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

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Apple. The new Microsoft?

Steve Jobs and an Apple spokesperson

I know I keep banging on about this lately but Apple really are becoming the IT company I love to hate. To kick off with it was my own problems with having to keep going back for warranty repairs to a Macbook, which just goes to show that Apple's much vaunted reliability is only as good as their quality control, and their quality control might not be as good as they'd like to think. Then came Apple's legal action in Australia against the retailer Woolworths for using a logo that Apple thought looked too much like theirs, in spite of it actually looking close to fuck all like it. And of course earlier this week it was telling customers that a bit of fag smoke invalidated their warranty. Now Apple's corporate radar has swung back towards intellectual property twattishness again.
A long-time Apple software developer from Sydney fears he may have to lay off most of his staff after draconian Apple legal threats and a rare personal email from Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs.

Mathew Peterson, 25, has been creating Mac software since he was 17 and one of his most popular products has been "iPodRip", which allows people to back up their music collections from their iPods on to their computers.

It was an instant hit and particularly useful in emergencies because, if a user's computer dies and they attempt to connect their iPod to their new machine, all music and videos on the device are usually wiped.

I'm sure I'm not the only iPod owner who wonders what the fuck Apple were thinking of when they decided to make the iPod sync to the computer and not have the option to do it the other way round. Surely a company that actually has the term genius as a fucking job title could foresee a scenario where someone might have ripped a large CD collection to their computer and then to their iPod only for the computer to go tits up and them wanting to sync iTunes on the computer to what they've already got on the damn iPod. But no, Apple would rather you rip your CDs all over again. Thanks a fucking bunch Apple, you cock sockets, because Mrs Exile and I had nearly 500 CDs when we bought an iPod and I wouldn't have been happy if I'd needed to rip them all over again. Fortunately we never had to but you'd only need to be put to the trouble of re-ripping even a moderately sized music collection just once to see the benefit of dropping US$19.95 on iPodRip. Clearly plenty of people have, or worked it out without having a computer cark it, and so iPodRip has turned out to be the major revenue earner for Mathew Peterson's little company despite being pretty much a word of mouth marketed product. Apparently even Apple staff have recommended it to customers. But now...
Despite iPodRip being available for the past six years, about 2 weeks ago, Peterson received a cease and desist letter from Apple's lawyers, Baker & McKenzie. It asked him to stop using "iPod" in his software's name, remove any Apple-related logos from his product and relinquish control of his domain name,
Mathew Peterson has been told that he might well win in court but has decided that Apple's pockets are too deep for it to be a fair fight and so has decided to comply, but he says that leaves him with a different problem. Losing the domain means his customers no longer know where to find him and his company is starting pretty much from scratch as far as Google searches go. For a company that's relied so heavily on word of mouth this isn't good news.

And that's not all.
As part of the legal agreement with Apple, Peterson says he will be forbidden from stating on his website that the app was previously called iPodRip and will even be unable to send an email to customers informing them that he has had to change the app's name.
The word 'cunts' springs irresistibly to mind. Can't use the name for the app or the site, can't say 'formerly known as' and can't even email existing customers to tell them about the name change. Yeah, that's going to be just fucking great for business, isn't it? So faced with this Mathew Peterson's US business partner emailed Steve Jobs himself to appeal to reason and his better nature (quoted en bloc):
Dear Mr. Jobs,
My name is John Devor and I'm the co-owner of a small Mac shareware company named The Little App Factory and a long-term Apple customer and shareholder. I doubt you're aware but we recently received a letter from a law firm working on Apple's behalf instructing us that we had violated several of Apple's trademarks in our application iPodRip and asking us to cease using the name and Apple trademarks in our icons.

We have been distributing iPodRip since 2003 with the aim of providing a method to recover music, movies and photos from iPods and iPhones in the event of a serious hardware failure on their Mac which leads to data loss. Our goal has been to provide the highest quality product coupled with the highest quality service in a bid to resolve some of the angst that is generated by such an ordeal; service befitting of an Apple product. In this department we think we have succeeded as we have approximately 6 million customers, many Apple employees, music artists and other notable people in society. In fact I'd argue that our customer service is the best of all competing applications in our niche as many of them are scams and frauds that leave Apple customers with a terrible taste in their collective mouths.

We fear very much that tens of thousands of Apple customers looking to recover their own music and having heard of our product via word-of-mouth or otherwise, will instead find a product produced by one of our competitors, and will wind up the victim of a scam (one closely-named competitor charges a hidden monthly fee, for instance).

It is quite obvious that we mean Apple no harm with the use of the name iPodRip, or of the inclusion of trademarked items in our icons, and in fact I believe that we have been providing an excellent secondary service to Apple customers that has potentially caused you many repeat clients. In fact, we are quite aware that Apple support and store staff have recommended our software on numerous occasions as far back as 2004 so we have felt that we were doing something right!

With this in mind, we are in desperate need of some assistance and we beseech you to help us to protect our product and our shareware company, both of which we have put thousands upon thousands of hours of work into. Our company goal is to create Mac software of the highest quality with the best user experience possible. I myself dropped out of school recently to pursue a path in the Mac software industry, and you yourself have been a consistent inspiration for me.

If there is anything at all you can do with regards to this matter, we would be most grateful.

John Devor

A few hours later His Arseholiness replied.
Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.

Nice one, Steve. Why not just to tell them to fuck off and die and be done with it? Yeah, they can just change the name because it's no big deal, just like you did with the iPhone when Cisco got it's cock in a knot, or like you did with the name of your whole fucking company when Apple the record label got snotty about it. Except of course you did nothing of the kind.
In January 2007, Apple was sued by Cisco Systems over the use of the "iPhone" trademark. About a month later both companies announced an agreement whereby they were each allowed to use the iPhone name worldwide.

And way back in 1978, Apple Corps (the record label and holding company founded by the Beatles) sued Apple Computer for trademark infringement.
As I recall you got out of that one by promising never to get involved in music. Now since there doesn't seem much chance of someone confusing a computer manufacturer for the Beatles' holding company either now or in 1978 frankly I think someone in Southern California should have told John, Paul, George and Ringo to fuck off, but the Beatles were massive and seriously loaded while at that time Apple Computer were a small company that had only been going a couple of years. Apple no doubt felt forced to deal despite the legal bullying they were getting from the much bigger, wealthier and more popular and famous (well, as long as you said 'Beatles' rather than Apple Corps) company. Ironic, isn't it? If Apple had never got involved in music, never made that first iPod or developed iTunes or the iTunes store, there'd be no argument about iPodRip/iRip between Apple and The Little App Factory today. But as things turned out Apple are now in a position to be as dictatorial and unreasonable about names and rights as Apple Corps were to it three decades ago. Legally in the right perhaps, and I don't pretend to know remotely enough law to say, but as long as there's no reasonable chance of Joe Bloggs confusing the two companies (or if it really doesn't make any difference if he does) then I'd still call it unreasonable and dictatorial.

Shame there isn't a decency and fairness app. I think Apple needs it. Meanwhile I'll start looking at generic MP3 players for when my elderly 4th gen iPod finally gives up the ghost.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Credit where it's due.

Via Watts Up With That I see that George Monbiot is appalled by the hacked/leaked CRU emails.
It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.
So he bloody well should be. Everyone should, even those of us who have suspected something like this might have been going on behind the scenes in this section of Big Eco.
Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign.
Bloody hell, George. Keep this up and we'll have to stop taking the piss out of your name. No, we have to credit Monbiot for having the honesty and integrity to say what he's said. Obviously this hasn't turned him into a sceptic overnight and since the emails don't prove the whole thing is a made up scam (though who knows what else there might be still to come out)* that's reasonable. Still, it's clear that there is something rotten in the state of Hadley and Monbiot is prepared to admit as much. Hat doffed and absolutely no mention of lunar Chiroptera from me for a while.

Smoking ban now extends to computer warranties.

Do fucking what? Ah, hang on, this is Apple we're talking about.
If you light up a smoke, your computer's warranty could go up in flames.

We all know that smoking isn't good for you or for your gadgets, but Apple seems to have gone a step further by refusing to honour the warranties on several Macs belonging to smokers.

Consumer advocate blog The Consumerist reports two examples of Apple stores refusing to honour the warranty on a Mac because of contamination from cigarette smoke. It seems the faults could be attributed to exposure to smoke and accumulated tar, although there is no specific mention of cigarette smoke in the AppleCare warranty contract.
Oh, you lot who still smoke are really in for it now. You think you're being treated like pariahs already? It's just beginning really, isn't it? Now the private sector is using the anti-smoker policies of governments as an excuse to avoid warranty work. Now I'm a big fan of Apple products but not so much the company, and I have personal experience of the situation with suddenly deciding that the warranty is void (in my case that was just before I was about to drop $500 on Apple Care, so that was fucking good timing on Apple's part) so this doesn't surprise me in the slightest. And even though I gave up smoking before either of my current Macs were bought this really boils my piss. Frankly if this prompts every smoker who fancies a Mac to go down the Hackintosh route instead it'll be no fucking less than Apple deserve.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Attention all spamming dog fondlers...

I don't need to start buggering about moderating comments, so would you kindly fuck off? I'd be ever so grateful.

Bloody Vikings.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Professional offence taking at international level.

There's no getting away from it these days. Almost anything seems able to cause offence to someone and, rather than shrugging and assuming that it was probably unintended and coincidental, the way to do things now is to get your cock in a knot as rapidly as possible. Hence the Royal Navy having to be sorry for shooting at a practice target that upset the Spanish.
The UK has apologised to Spain after the Royal Navy used a buoy with the Spanish colours for target practice.
The exercise took place off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this week. The UK ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry in Madrid to explain.

Oh for fuck's sake. How fucking thin skinned would anyone, let alone representatives of a whole nation, have to be to think that there was anything meant by this? If it had King Juan Carlos' picture on it I'd see why some might get upset, but this is just a maritime signal flag.
According to local reports, the navy hastily removed the buoy, which had a red-and-yellow marker, when approached by a Spanish police launch on Tuesday.
Ambassador Giles Paxman conceded it was insensitive and an error of judgement.

Wrong response by both the Navy and the Ambassador, I feel. I think something more along the lines of 'harden the fuck up' might be more appropriate than furtively acting like you really were doing something wrong.
Later the UK Ministry of Defence clarified that the colours were those of a maritime signal flag used by Nato.
"HMS Scimitar was using Flag No1 during gunnery practice - not the Spanish national flag," a spokesperson said.

Just for fairness' sake let's compare the two.

Noticeably different, aren't they. So had the RN just left it perhaps the Spanish cops would no doubt have seen that while similar it was not in fact their flag and gone off to do something else. Or perhaps they'd have leapt on the chance to be offended anyway and it would all have turned out the same because nobody these days has the balls to say 'it isn't what you're getting upset about, you whining softcocks'.

Brace yourselves for France complaining that even though it's back to front the signal flag Tango suggests they have nothing more to contribute to the world than fish, and expect the Scots to go apeshit when they notice that the familiar looking Mike signal more or less means 'dead in the water'.

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough...

... because who in their right mind would want to live in a place where muggers punch toddlers in the face? Good luck to the police 'hunting' the bastard but I doubt anyone's holding their breath.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Advertising feature: the benefit of satnav.

Seriously, some people really need it.
An Australian grandfather became an accidental adventurer when he took a wrong turn while going for a drive to get the milk on Monday morning, and ended up 600km (370 miles) off course on an epic road trip across Australia.

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Point of order: that's not an epic road trip across Australia. This is an epic road trip across Australia.

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Anyhow, carry on.
Eric Steward, 81, was visiting friends in Yass, in south-eastern New South Wales, when he went for a short drive, but took a wrong turn down a highway and ended up across the border in Geelong, just north of Melbourne in the southern state of Victoria.
Er, sorry, me again. Geelong is just north of Melbourne in the same way that Southampton is just north of London, and by a similar distance. Oh look, since whatever muppet at The Times pulled this off the web without bothering to look at a fucking atlas or even Google maps first let's hand it over to The Daily Telegraph (no, not that one).
"I just like to drive", the 80-year-old told police when he arrived at an Avalon service station, just outside Melbourne, nine hours after a morning trip to get the paper in Yass, near Canberra, went comically astray.

The saga began about 7.15am on Monday, when Eric, who was staying in Yass with his wife Clare, popped out to get a paper and go for a drive, as he does each morning.

But as Clare watched the hours pass without any sign of Eric, little did she know he had embarked on an unintended 600km detour down the Hume Hwy, all the way to the outskirts of Geelong.

"He went out to get the paper like he normally does about 7.15am and he's usually gone for about an hour or two, when he didn't come back I thought something was wrong," Clare said.

"He's a good driver..."
Insert Rain Man gag here if you really must.
Several hours later, Eric's distressed wife called to ask where he was.

Eric's response drew stunned silence.

"I said 'are there any signs around' and he said `West Gate Bridge'," Clare recalled.
Not the most photogenic bridge in Australia - actually not even the most photogenic bridge in Melbourne - but well known for not being anywhere in New South Wales. Funnily enough that's not the first sign Eric ought to have seen. There's this one just north of Yass itself.

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Todays What The Fuck is brought to you in association with TomTom.

Good news comes in threes?

The dirty half dozen, Harriet Harmperson's driving charge, and now another trougher caught out and having to resign.
David Curry, the MP who heads the committee responsible for policing Commons expenses, has claimed almost £30,000 for a second home that his wife has banned him from staying in, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
The Skipton and Ripon MP, 65, is accused of having an affair with a headmistress in his constituency and using a taxpayer-funded cottage to meet his lover.
Our investigation has learned that four years ago, after discovering the affair, Mr Curry’s wife, Anne, demanded that he no longer stayed at the Yorkshire property as a condition of their reconciliation.
However, the former minister has continued claiming thousands of pounds a year for the house – which he could expect to sell for a substantial profit after leaving Parliament.
And we're supposed to believe Camerwrong's going to put it all right again and we won't see any more of this, are we?


Red faces in the green world.

This is worth watching. As Bishop Hill says it seems almost too good to be true, but then according to Watts Up With That they've been busy changing passwords at Hadley CRU. Why do that if you don't at least suspect? Just doing it lends credibility even if it's being done just to be on the safe side. It'll be interesting to see how much can be confirmed as genuine. The can is open, now let's sit back and see how far the worms can wriggle before the Warmistas stamp on 'em.

More comeuppance.

Remember Harriet Harperson's dodgy driving, and more to the point her 'fuck you, proles' attitude to stopping and swapping details with the owner of the parked car she hit? Well, looks like she is going to have to answer for it. Her and the dirty half dozen all in one week. What the fuck's going on? No room left under the carpet to sweep anything else in?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

This is what Britain has to look forward to.

What does Cameron think would prevent a repeat of the MPs' expenses scandal? Short listing honest people perhaps? Withdrawing the whip from any who take the piss by claiming expenses for things that aren't actually needed for work purposes? No, of course not. Straight from the NuLaborg policy making handbook, the mongtard backs the new law idea and is moaning that it's not in the Queen's speech.
The Conservative leader said it was "disgraceful" that Gordon Brown had not mentioned MPs' expenses in Wednesday's Queen's Speech the crisis that has gripped Parliament for six months.
Mr Cameron said: "We need a clarification about when they will be bringing forward this law and what it will consist of."
"I think that the Queen's Speech is today unravelling because the Government is now saying, apparently, that they will now bring forward these laws," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme .
"If that happens that will be a major victory for common sense, for the Conservative party, and for the British public who want to see this sorted out.
"Either the Government is incompetent and hadn't realised that Kelly's report requires these laws to be passed or they are frightened of their own backbenchers, or perhaps they don't think that cleaning up the House of Commons is as important as they said it was."
What fucking good is that going to do, eh, fuckchops? Instead of MPs claiming for what they need to do the job there'll still be 600 or so venal, troughing, nest-feathering bastards working out what they can get away with and claiming for that. The problem is the people as much as the system and so far none of the main parties seem interested in easing out any but the worst cunts on their benches. You want a new law? Read The Plan - open primaries and the right for constituents to recall their MP if they're corrupt/lazy/thick as pig shit. What's wrong with the system is that the party leaders don't have the balls to tackle the shites (possibly because of a few less than convincing claims of their own?) and that means the answer is to take it out of their hands altogether. They're employees and the taxpayers pay the wages and the expenses. You don't need new laws, you just need oversight.

Dirty half dozen.

Early days, this, and I suppose there's still scope for lifting the edge of a carpet and sweeping it all under, but the fact that six troughers have been investigated and now have the CPS looking at the files with a view to bringing charges is not a bad thing. What probably is a bad thing is if six scapegoats is all that there is. That's not even 1% of MPs. Hands up who thinks 99% of them are fundamentally honest?


Yeah, thought so.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Keep saying sorry, Gordon

From Newsarse
Brown to apologise to all children forced to grow up in the UK.

Gordon Brown is planning an apology to those children left to be raised in the UK instead of being offered the chance of living in a far nicer country, somewhere sunny.

Under the Child Migrants Programme - which ended just 40 years ago - many children were rejected and left to face a life of dreary weather, miserable citizens and truly terrible national sports teams.

59 year old Gerry Owen is one of the unfortunate children of the fifties left behind in the UK, and he told us, “I was born in 1950, and in 1959 my application to go ‘absolutely anywhere else at all’ was rejected out of hand.”

“Since then, I’ve been subjected to a miserable existence on these Isles, consisting mainly of drizzling grey monotony interspersed with abject disappointment after stunningly predictable abject disappointment.”

“It’s all the Government’s fault, and I still blame them for not sending me somewhere much, much nicer all those years ago.”

“The irony is, I’m a borderline alcoholic who genuinely loves cricket and utterly despises football, I’d have made a brilliant Australian.”

The Prime Minister is planning to formally apologise to the lost generation of approximately 20 million post-war children who have been forced to endure a life in modern Britain instead of perpetual summers, surfing and barbecues.

“We can only apologise for the mistakes of the past,” said Brown.

“I realise that due to these past human rights infringements, there are literally millions of Britons who have absolutely no idea that a dip in the sea shouldn’t always be at the risk of rapid onset hypothermia.”

“Or that a sickly pallor reminiscent of a Chernobyl victim isn’t actually a pre-existing genetic disposition, but simply a product of being left behind to grow up in Huddersfield.”

“Still, I’m sure they’ll feel much better once I’ve said sorry in this nice open letter I’ve spent the morning scribbling.”

Monday, 16 November 2009

Another warble gloaming date for your diary.

From the Met Orifice, ten years to 'control global warming' or we're all fucked.
Pollution needs to be brought under control within ten years to stop runaway climate change, according to the latest Met Office predictions.
Now let's just stop here and consider that most of the CO2 in the air is natural and that it's essential for plant life. On top of that unless the world has some magical way of telling the difference between a CO2 molecule that was produced by a power station and one that was exhaled by a baby dolphin it's hard to see how it can be a pollutant. Then let's remember that the sum total of all the time in the history of human existence during which we have controlled the climate is zero, and while we're streets ahead in our understanding of these things than at any time in our history the chances of us developing a complete understanding in the next ten years are too remote to take even slightly seriously. And finally the idea of stopping 'runaway climate change' - ever heard of anything more ridiculous? If it's not under our control now and never has been then it won't be in ten years that we'll see runaway climate change, it's a reality right now. Not only that but since the climate has always changed and it's never been under active control by us or anyone/thing else on the planet 'runaway climate change' has always been a reality for the past 4+ billion years. And of course the is the Met Office we're talking about. You know, the barbecue summer mob. Their track record of predictions lately is pretty poor.

Anyway, adding that to our list of disaster we get:

Well I don't know about anyone else but with such consistency I'm sold.

Things I still don't get about Australia - No. 14

Ladies and gentlemen, marvel at the sheer genius that is the Magic Salad Plate.

Now how come a country that venerates pies to the point of producing poetry* about them and can do such a great piss take (they really made the plates by the way) can't tell the pie hating health nazis to (a) fuck off and (b) they're all going to die anyway.

* Such as this by Barry Humphries:
I think that I shall never spy
A poem lovely as a pie,
A banquet in a single course
Blushing with rich tomato sauce.
A pie whose crust is oven-kissed
Whose gravy scalds the eater's wrist.
The pastie and the sausage roll
Have not thy brown mysterious soul;
The dark-hued Aborigine
Is less indigenous than thee.
Like Phillip Adams rich and chubby,
Tasteful as Patrick White,
With an ice-cold Carlton stubbie,
You're the Great Australian Bite.

Nice one, Barry. Managed to work beer into it as well.

Is the tide rising or turning?

Via Watts Up With That, Al Gore booed as he went to speak on warble gloaming. What's going on? Normally on message media like The Age and the Beeb running sceptical articles, surveys showing increasing doubt among the general public, warmist polls going the 'wrong' way, and now the warmists' version of Jesus - if Jesus had a well lit mansion, a condo near San Francisco Bay and a habit of travelling by private jet instead of a donkey - being booed and heckled. All I can say is wow, and I hope it's soon enough to prevent the governments of the industrialised world shutting their, and more importantly our, balls in the drawer.

Icebergs and map reading.

Also on the subject of eco-hysteria and its reporting, The Telegraph's enviro-correspondent Louise Gray seems to care more about huge icebergs than checking Google Earth (my emphasis).
A giant iceberg the length of seven football pitches has been spotted floating off Australia.
The ice chunk, measuring some 2,300 feet long with an estimated depth of more than 1,000 feet, caused a stir when it was sighted by experts based on Australia's remote Macquarie Island.

Macquarie Island is here.

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Macquarie Island being a strip of land barely 30km long and lying about 1500 km south east of Tasmania, the nearest bit of Australia on any atlas, and about the same distance north of the nearest bit of Antarctica it's a bit of a stretch to say that any bergs that float past were 'spotted floating off Australia'. Technically accurate perhaps, but as misleading as saying that the iceberg that sank the Titanic was floating 'off the Azores'.

Needless to say there's a warble gloaming mention made.
Neal Young, an Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, said ... the iceberg had probably split from a major Antarctic ice shelf nine years ago, and said more could be expected in the area if global warming continues.
[Sigh] Okay, I'm not a glaciologist but come on. Icebergs aren't something new that have come along because of 20th century warming. They must've been around as long as the ice caps and have come about the same way as this one: little (comparatively speaking) chunks off ice breaking off the shelves and sheets of the cap. What does one big 'berg just outside the Southern Ocean prove?

In fairness some balance is offered:
But Professor Jonathan Bamber, from Bristol University, said icebergs the size of Wales can break off the Antarctic and it is too early to say if it is caused by climate change.
Minor points for that, but not enough to make up for the map fail.

Sorry Kevin again.

Rather than the abused kids that really weren't his fault I feel that Kevin Rudd could and should apologise for something that's entirely his responsibility, i.e. his anti-scientific and slavish adherence to the warble gloaming dogma and the disgusting way he attacks those who dare to express honest doubt.
Kevin Rudd went over the top last week in a speech to the Lowy institute, declaring it was "time to remove any polite veneer" from the climate change debate, which he claims is the "moral challenge of our generation".
So how's that work then, Kevin? Do you win the scientific argument by waffling that there's a moral imperative and calling us all selfish and profligate energy wasters? Do we win if we trump you by saying that morals are subjective and that you're a gullible prick in awe of Big Eco? I'm happy to be rude about it and I don't care if you drop any pretence either. If you're right you'll be just as right if you be all saintly about it. If you're wrong you'll be just as wrong as if you swear and rant and take the piss out of those who disagree.*
Then he launched an extraordinary tirade against "the climate change sceptics, the climate change deniers" who he claims are "powerful", "too dangerous to be ignored", "driven by vested interests … quite literally holding the world to ransom … Our children's fate - and our grandchildren's fate - will lie entirely with them."
To most of which we sceptics can say 'right back at ya, Kev'. There are very few world leaders who are not on message when it comes to the idea that mankind, specifically its emission of CO2 in vastly smaller amounts than all the natural sources, is making the world into a giant oven. As such it is actually you lot and not the sceptics who are most deserving of the 'powerful' label, and because of that power that you all seem hell bent on using to harm the economies of the industrialised world it is in fact you and people like you who are 'too dangerous to be ignored' and are 'holding the world to ransom' at least until either you wake up - the fate of our children and grandchildren lie with you in as much as it is they who are likely to live a meagre hand-to-mouth existence, poverty stricken in once wealthy nations, if you turn out to be wrong about this. And this charge to what might be disaster is indeed driven by the vested interests of Big Eco - companies who make wind turbines and solar panels and tide generators whose market for their products depends mainly on continuing belief in warble gloaming; the nuclear power industry, including companies that mine uranium, who see the chance to bash their fossil fuel competitors over their carbon emissions (watch the loopiest greenies twist on the horns of that particular dilemma); the makers of household greenery such as CFL eco-bulbs, hybrid cars*** and the eco-button among other things; wealthy industrialists who've invested in any or all of this stuff and who might well want to look after this investment with a few donations to politicians that may be receptive and in positions to push greenhouse policies; lobbyists and pressure groups who nailed their colours to the warming mast and would lose not just credibility but grants and donations if it turns out to be bogus; climate scientists and computer modellers whose continued funding, and therefore livelihoods and mortgage payments, depends largely on their continued usefulness to their paymasters, the various governments and (often publicly funded) bodies they all work for; newspapers and their broadcast media colleagues for whom bad news has always sold and who love this ready and apparently inexhaustible supply of scare stories and headlines as well as the green industry advertising revenue; and of course the politicians themselves who must be priapic at the opportunity to grab votes and save the world. Warble gloaming is a fucking wet dream for most of this lot and the last thing they want is some inconvenient arsehole asking why the world didn't end, or at least run out of polar bears, a few hundred years ago when it was warm enough for people to farm on Greenland and for vineyards to exist in northern England. That's what I call Big Eco, Kev, and in your terms it's a collection of vested interests who stand to lose power, control and billions upon billions of dollars if they lose this argument.

As for being sceptics and deniers... well, there are probably very few deniers as such. Most agree that mankind must have some effect even if it's so tiny that it's lost among the natural climate variability (in much the same way that not only do natural levels of CO2 dwarf man's contribution but they can fluctuate from one year to the next by a larger amount). Nor does anyone but a window licker deny that the climate changes. Opponents of AGW often point out that it's been changing for 4 billion years or so and that if a term such as climate denier with it's nasty unspoken association with Holocaust deniers is applicable to anyone it should be the tools who have this laughable belief that the climate ever was or could be stable. 'Sceptics' is a much fairer term and one that any self respecting scientist should be proud of. Scepticism is supposed to be an essential part of the scientific method. Surely you know this, Kev. You don't just assume that someone's theory is correct or their experiment is accurate, not even if thousands of other agree and former Vice Presidents claim that there's a consensus. If all the scientists in the world agreed tomorrow that objects fall at 5m/s2 anyone with a high school level knowledge of physics and access to a good stopwatch and a tape measure could go to the nearest multi-storey car park and prove every single one of them wrong by almost a factor of two. Even if there is a consensus, and there's enough dissent on AGW amongst professional scientists that you couldn't honestly say there was anyway, but even if there was it would be irrelevant if they're all wrong. So you don't assume but you check it and re-check it. You go through the data with a fine tooth comb and if, as has happened more than once in cases involving AGW proponents, the data is withheld so you can't check it then alarm bells should be ringing. You look at the methodology and try to replicate the results, and again if the information needed isn't forthcoming that alone should be cause for doubt. You try to pull it all apart in any and every conceivable way to see if it can withstand it, and by doing so we find out which theories fail and should be discarded. Science at its most basic is a Darwinian process: nothing less than the destruct testing of each other's ideas. As Thomas Huxley put it:
The improver of natural science absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.
Your call, Kevin.

Incidentally, the article I quoted there is from The Age, which for Northern hemisphere types who might not know it is a Melbourne paper owned by Fairfax Media. Fairfax is kind of a down under Grauniad Media Group and are usually pretty pro green issues - they even set up the lunatic Earth hour idea with the WWF. Frankly I'm amazed that such a sceptical piece appeared in such a pro-AGW theory newspaper, particularly when it strongly criticises not only what Rudd said but also the proposed Emissions Trading Scam Scheme and the IPCC, before going on to a mini-review of a sceptical book and a few holes that it knocks in warble gloaming. The fact that this is The Age suggests that either the times are a changing and warble gloaming belief is on the wane, hence the Rudds of the world and their increasing attacks on honest doubt, or my prior belief that nothing like it stood a hope in hell of getting past The Age's editors was completely wrong and I should go on a diet of humble pie. Either way, go and have a read of the whole thing. It's fairly Oz-centric of course, but still worth it.

* Same as me. My potty mouth doesn't change whether warble gloaming is the alarmist and semi-religious fantasy that I suspect it will probably** turn out to be.
** I changed from being a believer in warble gloaming to being a sceptic a good fifteen years ago but that doesn't mean I can't possibly be persuaded to change back again, though you'd need to make a much better case than the horseshit being pedalled at the moment.
*** Mostly they don't exclusively do eco-mobiles, true, but think how much money Toyota must have invested in their hybrid range and how many people will still want them if the scare ended tomorrow. Even if they've already recouped their R&D and promotional costs etc. can anyone imagine Toyota standing up and calling bullshit whether they believed it or not? With comparatively little competition in small family hybrids surely they have a vested interest in keeping this going.

Oooh, a drugs scene in a film.

God forbid that that should be seen by kiddies or they'll be off taking drugs immediately as a direct result. Won't somebody think of the chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllldren? Oh yes, parents, but we can't possibly trust them on this. They'll be deciding for themselves what's best for our, I mean their, children next. No no. Call the censor and get an MA15+ rating slapped on it right away.

Shame the drug taking scene doesn't actually exist. Twats.

Sorry Kevin and Sorry Gordon are both very sorry.

Headline in the The Telegraph:
Australia to say sorry to abused British child migrants.
Headline in Adelaide Now (via The Australian and
UK PM to apologise to Aussie kids.
From the former:
On Monday, the Australian government will say sorry to the thousands of children deported there during the twentieth century.
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, will this week say he is to look into what can be done to make amends to all the children who were shipped to Australia, Canada and other former colonies, in schemes undertaken by successive governments up until 1967.
The children were separated from their families and told they were orphans, while the parents were told that they had gone to a better life. But most were brought up in institutions, or by farmers, and many were treated as child slave labour.
The Australian government will formally apologise at a special remembrance event in Canberra.
A ceremony will be held in Parliament House where the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will say sorry, on behalf of the nation, to those who suffered abuse. Following the event, the apology will be tabled in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

From the latter:
BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown is preparing an apology for thousands of children shipped off to Australia and other Commonwealth countries last century.

Details of his plan were revealed on the eve of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the half a million “forgotten” child migrants sent to Australia from the 1920s until the late 1960s, many of whom were mistreated in orphanages and institutions.

The BBC reported today that Brown wanted to apologise for Britain's former child migrants program, which sent thousands of children to Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Many were separated from their families and often wrongly told they were orphaned and so were being sent off to a “better life” overseas.

However, thousands ended up in institutions or were forced to work as farm labourers.

I can see why Gordon's gone for this. I mean the grinning mutation, Gordon's predecessor and former boss, apologised for Britain's role in slavery despite (a) Britain's role in ending slavery (b) Britain's long wait from nations whose people once enslaved Britons and (c) nobody wanting to acknowledge that there was a fair bit of Africans enslaving
other Africans going on. It made him look sincere and statesman like* and Gordon must surely crave that as much as he must hate his lack of success in that area, getting snubbed by Obama and having the G20 tell him to fuck off with his silly ideas. And then along comes Sorry Kevin Rudd, who had barely won the 2007 Federal election before apologising to Australia's indigenous people for the Stolen Generation and seeming to be domestically popular as a result, with something new to be sorry for. This time he's going to say sorry to people who as British children were lied to and put on boats to countries far from what had been home, and who were often treated like skivvies or worse when they got there, and Gordon seems to want in on it.

Personally I find the whole government apology thing at best odd and at worst simple gesture politics. For Phoney Tony the equation was slavery bad = apology good = some votes in it. Similarly Sorry Kevin noticed that most of the country felt that the Aborigines were treated pretty badly and was aware that nobody had ever officially said that it was A Bad Thing, and so an election pledge to say sorry was likely to go down well. Now I'm not Kevin Rudd's biggest fan but I'll give him some credit here - although he apologises for things that aren't really the fault of his or any other recent Australian government at least in both cases here he's talking about stuff from the fucking 20th Century. What Blair was sorry about officially ended in 1834 and was on the way out much earlier (it was also not accompanied by a similar apology to Ireland for the 1800 Act of Union presumably because the Irish were just too white, though since Anglo-Irish people would have been getting an apology on behalf of themselves it's probably just as well). Still, I can't help feeling that it's largely gesture politics. It might be meaningful to some but it costs the politician nothing and has no obvious practical benefit for those wronged. How many disadvantaged black people descended from African slaves had their lives suddenly transformed for the better as a result of Blair's apology? I'd say somewhere around none. And despite the much more recent circumstances how many Aborigines are better off because of Sorry Kevin's apology? Similar number I'd expect. Christ knows that they're disadvantaged compared to white Australians by just about any measure you care to use but tackling that looks hugely problematic, not to mention potentially costly both in money and in votes if you fuck it up. I'm not saying it's wrong to say sorry but when you come down to it it's just words. From the hearts of our bottoms, we're truly sorry and overcome with wossname, honest... meh! An apology risks little and costs less, and this is something that may well have occurred to Gordon Brown shortly before jumping aboard the Sorry Express.

Frankly it's probably too little too late for Sorry Gordon, especially as Sorry Kevin beat him to it. And But I'm sure I won't be the only one asking why, instead of making these official apologies, Sorry Kevin and Sorry Gordon aren't demanding that the so-called charities and religious organisations who lied and told these poor children that they'd been orphaned and sent them off to what for many were lives of back breaking work, physical abuse and buggery, the bastards responsible in other words, stand up and apologise.
According to the BBC documentary "Children of the Empire", aired in 2003, a number of leading charities and agencies such as Barnardos, the Fairbridge Society and The National Children's Homes co-operated in maintaining the policy for almost six decades despite warnings from independent inspectors.
The respective governments may bear some guilt by association since the whole shipping kids business suited both at the time, but neither forced lies to be told or demanded the awful conditions that some found themselves in. Don't say sorry, Kev and Gordo, except perhaps to acknowledge that someone in power should have noticed and stopped it. Grow some balls, name some names and fucking call 'em on it.

On a bit of a tangent I noticed Adelaide Now also mentioned Britain's Health Select Committee and its chairman, a certain Mr Kevin Barron.
The committee's chairman, Kevin Barron, who headed an inquiry into what happened to child migrants, told the BBC he was “very pleased” by Mr Brown's letter.
Second time this weekend I'd seen his name on teh interwebs. Dick Puddlecote and The Devil were calling him names for this: individuals we can see the need for intervention in all our communities... We are the state's representative in our constituencies and we should not be frightened of taking decisions on behalf of our constituents, because that is to the general good.
This is just fucking typical of the kind of paternalistic, authoritarian, freedom hating spunk bubbles that are in Westminster these days. How easily they forget that they were elected not to rule but to serve. Cunts.

UPDATE: Hey, shouldn't it really be the heads of state giving and receiving the apologies on behalf of their respective nations? Of course that's actually the same person but I'd pay money to see Betty Windsor having to talk to herself.

* Well, to Gordo maybe. I thought it made him look like a patronising wanker trying to suck up to people for something that was over long before even his grandfather was born.

Ed Balls to win Nobel Prize for Literature.

Well, if the Obamessiah can get the Peace Prize for his outstanding ability to not be George W. Bush, even if he is a bit like him sometimes, then surely Ed Balls deserves the Literature Prize for this.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The state and your pay packet.

You're my bitch now, right? This fist is going right up your arse.

Just in case you thought that the terms of your employment, particularly in respect to how much you get paid and what the bonus structure is, was pretty much between you and your employer it's worth knowing that the government has other ideas.
Bankers who are paid “unjustifiable” multi-million-pound bonuses face having their contracts ripped up and their banks fined, under new legislation to be unveiled this week.
The new rules, which critics are likely to suggest amount to a State-enforced “incomes policy” for banks, will be contained in the Financial Services Bill to be announced in the Queen’s Speech.
The bill will give the Financial Services Authority (FSA) the power to cancel bankers’ contracts to prevent them receiving payments that it believes would cause instability in the financial system.
This would be the same FSA that handled the British side of the financial crisis so well, yes? The same FSA that ensured that Northern Rock didn't buy up a load of bad debt and made sure that healthy banks weren't brought down by buying up ones with toxic assets, right? The same FSA that... oh, who am I kidding? We all know they were hopelessly inept and were as much use as a chocolate teapot. Are we seriously expected to believe that they'll be any better at intervening and overruling salary and bonus packages for bankers? Do me a fucking favour. What will happen is some arbitrary lines will be drawn, some drones at the FSA will override a few contracts that exceed them until the banking sector get the message and they'll pat themselves on the back for preventing
bankers receiving bonuses that it believes are too high, or cancel remuneration packages that it thinks reward undue risk-taking.
This will 'work' right up to the point that it suddenly doesn't, because in reality it will never have worked at all. Sure, dangling a big carrot in front of bankers is going to encourage excessive risk taking among a few, but the other side of it is that taking risks apparently has no downside up to now because of the widespread perception that the government would bail them out. And as we all know they turned out to be right. The Rock was rescued and the state owns a significant chunk of Lloyds-TSB and RBS. Has the government any intention of tackling this? Of course not. That would be sending the message that they were wrong to bail them out, and besides it's only money after all. Whenever you want more you can simply tax the proles right now or just borrow or print money (which is kind of just taxing the proles in the future instead). Doesn't matter how much the fuckers are paid, as long as that safety net is there, or they believe it is, there's no downside to risky lending. Unfortunately this particular elephant is unlikely to be dealt with as long as things are being driven by the politics of envy.

But aside from the issue of putting this in the hands of a regulator that has already succeeded in regulating but failed spectacularly to make any difference and aside from the apparent unwillingness to rule out future bailouts there's another point. What the hell has it got to do with the government anyway? Not satisfied with minimum wages they're now talking about maximum wages for certain people. Today they're talking about bankers, and that might well be popular with the downtrodden masses if they're not thinking about the precedent it sets. Today fat cats, tomorrow it could be you. It's also hard to see how they're going to reconcile maximum wages with the 50% tax rate. Won't the fat cats pay less tax if there's a ceiling on salaries and bonuses? And doesn't this in turn mean that the government has a disincentive to set the limit low enough to do much beyond avoiding headline grabbing 'Fred the Shred' packages anyway? It strikes me that this is just another badly thought out policy that will make the bruvvers and sisters happy but will encourage a few more of Britain's wealth generators, already unhappy with the idea of having to hand over the lion's share of what they earn at gunpoint, to give up on the country and fuck off somewhere else. Look, I'm as envious of fat cat salaries as the next man, but only to the extent that I wish I made that kind of money. I can't see how driving them out of the country through a combination of taxation and intervening to override whatever contracts they negotiate with their employers does anyone any good, and I sure as hell wouldn't want the government to start doing it on my behalf. Doubly so when the idea comes from a politician who re-designated his main residence four times in as many years so as to milk the MP's allowance for personal gain - all within the rules of course, the cunt.

Hello, is that Direct Line claims department?

From The Telegraph.

Oh shit indeed.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

It's been nearly forty years since The Who made Won't Get Fooled Again and the closing lines are as applicable as ever. Today we can substitute 'boss' for 'Speaker'.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has had his grace-and-favour Westminster apartment refurbished at a cost of £45,000 to the taxpayer.
Mr Bercow ordered the makeover, covering work from child-friendly redecorating to new televisions and furniture, within weeks of his election as Speaker in June.
His wife, Sally, oversaw most of the work and the couple pushed ahead with the overhaul despite being warned by Parliamentary officials that the costs may be seen as excessive.
Emails reveal that Mrs Bercow compiled a lengthy “shopping list” of items that she wished to have changed in the Speaker’s historic official residence within days of her husband’s election.
The new documents, released under Freedom of Information laws, also disclose that Mr Bercow has spent almost £13,000 on entertaining and hospitality - including a three-night trip to Rome costing almost £4,000 - in just three months.
Seriously, is anyone actually surprised by this? The article goes on to point out that Bercow himself was criticised over his expenses, particularly his claiming of the maximum amount allowed for a flat in London, yet was nevertheless elected Speaker to replace the hopeless Michael Martin. Again, no surprises that the venal troughers would want to replace Gorbals Mick with someone who is, well, not unlike themselves. The reality is that at best the Westminster gravy train made an unscheduled stop and changed conductors, but unfortunately it's up and running again and working hard to make up for lost time.

No good deed to go unpunished.

Let's imagine you come across a small fire and, since you're the sort of person who likes to be prepared, you've got a fire extinguisher in your car and have taken the trouble to find out how to use it. The fire is very fresh and your extinguisher is just enough to put it out before you call the emergency services and get the fire brigade to come along and make damn sure it's safe. Would you do it? And if you did wouldn't you expect a word of thanks or maybe a pat on the back if not from Captain Flack then at least from Pugh or Pugh or Barney MacGrew or one of 'em? I'm fairly sure you wouldn't expect them to jam one of their hoses up your arse and turn it on as a punishment for helping. Now let's imagine that you're a recreational sailor who hears a distress call on the radio and realises that you're very close to the person in trouble. If you went to recover them would you expect to be recognised as an all round good egg or to be torpedoed and sunk by one of the RNLI's fleet of fast attack boats or hit by one of Her Majesty's Coastguard's kamikaze rescue helicopters? Lets be honest here, you'd expect a mention in the local paper and the yachting press with some local bod from the lifeboats or HMCG commending you for your help. And say you have a little first aid knowledge and happen across some poor sod in some clear medical distress. If you do your damnedest to keep 'em from death's door till the paramedics arrive would you be sweating with fear anticipating the beating that is to come? Or would you go home feeling a warm fuzzy for helping save a life and thinking maybe you'll get one of those Royal Humane Society gongs or something? Come on, it's the ceremony, free champers and posh nosh, isn't it?

Okay, now let's imagine that you come across a gun and a small amount of ammunition on your property and, not wishing to inconvenience the overworked local section of the thin blue line, decide to take it to the police station yourself. Since the ambulance crew didn't use their medical knowledge to deliver an unusually precise beating, you weren't killed to death by the coastguard and lifeboat crews, and you didn't get the world's most horrifyingly thorough enema courtesy of some angry men in flameproof trousers you might not be expecting anything unpleasant to come from handing in an obviously dangerous and illegally modified gun to the authorities. And if you relied on this in Britain you'd be making a terrible mistake.
A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.
What? The? Fuck?
The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction...
Oh, so they clearly gave some fucking serious thought to it, didn't they? I imagine that this might have been something to do with the comments from the prosecutor, who
...explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a "strict liability" charge – therefore Mr Clarke's allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.
... or the judge who said
"This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

"The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."
Now in fairness the prosecutor (or defence for that matter) can and should say whatever they think they need to say to make their case and it's not clear if the judge said that before or after the verdict. It's also fair to say that they're right about the strict liability bit. It's like speeding - the law doesn't give the faintest fuck whether the road was empty and the conditions were fine and the speed you'd been clocked at was not dangerous. For speeding is also a strict liability offence and if there's no actual crash the justice system has little interest beyond whether you were over or under the limit. The fact that this makes something as important as road safety almost on a par with Brucie's Play Your Cards Right* isn't their concern. The justice system probably does not honestly believe that you are safe enough at 30mph to not merit prosecution but magically become dangerous enough to deserve punishment at 31, but it's lazy and it suits its purpose to call it a strict liability offence. Same with this possession of a firearm charge - the way the law was written, either because it's so hard to anticipate all situations or because it was drafted badly by lazy shites with an eye on a fucking clock or whatever, doesn't care that Paul Clarke was acting for the greater good by getting a gun safely out of the way as soon as possible and then handing it in at the local cop shop for safe disposal. As the judge and prosecutor explained, it's just not considered important and so up till sentencing at least the laws treats a concerned and honest good deed doing citizen the same as a recidivist armed robber caught with his preferred tool of the trade at home as opposed to actually waving it around in a bank. And even at sentencing there's no opportunity for a sensible judge to weigh the situation, conclude that society gains square root of fuck all by sending the guy to jail and hand down a non custodial sentence instead so as to minimise the effects on his life and give him a shot of appealing from the relative comfort of normal life. Oh no, quite possibly because of political knee jerks and circle jerks over guns and all sorts of waffle about being tough on crime (excuse me a moment - ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha - that's better) there are minimum sentences to go along with this, in this case, victimless crime. Paul Clarke is looking at five fucking years inside. Five years. Rapists have got less. Had this been a weapon used in a crime and there was evidence that Paul Clarke was involved I wouldn't be bothered, but it seems like the police and prosecution don't dispute his version of events at all.

But it's not just a bad law that brings us to the place where an innocent man has, despite all common sense, been charged and found guilty of a offence that is purely technical. A police officer (a pretty senior one in this case) had to decide to arrest Mr Clarke and an unknown number of people in the Crown Prosecution Service had to make a decision about whether a prosecution was in the public interest. Every day cops and the CPS decide not to make an arrest, not to go further than a caution or even not to charge at all, or finally that going all the way to court is either unlikely to result in conviction or serves no purpose. Somehow Paul Clarke slipped through those nets and had to rely on his last line of defence a dozen total strangers that might be open to the reasoned argument of his lawyer.
Defending, Lionel Blackman told the jury Mr Clarke's garden backs onto a public green field, and his garden wall is significantly lower than his neighbours.

He also showed jurors a leaflet printed by Surrey Police explaining to citizens what they can do at a police station, which included "reporting found firearms".

Quizzing officer Garnett, who arrested Mr Clarke, he asked: "Are you aware of any notice issued by Surrey Police, or any publicity given to, telling citizens that if they find a firearm the only thing they should do is not touch it, report it by telephone, and not take it into a police station?"

To which, Mr Garnett replied: "No, I don't believe so."

... Mr Blackman urged members of the jury to consider how they would respond if they found a gun.

He said: "This is a very small case with a very big principle.

"You could be walking to a railway station on the way to work and find a firearm in a bin in the park.

"Is it unreasonable to take it to the police station?"
And the pricks decided that it was unreasonable for an ex-soldier, someone we can assume has experience in handling guns safely, to remove it from where anyone could pick it up and take it to the nick himself. Well done, you cock sockets, well done. Perhaps none of you have heard of jury nullification, in which case it's disappointing that no-one thought to mention that the jury has the power to say fuck strict liability, we know the difference between right and wrong and what this man did was not wrong. It's equally disappointing that it apparently occurred to nobody on the jury without having it spelled out for them, or if it did that person was ignored or caved in. The problem is that while juries can clearly be dumb or spineless enough to go with the law as written no matter how unjust and/or badly drafted it may be the alternative is letting judges become juries as well. It's something about which I've got a post gently stewing in the back of my head but I feel that there's far too much judicial activism going on in British courts already and losing juries would be a huge step in the wrong direction. Besides, as the Ambush Predator has mentioned the other day, they do sometimes take the side of justice rather than mere law. Surely all the scandal about MPs' expenses and the pitiful excuses that everyone's claims had been within the rules was enough to teach the country that blind obedience to rules doesn't necessarily make for a system that's just of fair, and if not the minority who are bright enough can look forward to another five years of the same thanks to the apathetic cunts who weren't paying attention. Meanwhile poor Paul Clarke must be wishing he'd got lucky and had a jury that thought as much about right and wrong as it did about legal and illegal. He might get lucky on appeal but he'll never get the intervening time back.

Edited to add: And there's this courtesy of Shibby. What are we to say when 'fucking hell' is no longer adequate?

H/T Dick Puddlecote and JuliaM.

*Fuck, showing me age a bit there.

Friday, 13 November 2009

The Mash...

... also the source of some of the world's best column fillers.

Glasgow North East

Is it just me or does the guy who won the by election look a lot like Mister Saxon out of Doctor Who? I'm sure the similarity ends there unless Laborg have broken the habit of mostly using tame, drone like lobby fodder (just like the Conservatives). On the plus side surely he can't possibly be as much of a tool as the fuckwit he's replaced.

Job ops for wankers.

Safe seat needed for Harriet Harperson's husband. Apparently the one in front of the TV and near the box of Kleenex wasn't as safe as he'd thought. Or should we expect even more marrieds and shacked ups in Parliament now? I mean if you can't get away with calling your sister's spare bedroom a fucking second home anymore then you'd more than make up what you've lost by getting your shaft shuffling, bishop bashing, chook choking, monkey spanking husband in Parliament and putting in expense claims of his own.

Shites, the pair of 'em.

EDIT: Duh. Wrong wanker. I was thinking of Mr Jerkie Jacqui Smith

Light blogging.

Jesus, so much to say and so little time this last week or so. Maybe this weekend I can get around to finishing the post I started last weekend, but a soggy October has now gone and summer feels like it's here so there's a fair chance I'll just think fuck it and enjoy the sunshine.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Pocket full of posies.

Recently I've seen quite a bit of an ad for free swine 'flu vaccinations, which the beloved ǝʇɐʇs ʎuuɐu has stockpiled enough doses of to do the whole country.

Aside from the fact that I wasn't going to bother getting one I really hadn't thought much of it until I saw this.

song chart memes

Yeah, that'd be about right.

Blowing stuff up before Al Qaeda and Mythbusters ever thought of it.

The UK is preparing to celebrate an evening of great British terrorism by burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, the country’s most famous terrorist, on bonfires the length and breadth of the country.

As the world cringes from the threat of global terror organisations, the UK will enjoy a night spent extolling the virtues of Guy Fawkes, the man who invented the very genre of domestic terrorism.

“Al Qaeda think they invented blowing stuff up?” said one bonfire party planner.

“Not a chance. We Brits were planning world-class explosions four hundred years ago while they were still living in caves, well, worse caves.”

“Even now they haven’t found a good way of doing it without blowing themselves up at the same time, the bloody amateurs.”


Historians have pointed out that one of the main benefits of this evening is the fact that everyone will once again realise just what a truly excellent idea blowing up Parliament with everyone inside, actually is.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Comparing apples and oranges?

No. This is way beyond apples and oranges and more like comparing apples and something like steel girders.
David Wilshire, the disgraced Conservative MP, has compared the treatment of politicians over their expense claims to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Wilshire has just moved beyond my ability to swear. How can I? What abusive names could possibly suit someone who feels that there is any comparison whatsoever between 6 million innocent Jews being murdered and 646 politicians being put under the microscope because a significant number have been caught feathering their nests at the expense of taxpayers?
Mr Wilshire, who was forced to resign after paying more than £100,000 in expenses to his own company, said the “witch hunt” against MPs “will undermine democracy”.
“Branding a whole group of people as undesirables led to Hitler’s gas chambers,” he added.
Oh really? Remind us, Wilshire, how many MPs have recently been murdered for no reason other than their occupation? That would be as many as..... er..... none, right? How many have been subject to medical experimentation against their will? Oh, fucking hell, that'd be none again. How many have been enslaved and sent to labour camps? Again, none whatsoever.

Let's also have a reminder exactly why Wilshire and other disgraced MPs are in the situation they are in: they were dishonest and venal and abusing their expenses to line their own pockets. In Wilshire's case expenses were paid to his own company and this lead to his being forced to stand down as an MP. Did taxpayers make you do that, Dave? Did your constituents in Spelthorne force you? Did anyone coerce you in any way? Again, the answer is no. You chose to set up that company. You chose to put expenses through it. You, David Wilshire, you and no one else. If you genuinely think that bears the remotest resemblance to the genocide of the 1940s you're either a bigger fool or an even more loathsome and repulsive, self-excusing, hypocritical, venal waste of oxygen than you first appear. Or possibly both. Personally I can't even imagine looking my Jewish neighbours in the face and telling them that a British MP thinks he and his kind losing their coveted positions of power and privilege is anything like the Shoah, much less being the bastard and putting it in writing to all constituents - oh, and to add injury to insult using taxpayer funded mail for it too.

Can any British politician sink lower than this? It'll take some doing but sadly I'm sure someone will have a go.
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