God, I love this country, don't you? Ah, Britain, bastion of freedom. Britons never, never, never shall be slaves...
Sunday, September 30, 2007
God, I love this country, don't you? Ah, Britain, bastion of freedom. Britons never, never, never shall be slaves...
Piss off, Miss Benn
The 17-year-old granddaughter of Labour veteran Tony Benn is to contest a seat in the next general election.
A-level student Emily Benn, who turns 18 next month, has been chosen as the party's candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham, in West Sussex.
If elected, she would be the fifth generation from her family to enter Parliament, and the youngest MP ever.
The minimum age at which a person can stand for Parliament was lowered from 21 to 18 last year.
What the fuck? Look, at the age of 30, I am pretty sure that I know what I believe in, but I have undergone a substantial change in the last few years. I was hardly ignorant, but I have learned an awful lot about politics, economics and history which has expanded my understanding; I have picked up figures and the best places to find others. I have raged and I have been corrected; I have entered debate and been educated.
What makes this little shit think that, at 17, she knows fucking anything at all? I didn't. What bunch of lunatics selected her? She hasn't even been to university, or held down a proper job. She has no idea what tax is, or what living on your own is like. In short, she doesn't have a fucking clue what life is like; the last thing that I want is some stupid little schoolgirl telling me what I should be doing with my life when all she has done is to leave school and go straight into a piss-easy, fat-arse job paid for by me.
Asked if her family's experience of Labour politics had put her off, Ms Benn said: "Not at all actually.
"Ever since I have been campaigning, I have absolutely loved every minute of it and, to be honest, it is all I have ever really wanted to do."
Really? Well, we all have to cope with disappointment, love; when I was 17, I wanted to be a fucking doctor. Unfortunately, sitting about on my fat arse whilst the taxpayer supported me was not... Well, actually, I was a student for two years, but you get my drift. As a student, I wasn't paid £60,000 per annum and nor was I responsible for setting the levels of taxpayer extortion.
I hope that she looses humiliatingly. And then she'll cry in public and fuck off to do something worthwhile before, maybe, trying again; in about 20 years' time when she actually has a fraction of a fucking clue what she's talking about.
Piss off, you little shit.
Climate Cuttings #11
Do go and read the whole thing but, as usual, here are a few choice cuts.
Global warming sceptics are soon to be non-persons. The Wikipedia list of those opposing the hysterical outlook on the planet's climate has been flagged for deletion. Perhaps it was getting too long?
Got to love that willingness to debate that these AGW-nuts have, eh? The thing is that so much of their faith in AGW is based on these wonderfully reliable computer models. And because "computer" is mentioned, those models have got to be right, eh?
A group of Italian scientists compared 19 climate models used in the IPCC's 4th report. The outputs are apparently entirely inconsistent with each other, thus confirming the view that climate models are currently, and possibly inherently, unreliable.
Whoops! Of course, another once-respected cheerleader for AGW, NASA's James Hansen, continues to get a kicking as people delve into his murky past.
People are still chucking rocks in the direction of NASA's bungling AGW cheerleader, James Hansen. Lubos Motl says he was involved in the 1970s global cooling scare too. Meanwhile there was a brouhaha about the fact that he appears to have been receiving money from George Soros. This follows his being showered in cash by the aforementioned Mrs John Kerry - Teresa Heinz. Why are these left-wing luminaries so generous to a public servant? The Soros story has been brought up to date by Paul Biggs writing at Jennifer Marohasy's blog.
There was lots of interest in the climate history of Wellington, New Zealand. Hansen has managed to adjust his way from a gently cooling trend to a sharply warming one. Oh, and the city seems to have disappeared altogether after 1988. Only climate scientists can make major conurbations disappear before your very eyes, it seems. Climate Skeptic's take on the affair here. Climate Audit here.
I'd almost feel sorry for Hansen, were he not so obviously a lying cunt. But the beauty of the internet is that we can now test his theories, access his data, run his computer models and expose him for the charlatan that he is. I love the internet, don't you?
Meanwhile, the 800 year lag might be less than 800 years. Or maybe more.
Those who follow the AGW debate know that in the ice core records, increases in temperature lead increases in CO2 by about 800 years, implying what we might call an inconvenient causality. The hysterics try to shrug it off by saying it's all to do with feedbacks. They were very excited by a new paper [PDF] which claimed that the lag was less than the 800 years previously thought. Unfortunately another paper a few days later suggested a lag of 1300 years.
Of course, it's always quite tricky to reconstruct past temperatures, since one is always having to use proxies.
One of the key reconstructions of the historical climate is that of Osborn and Briffa who say that the 20th Century was abnormally warm. Their work has been the subject of much attention from Climate Audit in recent years. Now another researcher, Gerd Berger of Berlin’s Institut für Meteorologie, has reported that Osborn & Briffa have not done their statistical tests correctly. This will not be a surprise to regular readers. Berger has gone on to recreate their work using the correct tests and says that doing this makes the 20th century temperatures look pretty normal.
Not only that, but the abovfe research shows temperature reconstructions from Lake Baikal, which shows that the Earth has been far warmer, frequently, than in the 20th century.
Finally, is the sun making any difference? Well, it's debateable...
Some interesting work has been published by a statistician/blogger called Jonathan Lowe. While the AGW community looks at daily max/min temperatures, JL has looked instead at temperatures throughout the day and finds that night time temperatures in Australia show no trend. It's only daytime temperatures that are rising - when the sun is out.
Just saying, is all. See you back here next time and, as usual, thanks to Bishop Hill...
UPDATE: and why not also read Ahmadinnerjacket setting straight the record on stoning and gay hanging?
Imagine all the people...
But Lady Warsi - who was nominated for a peerage earlier this year when party leader David Cameron promoted her to a seat in the shadow cabinet - told the BBC she stood by her comments.
"To suggest I am some sort of apologist for the British National Party is ludicrous.
"You only have to go on their websites and look at their leaflets. I am one of their most hated figures," said Lady Warsi.
"I was talking about people who have been duped into voting for the British National Party because they feel that some of the concerns they are wanting to talk about are not being dealt with by the mainstream political parties."
Rightly or wrongly, people are concerned about immigration and people are voting for the BNP for this reason. The BNP garnered more votes in the recent by-elections than UKIP, for fuck's sake; if people wanted to use a protest vote, there are many parties other than the BNP to vote for. These people are voting for the BNP, not against the mainstream parties.
And yes, the mainstream parties are not addressing immigration; but we all know why this is. It is our old friend, that elephant in the room, the European Union. The majority of our immigration comes from EU countries and there is, quite simply, no way in which we can stop it.
The mainstream parties do not want to address the EU question: Brown and Ming desperately want to avoid a referendum on the
Still, there is at least one screaming hypocrite here.
Her comments also drew criticism from anti-racist group Operation Black Vote - for whom Lady Warsi used to work.
Spokesman Simon Woolley told the Independent on Sunday: "Pandering to the racist views peddled by the BNP and bought by the BNP voters is wrong."
Whereas pandering to the racist views peddled by Operation Black Vote and drawing up racist all-black shortlists (in consultation with Operation Black Vote) is, of course, absolutely fine.
Operation Black Vote was, by the way, set up by the 1990 Trust which lists explicitly racist objectives in its "Black Manifesto".
Me? I'll take the level-headed and self-evidently true statements by Ms Warsi over and above the condemnatory comments of the leader of a racist, unaccountable organisation like Operation Black Vote.
UPDATE: Thunderdragon agrees, and so good for him. Unfortunately, Norfolk Blogger continues to write self-righteous crap (but what do you expect from a LibDem?).
Ms Warsi's views on homosexual equality and now on the BNP are not views that should be upheld by any political party.
Poor old Nich; what a quandry he is in! You see, Ms Warsi is a Muslim and now poor Nich is surprised that she doesn't look on homosexuals favourably—perhaps Nich would like to start condemning the views of Muslims? Or is the view that Muslims might have some unpleasant ideas not the kind of view that any politcal party should hold? Oh dear, oh dear, Nich—how will you deal with this quandry?
Of course, poor, darling Nich thinks that as long as he says that no one should hold these views on homosexuality, or the views that BNP voters have, that people will no longer think these things.
No doubt Nich is one of these little shits who is just itching to use the law to prosecute people for any opinions that conflict with his own. Either that, or he just likes to bury his head in the sand and pretend that none of this is happening.
People vote for the BNP, Nich; get used to it. And now perhaps you could turn your colossal LibDem brain to thinking about how we might address these people's concerns and stop the rise of the far-left BNP** in Britain.
* She is no peer of my realm, merely a political appointee.
** Yes, they are.
Muppet party policy
Even Baldrick and his turnip could come up with something more effective than Brown's pathetic pretence at listening. A citizens' jury is a small group, hand picked by government, that is given a few hours to listen to 'independent' evidence and then make a decision about a complicated area of policy. The flaws in this sham are glaring:
Are the members of the citizens' jury representative of their community? No, they are hand picked by the government departments.
Are the members of the jury expert or educated in the policy area in which they are making decisions? No, they will generally have no proper understanding of the complex policy issues and will be sucked in by the so called 'independent' evidence.
Will the 'evidence' be 'independent'? No, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be spun in that typical government 'independent' manner.
How will the jury make decisions or feedback its opinion? You can guarantee that biased leading questions based on false premises will spin the feedback in the government 'independent' direction.
I could go on, but it is pretty obvious that the citizens' jury is something that even the Chinese communist party would be embarrassed by. It is frankly a fucking disgrace that complex policy is being spun by a hand picked bunch of Labour party friendly halfwits who have no knowledge of the policy area.
Policy should be sculpted with the help of the best and most knowledgeable experts in that policy area, we should not be reading in the most respected scientific journals that Gordon's policy is utter hogwash with no evidence behind it. The NHS consultation promises to be yet another case of the cretins in central government ignoring the best evidence to railroad through yet more destructive reform.
We live in the United Kingdom, not communist fucking China, and we should not have to put up with these brainless cretins wasting our money and fucking this country up. Not only do they have the nerve to lay waste to our public services but they also have the nerve to stick two fingers up to us at the same time, while shouting 'It's what the citizens want'. Fuck off Labour, you truly are a bunch of cunts.
Best Sustained Campaign of Hatred:
Devil's Kitchen (victim: Everyone)
Hamer Shawcross (victim: Question Time)
Well, I'm in good company there.
Still, I don't like to think of what I do as a campaign of hatred; I like to think that the category should have read "Best Sustained Campaign Of Helping The Deluded Towards Wisdom". That phrasing sounds more charitable and... well... fluffy...
Still, my favourite award category went to a throughly deserving winner.
The Alice Tinker Award for Incomprehensibility:
Now that woman really is as mad as a box of frogs...
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thought crime and liberty
Via The Nation Of Shopkeepers, whose little quiz is well worth taking, we find that someone opposed to a second travellers' camp in his local area is being sued by the Commission for Racial
A man says he is "gobsmacked" he faces action under race relations laws for starting a petition opposing a travellers' site in Swansea.
Carl Lewis collected 953 signatures for the petition while standing as a candidate in a council by-election.
The Commission for Race Equality (CRE) in Wales said it had instructed lawyers to start proceedings against him.
Now, I'd just like to send a message to the CRE: FUCK YOU, YOU BUNCH OF CUNTS.
But Mr Lewis, who runs a recruiting business from his home in Llansamlet, denied he was racist or prejudiced against travellers.
"I'm gobsmacked," he said.
"This petition wasn't against travellers, it was against a second official traveller site in the area."
It is completely stupid and deeply worrying; the law is being used to enforce a particular mode of thought which is very reminiscent of Nazi Germany or Stalin's Russia. Or, for that matter, just about any other totalitarian state.
And what is the CRE's justification for this?
The organisation's director Chris Myant said they were taking action under section 31 of the Race Relations Act which "made it unlawful to bring pressure on someone to act in a discriminatory way".
He said the act existed to "enable solutions to be found through debate" in which public expressions of prejudice play no part.
"Were this to have been a petition calling on the council to reject housing applications for any other ethnic minority groups, there would have been public uproar."
Well, that's as maybe, you fucking little shit, but that should not be the basis for prosecuting someone. People are entitled to their opinions, you totalitarian fucktard. Fuck you.
And just to reinforce how our lords and masters are abusing the law for their own gain, I found this little gem.
A RETIRED soldier who was questioned by riot police after complaining about a lord provost's lack of etiquette, has received an official apology.
Former guardsman Jake Reid was stunned to be interviewed by police officers after the provost took exception to being called an "embarrassment" in an e-mail.
The Scots Guards veteran who served on five tours of duty in Northern Ireland was visited by police and warned not to send any more e-mails to Dundee's lord provost, John Letford.
However, Mr Reid has now received an apology from chiefs at Tayside Police, who admitted "there was no basis" for their heavy-handed reaction to the e-mails and that their reaction was "inappropriate".
It is time for us to prep those lamp posts. Oh, and don't think that the Tories will be any better, by the way. The whole political process reminds me of that Bill Hicks sketch about US politics.
I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here.
"I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs."
"I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking."
"Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!"
"SHUT UP! Go back to bed America, your government is in control."
That is even truer of our sick and blighted political process; that is what this concensus politics is all about. The Gray Monk expresses this particularly well in a beautifully written post on the ruling classes.
This divorce from the voters has a sinister side to it - the voter is increasingly treated as being unable to think for themselves, so unable to engage in a debate on any subject. In short, they are there to be told what to do, how to vote and even what they may or may not think. Do not think that any of the Parties are free of this, you need only look at David Cameron's front bench to see that they have cloned their Nu Labour counterparts and are as boorish and disconnected with the real world as the present government. Nor does it end there, for the upper echelons of the Civil Service have been salted with their placemen and the institution of the Civil Service has gone from being merely incompetent, to being the single greatest threat to our freedom and democracy. Why is this so? Simply because it has become the natural home of the New Elite, an elite that recognises no ideals but their own, and which will use every means at its disposal to hold onto power.
The whole system is sick and twisted, and what is most sad is that the great British public—Great? Ha! A population of violent morons proud of their ignorance and happy to be preached to by an even more moronic and cynical media pandering to the lowest common fuckwit with 20p to spend on a hate-filled, jingoistic wank-mag—are more than happy to go along with it.
Even quite intelligent, well-informed people—people who can see that the government fucks things up—look, for action on issues, not to themselves but to that festering collection of arrogant, corrupt, morally-bankrupt tossbags whose only interest is in feathering their own nests before the electoral axe can fall.
It is time for a new way of thinking: for people to take responsibility for their own decisions; and for those who feel that a situation is unjust to take action themselves, rather than calling on the government to extort yet more hard-earned cash from those who couldn't give a fuck about these special interest issues.
String 'em all up and let's start again.
Like Newcastle United...
Thanks to everyone who voted for The Kitchen and put us in at #6. And, once again, thanks to all the contributors to The Kitchen, who help to make it the sweary place that it is. As your humble Devil approaches his third year of blogging, he can only hope that he will maintain his place in next year's roundup: how could I possibly beat those in slots 1 to 5 (barring some... er... accident befalling them)?
What amused me most, however, was that Iain compared your humble Devil to Newcastle United FC.
There are four blogs who, in terms of influence and traffic, are way ahead of the others – Guido Fawkes, ConservativeHome, Iain Dale’s Diary and PoliticalBetting.com. They are, if you like, the Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal of the UK blogging fraternity. You then have a few teams who might challenge in a good year – Dizzy Thinks (Everton), Devil’s Kitchen (Newcastle) and Recess Monkey (Spurs) – a few new comers who fizz into their first year with huge promise...
Growing up in a middle-class family with no interest in sport, in Kent*, meant that I have never been a follower of any football team. However, a couple of my good friends in Edinburgh were Novocastrians and so the only football team that I have ever supported—albeit in the most desultory manner—are
My last observation would be that I am beating my footballing namesake: Newcastle United are currently sitting at #8 in the Premier League...
* UPDATE: I notice that there is, in fact, a blog devoted to my home town...
Friday, September 28, 2007
However, I hope that they might bring in a big of cash, and you surely wouldn't begudge your humble Devil a few pennies for entertaining you day after day, would you?
Tories to abolish Inheritance Tax
The TPA has just been told by a high-level source that George Osborne will commit the Conservatives to abolishing inheritance tax in his speech at the Party Conference on Monday. This is great news. The TPA has long argued that inheritance tax is unfair, unpopular and unecessary and so we warmly welcome its abolition.
The plans as put forward by the Economic Competitiveness policy group and the Tax Reform Commission do envisage inheritance tax being replaced by a short-term capital gains tax, which would taper to zero after ten years and from which the main family home would be exempt. This does mean that some assets held for less than ten years will still face a tax on death, but according to the Tax Reform Commission, far less revenue would be raised under this system than from inheritance tax.
This is good news indeed although, having said that, I seem to remember John Major talking about doing the same thing, and that never happened, eh?
The reason that many otherwise sensible Lefties will squeal is because they see Inheritance tax as one of the few fair taxes, penalising, as it does, what they see only as luck. Actually, of course, if my father decides to save a load of his money, instead of squandering the lot, in order to pass it onto my and my siblings this is the precise opposite of luck: it is planning.
Now, you might say that, from my point of view, that it is merely luck and I will reply, "yeah. And. So. What? What a pity that your parents didn't do the same." The only thing that motivates such people is jealousy.
The fairest tax is, actually, a tax on work, since we all have to do it. In this way, everyone bears a proporational cost of maintaining the state: everyone, if you like, pays their bit towards society. Taxing inheritance is quite simply taxing those who have made sensible and far-sighted decisions rather than fecklessly wasting their money on precisely piss-all.
Bring on the tax cuts!
Except, of course, that the Tories have generally decided that any tax cuts will be revenue-neutral (at least for the moment) so don't get blinded by this piece of good news and remember to watch for Osborne's announcement of tax rises—or extra taxes (probably based on the AGW fantasy)—at the Conservative Conference.
I decided to get in touch with Dr Manuelidis: she responded very quickly and kindly sent me the original paper, which appeared in The Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 9999:1–19 (2006). I am now printing the paper out for my bedtime reading and I shall be posting more on this topic in due course but, at first glance, the abstract is extremely compelling.
An Inconvenient Truth is about as truthful as a Michael Moore documentary...
A parent is urging a judge to reconsider a ruling that the government did not break the law when it sent schools copies of a film by Al Gore.
Stuart Dimmock, a father from Kent and a member of the New Party, is at London's High Court.
In late July, a judge there ruled that the decision to send the climate change film "An Inconvenient Truth" to England's secondary schools was lawful.
Mr Dimmock had argued that circulating the film amounted to indoctrination.
It is indoctrination. At worst, An Inconvenient Truth is a pack of lies; at best it is presenting a flawed and highly biased point of view. The unproven theories that it presses are the same unproven opinions as those of the government and thus for the government to send it out is, quite obviously, an act of propaganda.
But the judge, Mr Justice Beatson, ruled: "The fact that the presenter is a public figure and active in US politics does not arguably make the film as a whole one of political indoctrination.
"Nor does the showing [of] it in an educational context as a supplement to other teaching methods, and accompanied by suitable reservations and indications as to what is political and controversial, arguably the 'promotion' of partisan political views."
Yes, it fucking well does. Because we know full well that those "suitable reservations and indications" will not be detailed enough.
In the High Court on Thursday, Paul Downes, appearing for Mr Dimmock said: "Given the serious inaccuracies in the film and the misrepresentations it contains, the film is irredeemable".
He said he was seeking to persuade the court the film constituted "just over half scientific material, 30% pure politics and about 20% sentimental mush - mush there to soften up the viewer for persuasion".
Guidance notes accompanying the film pack went "nowhere near correcting these flaws - indeed they don't even set out to do that," he said.
Just over half is scientific content? Really? I would seriously doubt that. Let's look at one of Gore's most "compelling" arguments: that the ice core records show that there is a relationship between CO2 and temperature. Well, that is entirely true but that relationship is not the one that Gore infers.
As the Coyote blog points out, there is an 800 year lag between temperature rise and CO2 rise. (I highly recommend that you read the rest of that article, as it also deals with positive feedback issues.)
The Swindle movie, however, claims that Gore is hiding something from that analysis in the scale of his chart -- that the same ice core analyses show that global temperature changes have led CO2 concentration changes by as much as 800 years. (short 2-minute snippet of this part of the movie here, highly recommended).
Well, this would certainly be something important to sort out. I have not done much real science since my physics days at Princeton, but my sense is that, except maybe at the quantum level, when B follows A it is hard to argue that B caused A.
So I have poked around a bit to see -- is this really what the ice core data shows, or is Swindle just making up facts or taking facts out of context ala the truther hypotheses about 9/11? Well, it turns out that everyone, even the die-hard global warming supporters, accept this 800-year lag as correct (Watch the Al Gore clip above -- it is clear he knows. You can tell by the very careful way he describes the relationship).
Conclusion: Al Gore is a liar.
Oh, and one of Gore's other claims is that we will see other disasters, such as hurricanes increasing in strength and frequency. Er, not according to this NOAA-funded paper, we won't.
Conclusion: even if Al Gore was unaware of this, his film is outdated.
Gore also claims that we will see sea level rises of 22 feet. In an excellent article on climate sensitivity, the Climate Sceptic concludes that no, Al, we won't.
The chief debate really boils down to those of us who think that climate sensitivity to CO2 is closer to 1C (ie the degrees the world will warm with a doubling of CO2 concentrations from pre-industrial levels) and those who think that the sensitivity is 3-5C or more. The lower sensitivity implies a warming over the next century of about a half degree C, or about what we saw in the last century. The higher numbers represesent an order of magnitude more warming in the next century. The lower numbers imply a sea level rise measured in inches. The higher numbers imply a rise of 1-2 feet (No one really know where Al Gore gets his 20 foot prediction in his movie).
So, even if this film is not "political" in nature (which it clearly is), it is very bad science. It contains superannuated theories and falsified data. It should not be shown in schools for those reasons alone.
So, assuming that this film is not going to be shown in creative writing classes—where it deserves to be—in what context will it be shown?
Schools in England are being sent a copy of the film by the former US vice-president in a package of resources for use in science, geography or citizenship lessons.
This inaccurate piece of shit is going to be shown in science lessons? What as—a teaching aid for showing how to falsify your data in order to put across the view that you want to make other people believe (even though the data doesn't support it)? Seriously, what the fuck?
And citizenship classes? What on earth has this to do with citizenship? And when the fucking cunt did they start "citizenship" classes? What the fuck is going on?
Doesn't anyone else here think that the very sound of citizenship classes is a little totalitarian? What, preceisely, constitutes a good citizen these days? It seems that I have leapt onto this bandwagon somewhat late: our government seem to have started the brain-washing already.
But what about these safeguards? You know, those ones that are going to tell the kiddies that this film may not be the Gospel truth?
Guidance notes accompanying the film pack went "nowhere near correcting these flaws - indeed they don't even set out to do that," [Paul Downes] said.
Why am I not surprised?
The government's counsel, Martin Chamberlain, said guidance notes distributed to schools with the DVD, warning against political indoctrination, would ensure that the documentary was presented in a balanced way.
Although teachers could present the film in any way they wished, they were under a duty to provide balance - for instance, by explaining to pupils that some of the views expressed in the documentary were political and asking "What do you think about it?".
What? I mean, seriously, what the fuck? That's your fucking safety net? Fucking hellski.
These guidelines should be pointing out that the film involves some serious scientific flaws and that nothing in the movie should be taken as truth, because it isn't. It is, quite simply, incorrect: it is a lie. It is contaminated data and should not be shown to anyone; let alone impressionable children who are already being mind-wiped by these eco-fascists.
And if the government insist on showing this film, then they should also provide a counter-balance in the same medium. If you believe that the Great Global Warming Swindle is too controversial (although it is rather more accurate than Gore's alarmist polemic), how about showing An Inconvenient Truth Or Convenient Fiction, an extremely measured and balanced view.
And Dr Steve Hayward has some background in science and is not simply a fucking journalist. (It bears repeating, by the way; Al Gore has no scientific qualifications whatso-fucking-ever; he is a hack, pure and simple.)
In short, An Inconvenient Truth should not be sent to schools: not because it is political (although it undoubtedly is) but because it is inaccurate, misleading, emotive and, in far too many places, demonstrably and deliberately false.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Have a go: be a hero
The law protecting people who intervene in criminal situations is to be urgently reviewed, Justice Secretary Jack Straw is to announce.
He will say self-defence law works "much better than most people think, but not as well as it could or should".
Mr Straw wants to reassure victims or witnesses in England and Wales that they can use reasonable force to stop and detain offenders.
Well, that's just lovely. And what dictates reasonable force? Isn't that rather the problem? If someone breaks into my house, I might think that punching him to the ground and then clubbing him unconscious with a pool cue is reasonable force: unfortunately, I don't think that the law does, unless the burglar's first done the same to me.
However, if it allows people to hold thugs for arrest, without the little scrotes claiming that "you are infringing my rights an' I'm gunna get you done for it, mister" then that is probably a good thing.
"The justice system must not only work on the side of people who do the right thing as good citizens but also be seen to work on their side."
Quite. And, it turns out, Mr Straw is a bit of a hero himself.
Mr Straw has intervened four times to stop criminals, including three times when he managed to detain the offender.
In 1980 he overheard a burglar breaking into a members club in his Blackburn constituency, chased them down the street and detained them until police arrived.
In the mid 1980s at Oval Tube station in south London he came across an 11-year-old boy who had just been robbed by a man and detained the offender.
At the same tube station in the early 1990s he chased a man who had attacked a woman, but did not catch him.
Then in 1996 he chased a man who had robbed a member of the public and detained the suspect until police arrived.
Methinks that Mr Straw is being too modest! After all, some years ago, he also dragged a young scrote, who was dealing cannabis, to the police station.
The justice secretary will state: "Enforcing the law, securing justice, is not just a matter for 'them' the courts, the prisons, the probation service, police - but for all of us."
Well, yes, that's a lovely idea and I am sure that it would be good to encourage citizens to take action themselves; Boris will no doubt be happy with Straw's initiative.
The Association of Chief Police Officers, the Crown Prosecution Service, judges and other government ministers are expected to be consulted during the review.
Which is interesting, because the police's official line is that members of the public should not get involved at all.
One of the great pre-requisites for being in favour of the European Union, it seems, is knowing little or nothing about how it works.
Go and read the whole thing, which outlines how MEPs don't even seem to know how it works or where, indeed, the safety regulations came from in the first place...
The Gobblin' Lothario
Tony Blair may have flirted outrageously and Bill Clinton may have mesmerised with his louche charisma.
But when it comes to turning grown women into stammering jellies, Gordon Brown, it appears, is your man.
Mariella Frostrup, not normally known as a pushover, seemed to come over all unnecessary when she hosted a question-and-answer session with the prime minister at the Labour conference.
Gosh, does that mean that she gave him an easy ride? As it were...
You might think she would have become immune to the PM's entirely unintentional charms by now - after all, she is a family friend.
Tom Wise in the EP
When the EU talks of a 'Common Foreign Policy' on energy, you need to be aware
of exactly who you propose to do business with.
President Putin is on record as saying:"The Commission should be under no illusions, if it wants to buy Russian gas; it has to deal with the Russian state".
Gazprom is not a private company; it is a state controlled tool of Russian foreign policy.
It is, moreover, in the hands of Putin's political henchmen, and allegedly organised crime.
Take for example Alisher Usmanov. This gentleman, the son of a Communist apparatchik, is chairman of Gazprom Invest Holdings, the group that handles Gazprom's business activities outside Russia. He is the man you will be dealing with. He is the man who cuts off gas supplies if client states dare to question Gazprom's demands.
Allegedly a gangster and racketeer, he served a 6 year jail sentence in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, his eventual pardon coming at the behest of Uzbek mafia chief and heroin overlord Gafur Rakimov, described as Usmanov's "mentor".
Usmanov bought the newspaper 'Kommersant'. 3 months later, the journalist Ivan Safronov, a critic of the Putin regime who just weeks earlier had been "vigorously interrogated" by the FSB, as the KGB is now called, mysteriously fell to his death from his apartment window still clutching a bag of shopping.
According to Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, it was Usmanov who ordered the cutting off of supplies to Georgia earlier this year. Please take note, Mr President, that the Kremlin has now refused to sanction the construction of a pipeline to the EU over Georgian territory.
These are the people you want to do business with. These are the people you are moulding your 'foreign policy on energy' around.
Mr Commissioner, good luck: You'll need it.
I do hope that Mr Usmanov has not paid that latest invoice from Schillings yet...
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Batshit is back—and this time, he's got company! Fucking hell, it's the A Team of FCO blogging. How will we inarticulate bastards cope now that this eloquent visionary is back—back to eclipse our own poor efforts?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Have you silly fuckers learned nothing?
The Zimbabwean parliament has passed a bill to move majority control of foreign-owned companies operating in the country to black Zimbabweans.
The goal is to ensure at least a 51% shareholding by indigenous black people in the majority of businesses.
Have you fuckers completely lost your minds?
The bill completes a process that began with the controversial seizure of white-owned farms starting in 1999.
Yes, and that process is the utter destruction of Zimbabwe as a functioning economy or even a functioning nation. Have you stupid bastards learned nothing? You seized the "white" farms and that has led to bad or non-existant crop yields, sanctions and, ultimately starvation and economic collapse—and now you want to extend this measure to all businesses (or those few that are left)? In the name of all that's unholy, what the fuck are you playing at?
Critics have said the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill could hurt investor confidence in Zimbabwe.
Oh, ya think? Yes, I'd say that was going to hit any investor confidence fairly hard: in fact, you can kiss the last of your foreign investment goodbye, you mad bastards.
And apparently the EU is desperately trying to get Mugabe to go to Lisbon because otherwise it'll be "embarrassing". For fuck's sake...
UPDATE: the entirety of Africa seems to be heading to the madhouse...
Harriet Harman admits that she is an ignorant racist
Labour wants to change the law to allow all-black shortlists in constituencies with high ethnic-minority populations.
Deputy leader Harriet Harman said the highly controversial measure was needed to increase the number of minority MPs.
Look, you fucking little bitch, an all-black shortlist is racist, OK? Positive discrimination based purely on the colour of someone's skin is exactly as racist as negative discrimination on the same grounds.
What we want, you silly cow, is the very best, most capable people selected to be candidates: these people are going to be running the country, not standing about looking pretty. This isn't some unimportant bloody parade, you dolt; this is about who is going to be weilding the whip over the people of this country.
Now, if minorities feel that the only way in which they can get proper representation is to be represented by an ethnic minority candidate—in itself, a racist attitude—then they can put forward a minority candidate. If you find that these minority candidates are being actively discriminated against, then I suggest that you take the guilty CLPs to court under existing race laws. But candidates should be the best for the job, regardless of race, creed, colour, sex, religion, etc. etc.
And, as Croydonian points out, Harman is hardly one to talk.
A bit of digging shows that that Camberwell & Peckham, HH's constituency, had the following ethnic breakdown according to the 2001 census:
So come on Hattie - surely a high earning, St Pauls-educated, law degree-holding, paper QC-holding white woman married to a high earning white man cannot hope to represent the good people of Camberwell & Peckham, can she?
If all of this right-on racism and downright hypocrisy were not enough, Harman demonstrates her utter ignorance about different rates of pay.
Labour had closed the gap between men and women by 5% since 1997. But women were still being paid 12% less than men an hour if they were in full-time work and 40% less if they were in part-time work. "I simply refuse to believe that a part-time working woman is worth less than a full-time man," Ms Harman said.
Really, Ms Harman: and why is that, precisely? The reason that a part-time working woman earns less than a full-time working man—or, indeed, a full-time working woman—is because there are standard costs of employing anyone at all. These costs are not significantly different whether someone is working full-time or part-time, but the full-time worker is more productive because, you see, they are working for longer. Thus, they get paid more per hour.
Incidentally, over the last decade, NuLabour have substantially increased those employment costs—not only through their own policies, but also by signing up to the Social Chapter. So your party, Harrie darling, is partially responsible for the size of the pay gap.
In any case, the average pay gap between men and women in comparable employment modes is, for the most part, caused by the fact that women take time out of the economy.
I do wish people would grasp this most essential of points: the gender pay gap is caused (at least in part) by the very existence of such things as extended maternity leave. At it's most simple, of course someone who takes three or four year long absences from the labour force is going to have less human capital than those who slog though full time. We can also point to the way in which never married childless women do not suffer a gender pay gap, nor lesbians. That the gap is virtually non-existent under the age of 30, widens then shrinks again from the late 40s onwards.
Taking long periods of time out and insisting on being able to work part time (part timers cost more per hour to employ than do full timers) inevitably reduce the wages paid. So, as in so many things, there's actually a choice that has to made here. Which do you want? Child friendly policies, parent friendly ones...or no gender pay gap? The thing is, it looks like you've got to choose one or the other: you can't have both, they're mutually exclusive.
Once again, the punishing maternity leave policies that NuLabour have enacted have actually widened the gap even further, as Timmy points out yet again.
Women are losing out on jobs because some businesses avoid hiring those of child-bearing age because of maternity laws, research claims.
Some 63 per cent of executives say they find regulations pose a “serious threat” to their companies.
Almost one in five directors says they have avoided hiring women of child-bearing age because of the legal risk of being caught out by constant changes in rules on maternity pay and time off.
Such discrimination is illegal. But whether it is or not isn’t quite the point. If 20% of directors avoid hiring women of child bearing age because of the maternity rules then that’s one fifth of the economy off limits to such women of child bearing age. This will obviously have an effect upon the wages on offer. Just more fuel for the fire that is the obvious thought: the gender pay gap is, at least in part, caused by the laws on maternity leave etc.
My my, what a surprise. Perhaps it isn’t possible to have it all, perhaps there really are trade offs that have to be made in real life?
So, NuLabour—and not least their one-time Minister for Women, a Ms H Harman—have contributed to this problem. Well done, Harriet! Harriet, you really are a fucking tool.
Of course, NuLabour's solution is to equalise these costs by compelling men to take statutory (paid) paternity leave. Which will, of course, mean that the labour market will start to favour those who are most unlikely to have children—it's a great look out for eunuchs! Perhaps we'll even see "a vasectomy" as part of potential employment benefits.
Why don't you fuck off, Harman, you ignorant racist shitbag.
Earliest political memory
As such, I suppose that the one that I best recall was during the 1992 election. Having watched a couple of hours of coverage we retired to bed, my father muttering that "there was absolutely no point in staying up to watch that ghastly turd, Kinnock, win."
Imagine my surprise (and confusion) then when—at some ungodly hour of the morning, maybe 5 or so—my door burst open and my father rushed in, clad in pyjamas and dressing gown, punching the air and yelling, "We won! We won! Take that, you bloody Welsh windbag!"
Cue another five years of my father sitting at the breakfast table ranting about what an arsehole Major was...
I am required to tag five other people, so I would be intrigued to hear the earliest political memories of Mr E, Chris Strange, Jackart, Bag and Unity.
At least let them have a point on their sticks...
Meanwhile the inquest goes on into the shooting of two robbers in Lusk a couple of years back. What happened there was armed robbers tried to rob a post office and armed police shot them dead. And for some reason there’s an inquiry into this.
My take is this - If you are armed and about to use your arms to commit a robbery you then put yourself in a position where shooting you is perfectly acceptable. If you have a gun we can only assume you’re willing to use that gun and the best way to make sure you use that gun is to shoot you. In the face, probably. Can’t have an open coffin? Boo fucking hoo.
Now, the thing is the Garda that trailed that stolen car had no weapon beyond a truncheon and the criminals have all kinds of weapons. Honestly, to them it’s like a Grand Theft Auto game where they pick up shotguns, Magnums and rocket launchers as they go around the place being criminals. And the Gardai have sticks. It doesn’t seem very fair to me.
I just find it funny that we have to go so in-depth into the Lusk shooting. Two idiot cunts with guns got shot. So fucking what? If they hadn’t tried to rob a post office they’d be alive now. They chose to go in armed, they’re dead. I’m not bothered one bit.
I am bothered by the fact that the police force in this country seems to be falling further and further behind in its ability to control and deal with the criminal elements.
I say give the Gardai whatever weapons they want. Bazookas, flame throwers, whatever. Just don’t send the poor cunts out with sticks. It’s like sending someone into a sword fight with a drawing pin.
I can't honestly say that I disagree with yer man, there. As far as I am concerned, as soon as you commit a crime, you have no fucking rights; you have put yourself above the law and you are therefore no longer protected under the law.
And if you get shot dead in the course of that crime... well... that's just tough fucking shit; it was your decision. It's one less cunt we have to shell out £70,000 a year for in prison and, as an added fucking bonus, there's zero chance of you re-offending.
Tevor Phillips is a stupid, ignorant, dangerous cunt
British history should be rewritten to make it "more inclusive", says Trevor Phillips, the head of the new human rights and equality commission.
New? Oh, right, it's not the Commission for Racial Equality anymore. The new agency does, however, appear to be made up of exactly the same evil little turds, just on (I would imagine) much higher salaries.
He said Muslims were also part of the national story and "sometimes we have to go back into the tapestry and insert some threads that were lost".
Ah, or rewrite history to make it rather more palatable to your delicate senses, eh, Trev? When you mean "insert some threads", do you mean "falsify history in order to suit your disgustingly racist agenda"? Yes, I think that you might.
"And if there is a practical thing, I would say it is that we need to revisit some parts of that national heritage. to rewrite some parts of that national story to tell the whole story."
Lots of famous people have been very keen on doing that kind of thing, Trevor. You know, people like Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Hitler; would you propose starting by burning the old history books—in bonfires on the street, for instance—so that no one can gainsay your rewritten version. I think that's probably best, don't you? Otherwise people might find these filthy, non-inclusive versions of history and get entirely the wrong idea.
But your humble Devil is a merciful Devil and will give you the benefit of the doubt, until he sees what kind of thing you propose.
He quoted the example of the Spanish Armada, which was held up by the Turks at the request of Queen Elizabeth I.
"It was the Turks who saved us," Mr Phillips told a Labour fringe meeting.
"When we talk about the Armada it's only now that we are beginning to realise that part of it is Muslims," Mr Phillips told the meeting.
"It was the Turks who saved us, because they held up Armada at the request of Elizabeth I.
Erm... Trev? You are talking through your fat arse, you fascist fuck. Here's The Reptile explaining why.
Nice story, but it's unfortunately at best grossly misleading, and at worst flatly untrue. The argument, put forward by Dr Jerry Brotton, is that Elizabeth I sought an understanding with the Ottoman Empire (not Turkey, for God's sake - it was 350 years before Turkey was created) that the latter would continue to threaten Spain in the Mediterranean, thereby reducing the number of ships available to the Spanish."If the Armada had been bigger it would have taken Britain," said Dr Jerry Brotton.
And that's pretty damn tendentious too. The main reason that the Armada was defeated was that, even though it massively outnumbered the English navy, it was qualitatively inferior in seamanship and gunnery - a larger fleet would have meant more logistical problems - which were already considerable - and not much more chance of victory. In any event, the Turkish 'influence' was insignificant.The letter, ordered the ambassador, William Harborne, to incite the Turks to harry the Spanish navy. It was written in the mid-1580s
It was written in 1584 or 1585, 3-4 years before the Armada, and had no impact on Turkish policy, because they were busy at the time in the Balkans. It's nonsense.
Oh dear, Trevor; it seems that you need to look at your history books again, you stupid fuck. Still, what else do you propose?
Mr Phillips said he had also been persuaded of the need for a written constitution, saying the UK needed to be "more explicit in our understanding about how we treat each other".
Quite apart from my immediate reaction—which is, "go fuck yourself, fuckface"—Vindico points out the flaw in this most excellent and beaudacious idea from Mr Right-On.
A CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ENSHIRNE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, DICKWAD! A CONSTITUTION PROTECTS THE NEGATIVE LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE TO STOP THE FUCKING GOVERNMENT STICKING THEIR BUSYBODY NOSES INTO OUR BUSINESS.
Quite. I would imagine that it is not the kind of Constitution that Trevor Phillips has in mind; what he would like to see probably includes clauses that involve "positive discrimination" and "of all races regardless of ability" and other such sops.
You are a fuckwit, Trevor: but, worse than that, you are a dangerous fuckwit. Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest of PC...?
Look on my works...
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."—Thomas Jefferson
"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."—Judge Gideon J. Tucker
"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare."—Daniel P. Moynihan
"The power to tax is the power to destroy. A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny."—Calvin Coolidge
"We have an army of bureaucrats laboring feverishly to convince us of the importance of government. There are few who work to convince us otherwise. The bureaucrats are paid for their work. No one is paid to point out the waste, graft, and corruption that is government."—Tom Gleinser
"When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence."—Gary Lloyd
"I weep for the liberty of my country when I see at this early day of its 'successful experiment' that corruption has been imputed to many members of the House of Representatives, and the rights of the people have been bartered for promises of office."—Andrew Jackson, February 10, 1825
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."—John Adams
"The amount of donations a candidate receives is a direct indication of his level of corruption. The most corruptible candidates receive the most money."—Tom Gleinser
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."—C.S. Lewis
"There’s a huge difference between Vegas and Washington. See, in Las Vegas, people gamble with their own money."—Jay Leno
"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."—John Adams
"It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power."—David Brin
"Politics is the art of stopping people from minding their own business."—Paul Valery
“I've had a tough time learning how to act like a congressman. Today I accidentally spent some of my own money.”—Joseph P. Kennedy
"Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you give it to others."—William Allen White
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program."—Main's Law
"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."—William H. Borah
"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State wants to live at the expense of everyone."—Fredrick Bastiat
"The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it."—John Stuart Mill
"There is no better way to provide for the 'common good' than through the preservation of individual liberty."—Tom Gleinser
"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."—Sir Winston Churchill
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."—Tacitus
[And how true. NuLabour have introduced some 3,500 laws and they are one of the most—if not the most—corrupt, morally bankrupt governments this country has ever seen—DK]
"The world is a dangerous place to live... not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."—Albert Einstein
"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."—Robert Heinlein
"Even a dumb free market is far more intelligent then a smart bureaucracy."—Joe Balyeat, in response to the 'smart growth' psuedonym used by government regulators
“If you would not confront your neighbor and demand his money at the point of a gun to solve every new problem that may appear in your life, then you should not ask the government to do it for you."
"Once the government becomes the supplier of people's needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right."—Lawrence Auster
"The government deficit is the difference between the amount of money the government spends and the amount it has the nerve to collect."—Sam Ewing
"Any alleged 'right' of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right."—Ayn Rand
"Politicians and diapers need to be regularly changed for the same reason."—Unknown
"Only Libertarians obey the Constitution rather than changing it to suit the desires of the special interests they owe."
"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny."—Thomas Jefferson
"If a government were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, within five years, they'd have a shortage of sand."—Milton Friedman
"Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny."—Barry Goldwater
There is, of course, another quote which is particularly apt. Gordon Brown spent his first speech to the Labour Conference outlining what was wrong with Britain—a Britain that he has helped to create over the last decade.
The picture that he painted was not a pretty one and though the one-eyed fuck would never admit it, it is the product of ten years of his policies. Thus, the most apt quote must surely be this one, spoken by the character John Galt, from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection.
Look on your works, Gordon, you hideous little cunt; look on your works, ye bastard, and despair.
A standing traitor army
It is a question that has already been answered in Britain, and that answer came in the shape of a television series: Yes, Minister. The one constant in all of the changing political landscape is the civil service, and it is they who have kept their leaders on the straight and narrow to EU federalism.
This is why we must kill all the fat-arse, lazy cunt, unaccountable, traitor civil servants before we even get started on the corrupt, incompetent MPs. Get your rope, lads...
However, Unity also points to another post about corporate bullying, as related by Richard Brunton. Do read the whole thing, but it mainly deals with the problems as relating to comments made on blogs.
Currently US Law protects site owners from liability from the comments made on their site, of course they have to police them to a certain degree, but the law is with them. However there is no such law in the UK.
More interestingly the very fact that I have shown good will to the head of the company by making a vast amount of deletions and edits shows that I have changed from a "common carrier" of information to a "publisher", and this increases my legal liability for the comments.
Actually, going by the letter of the law, my liability is increased by removing comments from my site that are recognised as any type of SPAM. I would have been better to leave all the illegal or offensive SPAM comments all across my site.
Another consideration is the whole subject of online reviews. Does this mean that sites such as Amazon or iTunes are liable for the comments made on their site about products? Could I sue Amazon if someone said something negative about my book? Could I force the film site IMDB to remove all their negative comments about my film and leave a hugely positive and false view for all to see?
While these events were ongoing there was much discussion about a set of blogging guidelines being created, yet I think this isn't addressing the real issue. The problem does not lie with bloggers as such, I feel it lies with the law not being clear about the separation of liability between those making the comments and those hosting the site on which the comments are made.
This is a definite problem. For instance, the one time that I have been threatened with legal action was over the comments on a post that was not even written by me, but by my colleague Dr De'Ath!
We seem to be coming to that inevitable point where the power of blogs has grown to an extent that we are now being noticed. Whilst advantageous in terms of advancing our various opinions, we are also coming under the scrutiny of the law. Expect these kinds of cases to pop up with increasing regularity.
Perhaps we should consider a bloggers' fighting fund; there are a huge number of us. We could, for instance, pay some small renumeration every month, or even a one-off payment, and swiftly build up a pretty decent bank balance. Some kind of bloggers union could run the fund and decide whether a case could be worth fighting. Just an idea...
Music and DRM
According to a message on the site, the online music store has already shut its doors to new customers as of last Friday, and as of this coming Friday, it will cease selling individual tracks to current customers. Only subscribing members will have access to the site until their next payment is due or October 19, whichever comes first. After that, the site will cease to operate for both US and UK customers.
The site now advises its customers who have purchased tracks to back them up, as they will not be able to download them again once Virgin Digital has closed. It's unclear whether the purchasers of individual tracks will be able to access their songs without burning them to CD and reimporting them as MP3s, but it's better to be safe than sorry if you're one of those customers. And naturally, subscribing members will lose access altogether once their subscriptions lapse.
In the meantime, Amazon has launched amazonmp3.com (for US users only at present). "So what?" I hear you cry. Well, all of the songs are sold entirely free of DRM, and many are cheaper than on Apple's iTunes Music Store. Daring Fireball has a detailed review of the store and it is very favourable.
What is interesting, though, is the attitude of the music companies hosted. Amazon are essentially selling music from two of the big four: EMI and Universal. Earlier this year, EMI started selling all of its tracks on the iTunes Music Store without DRM and at a higher bit rate (and allowed you to "upgrade" the songs that you had already purchased).
However, Universal's relationship with Apple is obviously not good, as John Gruber points out.
Universal seems to be taking a particularly hardline — if not outright spiteful — approach in their continuing negotiations with Apple. EMI is already selling DRM-free music through iTunes, as the only label from the big four participating in Apple’s iTunes Plus. Universal, on the other hand, isn’t selling DRM-free music through iTunes. If you want DRM-free music from Universal, you can only get it at Amazon.
Despite Steve Jobs saying that Apple would happily embrace DRM free music, Universal have obviously decided that it does not want to do this through iTunes. So, whilst people point the finger at Apple's Fairplay DRM being evil, one must remember that it is the music companies who do the deals. As John says...
In fact, the tragedy is that Amazon could have built this store 10 years ago — the music labels simply wouldn’t allow it. What’s happened now is that the music label executives — at least at Universal and EMI — have finally gotten it through their thick skulls that it’s the iPod that drives iTunes sales, not the other way around. Apple’s FairPlay DRM isn’t (at least primarily) some sort of lock-in scheme to force people to buy iPods; FairPlay was a requirement stipulated by the labels, without which they would not have allowed Apple to sell their music at all.
People buy iPods because they love them. If your music doesn’t play on iPods, it isn’t going to sell. And so if (a) you refuse to sell music downloads without DRM; and (b) no other DRM system other than Apple’s is compatible with iPods; then we’re left with a situation where the only successful store is going to be iTunes. What Universal and EMI now seem to have learned, at long last, is that (b) is completely under Apple’s control; only (a) — the labels’ own willingness to allow their music to be sold without DRM — is under their control.
Let us hope that amazonmp3.com comes to the UK swiftly; and when it does, I would encourage everyone to use it and show the music companies that we will buy music more readily when our ability to use it as we see fit is not hampered by DRM restrictions.
More importantly, Apple will, for the first time, have real competition in the music download market and this can only be good for consumers.
This is Liberty calling...
The second is by Assistant Editor, Mark Wallace, of TFA, who discusses Belgium Without The Waffle. You might also want to have a gander at a rather less optimistic article, on the same subject, at The Torch.
We are always looking for articles for LibertarianUK.net so you can either email me or sign up to the site and get writing (if you have problems signing up, simply drop me a line and I will sort it out for you)! The emphasis is on practical Libertarian policies for the UK, but any discussion of libertarian philosophy is encouraged.
The USA: Politically Schizophrenic
The answer, really, is twofold. First of all, I think you have to acknowledge the fact that the Democrats ran a couple of political cretins of their own against him. But the other problem lies in the fact that America is almost too diverse and too broad not to elect someone like Bush Junior. America suffers from political schizophrenia.
Take this story. The story itself is extreme and is a bit of a mind-fuck – a religious leader telling a 14 year old girl that she has to marry and shag her 19 year old cousin or go to hell. But it is the little asides in the article that really get to me. Take this sentence:
"Under Utah law a 14-year-old can consent to sex, but not if they are enticed by someone at least three years older."Of course, sex with a minor is fine, as long as that person isn't at least 3 years older. Makes all the f*cking difference. It is bad enough that the USA is one of those countries that executes minors, but now we learn that you can fuck ‘em as well. As long as you are not too much older than them.
And the description of the requirements of the FLDS church:
"Members believe a man must marry at least three wives in order to ascend to heaven. Women are taught that their path to heaven depends on being subservient to their husband.""Nice". A man has to have not just three wives, but actually at least three wives. Which is fine with the women, because they are taught that they have to be subservient to their husband. Remember, this isn't the Old Testament I’m describing: I’m talking about people in America today.
"Polygamy is illegal in the US, but the authorities have reportedly been reluctant to confront the FLDS for fear of sparking a tragedy similar to the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian sect in Waco, Texas, which led to the deaths of about 80 members."Riiiiggghht, so it is OK to break the law in the US as long as the authorities feel that there is a risk of mass murder and/or mass suicide. This is the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave", apparently.
See, these people – as backward, reactionary and downright fucked up as their beliefs are – have a vote in the US. And that is why the likes of Bush can win elections. By the very nature of democracy, sometimes appealing to the lowest common denominator in a country can be crucial to electoral success – and just as important as aspiring to greater and more worthy ideals. And I can imagine every liberal in the US, as they cringe with despair as their boss lurches from one catastrophe to another, can understand the irony that makes up democracy – everyone having the vote is simultaneously a great concept but also can be a disastrous practicality.
Running out of energy
The proposed treaty will give the EU power for the first time over the whole field of energy and Britain’s oil and gas reserves.
The UK’s oil industry produces £5 billion in taxes and has about 265,000 employees. But this could all be threatened by the revived and renamed EU Constitution.
Under the new Article 176a in the Reform Treaty the European Union will take control over energy policy and usage. This will be introduced under Qualified Majority Voting, meaning that Britain will not be able to veto damaging EU laws, nor protect the North Sea reserves.
The implications of this will be enormous. Article 176a reads;
- In the context of the establishment and functioning of the internal market and with regard for the need to preserve and improve the environment, Union policy on energy shall aim, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, to:
- ensure the functioning of the energy market;
(This will hand Brussels the power to decide, where and how the oil and gas are sold)
- ensure security of energy supply in the Union, and
(This could mean that the UK must supply energy to another member-state if they are having problems with their network)
- promote energy efficiency and energy saving and the development of new and renewable forms of energy;
(This will make the debate in Britain about how energy is produced irrelevant because Brussels will be making those decisions)
- promote the interconnection of energy networks.
(This will give the EU a key role as the system guarantor and thus threatening British control over the North Sea reserves)
Brussels will also be able to decide issues relating to the taxation of the reserves without Britain’s Parliament having a say.
EU involvement in this area is especially worrying because the looming and renamed EU Constitution also adds another clause on energy, Article 100(1), which will force Britain to share its reserves in a time of crisis.
After concerns were raised by the oil and gas industry about the implications of Article 100(1) the proposal mentioning energy was removed from the final text of the then EU Constitution. Now, however, by slight-of-hand it has found its way back into the text of the Reform Treaty. In this respect the so-called Reform Treaty will pose more of a threat to Britain’s energy reserves than the original text of the EU Constitution.
Dr Lee Rotherham says;“Tony Blair told laughed off warnings of the threat in the EU Constitution to North Sea oil and our independent energy supply. But now we see that was just more of the old bluster.
“Huge questions remain in the Constitution as to what we are signing up to. With a shaky Middle East and a pipeline from an unfriendly Russia, we can’t afford any doubt that our energy policy is secure.
“The last thing Britain wants is to share with the EU our oil and their power cuts.”
What the fuck are our politicos playing, for fuck's sake. As Vindico says...
I find this somewhat concerning. Sovereign nations do not hand over control over anything, but particularly not key strategic sectors like energy. Sovereign nations, in fact anybody with half a brain cell, do not give away their Oil!!! When will our rats in posh suits in Westminster drop the pretence that we remain a sovereign nation and admit that we are running head first into a federal United States of Europe????? I'm waiting, fuckmonkeys.
Quite; so what the fucking hell is going on? Energy security has to be the biggest problem facing us today; and not only have our cowardly bastard politicians utterly failed to grasp the nettle with regards to nuclear—the only viable option if you believe all this CO2 wank or, indeed, feel that we should not be reliant on fossil fuels for political reasons—but they are actually proposing to hand over the control of our power resources.
If the EU has ultimate control over our power generation, then it has ultimate power over this country; if nothing else, this clause alone should trigger a referendum. This is a simple coup d'etat in effect, and it should be resisted with all our might.
And where is the fucking Opposition? Well, they seem to equate energy security with usuing no energy at all and so they are wanking on about how they want to turn remove the white lines from roads and switch the fucking streetlamps off at night!
Ram sharpened cockroaches down their urethras and then hang them all: every last man-jack of them—MPs and civil servants—the screaming fucking retard traitors...
EU Referendum: campaigning in Bournemouth
Much standing around was done, whilst we engaged the various delegates on this issue. Who would have thought that so many Labour Party members would be actively against referendums? First prize goes to the fuckwit who told us that he "didn't believe in referendums" and said that he supported "representative democracy". Since we were, in fact, campaigning for Labour to fulfill their manifesto pledge—with the manifesto being the very representation on which a party is elected—this seemed to be wilfully fucking stupid.
Alas, I was having lunch when one of our number button-holed Neil Kinnock and, after a brief exchange, told him to "fuck off". Although apparently Lord Kinnock of Bedwetting did return to spar with him later on.
The highlight of the day, for me, was when we were moved from our initial position by a couple of policemen. One of them said to me, "I'm afraid that we have to move you to the designated protest area but, believe me, I'm right behind you."
He then pointed to the badge on his helmet: "I'm right behind your cause. Believe me, I'm proud to wear the Crown."
Give the man a medal.
- The Cure, Kyoto, and music...
- UKIP, elections, and messaging
- Hounding Rufus
- On the food bank hysteria
- Satire is dead
- Last orders at The Devil's Kitchen
- Quote of the day...
- An economic solution I can get behind...
- Let's be Frank
- My favourite Olympics moment...
- February 2004
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- "The best British political/libertarian blog on the web. Consistently excellent but not for the squeamish."—Christopher Snowdon
- "[He] runs the infamous and fantastically sweary Devil’s Kitchen blog, and because he’s one of the naughtiest geeks (second only to the incredibly, incredibly naughty Guido Fawkes) he’s right at the top of the evil dork hierarchy."—Charlotte Gore
- "I met the Devil's Kitchen the other night. What a charming young man he is, and considerably modest too..."—Peter Briffa
- "The Devil's Kitchen exposes hypocrisy everywhere, no holds barred."—Wrinkled Weasel
- "People can still be controversial and influential whilst retaining integrity—Devil's Kitchen springs to mind—and attract frequent but intelligent comment."—Steve Shark, at B&D
- "Sometimes too much, sometimes wrong, sometimes just too much but always worth a read. Not so much a blog as a force of nature."—The Nameless Libertarian
- "The Devil's Kitchen—a terrifying blog that covers an astonishing range of subjects with an informed passion and a rage against the machine that leaves me in awe..."—Polaris
- "He rants like no one else in the blogosphere. But it's ranting in an eloquent, if sweary, kind of way. Eton taught him a lot."—Iain Dale
- "But for all that, he is a brilliant writer—incisive, fisker- extraordinaire and with an over developed sense of humour... And he can back up his sometimes extraordinary views with some good old fashioned intellectual rigour... I'm promoting him on my blogroll to a daily read."—Iain Dale
- "... an intelligent guy and a brilliant writer..."—A Very British Dude
- "... the glorious Devil's Kitchen blog—it's not for the squeamish or easily offended..."—Samizdata
- "... a very, smart article... takes a pretty firm libertarian line on the matter."—Samizdata
- "By the way, DK seems to be on fucking good form at the moment."—Brian Mickelthwait
- "Perhaps the best paragraph ever written in the history of human creation. It's our Devil on fine form."—Vindico
- "Devil's Kitchen is the big name on the free-market libertarian strand of the British blogosphere... Profane rants are the immediate stand-out feature of DK's blog, but the ranting is backed up by some formidable argument on a wide range of issues particularly relating to British and European parliamentary politics, economics, and civil liberties."—Question That
- "... an excellent, intelligent UK political blog which includes a great deal of swearing."—Dr Aubrey Blumsohn
- "I like the Devil's Kitchen. I think it's one of the best written and funniest blogs in the business."—Conservative Party Reptile
- "The. Top. UK. Blogger."—My Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
- "For sheer intelligence, erudition and fun, Iain Dale's Diary, Cranmer and Devil's Kitchen are so far ahead of the rest I don't see how they can figure in a top ten. They are the Beatles, Stones and Who of the blog world; the Astair, Bogart and Marlon Brando of the blog world; the Gerswin, Porter and Novello of the blog world; the Dot Cotton, Pat Butcher, Bette Lynch of the blog world..."—Wrinkled Weasel
- "It's the blogging equivalent of someone eating Ostrich Vindaloo, washed down by ten bottles of Jamaican hot pepper sauce and then proceeding to breathe very close to your face while talking about how lovely our politicians are... But there's much more to his writing than four letter words."—Tom Tyler
- "God bless the Devil's Kitchen... Colourful as his invective is, I cannot fault his accuracy."—Tom Paine
- "The Devil's Kitchen is a life-affirming, life-enhancing blog ... This particular post will also lead you to some of the best soldiers in the army of swearbloggers of which he is Field Marshal."—The Last Ditch
- "... underneath all the ranting and swearing [DK]'s a very intelligent and thoughtful writer whom many people ... take seriously, despite disagreeing with much of what he says."—Not Saussure
- "... the most foul-mouthed of bloggers, Devils Kitchen, was always likely to provoke (sometimes disgust, but more often admiration)."—The Times Online
- "The always entertaining Mr Devil's Kitchen..."—The Times's Comment Central
- "Frankly, this is ranting of the very highest calibre."—The Nameless Libertarian
- "I don't mean it literally, or even metaphorically. I just find that his atheism aside, I agree with everything the Devil (of Kitchen fame...) says. I particularly enjoy his well crafted and sharp swearing, especially when addressed at self righteous lefties..."—The Tin Drummer
- "Spot on accurate and delightful in its simplicity, Devil's Kitchen is one of the reasons that we're not ready to write off EUroweenie-land just yet. At least not until we get done evacuating the ones with brains."—Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
- "This hugely entertaining, articulate, witty Scottish commentator is also one of the most foul-mouthed bloggers around. Gird up your loins and have a look. Essential reading."—Doctor Crippen
- "The Devil's Kitchen is one of the foremost blogs in the UK. The DK is bawdy, foul-mouthed, tasteless, vulgar, offensive and frequently goes beyond all boundaries of taste and decency. So why on earth does Dr Crippen read the DK? Because he reduces me to a state of quivering, helpless laughter."—Doctor Crippen's Grand Rounds
- "DK is a take-no-prisoners sort of libertarian. His blog is renowned for its propensity for foul-mouthed invective, which can be both amusing and tiresome by turns. Nevertheless, he is usually lucid, often scintillating and sometimes illuminating."—Dr Syn
- "If you enjoy a superior anti-Left rant, albeit one with a heavy dash of cursing, you could do worse than visit the Devil's Kitchen. The Devil is an astute observer of the evils of NuLabour, that's for sure. I for one stand converted to the Devil and all his works."—Istanbul Tory
- "... a sick individual."—Peter Briffa
- "This fellow is sharp as a tack, funny as hell, and—when something pisses him off—meaner than a badger with a case of the bullhead clap."—Green Hell
- "Foul-mouthed eloquence of the highest standard. In bad taste, offensive, immoderate and slanderous. F***ing brilliant!—Guest, No2ID Forum
- "a powerfully written right-of-center blog..."—Mangan's Miscellany
- "I tend to enjoy Devil's Kitchen not only because I disagree with him quite a lot of the time but because I actually have to use my brain to articulate why."—Rhetorically Speaking
- "This blog is currently slamming. Politics certainly ain't all my own. But style and prose is tight, fierce, provocative. And funny. OK, I am a child—swear words still crack a laugh."—Qwan
- "hedonistic, abrasive but usually good-natured..."—The G-Gnome
- "10,000 words per hour blogging output... prolific or obsessive compulsive I have yet to decide..."—Europhobia
- "a more favoured blog from the sensible Right..."—Great Britain...
- "Devils Kitchen, a right thinking man indeed..."—EU Serf
- "an excellent blog..."—Rottweiler Puppy
- "Anyone can cuss. But to curse in an imaginative fashion takes work."—Liftport Staff Blog
- "The Devil's Kitchen: really very funny political blog."—Ink & Incapability
- "I've been laffing fit to burst at the unashamed sweariness of the Devil's Kitchen ~ certainly my favourite place recently."—SoupDragon
- "You can't beat the writing and general I-may-not-know-about-being-polite-but-I-know-what-I-like attitude."—SoupDragon
- "Best. Fisking. Ever. I'm still laughing."—LC Wes, Imperial Mohel
- "It made me laugh out loud, and laugh so hard—and I don't even get all the references... I hope his politics don't offend you, but he is very funny."—Furious, WoT Forum
- "DK himself is unashamedly right-wing, vitriolic and foul mouthed, liberally scattering his posts with four-letter-words... Not to be read if you're easily offended, but highly entertaining and very much tongue in cheek..."—Everything Is Electric
- "This blog is absolutely wasted here and should be on the front page of one of the broadsheets..."—Commenter at The Kitchen
- "[This Labour government] is the most mendacious, dishonest, endemically corrupt, power-hungry, incompetent, illiberal fucking shower of shits that has ruled this country..."—DK
All: Daily Reads (in no particular order)
- Tim Worstall
- An Englishman's Castle
- Bishop Hill
- Guy Fawkes' blog of parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy
- A Very British Dude
- Dick Puddlecote
- EU Referendum
- Automomous Mind
- The Daily Mash
- UK Libertarian
- Adam Smith Institute
- Anna Raccoon
- UK Libertarian
- Behind Blue Eyes (occasional)
- Mr Eugenides (retired)
- The Appalling Strangeness (retired)
- Bella Gerens (occasional)
- Obnoxio The Clown (occasional)
- The Croydonian (occasional)
- Dizzy Thinks (retired)
- Burning our money (retired)
- NHS Blog Doctor (retired)
- Twenty Major—still smoking in Dublin bars. (retired)
- Is there more to life than shoes? (retired)
Politics (in no particular order)
- IEA Blog
- FREE MARKET FAIRY TALES
- Civitas Blog
- England Expects
- Squander Two Blog
- Stumbling and Mumbling
- The Welfare State We're In
- The Joy of Curmudgeonry
- Shuggy's Blog
- Chicken Yoghurt
- Ministry of Truth
- Not Proud Of Britain (But Would Like To Be)
- Archbishop Cranmer
- Freedom and Whisky
- rhetorically speaking...
- Tampon Teabag
- Dr Rant
- Jon Worth
- Robert Sharp
- Libertarian Alliance: Blog
- Nosemonkey / Europhobia
- Factchecking Pollyanna
- Strange Stuff
- The Remittance Man
- The Daily Mail Tendency
- John Redwood's Diary
- Boatang & Demetriou
- tygerland.net title="tygerland.net"
- Capitalists @ Work
- Conservative Party Reptile
- James Cleverly
- Cllr. Gavin Ayling
- Curious Snippets from a Cynical Optimist
- NeueArbeit Macht Frei
- The TaxPayers' Alliance
- The Last Ditch
- POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG
- John Trenchard
- Mike Power's 'Not A Blog'
- Counting Cats in Zanzibar
- Shane Greer
- Douglas Carswell MP
- Jerub-Baals Spleen Vent
- Tim Almond
- Taking Liberties
- Dan Hannan MEP
- TheFatBigot Opines
- To Miss with Love
- The New Adventures of Juliette
Climate Change (in no particular order)
General & Humour (in no particular order)
- <em>Chase me, ladies, I'm in the cavalry</em>
- Sometimes Funny is All I Have
- I am livid
- Emerald Bile
- Private Secret Diary
- Woman of experience
- For Your Delectation.. The Penny Dreadfuls