Friday, 18 December 2009


So fair thee well Sir Terrence. Enjoy the semi-retirement

Just one thing to note tho' - you'd think the Gord could count after being Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In his vote for me pleeeease,...I mean warm, message to Sir Tel, he said: ""Five decades at the very top of British broadcasting is a towering, indeed an unparalleled achievement."

Um, Sir Terry started on the beeb in 1969 - which is 40 years, four decades, and took on the breakfast show in 1972.

Ah well.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

IT'S (nearly) CHRISTMAS!!!

Don't have too much too say at the moment, Things are a tad depressing and all that.

Instead some updated carols -

Christmas is a-coming the country's getting thin
Please put some money in the deficit bin
If you haven't got a penny then a ha'penny will do
And if you are a banker then fuck to you
Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm all is bright
Last defence spending, cupboards laid bare
For those soldiers getting blown up out there
Sleep in bivowacy peace, sleep in bivowacy peace.
Oh come all you voters, fill the pockets of wankers
Who know you'll be paying their mortgages tonight.
Sing for your supper, as we pay each other
Oh come lets redact houses
Oh come lets redact towers
Oh come all you MPs and trough out the night
O little town of Copenhagan
How still we see them lie
Above they fly, carbon credits in the sky
The warming seems to pass them by
Yet on the web the emails come to pass
Of lying out their arse
Their man-created fears of all the years
Are laid bare for all to see.
following the latest defence cuts, the MoD has issued revised lyrics for one carol

I saw a ship come sailing in, on Christmas day, on Christmas Day
I saw a ship come sailing in, on Christmas day in the morning

It should be three but only one came in, because of pay because of pay.
There was only one that we could see, because Christmas cuts in the Navy

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


So the guvment is to tax all British-trading banks a "one-off" 50% tax on bonuses is it?

A couple of questions:

What will stop banks from "paying" bonuses in a non-taxable manner? Which will lead to lower tax revenues

What right does a government have to dictate tax in a discriminary manner?

I know there is deep anger against bankers at the moment but governments should not have the right to dictate bonus policy of a privately-owned business. That is down to shareholders and management not a politician (and following troughgate the irony is huge).

Today could be the day that Labour's scorched-earth policy comes to fruition and I will remember the date for ever as it's my birthday...bastards!

Couldn't you have sent a card instead?

Friday, 4 December 2009


On a lighter note Guido Fawkes does the occasional amusing "Curse of Jonah" about the death-touch of Gordon Brown but he seems to have missed a very high profile hit -

David Beckham's football academy in south-east London is "very likely" to close by the end of the year, site owners AEG Europe have confirmed

BBC News 27 November 2009

10 January 2008

(ok I know Beckham is claiming that it is to go mobile but heh)

Thursday, 3 December 2009


My mother died following a massive stroke yesterday morning so today I would like everyone to forget about climate change, troughing MPs, Nanny States and the EU and for a moment think FAST.

Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms?

Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

Time to call 999

If the person has failed any one of these tests, you must call 999. Stroke is a medical emergency and by calling 999 you can help someone reach hospital quickly and receive the early treatment they need.

Prompt action can prevent further damage to the brain and help someone make a full recovery. Delay can result in death or major long-term disabilities, such as paralysis, severe memory loss and communication problems (aphasia).

FAST wouldn't have saved my mum but it could save someone else's life.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


After the Supreme Court overturned previous rulings on unfair bank charges, Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester, told a Scottish Parliament committee that: "We should understand there is not a free lunch here, that banks have certain costs of doing business and if you don't get paid those costs in one way then you have to find them in another way."

I take it the irony was lost on him.

Monday, 23 November 2009


I'm not going to comment on the latest stitch-up by those unelected doyens of Brussels but one quick question now the French can exact their revenge on us perfidious Albions -

When is Britain going to get politicians that act in the national interest?


"From the 1960s until the 1990s, floods were a rarity in Britain."

Climate change to lash Britain with tropical storms: The Sunday Times, 22.11.09

Well when I was a kid the woods at the end of my road used to regularly get flooded...

Oh and there was this:
"The cool, wet summer of 1968 left the ground saturated. The weekend of 14 and 15th September was dominated by thunderstorms and torrential rain, with an astonishing 1,000 million tonnes of water falling on South-East England."

BTW in the 80s there was huge flood defences built on the Ember and the Mole's defences were completed last year.

OK not the disaster that happened at Cockermouth but less of the inaccuracies. Floods occur every year in the UK. Flood plains are being built on and water is not finding a way of escaping.

After a weekend of leaked emails, you'd think global warmists would think twice before blaming everything on their pet subject.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

ea sports

if this is accurate EA Sports is no more!

OK it could just be their London operations and not the whole company but the former staff of EA Sports London were pretty sure it was the whole company.

Again, if this is accurate and not just hearsay, it's a shame - I remember buying my first Megadrive game which was EA Sports!

I have asked EA Sports for a comment so I'll let you know the veracity of what I've heard

OK it looks likely that the closure is UK-based. I haven't heard anything back from EA Sports but for such a big games company, if it had filed in the States, would have been noticed by now.


Nope, no electioneering going on here, Mandy said so.

The Queen's Speech was this morning and god it was bad. Here's the list of bills which won't get anywhere before the general election -

1. Fiscal Responsibility Bill - put into law promise to halve deficit

I like this one. How to stuff the Tories up before they're in government.
PMQs in 2013 - Labour MP: "The government has failed to halve the deficit and has broken the law.
Cameron: "YEs well, if you hadn't of broken the country then introduced this law then maybe we could have sorted it all out within four years."

Yep, burn the house down then make a law banning matches.

2.Financial Services and Business Bill - clamp down on bonuses for bankers taking too many risks

Here we go again. Is Labour embarking on a scorched earth policy? Who decides the risk? What right does a government have to interfer with the business of a privately-owned bank? Who the hell is going to be left in the City? Bet Frankfurt and Dubai won't see any such law.

3.The Flood and Water Management Bill - give councils powers to prevent floods

Ah yes councils are all powerful. Take a lesson from Canute will you. How does this tally with the new super-planning quango which will, I presume, allow further building on flood plains which creates the conditions for flooding...

4.Social Care Bill - neediest elderly to get home care

Blatent politicking. Labour accelerated the cost of elderly care, with private homes essentially becoming the property of local government, and this is to counteract the Tories' idea of giving £8,000 for elderly care.

5.Policing, Crime and Private Security Bill - DNA of more sex offenders added to database

More DNA. Actually, how come there are still sex offenders' DNA that isn't on the database? Oh, hang on, the government is busy compiling innocent people's DNA.

6.Energy Bill - give Ofgem more powers to act on behalf of customers over prices
Erm, what's the point of Ofgem if it doesn't act on behalf of customers already?

7. Bribery Bill - make it offence to bribe foreign officials and for business to fail to prevent bribery

Haven't we been here before?

8.Digital Economy Bill - set up fund to bring in universal broadband by 2012

Yep, definitely been here before

9. Cluster Munitions Prohibition Bill - ratify international ban on cluster bombs

eh? I thought after the blessed Diana had died that Britain had already done this? Oh hang on, there was a definition problem with British armanent sales and the use in places such as, oh, I don't know, Iraq. Oh and that the RAF had to wait for a replacement for them as well.

BIG BROTHER pt 46736

It's going to happen isn't it.

Eventually some government is going to join up all the dots and bam we'll be barcoded, id'd and rationed on alcohol, sugar, fats and flights.

The latest wheeze in the Big Brother house is this.

Not only are GPs being ordered to upload patients information to a central spine (BTW ask your GP to opt you out, it's allowed but the DHS doesn't like people to know that) but now parents will be asked to fill out a four-page child wellbeing review in a pilot scheme in Lincolnshire.

"The Review asks parents to indicate whether their child "often lies or cheats": whether they steal or bully; and how often they eat red meat, takeaway meals or fizzy drinks.

However, the interrogation is not limited to intimate details of a child’s health. Parents responding to the survey are asked to provide details about their health and their partner’s health, whether they or their partner are in paid employment, and even to own up to whether or not their child is upset when they (the parent) returns to a room"

Enough already.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


No, no, no Peter White. The vermin is the one in front of her...

I will think of something sensible to say sometime this week promise!!


OK, when the news that dementia pills were killing paranoid schizophrenics came out, did anyone else think "Maybe those guys were right"?

I'll get me coat.


I'm stunned.

Had to phone the council today and the official was helpful, useful and the outcome was completely to my benefit.

Um, wow!

Monday, 16 November 2009


There was a meme in the Summer about that gatecrashing squirrel which seems to have made a reappearance.

So here're mine!!


A quick update on the Moorcock story. He posted on his forum this weekend about the Doctor including:
1) I've been watching Dr Who since it began. Haven't liked all the doctors and after Peter Davison stopped watching regularly until the new BBC Wales series.
2) Since the Tom Baker series, a lot of my ideas crept into the stories and so in many ways I'll be writing a story which already echoes my own work.
3)I do have to submit it to editors so they can make sure it fits into the canon and this, of course, is understandable. By saying it wasn't a tie-in I did, of course, mean that it would be an original novel, not one which was linked to previous stories.

You can read it here


They have got to be kidding

ht: Old Holborn

Friday, 13 November 2009


Um, woah, Michael Moorcock is to write a Doctor Who novel


Oh how they sneered when they managed to wrest the other party's lover into their arms. For 12 years, they canoodled, played footsie under the table, shared their dreams.

But all things come to an end and the jilted lover is now screaming and tearing his hair out, "How could they do this to me," he screams. "I thought I was the one."

Two things to note Mandy - 1) Petty revenge is beneath you. It was your party that removed the Ashes in the first place so that, er, Sky could hoover up the rights.
2) You spent 12 years in bed with Murdoch so it is pathetic that you are now running around trying to persuade people that Cameron has done a deal with Murdoch. I didn't see your party trying to chase up the billions of pounds that News International and Sky must surely owe the exchequer. I didn't see Blair objecting to being feted in Australia by Murdoch.

So like all tragic breakdowns in relationships, I think the best thing for you to do is take a deep breath and have a nice cup of tea.


Just noticed something, at PMQs on Wednesday the PM said: "I have to say about the youth unemployment figures that the right hon. Gentleman quotes that 250,000 of that number are full-time students looking for part-time work, and they are not fully unemployed."

Erm, correct me if I'm wrong but if a person is a full-time student they cannot be registered unemployed. So they cannot be part of unemployment figures.

Just a thought

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I am not going to comment on Brown's latest gaffe as I don't think an attack on a one-eyed person who writes in felt-tip is fair.

What I do find interesting is that Labour have really lost it. Mandy has led the charge by accusing the Sun of acting with a political interest (NSS).

The old Mandy would never have done that. Indeed the old Mandy would have realised that if Brown was to call and apologise then there would be an attack on him and the call would be recorded.

Whatever your personal views on Labour in the last 12-15 years, there is no denying that for the first 10 years the political machine was incredible.

From getting the public to think of the Tories as sleeze to avoiding the same damage during Teflon's era was with one of the best political messaging management teams ever.

Now though that's gone and like The Office, I am now beginning to cringe at each disaster: - from this letter, to looking bored and disinterested at the Festival of Remembrance to not even bowing at the Cenotaph.


I am at a loss over all of this, really.

The government is to go ahead with the monitoring of all phone calls, emails and which websites every person in the UK has visited.

THis is on top of Ripa, the extension of seizure powers to councils etc, and the introduction of an "exit visa" in 2010.

Would the real UK politicians stand up? You know those people who genuinely believe in the idea of freedom, free speech, the home is a castle and all that.

Where are they?

Will the Conservatives make a commitment to remove, not just repeal but remove, all these pieces of rubbish from our statute books?

I won't hold my breath.

And as others have said, this latest infringement to our privacy comes at the marvellously ironic time of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Well the inevitable happened with the Czechs finally signing up to the Lisbon Treaty.

The other inevitable thing was the decision of David Cameron to back down from a referendum.

The third inevitable thing was the tin-helmet brigade shrieking - and backed by their shrill-voiced paper, The Daily Mail - that Cameron has betrayed Britain.

How exactly? C'mon how? He isn't Prime Minister and he never said that there would be a referendum if the Treaty was ratified before the next election, only if it wasn't. Try learning to read Tin-Hatters.

The Treaty no longer exists - it is now law. Now I presume Cameron is acting honourably (for a politican, natch) and has consulted constitutional lawyers about the feasibility of the proposed checks and balances - and judging from the protocol-ignoring reaction of the French there seems to be some truth to this - so good for him for trying to make a bad decision better.

Finally, how must Labour laughing at all this.

Let me remind you again, Cameron didn't "betray" the nation by going back on a referendum...

He did


so did he

Oh him as well

The Conservatives were the only ones to keep honouring their manifesto commitment whilst the other two parties sold us down the swanny.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

crash, bang, wallop

l see the worthies are at it again.
A Dr Karen Pfeffer has called on cartoons to include a warning about violence and injuries.
Haven't we been here before? I can honestly say that watching Tom and Jerry did not traumatise me, nor did it make me want to hit someone with a frying pan.

comedic values pt 2

So not enough with Frankie Boyle resigning from Mock the Week, I hear a call for him to be banned from the BBC.

Listen, it's a comedy quiz. if taking the piss out of the Queen's vagina is OK according to the BBC Trust then surely taking the mick out of some swimmer is OK? Unless BBC Sport has paid taxpayers' money for her appearance of course. or is that too cynical?

If the BBC had some balls this would never had happened. Remember this happened because of one person, after a repeat...

That's right one person, 0.0004% of the average audience and as a result we have lost a very talented, close to the bone comedian, from the programme. And if the reports are real, well sorry Rebecca, but I am sure you have laughed at Frankie's comments about other celebs, just because you got a tax-aided medal doesn't exclude you from ridicule.

Friday, 23 October 2009

BNP pt2

A quick appendum to all the BNP stuff. As I wrote below, BNP support is coming from Labour as this YouGov/Channel 4 poll shows.

So what you going to do Gordon?

H/T: To Political Betting for putting this up again


So how was it for you?

Like many I thought Griffin came across exactly as I thought he would - shifty, nervous, ludicrous.

But... As others have pointed out, how will this play out in Bradford, Dagenham etc?

To be honest I don't think that his support will rise. Yes it may look like he was being bullied and yes I agree with Iain Dale that perhaps the Beeb should have stuck to the topical format of QT instead of focussing on the BNP. But the support he has is already there, I doubt he will get new support after this. We'll see when the polls are done, spose.

Anyway well done the Beeb for sticking to its guns and well played Alan Davis on The Week where he was perfect foil to the shrill Diane Abbot.

BTW, funniest moment? Jack Straw reaching for a (partisan),er, straw. He was asked if Labour were to blame for the rise of the BNP and in his waffle he ended up trying to blame the Conservatives and Enoch Powell for the policy that allowed Commonwealth citizens to work for "the Mother Country" in the '50s.

At least I think that was what he was trying to say because he was waffling. Also Jack try not to make it too obvious when you are reading your SPAD notes!

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Some pics of the new interior

And flipped for the actual programme:

It's got a staircase!

H/t Scooty

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Comedic values

I see the BBC is once again in a self-flagellation mode again with the news that Mock the Week has been censured for a joke by Frankie Boyle about Rebecca Adlington.

The joke "The thing that nobody really said about Rebecca Adlington is that she looks pretty weird. She looks like someone who's looking at themselves in the back of a spoon" was deemed "humiliating" by the BBC Trust.

Now look, there were 75 complaints, yep 75! That's from an audience of around 2m. And that wasn't the end of it - One, that's ONE, viewer continued to complain which resulted in the formal censure.

So 0.0037% of viewers complained intially. Then 0.00005% of viewers were sad enough to keep going.

Listen, I like Mock The Week. I find Frankie Boyle is gloriously rude and bare knuckled. Some of his jokes are extremely close to the bone but that's him. If you don't like it, turn of the TV, watch something else, do something else. Don't try and decide for me and 1,999,998 other viewers (or 1,999,924 other viewers if you include the original sad cu..complainees) what we can watch post-watershed.

Interestingly The Trust concluded that a joke about the Queen was "in bad taste" but was broadcast long after the watershed and was "within audience expectations for the show".

So were the Adlington jokes.

Free for all not Pic n Mix

"Five years on, the broadcasting ban remains a nasty little law, flirting with censorship."

Peter Hain is continuing his campaign to prevent the BNP from appearing on Question Time

I have always argued and will continue to argue in favour of free speech.
It is not a pic and mix, if there is free speech for one there is free speech for another.

"Tolerance of the intolerable is the hallmark of a democracy."

Why do Labour want to block these odious idiots anyway? They complained loudly about the Sinn Fein broadcasting ban - or were those bunch of political thugs acceptable to their ideology? (I thought the broadcasters did a brilliant job circumventing a ban that should never have been ordered and Labour correctly applauded the media's actions.)

You cannot decide on who has free speech. Although we don't have a written right to free speech, we do have laws and precedences to protect people. If Griffin, or any other loony commits an offence for incitement to racial violence or violence against a person then hit him with the law.

There is one straight precedence, it is fine to exercise free speech but you cannot shout fire in a packed cinema. So apply that. And whilst you're at it, arrest those thugs at the Finsbury Mosque for incitement as well. Like free speech, laws should be applied to all no matter what religion, colour or which House of Parliament you sit in.

As always, confront the bigot, don't make him a martyr. It is your natural constituents, Labour, that are voting for them.

The BNP is tapping into fears about jobs, housing, crime, the "way of life", and the only answer you're coming up with is to try and ban them?

AS I argued before, if you ban one political party, where does it stop? Hmmm, UKIP, bunch of loons, ban them. Tory Party? Full of rascists and capitalists, ban them. Lib Dems? Those orange book lads look a bit off-our-message, ban them.

Where do you stop?

Oh, and while I'm here, THE BNP IS A LEFT-WING PARTY! Look at its manifesto commitements, they're all socialist ideals. Just because they want to kick "anyone not them" out of the country and use nationalist imagery, it does not make them right wing, the left has used that as well!!

One final thing, the quotes on this blog - you may be interested to know that these come from Ann Clywd, the then-Labour spokesperson on National Heritage,on the fifth anniversary of the Sinn Fein broadcasting ban.
Here's the final one...

"Being right is not the key. Being allowed to be obnoxiously wrong is. The constitutional concept of free expression means something in continental Europe, and it means something in the United States. It should mean something here."

Appendum: Even Richard Littlejohn is calling for a ban!?! H/t Obo

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Funny how the political messages seem to come around again and again!

This is from pre-war elections!

h/t theo spark

Monday, 12 October 2009


Gordon Brown has announced plans for a £16bn sell-off - just enough to pay August's loan.

Now aside the rights and wrongs of an asset sale, the one thing I noticed is that he wants to sell off the 33% stake in Urenco.

Urenco supplies equipement to enrich uranium for the nuclear industry, y'know the industry that everyone is turning to as fears about oil and gas dependency rises. An industry that will be growing - shadows of the gold sell-off anyone?

Still he's insisted that there will be "no threat to national security".

That's alright then


oh sh...


so the BBC has decided that there has been no evidence of global warming for the past 11 years.

Hey ho, shame no-one told Jeremy Vine who is sending two of his listeners to a global warming supporting scientist to see if he can "convert" them.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

the universe

Over at Rick Veitch's, he has a photo which shows what the universe looks like. It's from scientist at the Miskatonic University who somehow took a picture from outside time and space ;)

Looks cool tho'

American politics

Conservatives and liberals: American politics explained
If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated favours.

If a black man or Hispanic are conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced (unless it’s a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he's in labor and then sues.

If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended".

Hat tip: Donal Blaney

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Doctor Who Logo

So the new logo is up

Not sure about the "DW" bit, makes me think that there was a brand consultant involved.

Just as I got used to the cats-eye logo as well ;)

Doctor Who - SPOILERS

Looks like the post-regeneration episode is being filmed attm.

Look away now if you don't want to see...


Looks like Tennant's costume, according to Bleeding Cool there's twitter about unusual cravings, as Rich says "Post regeneration?"

I wonder what the appeal to dads will be this time? ;)

cheers Alun Vega

Monday, 5 October 2009


A fews things from pop culture.

On All-Star Family Fortunes, the celeb families were asked to name the top ten best known superheroes -
Number Four was SuperTed


Doctor Who gets a new logo at 0800 tomorrow - Check here

Alan Moore returns to fanzines, with the launch of Dodgem Logic next month.


So it's down to the Czechs and the Poles to pull the ordinary EU people out of this tecno-cratic nightmare that is developing in Brussels.

Or we wait to see what Cameron does if Lisbon is full ratified.

The EU is not for the people, it is for the technocrats with Tony Blair at its head. Sod the people, the sheeple, they will do what is told or face the consequences.

Oh and the animals too apparently.

God this is depressing. What on earth did my father's generation sign us up for? You know that Common market thingy, the one that Labour opposed right up till 1987.

That's the other thing that confuses me - where have all the Labour anti's disappeared to? It couldn't just have been Tony Benn surely? Is hatred of the Conservatives so ingrained that they have ditched their principles just to try and stay in power and try and do another Tory split-shit-stir?

With their reputation? ;)

Update: Dan Hannan, needless to say, has plenty on this. I like the Guardian cartoon he notes in the article

Education, education, education

The Devil has done an excellent piece on the Tories' plan for Swedish style voucher education so go and read it and come back here.

I was talking to people last night about education - not so much the National Curriculum but what is education for and how should it be implemented.

First up - this idiocy of keeping kidults in education to 18. Now this is ridiculous and a blatent attempt to massage the NEETs figures. If a 16-year-old does not want to be in education then what do you think the effect will be on those that do want further education? Bored, angry pupils disrupting lessons, knowing that there is nothing the teacher will actually do is the probably result.

So scrap this ridiculous law.

Second - Higher education. Why should there be universal higher education. That's not what the real world is about. The net result is a funding crisis and non-courses so that the new universities can survive.

Why should it take three years to do a Hairdressing degree?

What should happen is the re-installing of Higher Education colleges, polytechnics and "proper" universities - each catering for the needs of the pupil - so you have practical, mixed and academic courses. Some people are academically minded, some are practical and some are mixed ability. Aim to get the best out of those students.

Third up was education in general. At the moment you have a centrally controlled rigid structure run on ideological grounds rather than on what is best for the pupil. There should only be two compulsory subjects post-14: English Language and Maths. That's all. people need to read, write and count if they are going to succeed in whatever course their lives take them.

Other courses should be based on ability. So, taking my older brother for an example - he was a shocking academic (we actually suspect he may have been dyslexic) but give him an engine, art pad or piece of wood and he could create like you wouldn't believe. So should he been forced to do all those academic subjects when more practical ones may have suited him more?

Pre-14, there should be compulsory maths, english, history and a.n.other. My preference would be art or a language. There should also also be intelligent streaming. I.E. Put children of the same ability in the same group. But with constant monitoring. Some kids will move on in a subject faster and earlier than others. Streaming allows tailored education to suit each group.

For instance if i was teaching a difficult maths group then once a week or so we could play darts or snooker with two of the kids as designated scorers. They would have to add and subtract without calculators. I know people who would have improved significantly if they had been taught in a more practical manner.

But this could also challenged by the child. Say he believes that he should stay in a group, he can have a month or so in the new year to prove himself capable. Give a child a challenge, a competition, most will go for it.

In my perfect world, each child would have a full basic education and then skills. whether academic or practical, would be layered on top.

But that's a perfect world, I'm interested in seeing the praticalities of a Tory government.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


So you pop off to make the tea or whatever and you come back to the 'pooter to find your wife/partner/flatemate has taken control of the machine.

is there a term for that?


Yep I haven't bothered to cover the party conferences as there are better things to do then watch a rotten corpse heave itself up for one more go (actually I am still not convinced that Cameron has sealed the deal yet) but one thing that threw me was this "Gulags for Slags".

I'm sorry, did I miss the Labour Party turn into some Victorian virtue society? Or as Guido points out, the social conscience wing of the BNP. Now I agree that there is a problem with some single mothers - those feckless women that you see dragging their hoards of differential paternity asbos-in-waiting brood around while milking the system and making lives hell for others - but others are just caught in circumstances.

Now I agree that there is a problem with society, self-responsibility etc but who caused this?

Hmmm, this political party promised that the state would support all these people and that the state knew best.

Indeed this party has managed to destroy society, community, the private arena to such a great extent that thugs can cause a mother to commit suicide with her disabled daughter while neighbours grass two working mothers, hell policewomen even, for supporting each other by looking after each other's kids.

I know who should be insitutionalised and it isn't most of the teenage mothers.

The Sun

So the Sun has decided to back Cameron, albeit reluctantly.

But the great thing to hear is the huffing and puffing of the left over this.

A few things to note:

Papers do not decide elections.

Papers reflect the readership's view not set it

Around 40% of the Sun's readership has always voted Labour, people forget it was orginally left-of-centre when it started.

One more thing and there is an increasing amount of waffle about what is "right". Apparently The Sun supporting Labour was a perfectly right thing to do but the other way round is an affront to democracy and that "people decide elections, not newspapers". Perfectly right Gordon but why is it only important when The Sun turns Tory?

Friday, 25 September 2009

If Aliens are watching us

If Aliens were watching us, this is what they would be seeing from US broadcasts (click to view)!

From Strange Maps

military matters

A book by the two journalists that broke the MPs expenses scandal claims that the mole was one of 20 people hired to transfer expenses forms into electronic format. It seems they were guarded by soldiers on leave hoping to gain a bit of cash to buy equipment before returning to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Apparently all in the room got angry at the expense claims of MPs while the soldiers told them of the shortages on campaign.

And do you know the thing that depresses me the most about this? The shortage of equipment and the supplying of inadequate equipment came as no surprise to me at all.

Really. The politicians and top brass have always treated the soldier badly. Whether it was the Crimea or WW1 where families sent jumpers and greatcoats to make sure Tommy didn't freeze to death or WW2 where some companies were renowned scroungers of kit, this is not new.

During the Napoleonic Wars, soldiers would strip the enemy of cash, gold, bullet catridges, gunpowder, you name it. Sounds horrific to some but it was a necessity for the average soldier. Money, weaponry, clothing could make the difference between life and death.

So the echoes of history but do you know what really depresses me - this will continue.

Just because this has always happened does not make it right and I would love the next government to make a pledge that any war a politician sends a soldier into will be fully supported and funded. No meally-mouthed platitudes, just a straight commitment.

But I suspect that nothing will change.

And whilst we're here - visit this site, please.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


So Gordo is offering to cut one of the Trident subs then?

Great...if it doesn't affect the UK's defence capacity...

But this is Gordo - calamity Brown...

So it probably will...

Oh and cut the bull, this is an economic decision in reality not an issue about proliferation. No country that now has nukes will even consider giving them up.

Saturday, 19 September 2009


So I was in my local talking to a postie that drinks in there -

Me: "Hang on you're on holiday, how are you going to be able to vote about the strike?"

Postie: "That's alright, it's a postal ballot."


Wednesday, 16 September 2009


So am doing some PR work and thought I'd congratulate Colin Bailey and Biggles Sausages on winning a one star Gold Award from the Great Taste awards.

He does great sausages and his website can be found here

advert over!!!


OK, I am not going to be posting about the robber barons ie: How exactly is a best rate 2.49% above base?

But there is one thing I am amazed that is allowed to continue - the reserve fee.

How on Earth is it legal to charge this? Between £800 to £1,500 on top of the money a bank or building society makes from you anyway.

Now most people can't afford to pay the reserve fee up front so the barons helpfully drop in onto your mortgage and charge you interest on it. For a 20 year mortgage that almost the equivalent of an extra year of payment!

I can almost understand if you are moving mortgages - admin etc - but when you are staying with your bank? All they are trying to do is sell you products on top of what you already own. The mortgage itself is five minutes of button pressing.

It is a con and should be made illegal

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


So Dennis MacShane had a ludicrous article in the Evening Standard last night Never mind the politics, it's time to join the euro

He begins with:
Europe, from rainy Ireland to sun-soaked Greece, has suddenly become frighteningly expensive, as the massive devaluation of the pound against the euro hits home. The jug of sangria, the pottery and wines to bring home now cost us so much more.

AH, right so there was never a high value of the pound that was frightening exporters a couple of years ago and allowed very cheap holidays then?

The saddest sights in south-west France and on the Spanish Mediterranean costas are British citizens handing back to estate agents the keys of the houses they bought but can no longer afford to keep, as their pounds from back home don't cover the bills.

So these idiots gambled on a high sterling rate and lost? Must have actually believed Gordo when he said there was an end to boom and bust

For more than a decade we have been told that the euro was a terrible idea, while the good old pound sterling would protect the British economy from the wily ways of the Europeans.

Told by who...erm that would be your Prime Minister among others

Now more and more people are asking why the pound is letting us down - and whether treating it as a shibboleth that cannot be questioned makes sense any more.

Who? Who is saying the pound is letting us down?

All the old arguments against the euro have fallen away. There is no European super-state emerging with its adoption. There is no dictation of economic policy from Brussels.

Nope, Europe doesn't tell us what to do, no sirey

The EU takes just one per cent of Europe's gross national income to spend on policies agreed by 27 cantankerous, ever-arguing member states.

That's OK then as our contribution will soar by 60%, that's £257 per year for each household but it's under 1% and for what exactly?

Meanwhile, devaluing the pound was meant to improve exports - but trade figures show Britain's trade balance with euro-zone countries has worsened as the pound slumped.

And who's running the country and economy at the moment? Also I think you'll find that if other countries are also suffering then households will spend less leading to lower exports.

The Left's dislike of the euro was based on the notion that the Maastricht criteria would limit the state's ability to borrow and spend.

Yet France and Italy - and indeed most in the Euro-zone - are ignoring the Maastricht rules as they increase public debt to stave off further business closures.

President Sarkozy is proposing un grand emprunt - a giant loan to increase French public debt as his way of combating the crisis.

So it is OK to ignore the stability pacts in the name of solidarity, something wrong there. Also this is the very argument that the one-size-fits-all Euro hasn't worked and you want us in there?

Worse, as we plan for recovery, Britain is hobbled by its hostility to the euro. Take the fate of the City.

It is vital to our economy, and the UK financial sector, warts and all, adds massive value to the EU as a whole.

But our contempt for the euro means that no one listens when Britain protests about regulation from Brussels aimed at weakening the finance sector.

Erm, the proposed regulations will kill the City and business will move away from Europe, not move to Frankfurt which is the German dream. How exactly would joining the Euro help the City and not strengthen Frankfurt anyway? It is the one bit of economic power we have, don't help emasculate it.

...Gordon Brown's famous five economic tests were always a red herring as the sixth test was, and remains, the certainty that the British would say No to the euro in a referendum - unless the case was properly made to them.

Or like Ireland, the referendum would keep being pushed at us until we voted yes. Still it's nice you recognise what the public wants.

That is still the situation today. The kite flown by Peter Mandelson in June about us aiming to join the euro was quickly shot down. But in the end, Britons prefer reality to prejudice. The pound no longer walks tall against the euro.

Not at the moment because our economy is in a mess. That's what happens with a floating currency Dennis.

The euro is not going to collapse because of wide variations in the economic profile of different regions using it any more than the US dollar fails because its external value and the interest rates set by the Fed do not suit Michigan and California at one and same time.

No it is going to collapse because Italy or Spain will probably leave followed
quickly by Germany as the public turn against the costs to their countries.

There are other ways of managing such imbalances. If low interest rates heat up housing, then banks could simply require a 10 per cent deposit before issuing mortgages.

Oh yeah, can see a bank doing that. Also if we were in the Euro, interest rates will be decided elsewhere and not for our benefit.

Outside the euro, Britain will never be in the driving seat of Europe. We need to be. If the euro were used here as it is without fuss in countries we are close to, including Ireland and the Netherlands, then the next Governor of the European Central Bank could easily be a Brit.

We do not need to be in the driving seat. Far from it. We need to get back to Efta and we need to command our economy for the benefit of the UK only

But if British voters are no longer going to feel like poor relations whenever they holiday in other European countries, then before long someone is going to have to begin making the case that like shillings and pence, the pound may now have had its day.

OK, make the case, use facts and figures, remove the politics, it's economy stupid. Nothing you have written has convinced me. Where is the case? We maybe poor relations at the moment but currency levels change. A few years down the line some idiots are once again going to take the gamble and buy property in Spain or France. Others will be raving about how cheap the Dordonne is with the pound, and I will be looking for some artwork on Ebay because I will have the advantage.

Short-termism does not make a great case for the Euro Dennis.


Last night I picked up the pisspoor Evening Standard as it was 10p. I will get onto Dennis MacShane's poor article on Europe later but I was amused to read Sam Leith's bit on Disney taking over Marvel Comics.

This was the accompanying image...

And the tagline was: "A marketing dream: Kirsten Dunst in the Disney blockbuster Spider-Man 2.

Now I know that sub-editors aren't the brilliant guys of old and are more layout specialists but c'mon.

1) Sony Pictures owns the Spidey film rights

2) Even after Disney's buy, Sony still owns the rights.

Sam also wrote: "The game will be truly up when we are awash with plush toy Wolverines..."

Um, Sam?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


Oops, looks like the energy plan of NuLab has screwed up and we are looking at power outs by 2020.

It is so bloody annoying that people think that we can be saved by alternative energies - we can't.

With current technologies there is only one "alternative" technology that works and that's nuclear. It is the dichotomy that hits greens. Instinctively they hate nuclear but there is no other reliable fuel source.

I am a sceptic to man-made climate change, I don't think we're helping but I also think that there is a natural process at work here and there is not that much we can do except prepare. What I am a supporter of is the resources argument.

Food, water, energy, we are getting to a stage where the pressures on these will lead to riots and even wars. We have to find more efficient ways of using and producing these resources and unfortunately for the greens, unless we finally get Nuclear Fusion, fission is the energy answer.

Sorry greens, now where did I put that gramaphone?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Hattip: Theo Spark


Like most West Ham fans and indeed a fair few from other clubs, I was appalled at the violence at yesterday's League Cup game.

I hope that the club manages to find all those who pitch invaded and ban them for life and that the police manage to find the thugs outside the ground.

But I don't think it will be that easy. The Irons did a £15 deal for the game which meant a lot of people just went along for the first and probably only time. Secondly, from what myself and other supporters are hearing, the violence outside was orchestrated a few weeks ago and may actually include other clubs' thugs.

Leaving aside my anger at the twats and Bermondsey bollocks there is one thing I am curious about -

Is English football violence an economic side effect?

Think about it. The worst violence I can remember was in the late 70s and early 80s which culmanated in the terrible Heysel deaths and the banning of English clubs from Europe.

Is it to do with unemployment? The jobless total was going up all this time and docks were being closed. Coinciding with the ban was economic growth and a reduction in unemployment levels...

We are now at around 6m unemployed.

Is it possible that the thugs, now unemployed, are either a) taking their frustration out using football as the focal point, b) Using violence to prove themselves or even c) Because they don't have jobs there is no risk of losing them if caught and shamed?

Now I know this is a broad brush and am sure there were plenty of employed people in the violence and more particularly in the pitch invasions but I was wondering whether all the talk of all-seater stadia and the growth of the rave culture being responsible wasn't more guff and that job=money=respect turns into finding respect by other means?

Another coda is that a lot of the footage seems to show 40/50-year-olds so either it's "old fashioned" values or they were on a nostalgia, erm, kick.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Courtesy of the Economist, an alternative take on global wages.

This is a brilliant example of relative wages and a good repost to those idiots on Thorney Island who keep harping on about ridding poverty in this country.

The only absolute poverty in this country is in ideas and attitudes.

Although, thinking about it, how long before the UK slides down that list? After all, Gordo's still got ten months to work on it!

Monday, 17 August 2009


On Tom Harris' site, there is an excellent post by Eric Joyce MP about the new paternalism. Although he agrees in principal about the smoking ban, it is a good read!

Thursday, 13 August 2009


So the Tories' past master at foot in mouth is at it again, saying that the poor MPs are on rationing and treated like shits.

However, one thing that has been missed and that Duncan has got spot on is the "nationalisation" of MPs.

Now since the party system was formalised there have always been lobby-fodder but now we are really running the risk of a lack of individuals in parliament.

With the blatent politicking of the Labour party in banning/ declaration of secondary jobs and the party lists of the Conservatives, our representatives will be even more encumbent on the party first, constituents second.

Parliament needs individuals, mavericks if you will. Good government demands that it comes to the House to argue for the rationale behind policy rather than pushing its employees through the aye lobby. Good politics demands more MPs such as Frank Field and David Davis not less.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


SoI was watching the tedious that is the Carling Cup last night and one thing threw me -

Bury's sponsors - The local council!

Now I'm sure that some engagement officer would argue that this was a valuable use of taxpayers' money but c'mon a sponsorship? What people are watching the telly in Bury and going: "Of course the Council! Thank god I saw their logo otherwise I wouldn't have known they existed!"

Also why is a council promoting itself on a footy top? Is it expecting Bolton or Rochdale to make a play for its customers, sorry I mean citizens?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Since everyone is on holiday and that Harriet was initially meant to be in charge I will tell you a little story about when she first got a department job...

All was going well with her first press release at the DSS/DWP until, unknown to the press officers, Microsoft altered Harriet's surname.

Over 1,000 journalists received a press release with a quote from Harriet Hormone.



So I don't spoiler it for anyone, I won't post the image just link it but here is a screen grab of a singalong for the end of Davies' run with some interesting singers appearing!

And from the San Diego Comi-Con, a very dark and grainy look at a trailer for the last Tennant special

Monday, 10 August 2009


Well judging from some of the questions on a trivia machine maybe not but that's probably because some of the questions were, well, weird. When I was ten abstract thought wasn't a pre-requisite and I guess I had more than 30 seconds to work out a question let alone an answer.

Still got a bit of money out of the machine and some amusement from one question.

It seems the National Curriculum has decided that the government's transport policy is shite -

If you live in the remotest village in the UK, what would be the best form of transport to get to the nearest town?

a) Rail
b) Bus
c) Car
d) Plane

Correct answer c) Car

Now leaving aside that I always thought the most remote village is probably in the Orkneys so a plane would be a good bet, I am amused that car is the right answer.

Hey kids if you live in a remote area don't rely on public transport and ignore our green policy, use a car!

Friday, 7 August 2009


So I get back from holiday and my local is up in arms over CCTV.

Those black globes from the Death Star have popped up all over the pub as part of its licence renewal. Merton Council has insisted on security cameras in the pub and some of the calmest people in the world have now had a nasty shock about how much of a surveillance society we are now in.

Coupled with the smoking ban and id cards these people are now wondering how we can stop this.

So there's a lesson for the Righteous, if you had left pubs alone you may have got away with it but if guys like these are starting to get riled, what about those out there who may decide on, how shall I put it, more direct action than angry tirades about petitions?

; )

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


I really shouldn't, no I really shouldn't but...

Fancy really annoying guardinistas?

courtesy of Tom Paine


So I'm back.

While I've been away we've had twat-gate, lobbygate (or rather the start of Guido's new campaign against lobbyists.) gategate (OK I made that one up) but the one thing that I've noticed is that every bugger seems to have swine flu.


Two bar staff in my local are taking Tamiflu, friends of my daughter have it, a mate has got it.

Or have they?

I cannot shake the feeling that Tamiflu is being dolled out for the hell of it.

Cmon people it's a flu. More people die in Winter from flu then have so far. From what I understand about Tamiflu, fit (ish) people should steer clear of it unless it's absolutely necessary. It, like other anti-viral potions, should only be taken by the young, old and infirm.

It's a flu people. Plenty of rest, fluids, paracetemol and more rest. Your bodies are designed to fight these things naturally. When this comes around again, which it will, having taken tamiflu, your body will be useless in fighting it so you will have to take another variation and so the cycle continues.

Anti-virals should only be a last resort and not taken like candy.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Am in Cornwall attm and it's chucking down with rain today :(

I have always loved Cornwall and its history so have enjoyed the break and am blissfully unaware of politics going on as I haven't read a paper nor gone online since Sunday, bliss


Thursday, 23 July 2009


I wasn't going to post about Gary Reinback . It was too close but....

Almost a year ago my brother Jonathan died from alcoholism . I was there as he was taken into intensive care, his bloated yellow body, yellow eyes, my older brother unable to vocalise that his kid bro should leave the ward rather than see him like that.

Let me tell you about Jon. He was a brilliant artist and before injury a brilliant sportsman. When he decided to try rowing both his rugby and cricket coaches complained. Sport was easy for him. He won countless regattas and won four Nat Champs, he also rowed in the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games for the England juniors.

Unfortunately because of an accident he ripped both his knees and his rowing career was over.

He struggled to find a place for himself and eventually he turned to alcohol. He knew he had a problem, he tried to stop himself but it was too late.

I drink, most of my friends drink but alcohol isn't our master, unfortunately for Jon it was.

I'm not glossing over, we had plenty of fights, but my brother got caught by this. Ignore the fact that Gary was young and that he started drinking at 11, ignore that his mother didn't realise what was going on, my family didn't.

My brother was used to going that extra meter in a race but this time it was too far for him. he was meant to be 40 on 9 April this year. he wasn't.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


Hello to the Big Yin and anyone else coming from Tom Harris' blog!

Further to yesterday's pics I thought I would comment about the big shiny new blue box

I think the new box is to do with the series going high-def.

There will also be a new console room as well

Monday, 20 July 2009


A sneek peak at the new Doctor's new gear...apparently

Update: Yes it is indeed, shiny new box as well!


Apparently Kindle removed George Orwell's 1984 from its system and refunded downloaders.
Now aside from the tin hatters (it also removed Atlas Shrugged), as this is apparently a copyright issue, what gets me is that you only licence the e-book, you don't own it and Amazon can remove any copy of any book you downloaded.

Well that sucks. It's the equivalent of buying a book then someone coming into your house and leaving a fiver in its place whenever they want.

So Kindle is more akin to a library than a bookshop.

Glad I haven't paid £200 for one

Hat tip: Old holborn

guinea pigs

Sorry a bit of light relief...Guinea Pigs and Water Melons...

Thursday, 16 July 2009


Thought you'd like this JUKE BOX

From 1950 to 1999 it plays 20 hits from that year, just change the date in the addy!

Educating the political classes

Also in the news this week was the continuing war against private schools by the Charity Commission.

There is one thing that was missing from the frothing that went on on phone-ins etc...

Double taxation.

Essentially the parent pays twice for education - the state system through taxation and then fees for the children.

Also it means there is an extra space for another child in the state system.

Througout the frothing one fundamental issue remains - how do you raise the state system to challenge private schools?

Not through gerrymandering of university places (I don't think there should be universal higher education anyway but that's another argument)

Not through penalising those who decide to use their money to boost their children's education - hell if I had the money, whoosh, there would go my child like a shot!

Try things like, erm, competition, elitism, targetting to an individual child's skills whilst ensuring the basics like History (complete History not from 1968), Maths and English for all.

Just a thought


I see the government is proposing to charge everyone £20k for their old-age care.

The Devil has his own take on it but as I put on his blog, there is a massive assumption about NICs - in that people think it is an insurance scheme.

It is not.

It has never been an insurance scheme. It is an assurance scheme where money paid in now is used for current expenditure not future costs.

The issue is one of titles. I was at a Politea dinner where various politicians such as Frank Field were attending.

When I got dragged into the debate about how to get people to save for a pension, I said it would never work while we have NICs.

I added: "People think they are saving up for a pension already in a vehicle called National Insurance, they don't realise the reality of the scheme. To get people to save, you have to change NICs name to something more honest - Maybe Social Security tax?"

That was 10 years ago...

Friday, 10 July 2009


Tricky thing Democracy isn't it? I mean people you cannot stand get elected and represent the people, disgusting!

Luckily we have a solution at hand, thanks to New Labour:

Following the
European elections, the civil service and government officials considered a range of options for dealing with the BNP, from an inclusive non-discriminatory approach to total quarantine, effectively ostracising them. David Miliband, the foreign secretary, is said to have signed off a decision that would bar the BNP people from government and embassy events in Brussels, while providing the extremists with some policy information.

Hell I can't stand UKIP let alone that left-wing loony party the BNP* but...BUT...they are elected representatives of the people. You cannot pick and choose which representatives you deal with on the basis of taste, sorry.

Nick Farage of UKIP got it right: "I don't think the policy of isolating them, of a cordon sanitaire, will work at all. It's a mistake. They're elected representatives, whether we like it or not."

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies gets it wrong: "A line has been crossed [with the BNP]. It's a difference of degree. It's not surprising that the government has to draw up guidelines to deal with a different situation."

I remember in 1997 there was a movement to get the BNP banned from PEBs. Now the fact that it had complied with the law and it was entitled to one broadcast wasn't important to a lot of people including those sensible thinkers in the Student bar at my Uni.

Only myself and George (a good friend and, erm, Nigerian) argued that the BNP's inane message must be broadcasted and disseminated rather than making them political martyrs.

Even more importantly, we argued, where was the thin edge? Where and when would it be exceptable to ban other views you disagreed with? In theory Liberals and Tories could be banned.

Extremists should be confronted, their arguments shown up for ridicule, their logic dismantled.

All these actions will just make them political martyrs and gain them support.

Tch, as I said, tricky thing this democracy

* Yes the BNP are left wing if you actually look at their manifesto, it just fits the political narrative to call them right-wing, after all the Conservatives are right-wing aren't they?

Update: Leg Iron has a good take on this


I'm not going into detail over the Guardian's "expose" of phone tapping and the News of the Screws but I will make a quick comment:

The Labour dominated DCMS select committee is hauling Coulson in for interogation and Labour are jumping all over this in attempt to get comparative to the McBride smeargate scandal (imho there is no comparison, as much as it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, it has been part and parcel of tabloid life since year dot. Also Coulson has resigned as editor for this already ).

Mandy's prints are all over this one.

This coupled with lies about the economy and the stated aim of getting people to hate the Tories again no matter what shows us one thing -

the next election is probably going to be the nastiest, vicious and underhanded election ever


Unfortunately, as some of you who look at my art blog, an idiot has decided to fill my comments with nonsense.

Originally the ones over at simonscrawls were amusing but descended into purile and potentially libellous postings.

So I have put comment moderation on.

Normal service, both in blogging and comments will resume shortly

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Modern technology, cutting edged, changes the world as information is processed down fibre optics at the speed of light to home computers, pda's and mobile

This is a genuine screen grab that I took yesterday from one of the pop-ups that infest the Harlequins supporters website Come All Within.

I believe the term is FAIL