Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Joined Up Government

Two of today's headlines which were juxtaposed on google news earlier today:

No more nanny state on health: Andrew Lansley

And also this:
Minister to set minimum prices in war on cheap drinks and force tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets

The minister in question is Andrew Lansley.

It's for your own good..

Go Read

Counting Cats highlights a report by the Mises Economic blog about how Sweden is riding out the recession- with big tax cuts for everyone which has led to a scarcely believable growth rate of 6.9%.

Daphne of Jaded Haven finds even the Australians are victims to the most witless forms of political correctness- in this case the police making formal the media convention that crimes by ethnic minorities be misrepresented to avoid stereotyping. Not being able to describe criminals' appearance is an obstacle to law enforcement one would have thought.

Kevin Myers writes about the rotten core of the Irish body politic that has led it to financial penury.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keep This between You, Me & 3 Million Trusted Colleagues.

Whilst I have no sympathy for wikileaks or their narcissistic founder Julian Assange (who believes he has the right to decide whether or not Afghans cooperating with the coalition and national government against the Taliban should have their identities protected), the latest wikileaks revelations reveal a more serious problem.

Given that the leaked documents are important enough to cause serious problems for the United States and their diplomatic efforts you'd think that access would be restricted. And sure enough it- to just a few million of the most trusted people in the US.

Yeah the Wikileaks mob are grossly irresponsible but it's hard to see how something like this was avoidable given the circumstances.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Arresting a girl for burning a Koran ostensibly for inciting religious hatred, underlines a worrying development. We have essentially created a blasphemy law that grants Islam protections from the normal expression of free speech. Furthermore extremist Muslims have been granted the final say over what is allowed to be said- because it is the implicit threat of violence from those sources that gives the police the incentive to arrest blasphemers in order to keep the peace.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The lawyer representing the thug who chucked a fire extinguisher from the roof of Millbank tower is Matt Foot ( son of Leninist ideologue Paul Foot). The last time I noticed his existence was when he wrote an apologia for some idiots abroad who had gone to the anti-globalisation riots in Genoa and were amazed to discover that there was violence.

Maybe he is only representing a client on the "cab rank principle" that lawyers abide by, The other possibility is that supporting left wing rioters trying to bring violence to the streets is something of a passion of his.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not Sure I Follow This Line Of Reasoning.

I'm not entirely sure that I follow this argument- there has always been a rich, vibrant and common European culture regardless of political divisions. However people who oppose the political unity of Europe are against a common European culture.

The periods of innovation and cultural exchange within Europe came during an era where political repression was common but political disunity allowed those being persecuted in one juristiction to seek sanctuary in other places. So to use that common history as an argument for a political union (complete with a pan-European arrest warrant) is not much of an argument.

Sunday, November 21, 2010




One way to stop the pensions crisis I guess.

Educate Me

As most people familiar with US politics will be aware there used to be a sizeable contingent of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans, not just in the sense that the phrases are used now to indicate that they were conservative or liberal relative to their parties as a whole but liberal or conservative in an absolute sense, so it was perfectly possible for Democrats to be way more conservative than conservative Republicans like Ronald Reagan.

I can understand the division among liberals between the two parties a little better because even when they aligned on social issues, liberal Republicans tended to be more conservative about things like spending and unions. The conservative split is harder to explain.

It was obviously partly a race and regional thing thing, but presumably there must have been reasons for conservative Democrats and Republicans to be in different parties in the first place, so what were the underlying differences between the two groups and why have they ceased to be relevant? The only obvious policy difference I can see is that Southern conservative Democrats tended to favour a more active foreign policy whereas the Mid Western GOP conservatives like Senator Robert Taft tended towards a more isolationist position.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mad Hatter

It's always a good time to bash Simon Heffer. Like Heffer, I do think that the hat should make a comeback. However it is simply untrue to say that President Kennedy was responsible for the decline of hat wearing. Usually this myth states that the decline in hat wearing began when he declined to wear the traditional top hat during in inauguration, and being such a style icon he immediately made head wear obsolete.

The one slight flaw in the theory is that during his inauguration he had a great big hat shaped item on his soon to be splattered bonce.

The Myth Of The Myth Of Winterval

Now Christmas is upon us (honestly, look at the shops!) there will be two traditions that will be making a re-emergence. Firstly some conservative commentators will refer to the liberal hostility to Christmas by the left citing the case of Birming City Council replacing Christmas with "Winterval" one year. Next various liberal commentators will refer to conservative scaremongering about "the war on Christmas" by pointing out that Christmas was a part of the interval celebrations so the controversy was in fact bogus.

In fact there is an important point about the original "Winterval" that is often overlooked. As the Birmingham Post put it at the time:

A LEADING churchman has launched an astonishing attack on council chiefs over Christmas.
The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev Mark Santer, has accused Birmingham City Council of replacing Christmas with `Winterval'.
He calls the decision madness - and says there is a danger of the secular world becoming deeply embarrased by faith.
The Bishop's hard-hitting remarks are contained in his Christmas message which has been sent to all clergy and churches in the diocese.
Last night, the city council said Winterval was not another name for Christmas, and the winter festival would have traditional Christmas at its heart.
The row comes five years after the city council insisted on Christmas lights being called festive lights to avoid offending religious and racial minorities.
In other words, it wasn't irrational paranoia to suspect that Birmingham City Council were trying to phase out Christmas to be politically correct, because that was exactly what they had done just a few years previously. Given that most of the same people were in charge it seems to me that Winterval probably was an attack on Christmas- after all Christmas isn't usually a secondary festival- albeit more subtle than is often acknowledged.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not Funny

As the Chief Inspector of Prisons says, accidentally translating "exercise yard" into "execution yard" in a leaflet for Russian prisoners is very serious:

"You could treat it as a bit of a joke unless you were that prisoner and you didn't understand how the British prison service worked and came from a country that still had execution yards. It wouldn't be a funny thing for him."
 He's right, it wouldn't be funny then, because it would be hilarious.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Exclusive Interview With "Big Brother Burma" Champion Aung San Suu Kyi.

Whilst John Simpson and the BBC World Service are claiming to have the first interviews with freed Burmese democracy campaigner and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; Aung San Suu Kyi. This sites special correspondent actually beat them to it. Unfortunately he was also working for Nuts at the time of the interview but it is very revealing nonetheless:

Nuts: You've been under house arrest since 1990, during which time your husband died. So you must be gagging for it by now.

ASSK: I am interested only in bring freedom to the Burmese people and if your readers want to support.....

Nuts: Talking of "support", we have to say you've got a magnificent pair of breasts, did you always wear a bra?

ASSK: That's not what I'm here to discuss. Do you not have any questions about democracy, freedom or my house arrest?

Nuts: OK love, keep your knickers on. We have loads of questions about that stuff.

ASSK: Ok thank you.

Nuts. You were kept in your house for years at a time.

ASSK: Yes..

Nuts: How long was it before you thought "why bother getting dressed, I can hang around naked all day watching Jeremy Kyle"?

ASSK: I never behaved like that.

Nuts: Yeah right!

ASSK: Don't you have any questions about the situation here?

Nuts: Alright, there have been a lot of female leaders from South and South East Asia- Benazir Bhutto, Corazin Aquino, Indira Gandhi. Which one would you snog if you had the chance.

ASSK: None of them....

 Nuts: Really?

ASSK: Yes really.

Nuts: Ironically, you've been released just months after the last series of Big Brother, don't you think you would have been awesome at that?

ASSK: Ha ha, I'm sure I would but let's talk about the Junta....

Nuts: I'd like to see what you've got up your junta! Geddit. Back to Big Brother. It's our Big Brother Big Boobs edition this week, so which contestant had the best boobs in your view, Jade Goody is ineligible?

ASSK: I don't care about Big Brother or boobs or Jade Goody or .....

Nuts: Did you really say you don't care about Jade Goody?

ASSK: Yes.

Nuts: That's very insensitive, don't you know the poor woman is dead. I'm actually shocked that you could be so hurtful.

ASSK: Sorry I didn't know she was dead or who she was.

Nuts: Yeah right, have you been locked in a darkened room for the last 10 years or something? This interview is over, get out!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trashing Your Product

In the East Midlands one of the adverts that is on local radio stations constantly is for the University of Derby. It is plugging some kind of 12 week business courses. It features an employer being very impressed by the applicants commitment in attaining these qualifications whilst the applicant knows that it was actually just a three month course.

In other words they are essentially advertising as a feature, not a bug, of the course that employers might mistake the qualifications for something deeper and more expansive. So they are effectively telling employers that their qualifications are a bit of a con, and presumably diminishing the value of whatever proper students come out with.

Good work advertisers!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ordinary People Are Easily Alarmed

On the subject of risible twats who hype jocular comments on Twitter into "death threats", the man who joked about blowing up an airport, Paul Chambers, had his appeal rejected. The judge who ruled against him claimed that "any ordinary person" would be alarmed by the comment.

That's right, a sitting judge has such a low opinion of the general public that she seriously argues that a random post on Twitter threatening to blow up an airport by someone who is frustrated at missing a flight is likely to be taken as being a literal threat to do just that, despite the fact that he clearly had neither the means or inclination to do either.

My belief in the abilities of the general public is not vast but even I don't think they're that stupid. As with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's claim to find the quote by Gareth Compton calling for her to be stoned to death to be a death threat- it is clearly untrue.

Incidentally in the case of Yaz, her gall is even more breathtaking than usual, she is accusing her victim of calling for her stoning because he mocked her actual apologetics for a real upcoming stoning of an Iranian woman!

Rather extraordinarily, Mr Compton has been suspended from the Conservative Party on the grounds that what he said was "not acceptable". Seeing as he was defending David Cameron against Yaz's insistence that he had no moral authority to criticise Iran for stoning women to death, then I can only assume that it is now official Tory policy that Dave has no moral authority.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yaz Death Poll

In light of the police arresting someone for joking that Yasmin Alibhai Brown should be stoned to death the obvious question is- how should Yaz be executed?
How should Yasmin Alibhai Brown be executed?
She should be stoned.
Hang her!
Hangings too good for her, burn her at the stake.
Stake through the heart.
Firing squad.
Suffocated between a White Van Man's sweaty butt cheeks.
She should ritually disemboweled along with the rest of the Independent editorial board.
Crucify to satisfy her messiah complex.
Bury her alive in a mound of unsold "Independent's".
Taken apart slowly with a scapel
pollcode.com free polls

The Trustafarian EDL

In what sense are the student protestors demanding that poor people give them more money- and the borderline retards who are celebrating the violence* any different from say the EDL or other groups committed to street violence? Except the student trots who were doing this would look down on the chavs of the EDL.

* Sample quote from Arthur Baker, writing on the site Liberal Conspiracy which purports to be a forum for the mainstream left in the British blogosphere:
putting a placard or an effigy of David Cameron on a bonfire is not violence, writing on walls is not violence, smashing windows is not violence and dancing on roves is not violence. Even throwing bits of cardboard placard at police clad in bullet proof jackets and helmets, armed with sheilds and battons hardly seems “thugish”.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


The true benefit of the government's workfare plans- making the longterm unemployed to unpaid "community" work, is getting people back into the habit of work. As such it is probably going to be beneficial to most of the supposed victims in the long term.

The two concerns that I have is the amount of time being talked about for the work- 30 hours a week for 4 weeks is quite a lot when they are also supposed to be looking for work. I realise it is less than a typical full time work week but I think it is too long for people unused to working regular hours.

The second concern is that the work shouldn't be demeaning, getting a qualified engineer to spend all day is a bright yellow jacket picking litter is not going to restore his morale.

It is probably most beneficial to people who have never really worked rather than those who have lost their jobs.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lacks Polish

I decided my shoes were looking decidedly grubby and needed freshened up, so I went out to buy some polish. So I went to the recently opened polish shop on the high street and to my astonishment not only did they not sell polish or any shoe cleaning paraphenalia- most of the staff didn't even speak English!

If this is what the British service industry has come to then I despair, I really do.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Genuine Conversation

This is a conversation I had with a younger friend a month or so ago:

Her: I don't like Gays

Me: Er.... but you have sex with other women, or have done in the past, isn't that a bit gay?

Her: That's different.

Jokes To Be Re-Used

Last week I was at a halloween thing and talking with a bunch of people one of whom was dressed as Death, complete with a cloak and a scythe. The conversation got round to how death can have sex given that he's just a skeleton ( yeah alcohol was involved) my observation was that as Death's touch is fatal sleeping with him would would basically be like having sex with Freddie Mercury.

Of Mice & Men

My mouse is currently broken, which is one of the main reasons blogging has been light- it's almost impossible to cut and paste links without a mouse. I'll post a few random anecdotes that don't require any cutting and pasting in the meantime.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!


Doesn't say much about Ed Miliband's judgement that the sleazy little pixie was appointed a shadow minister even with this hanging over his head.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ex Lifer

I'm not really too bothered about votes for prisoners but this may be one of the most revealing phrases in the English language:
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg was only able to pass judgement on this matter because of an individual case lodged by an ex-lifer who had pursued his claim relentlessly for years
If you're an ex-lifer than you were never really a lifer to begin with.

Just Because You Got Stabbed Doesn't Make You An Expert

We have laws against inciting violence so what exactly is Stephen Timms proposing here:
An MP stabbed by a high-flying university student inspired by al Qaeda told how it was like a "bolt out of the blue".
Stephen Timms backed calls for an overhaul of websites hosting terror videos as he said Roshonara Choudhry's online radicalisation was "puzzling and alarming".
Indeed given that he acknowledges that his assailants radicalisation is "puzzling" he appears to acknowledge that he doesn't actually understand what motivated her so he is essentially calling for a ban on a wide range of unspecified material.

Happy Times Are Here Again

The Republican wins in the US mid terms remind me of what PJ O'Rourke said the last time the GOP won the House- "Repuiblicans have always argued that government doesn't work, and now we're going to prove it".