Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This May Seem Callous

But surely the trapped Chilean miners should not only not be paid whilst they are trapped (because they aren't mining) but surely they should be charged for board and lodgings too.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Shroud Waving

I hate in when trades union leaders disguise a clear attempt to serve their members interests as concern for the public. This is brazen:

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.

Les Gray, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said “the murder rate will go through the roof.”

He believes that plummeting police numbers will give rise to lawless “no-go areas” across towns and cities.
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.

Concept Of Alphabet Outrages Morons.

A few years ago I remember seeing a letter in Viz demanding that Alphabetti Spaghetti be banned because of all the filthy words that could be found within. This seems as though it is meant to be seriously though:

THE News of the World is spelling trouble for Scrabble bosses - after we found the game allows players to use vile racist insults.

Let's ban the alphabet to stop these vile words being produced, won't somebody please think of the children.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Something To Get Rid Of

Hugh Muir's remarks on the idea of teaching school children about scientists depending more upon how they tick diversity boxes than on what they achieved hasn't impressed many people.

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

A New Development In Hate Crime Hoaxes?

The stabbing of a Muslim taxi driver in New York was immediately linked to the protests against the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, until it emerged that the main suspect, Michael Enright, is an activist in a group that supports the proposed building and promotes interfaith understanding.

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.


Big Brother are running "Ultimate Big Brother" at the moment, where the biggest stars of the previous 10 series enter a final competition.

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.

IFS, Bears, Woods.

Apparently some people are surprised to learn that when cuts are made to the benefits budget people who are claiming benefits lost more. Some people are also surprised that when you count the benefit cuts but not the tax increases the burden falls more on those who are poorer and more likely to receive benefits that on those who are wealthier and more likely to pay taxes.

Double Standards

It is one of the great double standards of life that Tottenham Hotspur are lauded for beating Young Boys, yet schoolteacher Peter Harvey was condemned for the same thing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


A female Muslim employee of Disney wants the right to wear the Hijab at work. Why not simply give her a Mickey or Minnie Mouse costume, then she can work at Disney in a customer facing role yet still manage to preserve her modesty in accordance with Islamic law?

In A Pickle

"Let's Pickle a few more costly commissions"
I don't think that the Telegraph's leader writers understand what pickling does. Yes there is a minister called Pickles so naturally they want to make a pun on his name but pickling is a method of preserving something in it's current state for a long period of time, in other words by asking to pickle costly commissions the Telegraph is asking that we keep them going in perpetuity.

Yes I do realise that this is probably the most tedious and trivial post that I have ever written.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Icarus Falls


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.

Well who could have foreseen that this was a bad idea?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ban These Dangerous Books

I think these suicide textbooks should be banned.


The Australians are copying our idea of a highly inconclusive and unworkable election result. Pick your own constitutional crisis, Australians.

Van Gone

What is the point of stealing highly recognisable masterpieces, like this Van Gogh that has gone missing in Cairo?

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.

Policing The Police

Apparently the police are free to confiscate people's property and refuse to return even after they have been ordered to by a judge. After trying to prosecute somebody for possessing child pornography even though they knew that he was in possession of the material due to being an expert witness for the defence team of somebody who had been charged with possessing it, they then refused to return it after being ordered to by a court.

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

The Ten Most Irritating Politicians Since The War

I missed Rod Liddle's poll to find the most irritating politicians since the war so he is my list. Obviously there is a strong bias towards politicians whom I am old enough to actually remember with only Bevan and Williams being from before the 1980s. I don't suppose being irritating makes someone bad at their job, I suspect I would have found Gladstone insuuferable had I been alive in the 19th Century but he was still a great figure. None of these people are though:
  1. Shirley Williams- sanctimonious, hypocritical and destructive.
  2. Denis Macshane- Hyper partisan and a compulsive liar.
  3. David Mellor- Useless, incompetent, arrogant and hypocritical.
  4. Edwina Currie- John Major has my sympathy.
  5. John Bercow- Horrible little man, models himself on Mr Toad.
  6. Harriet Harman- Don't worry Hattie women won't be underrepresented on this list thanks to you.
  7. 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.
  8. Mo Mowlam- Despite carefully cultivating a "people's politician" image she was just another politician with a deluded sense of her own importance.
  9. Nye Bevan- To me he sounds like "Kinnock Mk 1" rather than an inspirational figure. His voice grates.
  10. Lembit Opik- A very cheeky boy.
Honourable mentions for: Tony Benn, Tam Daylell, Patricia Hewitt, michael Portillo, Douglas Hurd, Simon Hughes, Charles Kennedy, Chris Huhne, David Owen, Roy Jenkins, Stafford Cripps and Virginia Bottomley.

Important News

As the usual blonde A Level students blogger hasn't said anything yet allow me to just confirm that attractive blonde teenage girls are still doing very well in their A Levels.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

12 Men Good & Dumb

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich who was caught on tape brazenly discussing how to sell Barack Obama's senate seat has been found not guilty on 23 out of 24 corruption charges by a jury. This begs the obvious question where do they get the morons to sit on juries?

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.

Sometimes Banning Things Is Good

Like wheel clampers. The idea that people have the right to essentially confiscate your property with no due process is an outrage, so I'm glad that the government is going to stop this. Except on government property because they're special.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Risky Business

Okay she's got a deadly sexually transmitted virus and likes unprotected sex but I still would though.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

National Hookers Service

I don't really object to councils spending money for disabled people to visit prostitutes and lap dancing clubs. No more than I object to spending money on them visiting the theatre or the shops anyway, because the underlying assumption behind the objections to spending the cash this way is that disabled people should have to suppress any politically and socially undesirable urges if they receive any help from the state.

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.

The Ground Zero Mosque

Tasteless and provocative but if they aren't breaking any planning laws then they should not face any barriers from the government although it seems very foolish for the New York Mayor and US President to actually endorse the idea.

Back Like A Really Tedious Zombie

I can see the political benefits of recruiting Alan Milburn as a policy czar, but in terms of good government what is the point? In his most prominent position in the last government, as health secretary, he didn't achieve anything of note other than in spending more money. Maybe it wasn't his fault, he was reputed to have tried to implement reforms, but even so he left without any major accomplishment to his name.

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

Hit The Road

I spent 8 hours on the motorways yesterday and I now have a strange craving for Yorkie bars and a desire to murder prostitutes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still Here

Just can't think of anything at all to write about.

Anyone know any good jokes?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quote Of The Day

I'm rather fond of villains going to prison.
- Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Village Green Preservation Society

George Monbiot is joining the Village Green Preservation Society or at least he is writing about the importance of green spaces:
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

A Nail In The Coffin Of Western Guilt

One of the most widely disseminated myths is that the reason that the West is wealthier than the rest of the world is due to things like colonialism and exploitation. This idea doesn't make a great deal of sense given that Western countries that never had colonies are not poorer than their neighbours, non-Western nations that were never colonised are not noticeably wealthier than their neighbours.

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

Strange Fruit

The world's largest Apple shop is set to open in London's Covent Garden.

I'm not sure why anyone would want a jumbo apple really.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Legal Question

If I wanted to kill somebody and therefore tricked them into coming with me to a country with whom we have no extradition treaty, and then killed them and escaped back to this country what crimes could I be charged with over here?

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.

Women & Minorities Hardest Hit

One of those pompous group letters from all the usual suspects appears in the Guardian today denouncing the government's spending cuts. They appear to play what must be the full house of victimhood poker:

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

Gordon Brown Is Not The Worst PM Ever.....

.....just the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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.

Ignorance Is Strength

Something to consider:
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
On the first scale, the experts performed worse than they would have if they had simply assigned an equal probability to all three outcomes—if they had given each possible future a thirty-three-per-cent chance of occurring. Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world, in other words, are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys, who would have distributed their picks evenly over the three choices.
Maybe this says something about the increased specialisation of knowledge, as academics and pundits become ever more informed about the minutiae of their field they lose focus on the broader picture. Also perhaps some fields of 'expertise' are really job creation scams, the article mentions that when asked to predict grades of college students using a simple formula of test scores and high school grades is more accurate than the choices made by 'experts' based on assessments of personality and background, however using test scores and grades doesn't require much in the way of an admissions staff.

Science enables us to predict many things with great certainty but in most other fields the appearance of science is given to areas of study that cannot easily be subjected to scientific rigour, where things cannot be repeated multiple times and can't really be falsified.

Monday, August 02, 2010

I Have A Dream!

My dream was quite macabre though, in it somebody had left a bear tied up in the street and everyone was avoiding it. All except this delightfully friendly Afghan hound who wanted to be best friends with the bear and started licking its face. At this point I couldn't watch so I walked away knowing full well what was about to happen, something which was confirmed when the Afghan started yelping in fear as the bear turned on it.

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?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Britain & Israel.

Israeli president Shimon Peres claims that the English are antisemitic and 'always work against Israel'. The ironic thing is that Shimon Peres was quite deeply involved in the Suez crisis where the UK went quite far in working on Israel's side. Britain and the Jewish people should be friends anyway, united as we are by the undying hostility of Mel Gibson.

Avid Porn Consumer Applies For Job At BBC

I don't particularly object to Jacqui Smith applying for a "top job" at the BBC especially if she takes advice on programming from her husband.