Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tom Watson's blog is down again!

When I last mentioned his blog here, it was down. Since then it came up and is now down again, which is a bit of a shame as I posted some comments there about flag burning and things on it and now I can't see if they have been passed or not.

Perhaps Tom needs to move his blog. Tom Watson's blog is here. He is famous for not doing Gordon Browns bidding by sticking a knife unsuccessfully into Tony Blair, as well as having an odious friend in Sion Simon who I discussed here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

India 6th largest investor in renewable energy ahead of UK!

This was a surprising fact to come out of watching Newsnight tonight with Jeremy Paxman going over the Stern report (which I will comment on when I have had a chance to read it)

I can't remember what the Indian representative s name was, but it seems to me to be a startling fact that we are investing so little that we come BELOW 6th, and that India which has many more problems to deal with is ahead of us.

That goes to show just how ineffective this government has been. It talks lots on the environment but does not seem any thing like as committed to it as the previous Conservative government.

I regret to say that Newsnight wheeled out Nigel Lawson who seems to be an ardent climate change denier. No mention of the fact that much of the ground work for global climate change treaties was under a Conservative government and that Mrs Thatcher was a early evangelist dealing with climate change on the global stage.

Tax credits fiasco The scary letter!

I got this letter from the tax credit office.

What can it mean?

I have seen two different entitlement letters in a single day saying that I owe them money on the one hand and they owe me money on the other. Easy to figure that one out. Just wait to see what turns up in the bank account. This letter I can't fathom out.

If you have any idea please post in the comments section.

If you want to find out what the other side looks like, find a blank sheet of A4 and turn it over.

Priceless.

To be fair to the hard working people at Preston they are all pleasant and I have not spoken to one who thinks Gordon Brown can find his arse with both hands, even with the benefit of a map.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Never was so much owed to so many by so few


I wrote an article on the promises made to our troops in Afghanistan here.

Some one on politicalbetting.com linked to this graphic I thought I would share.

Hat tip to an artist with imagination, Beau Bo D'Or whose blog is here.

I have moved my blogs to beta

Because earlier today I almost lost the will to live whilst trying to post this. I sat there for hours trying to get it published only for blogger.com to report that it could not complete due to a java error.

Any way it is done now, and the template editor looks good. Just one little niggle to sort out and I will be there.

Update 23:45.

I have to say the new spell checker is fantastic, fast easy clear and generally all round fantastic.

Publishing speed is bullet fast as well.

Carbon Dioxide emissions and the environment

Just wanted to clear something up just so there are no misconceptions in the green debate.

According to the Fascist Mail on Sunday David "Look at my lovely face" Milliband is proposing to tax on green issues until the pips squeak. This will hurt the poor more than the rich, the rural poor doubly so. You can read their article here. Us conservatives need to come up with better answers.

However when we talk of Carbon emissions we should be clear on what it is we mean.

If you did up some coal, or drill for some oil, and burn it you are releasing fossilised carbon. That results in higher concentrations of CO2 in the environment, and as I said in this article, it absorbs heat more than air does so the atmosphere gets hotter.

However, that does not mean that carbon based fuels are in any way bad, if they come from plants that have removed carbon from the atmosphere first.

Also from an environmental point of view it is nuts to scrap all the cars we have in favour of new ones, if we can find non fossil based fuels to run them on. Well they do exist. Cars can be adjusted, but more interestingly you can mix bio fuels with fossil fuels to get net carbon emissions down NOW. The only problem is, you may have to reduce tax on something.

Hat tip to Dizzy who also has a good article on the subject here.

Cash for peerages - has the Times beaten Guido to it?

Guido Fawkes, past master at breaking political news and covering the cash for peerages scandal appears to have been beaten to it by the Times on Sunday in this article.

Mind you they could just be recycling old net news, (Which is good, Conservatives are in favour of recycling) but they do appear to have a recent source saying Lord Cashpoint is passing the blame up the line.

What I can't stand about all this is the insinuation by blind Labour party loyalists that us Conservatives have been doing it for years. Well if so how come the 1925 Honours act was brought in to deal with Liberals abuse, and no Conservative government has ever looked like being prosecuted over anything like this.

Whiter than white is what the promised us in 1997, Sleazier than sleazy is what we have got.

Banning Flag burning?

According to the BBC, gibbering idiots who can't do their job Police Chiefs want to ban flag burning. You can read the BBC's article here.

The aim is to crack down on Islamic extremists and preachers of hate apparently.

Have these useless pratts not noticed that they can already charge them with things like incitement to murder but frequently don't. Why ask for new laws if you are singularly failing to enforce the ones we have got?

Other proposed assaults on our freedoms include banning people covering their faces on demonstrations.

We need to just say NO!

As well as telling them to prosecute people who are already breaking the law.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Yahoo are Spineless scum!

I understand that Yahoo dobbed in a Chinese emailer to the Chinese police detailing who what why and when an email was sent.

The spineless barstards, collaborators in suppressing free speech suggested that when a law enforcement agency asked for information they did not question why.

I was only following orders guv. Got 6 million Jews, and other assorted people killed did that sort of attitude.

I have been asked to provide information in connection with the 1992 Administration of Social security act, not that the pratt who was asking knew what it was. I said I was more than happy, in fact overjoyed to cooperate provided they provided details of the specific laws under which I should supply such information and the specific dates with which they were concerned. I also required the same in writing. As the matter was allegedly urgent, I suggested that they could fax it over first, so we could do the work, and stick it in the post at the same time, so that we would effectively act on the basis of the hard copy.

Needless to say neither turned up. However I was never prepared to provide information unless it was LAWFULLY required where I was.

Yahoo. Spineless appeasers of a totalitarian state. Microsoft are no better but at least Google whilst on the face of it being the same are shipping tools to get around this heinous shit.

Update 02:30:

I forgot to hat tip the BBC news 24, had their website had an article to link to I would have done so.

Also, the point of my story was to point out that you do not need to mindlessly cooperate with anyone who says you have to.

Update 12:00
Amnesty internationals UK website is here, and its campaign against internet repression is here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The NHS's best year ever!

If you didn't laugh you would cry.

This rubbish was peddled by the Labour Governments other minister for Incompetence (and health) Patricia "I have not got a clue" Hewitt. You can read the BBC's article here, an unsurprising rebuff from David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party here, and the nurses not being entirely in agreement with Hewitt here.

There is a story in this weeks Mid Sussex Times, about an 8 year old boy Joe, from the same town as I, and his experience when he broke his arm.

In summary, it took 20 hours to treat him, he faced 3 trips in an ambulance, being kept waiting in the middle of the night for a bed, so he had to wait in a wheel chair, and also being kept next to a man talking about committing suicide and how he had been raped. A and E in Brighton is in chaos.

These sorts of incidence are not isolated. We get to hear of people rushing into maternity to give birth only to find there are not enough beds available as well as other similar incidents on a regular basis.

The reason for this is that the Princess Royal Hospital at Haywards Heath, a fairly new purpose built facility serving the constituencies of Mid Sussex, Arundel and South Downs, and Lewis, is suffering the death of a thousand cuts having already suffered ward closures as well as losing its A and E.

You can read the article in the Mid Sussex Times here.

Mayor of Cuckfield wins in cash for votes election!

Yes, The 41st Mayor of the Independent State of Cuckfield, Henry O'Donohue, has been elected to office, only on the basis of the amount of bribes he collected.

However, in order to count all bribes must be declared and given to charity. Can any other politicians claim to do this? I don't think so!

See here. Or here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bush 'dissatisfied' with Iraq war

No really he is. He also says "success in Iraq is vital"

You can read this from the BBC here.

I bet he is not quite as dissatisfied as all the people who have died because Donald Rumsfeld is an arrogant pratt, but that is just my opinion.

I have written on why Iraq is a mess, and it is all about the mistakes made already. Those were made by Ronald Dumsfeld and George Pratt Bush.

It's nice to know that George now sees its not all rosy in Iraq.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wow Spooks was good tonight.

However expect howls of protests from those who claim that Mossad would never do such a thing.

Be assured they would.

The Spooks website is over here if you are interested.

I like play writes/screen play writers when they make points that make you think as well as entertain. Its also one of the reasons why I like Dr. Who.

BNP and the CRE agree that Labour is pushing Muslims too far!

You just could not make this up.

Trevor Phillips, Head of the Commission for Racial Equality, The BNP, and incidentally many Conservatives think that the current focus on Muslims and in particular the veil are in danger of causing riots.

You can read Trevor's article in the Sunday Times here. The BNP's comment is here, from which I quote:

"It's a dangerous game the Labour establishment has chosen to play, one which could lead to serious disorder and bloodshed. Do Blair and Straw really want to see a civil war on the streets of West Yorkshire, Birmingham and Oldham?"

They also quote
Richard Oborne in the Daily Mail (hardly the Guardian is it?) saying this:

"
There is a whiff of the lynch mob about the wave of attacks over the past fortnight, and it is no surprise to learn that the new national mood sparked by Jack Straw and sanctioned by Tony Blair has indeed led to a number of assaults on British mosques, including one firebombing."

Does this mean that the BNP have become a responsible and respectable party? No, if you read the article in full and the rest of their website you will think not. It does go to show however just how damn irresponsible and dangerous Labour are becoming.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Talking tactics on Iraq

Apparently George Walker Bush, The Pratt of the United States of America is discussing tactics in Iraq with his generals, and his defence secretary and legendary pratt Donald Rumsfeld. You can read the BBC's article here.

The date? The 21st of October 2006.

Should this not have been done in 2002 and 2003? I wrote about the mess in Iraq here, many people (including me) doubted the troop numbers and tactical planning ahead of the invasion as well. Meanwhile people are dying in large numbers, and we are not resourcing Afghanistan properly either.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Prison over crowding fiasco II

In my last post on this subject here, I pointed out how this bunch had just sold off a prison ship, in August. I now see they are tendering to get another one. You just could not make this up. You can see the article from the BBC here.

I also note that they are allowing a sex offender to use gym facilities in schools on the grounds of human rights of the offender. That is of course complete tosh.

Its official, I am a Mid Rank Nerd!

I am nerdier than 77% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!




Many thanks to Ian Dale for pointing the site out!

(He only scored 23!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We need tougher immigration laws! Apparently

I have just heard John Reid talking rubbish on Channel 4 news tonight. He seemed to be saying that the problems with immigration and asylum is that the law is not tough enough.

What?

Does this pratt not know that the law is regularly not enforced (unless there is a headline in it so the government can look tough) as it is, so we don't need new laws, we just need the current ones enforced. I wrote an article on how the police regularly let illegal immigrants go because the IND can't or wont deal with them here.

What worries me most is that through incompetence this bunch keep passing ever more draconian laws which are not enforced unless its news worthy to do so. What happens when some one uses these laws to their full extent.

Of course the reason for passing laws that are "tough" is to look good in the media. It also makes reasonable politicians look bad when they point out how bad some of these laws are. It also keeps parliament busy. After all if they were not passing useless laws they may be scrutinising the executive in a more rigorous way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Control orders are not enough!

Oh no! Allegedly.

A few days ago the BBC interviewed a brother of a man who is on a control order, only to find out that he was on the run. They then rang up the Office for Incompetence to confirm one of the 15 on control orders was on the run to find out that it was not one, but two, the other one having been on the un for months. Brilliant!

You can read the BBC article here.

We apparently have control orders because these people are dangerous. We hold them on secret squirrel evidence that they are not allowed to see, nor are they allowed to know what they are accused of. To give you some confidence of how safe this system is you can read this article here about how a Special Advocate noticed the same evidence had been used in two different cases in contradictory ways.

We have control orders to keep these allegedly dangerous people under control because we can't bring them to trial, oh no! If we did we would have to present this secret squirrel evidence in court (where I suspect some of it would be laughed at) and that just would not do. We could not possibly present wire tap evidence in a British court, that just would not do.

The fact that a Turkish people trafficker was convicted with the aid of such evidence, you can read the BBC's article on it here, should not confuse people because it was gathered by foreign security forces. Is this just not bizarre? We can allow Belgian wire tap evidence in our courts but not our own?

Lets be clear on this. Six of the people on control orders are British born. It could be you. We can't let this affront to British justice continue. If there is evidence that some one is a terrorist it must be presented before a proper court. Otherwise we are on the slow trail to a police state.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sion Simon, The pratt for Birmingham Erdington

We have all come across some cringe making, stomach turning pratts in our time (Please feel free to replace the word pratt with anything you may feel is more appropriate) but Sion seems to me to take to biscuit.

This utter pratt, disgrace as an MP, and perhaps as a human being first came to note as one of the signatures of that "you should resign now Tony" letter.

He then had this put up on you tube. It is a very unpleasant and unfunny attempted parody of webcameron.

He made matters much worse by attempting to answer his critics in the most juvenile, unpleasant, stupid and disgraceful ways on sky here.

He seemed to have thought that he was making a serious political point, in a satirical way. Not so, there was no satire there, it was as sick as the joke about the difference between babies and marbles. Not funny at all.

His political point seemed to be that his mate Tom Watson (co signatory of above mention letter) was a "real blogger, and video blogger" (please note Tom's blog appears to be down) and David Cameron was only exploiting the medium with out caring about it.

That just smacks of the most utter sour grapes. David Cameron is not allowed to blog because Tom Watson did it first? These people are gibbering fools. I have been blogging since June, so what? David Cameron's blog is popular because of who he is, leader of the opposition. People are interested in what he thinks and says, and may well prefer to here it from David himself rather than just though the media. People are also interested in Tom Watson's blog, but not as much as he is now just a fat labour back bencher.

On the other hand, Tom Watson did do a video blog piece here, which parodied David Cameron's cleaning up politics video recently in which he made some interesting points.

He talked about party funding, and the need to clean it up. He raised the issue of the Midlands Industrial Council. Well, the donations it makes are legal, and further more it is an arms length organisation and the Conservative party have no right to know its members or reveal them. As for the "dodgy" loans, well they were before Cameron's time, so he is not in a position to reveal them.

Tom then goes on to mention a number of measure to clean up party funding all of which can be found in a previous post on my blog from the 14th of July 2006. Needless to say as he seems to be parroting my views I could hardly disagree, though a hat tip would have been nice.

Hat tips to Iain Dale and Guido Fawks for all the links. I first saw a link to that horrific you tube piece by Sion "I am a complete Pratt" Simon on politicalbetting.com.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Global warming - Is it really happening?

Stop laughing at the back!

The problem with discussing global warming is that it almost immediately becomes theological.

In fact I can already see some in the environmental lobby preparing to burn me at the stake. Obviously they will only use wood from sustainable forests which encourage bio diversity that has not been transported too far.

A few days ago I came across this by LuboŇ° Motl and this by Iain Dale.

There is clearly a lot more we do not know about global warming than we do.

The first article by LuboŇ° Motl goes on about how global warming does not seem to be happening in the Southern hemisphere, while Ian Dale queried David Miliband's numbers on CO2 levels. These two things could be easily explained. The differing data on the Southern hemisphere may be because CO2 levels there are lower, and the differing CO2 numbers can also be explained because CO2 levels vary by time of year and region.

We hear so many things on the subject from "Were all doomed!" so we might as well not bother to "it's a myth" and all of it in either theological or ideological terms. That is not way to deal with a serious scientific matter.

Still lets try and look at it sensibly:

  • Is the world warming up?
  • If it is, is it man made or is the sun burning hotter?
  • Is there anything we can do?
  • Could global warming be a good thing?

Is the world warming up?

Well it looks like it is. We have had a series of hot summers, and it seems some glaciers are melting. However the planet is not as hot as it has been in the past.

Is it man made, or could the sun be getting hotter?

Possibly, or rather probably. Scientists think it is man made because they have been looking at CO2 emissions and concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 absorbs more heat from sunlight than either oxygen or nitrogen does, so the more of it there is about the more heat the atmosphere absorbs from sunlight. You can try an experiment at home. Get two similar clear plastic bottles and have one with only air in it, and fill the other with CO2, then put a thermometer in both and put them in the sun. The one with mostly CO2 will get a lot warmer a lot quicker.

CO2 levels also vary by season, and place as levels of consumption and production vary by economic activity and plant growth.

Could the sun be getting hotter?

Well, it could be. I don't think we know enough about the cycles of the sun to be able to be anything like conclusive. The question is surely so what?

The planet would be ice bound with out any CO2, so it follows that our behaviour can positively affect the state of our planet. If we take the right actions not only could we stop the rise in green house gasses but we could also reverse them, making up for the increase in temperature of the sun, if it is in fact happening.

Could global warming be a good thing?

In Roman times it is said they used to grow grapes as far north as Northumberland. So some places may look set to benefit, however at the same time Libya used to be the bread basket of the Roman empire and global warming won't bring that back.

It is clear that the world has both warmed and cooled over time, but generally this has happened fairly slowly. What we have here seems to me to be far too rapid. Mankind will definitely survive, but much could be lost, including a lot of people. Also the hunt to secure resources could end up in many expensive wars.

Lastly, the thing about global warming is that there will always be evidence pointing one way or another, and theories to explain how it is or is not happening. If we wanted to be rigorous we would arrange some sort of control experiment. Unfortunately we only have the one planet on which to do it. We therefor have to look at the balance of probabilities. We are only going to get one chance to get it right. More importantly fossil fuels are a finite resource, so we may as well develop the technologies to live without cheap fossil fuels now.

I will write an article on green taxes another day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

If you like this blog

Why not recommend it to a friend? You can use the link below (the envelope) to email it to some one.

Also feel free to link to this blog, and if you want I can link to yours.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Prison over crowding fiasco

It seems to have come as a bit of a surprise to the government that they are about to run out of prison places, so all sorts of things are being proposed.

The fact is the writing has been on the wall for years, and nothing has been done. No emergency places brought on line, in fact the prison ship in Weymouth has been shut down.

This is rank incompetence.

What is worse however is that no one in government has looked at dealing with the problem from the other direction which is to reduce offending rates, of which the easiest to deal with is re offending rates. After all you get to talk to a captive audience.

At the last general election the Conservatives proposed a massive increase in drug rehabilitation but inside and outside of prison. This would cost extra money, but could well have removed the need to build more prisons and house more prisoners, saving both government and the economy lots of money.

This government is just a useless clueless bunch of opportunists and idiots.

The scandal of illegal immigration

The scandal of illegal immigration is not so much what the law is, which is much tougher than it was in 1997, but the acuality.

For example, if a policeman arrests someone (now all offences are arrestable, formerly only those attracting a prison sentence of 2 years or more were), and has reason to believe they are an illegal immigrant there is nothing they can do.

They used to informally check identity against the National Insurance database, now wrongly denied them under the data protection act, (though government now wants to be as profligate with our data as it feels like) from which they could establish a fair case that some one was or was not an illegal immigrant but they can't hold them for more than 24 hours. They may also be in possession of obviously forged identity papers such as an Italian or Spanish driving license.

However this is all irrelevant because unless they can get an expert (currently a 6 month waiting list at the IND) or the aledged country of origins embassy to say it is a forgery there is insufficient evidence.

However even if they have an illegal immigrant, bang to rights, the IND just are not able to take the case on, and the Police have to release them within 24 hours, even if they have absconded from bail before.

And yet the law is so much tougher now, however it is only used now to get good newspaper headlines, and as such is applied in an arbitrary, and fundamentally un British way.

No matter what your view of immigration is, you can't allow illegal immigration. Even if you are in favor of an open door policy, you would not want people here on false papers who may be escaping justice in another liberal democracy.

We have been asked to swallow the most heinous assaults on our constitutional rights because this government would rather look tough by passing more illiberal legislation to solve problems, that they could have solved with the legislation they inherited. The problem can only be dealt with by executive action, not parliamentary action. If ministers can't get a grip with the laws we have they need to resign.

We are being led by idiots. I have said it before, and I have no doubt I will have to say it again.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The promise in Afghanistan

It is interesting to note that Tony Blair felt it politically necessary to go public with a pledge to provide anything our boys needed in Afghanistan. I suspect the idea was to look good in the media.

What is fascinating is that the response "We could do with more helicopters" came back over the megaphone that is the mass media. You have to wonder if the commander concerned thought St Tony may have been spinning so thought he would pin the fella (or words to that effect) down.

Do our commanders in the field have so little confidence in our political leadership?

Which leads me on to another point. I wrote an article on why we were in the mess in Iraq which is here.

So why are we in this mess in Afghanistan? Because we were far too keen to get in to the mess in Iraq without having the resource to complete the task we had already taken on, or indeed Iraq.

Incedently we could also do with more infantry, armoured fighting vehicles and just about more of everything in Afghanistan.

Folks, I am afraid we are being led by gibbering idiots.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Big banks whinge about IVA's

From last Sundays Telegraph, (1st of October 2006).

Apparently the big banks have warned the government that they may stop lending to poorer families in the face of a boom in personal insolvencies, presumably both bankruptcies and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs).

IVA's are up 153% in the second quarter of this year.

I can see why they might be upset. They seem to blame insolvency practitioners operating in debt counselling firms, possibly aggressively looking for business, and their fairly confusing regulatory arrangements. There are 6 separate bodies to which an insolvency practitioner can belong to, and I agree that needs looking at. Possibly there is a need for there to be regulations about cold calling debtors.

However the banks could also try responsible lending. They could when issuing new credit cards, ask:

  • Have you got any other credit cards?
  • If so what is the limit and balance?
  • Can we see some statements please?
  • Have you just been making the minimum payments?

This would ensure that they do not issue to cards to people who then would end up with structural debt at fairly high interest rates, who already have the same problem on other cards.

They could also try not constantly upping credit limits on credit cards when it should be obvious that the person is not paying off the current debt.

Of course banks won't do this as I suspect they would rather reap the high profits inherent in this sort of lending. This is why the law should stay broadly as it is. If the banks are negligent with their money they surely deserve to lose it.

Will we cut taxes?

Just thought I would clear up some confusion, as some people are being deliberately confused.

We will not promise to cut taxes yet, because we do not yet know what the public finances are. Government borrowing is a bit of a concern at the moment, as it seems to be growing whilst the economy is also. We may have to start paying it back.

What we have said is that "We will share the proceeds of growth", and "We put economic stability before tax cuts".

What that means is that if the economy grows by 2.5% we won't just sit back and rake in all the tax, we will reduce the tax a bit and increase public spending a bit, which means that over a parliament both public spending and tax will drop as a percentage of GDP.

I appreciate John Redwood may appear to some to have a different position but he would not put tax cuts ahead of economic stability either. He argues that if taxes are lowered then you get higher growth, more self dependence and ultimately more money for public services. He is right.

The only debate is not so much when to reduce the tax burden, but when to start naming the taxes we will cut. The sensible answer has to be in a manifesto.