Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cameron's doing a really great job: he's lost another one...
Fuck the fucking fucks who are in charge of the Tory Party. I have had enough. Fuck 'em. I didn't vote for Cameron, and thought he was a bad idea as party leader. But I never realised he would be this bad.

But this leaves me with a far more pressing problem. I cannot call myself The Nameless Tory anymore - not when I am despairing of the Tory Party. So for now, I am The Nameless One.

Nice one, Spam; how many have you lost now? Well, that's seventeen eighteen that I know of (just from those who've emailed me and commented here) and your few remaining cheerleaders are finding themselves increasingly compromised as their hypocrisy gets up everyone else's noses.
Via Peter Briffa, I find a new site campaigning against public funding for political parties.
There's a new website just set-up by Adrian Lithgow and Phillip Oppenheim - two names from the past who will hopefully be rocking the future - dedicated to one of the key issues of our time: preventing the public funding of political parties.

Would this be the same Adrian Lithgow who is the new UKIP Head of Media?

Oh, and a quick tip to anyone building websites: if you have to put in instructions—such as "click the headings"—then your design needs working on. If the design makes the process obvious enough, don't put instructions in: stating the obvious is deeply patronising.

GP Contracts

The good Doctor Crippen is up in arms about the government accusing GPs of dishonesty.
My pay has gone up approximately 25% over the last two years. That extra money has been earned by hitting government targets. The targets were set by the government, not by us, and mostly have little to do with health care, but a lot to do with “process” and bogus but quantifiable “healthcare achievements”.

We told the government at the outset that it was a waste of money, that the money could be better spent but, to them, “control” was everything.

They removed our professional autonomy. They told us what to do, and promised us piece-rate financial rewards for doing it. So we have done it, and done it more efficiently than they thought possible.

This was always a lose-lose PR exercise for doctors. If we had not hit the targets, we would have been lazy. If we hit them, we are greedy.

Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. I don't know how GP practices are run, but whether they are run on a company or partnership basis, the GPs could elect to pay themselves less. But, then, why should they do that?

The government is effectively complaining that the money should not go to GPs' salaries but, as Health Minister Lord Warner puts it, to "further improvements in services for patients, such as longer opening hours or widening the range of services." The trouble is that, if you have longer opening hours, then you would rather expect the doctors to pay themselves more for those extra hours, wouldn't you? After all, that's how it generally works in business: you work longer hours, you get paid more.

Lord Warner, as Wat Tyler points out, is the kind of lame-arse fuckwit who has never actually worked in the private sector.
Who is Lord Norman Warner? He's someone who has spent his entire career moving between the "public and voluntary sectors – as a civil servant, local authority executive, political adviser and quangocrat" (see this profile). "High spots" include a spell as Red Babs Castle's Principal Private Secretary in the 70s. He would not be my choice of shopper.

Quite. And what is it that Lord Warner was actually shopping for?
He said: "We invested extra funding in GP services in good faith both to improve services and reward GPs. The money was not intended just to boost GPs' profits.

"We expect a higher level of these profits to be invested back into their businesses, to bring about further improvements in services for patients, such as longer opening hours or widening the range of services.

"We want to see this year and next a higher proportion of practice income going on service improvement for patients, and greater efficiency rather than windfall profits."

Well, my Lord Warner, might I suggest that if that is what you wanted that you actually write it into the fucking contracts, you stupid cunt? Have you absolutely no idea how business works?

No, no, of course you haven't. And, of course, you seem to think that doctors should be above all that grubby money, don't you? That they should altruistically work for as little as possible and even throw their own money back into patient care.

Tell me, Lord Warner, how much are you paid for utterly cocking up the GP contracts and pissing away millions—or, more likely, billions—of pounds of taxpayers' money? Will you be giving some of it back because you have completely fucked it up?

We have to make these bastards personally, financially liable for fuck ups: it is the only way that we will ever get a half-decent level of value-for-money from these idiot, arsehole government nutjobs.

In the meantime, Lord Warner, could I respectfully ask you to fuck off?
Your humble Devil is pleased to be mentioned on The Times Comment Central blog, on the subject of blog regulation.

The same strangely polite quote from your humble "self-styled Swearblogger" is used on Iain Dale's weekly Top of the Blogs Roundup, which you can listen to here.

Order In Court

To describe Somalia as the rectum of nations is to grossly slur the rectum.
At least the humble rectum serves a purpose; performs a function; has a point.
The same cannot be said of Somalia.
It should be right up there with Mexico and Romania on any sane person's list of places they really don't want carry cash.
It combines the worst elements of African culture - tribalism and violence - with the worst elements of Islam; violence and tribalism. It produces nothing but bloodshed and pain. To all intents and purposes it is a hole in the map, the very word 'Somalia' nothing but a legal fiction.
Some of us might notice if it no longer existed - but it's doubtful if few would care.
In the early 1990's, Somalia developed a reputation for fierce lawlessness. This was partly on account of the events of October 3-4 1993, when 18 US Rangers were killed during the Battle of Mogadishu - the so-called 'Black Hawk Down' incident. For some reason, this has always been painted as an American defeat - but the numbers tell a different story.
The Americans killed between 750 and 1,500 Somalis, a truly phenomenal kill ratio of anywhere between 41 to 83 dead Somalis for every 1 dead American; proof that the world's most successful nation is not only very good at peace, justice, the rule of law and all that sort of stuff but also very, very good at making very sharp objects that move very fast and really, really hurt when they hit you.
One is quite sure that there are Somalis who deplore the mess their countrymen have made of their homeland, so it's inappropriate to suggest that being Somali is something to be embarrassed about - however, by the same token it might be thought that those Somalis who have been granted the privilege of living outside Somalia would appreciate the benefits that living in somebody else's culture, one built on peace and civic brotherhood, can bring.
And perhaps even be grateful.
But as far as some Somalis are concerned, that doesn't seem to be the case.
According to the BBC, one such Somali is 29 year old Aydarus Yusuf -
"Aydarus Yusuf has lived in the UK for the past 15 years, but he feels more bound by the traditional law of his country of birth - Somalia - than he does by the law of England and Wales.

"Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law. It's not Islamic, it's not religious - it's just a cultural thing."
The answer to Yusuf's problem is straightforward. He doesn't feel at home - so he should go where he would feel more at home; Somalia.
However, Yusuf isn't content just to talk nonsense; he play acts it was well -
"The 29-year-old youth worker wants to ensure that other members of his community remain subject to the law of their ancestors too - he helps convene an unofficial Somali court, or "gar", in south-east London. "
It is hard to believe that this behaviour is not in some way criminal. There must be some old 14th Century statute still floating about which outlaws the convention of private courts.
If Yusuf wants to sit around chewing the khat with his homeboys and bitch about the foul and racist British oppressor's unfair refusal to allow them to tool round Peckham in open jeeps while toting rocket-propelled grenades, an activity which has played a very prominent and important role in recent Somali history, then fine - it's a free country.
What has helped both make and keep it free has been its citizens' recognition that they live under one law. Saying you run a Somali tribal 'gar' is the sort of thing you tell the council when you're pumping them for a cultural activities grant - but not the sort of admission that will endear you to any citizen, regardless of creed or colour, who values the rule of law.
One law.
But Aydarus is not alone in his use of parallel legal systems; it's just that his has gone gar-gar and started handing out criminal penalties -
"As well as Somali customary law, Islamic and Jewish laws are being applied and enforced in parts of the UK.
Islamic and Jewish law remains confined to civil matters. But the BBC's Law in Action programme has learned that the Somali court hears criminal cases too.

One of the most serious cases it has dealt with was the "trial" of a group of young men accused of stabbing a fellow Somali.

"When the suspects were released on bail by the police, we got the witnesses and families together for a hearing," says Aydarus. "The accused men admitted their guilt and apologised. Their fathers and uncles agreed compensation."
Although this all sounds hunky-dory, there's one slight problem with it; certainly as far as the law of Scotland is concerned.
If any accused person receives bail, it is a breach of that bail for them to have any contact with witnesses!
I don't know the English position - perhaps a commentor might confirm whether the same rule applies on the wro-other side of Hadrian's Wall.
Forget the fathers and uncles - where were the police?
But it gets worse -
"Dr Prakash Shah, of London's Queen Mary University, advocates this "legal pluralism".
"Tribunals like the Somali court could be more effective than the formal legal system in maintaining social harmony."
Dr. Shah doesn't seem to understand that social harmony flows from the rule of law, the one law - not the other way round.
If Somalis want to live harmoniously with Brits inside Britain, observing British laws and dumping the old country's absurd ways might be a good place to start.
The report continues,
"Former judge Gerald Butler QC says that while courts such as the Jewish Beth Din can work properly, it's essential that all of the involved parties "freely and voluntarily agree to the jurisdiction... and that they conduct their proceedings fairly and properly". He adds: "What they mustn't do - and this must never happen - is to stray into the field of criminal matters. That simply would never be acceptable."

While religious leaders in the UK's Jewish and Muslim communities have not sought to enforce their own versions of criminal law, they have steadily built up their capacity to deal with civil matters within their own religious codes. What's more, they are doing it with the help of English law.

The Beth Din is the most formally entrenched of these minority courts. The UK's main Beth Din is based in Finchley, north London.

It oversees a wide range of cases including divorce settlements, contractual rows between traders and tenancy disputes.
The court cannot force anyone to come within its jurisdiction. But once someone agrees to settle a dispute in the Beth Din, he or she is bound in English law to abide by the court's decision.
This is because under English law people may devise their own way to settle a dispute before an agreed third party. "
Talmudic law as a form of arbitration?
Unacceptable. Whilst having no background in Talmudic law, a situation might arise where a just settlement under that law might compromise a litigant's rights and remedies under English law.
Although the Beth Din might work for those Jews prepared to be bound by its strictures, to all intents and purposes it is not an arbitration. An arbitration is just what its name suggests - arbitrary. However the Beth Din's settlements are founded on a series of principles which are not founded in English law, but in another legal code - and in a civil society, all disputes must be settled according to the same code, with all litigants having recourse to the same rights and remedies.
Otherwise, we cease to be a nation of citizens. Everyone's just doing their own thing instead.
It's all down to a flaw in English law -
"Crucially, the legislation does not insist that settlements must be based on English law; all that matters is the outcome is reasonable and both parties agree to the process. And it's in this space that religious courts, applying the laws of another culture, are growing in the UK.

"Orthodox Jews go to the Beth Din to settle their disputes," says Jonathan Greenwood, a solicitor who represents many Jewish businessmen at the court.

"They believe it is a religious obligation to go there [and seek redress under Jewish law] rather than the secular courts. But it is also usually quicker and cheaper."
If a civil court makes an unreasonale decision, there exists a right of appeal. To whom does one appeal an unreasonable decision of the Beth Din?
To the courts? Without breaching the terms on which the Beth Din was approached and without a crisis of conscience?
But now it gets much worse -
"Amongst the UK's Muslims there are sharply contrasting views about Sharia or Islamic law in the UK. Sharia is the historic legal foundations of the Islamic world - like English law, it has developed over centuries but is based on simple principles. "
Jihad. Beheading. All very simple stuff.
"In an ICM survey of 500 British Muslims carried out in February 2006, 40% of respondents said they would support the introduction of Sharia in predominantly Muslim areas of Britain.

The UK's most prominent Muslim organisation, the Muslim Council of Britain, opposes the idea, saying it will not support a dual legal system.

But some of Britain's Islamic scholars have called for a different approach - Sharia legal code in areas such as family and inheritance, applied through the secular courts.

Mohammed Shahid Raza, a leading Islamic scholar, claims this is a workable model with a British precedent: "When Britain was ruling India, there was a separate legal code for Muslims, organised and regulated by British experts of law."

There is already a network of Sharia councils in the UK. They are not recognised as courts but are seen as essential by those Muslims seeking advice and religious sanction in matters such as divorce. "
Well, let's resurrect the Special Patrol Group to smash up their meetings.
It continues,
"...Cassandra Balchin, a convert to Islam and spokeswoman for the group Women Living Under Muslim Laws, is concerned about the growth of these minority legal systems.

"Very often traditional forms of mediation can disadvantage vulnerable groups, such as women, within a community.

"I'm concerned about how much choice the weaker party would have in submitting to the governance of these alternative forums."

Despite Ms Balchin's fears, Sharia councils have already begun to follow the Jewish model of turning themselves into recognised courts of arbitration.

Faisal Aqtab Siddiqi, a commercial law barrister and head of the Hijaz College Islamic University in Warwickshire, says he has already adjudicated in a number of contractual disputes.

"Because we follow the same process as any case of arbitration, our decisions are binding in English law. Unless our decisions are unreasonable, they are recognised by the High Court."
But again, what might be determined reasonable by a Sharia court might be wholly unreasonable under Her Majesty's law; and one of the icky, nasty, piece-of-chewing-gum-on-the-sole-of-the-shoes things about being a British citizen is that the status of 'British citizen' didn't appear overnight.
It didn't come into being as the third wish from the Genie of the Lamp.
It was a thing that evolved from a sense of nationhood - with one of that nationhood's pillars being the recognition that we all adhere to the same law.
It's a platitude to say that it's better for 100 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be jailed.
By the same token, it would better for us all for all religious and alternative courts to be closed rather than have one British citizen suffer an injustice at their hands.
So Scotland intends to celebrate St Andrew's Day.
Scotland's past and present should be celebrated with pride on St Andrew's Day, according to the pug-faced moron first minister.

I look forward to Scotland's celebration of such glories as The Darien Scheme. No, I'm serious: if Darien hadn't bankrupted the entire country, then Scotland's rulers would not have been so keen to join the Union, and we've all done well out of that...

The UN fucks... well... anything that moves

There are many who aver that we should look to the UN to solve the problems of the world. Well, all I can say is that if I ever find myself stumped as to how best to pimp out, blackmail and fuck disadvantaged kids in the hellholes of the world, the UN will almost certainly be able to solve my problem.
Children have been subjected to rape and prostitution by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and Liberia, a BBC investigation has found.

Girls have told of regular encounters with soldiers where sex is demanded in return for food or money.

A senior official with the organisation has accepted the claims are credible.

The UN has faced several scandals involving its troops in recent years, including a DR Congo paedophile ring and prostitute trafficking in Kosovo.

The assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations acknowledges that sexual abuse is widespread.

If I hadn't already been utterly unsurprised by the litany of appalling abuse detailed in the Beeb's article, I would have said that the real scandal is that the peacekeepers have probably been undercutting the local whores' prices...

Libertarian drug home

Discovered via Samizdata, Libertarian Home is a portal that I suspect that I might spend rather a lot of time hanging around on. And they have an article on Acid House Parties by Paul Staines (who may or may not be Guido Fawkes Esq.) which I rather liked.
If you should bump into someone Eeed Up on Ecstasy they will just smile, you will say sorry, they'll say it's okay, you'll smile and dance off - in a bar even the most minor collision is likely to result in an unpleasant exchange of words, if not a fist fight. Alcohol leads to aggression, MDMA encourages tolerance.

In a club where people are pissed, some nastiness is pretty much guaranteed; I have never, ever seen a fight in a club in which most people were on pills. I myself have bumped into people, in a scene reminiscent of an particular episode of Spaced, and then ended up laughing like a loon with them over some utter, utter shite. But such fun!
Yet uptight Conservatives are probably the people who would benefit most from taking drugs, particularly Thatcherites, with their machine-like obsession with efficiency and abstract attachment to the freedom to make money. I'm as much of a believer in Capitalism as the most earnest of Young Conservatives, but couldn't we put acid in the punch at the YC ball and then really have a party?

Yes, please; and don't forget to send my invitation in good time!

Ray(leen) of light (on brains)

It may be a depressing fact, but the deeply paranoid Councillor Kelly was allowed to breed and has a daughter, Rayleen Kelly. Even more depressingly, she is a councillor too. And yet more depressingly still, she also has a blog; I decided to visit just to see if she was as ignorant and bigoted as her father. She isn't; she just tells massive whoppers and hopes that no one will notice (to be fair, I doubt that many have).
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Unemployment at lowest level since 1975 and is half that of Germany's and France's!

The fact that when I was growing up in the 1980's Full Employment was seen as a myth in political and practical terms tell you a lot about the Tories and their policies, we now have it in our grasp thanks to a Labour Government in Westminster and Holyrood!

Now, you may be forgiven, upon reading that entry, for thinking that full employment was quite literally mere days away; even the most cynical may have thought, "well, unemployment must be down then."

So, you might have been deeply dismayed to see stories like this one.
UK unemployment is continuing to rise - climbing by 27,000 to 1.71 million in the three months to September, the highest level in seven years.

The jobless rate rose to 5.6%, up from 5.5% in the previous quarter, the Office for National Statistics said.

You may even have thought that Rayleen was talking about Scotland alone, in which case it may have shaken your faith in the young woman to find out that even that was not the case.
Unemployment in Scotland has risen over the last year, according to new figures.

The latest monthly government statistics show 87,800 people claiming the jobseekers' allowance in October - up 2,000 on the same month last year.

But the government's preferred method of calculation showed unemployment at 131,000 for the three months up to September.

Oh, I know what it is! It's a different Scotland that she's living in. That's the only possible explanation because I, for one, am certain sure that Councillor Rayleen Kelly would never tell enormous, blatant, easily refutable lies on her weblog. Would she?

Oh, and while you're about it, why not have a look around her personal site: look at that grammar and syntax! Rayleen's definitely her father's daughter. I imagine that she must have been home-schooled.

Otherwise, Scotland's education system is in more trouble than I feared.

Mr E goes travelling

My impecunious, Arcadian friend has started his contributions to a new(ish) group blog: Scottish Political News. Mr E believes that the Scots really have not considered the implications of independence properly. And no wonder.
No, this debate has to be had now. But we're not having it. No-one's having it, really. The swinging dicks of Scottish Labour certainly don't want to have the argument; they just want to hang on to their seats, keep their hold on power at Holyrood (Why, incidentally? To what end? What are Scottish Labour actually for?); their strategy is to ramp up the rhetoric and close down the debate, not open it up. We can't rely on our politicians to have it, any more than we'd trust them to run with scissors or spell long words. We need to start talking about this ourselves. We need to look before we leap.

I was considering joining this blog when they first advertised for authors a few weeks ago. Alas, since I will (probably) have left Scotland in about three weeks time, I don't feel that I can write about it ably enough.

Go give feedback...

Petitioning our master

Sign the petition for left-handers' rights!A couple of days ago, I joked about starting a petition asking the Prime Minister to apologise for the oppression of, and discrimination against, left-handed people. This evening, I thought, "sod it!" and submitted the following.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to end the stigmatisation of, and material discrimination against, left-handed people.

Deadline to sign up by: 1 March 2007

Category: Health, well-being and care

More details:
For hundreds of years, left-handed people have been stigmatised and repressed—often on the grounds of a religious association of the left with evil (hence the derivation of the word 'sinister' which, in Latin, means simply 'left')—by the right-handed majority.

Further, this oppression continues today, albeit in a less overt way. According to Wikipedia: "Left-handed people are placed at a constant disadvantage by society. Nearly all tools and devices are designed to be comfortably used with the right hand."

We, the undersigned, call upon the government to apologise for this continued oppression and to legislate to end the discrimination—particularly in the manufacture of tools—that causes thousands of needless injuries to left-handed people every year.

Heh. Let's see if it gets approved...

UPDATE: Ho ho! It has been approved (after I removed the reference to Wikipedia: apparently I was "attempting to market a product irrelevent to the role and office of the PM"). Come my sinister brethren, rise up and sign for your rights!

Blair's Legacy

There has been talk of "Blair's legacy" for many years—perhaps this long discussion was initiated by those of us who rather hoped that he would have gone by now and that the discussion of his legacy would now be ended. Alas, Chuckles the Evil Weasel continues to plague our lives, conjuring the now familiar shitstorm of unworkable legislation, illiberal initiatives and fundamentally flawed policies.

There are many of us who have—for nearly two years in my case; longer for a few others—concentrated on pulling apart NuLabour's actions and ridiculing their cheerleaders. Their every individual policy has been examined, digested and ridiculed by someone in the blogosphere for the last few years and, as the word has spread, we have served to educate others as to the iniquities of our government.

To be sure, this political blogosphere, this network of commentators, analysts and keyboard orators will be part of Blair's legacy; would the 'sphere have grown so quickly over the last few years had people not felt so stifled by the traditional media? Would the cross-party networking have occurred without the astonished indignation of people right across the political spectrum; ? NuLabour have managed to unite Old Labour, Liberal and Tory in a political 'sphere in which bloggers—on a great many levels and on a great many subjects—feel closer to one another, whatever political stripe they may be, than they do to their elected politicians.

Of course, as recent events have demonstrated, NuLabour cannot take all of the credit for this: the LibDems and Conservatives have also done stirling work in decimating, dismaying and discouraging their supporters. It is extraordinary, is it not, that I—until recently a life-long Tory voter (futile though that occupation has been in Scotland)—should have more fellow-feeling for a card-carrying Labour man than I should for the Conservative Party?

So, no; this is not Blair's legacy; it is a triumph of stupidity for all of the parties. I really cannot think of a more pithy but depressing summing up of Blair's legacy that that written by Matthew Sinclair MSc.
Finally, there is something unutterably, aesthetically, sad about the death of an institution with the history of the United Kingdom. I fail to see how anyone of conservative instincts could not feel heartbroken that in our lives, on our watch, the United Kingdom, the old House of Lords, the Law Lords and Britain without a written constitution may all have died. There are statues of four of the noblemen who imposed the Magna Carta at the corners of the chamber of the House of Lords, still watching over the monarch. One of their descendants is still in the house. After the best part of a millenia these long traditions are being broken.

This will be Blair's legacy: the sundering of the Union and the destruction of one of the finest countries in the world (I would say the finest, but maybe I am biased). I believe that Scotland will leave the Union very soon—whether that split is finally initiated by the English or the Scots is largely immaterial. It is, I believe, inevitable and so will end Great Britain, the 300 year old union which spawned some of the most important technological and social advances the world has ever seen.

This will be Blair's legacy: the destruction and debasement of the mother of Parliaments. The emasculation of the House of Lords, the ending of long tradition; the long line of peers who guarded against the imposition of illiberal and unworkable legislation ended and the Second Chamber reduced to a pale imitation of its past power. And so begins the near-unbridled rule of the party political system; truly we are ruled by the common.

This will be Blair's legacy: the destruction of Common Law, the replacement of civil servants with the concept of politicians as masters over, not enacters of, the will of the people; the increasing subversion of our law and our elected parliament by the Directives of the unelected Commission in Brussels; and, finally, the people viewed—overtly—as nothing more than useless idiots, mere voting machines weaned on the teat of, and at the last bribed by, the state.

This will be Blair's legacy: and it will reverberate down the years and decades.

This will be Blair's legacy: the rape, submission and tearing of our country.

This will be Blair's legacy: and I spit on his shadow and, in the years to come, I shall spit on his grave. May he die a long, painful and unmercifully lingering death.

This will be Blair's legacy.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Actually, you know what, sunshine? My heart fucking bleeds for you.

Nah, not really. I sincerely hope that both you little cunts get the living shit kicked out of you every, single day over the next 17 years that you spend in jail. If you'd like to do us all a favour and hang yourselves at any point, please feel free.
Massive charity, that spends a vast amount of money on lobbying, and requires there to be a continuing crisis—or "scandal"—for them to solve, finds appropriate crisis in time for the festive giving time to keep employees in job and give directors a Christmas bonus shock!

Devil highly cynical horror!

Kick the shit out of muggers mugging for kicks

Apparently, crime is not—as Polly would have it—simply because of inequality.
Street robbers often carry out their crimes for the thrill as much as for the financial gain, a report has said.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) study interviewed 120 offenders in England and Wales.

The report said previous attempts to explain violent street crime put too much focus on the desire for gain, and not enough on the aspect of pleasure.

This is, of course, excellent news because it goes some way to explain why many, many poor people do not commit crimes and why some reasonably well-off people do. It can basically be summed up thusly: some people are shits and some are not.

May I humbly suggest a solution? We all realise that prison is not a perfect solution since many inmates come out more hardened than when they went in. So, I would suggest that a few hours in a public pillory would be sufficient for these people.

It would be extraordinarily cheap, publically humiliating for the criminal, the crowd would be able to glean the facts and judge what items they wished to throw depending on the injuriousness of the case and I'm pretty sure that it would serve as the sharp shock that people desire prison to be but lacking the drawbacks—the increased skill in criminality, the drug use, the institutionalisation and the loss of earnings—of incarceration.

Admittedly, people were occasionally permanently injured whilst in the pillory but, well, some people are permanently injured in muggings. Hey ho! Never mind, eh?

It would also be a great incentive for people to keep a compost heap, so that they could get their fruit and veg really nice and rotten before they threw it at the hideous, violent little scrote in the public square.
The rather good Scepter'd Isle is signing off.
But it is time for me to move on. I have been working on a project that will be taking up more of my time than it has already and I will not be able to devote the required amount of time to running the Isle.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Isle with comments and those who have emailed on a regular basis. I wish you every success with your own blogs. I hope you will continue to visit and support the blogs on my blogroll.

This is Monty signing off...

They appear, flare brightly for a while and then they die...

EU Big Brother

A correspondant working in the European Parliament emailed me this little gem.
Good driving
Our driving licences are soon to be harmonised

Today there are no less than 110 different driving licences in the European Union. This creates a convenient confusion among the less honest of us and makes our roads more dangerous than necessary... That is why the European Commission has proposed a harmonisation of the national laws.

After its proposal was adopted at first reading, tripartite negotiations ended in July of this year with a common position supported by the EP, the Council and the Commission. On Wednesday, 22 November, a small number of amendments were reviewed in order to prepare the draft recommendation for second reading. Five main points are given priority by our Members, guided by the rapporteur, Mathieu Grosch (EPP-ED):
  • A single European driving licence rather than 110! All new driving licences must be replaced by a single model in credit card format within six years at the latest after the directive enters into force. As for driving licences that are already issued, you will have 26 years to adapt them to the new standards! A microchip will be incorporated in them. A licence validity period will be introduced in the countries where licences are valid for life, which is a way of regularly updating the data they contain. It is up to the Member States to decide whether or not to carry out medicals or sight tests at the same time...

  • Combating ‘driving licence tourism’, in other words the possibility for European citizens who have lost their driving licences after a serious offence to obtain a new driving licence in another Member State. This proposal has been accepted and it is now a matter of setting up a Community network of driving licences so that the restrictions are applied uniformly from one country to another.

  • Safety from experience, especially as regards two-wheeled vehicles, an undeniable source of fatal accidents. Thanks to the EP, the concept of progressive access has been endorsed, but with some leeway for Member States with regard to the minimum age. Progressive access means that young drivers will have to accumulate experience on smaller motorcycles before they can transfer to larger models or else wait until they turn 24.

  • Trailers, caravans and mobile homes. In the light of the statistics, the EP has successfully argued that a simple Category B driving licence is sufficient for trailers less than 750 kg (4 250 kg including the vehicle). The directive provides for a test or training course when the trailer and vehicle combination exceeds 3 500 kg. The Council was not prepared to introduce a similar system for mobile homes, for which the weight threshold will remain 3 500 kg for a Category B driving licence.

  • Initial and ongoing training of examiners. Harmonised driving licences require homogeneous examiners.

Would anyone like to tell me why driving licenses need a microchip in them? Or indeed, what the fuck is actually going to be stored on those chips? Oh, and this:
A licence validity period will be introduced in the countries where licences are valid for life, which is a way of regularly updating the data they contain. It is up to the Member States to decide whether or not to carry out medicals or sight tests at the same time...

Yup. And I really believe that those licenses will be free to replace, don't you? And don't you also want to bet that any medicals or sight tests will be absolutely free too? Eh? Oh, and Longrider: are you ready to sit those driving instructor tests again so that you can become one of those "homogeneous examiners"?

Is anyone, like me, wondering at what point these licences will be compulsory to carry? And anyone want to bet that it is at about the same time that these microchips can be picked up and tracked by Galileo for road-charging purposes? As my correspondant says:
I'd have more respect for them if they said, "look. We're powerhungry fuckheads and we think this is another way to control everyone. You all like to drive, so we'll get some seemingly harmless bit of card, stick a tiny bit of metal in it which is just the same as you get in your Boots advantage card, and then we'll store all your details and use that big cunt in the sky (when we manage to get it working, anyway) Galileo to monitor you ALL THE TIME!"

For fuck's sake.
Via Daring Fireball, here's one of the great predictions of our time. It's from Slashdot founder, Rob Malda, in the day that the first iPod was released.
No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

67 million iPods later and... well... there's still no wireless. But that is an awful lot of iPods that have been sold...

I will sign a voluntary blog code

A number of fine bloggers have commented on the fact that some total toerag has called for a voluntary code for blogs.
Blogs and other internet sites should be covered by a voluntary code of practice similar to that for newspapers in the UK, a conference has been told.

Fuck you.
Press Complaints Commission director Tim Toulmin said he opposed government regulation of the internet, saying it should a place "in which views bloom".

But unless there was a voluntary code of conduct there would be no form of redress for people angered at content.

Er... Apart from those pesky libel laws, of course. And, of course, most bloggers would probably take down any offensive or derogatory material that someone threatened legal action over, I would imagine.

So if The Kitchen disappears in its entirety one day, then you'll know what;s happened. Let's face it, if I went through removing all of the offensive bits, all you'd be left with is...
... your humble Devil...

... and I'd probably have to take that down under the Trade Descriptions Act since I'm not really that humble. Nor am I the Devil.

But, until then, fuck 'em.
He spoke during a session on free speech at a London race conference.

Mr Toulmin described the phrases "free speech" and "free press" as relative terms because views expressed on the internet are still governed by laws such as libel and data protection.

Yes, Mr Toulmin—or can I call you Mr MiniTool?—that's a very good point. And so the need for a voluntary code of conduct, of the sort that the newspapers ignore every single fucking day is... Well, what, precisely?
The Press Complaints Commission enforces a code of practice for the UK newspaper and magazine industry, covering accuracy, discrimination and intrusion, amongst other things.

Members of the public unhappy with coverage can take their complaints to the commission.

Mr Toulmin said this "self-imposed regulation" did offer people a means to complain about coverage, although it "was not the answer to all your problems".

No, it's not. That's because the newspaper industry has realised that printing pictures of a 13 year old Princess Eugenie in a wet bathing costume, taken with a telephoto lens from a nearby boat, is enough to get the punters to give cash to the various proprietors.
Complaints can already be made about online versions of newspapers and magazines which already subscribe to the PCC code.

But apart from those sites, generally on the internet "there are no professional standards, there is no means of redress", Mr Toulmin said.

Look, Mr MiniTool, there are plenty of professional standards out here. We scummy bloggers have this horrible habit of linking directly to our sources and to the data that we quote, which is rather more than many newspapers—especially, and for obvious reasons, the print editions—which, admittedly, can be a little embarrassing for those who are trying to hide things away.

We bloggers regulate ourselves. If a blogger has misrepresented the facts, he or she is veru often taken to task by their own commenters as well as by other bloggers. We nasty, rumour-mongering bloggers sink or swim by our credibility which is, in turn, determined by our reliability on evidence and interpretation. Not something that one can say about, say, Polly Toynbee; why else would there be a blog solely dedicated to exploding her lies and manipulation?

And means of redress? Well, in most cases an email will suffice.

There is something of a difference between the press and bloggers, and it is this: the press have massive financial backing. If someone complains to the MSM, the MSM can afford to ignore them. Even a libel case will not, in most cases, really damage a newpaper.

Bloggers don't have those kind of resources. In most cases, the person who complains about what a blogger has written will have far more resources and money that the blogger. In this case, a voluntary code really is not needed.
He said a voluntary code of practice would allow content to be checked without government involvement, stressing: "We're not in favour of regulating the internet. The flow of information should not be regulated by any government."

Mr Toolface said: "We are not infavour of regulating the internet, but we are."
Former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell, who chaired the session organised by the Commission for Racial Equality, said blogs were "perceived as a positive development" but added that "some of the most offensive stuff" comes from them.

From a man who used to write pornographic stories for Forum magazine, I find it difficult to imagine that Mr Campbell finds anything "offensive". But, just for the record, I find Campbell's face, attitude and his key role in the subversion of the media and electorate into the service of his shitty, fucking masters pretty fucking offensive. Fuck you, Campbell, you pin-pricked, stinking, piece of dogshit.

But having said that, I will sign up to a voluntary code. It is my own code and here it is:
  1. I will declare an interest where I believe it to be even tangentially relevant if I feel that it is something that my readers are unaware of, e.g. my membership of UKIP.

  2. I will not write about my employment except where it is relevant and where permission has been sought from my employers. This condition is also bound by 1).

  3. I will continue to rant and rave—using as many swearwords and deeply umpleasant mental images as I deem to be amusing—against our political masters until they get the fucking message that they cannot continue to take our money whilst fucking us roughly up the arse.

  4. "Cunt" is one of the oldest words in our fine language and thus I shall continue to call a cunt a cunt and ever more shall do so.

  5. Fuck you all, you pondlife, politico shitbags.

Okey dokey; consider that voluntary code signed.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

10 Things I Would Never Do

I'm rather late on this, but I have been tagged by the Tory In The Wilderness, so here goes.
  1. Fuck Polly Toynbee (except with a claw hammer)

  2. Stop trying to show socialists and statists how wrong they are

  3. Vote for a socialist or a statist party

  4. Eschew a Mac for a Windoze machine

  5. Diddle kids (I feel that this needs clarifying)

  6. Stop calling a cunt a cunt

  7. Stop calling a person who is a cunt a cunt

  8. Stick a firework up a cat's bum

  9. Believe any stupid religion (that's all of them)

  10. Vote for the EU in any shape or form.

Will that do?

I'm not going to bother tagging anyone, simply because I have better things to do with my time than work out who's done the bloody thing already...

What the fuck are the Tories playing at?

Via Tory In The Wilderness (you really aren't alone, mate), I see that the Tories are even now considering bringing in a 35 hour working week.
A controversial 35-hour working week is under consideration by a group of David Cameron's key advisers.

The Quality of Life policy group has been consulting on whether the Conservatives should bring in European-style working hours for the "general wellbeing" of the population.

Fuck you, you bunch of fucking cunts; who the cunting fuck are you to tell me how long I should work? Fuck you.

For me, "general wellbeing" means having money to spend so that I can enjoy myself when I'm not at work. If I have more hours not at work, I am going to have less money and yet probably end up spending more. Gummer, go fuck yourself. Even the awful, awful bunch of authoritarian bastards that we have in charge now have not considered such a stupid fucking move.

Let me make this absolutely fucking clear, you bunch of Tory bastards, how many hours I choose to work is none of your fucking business. I don't have a wife or children, so you can't even say that it is important for my work/life balance: I, generally, enjoy working and as long as I'm decently paid for it, I shall go and have a couple of pints after it, with or without the lovely A. But whatever I do, it is—and I'll repeat this because you bastards seem to be to stupid to get it into your heads—NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS!

And how dare you try to tell us what is good for our "general wellbeing", you patronising, Stalinist fucktards. Are we all the same, do we all derive the same pleasures from the same entertainments? I don't fucking think so.
A consultation paper on the proposal asks: "Would you be in favour of the introduction of a 35-hour working week?"

Mr Gummer said: "We have had responses from both sides of the case and we will look at it very carefully. We have to look at it. This is an issue that we have got to raise. Half of Europe is arguing about this. We have got to ask the question."

Why, exactly? As I keep saying, it is none of your sodding business. For the Tories to even consider this proposal shows how far they have moved in favour of state authoritarianism. Can anyone calling themselves "libertarian", of whatever stripe, really support this collection of cunts?
While unions in Britain have long campaigned for a 35-hour week, such a move would infuriate business leaders who say employers would be forced to keep salaries at the same level while getting less work from employees. Shorter hours have been controversial in France with critics blaming them for high unemployment and rising labour costs.

Not to mention the €100 billion that the policy would appear to have added to the French national deficit since its introduction on 2000.
FRANCE’S 35-hour working week has added €100 billion (£67 billion) to its national debt, according to Thierry Breton, the country’s Finance Minister.

M Breton said that reductions in social taxes on firms to compensate for a drop in the hours worked by their employees had cost an annual €20 billion for the past five years.

Nice to see that the Tories are determined to regain their reputation as a "safe pair of hands" on all matters economic, eh?

Perhaps some new Tory slogans are in order, eh? Vote Conservative if you don't want to call your time your own! Vote Conservative for a bigger state! Vote Conservative for economic ruin! Vote for a Conservative candidate who doesn't believe in any of the shit that is coming out of CCHQ but has managed to square it with his beliefs anyway!

Actually I'm sorry; I'm being slightly prolix: how about a simpler one?

Vote Conservative for venal hypocrites, authoritarian fuckwits and economic morons.

UPDATE: Iain has, in fact, covered this and his views are sound.
Gummer says: "We have to look at it. This is an issue that we have got to raise." Er, no it isn't actually. If employers wish to introduce a 35 hour week that is up to them. This is not a matter which the State should be intervening on. It would destroy jobs and reduce our competitiveness. I can hardly believe a Conservative could entertain such a proposal.

I think that his Anonymous commenter put it best...
Iain, what does the Tory party have to do before you realise it no longer reflects your views? If you are hanging in there merely because you think they might get into power then you may as well join Labour. Its time to make your principles count for something and leave them.


UPDATE 2: I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but did you know that you can join UKIP online?

Compromising one's principles #94

Iain Dale has a shock horror story up about UKIP using the EuroParliament email facilities (for which read "using a webmail address that might have been sent from EU facilities but could just as easily have been sent from a laptop at home").
UKIP appears to be using European Parliament email facilities to persuade Conservative councillors to defect to them. Oh the deep irony. Nigel Farage is emailing Tory Councillors via Jeffrey Titford MEP's European Parliament email...

I'm told there hasn't exactly been a rush of replies... Well, not ones that I could print.

Well, one would imagine not. One could hardly the Tories to stick to any sort of principles when power is so nearly within their grasp, could one?

It must be a source of real sorrow for someone like Iain, who is very much a free-trader and anti-EU, that his party's official policy is to remain within that corrupt organisation. Let's just have a quick reminder of what the Tory Party Chairman, Francis Maude, said, shall we?
It is not the Conservative Party's view that we should be out of the European Union; it is our view that we should work with others... partners... to reform it, to make it more appropriate, more decentralised... More appropriate for the modern networked world that we're in, rather than relating it back to the old block Europe, block world, that it was born into.

The party that I belong to may be a bit of a shambles at the moment, but at least no one can say that I am betraying my principles for a shot at personal power, eh? Many of our politicians have said that they want to reform the EU and it hasn't bloody well worked has it? Because the EU doesn't want to be reformed; the other countries in the EU don't want it to be reformed.

So, one can conclude that Maude is either deceiving himself or the Tories who he hopes to keep onboard. Personally, given that Maude has been in politics for a while and must know the realities of the situation, I conclude that he is trying to deceive the voters.

When Iain finds himself a seat, will he stand on an anti-EU ticket, I wonder? Will he tell his political masters that he is standing on an anti-EU ticket? Will he sign up to the Better Off Out Campaign.

I cannot see any real problem with Brussels-based UKIP staff using a EuroParl email address. Sure, it would be better to use a UKIP address but, knowing the staff as I do, I suspect that the use of EuroParl address was down to technological ignorance more than anything else; certainly, all the staff do have their own UKIP email addresses.

I can't quite see why Iain has such a problem with UKIP, really. Can it be some kind of residual guilt? Or is it that Iain was dismayed by Farage promising that UKIP would put candidates up against Conservative candidates even if they were signed up to Better Off Out? Ah, what a tangled web we weave, when first we try to square what we believe with something that our masters don't, eh?

And, of course, today's revelations that Cameron has been in "secret talks" with the head of the unelected EU Commission, from whence our laws do flow, will come as a further kick in the nuts element of joy to all of those EUsceptic Conservatives (you know, those ones for whom there is no place on Cameron's front bench).
David Cameron has held secret talks with the head of the European Commission over tackling climate change, a sign that he is prepared to work with Brussels on his green agenda.

Despite his reluctance to mention Europe publicly, the Tory leader showed that in private he was willing to talk extensively to José Manuel Barroso, The Times has learnt. The discussions, at Mr Cameron’s office in the Commons, ranged over how the EU could combat global warming as well as other issues facing Britain.

Well, there we are, chaps; just in case you thought that there was any way in which we ruled ourselves, it turns out that the potential leader of Great Britain is, in fact, consulting the leader of a corrupt, unelected, murdering organisation on how best our potential elected government should run our country for us.

Not that Dave is selling us down the river, oh no. I'm sure that Mr Barroso will be more than happy for Spam to slap more taxes onto us in the name of "averting climate change". And how nice of Mr Cameron to discuss "other issues facing Britain" with Mr Barroso. It's all very chummy, isn't it?
Mr Barroso, the public face of the Brussels bureaucracy that is detested by many of Mr Cameron’s MPs, said the meeting showed that the issue of climate change rose above domestic politics.

Yup, the ignorance, gullibility and sheer, naked greed of politicians crosses all borders, doesn't it?
The former Portuguese Prime Minister, who will be in London today for talks on green issues with business leaders, told The Times that the first meeting between the two men was part of a dialogue about “making Europe work”.

Making Europe work for whom precisely? I'm sure that the EU works very well for Mr Barroso. And it works very well for our politicians; the only decision that they have to make these days is "how big a payrise shall we award ourselves this year?"
The meeting was kept quiet by Mr Cameron’s office because it came shortly after he said that voters had lost faith with the Conservatives in the past because they kept “banging on about Europe”.

No, they didn't. They lost faith in the Conservatives because the stupid fuckers couldn't seem to actually agree a policy on the EU and various cuntfuck, arsehole, corrupt and venal "grandees"—such as Ken "Cunt" Clarke and Michael "Tarzan wouldn't deign to shit on his head" Heseltine—kept contradicting the party line (which was hardly that bloody strong anyway).

People lost confidence in the Tories because the Tories couldn't seem to decide what, exactly, it was that they stood for. And it is precisely the same reason that Cameron is not soaring ahead in the polls now; it is because Spam is either lying to his loyal Conservative voters or he is lying to the general public.

Look at this fucking government! Look at the enormous fuck-ups that they have made! Look at the massively increased tax burden and the very public acts of pissing money up the wall! The Tories should be a million miles ahead in the polls. Instead, they can barely muster a 6% lead and most of that has come from the LibDems. This is pathetic.
Asked whether he was surprised to find Mr Cameron willing to engage with the EU, given his eurosceptic image, Mr Barroso said: “I think that everybody who is reasonable and rational understands that [member states] cannot do it alone. The question today in the 21st century is not to be for or against Europe. It makes no sense. The question is how can we make it work.” He said it was obvious that Britain, Germany or France could not tackle climate change alone.

Well, no, quite right. However, it might be a good idea even to attempt to understand the fucking science behind it (which the politicians patently do not) and it might be a good idea to acknowledge that, without the participation of China and India, there is fuck all use in having an EU concensus.

Given that countries are going to have to attempt to make treaties with China and India over this (assuming that you think that carbon compounds are, in fact, having any important effect on the enviroment), why on earth would we, in Britain, with our carbon outputs (possibly) producing 0.05% of global warming, really need to negotiate with anyone? Why on earth should we be in the vanguard of countries being taxed to hell? And why, in the name of all that's unholy, should we do it and get shafted by the EU countries through their stupid carbon trading scheme?

If Cameron really thinks that carbon emissions are a problem, then maybe he should try Pigouvian taxation instead. And that is something that the EU would not embrace and it is certainly not something that we need them for. Strange Stuff examines why Pigouvian is best.
Pigouvian taxation on the other hand makes no assumptions about how much carbon production will maximise happiness across a society. Everybody is free to produce as much carbon as they like, but they have to pay for the damage it causes. It is about forcing everybody to take responsibility for the damage of their own actions. Each individual weighs their own individual circumstances and decides what will make them happiest. In this they will always have far more information about their individual desires and circumstances in order to make a better informed decision than any centralised authority ever can, and since the negative externalities have now been internalised, thanks to the Pigouvian tax, that is included as well.

So which is better comes down to who you think can make the decision better. Is decision as to the amount of carbon produced by a society best done socially by the government, or individually by the citizens? As a Classical Liberal I prefer individuals taking responsibility for their own decisions, and so on this occasion I think that Pigouvian Taxation is better than Carbon Trading. As a confirmation there is the Neil Harding Test. Yep, looks like I was right.

But, of course, I'm forgetting that the Tories are about as conservative as NuLabour these days, aren't they? I'm happy that Iain Dale can square his personal beliefs with current Tory HQ thinking, but I am afraid that I cannot.

So fuck 'em.

Right For Burning

Our favourite pi-ignorant elected representative of sub-simian intelligence, Councillor Terry, has thrown all of his toys out of the pram whilst in discussion with Right For Scotland. And, forgive me for being an intellectual snob, but there are few things that I enjoy more than seeing the stupid demolished, calmly and reasonably, by someone of far superior intelligence: do read the entire post as it I would be forced to quote the entire thing in order to convey the sheer beauty of the Terry's slapping.

However, RFS has issued the good Councillor with a challenge.
I live within 5 miles of his constituency. I hereby challenge Councillor Terry Kelly (“I’m a Train Spotter”) to a debate on the hustings come the election where we shall discuss the relative merits of a Compassionate Flat Tax and chat about how the Labour Party has screwed over the working man for the last 10 years in Westminster and almost a century in the West of Scotland. My email address is in the top-right hand corner and I will be happy to give him my mobile number if he asks for it.

Of course, what would be worse? Being called a mental case in need of psychiatric care because I don’t partake of the kool-aid? Or having your arse handed to you by the Internet fruitloop in front of the people you rely on keeping in ignorance to maintain your only pathetic status?

I really would love the good Councillor to take this up; I suspect that ticket sales could go through the roof. And if, of course, the Councillor is as right as he obviously thinks he is, what could he possibly have to fear, eh?

Now, as my readers will know, your humble Devil supports freedom of speech and is happy to see people like Councillor Terry air their putrid and ill-informed views on the blogosphere. After all, I myself have learned an awful lot from other, more knowledgeable, people (even those with whom I disagree) in the nearly two years in which I have been writing at The Kitchen.

However, if one is as pusillanimous and bigoted as Councillor Terry and one is going to close one eyes to the opinions of others, it really would seem advisable not to parade your ignorance in front of thousands of people...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nosemonkey has made the leap from Blogger: Europhobia is now here.

BBC admonishes Crippen for spotting their mistake

So, you're the BBC, and you swallow a bit of corporate spin from a pharmaceutical company and recycle it as news on your website. When Doctor Crippen emails you to point out your gullibility, do you (a) admit your mistake and issue a correction, or (b) stealth-edit the piece and then email the Doc to tell him off for misreading the article?

Astonishing. Do go and read the whole thing.

The Devil adds: remember, guys, why we are being implored to pay out for an inflation-busting perfectly reasonable increase on our TV tax extorted with menaces, including fines and threats of court action Licence Fee: the BBC is a bunch of lazy, inexperienced cunts with all of the journalistic integrity of my fucking arse very responsible news-gathering organisation, which constantly verifies its stories and presents them without bias.

Whereas we bloggers are merely rumour-mongers, not bothering to verify any of our stories and certainly not linking to proper research. Ever. Not like the Beeb; thank goodness for Auntie, else we would be up to our armpits in a mire of misinformation...

The Blog Digest 2006

All those who have contributed to The Blog Digest 2006, edited by our very own ChickenYoghurt, have been asked to give it a swift plug and so here it is. Your humble Devil has a piece in there (although he is vastly outdone by his impecunious, Greek friend) and so here I am doing a filthy shill advancing the cause of world capitalism by plugging the chance to buy eloquent knowledge of a type that you won't find in the MSM (oh, and do feel free to buy it through my Amazon link in my left sidebar)...
Editor Justin McKeating explains… “This year has been something of a breakthrough year for British blogging. According to a recent report in The Guardian, nearly seven million people in the UK – one in nine – keep a blog in some form or other. For the first time blogging has truly shaken the ivory towers of the traditional mainstream media (or ‘MSM’, as bloggers like to call it) in the UK.

Nearly every news outlet, finally realising blogging’s potential and that the medium is here to stay, has adopted an ‘if we can’t beat them, we’ll join them’ strategy and established their own blogs of varying quality and success. Many newspapers now look to blogs for stories and material (often shamefully lifting and using them without credit), which surely shows that blogging has truly arrived.”

But don’t just take Justin’s word for it. Celebrity blogger Boris Johnson says… “Before the advent of the blog it was nigh on impossible for ordinary people with worthwhile opinions to have those opinions heard. Of course, finding the opinions that are "worthwhile" is the difficult part. Which is where this books comes in... A brilliant collection.”

The Blog Digest 2007 is published December 1st by Friday Books.

Yup, it's the stocking filler that you've all been waiting for! Buy it from the left sidebar and fling the Devil a shilling or two...
Woo! Now here's a dangerous offer for bloggers...
No need for booze cruises, as Neville Hobson points out, because Threshers is giving bloggers a whopping 40% discount on all wine and champagne bought between 30 November–10 December.

Go over to Ellee's place to download the voucher. And expect even more than usually incoherent blogging from your humble Devil over the festive period!

Chuckles apologises profusely

Via The Nameless Tory (though for how long that latter epithet will stick is a moot point!), I see that that arse, Chuckles, has apologised for slavery.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he feels "deep sorrow" for Britain's role in the slave trade.

Really, Toni. Are you also really sorry for our role in bringing the trade to an end, you twat?
In an article for the New Nation newspaper, the prime minister said it had been "profoundly shameful".

Well, yes, by today's standards. Back then it was something that everybody did, not least the Arabs and the Africans.

Let me just fucking remind you, Blair, you pin-head moron, that the Africans were pretty fucking far away from being the noble savages that fucktards like you imagine them to have been. Lest we forget, the African tribes were constantly fighting each other and it was traditional that the defeated tribe were taken as slaves.

When the white man came with his beads and, more importantly, guns, the enterprising African leaders were more than happy to exchange slaves for such trinkets. After all, with guns they could conquor other tribes far more effectively and so easily get more slaves. The slave trade could never have happened on the scale that it did were it not for the complicity of the Africans themselves.

For fuck's sake, they are still doing it!
But Mr Blair stopped short of issuing a full apology, which some commentators have demanded.

Well, "some commenters" can, frankly, suck my cock.

Where are the commentators calling for the cruelty and oppression of left-handed people, eh? Where is the apology to those who had their left arms tied behind their backs and forced to write with their right hands? Where is the apology for the beatings doled out to those who were supposedly tainted by the devil?

If he is going to apologise for slavery, I demand an apology, on behalf of all left-handed people, for Britain's role in the oppression of my kind (actually, I'm surprised that Rowan Williams hasn't apologised yet, on behalf of the Church of England). I might even use the No.10 Petition Service to demand apology and reparations!
The government is reportedly setting out its plans for next year's bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade.

Yup, the abolition led and enforced by... Oh, would that be Britain then? I think it might be...
Esther Stanford, of the Pan African Reparation Coalition, said all countries that had ever been involved in slavery should give a full apology.

"An apology is just the start - words mean nothing," she told BBC News.

Naturally. Can you guess what's coming next?
"We're talking about an apology of substance which would then be followed by various reparative measures including financial compensation."

Well, that was a surprise, wasn't it, eh? You want free money? Well, knock me down with a fucking feather!

Tell you what, Esther; how about this? The African people show that they can actually spend the money responsibly, and we'll think about it. Amongst other things, you might like to explain where the net £54billion that the rest of the world donated to Africa in 2004 ended up. You might like to explain why, when Britain gave £14 million of aid to Burundi in 2005, the king of Burundi spent £9 million on maintaining his palaces and harem.

You might also like to explain why—when the rest of the world (and mainly those who benefitted from "the slave trade") has given hundreds of billions of pounds to Africa, almost all of which has been pissed up the wall—you think that we should give one single penny more.

I'm waiting, Esther. Hello? Hello, are you there?
She said: "If we do not deal with this now it is tantamount to saying that you can commit crimes against humanity, against African people and get away with it."

Come on, Esther: be fair. These days we leave the committing of "crimes against humanity, against African people" and the getting away with it to the Africans, so we're learning. Well, to be frank, what we are learning is that the Africans are far better at being stupid, profligate, wasteful, cruel and miles better at fucking up their own people than we could ever be.

And don't fucking whine at me about the exploitative Empire; the success of India simply blows that argument out of the water. Africa's natural resources were discovered and exploited by the Empire, yes. But we also left those resources—the gold and diamond mines (and the rest)—in working order when we left.

All the R & D had been done: all the Africans had to do was to exploit their natural resources, and the technology that we brought them, sit back and get rich. They have signally failed to do so.

Instead the various leaders have massacred their people (often for financial gain: Idi Amin, I'll looking at you and your "ghost-finders") or simply each other; stolen the land and starve their people; started wars to gain territory when they cannot even manage what they already have; fail to instigate any decent rule of law or develop any trade or infrastructure. The Africans have brilliantly turned almost the entire continent into a disease-ridden fucking basketcase, which swallows billions of pounds every fucking year.

And then you moan about the fucking debt repayments: in 2004, those debt repayments were £10 billion out of an aid budget of £65 billion. So, shut the fuck up, will you? You will not get one fucking penny in reparations until you can prove to us that you won't simply flush the money down the fucking toilet in exactly the same way that you have with the rest of the currency that we have thrown at you.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has been drawing up ideas for the 25 March anniversary, including the possibility of a "statement of regret" for Britain's involvement.

And how much is this little lot going to cost, eh?
He has already ruled out a formal apology.

Mr Blair said: "It is hard to believe what would now be a crime against humanity was legal at the time.

Yeah, well, history never has been your strong point, eh, Toni?
"I believe the bicentenary offers us a chance not just to say how profoundly shameful the slave trade was - how we condemn its existence utterly and praise those who fought for its abolition - but also to express our deep sorrow that it could ever have happened and rejoice at the better times we live in today."

Well, some of us. Mainly the slaves who were brought to the shores of the developed nations: yup, they live in better times. The rest of them are still busy indulging their ignorant tribal beliefs or eagerly killing each other.
The statement is due to appear in New Nation, a newspaper aimed at the black community, on Monday.

I might have fucking known that it would be yet more PR posturing.
Culture minister David Lammy said that he "did not want to get into a blame fest" but wanted next year's events to celebrate the people who abolished the trade and commemorate those who died.

Well, isn't that noble...
"In Tony Blair's statement today he recognises that there is a legacy from this period of history in Africa and that there is a legacy in relation to black people living here in Britain."

And you are eager for their votes, eh?
He stressed that the Labour Party had always focused on equality and would continue to fight against modern slavery.

Ah, is that so? So you will be withholding aid to any African countries, such as the Sudan, that still practise slavery, will you? Good idea.
"Tony Blair has gone further than any other leader of any western democracy," Mr Lammy said.

Yes, yes, he has gone a lot further. At least in emulating the African leaders by turning this country into a fucking basketcase too.
"He has struck the right balance between providing for the future, commemorating the past and moving forward as a multi-ethnic nation."

Oh, fuck off, you posturing cunt. It might have escaped your notice that this is Britain; that is our ethnicity. I mean, even Trevor Phillips, head of the CRE, admitted that the multi-culti attitude has failed.
Activist Paul Stephenson told the BBC: "The prime minister could have gone further, but nevertheless it is a step in the right direction."

You can fuck off and all, Paul.
Richard Dowden, director of the British Royal African Society, said the bicentenary would be a chance for Britons to "acknowledge slavery as part of their history".

Oh, goody. Will the Arabs and Africans be doing the same?
"This happened at a time when Britain was becoming the Britain that we have today," he said.

"It was the beginning of the industrial revolution, it was when Britain began to rule the world and many of our national heroes were deeply implicated in it.

"Nelson, for example, called the abolitionist movement a damnable doctrine - he fought to protect the slave trade."

Oh, well, times change, eh? To try to implicate Nelson as some kind of hideous bastard by the light of today's undertstanding is utterly anachronistic.
A written ministerial statement to Parliament is expected this week, setting out the government's commemoration plans.

And a completely spurious guesstimate of its cost as well, no doubt.
In February, the Church of England General Synod voted to apologise to the descendants of victims of the slave trade.

Why? They have a far better life than the ones who were left behind. Oh, and where's the apology (and, hey!, why not: the reparations to) the left-handed people and their descendants, eh? Anyone fancy signing that petition?

Blair really is a cock. A stinking, cheesy one at that...

The bright, light of madness that is the Eigth Swearbloggers Roundup now here to open your week!
You can watch your humble Devil on 18DoughtyStreet's Watch Again archive. It's very weird watching oneself: I hadn't realised just how big my nose actually is...!

God, one ends up being terribly serious on these things, eh?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Free Born John has written an extremely fine post about Polly Toynbee (may rats nibble her lips) and social opportunity.
One thing, and one thing only, keeps people trapped in the kind of poverty of mind where they don't feed their children properly even when they could, and shit in their own stairwells. It's a lack of ownership; a lack of self-reliance. It's a lack of the very concept of self-reliance. It's an idea that the mere thought that they should be self-reliant is immoral, evil, callous and cruel. And though this idea is gibbered out by halfwits like Norman the carpet, it actually derives from Polly Toynbee.

There are hundreds of people in the blogosphere who think Polly is not simply a fucking moron, but actively evil. Which she is.

But Spam seems to like her so that's OK then...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Quote of the day from the ever lyrical ChickenYoghurt on the subject of that massive arsehole, Matthew Taylor.
Let’s not forget this is the Prime Minister’s senior policy adviser we’re talking about here. Him lecturing bloggers is like Darth Vader, with his Death Star and massive armada of starships, warning the Ewoks, with their pointy sticks, that they’ll have someone’s eye out in a minute if they don’t watch what they’re doing.

Indeed, it is, Justin; indeed it is...

The Weirdstone wakes 'em

Two good bloggers have come out of semi-retirement, I am very glad to say. Nosemonkey is back with a typically eloquent post on this fucking, ludicrous, cheating Social Contract idea that that lying bastard, Chuckles, has come up with.
[T]he concept of the social contract was used to demonstrate that the state had betrayed its side of the bargain, not that the people owed more to the state.

Of course, a written social contract could work fine, were - say - the state to agree that if it failed to provide adequate policing, schooling etc. then the citizens affected would no longer have any obligation to pay taxes. But the Blair version of the social contract is a complex and inconsistent beast that seems merely to heap yet more obligations on to the citizen, while removing responsibilities from the state based on the actions of individual citizens.

This is not about reducing the size and scope of state/governmental control, but increasing it - because nowhere is mention made of us mere citizens (well, subjects, actually) gaining anything new out of this proposed contract system.

In the original concept of the social contract, the benefits were obvious - peace and security rather than anarchy and chaos. The suggestions of what these new contracts could be made to do include conditions on access to the NHS, to education and even (implicity) to the police's protection. Blair's cunning concept of the contract is to reduce the state's own obligations while increasing those of the people, so that it will be the people to blame when everything comes crashing down - for not upholding their end of the deal.

To an extent, this is a logical offshoot of Blair's constant efforts to shift the blame throughout his time in office ... Tony has rarely been directly responsible for the failures of the last nine years - he's always made sure there's a slight buffer between him and having to take responsibility for his decisions.

Do go and read the whole thing, if you have not already done so. Nosemonkey is a wordsmith and, though I don't always agree with his politics, he is always a joy to read.

Meanwhile—having thrown off the shackles of an entirely unsuitable job—Right For Scotland has returned with a vengeance, laying into the idiotic Councillor Terry (whose banal whittering are worth a squirt if only to demonstrate the sheer stupidity, ignorance and arrogance of those who presume to rule us. I bet he happily sends his levy in).
Basically what he is saying that it was not the disastrous pedestrian-isation of the town centre that caused the failure of local businesses. Nor was it the sometimes open way in which certain councillors waged war on local businesses. Certainly not to the point where my best mate was told that the jumped up twat he had been sharp with was now going to use traffic wardens to chase away his customers (eventually the shop closed because of the massive drop in custom).

No, it was the out-of-town retail park stealing business.

I know that Braehead is a great centre but I did not realise that it was responsible for the pre-emptive destruction of Paisley a good five years before the first ground breaking was carried out.

So the Council have run the town centre into the ground but now hide behind the Braehead centre (a centre that they now tax to heaven and back). But now they have announced that to clear up their shithole mess they are going to spend £50m of our money to save their face.

Again, peruse the whole thing. RFS is that rare thing: a Scottish conservative, and well worth reading.

Actually, talking of Councillor Terry (who signed those papers letting him out of the loony bin, by the way? Because you really fucked up), this piece is absolutely priceless.
The infamous libertarian economist Milton Friedman has passed away, is the planet better or worse off without him ? I go for the latter. I'm sure that a great many people would concur, In Chile the murderous regime of Pinochet embraced his economic philosophy while murdering and torturing thousands as they did so. The brutal Thatcher and Reagan regimes also loved him, what a legacy, I think that if the Chilean people thought about him at all, it would only be to wish him a lingering, miserable painful end.

Let's leave aside the absolutely fucking appalling syntax (what do you expect from a state education) and point out that—since one must assume that Councillor Terry does not approve of these massacres (did you know that they were personally ordered by Friedman? Gosh, you learn something new everyday!)—I think that the good Councillor means "the former", i.e. that the world is better off for Friedman's death, rather than "the latter". Learn to use your own bloody language, would you, Councillor?

If you want a really good laugh, look at the poor, embittered dope's responses to RFS (and others) in the comments. It is enough to make you weep: I really hadn't realised that there were people this stupid still alive in modern Britain, let alone in positions of responsibility.

It's not even (necessarily) just that he is catastrophically wrong about everything: it is that he simply cannot string an argument together. I've heard better political reasoning from my 16 year old brother, for fuck's sake.

This Lime Tree Bower

Your humble Devil as ...?As some of you may have heard, your humble Devil is in a play which runs for a week, starting on Sunday. Simply because it is my theatrical swansong (and very nearly my Edinburgh swansong: I shall be around for only about ten days or so afterwards. Well, that's the plan), I thought that I would present you with the details. Y'know, just in case any of you are around the 'Burgh at the time.

Can anyone guess which character your humble Devil might be playing?
This Lime Tree Bower

Set in a small Irish seaside town, Conor McPherson’s This Lime Tree Bower is a funny and moving tale of how three inextricably linked lives are turned upside down in a matter of days.

Each character has his own story:

Joe tells a coming-of-age tale in which he attempts to make sense of the world around him, but soon finds himself way out of his depth.

Frank, his elder brother, tells of his uneasy venture into the world of crime to help out their debt-laden father.

And then there’s Ray: a philosophy lecturer who spends more time in the pub and his students’ beds than in the library.

Performed in interweaving monologues, this production takes This Lime Tree Bower out of the theatre and into the pub for an exercise in the Irish art of storytelling.

“A touching, marvellously entertaining play … a piece of real richness.”—The Daily Telegraph

Being performed free of charge in multiple venues throughout Edinburgh beginning on,
  • Sunday 26th November at The Malt Shovel (11-15 Cockburn St) at 8.00pm

  • Monday 27th November at Bennets Bar (8 Leven St) at 9.00pm

  • Tuesday 28th November at The Wash Bar (11 North Bank St) at 7.30pm

  • Wednesday 29th November at The Brass Monkey (14 Drummond St) at 7.30pm

  • Thursday 30th November at The Meadow Bar (42 Buccleuch St) at 8.00pm

  • Friday 1st December at The Phoenix Pub (46 Broughton St) at 7.30pm

  • Saturday 2nd December at The Elephant House (21 George IV Bridge) at 7.30pm

The performance runs at about an hour and, yes, you are positively encouraged to drink through the show. I know that I will be...

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...