, seriously considering how it
hath pleased Almighty God in his marvellous providence and merciful
goodness to this nation to provide and preserve their said Majesties'
royal persons most happily to reign over us upon the throne of their
ancestors, for which they render unto him from the bottom of their
hearts their humblest thanks and praises, do truly, firmly, assuredly
and in the sincerity of their hearts think, and do hereby recognize,
acknowledge and declare, that King James the Second having abdicated the
government, and their Majesties having accepted the crown and royal
dignity as aforesaid, their said Majesties did become, were, are and of
right ought to be by the laws of this realm our sovereign liege lord and
lady, king and queen of England, France and Ireland and the dominions
thereunto belonging, in and to whose princely persons the royal state,
crown and dignity of the said realms with all honours, styles, titles,
regalities, prerogatives, powers, jurisdictions and authorities to the
same belonging and appertaining are most fully, rightfully and entirely
invested and incorporated, united and annexed. And for preventing all
questions and divisions in this realm by reason of any pretended titles
to the crown, and for preserving a certainty in the succession thereof,
in and upon which the unity, peace, tranquility and safety of this
nation doth under God wholly consist and depend, the said Lords
Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do beseech their Majesties that it
may be enacted, established and declared, that the crown and regal
government of the said kingdoms and dominions, with all and singular the
premises thereunto belonging and appertaining, shall be and continue to
their said Majesties and the survivor of them during their lives and the
life of the survivor of them, and that the entire, perfect and full
exercise of the regal power and government be only in and executed by
his Majesty in the names of both their Majesties during their joint
lives; and after their deceases the said crown and premises shall be and
remain to the heirs of the body of her Majesty, and for default of such
issue to her Royal Highness the Princess Anne of Denmark and the heirs
of the body of his said Majesty; and thereunto the said Lords Spiritual
and Temporal and Commons do in the name of all the people aforesaid most
humbly and faithfully submit themselves, their heirs and posterities for
ever, and do faithfully promise that they will stand to, maintain and
defend their said Majesties, and also the limitation and succession of
the crown herein specified and contained, to the utmost of their powers
with their lives and estates against all persons whatsoever that shall
attempt anything to the contrary.

And whereas it hath been found by experience that it is inconsistent
with the safety and welfare of this Protestant kingdom to be governed by
a popish prince, or by any king or queen marrying a papist, the said
Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do further pray that it may be
enacted, that all and every person and persons that is, are or shall be
reconciled to or shall hold communion with the see or Church of Rome, or
shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a papist, shall be
excluded and be for ever incapable to inherit, possess or enjoy the
crown and government of this realm and Ireland and the dominions
thereunto belonging or any part of the same, or to have, use or exercise
any regal power, authority or jurisdiction within the same; and in all
and every such case or cases the people of these realms shall be and are
hereby absolved of their allegiance; and the said crown and government
shall from time to time descend to and be enjoyed by such person or
persons being Protestants as should have inherited and enjoyed the same
in case the said person or persons so reconciled, holding communion or
professing or marrying as aforesaid were naturally dead; and that every
king and queen of this realm who at any time hereafter shall come to and
succeed in the imperial crown of this kingdom shall on the first day of
the meeting of the first Parliament next after his or her coming to the
crown, sitting in his or her throne in the House of Peers in the
presence of the Lords and Commons therein assembled, or at his or her
coronation before such person or persons who shall administer the
coronation oath to him or her at the time of his or her taking the said
oath (which shall first happen), make, subscribe and audibly repeat the
declaration mentioned in the statute made in the thirtieth year of the
reign of King Charles the Second entitled, _An Act for the more
effectual preserving the king's person and government by disabling
papists from sitting in either House of Parliament._ But if it shall
happen that such king or queen upon his or her succession to the crown
of this realm shall be under the age of twelve years, then every such
king or queen shall make, subscribe and audibly repeat the same
declaration at his or her coronation or the first day of the meeting of
the first Parliament as aforesaid which shall first happen after such
king or queen shall have attained the said age of twelve years.

All which their Majesties are contented and pleased shall be declared,
enacted and established by authority of this present Parliament, and
shall stand, remain and be the law of this realm for ever; and the same
are by their said Majesties, by and with the advice and consent of the
Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament assembled and by
the authority of the same, declared, enacted and established

II. And be it further declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid,
that from and after this present session of Parliament no dispensation
by _non obstante_ of or to any statute or any part thereof shall be
allowed, but that the same shall be held void and of no effect, except a
dispensation be allowed of in such statute, and except in such cases as
shall be specially provided for by one or more bill or bills to be
passed during this present session of Parliament.

III. Provided that no charter or grant or pardon granted before the
three and twentieth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand
six hundred eighty-nine shall be any ways impeached or invalidated by
this Act, but that the same shall be and remain of the same force and
effect in law and no other than as if this Act had never been made.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 11, 2010

The IPCC review

BBC - Richard Black's Earth Watch on the forthcoming review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Will it be more widely trusted?

It's possible to divide published opinions on the issue into three broad categories: those who are only concerned with getting the message across that man-made climate change is an over-riding threat requiring urgent action, those who are concerned about the issue but are more concerned by what they see as lack of rigour and transparency within the IPCC, and those who are convinced that global warming is a fraud anyway and the IPCC one of the lead swindlers....

...how independent the scientists on the Inter-Academy Council's review panel will be from the scientists who contributed work to the IPCC in the first place. There's also the wider point that some of the institutions involved with the Inter-Academy Council, such as the UK's Royal Society, have taken a very public stance on climate change.
But to assume this will automatically cause problems for the review is, I think, to misunderstand its nature and purpose.
It is not a review of climate science - some would say it ought to be, but it isn't, it's a review of IPCC practice ..
Will the Inter-Academy Council choose to make use of expertise from fields apparently unrelated to climate science? We shall see - and that, perhaps, will be one of the factors that determines how meaningful and visionary the review turns out to be, and how it is eventually perceived.

And we will be watching it carefully - we have seen to many inside job reviews already. To restore trust it needs to be rigorous, independent and from outside the circled wagons.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig...

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

You Be The Judge

Be your own judge: try your hand at sentencing - Times Online

The launch of an interactive website, You Be the Judge (http://ybtj.cjsonline.gov.uk/) will give the public a chance to pass their own sentences on real cases, working through mitigating and aggravating factors. The aim was to help the public to understand that sentencing was not just an arbitrary decision but a difficult and complex process, based on many factors.

Fun for the whole family - I've got the black wig on but I can't find the hang'em all button....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Irrelevant Chatter on Minimum Pricing

Ordinary drinkers 'have nothing to fear' from minimum alcohol pricing - Scotsman.com News

As both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments debated the issue, the chair of the House of Commons health select committee, Kevin Barron, called for the measure to stem increasing rates of addiction and the multi-billion pound cost to society in terms of treatment and crime...

And not a mention about the EU court upholding opposition to minimum pricing.
They can blather on as much as they like in their expensive talking shops but the EU rules on this, not them. I don't expect the politicians to acknowledge this inconvenient truth, but you would think a journalist might.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2010

Freedom for Scottish Schools Inches Nearer

Scottish Tory proposals aim for less state control of education - Times Online

Scotland’s Education Secretary last night gave a guarded welcome to Conservative proposals for new schools funded by the taxpayer but run by independent charities or trusts. Such schools would be free to set their own priorities but could not seek private funding or operate a selective admissions policy.
In a surprising a response to the policy announcement, Michael Russell said he was open to “interesting proposals” and wanted debate on diverse forms of education delivery. He is to travel to Sweden — which operates a scheme like the one Conservatives want to import — on a fact-finding mission this weekend.

Another step closer to a better system, and refreshing it is across party boundaries. If only the Tories weren't so scared of, and Labour so in the pay of, the Education Establishment in England...

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

IPCC - Move along now, the experts will tell you all is fine.

UN to review errors made by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Times Online

The United Nations is to announce an independent review of errors made by its climate change advisory body in an attempt to restore its credibility.

That must be a use of the word "independent" that I'm not familiar with as its stated aim is to provide a PR whitewash.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games Plughole Logo

CONCERNS have been raised over the Glasgow Commonwealth Games logo


The new branding for the Games, which cost organisers £95,000, was launched amid a fanfare on Monday and is said to represent the unique aspects of the historic event.
The logo consists of four circles which represent different aspects of the Games. It is based around four numbers associated with the Games – the 20th time the Games have been held, the 17 sports represented, the 11 days of the competition and one host city. The second ring is precisely 17/20ths of the size of the full outer circle, and the third ring is 11/20ths of the size.
At the heart of the logo is the letter G standing for the host city. It was designed by Marque Creative, which was chosen from 66 contenders.

Critics have carped it looks just like money being poured down a plughole, which is they concede is only appropriate.

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

March 9, 2010


The Devil's Kitchen: This is how it should be done

Quite to repeat it again - THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE - he provides a commented potted analysis, the full article is here.

How reducing government makes us richer, freer and better - not a theory but a worked example from New Zealand.
No wonder we have turned our backs on the Commonwealth in favour of the overbearing EU.
Do read it, and copy it out in crayon and big letters for any Conservative you meet and ask them what is so bloody hard to understand?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The cock crows for the IPCC

Another error in the influential reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports has been identified. This one concerns the rate of expansion of sea ice around Antarctica... was brought to the IPCC Chapter 4 authors’ attention by several IPCC commenters.

And not corrected.

Three times the IPCC was warned that the obviously, blatantly idiotic global warming wildfire claims in the 3000 page AR4 report were actually idiotic. Three times the warnings were ignored.

That is two reports just this morning showing how the final IPCC report ignores inconvenient truths.

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

Postman Pat Demands Doggie ID

Crackdown on dangerous dogs to make microchips compulsory for all |
World news |

All dogs are to be compulsorily microchipped so that their owners can be more easily traced under a crackdown on dangerous dogs to be unveiled today.

The measures will be set out by the home secretary, Alan Johnson, who will point to rising public concern that "status dogs" are being used by some irresponsible owners to intimidate communities or as a weapon by gangs.
Much of the legal framework stems from the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, which used to be held up as an example of the poor quality of legislation passed by MPs in haste but has actually proved a resilient and useful law over the past 19 years.
The Home Office said yesterday: "While this legislation is an essential tool in tackling antisocial behaviour, the government wants to look at it again to ensure it is working as it should and enables the police, local authorities and the RSPCA to take swift action to protect the public and stop abuse."

A few problem dogs so all dogs are legislated against, why is this no surprise? And for the DDA to be announced a success shows the art of revisionist history to be alive and well.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

How do you like your eggs in the morning?

'Eating for two' may harm baby - Times Online

A high-calorie diet around the time of conception — and regular breakfasts — might increase the odds of a boy while women with a lower energy intake were more likely to give birth to a girl.
There has been a small but consistent decline of about one per 1,000 births annually in the proportion of boys being born in industrialised countries, including the UK, over the last 40 years.
Some researchers have suggested this could be because women have been consuming low fat foods and skipping breakfast, among other things.

The "harm" to baby in the headline seems to mean the extra risk it might be born male.

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

March 8, 2010

Church Of Climate Change Revivalist Meeting

The sermon:
Wanted: an eco prophet - Peter Preston - guardian.co.uk

What's to be done (except wait for a natural disaster that ends all argument – and much else besides)? First, through gritted teeth, say what won't work, what's been tried already and failed.
More jaw and Gore from politicians can't cut it. They have come to seem secondhand sources, merely parroting a frail scientific thesis. That goes, alas, for journalists, too – and for pressure groups issuing lurid warnings or staging angry demos. Those of us who are convinced, who believe in the necessity of action, haven't changed our minds. But we're not the point. The audience that matters is out there, sleeping or drifting. And rousing it will demand something different, not more of the same.... And the plain fact is that we surely need a prophet, not yet another committee. We need one passionate, persuasive scientist who can connect and convince – not because he preaches apocalypse in gory detail, but in simple, overwhelming terms. We need to be taught to believe by a true believer in a world where belief is the fatal, missing ingredient.

The congregation will now stand for Psalm 22
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head...

And now we will all sing: Cwm Rhondda - Guide me , O thou great Redeemer
Guide me, o thou great Redeemer, pilgrim through this barren land; I am weak, but thou art mighty: hold me with thy powerful hand: ...

Isn't belief and trust in the word so much more comforting than being sceptical and looking at the evidence....

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

ACPO Threat

Tories accuse senior police of giving political cover to Labour - Times Online
A Tory briefing document, seen by The Times, attacks the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), which represents the 350 most senior officers in England and Wales.
The three-page briefing note contains a critique of the structure of ACPO, pointing out that although it receives vast amounts of public money, the association is a private limited company that is not accountable to the public or Parliament and not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.
The document outlines how, despite its private status, ACPO accrued operational policing roles in counter-terrorism, civil emergencies, intelligence gathering and ports policing. It also has subsidiary companies providing criminal record checks, security advice and road safety training.
The Tory note accuses the body of “bankrolling a ‘gravy train’ of ex-police officers who retire with a substantial police pension and then take up either consultancy work or full-time employment with ACPO”. It adds: “Parliament has never had the opportunity to debate the role of what is arguably one of the most powerful publicly funded bodies in the UK.”
One police source told The Times: “I would be amazed if ACPO survived the election of a Conservative government.”

That's the good news, ACPO is a scandal;

Tory policy on policing and law and order is still being formulated,....

That's the unbelievable news, had no one told them there was likely to be an election soon and we want to know what they propose?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 7, 2010

Bang Tofu King Rights

Don’t mock my lentils: vegans to get discrimination rights - Times Online

VEGANS and teetotallers are to be given the same protection against discrimination as religious groups, under legislation championed by Harriet Harman, the equalities minister.
A code of practice explaining the legal implications of the equality bill states that religions need not be mainstream or well known for their adherents to gain protection. “A belief need not include faith or worship of a god or gods, but must affect how a person lives their life or perceives the world.”
The code, drawn up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, singles out vegans, who do not eat any animal products or wear leather, as meriting protection from religious discrimination.

Do hard drinking carnivores also merit protection, or are they not girly enough to need it?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Gone Walkabout

The Aborigines who've walked for 40,000 years | The Observer

Aborigines have handed down songs and legends about their lands for generations. Today they form an unbroken link to a mythical past – and a key to the future

The open landscape, the incomprehensible sweep of time, these men who have something none of the rest of us have, a continuous tie to songs, to stories, to art, to law, to a country and a path all going back at least 40,000 years. No other humans can claim this. It's difficult to believe that anything can pass down unchanged, though, for a thousand generations. Is that really possible? I also have trouble disengaging my modern critical mind.

Probably best not to disengage, stories like this need a healthy dose of scepticism. And quite what we are meant to learn from a culture that hasn't progressed in 40,000 years I'm not sure.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:50 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Rhino Farming

China buys up African rhinos ‘to farm for horn’ - Times Online

RHINOS, among the world’s most endangered and iconic animals, are being farmed on Chinese wildlife reserves in order to harvest their horns, a report by international conservation monitors has suggested.

The monitors have found that China has imported 141 live white rhino from South Africa since 2000, far more than is needed for tourism purposes.
They have also gathered evidence that the aim of the purchases is to set up rhino farms.
“The suspicion is that these rhinos are being aggregated into herds and farmed for their horns, which are valued for medicinal purposes,” said Tom Milliken of Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Good news all round you would think, wild rhinos will be less valuable and so safer, rhino horn can be harvested from live rhinos (it is only hair), the number of rhinos will increase and as the farmed ones will be well looked after.
So why is everyone up in arms about it?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quotes of the day

Raedwald: I've said before, anyone can make whatever 'lifestyle choice' they like, so long as they pay for it themselves. They can kill themselves with cocaine, overdose on rent boys, pickle themselves in Bollinger and bear bastards enough to staff a laundry - but don't ask me to live a frugal, industrious and responsible life to pay for it. Because I've had enough.

I Wish I Had Said That -
Yes, it would be nice to have evidence-based policy-making. But even if we can't get that, perhaps we can do away with policy-based evidence-making.

Posted by The Englishman at 4:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 6, 2010

Bob Ward and Erroneous Tree Rings

Bob Ward | guardian.co.uk

"hide the decline".

As is now well known, this phrase was referring to the practice of adding the instrumental temperatures since the 1960s to a proxy record compiled from tree rings that erroneously indicated a cooling over the last four decades of the 20th century.

The tree rings just happen to be in error on the recent bit of temperature history where we can check them, but are obviously right back 700 years ago, yeah right.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 5, 2010

Best Street in Britain? Google Fail

The general public was called upon by Google Street View to nominate their favourite streets...Strong contenders for the Most Picturesque Street include New College Lane in Oxford...

View Larger Map

Many a time I have walked down there on my way for some late night sustenance, follow the street in the video above and see if you agree.

But, but, but the camera doesn't go through the arch to carry on down
Queen's Lane

And you can't go up Queen's Lane to get to the prettiest bit either.

If Google is going to send out PR on streets at least they could actually bloody photograph them.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Friday Night is Music Night (No MGs Edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 5:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Met Office Admits Can't Forecast Beyond Five Days

BBC News - Met Office seasonal forecasts to be scrapped

"..the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather."
It said the UK is one of the hardest places to provide forecasts for due to its "size and location", making it "very hard to forecast much beyond a week".
However, it said its short-term forecasts are "extremely accurate".
The Met Office added that it would work towards developing the science of long range forecasting.

Posted by The Englishman at 12:40 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Annual Tractor Blogging


Five Years Ago

Posted by The Englishman at 11:01 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Lifting the Lid on Council Buggers

Research conducted by Big Brother Watch reveals that there are now 68 local authorities secreting microchips in the bins of residents, up from 42 a year earlier
To read the full report, which includes detailed information on every local authority, please click here.

As previously noted I went outside and tipped my bin over to have a look under the lip at the top - and here is what I found...



I can't seem to get it back in....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Spinning the Climate

Climate scientists must be absolutely honest about data | David Colquhoun | guardian.co.uk

If we want the public to continue to trust us as scientists, we must be absolutely open and never resort to spin or PR
It is no excuse, but it is perhaps a reason, for misconduct that the pressure to publish and produce results is now enormous in academia....Application of Thatcherite principles to science results in dishonesty, just as it does among bankers. That is what happens when science is run by people who don't do it.
It is not uncommon to read that science needs better PR. That is precisely not what is needed. PR exists to put only one side of the story, which makes it an essentially dishonest occupation. Its aims are the very opposite of those of science. The public aren't stupid: they often recognise when they are getting half the story.
It is particularly unfortunate that many universities have developed departments with names like "corporate communications".
The answer for climate science and indeed science in general has to be total openness. There is a growing trend for researchers in a variety of fields to place all original data and analysis methods openly on the web. That trend does not yet seem to have reached all of climate science yet, but it is the only way forward. Some people object to total openness on the grounds that the other side tells lies. In the case of climate change (and in the case of junk medicine too) that is undoubtedly true. The opponents are ruthlessly dishonest about facts. The only way to counter that is by being ruthlessly and visibly honest about what you know, and why.

Climate scientists plot to hit back at skeptics - Washington Times

Undaunted by a rash of scandals over the science underpinning climate change, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be "an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach" to gut the credibility of skeptics.
In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of "being treated like political pawns" and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.
"Most of our colleagues don't seem to grasp that we're not in a gentlepersons' debate, we're in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules," Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.

ABC JOANNE NOVA - The money trail

Sceptics are fighting a billion dollar industry aligned with a trillion dollar trading scheme. Big Oil's supposed evil influence has been vastly outdone by Big Government, and even those taxpayer billions are trumped by Big-Banking.
The big-money side of this debate has fostered a myth that sceptics write what they write because they are funded by oil profits. They say, follow the money? So I did and it's chilling. Greens and environmentalists need to be aware each time they smear with an ad hominem attack they are unwittingly helping giant finance houses.
The US government spent $79 billion on climate research and technology since 1989 - to be sure, this funding paid for things like satellites and studies, but it's 3,500 times as much as anything offered to sceptics. It buys a bandwagon of support, a repetitive rain of press releases, and includes PR departments of institutions like NOAA, NASA, the Climate Change Science Program and the Climate Change Technology Program. The $79 billion figure does not include money from other western governments, private industry, and is not adjusted for inflation. In other words, it could be…a lot bigger.
What the US Government has paid to one side of the scientific process pales in comparison with carbon trading. According to the World Bank, turnover of carbon trading reached $126 billion in 2008. PointCarbon estimates trading in 2009 was about $130 billion. This is turnover, not specifically profits, but each year the money market turnover eclipses the science funding over 20 years. Money Talks.
Unpaid sceptics are not just taking on scientists who conveniently secure grants and junkets for pursuing one theory, they also conflict with potential profits of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and every other financial institution or corporation that stands to profit like the Chicago Climate Exchange, European Climate Exchange, PointCarbon, IdeaCarbon (and the list goes on… ) as well as against government bureaucracies like the IPCC and multiple departments of Climate Change.
Ultimately the atmosphere is what it is regardless of fiat currency movements. Some people will accuse me of smearing climate scientists and making the same ad hominem attacks I detest and protest about. So note carefully: I haven't said that the massive amount of funding received by promoters of the Carbon Catastrophe proves that they are wrong, just as the grassroots unpaid dedication of sceptics doesn't prove them right either. But the starkly lop-sided nature of the funding means we'd be fools not to pay very close attention to the evidence. It also shows how vapid the claims are from those who try to smear sceptics and who mistakenly think ad hominem arguments are worth making.

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

Death By Resource Allocation

Fire chief: I was right to forbid shaft rescue - Scotsman.com News

Mr Stewart, of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, had arrived at the scene of the accident to take care of media duties. But when he found himself the senior officer at the top of the disused mine shaft, the 38-year-old decided to take command of firefighters who were poised to mount a rescue mission.
Mr Stewart, who has 17 years' service, explained why he stopped the paramedic going into the hole, even though he was harnessed up and ready to go.
He said: "I spoke to the paramedic and asked him some questions, if he was trained to work at height, or in confined spaces or familiar with any fire and rescue kit.
"The answer to all of those questions was that he was not trained in any of them.
"I explained to them as the officer in charge I could not let him access an area like that without appropriate training or equipment.
"It was not my intention to allow any more resources into that shaft."

"Resources" "Media Duties" "Appropriate Training" - When firemen start talking like this all is lost,

Posted by The Englishman at 6:19 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 4, 2010

Suing Big Oil For Causing Hurricanes

Hurricane Katrina victims to sue oil companies over global warming

"The plaintiffs allege that defendants' operation of energy, fossil fuels, and chemical industries in the United States caused the emission of greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming," say the documents seen by the AFP news agency.
The increase in global surface air and water temperatures "in turn caused a rise in sea levels and added to the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina, which combined to destroy the plaintiffs' private property, as well as public property useful to them."
The suit, claiming compensation and punitive damages from multinational companies including Shell, ExxonMobile, BP and Chevron, has already passed several key legal hurdles, after initially being knocked back by the lowest court.
Other companies named in the suit include Honeywell and American Electric Power, with the residents charging that "the defendants' greenhouse gas emissions caused saltwater, debris, sediment, hazardous substances, and other materials to enter, remain on, and damage plaintiffs' property."

Bring it on, I would be fascinated to see the evidence.

Posted by The Englishman at 9:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Climate Change Religious Wars

Climate emails inquiry: Energy consultant linked to physics body's submission | The Guardian

Evidence from Institute of Physics drawn from energy industry consultant who argues global warming is a religion

Gill wrote: "If you don't 'believe' in anthropogenic climate change, you risk at best ridicule, but more likely vitriolic comments or even character assassination. Unfortunately, for many people the subject has become a religion, so facts and analysis have become largely irrelevant."

How very dare he say that! Obviously he must be hounded and barred from expressing an opinion. Unlike Tim Nicholson:

Judge rules activist's beliefs on climate change akin to religion | The Guardian

Tim Nicholson entitled to protection for his beliefs, and his claim over dismissal will now be heard by a tribunal

Posted by The Englishman at 9:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Biofuels - A Letter to The Times

Sir, After soliciting opinions from 300 “experts” (presumably without any well-informed algologists, photobiologists or plant biochemists among their number) the UK’s Carbon Trust has created an Algae Biofuel Challenge, a £16 million fund to support the development and large-scale production of algal oil. Sadly, this initiative disregards half a century of worldwide research and the constraints imposed by the laws of physics. It is based on the belief that microalgae are ten times as productive as other “plants” even though there is no evidence that cultivated algae are able to accumulate substantially more biomass, during a period of sustained growth, than other green organisms. When comparisons of productivity are based on the normal period of growth, the yields of biomass are similar, regardless of species or locality.

Intensive agricultural practice of any sort rarely uses less fossil fuel energy than the solar energy that it conserves as biomass. Biofuels do not, therefore, lead to an appreciable sparing of carbon dioxide emissions that could not be better accomplished by the most modest means of energy conservation.

David Alan Walker
Emeritus Professor of Photosynthesis, University of Sheffield

And that is what I think is called an academic bitch-slap from a real expert to the wannabe experts....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Miliband lines up loft insulating jobs for after the election

Fuel bills will pay for eco-upgrades
More than 10,000 homes a week will be given 'eco-upgrades' under Goverment plans to make every home in Britain environmentally friendly.
Energy companies will work with local authorities to carry out the ambitious refurbishment programme "street by street" and "house by house".
Mr Miliband admitted households will pay around £50 per year to subsidise the nationwide scheme through fuel bills but insisted that this would be outweighed by savings in the long term.
The Home Energy Management Strategy is expected to create up to 65,000 jobs. To protect consumers against "cowboy eco-builders" a new accreditation scheme will ensure minimum health and safety standards for workmen.

So a state regulated army of turkey workers under local authority control will go "house to house" demanding householders alter their properties to conform with Mr Miliband's dreams and we all will pay for this scheme.
Is there a box to tick that says I've already paid to insulate my castle and I don't want to pay again or be bothered?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:27 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Tales from my youth

Milton Friedman did not save Chile | Naomi Klein | guardian.co.uk

If one person deserves credit.. it is .. Salvador Allende, Chile's democratically elected socialist president.
... the country has endured a tragedy that elsewhere would have been an apocalypse … It's not by chance that Chileans were living in houses of brick – and Haitians in houses of straw –when the wolf arrived to try to blow them down...the reason Chile is a prosperous nation with "some of the world's strictest building codes.

Thatcher Out! Support The Miners! Free Nelson Mandela! It is reassuring to be reminded that in Guardian World somethings never change.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 3, 2010

The Olympic Assault on Civil Liberties

Organisers of the 2012 Olympics will be hoping to emulate the street-party atmosphere of Vancouver now that the curtain has come down on the Winter Games and all eyes turn to London. H/t Haddock

Happy street parties like this....

Moves to safeguard company trademarks and stamp out ambush marketing, to preserve the monopoly of official advertisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) logo, are raising concerns among civil liberty groups.

Police will have powers to enter private homes and seize posters, and will be able to stop people carrying non-sponsor items to sporting events.
"I think there will be lots of people doing things completely innocently who are going to be caught by this, and some people will be prosecuted, while others will be so angry about it that they will start complaining about civil liberties issues,"

What they have done already is beyond belief - combining the words summer and 2012 is enough to get your door beaten down. And of course we know such powers will never be misused don't we...

London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006

1 (1) There shall be a right, to be known as the London Olympics association right, which shall confer exclusive rights in relation to the use of any representation (of any kind)...
For the purpose of considering whether a person has infringed the London Olympics association right a court may, in particular, take account of his use of a combination of expressions of a kind specified in sub-paragraph (2).

(2) The combinations referred to in sub-paragraph (1) are combinations of-
(a) any of the expressions in the first group, with
(b) any of the expressions in the second group or any of the other expressions in the first group.

(3) The following expressions form the first group for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)-
(a) "games",
(b) "Two Thousand and Twelve",
(c) "2012", and
(d) "twenty twelve".

(4) The following expressions form the second group for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)-
(a) gold,
(b) silver,
(c) bronze,
(d) London,
(e) medals,
(f) sponsor, and
(g) summer.

(5) It is immaterial for the purposes of this paragraph whether or not a word is written wholly or partly in capital letters.

(6) The Secretary of State may by order add, remove or vary an entry in either group of expressions.....

22 Enforcement: power of entry

(1) A constable or enforcement officer may-
(a) enter land or premises on which they reasonably believe a contravention of regulations under section 19 is occurring (whether by reason of advertising on that land or premises or by the use of that land or premises to cause an advertisement to appear elsewhere);
(b) remove, destroy, conceal or erase any infringing article;
(c) when entering land under paragraph (a), be accompanied by one or more persons for the purpose of taking action under paragraph (b);
(d) use, or authorise the use of, reasonable force for the purpose of taking action under this subsection.....

And don't forget that "2012" is a registered trademark, so what the fuck we are going to call the year between 2011 and 2013 is beyond me.

Posted by The Englishman at 3:28 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Danny Pops The Westminster Bubble

Westminster chatter won’t change the result | Daniel Finkelstein - Times Online

Most of politics and most political coverage proceeds as if there was still a reasonable degree of trust. As if the messages were still getting through, still being listened to, still being weighed up. I suppose it would be hard to carry on if the truth were faced.
We will have two separate elections this year, held at the same time but in different worlds. One will feature the traditional knockabout, complete with press conferences, posters and battle buses. The other will screen out the political noise, ignore the political claims, only skim the coverage and feature instead the issues and experiences that voters encounter in their daily life. The result of this second election will be the decisive one.

Bloggers are the same, bloggers who blog about politics are obsessives. Most of them, no names, you can supply them yourselves, are running round the squeaking at excitement and hoping to be let into the gilded cage of Westminster. A few, a very few recognise the utter irrelevancy of what Sir What said to the Right Honourable Whom. Real politics is happening outside the bubble.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A Local Message For Dave

Cameron must listen to Rooster and wake up | Alice Thomson - Times Online

Johnny Rooster Byron, the hero of the award-winning play Jerusalem on in the West End, is everything we are supposed to dislike. He’s a squatter, a gypsy, a drug-pusher and a wastrel. He lives in the dank, dark woods in Wiltshire scrabbling around with his chickens in his rusting Airstream caravan.
A magnet for bored teenage children and the terror of parents, he smokes, swears, lives off junk food, sells Rum’n’Ribena, Benylin’n’brandy and wraps of speed. This Pied Piper’s arms are pitted with black tattoos. He neglects his six-year-old son, has been banned from every local pub and is the bane of the new housing estate.
Kennet and Avon District Council are trying to evict him under public health legislation. This man appears to have no morals, no sense of duty and no work ethic. No wonder Britain is battered and broken while Rooster and his bedraggled band still lurk in the bushes.

I'm confused is this a documentary they have been making in the village here? Because they have got it wrong, he lives on a barge, not in a caravan.

....satisfied our growing hunger for freedom, mischief-making and merriness. As the local village celebrates St George’s Day with safety-conscious Morris dancing, Rooster is making a stand for a land of eccentrics and rogues, pygmies and giants, pagans not puritans, anarchists rather than authoritarians and, most importantly, individuals — including charming scallywags. It is a part of England we are in danger of losing in our obsessive quest for safety, conformity and equality.
He is a brave man with a heart; this Peter Pan protects the children against greater evils such as abusive stepfathers but at the same time says: “Girls are wondrous. Grab your fill. No man has ever lain in his barrow wishing he’d loved one less woman.” Here is a character fighting against conformity, giant superstores, corporations, traffic wardens, Nimbys, focus groups, the soulless commute and the “sausage-fingered constabulary”. He sticks two fingers up at the nanny state. The middle-aged, middle-class audience, sick of being responsible and pushed around, love it.
Politicians who are obsessed by our waistlines, hospital targets, school exam results, health and safety legislation and rationing our fun should beware. This is what Gordon Brown has missed in his quest to woo Middle England. He assumes that we are all Dursleys, desperate for drab uniformity; that no one minds living in a bossy, finger-wagging, repressive, restrictive country if we think it will be a tiny bit safer; that we feel reassured by signs over hot water taps saying “Danger” and we want to be lectured on eating five bits of fruit a day and breast feeding because we cannot be trusted to get it right ourselves.
Over the years, this Government has come to believe that we would prefer to keep our children locked up in schools rather than allow them to go on potentially lethal outings, and that we are prepared to carry ID cards if there is the slightest possibility that it might prevent a terrorist attack.
But there is a flip side to the respectability and reassurance that people crave: and that is freedom. We might feel nervous about the maverick hanging out at the end of the road, refusing to live by the rules, but we are beginning to feel more trapped by the pen-pushing bureaucrats rewriting our lives, the public servants fixated on figures and targets. They can be just as dangerous. ...
...As the Tory leader focuses his message for the final months of the campaign, part of his pitch should be as David “Rooster” Cameron, promising that he will not cease from mental fight until he has built a new Tory Jerusalem, in which we all have the freedom to shape our own lives in this green, if not always pleasant, land.

Can I sue for plagiarism?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Death by Memo

Firemen stand by as rules 'prevent' rescue - Scotsman.com News

A WOMAN lay injured at the bottom of a mineshaft for six hours because health and safety rules banned firefighters from rescuing her...a memo from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue chiefs four months earlier had banned the use of rope equipment for lifting members of the public to safety, the inquiry was told.
Christopher Rooney, the first senior fire officer at the scene, admitted it would have been possible for his crew to have rescued Mrs Hume from the shaft, had it not been for the memo.
During the hearing, solicitor Gregor Forbes asked Mr Rooney: "On the basis of the manpower and equipment that you had available, is it your view it would it would have been possible for the firefighters to have brought the person to the surface before the mountain rescue team?"
He replied: "Yes, I believe so."
The now-retired fire officer said the memo had been circulated around Strathclyde Fire and Rescue stations in March 2008.
Mr Forbes said: "Your position is that, while you were supplied with safe working-at-height equipment, while this could be used to bring up firefighters, it could not be used to bring up a member of the public."
Mr Rooney, 51, told the inquiry at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court: "Yes, that's correct."
All 18 firefighters at the scene were trained and capable of using the equipment, he added.
Of the memo four months before the incident, he was then asked: "If Mrs Hume had fallen down the shaft on 13 March, instead of 26 July, you could have used a lowering line?"
Mr Rooney replied: "We could have."

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Joys of Public Transport

Cockroaches cluster on trains - Telegraph

The average railway carriage is providing a home for up to 1,000 cockroaches, 200 bed bugs and 200 fleas, it has emerged.
A recent survey by Passenger Focus, the consumer watchdog, found that most of the travelling public was reasonably content with the level of cleanliness of their trains.

I don't want to sound like Sir Nicholas but I'm obviously in the minority here.

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

March 2, 2010

Section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at work

Police used terror legislation to stop ex-RAF engineer in Kidlington (From Oxford Mail)
Stephen Russell, 59, spotted police swarming Kidlington High Street while he was on a trip to buy fish and chips and, as he had his camera with him, he took four photos because it was unusual to see so much action in the centre of the village.

Watch the video to see what happened next in our free and pleasant land.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Climategate Hearings

The integrity of climate change research is in doubt after the disclosure of e-mails that attempt to suppress data, a leading scientific institute has said. - Times Online

The Institute of Physics said that e-mails sent by Professor Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, had broken “honourable scientific traditions” about disclosing raw data and methods and allowing them to be checked by critics.

Bishop Hill provided a fantastic live commentary of the hearings and will be the place to go today for the fall out.

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

The English Backlash

ippr - Is An English Backlash Emerging?

A new ippr report suggests increasing public resentment in England about Scotland’s share of public spending and growing support for an English parliament.

Tax powers promise as 'English backlash' grows - Scotsman.com News

LABOUR is to push ahead with plans to hand Holyrood new tax-raising powers as evidence emerges that voters in England are becoming increasingly resentful of the share of public spending that comes to Scotland.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 1, 2010

Prof Jones Reveals How Climate Science Works

Phil Jones survives MPs' grilling over climate emails | Fred Pearce - guardian.co.uk

Jones's general defence was that anything people didn't like – the strong-arm tactics to silence critics, the cold-shouldering of freedom of information requests, the economy with data sharing – were all "standard practice" among climate scientists. "Maybe it should be, but it's not."
And he seemed to be right. The most startling observation came when he was asked how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication asked to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. "They've never asked," he said.

...Jones' comments about the raw data reveal a lot. "Most scientists don't want to deal with the raw data, they only want the product."

And you call it a science? More like a Glee Club - a musical group, historically of male voices but also of women's or mixed voices, which traditionally specializes in the singing of short songs—glees

Posted by The Englishman at 10:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Watch the match yesterday, Dave?

No, I didn't see the speech either, nor did more than a handful of the undecided. A scare in the polls and a polished performance may prevent a few Tories registering a protest vote and few more envelope stuffers to volunteer at the local Con Club but it ll washes over us out here.
Marriage tax change? Yawn. A tweak here and there means nothing when we actually want a radical cut in the burden. Intrusive state, EU, wasteful health and education spending, global warming, where's the beef?
And wrapping your naked ambition to be PM, at any cost and with any slogan, in the flag is pathetic.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Biofuel - failing the environment

Green fuels cause more harm than fossil fuels, according to report - Times Online

Using fossil fuel in vehicles is better for the environment than so-called green fuels made from crops, according to a government study seen by The Times.
The study, likely to force a review of the target, concludes that some of the most commonly-used biofuel crops fail to meet the minimum sustainability standard set by the European Commission.

An outbreak of sense emerging?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This Month's Forecast

The worst possible March for farming and gardens is on the way for Britain, and winter 09/10 world review by Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction long range weather and climate forecasters.

Re-vist at the end of the month.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack