Current

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 07:27:00 pm

The Independent's Emily Dugan in precis.
It wouldn't matter if Tiger Tiger had been blown up because it's a shithole exclusively patronised by low-wage, heavy-drinking, sexually-promiscuous chavs with no morals and of no value to society. Some probably smoke too. And an accountant thinks that it's a bit dirty so who gives a shit?

Thanks for that Emily; perhaps you'd like to inform any would-be terrorists of other clubs that you think are a bit skanky and ask them to target those next?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 07:27:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 07:17:00 pm

The Libertarian Alliance comments on LibertarianUK.net.
Having now had a look at the site in some detail it is clearly good news and to be welcomed. Its team of authors are clearly sound, thoughtful and professional. They certainly write well.

Good work!

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 07:17:00 pm


This is just getting silly

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 06:13:00 pm

Now, look, I'm a reasonable sort of chap but, what with the car bombs in London, and now this, the whole thing is getting pretty fucking silly.
A car on fire has been driven at the main terminal building at Glasgow Airport, police have confirmed.

Eyewitnesses have described a Jeep Cherokee being driven at speed towards the building with flames coming out from underneath.

They have also described seeing two Asian men, one of whom was on fire, who had been in the car.

Strathclyde Police said two people had been arrested and detained in connection with the incident.

The airport has been evacuated and all flights suspended following the incident at 1515 BST.

Now, it is all very well for The Register to talk about Beavis and Butthead bombings, but just because these arseholes haven't been able to make a competent bomb does not mean that they neither desired to nor could not actually do so with a bit more thought.

Besides, whilst a burning jeep might not do the damage of a proper explosive device, it's still going to smart a little if it runs into you. Or your family.
Thomas Conroy, a maintenance worker at the airport believes the men deliberately tried to set the car on fire.

"It looked like they had molotov cocktails with them," he said.

"They sort of burst them round about the flames to make sure the car would go up big style.

"Within minutes it was up and the terminal caught as well."

Now, the Beeb is, probably responsibly in the absence of certainty, calling the perpetrators "Asian men" but would anyone like to bet against the supposition that they are also Muslims?

Now, I would like to make it clear that I believe that the vast majority of Muslims are quite happily going about their lives, disapproving of Western life-styles and oppressing their women in time-honoured, peaceful tradition. But some of these fuckers are trying to take the lives of others, and there really isn't any excuse for it.

I'm fed to the back teeth with these Islamist nutjobs trying to tell me how to live my life; I'm fed up with the evil little fuckers taking offence all the time, and I've certainly majorly pissed off that they keep trying to kill innnocent people who are just going about their daily lives.

But, naturally, we want to avoid overly repressive laws. So, here's an idea or two: first, any bastard found guilty of attempting to perpetrate a terrorist act is sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison, with no possibility of parole. Anyone found to have encouraged, aided or in any way incited these fuckers is also put on trial for being an accessory to mass murder and sentenced to a maximum of life imprisonment.

Second, we say "up yours" to the EU and bring in stringent border controls for everyone, EU citizens included.

Third, we must stop pandering to these people. We don't mind you living in our country, we are happy to welcome all those who come here to live lives of decency and peace. But, by god, if you try to fuck us over then there will be no mercy.

Fourth, we issue due warning that we will immediately cut diplomatic ties with any government found to have helped organise or fund these attacks.

Or, of course, we could just ignore it in our usual great British way and just wait for the next bunch of murdering bastards to get it right.

UPDATE: Strange Stuff has an interesting post on motivation.
In a way this is comforting, that your average Islamic terrorist is so incompetent. On the other hand it is worrying, because these latest attacks have been so very badly planned they cannot be part of an organised campaign.

I can therefore only assume that the jealousy of the west is now so widespread within the Islamic colonies inside the UK that we are going to see more of this. There can be no negotiation as there is no central authority to negotiate with. It will simply be that every so often some Muslims will finally get off of their fat lazy arses in order to try and kill the people that pay for their dole money.

And, as I say, at some point they may well get someone with a small level of chemical knowledge and more innocent people will die.

Seriously, how fucking twisted do these fuckers have to be? Oh, no, hang on: over to The Register again.
This should have been dismissed for what it is: an event on the level of some teenagers getting a tremendously foolish notion, and being drunk enough for it to appeal to them.

Yes, that is, of course, precisely what this is like.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 06:13:00 pm


Tom Watson MP: liar

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 04:18:00 pm

Tom Watson MP: fighting hard against the pie taxes.

Guido points out that Tom Watson MP, who describes himself as "an overweight opinionated member of parliament", should probably add the phrase "lying bastard" in there somewhere.
With a reputation for accurate and balanced reporting to protect, Guido was troubled by this, perhaps Tom Watson was not a treacherous, lying plotter who met and connived with Brown on the eve of his coup attempt against Blair. Maybe he was not going to return to government under Brown. Guido offered to retract the allegation if he promised not to return to government.
Tom said...

It shouldn't be neccesary but to amuse you: I promise never to return to government. Good enough?
11:26 AM, October 26, 2006


Tom Watson has rejoined the government as a junior whip. Therefore, one can say, quite categorically, that Tom Watson is a mendacious, hypocritical bastard with all of the principles of a particularly untrustworthy ocelot.

But then he's an MP: really, what did we expect?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 04:18:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 03:00:00 am

In your humble Devil's final piece for 18DS, he wonders if he is a bad man for wondering, mostly in jest, whether it was actually the government who placed that bomb...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/30/2007 03:00:00 am


Friday, June 29, 2007

Tubular Bills

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2007 03:43:00 pm

I have been meaning to write a post about the state of the London Underground system for some time, but, fortunately, the excellent John Band has written precisely what I wanted to. Although he's used fewer swearwords, obviously.
The thing which really annoys me, though, is when people blame Ken Livingstone, Tim O’Toole, Metronet or Tubelines for the system failures.

Between 1945 and 2000, with the exception of the absolutely-necessary-to-avoid-gridlock Victoria Line, the half-arsed-compromise Jubilee Line, and the Thatcher’s-Docklands-project-must-succeed Jubilee extension, there was no investment in the Underground system. None.

Central government skimped on the money for essential maintenance, and didn’t make any money available for capital projects such as major line or signalling upgrades. London was a declining city and the train was a declining transport mode - cars and suburbs were the way forward.

So anyone who blames the people in charge of the Tube for its state today is simply wrong. Ken, the current government, LUL’s current management and the infracos are the first people since the days of the London Passenger Transport Board in the 1930s to embark on a serious programme of upgrades to the underground. This isn’t necessarily because they’re all wonderful people, just that people have suddenly noticed that London is growing again and the private car is not a viable means of transport within London.

Quite correct, of course, which is why anyone who thinks that central government should run anything, even an infrastructure monopoly, is an idiot. The vast Tube investment is partly due, as John says, to the fact that cars are not viable, but also because the system had got to such a point of decrepitude that money absolutely had to be put in to stop the whole thing grinding to a halt.

And as Metronet have found, the state of disrepair had been heavily underestimated; the result is that most programmes are severely behind schedule as more urgent repairs are uncovered. Although none of this makes any difference to my irritation at this weekend's closure of the southern section of the Victoria Line, naturally: thank fuck there is a good bus service (especially as this is going on for at least the next six months [PDF])...

Oh, and it is also worth noting that much of the above is also true for the rest of the country's rail network.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/29/2007 03:43:00 pm


Blair questioned for 3rd time: "cash for honours" investigation continues

Posted by BD at 6/29/2007 12:04:00 am

Seemingly announced just after midday and timed to be conveniently lost in the re-shuffle, there's this bit of news:
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been questioned for a third time by detectives investigating allegations of "cash-for-honours."

Quick reminder: prosecutors asked the police to carry out a further round of investigation to work out if charges could be brought: Lord Levy and Downing Street aide Ruth Turner were both re-bailed at the start of the month.

The Times has this account of the spin-machine in action:
On the former Prime Minister's first day away from Downing Street, sources confirmed that the Metropolitan Police had questioned him as a witness once again, possibly in the past week.

The former Prime Minister's official spokesman had told reporters as recently as last Monday that he was not aware of Mr Blair being questioned. [my emphasis]

"Not aware" is what you might call the product plausible deniability - or, alternatively, lying through your teeth.
Today, Downing Street refused to answer questions on the affair, with a spokeswoman telling Times Online: "We only speak for the current Prime Minister." Mr Blair's office could not immediately be contacted.

Which is quite remarkable, given that Blair's been in front of cameras in his Sedgefield constituency for most of the afternoon.

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Posted by BD at 6/29/2007 12:04:00 am


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 05:14:00 pm

Right, your humble Devil is off to host the launch of LibertarianUK.net at the Old Bank of England.

For your interim amusement, why not go and read Trixy's sonnet, For the Love of Polly and Gordon...?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 05:14:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 04:33:00 pm

In news that has delighted Drs Rant and Crippen, as well as myself and my impecunious Athenian pal, Patsy Hewitt resigned last night. Good—fuck off, Patsy, you lying shitbag.

My fourth post for 18DS is little more than a final, valedictory swipe at Darling Patsy, written for no other reason than that I can.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 04:33:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 03:22:00 pm

Timmy has dedicated a song to Blair.

Rachel has adapted some Elton John lyrics.

Tim Ireland composed a rather spiffing musical video.

So, following in this musical train, your humble Devil has concocted a little song. Please feel free to add your own tune.
GOODBYE BLAIR

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you,
You lying piece of shit, fuck you.
You've already lost your office,
I hope that soon it'll be your freedom.
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you
You lying, sack of shit, socialist cunt.

OK, it lacks rhyme, rhythm or meter, but your humble Devil has never laid claim to any musical talent. And I think it says everything that's needed.

UPDATE: Mr E weighs in with a winning piece, methinks...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 03:22:00 pm


Reaching for the drinks cabinet...

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 01:37:00 pm

Well, the Gobblin' King has organised his new Cabinet and it's apparently a "Cabinet of the talents". The details are as follows.
  • Prime minister: Gordon Brown

  • Chancellor: Alistair Darling

  • Foreign Secretary: David Miliband

  • Home Secretary: Jacqui Smith

  • Health: Alan Johnson

  • Schools and children: Ed Balls

  • Innovation, universities and skills: John Denham

  • Justice: Jack Straw

  • Commons leader: Harriet Harman

  • Defence and Scotland: Des Browne

  • International Development: Douglas Alexander

  • Work and Pensions: Peter Hain

  • Northern Ireland: Shaun Woodward

  • Chief secretary to the Treasury: Andy Burnham

  • Cabinet office minister: Ed Miliband

  • Culture: James Purnell

  • Olympics: Tessa Jowell

  • Transport: Ruth Kelly

  • Lords leader: Baroness Ashton

  • Attorney General: Baroness Scotland

  • Environment: Hilary Benn

  • Chief Whip: Geoff Hoon

  • Business and enterprise: John Hutton

  • Housing minister (attending Cabinet when needed): Yvette Cooper

  • Communities: Hazel Blears

  • Children and youth justice: Beverley Hughes

  • Africa, Asia and UN: Lord Malloch Brown

Your humble Devil has to admit that he was wrong when he predicted that Miliband would stay at DEFRA and that he would get the Energy Portfolio when the DTI was disbanded—mea culpa.

Never mind, Batshit has posted on his blog, announcing the good news.
As you will have heard, the new Prime Minister has asked me to take on new responsibilities as Foreign Secretary. Of course I am honoured to take up this new post.

The last 15 months have been hugely challenging and hugely enjoyable - and I hope we have made a difference. The new mechanisms for political engagement and dialogue represented by this blog are needed more than ever.

Thank you for reading, commenting and arguing over the last 15 months. It may take some time for new service to be resumed, but please watch this space.

Oh great: are we to assume that the taxpayer will have to fork out another £6,000 to set up his new blog at the Foreign Office?

I still think I'm right in that Miliband's Green Crusade is completely genuine. As such, I fully expect him to continue poncing around the world, dictating to various world leaders how they should control emissions. Personally, I hope that the USA, at the very least, do actually flush his head down the toilet. Repeatedly. And then debag the whinging little scrote.

One interesting thing to note about the list above is that the DTI seems to be now known as "Business and enterprise", so perhaps the department is going to be downscaled. Or perhaps it is merely a tacit acknowledgement that, as members of the EU, we don't control our own Trade policy anymore and so having a department responsible for it is completely pointless.

The rest of it? Well, who cares? It's another bunch of bastards to lay into I suppose, with the Gobblin' King sitting like a spider in the centre of it all...

UPDATE: Dizzy is obviously thinking along the same lines.
In Brown's Britain we no longer have the Department of Trade and Industry but instead the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. What's the betting it will interfere with business, stifle enterprise and implement red tape?

As Ronald Reagan once said, "the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

A good point well made there, I think...

UPDATE2: here are some pictures of the freeloading bastards. Fucking hell, you wouldn't want to meet any of those bastards down a dark alley at night, would you?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/28/2007 01:37:00 pm


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

First Rate Blogging.

Posted by Andrew Field at 6/27/2007 02:55:00 pm

For some blogging at its very best head over to the Ministry of Truth for Unity's comprehensive expose of the sinister folk behind the Silver Ring Thing.

As someone in the comments of the first post says, next time someone tells you blogging is irrelevent/self important/whatever other garbage they come up with - show them this.

UPDATE: thanks Andy. I was just about to log in to do a similar recommendation, but I see you've got there first! Both of the articles are first-rate, so I'll echo Andy's call to go and read them. DK

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Posted by Andrew Field at 6/27/2007 02:55:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2007 02:17:00 pm

Like the poor little Greek boy, I am feeling rather uninspired at present.

So, you'll just have to go and read my thoughts on the Gobblin' King's premiership over at 18DoughtyStreet.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2007 02:17:00 pm


A couple of blogs

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2007 11:13:00 am

Last night I ate a scorpion.

No, there's no "and then I woke up" ending to this: I did actually eat a chocolate-covered scorpion at this restaurant. And a cricket, a couple of locusts, some crocodile wrapped in vine-leaves, kangeroo and some zebra. And something else; wildebeast I think. Yes, I ate a gnu. A gnother gnu. Gnu, gnu, I gnashed my teeth on you. It's all the fault of Friday Cities.

Anyway, a couple of blogs arising from FCLers. The Oracle is an Auxiliary working in a hospital somewhere in the south east, and is quite amusing on occasion. Auxiliaries are those poor bastards that do all of those things which nurses no longer have to, such as wiping bottoms and washing patients. I did it for a year and it's back-breaking, exhausting work.

For those of you who appreciate food, I'd like to recommend Ambrosia and Nectar. American Annemarie is now a dedicated Londoner and she really does know her food. She was weighing in with the insects last night with the rest of us, and no doubt you will shortly see a review of the restaurant on her blog.

Now, I'm off to find something to write about for 18DS, and then I shall be back. In the meantime, why not make TEBAF Margot happy and watch all of the exciting propaganda informative videos on the USSR EU Youtube Channel?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/27/2007 11:13:00 am


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Naughty words

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2007 05:32:00 pm

Via Nourishing Obscurity, I find that one can rate one's blog.

Online Dating


You simply enter your URL and the site reads your front page.
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
  • fucking (59x)

  • fuck (40x)

  • sex (26x)

  • cunt (8x)

  • death (6x)

  • abortion (5x)

  • drugs (4x)

  • cunts (3x)

  • shits (2x)

  • rape (1x)

Only three "cunts"? I'm slipping...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2007 05:32:00 pm


Polly is insane #94

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2007 05:15:00 pm

I must away in a few minutes, for I have a meeting to go to, but I would just like to comment briefly on Polly Toynbee's stupidity. Mainly because I can.
To stop inheritance tax avoidance, make all gifts taxable.

What the fuck? Have you lost your fucking mind, Polly? All gifts? Seriously? All birthday presents should be taxable?

All pints bought in a pub should be noted on the tax return?

A £5 pack of tobacco that I gifted to a friend recently should be declared and taxed?

Are you fucking bats? Fuck me, but Polly really is too stupid to live. In fact, the only people stupider than Polly are those fuckwits who keep giving her awards.

For a more comprehensive idea of just how extraordinarily thick Polly is, why not drink in Master Worstall's highly literate fisking of the silly fucking bitch?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2007 05:15:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2007 04:16:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/26/2007 04:16:00 pm


Monday, June 25, 2007

Britblog Roundup

Posted by Mr Eugenides at 6/25/2007 11:36:00 pm

Do check out the Britblog Roundup, which is now up over at Redemption Blues.

That was all, really.

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Posted by Mr Eugenides at 6/25/2007 11:36:00 pm


Trendy wankers continue to fuck up schools

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:43:00 pm

Via The Englishman, I find this piece of trendy wank-tossery: what the fuck are these lunatics thinking?
STATE secondary schools are being told to ditch lessons in academic subjects and replace them with month-long projects on themes such as global warming.

The pressure to scrap the traditional timetable in favour of cross-curricular topics is coming from the government’s teaching advisers, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
...

Mick Waters, the QCA’s curriculum director, believes the changes will help spur enthusiasm and cut truancy. He said: “The challenge for schools is to create a nourishing and appetising feast that will sustain learners and meet their needs.

Er, no, Mick; y'see, you've fundamentally misunderstood what this teaching lark is all about. Your job is to ensure that people come out of school being able to read and fucking write as an absolute minimum.

Ideally, they would also have at least one qualification too, rather than having about a quarter of children leaving school with absolutely less than fuck-all.

But what is the real agenda here, eh?
“The idea [of the new timetable] is to offer less prescription and more opportunity to interpret the curriculum. Cutting across all subjects are curriculum dimensions; a set of themes including creativity, cultural understanding and diversity.”

Oh, here we fucking go...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:43:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:40:00 pm

This week your humble Devil is guest-blogging every day at 18DoughtyStreet.

My first post, on doctors as "financial commodities" is up now.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:40:00 pm


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:37:00 pm

The Englishman on the EU Constitution.
... I'm so fucking angry about this betrayal of our country I can't even begin to put together a coherent post. Tony Blair is a treacherous cunt seems to sum most of it up though.

Yup, that's fairly accurate. Anyone think that Spam would have done anything different?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:37:00 pm


Power! Power for me!

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:15:00 pm

Over in the Big Blogger House, the task is to come up with a political manifesto. The very excellent Mr Angry is in the house, and has nominated your humble Devil to be on his cabinet team, link-whore that he is.
Chancellor of the Exchequer & Deputy Prime Minister
The Devil's Kitchen. Does not suffer fools gladly, and there will barely be a penny wasted. Expect a flat tax rate across the board, and a close eye on anyone wanting anything to do with the EU. Also, will provide much entertainment standing in at PM's Question Time during my many lengthy breaks in the sunshine. Expect some violence.

Gosh, I feel honoured (even if Angry has stolen my job) and can't wait for my first PMQs, frankly. How much swearing is allowed in the House?

And would any young ladies like to audition to be my diary secretary? The casting couch is this way...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 03:15:00 pm


Arrest that sporran!

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 02:54:00 pm

More ludicrous bollocks from the EU, with the Scottish Executive enabling a law that will require the licensing of sporrans.
Kilt wearers could face prosecution if they do not have a licence for their sporran under new legislation which has been introduced in Scotland.

The laws are designed to protect endangered species like badgers and otters, whose fur used to be favoured by sporran makers.

The legislation applies to animals killed after 1994.

Applicants must prove that the animal was killed lawfully before they will be able to get a licence.

The conservation regulations were designed to close a number of loopholes and bring Scotland into line with other EU members.
...

The regulations require anyone who owns any part of a protected animal to obtain a licence.

The maximum penalties for breaking the law are a fine of £5,000 and six months in prison.

What.

The.

Fucking.

Fucking.

Fuck?

In the name of all that's unholy, seriously—what the fuck? As Trixy points out, even artists have something to worry about. [Emphasis mine.]
I made a quick phone call to the lovely people at MAC to ask what their brushes were made of. They told me that the natural hair ones I have were from pony and squirrel, and that they brushed them off the little creatures rather than kill them for their tails or something, so I am okay. She asked me why, and I said that, well, if I was a water colour painter I could be in trouble and have to register them all or face a fine, because proper water colour brushes are made from sable. And if you don't, then don't put it past these people not to have organised the 'paintbrush police' and 'secret sporran services' since people have already been in trouble for owning an unlicensed brush. Am not kidding.

Fucking hellski. There's not much more to say really.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 02:54:00 pm


All Aboard for the Fringe

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 11:06:00 am

Long-time readers who have managed to plough through my inarticulate, alcohol and drug-fuelled Fringe ramblings may remember that for the last couple of years, myself and a couple of friends have ended up in bars, in the small hours of the morning, singing hits from a children's compendium called All Aboard; this LP featured such classics as Ernie, the Fastest Milkman in the West, Alright Said Fred, The Laughing Policeman, The Runaway Train, The Gnu Song and, of course, Rolf's maudlin and simultaneously uplifting Two Little Boys...

Last year, Caro, Macca and myself were joined by a newbie.
This year, we have already indulged in the same practice, but joined by Tim Fitzhigham, a splendidly bearded and very proper gentleman...

I suggested that we should actually produce a show, starring Tim and Macca, based on All Aboard and put it on in the Fringe. It was basically a joke.

But, bloody hell, they've actually decided to do it!


I expect a free ticket, you know...

Meanwhile, your humble Devil is reprising his role as the near-alcoholic, philandering, philosophy lecturer, Ray, in This Lime Tree Bower during Weeks 2 and 3 of the Fringe this year.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 11:06:00 am


More contitutional news

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 09:55:00 am

In two recent polls, over 80% of the British people wanted a referendum on the EU.
Open Europe have commissioned an ICM poll of 1,000 people that shows overwhelming support for a referendum:
  • 86% of all voters want their say on a new transfer of powers to the EU;

  • 83% of Labour voters want a referendum, as do 88% of Lib-Dem and Tory voters;

  • 43% of Labour voters say they will be “definitely less likely” to vote for Brown if he denies the British people a referendum;

  • 65% of all voters told ICM that they would vote against a new treaty that transfers additional powers to the EU;

  • Given a three way choice, only 15% of voters would support more powers for the EU. 49% supported less powers for the EU.

A poll by Populus for Global Vision puts support for a referendum at 83%.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair maintains that the new treaty is "good for UK".
Mr Blair said the most important thing about the deal was that it allowed the 27 European nations to move forward.

"The truth is we've been arguing now for many years about the constitutional question," he said.

"This deal gives us a chance to move on. It gives us a chance to concentrate on the issues to do with the economy, organised crime, terrorism, immigration, defence, climate change, the environment, energy - the problems that really concern citizens in Europe."

How would you know what the people of Europe think, you lying fuck? You could only get into power with less 22% of the British electorate voting for you: how the fuck would you know what 450 million people are really concerned about?

The Tories seem to have grown a wee bit of spine.
But shadow foreign secretary William Hague said the government had "absolutely no democratic mandate" to push through the changes that had been made.

"Blair and Brown have signed up to major shifts of power from Britain to the EU and major changes in the way the EU works," Mr Hague said.

"The EU would now be able to sign treaties in its own right and, despite any 'opt-ins', the European Commission and Court of Justice would now have new powers over criminal law."

Mr Hague also said the lack of a referendum on the treaty was a "flagrant breach of a solemn election promise" and that this showed Mr Brown had "no intention of being straight forward" with the people of the UK.

Hague, my little poppet, you had no democratic mandate to push through the Maastricht Treaty, but that didn't stop the Conservatives doing so. Why will the Tories not promise a referendum on our membership of the EU?

But at least the Tories are on the right side: the LibDems also criticised Blair—for not going far enough.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said the treaty had not come "cost-free" for Britain.

"By opting out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, there is now the danger of a two-tier citizenship in the EU," Mr Campbell said.

The LibDems want to give even more power to the EU than Blair! Absolutely fucking extraordinary.

As usual, Farage spells it out clearly.
The leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, accused Mr Blair of "stealth and deceit".

"The real achievement of this summit - and Tony Blair's helped in this - is that the European Union itself has taken a significant step forward to becoming the global superpower that it always sought to be," he said.

Speaking plain sense, as usual.
The treaty will need to be ratified by each of the EU's member states at the end of the year, before entering into force in mid-2009.

Goodbye right to jury trial, goodbye habeas corpus, goodbye presumption of innocence, goodbye economic autonomy, goodbye freedom and goodbye Britain: we are being sold down the river by venal politicians of every stripe.

Fuck, I loathe them all so very, very much.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 09:55:00 am


I'd love to bend over and take it from EU

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 08:36:00 am

So, our politicians continue to sell the people of Britain down the river with the new EU Constitution treaty which so wonderfully benefits this country. Want a brief rundown of the fucking triumph that Blair has secured for us?
So we lose a functioning EU single market, the one benefit that makes membership worthwhile.

We keep the Common Agricultural Policy, which we all so love.

Our net payments double by 2011.

We gain:

A full-time EU president and foreign minister, with an EU diplomatic service.

A EU justice department, with an attorney-general (European Public Prosecutor), able to initiate investigations into EU citizens ... ie the sort of people reading this blog.

An EU supreme court, with jurisdiction over almost every line in the new treaty – ie its reach is broadened from `Community Law’ to ‘Union Law’. A great leap forward. It gains a say over criminal justice, and over elements of foreign affairs and defence through the early enabling clauses.

It will get to rule on a host of economic and social rights that do not exist in the English Common Law tradition, allowing judges to impose Continental corporatism by the back door. Our “opt-out” on the Charter of Fundamental Rights is only partial since it gives the ECJ the final say over whether or not we are exempted.

The EU gets “legal personality” for the first time, allowing it to negotiate treaties in its own right.

We give the European Parliament effective power of the purse, doubling its powers with a veto in 40 new areas.

We put the EU powers in charge of energy policy for the first time, allowing it to “coordinate” reserves in a crisis – which it defines. Quite a coup given that the UK hosts the majority of the EU’s oil reserves.

And for good measure, we get an automatic escalator so that EU treaties can now be pushed ever further without the need for referendums, or the sorts of battles we have just had.

Splendid.

For fuck's sake, is anyone as scared as I am yet? We are signing away our freedom to a bunch of unelected, foreign bureaucrats whose legal system doesn't even work on the same basis as ours. All those things that we have taken for granted all of these hundreds of years—common law, trial by jury, habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence—will all be superceded by the vastly inferior, and illiberal, Roman Law system of the Continent.

Why is no one doing anything about this? Why are our politicians colluding in this treachery? Oh, and whilst NuLabour screw us, and the LibDems would do so even more, can we look to the Tories to save us? Not fucking likely.

I reproduce, once again, my email conversation with Tory Head of Policy, Oliver Letwin.
Dear Mr Letwin,

A few weeks ago, I attended at your Bow Group lecture.

At the end of it, I asked you a question about our membership of the European Union as it related to your new ideas for Tory policy. I also maintained, with some off the cuff figures, that I simply could not see the benefits of remaining with this organisation.

Your answer was, essentially, that if I was as aware or informed of the arguments as yourself, then I would see the benefits of staying in. I wonder if you might enlighten me with a few of these benefits, as I am unable to see any that could not be achieved by simple inter-governmental Treaties on the relevent issues.

Yours sincerely

DK

His reply.
Dear DK,

Thank you for your email of 12 March.

I don't believe that we could achieve a European Emissions Trading Scheme except through the EU.

I don't believe that we could negotiate successfully at the WTO except by joining forces with other EU countries.

I don't believe that our economy would perform merely so strongly if we were not part of the Single Market arrangements.

I have listed just three of the reasons why I think it is worth being part of the EU.

But I certainly believe that, as well as resisting the new Constitution and avoiding the Euro, we need to move towards a much more open Europe - with, for example, much greater national powers over employment and social legislation.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Letwin,

Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, MP
Member of Parliament for West Dorset

I pulled apart his email (fisked in detail here)...
Dear Mr Letwin,

Thank you for your reply which, I have to say, I was a little disappointed with. I shall just take your three points in order.
I don't believe that we could achieve a European Emissions Trading Scheme except through the EU.

(I shall leave aside the fact that, having examined a good deal of the science surrounding this, I don't believe that human carbon emissions have any significant effect on the environment.)

This country -- indeed, all countries -- make unilateral Treaties. There are a great many examples of this; the UN would be a good starting point. However, we could also take something more prosaic: the fact that my Airmail gets to its destination, for instance, is through these sorts of Treaties. If climate change is that important, I am sure that we would be able to negotiate a reasonable position on this issue (and not only with the EU, but with everyone in the world) through this avenue.
I don't believe that we could negotiate successfully at the WTO except by joining forces with other EU countries.

What are we rated at the moment? The fifth largest economy in the world -- something like that? Plus, you can factor in our links with all of the Commonwealth countries (and India) and the Anglosphere generally, and you think that we wouldn't be able to negotiate?

I might also ask what you think we need to negotiate? Most reasonable people believe that it is free trade that makes us rich, and it is certainly a central tenet of international trade economics that it is imports that make a nation's population richer. All we have to say at the WTO is that "Britain will erect no barriers, tariffs or quotas: come trade with us!"

This would, incidentally, go some way to solving two other problems: first, that of climate change as defined by the IPCC's A1 family of scenarios (utterly ignored by Stern in his valueless Review) which envision freer trade and increasing technological cooperation. Second, it would go a long way towards helping the peoples of the Developing World by providing a free market for their goods.

The EU actively hampers free-trade; worse, it derives a good proportion of its money from the tariffs imposed on goods entering the EU and so has zero incentive to reform this aspect of its job. The EU is a customs union.
I don't believe that our economy would perform merely so strongly if we were not part of the Single Market arrangements.

That is not the conclusion reached by this Civitas paper, or by the distinguished economist, Patrick Minford. My blogging colleague, Strange Stuff, sums all of this up quite nicely in the following passage.
However the EU also prevents the UK from many potentially good opportunities. Such as in 2003 when
a Bill was introduced in the Senate that would have created a free-trade agreement between the two countries. Alas, Blair had to decline this, shamefacedly (I’d like to think) having to point out that this country had no right to negotiate international trade agreements.

Free trade with the USA is not the only area that Britain could have been trying for, free trade agreements with fast growing Brazil, India, or China might have been possible where we not in the EU. Or Africa, allowing us cheaper food, and the African nations a way to build up their economies. But instead Britain is shackling to the slowly sinking states of old Europe and is impoverishing Africa thanks to the EU's CAP.

Estimating the costs of these lost opportunities can lead to total figures such for the cost of being in the EU that are truly horrendous.
when one adds on the costs described earlier to the opportunity costs, the current recurring annual net cost to the UK of EU membership is ten percent of GDP, or approximately £100 billion per year at present levels of UK GDP.

this from a newsletter in 2004 [PDF], so the numbers will probably have gone up since then. That rather makes the 20 billion that Mr Hague claims that the UK gets from the common market seem rather insignificant.

Well, quite.

The EU, through its protectionist policies, impoverishes those within and without its barriers. The EU's regulations lead to stagnating economies.

The EU has a massive democratic deficit, with its laws initiated by the unelected and amended and vetted in secret, behind closed doors.

The EU is a corrupt organisation, its accounts qualified for the last 12 years and any whistle-blowers persecuted. Indeed, we are breaking the EU's own anti-money laundering laws by giving funds to an organisation lacking in proper accounting procedures.

The EU's environmental record is appalling; just look at the disaster of the Common Fisheries Policy. Or, the massive waste and environmental damage occasioned by the constant to-ing and fro-ing between Brussels and Strasbourg.

Now, you can dismiss me as a crank, of course, but I have to say that you have utterly failed to convince me of the rectitude of your arguments. Further, you have failed to explain how you are going "move towards a much more open Europe" where everyone before you has failed on a similar slogan ("In Europe, not ruled by Europe", etc.).

Regards,

DK

One might have thought that, having received such a detailed response, dear old Ollie might possibly have got off his fat, tedious arse and decided to stick up for himself. After all, he was unequivocable about the need to remain in the EU.

He gave me three reasons why this was the case which I comprehensively demolished, with supporting evidence. And the great Letwin's reply?
Dear DK,

Thank you for your further email of 19 March.

I am sorry that you and I do not agree about this matter - but I fear that we shall have to agree to differ.

At least we shall find ourselves on the same side of the argument if, as I suspect, we need to mount a campaign for a referendum on a new constitutional proposal and thereafter a campaign against the acceptance of such a constitution.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Letwin

Rt Hon Oliver Letwin, MP
Member of Parliament for West Dorset

That, ladies and gentlemen is the Head of Policy for the Tories. Given that the EU should be our first and absolute priority—after all, EU law has primacy over our own and politicians enable policy through making laws; what is the point of that if the laws that you make can be over-ruled by a foreign body?—will the Tories not change their policy? If not, why not?

I feel another email to Ollie coming on...

UPDATE: an email duly sent to Letwin.
Dear Mr Letwin (or whichever researcher gets saddled with answering this email),

In April 1970, Edward Heath said that further European integration would not happen
“except with the full-hearted consent of the Parliaments and peoples of the new member countries.”

Despite that, there was no referendum and we joined the EEC in 1973.

In the first half of 1975 (two years before I was born), the British public were asked the following question.

"Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?"

The people were specifically told that Britain was joining a Common Market and not a federalist superstate project. This was, as we now know, a quite deliberate lie, initiated by Heath and perpetrated by many politicians since.

During our email conversation in mid-March, you gave three reasons why we should remain within the EU. Leaving aside the fact that I disagreed with these reasons (at length and with supporting documents), you did sign off with the following:
At least we shall find ourselves on the same side of the argument if, as I suspect, we need to mount a campaign for a referendum on a new constitutional proposal and thereafter a campaign against the acceptance of such a constitution.

Now that we know the shape of the Constitution, will the Conservatives start the campaign for a referendum before we sign the document (presumably at some point at the end of this year)?

The treaty will establish the EU as a legal entity and will, amongst other things, further erode our Common Law tradition; these are not simply words, they are our way of life and our protection from the tyranny of the state. I like the presumption of innocence; I like habeas corpus; I like the right to trial by jury, and I do not want to see them destroyed under the EU corpus juris.

So, will you start campaigning for a referendum now, or shall we assume that the Conservatives stand against these three basic (and hard-won) pillars of justice?

Further, we now know that, to appease the French, the treaty reneges on the EU commitment to the free internal market, with the words "The Union shall establish an internal market where competition is free and undistorted" altered simply to "The Union shall establish an internal market."

Given that the free market was the only decent justification for being part of the EU, will the Conservatives not be the political party courageous enough to call for a referendum on our membership of the entire project? Two recent polls have shown that 80% of the British people want a referendum on this issue: why is the Conservative Party so determined to fly in the face of public opinion? Just simply on a practical basis, the promise to hold a referendum on EU membership would ensure a landslide Tory win at the next election (and neuter UKIP).

I look forward to your reply,

Regards,

DK

Let us see whether some poor fucking dope of a researcher Oliver addresses this email with any more guts than he did the last.

I'm not holding my breath but, you know, one continues to hope that maybe—just maybe—one of these corrupt fuckers might pull a miracle out of his fat, over-fed arsehole.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/25/2007 08:36:00 am


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Midwives, MTAS and the NHS

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/24/2007 03:40:00 pm

Continuing in the medical theme, as we seem to be, here at The Kitchen, there was yet another very telling comment left on Katy's Midwives post.
Apalling but not surprising, unfortunately. When I was a medical student, every single midwife I came across (in three different hospitals in SE England/London) had a shocking attitude towards epidurals. The woman would ask for one early on in labour, to which the midwife would either reply, 'It's too early, you may not even need one, wait a while', or 'The anaesthetist is busy in theatre' (without even checking to see if that was indeed the case). A few hours in, the woman would be screaming for an epidural. She would be told by the midwife that an anaesthetist was on his way, before the midwife would take me aside to say, triumphantly, 'by the time he gets here she'll have delivered'.

I never saw a single epidural given. The midwives used tactics including blatant lies, bullying and delay in order to deny women pain relief (other than 'gas and air', which the majority of my friends who have sprogged tell me is next to useless). I found the general attitude towards women who cried out in pain was, 'Oh don't make such a fuss. It's natural.'. Women who wanted epidurals were viewed as being weak and whingy. The overall atmosphere was one of 'midwife knows best'.

It's enough to put you off having children. Luckily for me, I suppose, I am a pushy middle class doctor and I will damn well have an epidural if I want one.

The comment was by a doctor who writes (although not for a while) at Layla's Space. Having a scan through the posts, another interesting aspect, which I had not seen raised before, of the now-defunct MTAS system was brought to light. [Emphasis mine.]
I assume [my old job] will be filled by a shiny new 'ST3' person at the end of August. I have my one guaranteed MMC interview on Tuesday, also in London. Yet another ridiculous consequence of the new system is that, because I applied to MTAS prior to taking my final MRCP exam, I had to apply at ST2, ie SHO level. The fact that I now have MRCP, and am indeed about to start working as a registrar, doesn't matter. I can't change what level I have applied to, so if I get the MTAS job, I will effectively be resigning my registrar job a month early in order to take up a medical SHO job for another year. Resigning my registrar job to go back to doing what I have already been doing for two years.

How fucking stupid is that?! Every single doctor who passed PACES at the same time as I did will be in the same position - forced to remain at SHO grade for an extra year. And 'they' said MTAS would help to 'streamline' training, ensuring that nobody spent too long stuck at the same level. Priceless.

Surely it is some kind of enfringement of employment law, only being able to apply to four jobs per year? Surely everyone should be able to apply for as many jobs as they like, as many times a year as they want to, at the most appropriate level of seniority? There are so many stupid, probably illegal, foolish fuckwittish elements to the whole system, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

The state runs things badly; therefore the state should not run them at all. And the NHS is something special; one of the largest state organisations in the world and subject to its very own inefficiences.
Patricia Hewitt is right on this one...

I never thought that I'd ever see that sentence written or said...
... the NHS is simply too big to be manageable.
...

There are economies of scale, but there are also diseconomies of scale as the hierarchies of bureaucracy grow, and so efficiency against size forms a curve[2]. This happens in all organisations whether public or private. Any organisation as big as the NHS would be inefficient and there is absolutely nothing going to change that unless they also do something about dividing it up into more manageable sized chunks. Maybe still as a state run system, but run by local government as in Sweden. Perhaps a multi-payer/multi-provider system as in France[4] where the hospitals are all independent organisations and the state just provides a basic universal insurance. Or if you want to be radical get the state out entirely and just have it recognise that because some things are important they should not be taxed as in the Singapore system for healthcare. It is the NHS's obesity that is killing it. The crisises might individually be dealt with, but unless the root cause is too then they will just come back.

Chris is, of course, quite correct and the NHS does need to be pulled down; as does the system of funding solely through tax. Matthew Sinclair explains why.
Two factors drive an increased demand for healthcare. First, older people require more healthcare and the population is ageing. Second, technology is vastly increasing the potential of medical science. There is huge demand for new treatments which promise incredible results but are very expensive. This effect is massively outweighing technological advances that cut costs.

The same is true in education. Rising demand for education is driven partly by people wanting to be on the right side of a growing skilled-unskilled divide created by the entry to the world market of cheap labour, particularly from India and China. Another major factor is the growth of a ‘knowledge economy’ where the kinds of analytical skills taught in higher level education are becoming increasingly important.

Healthcare and education are representative of a broad trend. Services which are currently largely the responsibility of the State are seeing increased demand across the developed world. In healthcare, Britain has doubled spending, to roughly the EU average, and health costs in America are also rising. Germany’s social insurance based healthcare system has been under huge financial strain.

The prospect of this new demand being satisfied solely with taxpayers’ money should horrify the Right. Such an expansion of government would require a massive increase in taxation which would cripple our economy and take more money from hard up taxpayers.
...

If the sacred cow of healthcare, education and other services being funded purely from taxation cannot be challenged, a crucial battle with the Left will have been lost and the struggle to stop the State expanding will become increasingly hopeless.

Do go and read the whole thing; but there is one element in which I disagree with Matt. If the NHS is not reformed, it will not just be the Right who will suffer—everybody will. Increasingly poor people will be asked to pay more and more for the treatment of those who do not look after themselves.

In some ways, I have been unfair on Dr Rant and the other medicos; heavy drinking, for instance, does, undoubtedly, damage the body. The only way in which you are going to make people take responsibility for that, though, is to make them pay for it. Right now, everyone is forced to fund the NHS and they do not do so according to need but by ability to pay. The more you earn, the more you pay in, irrespective of whether you look after your body or not.

Legislating street-drinking bans will not help: making people pay, even partly, for their medical treatment is the only way to ensure that they do actually take responsibility for their actions. As long as people perceive health treatment as being free (even though it is not) or as being "their right" no matter how much they continue to damage themselves (which they will as long as they are forced to pay no matter how healthily or otherwise they live), they will continue to make choices that distress doctors.

It is ironic, therefore, that those who fight most fiercely for the retention of our current system, the medical profession, are precisely those who simultaneously rail against the actions that the system's perverse incentives engender.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/24/2007 03:40:00 pm


Alcohol pushes you into the river

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/24/2007 02:13:00 pm

Oh dear, oh dear; that fine team of sweary medicos at Dr Rant have taken offence at my telling doctors to shut the fuck up and, in their distress, have lost all semblance of decent argument. As David Bowie once said, "such a pity."
The DK is ranting on again about getting doctors to shut the fuck up and get on with patching people up. All because doctors want anti-binge drinking policies brought in.

"All because"? It sounds so reasonable don't it, to bring in "anti-binge drinking policies"? And your humble Devil is utterly unreasonable for objecting? How could I possibly object to people being banned from drinking on the street?

So, what is binge drinking precisely? Let me hand you over to the poor little Greek boy for one of the more memorable definitions.
Terrifying news from the Centre for Public Health: (full report here (pdf))
...
The Centre for Public Health analysed statistics from the past two years for all 354 local authority regions. [...] Experts warned that England had gone from a country "enjoying a harmless tipple" to one developing "a dangerous alcohol addiction".

How exactly do the experts define binge drinking? Brace yourself...
consuming double the recommended daily limit - the equivalent of a large glass of wine for women and a pint-and-a-half of lager for men - in at least one session a week.

Let's repeat that for emphasis; if you have two glasses of wine tonight, dear female reader, you are a binge drinker. If you have three beers with friends after work, be-testicled browser, you are a binge drinker. And binge drinking is defined as doing this just once a week. You can be dry till next Friday, then have another three pints. You're still part of the statistic.

Looking a bit further, one finds this (A more detailed/long-winded explanation of how these figures were reached can be found here):
While alcohol problems can end people’s lives at any age, across England the average loss of life due to alcohol is nearly 10 months for men and five months for women.

This statistic is clearly meant to scare us. It doesn't scare me. The last ten months of my life - spent in a care home on a cocktail of pills and mashed-up turnips, looking for my teeth and failing to recognise my family - versus the unquantifiable pleasures of a life lived to the full? No comparison at all. You might as well put out a press release warning that there's a small but statistically measurable risk of being blinded by a sharp elbow every time you bang a supermodel. I'll take my chances, doc.

Do you see, Dr Rant: what Mr Eugenides is doing here is expressing what we terrible libertarians call "his personal choice"; further he is quite willing to "accept responsiblity for the consequences of his choice". Now, being doctors, these phrases are probably fairly unfamiliar to you, Team Rant, but perhaps you could ask a non-medical friend to explain them to you?

Mr E, like myself, does enjoy a drink or several. Neither of us have, as far as I am aware, beaten anyone up or caused any marked distress to anyone else after doing so; as such, we should be allowed to drink when, where and as much as we like because that is what we want to do. We accept that we may have a shorter life but we neither of us are particularly keen on spending anymore time in that nursing home than we absolutely have to (and remember, I've worked in one: I know what I'm talking about in this case).
Stop being such a tosser, DK.

What a naughty, little Devil, I am! I consider myself suitably chastised.

Not.
Much as I agree that the BMA should spend more time getting the basics right (such as MMC, NPfIT and so on) and stop fiddling while Rome burns...

Well, that would be nice. On the other hand, maybe we should be treating the BMA with the contempt reserved for all unions. But actually, the BMA are worse than other unions who, after all, only try to get the very best deal for their members: the BMA wants to control the lives of the entire population.
... public health is the most important area of medical intervention.

"Medical intervention"? What a wonderful phrase!

Now listen up, Rant, public health issues are for the government to deal with; that is why we elect politicians. We don't want you unelected fuckers lobbying for your special interests. I don't like it from charities, I don't like it from businesses and I certainly don't like it from you lot.

In an ideal world, the government would not have the power to do anything anyway but, in this benighted country in which we live, the state is all too keen on repressive knee-jerk legislation.

What does "medical intervention" actually mean? What it means is stopping people from living their lives as they see fit—and taking the responsibility for their actions. It is hardly a surprise that a profession that is almost entirely dependent on the state for its training and employment should be in favour of increased state powers, but it is not a situation that should be lauded.
Why should we keep pulling people half-dead out of the water, when we could save far more lives by putting a stop to the fucker who is pushing them in up river?

Ah, yes; statists do love to do this; imbue a substance with anthropomorphic characteristics. In our libertarian worldview, we say that a person (knowing the risks) has decided to drink heavily—they have, in fact, made a "personal choice".

In the world of the medical profession, he has not made a choice: the demon drink is just that—a physical demon pushing the person into the river. The person has not made a choice: he has been attacked and is helpless before the power of the eeeeeevil drug.

What a big, fat load of stinking bollocks: your analogy might work for Dr Shipman (a cheap jibe, I know) but not for alcohol. Sorry. But, in Dr Rant world, this is what drugs are like and we must be protected from the terrible booze as though from a doctor with a syringe full of morphine.

But how to do this? Yes, let us further emasculate the population; let us encourage them to believe that they cannot responsibly choose their own lifestyles, eh? Because then you and your buddies, the government, can assume more power.

And I, quite correctly I think, told your precious BMA, and doctors in general, to fuck off. I don't see an inconsistancy here.
Have you heard of the Broad Steet pump?

Now, having already compared alcohol—an intoxicating drug which people can choose to drink in large quantities or, crucially, not to—to a physical assailant, Dr Rant now compares it to cholera, an often fatal bacterial disease. That's right, alcohol—which is, let me reiterate, an intoxicating drug which people can choose to drink in large quantities or, absolutely crucially, not to—is now actually a pathogenic organism. Oh yes, Doctor, I can see how alcohol is exactly analogous to Vibrio cholerae.

Are you sure you're a fucking doctor? One can only hope so, because your lack of facility for logical argument would lead me to suggest that you are certainly no philosopher.
Binge drinking is causing enormous problems and is fueled by a profit-hungry drinks and entertainment industry who show as much interest in public health as the tobacco industry did.

Ah, I knew we'd get onto those eeeeevil corporations sooner or later. Whereas everyone in the medical profession is a saint, of course. Unless, of course, we try the Dr Rant trick and make the medical professon analogous to something? I know, why don't we say that the entire medical profession can be represented by Josef Mengele? Or, to take another tactic of yours, why don't we say that the medical profession is like the MRSA bacterium (or any of the variants) which your medical colleagues keep spreading around hospitals?
Or do you think that attempts to combat the marketing power of the tobacco lobby are also an example of "when will these fuckers stop trying to involve themselves in things that they don't understand and just concentrate on the pill-rolling".

Oh dear, oh dear. You people really are a scream! You crack me up, really.

Look, sunshine, I believe in free choice, OK? Without all of the information, people cannot make a free choice because they do not understand the consequences. Have you got that? Therefore I am all in favour of education; to an extent I am in favour of curbing certain types of advertising (although I do not think that it has anywhere near the impact that you do; it certainly has none on me, except to occasionally inform me about certain products that I didn't know about). Advertising is, in any case, a nebulous area; after all, this Australian advert seems to have had the opposite effect to that intended.
An anti-smoking ad screened before movies may actually be encouraging young Australians to keep smoking, a landmark survey has found.

Whoops!

But your perception of informing people and letting them make their own choice as being analogous to banning activities by law is as misguided as your comparison between alcohol and cholera. Apart from anything else, although people may binge-drink on the street, not everyone who drinks on the street is binge-drinking. OK? Can you understand that, you thick bastard?
Exactly what are your qualifications to give an opinion on health policy, DK?

Given your post, I would say that my qualifications are rather better than yours, Doctor. They include the ability to construct a logical argument, an understanding of basic economics (including incentives, perverse or otherwise), a lack of a meglomaniac desire to control others, a healthy cynicism of those that who profess to choose for me, an extreme loathing of those who do so, and a passionate belief in liberty and personal choice.
How about you shut the fuck up about things about which you are, frankly, ignorant, and stick to euro-bashing.

And so we see the inherent arrogance of the medical profession [1]: if you have not completed a medical course, naturally you must be totally ignorant of any science or medical issue.

But if we bloggers are not to comment on things of which we are judged to know nothing, can I ask you to avoid talking about the politics and economics of NHS reform?—it has become painfully obvious that, just because you are a doctor, it does not, I'm afraid, mean that you know what the bloody hell you are talking about on that score.

But let's not get into that too much; after all, next time I want to see an argument with a bunch of lazy, know-it-all stick-in-the-muds who are only interested in having an easy life, a fat cheque and a return to the days when everyone would pay unquestioning deference to their expertise, I'll send Gerry Robinson around to do it for me.

Whilst we are about it, had I not bollocksed up Chemistry A Level, I would be cutting up people in London right now. As such, I researched a lot before I ever applied to medical school—because I was interested, you see, in more than simply a hundred grand a year and a safe, fat-cat job—and I have remained an extremely interested and informed amateur since then.

Oh, and some years as a microbiology undergraduate taught me really quite conclusively that ethanol is not, in any way, the same a cholera.
There's a good Devil.

Fuck off, Doctor. Do your job; patch people up and leave policy to the politicians, why don't you?
(I should point out that I agree with much - but by no means all - of DK's critique of much of what is wrong with the suggestions, such as prohibition not working, but am pissed off at the suggestion that we have no right to get involved in the debate).

Oh dear fuck, will you have the courage of your convictions, please? I don't mind doctors getting involved in the debate; as you point out, they do know a bit about it.

What I fucking well object to is an organisation like the BMA calling for particular policy decisions to be made. Doctors may know about toxicology; they do not know about policy. That was my objection and it has been my objection throughout the last couple of years as doctor after doctor has proposed stupid, illiberal laws which will not work and which curtail the freedom of others.

Yes, some people binge-drink; most people do not. Again, why punish the innocent for the sins of a minority? If one child in a class misbehaves, does a teacher put the whole class on detention? No (or, at least, I hope not).

And in any case, how we live and what we do to our bodies, provided we are adequately informed of the consequences, is nothing to do with the medical profession; your job is, as I said, to patch us up: that is what we, the citizens who supply the cash for your damn salaries, pay you to do.

Advise on public health by all means, my dear doctor, but, in the meantime, do your fucking job and stop proposing yet more totalitarian legislation. As long as you or your representatives (or do the BMA not represent you? Have you cancelled your subscription?) keep trying to curtail my freedom to live my life as I please, I will continue to tell you to FUCK OFF.

OK? 'Kay.


[1: RETURN TO TEXT] And should anyone wish to point out that, given the profession's arrogance, I would have fitted in nicely then—believe me—you would not be the first.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/24/2007 02:13:00 pm


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2007 11:30:00 am

Comment of the week on Gary Marshall's post on HPV and the Christian loons.
I think that you are all forgetting the bigger picture here. If a women is inclined to be promiscuous in any way then she obviously deserves to die (painfully) of cancer. Stands to reason, that does.

It doesn’t matter what age either - she’s obviously a whore and deserves whatever punishment Satan proscribes.

I think that’s how it works.

Yes, yes, that's right. Praise Jesus for his understanding!

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2007 11:30:00 am


Play your part

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2007 11:05:00 am

Cato reports on an evil organisation recruiting in our schools.
"We oppose aggressively recruiting children who are perhaps at a quite vulnerable stage in their lives. It's not appropriate to go into schools and colleges and tell children that it's a great career and a great opportunity to see the world, especially if there's a not a lot of information available about what it's like..."

Goodness me! Tory Heaven was shocked by these words. What could be the heinous profession being touted by evil childsnatchers in our schools? Is it perhaps that of a travel rep for Club 18-30 holidays? It would indeed be worrying to expose our children to working in the immoral environment of constant hedonism and self indulgence in far off parts of the globe to which such travel reps are exposed. Or is it maybe recruiting for VSO (Voluntary Service Oversees), an organisation which through seductive cinema and TV ads persuades 'vulnerable' young people to work oversees only for them to discover that they are marooned in dangerous and badly paid employment in godforsaken johnny foreigner hellholes? No, good readers, it is neither of these wicked professions.

In fact, the concerned local Councillor explains more about this wicked profession, by telling us that (shock horror!) children in deprived areas are being targeted by these evil career peddlers:
"Our concern is that ... recruitment may be targeting schools in more deprived areas where children, arguably, are not going to have as many career options available."

The Englishman points out that this "comes after a similar proposal was passed by the Educational Institute of Scotland, Scotland's largest teachers' union..." and that there is a reason why these kids do not have "as many career options available."
Probably not got many career options because they haven't been taught to read and write by their trendy teachers.

Sadly, we know this to be true. Given how badly our councillors and teachers do their jobs, shouldn't they concentrate their efforts on finding out why they are failing hundreds of thousands of people a year; why they are having their lives ruined by cunting teachers and corrupt fucking councillors?

The army is hopelessly overstretched and being fucked over by our scum politicians and the EU.
Even more fun than that is the news that they have paved the way for an EU Common Defence Policy. Yes, boys and girls. Our armed forces will be under the command of not the nice lady in the hats who lives in Buckingham Palace, but the bad man with the orange tan who you never elected and can't get rid of! That's fun, isn't it! That's Democratic and sensible and a jolly nice idea?

Well, it's not, really, is it. I tend to think that the main function of a government should be that it can protect the state as an entity, which means that it has the ability to 'blow shit up' should the need arise. There are very few areas I would like the government to get involved in, but I think that foreign policy and defence are the ones which are important. So now it looks like it won't be long before our armed forces, badly treated and under paid and yet quite simply the best in the world, will be under the command of some Euro-Prick. We shouldn't be surprised. If the Control Key on my lap top was working properly I would put in the link from Lord Pearson of Rannoch about the deal signed at Farnborough Airshow some years ago, and also point to the demise of the historical regiments which have been replaced with ones on a regional level, to nicely fit in with the idea of the EU.

And now I would ask you to do your bit for the country: write to this fucking bitch-whore, cock-sucking shitbag of a windmill-hugging turd councillor and tell her, politely but in no uncertain terms, just exactly what you think of her: maggie.chapman@edinburgh.gov.uk

Perhaps you would like to invite her to shut her fucking face? Or maybe to drown herself in the Firth of Forth. Or maybe we could club together to buy an ex-army man to shoot her in the head?

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2007 11:05:00 am


We should ban doctors from speaking

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2007 10:48:00 am

Via Timmy, when will these fucking medical types shut their fucking cakeholes and get on with their job of patching people up?
A national ban on drinking in the street should be introduced to help defeat the binge-drinking culture, senior doctors will say next week.

Laws to increase the legal age for buying alcohol to 21 - except in pubs and hotels - and increases in tax on alcohol and advertising restrictions will also be proposed.

In the name of all that's unholy, when will these fuckers stop trying to involve themselves in things that they don't understand and just concentrate on the pill-rolling? Crippen, I'm ashamed of your profession and I'm seriously contemplating putting these cunt medicos in the same bracket as our illiberal, statist politicos.
The BMA motion calls for total national prohibition.

When will you stupid bastards realise that prohibition doesn't fucking work? How many times much this be demonstrated?
This follows growing concern about the impact of binge drinking on the nation's health and the financial implications for the NHS and the taxpayer of alcohol-related disease.

Look, since when was it the job of doctors to worry about the allocation of taxpayer funds? Are they in government? No, thank fuck. But, if it comes to it, I am worried about the "financial implications for the NHS and the taxpayer" of the ridiculously poor contracts given to GPs and hospital consultants.
Dr Christopher Spencer Jones, the chairman of the BMA's public health committee, said yesterday: "Drinking alcohol in public gives a message that it is just as normal as any other drink."

No, it fucking doesn't, you cunt.
"It is not, it is a mind-altering drug that causes people to fail to address risks."

Tough. We all know that and if we didn't, we learn. Fuck off.
"It can lead people to drive dangerously, have sex without a condom leading to unwanted pregnancies and make someone punch somebody and land them in court."

Tough. People take the decision to get drunk. Fuck. Off.
"We should stop having alcohol for sale in supermarkets alongside foodstuffs. If you had different doors and cash desks for alcohol in supermarkets, you would be signalling alcohol is not a safe foodstuff."

Are you a teetotaller? No, get to fuck.
"If you put it in a different environment you can have messages around safe and responsible drinking."

Yeah? We've put drugs in a different environment: that of illegality. Has that worked? No. So why don't you go and overdose on morphine, you stinking sewer-rat, fascist fucker. FUCK YOU.

And, of course, as Timmy points out, your solution just won't work.
Where is public drinking of alcohol most prevalent? France, Italy, the Mediterranean countries perhaps? Which countries have the fewest problems over binge drinking? Could it be those same countries?

Where is it illegal to drink in the street? The US: the centre of New Orleans is the only pace where you can wander down the street with a beer in your hand. Where is there are serious problem with binge drinking? Yes, you guessed it. It might not show up in the general statistics because many Americans don't drink at all, but those who do drink heavily.

Concerning the US, you know what that ban on drinking in public actually leads to, don't you? Sitting on the beach, or in a national park, having a picnic, with a bottle of wine, is a criminal offense. Someone seriously wants to introduce this into the UK?

And there I was thinking that you had to be bright to be a doctor.

Fucking statist doctor bastards with their fucking statist mindsets and their fucking illiberal views: listen to me very carefully (I would like to say this only once, but I've already said it many, many times).

SHUT THE FUCK UP. WE WILL DO AS WE PLEASE, YOU SHITE-BUCKETS, AND YOU WILL DO THE JOB THAT YOU ARE PAID FOR: PATCHING US UP.

FUCK. OFF.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/23/2007 10:48:00 am


Friday, June 22, 2007

Stitching EU up

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2007 04:54:00 pm

Via The Ecclesiastical Eminence, I see that Benedict Brogan has been examining the draft EU Treaty and has picked up on a rather worrying point.
We've just been briefed by Downing Street on the back-room stitch-up between Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy. In sum, we have caved in to French demands for a massive watering down of the EU's commitment to "free and undistorted" competition. And we wouldn't have known about it if the FT hadn't spotted it.

The French have craftily got the Germans to change the Union's objectives from "The Union shall establish an internal market where competition is free and undistorted" to "The Union shall establish an internal market." The result, according to the people who understand these things, is that next time Nicolas Sarkozy bungs a hefty wedge to one of its failing state industries, it has a legal get-out if the Commission then tries to take France to the European Court.

One of the few things that could possibly be said to be a benefit of the EU is the free market; if, however, a committment to this is not going to be in the Constitution treaty, then what will our politicos say when hard-pressed to come up with any pro-EU arguments?

Your humble Devil was lunching in Portcullis House today, with chaps from The Bruges Group and The Freedom Association, when we were joined by a researcher who mentioned the point made above.

He also made note of something rather more sinister that the MSM seems to have overlooked; apparently there is a clause demanding that all member states' parliaments adhere to "subsidiarity."

Now, we discussed what this word could possibly mean for a little while, but couldn't decide on a definition. However, Wikipedia defines subsidiarity in this way... [Emphasis mine.]
Subsidiarity is the principle which states that matters ought to be handled by the smallest (or, the lowest) competent authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. The concept is applicable in the fields of government, political science, cybernetics and management. Subsidiarity is, ideally or in principle, one of the features of federalism.

Our researcher friend made it clear that, in his opinion, from a full reading of the text, that the Constitution treaty, for the first time, explicitly says that member states are subservient to the EU Institutions (which become a legal entity). In other words the EU becomes the supreme central authority, and member parliaments merely subsidiary local authorities.

Need I point out that I consider this to be an appalling—if predictable—development?

In other news (or should that be "olds"?), those in receipt of EU pensions continue to deny that these pensions (of up to £70,000 a year) should be a declarable financial interest even though—as Lord Pearson of Rannoch has so helpfully reminds us—these pensions can be withdrawn if the drawers displease their EU masters.
... EU pensions are unusual in that holders of them can lose them if, in the opinion of the Commission and the Luxembourg court they,
"fail to uphold the interests of the European Communities".

In other words, many of those who rule us—10 of the previous 22 speakers in that debate—have a financial interest in extolling the virtues of the EU for, if they do not, then they might lose their EU pension. I have given up being surprised; instead, it provides yet more proof that we are ruled, in the main, by some of the most corrupt and dishonest people in the country.

Meanwhile, over in Brussels, the Independence and Democracy Group—the EUsceptic EU Parliamentary grouping that UKIP belong to (and Cameron could instruct his MEPs to join were he not such a rampant EU-federalist)—decided to carry out a peaceful protest against the Constitution treaty: unfortunately, it was short-lived. Trixy has the details.
Got a phone call from colleague who is out there that the Belgian police, instructed by we can only guess had ordered a peaceful protest to the new EU Treaty up for discussion to be taken down.

When they asked why they were taking the peaceful protest down, which was placed on an area called 'Area of Free Expression' the officer in charge said "because I can". That's nice, isn't it! He was also asked whether or not the removal of any opposition to the new EU Treaty, which is essentially the EU Constitution but without the dreaded C-word (yes, yes it is. Everyone else in the EU is quite prepared to say so except our lying, cheating politicians who should all be hung, drawn and quartered. Even Merkel herself and the hateful Giscard D'Estaing)was politically motivated, which he refused to answer.

He threatened to arrest three MEPs there: UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the party chairman Dr John Whittaker and the London MEP Gerard Batten. When it was pointed out that they had immunity as elected representatives of some 2.6 million British people the police said they didn't care and that they would "put them in a cell for 12 hours and sort it out there."

I wonder if they would bother to tell them what they were being arrested for? For not agreeing with the Euro-Elite? For having the audacity to point out that sneaking around for months holding secret meetings with civil servants, Ministers being called in front of MPs and not answering their questions about what the Treaty is going to say and for ignoring the calls of people across the EU that they don't want any more integration is a bad thing?

They were asked on what authority they were taking the protest away from, and the answer that came was "a higher authority." That's nice. Someone just says, 'take down the perfectly peaceful opposition to what we are doing here as the TV cameras are on it and they're representing the views of rather too many people' and it is done.

Elaib has the story in pictures, and UKIP have a press release.
Four MEPs were threatened with arrest today after Belgian police objected to a peaceful protest outside the European Union summit.

Divisional Commander Pierre Vandernissen said he was "acting on instructions from a higher authority" when he confiscated an inflatable bulldozer and threatened to arrest MEPs Nigel Farage, John Whittaker, Derek Clark and Gerard Batten. When questioned why he was doing it, he answered "because I have the power" and refused to say whether or not it was politically motivated. "I don't have to answer you" he said.

Part of the discussions over the new EU Treaty is the plan to decide Justice and Home Affairs by Qualified Majority Voting and remove the veto which Britain currently has.

The inflatable bulldozer was part of an €11,000 display by the Independence and Democracy group attacking EU politicians for their secrecy over the treaty. On it was written, 'Clearing the way for the EU constitution' and 'Don't let them bulldoze the treaty through'.

Within 20 minutes of the bulldozer being inflated, just yards from the entrance to the European Council on the 'Zone of Free Expression', 35 policemen had arrived, switched the generator off and parked their police vans to obscure the view of the world's TV cameras which had been trained on the spot. The inflatable was confiscated and will not be returned until the end of the summit, if then.

The police commander told Mr Farage that "you will go to a cell for 12 hours and then we will sort it out." He later threatened to arrest everyone in the area, including civil servants and members of the press.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage slammed the moves by police as "storm trooper tactics."

"I have seen the future of Europe, and I don't like it." said Mr Farage. "It was an outrageous response to what was intended to be a humorous counterpoint to the debate over the future of the continent".

"We have protested all over Europe without a complaint from anybody. This is a deliberate attempt to stifle any objection to the new EU treaty.

"Once again we have seen that the EU don't want to know about concerns people may have. They can't accept that 'no' means 'no' which is why they are holding discussions over this treaty in secret, and they are trying to sneak in parts of the EU Constitution even though the French and Dutch voted against it.

"How Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats can want to hand over more power to these people is, frankly, astonishing."

What a wonderful foreshadowing of how peaceful protest will be dealt with in this country is a few short years when whichever traitorous bastard politician finally sells us down the fucking Swannee by signing the bloody Constitution treaty. [Sorry, I really must stop making that mistake—DK]

Labour, LibDems, Tories: it doesn't matter which you vote for. Remember this time for later years, when you are talking to your children; because when they ask you (struggling with the unfamiliar words), "Mummy, Daddy, what was "democracy"? What was "freedom"? And then you can tell them about it; and you can tell them about how some corrupt and hypocritical politicians (they will know that word all right) sold us into slavery and how the British people—grown fat and lazy and stupid and apathetic on a diet of mindless TV and state handouts—let the politicians do it because they had abdicated their freedoms to the state, sacrificed their liberty on the altar of an Easy Life.

Well, we've already had one quote from V For Vendetta in the last 24 hours, so let us have another; this is from the film and I consider it to be rather superior to that of the graphic novel (and that, I will admit, is partly because of my politics).
Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of a truth.

And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High Chancellor, Adam Sutler.

He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence.

Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked.

But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

Although I find myself despairing at the apathy and ignorance of the people of this country, the film inspires, I think; it allows for the possibility that maybe—just maybe—people can be made to understand what they have sacrificed, to be inspired to stand up and regain their freedom.

And then I look around at our media—The Sun, Heat, Poly Toynbee—and our politicians and the people that I meet and I think (melodramatically), alas, it is only a film. Only in the blogosphere do I find any hope that something might change: maybe the best that we can hope for are some politicians who care about more than merely stuffing their faces and pockets...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 6/22/2007 04:54:00 pm


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