Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tom Watson does irony

From the graffiti board, Tom Watson MP (for it is he) has posted.
That this House notes with serious concern the Chancellor of the Exchequer's decision to purchase a new red dispatch box for this year's Budget at a cost of 4,300; believes the Chancellor of the Exchequer could have procured a cheaper alternative to the elaborate box he has chosen; and calls on the Government to give greater consideration to the amount it chooses to spend on similar items in future years.
He has a point, but is wasting £600 on tabling an EDM really the best use of taxpayers money either?

I do love it when MP's waste our money complaining about other MP's wasting money.

Blogging about blogging.....

For the sixth time in six years I moved offices this week. Hence lack of posting. May post something later, although don't be holding your breath or anything.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Gove is and is not for turning?

I'm slightly confused this morning - as is normal - after hearing the Government had apparently done a "U-Turn" on the Educational Bribery Maintenance Allowance. The confusion is because, as I recall it, when they announced the scrapping of EMA they said it would be replaced by a more targeted scheme and yesterday they announced the more targeted scheme.

How is that a U-Turn?

Incidentally, and purely as an anecdote that would no doubt be dismissed by some, I know a student who was absolutely gutted that his EMA was being taken away. The reason he was gutted was because it meant he would no longer be able to keep up the repayment for the 52inch plasma screen that EMA was funding.

Oh, if you're wondering they're studying "public services". The irony of using public money to cover the cost of a personal luxury was not lost on them either.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lefties, property and the definition of "violence"

The morning after the night before huh? Seems it kicked off royally in some parts of London as self-proclaimed "anarchists" went on the rampage annoyed that the Government wants to cut the size of the state. It's a bit like a group of anorexics going on the rampage in protest because there has been a marked increase in low-calorie food available in the shops.

Anyway, putting aside this utterly ridiculous situation of anarchists demanding more Government, there appears to be another rather odd idea doing the round for some lefties, that being that what happened yesterday was "vandalism" not "violence".

The trade unionist/parliamentary bag carrier and author of "Chavs - The Demonisation of the Working Class", Owen Jones, was busy yesterday on Twitter saying,
The media et al need to learn to distinguish between "vandalism" and "violence". You can disapprove of vandalism, but it's not violence[1]..... Violence is people getting hurt. Vandalism is property being damaged. They're totally different.[2]
Now I've no doubt that this sort of intellectual light-footedness goes down very well in seminars and lofty debates in Universities, but let's be serous for a second. Violence is the act of exerting physical force for the purpose of damaging something, be that be a person or an inanimate object. So, running at HSBC bank with a large metal bar and smashing the windows in is a violent act.

In fact, the only reason that one might try to play the little word game about it not being violent is if one wanted to use some sort of ideological political argument to justify the action or somehow excuse it, which we see in the second comment that tries to draw a distinction between people and property.

Property is theft and/or something immoral clearly. Therefore any act against it is somehow politically at least, excusable. However, I bet, if you went into the home of one of these "property is theft" type people and started using all the toothbrushes they'd be quick to scream about how it was their toothbrush, likewise if you took their iPhone they'd be very upset about their phone being taken.... no doubt that will be a different type of property though.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

March For The Forces of Conservatism #march26

Today a small minority of people, many of whom pay little tax, will converge on London to demand more money earned by those not present be spent on them, with added call for more money we don;t have to be borrowed and spent on them.

Of course, if you listen to some of the hype coming from those involved in organising "March For The Alternative" you might be fooled into thinking this is a mass popular revolt against the Government, such is the nature of politics and rhetoric that defies reality.

Currently, according to the organisers, the prediction is that there will be 100,000 people marching. On their website they have a pledge total for those that will march which is, at the time of writing, at 8,105. Let's be fair to them for a moment and take the TUC claim of 100,000 marchers on face value and ponder on what this represents.

According to Ed Miliband yesterday (who will be speaking to marchers at Hyde Park (assuming they all make it there and don't split up to cause any havoc)), the march is "the voices of the mainstream majority" making themselves heard. Mainstream majority?.... Really?

Let's see now, there are 650 constituencies, varying in size, but if we split the predicted 100,000 people across them evenly, that represents (give or take) around 154 people from each constituency on the march. That's pretty much a local political party membership with a few Union members thrown in.

Now, the TUC have anticipated that they will be dismissed as a minority and so have a commissioned a "poll" to "prove" otherwise. So, six days ago, 2,720 people (that's approximately 0.0045% of the entire population) who were active enough to sign up to do YouGov online polls at 50p per time answered some questions.

Once these were answered, a bit of extrapolation was done, a bit of maths here and there. Some assumptions about what the rest of the adult population probably, maybe, who knows but we can guess, think; and then the conclusion was drawn that 52% of all people agree with the march, and 48% of all people either disagree or don't really care. Thus Brendan Barber can say,
"I'm sure that many of our critics will try to write us off today as a minority, vested interest. This poll nails that lie."
*puts hand up* Please sir, please, please!? Can I just call bullshit first please? The "poll" does no such thing and anybody thinking it represents some sort of scientific truth is a gibbering idiot.

Don't get me wrong here, it might really be that if you actually asked every single person over the age of 18 in the country that the result would be the same. However, claiming that the poll nails a lie is in itself a lie because it doesn't.

The reality is that a small number of mostly politically active people will be marching today. The rest of the country will be watching the football, doing the weekly shopping and going about their daily life largely oblivious to it all, thinking about how on Monday they have to go back to work and earn money that is taxed once with NI, taxed again with income tax, then taxed again with VAT when we buy things, taxed again with fuel duty, tobacco duty, alcohol duty etc.

They'll be doing this whilst lamenting the lazy hypocritical bastards sitting on their fat arses who demand a job but never seem to take one and find it easier to complain about "bloody Eastern Europeans stealing all the work".

And here's the inherent irony of the March For The Alternative. It is a march by politically active people on the Left who are anti-racist, anti-discrimination, pro-multiculturalism and the like; and the "alternative" they're asking for is one where individual responsibility is stripped from everyone and the Government "keeps" you, with an unintended consequence that necessitates the use of migrant workers thereby perpetuating the very discrimination and racist views they're so against in principle.

The March For the Alternative is not about an alternative at all. It is about reactionary conservatism to change and the maintenance of the status quo. A status quo that ensures people are enslaved to and trapped by the state when they do not work freely. It is about conserving the client state built over the past decade that sees Government spending peoples money, not people spending their own money, as the only solution to all problems.

It is a March for the Forces of Conservatism not an alternative. It is about producer interests, not peoples interests, and many of those marching are little more than proverbial useful idiots helping those who are opposed to change and individual responsibility maintain their power-base.

Let's be under no illusion, the exploiters of the worker are not business or the Coalition, its the Union heads who talk the talk of socialism whilst quaffing on champagne and earning salaries their members can only dream of.

Take the NHS as a case in a point. It is not the service provision of health care free at the point of the use that is important to them. It is the conserving of the structure in which they have power that matters. They will tell you it is about stopping profit being a driving force in health care. What they won't tell you is that even if someone makes a profit you will still get the treatment you need with no bill presented to you at the end. Instead they'll have a march.

Rousseau noted that the great princess, when told the peasants had no bread, responded with "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche". Brendan Barber and his colleagues say "let them carry placards".

Note: Let's not forget too that the "cuts" are not really cuts at all.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Will's and Kate Commemorative Fridge?

I'm not quite sure which is more sad, that MSNBC's Today has a microsite dedicated to the Royal Wedding called The Windsor Knot, or the commemorative fridge from a General Electric design competition they've written an article about.
Beyond parody.

Dear Leader....


Yet another EDM about crap....

Quite literally about crap actually.
That this House notes the findings of Redway and Fawdar at the European Tissue Symposium in 2009 that demonstrates the ineffectiveness of warm air dryers and jet air dryers in reducing levels of bacteria on the skin; further notes that both methods of hand drying produce a mean increase in bacteria and that, for users of colostomy bags for whom sanitation is a paramount concern, the bacteria present through blow air drying methods are particularly hazardous when changing colostomy bags; welcomes the fact that certain major retailers are installing paper towels in all disabled toilet facilities; and urges the Government to make the installation of paper towels in a disabled toilet facilities a legal requirement to safeguard the health and safety of colostomy bag users.
Laws on paper towels.... real issues-based politics at work that.

Pole Dancing for Jesus

Words fail me.

Parliamentary ICT: The Great Naming Scheme Debate

Anyone who works in technology in the field of administration - be they NetAdmins (always the cause of failure), DBAdmins (always the cause of failure when it is not the NetAdmins fault), or SysAdmins (never the cause of failure because they're Gods unlike the other two) - will be aware of the timeless and eternally important question of "what should be the naming scheme for our devices?"

Now, you may not understand the importance of this. You may be thinking "surely making things work is more important than the name Mr Diz?", but you'd be wrong. As any thoroughbred geek knows, what you call things, and the scheme it follows is without a doubt the most hotly disputed and important issue in technology today.

Why? Well.. if you get your naming scheme wrong, you might end up with lots of devices with utterly stupid names. What;s more you might pick something cool as a scheme that sadly has a finite number of options.Say for example your naming scheme is based on illegal substances allowing you the ability to say things like "I'm working on acid today". There are only so many drugs you see, so eventually saying "I'm on cocaine6 at the moment" doesn't have the same effect really does it?

Celestial objects are often popular, the only problem there though is, as I learned once, any celestial object that tends to fall to earth, such a "meteor" tends to jinx the device so it then has a habit of going down all the time - especially if you're rolling out a version 13 of code onto it (sensible geeks avoid such versions and skip the number to 14 just in case... tempting fate and all that).

Of course, the naming scheme debate can be settled quickly if you want to be all prim and proper and highly professional. In that case you go for the old $location-$function format of name. When the former is an abbreviation of the device location or datacentre, and the latter is something like "mail" or "web"... that is boring though and well... just not cool.

So why am I telling you all this? Simple really. It looks like the IT geeks in Parliament have had this eternally important debate recently too, and "being cool" won the day over "being professional".

Click for Larger Version

Seems they've gone for famous mathematicians/Cambridge alumni or someone is making a subtle political statement by using a traditional Tamil name.

Either way, having a cool naming scheme beat the stuffy suits huh?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Don't I know your name?

I see Labour were on their toes quick yesterday putting out a press release slating - naturally - the Budget. Of mild amusement is the issue of the help for first-time buyers. Labour's press release (posted in full here) cites only one third party source, which is a comment by the Chief Executive of the charity Shelter, Campbell Robb, who said,
Today’s announcement will help less than one per cent of people struggling to get on the housing ladder, leaving them more likely to win the lottery than be helped through this small-scale scheme.
Now, is this the same Campbell Robb who headed up the Social Exclusion Taskforce for Blair in the Cabinet office, and was also appointed by the former Prime Minister to be the head of the Office for the Third Sector (in the Cabinet Office), reporting to the Minister for the third sector, one Mr E Miliband?

Roll up! Roll up! Get your "independent" anti-Coalition quotes here!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fair Fuel Price Fixing

Was a little busy, hence the lack of live blogging, but I did listen to the Budget. So the headline is going to be that fuel duty is cut by 1 penny from 6pm tonight and a fair fuel price fix stabiliser will be introduced.

Naturally, the Tory MP wannabe party arselicker line will be that it's effectively a 5p per litre saving on Labour's plan. This does of course require a suspension of reality on the viewers part by thinking that an unimplemented rise equals a saving of the same amount to the people that are paying.

No doubt such intellectually illiterate idiots would fall for a supermarket saying it had decided not to rise the price of milk from 50p to £1 with advertising of "Save 50p on a pint of milk".

Anyway, I digress. So George Osborne has canceled the automatic fuel escalator that puts a penny on a litre above inflation each year. Well, canceled at least until the price of oil starts to go down again at which point, if it stays low, the escalator will be reintroduced.

Sounds like price control to me.... all very Thatcherite huh?

How about a fuel duty rebate policy for business?

Fuel duty, now their a bitch. Personally, in an ideal world, I would see it slashed massively, but I have to be realistic right, so here's a thought for what really ought to happen, and it's not so much a stabiliser as a means of altering the relationship that Government and the Treasury assumes with those it fleeces.

The relationship I'm talking about for the Treasury is one that is perfectly explained in Yes Minister with the comment that,
"The Treasury does not work out what it needs and then think how to raise the money. It pitches for as much as it can get away with and then thinks how to spend it."
Never a truer word spoken, and fuel duty is a place where it ought to change. You see, the Treasury knows, roughly speaking, how much petrol is consumed each year based on its tax receipts, and when those prices rise it inevitably gets a lot more than it was expecting.

Now it's difficult to see how you could introduce a mean of only getting the amount you set out for at the beginning of the year in fuel tax from the ordinary consumer, as the ordinary consumer may not have a personal relationship with the Treasury in terms of tax, but a business does.

A business can already claim the VAT back on fuel, so the Treasury knows how much fuel business buys, and it also knows how much tax it gets from business for that fuel. So here's an idea, how about deciding each year, based on what is known, how much the Treasury wants from fuel tax, and then, after VAT returns have been submitted, doing a bit of maths and rebating that which has been paid above and beyond the desired figure for the year?

Now I imagine some would critcise such an idea noting things like inflation, and economic changes etc. The thing is, those things effect the current situation as well. However, I return back to the Yes Minister quote. Shouldn't the Treasury be deciding how much it wants and, where possible, seek to get that, rather than taking over and above what it actually requires?

I;d love to see something for ordinary consumers, but the truth is, haulage and commerce is being crippled by fuel prices. Deciding how much you want and then rebating those business will have a positive effect on their ability to trade and thereby grow.

Now... feel free to shoot me down in flames and call me a retard if you must in the comments.

Some (pre)Budget thoughts

  • The devil will be in the detail. Do not think that just because Brown et al have gone that the reality and critique of that Osborne announces today won't unravel in the next few days and cause much more debate.
  • Don't expect the immediate abolition of National Insurance and its merging with Income Tax. A consultation and an aspiration is far more likely, after all, if he did it, tomorrows headlines would be "base rate income tax rises to X%". an NI and Income Tax merger can't be done overnight and would require a lengthy public discourse to soften the feeling that people were paying more than the already are.
  • Heavily trailed already this morning is the rise in the tax-free threshold at the bottom calling it a tax cut. Don't be fooled to much. With inflation running at above 4%, and the likelihood of pay freezes in the private sector, any gain will be swallowed up by the time the change actually comes in.
  • Fuel duty is more than likely going to remain static and will be billed as "helping" motorists. It is, naturally, bullshit to claim that not implementing a rise on an already overtaxed product whose price is rising constantly because of external factors is an example of the Government doing us a favour (more on what ought to happen with fuel tax in the next post).
  • Finally we have the "big surprise rabbit out of the hat"... not sure what that might be but it could be that there is no surprise to make him distinguish himself as a politician that cares about the economy and not political positioning, handily positioning himself in the process!

Will try to live blog later, work permitting.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tax is taxing... but let's not bullshit about the rates

If George Osborne really does decide to merge NI and Income Tax so as to make understanding personal taxation simpler then on the face of it it's pretty decent idea. After all, as Guido noted yesterday, no one believes that the Government taking a percentage of gross earnings is anything other than a tax.

However, there is something else that we need to watch out for in the argument, and that is the claim that when you chuck NI and Income tax together, the real starting rate of tax is 32%. What's more higher rate taxpayers are really paying 52% of their earnings in tax... however, this is actually and entirely misleading.

You see, we have, irritatingly, a progressive tax system. That means you pay NI on the gross before tax. Then you pay Income Tax on the taxable amount, which is the gross less the free 7Kish. Then you pay one rate on the next 20 odd thousand. If you go up into the 40% rate you only pay it on the amount you are in it by.

In other words, if you earn £1 over the threshold you would pay 40p to the taxman on that £1. Horribly confusing I know.

Anyway, the bottom line here is that not even someone earning £150,000 per year pays 52% of their income in taxes. In fact, someone on £150K (the 50% tax rate) will pay a combined amount of NI and Income Tax to the tune of £58,900, that 39% of their earnings in tax. Someone on £50K (the so-called 40% higher rate) will pay £13,910 in NI and tax, that's 27% in total.

Now don't get me wrong, I still think that is way too much. However, trying to win the argument for lower taxes on the basis of exploiting the confusing nature of a "progressive" system to make it sound much worse than it is is the wrong argument to be making because you'll be called on it.

A much sounder platform to be on is to make the case that the tax system is so utterly confusing that tax rates should be flatter, instead of this crap where you pay a percentage on the gross, then you get a pay one rate on one part, and another rate on another part, less your free part.

Note: It's not hard to find up to date salary calculators online that show you exactly what the breakdown of earnings and deductions is.

UPDATE: One thing I forgot. It is lie on the part of Lib Dems to say that they;re taking low earners out of tax altogether because the low earners still have to pay NI on the gross income. If you mereg the two into income tax only then there will be a massive loss that would need to be offset by the rest of us earning above the tax-free threshold to maintain the claim that no one on low earnings paid tax.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh look... it's all the West's fault.... again

I see, as previously predicted there has been an interesting reaction to the Libya/UN Resolution thing from the lefties over at Stop The War.

Prior to action happening Stop The War was saying there must be no action, that everything that was happening was all the fault of the West anyway, and that the best thing to do was use words to show solidarity with those trying to overthrow their dictator, but, crucially, we must let people with crap guns and old weaponry "settle accounts with their own rulers" (own rulers who have bigger guns, planes and what not).

Now that a UN Resolution has been passed, Stop The War, unable to call any action "illegal" are saying its a big stitch up by the West and other Arab despots to dominate Libya and seize control of its oil for BP and BAE, and, apparently, generic tomahawk missiles are now "weapons of mass destruction".

Of course, none of this should really be a surprise. For groups like Stop The War, it doesn't matter what happens as it will always result in a Noam Chomsky-esque argument that points out "the West" is merely doing whatever it is doing in order to dominate and enslave and is lacking in any moral credibility.

Incidentally, and as an aside, I understand that when the UN Resolution passed, the Libyan rebels were elated and started firing their guns into the sky along with artillery etc.

Now..... can someone please explain to me the logic involved where you're fighting against superior weaponry, superior numbers etc and when you get a bit of good news the first thing you do is waste lots of ammunition by trying to shoot the moon?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is there a qualifying age for Bridge?

Welcome to the All-Party Parliamentary Bridge Group, who;s purpose is
To develop an awareness of the benefits of bridge (particularly for young people and for senior citizens) and to promote enjoyment of the game, and bridge events, with the legislatures of other countries.
20 members. 2 MPs, 18 Peers. Youngest member 51. Oldest member 88. Average age, 70.

Something tells me that promoting Bridge amongst the young is not going to be as successful as promoting it amongst pensioners.

Damien McBride - legal fees

Now here's an odd response from Francis Maude.
Mr Nuttall: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip, Northwood of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 409W, on public relations, whether any funds from the public purse were spent on legal fees in relation to the incident involving Mr Damian McBride, the Red Rag website and associated emails.

Mr Maude [holding answer 14 March 2011]: This Government are not accountable for the decisions and actions of the previous Government.
Now, the reason I say it's odd is because if the answer is zero then why not just say it, and if the answer is not zero, then why not just say how much it was so' to have a pop at Labour?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ed Miliband's climate change, petrol price flip flop

So errrr..... in Government, Ed Miliband was the Secretary of State in the Climate Change department. In July 2009, he told Andrew Marr that we should all accept higher fuel bills in order to nudge us into saving the planet, driving electric cars etc etc.

Today he has formally come out for lower fuel prices and is going to force a vote to stop his own party's VAT rise.

Presumably this is because he either (a) didn't really give a crap about the planet back when he was for rises, or (b) thinks it's an easy bit of opposition opportunism to be against what he was for before becoming for again, or (c) both.

July 2012 - you can't go south of the river

There is a joke in London that taxi driver don't go "south of the river", well, come the Olympics, no one in a car is going to be going south of the river, not if you take a look at the maps on the Olympic Route Network.

There will no longer be the opportunity to come down the M11 and go through Blackwall - as I have to regularly. No, you;ll have to go via the Woolwich Ferry (although that is designated as an "alternative route" should there be other problems so you may, as an ordinary citizen be banned from that way too).

That leaves you with Dartford, which, is utterly congested at the best of times and will be absolute utter chaos during the Olympics.

Still.. it's only two weeks right? Errr no. This seems to suggest that the so-called "Olympic Route Network" will operate from July 2012 to September 2012 (two months).

Joy! Gridlocked areas being redirected to gridlocked areas.

Not to worry though, if you're one of the Games partners, i.e McDonald's executives, then you will have the freedom of routes.

Anti-Saloon League reject Government 'responsibility deal' on alcohol

Last week, the subject of tobacco came up with the inevitable "the Government needs to protect people from dying" argument (which conveniently missed the reality that we all die eventually). In opposition there was, of course, those who think such desires to hide cigarettes from view and put everything in plain packaging will just increase the illict trade in tobacco from that bloke in the pub who just got back from abroad.

This week, we have that other vice, the dreaded booze. You see, a number of 'charities', including Alcohol Concern (also known as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and a fake charity), the Royal College of Physicians and the British Liver Trust, have got together (to be known as collectively as the Anti-Saloon League) and rejected the Government's "responsibility deal" on alcohol saying it is not tough enough.

Now, did you know that in just under eight years time, it will be the 100th Anniversary of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution which was eventually repealed some 24 years later by the 21st Amendment.... just saying.

Death TV and black humour

You may not realise this, but on Friday a global phenomenon occurred. That phenomenon was a technological one for a technological age. Just as 9/11 made real-life footage dwarfed any disaster movie's capability almost eleven years ago, and the sight of a ship floating on a giant wave miles in land did it again, so to did the technological world of SMS and the sick joke come to pass.

By Friday evening,. many phones across the UK, and probably the world were buzzing with impromptu jokes that alluded to an immensely scary natural disaster the death toll of which is unknown but no doubt in the many thousand. With the buzzing will have also come that odd moment where you snigger and then think "I'm going to Hell because I really shouldn't be laughing at that".

In a way the sick jokes after any massive global news event are, I guess, an extension of the voyeurism we experience during the event. We become transfixed at image, moving or still, of a things that are in themselves horrendous events. Most people wouldn't dream of watching an execution online, but give us a massive event where we don;t actually see the dying up close and we're all there as it were.

What follows then are the jokes. Now, I have no evidence for this, but I wonder if the jokes are a way of dealing with an unconscious guilt at our voyeurism. That, in the face of such bloody awfulness we turn to humour as a way of masking our guilt that we all just gawped at thousands of people dying and, like rubber necking on the motorway just couldn't look away.

We're a funny lot us human being huh?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Guardian's political crusade continues....

I see the Guardian has not rested in its moral crusade against Andy Coulson this weekend after the collapse of a murder trial for an incident that occurred in 1987, when Coulson was a mere 19 years old. It's a slightly confusing one so let's just flesh out the details.

In 1987 someone was murdered with an axe. In 2000 a private investigator who had worked for the News of the World was jailed for seven years planting cocaine on someone to discredit them. In 2005 that PI was released and got a job at the News of the World again. In 2008 he was charged with the aforementioned axe murder 21 years previously, and then on Friday, 24 years later the trial collapsed with the Crown offering no evidence against him.

So where does Coulson fit into this? Well, he was Editor of the NotW between 2003 and 2007, so was "in charge" when some subordinates re-hired the PI when he came out of prison. This appears to be the first "charge" by the Guardian, although as yet that I can see they've not published any evidence that Coulson personally hired the guy, but the buck stops at the top right, and I'm sure that Alan Rusbridger would take wholesale responsibility should it turn out one of his low-level tea boys was employed after a prison sentence.

The second "strong link" to Coulson - as Mr Rusbridger puts it - seems to be about the collapsed trial on Friday. You see, it appears to be that Coulson, when editor in 2005 should have anticipated a collapsed murder trial six years later and blocked any attempt to re-hire a guy jailed for an incident unrelated to his work for the News of the World.

Called me old-fashioned, but I'd call that just a "mildly circumstantial" rather than "strong" link, but then I'm not a wholesale Murdoch hater and as such I am no doubt biased and can be therefore dismissed out of hand for not seeing the "truth" like others do.

Apparently though, there are "judgment" issues here.

There is the judgment of Coulson himself for (a) not being able to see into the future which clearly any normal person can do, and (b) allowing a scumbag jailed for a crime unrelated to his work for the newspaper to be paid under contract by the newspaper again. The perceptive might notice that the Guardian has had to do a quick doublethink switch at this point and forget all its progressive editorials in the past about offending and rehabilitation and go down the Daily Mail route of "once a nose picker always a nose picker" line.

The other judgment issue is, of course, David Cameron. You see, he shouldn't, apparently, have employed Coulson, because the Guardian wrote to him and told him that some years previously Coulson had been in charge of an newspaper that had allowed a scumbag jailed for a crime unrelated to his work for the newspaper to be paid under contract by the newspaper again. After all, only a progressive soft left-wing tosser would do that and the Guardian, being in full Daily Mail mode naturally finds such behaviour despicable.

What's more, the Guardian told him that this guy was up on a murder charge! Cameron should, it seems, have just cut Coulson loose immediately because clearly (a) the guy must be assumed to be guilty, (b) Coulson's tenuous link to him previously make him guilty of something horrible by association, and (c) that association will go upward and although it's some degree of separation Cameron will be guilty because of his association with a man who has an association with a guilty man.

Rusbridger must have been truly gutted when the trial collapsed. Not you understand because the vicious murder of a man in 1987 remains unsolved, but rather because it meant the angle couldn't be "Cameron is linked to Coulson, Coulson is linked to vicious murderer, Downing Street has blood on its hand". Instead what we've actually got is:
"Cameron is linked to Coulson, and Coulson is linked to a man acquitted of murder but who did do something unrelated but dodgy resulting in a prison sentence many years ago when Cameron was working for Carlton Communications, but the guy was re-hired by the paper Coulson was "in charge" of when Cameron was an MP, and Cameron was told about this five years later so this clearly calls into question Cameron's judgment at hiring Coulson in Downing Street."
Certainly puts the complaints of many Guardian readers about the idiocy of Daily Mail "exposes" into context doesn't it?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Scaremongering of the Day

There's a brilliant bit of scaremongering this morning over on Liberal Conspiracy.
Up to 40% of patients could be completely removed from their doctor’s surgery lists without their knowledge due to “cost saving initiatives” being planned by NHS managers.

Anyone who has not visited their surgery in the last six months and who does not respond to the two letters asking them to confirm their details will be automatically struck off GP lists.....

Doctors in Brent have expressed their concern that the new plans could also put lives at risk.
Now, back in the world of "reality" even if you were "struck off" the GP list that does not mean you cannot get an appointment to see a doctor. After all, if that was the case why are the streets not littered with the corpses of illegal immigrants not able to get to a GP?

The truth is, anyone who is really vulnerable or at risk health wise probably isn't going to not be seeing a doctor for over six months anyway. Where someone does need to see a doctor, whether they;re registered or not, they'll still be able too.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Wasting taxpayers money complaining about wasting taxpayers money

Here's something for your amusement and delectation. Some many remember the other week that questions were raised about a possible conflict of interest for the Yes2AV campaign and the Electoral Reform Society in terms of how its commercial arm stood to gain significantly from a yes vote and earn lots of money from your pockets i.e. tax revenue.

Likewise, you might also remember how the No2AV campaign got its knickers in a twist saying that the Yes campaign was peddling lies about the cost of the referendum and what not to the taxpayer in comparisons to things that could be bought for the same amount money.

You might notice a convergent theme here about "taxpayers money" and what is and what is not sound spending etc. Which lead me on to this. Both supporters on both sides have wasted taxpayers money tabling early day motions about the shocking tactics of each in relation to the spending and/or possible spending of taxpayer money.

Yes2AV Motion:

No2AV Amendment to Yes2AV motion:

The 3vident conclusion that one is left to draw is when it comes to spending your money they're all quite happy to it with pointless rhetoric slapped and printed on a piece of paper for each of them to feel good about.

Please don't even get me started on the £600 spent tabling a motion to promote family mealtimes.

Who's to blame for the killing of Libyans abd beyond?

You might think this is a rather obvious and simple question top answer. There is only one person to blame for the killings in Libya and that's Muammar Qaddafi, and in terms of beyond well that would be all the other despots etc.

Of course, if you're one of those "all things are the fault of the West" type people then clearly you're going to blame the people that sold the guns instead. However, there is one other person you forgot. The Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke.

Yes, really, honestly, truthfully, there are some people who think that far from so-called "crimes against humanity" being the fault of the mentalist that ordered the indiscriminate shooting of heavy firepower on people, the real fault lies with man that introduced quantitative easing in the US.

Don't believe me? Go and read this then.

Apparently, by flooding the US market with extra-cash when they were strapped, it deflated the dollar meaning the cost of food rose in poor countries like those in North Africa, thus leading to revolution against despot, thus leading to the despot using their guns.... ergo.... the deaths and whatever else are actually not the fault of the despots but are in fact the fault of the person that decided to flooded the US market with cash and thereby reduce the value of the dollar.

It's amazing what utter absurd logic some people will come out with these days in order to satisfy a self-loathing tendency and appease the guilt of the guilty init?

Hat Tip: an email from someone I thought might be a rock legend for a split second.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

++ UKUncut breach Computer Misuse Act? ++

Oh dear, UKUncut look to have gone over the edge. They've just put out a press release about how they've "hijacked" a Vodafone website and have been boasting on Twitter too about how they were "leaked" the passwords.

I just spoke to the person on their press release phone number and asked them how they were going to deal with the possibility of having just admitted to committing a crime under the Computer Misuse Act in terms of unauthorised access to systems and could be facing many years in prison.

The response was priceless. "Errrrr ok....errrr...... I'll have to get back to you".

Example hijacking:

Update: UKUncut are now claiming they have a master password.
The question is how will Vodafone respond?

Update II: Statement from Vodafone
We’ve seen a couple of posts on World of Difference winners’ blogs relating to allegations of tax avoidance. Given these are incorrect, they have been removed.

World of Difference winners are doing great things for charities up and down the country. It’s very sad to see how low people will go to further spread misinformation and for the charitable programme to be used as a platform for this kind of protest.
And some more on The Register.

Update III: There seem to be quite a few missing the point and misunderstanding what is and what is not authorised access to a system. These people seem to be under the illusion that because someone who legitimately had a password gave someone else that password that makes the access authorised. However, that only works if the person with the password in the first is the owner of the system and not a user.

In this case they were not. This was the case of a user being given access to a system and that user then giving access to someone else onto the system that was not authorised by the owner. Had UKUncut not acted upon on it then it would be a different matter, but they did act upon it and used credentials gained without authority to access a system that they were not given authority to access.

That is unauthorised access. Whether anyone prosecutes is a different matter.

Update IV (9.30PM): Vodafone have now updated their statement, presumably as a result of the Guardian saying "Vodafone" + "hacked" in the same sentence and the concern that people might think anything more than a basic website was in some way compromised - they did after all lose loads of equipment due to walk-in theft the other week. The statement now has the addition:

Following an investigation, and contrary to some online media reports, we can confirm that there was no hack of our World of Difference web site today. The posts which appeared on two World of Difference winners’ blogs, were published as a result of an individual sharing log in details with a protest group, not as a result of a hack.

There was no risk to World of Difference winners, or Vodafone customers’ personal data at any time.
This confirms that the credentials did have permissions to edit more than just one area of the site (odd security model), and that an individual disclosed these details in order to provide access to others who were not authorised to access the site.

Redundant Public Servant errr.... not redundant (but may not be a public servant)

Ever heard of the Redundant Public Servant blog? He's spent the last five months or so moaning that he's being made redundant and guest contributed at the Guardian about it too. He was finally made redundant on March 3rd and then got a new job on March 8th resulting in him giving up blogging.

Is it wrong of me to find his moaning and "support" for people facing redundancy and "DOOOM!" followed by a period of unemployment of a massive five days mildly amusing? Probably. But then, I work in IT so redundancy programmes are nothing new, even in the good times. In fact I've been through my fair share of redundancy rounds, even got made redundant once on a Friday and started a new job on the Monday.

In fact, there's a consultation going on right now which will result in over 500 job losses.* I'm safe for now although it seems clear to me that the writing is on the wall in the next 12 months. C'est la vie, business is business. I won't be writing a "woe is me" blog when the time comes, in fact you won't even know if my prediction is right until I perhaps start a new job.

Public Servants don't know how good they have it compared to the rest of us. The saddest thing really is there seems to remain an odd belief that there really is something called a "job for life".

Hat Tip: Via email.

* That is why the blog has been slow for the last month or so if you were wondering. Lots of things going on and lots more work do to as things start to downsize.

The Coalition's is creating a topsy pervy world

Yesterday, I refrained from really commenting too much on the Government's latest nannying over smoking, mainly because I was flabbergasted that a Government that so proudly claims to be all about freedom and even has a Freedom Bill would carry out yet another act of extreme anti-freedom all in the name of protecting individuals from themselves and their own choices.

No longer will cigarettes be able to displayed, instead you will have to ask for them and they'll be hidden under the counter. What a strange, amusing and topsy turvy world we live in these days huh?

Once upon a time you could buy your cigarettes proudly on display, but if you wanted to purchase an 8 inch glass dildo and some KY Jelly to ease its insertion into your chosen orifice you had to go down some back street and clandestinely enter a blacked out shop.

Soon though, the opposite will be true. Soon you will have to embarrassingly ask for a packet of Malboro and feel ashamed that the thing you want is socially hidden from view. Meanwhile, next door, there will be a window display featuring gag balls (not oranges), whips, chains, strap-ons and assorted insertion tools many of which are designed to make your eyes water.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not for a minute being a prude here and suggesting that we shouldn't allow the sale of anal probes, remote control vibrators, crotchless panties and peephole bras on the High Street. Far from it in fact.

However, isn't it just a little bit odd that the argument deployed to justify putting cigarettes out of sight includes "think of the children!" whilst the very same children can see other things that we might think they're too young to see so openly displayed?

It's not actually a topsy turvy world, rather it's a topsy pervy world.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Transport Minister meets alien defenders

Who knew huh?
Mike Penning: I have met with the MIB and have visited their headquarters in Milton Keynes.
Via Hansard

Syed Kamal MEP reports back from the EP

Shoes apparently are the importance of the day according to my latest email from him.

Click Image for Larger Version

Imelda Marcos eat your heart out! We have Syed Kamal!

Note: The other images in the email were boring. I think his mailing list may have buggered up :-)

Uneconomic acts between consenting adults

Did you know that if you run a business and you put out a tender for anyone over 18 to come and do a couple of weeks work experience for you for free then it's illegal? You may be thinking "WTF?" at this. You may be thinking that in a free and open society consenting adults can choose what they want to do, be it kinky sex games or making tea for two weeks, but you'd be wrong... well wrong according to some anyway.

You see, yesterday on Twitter, the Political Editor of The Jewish Chronicle, Martin Bright posted the following to Twitter.
The link, had you chosen to follow it at the time, would have taken you to a page of Miloco recording studio that was offering "work experience" for anyone over 18 who wanted to get a feel for what goes on in such places.

Unlike many work experience placements and descriptions, this one was brutally honest about the reality of such things, as you can see from the Google cache. In other words, you'll be making cups of tea, generally helping out in the studio doing all the menial stuff that someone has to do and that you won;t be getting your hands on expensive equipment.

Sadly, such honesty about the reality of work experience that most of us will recall lovingly, was not appreciated by many a po-faced lefty. This was and is shameful exploitation and illegal because they should be paying the minimum wage dammit! After all "you have to pay people for work". So what happened next?

A letter from a solicitor bemoaning the shameful exploitation... and then the studio removes the page from their site. The thing is, is it really illegal?

Well, according to the Government's Business Link site, in order for someone to be entitled to the minimum wage they have to be a "worker" and defining them as such requires them to pass "The Worker Test".
Key elements in establishing whether someone is a worker include:
  • whether there is an obligation on the individual to perform the work and in return an obligation on you to provide the work
  • whether the individual is rewarded, such as through money or benefits in kind
When this guidance refers to a 'worker' it is referring to worker in this sense. If somebody is a worker, they will qualify for the NMW
So, let's apply the test.
  1. Is there an obligation on a person taken up a placement to actually turn up and is there an obligation for the recording studio to give them absolutely anything to do when and if they do turn up? No. Its "work experience".
  2. Is there any financial or benefit in kind being provided by the studio to those who do the placement? Errrr no.
So... put your hand up if you genuinely think that a person taking up such an opportunity can be defined under the official guidance as a worker on the basis of them choosing to do something where they are (a) under no obligation to actually do it and (b) agree to the terms that it is unpaid and they will receive no actual benefit from it from the outset.

I expect there will be some who will still put their hand up on the basis that they think it outrageous that any business should do this. However, that's a value judgment.

True, you might not like what they're doing, and frankly I think anyone choosing to take up the offer would be nuts, but it doesn't change the fact that entitlement to minimum wage is not about the "work" but about whether the person doing it qualifies as a "worker".

I guess that won't stop some people wetting their pants over what they think ought to be illegal rather than what actually is illegal.

N.B. Thanks to Quizzicalgaze for proof reading and other thoughts.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Did Gwyneth Paltrow just help a convicted paedophile make money?

Uhoh.... where was Max Clifford and all those clever agents saying "errrr Gwyneth... you know the song you're singing will earn a convicted paedophile hundreds of thousands in royalties right?"
C'est la vie!

Note: Cue smartarse saying because I linked to the video and song I'm just as bad.

Has Conor Burns been to Libya too?

Is Conor Burns MP actually a secret undercover revolutionary spook out-performing the SAS?
Overseas visits
Name of donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain
Address of donor: c/o The Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, 30 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8QB
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): £3,279
Destination of visit: Bahrain
Date of visit: 21-25 October 2010
Purpose of visit: in my capacity as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bahrain I was invited to visit to country to met with Government Ministers and others and to observe the Parliamentary elections that were taking place during the visit.
(Registered 16 November 2010)

Name of donor: Government of Tunisia
Address of donor: Tunisian Embassy, 29 Princes Gate, London SW7 1QG
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): return flights to Tunis and hotel accommodation; value £1,907.10
Destination of visit: Tunis, Tunisia
Date of visit: 4-7 January 2011
Purpose of visit: to meet the British Tunisia Chamber of Commerce, officials in the Department for Culture and Tourism, members of the Tunisian Parliament, the Mayor of Hammermat and some Government Ministers, at the invitation of the Ambassador of Tunisia in the United Kingdom
(Registered 9 February 2011)
You all thought they were spontaneous uprisings didn't you?

Stand up straight boy!

Original page here.

IDS simplifies further... but will Osborne follow on personal taxation?

Simplification. Iain Duncan-Smith clearly "gets it". Instead of a multitude of benefits, many mean-tested, there really ought o be just single schemes that are universal but that are also not so extravagant that they either (a) encourage you to stay sitting on your arse and not work, or (b) penalise you for having the audacity to work and save for your old age.

Those are the two situations currently, and it seems in the case of the latter now, Iain Duncan-Smith is making proposals to simplify the pension system so as to address the complete mess left by Labour that punished saving and made the poor poorer through the complexity of the system.

Naturally, I would expect such changes to be opposed by the lefties, and I imagine they'll do so on the basis that to scrap the pension credit system will mean putting all the people processing such forms out of work. After all, that is the real driver behind most of the credit system. The credit system is the proverbial Keynesian hole that the state employ men to dig and men to fill.

Anyhow, seeing as Iain Duncan-Smith "gets it" on the matter of simplification,when will George Osborne finally "get it" on the matter of simplifying the personal tax system?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

George "hears" us?

Fuel duty huh? Now theres a real political hot potato. As the Middle East countries with all the oil go a bit nutty, the price of a barrel of oil goes up and after you chuck in the refining costs to turn crude into diesel or petrol we all start paying more at the pump.

Yes, fuel for your car has almost reached a shocking 50p per litre. Yes, that really does mean that 80p of the price you pay goes straight to the Treasury.

It was bullshit under Labour that this situation exists and it remains bullshit under the Coalition. But, never fear people, there is alight at the end of tunnel. The Chancellor George Osborne "hears" us when we complain. He says the 1p rise above inflation due in April is Labour's fault anyway as they pre-prepared it, but he's a nice chap so he may not implement it.

Isn't that so nice of him? Instead of a 40 litre tank costing you about £56 he's going to make sure it only costs you about £55.60. You can then buy a packet of fruit gums (if you're lucky) with the extra 40p. That works out to a massive £20.80 saving per year on the assumption that the price stay the same for 52 weeks.

Let's be clear for just one second. Refusing to put a tax increase already planned on something that has an extortionate level of tax on it already is not help because he's hearing anyone. It's a sop and it will likely make bugger all difference as the price continues to rise.

If the Chancellor wants growth then he should get it by taking an axe to fuel duty and put money back in our pockets to spend in the economy on other thing. After all, it won't just help people out it will also save a few businesses from ruin.

Ah yes, but what about the deficit some might say. Well, to those I would say this. Financial arrangements, be they personal, business or national, are influenced by events. Yes there is a bloody great deficit, but there is also a crisis in the region that keeps most of the world moving. So you do some shifting around with the budgets to cope, hopefully with contingency that you planned for (bet they didn't).

We could, perhaps, start by getting rid of Andrew Mitchell's nonsensical International Development department. When you're "in the shit" financially you don't start giving away what little money you have to strangers - although I realise that such ideas are "pie in the sky".

Seriously though, what you don't do is stand there and tell us you "hear" the complaints and then propose to throw us a bone worth about a half of the square root of zero.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Liars versus Media Watchers: Both idiots

How funny, some reporter that no one will have ever heard of has decided to resign from a newspaper that (a) few people read and (b) is so patently one step away from pure fiction on most days that you'd need to be thicker than a retarded monkey to not realise and it's BIG news for the tax avoiding right-on Guardian. Hell, they even have his resignation letter to the Daily Star proprietor, also proprietor of porn (a dying industry thanks to the Internet but I digress).

So, the letter is a bit of a rant by this unknown reporter about how the Daily Star makes stuff up. I know, shocking isn't it? A national daily newspaper with tits and arse on the front page makes stuff up huh? Who'da thunk it? Shocking betrayal of trust to its readers huh? Outrageous! The world is ending... arggghhh the sky is falling, 2012 looms, it's a sign I tell thee!

Apparently the newspaper also engages in hypocrisy, where it laments for example a comedian for a dodgy joke about race of gender, and then on the following pages engages in that which it just condemned pages before. Such a rarity isn't it? Newspaper shouldn't do that and it's absolutely correct for the Guardian to report this sort of thing because it would never have an editorial stance that was the opposite of other things it wrote or did.

You can probably tell where I'm going with this. It is a truly slow news days when the big news is for newspapers is about newspapers themselves. Sure, it gets the fired up anally retentive "media watch" type people even more fired up. I'm talking here about the gibbering and chattering classes who, when an horrendous act of violence occurs never blame the person that did it but rather like to say that the media are to blame.

Even the reporter you've never heard of is does it in his resignation letter, noting that "The lies of a newspaper in London can get a bloke's head caved in down an alley in Bradford." Actually, the person that caves someone head in in Bradford is probably the type of person who would do that anyway, the newspaper didn't make them do it.They made themselves do it because they're a twat that does that sort of thing anyway.

If these people must engage in post hoc ergo propter hoc foolishness, perhaps they ought to start blaming the parents of the parents of parents instead right back to the Middle Ages and further? Fuck it, blame shagging. After all, if it wasn't for shagging people wouldn't be born and if people weren't born then they wouldn't do terrible nasty things to other people. Let's ban shagging to stop the violence because shagging is to blame!

Actually, thinking about, banning shagging would please the pious hand-wringers greatly I think. After all, Richard Desmond makes his money from it so he'd be skint. Everyone's a winner!

Seriously though. The news that a newspaper makes stuff up is not news, it's basic common sense. Those that shout from the rooftops about it on their missions of truth betray something far worse about their true motives. For within the moral righteousness lies their own disdain for the intellectual capabilities of the proles to spot bullshit when they see it.

The reality is that this "story" is not about "truth in media". It's about the low opinion of the masses held by the pseudo-intellectual elite. The same elite who engage daily in fallacious reasoning to justify curtailing the freedom of individuals (who are not as clever as them) to read what they want, when they want.

There is a distinct irony here too. For they so hate the views of people that would curtails freedom that they wish to curtail freedom to combat it.

Fuck it, we might as well just start burning books now and be done with it. At least it'll keep both the knuckle-draggers and snobbish media watching elitists happy, they're different sides of exactly the same coin after all.

How to build a semi-conspiracy theory in 10 steps

Morning all. As it's Saturday I thought I'd have a little fun providing you with a guide to building your own partisan semi-conspiracy theory in just 10 steps. Here's how to do it.
  1. Choose your target, ensure they are of a diametrically opposed political viewpoint and are involved with a political organisation you hate the most on principle. Remember you don't have to be in an organisation yourself. Basically, if you're right wing then your target is going to be socialist scum and if you're left wing they're vicious fledgling neo-nazi scum. If you're a centrist you just hate everyone whilst pretending to be moderate. Simples!
  2. Bitch, moan about and hassle your target enough that they call you a loopy loony tune of mega-proportions.
  3. Bitch, moan about and hassle your target's boss about how your target has called you a name.
  4. If the boss contacts you but doesn't agree with everything you say, they're in on it. If the boss doesn't contact you at all, they're in on it.
  5. Contact the boss's boss to complain about the target and the boss.
  6. Apply step #4 to the action or inaction of the boss's boss.
  7. Contact the boss's boss's boss to complain about the target, their boss and their boss.
  8. Apply step #4 to the action or inaction of the boss's boss's boss.
  9. Continue previous steps ad nauseum up and sideways through the target's organisation. You may also want to break out of the organisation and bring other organisations in where someone in the target organisation left and went elsewhere. The tenuous connection may be tenuous but it remains a connection.
  10. Go "public" with all the gory details of how no one wants to listen to you because they're all bastards from that organisation you hate, reaffirming why everyone should hate the organisation, because they're all either in on it or at least complicit in the event that started everything.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

*** Yes I know that in reality this will take more than 10 steps, but hey, that wouldn't make as good a title would it?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Asessing risk will never be as cheap again!

At the beginning of the week, if I recall correctly, there was a news story doing the rounds that a European Court ruling has decided that it was sexual discrimination if insurance companies, who deal in assessing risk, had different premiums for men and women.

That young males tend to have more crashes than young females, and in general its men rather than women that make claims is apparently not fair. Ironically enough the ruling was about it not being fair to men which makes a change.

Of course, the ruling is absurd, but I was rather amused to see that the Government Equalities Office pumped out a press release yesterday on age discrimination that said,
Providers of financial services, such as insurance companies, will still be allowed to use age when assessing risk and deciding prices.
How long before the EU rules that is wrong too, at which point insurance premiums will rise for everyone?

You see this is the hilarious and utterly bizarre consequence of the so-called "equalities" agenda.

On the one hand, the rulings say things like "you can;t have a blanket policy" that discriminates, and then, on the other, what you end up with is a blanket policy that equalises the cost which then means overrule the insurance companies just raise the premiums for all to cover the cost of those they consider a higher risk.

Thus the perception of discrimination is removed, but underneath it still remains but we all pay equally for it. Genius init?

Graffiti of the Day

Alright, alright, I know I said I would be back yesterday but I got sidetracked with something that is as yet unfinished, however, I'm back now. So, to kick off with a just a small snippet from the graffiti board in parliament aka Early Day motions, we have this little waste of money.
That this House records its congratulations to Ryan Giggs on the 20th anniversary of his debut for Manchester United on 2 March 1991; is aware that throughout his illustrious career he has developed a deserved reputation for sportsmanship and fair play; recognises that his skills have been admired throughout the world; that 20 years on he is now the country's most decorated player, and that he is widely seen as a role model for team mates and young footballers everywhere; thanks him for his contribution to the national game for both his club and his country, Wales; and wishes him all the very best for his future.
I prefer to call this the "spot the Manchester United fans and/or the Welshman" EDM.

Whilst we're on the subject of graffiti, I was amused by the last words in this little treasure.

That this House notes the celebrations of Cornwall's patron saint, St Piran, on 5 March each year are growing in scope, support and significance; believes that this is a valuable opportunity for the people of Cornwall to celebrate their unique heritage, language, culture and aspirations; recognises that those who support patron saints' days in other regions and nations in the United Kingdom are also seeking official acknowledgement; welcomes the fact that several town and parish councils have already made the day a staff holiday; and calls on the Government to make St Piran's Day a public holiday in Cornwall.
No doubt the people of Devon who drive to work in Cornwall will be well chuffed if such a ludicrous idea of county-based public holidays came about.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Parish Notice

Apologies for the lack of blogging all. I have been away for a few days and am now catching up on mail. Back tomorrow.