This is the coolest thing I have ever heard. The legendary Chas 'n Dave are to be heard on Eminem's breakthrough hit, My Name Is.
They are playing session on Libi Siffre's 1975 hit, Remeber my Song, which is sampled as the refrain in the Eminem track.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Monday, 29 January 2007
Because Gay rights seems so totemic to society at the moment - as defining of your politics as your pro-or-anti-war stance, I feel the need to weigh in. I'm a libertarian. My view is this: The state is the worst possible parent, and almost any family is better than what is laughably called "care" of Local authorities. Therefore, suitable Gay couples should be allowed, nay encouraged to adopt, as should all other couples.
Adoption agencies will use their experience to vet those couples to ensure suitablility for so great a responsibility according to their own criteria. That is their job. In the case of religious organisations, these criteria are, in part based on the droolings of two-thousand year old paranoid schitzophrenics. For some reason, society still finds this acceptable.
Because the Governemnt is legislating where it's not wanted - personal concience - there is a conflict. Catholic agencies want to refuse to allow homosexuals to adopt because God doesn't like Gays if they act on their inclinations and stick their willies in another man's bum. Such agencies should be allowed to do so, so long as they are not the monopoly provider of kiddies.
So if you're a Gay couple wanting a sprog, don't go to the Catholic church, because they've been pretty consistent on your sexual orientation for centuries. They'll tell you to bugger off. Instead go to the local authority who'll be delighted to see you. It's called compromise. The Catholic church no longer demands that everyone obey Rome. Gay rights activists should stop creating problems by demanding those who disagree be banned, and the Government should stop bloody legislating.
There... is everyone happy?
Friday, 26 January 2007
If "evil only happens when good men stand idle" and "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" are we to get involved or sit on our arses watching TV?
Hell does not merely require great evil. Even the worst serial killer can only top so many people. Real evil requires that hundreds or thousands of people do their jobs to the best of their ability. And only a state can so misdirect the energies of a population. Thousands of otherwise decent Germans made the trains run on time, and turned a blind eye to the horror in their midst. Thousands of Cambodians were so wooed by the rhetoric of communism that they murdered their countrymen in their tens of thousands. Russians co-operated with the state terror of Stalin's personality cult and sent counless millions to their deaths in the labour camps.
They did so because it was easier to do so. People are weak. Whole nations aren't good, or evil for that matter, despite what we Britons, Americans or Europeans think
"It could never happen here".It could. What was the French Revolution but people who believed "the end justifies the means" getting hold of a state which had inadequate checks and balances? Hitler was elected democratically.
Freedom not to be arbitrarily murdered by one's own government is about as fundamental as rights get. The important thing is not to give governments the chance to enact that which is wrong. Politicians, and the police, should be reminded at all times that the end DOES NOT justify the means, because crime and terrorism are bad, but the state can be much, much much worse.
Now I do not like Gordon Brown. I do not like Blair. Nor do I like their policies, but I am reasonable (despite my rhetoric), and I know that Gordon and Tony do what they do because they believe that their policies will make The UK a better place to live. I think they're wrong - but we are all human and just doing our best. Which is all we can ask any man.
So when it's a bit too much taxation - it's just a budget that can be overturned by the next lot, I and I intend to do what I can to see this happen. But when it's the fundamental relationship between British subject and Parliament. Between the People and the Government, then I do not brook any compromise. The Legislative & Regulatory reform bill had the potential, before its ammendment, to be an enabling law. I wrote to my MP and to David Cameron. I screamed about it on my blog. And thankfully it was changed (I'm not claiming credit). There are other issues: ID cards enable a government to track its citizens. Road pricing may enable the police to know where your vehicle is at any time. The constant Gerrymandering of the Lords means bills are inadequately scrutinized. Thought crime: laws punishing ideas - however odious - are always wrong. Because these are the laws that an ideologue will use to enforce a set of political ideas on everyone. Why not let the people make up their own mind?
Gordon Brown is not an ideologue. He is a power-hungry shit, he's dishonest, but he doesn't want to enslave us. Many of the policies he espouses however may enable a future ideologue to do so. Even an excessively intrusive bureaucracy is oppressive. If the state takes too much of peoples' wealth then the state directly controls the working life of too much of the population. If they know too much about us, they can use that information nefariously. A population largely employed by the state will demand higher wages for state employees and the unions will see to it that no-one is ever fired. The state salariat grows inorexably making more and more demands on the non-state bit - who are taxed and regulated to death. The end is economic collapse and communism. This was narrowly avoided in the UK in the 1970s. In an even worse case scenario - that bureaucracy could be mis-used. How many people are willing to risk their job on a point of marginal principle? How many need to to effectively check a government? That's why German civil servants processed the Jews.
Unfortunately, being a small cog in a great wheel does absolve you.
So while Aneurin Bevan may have been well-meaning, he paved the way, exactly as predicted by Hayek, to disaster narrowly averted. Just as Gordon Brown is doing now.
Which brings me back to my original question. What is a man to do? Above all remember that only governments can do real evil, and evil is best served by appealing to peoples' altruism.Your own best interest is therefore unambiguously good. Think about that when you vote. And when a politician tells you that you're safe, he's the one who has the most power to abuse you and everyone you know. So the good man is to be ever watchful of the state, because they will take your freedom - for your own protection. More often than not, it's the state we need protection from.
And if you dissaprove of something another person does, that's your problem, not his. Remember that too.
Thursday, 25 January 2007
"The "full English" refers not to our technological, cultural or military achievements. No: we live in a country where the 'full us' proudly refers to the first meal of the day. And yet here, in that country's capital, there seem to be (far) more bad breakfast opportunities than good ones: Cafe Euro Med in Kentish Town, the Bishop in East Dulwich and Mac Bar in Camden, to name but a few recent crying failures.It's the London review of Breakfasts.
And so we bring you a new champion: the London Review of Breakfasts. Because we've had enoeuf."
And here's my favourite
Women only nights at the municipal pool?
Do I not pay my council tax? Do I not pay my Gym membership fee? Do I not want to swim?
Frankly if women want equality, they'd better stop demonstrating such abject weakness. I want to swim and I can't because some fat, whinging bitch thinks I'm going to rape her (or something) if I see her in a swimsuit. The cows who demand this "women only" evening can fuck off. If you're too repulsive to excersise in front of a man, you're safe, OK?
What about my right to swim in a "fast lane" with people who aren't drowning? I wouldn't mind getting the vegetables out of my way one night a week. I object to swimming round fat, lazy women, who think that doggy-paddle to keep your hair dry whilst having a conversation about Maude-next-door's haemeroids is excersise sufficient to prevent them getting harpooned by the nearest Japanese whaler. Well I've got news for you, love. It isn't. Now fuck off out my way. Can I have a "fit people only" night please so I can get some serious swimming done?
No I can't because that would be ridiculous. The fact is I am asked to tolerate the duty drowners in my way. (I would like the pool to enforce lane discipline though). Everyone should have the right to use municipal facilities and shouldn't be prevented on the grounds of sex, race, weight or ability.
I probably shouldn't be as indignant about this as I am, but there you go.
But once you start giving special dispensation to women, shy about their weight, you're on the way to sharia courts and burning catholics as every special interest group demands it's segregated service. I thought we'd left that nonsense behind in a little phase called the enlightenment. If a service is partially public funded, there should be no discrimination. Even against healthy white men.
Here's an intelligent article on race by Julian Baggini in the Guardian. He concludes that people who use words perceived to be racist aren't necessarily racist: People just use them as a descriptor. He cites use of the words Paki and Goreh, by members of the White and Asian populations in south Yorkshire to mean "the other". "Paki" in particular makes a liberal metropolitan wince, but it doesn't indicate hatred. Insensitivity and ignorance is not racism. People don't mix. We all like to live with people like us, and this isn't racist.
"Britain is a country where people of all races can get along, not because we're all such a culturally promiscuous bunch that we don't care whether our local butcher sells Cumberland sausages or halal chicken legs, but because we don't mind what others do, as long as they don't bother us with it."The demand of the Liberal establishment - the much hated "PC brigade" - for the white working class to open up towards other cultures is seen by many as a
"flagrant double standard .... Insisting that minority culture open up more to the majority one is seen as intolerant bullying; to insist that the majority cultures open up more to minority ones is seen as enlightened and liberal. The truth is that human nature is not that different, and that the desire to embrace the other is equally weak in most cultures, minority or majority."Within this, there are people, Racists on one side, Islamic Fundamentalists on the other who let their hatred of "the other" boil over into violence, but the vast majority may disapprove of the views and way of life desired and practiced by other communities, but not let this spill over into peoples' personal relationships, and are happy to engage politely with people of a different world-view. Baggini shares with me a strong atheism, yet we tolerate all manner of religions about us all day. It's called tolerance, and it's fundamentally British.
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
- Both my shoulders have been dislocated and I haven't done a press-up in a year as a consequence. This is my excuse for C-cup man-boobs.
- I'm not prejudiced against Gay people or any other minority. A lot of people assume that I am, but I am not. My prejudices are BMW drivers and anyone who uses the word "Workshop" and is not involved in light engineering.
- I have never seen The Sound of Music. I have no particular desire to do so. I suspect I would be rooting for the Nazis over people who burst into song so wholesomly for no reason.
- I have a lot of shoes (for a man). My favourite is a pair of Cowboy boots which I've lovingly maintained for 14 years, nearly half my life.
- I'm 6'3" and 15 stone. I play rugby. I drink like a girl, and stick my pinkie out when I do.
- One man's wierd is another man's fun. I'll throw number six to the comments... anyone out there who knows me and wants to suggest any wierdnesses that might look good? (Don't identify anyone else, me or incriminate me - please)
There is a tendency on the left to dismiss the city as "a casino". Their willful ignorance of all things economic gives them carte blanche to legislate in a kleptocratic way agianst business. To regulate companies to death in order to "protect" "the workers", and to tax the economy to penury, blaming "the fat-cats' salaries" when it all goes wrong.
Yesterday, the pound breached the $1.99 level, not seen (ERM debacle aside) since the early '80s. Why? And why does this matter? Well interest rates in the UK are on the up and it is likely that the US hiking cycle has peaked or nearly so. Speculators want to get the best return on their money. At present they're enjoying higher interest payments and an appreciating currency. While British tourists make hay in Macy's, British exporters are suffering.
And this overly strong Pound is, on balance a bad thing. And why is this happening - well we can put it at the door of our friend, The Chancellor, arch dick-head that he is, Gordon Brown. Now CPI is a bad masure of inflation, as I've blogged before. And as I predicted back in August, the effects are beginning to bite. Whilst the economy may be growing - and I feel violence in my heart when the presbyterian bastard crows about it - peoples' disposable income is shrinking. and for the same reason that the Pound is going up.
Whats the fucking good, Gordon, of earning £25,000 if you have to spend £17,750 merely surviving? Your measure should be disposable income after tax, a measure which your policies have seen shrink. You've increased the size of the state, decreased public sector productivity, increased taxation and regulation on business to strangulation levels and as a reuslt private sector employment is not growing. You sold Gold at the bottom and bought Euros at the top. You've increased the tax burden through a boom, when it should have been shrinking. You've endebted this country when we should be posting surplusses. You've raided the pension funds, turning the most solvent pension industries in the world into a basket-case and directly causing the closing of most good final salary schemes. Your tax-credit policy is a mess, and a personal disaster for those unfortunates who get on the wrong side of it. Despite the rapacious taxation, you can't release the funds to properly equip the Armed Forces that your Government so constantly puts in harms way. You're a cunt, Gordan and I hate you.
Your policies have made Britons poorer and you've pulled a con-trick to make them think you've done well. If that was my record, I'd be hanging my head in shame. Why aren't you hanging your head in shame you meally-mouthed presbyterian fucker? You must know that the crunch is coming and it's going to be bad and that's your fault. Why don't you fuck off back to kirkaldy and fuck that economy up (oh hang on, cunts like you have been running Scotland so long that there's no private enterprise left for you to rape).
I hope you lose, humiliatingly at the next election with a camera trained on your face so I can see every flicker of pain in your eyes. Then I want you to die, alone and unlamented in agonizing pain, you utter, utter bastard.
Gordon Brown, Financial Genius Part I
Tuesday, 23 January 2007
There's a gaping French Revolution-sized hole in my knowlege of the history of Europe. There was the Bastille 1789, but the King's head didn't hit the floor until years later. How did The declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen become Robspierre and co and then Napeoleon? I'm only dimly aware.
Can anyone recommend me a good history?
Monday, 22 January 2007
I have just discovered "the lighthouse" and I enjoyed this post which deals with how tolerance of all opinion renders debate meaningless. With all opinions equally valid, ad hominem attacks become acceptable - indeed the only permissable form of debate.
the modern definition of tolerance turns the classical meaning on its head: egalitarianism about ideas and elitism in relation to persons: the ideas have become sacrosanct, the person is fair game. The Passive-Aggressive Tolerance Trick supposes that every one's view has equal merit. No-body's ideas are ever wrong and to say so, is considered the height of disrespect and ... intolerance.I concurr. Witness what happened to Jade Goody - was she racist, or merely demonstrating class envy? what were her opinions? Doesn't matter... call her names! RACIST! I have a friend, a most revolting example of socialist vermin who would be first against the wall come the counter-revolution (he thinks I'm arrogant, goose-stepping, capitalist, thatcherite filth with the blood of the proletariat on my hands). We agree on three things - a love of cricket, the importance of good food and the fun that can be had with vigorous and well informed political debate with a worthy adversary. Our debate never descends to the personal (well it does, all the time but only for comic effect)
But Chavs have been brought up to mouth the ridiculous idea that "no-one's got the right to tell me what to do" in their slack-jawed way, so they never experience checks on their behaviour till it's too late, and the full coercive power of the state makes itself felt. Up until that point, the passive-aggressive cult of victimhood justifies all their actions, however self-destructive. Authority then descends to brute violence and society suffers. Just look at your nearest sink estate for evidence. That's why we need discipline in schools, because some people do have the right to tell one what to do, even when you're 18. If you're wise, you never stop learning.
Friday, 19 January 2007
That nearly had my flatmate and I coming to blows yesterday, and carrying an idea from the new Rocky movie.
Who would win?
Cassius Clay, as he was in 1964 when he fought Sonny Liston and destroyed the Champion despite the alleged use of chemicals to blind the contender... (the photo is from their second bout in 1965)
Mike Tyson as he was when he destroyed Michael Spinks, who had never previously been knocked down in a professional bout. Before the women, the improsonment and the death of Cus D'Amato took their toll...
I reckon Tyson. Raw power, agression and surprising technique a solid chin and above all speed would do for the dancing Ali, who I doulbt would be able to keep out of range the way he did for Liston and Frazier. Your thoughts please......
Yesterday I had a phone-call from a Friend, a veteran of Northern Ireland, who pointed out to me my warped priorities, which are shared by the mainstream media. Yesterday I led with CBB Racism row yet this tale of heart-stopping courage from some of our boys in Afghanistan went largely unreported. I do not remember the BBC covering this on either Today or PM (though I rarely listen to both in full), and it certainly wasn't prominent on the hourly bulletins. From Yesterday's telegraph:
Royal Marines in Afghanistan flew back into the line of fire, some of them having to cling to the outside of their helicopters, in an attempt to rescue a comrade who disappeared during an assault on a Taliban strongholdThere is no room for passengers in an Apache.
Unfortunately they were unable to rescue their comrade and were only able to recover his body. Our thoughts must be with LCpl Ford's family friends and comrades. How heartless of our country to ignore his sacrifice and focus on the doings of some weak, stupid, vain people as they strive for success measured in entirely narcissistic terms. Well I for one thank the forces for their efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Kosovo, and in 74 other countries world wide.
This assault is part of a new strategy in Afghanistan. To use our air-mobility to pop up and kill senior Taliban, without leaving our forces vulnerable to ambush and especially roadside bombs. Were I the Taliban leadership, the thought that the Royal Marine Commandos, and the British Army (who invented modern irregular warfare) were running around trying to kill me without presenting an easy target, I would be very afraid.
It makes sense, to neutralise the enemies strength - the flexibility as an insurgent - against him, whilst using our advantages - training, mobility, firepower, air support and concentration of effort - to good effect. In short, to beat him at his own game. If we can keep the support of the majority of Afghans, we'll win.
Good luck boys and girls.
Thursday, 18 January 2007
I've just been rude to a highly educated Indian. (He was trying to sell me telecoms). Does that make me racist?
Or would I have been equally rude to a geordie doing the same? (Yes, for those of you for whom this question isn't rhetorical)
To put this issue another way, Jade Goody is a revolting chav. She and her mermidons (none of whom look half as good without make-up as the divine Shilpa - miss England my Arse) were rude to a bollywood princess. Were Jade to be rude to me, I would take it as a compliment. Jade and her ilk do not like educated people, and lack the knowlege to interact with people from different cultures. This isn't racism - ignorance yes. It reflects badly on Jade and her appalling mother and on the UK's education system. It is inverse snobbery that creatures like Jade use to mask their fear of people they know to be far superior in every respect.
Let's leave the hysteria, please. Let's not feel sorry for either. Jade's been found out and Shilpa's still lovely. Both are doin' alright and the nonsense isn't hurting either's bankability...
And I do feel guilty about being rude, but hey! It comes with the job. I DON'T NEED ANY MORE TELECOMS.
Dirk to win.
UPDATE: Call me "Dave" Cameron speaks more sense. With other politicians falling over themselves to condemn racism, he asked people to "Take responsibility" and appeal to the "Great regulator, the off button".
I have absolutely nothing to add to Mathew Sinclair's frankly superb post on Mao's legacy and the tendency of the left to apologise for the mass murder of civilians. He concludes:
"I continue to be amazed by the extent to which left wing academics are willing to attempt the most incredible intellectual acrobatics to cover for the Chinese Communist party's enormous abuse of its own people. Hutton defends Mao, Stiglitz eulogises the modern leadership. Instead of advocating that China continue to grope towards liberal democracy Hutton should note that the best solution, at every stage of the twentieth and now twenty-first centuries was, and is, to open its eyes, look at the success stories all around it and learn some lessons."
Go read it here.
It took nearly 5 months to get a BT phone line. It took another 5 weeks to get broadband. I got TV yesterday (I have paid my licence, you thieving bastards).
Today is Broadband day, 159 days after I moved in and requested that BT put an ADSL line in. 159 days. I live in hope rather than expectation that it actually works when I get home....
Without a phone line, you can't get sky. When I was finally able to order the service (NTL was also wired into the development, only for the occupiers to discover that NTL didn't offer a service in our area, we aren't allowed to put a normal aerial on the roof and there's no normal digital signal so sky is the only option) the Sky engineer couldn't get a signal. We discovered that although the communal system had been installed on the building correctly, the front of the junction box in the flat had been merely screwed on rather than actually connected. Furthermore the old style was used, meaning no sky+ without an additional dish. The rooms had been daisy-chained, so no sky multiroom, indicating total lack of thought from the electricians who did the wiring. Just as the plumbers didn't put points for a dishwasher in the kitchen or plumbing for a shower in the second bathroom - just who did they think they were building for?
So today my flat joins the 21st century. TV phone and internet. Hooray! It would be nice if the Great British workman would too. (Give me a polish worker any day). I shan't even ask that BT join us, they're beyond hope, and should be boiled down for soap which is about the only use those fuck-wits can be to humanity.
Tuesday, 16 January 2007
Monday, 15 January 2007
Capital Gains Tax is ludicrously complicated. And the Reason? You guessed it. Our fucking chancellor added a totally unessesary layer of complication when he introduced taper relief in 1998. It didn't raise much money (in fact it was actually rather generous), it just meant that for all those privatized utilities, there are two sets of calculations, three if there are business assets involved (and you try getting HM R&C to tell you what's a business asset and what isn't). Scrip dividends? - you must be joking, right? You cannot be sure you've got everything right - and you never know when the tax-man will come knocking....
I really, Really, REALLY hate Gordon Brown.
Any moderately intelligent human being can see that the Stern report is scholck. We do not have 15 years to save the world. We may have to adapt to global warming, if it continues, but it ain't going to kill us. Transport, which seems to bear the brunt of opprobrium, generates just 15% of Carbon dioxide. Naturally electricity generation cannot be hit, as you cannot expect people to go without central heating, or a cup of tea or TV or the light in their home - so politicos rail against "Chelsea tractors".
It's class war dressed in some sanctimonious "save the world" drivel.
This morning Marks & Spencer announced that they would become Carbon Neutral by 2012. Now they can do most of this by energy efficiencies, according to CEO Stuart Rose. This is good business. Cut fuel costs and give customers a reason to feel good about shopping there. This may be worth the extra cost of buying renewable energy for most of the remainder and buying offsets for what they can't.
My problem is not Stuart Rose making the sensible decision to pay a little to make a lot. I certainly don't have a problem with M&S reducing packaging, another promise this morning - indeed I feel this is an environmental problem that really need tackling and M&S is the worst of the UK supermarkets for unnecessary plastic around potatoes.
No. My problem is that he is forced to say "Stern Scared me". He is forced to subscribe to an environmental agenda which is anti-business. Anti- progress and plain wrong. M&S can be carbon neutral easily. What about poor old British manufacturing?
What about tourism? Are we to return to the days when only the rich can afford their two weeks in the sun? Cheap flights are not environmental disasters. Indeed RyanAir pack in the punters like cattle and are much, much more efficient than BA Scheduled which is often half empty. Which is more Carbon Efficient?
What about cars? Even a modern Chelsea tractor is more efficient than a moderate saloon of 30 years ago, and it doesn't pump out particulates - another problem solved in the west, still killing people in Mumbai.
The political climate of Environmental correctness puts unnecessary costs on business for at best marginal environmental gain. It makes real problems, like deforestation in the third world and the collapse of fish stocks to become marginalised next to a socialist switch-fire of carbon efficiency. The whole environmental movement barely cares about the planet - those that genuinely do are off campaigning to stop genuine environmental problems. But the political bit is more about harassing business, trying to hurt the rich and in doing so hurt the poor - all over the world. It's Marxism, class war and self-loathing.
The Now Famous "we must get rid of the Medieval warm period" e-mail demonstrates that many in the environmental movement know that late 20th century temperatures are neither anomalous, nor necessarily entirely man-made. Are you telling me that solar activity - which varies demonstrably - has no impact on climate? If so, you're an ignorant cunt. Even a tub-thumper for the greenhouse effect who knows what he's talking about puts at least half of recent rises down to the sun.
Now, I've no doubt that CO2 and Methane add to global warming. I've no doubt that the world is getting a bit warmer. What I do doubt is that this is entirely a bad thing, that the climate is getting measurably more violent (it's just getting more measurable) and certainly doubt therefore that I need to pay more for my food and petrol as a result of climate change. Even if I did accept that I need to pay more, I don't want it to go to the Government so that the fucking bastards can buy another labour voter (I mean "vital public servant"). That's what it boils down to. If you accept the fear-mongering of Stern, you accept that the government can take more of your money. Who has the direct cost-benefit of that? Are they impartial? No! Is Stern statist propaganda? You bet your hat! Are the media jumping on this hysteria to sell papers? Do wild bears shit in the woods?
Because hysteria is what it is. In the 17th century it was witches. (Burn them) Now it is SUV drivers (Burn them, but only if you offset the carbon and use a biodegradable accelerant). Intelligent people are falling for it, but it is bad science, unproven and overextrapolated. Certainly not strong enough evidence to fuck the world's economy over.
It is science and technology, enabled by booming economies that will give us the resources to tackle climate change and other environmental problems. But Just like the London smog, let's be sure that there is a problem to be solved before we prescribe the dangerous medicine of state and international action. Then Just like CFCs - the problem is solved and quickly. The Ozone layer is expected to recover fully by 2050. We can solve problems when they arise... We're good at it too!
Efficiency is good. Renewable energy is good. Reduced packaging is good. Limiting people's freedom to travel is bad. Taxing the economy through regressive "Green" taxation is bad. Don't let your government get away with it.
Calle Me "Dave" Cameron has just secured my vote. Writing in the Telegraph:
"It is why we are pledged to share the proceeds of economic growth between public services and lower taxes, thereby ensuring that over time the state takes a smaller share of national wealth."If that is not a commitment to lower taxes, I don't know what is. Everything else a government or opposition promises is utter hokum and can be ignored. Everything governement does is incompetent so the only thing sensible is to make sure it does less. So those of you tempted by UKIP, just think about what you are doing - helping Gordon Brown to financially arse fuck me some more. You UKIP lot are an accessory to rape. Useful idiots helping our Cyclopean chancellor in his quest for total dominance.
Friday, 12 January 2007
And I found this magnificently offensive offering from Barold Blunderbus over at the tampon teabag.
some NuLab Ltd harpy has put her child into private school because it's a retard - sorry, apologies to the PC-police - because it is "special needs". This coming on top the fact that Gordie Broon and Dave Cameron both have spastic sprogs - who the hell am I supposed to vote for if I don't want a PM with a crip kid? Bloody Ming? Oh a real man that one, a true Olympian, back when he was alive anywayI must confess that I enjoyed it immensely. Go read.
Also on the site: take the Left or right Wing test.
Adam Lent, head of economics at the Trades Union Congress, said the decision "smacks of panic".Head of Economics at the TUC? A post about as relevant as Lead Ballerina in The Parachute Regiment...
Thursday, 11 January 2007
Well Hugo, I suspect your question is rhetorical, but I'll answer anyway.
"Neither thanks, if it's OK by you"
I've been Watching the foolish populist for a while. In fact he was the subject of one of my first posts when I was still adhering to "The Economist" style guide.
Can anyone explain to me why state expropriation of private property, closing down hostile media outlets and the passing of an "enabling law" (1933 anyone?) as I was predicting a couple of years ago, should be greeted with cheers from not just the lunatic fringe but the supposedly reasonable left too? Is the international left now openly admitting the Reganite doctrine that "he's a son-of-a-bitch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch"? Is anti-americanism the only measure of morality that pinkos accept? Does anyone else feel slightly queasy at the thought of "Socialism or death"? Certainly not the Libertarian blogosphere's favourite socialist, Cllr Kelly, who's prepared to give anyone credit for adherence to Marx and opposition to the shrub - even the mass-murdering Castro. "Fresh Cigar Commandante"
Does this mean that anyone who opposes GWB is alright, even though they're walking down a well-trodden road that historicaly has always had mass murder bordering on genocide at the end of it?
The Venezualan people will rue the day they gave a JCR sub marxist the levers of power. One Man, One Vote, Once... (OK, three times). But my bet is on the usual result of a marxist takeover: Massive refugee crisis and a 10% depopulation of the country. I really don't want to be right on this one.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007
Amongst my plethora of severe character defects, lurks a harmless one. I'm a military spotter. Not as bad as Travelgall, who can tell the difference between a AK47 and an AK74 at a glace and knows that the T55 has the fume extractor at the end of the barrel, not 1/3rd of the way down or absent like the T54. I do, however get pissed off when IFVs and self-propelled guns and Reconnaisance vehicles are labelled "Tanks" by the media and this
picture of an AC 130 Gunship and other similar pictures of aircraft releasing flares as a defensive responce to a missile threat is labelled as "bombing", because it looks spectacular. Especially as it means that there is a signifcant threat to the aircraft in question, and probably means therefore that the bombing is justified.
Tuesday, 9 January 2007
The tone of this documentary was obvious from the trailer's leader line. Dispatches is Channel Four's prime time slot for undercover journalism, and has gained a reputation over the years for hard-hitting, revelatory reportage. Viewers watch in the expectation of finding out the truth behind the headlines, especially if uncomfortable for the authorities. The series has been publicly lauded and rewarded at awards ceremonies as a result. Langan’s film was no exception and, recalling the opening assurances of official disapproval, concluded with the not unexpected claim that we "may have won the battle but seem to be losing the war."
Much more surprising than these rhetorical flourishes was what lay between them: the content of the film itself. True, we saw a big battle as the Afghan National Police and Army, supervised by the British, fought Taliban militia in Southern Helmand. Resistance was heavy; the fighting lasted several days rather than the projected one. There were some casualties (one British and several Afghan) and pressure on helicopters slowed down evacuation of the wounded. But ultimately, all objectives were reached, the Taliban were defeated and morale remained high. Above all, the relationship between the British and Afghan contingents appeared to be excellent.
Langan's sweeping, negative conclusion on the conduct of the campaign seemed incongruous to anyone informed about warfare. Especially since, after all, he appeared to fit into this category: he knew the names of armaments, understood the troops' tactical techniques, got on well with them personally. It was also incongruous that after engaging in typical, self-effacing Tommy humour with the troops (they obviously trusted him), he would turn to the camera and surreptitiously explain how badly it was all going. All that made this claim plausible, in fact, were his insidious techniques of denying the audience any realistic context, and sagely highlighting every perceived setback (the Taliban actually fighting rather than simply running away, for example.) The impressive co-operation between British and Afghan was filmed but not highlighted, despite the infancy of these latter forces (which only began to be formed following the ousting of the Taliban in 2001) and obvious cultural barriers. Great efforts were made to film the agony of freshly wounded soldiers, thus creating a negative impression without any consideration of what, in military terms, an acceptable casualty rate might be. There was no strategic consideration at all, no honest assessment of whether the engagement represented success or failure. Even if we join the soldiers themselves in sharing the disappointment that the top brass decided to abandon the area just after its capture, no attempt was made to consider how typical or exceptional this decision was in the context of the broader campaign.
There was, in brief, a streak of bad faith running through the whole documentary. The conclusion was too aphoristic, too convenient, too self-consciously poignant. The evidence and accompanying commentary smacked, in fact, of a post hoc justification: tailoring the evidence to fit the conclusion. What emerged was not the failure of the UK's involvement in Afghanistan but the limitations of the prime-time investigative documentary as a form. Like many other works of the genre, Langan’s film was grossly presumptuous about the way truth should be imagined: as something stark, simple, morally monotone and (as the price of those qualities) cynically and systematically concealed by governmental/military/industrial cover-ups. That political truth has this form is both an expectation created by the genre and (as shown by the trailer) a prejudice it is committed to reinforcing. No contrary evidence is allowed to disturb the tranquil, left-wing conceit that dishonesty of this kind represents the principal mode of discourse between the establishment and its citizenry. And yet, had it been presented by a fair-minded judge, Langan's footage would have made the MOD's stoically optimistic claims of progress in Helmand seem far less like propaganda than he and others glibly assume.
These criticisms go beyond journalistic standards. The war in Afghanistan is a very serious affair. Recent years have not only shown how deeply events there can affect those beyond its frontiers, they have also given us insight into a people abandoned and ignored by others for far too long. It is entirely erroneous to imagine that Afghanistan's future can be secured by anything other than massive aid from the West, military as well as financial. By other accounts (not just those of the MOD), the British Army has achieved much in Helmand, albeit against an enemy far more determined than had been expected. Yet, after less than a year of fighting, one group of journalists has autonomously decided that we have as good as lost (the same group, presumably, who declared the Taliban unbeatable in 2001, predicted a wave of Islamist terrorism in the US if they were ousted, and assured us that the fledgling Afghan army would never get off the ground). His physical courage notwithstanding, Langan exemplifies intellectual cowardice in failing to confront the profound ambiguities of a situation which, for the foreseeable future, will not merit impatient, premature and morally simplistic judgements of the type which forms his stock-in-trade. By confirming their prejudices, he may, of course, win the approval (and patronage) of doom-mongers. But if taken seriously by others, such wilful, almost eager predictions of disaster risk undermining the public resolve in the West on which Afghanistan's future depends. This can hardly be considered public philanthropy of the type which investigative journalism is supposed both to embody and encourage.
This was written by Sallust - who will be getting an online persona soon, when he's left the dark ages (which is where he's been for the last half-decade)
I rate Nigel Farage. I like what he's arguing for - an independent UK, free to make its own laws. I like his low-tax, small government liberalism. I reject assertions that UKIP is a rasist party. No doubt it contains racists, but all parties do - even Respect. (you're allowed to hate Jews there). It is not like the BNP - a party of racists for racists.
So Why don't I vote for them?
Well I don't mind admitting that I am tempted. I hate the EU and all its works. In the long run, I think the whole project will colapse in on its own absurdity. In the mean time the damage it is doing is not as bad as some would have you believe. It ain't as bad as the old soviet empire for example. (I'm clutching at straws, I know).
But in reality - you have to face facts. A genuinely libertarian, small governemnt right-wing party espousing Thatcherite economics and coservative social policies just won't get elected. Its no good saying "principle above electoral sucess" - you just leave the field to the fucking pinkos, and where would that leave us?
I like the fact that UKIP is there on the right flank, keeping the Tories honest, preventing them becoming too europhile. UKIP acts as a pressure group bringing the worst of the EU (most of it I admit) to light. But why target safely Eurosceptic tories? surely that's counterproductive. Yes get Ken Clarke out, but why stand against John Redwood? surely he's demonstrated his hostility to the EU and its works on numerous occasions.
That Anti Toryism leads me to suspect that UKIP is little more than a vehicle for some pretty huge egos and will never be an electoral force in the UK, except as a marginal thorn in the side of the Conservative party. The Tories will form a government sooner or later. It will be more hostile to the EU, It will be a lower tax governement, It will be more liberal than Labour. That's what we do. It will not be everything Devils Kitchen or I wish for, and that's probabley a good thing. It will be much better than this fucking shower - and I wish to work to see it happen sooner rather than later and UKIP doesn't help at all. Infact they hinder it. A vote for UKIP in a general election is, I'm afraid a vote for Labour.
You may not like what David Cameron is doing. I don't but I accept that it is a nessesity. The British People have become used to a big state and they seem to like it (till it fucks everything up). Only in power can you persuade the people of the merits of the smaller state, and that is what the Tories must first achieve. Dave is the best route to that. "New Labour or Blue Labour?" I agree that the rhetoric's the same - let's wait for the policy and not just the environmental window-dressing. Crowing over defections form one party to another looks to the electorate like an unedifying family tiff, and doesn't help get the bastards out.
Gordon Brown is a genius. There I said it.
Can you believe what you are reading? No?
Is it for his masterful handling of the economy? His freeing of the Old lady of Threadneedle Street from the fetters of political interference? No. Certainly not. Gordon Brown is a genius because despite fucking the economy up, subtly, slowly and carefully he has got away with it. The public think that the cyclopean chancellor is some sort of fiscal titan with a Midas touch. I've been saying this for ages, but no-one listens. But then I'm not David Smith, chair of the Shadow MPC, with a better economic forecasting record than the treasury.
Gordon Brown isn't a financial version of Yoda "Strong with the ways of money is he. Yes". Hes a grasping socialist shit-bag who believes that any money which isn't spent by the state or given in 'benefits' is 'lost'. He has cranked up debt, borrowing and spending, and poured regulatory glue into the economy's works, to finance a client state of benefit recipients and worthless state apparatchiks. This weakens the public finances especially as he has done it during a phase of almost unprecedented global economic growth. What is more this growth has been steady and sustained - led by the US and China. The economic comfort has nothing NOTHING to do with the utter cunt who resides in No. 11.
When the crash comes, Gordon Brown will have made it worse. Business will not be able to cope with a slowdown in demand and Gordons new rules. There's no slack in the public finances. He's already raised tax to imprudent levels. We've endured the greatest rise in taxation in British peace time history, and both debt and borrowing are very high. What happens to public spending when the economy slows?
The answer, I'm afraid is whatever "it" is, it will probably happen on the Tories' watch and we'll get blamed.
So Gordon is not an economic Genius - hes fucked the economy right up, but a political genius. He doesn't care about the living standards of hard working families. He cares about keeping that group of evil, power-hungry, anti-British, socialist shits, the Labour party in power for as long as possible, so they can continue to take all our money and spend it to secure labour votes, to the detriment of all.
Gordon. Please move to Venezuela... you'd fit right in.
Monday, 8 January 2007
I've been tagged by the new blogger on the block, The Waendel Journal to share the seven best things I did this year Here goes in no particular order...
- I'm not in Gaol so I've clearly got away with it, which indicates that 2006 was a year of undetected crime and successful subterfuge.
- Bought a flat.
- Got a flatmate.
- Improved my chess
- Got a Girlfriend. (She's really lovely - far too nice in fact for this curmudgeonly bastard)
- Started linking erotica to this site.
- Resolved to swear more about the Labour "Government". It's very therapeutic.
For those of you to whom I haven't wished it, happy new year, unless of course you are a New Labour minister, in which case, may 2007 be a year of unfulfilled ambition, thwarted dreams, miserable failure and continuous amoebic dysentery.
If you are a minister* in a government, formed by a party which is vicerally, idealogically and consistently opposed to both private and selective education, and wishes to use the force of the state to enforce this prejudice on everyone except the super-rich, then don't send your kids to a private, selective school. It really is that simple.
If you do send your kids to a fee-paying school you'll be accused of hypocrisy no matter how often you say "my children are more important than politics", or how special their needs.
So this demonstrates that even those who have been in charge of implementing comprehensive education, vote where possible with their feet to selective alternatives not available to the majority of their constituents. Surely a more telling condemnation of the egalitarian principle in education cannnot be found! Even its fiecest supporters renege when they get rich enough! At least Ms. Abbott had the decency to admit that such hypocrisy is "indefensible".
Bring back streaming, selection, special schools and everything else the labour party hates. Fuck the teaching unions - they're a bunch of evil Trots who've had it their way with the nation's children for too long. Children do better being taught in groups of similar ability. That shouldn't be a controversial viewpoint.
This reason, EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION, is above all others, the reason I think this governement and the party that formed it, are a bunch of total cunting cunts, with no more right to life than an pathogenic intestinal Amoeba.
Update: John Redwood may look like a vulcan, but he talks sense. (hat tip to Ambuscading)
*yes, they managed to find someone less competent than John 'fat cunt' Prescott to take over his communities and local Governemnt Brief.
Thursday, 4 January 2007
This post was hopelessly optimistic. Betting on England at sport... Rarely a good investment. Well done Australia for their 5-0 whitewash (almost inevitable now). Perhaps we should bring Boycott, Athers and Alec Stewart out of retirement? None of our existing batsmen can put together an innings when under the cosh.
Before we all call Rod Eddington a cunt for giving the Government the green light to further screw the motorist, let's look at his proposals. Basically it boils down to getting the price right for road pricing - and sorting buses and trains out too. Don't read the whole thing, it's very boring and is written in governmentese, but it makes sense. However the devil's in the detail. How do you price road use?
I have a problem with a government agency knowing where my vehicle is at any time - the risk is that someone will have to explain his or her presence in any given location, if for example there is a crime in the area, you'll become a suspect unknowingly. The old canard about the law-abiding having nothing to fear doesn't apply - the Police care only about their stats and not a fig for justice. Never mind that such data will not be available to the police at first, pressure will mount for its use in major crimes.
This prejudices my support any system for road pricing, especially GPS-based ones, on libertarian grounds, but I could be persuaded with the right safeguards.
In principle, however, I'm in favour of road pricing, if it came with a cut in fuel and vehicle duty. (this, as well as its arbitrariness is why I'm against the congestion charge) It is necessary economically to value scarce resources lest they become overused and road space in London at 08:30 on a Monday is very scarce. So people should pay if they want to take their car into town. Even lower levels of Fuel duty will still offer incentives to offset the environmental impact which so exercises the guardianista. Raising road pricing and cutting Vehicle excise duty could actually cut bills for some motorists, who use their vehicles in more rural areas at off-peak times. This will also will also encourage goods vehicles to move at night, to the benefit of all. Basically if there's no congestion on your route, you shouldn't pay.
Combine the road pricing with a cuts in fuel duty and an abolition of VED, this should be revenue neutral. However this government will not let anything be revenue neutral, as they are broke. Therefore, if Gordon Brown is implementing it road-pricing will simply be used to screw the motorist out of even more money.
So if you want to implement Sir Rod's proposals, and have people pay for what they use, Kill Gordon first (preferably slowly and painfully, but a long-range head shot will do in extremis).
Tuesday, 2 January 2007
And a happy new year to you all.
Whilst I'm not totally overawed by Christmas (in my opinion, mentioning christmas before the 23rd of December should be a stoning offence, unless you are talking specifiacally about the Christian festival of Advent) there are some things that are great. Eating 'till you burst is a good thing, as is having too much wine and port. A week off work is fab especially when the markets are closed too. Arguing with the family provides much entertainment. Giving and recieving is wonderful.
And on boxing day, there's hunting (following a line this year - all within the law). I was out with the local foot pack, and I managed not to get volounteered as the hare. England still exists and is still beautiful. And for those of you who spent boxing day watching crap TV and stuffing bubble n' Squeak and Quality Street, instead of striding accross the country with mud on your boots, here's the finest view of it - a pack of Basset Hounds in full song...