Saturday, May 31, 2008

Food Summits.

The global food crisis, I call it a crisis but for most countries it is simply an inconvenience, is likely to resolve itself in the next couple of years as higher prices make it more economically viable for farmers in developing countries to invest in more efficient farming practices. In politics however the motto is "Something must be done, this is something let's do it!".

Politicians don't like admitting that there is bugger all that they can do and the problem will sort itself out without help from them. Hence the ever growing number of 'food summits' that have been called by the UK, South Africa, Latin America and of course the masters of pointless showboating the UN. As an aside I see that Israel is disgusted at the presence of Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmanotgonnabothertospellhisnameright, despite the fact that he is the only major leader willing to push for a very sudden drop in demand for food, kosher food in particular.

I'm just impressed that the UN didn't get Zimbabwe to host the conference. The general consensus of these meetings of the finest minds of our lifetime is that we should really produce more food if we don't want to have a shortage of food.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quote Of The Day.

Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail asks a very good question:

According to parliamentary expenses smuggled out under the radar last Friday, Tony Blair remortgaged his constituency home in Geordieland for £300,000 - twice what it was worth. He then claimed back the interest payments from the British taxpayer.

Someone please explain to me which bit of this isn't stealing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Diversity Thriving In Prisons.

Uh oh, there is a problem in one of our prisons:

A Prison Service report has expressed concern about problems with the high number of Muslim inmates at one of Britain's high-security jails.

A review of Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire found staff were fearful of doing the wrong thing, "shifting the power dynamic towards prisoners".

The prison service famously sacks officers for insensitivity if they fail to show respect for Osama Bin Laden so it isn't hard to guess why prison officers are unwilling to confront prison gangs who recruit among Muslims. Still at least they can't be accused of failing to act on the basis of the new report:

The report recommended an "intelligence assessment of the Muslim prisoner group of concern and their possible activities" and "more cultural awareness and diversity training".
The Prison Service said a "programme of work" was planned "to increase mutual understanding between staff and prisoners", including a "development day for staff on the Muslim faith".

So "diversity training" is the solution to prison officers being terrified of being insensitive towards ethnic minority inmates! It's like having petrol filled fire extinguishers.

Disagreeing With Moonbat Violates International Law.

George Moonbat claims that former American ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton should be arrested for breaking international law when he visits the Hay-on-Wye book festival. About 6- comments in one of the commentators asks:
"John Bolton was not an elected politician - his most senior position was 18 months (or so) as UN ambassador. What did he do there that was illegal ?".
Good question, because even if you accept that the invasion of Iraq was a war crime perpetrated by Chimp-McHitlerburton in order to steal oil then it is still hard to see what crime John Bolton has committed, he did not plan ot execute the invasion. All the specific examples of Bolton's perfidy that Monbiot gives come down to John Bolton having different opinions to George Monbiot. For instance he cites Bolton's negotiation of the end of an arms control treaty with Russia, the treaties themselves were never signed on the basis that the could never be repealed, but in the hands of the far left this is a violation of international law.

Laws are supposed to be an agreed set of rules and principles by which people can adjust their behaviour to stay legal, in the hands of the far left 'law' is a series of elephant traps by which political opponents can be ensnared and silenced for doing things that nobody was aware was illegal. These people seriously wonder why the United States doesn't sign up to the International Criminal Court.


In Richard Gott's latest article the former paid KGB stooge, writes:
Land devoted to growing cannabis, coca and poppies has grown five-fold since the 1960s, and the Farc found new support by offering its protection to rural workers on these plantations.
That's awfully good of FARC, protecting all those poor workers. It seems to be a stock euphemism of his, since in a previous article he wrote:
Land in Colombia devoted to growing cannabis, coca and poppies has grown fivefold since the 1960s, and the Farc has long provided protection to the rural workers on these plantations, as well as exacting tribute from the drug barons.
Using almost the exact same phrase to absurdly misrepresent a situation several months apart is very strange. Writers tend to express similar ideas in different ways in order to keep it fresh, the fact that Gott is repeating himself suggests to me that these are talking points he has agreed to propagate. It wouldn't surprise me if he is back on the payroll of a foreign government.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mr Courage Strikes Again

It's not everyday that there is a world leader inside Ten Downing Street so it was a shame to see that the Dalai Lama's meeting with Gordon 'Courage' Brown had to take place at Lambeth Palace, in order to assure the Chinese government that it wasn't a real meeting. As everyone predicted the Chinese aren't satisfied even after this minor appeasement and the Tibetans are equally unimpressed.

In other Brown related news I saw this headline today:
Brown: It's me ... or a suicide pact.
I'll get the rope.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Harriet Harman for PM!

Labour would get below 20% if she was in charge.

Xenu Be Praised.

Unsurprisingly there will be no charges against the 15 year old arrested for calling Scientology a cult. Then again as Ron Hubbard knew full well the purpose of legal harassment isn't to obtain a conviction or a judgment but to cause problems for the 'Suppressive Person'.

Scientologists have many ridiculous beliefs such as we are all descended from the souls of aliens killed by Xenu, psychiatrists made Hitler do it, John Travolta is straight and that babies should be born silently. However when it comes to how the legal system works they understand just fine.

Over-Centralised Britain.

Much as I dislike traffic wardens can someone explain why councils need specific permission from Westminster to recruit them?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Martin Jacques

Is Martin Jacques the most pompous, ignorant and degenerate writer in Britain today? Based on his latest column sucking up the Burmese Junta I would have to say that he is a contender.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Living The SP Lifestyle.

Libertarians & Psuedo Libertarians.

Although in most aspects of public policy I want the government to have a much reduced role, central government in particular, I am slightly wary of self professed libertarians. In part it is for reasons I explained here but that isn't the only reason.

Many of those considered to be libertarians are not opposed to a powerful government in principle, just to pluralistic and democratic governments in particular. Not all libertarians are like this, some like Milton Friedman or PJ O'Rourke are entirely consistent in advancing liberty but others who don the mantle of libertarianism are nothing of the sort and are psuedo-libertarians at best.

Take the prominent US writer Lew Rockwell, who is generally associated with libertarianism and has a long term association with Ron Paul. Today he shares his deep thoughts on the Korean War:
When the Syngman Rhee regime in South Korea, which launched the war on the North in cahoots with the Truman regime here, also murdered at least 100,000 of its own people, with US supervision and approval. Truman's Air Force then drowned more than a million civilians in the North by deliberately bombing the dykes. Today, despite a militarist regime still supervised by US occupation forces, the South Korean people want peace, trade, and travel with the poor people of the North, no matter how rotten their socialist government. The US occupation prevents this. US Out! (Thanks to Ralph Raico and
If he is aware of a single credible source that backs up the idea that it was South Korea that launched the war then he is keeping it to himself. At the start of the war the American and South Korean forces were so unprepared that the surprise attack managed to drive them all the way down the peninsular where they had to mount a desperate last stand just to cling on in Korea which makes no sense if they were the ones who launched an invasion. However rather than relying on reputable historians or using his brain, Rockwell prefers to simply parrot North Korean propaganda that is laughably dishonest. For someone who professes a distrust of all powerful states this is rather surprising behaviour.

It is true that Syngman Rhee was a despicable man who led a vile regime, but the fact that after just a few weeks of Communist rule most Koreans decided that he represented the lesser of two evils tells its own story.

Met. Rejects Protect Cult.

It appears that the City of London Police, a London police force for those who can't get into the Metropolitan Police, appear to see themselves as enforcers for the cult of Scientology:

A teenager is facing prosecution for using the word "cult" to describe the Church of Scientology.

The unnamed youth was served the summons by City of London police when he took part in a peaceful demonstration opposite the London headquarters of the controversial religion.

Officers confiscated a placard with the word "cult" on it from the youth, who is under 18, and a case file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

A date has not yet been set for him to appear in court.

The force appears to have a rather cosy relationship with the church, no doubt this is just because they are high level Operating Thetans who are being smeared by SPs:

The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology.

The City of London Chief Superintendent, Kevin Hurley, praised Scientology for "raising the spiritual wealth of society" during the opening
of its headquarters in 2006.

Last year a video praising Scientology emerged featuring Ken Stewart, another of the City of London's chief superintendents, although he is not a member of the group.
Normally a religious group has to have it's followers blow people up in order to win that kind of ringing endorsement by senior police officers.

All this of course comes less than a week after the West Midlands Police had to make a groveling apology to Channel 4 for trying to harass them over the 'Undercover Mosque' programme. The charges will inevitably be dropped at some point, but as Ron Hubbard put it "The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage, rather than to win – if possible, of course, ruin [the target] utterly", in this particular case simply getting charges brought against a teenager with limited financial means can be highly effective in stifling criticism.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cabbage Theology

Many centuries ago their were a series of bitterly fought theological battles about the precise nature of Jesus and whether he was of the same divine substance as God or whether he was human.

In this secular age we have bitterly fought battles of the nature of cabbage and whether it is of the same garden substance as grass cuttings or whether it becomes something different when in enters a kitchen:

Retired milkman Barry Freezer made the mistake of dumping cabbage stalks in his bin and incurred the wrath of the council's waste collection supremos.

He says they treated him like a criminal and refused to collect his garden waste, claiming the cabbage trimmings were kitchen rubbish.

No doubt some trinitarian solution will be found in which a cabbage has three simultaneous natures as a garden product, food and a council waste collection supremo.

Hybrids, Why Not?

In many parts of the world mixing human and animal DNA is something that rustic folk do in private behind closed barn doors. However this ancient practice is more controversial when done in a laboratory by scientists.

The Prime Minister has come out in favour of allowing human-animal hybrid embryos to be created, but apart from that I can't see any reason to oppose it. As far as I'm concerned a two week old embryo is simply a cluster of cells and not a distinct being is any sense and any moral dilemmas only appear once it develops a neural system.

Whilst human animal hybrids can be made to sound more dramatic than they are, the only coherent grounds for objecting to them are that one believes that life is sacred from conception onwards, and that is indeed the belief of organisations like the Catholic church. For other opponents it really doesn't make a lot of sense to allow foetuses to be aborted as late as 24 weeks whilst simultaneously throwing up one's hands in horror at the prospect of a two week old embryo being experimented on before being disposed of.

The creation of hybrid embryos has the potential to allow medical advances that would save many lives in the future and causes no suffering to anyone else.

Making Guests Feel At Home.

South Africans it seems like to make their visitors feel at home, which isn't so good when their home is Zimbabwe:

The violence in Alexandra started on Sunday evening when an enraged mob marched to a hostel in London Road, targeting foreigners mainly from Zimbabwe whom they accuse of stealing precious jobs and contributing to worsening crime rates.

The crowd beat the immigrants, forced others from their rooms and shot dead two men – one a South African who refused to take part in the attack.

I've heard about the supposed hostility between black South Africans and Zimbabweans before but had thought that it was to do with the South African sympathy for Robert Mugabe. Given South Africa's responsibility for sustaining Mugabe in power, and thus fueling the Zimbabwe exodus, the attention of the rioters should really be directed against themselves. Whilst recent actions such as the refusal by Durban dockers to unload Zanu weapons is welcome, it hardly makes up for the behaviour of the Rainbow Nation's political elite, who memorably gave Robert Mugabe a standing ovation at the infamous 2001 anti racism conference.

{Link via UK Commentators}

Saturday, May 17, 2008

An Own Goal In The Class War.

As is now quite well known Labour a resorting to some very ugly class war rhetoric in the Crewe and Nantwich by election. One of the things they've decided to highlight is the fact that the Conservative candidate is driving around in a Bentley.

As a Labour PPC, Lucy Powell writes on the Guardian politics blog:
The view, in Crewe at least, seems to be that local people want a local champion, someone who will stand up for them in parliament, who is in touch with their concerns and will deliver for them. In this Labour town, they're not convinced that the Tory candidate will do this. (Driving around campaigning in Bentleys isn't helping, although the only Tory campaigner I saw was in a classic MG).
Aside from the fact that Labour's 'local champion' is from Wales and her only connection with the constituency is that her mother previously held the seat, the Bentley swipe is spectacularly ill judged as the subsequent comments make clear:
Are you sure you were in Crewe, the home of Bentley Motors? Bentley, and its local suppliers, are a major employer in the town

Funniest post I've read for days.

"driving around campaigning in Bentleys isn't helping"

You think?

Company Profile

Bentley Motors Ltd

Company Address Pyms Lane,
As well as:
Err, I am a Crewe voter and I do so happen to be employed at the Pyms Lane Bentley factory.
Incompetent as well as nasty.

Luvvie Scum.

Some idiot has made a film glorifying an IRA hunger striker, because obviously the first 465 IRA apologist movies weren't enough. The deeply stupid producer Leni Jan Younghusband pompously declares:
"We think it is an awful situation in Guantanamo but we had exactly the same situation here. Let's remember we were doing this before Guantanamo. The film asks so many questions, including, 'What is the point of this kind of incarceration?'."
Yeah what is the point of incarcerating a member of a death squad who had been caught possessing weapons, I can't think. Even if you take the risible claims of the terrorists themselves, then the greatest indignity they suffered was being treated as what they were, criminals. Now personally I suspect much of the complaints about Guantanamo Bay are hyped up, but I doubt that Younghusband is making that point. Not intentionally anyway.

Naturally this piece of propaganda for a member of a fascistic terrorist group is being funded by Britain (the publicly owned Channel 4), does any other country do this?

There is an especially self loathing side to a large part of the British establishment, they despise this country and glorify it's enemies (yet are all too willing to suck up subsidies, greed outweighs the self loathing). It is probably a form of projection, they hate us because they hate themselves, but couldn't they learn from Max Moseley about how to channel those feelings in private instead of making a very unedifying spectacle of themselves in public?

{ Via David Vance at ATW, who is as unimpressed as I am}

Update: In the comments 'db' points out that the film is being promoted by the British Council.

Friday, May 16, 2008


These photographs of a victim of Robert Mugabe's torture regime are horrific, they are of the woman whom Peter Oborne writes about here. You can see why a mainstream newspaper wouldn't want to publish them but pictures show the evil of the Zanu PF regime better than acres of news print possibly could.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Seasonal Let Down.

The eagerly anticipated "Taliban Spring Offensive" that was promised and supposed to overwhelm coalition forces appears to have gone the way of the "Brutal Afghan Winter".

I suppose a "Summer Onslaught" or an "Autumn Advance" are on the way.

Some of the salivating over the supposedly resurgent Taliban has been little more than anti-Western pundits indulging in onanistic fantasising.

Iraqi Deflation.

Inflation might be a growing problem over here, but in Iraq prices are plummeting.
The head of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al Masri, just got demoted. The U.S. reward for his capture, dead or alive, was reduced from $5 million to $100,000.
That's got to hurt, terrorists have feelings too and having your value slashed by 98% is just upsetting. This is possibly related to Al Qaeada's increasing ineffectiveness as their brutality alienates even those who quite enjoy mass murder.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Day Another Disaster.

Another day another disaster for the government. The wonderful thing about Gordon Brown's succession of cock ups is that they are largely the consequence of his short termist partisan maneuvers blowing up in his face.

Take the 10p tax rate originally it appeared to have been introduced to wrongfoot David Cameron before he responded to Brown's last budget, and at the time it worked very well. The long term consequences didn't come into it.

Then there was the fiasco over the non existent election, where Brown sought to exploit his honeymoon popularity by allowing speculation about an election wrongfoot the Conservative Party during their conference, it had precisely the opposite effect. The disgraceful politically motivated visit to Iraq during that period was in my opinion the tipping point.

The seemingly highly calculated compromises over the Olympics ( He won't attend the opening cermony but will attend the closing ceremony) the EU not-a-constitution (he signed it, but not publically with all the other heads of government) have all made Brown look ridiculous.

The 42 days detention bill appears to have initially been conceived to make the Tories and Lib Dems look week on terrorism but looks like making them look like defenders of civil liberties.

Brown's problems all stem from his cynical decisions to place partisan advantage ahead of the national interest and as such are thoroughly deserved.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Quote Of The Day.

In the comments here, Yojimbo has a rather macabre thought about the Chinese earthquake:
“Clearing casualties” equals transplant nirvana. When was the last time you heard prisoners jump for joy
I really wouldn't put it past them.

Why The BNP Is On The Rise.

I might as well make this "Kick Denis MacShane" day, everyday should be. MacShane's Conservative opponent at the last election, Lee Rotherham*, discusses an article in the Independent about the rise of the BNP in Rotherham:

Since they quote the local Labour MP (Denis MacShane) in depth - whom I fought during the last election - I'll allow myself a counter turn.

While quite fairly noting factors such as immigration, the rejection of taboo, and a perception of 'unfair play', they might also do well to consider the basics of local politics.

If you have streets where the Labour vote is weighed rather than counted, but where noone has seen a Labour politician bothering to campaign in twenty years...

If you have the self same MP expending his past effort chastising the Conservatives for 'allowing' the BNP to get a hold, despite the vote coming from his own historic supporters...

If local Labour councillors turn to blanking the lead BNP candidates rather than exposing the false veil of human decency behind their party bosses...

...Then why are we surprised that in a handful of areas some individuals on first name terms with the voter should be elected to look after the bins?

Not a huge surprise no.

* Yes that's right, Lee Rotherham was a candidate for Rotherham, you'd think with a name like that the voters would feel obliged to elect him, but no

Behaviour Modification.

After yesterday's post about proposals to give thieving addicts treatment instead of a prison sentence something occurred to me. If it is really possible for a course of treatment to radically alter an addicts behaviour in this way then why not treat their propensity for stealing instead of their addiction?

Bwahahahahahahaha.... Gloatfest 2008 Is Coaxed Out Of Retirement.

Have you ever worked really hard on something only to discover that when you are ready to present it things have moved on so much that it is no longer relevant?

Former Minister for Europe and serial fibber Denis MacShane has, judging by his 'Boris is a racist' article that has appeared two weeks after the election and 6 months after the racism smears were laughed out of court.
The writers, intellectuals, and community leaders who were invited to write for G2 were quite clear in their distaste in having a man like Boris Johnson, with his ugly nationalist and xenophobic views, put up by the Old Etonian clique who run the Tory party as mayor of London.

Have they now all changed their minds? Do they all now see Boris as a herbivore whose offensive language about those who are not English can be airbrushed away?

No Denis, but they probably heard the snorts of derision and realised that it was time to keep a low profile. Also most of them are smart enough to realise that telling brazen lies about your opponents after election day is counter productive, you see these "intellectuals and community leaders" are surprisingly clever.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Crime And Drugs.

The Sentencing Guidelines Council has come up with a bright idea:

Burglars and thieves could escape jail if they commit their crimes because of addiction to drink, drugs or gambling, under proposed sentencing guidelines.

The recommendation is contained in a consultation on how judges should punish those convicted of thefts and burglaries.

Undoubtedly there are people in prison who have addictions that should be dealt with, to the extent that it is possible, if they are to stop committing crime, however addicts should not get lighter sentences. The most obvious reason is that all that will happen is that every burglar who is caught will claim to have an addiction, it really isn't difficult to fake needle marks or collect a few old betting slips.

Drug and gambling addicts who have managed to avoid funding their habits through stealing would be entitled to be a bit miffed to learn that they could receive free treatment if they broke into people's homes and stole their belongings.

The assumption that if someone is an addict who also steals then it must be the addiction that makes him steal isn't necessarily the case. Crime is a highly impulsive form of behaviour, focusing on the perpetrator's immediate self gratification at the expense of his long term interests. Addiction is often a symptom of the same short term reasoning, in other words if you treat a drug addicted burglar's drug problem then the end result is a burglar who has something else to spend the proceeds on.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Staying & Going.

How our immigration system works- general feebleness punctuated by bouts of cruelty to pretend that the system is tough. Take these two cases, an Islamist nutjob who came here illegally and incites terrorism on the one hand and a man who was here legally up until the NHS managed to butcher his wife. The Islamist:

Qatada - who had been in prison pending deportation - has been given a 22-hour curfew by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), the Home Office said.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary said she was "extremely disappointed" at the decision and would "take all steps necessary to protect the public
The widower:

A Filipino man has lost his right to remain in Britain - because his wife was killed by an NHS blunder.

Lawyers for Arnel Cabrera, 39, have confirmed the Home Office has refused his application to stay in the UK.

The verdicts in both these cases are travesties of justice and common sense.

Telly Savalas Looks At Birmingham.

And why not, it's his kind of town!

His awed reaction to an over 40s disco dancing competition doesn't quite convince.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Panderer Population Explodes.

It's not just on oil prices that politicians are pandering, free trade is also coming in for a battering. Strangely enough despite the USA's image as being a right wing nation support for free trade has always been much lower than in the UK.

Despite this it seems that both Obama and Clinton believe in free trade, Obama believes it is one of the things that bitter small town like to attack whilst they cling to their guns and Hillary Clinton never opposed trade whilst her husband was signing NAFTA. In fact a belief in free trade is a core belief for the Clintons as Mark Steyn once put it:
With hindsight, Clinton had two bedrock convictions: he believed oral sex didn't qualify as adultery and he believed in free trade.
Hillary only agrees with Bill on one of those points I should add.

Obama's proposal is to offer:
a “Patriot Employers” plan that would lower corporate taxes for companies that did not ship jobs overseas. …Mr Obama’s plan would lower the corporate tax rate for companies that met criteria including maintaining their headquarters in the US, maintaining or increasing their US workforce relative to their overseas workforce, holding a neutral position in union drives among their employees and providing decent healthcare
Right, aside from being unworkable shouldn't he also be demanding that foreign companies stop creating jobs in the US if he wants to be consistent? In fairness there is one exception to the list of countries that Obama wants to stop the United States trading with, Cuba.

Hillary on the other hand.... oh hang on, she's toast now so there's no need to consider her pandering at all.

Fuel Prices & Political 'Solutions'

The rising cost of oil seems to have turned US politicians into idiots, as opposed to being exponents of Solomonesque wisdom that we expect them to be. First up Hillary Clinton's ludicrous proposal, sadly also acked by McCain, for a 'tax holiday' for a couple of months which has been universally panned. Now the Senate Democrats have come up with the brilliant idea to combat fuel prices by er raising taxes on the oil companies. It is, in many ways, impressive that two contradictory can both be so idiotic, you'd imagine that by dumb luck one proposal would be a good one.

This comes down to the mistaken idea of the left that every 'problem' requires massive government intervention to provide a 'solution'. Fuel prices are rising and the only thing that will change that is increasing the supply, and the Democrats almost universally oppose oil exploration in Alaska, or lowering demand which the market is taking care of without the need for government imposed 'solutions'.

I Blame Global Warming

It was a nice day today, but by combating climate change we can ensure a return to the grey and overcast summers that we are used to.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Quote Of The Day.

Martin Kettle writes about Labour's potential candidates for London mayor in 2012:
If Labour is to have a hope of ousting Johnson, it is going to need a big name. Ideally it would like someone with the politics of Polly Toynbee and the public profile of Jeremy Clarkson. That's why, in the absence of a politician, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the following names were floated in Labour circles over the coming months - Ross Kemp, Arsene Wenger, Ian Blair, Alistair Campbell, Andrew Marr, Cherie Booth, Shami Chakrabarti. Other suggestions welcome.
Labour are doomed.

Update: In the comments 'Killing Time' comes up with:
Diane Abbott would do it for me. Principled, cool and foxy too.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Alcohol Like Substance Found In Alcoholic Drinks.

A couple who allegedly passed out drunk while their children were taken into care in Portugal may have had their drinks spiked, a councillor claims.
Can anyone think what substance that seemingly mimics the effects of alcohol, could have been used to spike the alcoholic drinks they were consuming?

I Might Be Insane.

George Monbiot attracts a fair bit of ridicule from some quarters, mostly because he's nuts. His latest big idea seems to have inspired yet more ridicule, we should replace planes with airships.

The thing is though I've been thinking that it's time for airships to make a comeback as well. At the back of my head there was a feeling that the idea was insane and the fact that George Monbiot is on board doesn't exactly reassure me that I'm not.

Okay, his idea of bringing them back for passenger transport is very unlikely to happen because they are too slow and unpredictable, no one is going to be willing to spend two or three days crossing the Atlantic. However the potential for transporting large cargo to looks perfectly realistic to me. Some area of the world are simply inaccessible to large cargo planes, such as mountainous areas, jungles or the polar regions so there is a potential use there. Similarly sometimes transporting abnormal loads by road causes a great deal of inconvenience to traffic as the roads need to be closed and police escorts provided so why not simply lift the load with an airship?

Like I say, there is a vague tingling feeling that the idea is insane but it looks pretty good to me.

Monday, May 05, 2008

How To Blog.

Mark Wardman highlights a popular alternative method of blogging, one that will guarantee that you reach a wide audience:

This may sound like a strange idea, but there can be considerable benefit in letting part of your blog be hosted on somebody else’s site - in their comments box. You get the benefit of a possibly wider audience - and therefore lots of attention.

Chris Paul has had a “sceptical about Tories” blog since before I started, and it is hosted in Iain Dale ’s comments box. I reckon that he gets his largest readership from this “alternative” not the real one hosted at Labour of Love; it has something like 350 entries.

There certainly are advantages to this approach, notably that you rich a ready made audience.
My favourite practitioner of this method is probably Benji's Place, hosted by Harry's Place website.

On the subject of blogging I'm intending to revamp my links list today or tomorrow. As I'll be creating a category for sites that link here, even if they are Italian sites that I can't understand, please let me know if there are any sites that I do this which I don't already have on my sidebar.

Thanks To The Unique Way The BBC Is Funded....

I'm unhappy that my money is spent on this crap, well I'm not but I would be if I actually had a TV license.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Time For Comprehensive Supermarkets.

Ministers are creating "ghetto schools" by letting parents choose where to send their children, teachers have warned.

Policies to increase parental choice over schools are undermining attempts to improve community relations, according to members of the National Association of Head Teachers.

Yes this makes a lot of sense. Think of how in the supermarket industry, for example, free choice has led to a situation where all the leading supermarkets monopolise the best customers whilst the under performing ones get lumbered with the poor shoppers. This creates a situation where all the best cashiers and managers are taken by the best shops. Wouldn't it be better if we ran supermarkets like schools?

Every store could be assigned a catchment area where they would have exclusive territorial rights to the shoppers who live in that are, comprehensive supermarkets would stop wealthy shoppers opting out.

People don't really want choice when it comes to shopping, they just want a good local supermarket. No doubt the free market fanatics will claim that choice drives up standards for all shoppers, but what they really mean is that they don't care about the less well off.

Gloating Over.

Now that Ken Livingstone is off to spend more time with his family families, it's time for the gloating to cease. So these are my serious points about the local elections:
  • The GLA elections held under a form of proportional representation demonstrate something that the Liberal Democrats haven't realised in their advocacy of PR. Third parties don't suddenly become major forces to compare with the big two, what happens is that you end up with one main party of the centre right, one of the centre left and lots of small parties as the protest vote is split.
  • It's a shame that local elections are tied so closely to national politics, even though watching Labour take a kicking is enjoyable. This is partly because local authorities have little power compared to central government. It is also because the parties are national entities that don't allow them to adjust to suit local concerns.
  • George Galloway's electoral humiliation is great news, it's a shame that it had to happen on the same day as Livingstone's ousting really. I now know what children who have their birthdays on Christmas day feel like.
  • Regardless of one's feelings about London's mayoralty, the introduction of mayors elsewhere has been pretty successful, even when it is a bloke in a monkey suit, and should probably be extended.
  • Labour really should ditch Brown.

Embitterment Watch.

It seems hard to believe but some of those on the left don't take defeat very well as both Julia (at her new blog) and Mark have spotted.

I'll add this bloke over at Liberal Conspiracy to the list he writes:
So, it’s the weekend after the week before, and an alliance of gameshow fans, 4×4 drivers, suburban curtain-twitchers, BNP second-preferences, Labourphobes and the thoroughly fed-up, mostly from places that don’t even count as London, have foisted a Thatcherite mayor on our generally left-leaning city.
I am particularly enjoying the Kenite resentment towards London's more suburban boroughs who had the temerity to vote against the newt, which has been quite noticeable in the last week or so. What makes it rich is that up until they realised that the suburbs weren't going to back Livingstone, it was taken as axiomatic that Margaret Thatcher was terrible for abolishing the GLC and giving power to the boroughs and if anything the boroughs should be abolished and powers concentrated in the mayor.

Oh and incidentally why all the reference to Boris's appearances on 'Have I Got News For You'? Livingstone appeared on there several times during the 1990s, even if his stints were less memorable than Boris's.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Classic Returns.

Enough London related posts for now, ( okay maybe one big gloat fest at the weekend once the most embittered Ken loving articles have been published).

Over at the Guardian Sasha Abramsky writes:
The crime rate in the US has plummeted since the 1990s, so why is the incarceration rate reaching staggering new heights?
Dunno Sasha, it beats me.

Congratulations London.

It looks like Londoners have finally kicked out the IRA supporting, Islamist loving, race baiting sleazeball that is Ken Livingstone and installed Boris Johnson, whom I suspect will confound those sceptical about his competence.

This caps a fantastic night for the Conservatives and David Cameron deserves a lot of the credit for that, but there is one thing that isn't being mentioned much today. Of course if he had got his way late last year and given Greg Dyke, the Liberal Democrat supporting ex beeboid, a free run then his party would have been thrown away the biggest prize of the night. Perhaps he should show more faith in members of his own party.

Official In Depth Analysis Of The Local Elections.

#Points at Gordon Brown#


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Parody Is Dead.

Yesterday I attempted to parody the commies, race baiters and luvvies in their unhinged denunciations of Boris Johnson. Unfortunately my attempt at lunacy is quite tame when compared to the real thing.

For instance I attempted to satirise the snobbery and disdain shown by Ken Livingstone backers towards suburban Londoners, but I couldn't come out with anything as pathetic as Will Self:
"If Johnson were elected? I'd feel that he had neither the acumen nor the gravitas to resist becoming the teddy bear of the 4x4-driving, Laura Ashley headscarf-wearing, inherently inegalitarian and snobbish denizens of Chelsea."
I thought that threatening to kill a puppy would send up the ridiculous moral blackmail that Kennites attempt, but Arabella Weir makes puppy killing look moderate:
"I will go on hunger strike and throw myself in front of the next horse at Ascot if he wins."
Everything I parodied is taken to even greater extremes, the repeated references to Eton and the Bullingdon Club, the attempt to link Boris with Bush, the scaremongering over race and religion, the hordes of b list celebs, the sense of entitlement. How can I possibly compete with this?

Via Stephen Pollard.