Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Paranoid Idiot Smith Database EU Fantasists

Not content with plans to put everyone under surveillance, the British government now want to let a private company look after it all for us. That's to save money and make it more secure. Don't laugh. Idiot Smith is in charge.

Meanwhile that nice chap at the Council of Europe, Mr Hammarberg, has criticised it as a violation of individual privacy.

The retention of communications data will be going ahead one way or another, since the EU (not the Council of Europe) has issued a directive saying so.

Funny how there's not a mention of this fact in either article.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Europe's A Riot

Sweden joins the riot action. Here's a vid.

And it still hasn't completely died down in Greece. Time to be taking notes.

More state command and control of people working with children: the Independent Safeguarding Authority. As if having the Criminal Records Bureau isn't enough.

And the EU's EUTube (more like a catheter). EU 'elections' in 2009: something for us slaves to think about.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Hutton Butt Plugs Churchillian Spawn of the Manse

The Spawn of the Manse - Saviour of the Brownshirt Universe wants to muzzle the press so that bad financial news doesn't get out. A Treasury Select Committee will be meeting in the new year to discuss the role of the media in the financial crisis. They just can't bear the idea they're not in control of everything, do they?

Mind you, with prats like Will Hutton around, he needn't worry:
It was Gordon Brown who, over the weekend of 11-12 October, emerged as the world leader with a viable plan to head off what might have been the collapse of the western banking system. The response hatched in London - three pronged but centred on recapitalising the banks with taxpayers' money - became the model that the rest of the world copied. Brown sold it first to the Americans and then the Europeans.
Simply not true. Surely an editor at the Observer should have read this and told Hutton he shouldn't expect such outright nonsense to be published?

The Spawn, meanwhile, indulges himself in more psychotic self-delusion, this time imagining himself as a latterday Churchill rousing the Brits to meet the challenges of the day, ie global reseeion, climate change and international security (to which we should add, getting rid of a shit-awful Labour government). Nice of him to talk about 'British' character when he and his mates have been eagerly letting the EU continue its takeover and abolition of the country.

Talking of delusional people, the Russians look set to vote for Stalin in their Greatest Russian competition. Jesus.

And talking of other delusional tossers, here's a little something about the EU's very own YouTube site: EU Tube. Wow, that's really cool (not).

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Burnham Is A Cnut

Culture secretary Andy Burnham wants cinema-style age ratings for websites.

It's all to protect the children from 'inappropriate' and 'unacceptable' material.

Yes, of course.

Burnham and his ilk are so ignorant of the internet they probably think they could implement this idea. Avoiding the use of the word 'censorship' doesn't make it any the less obvious that this is what they really want.

Andy Burnham is a cnut. He has a brain the size of a flea's shit. No wonder he's a Labour minister.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Seasonal Balls Advice And The Launch Of FOALUA

Oh, I know - it's easy to laugh - but what the hell.

Ed Balls and his Department for Children, Schools and Families (in collaboration with SureStart) have printed 150,000 leaflets warning people of the dangers of Xmas.

To much scorn in the popular and highbrow press.

After a bit of data mining I discovered the leaflet itself. Please download, print off and abide by its advice. I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to you over the festive season (unless you're a government minister).

I have just set up a citizen's group dedicated to defending ordinary people from the intrusive bossiness of government, politicians, big business, religion and anyone else, which goes by the acronym FOALUA. Short for Fuck Off And Leave Us Alone.

Anyone, anywhere can join - except for politicians of any shape, size or appearance, government officials, consultants and advisors, police officers, secret service personnel, managers of anything, anywhere, rich people, priests, popes or mullahs, and anyone with anything to do with the EU (including people who just think it's a good thing) etc.

That may sound pretty drastic, but it still leaves billions more of us.

I am now off to puncture my body with fragments of broken baubles, electrocute myself with the tree and render myself unconscious by drinking the dregs of whatever alcohol I can find and then falling off my hobby-horse (sorry, rocking horse). Adios!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Royal EU Elephant Mail DNA Police State Bollix

Your DNA will be all over the place now. All part of the EU super(police)state.

If my schoolmasters had been judged by these criteria many of them would have been dismissed and some would have been jailed. Even though they were brilliant at their job. You can read the draft report document here. Not much about education, which is to be expected.

British MSN manage it AGAIN. Writing about the problems at the Royal Mail without once mentioning the EU, of course. Mind you, the article is written by Toby Helm, who forgot to mention the EU in an earlier article on the Royal Mail. Silly boy. Is he just forgetful or is there something else going on?

A pertinent piece by nourishing obscurity on how to hold on to democracy. I've been thinking about ways of doing this myself.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Brown's Britain - The Car Boot Sale

The Thatcherite trend to sell off every available British asset to the highest (usually foreign) bidder was enthusiastically followed by New Labour. Now there's a recession (sorry, downturn) The Spawn of the Manse is even keener to sell off anything that's not bolted down.

That includes the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldmermaston. Why doesn't he go the whole hog and sell off all our armed forces while he's at it?

At this rate everything in Britain will be owned by the EU, the USA and various individuals from abroad.

Triumphant Sarkozy Rides Grauniad's EU Elephant

So, whoever writes the editorial in today's Guardian thinks Sarkozy has done a great job of being the EU's President for the past however long it is these prickfaces get the job.

Apparently Sarko and the EU showed themselves to be important diplomatically over the Russia-Georgia spat:
Few believe Mr Sarkozy's claim to have talked Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, out of going all the way to Tbilisi, but at the time, the dialogue between the two men was the only game in town, and the means by which the Russian columns withdrew, albeit partially. European diplomacy, so easy to dismiss, stuttered back to life.
"Stuttered back to life" - really? Sure it wasn't just the Russians saying "Fuck off, you tossers, while we finish what we came for"?

And it was Sarko who saved the world from financial doom - not Gordon Brown:
Mr Sarkozy knocked together heads both in and out of the eurozone, and showed that the EU was capable of taking collective decisions when it mattered.
Collective decisions that came after the crisis had happened and after many countries had already acted on their own initiative. Collective decisions which are useless, it should also be said.

But here's the juicy bit:
And the Irish government kept the Lisbon treaty alive by agreeing to a second referendum next year.
The Irish kept it alive? Sorry, but I thought they had a free vote which technically should have killed it stone dead (for the second time). Which it should have done if the EU were a democratic institution and not the unelected dictatorship it actually is.

The writer continues this soviet-style applause by insulting the Czech Republic (wonder why? check this out) :
What if two major international crises had happened during the presidency of a smaller member nation, like the Czech Republic, which takes over for the next six months?
The answer is: fuck all, the same as really happened under Sarkozy.

Don't forget that you can have your pointless say on EU matters in the Union's great citizen debate online.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Revolting Foreign Students

Those pesky foreign students and schoolkids are revolting again - this time in Spain and France.

Every Vice-Chancellor and Dean in Britain must be thanking their lucky stars that their students a) don't know what's going on and b) wouldn't do anything about it even if they did.

(Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)

Policing Poetry For Correctness

Not that many people will find this of interest...a short while ago I found myself in a classroom looking through a copy of the Folens GCSE English for AQA/A textbook. As a poet, I was interested to see what poems and poets were being studied. Here are the featured poets:

Grace Nichols
Imtiaz Dharker
Sujata Bhatt
John Agard
Derek Walcott
Niyi Osundari
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Denise Levertov
Tom Leonard.

Any comment I could make would be construed as racist but I do not believe that anyone can look at that list and not see an immense (and unjustifiable) imbalance. They're not all good poems, either.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

The British Economic Miracle


British workers work the longest hours of any in Europe
British workers take less holiday than others in Europe
the British government has put as much of the state into private hands as it can to make it more efficient and productive
Gordon Brown abolished boom and bust
Britain is best placed to weather international recession.

A hard-working, high-spending labour force. So why is the economy fucked?

Possibly because:

British workers work longer hours than everyone else in Europe yet their productivity is not as great
British workers often take home shit wages despite working long hours
British workers have higher levels of personal debt than others in Europe
British workers have lower levels of saving than others in Europe
the British economy is dangerously exposed to fluctuations in interest rates because of its dependence on the housing market
the British government has encouraged people to borrow and spend beyond their means
Britain is worst placed to weather international recession
Gordon Brown has not abolished boom and bust.

Fortunately the future is bright, because Gordon Brown, who, as any fule no, has saved the world, has worked out a cunning plan to deliver us from this chaos. Which is that:

British workers should work as many hours as possible
British workers should accept even the worst-paid jobs to avoid unemployment
British workers should borrow as much as possible
British workers should spend as much as possible
British workers shouldn't save
banks should lend more to each other and to the public.

Job done.

And there are people around who think it would be a good idea to vote these grunting fuckwits back into power?

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

We Need A Rest From Too Much Government

The Times, via Lord Elvis: Head of the IMF fears civil unrest:
Violent unrest may be sparked around the world by a prolonged global slump unless governments act with greater urgency to jump-start stalled economies, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.
Massive unemployment, thousands of businesses bankrupt, thousands of homes repossessed, thousands of people homeless while all those buildings lie empty, high taxes lined up for the future, more draconian and undemocratic legislation in the pipeline both from the EU and our own government, ID cards and state databases still in preparation, tasers issued to the police, more fines, commodity prices going up, wages going down, people taking paycuts, the likelihood of power blackouts or rationing, a pampered and out-of-touch political class, pensions in ruins, savings wiped out, a Mickey Mouse education system...

What we're all suffering from is too much government - too much inept, corrupt and dictatorial government, and too little democracy, too little trust, too little freedom. Government, bureaucrats, big business and financiers have cosied up together in a big anti-democratic club to stitch things up for their own benefit at our expense. The results are proving to be catastrphic, at every level of life. And the mess is only just starting.

Civil unrest? Surely not.

Invisible Elephant Stomps Royal Mail - British Hacks Brainless

The British media again blathering on about the privatisation of the Royal Mail without addressing the real reason for it - the EU. How useless are these people?

I was going to post on this issue myself but EU Referendum have saved me the bother.

Polish Poachers, British Fish and BBC Blockhead

Our local BBC tv programme last night carried a piece about the owner of a couple of fishing lakes coming into conflict with the race laws. He had been told to take down signs he'd put up warning European immigrants (I assume they were Poles) not to take fish out of his lakes. This was racist, apparently.

Last year there were reports of immigrants taking large numbers of fish out of lakes and rivers to eat, since back home it was an acceptable practice. Those doing it here presumably do not realise it is against the law and bad for fish stocks. There was an article in the angling press about the problem. The BBC had also reported on it in 2007.

It didn't come as a surprise to me, because my brother-in-law, who lives in the north-east, is a keen angler and Treasurer of a local angling club. He told me early this year that the Poles in particular were taking vast numbers of fish from rivers and lakes.

I'm sure that once it is made clear that this activity is against the law most of the people doing it will stop. What annoyed me about last night's programme, however, was the presenter's pitching of the story as an example of British bad treatment of migrant workers.

The story finished with him asking some professor of law "what does this say about our treatment of immigrant workers?" Which was nothing to do with it. He should have asked "What does this show about the attitude of migrant workers to our fish?" But, there again, he's not blessed with a great intellect.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

British TV News - What News?

Having watched a bit of ITV news just to balance my suspicions about the BBC I swiftly came to the conclusion that all British TV news is shite.

We were treated to spectacle of The Spawn of the Manse doing his hand gestures in Pakistan - but no mention of the fact that he's bunging them over £400 million quid (see last post) while back here in Blighty the economy is going down the toilet.

We were treated to one or two other items, I can't remember what the hell they were now, but nothing of great note.

There was no mention about the pound dropping in the currency markets and being worth less than a euro.

But we did get plenty of 'news' about the Strictly Come Dancing phone-in fiasco and something else to do with X-Factor. Then everything turned into Sport and I passed out with rage.

There was nothing on tv about RIPA back in 1990; there has been almost nothing about ID cards or the National Identity Register (apart from one programme very recently); nothing on ContactPoint and absolutely nothing about the (temporarily delayed) Communications Retention Bill, which will usher in the police state so many people are keen to ignore.

And there is never, EVER anything about the EU, unless it absolutely unavoidable. Interesting to see what happens when the Brussels commissars compel the Irish to vote again on the Lisbon Constitution.

The Spawn Of The Manse Is A Generous Man

to Pakistan, that is. The Spawn has decided that £480 million should go to Pakistan to help stop it being a breeding ground of terrorism, etc. I should think most of that cash will find its way into the foreign bank accounts of the military, who really run the country.

Meanwhile, the Observer reports that thousands of Britain's poorer pupils may have have to drop out of college and university because of delayed payment of their Education Maintenance Allowances. That's because the Local Government Association has signed a ten-year deal with Liberata, a private firm, to deal with this and other government work, and Liberata haven't got their arses into gear yet.

And in the other meanwhile, the pound continues its decline on the currency markets, dropping to parity and below with the euro.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Balls Tosser

Enough said:

Redwood Sees The Trees

Tory MP John Redwood recognises the growing resentment of the public towards government and EU:
Every time the public is allowed a vote they show their scorn and dislike of current EU and UK government policies. The French, Dutch and Irish all voted against the ghastly EU Constitution and its renamed look alike. The people of the North East voted against regional government. The people of Manchester voted against more surveillance cameras and a further tax on motoring. In the latter two cases it was not a marginal decision or a small vote. The feeling was overwhelming, in carefully chosen Labour areas. The people had been beaten up by the Labour propoganda, yet they still voted No.

The frustration with governments is now intense, as they seek more ways to annoy us, and to thwart the popular will. Why will they never learn? They spend a fortune of our money on polling and researching our views, yet when they give us a vote they ignore the result. They should get the underlying message. We want more freedom. We want to keep more of our hard earned money to spend as we see fit.
This also applies to many juries, including that on the Menezes case, which resoundlingly stuck two fingers up at the police and coroner.

I shouldn't think many Labour MPs are in touch enough to understand this resentment. The combination of a collapsing economy, continued government authoritarianism and relentless impositions by the EU is dangerous. A slow-burning fuse has already been lit.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Up Your Congested Innovation Charge

Voters have said no to the proposed congestion charge scheme in Greater Manchester.
“Despite this setback we will continue to work hard to ensure that Greater Manchester remains at the forefront of innovative thinking as a world class city region attempting to meet the environmental, economic and social challenges of the next decade and beyond.”
said Lord Peter Smith of The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA).

Another bullshit merchant. Why? One word - 'innovative'.

The scheme was part of an application to get money from the Transport Innovation Fund.

Anything official using the word 'innovation' or 'innovative' is automatically bullshit and should be flushed immediately down the toilet. Which is just what the voters of Greater Manchester have done.

The question is: will the authorities do an EU-Irish on them and demand another vote (with bent rules)? No doubt Lord Peter and his mates will continue to 'work hard' to find another way to enforce a congestion charge on the citizens with or without the inconvenience of democracy.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Germany Zaps Spawn World Saviour Amid Grecian Riots

So, Germany doesn't think much of the Spawn of the Manse's efforts to save the UK economy and that of the world.

Coming to Spain, soon, and then the UK (certainly if Labour get in at the next election): a little bit of public aggravation in Greece.

Which may have something to do with eu-conomic pressures, among other things. so, not a good idea to press for closer integration and joining the Euro.

And while we're at it, more shite about the EU: the reason the EU will find it difficult (nay, impossible) to launch proper public PR for itself is that as soon as it becomes visible, its faults become immediately apparent as well. And they are such screamingly obvious ones that even the dimmest of Europhiles cannot waffle them away. Chuck in the fact that plenty of people through Europe and especially in the UK don't like the bloody thing on principle and you can see their dilemma. Why else has the EU had such a low profile in the media the pas 10 years?

And while I'm at it, I'd like to say I'm heartily sick of the media and blogosphere's moral panic stampede all over welfare and dependency. Are there scum out there? Yes. Are they vile to live near? Yes. Are there generations of workless deadbeats? Yes. Of course. Are they 'legions'? Well, no they fucking aren't. They're a minority of the population and they're a minority of the people who live on benefits or are supported by benefits. I can tell you for a fact that getting money out of the benefits system is hard-work, time-consuming, intrusive and demeaning. And that's money you supposedly deserve.

Joining in this squalid mob doesn't help the majority of people who need benefits. The one group of people that you can never weed out is precisely the persistent element. There's no point screwing up a whole system and making it worse for the majority who need it just so that you can assuage your own biliousness nastiness by thinking you're targetting the scum.

Labour are just as disgusting as the Tories on using this as a PR election ploy. It's shit, it's dishonest and it doesn't work. Both parties are in some ways quite keen to have both an underclass and a group of unemployed/workless precisely for this reason, that they can wheel out fake policies to garner votes when necessary. That's why you end up with some ignorant middle-class twat like David Freud being commissioned to write a policy report on welfare reform for the government - in three weeks, knowing nothing about it.

We've had mass unemployment in this country for nearly 30 years now: even Labour's own figures show there have been over a million unemployed for the last ten years. Thatcher got in on the "Labour isn't working" ploy, doubled unemployment within 18 months of gaining power - and then the matter ceased to bother most of the electorate. In fact, they were happy enough with mass unemployment to vote the Tories in for 18 years.

And before I sign off...regarding the Baby P case, I noted that in a media report it was said that Sharon Shoesmith and her colleagues failed partly because they didn't have enough social work experience - because their background was in education. Not unexpected, when you think about it: Sharon Shoesmith had previously worked for Ofsted, which gave the Council a positive report in 2006 and Ofsted are now the government department in charge of all childcare as well as education. When did that happen? Didn't it occur to anyone in government that child welfare and education are not the same thing and require different skills and knowledge?

Still, education doesn't matter any more. It doesn't even appear in the title of the relevant government departments.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Postgate Dies - Civilisation Ends

Surely it's the End of an Era, the (almost) Final Curtain on All Things Old-Fashioned and Decently British now that Oliver Postgate, creator of Noggin the Nog, The Clangers and Bagpuss, has packed his bags and departed for the Celestial Animation Studio in the sky.

For me the Postgate approach represents that strand of relentlessly amateur dedication and surreal imaginativeness that used to be a defining virtue of old-fashioned Britishness.Thank God we've still got Nick Park and Aardman Animations keeping elements of the tradition alive.

My favourite as a child was always Noggin the Nog. Death to all Nogbad the Bads! Long live Noggin the Nog!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Remove This Internet Child Porn Kiddy Filth

Some filthy bloody foreigner painted this disgusting piece of 'art' which clearly shows a naked mother and her child engaged in what can only be described as despicable and incestuous acts. What's more, this vile muck is available on the internet for everyone to see.

My investigations have also revealed a similar painting by another foreign sicko trying to pass off his pornographic daubings are 'art', a Mr Lotto:

I can hardly describe the wretchedness of the perverted mind that dreamed up and executed this image of an infant micturating on its mother while she pleasures herself shamelessly via her bosoms.

Something must be done to stop this pollution corrupting innocent minds.

It is time to say 'no' to the liberal paedophile pornographers who promote depravity.

Please support the Internet Watch Foundation's EU-funded bid to clean up the interweb.

Vampire Jack At The Liberties Blood Bank

'Nice cup of blood, missus.'

Jack Straw, Defender of Liberties and Architect of the RIP Act (Civil Liberties and Privacy Abolition Act) 2000, wants to 'rebalance' the Human Rights Act.

Cameron has added his pennyworth.

Our Jack's a bit 'frustrated' apparently, about the way courts sometimes interpret the Act. Which is strange, considering a) the Act was introduced under Labour b) Labour have been in power for 11 years (plenty of time to get something right, don't you think?), c) the government tell judges what sentences they can pass and d) Jack Straw has Home Secretary at the time of the Act.

The Mail's article is more detailed than the Guardian's (link above) and shows Straw swiping at everything from ambulance-chasing lawyers to the increase in workplace litigation and undeportable terrorists. Much of what he complains about is of his own doing.

Straw is worried about the 'drift to a law of privacy' - which would, of course, go against his government's remorseless attempts to strip citizens of all privacy in front of the state.

He's also keen to produce a 'Bill of Rights and Responsibilities'. It's that last bit that gives the game away. Our responsibilities to the state is what he means, although he dresses it up in patriotic language. There won't be anything in it (if it ever comes into being) about the responsibilities of members of the state apparatus to us.

I can tell Mr Straw that my responsibilities as a citizen are simply not to break the law (and Labour have added many of those over the last decade). Beyond that, the government can go intercourse itself.

I have no responsibility to fulfil any state jackass's requirements to be a good or 'productive' citizen and no one has the right to impose such a sanction upon me.

No one has the right to judge the level of my patriotism (and by the way, Mr Straw, my loyalty is to my country, not to the state - and certainly not to you or your government). As a result of your connivance and collusion, Mr Straw, that country now not only has no sovereignty, having surroundered that to the EU, but is also being broken up into regions by the EU.

So, what's this all about? Anything to do with the European Court's judgement against British police keeping innocent people's DNA, perhaps? Or the fact that there's going to be an election in the next year and Labour need to appeal to as much of the mob as possible?

Or possibly that our Jack is losing his marbles and wants more blood in the form of our rights for sacrifice?

You can bring a vampire to a bath of blood and he will surely drink his fill.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Labour Child Nazi Snoopers Database

The Labour government won't be satisfied till it has everybody under permanent and complete surveillance, from cradle to grave. In addition to ID cards and the National Identity Register it also plans to keep tabs on all children up to the age of 19.

The popular press have at last cottoned on to what Labour has been up to with regard to our privacy and liberties. The Mail Online carries a useful article on ContactPoint and the Common Assessment Framework, which underpins it.

You can see what kind of information is to be collected by checking out the website of Northamptonshire County Council.

The following gives you an idea:
How the child or young person feels about themselves
Is he/she developing a sense of self as a separate and
valued person? Is he/she confident and self-assured?
Does he/she feel a sense of belonging; express
feelings about ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation?

Does the child or person know what he/she wants to do
in the future? How motivated are they? Are there
obstacles? Is he/she making plans to achieve this (as
expected for their age?)

Guidance, boundaries and stimulation
Is the child or young person helped to control his or her
own emotions and behaviour? Does he/she have
suitable guidance and discipline? Is he/she helped to
learn and participate in positive activities?

Housing, employment and financial considerations
If not already mentioned, what are the family living
arrangements? Does the accommodation have
everything needed for safe and healthy living? Who in
the family is employed? Have there been disruptions to
employment? Is there enough money to support the
family? Do work arrangements leave the family time to
be together?
Children and young people shouldn't be asked questions like these. Neither should they be brought up to accept this intrusive questioning as normal.

All this information will be made available to thousands of 'professionals' and cross-referenced with other government databases, so you can see why the government are so keen to gather details of household income, etc.

And, as is par for the course with this government and their cowboy contractors, data will continue to be lost or stolen on a regular basis.

At the moment inclusion on the database is voluntary, so parents can refuse to have their childrens' details collected, but if Labour get in at the next election it will soon become compulsory. Another creepy bit of Labour nastiness, however, is that once a child is 12 they can decide to have information recorded without parents' permission - or even knowledge. Talk about setting up a snooper state.

The Conservatives have repeatedly said they would scrap ContactPoint and the ID card scheme. We can only hope they can be trusted and hold them to account should they win the next election.

ContactPoint is to go live in January 2009. Resist it.

She May Be Nice But She Votes Like A Clone

Gillian Merron is Labour MP for Lincoln. Unlike many MPs she's very active doing what she can for the people she represents.

However, she is typical of the contemporary Labour MP. In other words she's a clone, doing the government's bidding without question.

So, although she campaigns to keep local Post Offices open (despite the fact that her own government's eagerness to embrace EU diktat is a primary cause of their closing) she nevertheless does as she's told in voting for anti-democratic measures that destroy our liberties. These are the things that matter. Unfortunately these are the things that large numbers of voters know nothing about.

The following, from TheyWorkForYou:

How Gillian Merron voted on key issues since 2001:

* Voted very strongly against a transparent Parliament
* Voted moderately for introducing a smoking ban
* Voted strongly for introducing ID cards
* Voted very strongly for introducing foundation hospitals
* Voted strongly for introducing student top-up fees
* Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws
* Voted very strongly for the Iraq war
* Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war
* Voted very strongly for replacing Trident
* Voted very strongly for the hunting ban
* Voted moderately for equal gay rights
* Voted a mixture of for and against laws to stop climate change
She's all for compelling every inhabitant of Lincoln to have an unnecessary, intrusive and expensive ID card, with all the database surveillance and threats of fines that go with it; she's all for taking us into an unwanted, unnecessary and illegal war and stopping us having an enquiry into it; she's all against allowing us, the voters and taxpayers, access to the doings of the government, who happily make decisions for us about things we have not been asked about, and who spend our money on things we are regularly misinformed about.

She's also for the further privatisation of the Health Service and for driving our young people deeper into debt when they want to better themselves by going to university. She's for having your number plate photographed on every journey you make by main road, for the 3,000 new ways we can all become criminals, for a semi-official snoop force (Community Safety Accreditation) of bouncers and jobsworths who can fine us on the spot for minor misdemeanours, for ContactPoint, a database that will record private details of EVERY child up to the age of 18, including information on family lifestyle and behaviour of neighbours, etc, etc.

And, from 1997, when she was elected, until just recently she was Minister for the East Midlands. This is another imposition by the EU (I've already talked about it) - an unelected layer of administration set eventually to replace our existing system of local government, all driven by our friends in Brussels. I bet she didn't mention that very often to the ordinary folk she encountered as Minister.

A glance at her CV also reveals a career typical of today's political class:

* Lancaster University, BSc (Hons) Management Sciences (1978-81)
* Wanstead High School

Career (from her own website):

* UNISON, Senior Regional Officer for Lincolnshire (1995-97)
* East Midlands Full Time Official, National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) – and UNISON (1987-95)
* Local Government Officer (1985-87)
* Business Development Advisor (1982-85)

University, a couple of years in something that might be called a real job (but I doubt anything called 'Advisor' is real), local government and union (a favourite breeding ground for politicos) and finally fully-fledged apparatchik.

Having a background in what we outside the Westminster Village laughingly call the real world doesn't necessarily mean an MP is grounded enough to retain any common sense they may have been born with (the ludicrous figure of Prescott, for example, blunders into view) but it would occasionally be reassuring to think our representatives had some notion of what it's like not to be privileged, powerful and well-paid.

When you're well-paid, privileged and powerful it's easy to vote happily for a police state - for other people. But it is unforgivable.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Terrorist Paperboys In Cambridgeshire Little Hitlers Drama

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) may have proved unfit for purpose, in that, designed to counter terrorism and crime, it failed to stop the July 7 bombings in London (and subsequent actions), but it is proving immensely useful to local authorities in allowing them to spy on constituents for truly heinous crimes such as not having the correct paperwork for paperboys.

No mention of the names of any of the council members or employees responsible turns up in the article, despite the fact these people are there to look after the interests of local people, who also pay their wages and expenses. Here is the page of the Council's own website dealing with enforcement:
2 It is the County Council’s policy that only officers authorized through the delegated powers of Deputy Chief Executives, Directors and Senior Officers can undertake enforcement work.

I don't suppose we shall know the name of the person responsible for instigating the use of this act. Perhaps some civic-minded citizens would like to do some spying of their own in order to make the official's name public?

Lying, bullying, spying and snooping: it's about time we started applying the same tactics towards those in authority all over the country. It's about time we started to disobey and subvert. It is well past the time that we started to make their lives a bloody misery.

Friday, 5 December 2008

British Euro Referendum (Not)

Various burblings from the government's reptiles about the UK joining the Euro.

The Euro Preparations Unit was set up back in 1997 to soften us all up. Despite what the Spawn of the Manse has been saying in public, he's planning for us to join.

A referendum on it? Don't be silly. The Spawn will no doubt make promises but he's a pathological liar. Remember the promised referendum on the Lisbon 'Treaty'?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

EU Citizens Consultation Bilge Opportunity

The European Citizens' Consultations website has just gone live. This is our chance to provide some input to our unelected masters in Brussels.
What can the EU do to shape our economic and social future in a globalised world?

Even before the recent global financial crisis, opinion polls showed that rising prices and the risk of unemployment were the public’s top concerns across Europe – and those concerns are growing amid mounting bad news about the state of the economy and its likely impact on people’s lives.

As the EU institutions begin work on a post-2010 successor to the Lisbon Agenda for economic growth and competitiveness, ECC 2009 will also provide timely and relevant input for decision-makers.

So what do you think the EU can – and should - do to shape our economic and social future in a globalised world?

Engage in the debate and make your recommendations.

Well, nice of them to make the gesture, I suppose, but it'll be a fairly meaningless exercise. That quote about the 'post-2010 successor to the Lisbon Agenda' indicates quite clearly, for example, that the Lisbon Constitution is going to be accepted whatever the people of Europe want. Democracy has no part in this project.

Interesting to note: "The website is managed by Involve; the UK national partner in the ECC 2009 process." Involve is another of Geoff Mulgan's little projects. They describe themselves thus:
Involve are public participation specialists, bringing institutions, communities and citizens together accelerating innovation, understanding, discussion and change. breathing new life into institutions and communities in the UK and across the world; working with senior people in government and business as well as community activists.
As soon as you read things like 'public participation', 'communities' and 'innovation' you know you've encountered a bullshit factory (BSF).

Still, worth a go just as a provocation. Where to start...excessive legislation? communications retention? the CAP?

Paxo Monsters Moronic Minister

Paxman sticks it to the bitch (Harman) about the Speaker's response to the Green affair. Imagine what it would be like if all our tv interviewers were as persistent as this. And what's going to happen when Paxman and Humphrys are gone?

The European Court of Human Rights rules against collection of DNA of innocent people. Jackboot Jacqui says "Damn! How am I going to get round this one?"

More frantic scrambling to turn Britain into a police state. What's bizarre, however, is this:
Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, said he believed Britain had gone too far in helping to bring about a "surveillance society". In a report drawing on personal data infringements across Europe but "inspired" by Britain's plan for a new internet, email and telephone database, he added: "General surveillance raises serious democratic problems which are not answered by the repeated assertion that those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear. This puts the onus in the wrong place: it should be for states to justify the interferences they seek to make on privacy rights."
Is Mr Hammarberg not aware that the plan for the internet, email and telephone database is actually an EU directive rather than a British idea? Although one accepted with alacrity by the fascists in power.

Meanwhile back at EU Empire HQ: rumours that the EU's anti-fraud office is fraudulent. That makes sense.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Cretin Warrant Speaker EU Thieves BBC Police Bias And All

The disgraceful cretin Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons, admits that not only did the police have no warrant to search the office of MP Damian Green but that he couldn't be arsed to ask them if they had one in the first place. Well done.

And he's going to set up a commission to look into the matter. With people appointed by himself. Well done.

As a result of Blair&Brown's munificent incompetence in 2005 Britain's contribution to the EU empire will treble within two years from £2 billion to £6.5 billion, according to the Telegraph. Not the sort of stuff your average punter is likely to hear about or take notice of, but very important nonetheless. Well done.

Is the BBC biassed? Or do they simply display the lack of intellectual rigor and knowledge that typifies the generality of British media?

I have to admit that I think they are biassed in favour of the government. During the David Davis story, for instance, it became obvious to me that BBC tv followed a consistent line both at national and local level. Firstly, they never spent much time discussing the issues or letting Davis go into any detail; secondly they focused on him and his ministerial career (or lack of it); and thirdly they repeatedly asked if the by-election was a waste of tax-payers' money (this latter initiated by New Labour).

They held this line all the way through and after. It became lamentably predictable. Well done.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Dangerous Belgian Barroso Tosspot Google EU Bloggers Generation

OK, so Pieter de Crem (above), Belgian Minister of Defence, goes to New York for a (cancelled) meeting and gets himself a little overjuiced in a bar and fails to comport himself appropriately. But he is observed and recorded by the young lady behind the bar who happens to be Flemish. She blogs about it and gets fired. Pieter complains bitterly about dangerous bloggers, despite the fact that it was he who made an arse of himself, in public, at the taxpayers' expense. Oh well, we've all done it. On TechCrunch and Jon Worth's Euroblog.

Meanwhile Barroso continues to demonstrate what an arrogant, self-important little autocrat he is. In the following YouTube clip, having defended the EU with lies and prevarication, he finally admits that it is a sort of 'empire' - unfortunately without realising that empire is the opposite of democracy. Previous empires did indeed work by forceful imposition of diktat: the EU now does it legally, through legislation, because the member states have signed away their sovereignty without telling their people what they have done. The idiocy of these people is only magnified by the comments of the ridiculous woman who pipes up at the end.

Barroso's contempt for ordinary citizens is compounded for us in Britain by his comments on the Euro (in my previous post).

And the ineffable stupidity of clever people continues to amaze. Dan Tapscott, an internet expert, thinks we should change the way we teach and learn because the internet has changed everything; although if his ideas are followed, there'll actually be no such thing as a 'teacher':
"Wikinomics can absolutely be applied to the classroom," Tapscott continues. The opportunity is to change the relationship between the student and the teacher in the learning process, by freeing up teachers from being 'transmitters of data' to doing what only humans can do: creatively develop customized learning experiences.

I'm in total agreement with the idea of using the internet in education: there's no doubt it's the biggest single positive development since the invention of the printing press.

However, I sometimes wonder how much teaching experts such as Dan Tapscott actually do. I suspect they've never had to deal with today's students, who, bright as they are, turn up at university knowing nothing. Either that, or they work only at the best universities.

I've encountered this crap about 'who is the teacher, who is the student' bull before. It may be applicable when you get to postgraduate level, but below then it's perfectly obvious. I am the teacher because I know more about my subject than my students. I've read more of it, I've studied more of it, I've thought more about it, discussed more of it, written more about it and even written more of it than they have. I hope that, for some students at least, I am more than just a 'transmitter of data'. This is a total misunderstanding of the role of a teacher - and a pretty dismissive one as well. Unfortunately one that is shared by by our own government.

I can tell him straight away that today's students are not 'digital natives', despite all the hype; they are not 'digitally immersed' and they don't have the ability to deal more quickly with lots of varied data compared with us oldies.

I have often been amazed at how illiterate and limited students are with regard to the internet and related technology. They can text and email (often without bothering to key in a subject line, however) and they can use Google a bit (though I doubt they know of any other search engine), and they can download illegal music. They use Facebook and sometimes MySpace. Some of them play online games. But that's it.

I have only encountered a couple of students who use their mobiles to make videos or vlogs. I've met none who post their own material on YouTube; who record their own podcasts; or who have their own blog - or indeed, even read blogs. And that's at a university with media and journalism departments.

They do learn how to use the net for gathering information - but it's often a copy and paste approach: they don't often read what they pick up or bother to think about it.

I am truly hacked off with people coming out with these grand sounding theories. There is no proper evidence to back up any of them. And though there are always ways of improving how teachers teach and students learn, there's no way round the fact (yes, the fact) that true education happens when something is difficult. The learning is in the difficulty (and the hard work).

Modern education seems to be posited on a number of nonsenses, one of which is that if something isn't fun or easy, it isn't education. It's the kids who are losing out, because they're being let down by the system; they're being lied to; they're being told they're well-informed and educated, and they're not. I'm sick to death of this shit.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Sun Police State Barroso Bastard Euro Databases

The Sun voices growing fears about the British police state.

Milburn proposes establishment of more Stasi snoopers:
Policy reports

Speakers at the conference urged the government to radically overhaul the benefits system - including making more single parents work, funding universal childcare and providing higher maternity leave payments.

Other plans include giving private firms and charities the right to bid to run more public services.

The organisation is launching policy reports in five different areas - public services, welfare, immigration, crime and justice and foreign policy.

Under the plans, which have been devised by former cabinet minister Alan Milburn, 10-year "franchises" for services such as GPs and colleges would be up for tender.

Others proposals include making grant-funded students who drop out of university pay back part or all the money.

Also, forcing local authorities to spend more money on youth services and the creation of civilian security force consisting of military trainers, civil servants, police officers, judges and other logistical staff.

EU puts pressure on UK government to join the Euro. According to Barroso (our boss):
"I know that the majority in Britain are still opposed, but there is a period of consideration under way and the people who matter in Britain are currently thinking about it", he said.

The 'people who matter', please note - that's not us. Get the bastard out - and get us out of the EU, for God's sake.

The Green Affair rumbles on: some bloggers don't reckon it's important. I do. Even though prime slugs like Denis McShane blather hypocritically on about democracy and parliament, etc. McShane's voting record is a fucking disgrace and he has no right to talk about democracy. If he believed in democracy and liberty he wouldn't have voted to destroy it.

ContactPoint - at last! I've been wondering when this was going to surface in the storm over Baby P. Caught Ed Stourton talking to some clone on Radio 4 this morning about ContactPoint.

Being a typical British media man (and a BBC one, to make it worse) he didn't ask her any really important questions, such as why are the contact details of children of celebrities and violent parents excluded from the database? Or about this:
Government guidelines reveal that other information recorded may include 'family routines', evidence of a 'disorganised/chaotic lifestyle', 'ways in which the family’s income is used', signs of mental illness or alcohol misuse by relatives, and 'any serious difficulties in the parents’ relationship'.
It's a bit much when our highly-paid media folks can't even bother to check Wikipedia for information.

That's enough for one morning.