Monday, 30 November 2009

MPs Seek VFM ... In Some Areas

Isn't it great to see our MPs treating our money with respect.

Via Paul Waugh

Normally a proud herald of the season, the Commons Christmas tree today looks like a sad and lonely specimen.

Knocked over by last night's winds, this is apparently the third time that it's fallen over since its arrival at the weekend.

I hear grumbles that this year the tree was put up by new contractors who may have been a little bit cheaper to hire than their predecessors.

It would appear they are less keen on value for money when it comes to their own baubles, though.

Dozens of MPs refusing to pay back expenses to Sir Thomas Legg

... it is thought up to 50 MPs are thought to have refused to respond or told Sir Thomas that they will not pay back the money, delaying his final report.

After all, it's not like the tree is something that benefits an MP personally, is it?

It's a wibbly-wobbly world if you're paid from the public purse.

Who Will Claim The Decisive Working Vote?

The gregarious Grecian at Boaty & D has posted a customarily insightful article on the latest YouGov poll carried in the Telegraph the other day. Amongst the rest of his head-nodding wisdom were these sterling paras.

A second clue in the piece lies in the final paragraph, which says that the Tories are failing to convince the floaters of their ability in the key areas of health, education and crime.

In this, they are quite right in their fears. The Tories will be utterly useless on these, and most other areas, and almost certainly no different or better than Labour. Why would they be better? Their ideas are tame, they are substantively the same as Labour and their solutions are authoritarian, not libertarian.

All of JD's post is worth a good read, so please do go fill your boots, but the poll conclusions to which he specifically refers in that small grab are these.

The results also suggest that while marginal voters are increasingly disillusioned with Labour, they are not yet fully convinced by the Tories on many key issues: only 26 per cent think education would improve under a Conservative government. For the NHS the figure is 22 per cent, and only 19 per cent think that the Tories would cut crime.

Which clashes very starkly with the main findings of the poll, that being a huge increase in support for the Tories in northern marginal seats.

A support which, as pointed out in a different Telegraph article, is close to orgasmic for the Tories.

Working-class voters in [marginal] seats favour Gordon Brown's party by a margin of 40 to 38 per cent. In other words, Labour's lead among its core voters in battleground seats has shrunk to only two points. That is tantalising indeed, for it suggests that Mr Cameron is close to replicating Margaret Thatcher's greatest electoral trick: poaching the votes of people who were previously regarded as the Labour faithful.

All this, as JD has astutely highlighted, without the Tories managing to lift so much as a finger in pointing out their differences to Labour in key areas for the working man.

Quite simply, Labour are haemorrhaging votes in their core support without Cameron and his cohorts having to work for them. It's a bona fide anyone-but-Labour hate-fest amongst a working class electorate who have been taken for granted since they last rebelled in 1979.

It's worse than that, though. These Labour voters - you know, the working class ones with no say under Labour since they were excluded from decision-making in favour of latte-supping Guardianistas - seem very keen on giving a violently bloody nose to Labour ... and a blackened eye into the bargain.

Perhaps most worryingly for the party, the poll suggests that when voters realise that their vote could help determine the outcome of the election, they are even more likely to vote Tory. When marginal voters were reminded that their seat could decide the election, the Conservative lead rose to eight points: 43 per cent to 35 per cent.

When faced with the idea that the march towards eradicating their lifestyle entirely is a fait accompli, they will shrug their shoulders and hate the politicians for it. However, if notified that they have a choice, either keeping the beloved Labour party in power or kicking the bastards in the nuts for their arrogance, they have enthusiastically chosen, in this poll, the latter.

This may well be news to Gordon and his blinkered authoritarian front bench, but it ain't to me. I believe I've mentioned the rumblings quite a few times here. Like earlier this month, for example.

A massive tranche of the population, who have always been proud of being the backbone of the country, being told, in no uncertain terms, that their lives are a disgrace and their efforts unworthy because they live life in an unapproved manner, are not going to be seduced by a few quid back on tax. It just won't wash.

They will remember that this didn't happen under the Tories. Labour did it. And you can bet quite a tidy sum that they know who to blame.

Labour MPs can agonise all they like about income inequality, and even try to adjust it via the tax system, but it won't make any inroads into their disastrous poll results until they rectify the problems that their assault on the working man and civil liberties, in the guise of tackling 'health inequalities', have caused.

Best of luck with that, Labour. I believe you may be forced to have a tough talk with your fake charities and quangoes on the matter ... or you can carry on pretending that working people love the fact that you are destroying their lives, it's your choice. Do nothing and your vote will collapse still further and Cameron will merely be required to smile and polish his manicured nails to a more pristine shine.

Because if the vote to give the Tories a landslide is sitting there waiting for the definitive green light to go blue next year, the Conservatives don't seem keen to embrace it, as a former Tory MP, writing on Con Home, has noticed.

Quite simply, I am increasingly struck at how those who do not agree with the mantra of the politically correct elite controlling Britain and much of the media are today being silenced and shut out from the mainstream. I find, moreover, that when I raise these issues with perfectly normal, respectable and responsible citizens, that they agree with me - but feel silenced, substantially for fear of getting a black mark which might damage their careers (and certainly their eligibility to participate in any Government quangos!)

Again, go read the whole thing. Howard Flight's piece is brimming with common sense and would be welcomed by exactly the voters who could be relied on to usher in a huge Tory victory. The comments to the article also illustrate that grass roots Tories wouldn't have too many qualms either, so why the reticence? Why the stalling, and why the continual marginalisation of those who provide the spine of the country, in favour of politically correct cowardice?

The keys to Number 10 are, as should be fairly obvious, tantalisingly in the gift of the working classes of the country, yet both Labour and Conservative are refusing to take up their cause for fear of a backlash from the professionally righteous.

There are three potential outcomes, in my opinion:

1) The Tories could unveil a 'freedom charter' or some such, which will suck up the working vote and deliver a large majority which is unassailable for a generation.

2) Labour could pre-empt that and promise to deliver some relief for the voters they have increasingly demonised. They will escape electoral obsolescence but who can possibly believe they will deliver on such promises after their previous legal battles against their own manifesto pledges?

or 3) They will both continue listening to vested interests and paid lobbyists, thereby sticking two fingers up at the electorate, and the Tories will sneak it (perhaps with a damaging hung parliament) without addressing some deeply held objections to the political process.

If I were a betting man, I'd go for 3) with the Tories reluctant to hand back the freedoms denied by the control freaks we have been subjected to since 1997.

And if that is how it all pans out, may God rot all their career political souls.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

All State Hands To The Climate Change Pump

Whether one is a fully signed-up advocate of government environmental policies or a confirmed cynic, the issue of climate change starkly highlights the potential for abuse when the state is able to exclusively control every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave.

As a parent, I am already fully aware of the lackadaisical approach of the state to schooling. Without my intervention, the little Puddlecotes' (by no means dull kids) would quite simply not be fully conversant with their times tables. Other kids in their respective classes aren't because the teaching is expected to be done by the parents during homework whilst more important matters are injected at school. Both little Puddlecotes' (taught in different schools within one LEA) can tell you all about Nelson Mandela, the religious festivals of Islam, the number of chemicals in a cigarette, the effects of alcohol on the body (science class), and most of all, environmental issues.

They haven't been taught capital cities yet, though.

In the last couple of months, the boy has been to the town centre on a school trip to pick up litter to help the environment, the girl has come home after a lesson on water preservation with a bag for the toilet cistern. She has also had a lesson whereby the kids were told to write a letter to the local MP asking for measures to save the planet and she keeps turning the heating off after being told that our staying warm kills people in Africa. Similarly, when I last told the boy to turn the light off when he leaves a room, he eagerly said he had been taught about that at school. "It's to cut down on gas in the air, isn't it Daddy?", he enthusiastically volunteered, "No, it's to bloody save money", said I. And don't get me started on the guilt-laden school concert songs, or choice of non-religious carols for the upcoming Christmas play.

By way of consolation, the elder of the two has just started to learn about the Romans.

In the future, we are going to be well-supplied with keen environmentalists, in fact there are already quite a few of them whose voices are going to be heard at Copenhagen before adult ones ... they just won't be very good at adding up, or writing anything more involved than a Facebook status, but why should the state care about that, eh?

However, although the young are droning along nicely, a problem for the all-encompassing state, in the present, is that we grown-ups aren't adhering to their line on the impending ecopalypse. In fact, as we have seen recently, there is increasing scepticism.

Time, then, to introduce another department of the state into the enviro-skirmish.

GPs 'should offer climate change advice to patients'

The Climate and Health Council, a collaboration of worldwide health organisations including the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine, believes there is a direct link between climate change and better health.

The Council has been recently formed to study the health benefits of tackling climate change and promotes a range of ideas from reducing your carbon footprint by driving less and walking more to eating local, less processed food.

Of course, we have encountered the Royal College of Physicians here before, in the form of its current President, Ian Gilmore, a rancid, hysterical, anti-alcohol psychojerk.

So, is this another example of doctors stepping outside the boundaries of the role we pay them for? Well, if government weren't backing them to the hilt, that would perhaps be the case ... but it's not.

Andy Burnham, the Health minister, in support of the Lancet report said: "Climate change can seem a distant, impersonal threat [however] the associated costs to health are a very real and present danger. Health ministers across the globe must act now to highlight the risk global warning poses to the health of our communities."

The entire network of the state's health service, including the man at the top of the tree, has seemingly been called in to add weight to the avalanche of one-sided information on climate change.

Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to think that doctors should teach core subjects in their entirety before moving onto more contentious areas, whilst doctors should fix us when we are broken. And both should leave politics to the politicians.

In the case of the teaching profession, subjects are being bumped from the national curriculum in favour of AGW theology, whilst if doctors have time to extend their remit into environmental science, there are obviously too many of them. Plenty of scope for much-needed cuts, then.

Now, I'm not trying to say that AGW is or isn't happening, or if it is our fault or not (though I have my opinions), but a system whereby the state are able to push their own opinions using a massive unstoppable machine, paid for from taxes we have no option to withhold, used to be called a dictatorship.

Under Labour, it's usually termed 'The right thing to do'.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Have Yourself A Righteous Little Christmas

Righteous miserablists linking party revellers with death and illness to others? It must be Christmas.

The London Ambulance Service has set up a booze hospital for festive revellers a week earlier than last year.

Duty Station Officer for City and Hackney Nick Lesslar said: "Every minute that we spend mopping up vomit, is a minute that could have been spent helping a patient who is seriously ill or injured".

The annual dog whistle to risk averse brow-furrowers everywhere has begun, folks. Rejoice.

As is the custom, though, it's a deliberate misdirection. What is really happening is that duties are being re-arranged to fit with demands on the NHS from those who pay for it. If services are truly being denied to seriously ill or injured patients in other areas, then I'd say it reflects more on poor management of resources and that there are NHS managers out there who are due a P45.

Friendly advice is fine, Nick, but can we have less of the scaremongery and guilt-fostering please?

Interestingly, amongst the advice for festive party-goers from the Liverpool Street team is:

Eat before drinking to help soak up alcohol;

Which would appear to be one of the barstool myths reported by the Independent this week (as spotted by the Curmudgeon).

It isn't true that eating a massive meal full of carbohydrates before you head out on the piss will stop you from getting paralytic. It is true, however, that having a full stomach slows down the rate at which the alcohol is absorbed into your blood stream so you might not feel drunk as quickly as usual. However, studies show that this just inclines people to consume more booze.

Studies? Studies? More than one? So why are NHS staff ignoring them and giving potentially dangerous advice?

Expect tons more of this type of reporting before you sit down to eat your roast turkey in just under a month's time ... and don't expect to enjoy that either as the imposition of guilt on your annual blowout will start to emerge in the next couple of weeks, I reckon.

I Love Country Music

At last something amusing, in a puerile kind of way, amongst all the routinely forwarded guff in my inbox.

Friday, 27 November 2009


Sorry, I tried to resist, I really did. Honest. But it is Friday night.

Live sheep wheeled into Asda shop

Joe Lock, manager of the store, said: "We were shocked to discover that a poor sheep had been wheeled into our store."

As opposed to the millions of them who walk into their stores every day pushing a trolley?

Ba-boom tish.

Proffer The Children

If you asked someone the answer to a sum, say 176 x 3, and they took about a minute to answer, would that make them more astute than you?

If you asked them to name three members of the shadow cabinet and they couldn't, would you believe them to be more informed about current affairs than you?

If you asked them what their thoughts were on the relative merits of capitalism and socialism, and they giggled and told you they didn't have a clue what you were talking about, would you consider them to be someone who should be capable of guiding your opinions?

Probably not.

So why the fuck do the government believe that we should take instant heed of a bunch of kids who have been fed one-sided leading questions by Ed Balls and his departmentalists?

We hope that our thoughts are listened to, and that they mean as much to you as they do to us. We are serious and we are passionate, and we want change. You can and must act now…

Is it really any wonder that the backlash to the Climate Change debate is so vitriolic when this is the level of debate that we are afforded?

When all the abuse, emotional blackmail, threats and intimidation fail, this administration resort to using our own children ... at our fucking expense.

Labour. You are the most disgusting, manipulative, perverse, psychotic, morally corrupt bastards ever to set foot in the Palaces of Westminster.

Go fuck yourselves with a rusty chainsaw, you disgust me. All of you.

H/T Obo

UPDATE: Apols to Man Widdicombe who, I just noticed, spotted it earlier.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Hadrian's Fence

"Arguments are an intellectual process. Contradiction is just an automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says." Monty Python

Regular readers will recall that I've an affinity with rank and file Lib Dems, many of whose attitude I found rather refreshing in Bournemouth, though if I see genial characters like Carl Minns, Charlotte Gore, Julian Harris etc. again, I will be claiming a lost breakfast, with mild menaces.

No, it's not yer average Lib Dem who makes me shiver at the thought of giving them my X, but the flip-flopping, say-anything-for-a-vote, fence-sitters in their parliamentary party**.

My own MP is as stiff as one of late Grandad Puddlecote's liberally starched Sunday best collars, which is not surprising considering the size of the splinters that must be crammed up his career politician sphincter. Replies to my correspondence tend to dance from one side of an issue to the other, sometimes in the same paragraph, so much so that I've taken to being extremely vague as to my personal stance just for the amusement of seeing the angst-ridden prose as he attempts to cover all the options. You can almost sniff the aroma of perspiration on the page, created by the pitiful fear of writing a vote-losing sentence.

Further confirmation of the Lib Dems' odd version of 'conviction' politics came today with the Scottish Soviet National Party's minimum alcohol pricing plans being ignominiously destroyed in contemptuous style.

Great news, of course, which was brought about partly due to outright rejection by the Scottish Lib Dems.

Minimum pricing killed off in first stage of Alex Salmond 'double blow'

The Tories and Liberal Democrats, who also oppose the measure, warned the majority of responsible drinkers would be punished and questioned its legality under EU law.

Indeed, Lib Dem Robert Brown was adamant that, as a way of tackling alcohol abuse, it was a non-starter.

He said the proposal was "almost certainly illegal" and would only have a marginal effect on problem drinkers ...

All of which suggests that the fence, on which the party are uncomfortably sitting with regard to minimum pricing, is situated somewhere around the England/Thistlemunchland border. A Hadrian's fence separating the condemnatory tone of the Scottish party with the gleeful nodding of the English.

Because the Lib Dems here thought it was a cracking idea when hideous, lardy, illiberal shitstick, Liam Donutson, proposed the same measure to Westminster in March.

The Liberal Democrat culture, media and sport spokesman Don Foster backed Sir Liam’s call. “The Liberal Democrats have long argued that the ridiculously cheap below-cost price of alcohol in some of our supermarkets and off-licences is a key contributor to the problem of binge drinking,” he said. “There is clear research showing that putting an end to pocket money-priced alcohol will influence drinking behaviour. While more work needs to be done on the details, we welcome Sir Liam’s intervention and hope that the Government will act.”

Now, it's probably asking too much to expect brave, honest politics from our elected representatives anymore, but something approaching a consistent policy would be nice.

Either minimum pricing is illegal and useless, or it's not. Elected Lib Dems seem to believe that it can be either, dependant on whichever parliament it is addressing at any particular time.

Perhaps Lib Dem MPs would be better employed selling five-minute arguments at £1 a pop.

** And the fact that the fuckers voted almost en bloc for the smoking ban, of course.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Tanked Up?

There is something quite unusual going on in Essex.

BMW shame of naked Essex girl

The drunken girl stripped off in the middle of town whilst it was packed with late-night drinkers but she has escaped police action - because no-one complained about her behaviour.

She had already been thrown out of one bar before getting onto a new BMW and flashing her breasts, lifting her skirt and allegedly inviting passers-by to perform a sex act on her.

No, not that. I said unusual.

The scenes in the middle of town were missed by CCTV, police and Army patrols ...

Army patrols? I believe the refrain is "Dude, WTF?".

Were they there to stamp out this sort of behaviour, or to take advantage?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

It's Not Offensive When Labour Say It

Tory Bear has been getting a bit of stick from Labourites over his condemnation of an anti-Thatcher tweet from vapid, fawning, Labour lickspittle, BevaniteEllie.

In short, the ursine blogger was surprised that a message posted by Councillor Tim Cheetham (a provincial prick who has featured here before), wishing a nasty accident on Margaret Thatcher, should be re-tweeted by Labour's newest, shiniest, bright young thing.

It takes a pretty sick individual to look at the footage of a frail old lady enjoying a reward for years of loyal and great service to her nation and wish a violent accident involving stairs and skateboards upon them. You may disagree with someone politically but to wish them a violent death?

... both of these people officially speak for the Labour Party. One is a councillor, the other brought in to email the entire Labour Party membership list and has been thrust into the limelight as an officially endorsed poster girl for the appalling attempt at a Labour fight back.

Now, it has been mentioned in the comments that TB is being a trifle precious here, and, in an ideal world, they would have a point. However, this is Labour we are talking about. You know, the party which has systematically thinned the collective skin of the entire nation?

They have not merely discouraged comments which could be construed as offensive, they have legislated to criminalise them but, and this is crucial, only for those who are deemed worthy by socialists. Hate speech is illegal if others utter it towards Labour's friends, but perfectly acceptable if aimed by their elected officials and party apparatchiks at those who are not stamped as 'approved' by the left.

Say you don't like Muslims and you could end up behind bars, but wishing death on Thatcher is fair game even for tinpot Tim and ever ready Ellie.

A pictorial depiction would look something like this ...

See, the commenters at TB's place tend to possess more of a spine than that attributed to the public by Labour during their tenure, but then, those who are not socialist have always tended to believe that the world is a difficult place and one should learn to cope with it rather than be nursemaided through the whole experience.

Labour, though, have decided that the country should be filled with individuals who have the right not to be offended ... ever. So much so, that we regularly read of innocuous ads receiving complaints from dainty flowers who either see offence that wasn't there, or who are quite simply too stupid to understand the joke.

So surely, if Labour aren't to be accused of hypocrisy (hey, stop laughing, I'm trying to be serious here), Mrs Thatcher should be expecting an apology quite soon, no?

Well. No. Because the response has been depressingly predictable.

The official line to take tonight seems to be smear TB as a sexist, all very well coordinated kids.

Hammer. Knee. Jerk.

As usual, rather than tackle the problem, the preferred method is an ad hom smear.

Talking about a woman? That'll be sexist. Concerned that immigration policy is wrong-headed? That'll be racist. Worried that schools are putting too much emphasis on same sex relationships? You're a homophobe.

The implication is that this was only a joke and not meant to be offensive, so TB, and Mrs Thatcher's friends and family, should just chill out.

Perhaps they might be inclined to if Labour hadn't spent a couple of decades just not getting the fucking joke themselves. Or, as A N Wilson put it at the weekend.

I would much rather live in a world where comedians sometimes 'go too far', than in a tight-lipped dictatorship where you do not dare to make a joke because someone else will think it 'totally unacceptable' - to use that pompous phrase which is trotted out all too often nowadays by the thought police. Acceptable to whom?

It is patronising to women, Jews, black people, Irish people, or indeed to anyone, to suggest they are too thin-skinned ever to hear a joke in which some stereotypical attitude is betrayed.

Them's your rules, Labour. You're the ones who promoted this atmosphere of instant mistrust of the jovial word. You're the ones who dictate that no offence should ever be perceived, let alone intended. You're the ones who have set the agenda and acted on it.

Yet wishing death or injury will be conveniently set aside in this instance, because Labour are not consistent, merely selfish.

They scream when they, or their pet groups, are even mildly offended - hell, they even scream when their pet groups are not offended but Labour think that they should be. But when it comes to Labour offending others, that's a different matter entirely. Their own right to post objectionable messages or hate speech is assiduously guarded. After all, theirs is the righteous ideology and cannot ever be questioned.

You must understand. It's not offensive when Labour do it. Got that?

Monday, 23 November 2009

What Else Can Be Taxed? Hmmm, I Know! Meat

Another view into our future because, as we well know, if it happens in the US, it's only a short while before it gets to us. This article in the New York Daily News closely follows steps 2, 3, 4 & 5 of the tobacco control template. Always remember, though, that it is for your own good.

Make meat-eaters pay: Ethicist proposes radical tax, says they're killing themselves and the planet

But in all these moves against tobacco, transfats and sodas, we’ve been ignoring the cow in the room.

That’s right, cow. We don’t eat elephants. But the reasons for a tax on beef and other meats are stronger than those for discouraging consumption of cigarettes, transfats or sugary drinks.

First, eating red meat is likely to kill you. Large studies have shown that the daily consumption of red meat increases the risk that you will die prematurely of heart disease or bowel cancer. This is now beyond serious scientific dispute.

Oh. Do you mean the debate is over, evidence is overwhelming, that sort of thing. Seems strangely reminiscent, that.

When the beef industry tries to deny the evidence, it is just repeating what the tobacco industry did 30 years ago.

Those evil farmers who are supplying demand, eh?

The clincher is that taxing meat would be a highly effective way of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding catastrophic climate change.

One more for the bandwagon boys, I think we're going to need to bridle up another horse.

Of course, this idiotarian berk is going to have a problem selling this to the public. After all, eating meat can't harm anyone apart from the one with a fat juicy steak at the end of their fork, can it. Can it?

Meat-eaters impose costs on others, and the more meat they eat, the greater the costs.

Oh look. Passive meat-eating.

The anti-smoking totalitarian template is available from all good righteous gatherings at no cost but to our freedom to live a life as we choose.


Artistry from GOT regarding that M&S advert.

As GOT says, can't see the problem myself.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Diseased Smokers

At last! The cure for the leprous disease of smoking is nearly upon us.

Almost 6 years ago we discussed a vaccine to help people quit smoking as it entered human clinical trials. Now it looks like the finishing touches have been put on a deal that will go into effect once phase III testing of the drug now called NicVAX is completed.

Move over suicide-inducing Champix, there's a new money-maker in town.

Did I say money-maker? I think I did.

Others have fallen short of this goal, in pursuit of a smoking-cessation market expected to hit $4.6 billion worldwide by 2016.

Fortunately for those who enjoy smoking and choose to exercise their free will in this fair country of ours, no doubt the vaccine will be entirely voluntary.

Well, at least until the government make it compulsory for those seeking treatment on the NHS, anyway.

Amazon Dot Fun

Rave reviews at

"Wow is this thing great! I use it as a "mini-bar" when the friends and I go out to the bars. I can quickly fix multiple shots of tequila for myself and the friends as we drive from one bar to the next."

"The best usage of this product is that i'm allowed to make perfectly symmetrical lines of cocaine while driving. product.of.the.century"

"This product is so awesome for freeway driving and makes reloading your handgun while changing lanes a breeze. The only thing missing is a cupholder for my tequila."

"Do you have any idea how hard it is to read Braille books while driving? Every time I'd hit something my book would slide off my lap onto the floor and I'd lose my place. Problem solved."

"You wouldn't believe how much more interesting my commute is now that I have something to do other than just stare out the window! I'm using it right now to post this review and I never "

Piss-taking bastards ... all 252 of them! Check out the customer images too.


Saturday, 21 November 2009

#PaulClarke Ramblings

Just a thought, but ...

Imagine you are someone who is contactable on local matters by the local newspaper, and something like this happens in your area.

And say the police ask you to help and, consequentially, arrange an appointment whereby you can hand in a weapon. And, to push the hypothetical scenario a bit further, say you were in the position to hand in another weapon at some point in the future ... you'd probably ring up and arrange an appointment with the same person who entrusted you to do so before, wouldn't you?

Just saying, is all.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Smokefree People

At the Telegraph, Ed West has been discussing highly-paid public sector non-jobs. He's particularly bothered by this one ... over £50k for a local authority anti-smoking pecksniff-in-chief.

Head of Policy, Innovation & Development, Smoke Free
at NHS Bristol £53,256 to £65,657 per annum + Benefits

What I don’t understand is this – smoking is banned everywhere in Britain, from the restaurants of Land’s End to the pubs of John O’Groats. What possible justification can there be for “Smoke free”?

It's a valid question, but is based on the presumption that the ridiculous smoking ban was truly imposed because of the need for bar workers' health to be protected. As we all know, truth-telling tobacco control advocates are as rare as rarer than unicorn shit, and the only talk since July 2007 has been about how wonderful the ban is because it is forcing smokers to quit.

The operative word there is 'forcing', because what Ed's soon-to-be highly-paid anti-smoking tosspot is being paid to deliver, is not smokefree buildings, but smokefree people.

And he will, on appointment, instantly become as alien to a truthful statement as current ASH muppets like Deborah Arnott. Here, for example, is a perfect illustration that if Debs informs you that she likes your Peugeot 106, you're probably driving a Range Rover.

Second-hand smoke may harm health outdoors

The new study, by researchers at Georgia University in the US, assessed the levels of a nicotine by-product, cotinine, in non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors.

They found levels were 162 per cent greater than in those who were not exposed.

Amanda Sandford, from the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said:

"Although more research needs to be done to verify the findings of this initial study, it shows that further restrictions on smoking outdoors, such as smoke-free cordons around doorways, may be necessary to protect employees who are required to work in places where people are smoking."

Of course, Debs knows full well that the study shows that there is no danger whatsoever, she just chooses her words in such a way as to make lazy journalists, and gullible sheep-minded readers, believe that there is.

The true conclusions of this study were reported by Time Magazine yesterday.

Levels rose by 162% among students hanging out at the bar, 102% among those at a restaurant, and 16% in the control setting. Yet, in spite of the shocking statistics, overall levels of exposure for all three areas remained relatively low, and would be classified as "background" level, according to measures established by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

In other words, you're more likely to die from the shock of seeing an image of Deborah Arnott's quite hideous face on a web page than you are from passive smoking outside.

They will keep pushing this line though, based on another of the quite breath-taking anti-tobacco lies. That being the oft-repeated whopper that "there is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke" which has taken in gormless politicians from California to the Commons. Again, if you believe that, I'd stay away from the screenings of the movie 2012 if I were you, or else you'll soon be jumping off of Beachy Head, in a blind panic, for no good reason.

The whole gargantuan edifice of anti-smoking rhetoric and finger-wagging is sent down from corrupt fuckknuckles in Westminster and Brussels, financed by a quite staggering waste of an eye-watering sum of our tax money, and embellished by the lies of a stadium-load of rancid, mendacious, tobacco-hating, state-paid weasels ... like the one Ed West has found.

Over £50k to be a hectoring cunt, eh? Ain't Labour's bloated public sector grand.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

That EU Referendum Has Ruined Ireland

Now they want a re-run every time something doesn't go their way.

Advertising Desecration Of The Week

Damn you all to hell for infecting my youthful memories, InterCasino.

For anyone under a certain age, read here to understand this sacrilege.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

It Never Stops


So we gave up the eggs back in the 80s, none of that Sam & Ella stuff for us. Besides, going to work on an egg is not a balanced diet. Not having none of that beef around either, I mean, are you kidding? Have you heard about CJD? Kills thousands, so it does. Chicken? Yeah right. Like I want to die of Listeria. And pig meat is right out, I don't want cancer thank you very much.

Definitely avoiding salad as well, scientists have told me it's really bad for my health.

I'm also abstaining from bread, and crisps are a definite no-no. I've banned the kids eating peanuts forever too ... just in case. You know how it is.

I'm giving up the tabs (I've told the entire road that it's an exclusion zone too, their smoking is like 'pointing a gun through the wall' at me), have stopped drinking beer in favour of a thimble of Lambrusco on a Saturday, if I'm feeling in a dangerous mood, that is. And salt-infested Corn Flakes won't get my business again, they have been lobbed in the food composter my Lib Dem council forced on me along with the contents of my salt shaker. Disgusting. For crying out loud, don't these capitalist murderers know I'm intending to live to 200+?

The kids screamed a bit at having their breakfast taken away, but they'll soon get used to it, just as they adapted to my destroying their chocolate and banning them from Diet Coke after reading of the hellish properties of what I naively believed to be a less fatty product to the one I enjoyed in my happy childhood.

Nope, it's purely muesli, cannellini beans and homemade carrot casserole for us from now on.

All washed down with a nice, non-threatening, healthy fruit juice or smoothie.

Eh? What's this?

It's time fruit juice loses its wholesome image, some experts say

Compared with soda, juice carries more calories and as much sugar. There's also evidence that high consumption increases the risk of obesity, especially among kids.

The inconvenient truth, many experts say, is that 100% fruit juice poses the same obesity-related health risks as Coke, Pepsi and other widely vilified beverages.

Oh, for crying out loud! FUCK OFF!

Politics, Danish Style

Politics is a profound and serious subject in Denmark.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A Danish political party named partially after a male sex organ has claimed responsibility for covering other parties' campaign posters in penis stickers.

The P.I.K. party -- an acronym for Penge i kommunekassen, or Money in the Council Coffer, which also spells out "pik,"** a crude form of the Danish word for penis -- took responsibility for covering posters in yellow stickers shaped like penises, The Copenhagen Post reported Tuesday.

"We admit we did it," party Vice President Niels Andreasen said. "But we've tried to distribute them equally among all parties' posters."

I don't think you'll find any Brits labelling all our politicians as pricks ... oh, hold on.

** Strange flashback to 1970s subtitled scandinavian, ahem, 'arty' Super8 films.

Not Just Policy-Pinchers?

On the 13th, the Mirror faithfully publicised a new Labour poster lampooning the Tories. The Labour web-site points to David Cameron's liking for the X Factor twins, Jedward, as the motivation behind the 'shopped image.

Yet Cameron mentioned this quite a while ago. Does it take the Labour publicity machine that long to cut and paste Cameron & Osbourne's faces onto a stock Jedward pic?

Perhaps they were just stumped for inspiration before, lo and behold, a light bulb appeared above the head of one of the creative team. That, or a copy of the last issue of Private Eye, in the shops on the 10th (though available to subscribers earlier), dropped on their desk.

Now, I'm pretty sure Labour HQ keep an eye on, err, The Eye, so would have seen this. Or, perhaps, they don't bother with such scurrilous an organ, are not a party bankrupt of ideas as well as morals, and it's all just a strange coincidence.

You be the Simon Cowell (judge, geddit?).

The Free-Flowing Tax Tap

Heard the one about a taxpayer-funded £380k being gurgled down the drain thanks to a fellow taxpayer-funded organisation?

No? The TPA has the details.

Despite reviews in the local and national press, a huge amount of publicity due to the controversy surrounding it and £380,000 of Screen WM investment, the taxpayer-funded movie 1 Day still only grossed a meagre £44k on its opening weekend at 80 cinemas nationwide.

Now, suspend your disbelief that a Midlands local authority collective should be allowed to spend so much on a project on which it's surprising to see your taxes spent. Just for a moment, eh?

Instead, ask yourself why it was such a flop, considering the huge publicity it attracted locally.

So far, this doesn’t exactly look like a great investment for West Midlands taxpayers who’ll now just be hoping that the film breaks even, and nor does 1 Day and it’s subject matter act as much of a tourist lure for the region – quite the opposite by all accounts. Worse still, people in Birmingham haven’t even had access to this film as all of the city’s cinemas chose not to screen it after a warning from the West Midlands Police that it may provoke clashes between rival gangs.

That's quite ridiculous! Why didn't Screen WM consult the police first to avoid such a waste of money?

Errr ... they did.

The entire cast was recruited from the streets in and around Handsworth and West Midlands Police liaised with film makers during the shoot.

Still no sign of a recession in the public sector, then.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Public Are Too Inconvenient For Public Consultations

Al Jahom has been investigating stakeholders to the NICE consultation on plans to give powers of access to private homes.

Amongst the government agencies, he found a few quangoes and fake charities (clicken to embiggen).

The term 'stakeholder' is a specifically post-1997 Labour construct which has had a dramatic effect in excluding the public from all but a negligible input to the consultation process on any of the thousands of restrictive laws forced upon us.

The only real way of getting a contrary point across is to become a stakeholder. So, I thought I'd try. After all, I tick all the boxes, which suggests I have a stake in this study.

1) I own a house, which is referenced in this consultation. Tick.
2) I have a large 'stake' in the NHS, NICE's funding stream, as I pay a king's ransom every year towards it. Tick.
3) I have chiiildren (the excuse for this consultation). Tick

Unfortunately, the NICE web-site says that the public are not permitted to become 'stakeholders', so I asked why, exactly, I wasn't allowed to fill in the Word document and send it back along with all the other bodies which are funded by ... err ... the public.

The response was polite, but to the point.

Individuals are not accepted as stakeholders as it would be impossible for us to collate & respond to queries from the population at large.

Too much effort, you see.

So that's all right then.

The e-mail was also keen to point out that the press has been 'misleading' with regard to this process. Apparently, it's only a consultation to establish guidelines for the government. The implication, one would assume, is that this Labour administration - THE most restrictive, domineering, control-obsessed, invasive, and dictatorial in modern history - don't have to act on them.

So that's all right then, too.

Sometimes, one almost wishes that the replies to such enquiries would be more honest. You know, something like, "Just pay us money, sit down, and shut the fuck up".

Monday, 16 November 2009

West v East

The reaction in the West to a former prostitute.

The employers of a research scientist who unmasked herself as a call girl turned bestselling author are standing by her, saying that her past had nothing to do with her present job.

After much digging by journalists and fans it emerged that Belle de Jour is Brooke Magnanti, a petite, blonde thirtysomething who works as a specialist in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology in a hospital research group in Bristol.

The reaction in East Anglia to an extra-marital affair.

Norfolk Conservatives are meeting today to decide whether to deselect their general election candidate in a row over her extra-marital affair.

The meeting was called after members of the South West Norfolk Conservative Association said they were concerned that they were not informed of Elizabeth Truss' affair with Tory MP Mark Field, before choosing her as their candidate in the election.

If the indiscretions were reversed, I reckon Liz would have been strung up by now.

Suggestions, Please?

With regard the upcoming Queen's Speech proposals, Conservative Lord Renton is asking this simple question on the Lords of the Blog.

What would you do if you were now a Minister in the Labour Government?

Comments are moderated over there, but you're welcome to submit graphically imaginative suggestions here instead (hang myself from the nearest tree would be my choice).

It Was The Sun Wot Covered #PaulClarke

Constantly Furious has done some clever detective work and tracked down the reporter resonsible for the Paul Clarke story.

Her view seems to be that there really isn't anything more to the case than the fact that Clarke handed the weapon in.

"I'm sorry to disappoint anyone but all the facts are there. We wouldn't have printed it unless we knew that for certain"

It would appear that much of the cynicism surrounding this was fuelled by two aspects. Firstly, the quite astounding severity of the punishment if there was nothing more to it, and secondly that the story wasn't plastered all over the press.

Reporter Holly Thompson casts a bit more light on that, too [emphasis mine].

"it was in the nationals. Was sourced exclusively to the Sun who had it as a page lead on Thursday"

The key word is 'exclusively'. Now, I'm no expert on journo etiquette, but that would tend to suggest a big 'hands off' notice to other nationals (though why the Sun chose not to add it to their online version is anyone's guess).

But it certainly was in their Thursday hard copy. Mrs Puddlecote Snr is a bit of hoarder of newspapers and managed to dig out the article in question. Click to enlarge.

The only obvious addition is a statement from the Crown Prosecution Service that the shotgun was handed in "some days" after being discovered ... though how that is supposed to explain away the deeply felt concern about the situation is anyone's guess.

So, still no hint of any unsavoury aspect to this man's character, in fact, he is known as a contact (and regularly consulted as such), on local issues, by the local paper concerned.

No. It really does appear to be that this is, quite simply, as clear cut, barmy and disturbing a case as any of us have ever encountered.

UPDATE: Holly Thompson reports on Twitter that Paul Clarke's solicitor has just been interviewed on Radio 4. Perhaps this is beginning to be taken seriously.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Life Imitating Loretta

No apology for the vid, for as Reg might say - "What's the point?"

EVERYONE in Britain could be asked if they are gay, straight or bisexual under controversial plans being examined by the government.

Err ... isn't that a bit personal?

Ministers working for Harriet Harman ...

Who else, eh?

... who is in charge of equality policy, are considering including a question about sexual orientation in the 2011 census.

Some ministers support the inclusion of a question, but only if it is not compulsory.

Only some are supporting it, and only if it isn't compulsory? So why is this even being contemplated? If Harman and her fellow cerebrally-challenged muppets believe this is going to have any effect on equality in the UK, they should be strapped to a trolley and rolled down a very steep hill leading to a busy dual carriageway at the bottom. There's one near me that comes to mind.

This is rubber band flicker lunacy out of the very top drawer. Layer upon layer of public sector non-jobbers, sucking up our taxes, and desperately trying to justify their irrelevant existence (and their unjustified salary) by building entirely fabricated empires.

Like these guys, for example.

However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the government watchdog chaired by Trevor Phillips, has argued that it is vital to know how many gays, lesbians and bisexuals there are in Britain, where they live and what jobs they do so the progress of equality legislation can be measured.

So how, exactly, is this question going to be at all useful?

Firstly, it is a question which should never be asked as it is nothing to do with the state. If you're gay, you're gay - that's fine. If you're not, you're not - that's fine too.

What the hell has it got to do with the government? Why is it vital to measure it? For what purpose?

It really doesn't matter a fig what one's sexuality is. All that matters, in this equal world, is that everyone is treated in the same manner. That goes for every section of society, not just a lefty cause célèbre. Where is the EHRC when it comes to the minority to which I belong?

Just measuring the numbers of gay people in the country will have no impact whatsoever on how they are treated. In fact, just the inclusion of this question could have a deletorious effect. As is ever the way when overpaid and under mentally-endowed socialist dipshits are entrusted with simple tasks.

And is the data going to be useful? Of course not. If it is voluntary, it is an incomplete record and less than useless. If it is compulsory, it is an invasion of privacy backed by government sanction. In which case, gay people will be as annoyed at being asked such a question as straight ones will (therefore the scope for a poor statistical result is huge), because ... and perhaps this will come as a bit of a surprise to Harman and the EHRC ... gay people are exactly like straight people. Some might say we are all, I dunno, equal? That is, not inferior as this initiative would seem to presume.

There simply isn't any point to this whatsoever.

Here. I have an idea. Suppose we agree that Harriet and her chums can't actually have intelligence, not having a brain, which is nobody's fault, even the Labour party, but we will defend their right to be completely fucking stupid and kick them out of office as soon as is humanly possible?

Now, there is definitely a point to that.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Make Laws, Answer Questions Later

Puddlecote red mistometer alert. It's still deep crimson two days after some quite startling Labour cuntistry.

The more scrutiny afforded to dealings in Westminster via media such as Democracy Live and easy online access to Hansard, the more authoritarian and anti-democratic the scumsuckers in the respective houses seem to become.

Take this quite stunning arrogance from Labour cock-socket, Kevin Barron, two days ago.

In a sense the answer to the question by Mike Penning about what happened in respect of the vending machine debate, and the good decision taken in the Health Bill, is that the Government, at the eleventh hour, decided to let the House have a free vote, allowing Members of Parliament to exercise their own judgment, as they did on smoking in public places. We would be a lot better as legislators if we did it ourselves, because party politically we are frightened to death of the nanny state, but as individuals we can see the need for intervention in all our communities—in respect of different age and gender groups and everything else—and we can defend those decisions on the ground.

My hon. Friend the Minister used to be in the Whips Office at one time. We ought to get the message through to all parties in Parliament and to the usual channels that parliamentarians, on many occasions, can take the right decisions without having to respond to Whips, who are sensitive about arguments that I think are quite old-fashioned.

By 'old-fashioned', one assumes that Barron is referring either to the fear of electorate backlash, or adherence to manifesto commitments. Very old-fashioned concepts indeed for this self-important cunt and his rancid party.

It's staggering to see someone, in plain view of the public, bastardising a once-respected world leading democratic institution, by calling for MPs to embrace their role as a nanny state, and celebrating a new era of law-making based on nothing but their pompous view that politicians know best. In short - make laws now, screw the public, we'll deal with them later. Yes, seriously. Barron is advocating a system of government whereby millions of objectors are ignored at the whim of a mere 646 highly-paid crooks.

I presume the throbbing member for Rother Valley is taking his lead from other historical politicos who have employed the same methods.

It is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy.

Barron follows this instruction manual to the letter, and more. He brazenly puts on record what we have come to expect from these dictatorial dunderbutts - that we, the people who elect them, should not be allowed to make our own decisions.

We are the state's representative in our constituencies and we should not be frightened of taking decisions on behalf of our constituents, because that is to the general good.

Nanny fucking Barron. And proud of it.

And if you think that's bad, he has only just started.

Lifestyles will be the big public health issue in the 21st century and this report is designed to start the debate, not end it.

Starting a debate would be nice, Kev. Because, as yet, we haven't had a fucking chance of getting a word in edgeways, while the shrill mob of state-paid lobbyists and fake charities scramble to promote their particular brand of fascist shit in a welcoming legislative climate, and indentikit, besuited, baby-kissers and faux-smilers duly acquiesce in peeling away one layer of our self-determination after another.

And where is the thunderous opposition to this clarion call for a dictatorship of 646 righteous bastards? Where are the Tory defenders of personal choice? Where are the Liberal values of the Illiberal Undemocrats?

Fucking nowhere. Because they are all, without exception, filthy, corrupt, power-hungry, voter-hating, totalitarian, self-absorbed, treacherous bullies proposing kneejerk policies based on nothing but their own selfish and dictatorial agenda.

We are their employers, yet they have declared war on us all. We're gonna need a fucking big bonfire.

Another Brilliant Police Initiative

There's pretend plod ... and then there's real pretend plod.

A LIFE-SIZE cardboard cut out of a policeman, designed to scare would-be thieves, was stolen by a drunken prankster.

Eight cardboard cut-outs of police officers were placed in petrol stations and shops across Essex to deter and confuse would-be criminals earlier this year.

Well, that worked then.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Finders Weepers

Only in a Britain reeking of institutional mistrust, collective punishment and state-sponsored authoritarianism could this happen.

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The court heard how Mr Clarke was on the balcony of his home in Nailsworth Crescent, Merstham, when he spotted a black bin liner at the bottom of his garden.

In his statement, he said: "I took it indoors and inside found a shorn-off shotgun and two cartridges.

"I didn't know what to do, so the next morning I rang the Chief Superintendent, Adrian Harper, and asked if I could pop in and see him.

"At the police station, I took the gun out of the bag and placed it on the table so it was pointing towards the wall."

Mr Clarke was then arrested immediately for possession of a firearm at Reigate police station, and taken to the cells.

Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a "strict liability" charge – therefore Mr Clarke's allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

"The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."

Five. Fucking. Years. And a permanently ruined life. For doing the right thing.

What have you bastards done to my country, Labour?

Sincerely Grateful

The Onion on top form.

American Muslims To Fort Hood Shooter: 'Thanks A Lot, Asshole'

FORT HOOD, TX—Following Army psychologist Nidal Malik Hasan's shooting rampage on the Fort Hood military base last week that left 13 people dead and 30 others injured, fellow Muslims across the nation sent him a message today, saying "thanks a fucking bunch, asshole," to the 39-year-old killer. "Hey, great, eight years of progress right down the shitter," St. Cloud, MN resident Zahida Naseem said at one of dozens of impromptu rallies held nationwide. "And you just had to scream 'Allahu Akbar' while you did it, didn't you? May as well have put on a turban and rode a fucking camel right through the army base, you dick. Thanks for making the foreseeable future a living hell for normal, peace-loving Muslims in this country. Really appreciate it!"

Dick Out And About: Calling America

The future of healthcare for yanks. (link)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Wimmins' Rights, But Only For The Approved

Labour's most monumentally ridiculous MEP has been pronouncing on wimmins' rights again. Well, sort of. Compare and contrast the attitude in consecutive articles, because I'm buggered if I can square the two.

Let's start with the latter, a barb at Michael O'Leary of Ryanair fame, with whom Hairy Moneyball is rather pissed off owing to a calendar he produces for charidee.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the history of this tale, last year I criticised the mindless objectification of women in this article for the Guardian’s Comment is Free after he published a calendar for charity which contained his ’sexiest airline stewards’ in which they ’bared all’.

Do I care that O’Leary labels me as anti-fun?

I hear sniggering. Please stop, this is serious.

Not a bit, because there is a serious point to be made here.

See? Told ya'.

My concern is the message that charities, which align themselves with this calendar, are sending to their supporters.

The charity is inadvertently aligning itself with a linear one dimensional idea of beauty that objectifies women in the most nauseating way.

The inference, one presumes, is that they were forced into posing. Because if 800 of them enthusiastically applied to be included, which they did, I would have thought that an advocate of the rights of women would be right behind them. Yet Hairy doesn't like this perfectly cosy relationship between management and staff. Hmmm.

OK. She doesn't like women desperately clawing each other's eyes out to be merely eye candy, however much they would like to be so. I suppose that's consistent with her previous misandrist guff.

What she would really like to see is women trying to better themselves. You know, like instead of being viewed as merely decoration, perhaps doing something more worthwhile. Aspiring to a higher station. That's what Hairy would like to see.

Or, as she illustrated today, perhaps not.

It would appear that Mr. Berlusconi is not choosing these female candidates for their knowledge of and commitment to politics. His selection of women parliamentarians accurately matches his choice of women companions outside his marriage. Although I am sure these young women are fine, upstanding citizens, by no stretch of the imagination are they suited for high political office.

Because they are pretty, you see, and that just won't do. They should stick to their previous jobs as TV actresses and topless models. Oh hold on, Hairy doesn't like objectification of women, she wants them to aspire to higher things, doesn't she? Or, oh I don't know ... Jeez, I'm confused now.

Hairy then goes on to list a few female MEPs she does like. All of whom have done nothing more in their lives than be wedded to politics ... leftist politics at that.

According to Hairy, only professional politicians should be afforded a seat at the EU, even if democratically elected. And her denouement is even more scathing, and a disgrace to the democratic history of not only British politics, but also the roots of her own party.

It is quite simply disgraceful for the likes of Berlusconi to put forward women who have neither the experience or qualifications to be successful in politics. It undermines all women when some, even a very few, female colleagues are not up to the job.

One can imagine the same kind of accusations being directed at early Labour parliamentarians, by Tories and Liberals, at the turn of the 20th century.

But then, Hairy has never been one to promote women at all really. Just those who she, personally, deems worthy.

Hypocrisy 'R' Labour

Not content with throwing hypocritical accusations at the Tories on broken EU referendum pledges, Labour's Minister for Cuckooland, Ben Bradshaw, has been spouting more arrogant opportunistic nonsense on the BBC.

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw says he thinks it is "unfair" that UKIP's Nigel Farage is breaking a convention by standing against the Speaker at the next election.

That would be the convention which was upheld admirably by his own party in 1987 when Bernard Weatherill was Speaker, presumably?

As Speaker, Weatherill sought re-election in 1987 under a non-party label, but Labour and the SDP stood against him. Fellow-tailors raised a fund to cover his expenses, and he was returned with a majority of 12,519.

Perhaps Bradshaw considers that perfectly 'fair' in light of Weatherill being arguably responsible for Labour being humiliated in the 1979 no confidence vote. That or he just didn't engage research before applying gob.

It has recently been revealed that in 1979, Weatherill played a critical role in the defeat of the Labour government in the vote of confidence. As the vote loomed, Labour's deputy Chief Whip, Walter Harrison approached Weatherill to enforce the convention and "gentleman's agreement" that if a sick MP from the Government could not vote, an MP from the Opposition would abstain to compensate. The Labour MP Alfred Broughton was on his deathbed and could not vote, meaning the Government would probably lose by one vote. Weatherill said that the convention had never been intended for such a critical vote that literally meant the life or death of the Government, and it would be impossible to find a Conservative MP who would agree to abstain. However, after a moment's reflection, he offered that he himself would abstain, because he felt it would be dishonorourable to break his word with Harrison. Walter Harrison was so impressed by Weatherill's offer - which would have effectively ended his political career - that he released Weatherill from his obligation, and so the Government fell by one vote on the agreement of gentlemen.

Gentlemen in parliament, eh? Bradshaw's TV hypocritical politicking, and reliance on mendacious soundbites, illustrate how very long ago it was that we witnessed such a thing.

Need To Know Basis

Via the excellent Man Widdicombe comes this strange tale of an air-brushed BBC article.

Click to enlarge the pic above or see the original here.

Now, was it a hounding from NHS Grampian which resulted in the removal of any mention of this woman's anti-alcohol project credentials? Or was it the perfectly impartial, and {cough} unbiased, BBC who decided that hypocrisy within the NHS healthist community should be kept hidden from us proles?

Mustn't have anything interfering with the new public health theology, now must we?

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Understatement Of The Decade

Baroness Murphy, on the Lords of the Blog.

There had been some surprising inserts by the Government in the Commons ... but the most interesting was the amendment tabled in the Commons by Ian McCartney which will have the effect over time of outlawing tobacco vending machines completely. Those of us who want to reduce smoking naturally voted with the Government but I have to say I had a lot of sympathy with the argument that this went much further than the Government’s intention to reduce children having access to tobacco purchase and undoubtedly will create difficulties for companies which make vending machines who have done a considerable amount of technical development to create machines which can be activated by radar to authorise an adult but not a child.

Difficulties? Like having part of your business, selling perfectly legal products, outlawed with the stroke of a pen? Those sort of difficulties, do you mean?

What is also evident here, once again, is how very little these morons actually care about the people whose lives they are entrusted to serve. Baroness Murphy is either clever in drawing attention only to the manufacturers of these machines, or has been led into that position by selective information from lobbyists and government misdirection.

Having lived in two pubs, in different areas of the country, for over a decade, our vending machine supplier in both cases was a small family-run business who bought or leased their machines and profited from the placement and administration of them. That is how the market is serviced. These companies are going to suffer more than a few 'difficulties'. Their businesses, many of which have been passed down through generations, are obsolete overnight.

Their assets are worthless. They cannot sell the business, they are quite simply screwed. And for no good reason whatsoever. No-one will be 'saved' by this spiteful legislation. The Baroness even admits this herself.

I suspect that even more people will be driven to buying tobacco on the black market.

Which, of course, is totally unregulated, and doesn't give a fig who it sells to.

Cheap cigarettes smuggled from abroad and sold illegally in "tab houses" are getting children hooked on smoking, trading standards officers have warned.

About 30% of under 18s admit to buying illicit tobacco, particularly in areas of deprivation, officials say.

The cigarettes are sold from private homes without age checks, creating a new generation of smokers, they claim.

Yet again, incredibly unrealistic ideology has done nothing but cause further harm, both in the destruction of upstanding small businesses, and in the creation of a new impetus for the smuggling of cigarettes. Baroness Murphy and her fellow numbskulls, in their zeal to be seen to be righteous, have simply added to the problem of underage smoking, whilst simultaneously infantilising the adult population, killing profitable businesses stone dead, and making our country that little bit more totalitarian.

And they wonder why we hate them. All.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Thanks Gordon, But No Thanks

Patients in middle age are to be offered an NHS health check every five years, Gordon Brown will announce today. By 2012, everyone aged 40 to 74 will be entitled to free checks to assess their risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease as part of an extension of patients’ rights being proposed by the Government.

I hope you don't mind if I politely decline your offer, Gordon, and suggest that you poke your health checks somewhere snug - sideways. Is that OK with you, chummy?

Now, apart from the obvious question as to why these checks are emphasised as being 'free' in a health service which, as they sell it to us, is very much supposed to be exactly that anyway - how are these checks going to be any different from the usual NHS interactions which I have been avoiding for quite a while now**?

Appointments would generally go something like this:

Doc: (head down, writing notes) So what's the problem?
DP: I've an ingrowing toenail/aching elbow/itchy knob (delete as applicable).
Doc: (not looking up) Do you smoke?
DP: Yes, but ...
Doc: (still not looking up) You shouldn't. It's bad for your health ... (nag for a bit, throw in a few scare stats)
DP: Well, I ...
Doc: (still no eye contact) Here's a prescription for antibiotics. Take twice daily. See the receptionist on your way out for the local smoking cessation service. Good day.

I pay around £4k pa for this exceptional level of 'free' service, a service I no longer use due to the tiresome finger-wagging and hectoring involved, as well as the generally poor reception afforded.

I've tried hinting that the Doc should keep his/her nose out, pointed out that doctors kill quite a few themselves, that sort of thing, all to no avail. So I don't have a regular check up routine anymore.

The last time I was made to, reluctantly, use the NHS was for a compulsory medical related to a licence I needed, as part of this government's policy of requiring us to ask their permission before embarking on any business activity whatsoever. That, of course, wasn't free - I had to pay £75 for it. The procedure lasted approximately 10 minutes (a tasty £450 per hour), or should have done, except that I didn't lie on the question of what I drink at weekends. As a result, the nurse went all wobbly and said she would have to wait for a Doctor to sign it off as I was exceeding government alcohol unit guidelines. As all of them were busy with appointments, I was sat waiting for over 20 minutes in the room - and you won't believe this, but trust me it's absolutely true - with a Chow dog sporting a big white collar round its neck, as nursey had explained at the start that her dog was sick and she didn't have anywhere else to take him ... except a doctor's examination room, natch.

Tempting as such classy care is, I don't feel the need to volunteer for more of the same with Gordon's new initiative. I'm sure there will come a time when I certainly will need the NHS that I pay a barrowload of readies for each month, but it's looking increasingly likely that, by then, they will routinely deny me the treatment for which I have paid, on the spurious grounds that my lifestyle is somehow costing the country money ... after ignoring the many tens of thousands of pounds I have paid into the system since starting work in 1985.

So, Gordon, whilst you may believe this to be a stonking idea, 'free' health checks don't really work for me, sunshine. Unless and until, that is, you instruct GPs and other health professionals to just check me over, fix me if required, and shut the fuck up about my personal choices.

Either that, or you could give me my bloody money back and let me arrange my own health cover with a company who will treat me as the high-paying customer that I am, instead of some burdensome miscreant to be vilified and treated with contempt.

** My fears about the NHS began in the 80s when, following a routine GP check up, I received a letter from the surgery stating that I was pregnant.

Fiddling With Tax While Labour's Vote Burns

Tom Harris has been wringing his hands over Labour's tax policy today. What is particularly concerning him is the kneejerk stance of some in his party to call for envy-led taxes on the rich.

The logic seems to be this: Labour’s eschewing of traditional Labour tax-and-spend policies has led to the current disparity between the lowest and the highest paid; soaking the rich would therefore, of itself, make Labour popular enough to win a fourth general election as well as narrowing the incomes gap.

Tom quite rightly argues that this is a truly facile argument. His party are quite simply not going to stem the flooding dyke of escaping Labour voters by sticking their 'soak the rich' finger in the massive bus-sized hole. He also argues, correctly, that such a policy won't earn the exchequor any significant increase in funds.

However, he does seem to suggest that a sensible tax policy, targeted at reducing 'income inequality', would make the massive impact which is required to avoid electoral carnage in 2010.

To his credit, Tom is usually refreshingly different to many Labour MPs but, with this thinking, he is showing himself to be identical to 100% of the current crop in simply not understanding the average working man. Either that or Labour, in their mid-90s and beyond thrust for middle class votes, have completely forgotten how to court the working man, or don't believe such votes are relevant anymore.

Those who were formerly termed 'working class' see the fuss over the budget each year and wonder why it takes some guy in a suit over an hour to tell them their beer is going to cost 10p more and their fags 20p. If they drive, they might moan about an extra 2p on a litre of fuel for their van, too. When they buy their copy of The Sun the next day, they will see that a Labour government has made them £1.25 per week better off, and joke about what a waste of time it all is seeing as they earned £60 at Laddies on the 2:30 at Sandown the previous Saturday.

Middle classes worry about marginal levels of tax. Working men don't. They hate all tax, as they are proud of their toil (just tell one you work in an office and listen to the tales of early mornings for decades, and working fingers to the bone etc) and don't like having their wages reduced. However, although they can tell you the ins and outs, and expected returns, of an each way Yankee at various odds, they have no clue as to the machinations of the tax system - I know this as I pay a whole load of them.

What they do worry about is what they can do with the money they are proud of earning, and the state of the country in which they spend it. And the simple fact is that Labour have destroyed every aspect of that to a quite frightening degree. Working families that I know have been in the same house, same job, with the same friends, for decades. They eat the same food on weekends, they go to the same places on nights out, meeting the same people, and often have the same conversations they have had for years.

Labour have not only inveigled their way into every part of this meagre but happy lifestyle, they have significantly, and spitefully, ruined it.

They are told they are drinking too much, so they have to change or they will pay a lot more. Their early-evening couple of pints on the way home/karaoke nights haven't been fun since 2007 when the atmosphere was ripped away by the smoking ban, forcing everyone outside. As a result, people stopped going, and the pub/club where they felt they belonged has shut down. They are told that they are irresponsible for eating what they like to eat. They are told that they should be 'multi-cultural' when Labour have allowed hundreds of thousands of EU workers to devalue, or eradicate entirely, the work they do. So much so that whatever putative taxes they are charged pale into insignificance when compared with their loss of real, tangible income.

Labour did all this, and much, much more. Consider comments such as these on the BBC site today appended to an article about Greggs, a highly successful, and growing, brand on the back of mainly working class custom.

In my opinion the amount of saturated fat contained in these products goes no way to promoting 'healthy eating.' As is quoted it supplies "a huge chunk of blokes who want lots of food cheaply."
Norman Wint, Taunton/Gloucester

Greggs is the McDonald's of bakeries. Terrible food sold on the cheap to conquer the masses. This country really needs to improve quality of breads e.g. more sourdough etc and less of the high sugar breads on sale at moment.
David, London

Just another variant on the unhealthy fast-food fad. Their products are riddled with saturated fats, salt and sugar.
Dr Ian Sedwell, Weymouth, United Kingdom

Such condescending views are now commonplace since Labour re-badged the choices of working people as not just 'undesirable' but also, thanks to the incessant hectoring of Labour-paid fake charities and quangoes, abhorrent and a drain on society.

They are 'racist' if they complain about the influx of foreign workers affecting their income. They don't enjoy a cigarette anymore, they are filthy smokers. They don't enjoy a drink anymore, they are irresponsible drunks and a cost to the NHS. Their favoured food and lifestyle can be ridiculed at will by holier-than-thou types with the full backing of a Labour party who continue to actively encourage them.

So, not only have the unassuming lives of the Labour core vote been ripped apart in the past few years, but they are simultaneously being humiliated and insulted for simply going about their daily routine exactly as their families have for generations.

A massive tranche of the population, who have always been proud of being the backbone of the country, being told, in no uncertain terms, that their lives are a disgrace and their efforts unworthy because they live life in an unapproved manner, are not going to be seduced by a few quid back on tax. It just won't wash.

They will remember that this didn't happen under the Tories. Labour did it. And you can bet quite a tidy sum that they know who to blame (you know it's bad when even Tony Benn is coming out against Labour).

Labour MPs can agonise all they like about income inequality, and even try to adjust it via the tax system, but it won't make any inroads into their disastrous poll results until they rectify the problems that their assault on the working man and civil liberties, in the guise of tackling 'health inequalities', have caused.

And unless they do, Labour will be out of power for a generation or more, because working people will be doing the same jobs (if they still have one), visiting the same places (if they are still open), with the same friends, and telling the same stories about how Labour screwed up their way of life, for a very long time.

UPDATE: And if you do wield some power in appealing to the working man. Say, with a newspaper column or something, your article is pulled.

Sorry, Tom, but working people hate you and everything your party have done. They ain't going to be bought off that easily.

Guy News And Paranoid Plod

Thursday's shenanigans featured on Guido's Guy News.

Related to this is a rather odd statement, released by the Met Police, according to The Register:

At approximately 12:40 on Thursday, 5 November, about 30 - 40 people went to the Palace of Westminster. Initially dressed as Guy Fawkes, the group was allowed access to Parliament once they had removed their costumes in line with rules governing access to the building.

They were admitted into the public gallery, as they were the year before when they attended.

Err, no we didn't. Last year it went something like this.

Pub - Parliament Square - Section 44 - Pub.

Is this a kind of Tetris Syndrome? So many of the buggers, that plod see them everywhere?