Sunday, 31 May 2009

Expenses Number Crunching


Al Jahom doesn't appear to have been enjoying the sunshine today. Instead he has been playing with Excel and came up with some interesting troughing stats.

Of the top 100 Commons troughers,

62% are Labour MPs (against 54.1% of 646 parliamentarians)
21% are Conservative MPs (against 29.9% of 646 parliamentarians)
15% are Lib Dem MPs (against 9.8% of 646 parliamentarians)
2% are other (against 6.2% of 646 parliamentarians)

Tory MPs cost, on average, about £5500 less than Labour MPs and almost £9000 less than Lib Dems.

Not to mention the social cost of 3,000 odd illiberal and authoritarian laws under Labour, aided and abetted by the Liberal Social Democrats. We've certainly paid a hefty price for the past 12 years, no?




Having A Laugh?


This blog surely has to be worth watching. If it's a spoof, it should be good for a giggle - if it is straight up however, it's going to be even funnier.




Go Fourth, Prescott



It's John Prescott's birthday today. What to buy the man who has everything? Following his expenses revelations, I thought perhaps a pallet-load of these.

Whaddya think?




In A Nutshell


And then we have the fools and madmen in the Labour Party.

Does Gordon Brown, for instance, think that in the clubs of South Yorkshire, where I grew up, people want a smoking ban?

Does he believe that White Van Man sits down to watch Top Gear and thinks: "You know, this would be a whole lot better if Richard Hammond had a vagina"?

Does he think, even for a small moment, that the people who put a cross in his box give even a small toss about "the environment"?

Or that the foundry worker wants to finish his shift and "drink responsibly"?

Yeah, I was going to say that too Jeremy, give us a chance eh?




Saturday, 30 May 2009

Righteous Crocodile Tears


Isn't it odd that the tobacco industry is considered to be the antichrist by the righteous 99% of the time, but a convenient sob story when it suits their agenda.

Bootleg cigarettes with a retail value of more than £2,000 have been seized from a city newsagents.

In total. more than 400 packets of 20 cigarettes were seized – 44 of John Player's Special Black and 383 cartons of Lambert and Butler.

Miss Tracey said the haul could have made Kean, 31, a potential profit of £1,696, representing a loss to the tobacco industry of £2,399 and costing the Government £1,835 in unpaid tax.

Surely the deprivation of income for the tobacco industry has been a major goal of the righteous for years, and the loss to the exchequor has never been an obstacle when trumpeting the success of quit smoking campaigns paid for by the same taxpayers. So the problem isn't the loss of industry profits or duty receipts, but method of doing so. It's not righteous enough.

Speaking after the trial, Tom Terrett, Trading Standards and Licensing manager said: "The sale of counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes can encourage smokers to smoke more than they otherwise would."

Really? I've never heard of that one before, but then any faux statistic pulled out of the ether by righteous fanatics is never challenged. Most of us call these lies. They, however, would probably term them mis-spoken means to a laudable end.

There is nothing wrong with busting someone who has broken the law, but please spare us the crocodile tears over the damage to the tobacco industry and tax income. As for the lies based on nothing but conjecture, they would be funny if it weren't for the fact that frantically-nodding, self-important, confirmation-biased, ill-educated cocks will believe them.

We may see fewer cases like this in the future (or may not, who truly knows), seeing as the new law on hiding tobacco products is going to make it so much easier for bootleggers. Surreptitiously pulling a packet from under the counter will no longer be unusual, and the invisibility of tell-tale incorrect health warnings, to prying righteous eyes, is a godsend.

The one absolute certainty, though, is that when corner shops begin collapsing at an alarming rate as they did in Canada after such legislation, there won't be even the slightest murmur about tobacco profits or loss of tax revenue.

The righteous are always shy of the truth when it doesn't fit their crusade.




For Those Who Work Near Westminster


A job for you.

This Lamp Post Reserved This Lamp Post Reserved guidofawkes Poster to be displayed in the Westminster Area in possible conjunction with piano wire.
Simply append the name of your (least) preferred vermin.




Friday, 29 May 2009

The System Was Wrong, Eh?


Witterings from Witney has highlighted this piece from Paul Waugh of the Evening Standardski (whose blog is poorly attended considering the very pertinent articles he has been submitting lately).

Former Labour MP Jane Griffiths (Reading East) appears to have applied a large amount of plastic explosive to the it's-the-system-and-not-our-fault-at-all defence. They (Labour, at least) seem not only to have been aware of what was going on and cognisant that it was immoral, but were also complicit as highly influential MPs insisted the gravy boat was not to be rocked.

"I don't drive a car, I never have, so didn't claim any mileage allowance for travel in the constituency. My whip said to me 'You don't claim mileage, why not?'

"I said 'well, because I don't drive a car'. He said 'You must get a taxi sometimes?' I said 'I do sometimes but not that often'. '

"No,' he said, 'There's an allowance of £250 per month for taxis and you don't have to give receipts, you just fill in a form that says £250 for taxis. And he said 'I want you to claim that'.

"So I did because it would get the whips off my back telling me to claim for things. So I had that money that morally I shouldn't have".

That's a cool £3,000 a year effectively stolen from the taxpayer. Over a four-year term, that's £12,000. Will Ms Griffiths now tell us who the whip was? Or does she fear that Plod will be at her door too?

Bless her for speaking up about it, albeit a little late. However, Waugh asks a valid question. We need to know the whip involved or the accusation can very easily be batted away as 'sour grapes' by Labour, seeing as Griffiths was deselected in 2004.

Spill the beans, Jane. Let's see if Carter Ruck will be given a new commission or not.

Furthermore, on her blog, she exposes another Labour MP, Martin Salter from neighbouring constituency Reading West, as having claimed for a non-existent property for four years, and claims this was edited out by the programme makers.

Scratch under the surface a touch, and it's becoming more apparent why Labour have always favoured high taxation.




Thursday, 28 May 2009

Unrepentant, Unforgiven


The chaos is easing somewhat (at least I'm back in my comfy chair, albeit without lights) and tonight brings happy news.

Labour MP Margaret Moran, whose expenses claims provoked widespread public anger, has announced that she will stand down at the next election.

No mention of the nepotistic fraud or the vindictive bullying, but I suppose it's better than having the self-interested bitch clinging to her job and pretending that nothing is awry. Oh, hold on ...

However, it is very important that I make it absolutely clear that I have done nothing wrong or dishonest ...

Stunning. An arrogant shitstick to the very end.

Brown has cut her off publicy, Harperson has joined in too

Reacting to Ms Moran's departure, Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said it was a "basic" requirement for MPs to have complied with the spirit as well as the letter of the expenses rules.

So fucking basic that Moran can't fathom it.

Unfortunately, the people of Luton South must put up with this shard of irrelevant and insulting detritus until Gordon's ego trip has run its course. She's going to keep her righteous snout in the trough for as long as is porcinely possible.

If she had even half the guts of those who have suffered her nasty state-sponsored swipes at their legitimate grievances, she would resign her seat and put herself up for a summer by-election.

She hasn't done that as she is a selfish troughing bully, and as we all know, bullies turn cowardly very quickly once challenged.

Unforgiven, and unrepentant. A Labour MP through and though. It's always someone else's fault, isn't it.




Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Get Well Soon


A Labour panel has met for the first time to discuss whether MPs under fire over expenses can seek re-election.

Some missed it though.

A statement issued by representatives of Ms Moran said she would not attend due to "ill health"

Get well soon Margaret, you lying, thieving, bullying hector.

We need you in tip-top condition for your public pillorying.




The Jonah Brown Meme


Seeing as Guido hasn't pointed this out yet ...

The number of millionaires in the U.K. has fallen sharply according to a new survey, with half of all millionaires in 2007 no longer enjoying that status.

A survey for the Center for Economics and Business Research, released Wednesday, said there are now 242,000 millionaires in the U.K., compared with an estimated 489,000 in 2007.

Gordon Brown became PM in June 2007. Just saying.




Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Imbalance Of Power



Chez Puddlecote has been due an extensive rewire for a while so we've got the electricians in as our contribution to stimulating the economy (and nothing at all to do with the fact that 'home improvement suppliers' are cutting prices to the bone at the moment)**.

As you can see, it renders the comfy blogging/surfing area rather awkward with floorboards up everywhere downstairs, and everything corralled in the centre of the rooms. It could be worked around except for the inconvenient lack of electricity.

Fortunately, the upstairs ring main is still active, so by unplugging the kids' electrical appliances (boy did they whinge) the freezer can be kept going via a long extension lead, and the router plugged in for a mobile first floor net presence on Fanny P's laptop (the David Tennant screensaver is a trifle disturbing).

The kettle on the landing is a bit of a hazard but Fanny does like her coffee.

Blogging may be light for a couple of days as it's difficult to keep up when restricted with space. I read MW at the top of the stairs, F2C on the floor of the youngest's bedroom amidst scattered pokemon figures, and Old Holborn, fittingly, on the bog.

With Sky+ out of action and feeling cramped by balancing a laptop on my knees for the past hour, I'm off to sit outside a pub for a while.

** Bathroom being done next week, and quotes being collected for the kitchen.




More Mashed Up


In just a few words, The Mash pinpoints Labour's entire modus operandi for justifying the laws they pass on a personal whim.

A Labour source said: "... because a recent study showed that ..."

He added: "What study? Fuck you, that's what study."

Their satire is now straying into the realms of truth, or is it vice versa?




Monday, 25 May 2009

Labour MEP Welcomes 'Undesirables' To The UK


Top Labour Euro trougher, Mary Honeyball, had been rather boring of late, but it's always worth checking in now and again to read the gold-plated ideological crap that she spouts. Even more so when she is sprinkling unsubstantiated accusations of racism around like confetti.

Reporting on a Hampstead debate, she had this to say.

The most obvious spilt (sic) between those on the platform was about race and immigration. UKIP, as you would imagine, were fairly openly racist. I even had one woman come up to me afterwards and tell me just how racist she found the UKIP representative’s comments.

That's it. No example. No quote to open up the debate. Just a bald statement preceded by an implication that UKIP are, without question, a racist party. So she was pushed for more information in the comments by Gawain Towler. Her reply stated that she had given all the background that she was prepared to give.

You ask what the UKIP representative said. I thought I made it clear that I felt the UKIP policy on immigration is racist as did the lady in the audience who raised it with me after the meeting

Still no example, still no quote. Just a reiteration of a statement backed up by nothing in particular. So much for responsible blogging then.

Considering that UKIP's stance, if I understand it correctly, is to oppose the 'open door' EU cross border policy (specifically, by getting out of the EU altogether), it would seem to suggest that Honeyball regards anything, other than letting everyone in without question, as racist.

Her equally laughable remark toward Tory policy backs this up.

The Tories are little better. Their proposed five point system for allowing people into Britain is discriminatory, designed to keep people they see as undesirable out, surely a racist policy if ever there was one.

So there you have it. A Labour MEP branding as racist anyone who wishes to keep undesirables out of the UK, or advocates sensible immigration. Even if the Tory policy is one which has been followed by such obviously racist nations as Australia, Canada, and the US for decades.

According to Honeyball's fuzzy thinking, Jacqui Smith is also a racist.




Sunday, 24 May 2009

Tempting Fate?


A friend of Fanny P's has just popped out a second sprog. The first was called Holly, for the newborn they have chosen Jessica. How the parents didn't spot the significance themselves before being mortified once it was pointed out to them, I don't know.




The Spell Is Broken


Musings on yesterday.

As mistakes go, the expenses scandal is perhaps the most blunderous in parliamentary history for MPs. The financial minutiae are paltry and largely irrelevant. A moat cleaning here, a bag of manure there, is small beer in the scheme of things, especially in such times of trillion pound debt.

The problem for Westmonster is that a spell has now been broken. Animosity is united from the full spectrum of political viewpoints.

For 12 years, Labour have ridden the wave of public trust in passing a swathe of laws which were allowed simply because MPs were respected (that, and their predilection for bent consultations, of course). One cannot subscribe confidently to the thought, though, that the previous administration were any less dismissive of the electorate, but Labour have taken the almighty piss, as discussed at the Telegraph.

Overall, more than 3,000 new criminal offences have been created by Labour – 1,000 of them punishable by imprisonment.

Here are just a few of the things you could do before 1997 but can't now – many of them, it must be said, forced on us by EU directives, though our government in most cases agreed them.

- Smoke in a pub or on a railway platform in the open air in the middle of the countryside, or at a covered bus stop, or in your own car if it is used for work, or in your own house if it is used as an office where outsiders may come.
- Own a horse, donkey or Shetland pony without possessing a passport carrying a picture of the animal.
- Ride off with a pack of hounds in pursuit of a fox or stag.
- Play the piano in a pub without an entertainment licence.
- Stage more than 12 events a year at, for instance, a school or church hall at which alcohol may be served without a full licence.
- Set off a firework after midnight or be in possession of a firework if aged under 18 at any time other than the period around Bonfire Night and New Year's Eve.
- Own a pistol for any purpose, including sport target practice.
- Stage a protest of any sort, even if alone, within 1km of the Palace of Westminster, without the authority of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
- Fish in the River Esk without authorisation.
- Enter the hull of the Titanic without permission from the Secretary of State.
- Import into England potatoes which a person knows to be or has reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes.
- Obstruct the work of the Children's Commissioner for Wales.
- Imbibe an alcoholic drink on a London Underground train or bus.
- Keep a car on your own driveway without tax, even if it not being used, without filling in a form.
- Sell a grey squirrel (though you can kill one).

That's a hell of a list, and not exhaustive.

One would assume then, that yesterday's small protest, described as a 'flash mob' by the BBC, would be a right of centre action.

Unfortunately for Labour, it wasn't. The Socialist Workers Party were in prominent, as were the Jury Team, and a sprinkling of Libertarians. The prime movers were far left and angry in their own way.

This is the problem for MPs now. They had a great little scam going which has been busted by their own greed. It has destroyed them entirely - left, right and centre.

The list above has angered just about every citizen of this country to some degree, and that is only a small selection. It makes no mention of the lies that led to the Iraq war, the ignored Number 10 petitions, the hypocritical global warming rhetoric prior to expansion of runways etc. - but no-one raised too much of a protest.

The only thing that held the whole cobbled nonsense together was that MPs were honourable and beyond reproach. That has been shattered and therein lies the anger.

Not that someone claimed for dry rot, but that they had lectured others on how to live their lives while doing so. Not that an MPs husband was wanking off to porn for a tenner, but that £5bn was being spent on ID cards which no-one wants. Not that a few thousand is being claimed by the schools minister, but that the schools are shit while he is trousering the cash.

The leftists were there yesterday, incandescent that a supposedly leftist party were acting like their mortal enemies, the rich. Capitalism may have been dealt a mortal blow by the banking crisis (according to them), but MPs have shown morals that are equally in the gutter. Those on the right are angry that their profits are being ripped to pieces by a taxing government which is populated by troughers intent on taking as much as they can get without recourse to the same system.

It is akin to a hypnotist clicking his fingers and us all wondering what we were doing by eating that onion. It's us and them now, there is no middle ground, they are hated by every political persuasion for a variety of differing reasons. If they had only resisted the temptation, the scam could have been perpetuated for another decade or so.

As it has transpired, it's the first time in living memory that left and right are united in protesting about the whole lot of them. They have abused their power and dumped on every single one of us. We may disagree about which aspects we dislike, but all are in unison that their positions are untenable.

The veneer of respectability has been wiped clean by a former SAS guy with a disk and there are only two options. A general election may regain a smidgeon of trust, but, as with the Poll Tax, we know now how to object and we may learn to like it.

For a future administration to reclaim public trust, an extensive roll-back of intrusive and illiberal laws is going to be required. The magic has to be re-invented by those in Westmonster, and for that to happen there will have to be a few rabbits pulled from self-serving hats.

It's difficult to ascertain which party is brave enough to try it at the moment. The first to break rank and admit that their policies have been out of step with their voters may well steal a march.

Or are they too far gone? Too enamoured with their own self-worth to change? Probably. But unless someone reverses out of the damaging cul-de-sac into which they have navigated, the spell that politicians have enjoyed for years may be gone forever.




Saturday, 23 May 2009

Dreaming Of The Big Bang


Some pictures from the Facebook event, Sack Parliament, today. If you look very closely, you may just catch a glimpse of Old Holborn.


Big Ben shows 12:10 as the cameras started shooting


I think we need a bigger barrel


Bring more of this


The fuse is lit. Fireworks were later added which caused a few police to bristle


The police weren't happy when someone suggested walking in through St Stephens entrance

The Jury Team were leafletting heavily and some joker was passing cards around advocating an event entitled "The death and resurrection of the Labour Party". Not sure I'd be up for that. If it were "The death and descent into permanent oblivion", that would be a different story.

UPDATE: GOT has found this BBC footage.





Friday, 22 May 2009

None So Blind


Via Swiss Bob.

Labour chiefs in Luton South have ruled out deselecting their MP, who has faced criticism for claiming £22,500 to fix dry rot at a property. Margaret Moran has since responded to public fury by repaying the money. Constituency chairman Mahmood Hussain said members of the party executive unanimously agreed that they have full confidence in Ms Moran as MP. (Teletext)

Let's recap here. Even amongst the gamut of rancid expenses rot exposed by the Telegraph, Moran stands out as a trougher of the highest order. She has been caught with her fingers in the till without any remorse. Her behaviour has been described by the Prime Monster as 'totally unacceptable'. It has come to light that she has utilised her position to spend our money in the furtherance of her husband's business, coupled with affecting public policy on her whims alone. She is corrupt, a bully both in the UK and in Spain. She has broken parliamentary rules, ridden roughshod over her constituents so much that even the normally pro-establishment Esther Rantzen is disgusted by her. She has been referred to the parliamentary watchdogs for being a filthy affront to the people she is elected to serve.

Yet her constituency Chairman rules out deselection and professes confidence?

What on earth would this woman have to do to make her local Labour party embarrassed?




Blood Sisters


I wrote an article here earlier this month about the Women in Public Life Awards 2009.

You may remember my floating the idea that professional lying scumbag Deborah Arnott, and selfish grasping trougher Baroness Uddin, weren't particularly worthy of being shortlisted.

Now, via Woman on a Raft over at Mark's pad, we find further evidence of the whole event being merely a conduit for self-serving arseholes.

Another shortlisted paragon of womanly drive and virtue was Margaret Moran, the disgusting, mendacious, fraudulent, bigoted bully who swindled £20,000 from the taxpayer to make her holiday home more comfy.

That's not all she was up to, either, as explained by the FT.

The FT has further discovered that Ms Moran used her Commons staff to work for Equality Networks (EQN), a non-profit group of which she is the non-remunerated chair. Michael Booker, her fiancé, is one of two company directors. The company, which states its profit “goes back into regeneration, jobs and skills to some of the most deprived communities in the UK”, offers services including research, training and “influencing”, defined as “legislative advice, relationship building and arranging meetings to parliamentary receptions or political briefings”...

When EQN bids for funding were unsuccessful, Ms Moran repeatedly used Commons-headed paper to intervene with local authorities and Whitehall departments to express her “concern and amazement”. EQN received grants in 2008 from public bodies including £10,000 from Luton Borough Council for local regeneration funding, and £20,000 from the East of England Development Agency’s Investing in Communities programme for a “feasibility study” into a local women’s business centre...

In 2007, Ms Moran claimed £6,052.49 expenses from EQN itself. Another EQN director, Nicholas Murray, asked Ms Moran to include more receipts with her invoice. She replied that she had lost many of them.

Moran seems to be putting together a CV which would impress even the most conniving of embezzlers. So who nominated her for this prestigious award?

Nominated by Kerrie Duggan, Vision Project Manager, eQuality Networks

Yep, one of her and her husband's employees. Quite a gushing tribute too, but then I suppose it would be under the circumstances.

Margaret Moran MP for Luton South is an outstanding woman and one that Luton should be proud of.

Her vision is that of a forward thinking, modern day suffragette and her attitude is one of a high performance athlete. She is the co-author of that very same book and strives to bring more women into parliament.

Energy is one thing she is not short of and ...

Yes, I think that's enough of the brown-nosing. We'll stop before it gets to the 'thinking completely out of the box' stuff.

Fortunately, she was beaten to the prize by a candidate (or 'brazen hussy' as Ian Dale termed her) with much more talent ... for rigging the vote.


Butler, you may remember, is the Labour MP who wrote her own tribute from Barack Obama.


The words of the awards' Patron, Dame Kelly Holmes, hold a certain ironic resonance in light of subsequent revelations, don't you think?

These awards help to highlight and reward the achievements of women and encourage others to pursue leadership roles and to strive for greater representation.

The dubious 'achievements' of these conceited greed-merchants is becoming increasingly 'highlighted', but they don't need rewarding - they're doing that very well themselves from our taxes, thank you very much.

I'm not sure that others should be encouraged to emulate them either.




The System


Reproduced in full from Nanny Knows Best, here's an article that will have you nodding in enthusiastic agreement throughout.

Listening to our "walking dead" Prime Minister the other day, prattling on about how "the system" (wrt MPs' expenses) was at fault for the claims for floating duck islands, fake mortgages, moats etc I was struck by how what the PM said exemplifies the very heart of the problem of the Nanny state.

The PM ignored the fundamental issue, it is not the system that is at fault but the people. It was not compulsory for our MPs to claim for duck islands and moats, they did so voluntarily and with gusto!

The PM and these greedy MPs are using the "procedures" argument as a defence, in exactly the same manner that a doctor, social worker, police officer, teacher, FSA CEO or council officer uses "rules and procedures" to justify what they do and to justify their mistakes.

How many times have we heard the phrase "we followed the procedures"?

That is meaningless if the end result is failure/death, or a cold hearted application of a petty rule.

Nanny's rules and procedures proactively encourage people to stop thinking for themselves and taking personal self responsibility for their own actions/mistakes.

The PM so eloquently highlighted (unintentionally) the very weakness at the heart of the Nanny state; namely, no one needs to ever take personal responsibility anymore, so long as they follow procedures.

Without personal responsibility, individuality, risk taking and thinking outside of the box we are most assuredly set on the path to our own self destruction; as we drown in bureaucracy and petty rules, all of which have been designed to suffocate initiative and growth.

Masterful appraisal, Ken.




Thursday, 21 May 2009

Smoke, Mirrors, And Righteous Wriggling


There is a fantastic example of righteous blind-siding on The Publican site. Let's pick it apart piece by piece.

Licensees been warned they could face hefty fines if they follow in the path of a pub that allowed customers to light-up as part of a ‘research project’.

Kerry Fenton opened a smoke room in her pub the Cutting Edge in Worsbrough, South Yorkshire, after being told a legal loophole allows some pubs to use rooms as designated research centres.

So far, so good. It is true that pubs 'could' face hefty fines. Only 'could', of course - though it is worth noting that the pub in question didn't receive any fine whatsoever. Those not familiar with the case might like to read this for background before reading the other ill-informed nonsense presented in (not by) The Publican.

And Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations chief executive Tony Payne said other pubs should beware of taking part in similar projects.

“I would warn licensees against this because they could end up being fined,” he said.

“This lady has had to withdraw it because of the legality and it could be considerably expensive for anyone else who does it.”

I wouldn't expect anything else from those entrusted with protecting pubs. They are experts in the practice of running away very swiftly in the face of a threat to their industry. They bravely fled when threatened by a few fake charities prior to July 1st 2007, and are still showing no sign of any balls. It's why pubs are being further hammered by this government with nothing but a bunch of backward cowards to protect them.

The above rubbish from Tony Payne is a perfect example. 'The lady' did not withdraw because of the legality, as it wasn't tested. Licensees 'could' end up being fined, but only after due process. They would be entitled to test the law in court first. Why are the LVA pouring cold water on such a case which could help their members?

I reckon it's cos they is stupid.

However Kerry is adamant that if she had been running a freehouse she would have carried on with the scheme.

Of course she would have. She was stopped not by Barnsley Council, despite the worldwide attention, but by her brewery.

Now answer me this. If the council were so confident with their right to take action in this instance, where is the court case? Where is the fine?

Just as in the G20 sleight of hand, the same methods occur here. The simple reason why Barnsley did not push for punitive measures despite video evidence which would, if they are so certain, lead to an open and shut case, is that they couldn't find anything in the Health Act to say that the landlady had done anything wrong.

However a Department of Health spokesperson disagreed: "Smokefree legislation does set out an exemption for bona fide research and testing facilities that may have a designated room that is not smokefree, provided specific criteria are met."

OK. I get what you are saying, so let's have a look at the criteria.

(3) In this regulation a “designated room” means a room which—

(a) has been designated in writing by the person in charge of the research or testing facility in which the room is situated as being a room in which smoking is permitted for research or tests specified in paragraph (2) and is a room for the use only of the persons who are required to supervise or participate in the research or tests;

Tick

(b) has a ceiling and, except for doors and windows, is completely enclosed on all sides by solid, floor-to-ceiling walls;

Tick

(c) does not have a ventilation system that ventilates into any other part of the premises or other premises (except any other designated rooms);

Tick

(d) does not have any door that opens onto smoke-free premises which is not mechanically closed immediately after use;

Tick

(e) is clearly marked as a room in which smoking is permitted.

Tick

According to the letter of the law, it is a research centre.

Sadly, the DoH spokesman then wanders into the realms of righteous wriggling.

"Simply renaming a pub would not appear to satisfy the requirements under the law.”

Err ... no. The law is exactly as stated above. It's on your bloody web-site for crying out loud, don't you read it? The requirements have been duly met. Please point out which part says that the research centre cannot be in a pub.

It gets better.

He added it was down to council’s to enforce the legislation and in this case Barnsley Council ruled that “clearly the smoking research room is in breach of non-smoking legislation.”

100% correct that is up to Barnsley Council to enforce the legislation. But they didn't. Because they couldn't. They may have ruled that it wasn't a research centre but it is by no means 'clearly' so from the wording of the law. They would have had to take it to a court to prove as such.

No amount of lies from some DoH civil servant changes that.

In both cases of pubs embarking on this approach to try to rescue their business, it was the brewery, and not the council, who stopped them. The exemption is still 'live' and certainly not covered adequately by the Health Act.

A challenge offered by a freehouse would be extremely interesting. There wouldn't be an easy way out for the council concerned. They would either have to turn a blind eye, or commit resources to an action that their own legal department would probably warn them against.

As a postscript, it's worth reminding you of the mendacious reasoning that was given for the free vote in the troughing Palace of Westmonster. To tackle the sticky problem that pub-goers enter a smokey environment at their own behest, it was couched as being to protect bar workers. Again, the Cutting Edge pub passes this test with flying colours. It's just not enough for those who don't like even hearing about people doing something legal of which they, personally, disapprove. All must bow down to the God of socialist maternalism.

After all, who wants to live in a country that allows this?

“Customers absolutely loved it. People started coming to the pub again and socialising together as a community, especially the older generation.”

That sort of thing just doesn't belong in Labour Britain, does it?




One-Sided Equations


Here we go again. More civil service lies, and yet another industry facing ruin as a result of fraudulent socialist politicians forcing their agenda without recourse to proper consultation.

The Tobacco and Primary Services Bill aims to abolish cigarette vending machines in Scotland, but it is facing a fierce challenge from the industry, which could end up in the courts.

The National Association of Cigarette Machine Operators (Nacmo) has claimed that it was not consulted before the bill was brought forward.

In addition, its representatives have said that the Scottish Government has used incorrect data on the number of vending machines in Scotland and jobs affected.

The Scottish Government regulatory impact assessment claimed only 14 jobs were supported by cigarette machines in Scotland, yet there are actually 45 jobs.

And it overestimated the number of vending machines in Scotland, claiming there were 6,522 when in fact there are around 3,500.

The organisation has also attacked the Scottish Government for using English data about underage smokers to back up its arguments, and not collecting Scottish figures.

NACMO are very generous in only referring to 'incorrect data'. The scale of the inaccuracies is such that it can only be described as blatant lying. The alternative, of course, is that the Scottish Government are incredibly incompetent, but either way, it is clear that these businesses are being wilfully destroyed in the cause of blind unthinking healthism, as their counterparts in the hospitality and corner shop industries have already found to their cost.

[Paul Mair, chairman of Nacmo] added that any decision, even if it was delayed, would lead to the 14 companies operating vending machines in Scotland going bust overnight.

"The banks would immediately withdraw their credit and that would be it," he said. "These are family companies not big conglomerates."

This matters not a jot to the modern holier-than-thou politician. Their reasoning is a perennial one-sided equation, involving huge emphasis of exaggerated health costs whilst simultaneously ignoring the duty income from the product, and the economic impact to the businesses concerned.

The positives of this law are far outweighed by the negatives. Firstly, as NAMCO quite rightly point out, there is no need to ban the machines to stop under 18s buying from them.

He said that a radio frequency system can be attached to machines that forces purchasers to prove their age.

So no need for a ban then. Especially since there is little or no proven evidence that it will work, but unavoidable logic that it will destroy an industry and put people out of work.

So, as we see time and time again, the Scottish Assembly has quite simply ignored the industry, and produced fraudulent statistics to con the public and MSPs into passing a bill which has all to do with prejudice and bigotry but will do absolutely nothing for the health of the nation.

Lord Darzi lied his arse off to the House of Lords a couple of weeks ago in the same way, so that the tobacco display ban would pass without much objection.

While the expenses frauds are in sharp focus to the public, this evasion of truthful appraisal is going on daily behind the scenes. The politicians who have been lying and cheating to stuff their pockets are quite rightly being hauled over the coals, but so should those who lie and cheat to pervert the course of democracy. Preferably over very hot ones on the way to a sturdy lamp post and a grinning mob clutching piano wire.




Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Nice Weather For Ducks - Official


It's good to know, in these chastened times, that rain really is 'nice weather for ducks'.

An on-farm study found that ducks given showers spent more than twice as long standing under the water while resting than with water in a bath or elsewhere. They also drank almost a third more water in accommodation provided with showers.

And DEFRA only spent £300,000 of our taxes on it, too. Who says we have a bloated public sector when we're getting value for money like this, eh?




See No Evil


The Caledonian Amish Scottish Government are at it again, but this time tying themselves in righteous knots even Captain Birdseye would have trouble figuring out.

DISTILLERIES and breweries will be exempt from laws targeting alcohol displays in shops, the Scottish Government said yesterday.

The move comes after industry fears that visitor attractions may suffer a knock-on effect of legislation aimed at reducing alcohol abuse.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "We are not anti-alcohol, but Scotland has got its relationship with the bottle out of kilter. It's not the drink, it's how we're drinking – we need to get things back in balance."

OK, look past the laughable claim of his administration not being anti-drink for a minute, and try to understand the situation MacAskill is now in thanks to his short-sighted pals at Holyrood.

The SNP in Scotland have embarked on a stated aim of stigmatising all forms of alcohol consumption in order to achieve their own interpretation of acceptable limits. Their blunt instruments of choice are minimum alcohol pricing, and the hiding of the McEwans from their electorate, who they believe to be merely dribbling, mentally-deficient drones, incapable of making their own decisions in life. Stick a bottle of whisky in front of them, and they will be forced to buy it, apparently.

No, really. That is what he has said himself.

"Our regulations to prevent alcohol being displayed in more than one area of a shop were designed to prevent alcohol being displayed all over the store to encourage impulse buying."

There they were, the scots, all set to buy their milk and eggs for the week, when they walked past a shelf of cider and just had to blow the housekeeping on it. They're all thick up there you know.

The problem is that the scottish people have, for millenia, been famed worldwide for their production of alcoholic drinks. So much so, that tourists come to see how bloody good they are at brewing and distilling. And in the gift shops, they sell their produce where, as is the custom, they are on display.

Oh dear, hadn't thought of that, had they?

"Clearly, alcohol sold at attractions to promote and increase understanding of the skill that goes into producing fine premium drinks such as malt whiskies doesn't fall into this category."

So very "clearly", in fact, that they failed to exempt such premises in the initial legislation. All those devolved hoons running around being back-slappingly righteous, yet not one of them thought of something that MacAskill now tells us was quite obvious.

"That is why, when these unintended consequences were drawn to our attention, I was more than happy to look at the situation."

Splutter! Unintended consequences, you say? Why is a parliament, which is paid a hefty wedge by the taxpayer, not able to fathom such a consequence before committing to a particular course of action? Why on earth did this need to be 'drawn to their attention'?

Daft beyond belief.

"I am now laying regulations in Parliament that mean these attractions can make sure their gift shops are able to continue to trade in a way which complements the rest of the experience."

Because, you see, those who visit these attractions instantly inherit a self-restraint which was lacking when they were in their local supermarket.

Of course, this is just a sop to the tourist industry at the moment, but when the measures MacAskill is defending have failed, and let's be clear about this, they will fail, something more draconian may be mooted. Perhaps even the hiding of the breweries and distilleries themselves in order to divorce the scottish public from the shameful heritage which encourages them to drink. Sounds silly, yes, but not beyond the wit of these bansturbating fanatics.

So that's the evil tobacco and alcohol hidden from view in Jockland to save the idiot nation (© Holyrood, not me) from itself. But there are still plenty of other dangers to clamp down on. Comrade Beeb faithfully reported this week that fizzy drinks can paralyze and that salt in food is killing tens of thousands. Best hide them too.

In fact, sod it. Let's just skip the salami-slicing and make those north of the border buy their groceries from a text-only catalogue, to be retrieved by spotty kids from a concealed warehouse obscured by steel walls.

"Just scootin doon to McArgos to get the bairns' supper, back in a wee while, ma pet".

They'll all be running marathons for fun and leaping buildings in a single bound by the end of the week, won't they?

If you live in Scotland, you have my sincere commiserations.




Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Compare And Contrast


Via Mr E, it appears that Dorset Police are scared of riots if a guy runs around in his underpants.

WHEN Swanage Town and Herston football club player Jamie Holland lost a bet that he'd be the season's top goal scorer, he was ready to take his punishment.

He'd promised fellow striker Aaron Corby he would run into Swanage wearing just his underwear before the club’s presentation night at Days Park.

But Swans were left disappointed after Dorset Police advised them to forget the idea.

Inspector Chris Weeks, Dorset Police’s Purbeck section commander, said: “A Police Community Support Officer with the Swanage Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team spoke with the club.

“He explained that good natured events of this type have the potential of getting out of hand and he advised the club the runner should wear shorts.”

They should have got the righteous Cancer Research UK involved, as one is instantly immune to civil unrest in such circs. He could even have dispensed with the jockeys but Plod still wouldn't have thought to interrupt their taser training for unruly cows.




Quote Of The Day


From Littlejohn.

There's little chance of the Prime Minister agreeing to call an election, though. He doesn't do democracy if he thinks he can possibly avoid it.

Aha, got you there, didn't I? Bet you thought I was going to pick this bit ...

When I turned up at White Hart Lane for the last home game of the season on Saturday, the usual suspects were assembled outside the gate. Thanks to Labour's demented smoking ban, they're not even allowed a cigarette in the car park these days.

I hadn't seen a gathering like it since I covered the car industry more than 30 years ago. It needed only a brazier and a few placards and we could have been back on the picket line at Longbridge, waving a copy of the Morning Star and sharing a mug of soup with Red Robbo.

... but I didn't. Full of surprises, me.




That Lengthy Resignation Speech Again





Sweeping Authoritarianism


It's a sad indication of how de-sensitized to local authority loopiness I have become that, despite an 'Oh god, no. Really?' headline, my red mist-o-meter didn't get much past pastel pink when reading the early part of this article.

Restaurant owner facing fine for sweeping dirt into gutter

A restaurant owner is facing a fine after he was filmed by a Poole Council road sweeper - brushing dirt into the gutter.

It's all becoming depressingly familiar. Local power-crazy morons taking national diktats too far and shitting on the public. What's new?

Eyebrows were raised a touch when it became apparent that it's the same freaks who felt it perfectly acceptable to use RIPA anti-terrorist powers to hound parents who wanted a decent school for their kids, but that was about it.

Until this part.

Shaun Robson, head of Poole council's environmental and consumer protection services, praised the unnamed road sweeper for using his initiative in order to "protect the people of Poole."

Oh shit. Scarlet with the ferocity of Mount fucking Etna in a foul mood.

Protect them from what? Gangs of marauding litter, mugging old ladies and stealing mobile phones with menaces? Surely we are into Monty python territory here.

He added: "They had the sense to gather evidence and supported their observation using their initiative, using their personal mobile phone to record the event.

"This falls within the normal range of enforcement activities that council staff carry out to protect the people of Poole and their environment."

Gather evidence? Normal range of enforcement activities? He/she is a fucking road-sweeper. What do you do in Dorset? Give them a stab vest and an ASP baton?

He said: "The officer was not conducting surveillance, they were rightly gathering evidence of a potential offence."

According to Poole council, a road-sweeper secretly filming on a mobile phone is 'not conducting surveillance'. Err ...

sur·veil·lance (sər-vā'ləns) n.

1. Close observation of a person or group, especially one under suspicion.
2. The act of observing or the condition of being observed.

And this bollocks is from a Tory council.

Jesus fucking wept.




Monday, 18 May 2009

Loving This




Saturday. Time to object.


Forget Expenses, Politicians Dredge The Campaigning Gutter Too


Catching up on my RSS, Thunderdragon carried an interesting piece at the weekend on Liberal Democrat election leaflets in London Boroughs.

This leaflet for the EU elections on June 4th very much suggests that the electoral system for those elections is first-past-the-post rather than the actual proportional representation party list D’Hondt method approach. They reproduced the last Westminster election result rather than the last EU election one, which would have been far less favourable to them as in 2004 they got only one seat in the London region.

What the Lib Dems Socialist Democrats have been doing is producing literature deliberately designed to mislead voters into believing that a cross for Labour or the Greens is a wasted vote on June 4th, which it would be if they were talking about a general election or council elections ... except that London Boroughs are holding neither next month. Just the Euro elections where a Labour or Green vote is anything but wasted.

It's the classic ploy of not comparing like with like. How this is not punishable by the electoral commission is beyond me. It is a fraud perpetrated on the electorate, pure and simple.

I'm grateful to TD for flagging this up though, as it helped me to put my finger on a mystery nagging unease that I had for the much-derided recent Labour Party Election Broadcast. Notice something missing?



Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake and it has been commented on before, but there is not a single mention of Europe. Isn't that what we are all voting on in just over a fortnight? Banging on about what Cameron would do if he were PM is completely irrelevant.

This is precisely why our politicians are in the gutter of public opinion. The expenses row has merely focussed anger, almost literally through a magnifying glass, onto a singular issue. The contempt has been brewing for quite some time as the onset of career politicians, motivated purely by power and not in the slightest by the concerns of their voters, have led us to a point where discussing policies relevant to the upcoming election is deemed secondary to conning the public with personal attacks or misdirection.

Although I've seen no Tory promotion yet, it's hard to be confident that it will be much better. It really is time to send a message to the big three that we have had enough of this shit. If they can't act responsibly, we'll not vote for any of them.




Sunday, 17 May 2009

Married To The Mob


Dan Hannan has been desperately searching for someone who will admit an intention to vote for Brown's shower of shit on June 4th. He eventually found one.

She was a pretty, friendly, gently-spoken single mother in her mid-thirties, and she had voted Labour all her life. "What, even this time?" I asked, genuinely startled. "I suppose it's like a marriage," she said, loyally. "You shouldn't walk out just because you're angry about something".

An interesting analogy.

We can assume, then, that she would stay with a hypothetical spouse who lied about his intentions in order to move in, then proceeded to take as much of her money as he could grab to give to his mates or the next door neighbours. She wouldn't leave when he dictates how she should live her life, by banning her from doing things she enjoyed, and taking more cash off her if she wished to continue doing other things she has always done. She'd also not pack her bags if he decided to watch her every move and demand that he know exactly where she was at any minute of the day or night, and if he was suspicious of her, to be able to keep her locked up in the basement for up to 42 days. She wouldn't even run bawling to her mum's place if he racked up huge debts on her credit card but, instead of economising, decided to spend his way out of it, thereby putting her in debt for the rest of her natural days. And she'd still snuggle up to him of an evening even when she realised that, while she was eating beans and dry toast during the hard times, he was raiding her bank account to gorge himself on chateaubriand and champagne.

Not really a marriage, is it? More like domestic abuse.




Europe Cashes In


Europe was last night celebrating as the entire continent doubled their money.

After two consecutive years of the bookies' favourite walking the Eurovision Song Contest, everyone west of Palestine wised up and filled their boots by voting for who they had backed on border-free online betting sites.

Mehmet Erdogan from Istanbul enthused, "As I not able vote for Turkiye, I vote before for Germany where my brother build houses. Why? He never thank me. This year I take double money Asda price on Bet365, put all bank on Norway, and vote it. Like taking candy from baby."

Dave Smarmy of Reading, UK, thought long and hard before ringing 20 times at 15p per shot, "I weighed up my options carefully.", he revealed, "Do I waste my phone call on judging the songs on their merits? Or do I just see who the bookies favour, tell my mates in the office, prior to the event, that Norway are going to win and I've got my kids' savings on them, then boast about how brilliant and wealthy I am on Monday morning? It's a no-brainer really, isn't it? It's like backing the favourite in the Grand National and then being able to choose who wins".

As champagne corks popped from Riga to Cadiz, betting firms were planning their strategy for 2010.

"We've had a conflab and know how to beat Europe's cheating next year.", insisted Gary Camelcoat of William Hill, "We'll install Israel at odds on next time out. No-one likes them and unless they sing about polar bears like in the 70s or choose another gender bender, we'll suck the stakes up like a Dyson. Hahahaha."

Upon being reminded that those who bet are the judges, Mr Camelcoat responded, "Oh crap! Forgot about that."




Saturday, 16 May 2009

The ASA Don't Do Point Of Sale ... Do They?


Because if they did, I'd have thought they'd have something to say about this, spotted today in Central London.




Friday, 15 May 2009

More Holes Than Emmental


Following on from the news that the hunting ban legislation is rapidly unravelling, comes more righteous wriggling to avoid admitting that a blanket smoking ban (rather than one which was inclusive to all pub-goers not just some) was a bit of a daft idea.

Exemptions were made for the G20 delegates (see pic) with merely misdirection and obfuscation proffered to scotch the badly-kept secret, rather than a cast-iron denial. I think we know what that means in Labourspeak by now, don't we?


We now see the same conniving with regard the Cutting Edge pub in Barnsley, who identified the loophole of opening a research centre to get round the ban, thereby allowing their customers to enjoy what they have always enjoyed, without harming the bar staff with that vicious (made-up) second hand smoke threat. Remember that? Saving bar staff. The entire reason for the ban? That's ancient history now, it seems.

The council talked big about enforcing the terms of the Health Act, but they didn't need to. The brewery stepped in first.

A landlady's bid to save her business by creating a "smoking research room" has been abandoned after she faced losing the pub.

She told BBC News: "Punch told me I was not allowed to use the room for anything other than the sale of alcohol and that I must stop immediately otherwise face losing my job."

Hmmm. Not allowed to use the room for anything other than the sale of alcohol. How does that work then? Considering the landlady had managed to increase her custom by more than 300% with her initiative, one could argue that she was using the room for precisely that purpose. To sell more alcohol. If she had isolated her tap room for the sole use of cribbage or dominoes players, would Punch have threatened to turf her out for that too?

Something stinks here, and it isn't smoke. There may be a clue in the experience of a second pub, who had followed her lead. They were told to cease by 4pm today or risk sanctions. Again, not from the local council who are tasked with enforcing the law, but by their brewery.

Barnsley council's Simon Frow said, in front of the BBC's cameras, that they were going to see the Cutting Edge's landlady yesterday morning, yet there hasn't been news of an impending fine or prosecution. Could it be that it wasn't that easy? Perhaps it was better to instead call the Pubco and hint at problems with future licencing if they didn't play ball.

Since licencing now comes under the auspices of the local authority, they can dictate whatever they choose to pub owners and Pubcos, as I have mentioned before.

To be completely fair to Islington, they do state that these conditions are to be 'volunteered', but the Islington pub owner who highlighted this was made very aware that his licence would be in jeopardy if he were to object.

It would explain why the pathetic Punch would be so willing to close down an operation which was contributing to their business when they are desperately seeking to reduce debt.

The cash crisis at Punch Taverns has prompted Britain’s biggest pub company to consider selling some of its most prized houses as it seeks to raise funds to whittle down its £4.5 billion debt pile.

It also makes a mockery of their response to this week's report by parliament's Business and Enterprise Committee which savaged their way of doing business.

Britain’s largest pub companies Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns have hit back at claims they operate business models leading to the “downright bullying” of tenants.

No bullying going on at all, is there Punch?

A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns said: "Punch has condemned the decision of our licensee to undertake this."

She added that Ms Fenton could be asked to leave the pub if she continued to breach her agreement.

The upshot of this is that the loophole still hasn't been tested against the terms of the Health Act. Just as the G20 arrangements weren't denied, so the research centre idea is still 'live'. It was just too inconvenient for the local authority to go through the tedious process of the justice system.

Both examples, though, completely destroy the flimsy basis of the law, which, to remind you, was the protection of bar workers and nothing else. Workers at the G20 conference were put 'at risk' but it was OK. No workers were put 'at risk' at the Cutting Edge, but it was not OK.

The law has nothing to do with health, but everything to do with bigotry and righteous control (just as the mooted bans on smoking in one's own home do). When business owners and customers are in agreement, and no harm is being inflicted on others. When profits are being increased for the holding company, but it is still squashed by the righteous jackboot, one must wonder which kind of societal freedom, if any, our elected representatives subscribe to.




Eight Pointless Things


It's been amusing seeing these posts popping up today, but now it seems I've been tagged by my slimy NaCl-phobic friend, so here are my eight.

1) The swivel chair I am sitting on squeaks.
2) I won two editions of '100%' on Channel 5 in 1997.
3) The constituent parts of a £300 metal garden shed kit have lain in my loft for 3 years.
4) On average, I drink 2 cups of tea per year.
5) I once stood five feet away from Siouxsie Sioux at a Japan concert.
6) When war was declared in the Falklands, I was on a school cruise ship which was subsequently requisitioned for the task force.
7) People who stop in doorways intensely irritate me.
8) I am currently nervous about tomorrow.

Let's see what happens if I tag Sue, The Pub Curmudgeon, Mark Wadsworth and Captain Ranty.




Chief Petty Officers


Labour's legacy to Britain - a police force diverted from tackling crime by an avalanche of idealistic garbage from Labour.

However, the ACPO Ltd have finally realised that tramping around the countryside enforcing Labour's class war on hunters is a complete and utter waste of time and resources.

Police are to stop monitoring hunts in a policy change that effectively marks the collapse of the hunting ban, it emerged last night.
New guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers says that forces have more pressing priorities than spending valuable time clamping down on hunts and suggests that monitoring should be cut down.
It brands the 2004 Hunting Act 'cumbersome' and 'unenforceable' because gathering evidence of illegal hunting has proven difficult.

One silly ban dead in the water, then. A few more to go.

Meanwhile, Labour's adherence to inflexible targets has another police force being urged to become state-salaried busybodies.

Police have been ordered to go on litter patrol in a bid to boost the number of people nicked for minor offences.
Officers will be forced to ditch their uniforms and go out undercover in plain clothes in a bid to hit performance targets.

Bertie the burglar commented: "I love Labour, they're definitely getting my vote next time. Business has never been so relaxed"




Public Consultations To Be More Accessible, Apparently


Lord Norton, posting on the House of Lords blog, reckons he has helped solve the problem of rigged propaganda posing as democratic process the mistrust of public consultations.

The minister responding was Lord Davies of Abersoch, from the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform. He defended what the Government had done so far in respect of consultations, but he did deliver one notable piece of good news. By the end of this year, it will be possible to find on one site a list of all government consultations being undertaken and that material will be available in machine-readable form.

Lord Norton describes this as a "major step forward". If he means that hiding public consultations in a less secret place than where they were before is better, I can agree, but it couldn't be classed as major IMO.

To be fair to the esteemed peer, at least he is tackling the issue. Public consultations, which are punted out to just about every state-funded quango and single-issue lobby group, but not the public unless they possess a gargantuan Google magnifying glass, are a tool that Labour have found to be very useful in their successful campaign to exclude the entire electorate from decision-making.

It's a step, but not a major one. Even if this collating web-site does appear this year (might be worth scheduling a 'Where is it?' post for 00:01 on 1/1/2010), where are the proposals for consulting with the non-netted up, or even those who are online but go no further than Facebook? Is there to be £millions spent advertising it? I sincerely doubt it. And will convenient e-cards still be set up on government-funded satellite sites to harvest 'correct' responses, as is virulently prevalent now?

Unless the public, and the public alone (not stakeholders), are consulted, it appears to be more spin and more minimal consultation of those who actually have to live by changes in legislation.

Let's see how this move will work with some recent examples of the thousands of dodgy consultations over which Labour has presided since 1997:

1) On hiding of tobacco displays. If state-funded organisations aren't barred from taking part.

Yet only a handful of those 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views. Almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the Department for Health.

Not only that but also ...

For some reason the views of 25,000 shopkeepers just seem to have been air-brushed out of the consultation report. We are not listed as one of the respondents although our response was submitted by email and also sent by post, so we can be certain it was received. For some reason the views of 25,000 shopkeepers just seem to have been air-brushed out of the consultation report

So Lord Norton's trumpeted improvement would have made no difference to that consultation. Because simply giving consultations a centralised online presence doesn't pull up any trees if quangos are still invited using public money, and valid objections are ignored.

2) Likewise the consultation (or lack thereof) on anti-photographer laws.

What is remarkable is that Jacqui Smith has seemingly failed to consult those with expertise over this issue. The Royal Photographic Society - established in 1853 - ought to have been at the top of the list of organisations consulted of how the law would work in practice. Yet the society, which has a Royal Charter, tells me that it has unsuccessfully been trying to meet Miss Smith over the past year, despite the encouragement and help of a backbench Labour MP.

What guarantee is there that their views will have been taken into account under the new proposals? There may well be a web-site, but as the corner shops found, that still isn't a guarantee that those submitting will be listened to.

3) And likewise again, the consultation on councils being asked to name senior staff and provide a full breakdown of their salary, pensions and rewards.

The civil servant's letter asks specifically of councils that "you could ensure that copies of this letter are shared with officers / employees within your organisation who may have an interest in the proposals (i.e. have details about their remuneration package published).

The new web-site will have little or no impact if those with a vested interest are alerted, whereas the public (only those with broadband and an enquiring mind, at that) have to find it for themselves.

4) State-funded lobby groups will always be listened to, of course. Even if they bastardise their own surveys, replying to skewed documents riddled with lies.

5) And if all that fails, some bent Lord could always ignore even the most vehement objections by side-stepping the consultation completely, and reporting fake charity untruths to Westminster, without challenge.

Merely providing a central hub for consultations is pretty irrelevant unless the public is afforded more creedence in their responses than those in the government's pay. Moreover, the concession apparently gained by Lord Norton doesn't tackle the issue of responses which are ignored, nor does it negate sabotage of the results presented to legislators, as shamefully illustrated last week by Lord Darzi.

Ironically, and despite his best intentions, it could be that Lord Norton has been the latest stooge to have fallen for Labour's pretence of welcoming opposing views, only to fob off such concerns with well-practiced misdirection.




Thursday, 14 May 2009

The Blame Game


Where there is blame, there is a claim. Labour's legacy to the country, but never quite turned on its head like this.

Records seen by The Daily Telegraph show that the independent Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood claimed the full cost of her mortgage for two and a half years, despite being entitled to charge only for the interest element.

When she was asked by the House of Commons fees office to repay more than £8,000 to compensate for the overpayments, Miss Short sent a letter back saying officials “should accept some responsibility for the situation” for not spotting the error earlier.

So what she is saying here is that she either can't appoint competent staff to handle her financial affairs or, and this is hard to believe seeing as she is one of the longest-standing Labour MPs, she is totally unaware of the rules on what she can claim for mortgage payments.

Still, that's irrelevant. After all, true to the message this government continually reinforces with its legislation ... she may have fucked up but it's all someone else's fault.




How Very True


Via Anti Citizen One, here's how the 'New Truth' works.




Is That The Sweet Smell Of Integrity?


Amid the stench of the expenses row comes this.

Network Rail's chief executive is to give up his annual bonus for this year, saying he does not want it to cloud discussion of the firm's performance.

A spokesman for Network Rail said Mr Coucher regarded bonuses as "toxic", and that the "well of public opinion had been poisoned by the criticism of big executive payments".

Are you taking notes, Westmonster?




Wednesday, 13 May 2009

May The 4th Be With You



I'm certainly not going to argue with him. Nice pun, too.

Actor David Prowse MBE, who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars triology, has announced his support for UKIP in the coming June 4 elections.

"I've looked right and left and right again and the only party I can safely vote for is UKIP," said Prowse, pictured right.

"And I have two messages for those considering how to vote. Firstly, stop, look and listen to what is being said. Only UKIP is actually telling us the truth about the European Union** and why we need to leave it. Secondly, may June the fourth be with you."

** Not entirely correct. So are LPUK.




A Bit Of A Stunt?


Barnsley council's Simon Frow, putting on his benign face when the BBC came to call (he'll don the jackboots later), dubs it "a bit of a stunt", but considering the government have not once bothered asking pub-goers what they think, this research has as much value as any of the rigged nonsense emanating from Labour and their paid-for 'stakeholders'.



H/T Witterings from Witney


Well, They Did Open The Stable Door


That was quick! One of my musings on Monday evening carried this prediction regarding the BBPA and CAMRA.

They will continue to lobby a government which is pre-disposed to ignoring their every word (the budget should have shown them that), in the faint hope that they might be listened to. Unfortunately, it's too late.

And today, as if by magic ...

Pubs bars and off-licences face a crackdown on alcohol sales today under new rules aimed at tackling binge drinking.

Breaches of the code could be punished with a fine of up to £20,000. Landlords could lose their licence and face up to six months in prison.

Labour hate pubs, and it must be becoming increasingly clear to the BBPA that they are viewed by this government as about as threatening as a nervous kitten. Perhaps if they hadn't bravely turned tail and fled the last time a threat to their members' interests was proposed, they would be taken more seriously now.

Just a thought.




Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Peer-Reviewed Hypocrisy


As the rock of expenses is lifted, the odious worms are slithering out at an alarming rate. This, from Labour peer Lord Foulkes, is quite simply staggering.

[Lord Foulkes] added that BBC presenters such as John Humphrys and Jeremy Paxman were paid hundreds of thousands of pounds "to come on TV and sneer at democracy and undermine democracy. The vast majority of MPs are being undermined by you."

How dare you talk of democracy, Foulkes. You are partly right that the MSM have not been doing their job, that being of inspecting the grotty, devious machinations of your profession. But when they turn on you instead of acting as simpering toadies, to which you have become accustomed, you squeal like a worn-out fan belt?

Listen, you disgusting maggot, your party have no fucking concept of democracy. You lie with every part of your worthless beings. Just last week, one of your fellow Lords lied to the house to help heap financial hardship on 50,000 corner shop owners. He knew the truth, as it was conveyed to him prior to the vote, but chose not to pass the information on. That is the epitome of lying. All following a consultation which would have made even Mugabe blush crimson at its mendacity.

This is how Labour have operated since taking office. Thousands of lie-riddled laws have been passed without even the slightest nod to the electorate. Manifesto pledges have been fed to the shredder, and all protestations ignored and ridiculed.

BBC reporters can't possibly undermine democracy because you and your goat-fellating friends have already dispensed with the entire concept of listening to the public. An intrinsic part of a democratic system of government which you have evidently forgotten. You are fucking fraudulent even to mention the word democracy, you arrogant, slimy cunt.

We, your employers, are sick of you and your corrupt method of governing. Do the decent thing, Foulkes, buy some twine and a chair (we won't mind you claiming it on expenses), and dangle yourself from the nearest tree.




Double-Take Radio


It was one of those times when you wish you could rewind the radio, but yes, he really did say it.

Lord Tebbit told Today: "What I am advising people is to show the major parties that it is the electors who are masters and the electors are extremely upset with their employees in the House of Commons and I said don't vote for the major parties."

Sage advice, mind.




The Speaker Is Unspeakeable Blog Round-Up


It's not just me then. After a swift morning read-around, it seems that Michael Martin truly is a piece of shit.

Doug Carswell has called for his head, and might be making headway. The story is taken up at the Coffeehouse.

Ben Wallace has just called for the Speaker to resign, joining Douglas Carswell’s call. This doubles the number of MPs who have broken the parliamentary protocol and are openly calling for the Speaker to go.

Swiss Bob has extracted the coverage of Mick being a turd.



Mr E thinks he is unfit for office.

And Dan Hannan has the perfect solution.

MPs' expenses: Sack the Speaker and call fresh elections - and that's just a start

At the very least, MPs must sack the man who has been the chief obstacle to reform: Speaker Martin. But I'm starting to wonder whether something stronger might be called for. Lord Naseby, a former Deputy Speaker, suggests that an immediate dissolution is the only way to restore public confidence.

I'm glad I'm not alone.

It might also be the only way for Labour to avoid obliteration.

Hey! Steady on, Dan. Isn't that going a bit far?

Please don't resign Mick, just another year, eh?




Monday, 11 May 2009

Your Business? None Of Your Business


I'm buggered if I can find it in the mire of Wordpress, but Leg-Iron once wrote at length about why you should never issue an apology to the righteous. They see it as a weakness and will use it against you. And he is quite correct.

Sure as night follows day, once the precedent has been set that government can dictate what is allowed to be permitted in a pub, the next step will be to tell the pub exactly how to progress its business.

Come on, Dick, you're fantasising, surely? Not really, no. Think again.

Alcohol expert calls for Liverpool pubs to be replaced with cafes

BARS should be replaced by cafes and restaurants in Liverpool city centre to tackle a binge-drinking crisis, MPs were told.

A health expert who studies the effects of excessive drinking in the city identified the explosion in the number of pubs and clubs as the key factor.

Dr Lynn Owens called for the city centre to be “redesigned” to tempt a wider range of people than simply “young people binge drinking”.

Where does one start with this? There isn't mention of any pub owner being consulted on the matter of 'redesigning' their business. No mention of the willing customers who are, without doubt, the reason for the 'explosion' in the number of outlets catering for them.

Merely the righteous deciding what is best for us and eager to ride roughshod over the wishes of the business owners, and customers, to achieve their perfect ideology.

You see, they got away with it before and now see pubs as their little toy.

The BBPA don't have a clue how to fight, they just mumble, and CAMRA are so fucking useless as to be irrelevant. They would probably back this idea too, their heads being so stuck up their own backsides that their woolly cardigan collars are chafing their rings.

One would hope that the pub spokesmen, in a period of unmitigated disaster for the industry, would at least object to a "nurse consultant with Liverpool primary care trust (PCT)" being described as an 'alcohol expert' over and above they who purport to represent the hospitality trade. They won't, though. They will continue to lobby a government which is pre-disposed to ignoring their every word (the budget should have shown them that), in the faint hope that they might be listened to. Unfortunately, it's too late.

They said sorry, see? They admitted wrong-doing and backed the righteous in their endeavours. They're not in the game anymore. Who needs a spokesperson for pubs when the righteous have appointed their own?