Monday, June 29, 2009

Brown's elbow confused as to what arse is doing in relaunch

Hilarious. The new Building Britain's Future plan has a handy download (no longer working but see below) containing the following "key deliverables" (quoted verbatim natch!).
  • £1.2 billion support for affordable housing to buy and rent [TBD]
  • [Launch of new £xm Innovation Fund]
  • Free entitlement to 15 hours of high-quality early education every week for every 3 and 4 year old [check]
  • London G20 deliverables [to add]
Does that install faith in you that Brown has a plan? Thought not. Even his own policy is not sure what it is about.

Just in case they fix it and realise what the arse is telling the elbow to do, the original they uploaded is here for your enjoyment and amusement

UPDATE: As expected, the link to the document is no longer working. Lucky I grabbed a copy huh?
Via email

Purnell joins Demos

Now this is interesting, apparently, James Purnell has taken up a job at Demos. Some might recall me mentioning Demos the other week here in relation to a number of tabled questions by Tom Watson about the think-tanks link with Government.

James Purnell has gone off to join, amongst others, Alan Milburn, George Osborne, David Willets, Vince Cable, Will Hutton. Looks like the organisation is going to be a hotbed of anti-Brownite thinking for some years too come. An ideal opportunity for Osborne to woo Purnell into potentially crossing the floor as well isn't it?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Minister says 'we must deceive our own supporters'?

There is a rather excellent piece in the Sunday Times today about Brown and his constant lying on spending that is well worth a read. Most tellingly in it though is the following quote from an unnamed minister about the real driver behind the entirely stupid dividing "line of cuts vs cuts investment" (my emphasis added)
We don’t care if the commentators or the economists turn against us... This is all about shoring up the base in the northern heart-lands, which we lost in the European elections. We don’t want or need them to understand the nuance of the argument. We just want them to hate the Tories again."
Do they really hold the intelligence of their own core-vote in such contempt that they'd even admit their intention is to deceive them?

Like I and many others have said before, the next election is not about "cuts vs investment", it's about Tory honesty on what needs to be done, against Labour deception about what they too know needs to be done.

DWP applies for jobs with fake CVs in dodgy experiment

Sometimes I don't know why I read the Sunday papers when they annoy me so much. This morning, according to the Mail on Sunday, the Department of Work and Pensions has been sending out fake job applications and fake CVs to real employment opportunities as part of an experiment to see if the companies are racist/sexist.

The basis of the screening is that they send in an application with, for example, the name Patel on it, and see if it get knocked back. The same applies in the case of putting a female name on it.
A DWP spokesman said the department had responded to 1,000 job vacancies using false identities but with very similar CVs to see if a person’s name was a factor in whether they were given an interview.

Typically, officials put in two or three applications per job, with one under a traditional Anglo-Saxon name and others using an ethnic minority-sounding name, The Mail on Sunday understands.

Applications under women’s names were also submitted to ‘keep it realistic’, the spokesman said.
This has to be the crappiest social experiment I've ever heard. Firstly, the DWP notes that the CVs are only "similar". This makes sense because they can't just put the same CV's in. However, the decision on who gets interviewed cannot, from that alone, then lead to the causal conclusion that it was "the name that won it".

Apparently, this is all to do with plans to bring in some legislation that means that prior to interview it will no longer be a requirement to put your name on the CV. Not a bad thing per se, although I can imagine where it might be a good idea to know such things, especially gender, if the job is one that has no choice to but to be gender specific.

I'm thinking here of say someone who will be a nurse giving bed baths in an old folks homes full of women, for example. You wouldn't be wanting men to apply for that post now would you? The thing is though, this idea that you can assume that a CV with a foreign name on it that is knocked back is because of the foreign name remains bollocks.

Social 'science' at its very worst.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Can't the Home Office do basic SQL and basic maths?

You know how we're constantly being told about the wonders of Information Technology by the Government? How they're going to create these wonderful databases that can help us with identity, benefits, child protection etc through marvelous and automagical data-sharing across department?

Putting aside the Orwellian overtones of such things I've always though it sounded like a pipe dream because they're too incompetent, and having just read Hansard I think I might be right.

When Alan Johnson, the new Home Secretary, was asked by Chris Grayling, how many people not convicted of a crime have their fingerprints recorded on the National Fingerprint Database the response was as follows.
The National Fingerprint Database does not hold criminal conviction data; it stores biometric data and basic identity details which can be used to align identity with records on the Police National Computer (PNC). The PNC is an operational tool and not designed to produce the information requested. To obtain the information would incur disproportionate cost.
Hmmm, so we have two databases, one storing fingerprints (NFD) and another that contains identity details on the Police National Computer (PNC). Apparently the fingerprints can be "aligned" with the PNC data.

This suggests that there is some sort of referential key in the PNC that can map to records in the NFD. If the PNC holds data on convicted criminal then all you actually need to do is take the total number on the PNC and subtract it from the total number on the NFD, and hey presto, you have the number of people on the NFD who have no criminal conviction on the PNC.

Can they seriously be saying that it will cost more than £700 to do a record count on two database and then subtract one value from the other?

Place Your Bets......

Who will be the first MP to waste £300 by posting an Early Day Motion mourning the death of Michael Jackson? Will it be Lembit Öpik, a man renowned for his love if cheesy pop? Will a counter-motion be tabled expressing concern at the idolisation of an alleged Gary Glitter character on a global scale?

Come on, you know it will happen. There was once an EDM mourning the passing of a celebrity chef's dead dog, so surely the "King of Pop" will deserve a few hundred quid wasted on him to show that Parliament is "in touch" with us proles.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Amending the Smoking Ban

A new campaign launched the other day which I am pleased and proud to be a supporter of. It's called Amend the Smoking Ban and has been launched by a coalition including consumers' rights organisation Forest, the liberal think tank Progressive Vision, the Adam Smith Institute, and the Manifesto Club.

The basic premise is this. Repealing the smoking ban is never going to happen, but it is far too arbitrary and ought to be amended so that individuals who choose to can go somewhere, like there pubs and clubs, and still have a means to smoke that doesn't mean they have to go outside.

The pub trade is dying out these days in terms of "regulars" because of the ban, and its certainly not unworthy to campaign for the anally retentive rules to be amended in a way that protects individual liberty and choice.

Jacqui Smith - I won't say its because I'm a woman but it is

Quote of the Day from a Jacqui Smith interview with the BBC World Service,
When your colleagues on one of the sort of flagship political programmes, the Today programme, described me as being stroppy I think there’s something, dare I say it, gendered about that description ".
Anyone know who called her "stroppy" on Today?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A difficult fiction

Oh how I love going away, not only do you get the sunshine (40 degrees and upwards by midday) but you also get to read some books. One of those books has been A Useful Fiction, which labels itself with the sub-title of "Adventures in British Democracy".

Written by a BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster, Patrick Hannan, it's general thrust is meant to be that no one has really appreciated how much devolution has buggered up any possible concept of Britishness, especially the main two parties.

The problem is that it doesn't really do that at all, at least not for me. I found myself wondering, as I ploughed on through the book, "what is the argument being made here?" and the feeling carried on right until the end.

Hannan does his best throughout the book to deal with the different aspect of devolution in Scotland and Wales that have meant that England has become a shadow of its former-self. However, you're never actually sure what Hannan thinks is the necessary end of the game.

Much of the analysis is plain commonsense things that almost every political commentator has written about before. The West Lothian Question; the impact of RBS and HBOS on Scottish independence now that they're owned by the British Government; and why didn't Thatcher/Major go for English devolution when it would have been its electoral interest to do so?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is a bad book. More that the question it poses - and often they are not explicitly so - are not new. Perhaps the book represents the first time that they have been collated in one place?

Maybe I'm missing the point though? Perhaps the fact the book seems to make no clear argument either way on the impact of devolution and the endgame of that impact, is actually the point?

The book is available to order from Amazon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Off for a few days.....

Will be in transit for the next few hours and then out of the country for a couple of weeks. Blogging will be light because the sun will be calling.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Prosecuting the liars revisited?

Does anyone remember the Ministry Of Truth? Not the left wing essay blogger, but the BBC documentary that put forward the proposal for a bill to stop politicians lying by having criminal legislation? They had a law drafted which was sponsored by a number of MPs that would make it possible to prosecute a politician for lying.

Many people at the time thought it was a crazy idea, but apparently the campaign, in the wake of expenses, has gained much more support. Dom Jolly seems to be heading it up online as well now (see below). Seems to me that this kind of law, along with recall laws, are going to be a thing of the future... maybe.

Uncensored Cabinet Expenses

The Telegraph has published the uncensored expenses they have. And provide a handy comparison between their chosen blackout of addresses and the Parlaimentary one with Gordon Brown's claim form.

Read them in full here.

The few in the many

From Shaun Woodward's receipts.

It's a hard life ain't it? I just hope that receipt isn't evidence of him trying to claim back interest he has had to pay on his £300,000 overdraft. Sadly the rest of the receipt is a big black block.

Update: The Telegraph have a slightly different blacked out version. For some reason they blacked out the words "of a debt, other than an overdraft, of". Odd.

Update II: My bad, as the comments point out, I missed the commas in the sentence. Still, must be nice to be able to afford a £300K mortgage.

Timewarping expenses claims?

From April 2007 to December 2007, Tom Watson MP made the following claims under the ACA for mortgage interest/rent.

Submitted: 18/04/2007

Submitted: 03/07/2007

Submitted 07/08/2007

Submitted: 4/10/2007

Submitted: 10/12/2007

So, this covers 9 months, from April 2007 to December 2007, at a consistent monthly cost of £805.78. Then the following ACA claim was made (red box added by me).

Submitted: 29/04/2008

That figure isn't a multiple of £805.78, so doesn't that look like a claim for mortgage/rent for the entire year during which claims for mortgage/rent had already been submitted and received?

What do you do when your BT account is in credit?

Well they may have censored redacted the MPs expenses, but it doesn't stop you figuring stuff out. Take Vera Baird MPs receipts. Throughout the Additional Cost Allowance claims she submitted a value of £17 for telephone usage with BT (there is also one claim where she requested £24). Yet, also throughout the receipts she submites the BT bill and everytime it has exactly the same figure on it.

So, her account was in credit by £87.95, consistently in fact. So why was she still claiming for the money each month and not getting BT to use the credit balance? After all, that balance is taxpayers money sitting in BT's bank account.

On the more amsuing side she spent our money on bathroom lightbulbs, masking tape, paintbrush, varnishing of doors, along with £4570 on distressed look Toulouse oak furniture. Nice!

Total acts...

Having driven into work this mornig and listened to Today, I see that 900 people that walked out of work on an unofficial wildcat strike at the oil refinary Total have been sacked.

Good. The right to strike must always be balanced against the right to fire.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dr Phyllis Starkey MP and the 50p receipt

What an amusing receipt that shows the sense of entitlement and sheer tightfistedness of the Labour MP for Milton Keynes South West.
There is a recession on, things are tight, it was within the rules!

September 2009: Fuel protests?

If there is one thing that has been consistent for Gordon Brown throughout his time in Government, both at the Treasury and at Downing Street, it's been fuel protests. Whether it was in 1999/2000, 2005 or in 2007, the issue has been a recurring theme of his tenure over taxation in the United Kingdom.

Of course, Brown has consistently blamed the nasty businesses that sell us fuel. In fact, just over a year ago, when prices were going through the roof he said it was all the forecourts fault. He rarely acknowledges the point that tax makes up around 70p for every £1 spent on fuel.

Funnily enough, this June, like last June, is seeing another rocketing soar in the price of oil and at the forecourt. You'll be lucky to find a petrol station selling at less than 99.9p per litre in fact. It has been steadily rising over the past few weeks and months, up to 1.10p per litre in some of the named brand forecourts. The following graphs illustrate what is happening.... again.

Crude oil price per barrel (BBC Business)

Unleaded petrol price in pence per litre (

So, we're almost half way back to the peak price we hit in July last year. Now, if you're wondering why I'm mentioning this its because, if the upward trend continues, we're going to be hitting crazily high peotrol prices again around the beginning of September and the conference season.

What's more, and this is the kicker. In September, the Treasury will be implementing a 2% increase in fuel duty. This will be followed by a 1% above inflation yearly increase every April, as per the 2009 Budget.

This I would like to pose a question. Who thinks that Brown will force Darling into a yet another U-Turn when the fuel protest groups begin to start campaigning?

Let's consider the fact. Oil prices are rising. Forecourt prices are rising and have breached the £1 per litre mark yet again (that's £4.54 a gallon), and in just over three months the Government will increase the tax by another 2% on the cost as well. It ain't going to be pretty!

Like the issue of the 10p tax rate, Brown will no doubt be totally blind-sided by it aswell. (no joke about only having one eye intended honestly). Mind you here's already being warned in Parliament.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Help write a concession speech for Brown

Now that it is an established fact, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Gordon Brown is a liar - and also putting aside the fact that when he lies about public spending he makes a complete idiot of himself - I've been wondering about how he will react on the night of the General Election if he is, as many expect, utterly annihilated at the polls.

What would be in a Brown concession speech? Would he even give one? Would it be full of yet more lies about how he'd been the one that saved Britain and that we were all going to Hell in a handcart now that we'd been stupid enough to elect the Tories into power? Would he resign his leadership or desperately battle on saying only he was the "man with the plan" and then be humiliated some more?

So here's a nice little collective ideas for those who read this blog. Let's write him a concession speech and then post it off to him at Downing Street. Ideas and snippets of possible words in the comments. Remember though, let's try and write a speech that is authentically Brown in style. Things like "I'm a one-eyed dickhead and I throw mobile phones around" isn't going to do.

I'm thinking of things like: "Tonight, the British people have shown their faith in me by re-electing me to my constituency seat." So basically where he tries to spin or obfuscate is utterly humiliation by pretending its not his fault. He'll probably blame to "meeja" too, along with meddlesome bloggers.

I bet none of you buggers will have any ideas!

A lack of respect

Danny Finkelstein has an excellent spot here noting the difference between Brown and Cameron in the BBC cutaways at the moment Michael Martin was talking about "leadership" in his final speech in the Commons.

Whatever one thinks of Michael Martin, Brown's disrespectful approach reveals quite a lot about what he really thinks on the matter of expenses and the importance of Parliament. Technically known as the "I don't give a shit" pose I believe.

Bring back Blair huh? At least he had a sense of decorum unlike the odious Brown.
Screen grabs from the BBC

What's Tom Watson up too?

Over the past few years of reading Hansard you have a tendency to spot things that look out of the ordinary or slightly odd. If an MP starts asking the same question for example of all departments you know their compiling something for a reason. Thus I find myself asking the question: What is Tom Watson up too?

Over the past few days he has written to every single department asking whether they have any contracts with the think tank Demos. Demos, for those unaware, was founded in 1993 and was a key player in the development of "New Labour". However, in recent months it has started to push the "progressive conservatism" agenda and it now has Osborne and Willets on its Advisory board.

I can't help but think that there is some sort of ulterior motive to these questions, but then I am a cynic.

Links to questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

New Labour, Mao Labour?

A rather amusing thing on the BBC News has just been pointed out to me by a mate. Apparently,
Only one candidate appears to be in the running to become Macau's new chief executive - former Social and Cultural Affairs Secretary Fernando Chui.

Mr Chui has secured support from 286 of the 300 member nomination committee.
300 people nearly unanimously deciding the leadership without nominating any opposing candidates. Sounds familiar huh?

Here's a neat little election slogan. "New Labour, Mao Labour".

When was anonymity online a right?

I see one of the main topics of the day (or perhaps yesterday) across many blogs has yet again been anonymity, and the news that the Times won a legal battle to "out" the identity of the Orwell Prize blog winner, Nightjack. Nightjack is one of the many police bloggers out there who, in his own words, has been a much more popular read after he won than when before.

What strikes me as the oddest thing though is line that some have taken which notes that bloggers have lost the "right" to anonymity. I say it's odd because I've never thought one had such a "right" in the first place. Sure, there are ways and means to remain anonymous, but I have never been one that thinks it is, ultimately a "right".

Iain Dale has also noted this may set a precedent for anonymous comment makers having their identity revealed. In fact, that precedent has already been set if I recall correctly in the case of a forum where someone was slagging off some football club chairman, and the forum was forced to disclose the IP addresses of the people making the comments.

Just like computer security, which can never be 100% secure, so to is it impossible to guarantee one will always remain 100% anonymous online. All you can ever do is make "best endeavours" to do so.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Teenagers discovers how to decompose plastic bags in months

As we are all reminded constantly by environmentalists, plastic bags take 100's of years to decompose. Just last week an official at the United Nations called for a global ban on plastic bags precisely because they decompose too slowly.

I mention this because I wonder how the green movement will react to this news about how a bit of scientific inquiry and discovery by a teenager can find a solution to the problem that doesn't require authoritarian global bans?

Daniel Burd , a 16 year old Canadian showed at a Canada-wide science fair how he had managed to get a plastic bag to decompose in just 3 months. He discovered that the Sphingomonas bacteria along with a helper bacteria called Pseudomona were responsible for degrading polythene.

The industrial applications of this are, according to the young scientist, quite easy. He told The Record,
"All you need is a fermenter . . . your growth medium, your microbes and your plastic bags."
The Record went on to note that,

The inputs are cheap, maintaining the required temperature takes little energy because microbes produce heat as they work, and the only outputs are water and tiny levels of carbon dioxide -- each microbe produces only 0.01 per cent of its own infinitesimal weight in carbon dioxide
A future Nobel winner perhaps? No more land filling plastic bags or legislative action, just a an industrial bacteria driven degrading plant. No doubt the CO2 output of the bacteria will be enough to cause some environmentalists to wince though.

Mandelson's uninsured car?

The following video shows Peter Mandelson getting out of his Government car and having green stuff thrown over him. Note the license plate? LX06 EGY.

An eagle-eyed anonymous commenter at Old Holborn seems to have spotted something,

From, the Motor insurance database:

LX06EGY is NOT on the Motor Insurance Database today.

By allowing someone to drive this vehicle, the driver is at risk of being STOPPED by the police and having their vehicle impounded, and possibly DISPOSED OF, if proof of insurance cannot be provided.

Something's wrong here isn't it?

This is the logo for a right wing demo by an anti-big Government, pro-low tax, pro-taxpayer called the Tea Party Movement.

A "right wing demo" is itself perhaps slightly odd, however, what is going on with the fists?

*Très confused*


Is a taxi a form of public transport? Seems borderline to me, and I guess there are arguments for and against. Depending what your view will define how you interpret the following.

Apparently, between 2007 and 2009, the central Department of Transport, spent £281,764 on taxis. Interestingly, according the minister Chris Mole, one of the other agencies of the department, the Government Car and Despatch Agency does "not record taxi fares separately from other travel costs".

That's awfully lucky I think , because if it did, and the agency responsible for providing cars as a means of transport to the Government was splashing out on taxis it would be rather embarrassing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Phukka Da Police?

Quite possibly the best email address to ever appear in a Police press release.

Indeedily do, if you've been scammed big time in the City of London then just email the Police on, "".
Hat Tip: Croydonian for passing on the spot to me after I won the coin toss.

Op Note cock up over junior doctors and working times?

Alwasy amusing to see the4 Government publishing something prefixed withthe words "OPERATIONAL NOTE NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST". They may have removed the posting, but the RSS Feed shows it is still there.

Funnily enough, I thought the Government had said it was going to get out of this one for junior doctors somehow.

Here is the kicker.....

Via Craigs List.
My son is turning 16 and really wanted Lil Wayne to perform for his birthday gala. Unfortunately his schedule will not permit him to make it. I need a Lil Wayne impersonator desperately.

Here is the kicker my son is blind so you do not need to look like the rapper just sound like him. I understand he grunts and mumbles a lot. I don’t care if you are 67 and Jewish if you can sing the songs you’re hired. Money is not an issue. Name your price. Interested individuals please let me know your rap experience, video of you performing as Lil Wayne would be better. If that is not feasible we can arrange for a live audition.

Serious inquiries only, this is very important to my family. Young Money Baby!

Truly disturbing.....

Pass the sickbag.

Note: Viral video posted in full because it really is disturbing.

Government announces review of its websites.... again!

Apparently, the Government is going to have review into the cost, quality, and use of government websites which will "assess the value for money of government websites to the taxpayer". This review is not to be confused with a previous review over a year ago which highlighted a number of sites to be axed that subsequently have not been.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Note: I look forward to hearing how successful Ecotowns (price tag, £76K) has been. And my all time favourite, which is about.... salt.

How to tell the kids?

Yay for the 21st Century and text-based communications! Why talk huh?
Via Lamebook

Building Britain's Future....

Oh how I love teh interweb! The news of Peter mandelosn's latest policy relaunch breaks and someone goes out of their way to grab the domain for Building Brtiain's Future and then quickly take the piss.

The domain was registered by a "Charles Hardwidge-hoon". There is a guy called Charles Hardwidge who comments on Labourlist, Iain Dale and Guido, so it may be him I guess.

There is not an official site yet, just this.

Gordon's only friend?

Oh bless! Look, Gordon only has one friend subscribing to his YouTube channel.

No doubt all the other departments with their silly channels that no one watches will be ordered to link up and show united support for Gordon.

Gordon's YouTube video revisited

Have been wait6ing for this to appear on YouTube since it was on TV. Hilarious.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Programming on LSD

Geeks huh?


Is there a Doctor in the House?

THis morning I am mildly amused for a Friday having spotted the following motion tabled in Parliament tabled by a Labour MP and supported by three Labour colleagues so far, which at first glance is merely having a pop at alternative medicine quacks, but then calls on the Government to "protect the title of doctor for British Medical Association registered and suitably qualified practitioners".

I'm amused you see because I took the liberty of having a look at which MPs use the title Dr on the Parliamentary website and then had a look at who was, and who was not a "propa" doctor in line with the motion.There are 24 MPs that use the title, of which only six would be allowed to use their title if such a protection was introduced. However, something tells me the following 18 people won't be signing the motion anytime soon.
  • Dr Roger Berry (Lab) Economics
  • Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Lab) Sociology
  • Dr Hywel Francis (Lab) History
  • Dr Kim Howells (Lab) Politics
  • Dr Brian Iddon (Lab) Organic Chemistry
  • Dr Ashok Kumar (Lab) Fluid Mechanics
  • Dr Stephen Ladyman (Lab) Isotopic Soil Development (hahahaha!)
  • Dr Nick Palmer (Lab) Mathematics
  • Dr Phyllis Starkey (Lab) Biochemistry
  • Dr Desmond Turner (Lab) Biochemistry
  • Dr Rudi Vis (Lab) Economics
  • Dr Alan Whitehead (Lab) Political Science
  • Dr Tony Wright (Lab) Politics
  • Dr Doug Naysmith (Lab) Biomedical Science
  • Dr Vince Cable (LD) Economics
  • Dr John Pugh (LD) Philosophy/Theology
  • Dr Julian Lewis (Con) Strategic Studies
  • Dr William McCrea (DU) Reverend
Having said that, perhaps these will sign it?

  • Dr Howard Stoate (Lab) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Andrew Murrison (Con) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Liam Fox (Con) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Evan Harris (LD) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Richard Taylor (Ind) "Propa" Doctor
Quite interesting I though that the majority of "non-propa" doctors that use the title Dr are Labour politicians. I've never quite understood why anyone that wasn't a medical doctor would use the title rather than shoving DPhil or PhD on the end of the name instead (see update below for further aside on this).

Still, I do find it highly amusing that a motion seemingly intended to show concern about quack snake oil salesman would inadvertently have a pop at a large number of (intellectually up their own backsides) MPs.

I left John Reid out because he stopped using the title when he was Health Secretary because some suggested it was misleading.

Update: For those of you who may be thinking I am saying that the above list of of 18 cannot use the title "Dr" I am not. I referred to "propa" and "non-propa" in quotes for a reason because it relates to argument in the motion in comparison to MPs who would be subject to it also if the Government did what it called for. Hence the bit that says I looked to see "who was not a "propa" doctor in line with the motion.

As an aside though, I personally wouldn't use the title if I had a doctorate in something other than medicine, simply because then when I introduced myself people wouldn't ask me to look at their dodgy knee etc etc.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ministry of Justice pulls prison newspaper after complaints from Imams

The Ministry of Justice has, so it seems, ordered HM Prison Services to take all copies of the lag newspaper "Inside Time" away from prisoners and forced the publisher to remove from its a website, a satirical article by a prisoner called "Angry Andy" because it upset the sensitivities of Muslim prisoners and received complaints from Imams.

The article, which carried a picture of a pig with a beard, basically says that pig flu was a botched terrorist attempt in Osama bin Laden's global "war on pork", because its a well known fact he and the Taliban are prejudiced against the West's vast population of "porkers" (I thought this bit was quite a funny dig at fat seppos, but there ya go).

The news has been put on Wikileaks here where you can also download the not that funny, but not really that offensive either article.
Hat Tip: JailhouseLawyer

Suddenly it's a problem?

How amusing, it's been standard practice for sometime that British MEPs got security passes into the Palace of Westminister and no one seemed to care. Now that there are two MEPs that are members of the BNP it is suddenly an issue?
That this House notes with concern that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are automatically given security passes to the Houses of Parliament; believes there is no reason why MEPs need such access to the Houses of Parliament; notes that members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the London Assembly are not given passes to the Houses of Parliament; further notes that Members of the UK Parliament are not given security passes to the European Parliament on a reciprocal basis; and therefore calls for an end to the practice of giving security passes to the Houses of Parliament to MEPs.
This "no platform" thing is just silly, but sillier still is the absurd intolerance of intolerance.

US Soldier speaks candidly to Iraqi police

This video appears to be gaining some notoriety at the moment. If you don't want to watch it all here's the summary. American solider calls Iraqi police a bunch of pussies and other assorted profanities.

New Comment System

There has been another change on the blog. Specifically to the Comment system. All posts from now on are going to use IntenseDebate to manage the comments. Anonymous comments can still be submitted although you will be forced to choose yourself a name, no more posting as "Anonymous".

It's very much a testing phase really and if I don't like it I will revert back to Blogger comments, but seeing as IntenseDebate lets me moderate, spam filter and arbitrarily ban people from commenting if they annoy me (I jest) then I can't really complain thus far.

Oh yes, that means I can see your IP address too when I get the email alerts, which means I will now know when someone is trying to be a smart arse and post under different names.

People don't care so that's why we're doing something?

Now that the Tories have swept to power in Councils even in the North, I would expect them to at least be a little bit sensible in the interim and certainly not say or so stupid things. However, it appears this is not the case in Lancashire.

According the Lancashire Telegraph the Tories are going to have a logo change for the Council. This is because the current logo doesn't look like a traditional Lancashire Tudor rose, but instead looks like a Labour Party rose.

Now, don't get me wrong here, as the picture to the right shows, the logo really does look like a Labour rose, but seriously, is this is a decent use of taxpayer money? Of course it bloody isn't.

According to the new Council leader Geoff Driver, "It will soon be gone but we will not spend a fortune to change it everywhere, just on things like stationery and on the website." So that's about £20,000 then. Hilariously though, the fool of a Council leader then told the paper,
"Unlike Labour, who thought it was of great importance, we do not think the people of Lancashire care about logos, but they do care about our services."
Hang on a second, if you think that people don't care about logo why are you changing it? God give me strength!

Cuts, spending and more complete bollocks from Brown

Oh God not again! That is all I could think last night when I had a brief flick around the channels and saw some crap about a big public spending versus cuts row. The "not again" as not because of the so-called "dividing line" but because of the rank bullshit that was yet again emanating from the mouth of the Government that essentially takes everyone for fool by playing with figures.

It started during PMQs with Brown denying what his own Chancellor's budget says by reeling off a list of increasing number and shouting about how he was leading a Government that was going to increase public spending over the next few years, whilst the evil Tories were going to cut by 10%, inevitably leading to disingenuous theorising of school closures etc etc.

Sadly, this sort of crap politicking is what the general public have to put up with as "debate" these days. We had it in 2005 as well when, using figures based on money we didn't even have, and by adding up over a period of five years, it turned into a Tory spending cut of £20bn £35bn.

The reality of the situation of course was that the Tories were saying they would increase spending each year just not as fast as Labour, and thus the shortfall between the two projected figures was portrayed as a cut. It was pathetic then, and this time, with a slight twist it remains pathetic.

This time round it's once again about figures and money over a period that we don't even have yet. This time round though we have a big thing called national debt and interest added in, not to mention inflation on prices. What Brown is doing is taking everyone for idiots when he says,
Public spending this year is £621 billion; it rises next year to £672 billion—that is this financial year. It then rises to £702 billion, then to £717 billion, then to £738 billion and then to £758 billion. Those are public spending rises.
Yes, the figures on spending are rising, but there is something important that hidden by the figures called "real terms".

Just because the bottom line figure is increasing you have to ask yourself, where is it being spent? In the case of Brown's figures, he increasing the figure in order to cover the increased borrowing debt interest. Throw on top that a pound will buy you less each year, and you can quite easily have a cut in spending per department whilst making it look, in the bottom line cash figure terms, that you have increased your spending. Here's the Government's real figures.

The most hilarious thing though is that the figures, Tories, Labour etc, are all pie in the sky anyway. They're based on an "all things being equal" assumption about the state of things after April 2011 - although at least the Tories are being honest about it. That's 21 months away, and lets be fair, on past performance Gordon Brown's projections are worthless anyway.

If you don't believe or want to accept that and still think he was the "Iron Chancellor" then I draw new readers attention to the graph below which old readers may remember. This plots what Brown predicted the level and path of debt would be in his Budget against what actually happened. The dotted line is the direction he said debt was heading in the coming years, whilst the solid line shows the true path of debt based on his own figure for the given year.

Click Image for larger Version

Brown consistently did the opposite of what he said he was going to do year on year, either deliberately or because he's just stupid. So when he stands up in Parliament and rattles off projected figures, they should be taken with a pinch of salt anyway.

The Svengali sleight of hand trick may have worked once, but it simply doesn't wash anymore. Of course, this won't stop Brown trying to make the so-called "dividing line" one that is a complete pile of tosh. Nothing beats a good bit of tub thumping and screaming about comparing two sets of projected figures and extrapolating the closure of schools from it.

The dividing line at the next election is not one of spending versus cuts. Both parties are saying they will cut spending, that is a fact. The dividing line is actually a choice between the following,

"you know what guys, we're pretty fucked, and just like you in your every day life, we're going to need to get the finances under control by cutting back on some things we may have got used too. The figures we have are the figures we have to work with, lets hope it all goes well."

"you know what guys, everything is just peachy, we're all going to be fine and we wouldn't dream of cutting anything like the baby eating hospital closing bastards over there, just don't do the maths or actually read our figures alright? Leave it all to us little ones. Trust us, this mess isn't of our making you know."
The worst thing is about all this is that it is so rare for anyone to actually challenge Brown on what he says. I dream of the day when someone in the audience of something like Question Time calls him on his bullshit. Sadly though we all know what will happen, everything will be deflected as politically motivated if you don't agree with him.

Fraser Nelson tried to take him on, and whilst he did nail him, just look at the way Brown responds. Look at the guarded smile when the figures that he knows are true are presented to him. Look at his body language. He doesn't like it and that because he knows he's spouting complete bullshit.

At a time when politics is held within complete contempt and trust is at its lowest anti-political edge, can it really be that one side is actively going around and actually lying to everyone in the hope that they won't notice?

Spending figures image from Conservative Home. Graph generated by Croydonian on commission by me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shock Obama policy U-Turn!

Anti-Guido video launched in primary schools?

Well I guess this is one way to have a pop at "Guido the Brand", according to the East Lancashire Telegraph, primary school children are being a shown a special video to help them spot terrorists and grass anyone up for having extremist views. THe EL Telegraph reports that,
The terrorism message is also illustrated with a re-telling of the story of Guy Fawkes, saying that his strong views began forming when he was at school in York. It has been designed to deliver the message of fighting terrorism in accessible way for children.
I'm sure there are many Catholics out there (all heretics natch!) who will be less than pleased with that, along with, of course, a certain blogger who lives by the Guy Fawkes brand.

I stole your images, put them back or I will call a lawyer?

He's an "honest businessman" don't you know!

What a prat.
Via here

Update: More email here from the person that received them.

The Ying and Yang of identity politics?

There has been quite a lot of hand wringing from the mainstream political parties over the past couple of days about the 'success' of the BNP in the Euro elections. I put the word 'success' in quotes because the one thing that has been lost is some perspective.

The BNP now have two MEPs from 72 British MEPs (2.7%) in a Parliament of just over 730 MEPs (0.2%). They join the other 70 or so loons, 9/11 truthers, etc that don't agree with each other and are in no formal group in the European Parliament (9.7% of the total Parliament).

To put it as bluntly as I can. Britain has nothing to feel bad about, or to be ashamed of, in sending a couple of moonbats funded by us to sit with a bunch of other moonbats funded by us that will exercise bugger all power or influence on an EU whose agenda is diametrically opposed to theirs. The world is no falling in, no matter what politicians of sound mind (and by that I mean sane mind) say.

Saying that though, whilst the politicians stand up and try to find some explanation for why 943,598 people out of a potential 45 million chose to vote for them, most of them are getting it wrong. As expected we've had the claim, by the new Health Secretary Andy Burnham in fact, that it was the "ultimate protest vote". As mentioned the other day there is a big problem with that analysis.

It's certainly true that there are some who voted BNP because they felt the other parties, especially Labour, had let them down. This was shown in the YouGov poll for Channel 4. However, what that poll also showed was something that has been brewing for sometime and in fact, arguably at least, caused the inevitability of the BNP in securing votes.

Specifically, the poll showed that over 70% of BNP voters believed that being white meant that you were discriminated against. Now, whether one accepts that is the case or not, it is the perception of what is the case that matters, and that perception is surely inevitable when you look at the growth of "identity politics" coupled with a guilt-ridden Hegelian worldview of the Western white man as an oppressor with reparation of some sort to pay?

Just take a look at the cultural climate in which we live today. There are political pressure groups based upon all manner of differing identities, whether its based on sexuality, race, ethnicity or gender. All of them start from a presumption that they represent a distinct identity group that is discriminated against, and in most cases have an historical reference point for that presumption.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that they don't have a right to exist or make that case. Rather what I am saying is, is it any wonder that an identity group in the form of the BNP would also form to represent what it sees as the discrimination of the white man at the hands of, ironically, other groups who's starting base is one of identity seeking equality?

Let's just take one such group as an example. The Afro-Caribbean community has its own newspaper, The Voice, to give that community a voice where it argues non-exists in the mainstream. There is nothing wrong with that, but just imagine if there was an equivalent newspaper for white Britons arguing along similar lines. There would be uproar. Yet if you're going to have genuine equality then it should stand to reason such a newspaper ought to exist, irrespective of whether one likes its views or not.

This is the inevitable paradox of the politics of identity, and its also why the BNP are vitally important in the discourse and philosophical questions that the Western world has to ask itself in general. Identity politics has at its core a desire for equality, and yet, in the process of seeking that equality, every single group engages in some form of unequal treatment of its non-members.

Whether it comes in the form of the extreme views that argue for mass repatriation of all non-whites from a particular nation; or simply takes a view that calls for, affirmative action, also known as "positive" discrimination, but which remains discrimination nonetheless towards those that are not in the given group.

Is it any surprise therefore that those who are on the 'negative' side of positive discrimination should seek to mobilise against it? Of course, in the case of the BNP, it is equally ironic that they say they want to fight this so-called "political correctness" (the catch all phrase for issues arising from identity politics) whilst at the same time being part of the very same politics of identity and desiring political correctness to be in their favour instead.

As I said at the beginning, we need to keep the 'success' of the BNP in perspective. Likewise we need to realise that the 'success' is the inevitable consequence of the path that we've taken in political thought over the past few decades. If people really want to take the BNP's platform away from them they will need to start taking other platforms away too.

I recall a conversation I once had with a gay colleague and personal friend of mine. He said the "fight" was about getting people to treat gay people like human beings and just accept that some people of the same gender fancy each other. It was not about making gay people a special interest group that needed special treatment. It was about 'not being in the stocks or on a dais'. He was right.

Basically, I guess what I'm trying to say is that as long as special interest and special treatment (perceived or otherwise) remains the orthodox world view, then the BNP will continue to exist and 'succeed'. Either accept it as the inevitable consequence of the postmodern politics of identity, or get off that path and head down the meritocratic one instead.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And finally......

Whatever would Harriet Harman say?

Back tomorrow, will try to do some politics too.

T-Mobile customer data on sale to highest bidder?

Crazy days, but this posting on the security mailing list Full Disclosure is pretty incredible.
Hello world,

The U.S. T-Mobile network predominately uses the GSM/GPRS/EDGE 1900 MHz frequency-band, making it the largest 1900 MHz network in the United States. Service is available in 98 of the 100 largest markets and 268 million potential customers.

Like Checkpoint Tmobile has been owned for some time. We have everything, their databases, confidental documents, scripts and programs from their servers, financial documents up to 2009.

We already contacted with their competitors and they didn't show interest in buying their data -probably because the mails got to the wrong people- so now we are offering them for the highest bidder.

Please only serious offers, don't waste our time.

If it isn't a hoax then its not good. Not good at all. John Leyden at the Register has more details, including what appears to be confirmation from T-Mobile.


Apologies for the lack of posting today. Other things happening. However, here a few things that might amuse. Click the screenshot image and read what it says in the pop up box. Only Widnows could do that!

Also, if you're ever bored then Lamebook will surely provide amusement.

Alternatively, have a look at forty people wearing t-shirts they shouldn't be.

Or why not have a look at some silly street names. "Dumb Womans Lane" realyl does exist, its in East Sussex. And finally, here is an exclusive picture of Nick Griffin's pet cat, Adolf.

Loony Tunes Brown

Monday, June 08, 2009

Unless suction power is your sort thing I guess...?

I wonder if it's a health and safety thing because someone had an "accident"?

Wikipedia records "Obama Beach" for posterity

The redirect and legend of the one-eyed Scottish idiot's comment are recorded by Wikipedia.

Click Image for Larger Version

Via email

It wouldn't be right without a Downfall video

Naughty words within.

Will the "protest vote" become a justificaton for further pro-EU integration?

This morning, whilst waiting for the train i spoke to a candidate from the local election - a Lib Dem who had not won incidentally. He noted that UKIP getting such a large margin was merely a "protest vote".

What struck me about such thinking is that it essentially puts forward the thesis that people who voted UKIP don't really want to withdraw from the European Union, they're just saying they do to annoy people.

I wonder as a result how much the Government will try to use this line, and then just steamroller ahead with pro-EU policies? After all, the eurosceptics, ranging from those wanting withdrawal to those wanting looser integration, were clearly in the ascendancy in the UK last night.

This poses a problem for the pro-EU Government. It will want to ignore the majority vierw on Europe, but it needs a means to do that. As such I would thing it will continue to push that the votes for anti-EU parties was just a protest, and that all they need to do is explain the EU better and everyone will fall in line again.

In other words, the proles are stupid and we need to re-educate them. I could be wrong of course.

Alan Sugar, the NHS and his first conflict of interest?

Yesterday morning, Sir Alan Sugar was doing the rounds of the news studios about what a great guy Gordon Brown was, and how he was consulting at all times with the BBC about what he will do in Government and where that might fall in line with the impartiality of the BBC.

Last night the BBC's Apprentice show ended, with Yasmina winning. During the after show, Sugar explained where Yasmina would be working. Noting that she would working at Amscreen Healthcare. Basically putting digital signage into the NHS and pumping advertising through to make money.

So let me get this straight. Sir Alan Sugar, soon to be Lord Alan Sugar (of Barrowboy Spitalfield) who will be taking the Labour whip, owns a company who's primary target is to make money out of the NHS by conviccing them to have free digital screens with advertising provided by him?

Then Tories are banging on about his BBC position being untenable. I'd say they've missed a trick and there is a much greater interest he has in making cash as a result of being in the Government.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

June 8th to June 12th: Brown's final week?

When James Purnell quit the Cabinet I said that Brown would be gone by the end of next week. Most Tories would probably rather like him to stay. As Labour friends of mine said many years ago, Iain Duncan-Smith was one of their greatest assets, likewise today, Brown is the greatest asset the Tories have. That at least is the received wisdom.

I still, personally think, that Brown will not last the coming week. However, I don't think it's going to happen in a big walk out of Downing Street crying type way. The fact is though, no matter what way his supporter try to spin it, he's finished. When the CEO of country sees five of his boardroom walk out there is something wrong with the head of the board. Period.

Add to that the act of walking, and the letters written which either (a) say he's crap, or (b) note that he's a misogynistic bastard, and you're in for trouble. Or how about the ones who walk that tell the world that "now is not the time to explain my reasons". Those are the words of someone who's thinking of the timing to pull the trigger and join the rest.

Today it doesn't rest either. Caroline Flint, having kicked Brown squarely in the gonads, is back in the Sunday Times having another pop at him, with the expected and standard line of saying what she is saying for the good of the party. I fully expect some more words from John Hutton over the next few days.

Then we have those that are left in the Cabinet fighting like school children. We have leaked memos from the Prince of Darkness himself, Peter Mandelson, saying Brown is "insecure" and laying into him as weak. Who do you think leaked that? My money is on Mandelson himself, and it is telling of Brown's weakness that such a thing could be leaked and he is not sacked instantly.

There are other things though which make the axe hanging over Brown's head so much closer to its target. The local election results have shown how hated Labour really are. It was always going to be a whitewash, but to see Council swing to the Tories from Labour where the latter is reduced from seats in the 40s to just 16, puts Brown in sever peril. No amount of expectations management can spin it as mid to late-term blues.

Then of course we have tonight. Tonight we will see how bad the Euro elections are for Labour. My guess is that if they're in third in the locals then third is likely for the Euros too. If they hold on to second it will be spun as a victory of course. However, if the BNP and UKIP start taking their seats then it will become more difficult for Brown to hang on.

Personally I think the most likely outcome will see Brown forced into making an announcement similar to Blair of his intentions. He still have the opportunity of course to say "back me or sack me" by stating that he's willing to face a vote at the Labour Conference. It's pretty clear that if he stays Labour loses, the question is if he goes will Labour lose as badly?

Does it matter either way?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Alan Sugar on Gordon Brown

“I have noted with disgust the comments of a certain Mr Gordon Brown who has accused me of doing well out of the recession….I do not know who Mr Gordon Brown is. Excuse my ignorance, but I don’t. Whoever he is, he has not done is homework properly. The man doesn’t know what he is talking about….Labour offers no route out of recession.”

Via FT

Hutton's resignation statement raises questions

Hutton's resignation statement on the MoD site has a rather odd line in it which says,
"This is not the place to go into my reasons for leaving.
That's funny, the official line being pushed out, presumably from Downing Street, was that this was all about "family reasons" and now Hutton says this via the MoD?

Sounds iffy to me. It's well known that Hutton doesn't particularly like Brown, and whilst he backed him last night against Purnell's decision, he also referred to Purnell as a "friend".

I have a feeling that we may have more to hear on this one. Did he get offered a move by Brown so that Woodward could go to Defence and just decided "bugger off" instead? The rebellion is far from over I think, if the results carry on the way they are, with Labour in third, I wouldn't be surprised if we see other pushes next week.

The nails will be bitten raw this weekend in Downing Street I think.

Answering the burning question.....

This is the only bookmark you need to know the answer to the question: Is Gordon Brown Still Prime Minister?

Sod the BBC, just bookmark it and check it regularly!

Hutton stands down/sacked from Defence?

So John Hutton goes from Defence and is going back to the backbenches. Shaun Woodward into his seat? Another Blairite bites the dust?

Update: BBC reporting this as a resignation, but Hutton is saying it is not an "attack" on Brown.

Update II: "family reasons" - yeah right!

Shaun Wooward talks bullshit on the BBC

According to Shaun Wooward, the leaders of the G20 came to the G20 in London to see what Gordon brown was doing to fight the recession. Errr... surely they came to the G20 in london because they were members of the G20 and the next meeting's location had been chosen as London?

Prediction: Yvette Cooper to Communties?

How exactly do you stamp your authority with a Cabinet reshuffle when you've effectively just lost three Secretaries of State in three days? Its a reshuffle under panic after all, and so far the changes look panicked too. There has been much talking up of Alan Johnson and suddenly Johnson is elevated to Home Secretary.

I have feeling, and admittedly I could be hopelessly wrong on this, but I think that we might see Caroline Flint elevated to the Cabinet table. Keep your enemies close etc etc.I reckon we're going to see Yvette Cooper moved from Chief Secretary to the Treasury back to Communities into Blears' job. Still not sure about the DWP.

Any other predictions below.

Johnson gets the poisoned chalice?

So Alan Johnson has been bought off I see with the job of Home Secretary. One of the great offices of State as it were but a poisoned chalice too. Not sure who that means is going to Health, and as yet we have not heard who will be at the Department of Work and Pensions in light of Purnell's exit. No move for Darling.

Brown's options are certainly limited.

It's over. Finished. Kaput. And I'm not talking about the Nokias

I believe that its fair to say that we're now in totally uncharted water in contemporary British politics. This is not the Cabinet having a quiet word withthe Prime Minister after a single resignation and speech. This is three Secretaries of State resigning on three consecutive days.

To say that Gordon brown's authority does not lie in the gutter like a drunk with a bottle of Mad Dog would require the most myopic and blinkered view of the very situation the Labour Party and its leadership finds itself in.

There are some who think that Johnson is not interested in the job and scraed of it, but where is he tonight? Shaun Woodward has been rolled out on the news, and even David Blunkett has made a comment, but the bigged up "heir apparent" is no where. Remember how Major was very quiet when Thatcher fell?

Gordon Brown tonight is a dead man walking politically, and, if the rumours are true, I would not be surprised to see another resignation tomorrow. Purnell is very close friends with Andy Burnham, and as I said the other day, Burnham was a supporter of Blears for the Deputy leadership.

October election is looking very likely right now.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Where's Alan?

Purnell, as we now know, has said he's quitting because Gordon Brown sucks, but that he doesn't want the leadership. This suggests he is an outrider for someone and the question you have to ask yourself is this. Where is Alan Johnson?

We've had former ministers telling the news that people must support Gordon. Miliband has issued a denial that he is set to resign. Yet the one man in the Cabinet we have silence from is Alan Johnson.

Mobile phone turned off is it?

Purnell does the deed

Well that's it then. Stepping down and telling Brown to go? James Purnell had the guts and I can't see Brown surviving past the end of next week.

More tomorrow.

Vote Socialist or BNP and this is what you get

Never forget.

Fisking the BNP's Economic Policy

I got this idea from that non-racist, non-conspiratorial, non-mental, not least bit lunatic fringe and certainly not a green ink nutter, Tim Ireland, so I thought I would help him out. So here we have the state position of the so-called "far right" BNP on how they would deal with the economy.
  • The nurturing and encouragement of new and existing British industries; - bland general statement which is totally meaningless
  • The protection of British companies from unfair foreign imports; - Socialist protectionism, God they are so horribly right wing aren't they?
  • The promotion of domestic competition; - The promotion of a a commanded internal competition economy that is anti-free trade. Bukharin called that "Socialism in One Nation"
  • Increased taxes on companies which outsource work abroad; - punishing companies for acting in their interests whn they engage in global free trade and labour liberalisation? Who'd have thought such vicious right wingers could be so socialist?
  • The reintroduction of the married man’s allowance; - what about married women?
  • The raising of the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million; - utterly meanigless given that the economic will be in the shit and no one will have that much to give away because of the socialist protectionism. A dog whistle policy that is total inconsistent with the socialism already laid out.
  • The encouragement of savings, investment, worker share-ownership and profit-sharing; - what's this? The workers owning things through state legislated share and profit owenrship? Marx and Engels would be turning in their grave at such rabid right wingism!
  • Halving council tax by centralising education costs and eliminating multiculturalism spending and unnecessary bureaucracy; - the authoritarian centralisation of education spending away from local people? God they're so right wing aren't they? No one on the Left would ever centralise education would they!
  • The renationalisation of monopoly utilities and services, compensating only individual investors and pension funds. Privatising monopolies does not benefit either the consumer or the country. All that happens is the ‘family silver’ is sold off and monopoly utilities and services are asset-stripped, often by foreign competitors. - Oh my, nationalisation!? These EVIL right wingers must be stopped! We can't possibly let these right wingnuts make the state own anything! Only the Left could stop this!

Please note that this post is laced with sarcasm and is largely directed at the idiots on the left who are so thick that they see "BNP" and scream "right wing" without actually reading what they say, and then go on to promote Maoists and Trotskyites instead as some sort of 'saner' alternative.

The facts are plain though. The BNP are ignorant white-power socialists who think the historical murder of millions of Jews is a lie and even it wasn't true it's not that bad. Meanwhile their most vehement critics are apologists for Maoists, Trotskyites and Stalinists, who's historical murder of millions of people in the name of socialism, is something to be quietly ignored because their ideology is pure and on the side of angels don't you know.

I'm not sure who is worse, the BNP for thier odious views on race and political oppression, or their hypocritical critics who fail to condemn with equal vigour the murder of millions in the name of their equally warped political ideologies.

Labour MP calls for maximum wage?

Is it just me or is the MP for Sherwood, Paddy Tipping, a complete fool?
Paddy Tipping (Sherwood) (Lab): I beg to move, that leave be given to bring in a Bill to prescribe the maximum wage that can be paid; and for connected purposes....Outside the Westminster village, away from the political classes, there is a growing demand for openness, fairness and justice, and we should listen and respond to it. So how would we set a maximum wage? There is a simple solution. We could say to everybody that no one should receive more than the Prime Minister—£194,000 a year....If we are sensible, we need to link the minimum wage to the maximum wage. For example, there is a strong case for arguing that the maximum wage should be 10 times the minimum wage. Based on £5.60 an hour, that would give a maximum wage of £120,000.
Seriously, they want to tax the rich and now they want to cap how much people are paid on the basis of the Prime Minister being the highest paid job in the land? Hilarious to see him talk about sensible in the same breath as this lunatic fringe idea.
Hat Tip: Croydonian

EXCLUSIVE: Cyber-attack on Tories and Lib Dem sites?

At approximately 7.30 this morning the Conservative Party website was subjected to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack caused by multiple source host machines on the Internet - presumably working as a remotely controlled bot-net. It is currently still running very slowly.

Currently, the Liberal Democrats website is also down, it simply states that the server is timing out at their network gateway, confirmation that they are subject to a DDOS is yet to be established but the timing is interesting.

The Labour Party website appears unaffected, as does UKIPs and the BNPS.

Update: The Lib Dems website is now, occasionally, just about managing to display an "Oops something is wrong" message. Am currently trying to contact Mark Pack but his phone is being very odd.

Update II: (09.44) Have just spoken to Mark Pack who said they are currently investigating what is going on. They have had some hiccups this week so he's not jumping to the conclusion that it is linked as yet, but he noted that it is certainly strangely coincidental.

Followed up by El Reg

Brown is a control freak even in a resignation response

What Blears wrote,

What Brown decided to write back,

The control freakery is instinctive no?