Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
I hate in when trades union leaders disguise a clear attempt to serve their members interests as concern for the public. This is brazen:
No it won't, but lets play along, I have a solution that will maintain police numbers and save money- pay the police less. We are in a recession so they won't quit, but we will be able to tackle the deficit at the same time as maintaining poloice numbers.Les Gray, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said “the murder rate will go through the roof.”
THE leader of Scotland’s rank and file police officers has warned that UK ministers will have “blood on their hands” if they axe 2,800 jobs in forces across the country.
He believes that plummeting police numbers will give rise to lawless “no-go areas” across towns and cities.
Let's ban the alphabet to stop these vile words being produced, won't somebody please think of the children.
THE News of the World is spelling trouble for Scrabble bosses - after we found the game allows players to use vile racist insults.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I like this paragraph:
There is black history month, I tell him. We are lucky to still have that. No sign of a Polish history month, a Chinese history fortnight or even a Pakistani history week. But it's stuck, he says. On Mary Seacole, and Martin Luther King.
No there isn't, yet amazingly despite not being given a month dedicated to Chinese role models, British Chinese pupils do extremely well academically and I'm not aware of Polish students doing poorly either. All of which suggests that Black History Month doesn't do much for any black children in terms of improving academic performance. I doubt that "role models" matter that much either. It seems to serve the interests of professional race obsessives instead.
Like Hugh Muir.
But really the big problem with the idea of stuff like Black History Month, is that it seeks to turn history from an inquiry into the past to a tool to promote certain preconceived ideas based purely on the race of the subject.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Since the story has been the subject of much speculation with various groups and pundits using it as an opportunity to condemn opponents of the Mosque for stirring up hatred I shall give my guess as to the motivation behind the assault.
It looks to me like a variation on the ubiquitous "hate crime hoax" craze, in which someone stages a bogus attack against themselves and then milks the ensuing publicity to denounce their political opponents and draw attention to the cause they are promoting. Except instead of staging a bogus attack on himself, Enright carried out a real attack on someone else in the hope that it could be used to delegitimise his opponents.
My money is on the late Jade Goody to be a final guest and surprise winner of the final Big Brother show. She is less gobby now so we shouldn't see a repeat of her last stint in the house.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Yes I do realise that this is probably the most tedious and trivial post that I have ever written.
Monday, August 23, 2010
A 20-year-old was killed in a ‘Starsky and Hutch’-style stunt trying to jump 30ft across a harbour in his car.
Jamie Hocking had told friends he would one day use a pier as a ramp and leap over the water in his Rover hatchback and land on the other side.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Presumably they can't be sold on the open market. The new 'owners' can't show the paintings off because they could get caught so presumably they just hang them in a private room and look at them on their own which seems utterly joyless.
So what happened to the Chief Constable who had refused to obey the law? Nothing:
Mr Port put his 35-year career on the line by refusing to comply with a High Court order made in May to return 87 hard drives and 2,500 photographs of abuse.
However he handed over the seized items on Monday night.
Mr Bates's legal team pressed ahead with an application to have the chief constable fined or imprisoned for contempt over his delay in complying with the court order.
Lord Justice Stanley Burnton, sitting in London with Mr Justice Wilkie and Mr Justice Calvert Smith, ruled there was no contempt because the order did not specify a date by which compliance was required.
Oh I'll remember that the next time the police ask me to do something- "Yes officer I know you wanted me to pull over and I was going to do so next Friday."
Thursday, August 19, 2010
- Shirley Williams- sanctimonious, hypocritical and destructive.
- Denis Macshane- Hyper partisan and a compulsive liar.
- David Mellor- Useless, incompetent, arrogant and hypocritical.
- Edwina Currie- John Major has my sympathy.
- John Bercow- Horrible little man, models himself on Mr Toad.
- Harriet Harman- Don't worry Hattie women won't be underrepresented on this list thanks to you.
- Alan Clarke- No he wasn't a "character" or a "wit" he was a boorish, insecure charlatan with an mystifying level of belief in his own abilities.
- Mo Mowlam- Despite carefully cultivating a "people's politician" image she was just another politician with a deluded sense of her own importance.
- Nye Bevan- To me he sounds like "Kinnock Mk 1" rather than an inspirational figure. His voice grates.
- Lembit Opik- A very cheeky boy.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This is a problem over here as well where there is nothing to stop people who are retarded fantasists from deciding the fate of somebody's life.
The problem seems to me to be that the people who sit on juries are usually the people who have nothing better to do, people who have not been entrusted with any great responsibility by anyone who actually knows them are the ones who get to determine whether someone is guilty or not.
The jury system needs quality control in order to actually work.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
For the genuinely disabled, receiving assistance from the state should not compel them to allow their lives to be micromanaged according to other people's moral injunctions.
In fact in so far as sex is a basic human want perhaps we should nationalise prostitutes and create a National Hookers Service which is free at the point of use for everybody, in the interests of fairness and social justice and all that crap.
He supposedly had an important role in advising the Australian Labor Party in their last landslide election victory although even his skills as a political strategist must be called into question when you consider that as the UK Labour Party's election supremo in 2005 he had to be rescued by Gordon Brown (remember when Gordon Brown was popular!?).
So why is he being entrusted to devise the government's policy on social mobility? Being broad minded enough to consult policy experts regardless of party affiliation, and few people would object to an acknowledged expert advcising the government even if he was a member of the Labour Party, Frank Field is exactly the right person to appoint to advise on welfare reform for example. The only reasons that I can think of for appointing Alan Milburn though are to embarrass the Labour Party and provide political cover for the Coalition.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
One fascinating paper shows that crime rates are also strongly affected by vegetation.It works the other way too, look at Detroit, crime is so bad that the city is being reclaimed by the wilderness. That's not what Monbiot means of course, he is arguing that village greens and city parks are an exceptionally valuable resource.
He is right of course but the destruction of common lands isn't due to the rapaciousness of developers but because of restrictive planning laws that make it near impossible to build on the green belt and therefore leave builders with no alternative but to develop sites within existing settlements.
If we could build a little bit on what is now low value farmland we could paradoxically give far more people access to greenery.
Monday, August 09, 2010
This should put another nail in the coffin of the idea anyhow:
The study gathered crude information on the state of technological development in various parts of the world in 1000 B.C.; around the birth of Jesus; and in A.D. 1500. It then compared these measures to per capita income today.
As it turns out, technology in A.D. 1500 is an extraordinarily reliable predictor of wealth today.
In other words the reason some countries are more developed than others today is because they were more developed yesterday. Trying to explain differences that go back thousands of years by using factors that only apply for 10s or 100s of years is inadequate.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
I suppose I ought to add a disclaimer that I'm not actually planning on doing this and in fact don't even have anyone in mind.
The £11bn welfare cuts, rise in VAT to 20%, and 25% reductions across government departments target the most vulnerable – disabled people, single parents, those on housing benefit, black and other ethnic minority communities, students, migrant workers, LGBT people and pensioners.
What I'm wondering is in what sense the budgets targets LGBT people, if anyone knows please let me know in the comments. Come to that if anyone knows how black and other enthnic minority communities are especially affected then feel free to elaborate.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The historians poll of post war prime ministers that rates Gordon Brown as the 3rd worst PM since the war is as silly and argument provoking as all these surveys. My own ranking of British PMs since the Reform Act of 1831 is here. However as Joseph Tagaki points out, much of the problems of Brown's tenure were to do with his previous stint as Chancellor under Tony Blair, say what you want about Brown but his Chancellor was much better than Blair's. There are too many Chancellors to rank easily for the whole post war period, but if the starting point is 1979 then I'd rank them in something like this order:
1. Geoffrey Howe
2. Ken Clarke
3. Norman Lamont*
4. Alastair Darling**
5. Nigel Lawson
6. John Major
7. Gordon Brown
How far back would one have to go to find a Chancellor who was worse than Brown? At least as far back as Anthony Barber in the 1970s but possibly all the way back to before the War.
* Norman Lamont is often seen as a failure but he gets a lot of unfair blame for the shortcomings of John Major and Nigel Lawson and doesn't get enough credit for the success during Ken Clarke's tenure.
** Had one hell of a mess to deal with.
The accuracy of an expert’s predictions actually has an inverse relationship to his or her self-confidence, renown, and, beyond a certain point, depth of knowledge. People who follow current events by reading the papers and news magazines regularly can guess what is likely to happen about as accurately as the specialists whom the papers quote
Monday, August 02, 2010
So what does my dream mean? Am I frightened that somebody I know is getting too close to something dangerous? Is a bear just a bear? Do I secretly want to sleep with close relatives?