Friday, March 31, 2006

Charles Clarke really is appalling

Charles 'there is no excuse for the fact that this man is still alive' ClarkeCharles Clarke, The Safety Elephant: a man who is less welcome than terminal cock cancer, or genital warts at a show-and-tell...

I have written before about that cancer in the body politic, that rancorous thug who calls himself Charles Clarke.

It would be easy to slag Clarke off simply for being a deeply, deeply unpleasant man so—being the lazy little bastard that I am—I see no reason why I shouldn't do so. By now, almost everybody in the blogosphere will know about his encounter with Rachel's father, but let's paraphrase, to remind ourselves of what a shit-eating slug this man is.
[Rachel's father says:] "Congratulations on fixing the meeting so that nobody can ask questions! You will have heard about Rev Julie Nicholson who is so angry she cannot forgive the bombers who killed her daughter on 7th July , well, I have a question, my daughter was feet away from the 7/7 Kings Cross bomb, and she and some other surivors have said they are not angry with the bombers, but with the Government, because there was no public enquiry. Why is there no public enquiry?"

Charles Clarke looked at my father 'in a very nasty way', and then he said to my father

"Get away from me, I will not be insulted by you, this is an insult."

The real thing that we should point out here is that, as you are elected and paid for by us, the public, if we want to insult you then we shall. You fat bastard. If you weren't such an utter cunt in the first place, maybe we'd all try being a bit more civil but, frankly, some people just aren't worth the effort, Charlie, and you're one of them.

Our Safety Elephant obviously thought better of his rant (but only, I bet, when his PR monkeys pointed out that this little exchange was spreading through the blogosphere and making its way into the MSM) and wrote a letter in reply to the good cleric's second missive.
I too regret the events at the end of the meeting in Norwich Cathedral last Friday. That is why, as you will now know, I wrote to you on Friday afternoon expressing my regret and offering you a constituent surgery appointment to discuss these matters, to which I said you would be welcome to bring your daughter if you so wished. Our letters obviously crossed in the post.

Cheers, Charlie, you generous man, you...
In relation to Friday, I welcome this opportunity to set the record straight.

i.e. to lie like a bastard about the whole event.
Of course I do agree that it was entirely appropriate for you to ask a direct question to me as both your Member of Parliament and Home Secretary. I do spend a lot of my time taking questions on all aspects of Government business, but in particular those matters which are my responsibility as Home Secretary and it is right that this should be the case. I am sorry you found the format of Friday's event frustrating - this was not something for which I had responsibility, although I was happy with the arrangements.

Now, it is not for me to call Charlie a liar but... Oh, fuck it. You liar.
From my point of view I did attempt to respond to your question about a public enquiry into the events of 7 July but it appeared to me that you were not ready to allow me to answer the question or to say anything at all in response to your point. That was why I described your response as insulting. In those circumstances I thought it better not to continue our exchange in the cathedral but to write to you immediately afterwards offering a meeting which I did. That said, my response obviously caused offence which I regret.

Ha ha! Getting my secretary to write these bollocks platitudes makes me feel so much better.

Basically, Clarke goes on in the same vein and then tries to do a bit of damage limitation.
You will know that your letter to me has been placed on your daughter's website. I would be perfectly happy for her to place this response there too.

Now, personally, I think that it was very good of Rachel to place this on her blog. I would have paraphrased, probably in the following manner.
Dear Rachel's dad,

Lies, lies, craven lies, platitudes, cowardice, false recollection, bollocks, get stuffed you fuckers: you aren't getting an enquiry, lies, arse-covering.

Yours sincerely,

The Fat Cunt

But then, maybe I'm a little harsh.

Hahahahahaha! No way! If anything—and probably due to the good time that I had in Glasgow—I am letting the fat slug off rather lightly. I don't think that it's possible to be too harsh about that man.

Especially after the latest "compromise" over ID Cards. As the ever-excellent Justin point out, our list of allies on this grows thin (although I am encouraged to see that everyone's favourite malingering Edinburgh MP does seem to have found his spine recently) and the day when I must refuse to register draws nearer...
Identity cards will be made compulsory if Labour wins the next election, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has said.

Well, we shall just have to ensure that this bunch of fascists do not win again. However, my hopes are not as high as they should be; I find it difficult to believe that even 22% of the electorate voted for them the last time. However, what does this "compromise" entail exactly?
Under the current scheme all passport applicants from 2008 will have to get an ID card - although there will be a brief opt-out period until 2010.

Sounds OK? No. Because, you see, you can only opt out of getting the card itself. Your details will still be entered into the National Identity Register (NIR) and that is what those of us campaigning against these cards really object to. The reasons for this should be obvious, but if that is not the case yet (where have you been?) then I suggest that you read the email that Arthur has published. Furthermore, there will be no reduction in price for opting out of getting the card, a move that will ensure that most people will take it up anyway.

One cannot express one's disappointment in the Lords in accepting this compromise; however, one suspects that they had little choice. One suspects that the rancorous thug threatened to use the Parliament Act to force the legislation through totally unamended, and the Lords took whatever compromise they could get. It's an invidious position to be in and, given m'luds strong and repeated resistance so far, one can only surmise that this is what happened.

Threatening to use the Parliament Act is what I would do if I was an overweight, stubborn, thin-skinned, deeply insecure bully who took every rejection of my legislation as a personal insult on a par with being repeatedly hoofed in the knackers with a steel-capped jackboot, so I guess that that is what Charles "there really is no excuse for my continuing to live" Clarke did.
But Mr Clarke said he plans legislation after the next election to make it compulsory for everyone to get a card, whether or not they have a passport.

The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats both oppose ID cards.

But Mr Clarke said he did not think the opposition would be able to stop the scheme because by 2010 a "large number of people... should either have cards or hope to have cards".

Christ Almighty, who the hell is going to "hope to have" an ID Card? Apart, possibly, from those attempting to hack them. As for those who already have them, all it takes is one simple *snip* and there goes the card. And a simple "Initialise Hard Drive" command will deal with the NIR.

If the Tories ever want to win another election, then they would do well to promise that this would be the first thing that they would do. Unfortunately, I am not confident that they will; at present they seem to be utterly spineless, unable or unwilling to commit to anything.
But he added: "I don't think there is any benefit in opting out at all. Anyone who opts out in my opinion is foolish."

"Because we set it up that way. So fuck you in the arse and the eye, and fuck you again, you fucking inconsequential serfs. Listen to your masters and fucking well wag your tails..."
He declined to give further details of the costs, but ministers have already said the combined cost of a passport and ID card will be £93.

Well, they've said that this is an estimate; they have refused to cap this level and, given that we all expect the whole fucking mess to overrun and Gordo has frozen the Home Office budget, I'm pretty fucking sure that it going to be considerably higher than that.
But the Lib Dems accused the Conservatives of being duped by Labour into backing the opt-out plan in a crunch Commons vote on Wednesday.

Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said: "Within hours of parading their so-called compromise the Home Office is already making it clear that it was little more than a tactical manoeuvre to ram this legislation through Parliament without any substantive change to the Draconian reach and financial costs of the ID database.

"It begs the question whether the Conservatives really knew what they were doing when they fell into line with Charles Clarke's ruse."

Well, quite. I don't think that the Tories do know what they are doing, but they had better wise up pretty fucking quickly.
Interviews will begin "later this year" for passport applicants.

People applying for passports will have to visit their local passport office where they will be interviewed, fingerprinted and have "background checks" carried out on them.

"This will be known," said Mr Clarke, "as the processing of the untermensch. We will be processing—such a wonderfully elegant word, with absolutely no authoritarian connotations—people and then tattooing their personal number into their forearms." When asked what benefit this would confer, Mr Clarke replied that it would "ensure that no one forgets their National ID number." He insisted that it would actually be a benefit to older citizens who may not be able to remember their card or number.

Mr Clarke went on to promise that the numbers that needed to be dealt with were feasible. "We will be processing people by ethnic group, starting with Jews, progressing to Muslims and so on."

I really, really wish that Charles Clarke would fuck off and die. The man is a cunt of the very first water; unfortunately, he is also a cunt with teeth...

A measly response

I started this post on Wednesday but, having had a very pleasant and slightly surreal time in Glasgow (meeting an old friend whom I have not seen in almost 12 years), I have returned to the post...

Doctor Crippen has a post up about measles. Like him, I too had all of the childhood diseases—my parents deliberately exposed me to the infected—although the one that I remember, partly because my parents were so keen for me to get it as a child*, was chickenpox. I would, in any case, endorse his urgings to get your children immunised.

However, though I lay some claim to significant knowledge of microbiology, I am not a doctor (or even a nurse quacktitioner); thus, inevitably, it is the political points that Crippen raises that interest me, for they are—purely in passing, you understand—contradictory.
Remember BSE? Remember all the dishonesty, the platitudes, and the patronising, dissembling lies from the government? Remember the appalling John Selwyn Gummer, as reported by the BBC, inserting tainted meat into his daughter?

Readers over the last few days will be aware that I went off on one about BSE the other day. Indeed, I do remember BSE; I remember how thousands were going to die within ten years, how we were all doomed.

It did not happen. 161 people in Britain have contracted what is amusingly called vCJD (amusing because it killed "younger people" than CJD. Including a man of 46. Not so very young, methinks). The point is that there was massive hysteria over CJD, the British beef industry was all but destroyed and for what? Despite the recent scare stories, I do not believe that CJD is a threat, significant or otherwise. Apart from anything else, scientists do not know what the infection vector is. They do not really know whether "prions" are symptomatic or causative (or possibly both). They have also never explained why, if BSE could transfer to humans, why scrapie (the sheep equivalent) could not.

However, what the good doctor is trying to say, I think, is that the cover-ups and vacillations by the politicians (possibly) led to the deaths of 161 British people. The government did nothing until the last minute. With the BSE crisis, there were concerns, however misplaced, over the safety of British beef: the government (eventually) acted on those concerns but was excoriated, rightly, for not doing so before.

Contrast this with the measles epidemic. Now, there were concerns over the MMR jab; if you are a regular Private Eye, you may well still have concerns over the jab. When there is a concern over the safety of such a medicine, then it should be withdrawn. Dr Crippen maintains that the government should have put money into its own research report: this would have been sensible. However, as the good doctor must surely realise, a report such as this cannot be knocked up overnight. To counter effectively the Wakefield report (and a larger study with a similar conclusion to Wakefield's in the US), the research would have to studied people over the course of a number of years.

Many people were unwilling to put their children at risk of what they perceived to be the greater danger; that of their child possibly developing autism through having the jabs, hence the shortfall. There was an alternative: single jabs.

The government failed to approve these, and actually threatened to prosecute doctors who gave them. This was a stupid move and an unfogiveable failing, leading to a significant drop in the number of people immunising their children. When I pointed this out to Dr Crippen in his comments, one of his commenters replied thusly.
single jabs were never a sensible option. it would have re-inforced the idea that one of the vaccines was dangerous and should be avoided. The whole vaccs programme would have gone belly-up as everyone had a pick'n'mix of vaccs. 6 jabs instead of 2, most of the population would end up short of one or more vaccs.

The point is that the vaccine may indeed have been dangerous. No one was to know at the time that Wakefield had it wrong. The fact is that many of the chidren with autism that he studied had signs of the attenuated measles virus in their guts; he postulated a connection. I repeat: some fairly credible research showed that the MMR jab may have been dangerous.

In which case, surely the sensible thing would have been to withdraw it—until it was proven safe‐and make the alternative available? As it is, people didn't bother vaccinating at all, which is surely a worse scenario; at least Dr Crippen seems to think so, and I would tend to agree.

The government arsed the whole thing up by doing nothing, or actively threatening those who wished to provide the alternative. Some doctors risked prosecution in order to ensure that children had at least some form of protection against the disease. So, now, as Dr Crippen points out, we have a meases epidemic starting in Doncaster.

Another criminally stupid, life-wasting load of inaction from our lords and masters; their record on disease is not good. Coupled with the appalling slaughter of livestock during the Foot and Mouth Crisis**, this is just another fucking cock-up from NuLabour.

Why won't these people just fuck off and die...?

UPDATE: Given bookdrunk's comment below, perhaps I should clarify. Let's assume that the government knew that MMR was safe; this did not affect the fact that some people decided against using that form of innoculation on their children. Given this emtirely predictable response why, then, did the government specifically ban the single jabs? Surely some protection is better than none?

UPDATE: A warm welcome to readers of House Of Dumb, who also sums up my point quite neatly...

* Chickenpox is caused by the Human Herpes Virus Type 3. Chickenpox is particularly dangerous for adults, since it can far more frequently lead to shingles, which is a reappearance of the chickenpox virus.

Like other forms of herpes, notably genital herpes and oral herpes ("cold sores"), the chickenpox virus can never be completely eliminated from the body. This is because the herpes virus "hides" in the central nervous system, although the immune system is usually able to suppress any reoccurance.

Part of the reason that viruses are able to hide in the CNS is that, when the central nervous system has stopped growing, the entire system is flooded with enzymes that inhibit, or rather almost totally shut down, any growth within or around the system. This is a significant reason why people with broken backs and necks are not able to recover to any significant degree: because the CNS tissues are prevented from regrowing by the enzymes present in the spinal fluid.

** My uncle is a Foot and Mouth Disease specialist at Britain's main animal disease research centre, the Purbright Centre. They should have been consulted over FMD which was foolish anyway, since my uncle had written a paper for Purbright, in the early 90s, predicting that the so-called "Asian strain" FMD would hit Britain within the next 10 years.

The government refused to consult Purbright, instead hiring an expert in human disease epidemiolgy which led directly to the mass slaughter of millions of animals which were illegal, both in the fact that animals that had not come into contact with the disease were slaughtered and, in many cases, the way in which the killings were carried out. The government realised this and slipped a retrospective law allowing the cull through the last parliament.

The lying, cheating scum.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Free Jack Idema Blogburst

One of the problems faced by those of us who campaign for the release of illegally-imprisoned American Special Forces soldier Jack Idema and his men (Brent Bennett and journalist Ed Caraballo) is the general belief that Afghanistan is now a functioning, modern democracy. Indeed, most casual observers could be forgiven for believing that the war against the Taliban in 2001 swept clerical fascists from power completely, and that anyone falling foul of the law in Afghanistan today would be treated fairly.

This week, however, the mask of moderation finally slipped, and the world got to hear about the case of Abdul Rahman, the man sentenced to death in Afghanistan for the 'crime' of converting to Christianity.

Although it now seems as though Mr. Rahman has been spared, the fact that this only came about because of huge international pressure, and that, further, the judge who sentenced him immediately went on record as urging ordinary Afghans to 'tear Rahman to pieces' upon his release, acted as a wake up call for many of the people who'd believed the days of the Taliban were over.

Of course, for those of us who've followed the Jack Idema story for a while, Mr. Rahman's brush with death came as less of a surprise -- It was a similar, 'ex'-Taliban judge who presided over the travesty of a trial that saw Jack and his team convicted of kidnap and torture in September 2004. Back then, the bearded lunatic presiding over Jack's case, Judge Abdul Baset Bakhtyari, behaved in the following, bizarre fashion:

  • Announcing to the press his intention to find Idema guilty before the trial had taken place
  • Refusing to allow Jack and his team to present any evidence in their defence
  • Allowing prosecution witnesses to give evidence without being sworn-in
  • Failing to take note of the fact that the prosecution failed to provide any physical evidence that Jack or his team had kidnapped or tortured anyone
  • Refusing to allow Jack and his team to cross-examine prosecution witnesses
  • Refusing to allow Brent's court-appointed, female, lawyer into the courtroom (she informed Brent she had been threatened with death if she dared show up)
  • Engaging in whispered conversations and note-passing with the prosecution team to which the defence were not a party
  • Refusing to allow interpreters to translate statements made by the defence
Back in 2004, it was near-impossible for Idema to get anyone to listen to his complaints -- It's to be hoped that the Rahman case will illustrate to everyone that they were entirely justified.

So what can we do? Well, anyone reading this with their own blog can sign up for the weekly Free Jack Idema Blogburst by emailing Cao or Rottweiler Puppy for details. I'd urge everyone to do this, as we're still terribly short on takers. If you want to know more about the story, Cao's Blog has a large section devoted to Jack Idema. There's also a timeline here, and, of course, a huge amount of information is available over at SuperPatriots, without whose work none of us would have learned about Jack's story.

Once more for the Lords...

There once was a fat cunt called Clarke
Whose bite was worse than his bark
Five times in a row
The Lords told him "no!
ID Cards? Stuff that for a lark!"

Oh, and all you guys with those Elect The Lords buttons on your blogs? If I were you I'd dump them; now Princess Toni favours an elected Second Chamber and that means that you know that it's the wrong thing to do!
Lord Strathclyde, the Tory leader in the Lords, said there was some confusion about whether there was the political will to see through reforms.

And he said there was not much point in looking at the reforms unless the House of Lords was made stronger.

Yeah, you can just see Toni, having suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of our good peers, making the House of Lords stronger, can't you?

And if you needed any more proof that having an elected Second Chamber is a bad idea, that pus-ridden oaf, Ken Clarke, is also in favour.
Ex-Conservative chancellor Ken Clarke, head of the Conservatives' democracy task force, said he thought the majority of MPs would back a 70% elected House of Lords in a free vote.

The "scandal" over Labour loans had brought such changes much nearer, said Mr Clarke, who also pushed for more state funding of political parties.

"Some urgent reform is needed on all these fronts if we are to have any chance of restoring the faith of the ordinary, sensible member of the public in the democratic system of this country," he argued.

Ken Clarke is not the decent, ordinary chap that everyone seems to think that he is: he is a hideous, boorish, centrist, managerialist, overweight, pompous chimp whose only claim to fame is that, as Chancellor, he was too fucking lazy to actually do anything with the economy and thus left it in a reasonably sound state. Actually, come to think of it, he is pretty ordinary... For which read "mediocre at best"...
Lord McNally, the Lib Dem Lords leader, said it was entirely possible to give the second chamber powers which allowed it to be "uppity" while leaving MPs with the final say over legislation.

Where is the need for reform, exactly? Because, I'm sorry, isn't that what we have right now? And the Lords have been doing a splendid job—good on 'em! Even Curious Hamster has been forced to praise them.

Seriously though, look at the cunts the people of Britain have elected to the House of Commons: you want to have a second House like that? Anyone who advocates such is a fucking loon...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I knew that A Very British Dude would be worth keeping an eye on: I love this post, and not only for this brilliant last line.
Maybe they will teach you a lesson: Guns and bombs and tough, nasty men keep us free and safe, Norman, not giving the terrorists a slice of your wife's smashing nut roast and a nice big Huggy-hug.

Very funny indeed, as is this post on the smoking ban by Davo at Bawbags:
I'm going to print that out on thousands of mailing labels to keep handy. Whenever I get into an argument about this shite, I'm not going to speak, I'm just going to slap one of the labels right on the cunt's forehead.
Nae speaking, just *slap*. See ye fuckin later.

I like that authentic Scottish style...

Post #1000: a greeting

Well, here we are: 1,000 posts since the inception of The Devil's Kitchen! Who would have thought that writing so much, so offensively, would be so easy? Luckily, the Labour government have never left me short of things to rant about, and for that I have to thank 'em.

So, as a special treat for you all, here's a chance to hear me—speaking in my customary cut-glass tones—doing exactly that (MP3: 340KB—not suitable for work. Inevitably). You haven't lived till you've heard a posh bastard saying "bunch of cunts"...

Those poor public sector workers

Wat Tyler at Burning Our Money has researched exactly how much less public-sector workers get paid than us fat, greedy privateers.
It goes like this. Straight out of college your novice banker can expect a base salary of £35-40 grand. Plus a bonus after 12 months of maybe another £30 grand. Not bad you say.

Not bad, indeed. Why are these people being grossly overpaid?
What's more, once signed they discover they're expected to work 100 hour weeks, chained in semi darkness to the oars of everlasting number-crunching and pitch-books. And they only get the bonus in the unlikely event they're still alive after 12 months (see the hilarious Monkey Business for full details).

So £35,000 pa is £673 pw. On an hourly basis that works out at just £6.73, only just above the minimum wage. Is you heart bleeding?

Not really, but I'm willing to concede that it is not an easy life. After all, I've known too many people who have done it, and some have lasted less than a year; most have transferred to lower paid jobs, that require them to spend less time at the office.

But, how does all this compare to public sector workers?
I thought of this today as I listened to a public sector union chief explaining why today's strike over pension rights was justified. He recognised that most private sector pension schemes don't give nearly such good benefits as those public sector schemes providing index-linked final salary pensions at 60. But he said that was recompense for much lower public sector pay.

Of course, we all know that public sector pay is much lower, don't we?
The facts are different. According to the Office for National Statistics (see here) full-time median gross annual earnings in 2005 were £24,344 in the public sector and only £22,247 in the private- a gap of almost 10%. And in terms of hourly rates, the gap is even bigger, at 25%. That's because full-time public sector workers put in about 3 hours a week less than private sector- 37 rather than 40. And the median public sector rate per hour is £12.48- way more than those knackered investment bankers.


Wat points out the main and intractable problem: no matter what the unions say, we simply cannot afford to support the public sector pension deals. As Wat has blogged before, the scale of the country's debt is scarily massive.
When you tot up the whole lot- on balance sheet and off balance sheet- the real total for government debt comes to £1.3 trillion. Which is about £55,000 per household.

In other words, Gordo has borrowed on your behalf even more than you've managed to borrow for yourself. You thought you owed £50,000 [the average figure for a British household], and it turns out you actually owe more than twice as much.

The public sector pensions hole is calculated at nearly half of that money, at about £690 billion; this is unsustainable. And don't forget, every time that a teacher or nurse gets a payrise, that amount is increased; every police officer or civil servant who retires early, and a massive percentage of them do, pushes that total up by tens of thousands of pounds.

I say again, we simply cannot afford this. Yes, the government will probably shirk their responsibility to the taxpayers—after all, this lot have not done a brave or honest thing in their entire lives—and back down; after all, they did so with the centrally employed civil servants. But that does not alter the fact that, at some point, some government is going to have to bite the bullet and cut the pensions. (And, hopefully, they will also sack hundreds of thousands of utterly unnecessary employees, which will also go towards cutting the deficit.)

There is simply no reason why the average private sector worker should subsidise public sector pensions in this way; they are being massively taxed—and many are on lower salaries then their government employed confreres—in order to fund a retirement, far more plush than they will get, for those lucky enough to be consumers of the wealth that the private sector generates.

UPDATE: This whole argument wouldn't be complete without some bollocks from The Herald editorial (behind a pay-wall tomorrow). In the main, they are pointing out that the strike runs the risk of not currying public favour, by affecting the most vulnerable. However, two particularly egregious sections stand out. The first runs thusly.
If there is to be public antipathy towards, rather than solidarity with, the unions, it will not be because people think poorly-paid workers in the public services do not deserve a decent pension. They do. The unions say the rule of 85 is necessary because it takes account of low pay and a pension scheme inferior to others in the public sector.

Firstly, we have already shown that the low pay excuse is a load of old crap. Secondly, their pension scheme may be inferior to other public sector workers but, frankly, tough; it is considerably better than those in the private sector (£5 billion a year of which has been raided by the Chancellor because, ultimately, he needs to pay for the public-sector pension scheme). To give The Herald its due, it does point out that
But ministers should perhaps have trained their sights first on employees in Whitehall, the NHS, firefighters, the police and teachers who have kept their full benefits (including retiral at 60) and whose pensions are paid from general taxation.

Precisely, but two wrongs do not make a right. Given this situation, they should cut the local workers' pensions and then attack the other public sector workers' pensions too.

The other thing that really pissed me off was this section.
Going after public-service workers with less industrial muscle appears weak and less than fair, especially as three in four in the LGPS are women and nearly two-thirds work part-time.

What the fuck? Are part-time workers more deserving of pensions than full-time workers? And are women more deserving of pensions than men, for some reason? Or is it that we big, strong men should still be protecting the poor, little missies from the big, bad world? Seriously, what is meant by this sentence?

A strange likenessA pair of spivs: have Andy "mendacious lying little shit" Burnham and David "my blog cost you £6,200 more than it needed to" Milliband ever been seen in the same room together? If so, that would be a really good time for a missile strike...

I think that the resemblance is uncanny: they both look like a couple of greasy spivs and they are both an unnecessary drain on the public purse. And on our precious oxygen resources, for that matter...

the truthiness of andy burnham

Home Office Minister Andy Burnham seems to be experimenting with brave new standards for honesty:
Asked on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme why Labour had not told voters that the cards would be compulsory. He replied: "Actually, we did. During the parliamentary process that the Bill went through before the General Election, we were absolutely clear on this point.

There was no doubt about the link with the passport. We said all along that the right way to proceed would be at the time when we introduced the biometric passport, when fingerprints were introduced into the passport, that would be the right time to introduce the clean National Identity Register."

It's such a pity that we had an election, then, when the Labour party did what it does best and offered a mildly self-contradicting statement which made no mention of eventual compulsion. From the 2006 Labour manifesto:
We will introduce ID cards, including biometric data like fingerprints, and backed up by a national register and rolling out initially on a voluntary basis as people renew their passports.

This could mean both a) that a person can choose to surrender biometric data during the course of acquiring a new passport or b) if you renew your passport you will 'voluntarily' (i.e. involuntarily) join the national identity register - depending on your reading preferences. As the Register pointed out at the time:
The "voluntary" ID card returned yesterday with the publication of the Labour's Party's election manifesto, but it's once again rather difficult to find out what's voluntary about it. According to the wording: "We will introduce ID cards, including biometric data like fingerprints, backed up by a national register and rolling out initially on a voluntary basis as people renew their passports." So, what's voluntary here?

A Labour Party spokesman told us first: "It's voluntary. You don't have to carry it." This seemed doubtful to us, but we asked if, in that case, you were still going to be registered for an ID card when you registered for a passport. He said he'd call us back.

Later, he explained that ID cards would initially be "piggybacking" on passports, and that you would be offered an ID card along with your passport. Which, we suggested, you could always refuse? But you'd still be registered for an ID card, right? Possibly. He conceded that the data collected for passports would be pretty similar to the data collected for ID cards, but pointed out that "we're not at the stage of having worked out all the details of how it would work. But it would work at passport renewal."

Rather less than being 'absolutely clear', no? Even if we accept the parliamentary debate line rather than the election campaign language, there's still a difference between the sales-pitches of 'initially on a voluntary basis' and 'eventually compulsory.'

The other bit of wriggle room - illustrated in the Register story above - is over the meaning of the word 'compulsory': yes, you have to have an ID card but no, you don't have to carry it. Yes, you'll need it to access a range of services you've paid for through tax, but you can choose to inconvenience yourself or go without.

Labour didn't campaign for an 'eventually compulsory' card because they knew it would be unpopular, sensibly choosing the more voter friendly 'initially voluntary' line instead and hoping no-one would notice the gradual slide between the two - a slide that has continued despite a mountain of objections on the grounds of cost, effectiveness and liberty.

The sales-pitch for identity cards has never, ever been clear but has instead taken the shape of endless question dodging and distraction. To shamelessly quote myself:
Rule one of the PR handling of identity cards seems to be if you can't defend the substance of an issue, don't talk about the substance of the issue. This strategy is dependent on changing the subject - so if the cost is criticised, talk about security; if security is criticised, talk about identity theft, if that doesn't work, switch to benefit benefit fraud, and then you're back round to talking about security of the state without ever addressing any specific criticisms.

Devoted followers of Burnham (Burnhamites? Burnhamistas? Andy's Acolytes?) will remember that this isn't the first time when he has been caught stuffing himself with the porky-pies.. uh.. offering statements of questionable veracity. There's the time when Dame Stella Rimington (nee MI-5) pointed out that the information in the national identity register would be partly based on existing documents which are easy to forge.

Rather than explaining how this problem might be confronted, Burnham chose denial - arguing that the card will be totally secure because the biometric data will be used, and thus missing the point about initial identification.

Then there was the claim that identity fraud costs the economy £1.7 billion each year, shown by various people to be a largeish portion of fresh steaming horse shandy. The problem then wasn't so much the inflation of the figure but the apparent ignorance of why 'customer not present' and other credit card frauds will be largely untouched by the national identity register.

To describe any part of the ID card mess as 'absolutely clear' is either laughably delusional or grossly dishonest. The problem with Burnham is that it's hard to decide which applies.

(cross-posted to RS)

Insert name of any politician here...

Shamelessly pinched from Dangerously Subversive Dad in what will, no doubt, become some sort of meme...
A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window.

The driver rolls down his window and asks, “What's happened?”

“Terrorists have kidnapped Gordon Brown and are asking for a £10 million ransom, otherwise they are going to douse him with petrol and set him on fire. We are going from car to car to take up a collection.”

“How much is everyone giving on average?”

“About a litre.”

Ha ha ha! If only...
Gobblin' ToniGobblin' Toni: "I know you're keen, darling; but let's wait till we get back to the hotel before I plug that hole, eh...?"

Feel free to submit your own captions to this, frankly, repulsive picture...

As many of you will know, I am an Apple fanatic; as such, I am a big fan of John Gruber's Daring Fireball. This post gets him more irate than I have ever seen him...

He who controls the past...

Ok, I really, really want all of you—smokers and non-smokers alike—to consider this post carefully. Particularly non-smokers; this is important.

As you know, a ban on smoking has been imposed on public places in Scotland and, in general, your humble Devil can see the reason for this (although he resents the fact that, as a worker from home, he can no longer smoke in his own front room, even if he is the only person there). But—and this is a but bigger than Beyonce's—carry this on. As I reported yesterday, the stage and screen are not exempt. In fact, the SNP (how I hate those craven cunts) MSP who introduced the Bill stated that this was a direct point of the Bill, i.e. that Scotland was undergoing a change, and that smoking should not be shown at all. Can you see where this is going?

Under this Bill, no one can smoke anywhere in a workplace, and this particularly affects television studios. Inspector Rebus will no longer smoke; nor will Churchill; those who write plays about the shit conditions in Glasgow will no longer be able to have their protagonists smoke.

Most of all, those fans of Life On Mars will be disappointed. This series, which sets a modern-day cop in 1973, has been recommissioned but, by the time that it starts shoting, will almost certainly be censored by the English ban. What all of this means is that in 1973 no one smoked. Churchill never smoked. Inspector Rebus—even when shot in his "own home"—does not smoke. Glasgow schemies do not smoke.

None of these people will ever have smoked. I would like you to say that sentence again: none of these people will ever have smoked.

Now, recollect the quote that I put at the end of the last post on this.
"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."—1984, George Orwell.

Only a few months ago, the photo of Isembard Kingdon Brunel had his cigar removed; how soon before it is easy to remove the cigarette from a film character's mouth? Whether you are smoker or non-smoker, consider the power of the government now. After all, the guns wielded by some characters were removed from E.T., at the insistance of Drew Barrymore, and that is the version now shown on TV. As far as many people are concerned, the actors in that film only ever had mobile phones; they never had guns.

Seriously, think about this. How soon before cigarettes are removed from film? Already they are prohibited from any Scottish film or play. When the English ban comes in next year, will there be an exemption (as there is is Ireland (for herbal cigarettes) and, even,California (an "industrial exemption" license i needed, but usually granted))? In, say, 50 years' time, smoking will be unknown, but more than that: people will never have smoked.

Given that one cannot now perform plays that contain scenes (and some are crucial, especially in farces) that contain smoking, how soon will it be before editions are released with those stage directions omitted? How soon afterwards will we watch a film thinking, "You know, I am sure she smoked here?"

And so the government rewrite history.

And yet it gets worse ("how?" you cry!). Although cigarette bans are in place in Scotland, and shortly England and Wales, tobacco is still openly sold, for it brings the Treasury a lot of money (£17.2 billion last year). And who will care where the ubermensch smoke?

In Orwell's 1984, the proles were a breed apart; no one bothered to enforce laws on them because they were simply not worth it; they were pacified with telescreen vids and stultified by trying to stay alive. But they drank spirits and they smoked. Think of our country in 50 years' time...

The middle classes have forgotten what smoking was: only Big Blair matters. And, of course, smoking has not been seen on telescreens for a good 30 years. Even in the "oldies" smoking has been removed for the common good; those films that absolutely required it have been deleted. Although, naturally, the proles smoke and drink their way to an early ruin, ignored by the ruling class; the proles are a breed apart, barely considered human, but still able to smoke and drink, still able to buy...

In a couple of decades, this is what will have happened; for the faithful, smoking will never have been. For the unfortuate, smoking will be an incurable death (but also a delicious pleasure).

What is next? What pleasure do you have that, in only a few years, will never have been? And does it not worry you that the goverment has this power, the power to persuade you that something never existed?
"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."—1984, George Orwell.

I say it again, because it needs to be said.

Grand Rounds

The very good Dr Crippen is hosting this week's Grand Rounds, the round up of medical blogs across the world. As some may know, your humble Devil once worked as an auxiliary nurse in a private medical centre/nursing home.

Your humble Devil has never forgotten that year, and he wishes all of those involved in medicine the world over—but especially any Auxiliaries—the very best for all of their lives. Your humble Devil collapsed into severe alcoholism, but hopes that those others around the world find that caring for those less fortunate than themselves bring the joy and satisfaction that DK felt in his job.

Anyway, go and read of things medical: there's some great stuff there...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Public sector workers strike: world yawns

Public sector workers are going to strike, and personally I doubt that anyone will notice.
A strike by local government workers in Scotland over changes to their pension scheme will have a "massive impact" on services, Cosla has warned.

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they.
Workers are unhappy over plans to scrap Rule 85 - which allows scheme members to retire without penalty from the age of 60 if their age and experience add up to at least 85.

Finance Minister Tom McCabe has defended the move and said the Scottish Executive believed the rule breaches EU rules on age discrimination.

For which read, "we are completely fucked financially, and we simply cannot afford this kind of shit anymore."
However, Unison said it was important to keep Rule 85 to protect public sector workers' rights.

Mr Di Paola said: "It allows people who have reached the age of 60 - if they have service and age that add up to 85 - to go at 60 without a reduction in their pension.

He said there was an "inherent unfairness" about local government workers not being able to take advantage of early retirement provision, while civil servants, teachers and NHS workers could.

Really? Personally, I think that there is an inherent unfairness in that public sector workers automatically get pensions at all. Since the average public sector wage is now considerably higher than the average private sector wage, why the fuck shouldn't they pay for their own damn pensions rather than leaching off the rest of us? And, why, in the name of fuck, should they have a "right" to retire early when those who pay their wages and their damn pensions are being asked to work till they're 70? Especially as public sector workers have such shitty productivity (for which read "they are lazy, inefficient bastards) and take far more sick days per year than do private sector workers?
Stress is one of the leading causes of absence in the public sector, it added.

About half of public bodies cited stress as the leading cause of long-term absence for non-manual workers.

Look, the solution to this is really simple: if they become so stressed that they have to take time off sick, then they should be sacked and replaced with someone who can do the job. You'd be doing those workers a favour really as they could go and find a job which more fits their skills. Like flipping burgers in MacDonald's; oh, no, they'd probably get stressed about the queues of people waiting.
Absence levels were highest in local government, the health sector and in the drink, tobacco and transport industries.

Wow, is that the local government workers to whom we need to give more protection?
The survey of more than 1,000 organisations also found differences in how the public sector manages absence compared to the private sector.

I think that we all know what's coming, don't we...?
Public sector organisations are far less likely to take disciplinary action against workers who take excessive time off sick, the CIPD found. In addition, sick pay is generally more generous in the public sector.

Yup, they get more sick pay and the job-for-life mentality ensures that we continue to pay for people who cannot do the job for which they were hired. This means that their work either gets shunted onto someone else, who will then probably not be able to cope with the stress and also go off sick, or we have to pay for someone else to be hired, thus paying two people—on generous salaries and even more generous pension plans, naturally—to do the job of one person.

God, I love this country...

Recommend the Devil a blog

Tidying up my RSS feeds this morning, I have noticed that a large number of bloggers that I used to read are no longer updating, and many are updating considerably less frequently than once they used. Are people dropping out because they have nothing more to say, or because they have said it all so many times that there seems little point in repeating those frustrated rantings?

Anyway, I'm going to have more of a sort through my blogroll to get some more feeds up and running but, as an added joy, if anyone would like to suggest a blog that I might enjoy—not only political; I enjoy scatalogical humour too!—please feel free to do so in the comments...

UPDATE: Through links, I have just found A Very British Dude, who looks promising...

Al-Beeb And The Strange Case Of The Missing Motive

Rottie has got to this before I had a chance to evaluate it: the terrorism trial in London of a number of Muslims gentlemen of an unspecified religion.
David Waters QC, for the prosecution, said: "Jawad Akbar referred to attacks upon the utilities, gas, water or electrical supplies.

"Alternatively, a big nightclub in central London might be a target."

Mr Akbar allegedly said: "The biggest nightclub in central London, no one can put their hands up and say they are innocent - those slags dancing around."

Later, he was recorded saying: "I think the club thing you could do but the gas would be much harder."

Rottie is, naturally, scathing about these creeps.
When you put all of this together, then, the picture that emerges is one of men who hate us unconditionally, and who positively relish the prospect of causing as much suffering as possible.

Well, quite. However, one of the reasons that I had not written about this was that we are still hearing evidence, it is all still alleged (although given that these conversations are taken from tapes, I don't think that they'll be changing too much). However, as usual, Rottie's real target is Al-Beeb's reporting of the case.
So what to do? What to do? Well, if you're a leftist drone working for the BBC, Plan B appears to be one of scrubbing all references to Islam from the reporting of the trial. Indeed, over the course of one, two, three, four, five, six articles on the proceedings, the word 'Muslim' makes only one appearance, while 'Islam' gets no mention at all ... Which is, one might think, a little odd considering the obvious importance of the RoP to these creatures.

Quite so, but perhaps it is a mistake or an oversight. Well, one would like to believe so, but with Al-Beeb's other recent transgressions in this department—including such Boy's Own-style thrillers as Al-Beeb And The Mysterious Case Of The Grey Men, Al-Beeb And The Fascinating Case Of The Salty Kebab and Al-Beeb And The Odd Occurance Of The Unpopular Pundit—one can only really conclude that it is deliberate editorial policy at Al-Beeb not to mention the Religion of Peace even when it is relevant to the motives of those involved.

UPDATE: welcome to readers of a favourite of ours, Biased BBC.

Scientists still flogging a dead cow

Apparently, we are still all doomed to die a frothing death from Mad Cow Disease...
THOUSANDS of people in Britain may be infected with variant CJD, the human equivalent of mad cow disease, without knowing it, research suggests.

It could make it much harder to eliminate the human infection, even though cattle no longer carry it. Potentially it could linger for generations, or for ever.

In other words, they haven't actually got a fucking clue.
The team behind the research suggested that their finding represented a “significant public health issue”.

I think what you meant to say was that the team behind the research hoped that their finding represented a “significant public health issue” because then they would get more funding. I hear the sound of enpty wallets over at the vCJD labs...
Independent experts said that the work highlighted the need for a national autopsy programme for people who died of causes other than vCJD, to determine the extent of latent infection among those with no symptoms.

An autopsy of how many, exactly? I mean, are you going to conduct an autopsy of every single fucking person that has died since the late 80s? Or will you just pick a sample? And are we sure that these "independent experts" aren't suffering from Mad Cow Disease themselves?
So far, 161 cases of vCJD have been reported in Britain, 18 in France, and 12 in other parts of the world. These figures are much lower than some early estimates suggested, but the new data indicate that complacency is unjustified.

Yeah, as I recall, some scientists were promising the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Yeah, I would say that 161 was "much lower than some early estimates suggested"; so, can we leave it now?
Up to 14,000 people may be carrying the rogue prion proteins that cause the disease without symptoms, the study indicates. Many scientists believe most of these will die of other causes before developing vCJD, but the length of the incubation period remains uncertain and it is possible they could account for a “second wave” of deaths from the disease.

Look, can we get this straight: the scientists have never found the transmitting vector for vCJD. They have never actually proved the transmission path from infected cows. They have never proved that eating meat from infected cows actually caused so-called vCJD. In fact, there has been little proof that vCJD is, in fact, anything other than bog-standard, ordinary CJD. They also, actually, know fuck all about prions too.
Although the identity and general properties of prions are now well-understood, the mechanism of prion infection and propagation remains mysterious.

Though the exact mechanisms of their actions and propagation are unknown, it is now commonly accepted that prions are responsible for a number of previously known but little-understood diseases classified as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies(TSEs).

Well, not exactly. It is now accepted that prions are usually to be found in those who have died of TSEs, but whether they are the result of another vector or whether they are the vector is merely postulated and is, actually, unknown.

However, if they do work as hypothesised, i.e. by causing a cascading chain reaction in normal cell proteins, it is difficult to see how this mechanism can be delayed. These are not organisms—such as meningitis or herpes, both of which hide in the central nervous system to avoid the body's defenses—but simple protein strands. Which may or may not be a transmission vector.

Still, never mind: the scientists say that we are all going to die and—despite them being consistently wrong time and time again—the papers are going to report it as such. On you go, my friends, for tomorrow you may all be frothing loons, unable to stand up straight. Mind you, with all of this and journalists' famous penchant for drink, how will anyone tell the difference...?

UPDATE: welcome to readers of my excellent partner-in-rage: Danerously Subversive Dad.

I fucking hate The Gobblin' King

The Goblin KingThe Gobblin' King: "You have thirteen hours to solve my labyrinthine tax policies and rescue your baby's inheritance before it becomes mine; forever... Such a pity..."

Sometimes, even with my extensive mastery of Anglo-Saxon, it is difficult for me to articulate satisfactorally my hatred for Gordon Brown; to say that he is a fat, evil, crusty daemon's cunt of an excuse for a dog-turd hardly even comes close (although it provides a minor satisfaction for my blistered soul).

However, I had forebodings when I heard that he had tinkered with Trusts, and my fears were confirmed when I saw this article quoted by The Englishman.
The Chancellor announced plans to apply a triple tax to trusts set up to enable beneficiaries to avoid inheritance tax.

“Accumulation and maintenance trusts” are set up by parents and grandparents wanting to bequeath assets free of tax while preventing them from being squandered.

The action against the trusts is retrospective, forcing people to reorganise their financial affairs or leave their heirs with an unexpected tax bill.

Need I point out how rare it is to make any legislation retrospective? He must be getting really desperate for cash.
The Chancellor’s measure means that assets put in to the trusts will be taxed at 20 per cent on the way in. The assets will also be taxed at 6 per cent every ten years. The final sting is an “exit charge” of up to 6 per cent when the beneficiaries take the assets out of the trusts.

Assets put into these trusts have hitherto been free of inheritance tax on the way in and the way out. Crucially, too, they have been able to grow in value without attracting tax.

Now, longtime readers will know how I feel about Inheritance Tax, or death duties. I think that they are deeply wrong on both a moral level and on an economic level. It is capital that provides social mobility, for capital provides leverage. Destroying reserves of capital destroys opportunities and thus stunts social mobility.

Trusts were one of the ways in which death duties could be avoided or ameliorated. Now, please remember that any money going into a Trust has already been taxed, usually via NI and/or income tax or via Capital Gains Tax. This is not tax-free cash, OK?

Now the Trust fund will also be taxed as it accumulates. Can you think of any other situation in which this happens? If you save money in the bank, you get taxed on the interest, i.e. the income, but not on the capital itself (until you die). With Capital Gains Tax, you do not get taxed until you liquidate the capital assets, i.e. turn the assets, e.g. shares, into income. The only other place that I can think of this happening is in businesses, where the business capital (which the Chancellor calls "profit") is taxed each year. This is an extraordinary move, by our one-eyed chum.

And, then, of course, the money is taxed on the way out. Remember that it has been taxed at least twice on the way into the Trust, it will be taxed every 10 years whilst it is in there, and it will be taxed on the way out. And then whoever receives the money will also be taxed again since it will usually count as income. So, in most circumstances (except for if the money is used, for instance, to buy a primary residence), the money will be taxed twice on the way out too.

The Gobblin King has done it again, the fucking little shit. And the worst of it is, there are some otherwise quite intelligent people in the blogosphere who will praise him for this action, whining and bitching about how "taxing luck" is totally fair, etc. He is not taxing luck: he is taxing the hard-earned income of hard-working people; he is doing it multiple times and he is doing it out of pure spite. He is taking away people's incentive to save, both for themselves and their children, and taking away opportunities that people would not otherwise have. And he is doing it so that some feckless shit who couldn't keep her legs together can get a Council House, or so that a man in Derby with 14 children can have a bigger house, or so that some fucking waster smack-addict on a Glasgow housing estate can have a TV to sell for skag.

As I have said repeatedly, socialism is about taking property from those who have earned it and handing it to those who have not. It is theft, pure and simple, and no amount of whining about fucking "social justice" will ever detract from that fact.

You want to help those who aren't in work? Give them a really good reason to go and get a job. You think that there are jobs that "natives" won't do? Cut off their benefits and see how those jobs get filled. You think teenage pregnancies are harmful? Don't give them economic incentives to have children.

And finally, Gordo, you fucking Cyclopean little tossbag, you want to help the hard-working poor? Give them their fucking money back, you cunt.
Via Soupdragon who, although only 48% evil, had a terrifying doll as her icon...

You Are 68% Evil

You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.
Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.

You see?—they just can't stop banning things, the bastards.

How the Scottish Executive will rewrite history

Right, what the fuck is going on? With the first day of the smoking ban, comes the news that the Scottish Executive has substantial amounts of cash invested in cigarette manufacturers.
MINISTERS responsible for introducing Scotland’s smoking ban have been accused of hypocrisy after it emerged they are paying into a pension firm that has £126m invested in the world’s biggest cigarette company.

Jack McConnell, the first minister, and Andy Kerr, the health minister, can expect a lucrative payout from investment firm Baillie Gifford, which owns 3m shares in US-based Altria, makers of Marlboro cigarettes.

The value of Altria shares has risen by 230% in the past five years. Parliament officials believe the £10m pension fund the firm runs for all Scottish ministers and MSPs is directly invested in tobacco firms.

My god, McConnell is a hypocritical little cunt, bleating and moaning about the number of people who die from smoking every year and at the same time profiting from the companies which cause those deaths. Not only that, but the little shits have money invested in drinks companies whilst they campaign against Scotland's "binge-drinking culture". What a fucking surprise, eh?Politicians saying that we should do as they say, not do as they do, as per fucking usual.

What really fucking pisses me off, however, is that the ban includes an end to smoking on stage and on screen. From now on, Inspector Rebus will not be able to smoke, since all film sets count as places of work.
From today, actors north of the border will be banned from filming scenes with cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Even a request to permit herbal cigarettes has been rejected.

In this way, our wonderful Scottish leaders will rewrite history. The ban in Scotland, and the impending ban in England, will, for instance, eradicate smoking from period dramas. Any films made about Churchill will be unable to show him as he invariably was, i.e. smoking a cigar.
The ban has led one of Scotland’s leading dramatists, John Byrne, best known for Tutti Frutti, to think about emigrating. “I despair of our politicians,” said Byrne. “It’s the last straw and I’m seriously considering leaving Scotland.”

He is not the only one, I do despair but, more, I hate them with a passionate intensity which, at times, almost scares me.
Smoking in public places and the workplace is banned in California, but film and TV companies have obtained “industrial exemptions” to depict characters who smoke. In theatres on the west and east coasts, however, warnings must be put up in the foyer if an actor is to smoke on stage.

Even the fanatical Americans have allowed exemptions, as have the Irish.
Period pieces such as Life on Mars, the BBC hit set in the 1970s, bring home to viewers the change in culture that has taken place ahead of the ban. It is to be recommissioned, so may fall foul of a smoking ban in England next year.

Much like Orwell's omnipotent Big Brother, our governments can control and rewrite history. As ever more of our freedoms ebb away or are removed without the majority of the population noticing or even seeming to care, those of us who worry about such things find ourselves with less and less chance of being able to defend ourselves.

Melodramatic though it may sound, our once-great country is entering its twilight years, and our ancient rights and freedoms are abolished by a government who tells us that they are doing it for our own good, whilst exempting themselves from their own draconian rules. What could be a more obvious demonstration of this than that the bars in the Houses of Parliament will be exempted from the English smoking ban next year?

There they will sit, that rancorous thug Clarke, The Gobblin' King, Princess Toni, John "oh fuck, not Health" Reid, and the rest of the bastards, laughing at us; truly, they will be the pigs and we, the less-equal animals, will stand staring in at the window, watching the Party inside...

"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."—1984, George Orwell.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ellis again

OK, OK, now I'm hacked off. I've been in the pub and read The Sunday Times and I'm now really fucking angry. Almost every page had stories that fucked me off beyond measure, but we'll start with Frank again. So, who knew that he is ex-SAS?
Former SAS comrades in arms remember Ellis as a man “without a racist bone in his body” who was second to none in his admiration of the Fijians he served alongside while protecting the Sultan of Oman from rebels in the late 1970s.

He was “a great guy to be with when the bullets were flying”, an old colleague told the Daily Mail. “He was like any other SAS soldier — he took people for what they were and worked harmoniously with anybody so long as they were professional.”

Who also knew that he is fluent in a number of languages, including Arabic?
Paradoxically, Ellis is sensitive to other cultures. A gifted linguist, he learnt Arabic with ease in Oman and was sent to the SAS educational centre to teach the language to other soldiers posted to the Middle East. Also fluent in Russian and German, he worked as a military interpreter in Berlin in the early 1980s.

So it not as though he is a hater of foreigners unless, of course, you believe that the kind of people that you have to deal with when you are in the SAS make you hate the whole of humanity, which I could definitely believe.
According to Jamie Caldwell, one of his students: “He was a very, very good teacher. He certainly knew his stuff. But I felt absolutely sickened when I read what he said and I stopped going to his lectures.”

Well, Jamie Caldwell, I have just self-censored what I originally wrote about you, but my contempt for you is astonishing. You fucking little hypocrite. You just stopped going to his lectures, did you? Did you go and look at any of the papers he cited? Did you challenge his views in a lecture? Did you know that the Eumenides were very keen on punishing those who failed the tests of pietas?
At first Leeds seemed to give Ellis the benefit of the doubt, pronouncing itself satisfied that “the question of discrimination does not arise in student assessment” since students’ work was double-marked.

No, at first Leeds defended him. Only now have they cravenly retreated.
Indeed, Ellis was said to be scrupulous in not imposing his racial views on his students. But last weekend seven of his former students complained in a letter to a newspaper that they “had to endure crudely ill-informed and offensive comments concerning the intellectual inferiority of black people and women during seminars”.

Oh, diddums. So you complained before this incident did you? Oh, you didn't? Well fuck you. Fuck Leeds, fuck its university, fuck those cowards who run that university, and fuck its craven, hypocritical students; fuck the lot of you. I hope the fucking Furies come and destroy the fucking lot of you.
A study of pre-school children in 2002 by Birmingham local education authority found that black children were second only to white middle-class children in achievement. One conclusion was that parenting was more important than genetics.

I'm sorry, but what class were the black children? Hello? Hello? Anyone there?
Other views intrude. Has the liberal impulse of never giving offence gone too far? Has Ellis abused his privileged position of authority?

Ellis’s right to freedom of speech was trumped by the students’ right to boycott his lectures. There is no more eloquent argument than an empty classroom.

As I said, all of those students can go and eat shit, the little fucks. I mean, we all know that the Mickey Mouse degrees handed out by universities these days preclude and discourage independent thought (the main reason that I became disillusioned with the whole system) but do they have to do the sheep act outwith their lectures too? I'd get really cross if I didn't know that their reaction was as much to do with their pig-ignorance as their ickle pretty sensibilities.

The Libertarian Alliance and the BBC

A few days ago, David Farrer marked the passing of Dr Chris Tame, the director of the LA. Here, from their website, is their stated raison d'etre:
The Libertarian Alliance (LA) is Britain’s leading free market and civil liberties think tank. It currently has more than 700 publications in print dedicated to the principles of life, liberty and property.

Relating to all of the racial shennanigans going on around here, and to add fuel to Neil's fire, I have just come across this press release from the LA. I'm a bit behind with this, as the incident occurred in February, but it seems that the Bolshevik Broadcasting Association seem to have a new way of editing their programmes. Apparently post-production facilities have been cut and so removing guests who challenge their liberal agenda half-way through the show seems to be the new editing.
Today, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance, was invited to take part in a discussion of multiculturalism on the BBC World Service. Also taking part was Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a regular columnist for The Independent. Dr Gabb was taken off air just half-way into the discussion and told he was no longer required.

And what exactly was Dr Gabb saying that was so offensive?
"I do not necessarily object if people want to come to this country to look for a new life. I do object if they want this at my expense - at my expense as a tax payer, and at the expense of the constitutional rights which are my birthright."

"Every so often, someone stands up and tells us what benefits we have had from diversity. Such may be, but we must also consider that part of the price has been a police state. In this country, we have severe restrictions on freedom of speech, on freedom of association and on freedom of contract - all in the name of good race relations."

"The Libertarian Alliance believes in repealing all the race relations laws and in shutting down the Commission for Racial Equality."

When Yasmin Alibhai-Brown objected that this would remove all controls on racial attacks and on discrimination, Dr Gabb replied:

"Yasmin, are you saying that the white majority in this country is so seething with hatred and discontent that it is only restrained by law from rising up and tearing all the ethnic minorities to pieces?"

Her answer was yes, though she seemed to think better of this answer immediately after. But she did not take the invitation to deny that the white population was only kept in line by criminal laws to restrain them from attacking ethnic minorities. When Dr Gabb asked if she seriously believed he wanted to murder her, his microphone was turned off and he was "released" from his engagement with 20 minutes of discussion still to run.

But, surely this must mean that Dr Gabb is a filthy racist? And that he is actually a covert BNP special ops man, secretly seeding the media with anti-immigrant filth...
The Libertarian Alliance, which believes in freedom of migration, and is opposed to all forms of collectivism, including racial collectivism, finds it disgraceful that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is allowed to make racist comments against the white population of this country, while a liberal defender of civil liberties, freedom of association and free speech is censored. How would it be, if a white person had said that blacks were only kept from raping and looting by fear of the police? Indeed, the BBC's decision on what it is "politically correct" to broadcast underlines Dr Gabb's comment on the programme that the price of multiculturalism appears to have been censorship and the creation of a police state.

No, not really. He is just pointing out that multiculturalism is destroying our own culture and is creating a police state. The Beeb obviously saw fit to remove him, although on what grounds they will justify this, I cannot imagine.

Still, at least Neil will be able to write another post entitled "The Devil's Kitchen supports Dr Sean Gabb's racist views"...

UPDATE: Welcome to readers of USS Neverdock.
It seems that your humble Devil has so offended some that he is blocked in airports...

Patricia Hewitt: terminally stupid

Patricia 'mental retard' HewittPatricia Hewitt: captured at the moment when someone finally told her that the Earth is round. Shortly after this, her fucking head exploded when another person pointed out that the Pope was generally considered to be a Catholic.

Fears were growing for the health of Patricia Hewitt, a women so deluded and stupid that doctors have concluded that it can only be caused by some sort of new head cancer, maybe caused by mobile phones or something. Doctors say that they are unsure as they have not met anyone with such an advanced case of what they are calling "mental fucking retardation", or Patricia hewittitis, before.

"It's uncanny," said one concerned doctor, yesterday. "We suspect that the condition may also be affecting Pat's optical nerves, as she seems utterly unable to believe the evidence of her eyes. Given that, there's probably something wrong with her ears too. And she's certainly a fucking mental case."

When asked if "fucking mental case" was a medical term, the doctor replied that they had not decided on the nomenclature yet, but commented that Patricia Hewitt was already synonymous with "patronising piece of shit" and may be upgraded to "fucking mental case" in the near future.

It seems that giving Patricia a MMR scan might be the only way to say for sure whether she has some sort of head cancer and doctors would like to get her scanned as soon as possible. "Unfortunately," said one, "The cuts in the number of staff mean that we won't be able to book her onto the waiting list for the waiting list until some time in 2008. By which time, it may well be too late." He then strolled away, whistling, and grinning to himself.

Patricia Hewitt has been given a number of ultra-sound kickings by Dr Crippen, who has been monitoring her condition for some months. He was unavailable for comment at this time, but a statement is expected from him at any moment.

In the meantime, a Greek gentleman by the name of Mr Eugenides helpfully pointed our reporter in the direction of this article, which shows how mentally crippled and paranoid Patricia has become.
The Conservatives are deliberately trying to undermine public confidence in the NHS, the health secretary has claimed.

Patricia Hewitt said she "did not recognise" Tory predictions of 25,000 NHS job losses as a result of the current financial crisis, which is expected to see the health service's deficit reach £800m.

Despite the repeated announcements of job cuts by NHS Trusts, Pat utterly refuses to recognise that these cuts exist. "The Tories have used an evil magic, known as arithmatic, to pluck these figures out of the air, " she said this morning. She then went on to say that there were, in fact, no job cuts and actually the NHS was growing. And, anyway, if there were any job cuts then they wouldn't affect services.
"When the figures come out for the last 12 months, we will see further increases, I suspect over about 30,000 more staff in the NHS," she said.

When we asked why—if a Health Trust could cut 1,000 jobs and not affect services—those staff had been employed in the first place, Patricia called us "all a bunch of cunts" and stormed out.

However, a surgeon working in the NHS, Greg Hopkinson, thought that it was pretty obvious that the job cuts would affect services.
Hopkinson was astounded when he heard Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt tell Radio 4's Today programme last week that the funding cuts and job losses would not affect patient care, and that the Trust was in trouble because it had 'taken on too much work'. The entire hospital was consumed with anger.

'We just sat there and asked ourselves if she'd ever been in a hospital, if she had any idea of all the extra things we do, week in and week out, to keep the place running,' he said. 'What kind of fantasy land is she living in if she imagines you can lose one-seventh of your staff and for a hospital to remain on its feet?'

He may or may not have gone on to tell our reporter that "she is a fucking demon with the mental agility of a lobotomised grapefruit" but, if he did, it is a sentiment that we can wholeheartedly endorse.

This has been the Devil, reporting for The Kitchen, on the fact that Patricia Hewitt is a fucking retard. It's good night from me, and good night from Pat's last few remaining brain cells. Good night...

Kember and wife

Via the Britblog Roundup #58, I see that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has a caption competition; here's my effort...

I make no excuses for them. It's filth, I tell you...

Still, via the Britblog Roundup, Dodgeblogium has found the worst thing on the internet. Seriously, we have all made mistakes in our lives, but what could possibly have persuaded Leonard Nimoy that even singing a song about Bilbo Baggins was a good idea, let alone making a video for it?

Absolutely unspeakable: more buttock-clenchingly awful to watch than the most embarrassing parts of The Office and Clockwise combined...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Polly rides Gordon again

Polly Toynbee has a crush. This man is no elegant, sartorial genius; no, he is a dour Scotsman whose rare smile is like the sun coming through the clouds for our Polly. But can this be a mere crush, an infatuation? No, for she thinks he has a lovely personality and—oh!—how she admires the things that he does!
After Brown's masterstroke, wait for Blair's next Tiggerish moment

The only masterstroke that Polly can imagine is her stroking of his hard, Scottish cock as she worships it on her knees...
So there he was, resplendent and emphatically in command.

... and opens her mouth, ready to take the Chancellor's magnificent member into her intimate orifice. All she can smell is the sweet smell of class war and she prays that Gordon doesn't see the contents of her stuffed bank account, lest he wrest his red cock from her reach.

Seriously, it's getting really quite disgusting now. And there's more!
For once his own side had reason to cheer as the all-conquering chancellor yet again pounded the opposition bench into dust. The budget left Labour MPs trooping out of the chamber with their customary gloom cracked into grins from ear to ear. Gordon Brown had painted them the outline of his coming era, the dim shape of his manifesto, and they liked it a lot. In a year when there was no great giveaway, how deftly he pointed to a future quite unlike the present.

Slowly, Polly flicks her tongue out, delicately licking the mushroom head of her idol's dick, pointing her tongue to gently probe the little hole...
No massive structural upheavals for ideological reasons, no great new PFIs or privatisations: despite false spinning to placate the City, PFIs will fall back as a proportion of spending. But a green glint in his eye suggested much more to come - and at last education trumps health, as it always should have done. The health department rightly never asked for a penny more.

... feeling her cunt, dry for so long, juicing up, ready to feel the dour economic genius's massive cock plunging up inside...

God, I feel soiled. Not as soiled as Polly, admittedly, as she joyfully receives Gordo's seed in her face and hair, letting it drip off her chin and down between her flappy spaniel's ears breasts, but soiled enough.

Still, I too am glad that Gordo has cut back on the PFI, mainly because it has been a complete fucking failure combining, as it does, the very worst of both the public and private sector methodolgies, i.e. the profit-making motive of the private sector with the lack of control in spending and project management of the public. Unfortunately, it has taken this economic leviathan eight years to realise what a fucking failure the whole thing has been.

But Polly ploughs on and, please do note, her positively sexual review has not finished yet; note the use of the word "endowed" where another word, such as "funded", would not only do, but actually be more accurate.
Brown's pledge to make every state-school pupil as well-endowed as private-school children was a masterstroke of political imagery.

Unfortunately, just giving schools the same amount of money per child as private schools do will not actually make them as "well-endowed" because, you see, private schools have to spend their money wisely. Giving a school an extra couple of million will not ensure that the children have better facilities; it'll probably only ensure that the teachers' pension fund is not as totally screwed as it was the year before.
It hints at class war against the toffs and their privately educated children opposite, without saying anything so vulgar.

I'm sorry, Polly, how much does your household earn? Like Mr Eugenides, I can guarantee that it is probably more than my parents did.
It leaves them floundering, a genuine divide opening up. Can they match it? Their shadow Treasury chief declared that they would spend less.

Good. They can spend less, but make the school system work better, a bit like in that place that Polly admires so much. What was it? Ah, yes, Sweden; where they have private schools and use a voucher system, that'll be the one that she praised earlier in the week then. But, no, no reform for schools: just more money pissed up the wall.
True, Brown's extra schools money this year is puny, with no date set for that private-school target, but a promise is a promise.

Polly is like the wife whose husband repeatedly cheats on her, but every time he comes back to insist that he loves her really and she believes him and lets him up her cunt once again. Because she needs to be loved, and where else will she find a lover like Gordon? Has she learned nothing from this government's record? Eight long years of nothing except lies and evasions, money spent that doesn't benefit those that it was supposed to, reforms that only make things worse. It's really sad...
This giant leap in education spending will have to be there in next year's comprehensive spending review.

Ah, next year's CSR - that shapes the future. To meet these mighty promises to children, money must be raised or else radically shifted between departments.

It's like she is yearning for that next secret rendez-vous at the hotel, those few snatched hours once every few weeks; how she longs for it...
(Though this time the Home Office got frozen, and the Department for Work and Pensions and others suffered a whacking 5% cut).

Ha! That's going to piss Charles Clarke right off; and, incidentally, means that we will all end up paying yet more out of the money left in our pockets for those sodding ID Cards. Yes, yes, I know that we all pay for them really, but this is going to be yet more on top, ain't it?
Consider this: to hit the target for abolishing child poverty reaffirmed by Brown in the budget, the income of the bottom 10% needs to rise at three times the rate enjoyed by the top 60% of the population for the next two decades. To get there by 2020 needs even more. That's the scale of it, and this budget doesn't begin to reach it.

Indeed, Polly; to make good his promise, the Chancellor needs to be spending £17.8 billion on schools, not the paltry £8 billion that he is currently doing. And he also needs to stop measuring poverty on a relative scale, or else he will never, by definition, get all children out of poverty.
The sums on education, child poverty, Sure Start children's centres and the panoply of Brown's ambitions for children don't add up. Or not yet.

You might have thought that, with most half-way intelligent people, that line would be an affair-breaker, the point at which Polly turns to The Gobblin' King, tears streaming down her face, and tells him that it is over. But, no, this woman has fallen and fallen hard and the affair is still very far from over. How many more people will get hurt before she realises that it isn't going anywhere?
Yet he nails himself to ever-harder pledges, so his plans must be far more radical than anything we have seen yet.

Oh, wow! It's even worse than I thought; now we have the Jesus-imagery! Gordon is not just a fiscal wizard; he is, in fact, the Messiah, here to save us from the evil bourgousie! And he will forgive all our sins and lead us to heaven, to the promised land, from out of purgatory...
Charles Clarke tells the world that Blair is staying another two years. Even if he only stays until the commonly predicted summer 2007, then he will still be there to stamp his imprint on the CSR that commits spending right through the next election. So it just won't happen. No one knows how, but the gathering opinion among some surprising people is that it one way or another, it can't be allowed to happen.

It's really incredible, now Polly has me rooting for Toni...
One close Blairite, an old Brown enemy, says the moment will come. "Right now, he hasn't begun to get his head around the idea of going. He won't go when he's in trouble: he just digs in harder. But in his next Tiggerish up moment he may start to listen."

Has anyone considered feeding him Rohypnol and then taking turns using his bumhole for their pleasure? I don't think that will make him go, I just think that it would be quite amusing.
We Guardian commentators and our recent editorial calling for him to go, (for God's sake go), may or may not speak for England, but probably make him less likely to budge in his current state of mind.

Pol, you speak for middl-class Communist sympathisers and other idiots. They like Blair because he seems like one of them; he's not a frothing, tax and spend, old-Left lunatic like Brown. They can salve their Lefty guilt complexes without having to think too much about what they are actually complicit in.
Decoding the commentariat on the right is more puzzling, with all its bluffs and double bluffs. The right, in truth, are unsure. Max Hastings calls for his head: does that mean he thinks Labour will sink under Brown? Simon Jenkins claims to think Blair is Labour's greatest asset.

Once the respectable veneer that is Blair has gone, what will be left, naked and exposed, is an old-style, far-Left, redistributive Labour government and that famous Middle England will desert in droves.
What the right thinks now is bizarrely important, since Blair has all but delivered his fate into Cameron's hands. Hot on the heels of the local elections, the education bill is back for report stage and third reading in late May, and the Tories have yet to decide how to play it. Should they find spurious reasons to swivel and vote against? Losing his bill on Tory whim is even worse than winning it on their say-so.

Yes, and strangely satisfying for us. If only it were a better Bill.
How is it, by the way, that the Tories seem to be escaping any media scrutiny for their secret £20m loan donors? True, they never made the error of claiming to be whiter than white - bankrolling by gamblers and dubious zillionaires is nothing new for them - but it does expose Britain's gross media imbalance. What's to hide? Are they disgraced criminals hiding out in foreign tax havens - or what? Blair was too personally damaged at prime minister's questions to dare stick it to them, but everyone else should.)

Because their accounts are not up for audit until June, Polly. And at that time they will make full disclosure of all donations and loans in the same way that they did in June 2005. Sorry, that's a straw man, love.
Good backbench tearoom watchers say a secret poll now would probably have a majority wanting Blair to leave this summer, but few would sign a wrecking petition. That leaves the cabinet. Would they make a move? In an interview in the current issue of the New Statesman, Peter Hain says he thinks Charles Clarke is the only one with the "chutzpah" to tell Blair when his time is up. It is not unimaginable that a deputation including Clarke, Alan Johnson, Patricia Hewitt, Alistair Darling, Geoff Hoon (who has become more his own man as leader of the House) and others might find the collective sense of party preservation.

If so, the likes of us had better not get to hear about it until the deed is history, for what everyone (except the fruitcakes) still prays for is that "graceful transition". Though every day that passes it looks grimly less likely.

And, my dear Polly, that makes the chances of your knight in shining armour ever making it past his first election even less likely, doesn't it? Ah, well, my dear, just think; with less time needed for politics, he will have more time for bending you over the sofa and taking you roughly from behind, each vicious stab of his cock bringing both pleasure and pain to your wounded body.

It'll make a change from him fucking us, at least...

NHS Fail Wail

I think that we can all agree that the UK's response to coronavirus has been somewhat lacking. In fact, many people asserted that our de...