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Friday, June 30, 2006

Carnival Of The Polly-Kicking

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2006 03:58:00 pm

A new twice-weekly Carnival in which we round up the diverse bloggers desperately trying to beat some common sense into the thick skull of that useless fucking cunt whom we all know as Polly Toynbee. Or Shitface. Your choice. feel free to submit some more Polly-kickng links in the comments.

The poor little greek boy feels that he cannot be bothered to punch her in the face again over childcare (and who can blame him; he's already done so at least once this month and a very good piece it was too).

In fact, he was looking at the disastrous SureStart Report which Polly seems to think is so much pie in the sky. Apparently she knows rather better than those doing the study (ain't that always the way).

Even Timmy seems to be going through the motions today, although he does counter Polly's assertions about the efficacy of the US Head Start programme.
Let’s look at some other US research shall we? From Freakonomics, we get the results of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. One factor that made no difference to the test scores of children was whether they had attended Head Start or not.

Yup, it made not a jot or tittle of difference to how well they did in school.

This is therefore something we’re supposed to spend 2% of GDP on?

Quite so. But Polly fatigue does seem to be kicking in slightly; what a good thing that the ever-prodigious Ranting Guttersnipe is here to dole out the kicking that the silly bitch deserves.
Polly’s Back today with a brand new load of bollocks about childcare and how voting Tory will probably mean that your children will all die of typhoid. Today she's bigging up the government waste of space that has been the SureStart programme. Clearly she's taken up residence in Narnia with Blair and Blears.
...

Remember, before Labour there was no childcare, no nursery education and no Sure Start to help young families.

She’s lost the plot hasn’t she? What the feck is she thinking? Are we really expected to believe this? We’ve had nanny services, childcare and children’s education since the Norman Conquest.
At best the Parliamentary Labour Party has been here since 1906. Before that we were turning out polite children who could read, didn’t smash up society and went onto become doctors, lawyers, builders, military commanders, journalists and MPs.

Actually, yes, I think that she has lost the plot. Otherwise that nice, middle-class Ms Toynbee is hoping to end the year wearing ermine.

Yes, bribery! That must be it. I simply cannot conceive how someone can be so stupid as to keep on supporting this government; seriously, Polly, how fucking stupid are you. Oh, I forgot, you were stupid enough to fail the 11+, the easiest exam ever invented: half of it was logic problems for fuck's sake.

Which I think explains a lot about Polly's writing.
Dark forces were unleashed by the disastrous first evaluation of Sure Start, Labour's flagship programme for saving children from early damage. The research has just been republished in the British Medical Journal, creating another round of bad-news stories from the same recycled material.

After all, confronted with bad reports about the efficacy of SureStart, most people would conclude that it isn't working; but not Polly, oh no! Not for her the simplest leap of fucking logic.

To further bolster the impression that a sack of swedes (of the vegetable type rather than the Scandinavian that she so desires admires) is possessed of a higher critical faculty than the minute ganglion—of which even a dinosaur would be unenvious—that passes for Polly's brain, everyone's favourite female NuLabour apologist contradicts herself (as usual).
Seeing is believing. Those who know local projects come away bowled over by them. I was with the education secretary, Alan Johnson, visiting a brand new children's centre in Coventry this week as he listened to mothers rescued from isolation and depression starting new lives.

This is what we call "anecdotal evidence", Polly; have you taken that in?

Now, watch the cloth very quickly as I whip it off the table to reveal...
David Cameron, no doubt on the lookout for potential cuts, said last week he had visited Wythenshawe where one woman told him Sure Start "is a complete and utter waste of 3m quid". (Will all his policies be based on convenient anecdotage?)

I don't know, Polly: will NuLabour's policy be based on your "convenient anecdotage". Surely the contraction "dotage" is applicable to you, my dear, because you seem to have lost your fucking mind!

Oh, and by the way...
Instead, they should listen to Moran tell how it has transformed the community in Luton, where Bangladeshi mothers, for the first time, are joining in, taking jobs as support workers - many moving on to train as teachers in an area with high infant mortality and dozens of different languages. She says, "There has never been anything that reached so many mothers and changed so many lives. They are the least likely to speak out themselves - so we should be telling the story everywhere about Sure Start's brilliance."

I thought that SureStart was supposed to help the kids not the mothers. I am glad that it is helping the mothers, naturally, although one would hesitate to draw any parallels between the religion of most Bangladeshis, i.e. Islam, and the women being "least likely to speak out themselves". And I certainly would not in anyway suggest that they are least likely to speak out because they will probably be beaten up given a talking to by their owners husbands.

Still, Polly is back to the subject of Cameron.
His diatribe called Sure Start "a microcosm of government failure", promising more use of private nurseries instead. But how is his attack to be refuted, when the prime minister himself has undermined the defence? Remember, before Labour there was no childcare, no nursery education and no Sure Start to help young families.

This is a stunning assertion, and can only imply one—or possibly more than one—of these conclusions:
  1. Polly has, actually, gone bat-shit mad. She's insane.

  2. Or, as I have posited, she is simply very, very stupid. Very, very, very stupid.

  3. Perhaps she has been brainwashed by NuLabour apparachiks?

  4. Or maybe Polly is dribbling between the legs but Gordon has promised to withhold "the goods", Lysistrata-like, unless she keeps coming out with this drivel.

I mean, seriously, this is supposed to be one of The Guardian's top columnists; what the fuck are they thinking?

Anyway, labouring onwards...
So why has Labour failed to make this the great emblem for all that it stands for?

Well... let me think. Oh, yes, it's because it's crap, expensive and doesn't work. Although I would say that it a perfect NuLabour emblem, I am guessing that the government ministers think that they are better than that. Or, even if they don't, they are hardly going to admit that a vast waste of money is precisely what NuLabour stands for are they?
Childcare was the project of Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman: the Treasury says the chancellor remains passionately committed.

I might having fucking known it. Wherever you can find a useless waste of resources, the Chancellor is usually behind it. The one-eyed cock of doom, that he is.
If so, children's centres need twice the cash they have now.

Oh, what a fucking surprise.
They need to offer free places to unemployed families.

Why? Why do you people insist on penalising people who work? Look, Polly, there are far more jobs advertised at any one time than there are people unemployed; it is just that some people consider certain jobs to be below them. Which is why we keep importing hundreds of thousands of immigrants to do them.

So, some people are electing not to work. Some uncharitable souls might claim that many people are choosing not to work. In addition to ludicrously low rents (in accommodation paid for by those who work), derisory Council Tax charges (subsidised by those who work), free money (paid for by those who work), free "help to find work" (paid for bt those who work) and free healthcare (subsidised by those who work), you want to give these people free childcare too?

Why? Where is the moral argument there? Why should everyone else subsidise those who don't work so that they can afford to have more children? Many of us would like children, Polly, but we feel that we should be in a financially secure position first. And the more that we are taxed to pay for the feckless and lazy, the longer that is going to take to happen.

All that you do is to increase the store of children who are unaware of the concept of work and who hang around bus-stops abusing people in suits (who work). The well-educated and the conscientious meanwhile, have to pay for non-woking families to produce yet more under-age menaces who are, quite frankly, not wanted.
New research from the University of East Anglia shows that daycare for the poorest yields £837 more than each place costs, as families find work. But it needs money up front.

Or, of course, your Cyclopean fuck-buddy could stop taxing the poor so that those who work can afford the childcare. There's an option, eh, Polly, you great sack of shit.
Half measures will produce weak results, so a future government could kill off Labour's best success.

Hmmm. Look, Pol, I'll leave you with this thought; this may well be NuLabour's best success but only because everything else that they have touched has been an even more colossal fuck-up.

God, you really are dense. I was going to invite you to dinner but, having thought about it, I'm off down to the vegetable patch to go and dig up some more intelligent company...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2006 03:58:00 pm


Those by-elections

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2006 01:22:00 pm

There's some slightly... ah... disingenuous reporting by the BBC here.
Labour has failed to win back a former stronghold in one by-election and been beaten into fourth in another.

Yup, by UKIP, my new favourite party (and, in fact, it was Farage who was standing).
Independent Dai Davies won the Blaenau Gwent seat in south Wales, which Labour lost in 2005 to Independent Peter Law when he overturned its 19,000 majority.

Hmmm, and why was Peter Law switch from Labour to Independent? As I recall, it was because Labour tried to ensure an all-woman shortlist: see how everyone loves a bit of positive discrimination (or plain old sexism as I like to call it, of the sort that is illegal under various employment acts, I believe).

Still, tall of the above is merely satisfying; it's this next bit which is rather suspect.
Meanwhile the Tories held Bromley and Chislehurst, in south-east England, but their 2005 majority was slashed from 13,342 votes to 633 by the Lib Dems.

Er, no, not really. I'll let the excellent (and prolific) Snipe explain this one.
The Tory majority was slashed by 11,000 because it was a by-election in a safe seat, the 2005 turnout was about 20,000 more voters than this time and that accounts for 11,000 Tory Votes and 8,000 Labour votes rather nicely don’t you think?

The Snipe then lays into Hazel “Squirrel faced, rat woman, shite talking” Blears rather beautifully after her pronouncement that it was a "absolute disaster" for the Tories.
When you compare these results to the last ones, the Lib Dems have increased their vote by 1,620 yet Labour’s vote has decreased by 8,316. So it would appear that only about 1 in 5 of those people who “tactically” withdrew their vote from Labour got in behind the candidate who could most likely beat David Cameron’s nominee”.

Incidentally you squirrel-faced toadying moron, the conservative candidate wasn’t nominated by David Cameron, he wasn’t on the A-List, he was chosen by his local association in a fair and democratic way. Just like you weren’t when you got on the all women shortlist.

See the Peter Law affair above.

The trouble is that this isn't actually terribly good news for the Tories. Yes, it was a safe seat, but so many people felt that they couldn't be bothered to turn out that it was close to being lost. After all it went for a recount.

One would hope that, were people so enamoured of Spam, they would have gone to the polls and shown their approval. This didn't happen.

It is hardly surprising really, since Spam has yet to announce any policies that are likely to appeal to the sort of people who live in Kent. It has all been touchy-feely shit about gay marriages, people who live and fuck in the same house and other airy-fairy wank that the government should not be getting involved in anyway. Added to this, Spam has alienated a lot of the Tory faithful, e.g. my father (and me), with his refusal active campaign against Eurosceptics.

The man is sounding more and more vacuous; one knows that he has to attempt to appeal to the vast number of voters on the NuLabour payroll, but he is in serious danger of losing stalwarts. Besides, my problem is that even if—please god!—he is a true-Blue underneath, when he gets into power and starts to implement traditional Tory policies, he will be seen immediately as a liar. If he doesn't implement them, the Tory Right will see him as a liar.

It's not an enviable position.

Me, I'm going to concentrate on my single-issue party, and maybe suggest some measures that build on the "let's leave Europe" mantra...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2006 01:22:00 pm


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 10:48:00 pm

I am flattered—I think—to note from Natalie Solent's blog that regular Biased-BBC commentator "archbuke" seems to have adopted The Kitchen as his homepage. Naturally, I'm happy that he sents so much traffic this way, but one really has to wonder who he is.

Is he one of The Kitchen's contributors in disguise? Or is he just a fan? Is he, perhaps, hoping that any opprobrium reaped from one of his comments is directed at your humble Devil?

We wait with bated breath...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 10:48:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 07:57:00 pm

According to Statcounter (which I put on this blog at the beginning of August last year), I should pass 100,000 hits at some point tomorrow, a fact that makes me unreasonably excited...

So, thanks to everyone for reading...

EDIT: Yes, I know it's not as reliable as Sitemeter, but I have now passed 100,000 and I'm happy. So there...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 07:57:00 pm


The EU yet again: and ideas for Britain

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 05:32:00 pm

There's been a lively discussion in the comments to my last post. I will just distill a couple of the comments which relate to how I see Britain and its relation to the EU.

Our desire to join the EEC was because Britain had severe economic problems (we had to devalue the pound in 1967, so severe were these problems). The reason for these problems was essentially threefold:
  1. We had just fought WWII. The country was given over to a total war economy.

  2. The Empire, which was essentially a trading area was collapsing or being wrapped up (partially at the insistance of the US).

  3. We turned down the Marshall Plan loans offered by the US (which, of course, France, Germany and others took). Thus their economies were flourishing (albeit on cheap credit) whereas that of Britain's was foundering.

    EDIT:I was wrong: we took a look of cash (thanks to the commenters who pointed that out). However, as was also pointed out, our fucking stupid politicians (mainly Labour, natch) pissed it away on cachet, face, tea and pink wafer biscuits. The fucking tossers.


The massive increase in state spending that accompanied the Welfare State didn't help: taxes were raised sharply at a time when businesses were having to spend money on wholesale restructuring.

Unfortunately, that fat fuck Heath—a man who I would happily have dropped down a dark, deep, water-logged mineshaft. With sharks in*—and who negotiated our entry into the EEC was so desperate to join that he did so on massively unfavourable terms. France, in particular, said "no", so Heath kept offering concessions until they said "yes". This was a disaster and did not, in any case, bring the hoped-for recovery as any cursory study of the 70s economy will tell you; I am thinking particularly of the 1976 IMF crisis and the Winter of Discontent in 1979 (the latter of which, incidentally, Neil Harding maintained he barely noticed. He must have been the only one).

Rubbish piled up in Finsbury ParkAn iconic image of the Winter of Discontent: piles of refuse are dumped on the paths of Finsbury Park in London during a strike of refuse workers.

The main problem, of course, was not the EEC; it was the fact that we were still based on a "goods" economy. Unfortunately, even then, other people's goods were either cheaper (Japan, which embraced mechanisation) or far better (Germany). The government was shoring up these companies (by effectively owning them) and were subject to the whims of the unions whose demands continued to ensure that those companies remained uncompetitive.

Luckily, Thatcher came along (contentious, I know); she broke the unions and privitised the "goods" companies. Predictably, being deeply uncompetitive, they either went bust, downsized or were bought over. Britain started to turn towards a "services"-based economy.

Unfortunately, what has continued to stifle our economy is the huge range of expensive regulation emanating from the EU (and we seem to be the only ones who obey them). It is the EU itself, and the mindset of central state control, which is hampering our economy, not the "Empire mentality".

Release these shackles and embrace free trade and we would be essentially what we were when the Empire existed: a trading hub, bridging all nations and powerblocs. Or this is, at the very least, what we should be aiming for.

Remember, had we been able to negotiate in 2003, we would now have free trade with the US and, assuming that this Civitas briefing is correct (and I believe it is since I have argued on precisely the same grounds myself for some years) the EU: that would have been an amazing starting point, don't you think?

Let us supose that Civitas is right and that withdrawal from the EU would carry no trading penalties: let us also assume that in 2003 we were out of the EU and had been able to take up the US on their offer of free trade.

We buy US goods, add our own premium on them (whether by handling, etc.) and seel them on to EU countries (at under tariff rates). Or, of course, vice versa (i.e. flogging EU goods to the US).

Then we start to approach the emergent economies: let's take China. They need technical and services expertise, which we sell to them. We buy their manufactured goods, which we need. We also sell their goods in the EU (avoiding all of those nasty quotas that so upset them last year).

We become, if you like, the clearing house of the world. Plus, of course, as Timmy points out, it is imports that make us rich, not exports.

Next we start opening up the African markets: utilising the extraordinarily cheap labour and, in turn, building infrastructure to enable easier trade (it is not uncommon for companies building big factories to invest heavily in the infrastructure surrounding the site). We will also, of course, sell services such as mobile phones (which apparently boost the economy by some masssive amount) and the concurrent network infrastructure.

Coupled with a low(er) tax policy, we could attract massive amounts of inward investment, since we will have a foothold in at least two (the US and EU) of the world's biggest markets. We will also, ideally, be in cahoots with China and India and harnessing the power of the Third World nations, gradually bringing them out of their mediaeval existence.

In Africa, as big companies start to object to their workers (representing investment) being beaten up or simply disappearing, the political systems will have to improve. Any attempts to seize private property in those countries will be backed up by the ill-concealed threat of violence from a re-invigorated army (and one that is working in Britain's interests, not those of the US).

ENERGY: a couple of ideas for an increasingly pressing problem.
At the same time, we start to pursue an active energy policy, combining nuclear with installations such as LIMPET generators, two of which (on Islay and The Faroes) are already feeding electricity to the National Grid. After all, we have an awful lot of coastline capable of generating electricity and LIMPETs can be built on shallow coast (Islay) or into high cliff-faces (The Faroes).

We should also start investing far more heavily in the hydrogen economy via zinc oxide powerstations and hydrogen fuel research (which we are actually doing at St Andrew's uni, amongst others). The end aim is to become both energy independent and non-reliant on oil for anything other than manufacture (e.g. of plastics).

Next, we encourage companies to invest (through tax-breaks or whatever) in the next big project, the space elevator. The Liftport Group, a private consortium in the US has the contacts but could always do with funds. When the elevator is built the returns will be huge. We also look into and start acquiring mining rights on asteroids, etc.

There, that will do for starters...

See also: Wither Great Britain? and The EU: What's It Worth?

* I can't claim credit for this phrase. It comes from Grumpy Old Men by David Quantick. Which my father gave me for Christmas.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 05:32:00 pm


That's it, I'm joining UKIP

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 01:47:00 am

You may have noticed over the last few weeks that your humble Devil is not a fan of the EU. I believe that it damages us economically, socially and politically. I will not vote for a party that is pro-EU; and after speeches like the following, I know who I do want to vote for.



Yes, some of them are bats; yes, some of them are racists. But, many of them are not, and they are—as far as I am concerned—the only ones courageously addressing the single most important political issue for Britain today.

Are you listening, Spam, you sack of shite?

UPDATE: Done.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 01:47:00 am


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 01:17:00 am

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Carnival of Souls (my brother's band) play a uni gig in London. This is how it went:
Apologies to those who attended the bloodbath at GCSU, a gig so bad that my brother, who was down from Edinburgh for the week, ended up working the sound desk ... !

It's been a while since I have utilised my techie skills. Really, guys, I enjoyed it; a bit more of a soundcheck would have been nicer though...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 01:17:00 am


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 01:01:00 am

Is it just me, or has Labour Home been completely knacked over the last couple of days?

Or is it that they have just blocked your humble Devil's IP?

UPDATE: Thanks to a couple of comments, it does seem as though I am blocked (or something that I have never come across before is wrong with my Mac).

UPDATE 2: I do seem to be wrong, and the site is now accessible to me again. Apologies to those at Labour Home who were, indeed, good enough to get in touch with me.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2006 01:01:00 am


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

UKIP 10 : Blair 0

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 09:00:00 pm

If you want to see a comprehensive fisking of Blair's failures, in the European Parliament, then this UKIP man is the one for you. Watch it; this is pure poetry.



Hope you enjoy; I'm off to watch it again. Oh, and again...

Via—grinds teeth—Samizdata.

P.S.: Am I right in saying that that is Nigel Farage MEP? If so, he's a fucking god.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 09:00:00 pm


Bloody Devil Awards #9 and #10

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 06:40:00 pm

Bloody Devil AwardIt has been a while, eh? The Bloody Devil award for pulling apart objects of public derision whilst using unnecessary aggression and gratuitous swearing has received a couple of nominations of late, but I did not judge the entries to be nearly offensive enough.

The first Bloody Devil went to Mr Eugenides way back in December, and the last one went to The Longrider as far back as February.

Thus it is with delight that I ressurect this entirely unnnecessary and yet vitally amusing award to a post found via The Boy: I am pleased to announce that Bloody Devil #9 goes to Surly Girl for this wonderful hatchet-job on fat-boy Rik Waller.
Rik. Rik, Rik, Rik. Let’s face the music, shall we (but let’s not dance – your heart might not stand the strain). It’s not your fame that’s preventing you from finding a lovely girl to spend your life with. You haven’t been famous since you were thrown out of ITV’s Celebrity Fit Club two years ago, for crying during the hundred metres race and refusing to stop eating chips. It’s not even your weight – there are plenty of man-mountains out there who are in happy, fulfilling relationships. I would suggest that the problem with your personal life stems more from an apparent aversion to soap, along with the petulant personality of a four-year-old who’s just been told to share his Lego, and delusions of grandeur that would have Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen feeling embarrassed for you.

A very worthy winner, I think that you will agree.

However, I would also like to add another award; this very special Bloody Devil #10 should go to Mr Angry for his entire blog which contains some of the most gratuitously offensive and amusing writing—on any subject under the sun—that I have read. However, that is not how this award works, so he wins for putting the boot comprehensively into modern artists.
Tracy Emin? Completely talentless slag. She WON an AWARD for an unmade bed covered in condoms and dirty knickers! There are students up and down the country doing just that free of charge every day. She also made an autobiographical film in 1997 called “CV (Cunt Vernacular)”, which was one word too long in my opinion.

Damien Hirst? Death-obsessed ponce. He was, at one point, the second most expensive living ‘artist’ after selling a piece called “The Physical Impossibility Of Death In the Mind Of Someone Living“. Which was basically a big pickled fish in a tank. It didn’t swim or anything. Utterly rubbish. I’d like to chop him in half, put him a tank of formaldehyde, and submit it for the Turner prize. I’d call it, “The insufferable cuntishness of modern artists“.

The whole thing is thoroughly enjoyable...

Well done to our winners, and don't forget to send your nominations to bloodydevil[AT]devilskitchendesign[DOT]com

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 06:40:00 pm


EU still hypocrites. No shock.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 04:59:00 pm

Davide Simonetti reports on the EU's investigation into the infamous "rendition flights".
Following the damning Council of Europe (CoE) report published earlier this month which revealed a global ‘spider’s web’ of routes used by CIA aircraft, and which accused 14 European countries including Britain of colluding with the CIA, the EU justice commissioner, Franco Frattini has called on national prosecutors and judges to investigate their governments' alleged involvement in secret CIA prisons and rendition flights at a Council of Europe debate to which he was invited and which passed a resolution calling for.
  • In-depth inquiries at a national level

  • A review of the legal framework regulating the intelligence services

  • A review of agreements with the US on the use of military infrastructure to ensure they comply with human rights norms

  • Efforts to develop "a truly global strategy" against terrorism, with the US
Tuesday’s resolution, which member states are obliged to respond to, was passed by the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe and approves the findings of the inquiry launched last November led by Swiss senator Dick Marty.

This is, of course, all very laudable and the EU must be congratulated for taking up this baton. After all, the whole thing is very shady and our government, such as it is, is being deeply hypocritical.

Although not, as I reported back in December, as hypocritical as the EU.
The European Union secretly allowed the United States to use transit facilities on European soil to transport "criminals" in 2003, according to a previously unpublished document. The revelation contradicts repeated EU denials that it knew of "rendition" flights by the CIA.

The EU agreed to give America access to facilities - presumably airports - in confidential talks in Athens during which the war on terror was discussed, the original minutes show. But all references to the agreement were deleted from the record before it was published.

Given this rather shadowy agreement by the body that now dictates the vast majority of our legislation, I suspect that our government would not be able to stop the rendition flights from British soil even if it wanted to.

The stinking pile of horseshit known as the EU is effectively a supranational organisation, so it is only appropriate that it should rise above the individual members in terms of sheer, breath-taking hypocrisy.

We must leave now.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 04:59:00 pm


Betraying our citizens

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 02:51:00 pm

Via PigDogFucker, I see that decency has lost the battle and we are going to ship three British citizens—whose only crime, if it even was a crime (NatWest are not prosecuting), was committed on British soil—to the US for trial.
Three British bankers wanted in the US over the Enron scandal have failed in their final attempt to appeal against their extradition.

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the request to postpone the extradition of the three former bankers from NatWest.

David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby are likely to be flown to the US by mid-July.

The men have said they are innocent and should be tried by a UK jury.

I repeat: any crime that they my have committed was committed in the UK. They are UK citizens: why are we shipping them to the US to stand trial in front of a highly prejudiced court?
Mr Bermingham of Goring in Oxfordshire, Mr Mulgrew, of Sible Hedingham in Essex, and Mr Darby, of Lower South Wraxall in Wiltshire, have been accused of seven counts of "wire fraud" by the US.

The three men are alleged to have conspired with former Enron executives over the sale of part of the company in 2000, earning them a total of $7.3m (£4m).

Needless to say, the charge of "wire fraud" is not actually a charge in itself. It is just something that the US government has made up.

So, how and why can they be deported? It is essentially because Toni's government was stupid and thoughtless enough to sign the Extradition Act 2003 with the US, which I'll let Boris Johnson MP explain.
There are currently several cases before the courts that arise directly from the Extradition Act 2003. I know of one of those cases particularly, because it affects one of my constituents, who is one of three bankers who are being electromagnetically sucked--hoovered, even--across the Atlantic without any duty on the Americans to produce any prima facie evidence.
...

There is a second and related problem that greatly inflames the whole question. We are obliged by the terms of the Extradition Act 2003 to send our nationals to America without prima facie evidence, yet America is under no corresponding duty to send people we want from America without prima facie evidence being supplied by us.
...

Why does that grotesque imbalance exist? The Prime Minister said in Prime Minister's questions on Wednesday that it is because the American Congress has not ratified the 2003 treaty. That is not, strictly speaking, true. It is right to say that Congress does not want to ratify the 2003 treaty because many Congressmen want to keep the ability to retain in America people whom they fear would not get a fair trial overseas and they want to keep a political bar to extradition. That is why we have not succeeded in extraditing a single IRA suspect from America to this country in 30 years. However, even if Congress were to ratify this treaty, it is a dismal fact that... there would be no symmetry because we have to show due cause and they do not. Therefore, I think the whole treaty should be renegotiated.

I wrote about this before and, fuck me, but this makes me angry. Really, really angry. Once again, Blair and his merry men are willing to sell our citizens down the fucking Swannee in return for a quick toke on Bush's cock. I don't blame Bush; he is simply trying to ensure that his country gets what it wants: I blame our incompetent government for fucking up yet again.

However, if it were me in charge, then what I wrote before would still apply.
We aren't some pissy, little, lickspittle, third world country to be pushed around by sinister-looking men in 70s shades: we are the fucking British and we don't ship our citizens off to any fucking country unless that country can show us a really good reason why we should. And even then we might just tell you to piss off.

So here am I, telling the US Foreign Office and Justice Department to go fuck yourselves: you cannot have our citizens. Swivel, you fucks.

It would be lovely if one of our politicians did say that: unfortunately, spine transplant technology is still some years away. So well done, Blair, for selling out our people, you fucking, pus-dripping cunt; for shame.

UPDATE: Via Iain Dale, do something about it.
You may well be aware that there is currently an unfair and aggressively policed extradition treaty with the US which has resulted in the dubious imprisonment in the US of one British businessman and the potential imprisonment of several more. Karl Watkin isn't just talking about it, he's organising a dignified demonstration of businesses' concern (that's a march to you and me) this THURSDAY 29th JUNE AT 5pm from the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall to the Home Office in Marsham Street, a short distance away.
...

The demonstration, which will last for no more than 30-45 mins in total will take the form of a short walk from the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall through St James’s Park to the Home Office in Marsham Street SW1. The demonstration is designed to be dignified and silent. In my view it ought to be taking a detour past the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Mind you, I suppose that's not allowed nowadays.

Spread the word...

You know, I'm all for the "special relationship" and all that, but a relationship is a two-way thing. This is very far from being reciprocal; we are the bitch in this relationship and it has got to STOP! When will our politicians grow some fucking balls?

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 02:51:00 pm


EU can fuck off

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 02:30:00 pm

Well it looks like Nosemonkey is going to get his wish and we will indeed be ruled over by the fucking EU.
The European Commission today proposes sweeping away national veto rights on sensitive areas of EU law making, involving cross-border police and judicial co-operation.

Franco Frattini, the EU commissioner for justice, freedom and security, is expected to urge governments to end the "stalemate" caused by the need to vote unanimously on areas such as Europe-wide investigations, the "hot pursuit" of criminals across frontiers and the rights of foreign criminal suspects.

Er, right; so the EU will be able to bring in any law it fucking well likes, and it will be voted on by majority voting.
He argued that foot-dragging by governments had put the safety of their citizens at risk, as they delayed measures such as the European Arrest Warrant, which enables judges in one state to order police in another to make an arrest, and fast-track the extradition of suspects.

After the London bombings last July, a suspect who fled to Rome was extradited to Britain in 42 days instead of the 15 months normally required.

Er, you mean that the fast-tracking already works? Then why change it?
The commission knows the plans will be seen as a power-grab...

Yup, the only thing that this proposal will fast-track is the abolition of our right to rule ourselves.

Seriously, this is really fucking important; I will let Timmy explain why.
Because the criminal legal system is at the very heart of what makes a free country. We have, over a period of some 800 and a few years (I think the actual date of "time immemorial " in the Common Law is actually 1187 although grateful to be corrected if that is wrong.) built a system based upon a combination of precedent and legislation. The end result might not be perfect but all those things that go to make it up, Habeus Corpus, jury trial, etc etc (you know the litany) are part and parcel of what protects us, the citizenry, from them, the State.

Indeed, most of those protections were introduced entirely to protect us from that State: something many forget, that the limitations on evidence and trials are not to protect criminals, but to protect the innocent from being proclaimed criminals for political reasons.

Our continental friends have very different legal systems. Very different indeed. No juries, to start with. So if we are to have EU wide criminal law, clearly there will be harmonisation. And it doesn’t take intelligence of the genius level to see that when the UK and Eire are on one side, with our own distinctive systems, and 23 are on the other, with their, which way the harmonisation is going to go.

Yup, it will be goodbye free Englishmen and bow down to your unelected masters in Brussels. Your life will no longer be your own.

As I said before
In this country—despite Blair's posturing—one is still innocent until proven guilty, and the onus is on the state to prove that guilt. Under, for instance, the French system, the burden of proof is on you, i.e. you have to prove your innocence.

In this country, you cannot be held indefinitely until the police have time to trump up some charges against you; again, unlike the French system (Private Eye, passim ad nauseam).

It is not on, it really isn't.

But, of course, harmonisation is on its way. All of this "summary justice" that Blair keeps talking about; the house arrests; the punishment without trial; the dispossession of private property; the increasing illiberalism; above all, the idea that you live your life only as long as you are licensed by the state to do so is simply harmonisation by the back door.

Why do they do it, sir? Why are they selling out the British people, why are they dismantling our criminal justice system in favour of a worse one?

I believe that the answer is very simple. Ceding all of our rights to the EU means that politicians can
  1. abrogate responsibility for unpopular decisions, and

  2. yet continue to award themselves massive salaries, expenses and benefits.

It really is that cynical. We are being sold into slavery by a bunch of venal fucks who don't give two shits as long as they can continue to rape the British people for their fucking money.

Do you feel that big, cock pushing into your little, puckered ringpiece? Yeah? Does it fucking well sting? You betcha. That's the politicians of this country fucking you up the arse (and, unfortunately, the EU has banned lube on environmental grounds).

And they will soon be joined by the quislings who support the EU—and especially those who know that it is flawed and there is little chance of changing it (yes, you know who you are). I dislike them rather more than the fools who go along with it because "there ain't no alternative". When we are all quivering under the fucking jackboot, we will all know who to blame. They are fucking cunt traitors.

It is time to stop pleading or asking politely; there is no room any more for the "can we leave now, please?" It must become a demand: we must leave.

And you know what? We'll be a fuck sight better off, both economically and politically. We can once more have a political debate in this country, rather than having every party constrained by EU edicts. You want political variety and economic prosperity?

Then we must leave the EU.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 02:30:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 12:54:00 pm

Right For Scotland goes into more detail about the NHS database in Scotland—about which I ranted yesterday—over at Nightcap.

An fascinating read...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2006 12:54:00 pm


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Scum of the earth

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 09:25:00 pm

No, for once I am not talking about politicians: today it is nursing home staff. As some of you may recall, your humble Devil used to work as an auxiliary in a nursing home cum medical centre and did his job well and conscientiously, being commended on several occasions—by senior staff, patients and relatives alike—and so you might consider his flaming fury when he read about this (I'll quote at length since, like Cinderella, it will probably disappear at midnight).
A FRAIL pensioner, so emaciated that he looked like a "skeleton", died after a series of failures at an under-staffed nursing home, a sheriff ruled yesterday.

George Fairlie, 74, was admitted to hospital suffering from terrible injuries and clinging to life only after shocked members of his family who had arrived to take him out to lunch found him in poor health and raised the alarm. Medical staff were unable to save him and he died a month later.
...

[The Sheriff] said that Mr Fairlie's death in 2002 was due to staff shortages and appalling standards at the £400-a-week home. He had been left severely dehydrated and malnourished by staff.

Mr Fairlie, a diabetic who had also suffered a stroke, was covered in bed sores when he arrived in hospital.

His daughter-in-law Jan Bruce, a nurse, said: "He looked as if he had just come out of a concentration camp."

His family members said they had complained several times to senior staff at the home about their father's deteriorating condition but nothing was done.

Mr Fairlie's daughter Ann Cook earlier told the inquiry: "He was unrecognisable as my father. He was a skeleton. You could see the bones in his skull.

"His legs were skinny and he had a gangrenous foot. He was in obvious pain. He was always in a wet pad. His face was covered in food, he wasn't shaved, his hair wasn't combed."

Firstly, this makes me incredibly fucking angry. This is simply un-fucking-acceptable anywhere, let alone in what we are pleased to call a civilised country.
He said: "The responsibility for the deficiencies of the home must rest with the manager Mrs Grogan [The home's manager—DK]. There was no evidence that she had a 'hands on' approach. There was no evidence that she was proactive in trying to get to grips with the difficulties."

Well, up to a point, Lord Copper; yes, she certainly bears a responsibility.

But the people that I really want to beat the living fucking shit out of are the nurses and auxiliaries who were supposed to be looking after him. They had a duty of care and they failed: they were set a test of humanity and they failed so fucking badly that everyone of them should be fucking sterilised, publically flogged and then thrown into the fucking sea.

My contempt for these scum who could not be arsed to ensure that an old man was decently attired, fed and not rotting away knows no bounds; all that I can really wish on them is that they die—hopeless and alone—and in excrutiating agony.

Damn it, the manager of our nursing home wasn't "hands on"; he was out trying to drum up business. But we—and by "we" I mean the auxiliaries, as the registered nursing were at best lazy and, at worst, incompetent—ensured that our patients were cared for; we stayed late, we brought them presents from our own money, we talked to them, we cared for them.

Yes, Mr Fairlie's home may have been short of staff; so were we. And there may well have been "appalling standards", but who has to maintain the standards? Box-ticking managers? No.

The staff must take the full force of the blame; I hope that they feel the guilt of what they put this man through until they die. I also hope that none of them are ever allowed to work in care again; they should all be fined, and the registered nurses should be stripped of all qualifications. And then the entire lot should be prosecuted for manslaughter and then flogged and killed.

You can argue that we shouldn't allow the state to kill people but, as I said before, the staff failed the test of humanity. They are no better than animals and thus killing them entirely justified.

I am fucking raging, so I am going to go to the pub to calm myself...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 09:25:00 pm


Dash for Writing Cash

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 07:37:00 pm

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a writer? Or rather, do you fancy getting books for free and then being paid to review them? By one of the top 20 newspapers in the US? And getting to retain the rights to said review?

I know I do.

Over at Nightcap Syndication, we have a little competition for you to enter and the winners—and there will be a few of them—will get to do just that.

Hop on over and have a look; all you have to do is write 650 words on any book and, in a couple of weeks, said editor will have a skim through the reviews. Anyone who catches his fancy will be contacted and will start having books to review.

Full details here.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 07:37:00 pm


The NHS database

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 04:06:00 pm

The ever-reliable Wat Tyler is once more blogging about the coruscating fuck-up that is the NHS database.
The costs are way higher than originally advertised. That's because the now estimated £6.2bn spend on the central core project takes no account of the massive local spending on implementation. If all goes to plan, the NAO puts the total at £12.4bn. But Lord Warner puts it at £20bn, and others have put it as high as £50 bn. The bottom line is that nobody knows, and the financial burden on local health authorities is open-ended
...

Overall, we were left with the same picture: this massive programme has been imposed on our battered NHS by pig-headed commissars and husky killers who are convinced they have "The Answer", and will use all means at their disposal- including our money- to drive it through. Cowards and rumour mongers will be shot!

Our advice remains the same: keep up those BUPA payments and be sure to ask your GP for a hard-copy print out of your medical record.

Something that even Wat seems to have missed however—and it was something that certainly surprised me—is that Scotland already has a working system. This was reported by Right For Scotland, who worked as the senior consultant on the project for 4 years.
The NHSiS commissioned a number of projects to deliver on the Government’s commitment to the Electronic Patient Record. One is a Results Reporting system that is currently installed in every NHS Board area into which every GP has the potential to access it (web based so only prereq is IE). Every hospital had an Outpatients system that, while the section has not been implemented everywhere, has the potential to provide electronic appointment booking. And every hospital has a secure messaging gateway to allow communication of referral and discharge information. Every GP surgery can have a product called GPASS installed that is their information system, it will do almost everything (keep patient demographic details, copies of their results, referral and discharge letters etc). For full disclosure it should be noted that GPs are free to use any system they want and although all do use some kind of computer system not all of them use GPASS.

While this system is still in its infancy it has almost total penetration with almost every health worker in Scotland capable of accessing it.

Now you are reading this and you realise that this is literally years ahead of the English project (and a good couple of billion cheaper) but that the work has already been done so why not just sell the product set to the English and help them out?

I wonder if you can guess what the answer is? Well, it couldn't be because there is a rivalry between NHS Scotland and NHS England which means that the Scottish NHS is unwilling to save British taxpayers tons of cash, because that would be a futile waste of everybody's money, wouldn't it? Er...
Yes the NHSiS have sank about £40m into this project but having a simple payment system to allow the NHS in England to licence the product set would present the best value for money. But they don’t offer it. Indeed they actively resist it.

On more than one occasion I suggested helping the English out but each time I was informed that the Scottish had their toy and they were going to use it to beat the English over the head with.

Rather than help out the English service and get the best value for tax money senior managers and even Executive ministers have used this project to crow. Not for them the egalitarian principles of “were all in this together”. No, this system allows the head of the health service in Scotland to look better than the head of England, and the Health “minister” in Holyrood to look better than the real one in Westminster.

So, there you are: £6billion (and counting) down the fucking panhole because of pusillanimous, parochial cunts in the civil service are trying to steal a march on one another. It's fucking pathetic.
As much as our left-leaning press would like it to be otherwise the real villain in this piece is the Scottish Health managers who refuse to help the English deliver value for tax money.

And this, and stories like it, are why despite massive increases in spending the NHS is impoverished. It needs reformed and those managers sitting on a working prototype in Scotland need to be called to account for their inactions.

That's right; sack them and then fine them so hugely that they will have to sell their children for medical experimentation. These people are the fucking dregs, they really are.

Much as I loathe politicians, and this government in particular, increasingly the real villians of the piece seem to be the managers in the civil service, the "public servants" who will do anything but actually serve the public.

Personally, I want to beat all of these fuckers with a piece of two by four, screaming, "that's my fucking money, you fucking bastards! Now give me my fucking money back!"

Cunts.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 04:06:00 pm


The petty meanness of the politicos

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 01:14:00 pm

Timmy reminds me of the fact that one third of the current Victoria Cross survivors are Ghurkas.
Hon Lt Tulbahadur Pun, 83, Gurkha, led survivors of his section to attack machinegun position, pressing it alone to allow rest of platoon to capture rail bridge Mogaung, Burma, June 1944.
...

Hon Havildar Bhanbhagta Gurung, 85, Gurkha, killed a sniper and cleared four enemy foxholes and a machinegun post, then repelled a counterattack, Tamandu, Burma, March 1945.

Hon Havildar Lachhiman Gurung, 88, Gurkha, repelled 200 Japanese soldiers despite losing three fingers trying to throw back enemy grenades, resisted for four hours, Taungdaur, Burma, May 1945.

The Ghurkas were feared throughout the world as being tough, honourable and almost-suicidally brave. They fought alongside us, and they were incredibly respected. Being the poor and tight-fisted bastard that I am, one of the only charities that I have give money to (the other is the Lifeboat Association) is one of those that gives money to Ghurka veterans. And why do I feel that this is only right; why do I feel moved to do this?
The Ministry of Defense still insists that they should receive lesser pensions than other troops and the Home Office that those who serve should not have the right to live or work in the United Kingdom.

Because those fucking scum we call politicians—who are only able to sit in their fat arses making stupid laws and stuffing their obese, fucking cakeholes with subsidised food because a load of brave ghurkas fought alongside our men (and still do)—have decided that the pissy little Asian boys ain't worth a tiny bit of gratitude. What a bunch of stinking cunts. As Tim says:
God we are ruled by scum.

Yes, they are scum; all of them: Tories, Labour, Liberal and, most of all, the high-up, Civil Service mandarins (who have been installed in the fucking bar for longer than most politicians)—whose enormous fucking salaries, expenses, pensions and freedom all derive from other people's bravery—because they keep this injustice going on. It would, in terms of government spending, cost nothing, nothing, to right these wrongs and they will not do it. It is simply petty meanness—especially when they are otherwise for incredibly profligate—and it demeans us all.

Our politicos are shits of the very first water; terrible, morally-bankrupt fuckers with all of the conscience of a fucking rock. Turds to a man (and woman), I hope that every single one of them suffers from the most extraordinarily painful and incurable piles, and genital thrush, for the rest of their—hopefully, unnaturallly short—lives.

Cunts.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 01:14:00 pm


Muslim/West antipathy

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 12:37:00 pm

In order to direct my bitchiness away from other bloggers, I have once more ventured out into the wonderful world of the news. And, via Snafu, I find the report of this delicious little survey.
Deep mutual suspicions exist between the Muslim world and the West, a survey of global opinion suggests.

Many Westerners see Muslims as fanatical, violent and intolerant, according to the study by the Pew Research Center in Washington.

Well, yes, many of them are.
Muslims, for their part, tend to view the West as selfish, immoral, and greedy - as well as fanatical and violent - the survey says.

Well, yes, many of them are. Although I would say that most Westerners are less fanatical than most Muslims. After all, I thought that many Muslims saw the West as decadent and soft.
Muslim people "have an aggrieved view of the West" and are "much more likely than Americans or Western Europeans to blame Western policies for their own lack of prosperity", the authors contend.

Well, last year's riots in France weren't about ice-creams melting too fast in the radiated heat from burning cars, were they now?
By contrast Western publics say Muslims are held back by "government corruption, lack of education and Islamic fundamentalism", they add.

Hmmm, given that many Muslim beliefs (such as believing that the "+" is blasphemy) do seem to hold back education, and that a recent police report concluded (albeit in a much more mealy-mouthed way) that Asian officers were more likely to be corrupt than white ones, that there might be some truth in these allegations.
Westerners, by large margins, do not regard Muslims as "respectful of women", while majorities in four of the five Muslim countries said the same about the West.

Yeah, well, we could argue that all day; I suspect that the problem is in terms of how you define "respectful". The Muslims would probably say that we are not respectful because we come on to women, sleep with them, etc. We say that they aren't respectful of women because they routinely deny them access to education and skimpy outfits.
Solid majorities in France, the US and Britain retain overall favourable opinions of Muslims, while positive views of Muslims have declined sharply in Spain (from 46% to 29%), the survey notes.

Aye, well, we Brits are reasonable people, generally. The Spanish on the other hand—with the hot, vengeful, Latin blood running in their veins—probably still aren't terribly happy about those bombs...
It says about eight in 10 people in both Spain and Germany associate Islam with fanaticism - a view that is less prevalent in France (50%), Britain (48%) and the US (43%).

Personally, I associate some Muslims with fanaticism. But, of course, Spain and Germany are stuffed to the gills with Turks (40% of whom said that honour killings were hunk-dory); Germany has been one of the main speakers against Turkey acceding to the EU.
Likewise, Muslim opinion is far from uniform, with Muslim minorities in Europe often attributing positive attributes to Westerners - including tolerance, generosity, and respect for women.

Good stuff.
On the other hand, in Muslim countries in the Middle East and Asia large majorities describe the West as "selfish", "arrogant", and "violent".

Whereas over at The Kitchen, one might label them "arrogant", "primitive", "ignorant", "barbarian" and "simply not the thing at all"...

However, interesting as all of this is, there is one absolutely striking finding.
In one of the survey's most striking findings, majorities in Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan said they did not believe Arabs carried out the attacks on the US on 11 September 2001.

The report says this attitude is not limited to Muslims in Muslim-dominated countries - 56% of British Muslims said the same.

For fuck's sake, guys; who do you think did do it? The fucking faeries? Or are you going to wheel out some tedious conspiracy theory? I do remember seeing banners at the G8, mainly carried by angry-looking hippies, saying things like, "9/11 was an inside job". To be honest, I have rather less time for these fucking tits than I do for radical Muslims.

Look, it wasn't an inside job, and 9/11 wasn't carried out by the faeries: they were, by and large, Saudis who were, last time that I looked, Arabs. We know this, OK? Why not just accept it and stop being so blinkered, eh?

Apart from anything else, who the hell do you think did do it?

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2006 12:37:00 pm


Monday, June 26, 2006

Samizdata blow goats

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 10:06:00 pm

It always amazes me that I don't read Samizdata more often, because they are generally on my side. But then I actually read Samizdata and realise that they are as much of a bunch of wankers as The Daily Kos. Which is sad really, because they are held up as one of the institutions of the right-blogging world.

Unfortunately, whilst much of their stuff is good, some members of Samizdata—and more of their writings—are shit. Too much of it is pointless, arable guff that even a single goat would gain little nutrition from.

Let us take this little exchange between James Waterton and myself. Pointlessly ungracious crap. They were late on a story failed to follow up sufficiently on a story and got entirely the wrong end of the stick. They were then deeply silly about it.

But what do expect when these people describe themselves thusly?
The Samizdata people are a bunch of sinister and heavily armed globalist illuminati who seek to infect the entire world with the values of personal liberty and several property. Amongst our many crimes is a sense of humour and the intermittent use of British spelling.

We are also a varied group made up of social individualists, libertarians, extropians, futurists, 'Porcupines', Karl Popper fetishists, recovering neo-conservatives, crazed Ayn Rand worshipers, over-caffeinated Virginia Postrel devotees, witty Frédéric Bastiat wannabes, cypherpunks, minarchists, kritarchists and wild-eyed anarcho-capitalists from Britain, North America, Australia and Europe.

This is, of course, unnecessarily prolix; it should read
The Samizdata people are another bunch of high-minded, holier-than-thou, elitist cunts with little on their mind apart from wine-bars, fucking and publicity.

They would all like to be politicians which is the only reason that they aren't keen on this lot. Most of them have the same contempt for those outside their own circle that journalists, politicians and freemasons do. Fear them. Raaaaaaaaargh!

Almost every time that I read their rubbishy, PR-oriented spiel I feel like I have just immersed myself in raw sewage. James Waterton's snide remarks simply emphasise their inadequacy. But, then, he's in Oz, so what do you expect...?

Oh, and while we are about it, I would happily subscribe to their RSS feed if I could find the fucker anywhere on their site; obviously they don't want you to read it. Which suits me fine.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 10:06:00 pm


Nosemonkey and Spam

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 12:30:00 pm

Good lord!

Nosemonkey looks at SpamCam's pledge to bring in a Bill of Rights and rightly points out that it will be a load of old horseshit. And then procedes to propose something which I find even more extraordinary.
Sadly, however, Cameron is not yet in a position to propose the one route that would allow the UK to come closer than it ever has to giving its citizens inviolable rights (something no British subject has ever really had) - because that route is via binding international treaties, and most easily achievable through the European Union, adding an EU layer on top of the Council of Europe's European Convention on Human Rights.

Or you could just invite the French to invade; it would amount to the same thing.

Jesus, as I have said so many fucking times before, I don't want any Rights guaranteed by the fucking EU. There are several reasons for this:
  1. I believe that their justice system is inferior to ours. In this country—despite Blair's posturing—one is still innocent until proven guilty, and the onus is on the state to prove that guilt. Under, for instance, the French system, the burden of proof is on you, i.e. you have to prove your innocence.

    In this country, you cannot be held indefinitely until the police have time to trump up some charges against you; again, unlike the French system (Private Eye, passim ad nauseam).

    All of the things that people are complaining about, the reason that people are saying that we need a binding Constitution are triggered by attacks on these liberties that our Continental cousins do not share. So, what the fuck is the point in signing up to their shitty legal systems (which is what allowing our Rights to be governed by the EU would entail).

  2. The EU would love it. Fuck me, they've been pushing for more "harmonisation" in judicial matters for years. And the French would be absolutely fucking delighted; can you imagine Chirac licking his chops as he realises that he has got his hands on the British legal system?

  3. As democratic deficits go, the EU has one of the largest. In this country, whilst Blair might be destroying our rights willy-nilly, we do at least have some recourse to elections, and the possibility that some party will reinstate those rights; this is not the case with the EU.

  4. I dislike the defeatist attitude whereby Britons feel that their government is so awful and incompetent that we need a bunch of foreigners to come and save us. Fuck me, haven't we got over the Orange Revolution yet?

  5. What the cunting fuck?

Seriously, Nosemonkey: do you really think that we have come to the point that we can no longer be trusted to rule ourselves? And you believe this to the extent that you believe that we should let a foreign, unelected body rule over us? Oh, sorry, yes, of course, I'd forgotten that you are pro-EU, so of course you do. Sorry.
But, aside from the generally anti-EU stance of most Conservatives,...

And, indeed, the rest of the country and, frankly, not without good reason. Yes, yes, we all know that everyone who is anti-EU is actually a Frog- and Kraut-hating xenophobe without any reason for being anti-EU apart from a fading sense of our own self-importance, and that only the liberal elite know best, but that is precisely the sort of attitude that the screaming, arrogant cunts in the EU display. Not to mention, of course, the fucking intellectual dregs of humanity that pass for politicians.

Which is why everybody hates them.
... the likelihood of Cameron being able to achieve anything in Europe if he continues with his apparent plan to move Tory MEPs out of the European Parliament's largest grouping is minimal to say the least.

Well, given that our chances of changing fuck-all amongst the creme-de-la-creme of the most corrupt and useless from every country in the union is precisely fucking zero, I think that withdrawing from a grouping who are Europhilic to the core is the best thing to do.

I mean, it's common sense; if you are allied to a group who are totally up for further integration, and you aren't, then all you are going to achieve is nothing that you want. I would have thought that that was pretty simple.

And so, remind me again: now that the economic case for the EU has been comprehensively exploded; given that we know that its laws are worse than ours; given that their environmental policies are actively damaging; given that it has had no impact on peace in Europe; given that it is not democratic; given that we can place the deaths of millions at the door of the EU; given all of this can someone please explain to me why anyone except a knave or a fool would possibly argue for our membership of this organisation, let alone argue that it should be given more power over us?

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 12:30:00 pm


Labour Home

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 11:48:00 am

Doctor Crippen highlights the launch of Labour Home, a new site where socialists can get in touch with their roots, man.
Labour Home looks promising. They have already dined with the devil.

No they haven't...
They let Guido in. They even let him write an article. And they have survived.

Oh, right, misunderstanding...
Dr Crippen has trawled the blogosphere without success, looking for a spin-free website that represents what Labour used to represent. Whatever that was. I have forgotten.

Well, now; your humble Devil is no doubt biased in this, but what he associates with old-style Labour is such things as The Winter of Discontent, the 1976 IMF crisis and the 1967 devaluation, i.e. he associates old Labour with bankrupting the country (something that they still appear to share with their New Labour counterparts).

Still, as long as they are lovely and compassionate, then that's all that matters...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 11:48:00 am


Newsflash: still no epidemic!

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 03:45:00 am

A little while I wrote about BSE and CJD; what I essentially said was that what the scientists were telling us was bullshit (if you'll excuse the poor joke).
Look, can we get this straight: the scientists have never found the transmitting vector for vCJD. They have never actually proved the transmission path from infected cows. They have never proved that eating meat from infected cows actually caused so-called vCJD. In fact, there has been little proof that vCJD is, in fact, anything other than bog-standard, ordinary CJD. They also, actually, know fuck all about prions too.
...

It is now accepted that prions are usually to be found in those who have died of TSEs, but whether they are the result of another vector or whether they are the vector is merely postulated and is, actually, unknown.

Now the ever-excellent Right For Scotland very ably takes the baton and runs with it.
First off we are not dealing with a new disease. This is a variant of an existing understood disease which itself is pretty well understood.

vCJD is (by common consensus) a variant of a disease that strikes people in their late forties and up. The variant aspect is that this one strikes people before their thirties. So unless you start incubating the disease 25 years before you are conceived (before even some readers parents were in puberty) I doubt that vCJD really does have a 50 year incubation.

Like me, he has been naughty enough to impugn the motives of the scientists: not so much loony, as venal.
Indeed any scientist engaged in the scaremonger industry needs to continually produce a report that will justify their expenses claim for the next few years. Today is the turn of the vCJD mob.

Back in the ‘90’s with the Major government allowing the French to impose protectionist import bans on British beef and dress them up as public health concerns a group of scientists realised that this new thing would send the kids to boarding school. They quickly set up studies into the like between vCJD and BSE.

Quite. Go and read the whole thing, then why not set up an experiment that might be able to link nvCJD and scrapie and BSE? You might start earning as much as a Toynbee; you'd certainly find yourself spouting the same amount of bollocks...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 03:45:00 am


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 02:57:00 am

The Faerie Lady comments on insurance companies...
As anyone who has ever tried to insure a pair of wings will know, insurance companies are not our friends. I don't care what those little people in the electric box tell you, they are only out for themselves. Which is why, with some surprise, I find myself warming to Britishinsurance.com. In what I can only imagine to be compassion for the loonies from up north, since 2000, they insured the virginity of three sisters from Inverness if one of them should have a virgin birth. And then donated the annual £100 premium to charity!

I had missed that particular piece of lunacy...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 02:57:00 am


Elevating Spirits

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 01:57:00 am

The Liftport Group, whom I have mentioned before, are a private consortium dedicated to bringing about what will easily be one of mankind's more amazing engineering achievements: a space elevator.

Partially as a way of raising operating funds but, more importantly, as a method of raising their profile and informing people about the project, they have released a book: The Space Elevator—Opening Space To Everyone, which can be ordered here.

The book consists of technical articles, written by various experts, interleaved with fiction articles. The latter sees new authors alongside the expected and established (e.g. Arthur C Clarke and Charles Sheffield, both of whom coincidentally wrote stories about a space elevator in 1979). Also present is Kim Stanley Robinson whose book, Red Mars, features the collapse of such an elevator; the cable, sabotaged, falls to the planet with devastating consequences, a scenario which has worried many.

Luckily, the technical section of the book, which held far more fascination for me, explains—amongst other things—why the scale of destruction envisaged by these authors would not happen (essentially, the ribbon from which the elevator would be built would not only mostly burn up in the atmosphere, but would also be so light that it would float down to earth). But I am getting ahead of myself.

The basic idea of the elevator can be described like this: imagine swinging a weight around on the end of a piece of string. As you spin faster, the weight will swing out further and further to 90 degrees and the string will become taut. You are the earth, the weight is a counterbalance (this could be a space station, for instance) and the string is the ribbon of the elevator, reaching 100,000 km into space. "Lifters" would crawl up and down the elevator, hauling materials into geostationery orbit (and down again) for a fraction of today's costs.

The elevator would make breaking free of the earth's gravity well, a process which consumes the major part of any space rocket's power, a relative cinch. The inner solar system, and all of its resources, would be opened up to us in a way that simply isn't possible today, if only because of the current payload limits.

The Liftport group estimate current costs to be about US$10 billion, or about ten space shuttle launches. But how would the first ribbon be built? What could provide the tensile strength to build the ribbon, whilst remaining light enough not to be a threat (here's a clue: carbon nanotubes)? How would the Lifters be powered? How would the installation cope with—or rather better avoid completely—space debris, tropical storms and terrorist attacks? And what social and political changes might be needed to bring this project about?

The experts in this book answer all of these questions, and more, in a friendly, easy-to-understand way. The technical articles are comprehensive enough for anyone acquainted with the physics and engineering worlds, but comprehensible to the layman. In short, this is an excellent guide to man's next great project, and definitely worth looking at.

You can buy The Space Elevator here.

(Cross-posted at Nightcap.)

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2006 01:57:00 am


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Please stop using IE. Again.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2006 07:10:00 pm

Via this week's Britblog #71 (up at the usual place), The Inside Of My Head points to a lovely diagram showing why you should use anything other than Internet Explorer.



The bit about IE is entirely correct. However, what you may not realise is that that pink bit—the bit about trying to design a site using CSS and resorting to tables, is also down to the fact that IE doesn't even read very basic CSS properly. It is highly annoying and ensures that you usually need to use far more Styles than would normally be necessary.

So, once more I shall echo this call: please don't use IE. Use something else...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2006 07:10:00 pm


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Watch out—Remittance Man about

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/24/2006 06:45:00 pm

Our old friend, the Remittance Man—denizen of blog comment boxes all over the world, including The Kitchen—has set up his own space...
Blasting Knaves and Mountebanks From The Depths of Darkest Africa

I shall read with interest...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/24/2006 06:45:00 pm


Friday, June 23, 2006

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2006 10:32:00 am

The Longrider on apologies for slavery.
These self-haters, who want to vilify what we are and seek to undermine western values and their own culture choose to be selective about history. Apologists like this morally vacuous fuckwit are so busy wallowing in their self-loathing; something that is becoming all to prevalent today in this country; that he ignores the bigger picture.Yes, Britain was up to its eyeballs in human misery. That is a matter of historical fact. Yes, it was appalling—no rational person would deny that. Yet it was Britain that sought abolition. The country that gave us the slavers also gave us people like William Wilberforce. It is also worth pointing out that everybody involved is dead and has been for a couple of hundred years.

Go and read the whole thing...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2006 10:32:00 am


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Scammed Devil

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 04:03:00 pm

Wondering why certain payments were not being authorised, your humble Devil wandered down to his local bank to ask for a statement. He was somewhat shocked to discover that he was a wee bit short. Sure, he has been a little plofligate of late; possibly too much so, and it was with shaking hands and mounting horror that he contemplated his situation.

Deciding that he had not been quite as reckless as he might have been, your humble Devil decided to take a trip to his main branch and get a more detailed breakdown. Checking carefully over the resultant papers, your humble Devil noticed an unauthorised payment. Just a small amount, you understand, nothing much.

Just four fucking grand!

Your humble Devil is more than a little annoyed. He is also in deep shit as it means that the large cheque that he issued to his supplier this morning isn't going to get paid. Time to toddle off and get a form and, hopefully, my money back too...

Fuck, fuck and double-fuck.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 04:03:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 01:44:00 pm

Amusing little game here, and surprisingly addictive: draw lines and divert the sand...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 01:44:00 pm


Scotland the Brave

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 11:05:00 am

This has come to my attention.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has condemned attacks on a seven-year-old boy and 41-year-old man who were wearing England shirts in Scotland.
...

Primary schoolboy Hugo Clapshaw was punched in an Edinburgh park and disabled Ian Smith was attacked in his car in Aberdeen.

Oh, well done, Scots; how fucking brave can you get, eh? The boy was assaulted by a man supposed to be between 24 and 30; what a brave man he is. What an admirable person.

The disabled man was dragged from his car and duffed up by a man of about 40. Another fucking hero.

Well done, Scotland the oh-so-fucking Brave.

(UPDATE: More footie-related assaults. Can we ban this game yet?)

At least one blogger has argued that my The time has come... post sounded a little sour. Yes, it does, and Squander Two sums up, in a post inspired by the above stories, far better than I could, why that was the case.

Like me, he is an Englishman who spent many years in Scotland; like me, he loves the Scots (who are generally a nice bunch of people and who certainly know how to have fun); like me, occasionally, he gets tired of all of the flack and flys off the handle.
I'm English and I lived in Scotland for eleven years. I'm lucky enough never to have been physically assaulted because of my nationality, but I was very much aware of the possibility during my time in Scotland.

I, of course, have been. Luckily, other than some minor dental work needed, various cuts and bruises, I got off quite lightly. Another English friend of mine had his jaw broken in five places and had to suck food through a straw for six weeks or more.

And while we are parading our Celtic origins, my mother is half-Welsh and half-Scottish (which makes me Scottish enough to play for their rugby team, apparently); my father is quarter Irish. It makes fuck-all difference: I sound English and when you are down on the ground trying to protect your head, you aren't worrying about attempting to communicate your Scots credentials.
It's difficult not to be, if you're English in Scotland. Even without any violence, the constant background racism can get wearing. I'm pretty thick-skinned, and I love Scotland, not least because it's full of Scots, who are great people, but, sometimes, I snap. Slag someone off for long enough, and, sooner or later, they'll stop liking you. And, being English in Scotland, you don't half get slagged off.

And, yes, you get really rather tired of it. As I said in my previous post:
Don't get me wrong, I love Scotland and, generally, I like the Scots. What I dislike is that I, who had always called myself British, have had the indentity "English" forced upon me by pusillanimous, parochial bigots who hear only an accent.

It is this attitude that prevents me feeling at home in a country in which I have lived constantly for nearly a decade. Do I resent it? Yes. Every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction: my reaction to the resentment that many Scots, usually erroneously and based on a pitiful knowledge of their own history, have for the English is... welll... resentment. This is why I took the English side in my previous post.

Back to Squander Two. [All emphasis mine—DK]
Various people have observed that there is an increase in anti-Scottish feeling amongst the English these days. That's "the English". I think that's probably true. One might come up with any number of reasons why this is so. My own opinion is that any reason that is based on recent events is probably not really it. Recent events might have given some people a little push, but the real problem is that if you slag someone off for long enough, sooner or later, they'll stop liking you. There has been a significant, notable, highly offensive level of hatred emanating from Scotland towards the English for at least as long as the French have hated America.

Spot on. Even if much of it is in jest, it becomes very wearisome. It's a big like the office joker, the one who tells you the same joke (or type of joke) day after day; first you feel pity, then you start to get irritated, and then, finally, you get really pissed off and actively dislike him.
When Braveheart was released, there were more violent attacks on students in St Andrews (where I was studying at the time) in the first six weeks of term than in the entire previous year. (And there were a lot in the previous year, because Scots travel over from Dundee to St Andrews especially to beat the shit out of anyone who looks like they might be English or who answers a question in the wrong accent.) Someone staggered into the Union with blood pouring down their face pretty much every night. We all had to be very careful about walking around in public, and it was a bad idea to go out after dark.

This is a shitty state of affairs in any civilised country. One could say that these beatings are done by ill-educated, violent thugs; but there seem to be so many of them in Scotland. A Scottish friend, with whom I was having a lively discussion last night, agreed that there was a considerable amount of violence in Scotland (and deplored it).
There is, of course, a wide spectrum of anti-English feeling in Scotland. There are the bastards who physically attack English people; there are the non-violent customers who go into the same shop every day, not to buy anything but to tell the English sales assistant that they've stolen a Scottish job; there are the nationalist politicians who have built their careers on blaming all of Scotland's woes on England; and there are perfectly civilised, nice, friendly, wonderful people who will happily marry English people but who still routinely use the phrase "fucking English cunts". They'll tell you it's harmless banter, and, often, they're right. But it's a symptom of a general social atmosphere.
...

Anti-English sentiment is so prevalent, so woven into the very fabric of Scottish society, that it is simply not noticed.

Absolutely; all part of a low-level buzz of bigotry. Although one does need to point out that Glasgow, where Jo was, is a different kettle of fish to Edinburgh, which is far more Anglified. And yet... And yet...
A significant number of Scots — and by this I don't just mean a majority; I mean something kind of similar to "the French": I mean that their attitudes are broadly dominant in Scottish society — a significant number of Scots take every opportunity handed to them to slag off the English; they complain regularly about the "imperialist bastards" who "stole" their country despite the fact that the Act of Union was actually England bailing out a bankrupt Scotland and the Scots managed to negotiate a deal where they were overrepresented in Parliament; now, Scots MPs get to vote on legislation that affects England while English MPs can't vote on similar legislation that's been devolved to the Scottish toy Parliament; the Labour Party only have a majority in Westminster because of votes in Scotland, and now it looks like the English are going to get a Scots Prime Minister foisted on them (can anyone even imagine any party getting a majority in the Scots Parliament with an English leader?); it's becoming more and more obvious that the Scottish Parliament is spending English money on shite; and there has yet to be a Scottish problem caused entirely by Scots that hasn't been widely blamed on the English — witness the widespread delusion nine years ago that having a parliament in Edinburgh instead of London would solve Scotland's problems: the problem with politicians, the thinking goes, is not that they're inept or corrupt, but that they're from the wrong country. The English have been largely ignoring the constant stream of bile from north of the border for decades. All that's started happening lately is that they've finally got fed up with it, especially since the bile started to become government policy.

Absolutely right. And it is because of the Scots attitude that I took the part of the English in my post about Scottish independence. Because I am made to feel English, day after day, by Scots. And it is stupid, because instead of cheering for Scotland, and taking Scotland's part, I am taking the part of their Auld Enemy.

It is their loss (I like to think) and mine.

Jo sums up precisely what I feel about the situation, so I'll just let him talk.
The recent rise in anti-Scottish feeling in England is a Bad Thing — not least because, in my opinion, contrary to the impression I've just been busy giving, the Scots are much nicer people than the English. There's a reason why I don't live in England: bits of it are quite nice, but I really don't like living there, don't much care for the culture, and can only take so much of the people.
...

In short, I'm not slagging off the Scots here because I'm English. I'm complaining about the Scots because they're bastards, just as I've been complaining about the English for the last twenty years because they're all bastards too and have recently started complaining about the fact that the Northern Irish are all bastards. No doubt, if I ever do move to the US, this blog will become the one-stop shop for all your Americans-are-bastards needs. But there are things to be learnt from comparing the nations' differing styles of bastardacity. And, of course, personalities are independent: Scots can become better people regardless of whether the English remain gits or improve themselves.

I'll finish by repeating my summation from a couple of years ago:
Scotland is both the best and the worst place on Earth. I fucking hate Scotland. I love Scotland. Especially Glasgow. I really, really detest Glasgow, quite possibly the greatest city in the world, and, as for Glaswegians, they're wonderful, friendly people, a real pleasure to be around, the violent, malingering scum.

I stand by every word of that.

And I would agree with it generally; although Edinburgh folk are generally far less violent (unless you are in Niddry) and more polite, although Glaswegians tend to be more friendly*. Generally, like Jo, I do love Scotland. But, like him, I need a wee bit of a break from feeling so damn English...

And this is absolutely my final fucking word on the matter: I wouldn't want to piss off my many good Scottish friends...


* A couple of years ago, I was in the Maryhill district of Glasgow (essentially, it's the modern-day Gorbals) seeing a client; not having been to Glasgow very often, I was unsure which bus to get back to the station, or even where to get off. I got back safely and was assisted, in extremely friendly manner, by three separate Glaswegians, all three of whom were completely pissed. But very, very friendly.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 11:05:00 am


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 10:10:00 am

Via His Imperial Majesty, not unsurprisingly, it seems that Saddam did have WMD (well, we know he did: he used 'em to gas the Kurds back in the 80s, but it seems that he still had them when we invaded).
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) announced Wednesday the finding of over 500 munitions or weapons of mass destruction, specifically "sarin- and mustard-filled projectiles," in Iraq.

Reading from unclassified portions of a document developed by the U.S. intelligence community, Santorum said, "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."

What is slightly surprising is the timing of this announcement...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 10:10:00 am


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 12:59:00 am

I have just had a conversation with someone whom I consider to be quite intelligent, until he said this:
George W Bush is the worst thing that has happened to the world.

Now, I'll give him credit for being drunk (even though he repeated it); however, is Bush really worse than the Nazis or their Holocaust? Joe Stalin and the gulags? Worse than Pol Pot or Mao Zedong?

This guy is clever and informed and realised—after some remonstration on my part—what he had said; but it is indicative of the Left's ability to indulge in moral equivalence. Fuck 'em.

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2006 12:59:00 am


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