Monday, August 31, 2009

On the bright side...

... it has been shown that it is possible to diagnose lung cancer from somebody's breath.
By employing recent developments in nanotechnology, however, researchers from the Israel Institute of Technology have overcome the need to pre-treat exhaled breath for analysis.

The new work appears in the current issue of Nature Nanotechnology. Hossam Haick, the principal researcher, and his team collected breath samples from 56 healthy volunteers and 40 people who had been diagnosed with lung cancer, but have not received treatment yet. They analyzed the samples and identified 33 biomarkers, chemicals that were present at significantly distinct levels in the lung cancer patients.

The team devised a sensor system made from nine chemiresistors that could respond to the biomarkers by altering their electrical properties. The chemiresistors were assembled from gold nanoparticles that are 5nm in diameter and functionalized with different organic compounds that allowed them to sense the biomarkers.

When the researchers exposed the sensors to untreated breath samples, they obtained readings that clearly distinguished between the exhalations of healthy patients and those with lung cancer. Regardless of the humidity of the breath, the gender of its source, or their smoking habits, the sensors were able to detect the lung cancer biomarkers. The sensors were also capable of working with a wide range of concentrations, and the process was reversible, meaning the nanoparticles can be reused.

The researchers point out that they need to test their sensors on "a wider population of volunteers to thoroughly probe the influence of diet, alcohol consumption, metabolic state, and genetics.” Those experiments are already underway.

Isn't human ingenuity brilliant?

Beyond the fucking pale

"If an Ohio punk has the right to have her genitalia operated on, why has not the Somali woman the same right?" Germaine Greer explaining why cutting off the clitoris and labia of eight-year-old girls is fine and dandy in her book.

As regular readers will know, your humble Devil is not a raging feminist: apart from anything else, he thinks that the law should apply equally to all citizens and that all discrimination—positive or negative—is A Bad Thing. Not only that, but he feels that—in most parts of this country—a cultural evolution is taking place that is moving broadly in the right direction.

What does enrage him is the disgusting treatment of women—or, rather, individuals who happen to be women—in certain parts of the world. As long-time readers will know, your humble Devil considers female circumcision, for instance, to be absolutely one of the most evil things on the face of the planet. In that linked post, I attacked yet another one of these filthy cultural relativists...
What it actually is is a product of colonial, Western guilt; it is a morally bankrupt and cowardly position that allows people to turn away from condemning the barbaric practices of others. There are, as I said previously, some things for which there are no excuse: FGM is one of them.

And being civilised means recognising and defending those who have no autonomy. I would consider that young girls of under 10 (to whom FGM is most likely to be applied) do not have autonomy; they are held down and cut. As civilised people, it behoves us to help the helpless.

It seems that this kind of crap is still continuing in this country—this filthy cultural relativism that says that it is OK for a woman to be treated like shit, beaten, cut, viewed as property and killed for doing something that their family dislikes. It certainly seems that Germaine Greer—the author of The Female Eunuch—has no problem with the castration of women, for instance (the above quote is entirely genuine, by the way).

What has prompted this? It was the reading of this Prodicus post and the subsequent perusal of the articles recommended.
In the current edition of Standpoint magazine, Clive James has published an article he hoped never to have to write. It is a blazing rebuke to the left-liberal intellectual establishment for its contemptible complicity (my words) in the terrorising of millions of women in the name of Islam.

James is backed up by Nick Cohen who, in another powerful article in the same issue, rails at, specifically, Western feminist apologists who, from the comfort of their Hampstead apartments and in the name of cultural relativism, volunteer as apologists for the genital mutilation of women in third world societies and are therefore, de facto, accessories, in their silence, to the terrorising and oppression of even brown-skinned women who live in the less appealing parts of their own, British, cities.

Both writers express their contempt for those who would accord moral equivalence with Christianity and Western moral sensibilities in general, to principles and authorities which permit, condone or encourage the oppression, terrorising, rape, imprisonment, torture and murder of women in the name of Islam and other oriental religions.

Both writers condemn the veneer of post-colonialist remorse which masks the Left's and Western feminists' cowardice, hypocrisy and self-evident hatred of their own society, and the alacrity with which they leap to champion almost anything which affronts it.

Cohen will make you seethe. James will make you seethe and laugh out loud, as serious as the subject is and as nauseatingly contemptible the hypocrisy of their targets.

When leading men formerly (?) of the liberal consensus finally clamber to their feet to accuse their sisters of complicity in crimes against half of humanity, you know the tide is turning.

Do go and read the articles and—if you do not seethe at the inhumanity of people, as well as the cowardly stance of the liberal intelligentsia—then you are a calmer person that I.

I want to be quite, quite clear about this: these things highlighted in the magazine have absolutely no place in a libertarian state—no libertarian could possibly condone the enslavement or use of force against women or men. Equally, these things should have no place in a liberal Western culture—libertarian or otherwise.

Your humble Devil has absolutely no time for religion at all. I certainly have no time for religions pleading that they should have special exemptions from the law of this country. And I most especially have no time for any culture that insists on treating any person as nothing more than a possession—and a poorly-valued one at that.

No, we cannot go and invade all of those theocratic states that persecute women, but we can fucking well do our damndest stop it happening here.
Yet at the same time, the Archbishop of Canterbury can call for Sharia law to be imposed on British Muslim women, safe in the knowledge that his own women priests will nod their approval. Similarly, the former Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips can call for Sharia at the East London Mosque and women lawyers will not remind him that the mosque is a centre for Jamaat-i-Islami, which in India insists that husbands who throw out their wives have no duty to pay them maintenance.

We should be burning effigies of the Sharia-endorsing bearded goat-botherer and Lord Phillips in the street. They should be relieved of their posts and stripped of all titles, honours and privileges. These people are cheer-leaders for mutilation, rape, slavery and oppression. Instead, they are allowed to carry on peddling their filthy, relativist views from positions of power and influence.

All religious exemptions from laws—Christian, Muslim, Sihk, Jewish, whatever—must be overturned. Now. This country must remove the Church of England from its privileged position (which will probably consign it to the dustbin of history, where it belongs). This country must stop being a refuge for religious zealots of all stripes. There should be one law for all and everyone—everyone—should be equal under the law.

And, quite seriously, if you don't want to live in society in which enforced slavery, mutilation and murder are absolutely against the law in all circumstances and when practised against all citizens, then you can fuck off.

I am, frankly, fed to the back teeth of people justifying their sickening behaviour towards other human beings on the grounds of a belief in a totally fictional sky-fairy which, if it existed, would in any case be imprisoned and excoriated as one of the worst beings ever known in creation.

To sum up, I shall use the same quote from Does God Hate Women? that Nick Cohen does.
Well, what can one say. Religious authorities and conservative clerics worship a wretchedly cruel unjust vindictive executioner of a God. They worship a God of 10-year-old boys, a God of playground bullies, a God of rapists, of gangs, of pimps. They worship—despite rhetoric about justice and compassion—a God who sides with the strong against the weak, a God who cheers for privilege and punishes egalitarianism. They worship a God who is a male and who gangs up with other males against women. They worship a thug. They worship a God who thinks little girls should be married to grown men. They worship a God who looks on in approval when a grown man rapes a child because he is "married" to her. They worship a God who thinks a woman should receive 80 lashes with a whip because her hair wasn't completely covered. They worship a God who is pleased when three brothers hack their sisters to death with axes because one of them married without their father's permission.

And whilst I acknowledge that many decent people are followers of one religion or another, perhaps it is worth contemplating the fact that they might actually be decent people even if they did not believe in some sky-fairy? I think that the answer is "yes".

To be sure, the flip-side is that many of the evil scum who currently justify their behaviour with religion would still be evil scum—but at least we could treat them as such, rather than providing exemptions and special case pleading.

More booze bollocks

Yes, the Scottish Parliament is continuing with its insane policies regarding drink.
The Scottish government wants to end cut-price alcohol deals in supermarkets in an attempt to tackle the country’s booze culture.

The alcohol Bill is expected to set out a minimum price of 40p per unit — a controversial proposal that has drawn protests from the drinks industry.

The Scottish Conservatives are opposed to minimum pricing, but Labour has softened its position in recent months and is now expected to back the idea.

A spokesman for the SNP administration said: “The UK’s four Chief Medical Officers all back minimum pricing, and the BMA, Royal College of Nursing, the police, the British Liver Trust, and indeed the licensed trade association, all support the Scottish government’s proposals — which would stop high-strength beers and ciders being sold for pocket-money prices, while not affecting premium and quality products such as Scotch whisky.”

Look, it doesn't really matter how many scum civil servants or filthy fake charities back this idea: it is illegal under EU law—as Timmy points out.
Having a minimum price per alcohol unit goes against the Single Market rules. For it could potentially discriminate against low cost alcohol from outside Scotland in favour of high priced from within.

In fact, both The Times and The Grauniad reported that this was the case back in March.

So, given that this is common knowledge, how much taxpayers' money has the SNP deliberately poured down the fucking pan-hole in researching (poorly) and drafting (no doubt even more poorly) this piece of crap legislation?

And, as Nigel Farage points out in The Groan, just how can so-called "progressive" parties possibly support this shit?
Minimum sales prices for alcohol are a startlingly bad idea. As with excise duties, the effects are regressive. The poor would be forced to pay more for one of life's simple pleasures while the rich would not notice: they are already imbibing the good stuff that costs far more per unit than these suggested 40 or 50 pence per unit minimums.

It's difficult to see that this idea passes any sort of test for being progressive: or even fair come to that. As to the suggestion that alcohol costs the NHS £3bn a year, given that excise duties on the stuff already raise far more than that I think we've got that covered as well.

If one is a subscriber to the economic idea of "revealed preferences" then I think that we can most definitely say that the SNP, LibDems and Labour hate the poor, don't you?

You stupid fucking cunts: it is none of your business how much I fucking drink, OK? If you are worried about people getting punchy when drunk, arrest those people—do some proper fucking policing. And stop punishing the innocent for the crimes of the guilty, you disgusting totalitarians: just stop it.

The only good bit of this debacle is that the whole incident might highlight the power of EU law to ordinary people; the downside to this, of course, is that the silly sods might embrace the EU as being a good thing.

In fact, if I credited the SNP with that much intelligence, I might think that this was the entire point of this ridiculous exercise...

More nannying crap

Via Strange Stuff, here is yet more absolute barking insanity that is both stupid and offensively patronising.

You can click the image for a larger representation but, just in case you can't be arsed, the picture shows some cutlery sets for sale in a shop—these cutlery sets include your basic table knife (not even a vaguely sharp steak knife). The sign below them says:
Sale of Knives & Bladed Articles

The sale of these products is regulated by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996
(as amended by the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006)

It is a criminal offence to sell these articles to any person under the age of 18 years.

For fuck's sake...

Quote of the Day...

... comes from Sir Keith Joseph, courtesy of The Appalling Strangeness.
"Making the rich poorer does not make the poor richer, but it does make the state stronger—and it does increase the power of officials and politicians, power more menacing, more permanent and less useful than market power within the rule of law. Inequality of income can only be eliminated at the cost of freedom. The pursuit of income equality will turn this country into a totalitarian slum."

And this truth is what makes people like Polly Toynbee and other manic redistributors so fucking evil.

I hope that they all burn here, before burning in hell for all eternity.

Sadly, they are more feted than not—mainly because the body of the politically active in this country is mainly made up of students and spiteful, pig-ignorant morons.*

* This may be tautology.

It never fucking ends

Quite seriously, what the living fuck is wrong with this country? Why the cunting fuck do these politico shitbags think that they have any right to dictate what I do in my private life? And most importantly, what kind of stupid cunt thinks that micromanaging bar staff to the extent of telling them what the bloody hell they can say to a customer is in any way a productive thing to do—especially in the current climate?
FIRST smokers were told to stub it out. Then happy hours were deemed out of order. But now – in perhaps the greatest assault yet on Scotland's traditional pub culture – bar staff are being told to stop asking patrons if they'd like "the same again".
The move is the result of new licensing laws coming into force next Tuesday to clamp down on "irresponsible promotions".

In measures described last night as "arrant nonsense", some training companies preparing staff for the new laws have warned the traditional prompt may be deemed irresponsible.

Instead, bar staff are being advised it would be better simply to ask "what would you like?", or "what can I do for you?"

It is also understood that trainers are telling staff that if a drinker is looking for a refill, he should be given a glass of water.

A glass of fucking water? What the fuck? If I ask for a cunting refill, then I want another pint of sweet, sweet beer, you bastards. If anyone tries to give me a glass of fucking water as a refill, they would be given short shrift, frankly. I don't drink water, I have never drunk water and I don't intend to start drinking that crap now: the only use for water is for bulking out the alcohol into a decent drink.
Bars and restaurants are being warned that offers such as "buy two glasses of wine and get the rest of the bottle free" should not be displayed. They have also been warned that they should not offer free drinks to customers, perhaps because they have waited too long for a meal, it is understood.

I know that the phrase "nanny state" is seriously overused, but how else can one describe this kind of crap?—apart from, perhaps, using the phrase "interfering cuntery".
Licensees warned there was utter confusion about how the new laws should be interpreted when the 2005 Licensing Act comes into force on Tuesday, making it illegal for pubs to provide Happy Hours or offer buy-one-get-one-free offers. Bar staff all have to attend training programmes, teaching them about how to serve alcohol.

The mind fucking boggles, it really does.
Training firms appear to be providing wildly different interpretations of what constitutes an irresponsible promotion. The Act classes it as anything which "encourages, or seeks to encourage, a person to buy or consume a larger measure of alcohol than the person had otherwise intended to buy or consume".

Oh look, it's yet another badly drafted law that no one knows how to interpret. For fuck's sake, can we please get these bloody amateurs' hands off the fucking levers of legislation?

Every single law passed these days seems to be solely designed to make people's lives a little bit more miserable. And quite apart from that, they are incredibly patronising.

I can pretty much guarantee that your humble Devil's IQ is higher than any one of those cunts in Holyrood—so who the fuck are they to tell me what decisions I can make with my life?

In this regard, I think that the poor little Greek boy puts it admirably.
I'm well aware that we have long since passed the stage where this becomes repetitive, but really, my loathing for the nannying culture that is fast overtaking this land is infinite. Who do these dung-brained phalluses think they are to regulate the private conduct of law-abiding citizens? Is this what it's come to—the micromanagement of everyday life to such a degree that shopkeepers and publicans must speak to customers off index cards printed by the State? Fuck off and leave me alone.

Let's say it as plainly as possible; it is absolutely none of the government's fucking business how I am "prompted" to take another drink. My choice of whether to have a further pint or not is swayed by many factors; the time of day, my surroundings, my thirstiness, and the tastiness of the beverage that I have just consumed. My alcohol intake is not controlled by the form of words that a member of staff chooses to accost me with, however, because I am not a complete dribbling retard and can make decisions for myself. Fuck off and leave me alone.

Although, of course, in terms of pure economy of words, few can beat the Daily Mash's heroic effort:
"As an adult, I think a reasonable daily limit is me drinking as much as I fucking want.

"If it affects my work I'll get sacked. If it affects my relationships I'll be all lonely and sad.

"And as for my health, following a quick glance at my tax bill I've decided that the NHS will treat me and the government can keep its fucking opinions to itself."

Of course, the problem is that NHS bill: as your humble Devil has opined many, many times, the politicos' justification for interfering in our fucking lives is often that x behaviour costs the NHS y per annum. Now, your humble Devil is very happy to opt out of paying for the NHS and would happily do so—except that, by law, I cannot do so. As a result, every one of us is in hock to the state whether we want to be or not.
The state is the provider of a service: the National Health Service in this case. Because the state provides and "pays" (through taxes, of course) for this service, it has the power to dictate to the population.

Obesity costs money over and above a "normal" person's treatment. Even if the obese person has private medical insurance, they cannot opt out of the NHS because they are forced to contribute to the NHS through their NICs. And, in fact, because of various laws—an ambulance can only take you to a state A&E, all GPs are employed by the state—no one can opt out of the state-provided system entirely.

In this way, everyone is in debt to the state. And as long as everyone is in debt to the state, the state, fundamentally, has the right to tell the population how to behave. And this debt can never actually be discharged: you are in debt to—and thus subject to the whim of—the state from the moment that you are born until the moment that you die.

And, remember, there is no actual contract to sign (or not sign) so the government can—and does—keep on shifting the terms of this agreement as and when it likes.

As such, no one in this country owns their own body; no one in this country owns their own life. Everyone is effectively in hock to the state because you can never, ever opt out of state provision.

Now, unless I am allowed to opt out, might I suggest that you busybody politicos please fuck off and die? Allow me to stop participating in your ghastly social engineering, and get the fuck out of my life.

Just. Fuck. Right. Off.

UPDATE: there's some succinct analysis over at Dick Puddlecote's place...
As one bar owner succinctly put it:
"We have had all of our freedom taken away to try to run a bar, and provide a social and fun place."

All this, remember, in a drive to restrict the public to unit intakes pulled out of thin air, when we are all drinking less than ten years ago, and in the face of recent revelations that light drinkers/teetotallers are a cost burden on the NHS. And in an environment where only those over 18, which is usually the age at which we assume a person should be entitled to make their own decisions in life, are legally allowed to purchase the products on offer.

Anyone who lives in the Soviet republic of Jockland has my deepest sympathy. You are being led by psychotically puritan politicians who are so dense they could bend light.


Searching for excitement

One of my work colleagues was how exciting piss-poor-software-engineer Microsoft's partnership deal with dead-in-the-water-search-engine Yahoo was, and how it was going to reinvigorate the companies—and the potential for search engines. For the sake of an easy life—I was a bit busy at the time—your humble Devil murmured something non-committal.

However, I have just found this Joy of Tech cartoon which summed up precisely what I really felt...


Mayor cuts the crap

Via The Lone Voice, I have found an article about Peter Davies, the (relatively) newly-elected English Democrat Mayor of Doncaster.*
He has made a punchy start which, if replicated nationwide, would lead to public sector bedlam. The question is who should be most worried about his success: Labour or the Tories? Because his message threatens both.

Within a week of his election, Mr Davies had slashed his own salary from £73,000 to £30,000, scrapped the mayoral limousine and abolished the council's free newspaper.

He has written to the Electoral Commission asking them to scrap two-thirds of Doncaster's 63 council seats in order to save the town £800,000 a year.

'If Pittsburgh can manage with nine councillors, why do we need 63?' he asks. 'They each get a basic salary of £12,590 and we have only eight council meetings a year anyway.'

Deeply sceptical of 'green claptrap', he must be the only mayor in Britain who wants more traffic in his town. He says it will boost business and has just announced plans for more parking spaces and an end to bus-only routes. 'Like it or not, we live in the age of the car,' he says.

He wants to cut all 'non-jobs' in his 13,500 workforce - such as platinum-pensioned 'community cohesion officers' - and aims to shrivel future pay deals for council executives.

Much as he likes his chief executive, Paul Hart, he says his £175,000 salary is 'a joke' and that any successor can expect half.

'Don't believe that stuff about "having to pay the best to get the best". It's arrant nonsense - look what it did to the City,' he says.

And he is in the process of 'de-twinning' Doncaster from its five twin towns around the world. Twinning, he says, is all about free holidays for councillors and their staff. On taking office, he was amazed to discover that the council had agreed to pay a £2,800 hotel bill during next month's St Leger race meeting at the local racecourse.

The money is for entertaining councillors from Herten, Doncaster's (soon-to-be-ex) twin town in Germany. It was too late to cancel the reservations, but Mr Davies will ensure the exercise is not repeated.

'Racing happens to be my passion, but I don't expect the taxpayer to fund it,' he says.

While these preliminary cuts may be local government heresy, what has really marked out Mr Davies for liberal opprobrium is his gratuitously provocative assault on what he calls 'the culture of political correctness'.

He has scrapped all future funding for Doncaster's annual Gay Pride event. 'I'm not a homophobe, but I don't see why council taxpayers should pay to celebrate anyone's sexuality,' he says.

He has scrapped funding for council translation services on the grounds that people should be encouraged to learn English. And he has scrapped the word 'diversity' from his list of cabinet portfolios.

'Going on about diversity causes racial tension, it doesn't improve it,' he says. 'The Government has just admitted that gipsies should be given special treatment and that only makes people angry. I want every citizen of Doncaster to be equal.'

As the article says, Mr Davies's "message threatens both [Labour and Tories]" in a big way. It shows both parties up as being essentially ineffectual—whether through incompetence or, more likely, design.

Because all of Davies's cost-cutting—cost-cutting that does not affect front-line services—rather makes a mockery of the constant assertions that governments cannot make efficiency savings: what it actually reveals is that governments will not make efficiency savings—either they lack the balls to do it, or they are just too fucking lazy. Or, of course, they are just incredibly corrupt and have no interest at all in saving the taxpayer money.

And, as we all know, the issue of cutting public spending has to be the priority right now. The public finances are in an appalling state and we simply cannot afford to keep spending at the current rate—the interest payments alone are creeping near to £40,000,000,000 per annum (roughly £1500 per year for every household in Britain).

As such, I shall be following Peter Davies's plans with interest: what I would most like to see is how much he is able to cut as a proportion of the overall council budget. If Davies is able to cut council spending by, say, 15% (and remember that it is councils that deliver most of the services that we take for granted) then I think it reasonable that we should expect government spending to be able to mirror this.

And with NuLabour projected to splurge out £631 billion this year, a 15% cut would be about £94.65 billion (roughly £3,943 for every household in Britain).

And even if that ball-less scrotum Cameron and his rat-nibbled Shadow Chancellor (that's George Osborne for those of you who may have forgotten) don't want to learn from Peter Davies's example, then maybe they could learn from Canada.
You are probably aware of the story by now, but in brief, over several decades Canada had developed a chronic fiscal deficit (see here for overview). By the early 90s its public sector debt burden had reached nearly 100% of GDP (Federal plus provincial deficits), debt servicing costs were rising, and the situation was becoming unsustainable.

But at that point, a new Federal government was elected, and - miracle of miracles - it actually managed to get a grip. It cut spending, and returned Canada to fiscal surplus for the first time in a generation:

A fantastic job, and an inspiration to us in our current difficulties.


And yet we have heard very little from Call Me Dave and his merry men on precisely how the Tories are going to try to balance the books. Yes, yes: Cameron enthusiasts tell us that the Conservatives are remaining schtum for political reasons—but the trouble is that most of us suspect that they are, in fact, keeping quiet because they haven't got a fucking clue what to do.

And they really haven't got very long to sort it out.

* I have heard about this chap before, but the last time that someone emailed me about him, I was unable actually to find a proper MSM article—just a series of blogs linking to other blogs.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

For the record

Your humble Devil replied to this silly post at Liberal Conspiracy. Given that my comments there often get tampered with or deleted (because Sunny, like many Leftist demagogues, isn't too keen on people questioning his judgement), I thought that I'd record it here for posterity.
If I wanted to be charitable to Hannan, I’d say that his position is that we’ve got to decide one way or the other: either we let people come to the UK but without benefits for doing so, or we limit immigration and we enforce our laws properly.

Everyone is talking about "immigration" and "immigrants" as though there were only one type. There aren't.

There are two types of immigrant to this country: EU citizens and non-EU citizens.

EU citizens—through EU law—must be allowed all of the same benefits as the natives. That means that they can claim the same benefits, use the same services, etc. and have complete freedom to move or settle in any EU country.

As some people may know, over the last six months or more, I have been dealing with the British government's disgusting and inhuman attitude to the second set of immigrants—the non-EU citizen.

Non-EU citizens are not allowed any benefits, despite paying full taxes. Non-EU citizens are often not allowed to stay in the country if they have no job—the most common Tier 2 visa is tied to an immigrant's job: if they lose the job, they have to leave the country immediately (it doesn't matter whether they can still support themselves, through savings, etc. They have to leave).

The problems that we have are not with the latter group: it is not they who are putting a strain on public services. The problem is with the EU citizens, mainly from poorer parts of the EU, who we must treat as though they were natives.

Now, whichever of the two approaches above you consider to be right (or, like me, you might consider that the both of them are completely stupid) doesn't tremendously matter—but any debate on immigration must acknowledge the fact that not all immigrants are equal in this country.


Regular readers will know, of course, that your humble Devil proposed his own solution to the immigration problem.
So, here is my proposed solution, and it is a solution designed to be implemented tomorrow—that is, it assumes that we are still in the EU, etc. So, here it is: no immigrant may claim benefits until they have been working—and contributing tax (i.e. cash in hand work will not count)—for four years.

But wait! The EU will not let us treat EU citizens any differently to British citizens. Great! The same thing applies across the board, for British citizens too.

When National Insurance was first implemented, you had to have been paying in for a certain amount of time—and earned your "stamps"—before you could start getting payouts. To an extent, this is still the case, but other benefits are not, theoretically, part of the National Insurance system, so they are paid out without any requirement to have paid in.

This should stop, right now.

So, everyone—regardless of where they are from originally—gets treated in exactly the same way: no one shall receive any benefits until they have paid tax into the system for four years (an arbitrary number—we could make it higher, if you like, or lower—four years seems a reasonable time to me).

In this way, we can stop paying for people's lifestyle choices (including encouraging the feckless to have children); we can diffuse the resentment based on the "bloody immigrants, coming here and stealing our benefits" argument; we give people an incentive to pay tax rather than do cash-in-hand work; we stop people coming here with massive families in order to soak our ridiculously generous benefits system (and thus reduce immigration); we can remove these spiteful bars to non-EU immigrants working (and thus allow private companies to hire who the fuck they want); it will provide us with an incentive to ensure that our schooling is up to scratch (since natives will be competing with immigrants on an equal footing); it allows us to open our borders to those who want to come and work here (and neutralises Hayek's problems with doing so whilst a Welfare State exists); and, of course, we will substantially reduce our social security bill.

This seems to be a sensible solution to me, and it stops the disgustingly racist separation of non-EU and EU citizens (yes, it is racist, since it is based on where you come from and thus your race) that is inherent in our two-tier immigration system.

Oh, yes: and it stops hard-working people who want to remain here from being kicked out of the fucking country by a bunch of inhumane, jack-booted shitstains who, frankly, make our country look like some kind of fucking authoritarian's pleasure-ground.

Oh, wait...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Admiring dictators

In criticising Hannan's expressed admiration of Enoch Powell, it seems that Sunny Hundal has been hoist by his own petard, as my impecunious yet peripatetic Greek friend notes.
Ignoring what must be the mother and father of all straw men here, one can't help noticing the lack of such outrage when Southall MP Virendra Sharma praised the pro-independence Indian leader, Subhas Chandra Bose. Indeed, Sunny leapt to his defence against the "misrepresentations" of Iain Dale:
Bose was never a fascist, though he did want to work with the Japanese and/or Germans to get rid of the British.

This is a little like saying that Enoch Powell was never a racist, though he did want to get rid of all the darkies. So I went to visit Bose's Wikipedia page, which Sunny linked to in his post, and which paints quite a vivid portrait:
Bose's correspondence (prior to 1939) reflects his deep disapproval of the racist practices of, and annulment of democratic institutions in Nazi Germany. However, he expressed admiration for the authoritarian methods (though not the racial ideologies) which he saw in Italy and Germany during the 1930s, and thought they could be used in building an independent India.

Bose had clearly expressed his belief that democracy was the best option for India. [...] However, during the war (and possibly as early as the 1930s) Bose seems to have decided that no democratic system could be adequate to overcome India's poverty and social inequalities, and he wrote that an authoritarian state, similar to that of Soviet Russia (which he had also seen and admired) would be needed for the process of national re-building.

It seems clear to me, from the little I know of him, that had Bose lived (he died in 1945) and achieved the prominence he sought, he would have done far more harm to Indians than Powell and his acolytes ever did. One is tempted to ask whether a man who can simultaneously express admiration for both fascism and Stalinism is the sort of person who Sunny would "invite round for tea", but that's not really the point.

Nor should we forget, at this point, to remind readers of Harriet Harman, Sunny's "second choice" for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, who last year described Fidel Castro as a "hero". That caused a marked lack of offence on the Left—some might even have described it as a "dog whistle"—but I suppose that's not really the point, either.

My point is, rather, that while one would hardly expect the editor of [the ever-readable] Pickled Politics to hold warm childhood memories of Enoch Powell, you can't have it both ways. If it's OK for a Labour politician to cite the influence of a controversial figure from the past, while trying to ignore their darker side, then it's OK for a Tory, too.


Your humble Devil would like to make absolutely clear that I am not saying that Sunny is an admirer of dictators, authoritarians and other sundry nasty people. And the fact that he is so swift to publish expressions of support for those that are does not, of course, mean that Sunny Hundal is a nasty, hypocritical, authoritarian little shit who loves dictators as long as they are his kind of dictator.

I would never suggest anything of the kind. Definitely not.

As long-time readers will know, I am a fervent admirer of Sunny Hundal and all his works and do not, in any way, think that he is a nasty, hypocritical, authoritarian little shit who loves dictators as long as they are his kind of dictator.

That would be to credit the man with some powers of thought.

Fat tit leaves Cameron rag

Your humble Devil used to subscribe to The Spectator but let said subscription lapse when "that fucking awful little tit" Matthew d'Ancona turned it into an unquestioning Tory rag, the tagline of which could have been "the magazine that sucks Cameron's cock until the cum runs out".

Quite apart from that, d'Ancona was a piss-poor substitute for Boris, mainly because Boris had interesting friends who used to write rather good articles for The Speccie whereas d'Ancona obviously had boring, Social Democrat friends who couldn't write for toffee. As a result, The Spectator became a very tedious New Tory wankfest without even the virtue of interesting writing to leaven the obnoxiousness of the views contained within it.

Now it seems that Matthew d'Ancona—or someone higher up—has realised all of this, and has decided to replace the fat-faced twat with Fraser Nelson who, generally speaking, is an astute political commenter (most of the time).

Perhaps I shall start picking The Spectator up again...

Friday, August 28, 2009

You don't say!

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

From the Department of the Bleeding Obvious comes a "news story" of truly stupefying banality:
English turn to booze on holiday

And in other news, the Pope kisses runways and wears a silly hat. 
English holidaymakers are turning to drink on their breaks with the average adult consuming eight alcoholic drinks a day, a survey suggests.

Good for them. Let's hope they enjoy their holiday and that, just for a few days, they can forget about the hideous scheming puritans who were waiting for them back home.
The Know Your Limits campaign survey found that on an average day on holiday, beer drinkers drank five pints, wine drinkers had four glasses of wine, and those who prefer spirits had five mixer drinks, such as vodka and coke.

So not an average of eight drinks a day, then? Or did you mean 8 units a day? Come on Beeb, if you're going to rewrite press releases, at least try to use some coherent figures.

And who or what is the Know Your Limits campaign and why are they spunking money away on this pitiful garbage?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Know Your Limits alcohol campaign launched by government

Quel surprise. 'Tis our very own Department of Health and the money being spunked away is our own. How lucky we are, as a nation, that there is nothing more pressing for public money to be spent on. Remind me, how is that cure for cancer going?
But 70% of the 3,500 adults questioned by the Department of Health said they plan to make September the "new January" by cutting back.

Did they actually say they planned to make September "the new January" or is this some inane phrase that the DoH is desperately trying to crow-bar into common usage?
But most people plan to curb their drinking over the next month.

That is self-evident. If people drink more whilst on holiday, they will - by definition - drink less when they are not on holiday. Not quite the concerted drive towards temperance that this article might lead you to believe.
Public health minister Gillian Merron said it was all too easy to slip into the habit of drinking too much on holiday.

"And it's always hard to get back into a normal routine."

What utter rubbish. All it takes is the ability to tell the difference between being at a pool-side bar in Tenerife and being in an office in Basingstoke. And that is something us little people are quite capable of doing, thanks. 
"But we should try to use September as the new January and make a pledge to be a little more healthy."

Oh, piss off you stupid woman and take your "new January" with you. Who is this bitch anyway? I thought chirpy scouser Andy Burnham was the minister for Health. Do we really need a minister for public health as well? Time to swing the axe at the DoH, I reckon.
Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said it was great news that many people were considering more moderate drinking following some overindulgence.

Ah, the ubiquitous Don Shenker. If only this bastard would take a holiday. It's "great news", is it Don? Great news that we manage to get out of the habit of drinking Sex on the Beach and staying up dancing all night once we get back to Britain? What a contemptuous, patronising little man you are. I can only think of one person I hate more than you...
Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and chair of the UK Alcohol Health Alliance...

Speak of the Devil.
...called the figures "stark" and were a reminder that people need to keep an eye on how much they are drinking.

"Stark"?! What's stark about them? Seriously, what the buggery-fuck are these people talking about? This is not a news story. This is not even a foot-note to a news story. Why is the BBC even covering this bollocks?
"When people are asked how much they drink, we know that they think of an ordinary week rather than one that includes a holiday or other special occasion."

What do you expect?!!! What, Gilmore, would you prefer them to do? Base their average week's drinking on the heaviest drinking week of the year? Hell's teeth, man, what are you gibbering about?

This is the non-story of the year and will, of course, be met with scornful mirth by any right-thinking person. But there is a serious point. Aside from the scandal of even one penny of taxpayers' money being spent on this bullshit, it is yet another example of the "issue" of alcohol being kept in the public eye in the most spurious way.

I mentioned recently how an assortment of fake charities and government departments have spent the summer pumping out nonsensical and meaningless press releases which the lazy media, and the Bolshevik Butt-fucking Corporation in particular, have been happy to regurgitate. 

This is not a coincidence, this is a co-ordinated effort which, I suspect, will come to a head when MPs return to Parliament in October. At every turn there is Don Shenker, Ian bastard Gilmore and all the rest of the tax-it, ban-it, cover-it-up brigade. There is definitely something afoot.

Top Right of Centre Blogs

All of the usual thanks and acknowledgements to contributors, commenters and readers for ensuring that your humble Devil is once more in a decent spot in the Top 100 Right of Centre blogs.

The Kitchen, Dizzy and Conservative Home have all dropped one place—knocked down by an insurgent Spectator Coffee House. Still, the Coffee House chaps are paid for their efforts and we—or, rather, Dizzy and I—are but poor amateurs, tapping away for few rewards other than catharsis, personal enlightenment and invitations to parties with free booze.

Anyway, here's the top ten...
  1. (1) Guido Fawkes

  2. (2) Iain Dale

  3. (6) Spectator Coffee House

  4. (3) Conservative Home

  5. (4) Dizzy Thinks

  6. (5) Devil's Kitchen

  7. (14) Daniel Hannan MEP

  8. (35) Tory Bear

  9. (12) Archbishop Cranmer

  10. (8) John Redwood MP

You can find the full list here...

P.S. Your humble apologises for the sporadic blogging, but I am tremendously busy at present—mainly working to support the wife's vices. I'll try to post something thrilling at the weekend...

P.P.S. I have recently heard a lot of radio adverts for Microsoft Office. The version that they are punting is—proudly—announced as "Office 2007".

Office 2007? Seriously, which fucking moron decided Microsoft's naming conventions?

Look, I am sure that Office 2007 is jolly super, but we're nearing the final quarter of 2009 right now—Office 2007 sounds superannuated, even if it's not.

It's barking insanity, I tell thee...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ten Commandments is reporting that Parliament-oriented Twitter-aggregator Tweetminster has selected Ten Commandments for politicians, as voted for by other Twitterers.
MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates are to be handed the ten political commandments, voted for by the Twittering public, which should govern their political lives in Westminster.

Political site Tweetminster received hundreds of suggestions by Twitter when it asked members of the public to propose what they believed should be included in the ten.

After being narrowed down to a shortlist of 20, over 1,500 voters chose their favourites, which have been named the ten commandments for an MP.

The Ten Commandments are:
  1. Thou shalt never forget that politics is about improving lives. Other people's, not your own

  2. Be honest with the voters

  3. MPs shall treat constituents, stakeholders and staff as they themselves would wish to be treated—with genuine respect and good manners

  4. Thou shalt hold the executive to account, regardless of party affiliation, On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom

  5. An MP should not give publicly-funded jobs to family or household members. Recruit openly instead, and advertise locally

  6. Thou shalt not enter the political arena for personal gain

  7. Thou shalt not outsource your judgement, independence or opinions to the chief whip

  8. Thou shalt be able to demonstrate independence of mind

  9. Do what you promised to do in your manifesto

  10. MPs & PPCs should be transparent, open & engaging, and take advantage of all available channels

Actually, all of these could be summed up in one easy commandment:
  1. Thou shalt not be a pig-ignorant, venal, patronising, corrupt, money-grubbing, lying, incompetent, lazy, fat-arsed, authoritarian shyster, exclusively out for thine own interest.

It's easy when you know how...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Compare the wanker dot com

Having finished a long TV career playing the title role in Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet, Peter Jones now spends his time writing pitifully poor articles on CiF.

Your humble Devil is a little late to this party but, via John B and Longrider, I find this unbelievable piece of crap in—where else?—The Grauniad.
A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were watching TV at home when the advert for appeared on our screen. I had seen the ad before and not thought anything of it. However on this occasion, my girlfriend, who is Ukrainian, turned to me and said: "I don't like this advert, it is very offensive to me." I mentioned it to a friend who said his Latvian lodger also found it offensive.

The advertisement centres on the word "market"—a word that eastern Europeans/Russians pronounce "meerkat"—using talking CGI-animated meerkats. The sole point of this African animal's appearance is, it seems, to highlight the idea that east Europeans cannot pronounce the word market properly when they speak English. It struck me how racist it was to parody what is now a significant part of the British population in this way. It also occurred to me that were the ad to use stereotypical Indian or Caribbean accents in the same way it would never be allowed on TV.

Um... You've not seen the Lilt adverts then?

But fucking hell, some people will do anything to get laid, eh? What's wrong, Peter: did your Eastern European lass refuse to suck your stringy little cock unless you complained? Or are you just a fucking tit?
I decided to complain first to ITV. When I looked on the ITV website, to my shock, I found that their business development manager Richard Chilvers was boasting that this was his favourite ad and that it helped to bring his "passion alive". I emailed my complaint. ITV responded that "the subject matter, content and treatment of all commercials are always given serious consideration to determine their suitability for transmission". They also stated that "particular care is needed to ensure that advertisements are not misleading or offensive". They then stated that I should contact the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) which I duly did.

You are fucking kidding me? As one CiF commenter asks, is this a fucking spoof?

I always wondered what kind of mealy-mouthed, humourless cunt complained about shit like this: well, thanks, Peter—now I know exactly what kind of mealy-mouthed, humourless cunt complains about this shit. To paraphrase the Lottery adverts, it might be you. Oh, yes: it is.
The ASA informed me that it did not assess advertisements before they went out but responded to complaints. The initial assessment and clearing was done by a company called Clearcast which, I was told, conveniently did not deal with the public. I then emailed my complaint to the ASA, whose response stated: "Whatever impact the mild stereotyping of the eastern European accent has is undercut by the fact that it is a cartoon rather than a live actor. As such we do not feel that the content of the commercial is likely to provoke widespread offence." It said it had not had any other complaints.

I asked my girlfriend why that might be.

It's because most people are not mealy-mouthed, humourless cunts who desperately want their Eastern European girlfriends to stop screeching at them and suck their stringy little cocks instead.

Mind you, looking at Peter Jones's picture, I am not entirely surprised at his girlfriend's behaviour. Come on, ladies: wouldn't you do just about anything—including manufacturing an entirely pointless melodrama about bugger-all—rather than suck Peter's wanger? I mean, he looks like a fucking SuperMarionation puppet (still, no trouble getting wood, eh?).

Don't worry, Peter, your humble Devil has some advice for you: shut the fuck up and go back to screwing warm watermelons. Oh, and if you aren't sure how to go about it, here's a handy video for you...

See? Is simples! You wanker.

Ministers to launch Welsh blogger cull

The Wales Office is preparing to start blogger culls across Wales for the first time in history, it can be revealed.

The culls could start within weeks after the completion of a Government report into the role that bloggers play in spreading the ideals of Welsh nationalism among Cambrians.

In the expectation of an imminent release of licences to kill bloggers, ministers have earmarked areas of the country where the cull could begin, while MI5½ is conducting four secret trials to find which are the most effective ways of killing bloggers - snaring, trapping, shooting or gassing. The use of trolling has been discovered to be "ineffective".

A move to permit culling, however, would be certain to provoke ferocious opposition from geek welfare groups, who insist it is not necessary and believe the spread of nationalism is due to centuries of bad government.

The Government research, by Paul Flynn MP, began last week when it was discovered that there has been a surge in the prominence and number of nationalist-leaning blogs in Wales.

However, the final report, which ministers will receive later this month, is expected to acknowledge that culling bloggers can be an effective means of maintaing the status quo. Wales Office officials have already indicated that following its publication they would struggle to justify any moratorium.

Paul Flynn and Peter Hain have been involved in discussions about preventing any moratorium. The latter of the two will make the final decision.

There were 788 new suspected outbreaks of nationalist tweeting in January and February compared with 7 in the same period of last year. There are reports of nationalism spreading to domestic voters, which has provoked fears that this could lead to growth in support for independence.

Outbreaks have caused many voters to leave the Labour Party, while some desperate councillors are carrying out illegal culls.

The Friends of Paul Flynn Society claims that before the advent of blogging nationalism was almost non-existent, but its introduction allowed the ideology to spread.

Paul Flynn MP said: "The Government can't walk away from its responsibility this time. The scientific evidence from the report will prove they must act. The anger and depression of the Labour Party in Newport, I mean Wales, is unbelievable. We need to move ahead with a cull as soon as possible."

Although the Flynn report is expected to say that removing bloggers can play a positive role in tackling nationalism, it will also warn of the possible dangers of perturbation, where bloggers that escape the cull relocate elsewhere and help to spread their ideals.

This will give ministers two options: to apply for a licence to cull throughout the whole of Wales, where research suggests the benefits of culling outweigh the effects of perturbation, or to demand small, targeted culls, in areas which are bordered by rivers, railways or coastlines.

Don 'Kill-a-Crachach' Touhig MP, a supporter of the scheme, said: "The hints we're getting are that there will be limited licences issued. If they allow us targeted culls against the Nat nerds in the hot spots, then in two years, we will be on top of it."

This entry also appears on ORDOVICIUS

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dear FBI...

The Longrider has utterly fisked this bleating arsewipe from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, sent to Scottish Minister Kenny MacAskill regarding the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.

But your humble Devil would like to add a few words...
Dear Robert S Mueller, III,

You mention that you were complicit in the Lockerbie bombing invesgtigation.
Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision.

Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991.

Your piss-poor whining does not alter the fact that you know as well as I do that the entire investigation was a farce. You will know, as I do, that the investigation—which was, at the time, pointing towards Syrian terrorist with links to Iran—was suspended during the first Gulf War. And you will know the reasons for this, whilst I can only guess (pretty fucking accurately).

You will also know that crucial evidence—including parts of the bomb itself—went "missing" in this intervening period of suspension.

You will also know that the course of the case was dictated by spooks—your men in the FBI, who were with the prosecutors in court but not mentioned in the court papers—who dictated the availability of evidence, redacted crucial parts of documents and generally lied.

If you do not know any of this, might I point you to the report of Dr Hans Kochler, the UN observer, who laid all of this out in plain English?
Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law.

Why don't you shut the fuck up about the rule of law? You—you thrice-cursed shitstain—know damn well that the only thing that makes a mockery of the rule of law is the trial of this man.

You know damn fucking well that there is not a single shred of evidence to convict him: you know damn well that he is, in fact, innocent.

Your attitude is disgusting—you and the US administration knowingly imprisoned an innocent man because it was politically expedient to do so. And our government, to its eternal shame, was complicit in an act of disgusting US dishonesty—not for the first (or last) time.
Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world...

Oh really?

Tell me, you fuck: which country sent millions of pounds to the IRA when they were busy blowing up innocent men, women and children in Northern Ireland and on the British mainland?

Oh, yeah: that was you fucks, wasn't it? Got to help the mother country, eh? Who cares that they are terrorists? Who cares that they are ruining innocent lives, eh? As long as good old Oirland can hold her head high? After all, we're still waiting for you to put the IRA on your list of terrorist organisations.

So don't talk to us about giving "comfort to terrorists around the world", you fucking little shit.

Oh, and while we are about it, let's look at an Iranian motive for blowing up Pan-Am Flight 103, shall we? Many have claimed that this atrocity was in response to the USS Vincennes' 1988 shooting down of Iranian Flight 655—a civilian passenger plane—which killed all 290 passengers.

Whilst we are discussing giving "comfort to terrorists", Bob (can I call you "Bob"? Cheers), let's see what the US government's reaction to that was, shall we?
The men of the Vincennes were all awarded Combat Action Ribbons for completion of their tours in a combat zone. Lustig, the air-warfare coordinator, received the Navy Commendation Medal, often given for acts of heroism or meritorious service, but a not-uncommon end-of-tour medal for a second tour division officer. According to the History Channel, the medal citation noted his ability to "quickly and precisely complete the firing procedure."

In 1990, Rogers was awarded the Legion of Merit "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ... from April 1987 to May 1989." The award was given for his service as the Commanding Officer of the Vincennes, and the citation made no mention of the downing of Iran Air 655.

Oh, yeah: you gave them medals. Nice one, Bob: that was extremely appropriate.

So, I don't normally comment on the pig-ignorant witterings of FBI agents but, in this case, I shall make an exception, because I know damn well that you know all of the above.

So, my duly considered response is this: shut the fuck up, you cunt.



Oh, and just in case Bob should read this, I would just like to add this: fuck you too, you dishonest little shit. Go fuck yourself.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dissent will not be tolerated

Alan Johnson MP: hypocritical little shit and cunt of the very first water.

Via Tom Paine, I see that a lawyer who has campaigned against council cuts to care services risks being struck off.
A solicitor who helped thousands of people fight against cuts to care services faces being struck off after the councils she battled complained about her.

Yvonne Hossack will appear at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal next month. She is accused of bringing her profession into disrepute.

Ms Hossack, of Kettering, Northants, who has been described as “a thorn in the side of the establishment”, could be fined £5,000, suspended or kicked out of the profession altogether.

Nice. A solicitor campaigns for councils to deliver on their promises—and the promises of past governments—and she is now being sued by those self-same councils. With our money.
Ms Hossack faces a range of allegations, including forcing the councils to waste time and money defending in the courts policies that she knows can only be delayed, and “improperly” encouraging clients to campaign in the media.

Because, of course, those councils don't have extravagantly-funded PR outfits and press departments themselves, do they? Oh, wait a second...

And these policies can only be delayed? So, councils have little or no control over the services that they provide? Is that what they are saying?

Well, that's a relief: I guess that councillors and other staff will be taking massive pay cuts, seeing as they are unable actually to make any policy decisions. Oh, wait a second...

And nobody, I imagine, will be surprised to find out that Alan Johnson MP—a disgusting little turd—will say one thing in private and another in public.
She has issued the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, with a summons to appear as a witness after he declined to publicly back her - despite privately thanking her for fighting cuts in his Hull constituency.

Mr Johnson told Ms Hossack that she “done a brilliant job under difficult circumstances” in fighting against the closure of a care home.

“My constituents are extremely grateful,” Mr Johnson said in an email to the solicitor. "There is a large double gin and tonic waiting for you in the Strangers' Bar.”

However, he has not responded to requests to testify on her behalf.

Well, what a fucking surprise. Not.

These people are such a massive collection of cunts that I am surprised that anyone could possibly argue against reducing the power of government.

Fucking hellski.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just don't book it: Thomas Cook's shit!

Bella and I had a relaxing time in Cyprus—even though the young lady has focused on some of the nastier bits, i.e. the cunting Border Agency thugs who make me ashamed to enter this country—apart from one significant bit...

We flew with Thomas Cook Airlines. Seriously, don't do this.

Our flight from Gatwick—which was supposed to leave at 16.10—was delayed till 17.30. Then 18.30. Then... Well, we eventually took off three hours late, arriving in Larnaca at past two in the morning, local time (Cyprus is two hours ahead).

No real reason was given. The check-in lady muttered something about a plane taking off too late, so an aircraft switch having to be made; it was a pity that this conflicted with the crew's excuse—which was that a crippled plane had been hangar-bound for some time. Alas, we were not told which one of these sources was the lying shitbag.

Never mind.

Incredibly, at the end of the holiday, our 23.40 flight out of Larnaca was also delayed. By three hours. No explanation was given: none. We were not even informed at check-in: it was not until we got through security that we saw the sign—which merely informed us that the flight was Delayed 02.20.

For fuck's sake! Delayed by two hours and twenty minutes? Fucking hell. It can't be...?

It wasn't. Nope: it was delayed until 2.20 in the morning. And the rest. This time, according to the captain, one plane was "in the hangar", plus another plane had been damaged by a bird-strike over Ibiza.


Now, your humble Devil is generally an understanding sort of chap; I appreciate that these things happen and—whilst I would rather the twats had at least one spare plane standing by—I understand that it is peak season and the routes are tight.

But what absolutely pissed me right off was the fact that no one bothered to communicate with us. At all.

On the flight out, there was no information to be had—bar the continuously rising delay notices. But at least they gave us one free drink on the way over.

On the way back, there was no information at all. No Thomas Crook staff were available to talk to. There was barely even an apology. And most certainly no free booze made any appearance near me. And I would have known—believe me, I have a kind of sixth sense for free booze.


Now, I feel that Thomas Crook's service was fucking abysmal but, as I said above, these things happen. What was not acceptable was the total lack of any communication.

For fuck's sake—it doesn't take much effort to make an announcement, or to warn people at check-in, or to have a member of staff beyond security. You could even tell the airport staff—but Thomas Crook hadn't even done that.

Instead, Bella and I ended our holiday on a sour note, feeling pissed off and knackered. We finally got back to the flat at quarter to eight in the morning and—instead of having a couple of hours to relax—I had to change and dive out of the door to go to work pretty immediately. And was still an hour late.

All of the above, by the way, leaves out the claustrophobic seating—I felt, quite literally, trapped—and the constant attempts to sell us shit that we neither needed nor desired. It also ignores the fact that, to facilitate the first two hours of trying to sell to us, they kept the cabin lights on—thus rendering sleep impossible for me (right now, I have been costantly awake for about 45 hours).


Thomas Cook are a bunch of arrogant, incompetent cunts who cannot be arsed to spend a few minutes communicating with their customers. As such, you should never fly with the fuckers. Ever.

Bella did take the time to fill out their Customer Survey and elaborated on this theme thusly...
In short, I would eat my own eyeballs before I flew with Thomas Cook again.

You have been warned...

The bansturbation will never stop

Oh dear, oh dear: it is at times like this that your humble Devil—frothing libertarian loon as he is so often described—starts to feel a little sorry for those die-hard Conservatives.

For it seems that The Massively-Foreheaded Cunt™ has decided that cracking down on booze should probably be on the agenda.
The Tories have unveiled radical plans to crack down on the binge-drinking culture.

They would treble taxes on alcopops and strong lagers and ciders, outlaw 'loss leader' sales in supermarkets and strip takeaways and food stores of late-night licences.

Such tax changes would mean a four-pack of extra-strong lager such as Carlsberg Special Brew costing an extra £1.30, a bottle of powerful cider an extra £1.25 and a bottle of alcopop an extra 50p.

[Fuckwit Cameron] said: 'Drink-related violence and crime are a massive problem. We need to look at the unbelievable availability of very cheap drink, getting three litres of cider for £1.99, at all hours of day and night. We've got to do something about this.'

Why? Why not actually get the police to do some fucking policing, you fucking twat? Why don't you abandon the idea of punishing the innocent because you cannot be arsed to punish the guilty, eh?

Poor old Jackart is somewhat dismayed
—can it be that he finally realises that the Tories are not going to be in any way a libertarian government? Or even more liberal?
I guess all we can hope is that the Tories are less enthusiastic bansturbators, and this is kite-flying to appease the bitter harridans with mouths like dogs arseholes who read the Daily Hate. Puritanism: the nagging fear that someone somewhere might be having fun cannot be sated, and the Tories are foolish to try. The Scottish Tories are, after all, opposing this illiberal lunacy in Scotland.

Yes, you cling onto that one straw, Jackart, my friend: you keep trying to convince yourself that it'll all be better when this collection of shits get their hands on the levers of power. Even though it won't be.

After all, I think that you'll find that James Brokenshire flew this flag a year ago—he was a cunt then, and Dave's a cunt twat now.

So, the Tory agenda is... er...

Lower taxes?—nope. An end to alcohol controls?—nope. A sensible attitude to smoking?—nope. A less bansturbatory attitude to films or magazines?—nope and nope. Reform of the NHS?—nope. Decisive action on MPs' expenses?—nope.

What, precisely, do these cunts stand for? Oh yes: more of the same.

When will so-called "libertarian Tories" wake the fuck up and realise that their little pet party is not fucking libertarian?
The Tories are not libertarian, have never been libertarian and any member of the Tory Party who claims to be a libertarian—and this applies doubly to those Tories in Parliament, i.e. the leaders of the Tory Party who make the policy—is either deluded or lying.

When will these "libertarian Tories" realise that they are neither outside the tent pissing in, nor inside the tent pissing out?—they are just dribbling piss all down their trousers.

As Tory Bear points out, Call Me Dave has a history of contradicting himself, or—as we principled people call it—of vacillating, dissembling and straight-out lying.
Hmmm. What happened to personal responsibility, that little concept you spoke of just over a year ago. It wasn't all nanny state and dictating to people what they should drink then:
"David Cameron declared yesterday that some people who are poor, fat or addicted to alcohol or drugs have only themselves to blame.

He said that society had been too sensitive in failing to judge the behaviour of others as good or bad, right or wrong, and that it was time for him to speak out against “moral neutrality”."

Please continue...
“Of course, circumstances — where you are born, your neighbourhood, your school and the choices your parents make — have a huge impact. But social problems are often the consequence of the choices people make.”

And now Dave has decided that this isn't, in fact, the case: now Dave has decided that he should dictate what we should drink, what price we should drink it at and where we should drink it.

This reminds me of when Dave said that he was a libertarian... And then decided that he wasn't a libertarian after all.

Actually, I reckon that The Massively-Foreheaded Cunt™ is a libertarian. Only, it's not the kind of libertarianism that I believe in: no, Dave believes in "libertarian paternalism", just like those totalitarian bastards Alan Maryon-Davis and Julian le Grand.

And regular readers will know precisely how popular that concept is around here.

Ain't that right, Dave?

Lockerbie non-bomber to be released

It seems that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, is to be released on compassionate grounds.
The Lockerbie bomber is to be released on compassionate grounds, the Scottish Government has announced.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, 57, was jailed in 2001 for the atrocity which claimed 270 lives in 1988.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill revealed that the Libyan, who has terminal prostate cancer, would be allowed to return to his homeland.

The US Government said it "deeply regretted" the Scottish Government's decision to release Megrahi.

The only reason that the US Government regrets it is that they are shit-scared that al-Megrahi might reveal what a fucking stitch-up his trial was.

Still, this development will make Shane Greer very unhappy.
No really, shocking though it is, I can confirm that I agree with Hillary Clinton (about something at least): Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, should not be released from prison or transferred to Libya to serve out his prison term at home.

To listen to the commentary at the moment you’d think the Scottish justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill, had a tough decision in front of him. Really? I mean, it looks pretty simple to me: a man convicted (only eight years ago) of killing 270 people would like to be released from prison because he’s ill. Solution: tough luck, you were convicted of killing 270 people.

How many of the people who were aboard Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 have been able to go home to see their families? Oh yeah, none.

Well, might I suggest, Shane, that instead of taking this shit at face value, you go and do some research into the evidence—or lack of it—and the conduct of the trial—which was condemned by independent UN observer as bringing "the entire Scottish legal system into disrepute".

There is, you see, a very simple reason why al-Megrahi should be released:


Our government know that this man is innocent; the US government knows that this man is innocent; and the Libyan government knows it too. It is pretty certain that the Iranian government—which, entirely coincidentally, had a passenger airliner shot down by an American warship shortly before the Lockerbie bombing—also knows this.

I wrote about this some years ago, when I was just starting this blogging lark...
The excellent Private Eye special report written by the late Paul Foot, Lockerbie: The Flight From Justice highlights the considerable evidence for [Iran being responsible for the Lockerbie bombing] at the time.

Around the time of the first Gulf War, when we needed the Iranians onside, all investigations into the Lockerbie affair were quietly dropped. When they resumed after the war, it was found that several incriminating bits of evidence had been "misplaced".

Two things about the affair are certain: firstly, the man who is currently serving 27 years in a Scottish prison did not do it. Secondly, the politicians who organised, and the spooks who were present at, the trial (which was described by the UN observer, a Chilean professor whose report was printed in full in the Eye report, as having brought "the entire Scottish legal system into disrepute") know that he did not do it.

Libya agreed to go along with the whole thing because it would get them back onto the USA's trading list: that was the deal. And when you consider the amount that Libya could get out of trading with the US, the £6 billion compensation to the victims is a paltry sum.

The full report of another observer, Dr Hans Kochler, can be found online, but here are some broad points that he raises.
  1. It was a consistent pattern during the whole trial that — as an apparent result of political interests and considerations — efforts were undertaken to withhold substantial information from the Court.

    By not having pursued thoroughly and carefully an alternative theory, the Court seems to have accepted that the whole legal process was seriously flawed in regard to the requirements of objectivity and due process.

  2. As a result of this situation, the undersigned has reached the conclusion that foreign governments or (secret) governmental agencies may have been allowed, albeit indirectly, to determine, to a considerable extent, which evidence was made available to the Court.

  1. A general pattern of the trial consisted in the fact that virtually all people presented by the prosecution as key witnesses were proven to lack credibility to a very high extent, in certain cases even having openly lied to the Court.

  1. Furthermore, the Opinion of the Court seems to be inconsistent in a basic respect: while the first accused was found “guilty”, the second accused was found “not guilty”. It is to be noted that the judgement, in the latter’s case, was not “not proven”, but “not guilty”. This is totally incomprehensible for any rational observer when one considers that the indictment in its very essence was based on the joint action of the two accused in Malta.

  2. The Opinion of the Court is exclusively based on circumstantial evidence and on a series of highly problematic inferences. As to the undersigned’s knowledge, there is not one single piece of material evidence linking the two accused to the crime.

  3. This leads the undersigned to the suspicion that political considerations may have been overriding a strictly judicial evaluation of the case and thus may have adversely affected the outcome of the trial. This may have a profound impact on the evaluation of the professional reputation and integrity of the panel of three Scottish judges.

  4. In the above context, the undersigned has reached the general conclusion that the outcome of the trial may well have been determined by political considerations and may to a considerable extent have been the result of more or less openly exercised influence from the part of actors outside the judicial framework — facts which are not compatible with the basic principle of the division of powers and with the independence of the judiciary, and which put in jeopardy the very rule of law and the confidence citizens must have in the legitimacy of state power and the functioning of the state’s organs - whether on the traditional national level or in the framework of international justice as it is gradually being established through the United Nations Organization.

  5. On the basis of the above observations and evaluation, the undersigned has — to his great dismay — reached the conclusion that the trial, seen in its entirety, was not fair and was not conducted in an objective manner. Indeed, there are many more questions and doubts at the end of the trial than there were at its beginning.

So, having quite deliberately made al-Megrahi a scapegoat for political power-broking—and imprisoned him not only as a sop to the families but also to stop people asking awkward questions—I think that the least that we can do is let the poor bastard go home to die, if he wants to.

Although I wouldn't be surprised if al-Megrahi conveniently pegged out long before he leaves these shores...

We are back...

First, thanks to The Filthy Smoker for keeping the home fires burning in The Kitchen.

Your humble Devil and his lovely wife (cripes!), Bella, have returned from our week-long sojourn in the relaxed atmosphere of Cyprus—about which I shall write in a little while.

Our flight set off three hours late (more on that later too) and, as we were greeted by (practically) jackbooted Border Agency scum, I felt a swelling rage. A copy of the Metro has completed the process, and your humble Devil will soon be using this blog for its intended purpose—venting my spleen.

However, first I have to drag myself to work...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Useful idiots

(DK is away)

The economic hangover of the smoking ban and the effects of the recession have both been blamed for fewer people going to pubs, but it is clear the supermarkets and a growing culture of drinking at home are the real cause for the decline.

Oh, for the love of... 

Alright then, one more time. There is not a growing culture of drinking at home because the supermarkets are selling more alcohol. There is a growing culture of drinking at home because of the smoking ban which, in turn, has led to the supermarkets selling more alcohol. People who drink at home tend to buy their alcohol from supermarkets. Not pubs. Supermarkets not pubs. Horse then cart. Do you see how that works? 

How can I be so sure? Well, partly because supermarkets have been under-cutting pubs for - ooh, how long? - for-fucking-ever, and partly because recessions do not traditionally damage the pub trade to any great extent. But even if they did, the most dramatic rise in pub closures happened before the recession began. 
So worried are the nation's publicans that the Scottish Licensed Traders' Association is calling for minimum pricing for alcohol in the hope of preventing supermarkets using drink as a loss-leader.

My, my. Quite a little campaign underway for this particular piece-of-shit legislation at the moment, isn't there? The BBC, in addition to publishing laughable propaganda denying that pubs are closing at all (really, have a read of it), dedicated a whole episode of Panorama last week to pushing minimum pricing (and it was bollocks from start to finish, naturally). 

But now the unhinged Trotsykist maniacs who run Scotland have agreed to consider such a law, it's all hands to the pumps for the evil, lying, fake charity fuck-sticks as they try to persuade the rest of the UK to go down this totalitarian cul-de-sac. Regular readers of the Kitchen will recognise some familiar names:

Don Shenker of Alcohol Concern managed to squeeze 3 of the 5 myths about alcohol into 35 words:
"Alcohol is now 75 per cent more affordable than it was in 1980, and consumption has risen as a result. We've all seen cans of cheap supermarket lager on sale for less than bottled water."

For the BBC, he even managed to give the whole thing a think-of-the-children twist:
"When 11 litres of supermarket cider costs less than the price of a Harry Potter ticket, it's no wonder they think alcohol is better value for money"

Then there's Alan "libertarian by nature" Maryon-Davis, who seems to be turning into some sort of rapper, if his message to the BBC is any indication:
"Enough is enough and it's time to get tough."

The authoritarian scumbag added:
"The government should stop pussyfooting around and set a minimum price for alcohol that eliminates ultra-cheap heavy drinking without disaffecting all those who drink moderately."

And then, on Sunday, fake charity ringleader Ian Gilmore popped up to spout his usual shite:
Gilmore said the cirrhosis figures showed this policy was "failing" and that the introduction of a minimum pricing regime for alcohol was now vital to safeguard the nation's health.

What really gives the game away is the sheer number of press release-based articles that have appeared recently.

Confusion 'fuels alcohol misuse' and Boredom 'fuels teen alcohol use' (both BBC) are quite simply non-stories, created solely to keep the issue in the news.

Call for alcohol laws as liver disease soars (The Guardian) and Charity warns over child drinkers (BBC) regurgitate data that was released in May this year, except with a we-need-minimum-pricing makeover. 

Heavy drinking culture blamed for surge in oral cancers (The Guardian) is a highly dubious story based on a Cancer Research press release (read the correction at the top to see just how carefully the ladies and gentlemen of the press bother to read these press releases before rewriting them). Dick Puddlecote gives a few reasons why the spin put on this news is suspect.

When so many spurious stories appear in such a short space of time, you know that a co-ordinated media campaign has been launched, in this case - one assumes - by Ian Gilmore's Alcohol Health Alliance.

So what is the pub industry doing getting into bed with this odious set of bastards?
Colin Wilkinson, secretary of the SLTA, says thousands of jobs could be lost across the industry in the coming years unless something is done to halt the decline.

"Cheap drink in supermarkets is killing the trade off," he says. "What we're pushing for is a minimum price on alcohol."

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is also on board because, they reckon, minimum pricing would "equalise the on/off trade differential." 

To understand this strange marriage of convenience, you need to go back to the seeds of the smoking ban. You might recall that the pub industry originally opposed the smoking ban (along with CAMRA). But when the government proposed an exemption for private members' clubs, the industry abruptly changed its mind and supported the ban, so long as it was total and uncompromising. They didn't like the idea of 13 million smokers signing up as members of the local working men's club or snooker club. Not too principled, that, but realpolitik rarely is.

The rest is history. Pub closures rocketed from 2 a week to 39 a week. Latest figures suggest the rate of closures has now reached 52 a week. Only a fool - or a BBC hack - could fail to spot the connection.

So why didn't landlords take to the streets to protect their livelihoods as they did in Hong Kong and Holland, and as they have been doing in Turkey today? Open defiance of the law in Germany helped get the ban overturned there. (The French, of course, who have a history of surrendering to fascism, gave up without a fight. Plus ca change.)

The most likely explanation for the British pub trade's servility is that they didn't expect this pig-headed government to amend the smoking ban under any circumstances. They may have been correct. More pertinently, even if the government did back down, it would likely return to its original exemption for members' only clubs, which would shaft pubs even more vigorously than the current legislation has been doing.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, the pub industry thinks it might as well use its current problems as an excuse to attack its competitors in the off-trade, especially the supermarkets. Hence the unseemly and unlikely partnership with anti-alcohol fanatics like Ian fucking Gilmore. Realpolitik again.

This can only end in tears. The prohibitionist mentality is not a beast that can be tamed. Sooner or later it will go all Siegfried and Roy on you. The government wouldn't shed a tear if every pub in Britain closed down tomorrow. Ian Gilmore would probably cry with joy. These are not people to be helping out if you make your living selling drinks.

Not only that, the simple maths dictates that pubs have nothing to gain from this minimum price bullshit. The current plan is to set a minimum price of 40-50p per unit. Your average 4% pint of lager has 2.3 units in it and costs about £3 in a pub. Even with a minimum price of 50p, that pint is going to be sold in supermarkets for £1.15 or so - still much cheaper than a pint in a pub and, therefore, smokers will still stay at home. 

There will be no financial incentive for anyone to go back to the pub unless the minimum price is far in excess of £1. To make the pub's £3 charge for a pint sound competitive - albeit artificially, and courtesy of an all-powerful state - the minimum unit price is going to have to be set at around £1.30. Is such a scenario possible? Perhaps. It is the insidious nature of groups like Alcohol Concern to demand that the 50p minimum rises to 60p, then 75p and so on. This alone is a damn good reason to oppose this law with every sinew of your body. Even so, £1.30 per unit is, as illiterate sports commentators say, 'a big ask' in any country that wishes to maintain the pretense of being a liberal democracy.

And do you know what? Even if they make the minimum price £2.50 per unit, I will still not be returning to the pub. Why? Because I am not standing in the fucking street to drink a pint of beer. That is still the bottom line. You can't force people to do something they don't want to do and making another stupid illiberal law will not paper over the cracks of the previous stupid illiberal law. 

The SLTA and CAMRA are making a big mistake co-operating with latter-day temperance groups on this minimum pricing issue. They are not people who can be reasoned with because they are not reasonable people. They cannot be appeased. They cannot be compromised with. The government has no right - no right at all - to decide how much a drink should cost. That should be the only message the politicians hear on this issue. And for anyone in the pub industry to collaborate with these puritans in a selfish attempt to undo the damage that occurred last time they got tricked by them is nothing short of pathetic. Fuck the lot of them.

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