Sunday 30 November 2008

£5bn Labour Robbery Exposed

I know £5bn is pretty small potatoes in terms of this Government's waste, but when that amount is illegally netted, probably as a result of Labour's almost hypnotic and unrelenting adherence to the whims of single issue lunatics, one has to wonder who is actually pulling the strings of Government. It certainly doesn't appear to be those who, in a democracy, should have a say.

British American Tobacco has just whipped the Government's backside in court and taken them for £1.2bn.

Europe's biggest cigarette maker said a preliminary judgement found it should not have paid UK tax on dividends received from European subsidiaries.

The judge said that HM Revenue and Customs should refund the tax paid on the dividends plus other bills.

The total cost of this test case to the exchequor is expected to be in the region of £5bn once all the other companies who have been shafted are repaid. Just what we need right now. Stack that in the National Debt alongside the other trillion, Mr Darling.

This is the problem with believing crap fed by anti-smoking organisations. They lie. A lot. And if you listen to them that much and actually believe their nonsense, you become indoctrinated. Before you know it, you are taxing perfectly legal companies for perfectly legal, and non-taxable, practices, on the basis that "no-one will mind, ASH told us they were nasty and the whole world is with us" (not verbatim obviously).

Actually, no, we are not. We wish a Government to be all things to all men and women who vote. This is obviously difficult, but at least there should be some effort made for those who are in a minority. We are sorely used to the disgraceful way that smokers themselves are treated but now, it seems, Labour feel that they are able to inflict taxes on the manufacturers themselves without any recourse to proper tax regulations.

I don't know whether to laugh at the Government because they have been caught out taxing on the basis of prejudice, or that it is a contravention of an EU directive that has made them pay it all back.

UPDATE: I thought something rang a bell. It seems Labour's financial crapness at the behest of the righteous has appeared here before.

Saturday 29 November 2008

Move On - Nothing to See Here

As political moments go, the Damian Green case is a biggie. I've been alternating between being scared shitless, and laughing at the incompetence that led to it, whether that be from Labour or the Police. Either is appalling. All points have been raised by the media and other bloggers, there isn't much I can add except my own feelings of exasperation at what has happened to this country in the last few years that has culminated in this.

However, despite the almost universal condemnation, from every sphere, of what has happened, over at the blog of Labour MP Tom Harris, those who think this is a dangerous turn of events have been labelled "Moonhowlers".

The guy whose summing up of his 1984 donation was "... a rollicking good yarn, with a great plot and a very dramatic ending." also sees nothing wrong or sinister about ministers being arrested under his own party's anti-terrorism laws and held for 9 hours, for simply embarrassing the Government.

Anyone who thinks that this is something to worry about, according to Tom Harris, are obviously suffering from lunar madness.

Oh yeah, and Jacq the Ripper knew nothing about it? Of course she didn't.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

A Sideways Shift for Prejudicial Hatred

Take a good look at the man above. He is one of the new faces of prejudice, bullying and hatred in this country. Forget Nick Griffin of the BNP, he's a dinosaur. This is Chris Spencer-Jones, a Public Health Director in the Midlands. He enjoys removing the comforts of terminally-ill patients to satisfy his own prejudices. As highlighted this week by Leg Iron.

People who are dying at the Sheldon Unit in Northfield, Birmingham, are to be chucked out in the cold because of this 'caring professional', despite there being no need under the Health Act 2006 regulations. You see, they have a smoking room on 'sympathetic grounds', but spiteful, putrid, psychopathic bully Chris doesn't like it. He says,

It doesn’t matter if patients might be terminally ill, ... the practise at the Sheldon Unit is unacceptable.

It's not surprising that Chris is like this. Prejudice and bullying are natural human weaknesses, they have been around since some neanderthal first caved in a prehistoric skull on the basis that he didn't like the way he said "Ug". It's not Chris's fault he is an affront to humanity, he just is, it's in the genes. The surprising, and worrying, part of this is that this odious, conceited monster should somehow be considered more respectable than the leader of the BNP.

For clarification, I'm not saying that Nick Griffin should be respected, rather that Chris Spencer-Jones should be treated with as much contempt as any other bigoted hatemonger ... because that is exactly what he is.

By the way, if you are not averse to a bit of smoker-bashing yourself, don't give up on this as this isn't a solely pro-smoking rant. Read on.

Bullying is something we try to educate out of our kids if we are responsible parents, and quite rightly so. The result of not doing so is groups such as the BNP. Legislation has quite rightly made discrimination and prejudice illegal on the grounds of race, sexuality, religion and sex. There aren't many legal outlets for hatred anymore.

So they have shifted their rancid bigotry into the new, 'sexy', line of righteousness. It's untouchable. They can now be as small-minded, arrogant, vindictive, spiteful, unsympathetic, insulting, condescending, dismissive, contemptuous, and smug about it, as they like. What's more, they can say it loud, proud, and without a chance of being held to account (they will probably command a hefty salary for it too). If you dare to call their bluff, you run the risk of losing your job. The righteous have no such fear. At worst, you'll be made to make a feeble apology.

People like Chris Spencer-Jones choose their initial targets wisely though, as, like a playground bully, they don't like the idea of attacking people who can fight back. Chris chose to take his prejudice out on people who are dying. I'm sure he will get a few high fives from his 'caring profession' colleagues for that, it's an object lesson in picking on the weak. But how about a few other examples from just the past few days.

Via Womble on Tour, we read of the installation of CCTV cameras in a couple's bedroom. Are they a couple who can stand up for themselves and fight against these righteous bastards? Oh no, what a surprise! They aren't, they have learning difficulties.

In the latest case, documented in a report published by the British Institute of Human Rights to mark the tenth anniversary of the Human Rights Act, an unnamed council used CCTV to keep an eye on a mother and father with learning difficulties as their parenting skills were under question.

Notice the 'unnamed' bit? If you get found out being a righteous shit as opposed to a shit of any other persuasion, you get anonymity and there is no chance of prosecution. You've been a bullying low-life but you escape scot-free! No matter how many laws you break. Superb.

If, however, you are caught smoking in a pub, the punishment is instant. You may even lose your job even if it is an innocent mistake. No chance to back off without charge.

The nature of bigotry has irrevocably shifted from the age old prejudices and irrational hatred into a new plethora of targets. Civilisation seemed to have blunted the human condition to hate and subdue for arbitrary reasons, but nasty little fascists like Chris Spencer-Jones have simply found a way round it.

All with the congratulation, encouragement, and financial backing of the Labour Government.

In Rampton Hospital, Nottinghamshire, we have mental hospital patients, 70% of whom smoke, fighting to be able to light up in their own homes. In Chester, if you are mentally-ill and wish to smoke, you are forcibly subdued in the name of righteousness.

The letter, on behalf of patients, reads: “One patient threatened to wreck the ward if she could not have a fag. Management chose to bring in a load of male nurses and threatened to sedate her, to enforce their no-smoking policy, rather than let her smoke.”

As promised earlier, smokers are just a template target to those for whom hate is more important than their respect for fellow humans with differing lifestyle choices than their own. If you are happy with smokers being denied when they pose no possible threat to you personally, you will have to be consistent and agree with making alcohol an illegal substance.

It's been recognised that [alcohol] is the most harmful recreational drug you could use. The risks are very similar to illegal substances. Alcohol and tobacco highjack the same part of the brain [as illegal drugs].

The righteous have only just started. You won't be having that relaxing inexpensive drink for much longer. If you have a kid that isn't approved by the righteous, they will be taken from you.

The sad thing is that the links I've provide are just a small selection of the vast amount that were available. This stuff is overwhelming and incessant.

Nick Griffin's bigotry has been recognised and largely halted. Chris Spencer-Jones's particular brand of disgusting hatred has not only not been recognised as a threat, it is positively encouraged. Even financially bolstered in Alistair Darling's Pre Budget Report. Carry on guys, you're doing a great job!

Take a good look at that face at the top of the page, the man who believes people should die without comfort or dignity. How far are you prepared to allow scum like him to go? Are you going to stand up to the playground bully, or just blithely ignore him as he isn't picking on you ... yet?

If you agree with him, which freedoms are acceptable to be withheld even if they harm you not, and which should be protected? Do you think the righteous will care once you have been earmarked?

The BNP? Amateurs! There's a new breed of hate in town and they hate with Government backing.

Monday 24 November 2008

Got a Famous Monument to Sell? Labour Will Buy It

There is so much that is funny about the Pre Budget Report that it's hard to know where to start. Perhaps the best way is to do as a commenter highlighted by Obnoxio has done, and just express it in a few words.

So in essence: fags up, petrol up, drink up, national insurance up (next year) but VAT down for 13 months. That's it? Fucking Whoopee.

But to expand, I found a couple of items made me laugh harder than a Tory MP when Darling was banging on about Britain being best placed for coming out of recession.

For example, this from the 237 page PDF file accompanying today's exercise in political fuckwittery.

a new HMRC Business Payment Support Service to allow businesses in temporary financial difficulty to pay their HMRC tax bills on a timetable they can afford;

Now, forgive me if I'm incorrect, but I remember when there used to be a 12 month payment holiday. That is to say, we paid tax on business profits AFTER we had earned them. That all changed when payments on account were brought in by Labour, which enabled the Government to charge (and add interest for late payment of) tax liabilities on predicted future profits. So, all Darling is saying here is that HMRC enforcers will wait a few months before knocking on your door and demanding payment for profits you haven't yet earned, at pain of having your possessions removed. How very generous of them. A case of "Look how nice we are. You're still a lot worse off than you were when we took over, but we're less crap than we were last week".

As if that isn't laughable enough, this bit nestling on page 211 had me bouncing off the walls in hilarity (hence the post heading).

Tobacco receipts in 2008-09 are expected to be £0.6 billion above the Budget 2008 projection. This reflects that duty paid consumption is not expected to fall by as much as assumed in the Budget 2008 forecast. The impact from the smoking ban could be less than was incorporated into the Budget projection, or alternatively there could have been a fall in cross border shopping or the illicit market share.

There is so very much wrong with this on so many levels, but the best part (and the funniest), is that their blind allegiance to vastly-funded single issue groups has weakened their minds so much that they are actually basing their treatment of the economy on the rantings of these nutters!

"The impact from the smoking ban could be less ..."? But wasn't it all about protecting bar staff? This, surely, accepts that Labour knew there would be a deletorious effect on the hospitality industry. They knew, and what's more, it was what they wished to happen. Let's face it, they couldn't have seriously have expected a fall in "cross border shopping" seeing as they have been ramping up duty at a huge rate on the advice of the self-same nutters.

The reason for the increase of (NOT £0.6bn, let's put it in proper numbers) £600m over their projection, is that they were naive and stupid to believe otherwise. They were conned. It also shows that whatever reasoning they threw at Parliament for bringing in a blanket ban in contravention of their 2005 GE manifesto, it was a lie. A cast-iron, hammerite-coated sculpture of bollocks. They just would have had a lot more trouble passing the Health Act 2006 if they had told the truth.

So reminiscent of the 45 minute WMDs bleating isn't it?

We still have Alan Johnson talking shite about how 'largely positive' the smoking ban has been on the pub trade despite the loss of 36 pubs every week, and now Labour are compounding it by hitting the publicans again with an 8% increase on beer duty to fit in with their illiberal anti-drink crusade, based on another flight of fantasy.

I'm going to try to sell them the Eiffel Tower, they'll go for it. Pick your monument, and name your price.

When is a VAT Cut NOT a VAT Cut? ...

When you're a smoker, a drinker or a motorist, of course

Miserablist Brown's miserable Chancellor announced his much publicised 2.5% VAT cut around 4pm this afternoon. This would have included tobacco, alcohol and petrol, which causes a bit of a problem for these illiberal puritannical bastards.

Reports this morning mentioned a possible 11p cut on a packet of 20 cigarettes and 31p on a reasonable bottle of wine. One can almost visualise the righteous tutting and head-shaking at the prospect of allowing free choice of lifestyles to be financially encouraged.

The result? An increase in duty to counteract the VAT cut.

Labour will try to bill this PBR as being a tax-cutting one, but only on goods that Government have approved. You are to spend your money on what the Government tells you to spend your money on. Just be sure to remember this the next time you are asked for your vote.

If you are a drinker, Labour despises you.

If you are a smoker, Labour is disgusted by you.

If you are a motorist, Labour doesn't give a toss about you.

Got that? Good.

UPDATE 19:17: As an e-mail from The Drinkers Alliance astutely observes, Darling didn't say that the hike in duty would be reduced again once VAT goes back up in 2010. So we can safely assume that this is a permanent tax rise on those who, like a drink, who choose to smoke, and who drive. And I'm sure he'll tax further in the full budget. If I was a swearblogger, I'd call him a cunt.

UPDATE 23:00: In the above update, for 'can safely assume', please read 'was there ever any doubt'

From the PBR document:

to offset the effects of the temporary reduction in VAT, increasing alcohol and tobacco duties, maintaining these increases after December 2009 to support fiscal consolidation;

Fiscal consolidation? WTF is that? I just saw it as plain, common or garden, bullying of free choice.

Sunday 23 November 2008

Straws Clutched but Elephants Ignored

Womble on Tour leads, Iain Dale follows. (chronologically as I read them, anyway)

Not much more to be said really. The floated VAT cut doesn't realistically help anyone. More vacuous populist nonsense.

From a personal viewpoint, my small business (which still turns over more than the entire nationwide budget that Jacqui Smith affords to the Police to counteract people trafficking, remember that), will simply suffer another hindrance in the short term. Any positives will be swallowed up by the outlay required to adhere to the new rules.

Long term will be advantageous, but what's the point of long-term advantage when looking for a short-term solution to current problems? It won't help create any new jobs and could store up problems for the future according to BBC guru Robert Peston. Someone with experience of Government puts it very succinctly.

Looks like a cheap, knee-jerk attempt at vote-buying from here. Shouldn't we expect more from our Government in a time of crisis?

If they want to buy votes, how about the feel-good factor of leaving us all the fuck alone? It would take a massive leap of faith ... that, and sacking the entire bunch of nannying tossers on the front benches, of course.

We can but dream.

Saturday 22 November 2008

Jacqui Smith: Encouraging People Trafficking

If anyone is still in any doubt that this Labour (mal)administration holds its own electorate in utter contempt, Jacqui Smith's much-discussed and much-ridiculed new legislation on prostitution should dispel that quite convincingly.

The Home Office believes that the new measures will shame men who pay for sex by “removing any ambiguity from possible offenders' minds about the potential consequences”.

Ministers are hoping that yesterday's changes, which will also allow kerb crawlers to be prosecuted for a first offence, will help to change the culture surrounding prostitution.

And the moral/healthist/environmental scare behind this particular slice of righteousness is ...

... to highlight the connection between prosecution and people trafficking, of which about 4,000 women in Britain's sex industry are victims.

All very admirable I'm sure. People trafficking should definitely be tackled, it's abhorrent and any moves to halt its progression should be hailed. But one must wonder how much Jacq the Ripper (H/T Leg-iron) really cares about the young girls being trafficked, or how committed she is to actually catching those responsible.

A London police unit dedicated to tackling human trafficking will close after the Home Office withdrew £2.3m funding support.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed the Human Trafficking Team will disband in April 2009

Yes, you did read that correctly. Jacqui's own department earlier this month stopped paying the Metropolitan Police for tackling the supply of trafficked prostitutes that her new law now purports to protect.

It wasn't like the unit wasn't getting results either ...

The news comes just a week after the human trafficking unit saw the successful prosecution of a gang of six men who trafficked young girls and women into the country and forced them into a life of abuse and prostitution.

This is all-too-common Labour authoritarian bullshit. Except this isn't Blair-ite bullshit, it is exclusively manufactured under the management of Brown and his puritannical front bench nannies. Blair's approach was to legalise brothels, thereby protecting the working girls and controlling the criminal elements that preyed on them. Jacq the Ripper has scrapped that completely and gone the other way, criminalising the customers while simultaneously allowing the criminal elements free reign to further harm the girls themselves. How fucking stupid is she?

Not stupid at all if you understand that she doesn't give a shit about the girls or trafficking, she just wants to stop a practice of which she disapproves. We've seen it all before and it always follows the same formula. Those engaging in a lifestyle choice with which Labour disagree must be 'shamed' as in this instance, and also the instance of those that like a drink. With smoking, the term is denormalisation.

Each of these is backed up, chess style, with an implied insult just waiting to be fired at those who disagree. If you think ID Cards are wrong, you surely agree with innocents being blown up. If you disagree with the smoking ban, you wish to inflict cancer on bar staff. If you object to separate queues for alcohol, you advocate kids binge-drinking.

And if you think her new rules on prostitution are wrong and ill thought-out, you must therefore wish to see young girls being abducted and forced into brothels against their will.

No, Jacqui, your withdrawal of funds to the Met Police show you up to be a Class A danger to girls who are trafficked. The sum total of funding for the entire country to tackle this menace is a paltry £1.7m. I repeat that. £1.7m FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY for a WHOLE YEAR! A budget like that is barely enough to keep an office of 7 or 8 well-trained coppers, with accompanying resources, going for the year.

But why should she care as long as a few men paying for a service, that the estimated 80,000 voluntary working girls choose to provide for financial gain, are shamed and their lives destroyed? Job done in her tiny illiberal mind.

Friday 21 November 2008

EU Costs the UK £106k Per Minute

How about we help the economy by saving £55.8bn per year?

The European Union is costing Britain a staggering £106,000 a minute, a think-tank has revealed.

As the UK teeters on the brink of what experts predict will be the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Government has surrendered £55.8billion to Brussels this year.

That is equivalent to paying a whopping £900 for every man, woman and child in the country.

And it's not just the Government losing money hand over fist.

... red tape imposed by the EU has cost British business about £28billion, according to statistics calculated by the European Commission's vice-chairman Günter Verheugen.

That's a hefty wedge of cash, Ministers must be extremely concerned ... or perhaps not.

Ministers gave up £7billion of the UK’s EU budget rebate on the grounds that the farming system would be reformed.

But this did not happen - a failure Environment Secretary Hilary Benn conceded is a 'missed opportunity'.

The loss of £7bn for no benefit to the country whatsoever is just a 'missed opportunity'? How very blasé.

The BBC don't seem too worried about this massive cash leak either. The story doesn't appear on their web-site. Unless it's squirrelled away where no-one will reasonably be able to find it, that is.

Thursday 20 November 2008

Recession? Who Cares?

With Brown throwing money around like confetti, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the idea is catching. So seeing as the Government is spending the grandkids' future earnings now, why not fill one's pockets while one can, advocates Derek Simpson of Unite.

Mr Simpson will pledge to urge the Prime Minister to increase training places for community health workers as a recession begins to bite, adding: "I have a feeling that Gordon's ready to listen."

Just what we need at the moment, more highly-paid public sector jobs that provide nothing but increased overhead.

Addressing ... err ... the aforementioned community health workers, natch, he continues:

"Throughout the recession your client list will grow and you need support, support which the Conservatives have dismissed out of hand."

Well of course they have dismissed it out of hand, we are in recession you fool. The economy needs boosting by adding value, not an increased drag on resources. In times of recession, surely belt-tightening is a must? Why do we need an army of new 'health' workers? Does a recession mean that we are all affected by the plague or something?

Oh yeah, and 'client list'? Pardon?

Still, I suppose we should congratulate you for at least trying, in your own misguided way, to help in these hard times. Oh, but hold on. What were you doing, Mr Simpson, when the storm was approaching? Threatening employers with a 'war over pay', that's what.

With 90% of employers worried about strike action in an uncertain financial time, Simpson was arguing for higher wages and hinting at industrial conflict if the demands weren't met.

Simpson – who jointly fronts the UK's biggest trade union, Unite – said the government's handling of the economic squeeze had left many workers ready to snap in their desperation for higher wages.

... "HR needs to broaden management's view," he said. "When the pressure is on, we all jump in the trenches. But that is not necessarily the best thing to do."

Why am I reminded of the protection racket quote from Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, "You're suffering hard times? Fuck you. Pay me."?

There's something very late 1970s about all this.

Jaw-Dropping Quote of the Day

From Hazel Blears when asked on Five Live Breakfast if viewers had been voting for John Sergeant as a protest to the judges:

"... the British people don't like being told what to do, 'we'll decide for ourselves, thank you very much', and quite rightly so."

I'm speechless.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

The EU Betrays Its Ineptitude Again

So, there we all were, thinking that we were in this disastrous EU thing to realise utopian ideals such as freedom of movement and trade throughout Europe, when it turns out that that's not the case at all.

Euro MPs want to cut the amounts of cigarettes and alcohol that can legally be brought into Britain tax-free by imposing stricter guidelines on what constitutes personal consumption.

The new definition of personal consumption would halve the amount of booze and cut the current permitted legal level of cigarettes by almost 90 per cent.

You see, this is the problem with utopian ideals. They just don't work except in the minds of optimistic dreamers and computer simulations. A free market only works if it is just that. Free. Once forms of protectionism such as this are brought into play, the free market is rendered obsolete. How can it then be a free market?

So here's the chronology. We used to have limits on importing goods that were swept away by the EU along with a vast tranche of our national laws in favour of EU ones. Now, the import limits are back but our autonomy isn't returned likewise. Seems very much to me like we've been conned.

But who is doing the conning?

These are minimums, meaning that Britain could decide to adopt more lenient guidelines, though the Government has chosen to follow the EU line in the past. 'Britain could well use the opportunity to lower its own guidance levels,' said a European parliament spokesman.

Therefore it's up to our Government to decide if they want to take this crap or not. Great. Except this Labour administration is as subservient to the EU as a Yorkshire Terrier to its abusive owner, however many times it gets kicked in the family jewels, so is hardly likely on past form to protect its citizens. Most especially seeing as this will dovetail nicely with their current temperance movement against smokers and drinkers alike.

The imminent introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes, for example, coupled with the advertised promise of massive hikes in duty, would almost certainly lead to an increase in the profits of P&O and Eurotunnel as Brits swarm over or under the sea to be treated with more respect. This move helps Labour enormously and will doubtless be followed by endless spin declaring it a Europe-wide phenomena (just as they currently parrot, loudly and often, the term 'Global Crisis' in relation to finance) and nothing to do with Labour's declared war on their own people. Of course, the fact that Labour MEPs uniformly voted for this won't be prominent in the press releases that will emanate from Millbank.

The reasoning is a top drawer dismantling of the truth too ...

The parliament said guidelines on personal consumption were needed to avoid 'legal uncertainty and confusion' and to make sure shoppers did not use booze cruises to avoid paying excise duties.

Err ... I thought we were paying excise duty when we bought on the continent, it's just lower than over here. These were your rules, EU. This isn't avoidance, it's just paying the duty at a lower rate. Competition amongst the lovey-dovey Europe, wasn't that the point?

'Free movement in the single market cannot serve as a pretext for avoiding the payment of excise duties, particularly when these respond to public health requirements,' the parliament said by way of justification.

Uh-huh. Now I get it, when these respond to public health requirements. So it's all about control again. It's also interesting that public health is no longer an EU ideal, but now a requirement!

Any politician will be familiar with the saying "you can't please all of the people all of the time", and that is very true of one nation. It is exponentially true when dealing with a community of 27 (or however many, I've lost count) countries, all with differing customs and lifestyles. Most of all, a free market is essentially compromised by varying levels of taxation between trading members.

The solution is to let the free market decide a taxation/duty level that each member is happy with, or not have the free market at all. The worst possible situation is what the EU have put on the table with this nonsense, a free market that is not free but has individual and differing restrictions in varying member states, to counteract ... individual and differing levels of duty in varying member states. What a mess.

When will these EU fantasists grow up and realise that their pubescent idealist nonsense is, quite frankly, unworkable?

Tuesday 18 November 2008

What a Pair

From the Taking Liberties blog, we read of a couple of disgusting bigots.

Last week my colleague Neil Rafferty took part in a phone-in on BBC Radio Northampton. Subject: Redbridge Council’s decision to ban smokers from fostering. As usual, it was a lively debate. Neil was taken aback, however, when presenter Bob Walmsley compared smokers to alcoholics and stated that smokers are unfit parents.

Odious intestinal tapeworm Walmsley was forced to apologise on air, but didn't feel the need to retract the 'unfit parents' jibe in his apology.

Meanwhile, at the Guardian, rancid waste of DNA Roy Greenslade was spewing out this steaming pile of horseshit.

... Walmsley was quite right and should not have been forced to back down.

There are 12 million smokers in this country, at a guess I'd say around half have kids and possess parenting skills varying from the not-so-good to the downright miraculous. Yet these two retarded chimps arbitrarily dismiss any of that in favour of their psychotic prejudice against smokers.

The Labour Government's crusade to label smokers as sub-human has created a whole slew of filthy hatemongers such as these two ... well done, you front bench maggots.

Coming so soon after the Ross & Brand affair, it's a sign of the sick place that Labour have made this country that Walmsley will escape similar punishment after indiscriminately insulting millions of decent people. As for Greenslade, in a week where we have seen what truly unfit parents can do to a child, his comments show him to be an exceptionally sick-minded individual.

UPDATE: This excellent post from Obnoxio points out another aspect of how community is suffering thanks to Labour's vindictive approach.

Insufferable MPs: The Future

The Times is reporting that Tory MPs are to be given science lessons.

Classes explaining scientific method and basic concepts will be included in the induction programme for all Tory MPs after the next election, and sitting members and peers will also be offered the opportunity to attend, The Times has learnt.
At first glance this seems like a great idea. Once armed with some scientific knowledge, they could set about ripping apart some pretty dodgy "scientists" who have been infecting the political agenda and helping to assault our freedoms and civil rights for the past 11 years.

They could start by looking more closely at some of the shameless shysters in the highly lucrative AGW industry.

If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change.

Yet last week's latest episode is far from the first time Dr Hansen's methodology has been called in question. In 2007 he was forced by Mr Watts and Mr McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as he had claimed, but the 1930s.
Once they have cleaned up the wild exaggeration from certain groups of climate change theorists, their newly-scientifically literate minds could turn to ceasing the incessant nonsense about alcohol units.

Mr Smith, a former Editor of the British Medical Journal, said that members of the working party were so concerned by growing evidence of the chronic damage caused by heavy, long-term drinking that they felt obliged to produce guidelines. “Those limits were really plucked out of the air. They were not based on any firm evidence at all. It was a sort of intelligent guess by a committee,” he said.
Us proles, now freed from guilt while supping a nice Cabernet Suavignon on a weekday, would then be roaring them on as they confronted dodgy bullying scientists in other areas.

These stories suggest a willingness of influential anti-tobacco activists, including academics, to hurt legitimate scientists and turn epidemiology into junk science in order to further their agendas. The willingness of epidemiologists to embrace such anti-scientific influences bodes ill for the field's reputation as a legitimate science.
It's about time someone tackled these idiotic, illiberal busybodies, and MPs are the ones that should be doing it ... but it ain't gonna happen like that, is it?

Knowing the egos of the 646, adding knowledge of scientific method and concepts will no doubt make them even more insufferable than before.

Take the example of Sir David King, the former Government Chief Scientist who The Spectator gloriously slaughtered earlier this year. Knowing a bit about one branch of science made him believe he was a world expert in just about every other field which he hadn't studied. Thus we had an arrogant buffoon dealing with the foot and mouth epidemic and global warming theory. Badly.

Top of the politicians’ global warming agenda at that time, led by Blair and the EU, was the need to win ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Russia, which would at last bring the treaty into force. In July 2004, King led a British team to a key international conference in Moscow, where their behaviour astonished those present. They demanded that scientists critical of Kyoto should not be allowed to speak. They frequently interrupted other speakers, or over-ran their own time at the rostrum. When the tropical disease expert Professor Paul Reiter cited evidence to contradict King’s claim from the rostrum that the melting of the ice on Kilimanjaro was not caused by global warming, King broke off in mid-sentence and left the hall. ...

... As a ‘surface chemist’, Professor King may be a genuine scientist. When he turns his attention to other matters, however, he becomes merely another politician, as the woolly ragbag of unsupported assertions trotted out in this book confirms. It might seem appropriate that, having begun his career as Chief Scientist supporting one immense blunder based on the unreal projections of computer modelling, the good professor should end it on another.

It's akin to your father-in-law boasting a CSE in metalwork from the 60s, and on that basis believing he is eminently qualified to rewire your entire house.

How very interesting then, that Sir David is also mentioned in the Times piece on the Tories' science tutoring.

Professor Sir David King, the Government’s former chief scientific adviser, has criticised the Civil Service for a reluctance to use science properly when framing and implementing policy.
Reluctance to use science properly? He wrote the book on it ... and is selling it on Amazon.

No, educating Tory MPs isn't going to make for better policy, in fact, it could make it worse. They could, of course, simply stop listening to scientists who are paid for by highly-funded single interest groups, it would at least be a start.

Monday 17 November 2008

Santa Sleighed by Red Ken

As anyone who has ever come into contact with the 'Computer Says No' mentality of any local authority/government department will attest, common sense flies out of the window before the idols of PC, AGW and healthism will ever be compromised, so there is scant hope for a South London charitable organisation who are seeking an exemption from London's Low Emissions Zone regulations for their Santa Sleigh festive float.

Sutton & Cheam Round Table's Santa has thrilled kids since 1966, raising in the region of £10,000 at Christmas time for local charities including the Royal Marsden Hospital which specialises in treating children with cancer, and is an overflow facility for Great Ormond Street. This looks like being the last year of its operation though, as LEZ regulations state that the vehicle carrying the float will attract a charge of £200, per day of operation, from October 2010. This figure is over a quarter of the daily amount they raise, and though they could still carry on regardless, there are worries over volunteer numbers, which isn't surprising seeing as a large chunk of their efforts will be swallowed up by the vast coffers of the GLA.

The year before the sleigh made its first appearance, in 1965, the Round Table raised just 13s 6d, but £150 the next yuletide once Santa turned up waving from the top of the moving kids' fantasy. The sleigh has brought in a whopping £140,000 since then.

Now Boris is in charge, there may be hope of a reprieve and the GLA may well turn down £2,800 of unearned income (would you bet on it?).

What is interesting is that this will pose a bit of a problem for the right-on, self-installed protectors of everyone else's lives. Do they think of the chiiildren in this case, or think of the planet?