Sunday, March 31, 2013


Just listening to report on the merger of Scottish police forces into the awfully named "Police Scotland". The BBC reporter said "Priorities for the new force include promoting more women and reducing violent crime".

Well I'm glad that reducing crime is up there I suppose...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hooray Scandal Averted

The proposals for a statutory press regulator that have been accepted by all three main parties ensures that the biggest public scandal of recent years will never be allowed to happen again.

I talk of course of the parliamentary expenses scandal which was exposed when the Daily Telegraph purchased the information in circumstances which were 100% justified yet probably illegal (at least by the person selling it).

Some of the press abuses were scandalous- the harassment of Chris Jeffries and the hacking of Millie Dowler's phone were inexcusable- but this response is all about empowering every public nuisance to suppress stories which they find damaging.

The complainant to the new press regulator will have to pay none of the costs- but given the big fines the regulator will be able to impose the newspapers will have to pay for lawyers even if they are blameless. Great news if you're Trafigura, the Church of Scientology or Spanker Mosely but terrible news if you have any notion of the powerful being held to account.

I don't really blame David Cameron- because once the Lib Dems decided they would rather screw over the press than uphold free speech he simply didn't have enough MPs to resist the Labour proposals (which were pretty much drafted by Hacked Off).

 Public outrage has successfully been harnessed to censor pretty much all forms of written  speech.

Official Budget Blog

Ignore anything you read about the budget for at least 48 hours. Whilst George Osborne is not a conman in the style of Gordon Brown- whose smoke and mirror budgets frankly brought parliament into disrepute- you can guarantee that bad news is tucked away and trivia like marginal changes in the duty on beer will be front and centre.

Except last year when the Chancellor's spinning backfired and made a competent and sensible budget look like the work of a simpleton.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Alas Poor Hugo.

The Guardian currently reminds me of the Daily Star after Jade Goody died- all because Hugo Chavez has passed off this mortal coil.

I would have preferred him to leave office alive because for all his faults he was not- unlike most of his international allies- a murderer. Although thousands are dead due to his incompetence- Venezuela's murder rate soared to scarcely believable levels under his misrule.

His supporters say that he helped the poor, but really any oil producing nation should be able to lift some of the poor out of poverty during a decade long oil boom.

His electoral success, while partly achieved by taking over much of the free press, illustrates the need for politicians to engage with the poor because even if he was an incompetent buffoon, a lot of people would rather vote for an idiot who seems to be on their side than someone more effective who doesn't care.

His legacy is that he embodied revolutionary socialism- fire and fury but no accomplishments to speak of.