Monday, April 30, 2012

Goodbye NHS, it was nice knowing you

[NB: I am not the Devil]

I've teasingly had a little play with this at my own pad, but since Sunday's Observer article betrays an astounding lack of collective political antenna on the part of the health establishment, further comment is merited.
A majority of doctors support measures to deny treatment to smokers and the obese, according to a survey that has sparked a row over the NHS's growing use of "lifestyle rationing".

Some 54% of doctors who took part said the NHS should have the right to withhold non-emergency treatment from patients who do not lose weight or stop smoking. Some medics believe unhealthy behaviour can make procedures less likely to work, and that the service is not obliged to devote scarce resources to them.
We all have differing opinions, of course, but one has to wonder what the blithering fuck a majority of these surveyed doctors could possibly have been thinking if—as we are led to believe—they are faithfully wedded to the NHS and its all-inclusive, free at the point of delivery ethos.

There has been an unending stream of 'progressive' commentators in the health service telling us how the NHS Reform Bill is "privatisation by stealth". A perfect example, again at the Guardian domain, being this.
Opponents of privatisation of the NHS would, however, be unwise to focus solely on the issue of hospital management, because the slipperiness of the NHS bill is that it stealthily advances the privatisation of healthcare on several fronts. It does this in primary care, in community health services, and in commissioning – all of it concealed behind the publically trusted NHS logo.
They might want to cast a glance, instead, at the quite idiotic—and dangerously irresponsible—bigots amongst the 54% mentioned above. Again, represented by the NHS logo.

They worry about privatisation by the back door? How about excluding a not inconsiderable section of the population from routine surgery on the premise that—for currently fashionable reasons—they should be denied benefit from their taxes that doctors have been spending for decades on the fucking golf course?

What is expected of a fat bloke who needs a new hip, or a smoker who is denied IVF? They will, of course, go private if they are remotely of substance. The less well-off won't be able to even consider it. Err, that is what one would term a two-tier health service based on ability to pay, and highly anti-progressive at that. Precisely what all the agonising and protests over the NHS Reform Bill have claimed to want to avoid, yet here we have supposedly educated people calling for an advance towards the kind of system they constantly tell us won't work.

The bandwagon is gaining pace on this hilarious destruction of the NHS from within, without any help required from those of us who are quite aware that the whole edifice is constructed on 1940s straw and no longer fit for purpose.

As such, it's astronomically fucking superb that we can sit back and watch as crashingly stupid doctors—the ones who have been lecturing us from their ivory towers for the past decade, remember, about how irrational and misguided we are in choosing our own lifestyles—throw their weight behind the very cloaked privatisation they supposedly fear.
[Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners] said: "It's the deserving and undeserving sick idea. The NHS should deliver care according to need. There was no medical justification for such restrictions on smokers, as giving up nicotine would not necessarily enhance an operation's chances of success. Clearly, giving up smoking is a good thing. But blackmailing people by telling them that they have to give up isn't what doctors should be doing."
Nice try, Clare, but your entire profession has been insulting the public and promoting unjustifiable lobbying against behaviours which you don't particularly like for a long time now. Is it any wonder the daft fucktards who you've been brainwashing now stray off-message and get all radical on yo' ass?

Some in the health profession have even gone on record as advocating those who are unable to pay being allowed to die.

It's the kind of hideous inhuman thinking libertarians are ignorantly accused of, yet I've never met a libertarian or classical liberal in my life who ever agreed that should be a possibility under a private system with government-funded vouchers as a safety net for those not able to pay. Only in the ranks of self-described progressive health professionals will you see death and withdrawal of healthcare being touted as a valid policy.

Long live the debate amongst the health profession, in my opinion. In fact, I hope they push the envelope and grip the public's shit big time by moving from obesity and smoking into alcohol use and dangerous sports as a reason to deny healthcare. It won't then be long until someone asks the valid question as to why they have been faithfully paying the state for the NHS via NI contributions if it isn't the presumption of health care which was promised to them from the first time they received a payslip. Just one successful test case and the NHS will be landed with a bill which will make the PPI losses to banks look like chicken feed.

In the appended comments, one Guardian contributor questions whether the 54% are actually insurance salesmen in disguise. Well, why not? They are making a superb case for privatising the NHS and/or potentially moving us into a situation where the NHS will cease to exist due to a financial inability to cover litigious claims.

Oh yeah, and the next time you see your doctor—according to this survey—rather than respect them, you should consider that there is a more than 50% chance that he/she is a myopic, self-absorbed, righteous bell end.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wind farms cause climate change...

Today's hilarious headline was found via Danny Weston on Facebook—apparently wind farms cause climate change...
Wind farms can cause climate change, according to new research, that shows for the first time the new technology is already pushing up temperatures.

Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools.
But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.

Satellite data over a large area in Texas, that is now covered by four of the world's largest wind farms, found that over a decade the local temperature went up by almost a centigrade as more turbines are built.

This could have long term effects on wildlife living in the immediate areas of larger wind farms.

It could also affect regional weather patterns as warmer areas affect the formation of cloud and even wind speeds.
Aaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha! Aaaahahahahaha! Aaahaha! Ah ha! Ha.

Oh, oh, wait. Uh... Here it comes... AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Aaaahahaha! Ahahaha! Ah ha! Ha! Ha.

Am I done yet? Oh, no, doesn't look like it...


*wipes away tears of hilarity*

So, let's summarise: wind farms cost billions in subsidies, transfer money from the poor to the rich, slice up rare wild birds, dice up bats by the hundred, emit more CO2 in their construction than they save over a lifetime, don't generate any worthwhile or consistent electrical power.

And now they cause climate change...?

I think that I've split my sides from laughing.

Well done, Greenies—oh, very well done!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Farage and UKIP...

Looking and sounding credible. And Nigel is right: as I have said for many years, all of the things that people are concerned about involve the EU in one way or another. Whilst "the EU" per se might be low on the electoral agenda, the EU touches just about everything on that agenda.

If you want to change the way in which our country is governed, then you need to vote for people who want us to govern our own country.

Which means not only leaving the EU, but also sacking at least the top three grades of civil servant.

Whilst I have little time for politicians, I have even less time for the technocrats of Whitehall and Brussels—they are scum and they need to be removed before any kind of change is possible.

When the people rise up, the politicians will hang from the lamp-posts as a symbol: the hanging of the civil servants, technocrats and advisors will herald real change.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quote of the day...

... comes from David Hockney's splendid pro-smoking rant against the joyless cretins running our once green and pleasant land...
Mr Lansley, Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband, Mr Clegg: Keep out of my life. I don’t want your dreary view of life infecting me. It’s not good for my health, or others around me.

Or, to put it another way, why don't you loathsome, miserable, puritan sacks of shit just fuck off...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yes. But no...

Young Master Hannan is complaining that UKIP split the "eurosceptic" vote, through a comparison with Canada's recent political history...
In 1993, Canada’s Conservatives were wiped out. The governing party lost all but two of its 156 MPs, and began a 23-year period in opposition. Defeat on such a scale doesn’t happen for just one reason, of course, but the Tories’ single biggest disadvantage is easily identified: the Right-wing vote was split.

The Progressive Conservatives, the established party of Diefenbaker and Mulroney, had been challenged by a younger movement, the Reform Party. Led by Preston Manning, one of the greatest conservative leaders of our age, Reform spilled out from the western prairies, demanding radical decentralisation, tax cuts, a crackdown on crime and an end to multiculturalism.

Dan then argues that when the two parties merged, they made a stronger electoral proposition, and the Conservatives have consequently gone from strength to strength.
You can probably guess where I’m going with this argument.

The latest YouGov poll has my party on 32 per cent, and UKIP on 9 per cent. Together, that’s a Conservative government; separately, it’s a Labour government.

Which would scare us all, Danny, if the recent actions of your party—in sharp contrast to the rhetoric of both members of the Coalition—hadn't more than adequately revealed that there is (as Nigel Farage would say) not a cigarette paper between your lot and NuLabour. Apart, possibly, from a basic honesty on the part of NuLabour about their authoritarian agenda.
It’s true, of course, that not every UKIP voter is a former Tory. Then again, the relevant question is not ‘how did they vote before?’ but ‘if UKIP didn’t exist, how would they vote today?’ It seems not unreasonable to assume that the majority would support the most convincingly Eurosceptic party on offer.

Sorry, Dan, but remind me which one that is again...?
So let’s ask the question. Are there any circumstances in which UKIP and the Conservatives might combine? UKIP leaders keep saying that they’d gladly fold themselves into the Conservative Party if it became our policy to leave the EU, but such an eventuality seems unlikely, at least in the short term. It’s true that most Conservative voters would withdraw from the EU tomorrow. So would most party members. And so, I suspect, would most Tory MPs in a secret ballot. That, though, is not party policy.

Which is a round-about way of saying that the Conservative leadership does not represent the views of Tory MPs, Tory Party members or the rest of the country.
[Cameron] made two commitments to Eurosceptics before he became leader: first, that he would allow individual Conservatives, provided they were not frontbenchers, to campaign against EU membership...

Or, rather, that anyone who joined Better Off Out would not get any kind of Cabinet job. It's all a matter of perspective, eh?
... second, that he would withdraw his MEPs from the federalist EPP.

But not, of course, before ensuring that he could get enough MEPs to ensure that the new group would be big enough to get the EU funding accorded to those of a certain size.
Could there, then, be a Conservative-UKIP alliance while the Tories remain in favour of EU membership? Yes.

It's actually vanishingly unlikely.
Full independence is unlikely to be in the next manifesto; but an In/Out referendum might well be. And such a referendum ought to be enough.

Why? We all know that referendums have a tendency to be thoroughly ignored—or re-held until the "right" answer is given.
UKIP’s raison d’être is secession. Sure, it has other policies: tax cuts, selection in schools and so forth. But it exists, essentially, to restore British sovereignty. A referendum would take that issue off the agenda whichever way it went.

But UKIP's raison d'être is, as you say, not about a referendum, Dan: it's about leaving the EU.

And, let's face it, Dan, your claim that the Conservatives are "the most convincingly Eurosceptic party on offer" is on shaky ground. Should you doubt me, perhaps you can tell me who said this back in January?
So now we know: no repatriation, no renegotiation, business as usual. December's 'veto' turns out to be nothing of the kind; at best, it is a partial opt-out. Britain had asked for concessions in return for allowing the other member states to use EU institutions and structures for their fiscal compact. No such concessions were forthcoming, but we have given our permission anyway. The only difference is that, because the deal was done in a separate treaty structure, the PM doesn't have to put anything through the House of Commons. We had a generational opportunity to improve our relationship with the EU. That opportunity has passed.

Yes, Danny: it was you.

Some say that actions speak louder than words. Me? I believe that without actions your words are at best suspect and most certainly meaningless—all mouth and no trousers.

And the Buttered New Potato and his acolytes—who have a strangle-hold on your party and, alas, this country—have said many fine words (remember the Freedom Bill, the "veto", the promises to restore our freedoms?) but have, in fact, only cracked down even harder on our personal and civil liberties.

The other thing that you fail to appreciate, Dan, is encapsulated in these fragments of your own article...
... Reform spilled out from the western prairies, demanding radical decentralisation, tax cuts, a crackdown on crime and an end to multiculturalism...

... and...
Sure, [UKIP] has other policies: tax cuts, selection in schools and so forth.

UKIP has a highly active and enthusiastic youth wingheaded by highly intelligent libertarian businessman Harry Aldridge.

UKIP is not solely about withdrawal from the EU anymore: it was when I first joined back in 2006, but a number of us campaigned for—and contributed to—a fuller manifesto. And that manifesto is, with a few idiotic mistakes, largely libertarian in flavour. Just as Canada's Reform party wanted more than a desired outcome on a single issue, UKIP is now a party "demanding radical decentralisation, tax cuts, a crackdown on crime".

Further, UKIP is the party that understands that people want to have fun: Nigel Farage's well-known affiliation for a pint and a fag is a draw for those of us in this country who are sick and fucking tired of being lectured at by worthy, worthless, miserable fucking puritans.

So, whilst many UKIP members might be persuaded by your party's weasel-tongued promises on a referendum—will this be a "cast-iron" one again, Dan?—those who are developing UKIP's current and future direction are not interested: they are libertarians and lovers of freedom. They will not be conned by the Conservatives' lies and platitudes—because they are not conservatives.

There's a backlash coming, Dan: why do you think that the whole idea of state funding has reared its ugly head again...? The Big Three simply want to shut out the nimbler competitors—rather like the multi-nationals that your party's corporatist policies favour, in fact.

The Big Three parties are all morally bankrupt: this has become increasingly obvious and some of us have principles, Dan. The Conservatives will never have my backing ever again—and I think that most of the young UKIPpers feel the same way.

The previous generations have screwed up: it is time for you all to step aside and let the libertarian youth build a better, happier world.

UPDATE & DISCLAIMER: I rejoined UKIP in January. It just made sense—apart from their immigration policy.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Day The Coalition Went Mad

Please note: I am not the Devil

The day the coalition finally went mad and drifted into mindless, controlling authoritarianism was, perhaps appropriately enough, Friday 13th April, 2012. And the clearest indicator that the coalition has become drunk on power and the desire to control was the announcement on a period of consultation on the question of cigarette packaging.

Of course, the idea of plain packaging for cigarettes is hardly a new idea. And it is also fair to say that the drift towards the controlling coalition has been going on for a while – as the plans on internet snooping (dealt with by our humble host with considerable aplomb here) so clearly demonstrate. Finally, I will also concede that in terms of the myriad of different ways in which our incumbent government can shit on our civil liberties, this is a relatively minor one in its immediate practical implications. Nonetheless, this was clearly the day that coalition cracked, and revealed its desire to control as much of the life of this country as possible. The clue is in the language used by the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley. The BBC quotes the man who, for reasons that not only defy but actively piss on understanding, is in charge of health in this country:
“We don't want to work in partnership with the tobacco companies because we are trying to arrive at a point where they have no business in this country.”
Now, it has to be conceded that part of the problem is that it is Andrew Lansley saying this. To say he has little credibility is like saying that Pol Pot was a bit of a shit – a dramatic, almost farcical, understatement. Frankly, when I see Andrew Lansley, I think to myself “when did scrotums begin to walk and talk?” So not only this but any announcement that dribbles forth from the pompous pie-hole of Lansley has the massive, crippling disadvantage of the fact that it would be marginally more credible if said announcement was coming from the mouth of a shit-flinging monkey in a suit. But does that mean that the announcement would be better if it came from another politician? Well, no, no it really wouldn’t. Partly because there is no-one in our Parliament of Slugs who has much more credibility and gravitas than Lansley. But mainly because the words quoted above should never come from the mouth of any politician in this country.

As I said, it is all about the language. The arrogance is astounding. Lansley is refusing to work with the businesses that will be affected by the latest ripe policy turd that the coalition is handing the country. He won’t work with the tobacco companies; with those companies who provide goods that people actually want in this country (yes, Mr Lansley, some people do want to smoke) and who generate millions in revenue for the Exchequer each and every year. Lansley is perfectly happy to dismiss contributors to the economy. Probably because the economy is doing so well, eh? Oh, wait…

But it isn’t just the arrogance. Lansley wants to stop the tobacco companies having any business here. There are two possible implications of this; either this is a precursor to an outright ban or Lansley believes that he and his chuntering, power-hungry ilk can denormalise a habit that adults can legitimately choose to indulge. Either he’s planning to ban tobacco or make it a taboo. He wants to control what you can buy or what you choose to do (most probably, both). This sort of control of the economy and the personal choices of adults has no place in a nominal liberal democracy; it is the politics of the authoritarian, with more than a pungent whiff of the totalitarian about it. This represents an astonishing power grab and, given the general failure of all projects of prohibition, the sort of thing that only the batshit crazy would ever think could have a hope of working. This sort of thing truly does mark the departure of the coalition from the reality based community.

So we have a Health Secretary, drunk on quaffing liberally from the fountain of undeserved power, looking to change and restrict what you can do as an adult really rather radically. Of course, he is but one man – one gobshite – in the coalition. Just because Lansley seems to have left sanity behind, seemingly for the duration, does not mean that his fellow members of the coalition government feel the same way. Indeed, some really do not. Yet there has been no condemnation of Lansley’s plan from those running this government. No-one important has turned round and said “seriously Lansley, sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up”. Which is a staggering indictment of the coalition, really. It is yet another sign that the new politics is identical to the old politics in all bar name and party affiliation. Because this sort of thing is precisely the sort of shit that Nu Labour used to come up with and the Tories and Lib Dems used to oppose. Now, after just two short years in power, the coalition seems happy to openly endorse the sort of utter shit that they used to rightly decry when it came from the last Labour government. Last Friday was not just the day the coalition went mad; it was also the day they became Nu Labour. The terrifying implication of this is not so much that nothing changes, but rather than nothing can change while the three main parties have a monopoly on power in this country.

So what can we do in the face of this power mad government? Howl in protest seems to be the best option in the near future, and then remember this sort of guff when we next enter the ballot box. Stop returning these controlling arseholes to power seems like a good option. And, regardless of whether you smoke or not, go out and buy a packet of fags – if for no other reason than it will really piss Andrew Lansley off. A small gesture, to be sure, but in the face of Lansley’s hard-on for controlling you, also a noble one.

Monday, April 09, 2012

FakeCharities change again

Dear all,

When myself and the Filthy Smoker set up FakeCharities, we never imagined that the term would pass into web parlance so readily as it has.

However, in order to ensure that the information is correct, FakeCharities does require an awful lot of continuous work: it is not enough to say that x charity took y amount of government cash in z year—it needs to be done every year.

However, FakeCharities does have some mileage in it; as such, I am pretty much decided that the site will become a wiki—probably based on the MediaWiki software—and we will ask some of you to contribute much more.

As such, I am asking if the following would be willing to give a few hours a month to help us:
  1. Someone experience in WordPress/MediaWiki, to help transfer the information that we already have into a new system.

  2. A core bunch of people who will act as the editors for the wiki—checking a random selection of submissions, for instance, to verify them.

  3. A bunch of people who are willing to pick, say, three charities and to follow them each and every year; in "sponsoring" these charities, you will be responsible for ensuring that the latest accounts are checked and uploaded to the wiki.

Please do let me know. If no one volunteers, we shall continue to keep the current site up for as long as I can be bothered to pay for the domain and server—however, no updates will occur.

However, should you choose to be involved, I can promise a renewed interest from the think-tank and policy sector...



Sunday, April 01, 2012

Watching your fall

This is the massively-foreheaded face of our enemy. And—look!—isn't it a stupid face, a weak face, a detestable face? But don't be deceived—this man holds you all in utter contempt. Mark him: he is the enemy of all free-born British people everywhere.

Oh look—here is proof positive that no matter who you vote for, the cunt politicians always get in.
The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon.

Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time.

The Home Office says the move is key to tackling crime and terrorism, but civil liberties groups have criticised it.

As The Mail points out, this kind of monitoring was thrown out when Labour proposed it—not least because the Tories and LibDims thought it was absolutely beyond the pale.
In 2006, Labour was forced to abandon similar plans in the face of fierce opposition from Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and privacy groups.

Well, how the tide has turned, eh?

Does anyone remember this interview from 2011—a mere year ago?
Early in our interview, he says disarmingly, "I need to say this – you shouldn't trust any government, actually including this one. You should not trust government – full stop. The natural inclination of government is to hoard power and information; to accrue power to itself in the name of the public good."

He hasn't changed his views since we met five years ago when he was home affairs spokesman for his party and I was beginning to get to grips with the attack on liberty and privacy by the Blair government. We were both astonished then at the range, depth and stealth of the campaign and the surprising truth that few people seemed to notice or care about Blair's authoritarian project, which did so much to reduce the citizen's standing in relation to the state. Clegg is passionate on this: "It was the outright derision towards the criminal justice system… and extreme disdain for due process. For Blair the criminal justice system was an impediment to keeping people safe."

Five years after that meeting it seems extraordinary that he now occupies such a pivotal role in government and is in a position to lead the restoration of civil liberties. Were it not for his performance in the TV debates during the election campaign, which put the Lib Dems in the game, and the need for the coalition partners to find areas in which they could bond, it is certain that this Protection of Freedoms Bill would not exist. Although I have some concerns about what has not been included in the bill, it is true that the conditions that brought it into existence are near miraculous.

Yes, that is Henry Porter's interview with Nick Clegg, from February 2011. It is entitled—ironically, it now seems—Why we should believe Nick Clegg when he promises to restore liberties stolen by Labour.

Predictably, the BBC have interviewed David Davis and he is not in favour—although he does not condemn Cameron and his merry band of twats as "a collective sack of shit".

As a reminder—because memories are short—David Davis resigned his seat in protest against the 42-day detention law. At the time, he gave a speech outside Parliament, announcing his intention and the reasons for his action. Please, go and listen to it: everything that he said then applies now.

Despite David Cameron's pontifications and Nick Clegg's protestations, this government is leading our country down precisely the same dictatorial route that NuLabour did.

In a couple of decades, when people asked what went wrong with Britain, they will identify David Cameron's victory over David Davis as the decisive factor—when the man of spin won over the man of principle.

And, given the Coalition's activities over the last few months—on booze, and smoking, and surveillance—then I issue this edict: if you are a member of Labour, LibDems or Conservative then you are a traitor and an enemy of the British people.

You have marked yourselves as fit for nothing but a public hanging—and one day we, the people, will ensure that is what you will get.

UPDATE: Norman Tebbit asks why the vote for all of the Big Three collapsed in Bradford...
More than ever before the mainstream party leaders need to be asking themselves why their one time voters have joined the ranks of the 'None of The Above' moment...

Well, Norm: I think that this latest news answers your question—does it not? It is because the Big Three are all the same: they are the enemy class, united in a conspiracy against the ordinary people of Britain.

So why on earth would those same people connive at their own destruction by voting for their executioners—do you think we are stupid...?

UPDATE 2: is anyone else surprised that EU Referendum can point to an EU motive behind this travesty?
Now this may be a coincidence, but don't we have a Data Retention Directive, otherwise known as Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006?

Isn't this the directive which requires member states to oblige providers of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks to retain traffic and location data for between six months and two years for the purpose of the investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime?

And didn't the EU commission last year start a review of the rules, with a view to proposing an improved legal framework? Wasn't that then followed by a proposal for a comprehensive reform of the system?

Then, a few months later, up pops the UK government with some proposals of its own. Are we supposed to believe that this is a complete coincidence? Does anyone believe that, with data retention being an occupied field, the British government is working entirely independently, and has not consulted with the commission on this?

Yup: it seems our Mother of All Parliaments EU regional government is simply obeying the instructions of its puppet-masters. Well, what a surprise.

Can we leave yet?

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...