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Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Labial Conocrats

Via Obnoxio I see the Labial Conocrats think that the left and right wings of The Party are are virtually the same these days. Nothing gets past them, does it? On the other hand since they have a foot firmly in both camps themselves they ought to fucking know. Anyway, they've had this hugely original idea for a webshite using a portmanteau of Labour and Conservative for the name* on which is a page where you can tell them why you're, to use their term, a Labservative. I said this:


I'm interested to see if it passes moderation - and I'll leave the further irony of people who call themselves liberal moderating all comments - and so to give it every chance I've avoided being sweary or outright rude and, hopefully, just made the point that a labservative is pretty much synonymous with 'Liberal Democrat'. I'll give it a day or so and if it's not made it I have a second one teed up and ready to go.

Call it experimenting with their liberal credentials.


UPDATE - to my amazement they published it. I wonder if the sarcasm didn't come across or if the moderator is someone who actually has some claim to the 'liberal' moniker. A reply to my own comment might be necessary.


* So using all three names of the wings of The Party should be even better, yes?

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Policing Down Under

Via email:

An Aussie is trying to get into the Police force
The Sergeant at his interview looks over his application form and says, 'Well mate, you qualifications look pretty good, but there's an attitude suitability test you have to pass before you're in.'
'Okay, so what do I do?' asks the bloke.
The cop passes over a pistol.
'Right,' he says. 'Take this pistol and go and shoot six illegal immigrants, six drug dealers, six Muslim extremists, and a rabbit.'
'Why the rabbit?'
'Good attitude,' says the Sergeant. 'You can start Monday.'

Monday, 29 March 2010

I'm going to stop moaning about the RAAF.

I was going to post this yesterday but the need to blog on some anti-smoking, pro-nanny bastard meant I didn't have time.

On Saturday I said this:
And tell the fucking RAAF that everyone within 10 miles of that circuit must know what their fucking F/A 18s sound like by now so will they please go off and fucking bomb somebody with them. Everyone would be so grateful.
Fuck me gently with jet engine. I was visiting someone in Port Melbourne yesterday when the buggers flew over (actually just one bugger) and I was told to 'come quick, look' and spend ten minutes gurning at the fighter like a someone who's never seen a plane before. God, I feel like such a twat admitting that, but I must also admit that I now realise that the annoying noise I've been whinging about is nothing compared to the ear splitting, sky rending, brain numbing, mind buggering sound when almost right under the fuckers.

Wow. 

Did you ever hear Concorde? Well when an F/A18 is only a few hundred feet up and wants to be somewhere else in a hurry it's a bit like that. You get that sensation in your chest and certain things around the house probably shake briefly. I thought 'Concorde, big aircraft, four big engines, 60s tech, fair enough - little plane, two engines, should be the right roary sort of noise but loud TV sort volume'. Nope. It's bloody loud and I grinned and pointed and mouthed inaudibly like a five year old. Even if Concorde could do it from a lot higher up it was still bloody impressive, and makes me wonder why it was so loud. I've been stuck in traffic on the A30 under the Heathrow approach and had Airbuses and Boeings pass overhead at similar altitude, but I'm sure the little single seat fighter plane yesterday was at least as loud as any of them, if not louder.

So I'm left with mixed feelings about it. I'd like to understand why F/A 18s (fighters generally, perhaps, does anyone know) seem able to do a Spinal Tap and turn the dial up to 11, and obviously I'm fucking glad I don't live any closer than I do. But if I'm honest I was five years old all the way home yesterday afternoon and still a bit of a five year old today. And if I had a spare $100 million I'd probably buy one.

I might even go to the grand Prix next year so I can hear it again.

This is a party political broadcast on behalf of men in V masks.

Heh.



H/Ts to Grumpy Old Twat and The Filthy Engineer. And of course Old Holborn. It'll be everywhere by tomorrow morning which is just as well, because I really doubt that Old Holborn will really be allowed to use it for a party political broadcast.

Quote of the Day.

From the Real World Libertarian, and though he's talking about politicians here in Australia it applies at least as much Britian too, if not more. Much, much more.
To get the vote of the green marxists they create a stand in our way state, to fund their grandiose schemes they create a state of theft, and to get the wowsers onside they create an eye in the keyhole state. Our reps have delusions not only of grandeur but of relevance.
The power of the executive, the corruption of the Commons and the dominance of the EU has seen to that. Here we've just got Canberra, though that's quite enough to be getting on with.

The reason I wish I still smoked... UPDATED

... is mainly the supercilious wankers who want everyone else to give up smoking as well, and since I gave up for my own reasons every time I hear what the fuckbags have to say I'm overcome with an urge to find one of them, get a cigarette and viciously smoke it inches away from the insufferable prick's face. I really can't bear them. So it's probably unnecessary to point out why the highlighted quote from The Times website almost sent me running round the house looking for the packet of 'giving up fags' fags* I'm sure we still have somewhere.


Not knowing where I might find a Righteous to blow smoke at from what would be an unwanted cigarette (and, to be honest, not knowing where they are after all this time) I settled for yelling 'they have a right to self pity because they are fucking persecuted, you authoritarian cunt' at the monitor instead. I wasn't made any happier when I clicked the link and saw the headline about smokers needing a stronger nanny, which seems to be this Cosmo character's theme.
Last week there were two nannies in the news. Nice Nanny McPhee (as portrayed by Emma Thompson in her new film) and the other nanny that nobody likes: the nanny state.

Do you know her? She’s that bossy cow who treats us like naughty children and is always telling us what to eat, drink, smoke, think and do.
Oh, do we ever fucking know her, but not as well as Cosmo who can probably see her in his shaving mirror by the sounds of things.
Nanny was under attack on Wednesday from smokers who were angry because 20 of Britain’s leading doctors called on her to prohibit smoking in cars and in parks, playgrounds and beaches where children are at risk from passive smoking. This follows a new report by the Royal College of Physicians, which claims that passive smoking is “a major cause of death and disease in children” — deaths which could be entirely avoided.

And what do smokers say to this sensible idea of saving children from lower respiratory tract infections, middle-ear disease, bacterial meningitis and sudden infant deaths?

“Bloody nanny state! Infringing our civil rights!”
Sure, some of them said that. Others have pointed out what a festering load of crap and bollocks it all was. But stand by for Cosmo's killer blow: won't somebody think...

Dirt Hour

As effective as my astrally projected roller skates. Apparently.

Why am I not surprised?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Is this your car, son - redux.

There's a point about Lewis Hamilton's thrashing of a car getting him into a bit of trouble that Mrs Exile thinks didn't come across very well in yesterday's post. As the papers all said his car was impounded but of course it's really not his car at all. What would a Briton living in Switzerland being doing owning and running a car in Melbourne? The car was of course a loaner, apparently courtesy of a local dealership. So what these tough 'anti-hoon- laws have achieved here is fuck all apart from confiscating the private property of a wholly innocent third party. Lewis Hamilton is a very wealthy man and will not suffer from even the most OTT fine any court here will be able to impose, and since he won't have a Victorian licence points are a non-issue as well. It will be an embarrassing incident for him but that's at least as much thanks to the media as the police, the courts or these ridiculous laws. The only person who's really being punished is the owner of the car, which being a company is probably not suffering too much but nonetheless has had it's property confiscated despite having done absolutely nothing wrong with it.


This isn't the first time this has happened or even the first time I've blogged on the subject. Early last month I mentioned the story of a Perth doctor whose Lamborghini was confiscated - I'm going to stop saying 'impounded' because it is fucking confiscation - because his mechanic was alleged to have been speeding in it.
Most egregious of all the law allows - possibly even insists, I'm not sure - that at a certain point above the speed limit the cops impound your car for two days... this applies even when a driver gets tugged and it's not his car...

...

To quote Vincent Vega,
What's more chickenshit than fucking with a man's automobile? I mean, don't fuck with another man's vehicle.
Especially when it's pretty bloody obvious that it wasn't even him driving it. Fuck knows what they do if it's a rental, but it's something visitors could bear in mind if the hire company piss them about. All you'd need to do is give it a good thrashing on your way to the airport at the end of your stay, and when the cops stop you and impound it get a taxi the rest of the way and send Avis a fax from the terminal telling them that their hire car is with the police. And I'm only half joking, because it's probably going to take more than one obviously wealthy car owner being fucked up by an unjust and retarded law to get something done about it.
This wasn't what I had in mind but it does demonstrate how unjust this law is. What if it's not a rich man's toy like a Lamborghini but a tradesman's work vehicle, and he can't work until he gets it back? What if it's not a dealership loaner but 'Mum's taxi' needed for all sorts of errands that would then have to wait for at least two days? Supporters might argue that the innocent owners of the confiscated vehicles aren't that innocent since they've got a responsibility to make sure that the law is obeyed, but short of sitting in the back seat and nagging how the hell is that even possible? It makes about as much sense as taking a landlord's house because his tenants were doing something illegal in it or, since we're talking about driving offences, closing a privately owned toll road because someone was speeding on it.

However you cut it a law allowing summary confiscation of private property is a bit iffy, but allowing the confiscation of property belonging to third parties who aren't even aware an alleged offence has been committed is simply fucking outrageous. Sooner or later, if it hasn't happened already, someone's going to lose real money from lost earnings because the police have confiscated a vehicle driven by someone else. Bear in mind that potentially the driver could go to court and win, but the car can't be retrospectively un-confiscated. The use of the vehicle for that time has been lost forever along with any income it would have earned its owner. I very much hope that eventually someone sues the police and Justice Department for lost earnings.

It's a shitty, unreasonable law and it needs to go.

Fuck Calais.

Just over five months ago I blogged that as a result of the Lisbon Constitreaty coming into force I now call Australia home.
Why? Because for all practical purposes the country in which I was born no longer exists and Australia is all I am left with. I was born English and British in the same sense than someone can be born a Londoner or a Lancastrian, or for that matter Norman or Bavarian or Tuscan, but England and the UK no longer exist because the Czechs have dropped their opposition to the EU Constitreaty:
Vaclav Klaus, the only European Union leader who has still not signed the document, said he could not wait for a British general election next year which could lead to a Tory government and a possible referendum to bury the Treaty.
Mr Klaus said: "The train carrying the treaty is going so fast and it's so far that it can't be stopped or returned, no matter how much some of us would want that."
Oh fuck it.

And that's desperately sad not just because in the back of my mind the UK was always there to return to if Australia didn't work out for me, but because millions of people who want to think of themselves as British, to say nothing of those French, Germans, Spanish, Italians etc. who feel love and pride and patriotism towards their respective countries, can just fucking forget it from now on. It may not look it yet but Britain is dead.

...

So the choice is made for me. Home is here in Oz by my own decision to move here, but it could have been the UK once again in the future. Not now though. I can never go to that home again because it's not really there anymore. It is an ex-country.
Once or twice before then I'd blogged on some outrageous Orwellian move on the part of Her Majesty's Repulsive Bunch of Self Serving, Nest Feathering, Deceitful Cunts and said that it made me want to go no closer than Calais, but as a result of the EU's ever closer integration we now have a good reason to steer clear of the whole fucking continent.
MILLIONS of Britons face being snooped on by a new European intelligence agency which has been handed frightening powers to pry into our lives.

Europol can access personal information on anyone – including their political opinions and sexual preferences – if it suspects, rightly or wrongly, that they may be involved in any “preparatory act” which could lead to criminal activity.

It is understood the agency will concentrate on anyone thought “xenophobic” or likely to commit a crime involving the environment, computers or motor vehicles.

This could include covert monitoring of people who deny the existence of climate change or speak out on controversial issues.
This is genuinely worrying and goes further than my most tinfoil hatted dreams. Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance, at whose blog I picked this up, says:
“It doesn’t surprise me that Europol has been handed these rather frightening powers,… We now live in a pan-European state so it was to be expected that it would have a federal police force with powers over us….There is a real danger that opposition to EU policies could make an individual liable to arrest…. For example, if Brussels adopts a hard-line stance on climate change, it’s conceivable that someone who broadcasts their scepticism of climate change may be accused of committing an environmental crime because they have undermined the EU’s efforts to save mankind.”
The Angry Exile says, 'Fuck Calais, it's somewhere in southern Norway now, possibly Switzerland if Mrs Exile wants chocolate.'

As with all these things the worry is not so much a government of today which is granting itself these powers with a kind of 'just in case' attitude, but the unknown governments of the future who may decide to abuse these powers for their own benefit. But even before that there is a worry for the here and now: 'mission creep' as the machinery of state, the various little cogs and wheels with their quotas of toothbrush moustached cunts in high-viz jackets whose empty lives are made more full by exercising these powers over the little people, will take it upon itself to use these powers more and more and for a wider range of situations than was ever envisaged.

And what have the 300+ million people in Europe got to protect them from this? The European Commission, the European Parliament, and the national parliaments that have already ceded power to the above, that's what.

They're fucked, aren't they? Welcome to Stasiland, Istanbul to the Atlantic Coast.

Minutes of fun for all.

It's campaign material bastardisation time again, and this time it's Colostomy Brown's new pledge card.


Alternatively the cunt could always use the one they did in 1997. It's not like everyone thinks those promises were all kept.

H/T Al Jahom.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Greenwash.

I'm shocked. You mean it's so easy to get a coveted greenie eco-label to stick on your products that there doesn't even need to be a product? But that would mean people can jump on the band wagon and sell any old greenwashed shite.
Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed.
Someone's missing the point that the non-existent products simply demonstrate the feasibility of getting worthless greenwashed tat approved. This is like observing that the bank doesn't lock its doors at night only to hear the manager deny it's an issue since no money had actually been stolen. How the fuck they can have someone who can't wrap their head round that answering questions about the issue? As has been said so often by so many with eco-wibblism the appearance of being green is all important while achieving anything meaningful is entirely optional.

Incidentally, how was Dirt Hour for you?

What's good for the goose isn't for the gander.

Not when the gander is an MP and the goose is a regular member of the public. As pointed out by the prospective parliamentary candidate for wearing V masks, Old Holborn, and on similar lines of thought to my post about the Hoon the other day, the gander can lie to prospective employers and get caught and other than the negative press nothing much really happens.

The goose, on the other hand, gets fucking sent to prison.*

* Annoyingly this is a Daily Mail story, and I've just slagged them off for the slack journalism of reporting that Doctor Who's ex-partner's husband had a cigarette outdoors near their child.

Tobacco denormalisation.

When someone having a cigarette in the vicinity of a kid is fucking newsworthy you have to ask if the paper's editor is having his thinking done by some tax funded lobby groups. On the other hand with some papers perhaps you don't.

Judgemental wankers.

Dirt hour begins.

I hope you're all doing nothing out of the ordinary, but if you are stumbling around in the dark I am attempting to place a roller skate at the top of your stairs by the power of astral projection. It probably won't work, but then the same can be said for Dirt Hour.

Tax the capitalist bastards into insolvency.

And don't worry about the job losses from taxing companies out of the country or into the wall. They can always be retrained as Breadcrumb Infringement Officers or Education Role Play Advisors or Photographer Monitoring Wardens or one of the many varied and wonderful new jobs in the glorious socialist paradise that is modern Britain.

You'd be forgiven for wanting to shoot yourself, but of course you're not allowed a gun anyway.

Is this your own car, son?

It's pretty unfortunate timing for the Victorian Police that, just a couple of days after they've been in the news over allegations of racist emails being circulated by officers, a couple of them lived up to an unfortunate (and I'd hope mostly unfair) stereotype of police everywhere - stopping a young black male in a smart motor.
ONE of the favourites for this weekend's formula one grand prix, Britain's Lewis Hamilton, is expected to be charged with improper use of a motor vehicle after being accused of doing burnouts in St Kilda.

Police sources would only confirm that a 25-year-old British citizen and resident of Switzerland would be charged on summons after an incident at 9.15 pm.

They said a 2010 silver Mercedes sedan had been impounded after a person entered Fitzroy Street from Lakeside Drive and proceeded to do burnouts.
Oh to have been a fly on the wall. "Who do you think you are, mate, Lewis Hamilton or somethi... oh."

Now in fairness to the cops it does sound like he was being ever so slightly twattish, and the law is what it is and they're there to enforce it.* Here, as I've mentioned before, that means dealing with twattish behaviour on the roads fairly harshly and not really giving a shit about impounding a car belonging to an innocent party. So what we have here is a police service tarred by recent accusations of racism impounding a flash car driven by a young black male who happens to be one of the best drivers on the whole fucking planet.

Funny old thing sometimes, life, eh?


PS - despite being an F1 fan I was fairly scathing about the Grand Prix the other day. That was just the fan in me being underwhelmed by the 'sport' on show. The libertarian in me has other beefs with it. I've talked about this before here and elsewhere but the short version is the fucking state government hose taxpayers' money at this. Since when was being a fucking sports promoter a government function? I think the Victorian taxpayers really deserve an answer before you bastards drop another $50 milliion or whatever into Bernie Ecclestone's wallet next year.

And tell the fucking RAAF that everyone within 10 miles of that circuit must know what their fucking F/A 18s sound like by now so will they please go off and fucking bomb somebody with them. Everyone would be so grateful.


* Not that I'd agree with that, but of course you should expect most cops to.

Grim.

Another dead kid, and once again it's right under the eyes and spies of the state.
A couple have been found guilty of murdering three-year-old Ryan Lovell-Hancox who died in hospital on Christmas Eve after being abused, neglected and beaten.
Christopher Taylor and Kayley Boleyn of killed Ryan after weeks of ill treatment in an attack at their flat in Bilston, West Midlands, in December 2008.
A four-week trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that Ryan's mother was paying around £40 a week for Taylor, 25, and 19-year-old Boleyn to look after Ryan while she decorated her home in the month before the boy's death.
...
The trial was told that Ryan – who died in hospital two days later – was seen at the bedsit by a housing support officer hours before the attack which led to his death.
The court heard that the officer, who gave Boleyn a lift to a job centre, assumed Ryan was asleep after seeing one of his legs sticking out from under bedding.
It also emerged that a child had also been seen by housing officials at the flat on previous occasions, despite conditions stipulating that children could not live there.
No doubt there'll be protestations that it wasn't the job of those who saw Ryan to do anything about it, or that they weren't trained for this, or that the rules said this or that they were told that or the guidelines said the other, and that basically there really is a perfectly valid reason why none of them ever said anything.

I expect lessons will be learned as well. Normally they are after someone offs a kid in their care, all of which will be a great comfort to Kerry Robertson as she sits at home without the son that the state took from her.

Inevitability.

From something like this must come something like this.
The department for children and schools and the teaching unions have agreed a new programme designed to leave an entire generation of children mentally scarred for life.

Teacher Martin Bishop, from Doncaster, said: "I've already rigged up a convincing mutilated corpse in the stationery cupboard and just wait until 3C get a visit from Rapey Roger, the Satanic Clown."
Was Obnoxio already booked?
The new programme was approved after a successful pilot scheme in Evesham where teachers staged a horrifyingly authentic fake shooting to teach pupils that being gunned down in a gangland turf war will probably hurt.

Headmaster, Norman Steele, said: "A small number of pupils currently have the kind of thousand-yard-stare you used to see in Vietnam veterans and secure mental hospitals, but most of them had stopped screaming by home time. In our defence, it was very funny."
Glorius stuff from The Daily Mash but it must be said that TDM owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the fuckwitted twats who think this kind of thing passes for a fucking science lesson. So do Cracked.com, who no doubt already have it pencilled in for the number one spot in Seven Terrifying Lessons Your Child May Be Taught In A British School.

Interesting defence. UPDATED.

Afraid of breaking a woman's arm? Then the sensible thing to do is drop her with a well aimed blow to the leg using an extending baton, yes?
A riot squad officer told a court yesterday that he feared he could have "snapped" the arm of female G20 protester or broken her jaw as she confronted him during the demonstration.

Metropolitan Police Sergeant Delroy Smellie, 47, is accused of assaulting animal rights activist Nicola Fisher by hitting her leg with an extendable metal baton.
I'm almost certain that I wouldn't like Nicola Fisher much. I'm almost certain she and I would not get on. I'm almost certain I'd find her an annoying pain in the arse and that she would think me a nasty, meat eating, serial animal killer. I'm almost certain that after some time in her company I'd be overcome with the urge to go and find the cutest kangaroo I could and shoot it in the face.* Still, despite all that I don't think I'd have taken her legs away with a golf club (closest thing I have access to) even if she did come at me with a highly dangerous camera and some lethal fruit juice.
He said that he considered using other physical tactics but was conscious of the fact that he was considerably bigger than Ms Fisher
Me too. Not far off the size of Sgt Smellie (please, no fart jokes) in fact. And I'd have thought that just from being that size I could deal with a small woman like that without swinging that fucking Asp at her, especially if I had various bits of body armour on. From her perspective he must have been like a wall that could talk back, except that walls don't generally back hand you across the face. Very macho of you, Delroy. Oh yes, you must be a big hit¹ with the ladies when you take them out² clubbing³.

But it's not just the actions of the cop, which are pretty well known having been thoroughly YouTubed across the world, that caught my attention. At the bottom there's this (my emphasis):
District Judge Daphne Wickham, who is trying the case without a jury, said she would be unable to reach a verdict today and that the trial would reconvene at a later date for her decision.
What? No jury? What's happened to equality before the law and police officers being ordinary citizens with a few extra powers and duties? If what this guy did was criminal, and anyone who's seen the video would probably agree that there's a case to answer, doesn't he get the right to a proper trial?

Everything about this case worries me. We have a cop who looks like he's stepped well over the line when dealing with a protestor, which says a lot about the policing of the protests as well as raising questions about that guy's suitability for that particular role in the police. But we also have yet another jury-less trial, and if that bothered me for armed robbers then it sure as fuck bothers me for a police officer, even if the wanker did floor some girl half his size for recklessly endangering him and his colleagues with a camera and some juice. It has a feel of a show trial with a pre-determined conclusion, and while I'm clearly leaning towards 'excessive force therefore guilty' I'm also aware that juries get to see more evidence than we can get from the media and that for all I know the defence could present something that raises enough reasonable doubt in my mind for me to be unwilling to convict. That's what juries are supposed to be there for, so how come Sgt Smellie doesn't get one? The fact that both Nicola Fisher and her ex-boyfriend didn't bother to show up in court and give evidence against him, though she flogged her story for £26 grand via Max Clifford, could be thought highly fucking relevant by a jury. Does what they'd have to say under oath differ from what she said in front of a cheque? We'll never know but the point is that their evidence can't now be tested by the jury... which doesn't actually matter because conveniently there isn't one anyway.

Put yourself in Nicola Fisher's position and imagine you've just been decked by a blow to the legs with a baton despite being armed with little more than a big mouth and a bad attitude. Now put yourself in Sgt Smellie's position and imagine you've been charged but don't get a jury trial. They may very well both be complete arseholes that I couldn't bear to share a room with for more than a few minutes but I still have some sympathy for them both. In either of their positions I'd be a very worried man.


UPDATE - in the comments dickiebo suggests that the lack of jury is probably because it's being held in a magistrates court by a District Judge, or Stipendiary Magistrate as they used to be known. That would make the absence of a jury normal in this type of trial. We can speculate that Sgt Smellie may have been leant on to settle for a jury-less trial but it's just as possible that he considered his chances with a jury that may well have seen him in slo-mo on YouTube eleventy-twelve times and decided that he'd be better off in front of the beak. If so the fact that District Judge Wickham disallowed Nicola Fisher's statement as evidence because she couldn't be arsed to show up and stand by it would suggest that he might well have something there.

* Actually I just eat roo. No need to shoot one when they're in the supermarket pre-shot and cut up for your convenience. But I understand that shooting them in the face, or at least the head, is considered more humane. Not that I'd tell Nicola that if I did go out and commit Skippycide just to piss her off.
¹ Pun very much intended.
² And that one.
³ Yes, that too.

Are the British press being this blunt?

From The Australian:
BRITAIN'S Finance Minister has conceded a re-elected Labour government would make 'deeper and tougher' spending cuts than in the early days of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

A day after announcing the budget and just weeks before an election, Alistair Darling did not reject the idea that if it won another term his party would make harsher reductions than those in early 1980s Britain.

“They will be deeper and tougher,” said the Chancellor of the Exchequer in comments to the BBC, when asked to accept his figures indicated harsher cuts than those implemented by the Thatcher government.

“Where we make the precise comparison I think is secondary to the fact that there's an acknowledgement that these reductions will be tough.
The headline was worded so that even the most tribal Labour voter could understand it:

British Labour to make deeper budget cuts than Thatcher if re-elected.

I don't think this will help the Tories much for the reasons that Obo gives here but I'd hope some people who just can't admit that they'll vote Labour because they're fucking programmed* to will at least stop pretending that it's about avoiding eeeevil Tory cuts.

You're fucking broke.

There will be cuts.

Labour in general and Colostomy Brown in particular are what got you there.

Deal with it.


* It's only fair to say that if the parties' position were reversed I'm certain I'd be saying something very similar about tribal Tory voters.

When in a hole dig as hard as you can.

That must be the advice Geoff Hoon has been given since, like Byers, he's trying to excuse the fake lobbyist fellatio by saying he was gilding the lily.
Mr Hoon was confronted with remarks from the transcript of his conversation with the lobbyists in which he disccused how he could translate his knowledge and contacts into “something that, bluntly, makes money”.

He also described how he could help US firms take advantage of the position of “vulnerable” European defence companies.

He said today: “I recognise that I was guilty of showing off, I think is the best expression that I could use. I was trying to impress, I was trying to demonstrate my knowledge and experience, background in a particular sector."
Hoon, you twist and turn like a twisty turny thing, only not as well as Blackadder. If you were being straight with the people you thought were lobbyists you look a corrupt sack of shit. If you were bullshitting them, which appears to be more or less what you're saying now, it looks instead like you're happy to lie to prospective employers about what you can and can't achieve. This is probably not the best move towards achieving a lucrative post-parliamentary career so, ruling out revolvers and scotch in private libraries for all the obvious reasons, I suggest you learn the correct order in which to assemble the ingredients of a Big Mac.

Vile little bastard.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Your personal mail? Not anymore.

Via the LPUK blog I see that Badgerbrows has snuck in another little bit of Big Brother legislation. Now the bastards can open your mail.
Officers will be allowed to intercept any suspicious mail anywhere in the country and open it before it is delivered, under plans being drawn up by the Government to amend the Postal Services Act.
The measure is billed as a bid to crack down on tobacco smuggling. However, a HM Revenue and Customs spokesman said the powers could be applied much more widely.
Currently, Royal Mail staff have a legal right to intercept suspicious letters and parcels in mail centres and sorting offices and pass them to HM Revenue and Customs.
Tax inspectors must then notify the addressee and agree a mutually acceptable time to open the letter or parcel, before deciding whether to take any enforcement acdtion.
However the Government is now proposing to remove the legal requirement which will now allow inspectors to open suspicious post without asking permission first.
Like Guthrum at the LPUK blog I'm confident that they won't abuse the privilege for, oooooh, it'd have to be minutes at the very least.

'Kinell.

Free lightbulbs - yours for £45. UPDATED.

Is anyone surprised by this?
Each household has ended up paying £45 for the free energy saving light bulbs that have been sent to them by their electricity supplier, according to a leading watchdog.
I've got a small number of these CFL dolphin friendly eco-lights, none of which I've paid for directly. They were been given away by a major DIY store and I think I was in and out of their shops four or five times while the promo was on (not to get a free light bulb on every visit - I genuinely had to keep coming and going anyway). Were they free? Were they fuck! If it cost the company, say, a million dollars then that cost would have been made up somewhere else by other products being slightly more than they would have been. The cost is spread roughly evenly among all the company's customers so isn't much per person, though obviously people who turn down the free bulbs pay anyway and get nothing. But beyond that it's naive to think we're getting something for nothing. Life, the universe and everything simply don't work that way.

However, while the cost of these 'freebies' was probably fairly low and not far off the unit cost you can always rely on some fuckwitted government edict to show private businesses how it's done and really distort prices. 45 quid? Were they made out of heroin? No, but possibly made because of an idea induced by taking the stuff.
More than 200 million free energy-saving light bulbs have been sent to households over the last two years by energy suppliers. The mass mail-out was caused by gas and electricity suppliers trying to hit Government targets to reduce carbon emissions.
However, Which?, the consumer watchdog has calculated that each household has ended paying £45 each through higher energy bills to fund the scheme, even though many consumers objected to being sent the bulbs.
To put it another way it'd be like your phone company sending you a new handset that you didn't ask for and don't particularly need and loading the price of your bills by several times what the fucking handset would have cost you on the High Street. Where that analogy breaks down is that it implies the handset is better than yours, whereas the eco-bulbs are arguably worse. A couple of mine need a good warm up before they produce any useful light so you need to switch them on three or four minutes before you really want them - no /headdesk because it's dark in here and I missed.
Many complained about having to go to the Post Office to collect what they thought was a parcel, only to find it was a bulb that did not even fit any of their lamps.
Your phone company is now sending you a handset that doesn't have a UK phone plug on it. And making you go and get the fucking thing without first telling you that it'll be as much use to you as an underwater toaster.

And for why?
"Consumers unwittingly paid for them to help energy companies avoid fines," the Which? report said.
The bulbs were sent by all of the big six suppliers: British Gas, EDF, Eon, Npower, Scottish & Southern and Scottish Power. They were sent out because they all had to sign up to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Taget (CERT), set by the Government in an attempt to force companies to improve their green credentials.
Companies had various options of how they hit their targets to reduce carbon emissions, but if they failed to hit their targets they could be fined 10 per cent of their turnover. The companies were, crucially, allowed to pass on the costs of the scheme to customers.
Ofgem, the industry regulator, calcuated that £84 out of the average dual fuel bill of about £1,200 goes on environmental levies, of which £45 goes directly towards funding CERT.
Fucking genius. A government driven by the green religion interfering and creating regulations that naturally make companies do things they would not ordinarily do, and telling them to feel free to bilk the fucking customers. 'Hey, it's okay, we do it all the time. Lots of them won't even notice.' Except that eventually someone would notice and get a pencil out to see how stupid the idea really was. And what happens then?
The Department of Energy and Climate Change admitted last year that the scheme was flawed and resulted in significant wastage, with no proof that the lightbulbs were being used in people's homes.
It ordered that direct mailouts of bulbs would be banned from January 1, 2010.
Look you fucking incompetent pricks, just leave everything the fuck alone. Why can't you learn from past mistakes? Why isn't it getting through that having ordered one thing that backfired the solution is not to order the opposite? Why is it so hard for you government retards to grasp the simple premise that the answer is to stop giving orders at all?

Shut. The. Fuck. Up. And. Leave. Everything. Alone.

I'll spend Dirt Hour fantasising about grinding my eco-bulbs into the Millipede's smug face.

UPDATE - and obviously what goes for eco-bulbs goes for cars as well.

Things I still don't get about Australia - No. 21

Sour cream. It's solid here. Weird.

Earth Hour 2010



In a little over 36 hours it will be this year's chance for millions of people who don't live a particularly eco-sound lifestyle to feel as if they do by stumbling around in the dark for an hour, and possibly burning down their homes with a tea light. Supposedly this will help them change their habits and start going properly green, though this is kind of like expecting everybody's New Year resolutions to stick. Yeah, good luck with trying to persuade mums to make her kids eat twigs and tradies to push their fucking utes to work on Monday.

I really have little to add that I didn't say last year. The whole fucking thing is a pointless waste of time except as a feel good exercise for gullible greenies (as opposed to greenies who, like me, expect Dirt Hour to achieve fuck all of significance) and a PR job for WWF (which might as well mean 'Wait. What? Fuck!' as far as I'm concerned) and Fairfax Media who dreamt up the bloody thing between them in the first place. I won't turn all the lights and everything electrical on while I drive around the neighbourhood for an hour because that's just silly. Turn 'em on or not, it's up to you, but forgive me if I don't join in. I understand the sentiment and I love the idea of calling it Human Achievement Hour because I appreciate the 'fuck you' gesture, but the bottom line is I still have to pay the bills.

However, I do intend to treat Mud Hour with the contempt it deserves by doing precisely nothing out of the ordinary. Probably one computer and a printer will be on, and definitely the TV and associated peripherals, occasionally the kettle, the oven if we eat in or the car if we get a take away, and as many fucking lights as we need to avoid bouncing off walls or tripping over one of three retarded animals (especially the cats who probably think that everything sees in the dark as well as they do). Besides, the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix and Aussie Rules are on this weekend, and if the idea of evening football under six fuck off great floodlights doesn't render Soil Hour a meaningless exercise then dozens of cars going very fast (even very, very fast) in circles round a park all weekend and using up fuck knows how much fuel bloody well should.

What the fuck's it got to do with you, Badgerface?

I realise that the British government now owns a significant part of the UK retail banking sector but where the fuck does the Chancellor get off ordering banks his government didn't spend tax money buying to do what he wants?
One million people, currently without access to a bank account, have been promised that they will be have a legal right to open an account.
Oh, another legal right. Deep joy.
Alistair Darling, the Chancellor said that it a bank account was "something essential in the modern world" as he announced the move in the Budget.
Banks and building societies will be forced to open a basic account – offering no overdraft but a debit card and the ability to pay direct debits – for anyone who asks. This should allow consumers to save money on their utility bills and other services, because most companies offer discounts to people who pay by direct debit.
And what about the right of private companies to do business with who the fuck they want without having to justify it to you, Darling, you two tone cunt? Listen, fucknuts, your fucking government owns banks, right? If you want accounts opened for literally anyone then why not simply tell those state owned banks to do it? If it's a good thing - business wise obviously, not the idealistic kind of 'good thing' you might have in mind - then you can expect privately owned banks to follow suit. If they don't then this might suggest that though your idea may be good in social terms it's a non-starter in the real world. Tough for the million or so who can't get an account? Not really, since Lloyds and Northern Wreck would still be opening accounts for them on the instructions of the majority shareholder, i.e you lot.

See? Simples. Twat.

Met Office memory hole - UPDATED

I wish I could say I'm shocked by this but it'd be a lie. I'm sure they're not the only type of holes in the building.
On July 23, 2009 the UK Met Office issued their infamous winter forecast, ahead of the coldest winter in 50 years. It read:
“…Early indications are that winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. For the UK, Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder *(and wetter) than last year “.

...

I remember reading the article on the Met Office web site at the time. But something funny happened on December 30, 2009. The Met Office over wrote that link with a new article titled “Forecast for the rest of Winter 2009/10″ which has no mention of the original prediction. It now reads:
…for the rest of winter, over northern Europe including the UK, the chance of colder conditions is now 45%; there is a 30% chance of average and a 25% chance of milder conditions.
Their original warm winter forecast seems to have been scrubbed from the web site, and there are no longer any press releases dated July 23.
Of course after Climategate this probably isn't a surprise to anyone, but it's still quite disturbing. Naturally a couple of Watts Up With That commenters have mentioned the obvious Orwellian link, the memory hole, which was the first thing that I thought of when I saw the post. I'm sure a lot of people have heard of the memory hole concept in 1984 but when you think of how things on the internet can simply be changed from saying one thing to saying another the passage in the book that describes Winston Smith at work is worth re-reading.
Winston examined the four slips of paper which he had unrolled. Each contained a message of only one or two lines, in the abbreviated jargon -- not actually Newspeak, but consisting largely of Newspeak words -- which was used in the Ministry for internal purposes. They ran:

times 17.3.84 bb speech malreported africa rectify

times 19.12.83 forecasts 3 yp 4th quarter 83 misprints verify current issue

times 14.2.84 miniplenty malquoted chocolate rectify

times 3.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

With a faint feeling of satisfaction Winston laid the fourth message aside. It was an intricate and responsible job and had better be dealt with last. The other three were routine matters, though the second one would probably mean some tedious wading through lists of figures.

Winston dialled 'back numbers' on the telescreen and called for the appropriate issues of The Times, which slid out of the pneumatic tube after only a few minutes' delay. The messages he had received referred to articles or news items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify. For example, it appeared from The Times of the seventeenth of March that Big Brother, in his speech of the previous day, had predicted that the South Indian front would remain quiet but that a Eurasian offensive would shortly be launched in North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian Higher Command had launched its offensive in South India and left North Africa alone. It was therefore necessary to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brother's speech, in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened. Or again, The Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today's issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston's job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones. As for the third message, it referred to a very simple error which could be set right in a couple of minutes. As short a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise (a 'categorical pledge' were the official words) that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty at the end of the present week. All that was needed was to substitute for the original promise a warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce the ration at some time in April.

As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, he clipped his speakwritten corrections to the appropriate copy of The Times and pushed them into the pneumatic tube. Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames.
1984 was, as has been said about a bazillion times, supposed to be a warning, not a fucking instruction manual. It's ironic that the reason these bastards are getting caught doing this sort of thing is because they don't control the internet, the medium they're trying to give the memory hole treatment, and it just takes one nosy blogger to notice and post this sort of thing for other bloggers to read and spread. How on earth did they think this would go unnoticed? Must be more than one type of hole in the building.


UPDATE - Actually it's a bazillion and one times thanks to cracked.com. I know this is getting away from memory holes but it's still a fair point.
Aaron Evans is another cautionary tale against bragging. Evidently fearing that someone might take false credit for his illegal deeds, Evans had his full name and birth date tattooed on the back of his neck. This was a particularly poor decision considering he was a car thief from the UK--the place which treats Orwell's 1984 as a set of instructions concerning video surveillance.
And that was pretty moronic idea for a tattoo.

Constantly Furious - not a happy blogger.

It would kind of spoil the name if he was.

Today he seems particularly hacked off with the latest poll results which have Cameron's Tories only 2% ahead of Genghis Brown and his Golden Horde Shower of Shit.
The Labour share of the vote is up to 34%. And, under the bizarre electoral system we enjoy, that means that Labour will somehow, eventually, win the election.

Yes, Labour will remain in Government. Gordon Brown will continue to be Prime Minister. Ed Balls will become Chancellor, for fucks sake. We will be governed by the Unite-puppet Labour party for 5 more years.
Which will be awful. Only the most swivel eyed of Labour voting Pilkington taste testers think five more years is good news, sure. But on the bright side that inane wanker the Tories got to 'rebrand' themselves as a bluish version of Tony Blair's NuLabour will probably disappear up his own jacksie in the fallout. I think the Tories will not easily forgive losing the most winnable election for a dozen years even if, as I've suggested as an outside possibility, Cameron thinks this is a good election to lose and is playing it that way.
Who are you, you 34% who are going to vote Labour? What the fuck is going on in your heads?
Well, 34% is pretty close to the share of the vote they got for Blair's last election as PM, when they got about 9.5 million votes. There are about 6 million employed in the public sector and many more whose employers sell mainly to the public sector. Then there are all the people on benefits plus the tribalist retards who'd happily vote for anything with a red rosette even if it was Margaret Thatcher wearing a fake moustache and demanding to be called Dave. The silver lining is that that lot is a damn sight more than 9 million so a lot of them look like they didn't vote for the grinning mutation last time and won't vote for El Gordo this time.
Do you really, really want this bunch of fuckwits to continue their inept reign over us?
Yep, they would.
Would you enjoy further increases in the already fucking enormous tax burden that that has been steadily loaded onto those that actually work?
Many of them aren't paying it, and of the ones who are plenty of them really aren't - everyone in the public sector might as well be paid their net salary tax free.
Do you want to see a continued growth in the numbers that don't actually work, and sit on their fat arses all day watching televisions that we paid for?
Too busy watching TV to consider that.
Do you believe that after 13 fucking years of fucking up everything they touched, this Government will somehow get a new lease of life after the election and actually start to make everything - anything - better?
Now they're too busy reading the celeb section of the newspaper.
Would you like to see even more taxpayer-funded demonisation and denormalisation of smokers, drinkers, eaters of food and drivers of cars?
Well, as long as it doesn't oooooh Angelina Jolie's adopting an entire village. Wow.
Do you want 5 more years of McBroon lying and gurning and stammering in the House of Commons?
She's got six and half swimming pools, you know.
Would you like to see the Lord High Mandleson grow even more powerful, and end up running every single fucking government department whilst not actually being allowed to attend Parliament?
Shiny, shiny, shiny, everywhere I look. Shiny, shiny.

What Cameron is up against, other than his own policy free blandness of course, are millions who've been more or less conditioned not to think because when they do they're overwhelmed be the sheer bloody pointlessness of deciding between two or three bunches of thieving cunts with the same shite ideas, the same paternalist attitude, the same line in sound bites and, more and more, almost the same fucking policies. The headache starts to go away after a while if you just turn away and start thinking about who'll be in this year's Big Celebrity: Get My Brother Out Of Here.

Fuck it. Now there's two of us who are furious.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Poetic justice.

I'm not saying this would be a good thing or that I agree with Obnoxio's idea of voting Labour to force them to deal with their shit and to force the Tories to deal with theirs, but the idea of a hung Parliament with Colostomy Brown leading the largest party does have a certain sick appeal. I've been saying for ages that the Tories were so bad that a hung Parliament might be the best thing to hope for but I hadn't reckoned on the cock socket in chief still being at the wheel. Perhaps things actually need to get much worse before they can get better. Perhaps enough of the electorate will wake up that the election after this one will be the one where the usual parties get a thorough shoeing and something like libertarianism starts to come in. Perhaps I'm fucking dreaming and this is, as I've wondered once or twice, Cameron playing to lose the election, but not too badly. If so it might work out for the Tories, and maybe they'll change the way Obo suggests, but I'm not sure they'll forgive Cameron for being the Tories' Neil Kinnock - the man who couldn't defeat Gordon Brown.

Not long till we find out.

"No-one's talking about gassing anyone. Not at this stage."

Been to the doctor's in Britain in the last few years? It's starting to get this way sometimes, isn't it?
Frustrated by their continued awfulness, the Royal College of Physicians said the poor should be herded into long barrack huts in remote areas and surrounded by a large wooden fence so that affluent, middle class children will not be able to see them.

RCP president Professor Sir Denys Finch-Hatton said: "We've tried controlling their vileness with bans and taxes, but it's not working, so eventually we thought 'fuck it, let's just round them up'."

...


"I really don't see why this has to be a big deal. It's just a few camps, a bit of barbed wire, maybe some dogs. No-one's talking about gassing anyone. Not at this stage."
For once I wouldn't be too surprised if The Daily Mash weren't first with this, because I wouldn't fall over in shock if someone found it in an unmarked folder in a filing cabinet somewhere.

On a slight tangent I wonder if I've ever mentioned that several of the most prolific drinkers - at least three of whom I'm sure would qualify as alcoholics - that I've met in my life were in the medical profession?

Net nannying and censorship - the same fucking thing actually.

As I mentioned yesterday Senator Conroy appeared on The 7pm Project this evening to justify the Great Firewall of Australia, his pet ISP level internet filtering project. Now obviously in the short term this is only going to affect people living in Australia, and if you reading this from somewhere else and are confidant that your politicians respect liberty on or offline then you can skip the rest of this - it doesn't apply to you, you lucky soul. If you're not so sure about the liberty thing - and if you're in Britain then news like this and this suggests that you bloody well shouldn't be - then bear in mind that you may be next, and watch out for a politician giving an interview not unlike this.



So how did Conroy do? How did The 7pm Project do? Did they give Conroy an easy time of it? And most importantly of all am I sold on the filter? Not bloody likely. Please bear with me while I fisk this fuckwit, which unfortunately won't be brief since the very first question Conroy was asked - the very first - he ducked.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The miracle of conception.

On the subject of The Daily Mash, their take on SamCam's bun in the oven is just sublime.
THE tiny foetus growing inside the wife of Tory leader David Cameron will slash front line services and wreck Britain's fragile economic recovery, the prime minister claimed last night.

Gordon Brown said the recently fertilised egg would decimate health and education budgets, put thousands on the dole and that if you looked at it under a microscope you would see a really, really small version of Norman Tebbit.
New keyboard, please.
Labour campaign organisers were in confident mood last night insisting voters would be unimpressed by the sight of the pathetically energetic Tory leader and his horribly glowing wife alongside three hard working former cabinet ministers and a prime minister who is getting on with the job of asking for more money from the same passionate and determined trade unions that are trying to bring the country to its knees.
Gold, just gold. Go read the rest.

I told you I was ill.

Man flu exists!
Men's ability to turn a sniffle into flu and a headache into a migraine has long been a source of irritation to wives and girlfriends.
But the new research suggests that they are not faking it and that they suffer diseases more seriously and for longer.
Yesss, result!!! Pass the ice cream and the TV remote, love.
Scientists believe it is the male predilection for a "live fast, die young" lifestyle that means in evolutionary terms they have failed to build up their immune systems like females.
Wait, what? Say that again, 'live fast and...'?
A team at the University of Cambridge came up with the theory by applying a mathematical model to the various factors that characterise males and females.
It predicts that the adventurous lifestyle of the male means that they are more exposed to disease but paradoxically this reduces their immunity.
A mathematical model. Riiiiiiight. And this is based on?
The reason is that they invest more energy in maintaining the ability to reproduce while ill and also take the view they will be reinfected quickly so do not need to have such a strong immune system.
...
He said that maintaining the ability to mate was more important to men than getting better, yet for women it was the other way around.
"Under this scenario, the model predicts that overall, females should try to clear infection rapidly, regardless of the relative risk of catching infection," he said.
"In contrast, males are selected to decrease their immune defences and remain sexually active during infection if their exposure to infection is high."
Sorry to piss on your chips, Cambridge, but I can tell you from personal experience that there is little that will more effectively induce Mrs Exile to suffer a headache around 9 in the evening than me wheezing, spluttering, dribbling snot from both nostrils and liable to sneeze without warning. If you lot reckon you can still get a shag when you're leaking unmentionable fluids from half your facial orifices you must all be a much better fuck than me, and I bow to your studliness. Or Cambridge girls are easier than a GCSE re-sit.

Of course it might also be speculative bollocks designed to give The Daily Mash an nice easy start to their day. I'm looking forward to this one, fellas. It's half writing itself.

For the Ambush Predator.

Because it's the sort of thing she likes.


Mmmm, yeah, jet, absolutely. Those funny blade thingies on those rotating hubs by the 'jet' engines must be to blow air around when they fly somewhere hot.

Holy fuck!

We all knew that Colostomy Brown was hosing money around like it wasn't his, which of course it isn't, and we all know that it's so much more than tax revenues that he's racking up debt at an alarming rate, but spending 52% of GDP? My flabber is properly ghasted. Maybe this will solve Britain's immigration problems - sooner or later the money for new benefits is going to run out, and probably sooner, and I certainly wouldn't want to move there to take up a share of that future debt.

Crashed Cash Gordon.

Had the boot been on the other foot would the Tories have done this? I do despise them but somehow I get the impression they wouldn't have bothered. Or maybe there just aren't as many Tory supporters who'd be both willing and able. Either way, that it's been done to the Tories is no great surprise and the fuckwits who did it ought to stop and think for a moment. Does this make the Tories look like the bully or his victim?

Some Aussie culture - part 4

Since tomorrow is the start of the Aussie Rules Football season, and since it's initially a tricky game to follow for the newcomer, I thought I'd post this to help clarify things.



Okay, got that? Siren, bounce, avoid the basketball players, run away from the horses, fend off those padded gridiron boys, bodycheck yourself into the middle of a boxing ring where you need to dodge the fighter, smother the kicked ball so it lands on an ice rink, punch it to the players in the bullring, fend off them and the bull while trying not to get run over, high mark off the backs of the soccer players, quick handball forward and kick down to the soccer goal and then on to the forward pocket back in the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a kick at the goal.

Oh, and try not to be killed when the inevitable fight breaks out.

Oh for Christ's fucking sake. UPDATED.

From the pen of Alice Thomson:
Surely this is the final gift of a loyal wife. Not only is she prepared to go on television for her man, but she has fallen pregnant just in time to give him a boost at the election.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhh.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhh.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhh.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhh.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhh.

If Britain seriously elects someone because he's good with kids, does nappies and has once again chucked one up his wife at the right time of the month then I'm going to have to learn how to do a convincing Aussie accent and claim I come from Wagga Wagga, and fucking fast. I'm not saying don't be happy for them, though since I don't know them I really couldn't give a shit, but dear Christ on a fucking pushchair, would his election chances really be improved simply because of his ability to manufacture baby gravy? I do hope not, and I do hope Thomson's wittering isn't an indication of how the country thinks (though I'm afraid, horribly afraid).

Look, policies, okay everyone? Look at Cameron's policies, not his gonads. Subtract those that are shit and those that might as well be Gordon Brown's policies and decide whether or not what's left, if there is anything, is worth your fucking vote. Got that?

Sheesh.

UPDATE - Oh fucking hell and, courtesy of Chuckles in the comments, fucking hell and fucking hell. My misanthropy dial is being turned up to eleven.

So, Gordon, is it wrong or not?

[In best Columbo voice]

You see, Gordon, I'm a little confused about something. You've got these four guys who've said they'll accept money to get laws changed for people. So I don't like a law that's hurting my business, I talk to them, they talk to you or someone who changes it, right? But you don't say a thing. Not a thing. And that Cameron guy said there should be an inquiry, but you said there wasn't any need. So what they did was all okay, right? But here's where I'm confused, because like a day later you as good as kick them out of the party. Now why would you do that if there was no problem?

[Shoves hands into pockets and walks to door, turning just before he gets there]

Oh, just one more thing. Did you really eat your own snot, you fucknuts?

Censor news, and for a change it's good.



Despite my occasional pessimism that everyone in Australia is going to be treated as a retard incapable of having any contact with a computer or the internet without government nannying things are looking up. First, good news for Australian gamers - Michael Atkinson, the principle barrier to getting an R18+ classification for games, has resigned. I've blogged before on Australia's nannyish attitude to computer games and how even games aimed at adults have had to be altered to suit the squeamish attitudes of the Puritan fuckwits here (see here and here). Finally those gamers who are perhaps more than 20 years older than the current maximum age classification have a realistic chance of being able to buy an unedited, not specially ruined for Australia, copy of Demon Zombie Smash Hack Blam 3 or whatever.
R18+ video games are a step closer to being allowed in Australia following the resignation of South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson.

Mr Atkinson's decision to leave the front bench means he will no longer be in a position to vote on changes to the country's classification system, including the introduction of an R18+ rating for games.
As a quick refresher to save anyone picking through my other posts on this, the relevance of one resignation at the state level is that to create a new R18+ classification for games all states must agree, and this decision is up to the Attorneys-General. Fuck knows why but the practical upshot was that Michael Atkinson was opposed to it and that meant that in theory everyone in the whole country could have personally written to Kevin Rudd demanding it and he'd have been able to do precisely fuck all, his hands being legally tied by one politician in a state government. Now in some ways this need for unanimity is not a bad thing - if used to prevent loss of liberty I'd be heaving a sigh of relief. In this instance it's been the other way around. of course, South Australia may replace Atkinson with someone else who feels the same way but hopefully they've sussed the mood. Part of it is that the Australian Labor Party (please donate any spare lower case 'u's here) got a bit of a shoeing in the state elections in South Australia and Tasmania.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Charidee and warble gloaming.

Over at Watts Up With That there's a post about a particularly giggleworthy piece of research that seems to claim it show's how networks of climate sceptics operate, whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean. Apparently it's not yet out, but a site called Left Foot Forward say they've had a goosey at it and it's giving them all wood. I've got nothing to add to what's already been said at WUWT apart from a comment on the point that Oxfam funded the study, to which Anthony Watts says:
It’s funny how somebody can write a social networking study and not ask the subjects being studied any questions. Quality research funded by charitably given British pounds - surely they could do better.
Because this fits in so well with the government agenda on warble gloaming I immediately wondered if government tax money has been sent Oxfam's way. fakecharities.org seems to be down at the moment so I couldn't check there to see if Oxfam have been looked at, so I went to the Charity Commision site and looked at the accounts myself.

First thing to notice, and I don't know enough about charity accounts submissions to say if this is iffy or not, is that the most recent accounts available are for the 2007/08 financial year. Being as we're very nearly at the end of the 09/10 year this surprised me slightly, but never mind. Let's have a look at what is there. First off on page 17 there's a nice pie chart for Oxfam's income under the heading 'Oxfam 2007/08: Where the money comes from and where it goes'. That pie chart gives the following amounts for income.
  • Trading sales of donated goods - £65.7m
  • Trading sales of purchased goods - £12.0m
  • Income from govt & other public authorities - £70.1m
  • Donations & legacies - £103.6m
  • DFID-Partnership Programme Agreement - £10.4m
  • DEC appeal income - £19.5m
  • Gifts in kind - £8.6m
  • Other - £9.8m
£80.5 million of the total of £299.7 million - just over a quarter of Oxfam UK's income - came from the taxpayer. Nice, eh? Does that qualify them for fake charity status? I dunno, and it's only fair to point out that more than half their income comes either from money that is donated voluntarily or from flogging stuff that is donated voluntarily. Still, more than 25% came from the British taxpayer whether individual taxpayers support the work of Oxfam or not, and for those who are sceptical both of the warble gloaming theories and the way that Oxfam jumped on that bandwagon that 25% might not sit that well. It fucking wouldn't me, I'll tell you that for nothing. As I said in the comments at WUWT:
I’m no longer a UK tax payer but it still boils my **** when I see a so-called charity getting a large proportion of its income from money taken from taxpayers at the point of a virtual gun (it becomes a literal one if you resist paying strongly enough). Often the agendas of these ‘charities’ parallel those of the government, so there’s often a cycle of lobbying the government (with taxpayers’ money given by the government) in order to persuade the government to do what it probably intends to do anyway (or why else the bunce?) but might fly better with voters if they can point to pressure from all these altruistic types in the so-called charities.

In short whatever this research cost it’d be fair to say that the British taxpayer coughed up for a good chunk of it. Yeah, money well spent… not.
But there's one final point. Going back to the 07/08 Oxfam accounts it said there was more detail in the Statement of Financial Activity, which I found starting from page 27. The Summary Income and Expenditure Account on page 28 was interesting since it should duplicate the income details on the earlier pie chart. What it says is this:
  • Voluntary income - £142.1m
  • Activities for generating funds - £77.7m
  • Investment Income - £3.6m
  • Resources from government, other public authorities - £70.1m
  • Primary purpose trading - £1.4m
  • Other income - £4.8m
  • Total Income - £299.7m
Now that's not quite the same as the pie chart. Going from the bottom the 'Other Income' figures differ by £5 million, so I assume that to get the £9.8 of the pie chart you have to add the Income Investment and Primary Purpose Trading to the £4.8m above. Similarly the pie chart figures for sales of donated and purchased goods were £65.7m and £12.0m respectively, which make the £77.7m listed above as 'Activites for generating funds'. The government money is £70.1m in both sets of figures, apart from that £10.5m from the Department for International Development. Where did that go? Finally, looking at the pie chart totals again the sums for donations, legacies, gifts and the DEC appeal almost add up to the £142.1m listed above for 'Voluntary income'. Almost. It's £10.5m short, which oddly enough is the amount they were supposed to have got from the DFID-Partnership Programme Agreement.

So I'm wondering. If it's from the DFID in what way is £10.5m a voluntary donation? Did they get it from voluntary sources because they were in the programme? Apparently not since in the attached notes they specifically say £10.4m (let 'em off for rounding I suppose) from 'UK government: Department for International Development - Partnership Programme Agreement'. That makes it look like government money, so how the hell can they call it voluntary? Surely it's not because the fucking DFID didn't have to give them money but nudge-nudge wink-wink gave it to them.

Personally I think that's dodgy as hell. It might be legit, I wouldn't know and couldn't care. It still stinks. Bad enough that every UK taxpayer has to contribute whether they want to or not, but they need to be battered with dictionaries until the meaning of voluntary sinks in.

When they knock on your door, just tell 'em you gave already.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Pet advice spot.

If your cat steals bits of your dinner when you've been daft enough to leave it unattended she's just being a cat. However, if what she stole was mashed potato and onion gravy she's being a fucking retard.

Normal blogging will resume when I've stopped following her around with a dustban and carpet cleaner waiting for the inevitable.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The 11th Commandment is...

... be really, really sure of any miracles and supernatural powers you claim to have before you gob off about them. Especially on TV.
When a famous tantric guru boasted on television that he could kill another man using only his mystical powers, most viewers either gasped in awe or merely nodded unquestioningly. Sanal Edamaruku’s response was different. “Go on then — kill me,” he said.
They may both have been very confident, but strangely enough one of them turned out to be very wrong.
At first the holy man, Pandit Surender Sharma, was reluctant, but eventually he agreed to perform a series of rituals designed to kill Mr Edamaruku live on television. Millions tuned in as the channel cancelled scheduled programming to continue broadcasting the showdown, which can still be viewed on YouTube.
Yep, true. But I'll save you the trouble and tell you. Somehow I doubt it'll spoil the ending.
First, the master chanted mantras, then he sprinkled water on his intended victim. He brandished a knife, ruffled the sceptic’s hair and pressed his temples. But after several hours of similar antics, Mr Edamaruku was still very much alive — smiling for the cameras and taunting the furious holy man.

...

When the guru’s initial efforts failed, he accused Mr Edamaruku of praying to gods to protect him. “No, I’m an atheist,” came the response. The holy man then said he needed to conduct a ritual that could only be done at night, outdoors, and after he had slept with a woman, drunk alcohol and rubbed himself in ash.
Wait, what? Hmmm, that sounds familiar.



And did it work?
The men agreed to go to an outdoor studio that night — all to no avail. At midnight, the anchor declared the contest over. Reason had prevailed.
The thing that gets me is that this bloke presumably wouldn't have agreed to show his Spidey powers on TV if he expected that nothing would happen and he'd end up looking like a tit, so does that mean he actually fucking believed it himself? Frankly it makes some of the stranger beliefs of Christians, Jews and Muslims seem reasonable. Oh well, at least he managed to get a casual shag out of it.

Boggle.

Last orders.

Oh for fuck's sake, is this serious?
Having noticed that rural pubs are closing in droves, the Government has rallied round, offering to match funds raised by local people to support efforts to run such places themselves as community enterprises. Picture Gordon Brown, pint mug in hand, swapping wit and wisdom with the village elders, while the horse brasses twinkle in the firelight.
Fucking hell, it's enough to drive a man away from drink, which is possibly the whole idea. But how come the writer, Clive Aslet, isn't pointing out the obvious flaw in this lame idea: that as with any form of apparent munificence on the part of the government any money it provides must first be taken away from someone else. Pub going volunteers trying to save their locals will certainly be among those who contribute towards this and every other daft scheme these power hungry authoritarian twats come up with.

Still, Aslet gets at least one hugely important point in, though he's missing something there as well.
There is a tiny irony in this.
Tiny? I hope the use of that word was, uh, ironic.
Not only might it be argued that the Government itself has precipitated the closure of many pubs by making it illegal to smoke in them — a blow to the traditional boozer, where sons of toil would spend all evening, perhaps several nights a week. Without this trade, licensees have only been able to survive by reinventing their establishments as gastro pubs, serving meals at prices that few locals could afford.
True, Clive, go on.
I shouldn’t worry; I don’t smoke. I like the fact you can get a decent meal on your travels.
Then I should worry even less as I don't smoke or drink, right, Clive? No, wrong. Very, very wrong. Actually, Clive, we should both be very fucking worried indeed because, like you, I like a good meal. But unlike you I'm painfully aware that it hasn't stopped with the smokers. Unless you're living in a fucking cave it's beyond belief that you could have failed to notice that what was being done to tobacco smoking twenty or thirty years ago is being done to alcohol now, so if you like a drink it might not be too many years before you find yourself being treated like the kind pariah a smoker is now. And it's not just drink, Clive. Those good meals you like may contain things the government decide is bad for you. Niemöller, Clive, Niemöller.

First they came for the smokers,
And some drinkers like those twats from CAMRA didn't stand up because they didn't smoke and got à la carte menus instead of table d'hôte


The sauce béarnaise that you might be thinking of asking for could one day cause raised eyebrows on the waiter and hysterics in the kitchen where, thanks to the decrees of the fucking fat police, nobody's had the bad taste to ask them to make it for a few years. Eggs and butter? Doesn't the sick bastard know that we get children in this place? Oh, you might think of making your own at home and taking a little pot of it out with you, but make sure you do it somewhere safe where you won't be seen and later denounced.
But now the Government is considering making it impossible to get into a car if you’ve had so much as a single pint of bitter. That means they’ll lose my custom too.
Clive, have you been paying attention? Yes, that's stupid and annoying and won't significantly, perhaps even noticeably, improve road safety. Doubly so because it's being touted that it's all to bring the UK into line with Europe, but the reality is not only that there's a lot of variation there but in places you only get a fine and points for levels as low as the proposed new limit (they do ban and jail people too, but at levels of blood alcohol around that of the present UK limit*). But you can always get a cab or share a car. Not a biggie. Far more relevant is that there are people, or things that look just like people do, that would cheerfully welcome a return to prohibition. Only this time they're not going to make the mistake of banning what people want without first trying their damnedest to make people not want it any more. The good news is that they won't actually win since, as with tobacco, the government's (any kind, any party, just about anywhere) addiction to the revenue surpasses that of smokers and drinkers by many orders of magnitude.

The bad news is that they can and will fucking ruin what was once a pleasant evening at the pub for everybody, including non-smokers and non-drinkers.


* Though as I've said more than once before hard limits are often full of problems. As a non drinker I expect a pretty small amount of alcohol to impair my driving, so I could be below the limit and drive as badly as someone who's half a pint's worth over. Someone with a high alcohol tolerance could have drunk twice as much as either of us and be in better shape to drive. Inflexible alcohol limits are a very coarse tool when you're dealing with individuals. The solution is not to look for a certain level of alcohol but a certain level of impairment, no matter whether it's caused by five pints of Wife Beater, two big cones of Moroccan Black, an inadvertent extra dose of prescribed dihydrocodeine, a medical condition, age, tiredness or just being a shithouse driver. Seen those Police, Death, Crash, Ccamera shows? Seen the American cops making people walk up and down lines, stand on one leg and touch their noses while their eyes are shut? Not remotely as silly and primitive as they look.

God things come in threes.

I seem to have a few posts teed up that touch on religious topics so I might as well throw them all in next to each other.

I was interested to hear that there's a mosque next door to the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst which, like quite a lot of British mosques (or so I imagine), wasn't built as such but uses buildings originally made for something else entirely. Now they'd like to demolish it and build a proper one, but unsurprisingly this isn't going down too well everywhere, even among other Muslims. Taj Hargey writes in The Times:
This mosque will have five domes and two 100ft minarets that will loom over the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. Little wonder many people regard it as a provocation — and that’s why I will be at the council meeting opposing its construction.

...elements within the Bengali Welfare Association, which runs the mosque, have aligned themselves to Tablighi Jamaat — a dogmatic, ultra-conservative group whose controversial mega-mosque project close to the 2012 Olympics site in London was recently rebuffed. This new mosque will not be in the interests of all British Muslims as it will allocate less than a fifth of the space to female worshippers. But there is nothing in Islamic theology that legitimises a misogynistic apartheid in the house of God. Nor does the history of Islamic architecture show that mosques must have towering minarets.

...

There is no Islamic injunction that minarets are intrinsic to mosques. In fact, the first minarets were only constructed decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Their main purpose then was to make possible the broadcast of the prayer call from an elevated spire. Today, modern sound technology has rendered this function superfluous. That’s why building two twin minaret towers, so close to a renowned military college, is a provocation.
Frankly I think even the sound technology should be obsolete, itself rendered superfluous by the ability to send calls to prayer by mass SMS. I'm not joking or trivialising Islam here because I really mean it. Modern technology gives the ability to alert large groups wherever they are, even if well out of earshot of a speaker system with the power of a shuttle engine. So why not use it instead of building a structure that's as good as an enormous fuck you V sign to the locals and your neighbours? Like gay groups going to Catholic adoption agencies it seems to suggest deliberately courting controversy for controversy's sake, but there is one major difference which makes it hard for me to oppose the minarets. Presumably the Bengali Welfare Association own the land, and if property rights are to have any meaning at all they really ought to be able to build whatever the fuck they like on it. And if that means a couple of 100 foot towers overlooking the grounds of RMA Sandhurst then so be it. Taj Hargey may claim that Islam obliges its followers to be good neighbours and respect others (I wouldn't know and won't pass comment), and he certainly is being perfectly reasonable about it. But at the end of the day I see this kind of thing almost as a litmus test of my libertarian views, and so in the same way I dislike the views of the BNP while supporting their right to hold them I think constructing the proposed minarets would be stupid, arrogant and rude... but also that it should be allowed.

Of course the flip side of that is that the RMA has what on Google Earth looks very much like a couple of firing ranges on the opposite side of the Academy from the mosque.


View Larger Map

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, so if the Bengali Welfare Association can construct minarets there's no reason why the MOD couldn't have the ranges moved to the south-east and order rifle practice fifteen times a day. It would be stupid, arrogant and rude, but.....
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