Thursday, July 31, 2008

Record house Price drop reported by Nationwide.

The Nationwide building society has released their latest price survey indicating the largest drop in house prices in a single year since their records began in 1991, during the last housing collapse. Prices fell by 8.1% back to levels last seen in mid 2006.

Grim news indeed. So what happened to no more boom and bust?

The BBC has this.

Labour at War!

The Labour party is at war, according to this article in today's Daily Telegraph as bitter recriminations fly after David Miliband's Guardian article and yesterdays press conference (The BBC has this on the conference).

Well, if they are fighting like rats in a sack, all I can say is pass the popcorn, I am enjoying the spectacle!

Money grabbing Vultures circle over Methylene Blue wonder drug

According to a comment by greygeek77 (who alas does not allow viewing of his profile and so I can't find his blog to link to it) on a previous article on the subject:
A little Googleing will show that Methylene Blue, a coal tar dye, was first synthesized in 1875, and was used by the famous French scientist, Ehrlich, in 1861, to treat pain and neuropathy because he noticed it had an affinity for neural fibers. A typical dose is 100 mg per 100Kg of body weight as a pill, or 1 to 2 mg per 100Kg as an injection.

Bulk price for MB is $42/Kg but pharm grade is now going for $285 for 250mg!! The greed has begun.

A patent was filed in 2004 for a "new" way of making the compound because MB is too old to patent itself, and hence wouldn't be profitable enough. It appears that the prescription price will be about $5/day.

This is one "drug" that the US government should nationalize in order to HELP the elderly, most of whom are on limited incomes, and to prevent their exploitation by the pharmaceuticals for unearned profit.
So the bottom line is this:

Methylene Blue has been known for 127 years to be good for neurological problems, and is cheap.

Drug companies seem to have realised this and are rushing to shore up profits by applying for new patents on an old remedy.

The price has spiked, probably due to a sudden interest. I bet that as soon as things settle down generic drug producers will be producing this stuff like it is going out of fashion.

Gas bills taxed at 75%!

Just in case you were wondering why left wing Labour MP's were calling for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, consider this:

We now import 40% of our gas, which is why it costs so much, but crucially when British gas draws it off the North sea it pays 75% over in tax to Gordon Brown. This explains two things:

1. Why gas bills are so high.

2. Why
no one can be bothered to bring new capacity on in the North sea. After all it is hardly worth looking if you can't make any money out of it.

In fact this government, egged on by very ignorant left wing MP's and unions, has taxed the North Sea oilfields to the point where no matter what is down there it is hardly worth a look.

So the next time you look at your gas, or indeed electricity bill, and lament the VAT on it, please remember the hidden 75% tax.

The figure of 75% jumped out at me as I was listening to an interview with the MD of British Gas who pointed that out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Methylene blue: The new wonder drug?

After having published this article on Methylene blue and its affects on Alzheimer's I have been doing a bit of reading about this blue dye.

It seems that according to this article on a research paper it also repairs defective memory.

The great thing is that it is already administered as a medicine and crucially is cheap.

The interesting thing about the memory repair is that it works in a different way to the way it cures Alzheimer's in that it deals with some problems in mitochondria. You do have to wonder what its affect would be on errant proteins in cancer mitochondria as well. I suspect no one has tried this though as there will not be any money in it.

This does lead to some serious questions about how medical research and drug research is funded and what results it produces. There is no money in finding out that the cure for some ailment is something that is cheap as chips already. More on that later.

Police use terrorism acts to cover up their own criminality

Police in Portsmouth have tried to use the 2000 Terrorism act to cover up their own criminal breach of motoring laws.

A passer by noticed a police car illegally parked (Motoring offences are a criminal offence) so took a picture.

They then questioned the passer by, David Gates, under the terrorism act, citing security concerns.

We have to get seriously concerned when police cite "security concerns" when people are gathering evidence of specific criminal offences, even if they are only road traffic offences.

Let us be clear: If you can see it from a public place, you can photograph it, and if it is the police breaking the law you certainly can.

The local Portsmouth paper has this, whilst the BBC, appearing to have lost its bottle, had a brief news report at 6 but has dropped it since, showing such post Hutton courage, has nothing at all.

Doha trade talks collapse in rubbish!

I do not intend on slinging mud at any one in particular, but more at everyone in general.

The Doha trade talks have collapsed because, it seems people want to argue over how much of the cake they will get rather than looking at the obvious solution, making the cake bigger, much much bigger.

We have the primary issue of agricultural subsidy and agricultural trade.

The current position is that all blocks try to maximise there output at the cost of their tax payer whilst reducing the output of others as much as possible then imposing tariffs of all sorts to suit which ever lobby they want.

The net result is that you and I subsidise people to reduce world food output and keep food prices up, which does not seem like a good idea to me.

Just to move the position on though, consider this: You are a jobbing TV maker in Wales, a jobbing banker in London, a jobbing consultant in IT or some other possibly exportable service.

How many Africans who's economy has been destroyed by your taxes and can't afford to eat are going to pay for your services?

It is a no brainer really. There is no fair trade other than free trade, and like charity it starts at home. If you want a job, you have to allow others to have one too.

The BBC has this.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blue dye known to cure Alzheimer's cures Alzheimer's Shocker!

There is a blue dye, methylthioninium chloride, otherwise known as the common biological staining agent and chemical indicator Methylene blue which seems to kill Alzheimer's stone dead. Well perhaps that is over egging it a bit, but it tackles the root observation of Alzheimer's which is a tangle of the tau proteins in neurons.

Apparently a researcher looking at tau proteins tried to dye them with methylene blue and found they disappeared 20 years ago.

It has taken this long, that is 100 years from finding the root pathology, and 20 years from finding a clearing agent for some research to be done.

Whilst I hail this storming success, which not only promises to halt Alzheimer's but in part reverse it, you have to ask why this research has taken so long and why it has taken a drug company to fund it? Alzheimer's is already a very expensive disease economically.

Curiously though, if the "drug" is expensive and unavailable on the NHS there may well be some jobbing chemists quite prepared to make the stuff up.

It will be cheap as chips after all.

The BBC has this, whilst the Telegraph has this.

Incidentally the Telegraph nor the BBC broadcast reports mention that it is a common chemical that has been available for years, whilst the Telegraph suggest that it may cost as much as £2.50 a day, half the price of the current non prescription curative, a pack of cigarettes. I do not know what other stiff is in "Rember" but suspect we will not find out easily. If it is just Methylene Blue, then it can be make up as a solution for little and I suspect available to even the poorest in society.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Labour Ministers plot to oust Brown as polls show dire news!

And all I have to say is:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

The latest polls indicate a remarkable defeat for Labour at the next general election, for example the Sunday Telegraph has this poll of key marginals which shows Labour behind the Liberal democrats whilst Comres for Saturday's Independent shows Labour 22% behind nationally. (As I write this their website is down so you can read about the poll on

The Sunday Telegraph also carries this news on the plots to oust Gordon Brown in September!

The problem with all the plotting stories is this:

It can't happen.

The rules of the Labour party say that they can only actually get rid of a sitting leader if 70 MP's decide they want to, and place a motion for conference sometime in April.

They haven't so they need to get Gordon to resign and that isn't going to happen because no one has got the Balls.

In short, Labour are going to be fighting like rats in a sack for a while to come, egged on by the media, with no real result.

What is more laughable is that some Labour insiders (Not all I hasten to add) seriously think that Gordon Brown is the problem. Well he is, but not as Prime minister, but more so as chancellor for the first 10 years.

The fact is that people have been sold a lie by Labour, and now they have found them out.

Labour are in for a drubbing no matter who they have as PM going into the next election.

Friday, July 25, 2008

SNP win Glasgow East!

Well there you have it, Labour have lost Glasgow East to the SNP, and the Liberal Democrats have been pushed into 4th place behind the Conservatives.

This is a fantastic result!

The question is what does this do for Gordon Brown?

The answer is of course, nothing, as no one in Labour has any balls, not even Yvette Cooper.

Glasgow East, and the winner is: Me!

I am sorry, but I could not resist at 50 to 1 odds on, I had to lay some SNP, so took 40 pence worth!

Then I backed Labour at 7 to 1 and after a while someone took up that bet and so win whoever wins the vote!

That is all about being fast and clever :)

SNP sure favourites to win Glasgow East say punters!

I have just had a look at the Betfair prices and the SNP are sure fire fifty to one odds on favourites.


Glasgow East: Will Labour lose?

It has to be said that Glasgow East is Labour's 3rd safest seat in Scotland. Some polls have placed Labour 17% ahead of the SNP.

So what happens if Labour lose?

Well the by election has been carefully timed so that MP's are away on holiday until September so we will not know for a while.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Max Mosley wins, but fails to get punitive damages.

Max Mosley has won his High Court case against the News of the World, being awarded £60,000 in damages. Alas he has failed to get punitive or exemplary damages which is a shame.

The reason why I say it is a shame is that large media organisations can make money out of trashing peoples reputations even where they get sued for libel and lose.

Take Robert Murat. His name was resoundingly trashed with no shred of evidence whatsoever. The papers who did that settled out of court for £50,000 each plus costs, presumably similar in number. Does anyone seriously think they did not make much more than that trashing his reputation?

The BBC has this and there is a copy of the judgement here, whilst the BBC has this on Robert Murat.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Radovan Karadzic, You're Nicked!

The good news is that Radovan Karadzic has been arrested. He should meet the charges against him and is one of many war criminals involved in the breakup of Yugoslavia.

The BBC has this.

The bad news is that for several hours all BBC News 24 did was report on that, so whatever other news there was went unreported, including a review of the news papers.

This is appalling. Whilst this story is very big, it is not so important that there can be no other news.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Education: I despair! A Tale of Two Essays.

On the front page of today's Telegraph is a story about a tale of two essays, about someone called Pip Davenport, one which got 8 out of 12 and one which got 7. The former is littered with spelling and grammatical errors, the latter not. The former is less coherent than the latter. The Latter is, needless to say more comprehensible. You can read both here.

The head teacher of the children's school was shocked.

Alas I am not. The reason why exams results are going up is not because children are any better but that the exams are getting so much easier. Well, at least for those not capable of coherent writing.

Before any one whinges at my comments, saying I am discriminating against people from certain backgrounds, I would point out that both universities and employers certainly will. They will do so my binning the CV's of the illiterate, interviews and increasingly there own exams.

Labour are simply letting down everyone in state schools by failing to ensure proper marking and a proper education. This will also destroy our economy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Max Mosley's Hanky Spanky, and Punitive damages.

The News of The World likes a bit of sex, doubly so if there is spanking and trebly so if they can call it a sick and deprived Nazi sex orgy. It sells papers after all and the bottom line profit is what it is all about.

They got a lead on a "dirty old man" who liked to pay for kinky sex. Lets face it, on the face of what is admitted it was fairly kinky.

The News of the World contends that this was a sock and depraved act. The Editor claimed he would not have gone to press with the story had it not involved Nazi role play. (Does anyone including him believe that?)

The problem for the News of the World is that all those involved bar their "whistle blower" have said it was not, and the video seems to be inconclusive at best. Then of course their witness E failed to testify due to emotional issues. I have no doubt this was not due to intimidation on Max Mosley's part, so you have to wonder what she was so concerned about?

It is an interesting case. Max is upset according to the BBC, because:
Mr Mosley has told the court previously that the publicity has been "totally devastating" for his wife of 48 years, and he could think of "nothing more undignified or humiliating" for his two sons to experience.
Well that is a fair reason to be upset but you can't help but feeling that he could have avoided upsetting his wife by being faithful.

So what of privacy which is at the heart of the issue? Does Max Mosley have the right to do what he likes in his private life? Well having affairs is not illegal, nor is using prostitutes nor in fact sadomasochism. We may feel that cheating on his wife is wrong, but enjoying kinky sex you would not want to tell your kids about, well, I mean would you want to tell your kids and all their friends?

It seems to me that the News of the World have be in trouble having linked the publication to a Nazi fantasy after all Sir Oswald Mosley was a famous fascist, and would not have published otherwise, thus accepting the fact that Max cheated on his wife as not worthy of publication.

However there is one final interesting bit to this case, that of exemplary and punitive damages which are being asked for. In this BBC article they are described as "unprecedented" which is, of course precisely untrue, but then again what can you expect of journalists?

Punitive damages are available to English courts and perhaps always have been. It is just that lawyers seldom have the balls to ask for them nor do they present evidence that would justify them.

There is a clear precedent in English law as well as the common law of the United States of America. In English law there is the case of Rookes v. Barnard [1964] AC 1129, 1167 in which Lord Devlin said that punitive damages were available where:

  1. Oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional actions by the servants of government.
  2. Where the defendant's conduct was 'calculated' to make a profit for himself.
  3. Where a statute expressly authorises the same.
Clearly the News of the Worlds actions would fall into the second category. There are too many instances where a party can get away with making a profit from committing a wrong because they know they will either get away with it, or that the costs of being called to account will be less than the profit of committing the wrong or more usually a combination of the two.

For that reason and that reason alone, I hope that cheating git Max Mosley wins his case and wins it well.

For a further discussion on gains based damages I recommend James Edelman's book, Gain-Based Damages published by Hart Publishing.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

David Davis wins 42 day debate!

On the eve of the by election in Haltemprice and Howden, David Davis has clearly won the debate which Labour through sheer cowardice refused to have.

In an ICM poll conducted for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust now 61% of people are against holding people for longer than 28 days without charge. Of those who support 42 detention without charge, when told that is equivalent to a jail term for something like burglary 36% then change their minds.

The survey also is a blow to people who want an ever expanding DNA database with 75% thinking that innocent people should bot be on the database permanently.

In that sense David Davis has clearly won the debate. It is just a shame that the BBC refuse to cover it.

Iain Dale has this, whilst the press release is here and the full data here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The World has gone mad!

The man who is now in custody, suspected of murdering Gabriel Ferez and Laurent Bonomo tried to give himself up at Lewisham police station. He was told to wait at the back of the queue.


Needless to say that the police who are investigating the savage murder were none too pleased.

The Sun has this, Iain Dale has this, and the BBC has this.

Waste Not want not, oh, and pass the caviar!

Gordon Brown came up with a priceless comment at the G8 yesterday, along the lines of waste not want not.

If we threw away less food then we would buy less and so prices would not be quite so high, so we would save twice!

Fair enough, however this message was delivered at a summit costing something like $280 million (yes you read that right) and involved an 8 course lunch followed by a 10 course dinner.

You can't blame Gordon Brown for that, but you do have to wonder which 42 carat plonker thought up the idea of having such a lavish summit to discuss poverty and high food prices!

The Sun has this on "waste not want not", and this in its Sun says, whilst the BBC has this on the G8.

The Lunatics* have taken over the Asylum!

*To be fair I am being very harsh on lunatics, they can't be this mad!

Apparently under the junk food advertising ban, things like Marmite, honey and raisins can't be advertised to children on the grounds of their nutritional value per hundred grammes.

Have you ever ever seen any one open a jar of Marmite and seen them consume the lot wit a spoon? I thought not. In a sandwich, on Rivita or crackers maybe, with cheese (though you can't advertise that either) even which you also can't advertise to children apparently.

Nevertheless, McDonald's can still sponsor programs and promote their brand as long as they do not mention any products.

This is the utterly ridiculous result of government regulation. Despite pleas from the food industry OffCom are standing firm as a complete and utter bunch of loonies.

The Telegraph has this.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Criminal Justice, a bizarre twist

So there we have it, Ben Coulter didn't do it, and had the police investigated properly perhaps they would have found that out.

Great series.

Ray Lewis resignation

Ray Lewis has resigned as deputy Mayor to Boris Johnson over allegations of impropriety that date back 10 to 12 years. Some of the allegations are listed here.

We do not know what truth lies behind these allegations but what we do know is that they are coming thick and fast.

The lesson clearly is that if you stick your head above the parapet and get into politics your enemies will try to get you.

I do not know why we are in this position. Clearly any appointee needs to be vetted. Was this done? Is this just a case of bad blood?

Still, a mans reputation lies in tatters because he tried to do something, and all this without a trial.

The BBC has this on the resignation, Iain Dale has this on the affair.

Criminal Justice, a very compelling drama!

Criminal Justice is a very compelling drama. In fact I think it is fantastic.

We do not yet know the result but what we have seen is the way the investigation works and the way prisons work.

We already know the main character Ben Coulter did not murder Melanie. What we also know is that he looks guilty as sin by forensic evidence and the fact he ran away.

We also know how partial "expert" witnesses can be.

This is one of the most important dramas to be aired on the BBC since things like Cathy come home and justifies their licence fee.

The only problem is that no one else I know is watching it, which in my view is criminal.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Police hand Peter Hain's file to CPS

The police have been investigating Peter Hain's declarations of donations in his deputy leadership bid. They have now handed the file over to the CPS, who will decide whether to charge or not.

The problem here is that as I read the law, non declaration is a strict offence and lets face it, Peter did not come clean until he was exposed. If he does not get prosecuted for this, whether it is an "innocent mistake" or not, people are going to smell a rat.

The BBC has this.

Gotcha! Bribes on the 42 day vote!

Gordon Brown has tried to insist that the government did not buy the 42 day vote. The problem is that no one believes him at all, not even a little bit.

David Cameron skewered him at prime ministers questions today after getting confirmation no bribes were offered. He read out extracts of a letter to Keith Vaz from Geoff Hoon saying he hoped that there would be an appropriate reward for his support which the Telegraph had been given.

The problem for Gordon Brown is this: No one believes a word he says anymore.

The Telegraph has this, Guido has this and the BBC has this.

Criminal Justice

First of all, after two episodes, I have to say fantastic.

Has it changed my mind about anything?


Do I hope it has changed yours?


The plot is interesting (if inaccurate in some ways) in that the lead character arrives at his predicament in a very unusual way. Despite the fact that the viewer knows it to be true, if you told that story down the pub, you would be laughed at. That does not mean that it could not be true, weirder things have happened to me (though not involving sex), and that he can't remember the murder so does not know if he did it.

Now, moving on:

We have the situation where the police seem to take the line of least resistance. Crucially the lead investigator has doubts but not the man power to investigate what appears to be an open and shut case.

We have lawyers who encourage the defendant to be silent, and who weigh up the odds on the basis of odds alone.

The truth seems to be a lost irrelevance.

Then the other thing is prison.

I am all in favour of locking up criminals. I am even in favour of remand subject to many caveats.

What I am clear on is that prison does not work. It is entirely dysfunctional and needs urgent fixing.

For a start it needs to return to the Victorian ideal of a prisoner to a cell. Secondly shower or toilet facilities can not and should not be shared. Anything else allows the rule of the bully and prevents rehabilitation.

More thoughts will appear as the series goes on.

The BBC has this.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

NHS at 60, A Conservative policy implemented!

It is often said by Labour that they are the founders of the NHS and so on and so forth. Some even allege that the Conservative party was against it.

Nothing could possibly be further from the truth.

The Conservative Prime Minister Winston Churchill was not only in favour of it but passed an NHS bill in 1943. The Labour leadership opposed the formation of the NHS initially until they realised they would be lynched by both the PLP, their wider membership and the country when they relented.

It was a proposal by a Liberal (Sir William Beveridge) to a Conservative (Winston Churchill) opposed by Labour initially.

There is no doubt that we would have done it differently but don't let Labour con you that the NHS was either there idea or we would not have it without them.

If you do not believe me see the end of this article by Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun or this article in the Telegraph.

Alas you don't read a lot of the real founding fathers of the NHS in the Guardian, because despite Alan Rusbridger's all star cast of public school boys and girls they appear ignorant of history.

F*ck Off!

Sorry, just practicing for GCSE English.

If you do not believe me, read this in the Times and weep, or this on the BBC.

They say exams are not being dumbed down.

Alas I remain to be convinced.