Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Stern Report recommends abolishing the EU

Not, of course, that it does so up front. Over at The Adam Smith Institute blog, Timmy has written a summary of his problems with the Stern Report. As he points out, the Stern Report does its modelling based in the scenarios provided by the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), the basis of the IPCC report; however, it only takes the very worst of those scenarios.
There's one part, where [the writers of The Stern Report] do their own modelling, that I think (again, please note, this is my opinion) is an horrendous error, so bad that I think it discredits everything else. The entire logic behind the call to action runs like this: If we don't change our ways now then people in the future will be poorer than they could have been if we did change our ways. As long as the costs to us are less than the increased income in the future from our doing so, then it is a moral imperative that we should indeed change.

However, the model of the future that is used to calculate said future incomes and costs is the 'A2' model from the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), the basis of the IPCC report. (Page 61, chapter three of the Stern Report.) This assumes a medium high emissions scenario, a population of 15 billion in 2100 (!!) and a definite slowing of globalization so that we maintain a series of regional economies with little diffusion of technology. This is referred to as the business as usual (BAU) scenario.

In other words, the Stern Report assumes no real progress in human interaction over the course of the next century or so, an assumption that I think patently ridiculous.
However, that is something of a misunderstanding of the SRES scenarios. Each scenario has an equal probability, there is no such thing as 'this is what will happen unless we do something'. There are other families of scenarios, like the A1, B1 and B2 ones. The A1 family, for example, is based upon the international movement of people, ideas and technology and a strong commitment to market-based solutions. It's worth noting that this produces a world, in aggregate, twice as rich as the A2 one used by the Stern Report and given the lower population, one four times as rich per head of population.

So if indeed it is true that we have a moral duty to ensure that our descendants are as rich as possible (which is, after all, the report's justification for mitigation now) then don't we also have one to push the world in the A1 direction, not the A2? More globalization for example? That would have a much greater effect on their standards of living than any of the mitigation that the report proposes. Missing this point means that I'm rather less than impressed with the rest of the report.

Well, quite. Now, if we are to push the world into the direction of the A1 scenario, then that means we should be entering into as much free trade and international cooperation as possible, otherwise bad things will happen, right? That means that we should abolish barriers to free trade, that we should get rid of all quota systems and tariffs, correct?

Now, as a country, Britain cannot do this; why? That's right: because we are part of the EU. The EU is a protectionist entity that operates (and is heavily funded) by imposes tariffs and quotas on imports into its territory. These mechanisms will direct us more to an A2 scenario than an A1 scenario and are thus going to do active harm to the environment and the future world economy. So a good course to take would be our withdrawal from the EU, but the best course would be the dissolution of the EU and the associated trade barriers.

So, in a way, the Stern Report says ceterum censeo Consilium Europaeum esse delendam: and, therefore, I conclude that the European Union must be destroyed.

However, the Stern Report doesn't, of course, say that; in fact, it takes the scenario that specifically does not advocate that particular course of action: why?

Because the Stern Report has to assume that this course of action—free trade and greater international (not just European) cooperation—is a course that is not open to us because we are part of the EU. In fact, the report only allows for courses of action that fit in with our membership of that organisation.

The report's author, Nicholas Stern, "was recruited by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to work for the British government where, in 2003, he became second permanent secretary at H.M. Treasury, initially with responsibility for public finances, and head of the Government Economic Service.". In other words, he works for Gordon Brown and will have been given his instructions; and it is obvious that his instructions were, "do not paint a picture that would justify us leaving the EU, nor one that will not justify tax rises".

It is also worth noting that Britain does not really control its environmental policy anymore; it is an EU competence. As such, should we decide that something needs to be done, almost the only real way that the British government can do anything is through the tax system. This, of course, is very convenient for Gordon Brown because, whilst the economy is actually doing quite well at the moment (with growth of about 2.4% in the last twelve months to September), the public finances are in a worse state than ever: our Cyclopean Chancellor desperately needs more money to flow into the Treasury coffers.

In other words, ladies and gentlemen of the 'sphere, the Stern Report truly stitches us up like kippers and behind it all is the Machiavellian claw of the fucking Gobblin' King.
See the horror! I'd definitely give it sweeties to go away.

And that's not a euphenism...
Nigel Farage will not be appearing on Vox Politics tonight. According to my contact, when asked to be on the Vox Politics show starting at 9, Nigel "said okay, but it would be tight getting through the morning traffic for that time". This would imply that Nigel had assumed that it would be in the morning, surely?

Iain replies in this way.
Nigel's assistant was told quite clearly last night that it was for the Vox Politix programme which was live at 9PM and he should be with us by 8.30PM.

Well, there's been a fuck-up somewhere; I suspect that it is simply a matter of miscommunication and no one's fault particularly.

UKIP's press office has not been following 18DoughtyStreet procedure well enough though; 18DS broadcast live and in the evenings only.

Just one of those misunderstandings...

Something Wicked this way comes...

Coming up to Halloween I would like to talk to you about fear. So come my pretties, switch the lights off and snuggle down, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll... BOO!

Scared? No...?

Sheesh, tough crowd.

I will say from the outset I am true fan of horror, even of the lowest-common denominator soft-core-porn-actress chased by the dying embers of a movie franchise and collapsing in a stabbing fury of nipples and false blood kind. The reason this form of manipulative awful film is still a pleasure, beyond the irony of its sheer awfullness? Because it can still scare you. It only takes a second, one bright idea or a single moment of tension. Fear is the great leveller. Anyone can scare you and anyone can be scared.

There is no reaction that is more gutteral and immediate than that of fear. It is the crystal meth of the masses - your heart races, time flies, you don't know where you are - all you know is that this thick, hot uneasiness has crept up on you and you want to it to go away.

Paul Arendt thinks fear in the theatre is dead. Which is a shame because it has the potential to be the most populist form of theatre while producing genuinely affecting, unconvential pieces of creative work.

The genre of horror, a wildly popular moneyspinner in other branches of entertainment, is practically absent from the stage…. In fact, there is so little shock and gore available that a tiny fringe theatre in south London can accurately claim to be hosting Britain's only annual festival of horror theatre. It seems theatre has no desire, or indeed ability, to scare.

Problem for me is, Arendt has it all wrong. Horror may be 'dead' in the red-seated, circle and stalls auditorium but I would argue it was never there in the first place. The live performance of horror, I can assure you, is alive and kicking and screaming.

Arendt traces his line of horror through Sophocles and Shakespeare to Grand Guignol and the present day. Now for starters its not like we don't get enough of the first two these days. Clearly if Arendt wants to argue that they were once the Hitchcock and Carpenter of their respective days what has changed is the reception or the nature of the performance not the plays themselves.

For the Hellenic audience Gods and monsters were as existant outside of the ampitheatre as in it and the experience of theatre was a great, quasi-religious spectacle communally experienced by the almost all of the polis. In such a heightened environment are stories of pregnant women miscarriaging in fear really so surprising? And as for Shakespeare and the Jacobean revenge tragedians, the audience may have relished the gore and suffering, but is there any evidence that they were scared by it any more than we are when we watch Shakespeare or Webster now?

Which brings us on to Grand Guignol which, far from being the last death throes of a venerable tradition I would site as the instigation of a new form of horror performance.

In the early 20th century, sophisticated audiences would flock to the smallest theatre in Paris to witness torture, execution, acid slayings and geysers of stage blood, unrestrained by the sniffy considerations of morality. This was drama as a roller-coasting ghost train, breaking taboos for the sheer dirty fun of it. Max Maurey, who ran the theatre in its heyday, would measure each night's success by the number of people who fainted during the show, and kept a doctor on hand in case of fits.

As Arendt points out, the schtick with the doctor was just that, a theatrical coup by a man with a nose for publicity; but that in itself tells us something vital about Grand Guignol's appeal. In truth the Grand Guignol plays were never that frightening. What was terrifying was the experience of Grand Guignol - it was the manipulation of the performance of going to the theatre that terrified audiences.

The Grand Guignol theatre was a tiny 300 seater auditorium at the end of a sinister cul-de-sac in the Pigalle district of Paris. The theatre itself was a poorly converted church that sat squattly in the middle of the road at the far end of the street. An evening of scares at the Grand Guignol started before you reached the theatre. You knew you were going to Paris' most terrifying spectacle, you were ready to be scared, and to get to the theatre you tiptoed down the dark, threatening, Impasse Chaptal, listening to mysterious moans and cries from the brothels and other dens of ill repute that towered around you. Your experience had already begun.

When you entered the theatre, the gloomy auditorium was littered with remnants of the Grand Guignol's religious past, iron railings round the boxes and two large angels hovering above the orchestra pit. The doctor skipped up and down the crowded rows nervously. The smell was the musty oppressive odour of the church (the origonal home of terror) mixed with the thick, pungent odour of the pork offal used for the tricks. This is not 'roller coaster' drama of the ghost train. This is the sinister, claustrophobic terror of the haunted house.

And in such an environment when the genuinely clever special effects of the Grand Guignol caused the gouging eyes and the severing arms to manifest themselves before you, you really didn't know what you were watching. It was not that the Grand Guignol Theatre complemented the drama, the drama complemented the terror of the experience of the Theatre building itself, and that terror wasn't over until you had once more traversed the cul-de-sac and made it home to a nicer, safer part of the world.

This was the true experience of the Grand Guignol, and this terrifying form of site-specific performance is still with us. Next time you find yourself at the Edinburgh fringe, take an hour out to go on a ghost tour. Be guided through dark, damp chambers (chambers that form part of the same underground you were happy to sit in and have a drink when it was 'set-dressed' as a pub or as the 'Underbelly' theatre venue) by a theatrical guide while actors jump out at various appropriate moments.

I myself in my University days used to guide people round these very vaults and I can assure you it is all theatre, the dark chambers were built in the 1800s and have never housed anything more frightening than a tramp or two. The stories we tell are theatre, performed for an audience prepared and expecting to be scared, in a dark, oppressive performance space. These places are the true descendants of the Grand Guignol. Again, the interchangeable stories are irrelevant, it is the performance of this theatrical space that draws such screams and faintings in both cases (and we did have faintings). And again as with the Grand Guignol, these tours are hugely popular with everyone from school parties of scottish teenagers, to American or German or Japanese tourists, to the excitable melee of fringe-going Theatre types.

And for those who stick there nose up at such cheap shocks, again I tell ye, go and see (nay, experience) Punchdrunk Production's Faust. Step out of Shadwell tube station and stalk nervously through the high rise council estate to a derelict looking warehouse. This is as much a part of the performance as anything that takes place inside the venue. And once you are in, when the lift attendant lets a group of four of you out on to an abandoned floor, with nothing in front of you but a barely lit corridor with a single small white statue of the virgin mary left in the middle of it, try telling me that the hairs on your neck aren't reaching for the ceiling and that the same hot, sticky treacle of fear is not dribbling down your throat and welling at the bottom of your stomach.

Far from being dead, terror and fear in Theatre (capital T) are as terrifying and as popular as they ever were. To find them you simply have to step outside the theatre.

(Cross-posted from my newly re-jigged arts blog The Arcades Project, for those who enjoy this sort of thing, now I'm up and if not running yet at least, stumbling forward, do start to drop by from time to time)

Monday, October 30, 2006

NEWSFLASH! Thom Yorke is still an ignorant twat!

Wow! There's absolutely no change there...

The Stern Report

This is a novelty: Timmy is live-blogging the latest load of tendentious bollocks relating to some very far from proven scientific theories Stern Report on Climate Change.
  1. Chapter 1

  2. Chapter 2

  3. Chapter 3

  4. Chapter 4

  5. Chapters 5 & 6

I will add to the list as Tim adds to his review: I'm live-blogging the live-blogging, as it were.

His review is worth reading as he has already identified a number of flaws in the methodology and the data sources (not least that the report draws on Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2001: we are now on the Fourth Assessment Report from this year (although that report is, actually, flawed in its projections, but less so than the Third revision)).

And remember, it is important that this is correct: this is going to cost us a lot. And already it is inadequate (being generous) or wrong (being less generous).

UPDATE: Tim has found a serious flaw in the modelling.
Way to go guys, how to skew your results. Only run your model on a medium high and high emissions scenario! A2 assumes National Enterprise (ie, not much more globalization), high population (15 billion), a low degree of convergence....and the only other model you run is an even higher emissions scenario?

How do things change when you run it on B1? Or A1 F1? Now, in that latter, emissions are higher (it's a high emissions scenario, not a medium high one) but global income is twice in that scenario what it is in A2.

This problem is so appalling that Tim has broken off his review.
Sorry folks, I was going to go through this thing all the way to the end but I'm not going to bother now.

OK, I was certainly willing to believe them, willing to give it a try. But, that appalling failure in their own modelling: only taking a medium high emissions scenario and then one with further feedback mechanisms to do your sums on.

In other words, the entire report is skewed towards justifying large tax hikes: woo! well there's a massive fucking surprise, eh?
It's almost as if that model were deliberately chosen isn't it? The one that shows the lowest future wealth and thus makes the discounting make current expenditure look good?

Yup, it appears that Tim agrees with me; how convenient that this should dovetail in so well with Batshit Mad Miliband's proposal of exorbitant tax hikes. It seems as though this report is simply another justification for the government to squeeze more money from us.

One can imagine The Gobblin' King shaking his head sadly as he announces that he must raise taxes for the sake of the whole world's future. He doesn't want to, he'll say; he's always favoured "economic stability" over tax rises but now he's left with no choice. He must raise them for the sake of the generations to come.

Expect, at the very least, further taxe rises on oil company profits at the next Budget announcement, with the Stern Report used as the justification. Mark my words, life is about to become even more expensive...

UPDATE 2: Timmy considers the implications. Oh and lays into our favourite bat-fancier too.
Just remember children, if anyone tries to use this report to tell you that it proves that petrol taxes have to rise you can rest assured that they are either uninformed, lying or David Miliband.

Dear oh dear, the Miliblogger is not a popular man, eh?

Mac OS versus Windows

As most of you will know, your humble Devil is an avowed Mac afficionado. Although I'm ready to admit that the Mac OS 10 has a few issues (mainly because my machine is a little aged these days), I still think that it is a vastly superior system to Windows. Thus, I was quite interested to read this "Switcher" report from a Windows boy who had merely bought an Apple for web-testing purposes.

His verdict? Well, basically he's a convert.
I bought the cheapest Mac available - a Mac Mini with a single-core Intel chip and the minimum of RAM - 512 MB. It cost me AU$949. Since plugging it in, I have barely used my $3000 Windows desktop. Fixing the web-site in Safari took 2 minutes. However all this time later, I have almost exclusively switched to the Mac.

But it was this reason that made me smile.
6. Pro - Graphic Designers will talk to you: The company where I work has developers and designers working closely together. Designers using Macs, wearing $300 dollar jeans. Developers using Windows PCs, wearing $20 jeans (but earning much higher salaries).

When you can talk about the Mac with a designer they will suddenly like you 50% more. It may sound stupid, but the results are there.

Heh, quite true. Admittedly, in the follow up post in which he answers his critics, he admits that it was a slightly tongue-in-cheek comment.
4. I am shallow and stupid because of #6: Graphic Designers will like you comment: That comment was very tongue-in-cheek. When I get to work on Monday my favourite graphic designer is going to give me crap about that comment. It was mostly to amuse him. He still thinks I am a geeky nerd, Mac or no Mac.

It's true though: as far as I am concerned, you aren't a proper graphic designer unless you work on a Mac. Sorry.

And the main reason for this, the main reason that Macs are still better than Windows for graphics and DTP? Quite simply: true, system-wide integrated PostScript.

Another reason that graphic designers will like you, of course, is that Mac users tend to be enthusiastic about their machines; they aren't just tools, they're trusted and reliable friends. Finding a fellow Mac enthusiast is a bit like overhearing someone using a Molesworth phrase (such as the one commonly used in letters to Private Eye: "as any fule kno"): you have an immediate connection.

So, yar boo sucks to Bill Gates, he is a sisy, I diskard him...
Charlie Falconer is to maintain that human rights are "as British as beer". That'll have them rolling in the aisles, Charlie, because they're not as British as those things that you and your filthy government cronies keep trying to abolish; things like habeas corpus, trial by jury and the presumption of innocence, you fat cunt.

Blog ranks again

A few weeks back, a chap working for Edelman PR ranked some UK blogs: your humble Devil came in at #47.

PRBlogger has attempted to refine his rankings and has rated the Top 100 blogs: alas, The Kitchen has now slipped down the rankings to number 52 although The Kitchen's current Technorati ranking (and the rankings of others) might suggest that he should currently be at #50 (it would be quite entertaining if this system could be written to update automatically, of course).

In other news, boakes.org has adapted Tristan Louis's Blog Valuation Tool for the more sterling-centric of those amongst us.

I don't know about other systems, but you still need to include the www. in your URL if you are on Blogger, e.g. http://www.devilskitchen.blogspot.com, rather than http://devilskitchen.blogspot.com.

Oh, and I should also point out that, should David Miliband take time out to actually read my posts and follow the links, then it is entirely possible that this blog could be worth billions. Ha! Chance'd be a fine thing...
Robert Sharpe on the Point Of Vanishing Interest.
The result is a phenomenon that has often been observed but never yet investigated. It might be termed the Law of Triviality. Briefly stated, it means that the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.

Go read it all.

Miliband's an arsehole: part the millionth...

As regular readers of The Kitchen may know, I have long held David Miliband in the highest contempt, but now I am beginning actively to hate the four-eyed cunt.
But the submission sent earlier this month from David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, and leaked to the Mail on Sunday, is likely to have surprised even such a committed high-tax Chancellor as Mr Brown.

Fucking hell, they must be bad.
Mr Miliband, who last month admitted he had been "scared" by the scientific evidence on the impact of global warming, is proposing an eye-watering menu of hard-hitting green taxes.

Mr Miliband is, unfortunately, not a scientist and so would be utterly unable to assess whether any of the doom-mongering was, in any way, likely to happen; he is also totally unqualified to determine whether the research is valid or reliable. No doubt he would also have been "scared" by the dire warnings about global cooling in the 70s—when scientists were "almost unanimous" that "the cooling will cause world famine, world chaos, and probably world war, and this could all come by the year 2000"—and they seem to have turned out to be bollocks. And, indeed, there are serious doubts as to what extent the so-called greenhouse gases are, in fact, having an effect on any warming.

Further, I would question David's fitness to pronounce on anything, since he has happily admitted that he knows nothing about the progress made with wave power generation. Not only did he know nothing about it, but he was also unaware that there has been a wave generator connected to the National Grid for the last six years. [Emphasis mine.]
When I was in Devon before the summer I was asked by an enterprising BBC coorespondent about a proposed 'Wave Hub' project for Cornwall. The idea is to provide a real life test for wave power. I am afraid I was stumped and had to plead ignorance.

No, David, you fuckwit; we have had a "real life test for wavepower" about seven years ago; it worked, so it was attached to the Grid in 2000. You are making energy policy and you were unaware of this? And you are now proposing a raft of taxes based on flawed and incomplete data? I consider that to be positively criminal, David.
He calls on the Chancellor to come forward with proposals in his pre-Budget report, expected about the end of next month, that can start to be introduced in the March Budget.

Right, so we still have an argument about the extent to which greenhouse gases make a difference.

We have a minister who is not only non-conversant with much of the science but is also ignorant of some very important areas under his competency.

And this minister thinks that he can propose a solution whilst (presumably) knowing that he has incomplete data. I consider this to be extraordinarily unwise.
Hardly any area of family life would be exempt from the new eco-taxes that Mr Miliband wants introduced in an attempt to force people to change their behaviour to reduce their use of energy.

Oh, no, panic over: it's just NuLabour attempting to force us to live our lives by their standards. I might have known. But believe me, Miliband has moved up to Public Enemy #1, because he is an arrogant, ignorant cunt of the very first water.

And now, why not hop over to Timmy's place and let Master Worstall show you the economic mistakes that Miliband is making?

David Miliband makes me really fucking radge, I can tell you; I want to push his smug face in...

But, instead, I'm going to recommend some useful reading:

Reckon it'll make any difference? Nah, David's "scared", remember?

Whining fucking students

A load of students are whingeing about top-up fees again; whatever one's thoughts on these, it is good to see that the spokesperson for the NUS seems to epitomise the current crappiness of the education system.
NUS president Gemma Tumelty said: "We really believe that debt will be a huge deterrent on students entering education.

"This year there were 15,000 fewer students - that's a huge concern to us…"

Yup, because your fees will drop and you won't be able to afford so many perks, eh?
Ms Tumelty said that having to pay off student debt prevented graduates from investing in pensions and mortgages and contributing to society through spending.

"It takes years to recover from that financial burden, particularly for women, due to career breaks and pay inequality", she said.

No, no, no, love; not career breaks and pay inequality: it's pay inequality caused by career breaks, as Timmy has demonstrated a number of times.
Its figures also revealed that there is virtually no gender pay gap for people in their 20s. The difference widens to around 7% for people in their 30s, peaks at 18% for those in their 40s, before dropping to 16% for people aged 50 to 59 and 8% for those older than 60. This may reflect the fact that women tend to have children in their late 20s.

If people take a couple of years out of the workforce, if they do this two or three times over a working lifetime, would we expect their wages to be lower? Yes, I think we probably would, male or female. If people also decide that in the interests of their work life balance they'd like to step back from the rat race a bit, perhaps cut back on some of the more insane loyalty committments to employers, would we expect their wages to be lower 30 years later? Yes, I think we probably would, male or female.

So there you have at least a very large chunk of the answer to the gender pay gap: there isn't one pre usual child bearing ages, there is during and after.

So, Ms Tumelty, stick that in your cunt and set fire to it.
"What is always overlooked is that education is a benefit to society as well as the individual.

Well, it's not really overlooked, m'dear, but we do accept that the individual should benefit in terms of higher wages. So, society and the individual both benefit from the education: since this is the case, don't you think that both society and the individual should pay for that education?

But, even more stupidly, you utterly fail to see the fundamental problem with your argument; there have been a number of reports over the last couple of years showing that a degree does not command the substantially higher wages that it used to. This is because there are now about 50% of the population with degrees, rather than 20% or so. This means that a degree is worth less than it used to be—there has been, if you like, degree inflation—because there are more people with degrees (and, of course, the increase in numbers has led to less face-to-face time and therefore the quality of the education delivered has suffered too).

So, a decrease in student numbers would actually benefit your members by allowing them to command a higher wage through a lower supply of a desired product. How do you square that one, Gemma? And what's your degree in? (Please don't say PPE because that would just be embarrassing for you.)
"We're the institutions producing doctors, nurses, engineers, and that is a is a huge benefit to society and therefore society should pay."

OK, well, let's say that we will pay for doctors, nurses and engineers and all those other useful professions, and we don't pay for the English Literature, History and History of Art students, shall we? Or don't you think that's fair?

I do. I think that if we are going to foot the bill for you bastards to hang about spouting shit like this for the next three or four years, we should be able to choose which bits of it we pay for, don't you? I'm happy for my tax money to pay to train a doctor (even if he can't find a job at the end of it—nice one, Patsy) but I not happy to pay for someone to take fucking Media Studies, OK?

Fucking hell, you people are stupid.
Adam Smith replaces Elgar on £20 note.
A new £20 note featuring a portrait of economist Adam Smith is to be issued, the Bank of England has said.

Good; and now that The Gobblin' King will be staring at Smith's face every day of the week, do you think that there is any danger that we can get the Cyclopean fuckhead to actually read and understand Smith's writings?

Fat, fucking chance...

Does Polly know what libel is?

Because, if there's any justice in the world, she would be about to be sued for it; my contention comes from her Friday piece of last week, wherein she wrote the following dodgy statement. [Emphasis mine.]
[W]hy do directors pay themselves obscene sums, a 28% rise in the boardrooms this year, all of it stolen from citizens' pension funds and Peps?

Really, Pol? "Stolen" is it? Can you absolutely prove that? Or is it fair renumeration, approved by shareholders, for a job well done? In any case, Polly, you are accusing the directors of criminal activity; now, you may view their payrises as immoral and thus, in your lexicon of hatred and jealousy, as being illegal but, unfortunately for you, they have not actually broken any law (not in the matter of pay, anyway).

Got a good lawyer, Pol? Or will The Grauniad lent you one of theirs—a sort of perk of the job, as it were?
No party dare ask these questions - though on the day when MPs' relatively modest expenses come under the magnifying glass, why not? Everything politicians do is monitored while the business kleptocracy goes largely unchallenged.

Yeah, although since politicians gain their money through extortion with menaces from the good citizens of this country, I think that those citizens are entitled to question the method in which the government spends that money; especially since they are supposed to be spending it on our behalf.

Still, as Timmy pointed out, the best rebuttal of this nonsense is in the Comments.
This year the Guardian Media Group (Guardian, Observer & Guardian On-line) made losses of almost £50m. Alan Rusbridger, editor and board director, saw his pay rise from £373,000 to £504,000. A rise of 35%.

Well, quite. What was your payrise, Polly? I assume that you have had one this year; so, tell us: how much more than £140,000 do you need? And is it all stolen from the Peps and pension funds of the citizens?

Polly, you really are a complete fucktard.

Fuck, I need a drink

In the name of fuck, if it isn't the awful Patsy Hewitt, TEBAF Margot Wankshaft or the shit telling me that I cannot get pissed, it's a bunch of fucking schoolkids. Seriously, why don't you bunch of arseholes all fuck right off?
Pupils calling for an inquiry into the public health impact of cheap alcohol are set to provide evidence to MSPs.

The Public Petitions Committee is to leave its Holyrood base and host a meeting at All Saints Secondary School.

The Glasgow school said the move proved to students that those in power did take notice of young people's opinions.

Dilusha Pathirana, Roisin Craig and James McKee made history earlier this month, when they presented the 1,000th public petition to Holyrood.

The committee will hear the pupils' evidence, which was gained by conducting research in the shops around their school where they found alcohol on sale for less than the price of a bottle of water.

Who gives a shit? Water is a hideous drink, fit only for making into alcoholic beverages: it should be more expensive than booze, damn it!

Still, it's fucking typical that the Executive to listen to a bunch of children; that's about the level of the bastards. We discovered this when that cloth-eared fuckwit Margot Wallstrom and the pug-faced moron decided to host a special seminar (which I excoriated at the time in one of my more lyrical posts)—on how fucking wonderful the EU was—with a bunch of youngsters: they are so much easier to brainwash, you see.

In the name of all that's unholy, I have still to work out what the hell I think on some issues and your humble Devil is nearing thirty; why the unformed and uninformed opinions of a bunch of adolescents should be worth listening to—especially when the Executive has cut out more mature and knowledgeable voices by blocking access to blogs on the Holyrood servers—passes all understanding, frankly. Especially when the bastards want to assist the fascist Executive in pushing yet more limits on one of the few pleasures that the absolute cunts have left us.

So here's a message to the Executive and the three students of All Saints Secondary School: fuck off and die, you immature, pusillanimous cunts.

EUsceptic Roundup #3

Welcome to the third EUsceptic Roundup; late again, I know, but an unexpectedly late night on Saturday, the confusion about the clocks (yes, I forgot), and the unlooked-for opportunity to gain free entrance to The Divine Comedy gig tonight all conspired to keep me from my blogging.

Firstly, and very usefully, KevSoft has implemented the TheyWorkForYou APIs onto his site so that you can search Hansard and the Written Answers for any references to things that interest you: mainly, in our case, any references to the EU. It will definitely be a point of reference for your humble Devil.

Another thing that you may wish to partake in is The Bruges Group's Campaign to lobby MPs for a report into the costs of our membership of the EU; they want the government to publish, if you like, a cost/benefit analysis. This is surely a reasonable request? Simply fill in the form on the website (and if you don't know who your MP is, you can find out at TheyWorkForYou.com).

Tim Worstall highlights Kaletsky's article on "the greatest political blunder of the last decade".
That dubious honour will probably belong to an event most people still regard as a triumph: the creation of the euro. What we see today, not only in Italy and Hungary, but also in the other relatively weak economies on the southern and eastern fringes of the EU, is the beginning of the end of the European project. And if the euro project does turn out to be the high-water mark of European unification, then history will judge it a far more important event that anything happening in the Middle East.

As some people have been pointing out for years the euro weas never an economic policy, it was a political one. The economics were deliberately ignored in order to get the political action done.

Timmy also points out that TEBAF Margot is an fucking fascist idiot.
Today Margot is insisting that the European Union is absolutely right to tell us all how much we can drink, raise the taxes and in general get us all to have no more than our State Approved half glass of low alcohol eurowine a day.

Now, is it just me being paranoid, or could one infer that that utter, utter cunt, Patsy Hewitt, might simply be parroting the sound of, as it were, her master's voice?

Though why the EU thinks that it should be able to regulate the drinking habits of 450 million or so people when they cannot manage their own spending I simply cannot fathom. That's right; with a kind of weary resignation, it will not have escaped your notice that the auditors have refused to sign off the EU accounts for the twelfth year in a row! The mind, frankly, boggles.
The EU's top accounting inspector has for the 12th year in a row criticised irregularities in the bloc's annual spending, particularly within member states but also within the commission itself.

In a report launched on Tuesday (24 October 2004), the European Court of Auditors analysed the 2005 EU budget of €104.8 billion and stated that irregularities in EU spending prevented it from giving a completely positive judgment.

The court said some EU spending in 2005 had involved improper invoicing, incorrectly paid bills and did not always include the selection of best-value suppliers.

The report found errors in accounting ranging from incorrect paperwork and poor management to outright fraud in transactions.

And now we return to Timmy to highlight how the fuckers continue to lie to us.
I get another email from the Commission:
  1. Anyway, coming back to your question: yes, the Commission does use (and has always used) double-entry book-keeping (if we dind't, I am sure the Court of Auditors would have noticed it in its report, wouldn't they?

  2. You mention accrual accounting - good point - the Commission is one of the few public entities which use accrual accounting.

Yes, I'm sure that they would have. And, er, they did...
In answer:

1)and 2) Double Entry book keeping. You do use that? Really? Your ex Chief Accountant doesn't think so:
2. Vulnerability of the Accounting System and Internal Controls: The deficiencies that I highlighted during my tenure as Chief Accountant of the EC, all of which as of today remain unresolved (as per annual reports from the ECA), and for which I proposed urgent and specific actions, can be summarized as follows:
  • No basic accounting principles (such as double-entry bookkeeping) respected. The much publicized “accrual accounting” is not based on double-entry bookkeeping.

That was from evidence given to Parliament.

Liars, liars, liars.

Talking of which, KevSoft exposes another liar.
Lib Dem MEP Andrew Duff's office wrote a letter to a constituent claiming that Britain is better off in the EUssr is misleading claims Tom Wise of UKIP.

Tom Wise counters those ridiculous claims by highlighting the fact that Neil Kinnock, an ex-Commissioner for whom he holds no brief or affection, admitted in a Radio 4 interview that Britain's trade with the EUssr would not suffer if we left.

Andrew Duff is patently taking out of his no-doubt well-upholstered arse. As I wrote in a Comment at Wanabehuman some months ago, not only is the actual economic benefit of belonging to the EU fairly dubious, but the cost of withdrawing is minimal (and the benefits substantial).

Last week I pointed you to the fascinating farmsubsidy.org; I see that they are now rating countries' transparency by how willing they are to release their subsidy figures. Sweden tops the list with 95%.
On the day when the European Court of Auditors has for the twelfth year running refused sign off the European Union's annual budget because of concerns about fraud and poor controls, farmsubsidy.org is launching a new Common Agricultural Policy transparency index. The index is based on a comprehensive scorecard that rates all member states according to whether they have released data on who gets what from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Sweden tops the index with a score of 95%, followed by Denmark (91%) and Slovenia (87%). So far twelve EU member states have released data to farmsubsidy.org.

Penultimately (and most egregiously), if you thought that the Tories were against any aspect of the EU, then think again.
Today [Tory MEPs] voted for a report on the European Central Bank which included these words (paragraph 9, page 6):
"Supports the introduction of the Euro by all the member states."

The decision to whip Tory MEPs in favour of the report appears to have been taken after pressure from the EPP.

Five Tory MEPs resisted the whip and rejected the report: Martin Callanan, Daniel Hannan, Roger Helmer, Chris Heaton-Harris and Syed Kamall.

Apart from those five, every one of the Tory MEPs is a traitor and should be hanged in the public square and their bodies left to rot as a warning to others. They are scum who have sold out there country and will continue to sell out their country and its people. If you, like me, think that the EU is an economic burden, a financial fuck-up and an immoral killer then there really is only one voting option at the next election...

Finally, remember, you can join the EUsceptic Bloggers Yahoo group, which gave rise to this roundup, and which is moderated by our very own Serf.

So that's the EUsceptic Roundup for this week: next time, I shall be doing some more research and will be using the APIs mentioned above to winkle out and examine what our elected puppets of the EU representatives are saying about the glorious EU empire. In the meantime, please send your EU stories, throughout the week, to dk[AT]devilskitchendesign[DOT]com with "Eurosceptic Roundup" as the subject line.

Unio Europaea delenda est!

Well, sort of....

Via The Longrider...

The Picto-Personality Test

You are a person who likes to have fun all the time.

When alone, you like to spend your time doing something that will better yourself.

You are laid back. Anything goes, with you.

In the future you will be happy and live richly.

Take this Test at QuizGalaxy.com

Yes, it's reasonably accurate; although you may not think it I am usually pretty laid back these days...
Do head over to the temple of my impecunious Grecian friend and take a look at the fourth Swearbloggers Roundup. There's some good blogs there that I haven't looked at before and some wonderfully sweary entries.

Brace yourselves!

UPDATE: don't forget the Britblog Roundup #89 and also James Higham's Weekend Blogfocus. It's getting crowded around here, eh?

Friday, October 27, 2006

I watched the tediously derivative Torchwood t'other day, and thought that it was a stinking load of old horseshit. But I suggest that you read Justin's nicely written dissection, which I almost totally agree with.

It's pretty spot on, apart from the fact that he does not emphasise enough quite how totally fucking annoying the female ex-policewoman—the one that Justin calls "the ‘emotional heart’ of the show"—is: I wanted to throw stuff at my expensive telly. I very nearly did. Fucking hell, she doesn't just get on my fucking tits, she climbs all over my nipples...

Murphy's Law #4

I have pointed out the egregious stupidity of Richard Murphy on a number of previous occasions but, as I am always happy to keep kicking the very stupid (a sitting target is very easy, you see, and I am lazy), I see no reason not to point out his latest piece of idiocy.
Take this from a partner is [sic] E & Y South Africa:
It is my view that morality has no place in the application of tax law since morality is largely subjective.

Which is terribly convenient. Because if there is no morality in the application of tax law it means there’s no right or wrong. And so there need be no guilt for breaking it.

There are many laws that some of us feel no guilt in breaking. I feel, for instance, no guilt about breaking the laws on buying and ingesting Class A drugs.
And it can be claimed no penalties are due when tax law is broken, because what is the crime?

Erm, the crime is tax evasion, you pillock, and I imagine that the penalty is a very stiff fine and possible incarceration, as any fule kno. Admittedly, we are talking about a man who, whilst a professional accountant, apparently doesn't understand the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance, so we must make allowances.
You can then claim that the application of tax law (which is all tax practitioners do) is victimless when abuse takes place (as it does). You can see why accountants, lawyers and bankers like this view.

Richard, no one feels guilt about tax avoidance, and morality does not come into it; company directors are bound to avoid as much tax a possible: it is their legal fiduciary duty to maximise their company profits. Believe me, you get a load of pamphlets from Companies House pointing this out.

What they are not allowed to do is evade tax, i.e. break the law. But, as has already been pointed out, you don't understand the basic difference, do you? Fuckwit.

Swearblogger Roundup

The weekly Swearblogger Roundup is moving, permanently, to the home of the poor, little Greek boy (with whom I shall be having some beers in Cloisters tonight, if anyone feels like joining us); I reproduce his call to arms below.
As mentioned a few days ago, the weekly Swearbloggers roundup has now migrated across from the Devil's Kitchen and will be put up over the weekend, probably just in time to brighten your Monday morning.

Nominations are now open, and will remain open in perpetuity, for the best of the week's rants, raves, and railing against the world. Tart rebuttals of public statements, brusque dismissals of lying politicians of left or right, or just plain aimless abuse; all are welcome, my house has many rooms. Basically, if someone's called anyone anything that would make your aged grandmother redden in shame, let's hear about it.

Drop me an email on mreugenides@hotmail.co.uk, or pop it in the comments. Nominate yourself or others. The aim is to build this into a one-stop shop for all your cathartic cunt-calling, so the wider the net, the better.

So go on: make some nominations!

In the meantime, I shall be hosting the weekly EUsceptics Roundup, so please email links to any EU fuck-wittery to chris[DOT]mounsey[AT]gmail[DOT]com—with "EUsceptic Roundup" as the subject line—in time for Sunday morning, please. Cheers!

Guido Fawkes: labour broker

Guido has noted that there are a few problems over at The Grauniad and strikes may well follow.
Guido hears that the lowly paid hacks at Guardian Online have received letters outlining what their individual salary will be if the pay offer is accepted. The NUJ says: "It is highly regrettable that management decided to bypass the chapel and send individual letters offering cash which until now has not been forthcoming during the pay round. We have not seen a copy of the letter and cannot comment on its contents."

This is all very sad hilarious; might the ignorant student's rag of choice not appear online for a few days? No, for Guido has a solution!
Guido has offered to round up a crack team of bloggers for Georgina Henry to scab in the event of a strike. Successful bloggers like Tim Worstall, Devil's Kitchen, Dizzy, who knows maybe some of the boys at Samizdata might help if Georgina asks nicely. These are all proven writers who would bring a different perspective and a high traffic following.

Different perspective? You ain't wrong there, sunshine! Just think how many paeons of praise I have to Polly in my archives: enough for a week's worth of Grauniads, I should think...
Prescott has spent money on branded plastic bags. Iain Dale comments.
One wonders what the carrier bags were used for. Putting over his head at, ahem, certain times, perhaps?

Obviously not for long enough, as the fat fucker still appears to be alive and wandering about spending our cash. What a cunt.

Fucking hell, we really do need to invent some new swearwords, eh?

Patsy Hewitt: drink this, bitch!

Now, before starting in earnest, it must be stressed that we humans are, of course, evil and irresponsible to our very cores; in a way, everything that we get is our fault, the fault of a people who have abdicated all responsibility for their own lives to the state. And, of course, it is said that a people get the rulers that they deserve; however, I still believe that we should ask ourselves whether we are so evil and irresponsible that we deserve Patsy Hewitt, a woman who epitomises sanctimonious stupidity.

Today, Patsy is encouraging The Gobblin' King to slap more tax on us poor citizens (god almighty, Patsy, he doesn't need any encouragement!). Now, Patsy, I think you know what I think of the kind of cunt who tries to curtail my drinking; regular readers will also know what we at The Kitchen think of Patsy at the best of times: combine the two and you might get a flavour of the depths of my rage.

So, if swearing offends you, do feel free to look away now.
A swingeing increase in tax on alcopops and other alcoholic drinks favoured by teenagers is being demanded by the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, in an attempt to stop young people damaging their health by binge drinking.

Go fuck youself, you stinking apology for a cunt of a human being; did I say human being? I meant hideous chicken-brained whore of a monkey's arse dipped in aubergine surprise—the surprise being that it is made of aubergines and shit, shit, shitty-shit-shit-shit—and mashed up with the pus-filled discharge of a diseased, eighty-year-old whore's raddled, smelly and very badly-packed kebab. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you cunting cunt cuntitty cunt cunt. Tit.

So there.
She has written to the chancellor asking him to ratchet up the cost of alcohol in his next budget, to price it beyond the reach of youngsters' earnings or pocket money.

Ms Hewitt was responding to disturbing evidence that drinking is blighting young people's lives and causing them long-term medical damage.

Look, you silly bitch, if you rachet up the tax on alcopops, then the kiddies will simply switch to cheap lager or the traditional 2 litre bottle of White Lightning Hitting Your Head In The Morning. And then I suppose you'd bung up the taxes on those too, eh, you fucking cow?

Look, Pat, it's not only the kiddies that drink alcopops; when was the last time that you waddled down from your ivory tower and went to a pub on a Friday night to pick up a young man and get his hard cock fucked up your tight minge in a cubicle in the Ladies' Toilets, eh? Or maybe in the back passage, geographically and anatomologically? Not since you've been married, I'll warrant, but I bet you like a bit of filth, eh? I've known people like you, Patsy; all tight and buttoned up on the outside, but actually you like it hard and fast, just beyond the circle of lights, up against the bonnet of a car from a horny-handed son of toil: yes, I can imagine you on your GAP year disappearing, leaving your friends talking in the bar, to get it quick and dirty—"yes, yes, like that, like the dogs do it!"—from one of the natives (so you can patronise him afterwards: "now you've cum in me, get down there and clean me up. Juldi juldi, boy!").

Anyway, I digress; the point is, Patsy, that other people like to drink alcopops too. Even I, real ale snob that I am, have been known to indulge from time to time. Your intervention would, as usual, make life a little more miserable for everyone—apart from you, because you only indulge in "the occasional glass of wine", eh?—whilst utterly failing to achieve your stated objective. Of course, the real objective is power, isn't it, you awful piece of maloderous dogshit. If I got you on my shoe, I'd have to throw both of them away. FUCK YOU!
She said: "I am asking Gordon Brown, when he comes forward with the budget next year, to really increase taxes on alcohol. And particularly things like alcopops and some of the stuff that quite a lot of teenage boys and girls are drinking, because we've got a real problem with binge drinking among young people."

Yeah, and I can almost imagine our Cyclopean Chancellor getting the note, laughing his fucking head off and throwing it straight into the bin. Because—quite apart from the contempt in which he cannot fail to hold you, Patsy—one of the few taxes that he is not going to raise, just as he puts in his bid to be leader proper, is the one of booze: he might as well just give up his leadership ambitions entirely.

I've had it with you and, impotent as I am to describe adequately what I would like to do with you, I shall pass you over to my impecunious, Athenian colleague.
I'd suggest locking her up, but there aren't any prison cells spare. I'd tie her to the train tracks, but the trains don't fucking run on time. I'd blindfold her and set her loose in an Army firing range, but the guns they've been issued are notoriously prone to jamming. I'd stuff her in a crate, block all the airholes, and ship her to Timbuktu, but our borders are far too porous to keep the hectoring harpy out. Putting her in one of her hospitals and waiting for her to get MRSA appeals to my sense of cosmic justice, but that would be too clumsy and random.

Perhaps Dr Crippen could advise what would happen if I injected her eyeballs with a syringe full of Ebola virus? And would stamping on her face afterwards with a pair of metal-studded rugby boots speed up, or retard, the onset of the gruesome, organ-mulchig death she so richly deserves?

May I suggest something a little more... aposite? I suggest that we strap her to a chair, with her eylids held open (just so the whole experience hurts more), and with her head clamped so that her face is turned upwards; we would then gaffa-tape a large funnel into her mouth and pour alcopops into it. The first bottle would go in and she'd start to choke and retch but it'd have to go down eventually; and then more and more bottles of the most hideous Bacardi Breezers—watch her legs open after the second one—and other sweet, icky things would be poured down her funnel—with only enough respite to stop her drowning—until she's violently sick (the force of the spasms ripping her eyelids off) and one by one her organs start to collapse or explode (depending upon their make-up and function) and she dies a lingering, alcopop-fuelled death.

To make it educational, we could give classrooms full of children the chance to pour the bottles of sticky liquid into her body (she's only used to a teaspoonful normally, and usually in a completely different orifice. Although, of course, perhaps she did like to clean the natives up after they'd cleaned her, if you know what I mean). Then they could see the harmful effects of alcopops. In fact, we could televise it and sell the video to schools: a subtle blend of education and comedy, I think.

Popular, Patsy, you ain't. You hideous, butcher's shop window of a cunt.

UPDATE: The Guttersnipe would like to add to Patsy's fate.
Once we’ve drained every bit of blue fucking WKD into the quivering remains of her once proud shell we get all those redundant doctors and nurses to resuscitate her then force feed her every bit of broken glass from those empty bottles.

That should give the NHS its “best year ever”.

Then with as much Adrenalin as it takes to keep the bitch alive and in agony we drag her sorry stuporous frame round the route of every pub crawl in England leaving her to spend the last of her days pissing herself in a bus station while the tramps share their Special Brew with her.

As I said, really, really, Patsy, you witless idiot, you are not going to win any popularity contests...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Women are responsible for rape

Well, all of this debating about raping has now been cleared up because, via Conservative Reptile, a nice Muslim gentleman has cleared up the whole debate.
Sheik Hilali said there were women who "sway suggestively" and wore make-up and immodest dress ... "and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years".

"But the problem, but the problem all began with who?"

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat," he said.

"The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

There you are, ladies, you are uncovered meat and we men are cats. Now that that has been cleared up, can we just get on with civilisation, please?

Ladies, cover yourself in a tent and go and sit in your rooms, and we men shall go about our lawful* business of raping any young lady who has uncovered her meat. Or ours. Whatever.

However, the Sheik has apologised, as I am sure that you are all relieved to hear.
"I unreservedly apologise to any woman who is offended by my comments," he said in a statement today.

"I had only intended to protect women's honour, something lost in The Australian presentation of my talk."

Well, that's alright then, eh?

Oh, and ladies, perhaps you'd like to know what your life in the niqab holds for you (other than not being raped, obviously)? (A flick of the tail and a toss of the horns to Chris for this.)
I've never worn the niqab before. Growing up in a Muslim household in Bradford, a city in the north of England, in the 1970s and '80s, I dressed modestly. But my hair was only covered in the presence of the imam and while I was reading the Koran. Today, however, things have changed. I see second- and third-generation British Muslims concealed in black. They say they wear the niqab voluntarily, to demonstrate their dedication to Allah and to protect them from male eyes.

I miss seeing my own face, my own shape. Yet at the same time I feel completely naked. The women I have met who have taken to wearing the niqab tell me that it gives them confidence, but I find that it saps mine.

Nobody has forced me to wear it, but I feel as though I have oppressed myself and isolated myself.

It's a life of unstinting modesty and—hey!—it's a rejection of our evil Western traditions of having a bit of fun! Woo!

Still, at least you won't be uncovered meat for the cats to eat, eh?

* Under sharia. Unless you ladies can find four men to back up your rape charge. And they'll probably want paying, but not in cash, if you know what I mean...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Visitors are asked not to visit a hospital during meal times.
Visitors and staff are to be asked to avoid interrupting patients during meal times at a Highlands hospital.

NHS Highland said 500-bed Raigmore Hospital in Inverness can have up to 1,000 visitors a day.

Raigmore is now to introduce "protected meal times" so patients can get peace to make sure they eat properly.

Given the less than exemplary record of hospital staff, expect quite a few more deaths from starvation...

LibDemons in fascism shock. Not.

In Richmond upon Thames, LibDem councillors have decided that "gas guzzlers" (in this country it's called "petrol", you fuckwits) should pay extra on their parking permits.

The Longrider is elegantly incensed and expresses this emotion with all his his customary aplomb.
Having listened to both the leader of the council; Serge Lourie and Sir David Trigg, the Council cabinet member for traffic, transport and parking pontificate about how they have an obligation to “encourage” residents to change their lifestyle choices, I am in no doubt whatsoever that they want others to follow in their tawdry footsteps.

Listen you jumped up fascist fuckwits, you have no obligation to do anything of the sort. You were elected to serve the residents of Richmond, not to socially engineer them into thinking as you do. You do not “encourage” by using financial penalties for forbidden thinking and behaviour – that is blackmail, not encouragement. Get a dictionary, look the words up. It isn’t difficult, you pair of obnoxious, bullying little shits. It is not, absolutely not, your prerogative to use force to dictate people’s buying choices.

Beautiful prose, the man's a genius! The trouble is that the LibDemons are obviously not.

As was illustrated by the Daily Propaganda, via Wat Tyler, the other day, electric cars—the councillors preferred method of transport (although I don't know how many councillors have electric cars themselves)—are not as eco-friendly as the LibDemons suppose them to be.
Because although the EST reckons it's "the most energy efficient car on the road" and better for the planet, it's only that way if you don't count the carbon cost of generating and transmitting the electricity to charge it up. Once you do, it turns out it's more carbon generative than a bog standard Ford Focus 1.6D. Which doesn't qualify for any of the financial breaks.

You see, these people are fucking idiots as well as being lazy cunts: you don't need to have a degree in Physics to understand these costs, for crying out loud, you just have to think!

But the LibDemon councillors are not finished with their pathetic justifications.
"Climate change is the single greatest challenge facing the world today," said council leader Serge Lourie.

If I hear one more cunting fascist bastard trying to justify his shitty crank ideas with that phrase—and, fuck me, but there seem to be an awful lot of them—I am going to break out the clawhammer and rail vouchers and start showing them what I think is the greatest challenge facing the world today, i.e. fascist scum who seem to have forgotten that they work for us.
"We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and pretend that it is not happening, or that dealing with it is up to somebody else.

I'm sorry, Sunny Jim, but have you got some new science to show me? Otherwise I shall refer you to my recent post excoriating that ignorant cunt, Davey "batshit" Miliband. The science is far from conclusive; the economic arguments are far from conclusive; the data is flawed and you guys are talking out of your arses. Fuck off.
"And Richmond upon Thames is one of the highest CO2-emitting boroughs in London.

Really? How do you measure that, precisely? Are you sure that you are getting some bleed-through from Putney or something? What is anything that you say?

Lookee, people; do you think that the LibDemons are going to be less authoritarian than NuLabour? I suggest that you take another look…

Relinquishing control

It is rare that I disagree with the good Doctor Crippen, but I fear that such an occasion has arisen. I wrote about about OurPetition.org that the Doc urged; the good Doctor left a comment which runs thusly.
Now now DK, I told you how important it was to take your medication regularly. Don't even miss one day!

OK, let's all pay for our own health care. OK for most younger people, unless you get that nasty lymphoma (think of Ming) or breast cancer... but it gets diffiuclt as you get old.

BUT BUT DK have you not uncharacteristically missed the point?

What Our Petition is trying to do is get MPs to BE HONEST ABOUT THEIR REAL VIEWS. If Tory MPs, indeed the boy David himself, want to renounce the NHS for a private system, that is fine. BUT LET THEM SAY SO. Let them be honest. Let them say "I am with the Devil, and believe in scrapping the NHS"

Our Petition is an attack on HYPOCRISY.

I won't sign it because the NHS is not safe on the front line.

You won't sign it because economically at least you are a facist hyena (isn't that what I called them when I was a student)

WE are both being open an honest. The politicians are not. They say one thing about using the NHS but then as soon as they sneeze, they slink of quietly to Harley Strasse

Roll on the revolution!

Whilst I agree with the last line there, I don't agree that the petition is about exposing hypocrisy: it may do so in the run of the thing, but that is not its purpose. OurPetition.org states its aims quite clearly. [Emphasis mine.]
The most effective way for ordinary citizens to ensure NHS reform will be successful is to make certain that those who are responsible for creating the public health system voluntarily agree to exclusively use [sic] the same system, without opt-out, in their own medical treatment.

OurPetition believes the people of the United Kingdom are entitled to a world-class health system free at the point of deliver [sic]. To achieve this we ask policy-makers to lead by example.

We believe policy-makers need to make a demonstrable commitment from the top by always using the NHS themselves in order to win the support of staff & consultants in an effort to drive through painful but necessary reforms. The battle to reform the NHS cannot be won without first achieving buy-in from the one million people who work for the NHS.

The point of this petition is not to expose hypocrisy; the point of the petition is to shame the "policy-makers" into using the NHS and thus to improve the system by doing so: this aim is stated quite clearly.

If the politicians turn around and, quite truthfully, say they will not use the NHS, what is achieved? Nothing. The politicians will have been absolutely honest—they will not have been hypocritical—but what is the point of that if nothing in the NHS improves? And, as I pointed out in my post, we shouldn't have to blackmail the politicians into providing such a service: they should do it because that is what we, the people, have elected them to do, i.e. those things that we cannot better do ourselves.
OK, let's all pay for our own health care. OK for most younger people, unless you get that nasty lymphoma (think of Ming) or breast cancer... but it gets diffiuclt as you get old.

And this is what the NHS should do (assuming that I believe that it should continue in one form or another): that is, treat those who cannot pay for their own treatment.

Anyway, the whole thing is rather irrelevent: much as I dislike the vast majority of our elected politicians(and, for that matter, the unelected ones too), I don't believe that the majority of them are actively trying to shaft the NHS. They just don't know how to fix it.

What is increasingly obvious is that it is the dominance of top-down, centralised control that is actively fucking up the NHS; this would lead one to conclude that, even if the politicians thought that they could fix it, we should not be looking to central government to do so.

Corrupting the young

Via Timmy, this amusing comment on Tesco's sale of home pole-dancing kits; Mr Millen quotes a Daily Mail piece on it.
Children are being encouraged to dance round a pole which is interpreted in the adult world as a phallic symbol. It ought to be stopped, it really requires the intervention of members of Parliament. This should only be available to the most depraved people who want to corrupt their children.

Doesn't this read rather weirdly? I mean, this is the way that I see it happening...
[The scene: a checkout in Tesco. A woman hands over her home pole-dancing kit.]

Checkout Girl: "Excuse me, madam; do you have any children?"

Customer: "Yes, two."

CG: "Do you want to corrupt your children?"

C: "No, no, certainly not. It's for my private..."

CG: "I'm sorry, madam, but I'm afraid that I cannot sell you this pole-dancing kit. You see, they're only for people who want to corrupt their children."

Or is it just me...?

UPDATE: nope, it's not just me...

Breakfast In America

Via Timmy and Bob Piper (who found that there is no one called Osama Bin Laden in the US), this amusing little widget.

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

And my surname?
There are 1,110 people in the U.S. with the last name Mounsey.
Statistically the 24,960th most popular last name (tied with 914 other last names).

Interesting stuff, no?


Via bookdrunk, this lovely little article in which Julie Bindel complains that not enough men are convicted of rape. Leaving aside the rest of the article, I found this mildly perplexing.
And, given the current media fixation on women bringing "false allegations", it would be easy to assume our prisons were full of innocent men. In fact, the conviction rate for rape is at an all-time low. In 1985, 1,800 complaints of rape were made and one in four men convicted. In 2003, 13,000 complaints were made but only one in 20 was convicted.

Despite improvements, there remains a culture within the police that assumes that women who report rape are lying. One study found that a third of police assumed that at least a quarter of all reports were false.

Right, this is bad. But, as far as I can make out, Julie is assuming that 19 out of 20 men—the ones who who were acquitted—were lying.

How many men should be convicted of rape, Julie? Shall we set an arbitrary percentage, or would you prefer to make it a proper number (graded with population growth, of course). By Julie's figures, there are about 650 men convicted of rape every year; how many would you prefer Julie? Shall we set it at a nice, round 1,000; or is that not enough for you? Tell you what: we'll convict half of the complaints, no matter what the evidence is, shall we? 7,500 are goin' daaaaaaan whether there is any evidence or not. Happy now?

There was a discussion about this over at Rachel's (in which the lady herself discussed the role of alcohol); but it is the comments from NotSaussure who works in the criminal justice system) that presented the truth of the low conviction rate. Yes, I'm afraid that it is that tedious "innocent until proven guilty" rule again...
I'm not at all sure the phrase 'Vulnerability is not culpability' is particularly useful; the only person in whose culpability the court is interested is the defendant. It's important, I think, to remember that an acquittal in a rape case doesn't necessarily mean 'the jury didn't believe her' or 'the jury thought she was to blame.'

The question the jury is asked, when the issue is consent, is not 'do you think she's telling the truth' but 'are you sure he isn't?' If a juror thinks, 'Well, I'm pretty certain she's telling the truth and she didn't consent, but I can't be sure she didn't', the vote's got to be 'not guilty'.

And more...
One of the main reasons there's such a low conviction rate in rape trials is that, almost uniquely in criminal cases, it so frequently comes down to one person's word against the other's, with no other evidence to assist the jury.

Short of changing the burden of proof, which I'd be very unwilling to do, I don't see how you fix it unless you become a lot less willing to prosecute without corroborative evidence. But that's obviously not a particularly desirable approach, either. I'm not at all sure there is a solution.

Quite. Mind you, the presumption of innocence idea does not seem to be treasured by this government and certainly does not exist in many other EU countries. I can see the day when "harmonisation" will bring the conviction rates that Ms Bindel would like to see, simply because the defendent will be unable to prove his innocence.

But until then, ladies, I'm afraid that you are just going to have to be really careful—either of yourselves, or to obtain corroberative evidence. But, until then, could we please stop this continual, perennial moaning about how few people get convicted simply on your say-so, please?

But Julie's last paragraph is absolutely stunning.
If more cases such as Shabnam's occur, we may as well forget about the criminal justice system and train groups of vigilantes to exact revenge and, hopefully, deter attacks.

For fuck's sake, woman, I hope that you are being facetious. You know what would happen if you did that? You'd train your vigilantes determined to defend your honour, and then your accused would form his own group of vigilantes to "take out that lying bitch" and next thing you know, there's a full-scale turf war. You stupid woman.

You are feeling bitter because you did not report the attempted rape on yourself; you can't get bitter about it, you stupid cow, because you didn't fucking report it. Do you understand? But, since you didn't and the case wasn't tried, you do, at least, get to state this attempted rape as a fact, unsupported by any evidence, that happened to you in a nation newpaper. Nice one.
Because if I were raped, I would rather take my chances as a defendant in court, than as a complainant in a system that seems bent on proving that rape is a figment of malicious women's imagination.

You stupid, stupid woman; you vicious, awful harridan. If you want to live in a country where the burden of proof is on the defendent, why don't you fuck off and live in France? You'll get your justice there. You'd just better hope that no one accuses you of anything.

For fuck's sake, everyone thinks that they should be a special case, eh?

Chuckles: an apology

Your humble Devil would like to apologise for all of his swearing (except where it applies to Polly: that's totally fucking justified); and do I hear you asking why? I think that I do.

Well, let me explain: it is because I have debased some of the oldest and finest words in the English language; I have made so free with the lexicon of sweariness, that there is now no word bad anough to apply just singly to Chuckles. When I heard about his plan to extend the DNA Database to everybody in the country, I wanted to call him a cunt. No, I thought, "cunt" is simply not strong enough: would "fucking cunt" do? No.

This news has brought home the shocking revelation that there really is no single word in the English language offensive enough to describe Tony Blair. And it is at this stage that I can raise my eyes heavenwards, and bless the English language for its beautiful flexibility.

Because Tony Blair is a raddled old whore of an unwashed and stinking minge; when he opens his mouth, the overpowering smell of dead meat and rancid cunt oozes from the very pores of his tongue; the hideous, fucking evil that riddles his soul finding physical manifestion in the rotting shitbreath of his putrid fuckhole face. What a hideous, chancre-covered, running-pus of a prick he is; what an awful, sodomisation-without-lube-by-a-large-gang-of-coloured-gentlemen-with-unfeasibly-thick-cocks kind of a person he is, the quinessence of a diseased ego and corrupted conscience.

Fuck you, Blair; fuck you in the face with a broken bottle wrapped in that really horrible blue nylon rope that leaves bits of itchy crap in your flesh. I hope you die and take your awful, boot-faced, money-grabbing, bitch-whore of a wife with you.

Alternatively, you could go and visit the poor, little Greek boy, who spells out the issues reasonably and with panache.
It's at this point that I begin to sound like a tinfoil-hatted paranoiac. I know that. But honestly, do you want to live in the sort of society where you are barcoded at birth, tracked through the day through CCTV and vehicle monitoring, where other citizens are encouraged to spy on you, a government database 'stops' you from abusing your children by not giving them five fruit and veg a day, and where the government holds information on you right down to the microbiological level? And do you believe Tony Blair when he says it should just be voluntary? Do you?

No. God, I hate him...
Apologies for the lack of blogging today: I have been working on a website (for the company I did the modelling for) and shall be working on the copy for most of Wednesday (and for Pete; yes, that one is Website Baker too).

In other news, the Swearblogger Roundup is now being taken on by the poor, little Greek boy: please send your nominations for the best of the week's swearblogging to mreugenides@hotmail.co.uk...

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