Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An agenda

Your humble Devil rarely comments on the Iraq War—partly because I covered it quite extensively when this blog first started, and partly because I have always been ambivalent about the whole adventure.

However, ChickenYoghurt's sarcastic acknowledgement of "the beginning of our glorious formal withdrawal from Iraq" has reminded me of a conversation that I was having in the pub, a few weeks back, with a friend who works in one the murkier parts of the MoD.

Actually, he said, the situation in Iraq really isn't that bad; it isn't even that bad in Basra. Companies looking to invest come to Iraq and expect it to be a barren, bombed-out wasteland—and are immensely surprised (and enthusiastic) when they realise that it isn't. Few British companies, being rather risk-averse, tend to go there but the French and Americans are enthusiastically investing all over the place.

No, it's not perfect—a lot of infrastructure has been destroyed for instance. (A bit like in the former Yugoslavia, but Robin Cook didn't resign over that illegal war, so people didn't get so het up about it.)

However, the situation is not nearly as bad as our media paints it—when our glorious MSM gets the releases from the MoD, they nearly always pick on the one bad bit in the whole two-page briefing. (The above must be lies—our wonderful media would never distort the facts to suit their agenda, would they?)

Now, you can believe that I have been taken in by some devious MoD spook, but I tend to trust this guy when he says that things in Iraq, whilst far from perfect, are very much on the mend. Which is why, as my friend pointed out, we are leaving.

However, I do think that those who expected us to go in, remove Saddam, and have everything sorted out within six months were naive idiots; on the other hand, I think those who think that everything will still be utter shit in ten years are rather pessimistic.

Whether you think this justifies our intervention is a personal judgement, and I am making no such call.

P.S. Afghanistan's still a bit of a mess though...

MPs Screwing The Taxpayer Awards 2009

Letters From A Tory has done a careful analysis of the latest expenses claims from MPs (Guido has put the entire spreadsheet online) and present the second Annual MPs Screwing The Taxpayer Awards. There are some real champions there, and I shall just cite the overall results...
Total expenses—the winner (by some distance) of the award for the MP who screwed the taxpayer out of the most money over the past 12 months is… Eric Joyce from the Labour Party! He cost you and me £222,445 in a single year, which was £13,000 more than any other MP in the entire country. Labour can happily lay claim to having 34 of the top 50 most expensive MPs while the Conservatives have to settle for just three MPs in the top 50. GRAND TOTAL OF MP EXPENSES IN 2007/2008: £92,749,293

Well done, Eric! Thank you so much for pissing our hard-earned cash up the wall on your disgusting past-times: you were not worth a single penny of it.

And well done to the entire 646 for screwing us for a superlative £92.75 million on top of your big, fat salaries. You profligate cunts.

Do wander over and view the awards, although your humble Devil would like to introduce an additional award—the Most Jaw-Droppingly Offensive Expenses Category Award. And the winner is...
Family travel—this is a new category. The rules are that spouses and civil partners are entitled to up to 30 single journeys each year between London and the constituency or an MP’s main home and MPs’ children can also claim 30 single journeys every year back and forth to London, irrespective of whether they actually see a single MP during their trip - all paid for by us.

Fucking hellski...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hain's Obama moment updated

That video has been deleted. Surprise, surprise.

According to Aneurin Glyndwr (aka Assembly Labour researcher David Taylor), "Nats and Tories" are to blame:
It's a real shame that these sensitive souls are so easily offended, and find criticism so hard to take!

Funny that, because a lot of these allegedly "easily offended" persons have made copies of the video - just in case it should disappear. In the words of a friend of mine:
...just in case that unforgettable pearl of a video should disappear - depriving Wales' cultural tradition of one of its masterpieces, I have made a copy so that I can continue to enjoy it - over and over and over again.

Here it is again, dedicated to Peter Hain, Eluned Morgan and of course David Taylor.

PS Vaughan Roderick reminds us that the video is also available on the BBC's website.

Westminster Alphabet

Douglas Carswell publishes the Westminster Alphabet and, whilst he described it to your humble Devil as "the polite version", it is, nevertheless, pretty fucking scathing. Here are a few samples...
  1. is for… Accountable, something many of our MPs are not.

  2. is for… Ballot, the lottery process used to decide which lucky MP gets to ask ministers a question, to maintain the fiction that government is Accountable (see A above).

  3. is for… Commons Committees, and all their spineless, executive-controlled futility.

  4. is for… Directives, the rules (issued despite Westminster) which really decide how Britain's governed.

  5. is for… Executive power, once held by those answerable to Parliament, now in the hands of Quangos (see Q below).

And here's something for Jacqui Smith, Tony McNulty, David Miliband and all of those other thieving shitbags who claim that their defrauding of the taxpayer is entirely "within the rules"...
  1. is for… Not-to-blame, as in “the minister followed official advice”.

And, most viciously of all...
  1. is for… Smug, self-satisfied, self-regarding SW1.

One might conclude that Douglas is not at all impressed with his experiences of Westminster.
  1. is for… The grade I give our broken Westminster system after four years there as an MP.

No, not impressed at all.

And I can't say that I disagree with any of that—indeed, I would be foolish to do so, since Douglas knows the workings of that cesspit so much better than I. Except that I sincerely wish that there were a letter after Z that might demonstrate just how piss-poor your humble Devil considers our Parliamentary system to be.

It is fucked, and we are fucked.

I come not to bury Tom Harris, but to praise him

No, no: hear me out!

It starts with this really rather excellent post by Bella Gerens on the recent law about inciting hatred of homosexuals (I'd better not call them anything other than that because I might be arrested for inciting hatred).
But to outlaw speech that incites hatred is equivalent to outlawing speech that incites boredom, or frustration, or joy - these are states of mind, and those who hold them can never be proven guilty of doing so, for how does one prove the possession of an emotion or state of mind except through the actions that betray it? And the action of initiating force against another person’s bodily integrity is already illegal.

It was already a crime to incite violence, regardless of whether the speaker participated in the violence himself; now it is a crime to incite an emotion, regardless of whether the speaker holds it himself. These laws make the speaker, regardless of intent or participation, responsible for the feelings and actions of others.

And so we shut our mouths and keep our opinions to ourselves, not because we dislike the idea of going to prison for our own actions, but because we fear the prospect of going to prison for the actions of others.

How is this justice? How is this freedom? How is it possible that, in a civilised society, we are answerable at law for the opinions and behaviours of individuals not ourselves, over whom we have no provable influence and certainly no control?

Who knows what our stray remarks may lead others to do? And while most of us recognise the justice of being imprisoned for our own behaviour, very few of us see it in being punished for someone else’s. Therefore we remain silent.
But ministers said if the “free speech” amendment was accepted it could provide a loophole for people wishing to incite hatred.

Free speech is a loophole in the minds of our ministers. Rather than being a right which the government must not infringe, it is a loose end to be sewn up. We are only free to speak that which is not prohibited at the whim of each successive Parliament. We are made criminals not only by what others do, but by what others might do.

It is a disgusting, authoritarian law and, like the law against incitement to religious hatred, should be struck down by the Tories at the first opportunity. It won't be, of course, because they fear being tagged as "the nasty, anti-homo party".

But the fact is that just because you oppose this law does not mean that you are a hater of gays. And this is precisely the point that Tom Harris made when he voted against it (or, rather, voted against removing the amendment).
The subject was incitement to homophobic hatred.

Last year the government was forced, through lack of parliamentary time, to accept an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill moved by Lord Waddington, the former Tory Home Secretary. This is what the amendment says:
For the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.

Tonight, the government asked the Commons to vote to remove it.

And they duly did so, the disgusting little shits; every person who voted for that amendment to be removed is a hideous cunt and should be strung up be the nether regions and have cockroaches forced into their urethra.

Tom was going to make a rather long speech (that had, in the end, to be cut down) but here is the meat of it.
If it is not the government’s intention that people of faith who criticise homosexual practice should be prosecuted for doing so, why are they insisting on the removal of this phrase?

Does my Rt. Hon. Friend realise the harm done to the government’s excellent record in socially progressive policy by the actions of people like Patrick Harvie? Or indeed by the police officers who arrested and held a student in the cells overnight for calling a police horse gay?

I guarantee my RHF that if he is successful, if this phrase is removed from the Act tonight, it will be seen as a green light to all those who believe they can silence anyone who disagrees with them

It would be wrong to assume that every gay man and woman in the land supports what the government is doing this evening. I have many gay friends, and those with whom I’ve raised this matter have, frankly, more important things to worry about. They are more than capable of defending themselves against criticism from either Archbishop Conti or anyone else.

I dread the day when, in response to any kind of criticism, we in this country feel that it should become a police matter. No-one has the right not to be offended and we should steer well clear of establishing such a right now.

It is the first time that Tom Harris has voted against the government; that is pathetic enough in itself, but that he decided to do so on this issue of principle shows that he does, in fact, have some principles—something all too rare amongst MPs in general, and Labour ones in particular.

Anyone who voted for this law, however, should burn in hell as yet another of our hard-won freedoms is sacrificed upon the altar of political vanity.

I hope that they all die in extreme pain.

An EU agriculture fudge

The TaxPayers' Alliance has a new report out today revealing that the cost to consumers and taxpayers of the EU's disastrous Common Agricultural Policy is £400 a year in higher food prices and increased taxes.

To go with the report, we've produced this viral video - enjoy!

Welsh Labour's Wank Tank

In August 2007 An ex-assembly minister published a pamphlet saying the Welsh Labour party is "unfit for purpose" and needs to be radically overhauled. That ex-minister was of course would-be First Minister and Merthyr AM Huw Lewis, who made the call in the first publication from Wales 20:20, a new Welsh Labour think tank set up by Huw Lewis and others to start debate about the party's future.

The 'think tank' describes itself thus:
Wales 20:20 is a new organisation with one main aim, namely to facilitate wide-ranging and inclusive debate under the ‘democratic socialist’ banner in Wales. Committed to renewing the Labour movement across Wales and remoulding the Welsh Labour Party as a policy driven, campaign minded organisation, we are governed by three simple principles:

1. To promote debate on a democratic socialist future for Wales;

2. To energise and renew the Welsh Labour Movement towards achieving its full potential, through winning the battle of ideas on Wales’s future;

3. To provide a forum for dialogue with progressives throughout Wales, working for a progressive consensus supportive of Welsh Labour’s vision for the future of Wales.

All very interesting, I'm sure. So what level of debate exactly can we expect to find on the site's forums? Here are just some of the topics you can find there:

college girls are easy msic video teens dildo star (March 29)

adriana lima utube sex bikini juniors in school girls (March 21)

Forced Cum Eating Vids (Feb 10)

Asian Schoolgirl Rape (Feb 8)

...and many, many more.

Yesterday the Welsh blog Guerrilla Welsh-Fare noted:
I know it is difficult to constantly moderate content on debate but the fact that this apparently serious political website has allowed very explicit pornographic images to be left on their site without adult warning open to children is careless.

Huw Lewis’ staff member Luke Holland noted my original blog [published last Friday] so I can only assume the problems have been raised with the people behind Wales 20:20. I hope for the reputation of that think tank and for public decency they take the steps to either clean up the forum or take the link down.

This has been going on since at least the beginning of February, and taking into consideration Welsh Labour's recent internet own-goal it's hard not to be stricken with awe at the level of fuckwittery exhibited by the Party's interweblings.

UPDATE 16:27 The Wales 20:20 forum has been taken down...finally.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

David Miliband: dishonest cunt

David Miliband, lying to a beach, yesterday.

Apparently, David "Batshit" Miliband has been commenting on Jacqui Smith's thieving ways.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "Jacqui Smith is doing an outstanding job as Home Secretary...

That, of course, is a bare-faced lie, but only what you would expect from a tribal bastard like Batshit; the man lies on reflex. Ask him his name and he would say that it was anything except "David".
"... what I know is that the system has to be much, much clearer than it was in the past.

"That's the purpose of the reforms that are being put into place.

Look, Batshit: you know when you are being dishonest. All of this second homes malarkey... You know, and we know, that whilst MPs, such as Tony McNulty, might be "within the rules" they are, in fact, acting dishonestly and with malice aforethought.

Stop trying to pretend otherwise, you fucking creep.
"The system has to be clear, above all in the interests of the public, so they can have trust and confidence."

I'm sorry, Dave, but how are the public going to have "trust and confidence" in MPs when the public is fully and painfully aware that the only thing stopping MPs from defrauding the taxpayer—even in these straightened times—is "clearer rules"?

Or, as I have said before, is it too much to ask that those who seek to rule us are not completely dishonest? The public know that it is too much to ask, and no amount of clearer systems or more straight-forward rules is ever going to convince them otherwise.

You are all liars and embezzlers, and we have not the slightest respect for you. So why don't you go away and quietly kill yourself, Dave?

Jacqui Smith: more troughing

Benefit frauds get a prison sentence: expenses frauds get a ministry.
How do you like them apples?

Guess who has been caught claiming more fraudulent expenses? Yes, it's the Home Secretary claiming porno on her husband's behalf.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s political future was in jeopardy this morning after it was revealed that her husband used her Commons expenses allowance to pay to watch pornographic films.

Richard Timney, who works as Ms Smith’s Commons adviser, used part of the Minister’s second-homes allowance to pay for the blue movies he watched on a subscription television channel.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Now, I can understand the reason why Richard Timney watched porn movies in April: I would imagine that they performed the function of allowing him to get it up in order to do his yearly duty with his god-awful, ugly, old boot of a wife.
The relationship between Ms Smith and her husband was said by Government insiders to be ‘very difficult,’ but stressed that the couple were still together.

It is understood that Mr Timney had been watching explicit adult movies on channels broadcast on the Virgin Media cable TV service.

Ms Smith was said to be 'mortified' today after she was forced to offer a humiliating apology over the expenses claim.

The Home Secretary said she 'mistakenly' submitted an expenses claim which included five pay-per-view films, including two adult movies which were viewed at her family home in her Redditch constituency.

A friend said the Home Secretary knew there was 'no excuse' for the error but added: 'To say she's angry with her husband is an understatement.
'Jacqui was not there when these films were watched.

'She's furious and mortified.'

Ms Smith said in a statement: 'I am sorry that in claiming for my internet connection, I mistakenly claimed for a television package alongside it.

But what I do not understand is why we are paying for Jacqui Smith's home internet connection, nor why it is apparently costing her some £67 per month.
'As soon as the matter was brought to my attention, I took immediate steps to contact the relevant parliamentary authorities and rectify the situation.

'All money claimed for the television package will be paid back in full.'

You will be paying back the television package for the entire time that you have been claiming it, will you? How long have you been watching movies paid for by the taxpayer? How long has the taxpayer been paying for your television extras? And will you be paying back every single penny of it, you thieving harpy? I fucking hope so.

Seriously, I can actually see how this might, just possibly, be a mistake. But the only reason that this could have happened is because we allow MPs these ridiculous perks. There is absolutely no reason, at all, why we should pay for Jacqui Smith's home internet connection—absolutely none. And I'd love to know—are we also paying for her sister's internet connection?

Oh, and lest we forget...
Just three months ago, The Mail on Sunday revealed that Mr Timney – who is paid £40,000 of public money a year as Ms Smith’s to run her Redditch constituency office – was behind a letter-writing campaign defending the Government in her local paper.

Yes, that's right folks: we also pay her husband £40,000 a year so that Richard can be Jacqui's parliamentary advisor. And we are asked to take it on faith that he is doing his job even though their relationship is said to be "very difficult".

Let us just look at this objectively. Jacqui Smith is a minister, and so pulling in a salary of about £120,000 £141,866; she is also paying her husband a further £40,000: this is a grand total of £160,000 £181,000 in salaries alone.

On top of that, Jacqui Smith claimed £152,683 in expenses last year; minus her husband's £40,000, that is an extra £113,000. Some £24,000 a year, as we know, goes to pay the mortgage on her Redditch "second home" (even though it has been established that she spends most of her time there, and not in her sister's flat).

So the obvious question—and it actually applies to all MPs—what the fuck is she actually spending her salary on? She isn't, as most of us do, using it to pay her bills, because we pay those. So, where the fuck is that, frankly, huge sum of money going, exactly?

After all, the Smith household is pulling in a combined salary of over six and a half seven times the median wage and yet the taxpayer is also stumping up for all of her bills. So, what the fuck does she spend it on?

Guido has the rest of the Sunday sleaze roundup: I am just too wearied, all of a sudden, to give a shit.

I am fed to the back teeth of paying for these dishonest bastards: I am tired of them preaching at me whilst they have their hands in our fucking till; I am fucking tired of documenting their lies and their thieving and their incompetence.

Why do we put up with it? And is it really true that the majority of the people in this country just don't care? How can that be the case?

The only way to stop these cunts from constantly picking our pockets is to prosecute them: as I have said before, we should bring a private prosecution against one or two of them—Jacqui would be an excellent target—and jail them for fraud.

Because—and I want to be absolutely clear about this—it is fraud: it is not a "mistake", it is not "minor infraction", it is not a "misreading of the rules". It. Is. Fraud. And they should be prosecuted as such.

As pater Devil used to say, it's the only thing these teddy-boys understand.

I'm sorry? Who banned him?

Via The Man Who Fell Back To Bed, your humble Devil sees this chink of common sense in a fucking stupid world.
A lifeguard dog banned from patrolling a Cornish beach because of health and safety rules is to be reinstated after hundreds of people signed a petition.

Bilbo, a Newfoundland, patrolled Sennen with his lifeguard master and got round a dog ban on the beach by sitting in an all terrain bike (ATB) during patrols.

However, the RNLI said passengers were not allowed on ATBs and banned him.

The petition succeeded in getting him classed as a legitimate working animal which exempts him from the dog ban.

The six-year-old dog, which wears a special yellow jacket and paddles out to stricken swimmers while pulling a rescue float with him, had been part of the lifeguard team at Sennen for three years.

Newfoundland dogs are well adapted to swimming because they have a double coat - with the outer layer repelling water - and webbed paws.

And why was all of this expended time, money and effort required?
However, the RNLI said passengers were not allowed on ATBs and banned him.

The RNLI banned him? You fucking what?

I'm sorry, I am generally a fan of the RNLI—it's certainly no fake charity—but since when did a lifeboat charity have any jurisdiction over what people can and cannot do on the beaches of this country? Since when did the RNLI make fucking stupid rules like this—since when have they had the authority, precisely?

Perhaps the Beeb have cocked up the reporting of this, and the RNLI are not responsible for this stupidity. If the story is correct, however, I foresee another cancelled Direct Debit...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Piss off

Can someone tell me why some cunt from the TPA has asked me to join a group on Facebook protesting about the fact that some place somewhere is asking motorcyclists to pay for parking?

Fuck them: car owners have to pay for parking—why should motorcyclists not do the same? I'm sorry, but can anyone tell me why motorcyclists should not pay for parking—is it the case that motorcycles magically disappear, not taking up any space, when they are parked?

So, no, I absolutely believe that motorcyclists should pay for parking; especially cunting moped-riders: they should be made to pay through the nose in return for all of the fucking trouble they cause on the roads.

The only road-users that I loathe more than fucking overtake-and-bugger-whether-the-opposite-lane-is-clear, overtaking-on-the-inside-is-just-dandy motorcyclists are fucking traffic-lights-don't-apply-to-me, weaving-between-cars-in-a-dangerous-manner-is-fine pedal-cyclists.

I keep seeing and hearing government-sponsored adverts about how "two motorcyclists a week are killed or seriously injured": anyone who drives a car could tell you why—because the stupid cunts do not follow the rules of the road.

Pretty much all of them are cocks and deserve all that they get. The only thing that worries me is that car owners are almost always blamed and that they feel in some way guilty for causing accidents.

I'm thinking of attaching scythes to my wheels in order to kill more of the two-wheeled cunts...

The most evil word currently being used...

... is, in the opinion of your humble Devil, "consensus".

I was inspired to this post by a quote that appeared at Shane Greer's place; it's from the one-eyed Scottish idiot and runs as follows:
"What we are suggesting is that we have together to look at what we have done so far … and then say what should happen next? I see consensus, not a disagreement, on that." [Greer, fucking irritatingly, does not link to his source. Bloggers should always, always link to their sources.]

The fact is that there is no consensus about how we should deal with crises such as these; there is actually no consensus about how we should deal with "climate change" either.

However, this word is always deployed to shut down dissenting opinion, and thus to stifle free speech. But it is more insidious than that...

The "consensus" rules everything. It is used to imply that anyone who does not agree with it is not only a dangerous maverick who is wrong, but that someone is actively insane. It is used to justify oppression and bad science, it is used to shut down debate (as with BSE, for instance).
Scandalously—and despite the consistent non-fulfillment of the dire death toll predictions, and the lack of success in replicating the infection path—this has not stopped the prion theory becoming the "concensus" amongst politicians and scientists either too ignorant to know or too greedy to care.

Shutting down debate is always wrong: it is akin to burning books (and any regime that burns books is, in the opinion of your humble Devil, always suspect). Shutting down debate assumes that one court of opinion is correct and, if we have learned one thing throughout the course of human history, it is that there is no one, absolutely correct course.

Anyone who uses the word "consensus" to justify any argument should be viewed with deep suspicion, if not outright hostility; what they are justifying is mob rule and that is always a bad thing.

Plus, they are probably a total cunt.

Tom Harris and patriotism

I see that Tom Harris is not impressed by Hannan's diatribe against Gordon Brown. Like most NuLabour wankshafts, the man does not address the substantial points raised but displays the most puerile mind I've yet seen.
What was truly repugnant about his speech was the total absence of any sense of patriotism.

I'm sorry, Tom: "lack of..." what? "Patriotism"? The one that is the "last refuge of the scoundrel"?

Lest you forget, sunshine, you are a Scot, representing a Scottish seat. Your country has a Parliament and some fiscal autonomy; and yet you have control over policy in England whilst those MPs that we elect have none in yours.

How dare you talk about patriotism? Fuck off back to Scotland, resign your seat and then we'll talk about patriotism, you shit-stick.
Some Tories on the extreme right of the party share the problem of some Republicans in the States: they don’t regard the head of government to be the nation’s leader unless he or she is also a member of their little party.

First, Gordon Brown is not the Head of State: the monarch is.

Second, the cunt has never been elected as the country's leader so, no, I do not view him as such. Why the fuck should I? I never voted for him, and I have never voted for the Labour Party. In fact, under 22% of the electorate voted for the Labour Party—which was led, at the time, by Tony Blair, who promised to serve the full third term—at the last general election, and I most certainly wasn't one of those anyway. I do not recognise him as leader of the country, even if I believed that any politician could be called such.
Gordon Brown isn’t just Labour’s prime minister; he’s Britain’s prime minister, and for any UK politician to launch such a disgraceful, personal attack on his country’s leader—in a foreign country—is nothing short of disgraceful.

You what? I thought that we were all super Europeans now, Tom; your party has determinedly delivered more and more power to the EU. So, what is more unpatriotic—delivering a powerful criticism of Gordon Brown to the EU Parliament, or signing away our sovereign's power to that same organisation? I'll give you a clue: it's the latter, you thick, Scots cunt.

As Longrider puts it, rather succinctly...
Harris also forgets that this is not a foreign country as such (even though that is where it is based), it is the European parliament, where Hannan is an elected member representing a British constituency during a debate in which the British prime minister made a speech. Therefore, his comments were entirely appropriate. Indeed, he would have been doing his constituents a disservice had he not done so. It’s also worth making the point that Gordon Brown is not my leader, he is my servant and a piss-poor one at that. I’d like to sack him forthwith, but am unable to do so. And, let us be clear here—no one has a duty to be loyal to the prime minister and anyone openly criticising him anywhere is not a lack of patriotism. I am loyal to my country, I openly despise the prime minister and will happily make that clear wherever I happen to be. If we are to talk sedition, squandering the country’s wealth and leaving us with a mountain of debt comes somewhat higher up the tree than open criticism of the person responsible. If we are supposed to respect the office despite the incumbent, then at least let’s have an incumbent who doesn’t bring the office into disrepute.

Quite. Shut the fuck up, you clueless bastard, and bugger off back to Scotland: we are sick of you cunts taking our money for your own country, and then hanging around and telling us what to do.

Piss off, fuckface.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hain and Welsh Labour's "Obama moment"

Just when you thought Welsh Labour couldn't possibly get any crappier...Peter Hain and Eluned Morgan launch this site.

Eluned, by the way, penned the lyrics for the above video. I can only describe her satirical skills and witty penmanship as, er, stunning.

The blog states:
This is an opportunity to create a positive and constructive debate about the future of Wales. For too long too many people have been allowed to get away with a cavalier attitude to facts, and shameless and shallow political point scoring rather than a hard debate. Our blog means they won't be able to get away with their dirty tricks any longer. We have found our digital voice and we will be shouting from the virtual rooftops, reclaiming the voice of Wales.

Watch the video again, then make your own jokes up.

Peter Hain - who appeared Thursday night on BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye - described the launch of the site as an "Obama moment" for Welsh Labour. I shit you not.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Big tax, Big Government, Big Brother

NB I am not his Sulphuric Majesty the Devil. This text is cross-posted from the blog of the TaxPayers' Alliance.

David Goodhart, Editor of Prospect magazine, has an interesting if mistaken article just out in their April edition on the subject of civil liberties, individual freedom and the database state. I'm not a habitual Prospect reader, but this one came to my attention as he makes an analogy between personal data and taxes - an interesting comparison, though one that in my view he draws the wrong conclusion from.

Goodhart's essential thesis is that people who are utterly opposed to the way the state has increasingly gathered information about individuals, from the NHS database, the DNA database and CCTV to proposed ID cards, are overegging the pudding with alarmist warnings about a slide towards a police state. Instead, we should be happy to share a reasonable amount of data because we owe it to the State, otherwise they wouldn't be able to provide decent public services.

It is here that the comparison with taxes comes in:

It might be useful if we started to see our data as similar to tax, something we willingly surrender to the authorities in return for various benefits, but over which there is also a political negotiation about how much to surrender. The liberty lobby, in this analogy, becomes the Thatcherite Taxpayers’ Alliance of the database state—wanting individuals to hoard their data and leaving the state powerless to serve citizens as it could.

Goodhart is effectively arguing for what you might call "progressive invasion of privacy", to continue the analogy with the rhetoric of those who support high taxes. This is based on the idea that it's somehow simply short-sighted and selfish to think that what you choose to do in your private life, or even what your DNA code or retina look like, belong to you and you alone, and the state has no right to force you to surrender them.

I suppose that if you hold the view that the State should have an unlimited right to dip into people's pockets and take their money on the basis that it's all for your own good, he's right. If you believe that the State can always take better care of your money then you can, then there's nothing wrong with the idea of the state invading your privacy and restricting your freedom, because Big Brother knows best. It's no coincidence that this high taxing government are also introducing so many new powers of snooping, gagging and internment.

Where he is mistaken is in what this correlation between high taxes and Big Brother actually proves. Instead of appealing to fellow leftists to abandon their pro-freedom views by making them feel dirty with the suggestion they are to the civil liberties debate what the TPA is to the tax debate, I suspect he is actually pushing people the other way.

The vast majority of the public do not "willingly surrender" their money to the state in the form of taxes. In fact, the overwhelming majority are in favour of lower taxes, and the state leaving them as much of their own money as possible, particularly because they know the Government will waste and squander large amounts of it. The reason there has been a growing swing away from support for ID cards, DNA databases and internment without trial is that people are swiftly realising that their freedom is an asset like their money - if you give it to the Government, they will squander it through a mixture of stupidity and wickedness and you will be left with nothing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Polly: poisoning the well

Polly Toynbee: staring nobly into the distance, yesterday, at a bright future in which her salary—and those of all journalists and commentators, no matter how worthless (naming no names, hem-hem)—are paid for by your hard-earned money—taken from you at the barrel of a gun.

I see that poor little Polly Toynbee is making an impassioned plea on behalf of her employer—the hypocritical, tax-haven company-generating, general tax-avoiding Guardian Media Group.

It is, of course, the usual load of insufferable bollocks, but it is rather lovely to see Polly hoist by her own petard
But the cover price accounts for only 10% of costs and GMG says advertising revenue has "fallen off a cliff".

You see, Polly has been bitching and moaning about mega-rich companies—many of whom prop up these newspapers by, y'know, buying advertising (mainly because they are the only ones that can afford the rates)—and the damage that they are doing to society. She has whined about the high pay of executives, and the increasing wealth gap, and corporate tax avoidance...

... and now the corporates are avoiding spending their money with GMG. Now, I know that Polly is not tremendously au fait with the oh-so-complicated concept of cause and effect, but do you think it just slightly possible that her attitude, and that of her fellow commentators, might possibly have led to these companies feeling—during these turbulent times, when costs need to be cut—that GMG, whose employees constantly attack said companies, can just fucking whistle for their business?

But newspapers are in trouble, and what is Polly's solution? Can you guess, children?
To protect share prices the depth of this disaster must not be admitted.

So real progress may only be possible when many of them go undeniably bust. In truth, while some local papers are excellent, some are dross, not worth saving with a penny of public money.

Public money? Not a fucking single one of them is worth pouring public money into, Polly, you disgusting, rent-seeking harpy. That is our money and if we do not wish to spend it on your fucking rags—which, quite patently—people do not, then why the fuck should you be able to tear the fruit of people's labour from them, by force?
But creating worthwhile local news is under discussion, using various funds. Bring in the money available from awful ITV local news.

What? GMG's advertising revenues have "fallen off a cliff" and so you think that you can just wade in and cannabalise another company's cash? Fucking hellski...
Add in some BBC money: their local news is shamingly bad too, partly because the area covered is too wide.

Which rather implies that using traditional media to cover small areas is just not cost-effective (although, of course, were the minimum wage not in force, and taxes not so high, perhaps these locals rags could still be going concerns. How ironic, eh?). And, once again, Pol, you are stealing money from the pockets of everyone—but most especially the poor.
Then oblige local councils to stop wasting money on their own Pravda sheets, and to buy space in clearly defined zones in their local news trusts. It might need a small subvention from council tax, too.

I thought that you were on the side of the poor, Polly, and yet now you wish to use their hard-earned cash to prop up your peculiar profession. Two words, Pol: "fuck" and "off".

Instead of picking the pockets of workers, Polly, there is something that the newspaper industry itself could do to solve the problem. In fact, there is something that you can do...
But this is an emergency. Battalions of journalists with local knowledge are being sacked and newspaper expertise lost.

Might I suggest, Pol, that you take a great, big pay-cut? You are paid roughly £120,000 per year to write two factually-inaccurate, ill-informed, history-defying, self-contradictory, pig-ignorant columns a week for GMG—is that justice?

GMG could hire five full-time junior reporters on £24,000 per year for the money that you are paid for those two columns per week. If you are really worried about regional reporters, they could hire six at £20,000 per year. Actually, given the general desperation of those wishing to enter the journalism profession, GMG could probably easily fill seven posts at £17,150—or even ten posts at £12,000 per annum.

So, sack yourself, Polly, or take a colossal pay cut and you can make a very real difference—you can halt those "battalions of journalists with local knowledge" from "being sacked"; you can ensure that there is considerably less "newspaper expertise lost".

Wouldn't that make you happy? After all, last week you wrote...
Has the horror of it all struck Westminster with full force? Two million people have no job, with a million more to follow soon. Never before have so many lost jobs at such a rate. Of those frantically sending out sackloads of CVs, many will never work again.

Worse still, how many of the 600,000 leaving school this summer will never get an interview, let alone a job? When things pick up, those much younger will emerge as better prospects, untainted by years adrift. As in the 1980s recession, another generation is at risk of being washed up, never being connected to working life, watching children growing up as lost as them. Professor David Blanchflower, the one man on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee who called this recession right, spelled out on these pages all we know about the dire social consequences.

Your chance has come, Pol; this is your shining hour, your chance to make a real sacrifice in order to assist these unfortunates. You could help a few, just a few, of those poor people who have lost their jobs, or who might never get one: but every little helps, eh?

You, Pol, could quit your job and allow GMG to hire up to ten reporters—eager people who will go and find actual news rather than sententiously regurgitating their worthless opinions in a newspaper column as though their outmoded, inaccurate, authoritarian views had any value whatsoever.

You could even sell your Tuscan villa and donate the proceeds to these poor unfortunates; who needs a second home, Pol? Sell it, and help close the equality gap. What do you think?

Polly? Pol? Bueller...?

No, Polly's tactic is to appeal to our better natures and our charitable instincts (and not, strangely, to our self-regard).
Meanwhile, the national press risks following American newspapers to the great spike in the sky. Britain without the Mail or the Sun would be a happier place, less biliously nihilist, less miserable, angry and afraid. But democracy without the scrutiny of good journalism is unthinkable. In the end, it's up to you. If you always read this on the web, go out and buy a copy, skinflint. Use it or lose it.

Lose it? Jeepers! Just think what would happen if GMG went bust; just imagine the desolation facing mankind if The Grauniad went down the toilet!

Luckily, you don't need to imagine, and it's best if you don't: making shit up is Polly's job. Instead, as a service to us all, the poor little Greek boy has spelt out the full horror of this publishing Armageddon...
Don't say you haven't been warned, friend. You'll wake up one morning, maybe not too long from now, and they'll be gone; no Polly Toynbee, no George Monbiot, no Seumas Milne; no Joseph Harker, no Richard Gott, no Jonathan Steele. They'll all be gone, and it'll be your fault.

Do you really want that on your conscience?

Um... Fucking hellski. That really would be a world-changing event.

So, tell me: where do I sign up to hasten the end of this piece-of-shit newspaper and its ludicrous comment-whores?

UPDATE: someone has set up the near-inevitable Facebook Group: Don't tell me, show me, Pol—you can join up and urge Polly to quit and create, quite literally, some jobs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hannan rips Brown a new arsehole

As you will know, your humble Devil has a great deal of time for only a very few politicians; one of those is Douglas Carswell MP, and another is his friend, Daniel Hannan MEP.

Douglas has featured on The Kitchen many a time, and Dan... Well, just watch Master Hannan ripping the one-eyed, Scots cunt to pieces in the European Parliament and you will see why he's such good value (a tip of the horns to Guido for this)...

Might I also recommend The Plan: twelve months to renew Britain, by Hannan and Carswell, a rather well-researched book detailing how to cut the state down to size, and return power to the people through localism.

It's a very good book and your humble Devil is secretly rather proud to have his copy signed by the authors and inscribed with laudatory messages of solidarity.

Yes, I am a vain man, and flattery will get you everywhere. Or, rather, it may get you a mention on The Kitchen if you are a very good boy.

Now, I'm just going to click that button and watch Hannan rip the crap out of Brown again...

UPDATE: it seems that the fat-arsed, monocular Jock bastard just isn't very popular; via Trixy, Nigel Farage (another politician that I have time for) laid into the Prime Mentalist first...

I wonder if Gordon realises that people are more than a little fed up by his stupidity, arrogance and incompetence? Probably not so, for the avoidance of doubt, fuck you, Brown, you stupid, arrogant, incompetent cock.

UPDATE 2: Douglas Carswell explains why this couldn't happen in our Parliament.
In Westminster we’re prevented from making the kind of short, pithy speeches that hold squirming ministers directly to account by something called "tradition". Procedures for debates in SW1 make it very difficult to actually say what needs to be said. The closest you can get is a question. If you're lucky.

Indeed, most debates are reduced to bogus, formulaic ritual. The order of speaking often irons out spontaneity. Cabinet ministers invariably clear off to the tea rooms rather than listen to what anyone might want to say.

Other than the weekly Prime Ministers Questions, I'm trying to think when I've ever seen a Prime Minister speaking in the Commons in a way that would allow anyone to hold him to task the way Daniel did.

Like I've been saying, our Commons is monumentally useless at holding government to account.

This irritating politeness is one tradition that I would be happy to see abandoned. I think that, if politicians really loathed each other, in the way that people who genuinely lose their tempers at each other tend to, then we would see more interesting debates.

Oh, and Her Majesty's Opposition might actually oppose, rather than politely disagreeing over the Dispatch Box and then wandering off together for a beer in the taxpayer-subsidised bar.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Barclays tax avoidance

Here is a big pile of crap from the usually sensible Tygerland (so glad that you have decided not to give up this blogging lark, by the way).
The documents expose Barclays “tax-avoidance” measures—scamming tax-payers out of over £1bn.*

Or, to put it another way, the documents expose the fact that Barclays bank is using perfectly legal measures in order to maximise returns for shareholders.

Of course, if the directors did not take advantage of these perfectly legal measures then they could, ironically, be sued for failing to uphold their fiduciary duty to said shareholders and to depositors.

And Barclays are not "scamming tax-payers out of over £1bn": they are using (all together now!) perfectly legal measures, drawn up by the NuLabour government, in order to deny money to said government. And if you think that the NuLabour government are in any way the same as "the tax-payers" then you are a fucking moron.

Apparently, Barclays have gagged the Grauniad from publishing said memos as part of their tedious and deeply hypocritical moralising about perfectly legal corporate tax avoidance—good.

Let us remind ourselves that the Guardian Media Group, despite making £304 million profit last year, not only avoided paying any tax, it actually arranged its affairs such that it got an £800,000 rebate. And let's not even mention the GMG's use of a network of tax haven-based companies in order to avoid Stamp Duty in its deal with eMap... Oh, whoops!

I have to say that I am with John Band on this.
  1. Barclays has done nothing illegal

  2. Barclays hasn’t receieved any aid from the UK taxpayer.

… so this isn’t an issue.

Should Barclays request aid from the UK taxpayer at any point, its activities should, obviously, be taken into account when deciding how much of a haircut its shareholders deserve to be given. But at the moment, it’s trying to stop the UK taxpayer from making it take ‘aid’, which is kind-of the opposite…

Quite. Anyone who thinks that any company that tries to stop this disgustingly wasteful government from taking money from it unnecessarily, through the use of (say it again!) perfectly legal measures, is a fucking idiot.

And anyone who backs the Grauniad's position is not only a fucking idiot, but a stinking hypocrite—and a supporter of even bigger stinking hypocrites—and you forfeit any right to pass any kind of moral judgement whatso-fucking-ever. On anything. Ever.

UPDATE: a thought has just occurred... Do you think that those Lefties who view paying tax as a moral duty have ever stopped to think about what the government does with the money that they pay? One could argue that all these Lefties paying their taxes made it possible for the government to invade Iraq.

So, paying taxes is a moral duty that allows the government to immorally (and illegally) invade a sovereign country; but not paying tax and thus, potentially, stopping the government from invading a sovereign country is, in fact, immoral.

Is that the sound of Lefties' heads popping? I think it might be...

* Normally, I would always include the links in quoted passages but, given that that twit, Sunny Hundal, is spearheading this campaign, I am more than happy deliberately not to take part.

The evil of Jonathon Porrit

Missed this one yesterday, somehow, but it seems that that arsehole, Jonathon Porritt, is still too fucking stupid to know when he should shut the fuck up.
JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.

The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.

Sure, Jonny-baby. So, when do we get the death camps going? And will you be using a lottery to select the lucky 30 million who are to be exterminated, or what?

Long-time readers of The Kitchen will remember that we have encountered the Optimum Population Trust* before, and they were utterly unspeakable then: they have not improved with time.

As for Porritt... well... That man is not simply a moron, he is a very, very evil person and should be removed from the planet at the soonest opportunity.

That is all.

* This is not a fake charity. The OPT is mostly sustained by legacies (£224,692), donations (£16,135) and subscriptions (£14,878). This means that there are actually a large number of very evil people out there.

Spineless and supine

Via Iain Dale, I come across a pertinent speech by Douglas Carswell on the affairs of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). I recommend reading his contribution in full, but this section stood out.
Once upon a time there was genuine scrutiny. Indeed, as some people may know, a war was once fought over the extent to which the House was able to vote to approve supply and Government moneys. However, this House has slowly but definitely lost its power to oversee how the Executive spend our money. The quango state, on which the PAC produces so many of its reports, is in effect beyond budgetary scrutiny. Retrospective audit on the PAC is pretty much all that is left.

Belying each PAC report and the National Audit Office reports on which we comment is a profound question: why is our legislature now so supine and spineless? Why is our legislature not able to do a better job of scrutinising how the Government spend money? Instead of conducting merely retrospective audit, why does this House not properly scrutinise forward spending proposals? The failure of this House to oversee Whitehall budgets properly makes the work of the PAC vital.

My second point concerns what I see as a pattern in those 14 reports. The PAC produces a vast number of reports. Each week, it seems, we produce a report. Sometimes, scarcely a day goes by when I do not switch on the radio to listen to the "Today" programme and hear my hon. Friend Mr. Leigh talking about one of the reports. It is great that we produce so many reports, but to what effect are they produced? We give permanent secretaries a hard time and we can huff and puff, but the waste and the catastrophically inept project management and public procurement continue.

As many will know, as far as the House of Commons etiquette is concerned, this is pretty strong stuff. But, as Douglas points out, few will have heard it (the Chamber is almost empty in the accompanying video and said video stops before Carswell's intervention).
Add up the smattering of MPs in the chamber, plus those listening to the debate, and I'd be surprised if a dozen clocked what I had to say.

Last time I made the same point via this blog about our "supine and spineless" Commons, I had several thousand read the article, and many dozen websites link to it.

Still blogging? You bet.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Just a standard leg-over this time

Nigel Griffiths: cheats on his wife, fucks you up the arse.

It seems that Nigel Griffiths, who we have met before, has been caught with his trousers down and his cigar out by the News of the Screws.
A SENIOR Labour MP cheated on his wife in a midnight sex romp INSIDE the House of Commons.

Former minister Nigel Griffiths, a close friend of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, cavorted with a naked brunette in his Parliamentary office on Remembrance Day.

Then the shamed MP, 53, LIED about the shock breach of Commons Rules of Conduct, branding our story “outrageous.” Now he stands accused of bringing the House into disrepute.

Griffiths could not have chosen a more shameful date for his sordid House of Commons sex romp— Remembrance Day.

Whilst MPs fucking people who are not their wives is hardly anything news-worthy these days, there are a few points of interest.

The first is that Gordon Brown was best man at Griffiths' wedding, and young Nigel has been wheeled out to defend the Prime Mentalist (with whom he also used to share a flat) on a number of occasions. As such, this is going to make the Gobblin' King look like a prize cunt—and this can only be a good thing.
But his family and colleagues will be sickened to learn how he CHOSE to stay late at his desk on Tuesday November 11, 2008, just to cheat on his loyal wife—and to capture the scene in pornographic photos.

The pictures, dated by the camera’s digital clock, show Griffiths and the brunette taking part in sex games from 11.35pm to 12.33am, early on Wedenesday November 12.

The porno picture session continues until 2.24am. At one point Griffiths is seen naked and smirking as he lies back and puffs on a cigar.

Second, he appears to have shown a breath-taking arrogance when confronted with his misdeeds.
But when asked about his secret sex session astonishingly Griffiths chose to brazen it out by denying everything and storming: “Absolutely groundless!”

We asked if he wanted time to think over his response before committing himself on the record. He replied: “No, I don’t need time to think about it.”

When we pointed out we had incontrovertible evidence, he claimed: “Fabricated evidence! You must have some fabricated evidence! Outrageous! Absolutely outrageous!”

He then said he needed to “take counsel.” But 16 days later we have yet to hear from his lawyer.

In the meantime we have offered Griffiths numerous opportunities to respond to our story but his only reply has been a text message saying: “I have nothing to add to the statement I gave you. NG.”

Still, it is hardly surprising when, despite being another one of those thieving bastards who deliberately defraud the taxpayer, he has managed to become a minister.
It’s not the first time Griffiths has been in trouble.

In 2002 a Commons standards committee found he had been claiming £10,000 a year expenses, since 1997, for rent on an Edinburgh office that he he OWNED outright.

It emerged the money had been paid into a trust fund he set up for his autistic sister Hilary, 56.

Griffiths also failed to disclose the £227,000 fortune left to him by his late father.

But despite the complaint being upheld, and Tory calls for him to resign, no further action was taken after Gordon Brown, Chancellor at the time, waded in on his pal’s behalf.

Third, however, is the behaviour of the News of the Screws; after all, this all occurred back in November and, whilst I suppose the journos might only just have received the photos (presumably from the lady in question) it seems an odd time to publish.

Could there be another motive, I wonder: something that prompted the release of these revelations at this point?
Ironically he is a respected member of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, scrutinising the way government handles its finances.

And Griffiths’ repeated denials of misconduct come as another Commons committee is considering “Press Standards, Privacy and Libel” amid speculation that Parliament might introduce tough new privacy laws.

Such legislation could mean that newspapers who expose errant MPs misbehaving in their private life would be PROSECUTED.

Ah, I see: he wasn't playing ball, was he?

New drinking stupidity: same old faces

Professor Ian Gilmore: disgusting, illiberal killjoy who's salary is paid for by the government us.

The Express has an "exclusive" interview with Professor Ian Gilmore today; needless to say, this idiot shill has nothing good to say.
DRINKING blackspots will be subjected to prohibition-style laws under a radical proposal by the country’s top liver doctor.

Oh yes, that'll work. Because, you know, whenever I want to cite an example of a law that worked really, really well at achieving its primary objective and had no unintended consequences whatsoever, the American Prohibition is most definitely the one that I go for.

The aim is to block alcohol sales in parts of the country where people’s health is being put at risk by drink.

The plan was put forward by Professor Ian Gilmore and it could see many inner city areas being turned into drink-free zones.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express, Prof Gilmore said: “Much of the focus of drink has been on its link with antisocial behaviour, crime and disorder but our concern is about the damaging consequences of drink to health.

“When I became a liver specialist 30 years ago, alcoholic liver disease was something we only saw in middle-aged and older people. Now we’re seeing people in their twenties with end-stage liver disease.

“We need to use all the tools we’ve got to try to tackle this problem.”

Prof Gilmore wants the law changed so councils could refuse a drink licence on health grounds.

Professor Gilmore should shut his fucking hole, as far as I am concerned. Other people's health is none of your fucking concern, you cunt.

What is, of course, not mentioned in the entire article is that Professor Ian Gilmore has form. He has featured on The Kitchen a couple of times, peddling his usual brand of puritanism.
Professor Ian Gilmore is not only a member of the RCP but is also "Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance" (a fact that is significantly absent from today's Beeb story).

Now, a quick search of fakecharities.org for "Alcohol Health Alliance" throws up such definitely fake charities as Sustain, the Institute for Alcohol Studies and the Alliance House Foundation (formerly the UK Alliance for the Suppression of the Traffic in All Intoxicating Liquors); all of these organisations are heavily funded by the state which means, of course, that the Alcohol Health Alliance is also heavily funded by the state.

As such, Professor Ian Gilmore is a mouthpiece for the government and should probably have his tongue ripped from his lying head before being hanged by his testicles in a tank full of ravenous piranas. The cunt.

Why don't these people just fuck off?

I commend this motion to the House, and also invite any doctors who would like to disassociate themselves from this evil little man to do so in the comments. If, as a bonus, they would like to start proceedings to get this disgusting authoritarian thrown out of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), then that would be absolutely hilarious.

In the meantime, this hideous bastard is trying to ruin our pleasures and rule our lives (for our own good, of course).

Fuck off, Gilmore, you cunt.

MP fraud update

Tony McNulty: liar, hypocrite and fraud.

It seems, via The Ranting King Penguin, that Tony McNulty has been happily fleecing the taxpayer for all that he is worth. And yes, it's the second homes scam again.
Senior Labour minister Tony McNulty has admitted claiming £60,000 of expenses on his parents' home.

The employment minister is the latest MP to be caught claiming the Common's controversial "additional costs allowance" for a property that is not strictly his home.

Mr McNulty lives with his wife Christine Gilbert in a house she owns in Hammersmith, three miles from Westminster. Yet the minister has been claiming up to £14,000 a year in parliamentary expenses to help pay for another house he owns in Harrow, 11 miles from the Commons, in which his parents live.

Mr McNulty accepted that his use of taxpayers' money for the property looked odd.

Looks "odd"? "Odd"?

It doesn't look "odd", you disgusting shithole: it looks like you have been defrauding the taxpayer—and that most certainly isn't "odd" amongst you and your heinously corrupt colleagues. As far as I can see, stealing the product of our toil is pretty much par for the fucking course amongst you sacks of shit.
The MP can claim the money because the house is in his Harrow constituency and so qualifies him for the second home allowance.

Except that Harrow is in London and so he should not be entitled to claim a second home; his house is in fucking London for fuck's sake! And the expenses system is not there to pay for your fucking parents to live the high life, you hideous, corrupt little fuck.
After the arrangement was disclosed by the Mail on Sunday this weekend, Mr McNulty announced that he had decided to stop claiming the money, which he has benefited from since becoming an MP in 1997.

As far as I am concerned, this is an admission of guilt: if you were doing nothing wrong, then why have you decided to stop this arrangement now that it has been exposed?
And he said that all 131 MPs for constituencies in the south east of England who live within commuting distance of Westminster should not claim the allowance.

You fucking hypocrite, McNulty: how dare you? How fucking dare you?
Mr McNulty, who is also Minister for London, said: "There are senior shadow frontbench figures who live five miles further away from Westminster than me who claim the lot."

So? So fucking what? Two wrongs—or 646 wrongs—do not make a right. If there are others claiming this allowance when they should not, let's expose them too. But it does not excuse your fraud, you fucking shit.

At a time when your boss, that one-eyed Scottish idiot, is telling us that "markets must have morals", you bunch of thieving shysters are busy scamming the taxpayer for as much as you can get. And it's not as though you are even filling your boots in recognition that you are shortly to be decimated in a general election: you, McNulty, have been carrying on this fraud for twelve. Fucking. Years.

At £14,000 per year, that means that you have defrauded the taxpayer to the tune of some £168,000. To put that in perspective, McNulty, it would take someone on the minimum wage—those poor workers whom you claim to represent—over fourteen years to earn just the money that you have unfairly claimed for this one allowance. Except that you pay no tax on your allowances, do you, Tony? Unlike the poor bastards on the minimum wage who pay income tax on earnings over five and a half grand, and NICs even before that.

And how many other scams are you running, eh?

Why isn't this man in prison? And why aren't Jacqui Smith and Alastair Darling also rotting in some filthy cell?

Between them, these three ministers have scammed hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money: they have defrauded the taxpayer and, it seems, that they will escape without even a slap on the wrist. Why? Why are they not in court?

These bastards deserve to be fucking hanged.

IN OTHER NEWS: a couple who defrauded the taxpayer of a mere £40,000 go to clink. Truly, it's one rule for the law-makers and another for the proles. They must all hang: all of the looters, the moochers and the corrupt. Hang. Them. All.

UPDATE: Guido elaborates on the changing rules...
Guido wants to remind readers that the parliamentary committee set up to review the system—following repeated exposure of MPs defrauding the taxpayers—is recommending that the rules be changed to make the fiddle permissable. MPs deciding MPs should continue to be able to get away with ripping off the taxpayers. They really do like to stick their snouts in the taxpayer’s trough and crap it out on the public.

When the cash-for-honours spree was coming up, Guido was trying to raise money for a private prosecution. I'm not sure that that was ever going to happen, but could we not bring a private prosecution against some of these cunts? Their frauds are quite blatant, and surely illegal. And besides, there is a moral question at stake: if we, the defrauded, do not use the law to prosecute those who steal our money, then what is the point of the law?

If Guido will not do it, your humble Devil is tempted. Would any lawyers out there care to email and give me some guidance on whether such a prosecution would be feasible, and how much it might cost?

Human Rights are dangerous

Last night, your humble Devil was conversing in the pub with young Master Nosemonkey about the value of the EU (what else?). Nosemonkey's contention is that the EU is a good thing because our government is utterly corrupt and the EU can, at least, over-ride its worst depredations of our "human rights" (that is the phrase that he used, and it's important—as you will shortly see).

So, Nosemonkey sees the EU as a check upon the power of our own government. The trouble is, as I pointed out, what is the check on the power of the equally corrupt EU? "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", if you like. The answer is, of course, that there is none.

The other objection that I raised was that I had no wish to subsume our Common Law—under which, to define it very simplistically, everything is legal unless specifically proscribed—to the European Roman Law (under which, roughly speaking, everything is illegal unless specifically prescribed). Young Master Nosemonkey's reply once more contained the phrase "human rights".

The fact is that I partially agree with him: our governments are corrupt (which is why, of course, I favour as small a government as possible). However, I believe that the concept of "human rights" is actually a symbol of that corruption, not a brake upon it.

And this excellent post by Bishop Hill, using the current offensive against Home Education, illustrates just why that is the case.
I've been wondering about the distinction between human rights and liberties for some time now and in recent weeks have come to the conclusion that a human right essentially defines an entitlement and therefore a duty on government (and perhaps on others), while a liberty defines a restriction on government (and perhaps on others). I've also concluded that human rights are potentially disastrous.

Here's an example of why.

Lanna's a home educator, and as I've commented previously, there is an ongoing campaign against HE by the government. They have instituted a review of the whole area - the fourth in three years IIRC - and this appears to have been preordained to conclude that there is a need for home inpections by state-approved monitors. Once in place, this will no doubt lead in time to the outlawing of HE. By way of a softening-up exercise, the government has arranged for its client charity, the NSPCC, to make vague insinuations of child abuse in the direction of home educators, which Lanna reckons is a fairly obvious attempt to stigmatise the whole community before regulating and legislating against them. It certainly looks very much like the similar treatment dished out to smokers and foxhunters in the past and so I think she may well be right.

So what has this got to do with human rights? Well, from the HE perspective, how come then the state can demand entry to your home? How come they can force your children to talk to them? How come they can demand that you not be present? Haven't you got a right to privacy? The right to a family life? You would hope, wouldn't you that your human rights would protect you against this sort of thing. But you'd be wrong. The government will argue that the mere possibility of the loss of the child's rights justifies the loss of parental rights to privacy.

And this is the problem with human rights. By creating entitlements, but no understanding of how to balance different people's entitlements off against each other, they create confusion and sow discord and eventually leave the field of debate entirely empty, ready for government to legislate as they wish.

In this case the government has decided that the parent's rights are secondary. (This rather conveniently coincides with their own prejudices and the needs of their financial backers in the trades unions and the educational establishment, who of course want to stop state schools from haemorraging pupils.) But it is clear that they could just as easily have referred to the right to privacy of the parents and decided something completely different. The same set of human rights can give entirely different outcomes depending on who happens to be in power at the time and the whims of whoever is funding them.

Human rights give governments the power to do what they want.

It is this balancing—or, rather, lack of it—that many of us have been railing about for years. Unlike Nosemonkey, I view NuLabour's signing of the Human Rights Act as a menace, not a virtue. Quite apart from the example given above, and quite apart from my personal sense of revulsion that we would need to enshrine in law such fundamental things in order to protect us from our government, there is the practical aspect of looking at the past record of those who signed this act—the NuLabour government.

No peacetime government has ever trampled all over our liberties as much as this government: not one. Our Parliament's power sidelined and debased, and we are constantly spied upon, logged in and out of the country, tagged, locked up for weeks without trial, and generally degraded in hundreds of thousands of smaller ways. Does it seem credible that such a government would sign up to an Act that would constrain their actions and make the citizens freer? It does not.

And so, did the Human Rights Act stop any of these abuses? With the possible exception of one example—the DNA retention of innocent people (and the Act still does not guarantee that the police will destroy those records and, since it is contrary to sate policy, the government has no motive to enforce it)—the answer is a resounding "no".

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) was meant to put a brake on the abuse of technologies by various government bodies—instead, it has simply codified the usage of these powers and, as we know from the constant stories, the abuse continues. The original intention of the Act has been subverted and perverted and used for the state's own purposes: instead of protecting the citizens of this country, for which purpose it has proved utterly useless, it has merely given the state sanction to spy on us for its own purposes.

The Human Rights Act is exactly the same: it is utterly useless for protecting our freedoms, and instead gives the state legal and, by our rulers' lights, moral sanction to invade our homes and our privacy.

What we used to have was liberties: and how might they work in our Home Education example?
So how would it work with a liberties-based approach? The first thing to notice is that a liberty doesn't say anything about any individual's entitlements. But by defining what government may not do, the definition of a liberty implies how the rights of the individuals are to be balanced, and moreover, it implies them in a way that makes the outcome completely clear: there is only one possible conclusion that can be drawn.

For our HE example, the US Fourth Amendment (this is clearer for explaining the principles) simply says that the government may not enter the home without reasonable suspicion and a warrant. While this doesn't actually seem to address the question at hand—of how to balance the rights/needs/entitlements of parent and child, these things all flow naturally from the elucidation of the liberty. The rights of the child do receive appropriate protection ("if there's reasonable suspicion, we'll come and check things out") as do those of the parents ("we'll leave you alone unless there's reasonable suspicion").

Liberty works. It has worked for hundreds of years when it has been given the chance. Human rights don't. They never have.

And that is why the Human Rights Act is not—and has never been—welcomed by those of us who believe in freedom. That is why those of us who believe in liberty do not chalk it up as a point in NuLabour's favour. And that is why the EU's Roman-style Law is absolutely abhorred by those of us who wish to be free.

Collusion between our government and the EU has removed our fundamental liberty and replaced it with an ersatz concept of "rights" which, far from freeing us further, has instead given them sanction to snoop and pry and interfere in our lives like never before.

And, frankly, it is strange to hear an intelligent man like Nosemonkey—a man who rightly railed against the disgustingly illiberal measures aimed at Muslims on the grounds that being able to walk down the street without fear of being blown up is the most fundamental human right, trumping all others, as the government put it—embracing that same concept as a positive thing. It is strange to see such a man hailing these "rights"—that allow the state ever more licence to enslave and imprison us—as the saviour of our freedoms.

In short, I think that Nosemonkey is wrong and Bishop Hill is correct.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Now we are really fucked

It seems that the last vestiges of our freedom are to be handed over to the EU.
European leaders, including Gordon Brown, agreed yesterday that a new regime to tame the excesses of capitalism and regulate the markets should be based on the proposals of a former French central banker, ceding the European Central Bank some authority over the City of London for the first time.

An EU summit devoted to the economic and financial crisis called for new European laws to be enacted before the end of the year establishing a new regulatory system for financial markets, banks, hedge funds and private equity groups.

Reflecting the views of the German and French leaders, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, the summit unanimously declared that the new regime be based on the recent recommendations of a group chaired by Jacques de Larosière, a former French central bank chief, which calls for a "European Systemic Risk Council" with ultimate authority over all financial markets in the EU.

While the British agreed that the French economist's report represented an acceptable basis for drawing up a new system, Gordon Brown stressed "we also need to ensure that supervision is done at a national level".

You fucking delusional moron: do you seriously think that, once the EU has got its hands on The City of London, that it is ever going to release its grip?

The EU has been trying to take control of Frankfurt's only major competitor for fucking decades and now you—you fat incompetent fool—you are about to hand it to them on a plate.
Ahead of the G20 summit being hosted in London by Brown on 2 April, the divergence in views over how to regulate the markets is shifting towards convergence, European leaders made clear.

I am reminded of that Adam Smith quote:
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

I think that we can designate politicians as trademen of the most lazy, capricious and disgusting kind, can we not?
"Markets must be free, but they cannot be values-free," said Brown.

You fucking moron. As I said a little while ago, when you were wittering on in the same vein...
Markets don't have morals, you fucknuts. A market is simply what happens when a collection of entities come together to trade—they do not have morals any more than a coven has morals. The only morals that a market has are the morals of those individuals participating in that market—and they are not homogenous, even though you stinking, corrupt, brain-washing, bastard politicians have been trying to achieve that aim for some time.

You stupid, stupid, stupid cunt.

An open letter to Freddie Sayers of PoliticsHome

Dear Freddie,

First of all, I would like to point out that I have not looked at your eye-gouging, pointless abortion of a site since its first week, when I wrote the following:
... having visited the site this morning, my eyes were bleeding so profusely that I have had to go out and get a Braille keyboard. Seriously, I was like a haemophiliac Le Chiffre. With an eye aneurysm. And high blood pressure.

To be honest, what the hell is the point of PoliticsHome? I mean, I've got RSS feeds, and I've willing to bet that most of the other political anoraks that inhabit this 'sphere have got to grips with that technology too.

My sentiments were echoed by Tygerland, who was even more contemptuous.
We need another politics feed aggregator like we need Doughty Street’s acrylic plants back in our lives. Aren’t there enough twatting sites sucking content from other people?

Who needs a Bloomberg for politics? Business requires up to the minute information. Minutes lost can translate directly into lost revenues. Politics is an industry of wanky news items about MP’s tawdry sex lives and a never-ending conveyor belt of financial scandals.

And yet, you have continued to send me occasional emails detailing the worthless opinions of your utterly valueless commentators. Usually, of course, I have ignored them but then yesterday I received one of your missives that actively annoyed me.
Never have the views of the Phi100 panel – the daily PoliticsHome survey of senior MPs, journalists and opinion formers across politics – contrasted so starkly with the views of the general public.

Yesterday we reported how across parliament, the media and the think tank community, and across all parties, Hazel Blears’ proposal for a £50 visa tax for non-EU migrants (with the aim of raising £70m over two years for public services) was dismissed out of hand. 70% of the panel rejected the plan - either it was seen as going too far, or not far enough, or going down completely the wrong track.

Results have just come in from the PoliticsHome poll of 1,224 members of the general public, and results could not be more different. An overwhelming 83% of voters support the idea, and the support is almost exactly the same across Labour, Conservative, LibDem and other supporters.

In a new scheme announced today, people from outside the EU moving to the UK to work or study will have to pay £50 extra for visas to help fund public services in areas struggling to cope with immigration. In principle, do you think this is a good or a bad idea?

Hmmmm, let me see...

OK, Freddie-baby, you've asked my opinion, so here it is: not only do I think that it is a bad idea, but I think that it is a disgusting, evil idea. Some will say that your humble Devil is quite unfairly shooting the messenger, but then the last comment on your email was this:
It appears that, as the local and European elections approach, there may have been more sense in Ms Blears’ idea than the experts and political insiders in Westminster appreciate. To voters across the country – and across political parties – taxing non-EU migrants appears to sound like straightforward common sense.


Let me explain why it is a bad idea, you hideous little turd. And then I shall explain why it is an evil idea. And I do hope that you take this in.

First, it is a bad idea because—with the difficulty inherent in getting here and staying here—those non-EU immigrants tend to be highly skilled. Further, since the new rules came in, employers now have to show—under pain of legal sanction—that there is no native Briton willing or able to do that job. This means that they are not depriving British people of jobs even where I worried about that BNP-pandering, dog-whistle justification.

Yes, I know that Jacqboot Smith's very intention is to "cut in half" the number of "highly skilled migrants coming to Britain from outside the European Union", but that is not a good thing. Why?

Well, first, the very fact that that big-titted fucknuts supports anything should be an indication of its stupidity and ignorant evil. Second, we want skilled migrants: they help to make the industries of this country more productive. And lest you forget, Freddie, you fucking moron, it is the industries of this country that pay the fucking bills; they create the jobs; quite apart from the taxes that the "companies" pay, they pay the wages of the workers who then pay for the public services; they pay for this government's wages, their recearchers, their subsidised fucking bars; they pay for all the fake charities and they pay for the fucking QUANGOs. Making them more productive is the absolute be-all and end-all is this precious social democracy that the Grauniadistas whinge on about.

Second, those immigrants get paid in pounds; then they pay their income taxes, and their National Insurance Ponzi Scheme Contributions (which, since they are skilled workers, are higher than the average); in return, they get restricted access—defined in their Leave To Remain documents—to taxpayer funds, to these public services that you and your ilk hold in such fucking high esteem.

And then, finally, the vast majority of their wages—which, since they are skilled workers, are higher than the average—are spent in this British economy.

The final insult was that you did not see fit, when framing your question to the idiot masses whom you polled, to point out that non-EU skilled migrants already pay far more than a £50 migrant tax. Their leave to remain is some £450, their work permit costs them another £350—is £800 in migrant tax not enough for you gannets?

Further, they are further crippled in finding a job; they must be especially skilled because it costs a business that wishes to hire a non-EU migrant a further £800 to become a sponsor of said migrant.

So, in total, a non-EU migrant nets the state an extra £1600 on top of all of the usal taxes which they pay. And you want to add another £50 to this? Out of £1600, an extra £50 may not seem much, but it will be the final nail in the coffin of some; they will leave and the British economy will be the poorer for it.

So, yes, this measure is stupid; but is it evil? To answer this, I think that one needs to look at one's opinion on apartheid: I, personally, do think that it is evil. You, of course, may not: do you think that apartheid is evil, Freddie-baby?

Despite the stories that I have heard about you, despite your alleged attempts to break private contracts, I am sure that you do. However, you are almost certainly a pig-ignorant moron, so I shall spell out to you why it is relevant.

There are two classes of migrants to this country: the EU and non-EU migrants. The EU migrants can come here, settle, take benefits, have jobs (and send money home if they wish—and many do) and pay no tax and suffer no restrictions—they do not need to fill in pages of forms showing that they have skills. In fact, under EU law, it is actively illegal to discriminate against them. Anything that native Britons can have, so EU migrants can have too.

And then there are the non-EU migrants: they pay a migrant tax, and they have to prove that they have skills. They contribute to the economy and to the Welfare State, but are severely restricted as to what benefits they may derive. They stay here at the whim of the Home Office: did you know, Freddie, that you have to to send your money in advance to the immigration control bureaucrats but that, if they arbitrarily decide that you cannot remain, they keep the money anyway?

And so we create social apartheid: on one hand we have EU migrants—whose rights are enshrined by a court whose opinion trumps that of our elected government; on the other we have the non-EU migrants—whose rights exist on the whim of the Home Office.

And this disgusting state of affairs is one that you would like to exacerbate: this pathetic, arse-about-face, piece of idiocy is what you call "straightforward common sense".

It is not: it is, however, entirely typical of this government's divide et impera strategy. And it seems that you and your gormless master, Stephan Kukowski Shakespeare (whose family were themselves immigrants to this country), are supporters of this apartheid; it seems that the two of you are supporters of the mediocre over the skilled, of the looter over the producer, of apartheid over the equal potential worth of every human being.

To describe my feelings towards the both of you as "contempt" simply doesn't convey the depths of my emotion. And I cannot even begin to describe my feelings towards your respondants, despite your deception of them through your hiding of the actual circumstances. Furthermore, you have put me on the same side as the spivs, weasels, poiticians and media whores of your Phi 100 panel: something that makes me feel dirty frankly, and even less well-disposed towards you.

So here's what I think, Freddie Sayers: fuck you and the horse you rode in on (Stephan Shakespeare). Fuck you right in the face.



I shall, of course, let the loyal readers of The Kitchen know if young Freddie responds.