Saturday, 30 January 2010

Using State Weapons Against The State

Thanks to Dick Puddlecote for picking this up and signposting it. Right on the nail.

Alex Deane: How the march of officialdom is destroying cherished ways of life.

Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch talks about how we need to turn the tables on the state by using its own tactics against it. Continuous harassment and challenging of all officials, from bottom to top will become more and more necessary. It must reach the stage where, if government does not repeal the countless stupid and repressive laws that have been passed over the last decade, we will have to make the lives of everybody implementing these laws so uncomfortable, so difficult, so distressing, so unbearable that the system will break down. We have to declare war on the jobsworths as well as the politicians.

Yesterday I saw in the town centre four of these jobsworths talking together: two police community support officers and two City Heritage Wardens (wtf?). Not a sight of a proper copper, of course. And none of them would be any bloody use to you if some oaf were beating the shit out of you in broad daylight.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Labour Says Always Look On The Bright side Of Life

Treasury employees given stress advice and told 'it's ok make nmistakes' - Telegraph
Treasury civil servants grappling with the recession and record deficit have been given a 71-page document to cope with stress which includes messages such as “learn to laugh at yourself” and a six-point lesson in how to “relax your thighs".
Top ten tips for coping with the stress of living and working under a Stasi Labour government are:
1.Do not put up with something that does not work correctly. Ensure it is repaired.
2.Look on the bright side.
3.Learn to say no – you have this right.
4.Avoid chaos
5.Write down thoughts and feelings.
6.Control aggression.
7.Learn to laugh at yourself
8.Deal with unpleasant tasks first
9.Shelve problems until you have the capacity to deal with them.
10.Ensure you’ve had enough sleep.
No 3 is touching: nice of Labour to acknowledge people have rights, even as they're methodically destroying them. Do you think they'd like it if we said NO to them on a continual basis?

Monday, 25 January 2010

World Delusions of Politicos And Their Media Whores

The UK's world role: Great Britain's greatness fixation
Britain has no such potency [ie as important world power]. Yet we still struggle to adjust to our reality. We can propose, as we shall be doing in three important London meetings this week, but we cannot dispose. Every day, the descant of the Chilcot inquiry reminds us of where the refusal to recognise this truth can humiliatingly lead. Our national interest should be to play our important role as a true, trusted and committed European partner on the world stage. No longer the greatest. Just one great among others. Good enough ought to be good enough. The people get it. If only the politicians did too.
'We can propose...'? 'We'? - what 'we' is this? We, the people, won't be proposing anything at all. We are not struuggling to 'adjust' to any reality. The 'we' of those sentences is the corrupt political class, which has no relation to the populace of the country.

I'm pretty sick of being told Britain has lost its role because it is no longer an imperial power. I'm even sicker of idiots telling us we should drown our sovereignty and identity within the EU in some sort effort to retain our international standing.

This is the waffle of vain politicians and their toadies in the media. As far as my own experience goes, the people don't give a fig for the loss of imperial power or for Britain's 'importance' or role in the world. Gordon Brown is but the latest in a line of Prime Ministers bloated with vanity who strutted around on the world stage proclaiming the greatness of Britain when all they were really doing was saying 'Look at me, aren't I a great world statesman?'

This country would be better off if our politicians concentrated on domestic matters and improving the lot of the people and let the rest of the world get on with its own affairs and wars by itself (especially American wars). That includes the EU. There is no such thing as a European identity. And Europe will never be a nation, whatever the EU does, whatever its apologists say.

The people aren't deluded. The politicians are.

BBC Paid By EU

Fears of bias as BBC gets £141m in EU loans - Times Online

No wonder the EU rarely figures much in news reports - and never in documetaries or current affairs programmes.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Britain Heads For Power Cuts

E.ON chief: Preserve coal plants to keep lights on.
Ageing coal-fired power stations should be exempted from environmental regulations and kept open to stop the lights from going out, the chief executive of E.ON UK has urged the government.

Paul Golby told the Guardian that some of the coal and oil-fired plants due to close this decade because of European pollution regulations should remain operational and ready to come online during periods of peak demand such as those experienced in recent weeks. The Guardian revealed this month that almost 100 large power users had to switch to alternative sources when National Grid triggered clauses in their interruptible supply contracts.
And just because we are run by cretins who obey their cretin-masters in Brussels, we are going to suffer longer and more frequent power cuts in the very near future - and for a long time.

The green lobby are already whingeing, but even they must have noticed we are getting interrupted supplies. Not that they need worry, since no British government will have the guts or the intelligence to do anything about it.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Driving Licence Stealth Tax Fine Scam

Wife receives driving licence 'photo renewal' form; ie licence renewal, plus a demand for £20 with a threat of £1,000 for non-compliance.

I mentioned the cock-up over this 'not the licence but the photo' renewal scam last year, because the DVLA had forgotten that it needed to tell people with the new EU licences when it first issued them ten years ago. That would have come as a surprise to people with older licence because prior to New Labour there was no need to renew a full licence once you had obtained it. Neither was there a demand for cash and the threat of a fine.

The DVLA, as other bloggers have pointed out, has been turned into another money-making stealth-tax-collector for the government.

The legislation is driven by (of course!) the EU with its Directive on Driving licences (also here), but it's probably correct to asssume that the interfering, bullying cash-grabbing elements were added by our very own caring New Labour scumbags.

I would also like to know whether the government is legally allowed to make threats of a fine in this way.

Don't expect anything to change once the Tories get in, though.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

EU Needs To Fiddle Its University Rankings

EU to test new university ranking in 2010
The European Union is developing a new worldwide ranking system of universities to rival currently established league tables in a bid to improve the ranking of European universities and improve Europe's economic power.

National league tables have been common since the 1990s but as higher education has increasingly become globalised with many students opting to take part of their studies abroad, the focus has shifted to worldwide university rankings.

This means the rankings are increasingly receiving more attention for different specific purposes: Students use them to short-list their choice of university; public and private institutions use them to decide on funding allocations; universities use them to promote themselves; while some politicians use them as a measure of national economic achievements or aspirations.

Europe's around 4,000 higher education institutions have over 19 million students and 1.5 million staff. However, European universities have time and again failed to make it big in the current world university rankings.
In other words, not enough of the EU's universities are making the grade, so they'll have to devise a way of pretending they are. A bit like the UK's exam system.

Iceland Suffers Democracy

Iceland's referendum decision provokes angry UK and Dutch response
Iceland's EU membership bid was seen as at stake on Tuesday after a shock decision by the country's president to block legislation on paying billions of euros to Britain and the Netherlands to compensate investors in the collapsed Icelandic bank Icesave.

In a televised speech, President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson acknowledged the strength of popular opposition to the deal among ordinary Icelanders, many of whom are questioning why they have to pay for the actions of their country's banks. His move means the issue will now be put to a referendum.

Last June, Iceland made an agreement with London and the Hague to pay them back €3.8 billion they used to compensate British and Dutch savers who lost money in October 2008 when their accounts with the online savings account Icesave were frozen, following the collapse of the parent company Landsbanki.

The president said an "overwhelming majority" wanted a direct say over the issue after a petition objecting to the terms of paying back the loan gathered the support of one fifth of the population.

Under the terms of the agreement the loan will be paid back over 15 years with interest, with estimates suggesting every household will have to contribute around 45,000 euros.

Feelings in Iceland have been running high, particularly after the heavy handed tactics at the height of the crisis used by Britain which invoked an anti-terrorism law to freeze the country's assets in the UK.

"It is the cornerstone of the constitutional structure of the Republic of Iceland that the people are the supreme judge of the validity of the law," said Mr Grimsson.

The president's decision, which comes just a week after the parliament narrowly approved legislation to pay back the loan following months of wrangling, has prompted an immediate and angry response.

Fitch, the international rating agency, downgraded Iceland's longterm foreign currency credit rating to junk status on the back of the move and called it "a significant setback to Iceland's efforts to restore normal financial relations with the rest of the world."

The Times newspaper reported that Britain's financial services minister Lord Myners said that if the referendum decision was allowed to stand then Iceland would be frozen out of the international financial system and would not be able to join the European Union.

"The UK Government stepped in to ensure that all retail depositors with Icesave were fully paid out, and now we expect the Icelandic Government to ensure that we are repaid that amount which Iceland owes us," he said.

The Netherlands has also reacted with anger.

"We are very disappointed about the decision," said a Dutch finance ministry spokesman, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Iceland has the obligation to pay back the money."

With recent polls showing that Icelanders would likely reject the terms of the repayment in any referendum, the country's EU path is also set to be affected.

Each member state may veto an attempt by another country to join the European Union. Iceland submitted a formal application for membership in July 2009. Once hailed as a probable EU member shoo-in, the banking situation as well as Icelanders more ambivalent feelings about joining the 27-nation bloc is likely to complicate the negotiation process.

Monday, 4 January 2010

No EU Stars On A Car Of Ours

I have ordered these UK union jack bumper stickers for the wife's little car, which unfortunately has the EU flag on the number plates - can't have that.

Bono The Bollix

Bono calls for control over Internet downloads.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Irish rock star Bono called Sunday for tougher controls over the spread of intellectual property over the Internet, arguing that file swiping and sharing hurt creators of cultural products...

The singer pointed out that the US effort to stop child pornography and China's effort to suppress online dissent indicate that it is "perfectly possible to track" Internet content.
Not a good idea invoking a totalitarian state to bolster lame arguments.


Sunday, 3 January 2010

Bloody BBC News Beauty Pageant Crap

Harriet Harman attempts to claw back electoral advantage by criticising the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation over its ageist agenda. It's the kind of desperate schtick you'd expect from a talentless New Labour cretin.

But this is what caught my attention:

In 2007, BBC Director General Mark Thompson denied the corporation's decision to remove then-58-year-old Moira Stewart from her regular news slot on Sunday AM was motivated by her age.

He told MPs on the culture select committee that Ms Stewart's "traditional" news reader's role, as opposed to a correspondent or presenter, had "virtually died out".
This one policy alone - replacing newsreaders with 'presenters' or (God forbid) 'correspondents' has guaranteed the dumbing down of BBC news. These news 'presenters' are lamentably ignorant of current affairs, politics or just about anything else. If they stuck to just reading out a script they'd be bearable, but the fact that they're required to 'interview' people and talk intelligently about topics of which they have no knowledge is insulting.

Thompson tries to weasel his way out of any responsibility for this change by making it sound as if it were a natural process (ie 'had virtually died out') when it is quite clearly management, and indeed industry, policy.

The other result is that news has become just one more branch of entertainment, with increasing emphasis on celebrities and sport. The female newsreaders have to be young and pretty and their male counterparts fairly unblemished, because it's all a bloody beauty pageant now.