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July 31, 2010

Turn On

Research suggested that females have found the rise of the “more feminine man”, or “metrosexual”, a big turn-off. - Telegraph

Nods appreciatively, farts, scratches balls, demands another beer from the fridge and wonders why he won't get laid tonight...

Posted by The Englishman at 3:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 30, 2010

O tempora o mores

'Porn disco' banned by High Court
Westminster City Council took legal proceedings against Edward Davenport over a series of high-profile events at his house at 33 Portland Place.
Mr Davenport argued that throughout its history, the house had regularly been used for entertaining and social events - sometimes on a very grand scale.
The judge said that the ''porn disco'' had been advertised on the web and tickets cost £10.
''The officers who attended the event confirmed the accuracy of the description,'' he added.
He said the council obtained evidence that the premises were being advertised for pole dancing classes, which were ''said to be good for the circulation''.

Certainly helps get my blood flowing; I thought all those old London houses had been knocking shops at some time. I am just grateful that Council Officers used our money to attend the events in disguise and undercover to gather evidence.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday Night is Music Night (Growing Old Gracefully Edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 5:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Testing the fire resistance of Toughcord boot laces

Testing a length of Armorcord "unbreakable" lace in a pot of burning diesel. Boot laces and starter cords made from this material are available at www.toughcord.com.

It takes a lot to melt them, and they don't catch fire - as can be seen they retain their strength.

Burnt a hole in my trousers doing that - no wonder the camera wobbled!

Posted by The Englishman at 4:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Last night I think I slipped into a timewarp...

Walking back to the car park from an evening out I came across this slice of Olde England blocking the road. Lacock village is owned by the National Trust and often used for films. What the Morris Dancers were doing there I have no idea...

Posted by The Englishman at 8:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Slop Buckets For All

Cutting waste to landfill will mean incinerators and slop buckets - Telegraph

The UK has to reduce landfill by 75 per cent on 1995 levels by 2013 or face billions of pounds worth of fines from Europe.
The waste review suggests a ban on dumping biodegradable waste like food in landfill. This will mean slop buckets in most people’s homes as food waste will have to be collected separately. Already one in four councils collect food waste separately and more are expected to follow.
It also means the Government will have to build 500 new energy from waste plants to deal with the biodegradable waste.
Alan Whitehead, the Labour MP and chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group, said communities will have to accept more waste plants if the UK is to meet targets on cutting landfill.
“Something is going to have to change in terms of how we manage our waste,” he said. “You can do that by telling people they are going to have a great big waste plant next door or you can do it by discussing it with the local people and encouraging community ownership.”
But Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth’s resource use campaigner, said communities would not accept incinerators.
“Suggesting people will accept incinerators if they come in pretty buildings with a cash reward belittles the valid arguments that communities have against them,” he said.
“Incinerators trap councils in decades-long costly contracts and belch out climate changing gases.”

So if it wasn't for the Eu we could just put it all in a hole in the ground out of sight, cover it over so it wasn't offensive, trap the methane and produce power with it and lock up the rest of the carbon in the rubbish for hundreds of years, as it is underground. And not spend millions on new systems and have to have slop buckets under the kitchen table. So why are we doing it again?

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

The Real Cost of Conservation

Rosaleen Duffy investigates the world of nature conservation, arguing that the West's attitude to endangered wildlife is shallow, self-contradictory and ultimately very damaging. Analysing the workings of the black-market wildlife industry, Duffy points out that illegal trading is often the direct result of Western consumer desires, from coltan for cellular phones to exotic meats sold to Londoners. She looks at the role of ecotourism, showing how Western travellers contribute - often unwittingly - to the destruction of natural environments. Most strikingly, she argues that the imperatives of Western-style conservation often result in serious injustice to local people, who are branded as 'problems' and subject to severe restrictions on their way of life and even extrajudicial killings.
Duffy stresses that her intention is not to persuade people to stop supporting conservation schemes. "Wildlife is under threat and we need to act urgently," she acknowledges. Instead, she says, she wants to encourage environmentalists to examine what the real costs and benefits of conservation are, so that better practices for people and for animals can be developed.

Looks interesting - I've not read it, and I'm not sure it is all Whitey's fault. But ruffling a few feathers in the "conservation" crowd and pointing out the cost to the locals can't be a bad thing.

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

Nutkin Nuts

Squirrel meat flies off supermarket's shelves | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The owner of a local Budgens supermarket has defended selling squirrel meat as a sustainable way of feeding people and says it has a "lovely" taste....claimed that squirrel meat is more sustainable than beef. "It takes about 15 tonnes of grain to produce one tonne of beef, which is not sustainable.
"Squirrels will be culled anyway. You have two choices. Either you dispose of them or you eat them."
The animal welfare group Viva accused Budgens of profiting from a "wildlife massacre".
Its founder and director, Juliet Gellatley, said: "If this store is attempting to stand out from the crowd by selling squirrel, the only message they are giving out is that they are happy to have the blood of a beautiful wild animal on their hands for the sake of a few quid."

Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds squirrel meat; 1 t ground pepper; 1 t parsley flakes; 1 t seasoned salt; 1 c flour; 1 1/2 c cooking oil
Boil squirrel until tender; remove from water; pat dry. Season & coat with flour. Place into hot oil & cook until brown. If desired, make brown gravy.

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

July 29, 2010

7 Years and 2,789,092 unique visitors later - nothing has changed

An Englishman's Castle: July 2003 Archives


(I don't do statporn, having sold a company for $5 a visitor I know a little about how the figures work... the 2,789,092 is from my server logs, it misses some out and double counts others, but it will do.)

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

July 28, 2010

Roll Up For The Well Funded Show

Obama must take a lead on climate change – and soon | Jeffrey Sachs | Environment | guardian.co.uk

May was the warmest month ever. Intense heat waves are currently hitting many parts of the world, yet still we fail to act

(There is a)...problem in addressing climate change, which stems from a combination of the economic implications of the issue and the uncertainty that surrounds it. This is reflected in the brutal, destructive campaign against climate science by powerful vested interests and ideologues, apparently aimed at creating an atmosphere of ignorance and confusion.
Major oil companies and other big corporate interests are also playing this game, and have financed disreputable PR campaigns against climate science. Their general approach is to exaggerate the uncertainties of climate science and to leave the impression that climate scientists are engaged in some kind of conspiracy to frighten the public. It is an absurd charge, but absurd charges can gather public support if presented in a slick, well-funded format.

Well funded? Compared to the pittance the noble warmists get? You're having a laugh, or is it that my bank details have got lost in the post? I can supply them again if needed.....

Posted by The Englishman at 11:21 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Fryer, Fryer, Pants on Fire.

Global warming pushes 2010 temperatures to record highs | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Publishing the newly collated data in London, Peter Stott, the head of climate modelling at the UK Met Office, said despite variations between individual years, the evidence was unequivocal:...
One key data set omitted was sea ice in the Antarctic, because it was increasing in some areas and decreasing in others, due to reduced ozone causing changes in wind patterns and sea-surface circulation. This data set showed no clear trend, said Stott.

Brazen, they even admit they leave out inconvenient data. "No clear trend", compared to the clear trends made up else where I suppose...

Posted by The Englishman at 11:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wheat Yields 2010

harvest.jpg Click for bigger

Very early wheat harvest has started here, averaged over 10t/ha - 4Ton/acre. Where the moisture held on in the bottoms it was doing over 15t/ha. Straw was too short and it died rather than ripened but the bushel weights are good and should make milling quality.

"Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together”: J Swift.

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

Henge - Old English for Hanging Stones..

Interactive graphic: Marden Henge – Stonhenge's big brother - guardian.co.uk

Marden.jpg +

I've marked where the pub is, if you want to know more follow the link...

Posted by The Englishman at 10:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tomorrow this blog will be seven...


I haven't got stats from its youth, and Google Analytics doesn't count all the pages but I find it extraordinary, and very humbling, that so many people continue to visit The Castle in its declining years.
Many Thanks.

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

Snow Job

Householders who clear snow "should not be sued" - Telegraph

Troubleshooters called in by the Department for Transport have called for the creation of a “snow code” to provide protection against litigation.
Householders who stuck to the code would have a defence if they were sued.

“The scale of the task requires citizens to be mobilised into clearing footways outside their properties as quickly as possible,” the report noted.
“We believe that this can be done without the prescriptive legislation of Germany and we see a solution in which the public are encouraged to undertake this role in a voluntary way, but guided by clear Government instructions on how the work can be done in a safe and efficient way.”
The recommendations are contained in a report written by a team headed by David Quarmby, currently the chairman of the RAC Foundation and formerly the chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority

So the DofT had to employ outside consultants to come up with these brilliant ideas? No one inside the office had a spare half hour? It all stinks of the Europeanisation of our legal system. If what you do is reasonable then it is defensible. We certainly don't need fat cats demanding that the Citizens need to be mobilised and made to follow strict Government codes as they help their neighbours.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Huhnetics are in charge of the Asylum

UK businesses face steep rise in energy bills | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Government plans to secure energy supplies and cut carbon emissions means higher energy prices and bills for businesses

Brilliant plan for recovery chaps! But with the Guardianista swallowing the "it will only be a £13 rise for householders" lie (It will only be £13 if you turn the lights and your bloody heating off) then the Huhnetics are getting a free pass on this nonsense.

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

Punishment Fits The Crime

Penniless lorry driver is jailed for trying to sell Ritz in £250m scam
THE fraudster who tried to sell the Ritz for £250 million in a "outrageous and elaborate scam" despite the fact that he never owned it was jailed for five years.
Conman Anthony Lee, 49, promised his victims a deal on the hotel and casino in London's Piccadilly which was "too good to be true" but the building was owned by the billionaire Barclay brothers.
Sentencing him yesterday, judge Stephen Robbins: "This scam can be compared to those fraudsters who tried to sell the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace and London Bridge."

BBC News - 'Happy slapping' youths detained for grandfather death
Two teenage members of a "happy slapping" gang who fatally beat a retired care worker in front of his young granddaughter in south London have been detained.
Ekram Haque, 67, was attacked in August 2009 in Tooting as he left a mosque. He died from his injuries a week later.
Leon Elcock, 16, and Hamza Lyzai, 15, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in June at the Old Bailey.
Elcock was detained for four-and-a half years and Lyzai for three-and-a-half.

Five years for trying to separate some fools from their money, four years for killing a grandfather in front of his three year old granddaughter, a culmination of a series of gratuitous attacks aimed at Asians. (As the criminals are black this doesn't seem to be classified as a racial crime though).

As some great philosophers once said on the subject:

I hear the bells of freedom chiming
And inside my heart I feel I'm dying
Wise guys never compromise
Then they loose their rights and they act surprised
Jail really cuts ya down to size
Let the punishment fit the crime

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

July 27, 2010

The lights are going out

Energy revolution could put bills up by a third
Householders face a £300-a-year rise in their gas and electricity bills and significant cuts in how much energy they use if Britain is to “keep the lights on” and meet its climate change targets, the Government has said.
In the Commons, Mr Huhne promised “a clear strategy for creating the 21st-century energy system that this country urgently needs for an affordable, secure, low-carbon future”.
Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, outlined plans to transform Britain’s power system and cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent within the next 40 years. He announced 32 separate measures, from the use of smart meters in all homes to a major expansion of renewable energy sources, including a new generation of nuclear power stations and up to 44,000 wind turbines.
He admitted that the cheapest way “to keep the lights on” as energy prices rose was for people to “cut energy use”.

To keep the lights on turn them off.....

Posted by The Englishman at 10:24 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Dorset Folk Shown How It Should Be

Cerne Abbas Giant 'inspires' fertility boom - Telegraph

Now the women in the surrounding towns and villages have the highest birth rates in the country. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the women of North Dorset have on average three children each – nearly double the national average and nearly three times as much as the city dwellers of Westminster.
Standing erect for locals to see the giant could be having an inspirational effect on couples in the area said locals.

See, marrying your cousin isn't bad for fertility as long as a giant willy is waved at you...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quango Hunting

The great quango cull
Related articles
Steve Richards: The Tories are running the show
Economic Quangos: English regions will suffer
Education Quangos: Who will monitor the curriculum now?
Health Quangos: £180m of cuts 'a blow to the NHS'
Arts Quangos: A threat to our cultural life
Environment Quangos: Green initiatives in the firing line

My heart bleeds....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Keeping your neighbourhood crime free.

Theresa May unveils radical police shake-up plans - Telegraph

A document released by the Home Office to accompany the reform plans stated that the Government wanted more citizens in communities to help play a greater role in crime-fighting in their area in keeping with the Tories’ notion of a “Big Society”.

Unfortunately it seems to be less Magnificent Seven more Part-time Plastic Plod. Why not just introduce a bounty for every Citizen's Arrest that results in a successful prosecution?

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

July 26, 2010

Real Environmentalism Call

Important issues affecting the countryside have been overlooked because of the focus on the problems of climate change, - Telegraph

Real conservation, real problem solving has been losing out to its fashionable illusory sister for too long. But judging by the first responses to requests to identify problems in the British countryside - the need to reintroduce bears and wolves and ban factory farming - there are plenty of other phantasms out there.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A Degree that is worth the money paid for it

BBC News - First private university in decades to be created
The UK's first new private sector university college for more than 30 years is being announced by the universities minister.
David Willetts will allow London-based BPP, which has 14 regional branches, to become a university college.
"The education landscape is changing, and over the next decade we will see a different picture emerging, where both students and employers will drive demand for their preferred method of study and training," says BPP chief executive, Carl Lygo.
"We see ourselves as a pioneer in this field, and hope that our unique status and self-funding model will lead the way in which other providers will be able to operate in."

It is especially hopeful that they plan to over teaching degrees.

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

Speed Camera Turn Off

BBC News - Speed camera cuts 'mean disaster'

Campaigners have said it would be a "disaster" if council cuts in England and Wales mean speed cameras are scrapped.

The government is just stopping central funding , the local councils have the choice to continue to fund them or not. They might look at the results of the Swindon experiment The number of accidents on roads next to Swindon's shrouded speed cameras is the same now as when they were active, according to council figures.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:50 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 25, 2010

In Tellytubby land the sun always shines and the windmill turns....

BBC News - Wind turbines 'set for increase'

The number of UK wind turbines is set to rise to avert a power crisis, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has indicated.
Speaking ahead of a key policy statement to the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Huhne identified Dogger Bank in the North Sea as a prime area for further offshore development.
"It's relatively cheap to put wind turbines in that shallow area," he said.
"It's beautifully windy so it does actually produce a lot of electricity - that is a really important natural resource for us."
Mr Huhne said the UK needed to become more independent in energy production to allow it to withstand "shocks from the outside world".
"The lights will not go out on my watch," he said.
The Energy Secretary said it was feasible for Britain to be totally self-sufficient thanks to renewable sources, which also includes wave power and harnessing tidal streams.

Buy a generator is the only rational response for a home owner....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Oxford should remember Pecunia Non Olet

Students and academics at Oxford are angry that their university has accepted more than £3m from a foundation established by a founder of the controversial oil trading company Trafigura to fund a new summer school at the University of Oxford that will aim to help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Yesterday, students and staff at Oxford urged the university to reconsider accepting the donation. Peter Oppenheimer, emeritus professor of economics at Christ Church, said the university had a history of being "naive" when it came to accepting donations. "Oxford's central fundraising effort has long been an undirected mess – they will happily take money from anywhere," he said.

As Peter relaxes in his sumptuous surroundings of Christ Church does he rail against the injustice of Henry VIII escheating Wolsey's property which he had "acquired" from the church is circumstances that might not be considered entirely fair? Do the spoilt students already within the machine consider how their "ethical outrage" will hurt the disadvantaged outside? Prats the lot of them. Graham Sharp is a good and generous man, and the ungrateful curs should be kicked, and kicked hard.

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

Pc David Copperfield is on the case

Free the police and save billions - Telegraph


Posted by The Englishman at 6:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2010

Booker on the Warmists

Desperate days for the warmists - Telegraph

Warmists may be winning the big grants, but they're not winning the argument, says Christopher Booker

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

For When Failure Is Not An Option

Unbreakable Army Boot Laces - Black or Brown - 20% to Help for Heroes

I guarantee them for life. You won't regret buying them, and we are doing a tiny bit to help as well.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I've got a woody this morning....


I yielded to temptation. Mine, all mine. I may be some time just stroking my precious...

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

July 23, 2010

Early Morning Prayer - Lead me not into temptation

Off to The Game Fair with Mr & Mrs Free Market and a couple of empty slots on my ticket.

Posted by The Englishman at 5:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday Night is Music Night (Something ElseEdition)

That one might be better without the video....

Posted by The Englishman at 4:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2010

The Flavour Thesaurus

The book follows the form of "Roget's Thesaurus". The back section lists, alphabetically, 99 popular ingredients, and suggests classic and less well known flavour matches for each. The front section contains an entry for every flavour match listed in the back section and is organised into 16 flavour themes such a Bramble & Hedge, Green & Grassy, and Earthy. There are 980 entries in all and 200 recipes or suggestions are embedded in the text. It covers classic pairings such as pork & apple, lamb & apricot, and cucumber & dill; contemporary favourites like chocolate & chilli, lobster & vanilla, and goat's cheese & beetroot; and interesting but unlikely-sounding couples including black pudding & chocolate, lemon & beef, blueberry & mushroom, and watermelon & oyster.

I haven't been asked to review this, I bought it with my own money and I suggest you do too.
If you have progressed from slavishly following recipe cards, or you want to, then this is the best book for the kitchen you must have. It inspires you to think and try, and is well written, like a conversation with a knowledgeable friend. Her demolition of the overrated beetroot and chocolate cake combination is worth the money alone.
My copy is already stained and grubby, never trust a cookbook that is clean and hasn't been propped open with weights alongside the mixing bowl and flour shaker.

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

Defra - Climate Change at Sea - We just don't know

Climate Change: Charting Progress - Defra

climate.jpg Click for full size

Figure 6.2 Temperature changes relative to the corresponding average for 1901-1950 (°C) from decade to decade from 1906 to 2005 over the Earth’s continents, as well as the entire globe, global land area and the global ocean (lower graphs). The black line indicates observed temperature change, while the coloured bands show the combined range covered by 90% of recent model simulations. Red indicates simulations that include natural and human factors, while blue indicates simulations that include only natural factors. Dashed black lines indicate decades and continental regions for which there are substantially fewer observations.
Reproduced from IPCC AR4 WG1 Chp 9 FAQ 9.2 Figure 1, page 703

Nice to see an old friend make a reappearance in today's report from Defra about the state of the Oceans. I just can't get past the bottom left graph which shows that the historic global temperature in the 1940s is well above what the models say it should be. Either the record is wrong or the models are. And if the models can't get it right for the past what use are they?

As they say:

While many of the changes we observe are consistent with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and a warming climate, for example rising sea temperature and increasing acidification, we still do not understand many of the causative links to climate change. In particular we struggle with the rate and magnitude of future change for factors such as sea-level rise, Atlantic circulation, sea-ice extent, acidification and stratification. In other cases, for example the extent to which the oceans will continue to take up CO2, or changes in storminess or salinity, we are not even sure which direction the change in marine climate will take.
Furthermore, there are often insufficient data to draw robust links between climate change and impacts on marine ecosystems, and in some cases we do not sufficiently understand the underlying effects of climate change on the physical environment.

That confession of ignorance can also be read as a cry for more research funding....

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

Camp Cameron

National Citizenship Service for 16-year-olds launched today - Telegraph
Every teenager in the country will today be invited to take part in a two-month summer residential course under plans for voluntary programme of national service....

The Times reports from its bunker that the CameronYouth will cost the taxpayer £1400 a head. The official line is that "Funding for the Citizen Service is being provided through the scrapping of a community cohesion programme run by the Department for Communities."
Savings are not income, by not spending money you don't create it, it is still funded by mulcting the taxpayer.

Will today's troubled teenagers give up their summer holidays to join the "Blackshirts-on-Sea" camps? Or will it be just subsidised holidays for the middle classes?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:32 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 21, 2010

The State of The Nation's Finances

Pressure rises to cut debt as £14.5bn borrowing revealed
A Treasury spokesman said: "The UK is forecast to have the largest deficit in the G7 this year and is borrowing £1 for every £4 it spends.
"The figures for June demonstrate the urgent priority tackling the deficit represents, with borrowing higher than last June despite higher tax receipts."

"In fact", he continued, "we are as stuffed as Finnegan's turkey on Christmas day, I'm running round in circles going blubber blubber blubber with my lips, it isn't helping, but at least it isn't making anything worse....."

Posted by The Englishman at 6:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Don't mention the climate

Mongolia: How the winter of 'white death' devastated nomads' way of life | World news | The Guardian

Herders leave the steppe after losing a fifth of their livestock. Now foreign firms are to exploit Mongolia's vast resources...Analysts at one investment bank have predicted it could unleash an unstoppable transformation and create a "Mongolian wolf" economy.

For its citizens, such prospects are long overdue. The former Soviet satellite has been hailed as a success story of post-communist political transition, moving with relative smoothness to democracy. But its economy has taken it close to disaster in the last two decades.

Extreme weather causes death and disaster, story in the Guardian, which two words are missing? Because it was extreme cold?

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

My Sort of Olympiads

The 6th Annual Chap Olympiad 2010 in pictures - Telegraph

Chaps, bounders and cads gathered in Bedford Square in central London on Saturday for the 6th Annual Chap Olympiad, featuring sports such as Cucumber Sandwich Discus and the Martini Relay. Described as being for 'the perfectly dressed, under-achieving dandies with no interest in sport', the event is organised by The Chap Magazine

Posted by The Englishman at 6:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2010

RSPB Claims on Kestrel Decline Challenged

Claims that intensive farming is to blame for a sudden drop in kestrel numbers have been questioned by the rural champions, the CLA.
Reacting to an RSPB comment published in a national newspaper today (19 July) CLA South West Director, John Mortimer, said: The RSPB has - once again - gone for the knee-jerk reaction of blaming farmers for the decline rather than look at the real reasons."
The RSPB comments were published in a national newspaper after the latest Breeding Birds Survey was published by the British Trust of Ornithology. The survey, which uses information collected by volunteers and enthusiasts, recorded a 36 percent drop in kestrel numbers. The RSPB suggested it was down to “intensive farming” as well as “pesticides and cold winters”.
“The BTO report states that the kestrel population has only declined recently and that it was stable between the start of the survey in 1994 until around 2005. Clearly, farming has not become more intensive in the past five years - in fact, with the introduction of the Single Payment Scheme, the opposite is actually the case. We currently have some 70 per cent of farmland in England covered by agri-environment schemes - so it seems to be nonsense for the RSPB to blame intensification for the problem, “ said Mr. Mortimer.

And other, larger, raptors have increased in numbers. How many kestrels have been sliced in the RSPB favoured wind turbines.....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bin Police and Snoopers Are Active In Your Neighbourhood

Council snoopers target bins for clues to race and wealth
At least 90 local authorities have employed social profiling techniques to match types of rubbish to different ethnic groups and levels of income.
Officials and private contractors are tasked with examining the contents of families’ bins, checking supermarket labels, waste food and discarded mail.
The exercise is part of a recycling initiative so councils can target households in different social categories with leafleting campaigns

And worries where the Greens want to lead society to are just paranoia...

Government guidance for the scheme suggested that all checks on bins should be done without the knowledge of the householders.
“Ideally, you do not want to inform the public of an audit taking place, as this could alter their disposal behaviour,” it said.

When I have to put dog shit in my bin I make sure it isn't wrapped or bagged, just in case someone wants to sort through it by hand.

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

Gripper PM

Racist and bully . . . meet David Cameron's role model - Gripper Stebson - Scotsman.com News
The Prime Minister joked yesterday that not only was he a fan of show but: "Indeed Gripper Stebson was one of my role models in life".

In his dreams....

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

Green Tribute Money Demanded

Funding cuts will finish Britain's clean energy race
In the 1970s the UK invested about 0.15% of GDP each year in research and development (R&D) into providing cheaper and cleaner energy. From the mid-1980s the amount invested each year has fallen almost continuously. The figure today is about 0.01%, one 15th of what it was a generation ago.
The UK government announced last week that it was cutting yet more money from of the energy R&D budget. Some £34m is to be axed, affecting low-carbon technology programmes including offshore wind, wood fuels, building insulation and geothermal energy. This represents a reduction of just under 20% of total public expenditure on low-carbon technologies.
...the taxpayers who fund public expenditure would be right to ask one simple question about Britain's record. Exactly what did we get from the large sums put into R&D in the 1970s? Did the UK's investments provide a good return then? The answer to this question is an unambiguous no.
However this does not mean that public R&D should be cut today. Progress in the energy industries around the world has historically been driven by government money.
The Stern review provided cogent reasons for why private R&D will never provide a large share of the many billions needed around the world to shift energy use away from fossil fuels. So although we can be absolutely sure that much public R&D in this country will be misspent, we simply have no alternative but to push ahead with wind, wave, electric cars and carbon capture research.

No alternative to deliberately wasting millions on Tim Yeo's pet schemes, I don't think so.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2010

Yeo calls for Green Investments....

Tim Yeo: More radical steps are needed to tackle climate change
Not long before the election a post on Conservative Home suggested that “80-90%” of our party are “just not signed up” to the climate change agenda. This was backed up by a poll of candidates in the 250 most winnable seats, with candidates being asked to rank 19 different policy priorities in order of importance. Britain’s carbon footprint came bottom.
This is why I, a former environment minister and shadow environment secretary, decided to write a new pamphlet on the issue.
Green gold: the case for raising our game on climate change urges David Cameron and the new coalition government to take more radical steps on the issue, and to take the part(ies) with them.....
I also knew from a previous life that going green can bring financial rewards....

Tim Yeo MP, Register of Interest
....ITI Energy Limited; suppliers of gasification equipment.
AFC Energy; company developing alkaline fuel cell technology. Address: Unit 71.4 Dunsfold Park, Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8TB. Undertake duties as Chair, run board meetings and keep in touch with senior management.
..Received payment of £3750. Hours: 6 hrs. (Registered 9 January 2010)
Received payment of £3,750. Hours: 5 hrs. (Registered 13 February 2010)
Received payment of £3,750. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 24 March 2010)...
Eco City Vehicles plc, Hemming House, Hemming Street, London, E1 5BL; distributes and services London taxis. Duties include chairing board meetings and keeping in touch with senior management.
Received payment of £10,000 for work carried out between April and June 2009. Hours: 26hrs. (Registered 22 September 2009)
Received payment of £10,000. Hours: 28 hrs. (Registered 7 December 2009)
Received payment of £10,000. Hours: 45 hrs. (Registered 24 March 2010)......

Forum Invest, a Romanian company which organises international conferences.
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): £1500
Destination of visit: Monte Carlo
Date of visit: 3-6 July 2009
Purpose of visit: to discuss climate change and the environment

Name of donor: National Institute of Technology
Address of donor: Kurukshetra - 136119, Haryana, India
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): estimated value £1500
Destination of visit: Taj Chandigarh, Chandigarh, India
Date of visit: 19-21 March 2009
Purpose of visit: to speak at the EnviroEnergy Conference 2009 (international conference on energy and environment)

Name of donor: Forum Invest, a Romanian company which organises international conferences.
Address of donor: 18 Mircea Eliade Blvd, 4th floor, Bucharest 012015, Romania
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): £1200
Destination of visit: Bucharest
Date of visit: 2 - 6 October 2009
Purpose of visit: to discuss Romania's attitude to climate change and related environmental issues

Registrable shareholdings
(a) Anacol Holdings Ltd.; a family investment company.
(a) ITI Energy Limited.
(b) AFC Energy (share option).
(b) Eco City Vehicles plc.
(b) Waste2Tricity Limited (of which I am an unpaid director) (share options); converting waste into electricity.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Big Society, Big Joke for Little People

David Cameron launches his Big Society - Telegraph
Local communities will get the power and money to run bus services, set up broadband internet networks and take over neighbourhood recycling schemes under a mass transfer of power from the state to the people.

Mass transfer? Local busybodies under central control rather than slightly less local busybodies under central control to get the power to play buses and bin men? You're havin' a laugh.......aren't you?

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

Times Shock Horror Lead - Evil Oil Funds Sceptics

Oil giant gave £1 million to fund climate sceptics
ExxonMobil, parent company of Esso, gave almost £1 million last year to organisations that campaign against controls on greenhouse gas emissions.
The scientists were exonerated this month by an independent inquiry but groups funded by Exxon have continued to lambast them.
Bob Ward, policy director at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, who has been monitoring Exxon’s links to sceptic groups, said: “Exxon has engaged in a public relations campaign to convince the world that it has stopped funding climate sceptic groups. But this has turned out to be pure greenwash. Exxon has continued to provide financial support for many groups that are engaged in activities to persuade the public and policymakers into wrongly believing that climate change is a hoax.
“The aim of these groups, some of which try to keep their sponsors secret, is blatantly obvious: to delay government regulation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by restricting the use of oil, gas and coal.”

This is The Times lead story, hardly worth paying for!
Will it get any traction in the blogosphere as it won't be linked to?

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

July 18, 2010

Basically it has a fishy smell to it

Acidic oceans cause fish to lose ability to smell danger - Telegraph

The researchers, who will reveal their findings at a conference in Belfast on fish and climate change later this month, showed that in the wild, these fish larvae take greater risks, swimming further from shelter that might hide them from predators.
More of the fish larvae also die in the wild, sparking fears that fish populations could struggle to survive and replenish themselves as oceans become more acidic.
Scientists predict that the world’s oceans will grow increasingly acidic as levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise due to human activity and dissolve in the sea.
It is already known that ocean acidification will be catastrophic for shellfish as the weakly acidic water makes it harder for them to grow shells.
“The predictions for how acidic the oceans will become are pretty bleak, so it is clear it will have a major impact.”

The oceans are not, in fact, acidic, but slightly basic.
Historical global mean seawater values are approximately 8.16
However, even a small change in pH may lead to large changes in ocean chemistry and ecosystem functioning. Over the past 300 million years, global mean ocean pH values have probably never been more than 0.6 units lower than today
Based on the emissions scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and general circulation models, we may expect a drop in ocean pH of about 0.4 pH units by the end of this century.

I get a sense that they have a conference they are getting desperate to get attention for...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Telegraph recycling environmental news again


Earth news: the latest green, environmental and conservation news - Telegraph
Sunday 18 July 2010
Duck rescue
US banker Joel Armstrong catches ducklings as they fall from a building.

Is this the same Joel Armstrong that caught ducklings last year? What a man to do it two years running, or is the Telegraph running an old story as news?

Posted by The Englishman at 7:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Bring me my arrows of desire!

Jay Rayner on the joys of fat and lard | Life and style | The Observer

....Forget what the guardians of our health tell you. Ignore the pinched diet jeremiahs and the skinny cardio-thoracic surgeons; bypass surgery has advanced to such a point that it's practically routine these days. For what is the point of a life lived without fat? Fat is good. Fat is great. Fat is where the flavour is. Without fat a piece of meat is just so much stolid, worthy protein; a joyless celebration of earnest activity rather than the greater virtues of sloth and indulgence. Sure, fillet steak may be the most expensive cut of the cow, but it is also the dullest. It is Mogadon made flesh. Give me a thick-cut sirloin, with its heavy, buffed amber ribbon at its back every time.

Give me lamb breast, with its crisped, friable outer layers, which, when hot, melt on the tongue. Give me a duck with tits like Dolly Parton, its outside as sweet and caramelised and crunchy as a candied nut. Give me plump capons and geese, and sausages that leave a puddle of something shiny on the plate when you puncture them, just ready to be mopped up with the pad of one (fat) finger.

I would go off on one now about the whole pig thing – bacon rind and crackling, slices of black pudding dotted with granules of fat like diamonds in a mine – but I think you know about that already. Suffice to say that a pig without its fat is like Angelina Jolie without the looks: not worth bothering with.

There is to me no sadder sight than a plate of roasted meat from which its owner has systematically excised every trace of glistening fat, the unwanted bronzed skin piled up on the rim like the debris left at the side of a motorway after a nasty car crash. There is always a pinched expression that goes with this process, the look of someone who has the stench of something unspeakable in their nostrils. I want to shout "you idiot" and chuck my knife in, give those exquisite, slippery pieces the love they deserve.

Sheer poetry, and Sunday Lunch to prepare....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2010

The Chilli Cook Off - A Fun Time Was Had By All

Posted by The Englishman at 8:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 16, 2010

Friday Night is Music Night (Even Arses Can Make Sweet Music Edition)

Posted by The Englishman at 4:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Heal thyself

Parents of obese children may be guilty of neglect | UK news | The Guardian

Dr Russell Viner and colleagues from the UCL Institute of Child Health in London say that the weight of a child by itself is not a reason for child protection staff to get involved.
But in an article on what they accept is a potentially contentious issue, published online today by the British Medical Journal, they suggest that it may be appropriate to consider the child protection register if the parents consistently fail to change the family's lifestyle and will not engage with outside help.

"Removing children from their parents may not help obesity. There are few data on the weight of children in public care," they say. A recent study found that 37% of children in care were overweight or obese – but almost all of them had put on weight after they were put into care.

Strange the state is so keen to lecture its subjects but doesn't seem to worry about its own charges....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Knowing the Unknowns

Peter Mandelson: Prince Charles's remarks on GM crops 'irresponsible' | Politics | The Guardian
The Prince of Wales made frequent representations about areas of public policy he believed were misguided, according to Mandelson.
Tony Blair asked Peter Mandelson to tell the Prince of Wales to stop his "unhelpful" attempts to influence government policy on genetically modified crops.
In a sign of the private irritation among ministers at the prince's interference over the years, Mandelson accuses him of being "anti-scientific and irresponsible", in the third instalment of his memoirs

Prince Charles attacks climate change sceptics | Environment | guardian.co.uk
The Prince of Wales last night launched an attack on climate sceptics, deriding them for peddling "pseudo science".
In a speech to world business leaders at a climate change seminar, Charles criticised such sceptics for apparently intimidating people from "adopting the precautionary measures necessary to avert environmental collapse".
Charles, speaking yesterday at the event staged by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership at St James's palace, did not mention any sceptics by name but said: "People have heard the climate sceptics and attempted to listen to the kind of pseudo science they are peddling ... I have endlessly been accused of peddling pseudo science, in one way or another, for most of my life - just think about the strange irony."

At least he recognises it.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

City of Culture Shibboleth

Londonderry to be first City of Culture in 2013 - Telegraph

BBC News - Londonderry named the UK City of Culture

Derry celebrates culture capital success | UK news | The Guardian

Joy as Derry is named 2013 City of Culture - Home News, UK - The Independent

Department for Culture Media and Sport - uk city of culture
Derry to be UK City of Culture 2013

My apologies - I had bet myself that the BBC would be on the "Derry" side and Her Majesty's Government on the "Londonderry" side. Strange times and bedfellows...

But any excuse to showcase the wonderful Undertones...

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

July 15, 2010

Chilli Cook-Off Reminder - 17th July Kings Arms


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

The Dog that didn't bark

Lord Mandelson's mortgage still mystifies - Telegraph
Although there has been great interest in Lord Mandelson's financial affairs, he, predictably, sheds precious little light on them in his memoirs published on Thursday.
He says not a word, for instance, about how he found the £2.4 million to purchase his Regent's Park home in 2006....

We no longer care as he is now just a pantomime old politician, flogging the first draft of his memories. One day someone will reveal the tawdry secrets of the BBM years, but it will just be ancient history.

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

Claiming Jackboot Time

German police win overtime pay for putting on their uniforms - Europe, World - The Independent: "A German policeman's lot is a decidedly happier one after a court ruling yesterday which awarded an officer from the city of Münster an extra week's holiday to compensate for the time he spends donning his uniform each day.
Martin Schauder, 44, was awarded extra holiday, or the equivalent in pay, by a court in the west German city after persuading judges that the 15 minutes he spent putting on the kit – vest, trousers, belt, shirt, tank top and boots together with the accompanying pistol and handcuffs – amounted to overtime."

Fifteen minutes? And it is not as even if they are smart black ones by Hugo Boss any more...

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

Chinese Peace and Prosperity from Global Warming

Ancient Chinese history gives clues to climate troubles at root of wars - Scotsman.com News

As CHINESE policymakers grapple with an expected increase in extreme weather due to global warming, a study has found that periods of cooling in the country's well-recorded history also caused a wave of disasters, war and upheaval.
Droughts and locust plagues caused by cooler spells probably triggered internal wars, the authors said.

They found the frequency of wars, droughts, floods, the price of rice, locust plagues and temperatures in China were positively associated within time bands of around 160 and 320 years.

"Our study suggests that the food production during the last two millennia has been more unstable during cooler periods," the authors said.
This resulted in more social conflict owing to rebellions within dynasties and/or aggression from northern pastoral nomadic societies in ancient China, they said.
The collapses of the agricultural dynasties of the Han (206BC-AD220), Tang (681-906), Song (960-1279) and Ming (1368-1643) were more closely associated with low temperature, they said.
"It is very probable that cool temperatures may be the driving force in causing high frequencies of meteorological, agricultural disasters and then manmade disasters (wars] in ancient China," they said.
"It is generally believed that global warming is a threat to human societies in many ways. However, some countries or regions might also benefit from increasing temperatures in some ways," the authors said.
The global climate has natural variations in temperature and rainfall, but scientists fear the rapid accumulation of greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution could lead to catastrophic climate change unless emissions are sharply reduced.

Warm good, warming bad....

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

July 13, 2010

Duc de Coutard fears for the peasantry

This Tory bonfire of regulations lets the rich foul the poor with impunity | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
Take out the referee and crises will erupt in public health as in banking. And the state will eventually pay to put them right

Poor wee Georgie is scared of the dark and wants Nanny to stay by his cot.....

Posted by The Englishman at 7:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Camp as a row of comrades

Camping for communists | Aditya Chakrabortty | Comment is free | The Guardian

Why camping – with its shared tasks and flattened hierarchies – is an exercise in practical communism

If you want to ponce about in a tented village maybe it is. The only camping that attracts me is near solitude in the wilderness. I'm too old and fat to be a "rugged individualist" but I fail to see that a yearning to be is bringing out the inner Pinko in me.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Switzerland Welcomes Anal Raping Paedophiles (as long as the are lefty luvvies)

Roman Polanski released: US says case is not closed - Telegraph

Roman Polanski is "special"... would they welcome Gary Glitter if he was on the run? (And I will admit Mr Gadd's music has provided me with far more entertainment than Pervvy Polanski ever has).

Posted by The Englishman at 7:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Three Police Shot in UK - and you won't read of it in London

Three police officers were shot in Belfast on Sunday night.
The two men and one woman were blasted with a shotgun fired by a masked man, who emerged from a crowd of nationalists who attacked the police as traditional Protestant 11th Night celebrations took place.

Another 24 police officers sustained injuries in that and a further separate riot in Belfast last night. Police said none of the injuries was life-threatening.
In south Belfast, police were attacked by petrol bombers as an Orange march passed another traditional flashpoint at the Ormeau bridge.
Elsewhere in the city, a hijacked bus containing a suspicious device was abandoned outside Woodburn police station. It was later declared an elaborate hoax. A car was later hijacked in the Oldpark Road area of north Belfast and found abandoned on nearby Alliance Avenue.
Police said a police officer was taken to hospital after she was struck by a missile in the disturbances.
Other officers were also injured in the disorder. A blast bomb was among the missiles that had been thrown at them.

The London based media will ignore this and shrug it of as boys being boys.....

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

July 12, 2010

The Glorious Twelfth

The Glorious Revolution is arguably the most significant single advance in the provision of good government that the world has ever seen. This has been overshadowed by concentrating on its quite peripheral impact on the divisions among Christians. But the Calvinist Prince of Orange who became William III was driven by his fear of absolutist French hegemony over Europe, not by worries about Catholicism whose leader, the Pope, was his temporal ally.

The point is that the freedoms ensured and the benefits gained from the Glorious Revolution far exceed anything gained from any other single event , including the mistakenly more celebrated French Revolution.

The Reign of Terror in the French Revolution was bad enough; but the loss of life from the resulting years of war which ended only in 1815 compares with the First World War, and that with a smaller population. The other great so called Revolution, the Russian, was more a coup d’état by the Bolsheviks, with equally disastrous imitations in Europe and Asia which led to the death of about 100 million.

The American Revolution was derivative and confirmatory of the Glorious Revolution.

The Glorious Revolution was in many ways England’s great gift to the world. It established those fundamental principles of good governance which best allow man to achieve and to exercise his fundamental rights.

It is of particular significance not only in the constitutional development of Britain and the Commonwealth, but also the United States.....

...since the Glorious Revolution, the Anglo-Americans have been on the winning side in every major international conflict. .

This indicates some advantage in the Anglo-Saxon system of governance. There is no evidence that this has anything to with race but rather, it is to do with the endorsement of what we may call political culture. Mead makes the point that not only is the United States a nation of immigrants, but so was England even at the time of the Glorious Revolution. This augurs well for the current massive immigration into the Anglo-Saxon countries. Good sense will make most realise that the system they have come to works and works well – the great majority will have little inclination to change it.

It is important to stress that the great advantages of the Glorious Revolution were not the result of some philosopher sitting down and designing them. That was what directed the French and Bolshevik Revolutions, near crazed men designing schemes to save the world that came close to ruining it. The style of the Anglo-Saxon is pragmatic; the style of the major continental powers has hitherto been more theoretical.

The wisdom of the Anglo Saxons has been in allowing institutions to evolve gradually over time and through trial and error. By way of contrast to continental thought, I would refer to the story of the French énarque who when the benefits of something we are familiar with were shown to him said: “Yes, it may well work in practice, but does it work in theory?” .....

Click here for more to digest over your bacon and eggs - The Glorious Revolution: Three Centuries of Freedom David Flint

Posted by The Englishman at 5:53 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

She needs help not state regulation

A truly toxic issue | Sadhbh Walshe | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

As someone who has spent a great deal of her time cycling around farmers' markets in inclement weather to fill cloth bags with local seasonal and organic produce, and sweating out toxins in hot yoga studios in between, I've known for a while that imbibing food is a perilous adventure. Meat, fish and dairy products have long since terrified me. Even fresh produce has its dangers. A conventional apple for example – the very fruit that is meant to keep the doctor at bay – can contain up to 42 different pesticides, many of them known carcinogens.
You can, of course, minimise your exposure to toxic chemicals by adhering to the following set of guidelines: buy food, home and garden products, toys, medicines, furniture and clothing that are organic and free of BPA, phtalates, endocrine disruptors, formaldehyde and other toxic by-products of the manufacturing process. Filter your water and air, don't use your mobile phone, don't use Wi-Fi, don't use the microwave, steer clear of electronic devices generally, wear sunscreen, avoid carpets, test your house for mould, test your house for radon levels, avoid first-, second- and third-hand smoke – and next time you sign a credit card receipt, try not to touch it.
If average citizens are to have any hope of a toxin-free lifestyle, we need the government to step in and regulate the poisonous substances that we are being exposed to on a daily basis.

Don't worry, be happy.....

Posted by The Englishman at 5:11 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 11, 2010

Amazongate Bullshit - Moonbat Toast

Amazongate proven: IPCC based their claim of rainforest sensitivity on a “probably” sentence in a now defunct activist website | Watts Up With That?

This whole complaint forcing the Sunday Times into a retraction is a made up crisis, and it’s CYA bullshit of the highest order. Readers know that I don’t use that term in posts often, or lightly. In fact, I can’t recall the last time I used it in a story.

WUWT readers should make this IPCC folly known at other websites in comments. They wanted a debate, they wanted a retraction, well they got it. Now it is time for them to admit they supported a flawed premise based on shoddy activist driven “science”.

Salaams to Richard North for his dogged digging as ever.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moat -The Great Escape

Raoul Moat hunt one of most expensive in police history - mirror.co.uk
The search for Raoul Moat is one of the most expensive manhunts in British police history with the final bill expected to run into millions.
Hundreds of officers from 15 different forces, many of them specialist marksmen and sniffer dog handlers, are involved round the clock.
Around one-tenth of all UK armed police who are available for duty have been called up. The Met has sent 40 specialist firearms officers and the Police Service of Northern Ireland has provided 20 armoured cars. RAF Tornados have also been sweeping the area in the increasingly desperate hunt.

Questions need to be asked, a small 2000 population village surrounded by fields.... And why did it take so long to persuade him to top himself and save us all a lot of bother. "You, gun, down, No? Bang" Off to the pub to celebrate.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

NHS Obesity Cure - Cut Bits Off Your Kids

Leading doctors call for urgent crackdown on junk food | Politics | The Observer
Professor Terence Stephenson, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said that the consumption of unhealthy food should be seen to be just as damaging as smoking or binge drinking.
"Thirty years ago, it would have been inconceivable to have imagined a ban on smoking in the workplace or in pubs, and yet that is what we have now. Are we willing to be just as courageous in respect of obesity? I would suggest that we should be,"

NHS urged to offer circumcisions to avoid botched operations | Society | The Observer
Senior doctors have called for male circumcision to be offered by the NHS amid fears that unregulated operations are leading to serious injuries among Muslim boys.

Offer your kid a bacon sarnie and you should be locked up, cut a bit of his willy off and the taxpayer should do it for you......

(The Muslim kids who were mutilated had an average age of six and the incompetent slicing was done in the school library without anaesthetic 13 out of 32 ended up with medical problems, no information about psychological after effects. No charges were brought.)

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

July 10, 2010

I have a staple gun and I'm not afraid to use it....

Keystone%20Kops.jpg Source

And I'm Inspector Clouseau, no one will recognise me behind this moustache...

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July 9, 2010

Friday Night is Music Night (Nice Young Boys Edition)

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Cheryl Cole's Sweaty Night In Bed And Her Prophylactic Failure May Save Lives

Why can't we rid the world of malaria? - Telegraph
Cheryl Cole was persuaded to clamber to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro last year on behalf of Comic Relief to raise money for insecticide-treated bed-nets.
And how is it that on what should have been a routine holiday to Tanzania last month the singer Cheryl Cole contracted the disease, necessitating her being rushed to hospital last weekend from her Surrey home?
Cole is not the first famous casualty of malaria, nor is she likely to be the last. Malaria almost certainly contributed to the death of King Tutankhamun and, in the 17th century, when malarial mosquitoes bred beneath Lambeth Bridge, it carried off the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell.
Nor, if it is true that Cole was taking a preventive medication, will she be the first person for whom a prophylactic regime has failed. ...
So why is it that the eradication of malaria, unlike the eradication of smallpox, which was achieved in 1979, remains such a seemingly distant prospect?
Far from reducing malaria mortality, as neighbouring Rwanda has, Uganda now suffers a reported 340 deaths every day.
One reason for this surge in infections is that many Ugandan farmers refuse to spray their crops with pesticides that might kill the mosquitoes that transmit the disease, citing the concerns of the environmental lobby who have long campaigned against the use of DDT and other chemicals.

The terrible toll of malaria - Telegraph
Annual deaths from malaria: 850,000
91 per cent of deaths are in Africa
85 per cent of deaths are of children aged under five

It is preventable, it is eradicable. Blood is on the "environmentalists" hands. "Our" Cheryl's plight is raising awareness.

(Headline excuse - it is stale sweat, not fresh, that attracts Mosquitoes. There appears to be no scientific literature on silicone or botox acting as attractants.)

Posted by The Englishman at 6:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DEFRA wants advice on Climate Change advice

Defra seek views on future of support for climate change adaptation in the UK.
Defra funds the Local and Regional Adaptation Board, and supports regional climate change partnerships in England. The current UKCIP contract is due to end in September 2011. Given the significant changes taking place in the local and sub-national public sector landscape, Defra is now reviewing its arrangements for providing evidence, advice and support on adaptation. Defra is keen to hear views and priorities about what a new delivery landscape for providing evidence, advice and support on adaptation should look like: acc.mailbox@defra.gsi.gov.uk by the end of July.

If you have any advice for DEFRA please get in touch.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hold on to your wallet the Greens are after your cash

European Union could cut emissions by 95% with renewables – Greenpeace
Report by Greenpeace International and European Renewable Energy Council says savings would outweigh €2tn investment
The European Union could obtain 92% of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2050 while cutting carbon emissions by 95% compared with 1990, according to a report.
An extra €2tn (£1.7tn) worth of investment would be needed by the middle of this century but that could easily be outweighed by €2.65tn of fuel cost savings, argues Greenpeace International and the European Renewable Energy Council.
"This study shows that investing in green energy will nudge up the cost of electricity in the short to medium term. But it will save trillions of euros in fuel costs alone by 2030 and represents an immediate investment in jobs and energy security," says Greenpeace

MORE than £10 billion of investment is needed to help Scotland meet its target for cutting emissions by 2020, a new report has claimed.
It warned that without an "enormous increase" in investment and "significant" technological development, there was a "very real risk" that the 2020 target and the one set for 2050 would not be met.

All this "investment" in jobs and energy security and saving us from frying, who could argue....

Posted by The Englishman at 6:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 8, 2010

Cry Freedom

HMG - Your Freedom
The Coalition Government is committed to restoring and defending your freedom – and we're asking you to participate.

They are looking for ideas on this website - I'm not sure everyone has quite got the idea - you may want to comment...

Ban the law that says it's 'ok' to have a firearm — HMG - Your Freedom
A gun is a license to murder. That's all they are for. In 2009, 60 people died to gun violence alone. It's time to follow the route of civilised countries like China, North Korea and Turkmenistan and have a TOTAL ban on guns and a 10 year jail sentence for those who have them.
Someone who owns a firearm will use it against someone eventually.
Please visit our site: http://guncontrolnetwork.blogspot.com

Posted by The Englishman at 7:02 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Normal for Norfolk

Norfolk earliest known settlement in northern Europe - Telegraph

Why do I feel some of the original families are still living there interbreeding, maybe Theo can explain.

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

And the ball never crossed the line

Scientists claim 'exoneration' in probe of climate change scandal - Scotsman.com News
Yesterday the university's vice-chancellor, Professor Edward Acton, said the review was an "exoneration" .....

If the Ref is looking the wrong way, only consults the linesmen who didn't see anything either, ignores the "amateur" spectators and refuses to consult the technology then it definitely wasn't a goal. And he is taking the ball home in a sulk if you argue with him

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

July 7, 2010

Repost From Five Years Ago - 7/7

Home at last - I've had a long day stuck on trains but I'm OK - unlike some of our fellow countrymen. Your thoughts should be with them tonight as mine are.

Image taken on 7/7/2005 17:47
This is the view from my home when I got back. It is worth fighting for.

UPDATE: Thanks for the kind messages, sorry I was without net access for so long! Tonight is a night for enjoying putting the Englishettes to bed and being thankful. Tomorrow is another day.

And below the fold a stronger response, the Dear Hugh letter.


Friday July 8th 2005


Two things.

One ' Geldof's fucked, then.

Two ' I'll put a fucking bomb in London if Blair doesn't learn to speak faster.

Did you hear him yesterday? Jesus Christ; it made you want to catch a bus. What is the matter with this man and his brain-to-mouth impediment? Is it some form of elaborate stutter?

OK, I know he was at a press conference and reporters these days don't do shorthand but, for fuck's sake, even my one-armed thalidomide tortoise could take that dictation.

Did you hear him?

.............by this shoc...............king..................atrocity'.

Fucking get on with it, you twat; Shameless is on in a minute.

As Robbie (12) pithily put it 'Maybe he's got Tourets, Dad, and he needs to think about what he says'.

As a patriot (which I am, actually; Elgar, green and pleasant, the sacred rite of conkers and all that) I am concerned that our Slo-Mo PM is giving the wrong impression to the towel head bombers. They must have watched him on the telly and thought that they'd scored a direct hit, because he plainly appeared to have concussion.

Actually, what is interesting is that Tardy Tony's first remarks to camera ' uttered before some half-wit decided to write a languid, cortege-speed address for him ' revealed his true feelings. And, God, wasn't he is a tantrum then? There he was, getting his moment of G8 glory trashed, and it was all 'This is jolly rude! These people are spoiling my turn to be king and it's not fair! Beasts!'

I hope they catch the fuckers; not just to keep them off the streets but so that somebody can tell them that as far as bombers go, they are really crap. Fifty, or whatever, dead, is dreadful, appalling, but it's still a crap kill-rate compared to what they could have achieved if, for instance, they had just stood in one of those long queues to brush past the Big Issue sellers and down the steps at Oxford Street tube station.

Or in one of the lines outside the Planetarium. Plainly, these bombers do not know their way about.

I noticed that unfortunately it took less than an hour after the blasts for the Americanisation of the tragedy to kick it. This began with unsolicited e-mails from people asking me 'Are you alright?'.

Of course I'm fucking alright, I live in Wiltshire. After about eight of these messages from masters of geography, I thought I might as well join in with the spirit of universal concern and phone my Mum to reassure her (just in case she was worried that times are so hard that I've taken to travelling by public transport).

I rang and said: 'Hi, Mum; I'm just calling to say that I'm not dead'.

She said: 'No, dear, it's Grandma who's dead. The funeral is on Monday. Aren't you coming?'

I said yes, I know, but there's been a terror incident in London and I was ringing to say that I'm not there. And then the idiocy of this struck me and I made a note to call her and say that 'I'm not there' the next time there's an earthquake in China or a flood in Pakistan.

As usual in times of emergency, the news coverage here was bizarre.

'This is the attack that we have long been waiting for', said somebody on Sky News. No, it isn't. The attack we have long been waiting for, and still are waiting for, is one from a dirty bomb. By which I do not mean a device that explodes by calling everybody a cunt.

Talking of which, which bright sub on the backbench of The Times was it who thought that we Brits needed the event to be described in the vernacular of Las Vegas? I don't know if you've seen The Times, but they've taken to describing it as '7/7'.

Ugh. '7/7', '9/11' ' has nobody other than George Galloway worked out that it's because of our bed-sharing with Americana that this has happened in the first place? We, being British, do not need '7/7', thank you. We, being British, are perfectly capable of enunciating 'July the seventh'. It's bad enough standing around waiting for a bus that never arrives without blowing up, let alone having to suffer a terrorism of semantics.

Talking of which, my suspicion that the people responsible are not some slick act was endorsed this morning when I read that the group claiming responsibility are called 'The Secret Organization Group Of

Al-Qaeda of Jihad Organization in Europe'.

That's really up there in catchiness with Pepsi, isn't it?

What sort of fuckwits are they? Who (other than a cretin with scant command of English) uses the snappy word 'Organization' twice in their title? And spells it with an irritatingly-inappropriate 'z'? It's with a fucking 's', you inarticulate heathens.

Anyway, I read the statement from the easily-remembered SOGAQJOE

and noted that among its claims, apparently 'Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters'.

Once again, wrong. Speak to my Mum. She lives in the 'western quarters' and she was so 'burning with fear' that she knew fuck-all about it when I rang.

Our mate Al (as in Maclennan, not Qaeda) was not so fortunate. He was at Edgware Road yesterday at the time of the disaster but wisely decided not to hop onto the Piccadilly Line after observing smoke billowing from the entrance to the Tube station. Of course, this could merely have signified a Keith Richards gig in action, but thankfully Alex decided otherwise.

As you may know, Al has moved into the village here and his will be one of the homes that Robbie and I visit tonight in order to orchestrate the inauguration of the All Cannings Defence Corps.

You will have noticed that the ACDC is already a notch up on the SOGAQJOE when it comes to superior acronyms. We also have an air-gun. A .177. So nobody better come around here leaving their sarnies in a paper bag on the Wiggly Bus, or we'll take their eye out.

Anyway, back to the lysergic acid-style reporting. I knew that things were grim when the BBC Nine O'Clock News reported from outside New Scotland Yard that 'what the police have to discover about the bombers is were they foreign or were they home-grown British?'

Well, what the fuck do you think? Home-grown British? What does that mean? Are Home-Grown British terrorists the sort who bomb London because they're fed up that it's been raining a lot and the price of black pudding's gone up? And how exactly are these people grown at home? Under arc lights?

Inevitably, the local news bulletins made it all worse. BBC South West was spectacular in its optimism to be part of the gang. 'The bomb may have gone off in London but it felt as if we were ALL under attack', they said.

No. Wrong. We didn't feel under attack here. But then we've got an


Undaunted by their display of singular ignorance of the location of London, BBC South West continued 'The advice from police in the West tonight is 'be alert but not alarmed'. But although the region is a long way from London and few would expect a bomb here, none expected a bomb on a red double-decker bus to Hackney'.

Oh, right. That's up there with 'Although the tsunami was centred on Thailand, it could have hit Trowbridge, because that also begins with a 'T''

Then, as the Americans had not featured in our domestic news for all of a minute, we had to 'go over, live, now' to Washington where Condaleeza Rice was signing a book of condolence that some enterprising spark had opened at the British Embassy. Did you see what she wrote? She wrote 'they will not die in vain'.

What the fuck does that mean? Not 'did not' but 'will not'. 'Will not' implies a knowledge of future events; has she got some retaliation up her sleeve? And against whom, exactly? What's she going to do, have F1-11's take out Tottenham?

Talk about giving the game away; she may as well have signed the book with 'you'll be sorr-ee, luv and kisses, Condy'.

Perhaps I am being too harsh in my expectation that leaders (Blair, Rice, the BBC) should give some thought to their exhortations before spewing rubbish like drunks in a pub. But then their knee-jerkery paled in comparison with Bono's response.

Don't know if you clocked this but Bono was asked whether he thought that the attacks would shift the G8 agenda from aid for Africa and he said 'It's not a problem'.

Hello? Earth to idiot. 'It's not a problem'? That's up there with 'it's a drag', isn't it? Maybe he'll have to regroup under a new banner now, Make Pomposity History.

But the best coverage was kicked off by that guff from the Mayor of France with his 'maintenant, je suis il Londoner ici' nonsense. No you are not. WE are; you lost, remember?

Personally I don't like the sound of the French trying to muscle in on our gig with all of this 'ich bin eine chirpy Cockney geezer, ain't I my old Dutch' lark. Fuck off and get your own bomb; this is nothing to do with you.

Or is it?

We shall examine the French Connection in a moment. But I haven't finished with the Yanks yet. As I was saying, it's a damn shame that this atrocity has to be described through usage of all four pages of the American Dictionary, with terms like '7/7' etc. And just as it was after September 11th, so the newsmen here last night had to go into Americanised fits of description about the Blitz spirit and stiff upper lips.

Ignoring for a moment both the stiff upper and lower lips of our Prime Minister which prevent him from talking properly, I've not noticed any Blitz spirit. All I've seen is what you always see from us lot in times of dire emergency and national threat ' which is essentially a response of 'do piss off you bloody camel-shagger, you're making me late for the pub'. Blair could do worse than adopting a touch of this 'Oi, fucking keep it down' attitude and less of the hand-wringing feebleness.

Anyway, according to the way that the BBC's entire staff of reporters on work experience put it you'd have thought we'd never had problems on the streets of London before.

I remember the days of Scotland v England football matches at Wembley. That WAS a fucking terror, waiting for a Tube at Kings Cross with all that lot of peat-reeking pissheads in their cloaks of St. Andrew's cross and cans of Tennants Super Brew.

In fact, if I back up my memory by twenty years I remember a time when you couldn't walk down Fleet Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street without some bog brigader setting off a letter box without asking you first. And if it wasn't bombs on every corner, then it was bloody riots going on all over the place. And Millwall playing at home. I know all about ruddy terror on the streets of London; I remember the first royal wedding ' the sight of Barbara Cartland's caked-up face gaping out of one of those carriages was petrifying.

Anyway, having exhausted my interest in the BBC coverage, I switched to ITV because I figured that by now they would be proving true to type and screening 'Celebrity Bomb Victims'.

Oddly enough, this wasn't on. I expect the broadcast was delayed while lawyers negotiated with Ulrika Johnson to present it topless. But no matter because instead we had the highly-entertaining sight of watching Sir Trevor McDonald present an EXTENDED ITN NEWS by continually SHOUTING.

Just in case the gravity of the situation had not dawned on everyone, ITN made it evident by adding a headline to the left hand top corner of the screen during Sir Trev's FURIOUS REPORTS. This read:

'TARGET LONDON' and was illustrated with a graphic of three little FLAMES and implied EXCLAMATION MARKS.

After staring at 'TARGET LONDON' (snappy, evidently not from the same copywriters as those that SOGAQJOE use), I began to wonder whether this was an announcement ' or an instruction?

Was 'TARGET LONDON' a call to arms to all of the swarthy men in skirts who have been poncing about studying engineering at the University of Richmond (sic) since 1977? Was 'TARGET LONDON' the sign that they had been waiting for? Was ITN a sleeper front for Al-Qaeda and, come to think of it, where did Sir Trevor Bin Laden get that tan from in the first place?

But, as I have previously alluded, who says it's the men in skirts that are responsible? It could be the French.

You may scoff but look at the circumstantial evidence. First the garlic-munchers get stuffed on Britain asking pointed questions about the subsidies of the Common Agricultural Policy and how come every French farmer drives a Rolls. Then the brown envelopes that Seb Coe put about in Singapore pay off and Paris fails to get the Olympics.

You can see a pattern. Personally, I reckon Chirac got his over-eager secret service to get their Rainbow Warrior plan out again in order to provide a diversion that would get Blair the hell out of Gleneagles.

I reckon the G8 came down for coffee and biscuits and said 'where's Tony?' and Chirac replied that he'd had to rush to London about something or other but he'd left a badly-typed note which read:

'Dear Lads,

Sorry I've had to away nip. Agree pleaze with the French. They are bon!

Tonny xxx'

You can scoff but these are strange times indeed. Anyway, as I am not in the least bit xenophobic about it all, here follows a recipe for a Solidarity Supper of Towel-Head Cous Cous With French Beans.

All best,


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

A Sash for Sunday

As all decent men do I celebrate The Twelfth; the Glorious Revolution, and the Hanoverian Settlement as the cornerstones of English freedom, prosperity, and social progress.

But if I wear orange on Sunday will I be mistaken for a football fan?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:32 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May England always lose at football

Football's debt to socialism | Simon Hattenstone | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
John Barnes has said England will never win the World Cup unless they understand football is a socialist sport

That explains a lot - may football whither on the vine!

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

July 6, 2010

Well-founded unbalanced overly negative..

Review of questioned IPCC report says conclusions 'well-founded' | guardian.co.uk

UN report on climate change ‘was one-sided’ | The Times

IPCC climate change report 'played down positive impacts' - Telegraph

Pays your money and takes your choice - read what you want into it.

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

Save the Landlord!

Private landlords to 'slash rents to keep tenants because of housing benefit cuts' - Telegraph

More than one million households who receive housing benefit will have to find extra cash to pay their rent to private landlords from next year.
If the cannot find the money they will evicted or forced to move.

Or as the headline says demand in that weird market supply and demandy way lower rents. We have been shovelling money into the market and wonder why the rents are so high. Stop shovelling and let us see what happens.

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

Please give generously

Single working age: £175.34
Pensioner couple: £222.22
Couple with two children: £402.83
Lone parent with one child: £233.73
Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Weekly income excluding rent and childcare
The JRF report is an attempt to raise the debate about the level of relative poverty in the UK beyond the official poverty line of 60% of average earnings.

£400 a week excluding rent and childcare? What are they spending it on then? £100 a week feeds four easily. Clothes are dirt cheap. Heat and light don't make much of a hole.If you exclude the costs of The Castle we easily live on that, but then I am sure the old Choccy maker would classify me as living in poverty and not enjoying their "acceptable standard of living".

Posted by The Englishman at 6:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Believe in Weather not Climate

Big freeze changes minds on global warming - Scotsman.com News

A THIRD of Scots have changed their views on climate change due to the winter big freeze and the "climategate" scandal, a study for The Scotsman has revealed.
More than 1,000 people in Scotland were questioned about their opinions on climate change The results showed 85 per cent believe climate change is happening and 72 per cent think it is largely caused by human activities, such as greenhouse gas emissions from power stations and transport.
However, the study also showed that 30 per cent had changed their opinion about the science to back up climate change over the past year.
Of this 30 per cent, 62 per cent said it was because Scotland had just had its second coldest winter on record.
And a quarter of those whose opinions had altered said this was due to the so called "climategate" scandal involving leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia.
Environment groups said it was encouraging so many people accepted climate change was happening, and that the majority thought it was caused by humans. However, they added that it was a huge challenge to explain to people the difference between weather and climate.
They want to get the message across that local cold weather does not alter the trend of global climate warming.

So 72% believe climate change is happening and largely caused by humans, yet 30% of the sample have changed their mind. So did 102% believe before or am I missing something?

Posted by The Englishman at 5:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 5, 2010

Is Lord Oxburgh a P G Wodehouse Invention?

BBC News - Harrabin's Notes: Getting to the bottom of Climategate

Lord Oxburgh himself explains the situation: "I really can't get very worked up about all this!
"There is an underlying presumption of a formality to our activities that simply wasn't there.
"(Critics) are attaching an unrealistic significance to the original list of publications.
"We did not bother unduly about the origin of the list of papers....

The authentic voice of the old boy network at lunch work....Jolly good chaps, lunch with a decent bottle of vino, all tickety boo....

Posted by The Englishman at 3:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Cost of Royalty

Hague concern as Tony Blair's police bodyguards cost £250,000 in expenses
It comes in addition to the basic cost to the public of protecting Mr Blair and his family over a year, including officers’ wages, which is estimated at £6 million.
Mr Blair is thought to have boosted his personal fortune to £20 million since leaving office.
Tony Blair's fortune is predicted to be £45million next year

The Queen's Civil List is frozen at £7.9million. The Crown Estate’s surplus (profit) goes to the Exchequer and helps reduce the fiscal deficit. In the past decade, The Crown Estate has contributed £1.8 billion to the Exchequer.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Payback Time for PV systems

I have a quote for a system:

To install 12 180wp modules.
Total System Size = 2.16kWp
This will qualify for the 0kW – 4kW Clean Energy Cashback Rate of 41.3p per kWh
This gives a projected annual yield of around 1845kWh
Predicted carbon savings 1 tonne annually, or 25 tonnes over the 25 year design life (0.54kg Co2/kWh)

Net Total £9,714 (plus scaffold access, if required)
VAT (@ 5%) £486.00
TOTAL £10,200

Estimated Annual Benefit: £933.60
Estimated Return on Investment: 9.15%
Estimated payback period: 10.92 years
Nett Price per kWp installed: £4,722

Our assessment of the rates for the proposed installation is:
G Tariff = 1845kWh x £0.413 per kWh = £762.00 p.a.
Given the average level of electricity use during daylight hours, and the size of the proposed system, we have made the assumption that 70% of the generated electricity will be used on site:
A Tariff = 1845kWh x 0.7 x £0.12 per kWh (Based on an average cost of 12p/unit) = £155 p.a.
E Tariff = 1845kWh x 0.3 x £0.03 per kWh (Export tariff of 3p per unit) = £16.60 p.a.

T Rate or total estimated benefit from system = £933.60 p.a.
Estimated Return on Investment = 9.15%
Anticipated Capital Cost Payback period = 10.92 years

Does that make sense?

Posted by The Englishman at 6:14 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

My Sort of Candidate

My actual candidate:

Posted by The Englishman at 6:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Recruitment into the Public Sector we can approve of?

Public sector finds itself in dire need of cost controllers to wield the knife - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

A public sector long-used to plentiful funding and comfortable remuneration is having to turn to the private sector to find the axemen it needs to implement unprecedentedly savage cuts, with so-called "Six Sigma" experts – the SAS of cost controllers – in particular demand.
The Government has been trying to recruit scores of senior cost cutters since the coalition was formed, with demand expected to increase again after the October spending review.
The use of efficiency experts seems to be an exception to the current freeze on management consultancy in government.

But I thought the reason wall these Chief Executives and bag carriers were paid so much was that they were better than the private sector already...

Posted by The Englishman at 6:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hurrah for Nonna

BRITISH holidaymakers heading to Italy this summer may be advised to keep an eye on public notices after as numerous councils have brought in lists of silly laws.
Power-crazed mayors are enforcing a zero tolerance summer across the country after being given sweeping new powers to protect public security as well as clamping down on illegal street selling.

Among other edicts that have amounted to the ultimate "stato di nonna" - or nanny state - are bans on public kissing, sand castles, noisy sandals, lawn mowers and leaving a towel unattended on the beach to bag a top spot.

I'm not sure I don't rather approve. Obviously I don't mind sand castles but the rest ruin sea side holidays, especially the noisy sandals...

Posted by The Englishman at 5:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 4, 2010

Pearce on Climategate - A force for good

Climategate was 'a game-changer' in science reporting, say climatologists | Environment | The Guardian
Fred Pearce
Science has been changed forever by the so-called "climategate" saga, leading researchers have said ahead of publication of an inquiry into the affair – and mostly it has been changed for the better.
"The release of the emails was a turning point, a game-changer," said Mike Hulme, professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia. "The community has been brought up short by the row over their science. Already there is a new tone. Researchers are more upfront, open and explicit about their uncertainties, for instance."
And there will be other changes, said Hulme. The emails made him reflect how "astonishing" it was that it had been left to individual researchers to police access to the archive of global temperature data collected over the past 160 years. "The primary data should have been properly curated as an archive open to all." He believes that will now happen....
The veteran Oxford science philosopher Jerome Ravetz says the role of the blogosphere in revealing the important issues buried in the emails means it will assume an increasing role in scientific discourse. "The radical implications of the blogosphere need to be better understood." Curry too applauds the rise of the "citizen scientist" triggered by climategate, and urges scientists to embrace them.

But greater openness and engagement with their critics will not ensure that climate scientists have an easier time in future, warns Hulme. Back in the lab, a new generation of more sophisticated computer models is failing to reduce the uncertainties in predicting future climate, he says – rather, the reverse. "This is not what the public and politicians expect, so handling and explaining this will be difficult."

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

Iain Dale's Huge Annual Election

Click here to vote in the Total Politics Best Blogs Poll 2010 It is some sort of soggy AV system where you have to list ten bloggers you would most like to sleep with and then rate them on their prowess. I never bother, but if you like this democracy stuff then go to it.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

A PROPOSED £9 billion network of “smart” electricity and gas meters will hand the government and power companies detailed information about people’s lifestyles, privacy campaigners are warning.
The systems are so sophisticated they will reveal when people are at home, what sort of appliances they are using and even indicate their diet.
Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, said: “You can tell when people come home, when they eat and whether they tend to cook microwave food or on the stove.”
A similar scheme in Holland was halted last year after a legal ruling that compulsory smart meters would breach privacy rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The British proposals involve installing the meters in every home by 2020. Such a grid could dramatically reduce energy consumption and David Cameron has described it as “the internet for electricity. . . that will deliver a genuinely low carbon world”.
The current preference is for meters to feed information about household energy consumption to a centralised database every 30 minutes. This would be managed by Ofgem, the energy regulator, and pass information on to power companies.

From behind The Sunday Times paywall - can't find a way to even link to it.

Posted by The Englishman at 8:02 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Local Rain Data

Records by Bishops Cannings farmer reach a half century (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)

Bishops Cannings farmer Stephen Horton has been recognised by the Environment Agency and Met Office for helping assembling rainfall figures over the last half century.
Mr Horton and his wife Susan of Easton Farm, received the award from Stuart Herridge of the Met Office and Katherine Holmes of the Environment Agency.
Mr Herridge said: “It is rare to have data returned from a single site for longer than five years. Sometimes a farmer will retire and his son will have no interest in following in his footsteps.
“This data is invaluable in keeping tabs on climatic conditions, with particular reference to climate change.”

I wonder what Steve's records show, do they show this corner of Wiltshire has a changing climate? His farm is only a couple of fields form mine and I sometimes go shooting there.
The admission about how rare it is to get any length of records is interesting.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bin Police

Figures obtained by The Sunday Telegraph have revealed that local authorities issued more than 1,240 fixed penalty notices last year for breaking rules on recycling and putting out rubbish.
Councils are issuing fines of up to £110 for such infringements as putting their bins out for collection at the wrong time, over filling bins, or putting recycling into the wrong boxes.
As well as the fines, local authorities have issued 24,914 official Statutory Notices last year threatening householders with fines. A further 45,010 warning letters were also sent out pointing out breaches in bin and recycling rules.
Councils insist they must enforce rules on recycling to ensure the government can meet European targets on reducing the amount of rubbish which goes to landfill.
Environmental wardens, nicknamed the "bin police" are sent out to look for infringements and in some cases have rummaged through people's rubbish to inspect the contents or even to find documents linking the rubbish to householders.

The councils job is just to collect the rubbish, if they want to sort it into neat little piles to ship to Brazil then that is up to them. All they are doing is increasing fly-tipping, rats and resentment.

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

A Start

Treasury orders cabinet ministers to brace themselves for 40% cuts
The only departments not included in the Treasury trawl will be health and international development, which have been "ringfenced" for the current parliament. Education and defence will also escape lightly. Alexander has told the education secretary, Michael Gove, and the defence secretary, Liam Fox, to plan for two scenarios – cuts to budgets of 10% at best and 20% at worst over four years. All other departments – including the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Transport – have been ordered to produce plans showing the impact of cuts of 25%, and at worst 40%.

Now we are talking - but can't we drop that silly ring fencing of International Aid promise that the bleeding hearts bounced Dave into. Sending aid to India and China for instance is indefensible when cutting at home.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friendly Eyes Watching Over Your Driving

Intelligent cars will report accidents to authorities - Telegraph
Intelligent cars fitted with aircraft-style black boxes that can send video footage and information about driving behaviour during accidents to the police and insurance companies are being developed by computer scientists.

Remember your car may well already have a "black box" which is ready to grass you up...

Automobile Crash Event Data Recorder Some airbag modules have an added feature that allows them to store sensor data received by the module during an airbag deployment or near-deployment. These airbag modules, equipped with a Event Data Recorder (EDR) function, are often referred to as a "Black Box." Although, the airbag module is not a " Black Box", in the true sense of the term, this descriptor helps simplify the explanation of this device. Airbag modules with this EDR function do not record large amounts of data over long periods of time. However, they do record data from up to six sensors for a period of up to five seconds before an impact.

You are being watched as you drive.

Posted by The Englishman at 7:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 3, 2010

Testing Boot Laces

If you don't wear Foundry Boots and start playing with hot metal, and who doesn't enjoy doing that, you will soon find your laces melted, or even better on fire! So we did a quick unrehearsed trial of the ones I sell down the barn yesterday....

Update - of course I should have done a comparison video - here is the best I could do on my own juggling angle grinder in one hand and camera in the other..I didn't manage to get as many sparks on target on the standard mixed fibre bootlace but I think the charring and weakening is quite obvious.

Posted by The Englishman at 11:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,

Houses for sale in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire: Midway Manor

Originally an Elizabethan manor farm and flanked by two large stone barns, Midway Manor became the property of the Shrapnel family in circa 1723. Originally cloth merchants in Bradford-on-Avon, their son lieutenant general, Henry Shrapnel (died 1842), famously invented the Shrapnel shell.
Henry Shrapnel resided at Midway Manor for much of his life and the entrance gate piers (listed Grade II) are each surmounted by canon balls.A stone carving wearing the Shrapnel family motto - ratio ultima regum - is immediately outside the entrance gates. On the back of the gate columns the names of various battles in which the Shrapnel shell has been used are engraved.

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

I'll raise a toast tomorrow to the millions of Americans who celebrate our local inventor's "bombs bursting in the air" this weekend.
And I'll keep digging down the back of the sofa to see if I have necessary to buy the Manor...

Posted by The Englishman at 7:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 2, 2010

Friday Night is Music Night (Woolly Edition)

And the original:

Posted by The Englishman at 5:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Precautionary Principle Works (for shareholders)

The government's response to the swine flu pandemic was on the whole proportionate and effective, an independent review said today, but there are still lessons to be learned from the alert, which cost £1.2bn.
The taxpayer footed the bill which included 20 million unused vaccines.
GlaxoSmithKline made £883million from sales of the drug last year but insisted the Government complete the deal even if the vaccines were no longer needed.
Dame Deirdre Hine's independent review team said: "The lack of such a clause exposed the exchequer to some risk."
They could not reveal how much money would have been saved if there had been a break clause in the contract because of commercial confidentiality.
Dame Deirdre said: "I think we have got to set these figures, which seem enormous, against the potential for saving lives.
"Although we can't identify the number, there probably were lives saved of very young people, young children and so on."
Dame Deirdre said the Government's response to the possible pandemic was "proportionate and effective".

I hate to think what a disproportionate response would have cost.

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

Gaurdian Defends Soya Munchers - Slow News Day

Ignore the anti-soya scaremongers | Justine Butler | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Soya is the great divider; you're either for it, or against it.

Or for some of us it is a great mystery - why, what is it for, why would I want to put it in my mouth? Like going to IKEA, I know people do it, I even have some friends who have done it, but I never have and can't see a reason to do so.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

In the EU pledge

William Hague wants Britain at heart of EU - Scotsman.com News
The pledge by Mr Hague came as a surprise to many and appeared to reverse the Conservative Party's antipathy towards closer integration.

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was ...

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

Hattersley - at best patronising and at worst denigrating.

Bow down, you poor, to the great god Choice | The Times
Roy Hattersley
Only the middle classes win when you ‘choose’ health or education. Life on the bottom rung saps your initiative
To suggest that there is a section of the population that is unwilling or incapable of fighting for its proper share of public services is to attract the charge of at best patronising and at worst denigrating the working class. The accusation is often made by politicians whose only acquaintance with low-paid workers is watching them clean up after a Bullingdon Club night out. But those of us with closer connections with the working class should not be intimidated into ignoring an inconvenient truth.

Good old Hatters, Man of t'people, noughts too good for them, but they really are stupid and need jolly good chaps like me to run their lives for them..

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

July 1, 2010

RA-1O Final Investigation Report Involving Dr. Michael E, Mann The Pennsylvania State University

RA-1O Final Investigation Report Involving Dr. Michael E, Mann
The Pennsylvania State University
June 4, 2010

(Mirror Site)

(The) level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research.
The Investigatory Committee established that Dr. Mann, in all of his published studies, precisely identified the source(s) of his raw data and, whenever possible, made the data and or links to the data available to other researchers.
Most questions about Dr. Mann's findings have been focused on his early published work that showed the "hockey stick" pattern of climate change. In fact, research published since then by Dr. Mann and by independent researchers has shown patterns similar to those first described by Dr. Mann, although Dr. Mann's more recent work has shown slightly less dramatic changes than those reported originally. In some cases, other researchers (e.g., Wahl & Ammann, 2007) have been able to replicate Dr. Mann's findings, using the publicly available data and algorithms. The convergence of findings by different teams of researchers, using different data sets, lends further credence to the fact that Dr. Mann's conduct of his research has followed acceptable practice within his field.
... All of these awards and recognitions, as well as others not specifically cited here, serve as evidence that his scientific work, especially the conduct of his research, has from the beginning of his career been judged to be outstanding by a broad spectrum of scientists. Had Dr. Mann's conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who mayor may not agree with his scientific conclusions.
Moreover, Dr. Mann's work on the Third Assessment Report (2001) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change received recognition (along with several hundred other scientists) by being awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Clearly, Dr. Mann's reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers.
The Investigatory Committee considers Dr. Mann's actions in sharing unpublished manuscripts with third parties, without first having received express consent from the authors of such manuscripts, to be careless and inappropriate. While sharing an unpublished manuscript on the basis of the author's implied consent may be an acceptable practice in the judgment of some individuals, the Investigatory Committee believes the best practice in this regard is to obtain express consent from the author before sharing an unpublished manuscript with third parties.
The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University. More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.
The decision of the Investigatory Committee was unanimous.

One teeny tiny slap on the wrist but otherwise it is so panegyric, such an eulogy, that even his mother might blush at having written it. He truly is a Mann amongst men.

I wonder if the Investigatory Committee would be interested in a bridge I have for sale...

Posted by The Englishman at 9:53 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Stressful five-hour week? You must be a French civil servant

THEY are incompetent and lazy, whiling away their days by the coffee machine when they are not falsifying sick notes.
Nepotism is rife and taxpayers' money is wasted - that, at least, is how France's sprawling civil service is depicted by an insider who wrote a book about her experience of working five hours a week for a salary of 36,000 euros ($52,700) a year.
As a result, the 32-year-old woman faces a disciplinary committee with the power to recommend her dismissal for lifting the lid on the wastefulness of France's public sector, which employs 5.3 million people at an annual average cost of 40,000 euros each.
Zoe Shepard - her nom de plume - was suspended two months ago after her superiors in Aquitaine Regional Council in southwest France identified her as the author of Absolument debordee (Absolutely Snowed Under).

How lucky we are that it isn't like that over here! Though it would probably be better if they did do nothing as their activity is a drain on the rest of us.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

And then the fight started..

Husbands can be jailed for insulting wives under new French law - Telegraph
Couples who insult each other over their physical appearance face jail, under a new French law making "psychological violence" a criminal offence.
But men now also have the right to report their wives verbal abuse in a domestic row.
It will apply to both married couples and cohabiting partners.

But she asked if it made her bum look big!

Posted by The Englishman at 6:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More WindmIlls NOW!

Wind farm go-aheads are 'key' to climate change target - Scotsman.com News

The Committee on Climate Change's annual progress report for the government has revealed that in the past year just 0.7 gigawatts of new wind capacity was built. This compares to the 3 gigawatts a year needed to meet targets, or the equivalent of about 1,000 new turbines.
The Committee on Climate Change report called for a "step change" in the pace of efforts to drive down emissions.
It revealed greenhouse gases fell by 8.6 per cent last year, but warned this was largely due to the recession, which had created the "illusion" that the UK was tackling climate change.

So let us build in a permanent recession by insisting on erecting ever more white elephants. It isn't the actual whirlygigs that save the carbon but the wasting of the money which stifles useful economic activity.

Posted by The Englishman at 6:30 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack