Friday, October 31, 2008

It's A Mad World

This story really is the most absurd of the week.

A Scouse chav calls a Paddy a 'Leprechaun' and the glorious CPS decide to prosecute for racial hatred, or similar nonsense, costing the taxpayers thousands of quid. Thankfully the case has now been dropped.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Assisted Suicide

Debbie Purdy has failed in her attempt to have the law on assisted suicide changed, she fears that if her husband helps her to visit the Swiss clinic, run by Dignitas, he may face prosecution when he returns after her suicide. She has a particularly aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis. The judge stated that it was a question for parliament not the courts.

An average of two Britons each year travel to Switzerland to die in the way they choose, and until now nobody has faced prsecution upon return to the UK. However it seems that the family of the young rugby player who went there to die after being paralysed are being investigated by the CPS.

Part of the problem is deciding what constitutes assisting a suicide. Buying a plane ticket to Switzerland for your loved one? Holding his or her hand while they die? It doesn't have to actually be as stark as giving them the lethal dose of drugs.

The question of assisted suicide crops up on a regular basis and, while I believe it to be wrong, I have every sympathy for those who feel it to be their only option. What I do not want is for the law to be changed so that we, society, are consenting to people commiting suicide. I am extremely sympathetic to the authorities turning a blind eye in cases where it is obvious that the person who went to Switzerland was was fully aware of what they were doing and made the decision themselves. To hold the hand of a loved one as they die, be it suicide or not, should not be a prosecutable offence.

For several years I worked for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and a few years ago a Liverpool man with MND went to Switzerland to die. This caused a huge media furore similar to that this week around Debbie Purdy. I saw the other side of the impact this had on people living with MND. At that time nobody with MND that I spoke to wanted to take that route themselves. Most of them had the view that their lives were being cut short becaue of MND and they didn't want to shorten it any further. Many people with MND and their families found the whole thing terribly distressing. That side of the argument is rarely covered by the press.

As with any of these things there are reactions and repercusions for years to come that affect those left behind after a suicide. Could I have done more? Could I have encouraged him/her to stay a few more weeks or months? What about the immense feeling of guilt that may be faced by the loved one left behind? I've no doubt people like Debbie Purdy will be discussing all these things with her husband. But we need to be very careful that we look deeper than the media coverage that makes it all sound so clean and compartmentalised.

One of the more worrying aspects of this recent publicity is the position of Ludwig Minelli, the founder of Dignitas. It seems he wants the option of suicide extending beyond the terminally ill to people such as manic depressives. As ever one of the worrying things about legalising assisted suicide is how it would then extend into areas for which the original law was never intended.

And finally, we no longer tolerate the state taking the life of murderers so it seems to me even less acceptable for the state to condone the taking of innocent life whether by your own hand or not.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brand and Ross

The two nitwits, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, have eventually been suspended by the BBC. It's a shame in one respect because I've always quite liked Jonathan Ross, especially his radio stuff. Russell Brand however is a different thing altogether. He is just a talentless muppet who deserves suspending, preferably from a lamppost.

What it does show is the utter contempt the BBC have for the taxpayers who fund it. The show wasn't even live, the 'prank' phone calls actually being given the all clear for broadcast by a BBC production team. Without continuing public and media anger the BBC probably would never have taken the belated action they did today.

The whole thing just convinces me all the more that the BBC should be privatised.Commercial considerations, alien to BBC staff, would have been an excellent moderating influence in this case.

Mrs Thatcher

Here is a report of Mrs Thatcher attending a Bruges Group dinner given in her honour.

Great to see Nikki Sinclaire getting a good mention. Nikki is number 2 on UKIP's list in the West Midlands for next year's Euro elections.

Death Of The British Pub

Now I'm not prone to sanctimoniousness when it comes to booze, I enjoy a tipple as much as the next man, I am a Mancunian after all. In fact last night we had parents and sister and other 'arf round and we probably need a skip to take away the empty wine bottles. Anyway, the point is that TalkSport's Jon Gaunt is thankfully away and the much more cerebral Ian Collins is standing in. So I listened a bit this morning.

The debate has been on why Britons are now drinking themselves into oblivion. Yes, there has always been a healthy drinking culture and long may it last, but there is now something a bit worrying about the nature of it. By that I mean the level and nature of the drunkenness and the type of alcohol consumed. As ever the blame can be put fairly and squarely at the door of the politicians.

Some years back the Tory government messed up the laws on pub ownership drastically reducing the number of pubs that breweries were allowed to own, all in the name of competition. Enter 'pub chains' such as Wetherspoons and others. The nature of the pub changed, many becoming 'bars'. The trendies also wanted a continental style 'cafe culture', let's make the problem even worse in other words.

Successive governments then proceeded to tax booze so heavily that 'continental cafe culture' became the 'booze cruise'. Not just from Dover, for people down south, but a cheapie overnight from Hull for northerners too. And for those who couldn't afford the booze cruise, or the pub, cheap and nasty cider and spirits were the answer. And if you've stocked up properly then why stop drinking it until you have to?

But the level of public drunkenness is down to the death of the pub. In my youth, all those decades ago, we used to meet up in the pub and spend the night socialising over pints of bitter. After the pubs shut we would go on to a nightclub and carry on drinking bitter. Trying to appear sober, despite drowning as many pints as you could physically manage was a badge of honour.

Nowadays too many pubs, especially in city centres, resemble nightclubs and the noise makes old fashioned socialising virtually impossible. Furthermore drinking beer seems to be for old biddies, unless it is some super strength foreign lager. So kids are now getting pissed on spirits, which are much stronger than beer and have much more radical results.

Oh for the return of the good old fashioned pub, stinking of stale tobacco, just like the Hare and Hounds (above) in Gorton.

Fabian Crap

Every now and then it's nice to visit the Fabian Society website just to remind yourself how very flaky socialists really are.

They now patronise Muslims by claiming Sadiq Khan to be a 'leading Labour MP', just because he is London's first Muslim MP. Khan then goes on to claim that Muslim isolation can be ended by them becoming more isolated according to this article.

For Christ's sake get on with life and stop whining, equality will then follow. In fact it already exists, but muppets like Khan and the PC brigade have a vested interest in perceiving racism where it doesn't exist.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grey Squirrel For Lunch

This story is as far as conservation should go. Vegetarianism is really just another eating disorder so eating meat should always be encouraged. However, help save our native red squirrels by eating grey ones instead. Yummy, yummy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Leopard Man of Skye

One of the great things about Britain is the number of eccentrics we are lucky to have, the Leopard Man of Skye being just one.

I very often see somebody and think they must be barking mad, but then, on reflection, feel quite envious. This chap, living in a ruined bothy like a hermit for years, I quite admire. Although I intensely dislike tattoos.

And for all of us softies who think a lifesyle like that must age you prematurely, then the photo with this BBC coverage, of 73 year old Mr Leppard, suggests otherwise. Doesn't seem to have done him much harm does it?

Financial Mess

I remember back in the late 70s early 80s wondering what monetarism was. Although being politically active since school, where I also studied politics, government and economics, I would never profess to be an expert on government finance. I was surprised back then to discover that monetarism turned out to be exactly what I thought it was, don't live beyond your means.

It seems to me now that the main reason for this current fnancial fiasco is people, and business, living beyond their means, including government. So the message seems to be, to me at any rate, that many individuals, businesses and government need to tighten their belts, pretty damn quickly and pretty damn severley. Like most things in politics and life I favour the simple and commonsense approach, it is usually pretty effective.

So I am confused at the moment, especially having read this article. A rash of public borrowing and spending may mask the problem, and give the government some very short term political benefit, but in the longer run we are even more knackered thanks to this irresponsible government response.

Police State Tightening Its Grip

Police will soon be checking the identities of people in the street using hand-held mobile fingerprint scanners.

It is understood that the BlackBerry-sized devices are being issued to every UK police force under a scheme called Mobile Identification At Scene (MIDAS). They always have to have a smart acronym don't they?

They will enable officers to scan suspects' fingerprints and compare them against national records. So that will be more justification, in the eyes of the government, for a national database carrying all our fingerprints. After all, if you have not been fingerprinted and therefore don't show up on MIDAS what will they do? Probably drag you down the nick in case you are here illegaly. Then suggest it would save such misunderstandings in future if you 'volunteered' your fingerprints.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Old Fashioned Saturdays.

Today has a real old fashioned Saturday feel about it. For the first time in ages in the dull, wet, windy season I am not off to a football game on Saturday afternoon. Instead I was dragged off to Satan's own retail outlet, Ikea. But more of that anon.

The big thing I hate about driving at weekend is all the Sunday/weekend drivers. You know the sort, they sit in their spotless little runarounds and daren't ever leave the middle lane (lane 2) of the motorway. It's as if they fear actually moving from lane to lane so just sit there causing a huge tailback and effectively reducing the motorways to two lanes.

Then, on days like this, when there is a bit of rain and spray on the road, on go the fog lights. Why?! What kind of brain fault do these people have that makes them think 'fog light' when they see rain? All it does is refract the light across the windscreens of following vehicles thus causing an immediate danger, they look like brake lights and cause the vehicles behind to suddenly brake.

Then when you do try to pass them they have another brain fault that makes them speed up as you draw level so you end up passing them at 85mph. But as soon as you have passed they retreat back down to 60mph. And, as you pass, you glance left and they are invariably gripping the wheel as if their very life depended on it, their faces are about a foot from the windscreen and contorted with concentration, and they often have driving gloves on. Get the bus you idiots!

So why am I venturing along the M6 on a Saturday with no football to watch? As I said at the start I had to join Mrs B at Ikea. The place truly is evil and I have been given more red cards there by my beloved than in any other shop. The Warrington one is worst of all. I was once yellow carded in the car park there for getting angry when I couldn't find a parking space. Five minutes later we parked and I was so pissed off that I only got into the huge barn of a foyer and Mrs B brandished the red card and sent me back to the car for serious stropping. A blessing really.

But today I behaved and got round without even being tutted at. We got our storage boxes but, as happens in Ikea, the lids for the ones we got were not very good and barely fitted. So we got lids for another type of box that actually fit ours better. Not so clever you Swedish geeks! How can one country produce a monster like Ikea then at the opposite end of the spectrum a writer like Hening Mankell? God only knows.

So here I am now, having left home with Mrs B at the crack of dawn, sat waiting in Manchester for a costume fitting while Mrs B visits parents. Yes a costume fitting. Next week I am working as an extra on my first ever film, Sherlock Holmes, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Jude Law. It's really exciting because over the last twelve months I have been an extra on a few TV programmes but never a film. And a Hollywood film at that, even if it is being filmed in Manchester.

So that's why I'm not at the football.

Friday, October 24, 2008

President Obama?

It seems that the pinko liberal media in Europe are already drunk on celebrating Obama's victory in the US election next month. Certainly the media here are putting everything into making us believe that victory for Obama is a certainty.

Channel 4, and its associated channels, have been showing 30 second cameos of 'celebrities' endorsing Obama and attacking McCain/Palin for weeks now, with increasing venom. Today even the Daily Torygraph had a front page carrying predictions of riots if McCain wins, because it would obviously have been rigged.

So I was pleased today to discover Accuracy in Media. This website debunks some of the biased and downright lying media coverage attacking McCain/Palin and also the irrational, often plain untrue, media backing for the vacuous Obama.

I look forward to reading much more on this website.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nitwit Pulled From Question Time

Serious government nitwit Phil Woolas has been pulled from Question Time by the government. It seems that with the country in recession a Home Office minister is being replaced by a finance minister.

That and the fact that the man is a complete clown who, in true Prescott style, drops a clanger every time he opens his huge gob. Only this week he was predicting the disestablishment of the Church of England as we now live in a 'multi-faith society'. Crap! But it is so urgent that he predicts it would take 50 years. More crap!

At the last census over 70% of the population declared themselves at least nominally Christian. We live in a Christian country that is extremely tolerant of other religions, and so it should remain. Not being an Anglican I have no problem with the C of E being in such a position and have no problem with current restrictions on us Catholics becoming king or anything else.

Perhaps Woolas should bugger off and join Prince Charles on his farm. Let's face it when the time comes for Chas to become 'Defender of the Faiths' rather than 'Defender of the Faith' it's time to sack the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas as well as Woolas. Long live the Republic!

Let's All Move To Swindon

At last, a bit of commonsense with Swindon Borough Council getting rid of those ridiculous speed cameras. Let's hope the next move is to get rid of traffic lights, then all the other paraphernalia that makes motoring such a bind.

Martin Cassini, and others, must be pleased at this move in the right direction. But a little cynical part of me can't stop thinking that the only reason the Tories did it was because they pay £320,000 each year to maintain them, then the government keeps all the revenue from 'fines'.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free Speech

Some time ago I posted about freedom of speech. I have just read this article on the UKIP website by Gerard Batten, MEP for London which goes into more detail about the dangers of the European Arrest Warrant.

Scary Old Gits

Those humourless prats at Age Concern are at it again, taking offence at the drop of a hat on behalf of old folk. This time they are ranting at Woolworth's for flogging halloween masks in a range they call 'scary old people'. It seems that Age Concern, forever patronising old biddies, think the masks are grossly disrespectful and old biddies will be mortally offended. So let's scrap pantomimes that depict ugly sisters in case they offend the siblings of the world, and ban Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice for being anti-semitic.

I was unlucky enough to catch a few minutes of GMTV this morning and the slimy cow Fiona Philips was sat there being all offended by the masks. The next thing they went to an Age Concern social centre in Hull to see how terribly offended the old biddies were. I was just thinking how ugly and scary the masks were when I realised the old folk in Hull weren't wearing masks. Scary!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mayor of London

Interesting to read the very politically correct reasoning of Ken Livingstone here, outlining why he wants Barack Obama to win the US election.

Oops, sorry, it's Boris Johnson. I got a bit mixed up there.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Elections 2009-A Prediction

On June 4 next year we have the European elections and the local elections, including county council elections. It is interesting that the governmnent has been so keen to move the local elections back from May but there is good reason. The EU elections have traditionally created abysmal turnouts, so by holding the locals at the same time, they are hoping to bump up the turnout in the EU election.

The EU elections are on proportional representation rather than first past the post, which massively assists smaller parties such as UKIP and the Greens. Smaller parties, with extremely motivated members and supporters, will turn out to vote in what are seen by the general populace as worthless elections thus giving them success that it is very difficult to replicate in first past the post elections. Low turnout through apathy is great for smaller parties. Have other elections at the same time and hope that supporters of the big three will then vote in the EU elections too while they're at it, thus damaging the smaller parties.

On that basis what better to bump up voter turnout than having the general election on 4 June too? I wouldn't bet against it. In fact I may just have a flutter on it being held on June 4th. After all, New Labour do enjoy playing around with our democratic process.

It's A Mad World

Most of us get an ever increasing feeling that business exists not so much to provide a decent service but, just like government, to squeeze us dry. In recent months we have had two particularly stress inducing episodes.

First there is our very own British Gas saga. I say 'our very own' because everybody seems to have a British Gas horror story. Back in April we got a bill for £780, that despite them taking monthly direct debits. I phoned and gave them the current meter reading. They promised me that the bill would be corrected, we do after all live in a terraced house rather than a country mansion. A few weeks later the red bill arrived. I phoned them again and, after a lenthy conversation discovered that they were unaware that two years previously we had had a new meter fitted. So I gave them all the details and was promised that the bill would be sorted and a new bill sent. I was told that the old meter was imperial, the new one metric so the bill would be nearer £30 than £800. All was well then. Or was it?

A few more weeks passed and I received a letter threatening court action if we didn't pay up. So I rang again and was told that they had all the details but another department was dealing with it and they would be informed that they had the wrong information. I was told not to worry they would sort it out. That was a relief. Or was it?

A few weeks later I got a letter telling me that they were starting legal action and would be cutting off our gas supply. So I phoned again and spoke to an extremely pleasant fellow who was actually as piss useless as all the other titheads I had spoken to. So, after about eight calls to him, promising each time that he was diferent and would sort it, I went hrough the ombudsman. Lo and behold within a day it was sorted. Or was it?

I was told that they had the new meter detals but had mistakenly taken the first reading from zero. It had been put in two years before we went back to British Gas. The actual bill, we found out in September, was £25, by then we had stopped the direct debits. So we paid the bill and changed supplier. So that was that. Or was it?

Two weeks ago we got a cheque for £470. It was for what British Gas owed us!

Last week I changed my car. Yesterday I rang the breakdown people to inform them of the new details. I was told that we had no cover. Luckily Mrs B had kept the receipts, we had stupidly bought Tesco's breakdown cover. I then made a second call to be told the same and that I should go back to the store for a refund. So I did.

At the store I was told that we did have cover but I had rung the wrong number. So I asked which number I should have rung. She gave me the correct number and it was the one I had rung. I then told her that was the one I had rung and she told me that I hadn't, so I said I had, and so the call went. That saga is still ongoing but Mrs B is dealing with it as I reached for my baseball bat eventually to take out my frustration on a nearby inanimate object.

And each saga was exacerbated by phoning and getting endless stupid messages and options to press before I got to speak to a human being, or somebody nearly human!

We really are all doomed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bishop of Lancaster And Gay Adoption

There has been an ongoing 'dialogue' between the Bishop of Lancaster, Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, and the Catholic Caring Services in the diocese. For those who don't know the Catholic Caring Services provide adoption, among other services, to Roman Catholics. The problem is that government legislation means that from January 2009 adoption agencies will be forced to offer their services to gay and lesbian couples. This goes completely against the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

This morning at Mass we were informed that the situation has worsened. The trustees have voted to accept the new legislation and offer their services to same sex couples. As a consequence the Bishop has informed them that if they do go against the teaching of the Church, then he will have no option but to remove their designation as a Catholic service and sever their links to the diocese. Thank God for a Catholic Bishop who upholds the faith.

I am not clear about the complete ins and outs of the situation but suspect that the trustees are running more scared of the government and its enforcement agencies than they are of the Church or the Bishop of Lancaster. Those trustees who voted to abdicate their responsibilities won't be joining the honourable list of Lancashire martyrs, those who faced death not just malicious prosecution, defending their faith.

Lake District World Heritage

The Lake District has been pushing for World Heritage Status since 1985, and they are now making more of their fantastic towns and villages in their latest push, and quite right too. As well as beautiful fells, association with great artists and writers you will have to go far to better picturesque villages like Ambleside and Grasmere.

Let's face it, if a cultural wasteland like Liverpool can become 'City of Culture', the Lakes should have been made a World Heritage Site in 1985.

Here is the BBC coverage.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oppressed Witches In Lancashire

We are heading towards that time of the year when witches get active and joe public goes out hunting for them, and I mean hunting in the nicest possible way. In Manchester people head for Alderley Edge seeking cavorting witches, here in north and east Lancashire it is Pendle Hill, for obvious reasons.

Now I've never been out seeking witches at either place, although we did celebrate the 'Day of the Dead' a few years back on Lake Patzcuaro in Mexico, but that's a whole different experience. However, having a few pints then going looking for witches, preferably the type who romp in the woods naked and luvly, seems like a fun thing to do I would have thought, but not Lancashire's 'Event Safety Advisory Group'. Oh no, they think you might have an accident and are stopping people going to Pendle Hill on Halloween. As you will see by reading the linked article the group involves the chief puritans, the Lancashire Police 'Service'. Bloody killjoys all of them, although I neither condone nor encourage the practice of witchcraft. But you should watch Wicker Man if only for that one scene!

So, it has been established that the Lancashire police are killjoys and party poopers. Or has it?

Follow that by reading this article and it seems that they are not such killjoys and party poopers after all. At least not if you enjoy copulating in a public park or a public lavatory.

Perhaps Deputy Chief Constable Michael Cunningham is after Sir Ian Blair's job when he rides off into the sunset.

Anonymous Comments

There are many bloggers who, for a whole range of reasons, preserve their anonymity by using pseudonyms and that's fine by me. Many of the best bloggers are known by the identity of their blogs rather than their real names. Some of us choose to blog using our real names, it's personal choice and 99% of the time works extremely well.

Then there are people who don't actually blog but post comments on blogs. Again comment posters usually use their blog name be it their real name or otherwise. Then there are annonymous comment posters. This method of posting, where the poster appears on the blog as "anonymous" always seemed very rare, certainly on my blog, but it didn't particularly trouble me as they usually contributed something to the subject of the post.

However, since the beginning of September when I posted "A Eurosceptic Alternative" I have been receiving anonymous comments of a very, very mildly threatening nature. I say mildly because they are more the stuff of the playground than the kind of thing that gets you asking for police protection. That, in itself, says it all about the psychology of the comment poster, she really should get out of the playground more.

Having faced down irate militants in the 70s and 80s for strike breaking, copping for some pretty unpleasant treatment and very nasty threats for my trouble, I find this schoolgirl style goading tedious and pathetic rather than sleep depriving and cold sweat inducing. Even so, I have decided to no longer accept posts from "anonymous" because it is juvenile, boring and not to be encouraged.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Fascist Legislation To Come

Left is Jacqui Smith sporting Mandelsonian moustache. Right is Stalin in drag.

Jacqui Smith is continuing apace with her plans to turn the UK into a police state, spurred on perhaps by the democratic defeat of her attempt to introduce 42 day internment. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Here is the story of how the government plans a national database to store details of all our phone calls and emails. Stalin, Hitler et al would be proud.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CBI Back C-Charge

It seems that a majority of CBI members polled support the proposed congestion charge in Manchester, according to this Manchester Online report.I've often wondered what motivates the CBI, apart from cash, and this makes me wonder even more.

Yet again motorists will be shafted in order to subsidise public transport. If you want to use public transport then you pay for it, don't expect me to pay for you. Many of us have stopped going to Manchester already, or at least we don't visit anywhere near as often as we did. We visit our parents and occasionally meet friends in Manchester if we can't avoid it. We no longer shop there. We visit the theatre very, very rarely now and no longer go in for a night out and spend the whole night there.

The main reason for our reduced visits is the hostility to cars. Parking is extortionate and road layouts appear designed to cause as much congestion as possible. Bus lanes lie empty for mile after mile while motorists sit in a lane that is crawling at best and often static for minutes at a time. The fewer buses there are the more bus lanes seem to appear.

One thing that the c-charge nutters seem to have missed is the developing housing crisis in the centre of Manchester and other cities. There has been such a huge boom in city centre developments in recent years, and most are studio apartments or one bed apartments, that the market has crashed, supply has exceeded demand. Already developers are going belly up and flats are being left empty. How soon before the city centre is riddled with the kind of slums last seen in the nineteenth century?

Until 25 years ago the city centre had few residents but filled at weekends with shoppers, theatregoers and clubbers, who now go elsewhere. As the slums develop and the shoppers go elsewhere there will be a huge increase in social problems in devastated city centres, aided and abetted by the c-charge.

Then we'll be taxed again to fund clearing up the mess.

Stop The Charge
Manchester Against Road Tolls

Jacqui Smith-Queen Bitch

I have just heard Obergruppenfuhrer Smith on the radio berating those of us opposed to 42 day internment and promising that it will be sneaked through hidden in other legislation. As our democratic system has blocked her and Brown(shirts) fascist legislation I'll bet, with most people obsessing about the recession, they will sneak it in too and with virtually no public opposition.

She then went on to imply, which really angered me, that those of us opposed to 42 days somehow don't care about our country. Tell you what Smith, some of us were patriots when you and your ilk in the Labour Party labelled us xenophobes, Little Englanders, imperialists and very much worse, so we need no lectures from a pseudo-patriot like you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How Strange

Here is the BBC coverage of the unfortunate accident that killed Austria's Joerg Haider.

You may remember him as the leader of the far-right Freedom Party who upset the EU by joining the Austrian government in 2000. Ever the bastion of liberty and democracy the EU brought in sanctions.

The Soviet dictators used to bump opponents off in fake car crashes after beating them to death, but I doubt that even the EU would stoop to that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

War On Terror, War On Iceland

So, to all those who respond, when HMG brings in ever more oppressive legislation, "if you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear", what do you say now?

Here is the tale of how the New Labour dictatorship has further abused its power.

Anti-terror legislation is supposed to be there to protect us from terrorists, no surprise there. It is now being routinely abused to suit whatever the government wants at a given time, no real surprise there either. This is exactly how dictators creepingly and stealthily whittle away freedom democracy and build a police state.

In my view, see post below, banks that fail should be left to fail, just as the EU/government has let Post Offices go to the wall. Invoking anti-terror legislation to kick Iceland smacks of fascism and bullying. Yes there has been stupidity by Icelandic money men, as there has been by money men all over the world, but this action by the government confirms many of our worst fears. That the 'war on terror' is merely a smokescreen to justify something far more sinister, just as 'weapons of mass destruction' were.

A terrifying thought. What would this government have done to Iceland during the 1970's 'Cod Wars'. Nuked 'em I'll bet.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Recession

When it comes to matters financial I am an absolute no-hoper. But one thing that does trouble me in the current situation, is the use of our taxes to bale out failing banks. I have visited my accountant this morning, to be told that my tax burden has increased, and I mentioned my view on the bale out of banks to him. Surprise, surprise he agrees with me, let them go to the wall.

One blog that I look up to in a certain amount of awe when I am wondering about matters financial is Mark Wadsworth's Blog. I can definitely recommend a visit and, a few days ago, he ran a poll on baling out banks and 51% believed they should be left to fail. Perhaps I'm not that dim after all.

The other concern is that the current trend, here, in the USA and elsewhere, is going directly against the free market system and will merely store up trouble in the future. It seems to be a gross distortion of free market capitalism and gives failing banks an unfair advantage over banks that have perhaps behaved a little more responsibly. It is corporatism and not free market capitalism to blame. So I was heartened to visit T Bishop Finger, another excellent blog, to find that he had posted a film of Ron Paul, the American libertarian, saying exactly that.

Other than that the only thing to say is tighten your belts!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Living Democracy Or Rotting Carcass?

A woman is either pregnant or she isn't. We either have free speech or we don't. Sadly like many other freedoms, we are gradually losing the right to free speech and many people are either too scared, or too stupid, to put up a fight to defend it.

The biggest example in the last week or so has been in the sporting world. Ten days ago Tottenham played Portsmouth. The Portsmouth player, Sol Campbell, was treated to 90 minutes of abuse from Spurs fans because, seven years ago, he left them to join arch rivals Arsenal. Poor Sol, not consoled by earning £100,000 a week he whined and the police are investigating with a view to taking legal action against the 2,000 or so fans involved. Nice to see that there is so little real crime in Portsmouth for them to be spending their time on.

What was particularly interesting was that for much of last week I listened to independent radio coverage of the story. What was stressed was that the abuse was not of a racial nature. The BBC, taxpayer funded organ of the state, eventually caught up with the story and immediately procaimed that the abuse was not only racial but homophobic. Well they would wouldn't they?

The press this weekend reported how the comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse had two sketches cut from their current show. One was based on a Muslim character, the other on a drunken Catholic priest. As ever the pinko liberals at the production company feared they might cause offence. As a Roman Catholic my faith is strong enough to take some mickey taking or criticism, so get on with it.

In Labour's reshuffle 'controversial' Lancashire MP Phil Woolas has been made Immigration Minister. He earned the descripion 'controversial' because he said, wait for it, wait for it,that Muslim women wearing a veil can be seen as provocative. My word, I'm going to be really controversial now, here goes, today is Monday!

Also this weekend I heard news of the German government attempting to use the vile European (Union) arrest warrant for the first time. They are trying to have an Australian academic, based in Britain, extradited to face trial in Germany for holocaust denial. It is illegal in the Reich, but he spoke in Britain.

I don't care whether somebody uses homophobic language, racist language or calls somebody a fat northern git. Well actually I do, but I base my view of a person on a range of things, including their use of language. It is up to me to make a judgement on a fellow human being, part of that judgement based on their langauge, not the state.

On another level I would prefer the leader of a political party to make racist or homophobic comments openly so that I can avoid them like the plague. The problem with politically correct legislation is that it only drives nasty views underground, it doesn't, yet, cancel out the thoughts of the homophobe or the racist.

When I was growing up, from as early as I can remember, I was taught the following rhyme: 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me'. It's time the PC brigade grew up and accepted that free speech sometimes means being offended. That's life.

Is Britain really so insecure as a nation that we have to legislate against free speech? Sadly the answer is yes.

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Eurosceptic Alternative

In August I was voted top of UKIP's list of candidates in the North West by party members. Although honoured that they had put such trust in me I felt distinctly uneasy. Within a week I had made the decision to stand down and resign as the party's Regional Organiser for the North West. Many people have asked why.

Until 2004 I had never voted, let alone participated, in a European election. I followed the Powellite path that voting in their elections only gave them a veneer of legitimacy. In 2004 UKIP had a leader who I trusted, a party chairman who I trusted and a lead candidate in the North West who I trusted, so I accepted and followed the party line.

The party position was, and still is, that taking seats in the European parliament deprived a Europhile a seat. That seats in the European parliament would open doors to mass media coverage. That taking seats in the European parliament would attract the resources to really fight, and start winning, Westminster elections.

I had close friends in UKIP who, even then, would not campaign in the European elections on principle. I respected their views but felt that we had no alternative. So what has happened since 2004 for me to change my position on Euro elections?

Since 2004 our results in local elections, and parliamentary elections, have not improved. There have been isolated good results such as Hartlepool but, coming in the immediate wake of the 2004 Euro elections, we would really have had to try hard to get a poor result there. The final nails in the coffin of that argument were the Crewe and Nantwich and Henley by-elections where we got just over 2% in both. Results that were as bad, if not worse, than pre-1999 when UKIP had no MEPs.

Depriving a Europhile a seat, and gaining mass media coverage, are virtually the same argument. Even friends who are pro-EU admit that the role of MEP is virtually worthless with no power and little influence. As a consequence the media have little interest in covering the work of MEPs, preferring to remain ensconced in the Westminster political village. Therefore MEPs stoop to coming out with outrageous comments to gain a cheap headline, losing the party credibility with the wider public, or end up pleased to have appeared on some obscure satellite channel politics show at 4-00am watched by a handful of insomniacs.

I said in my speeches at the hustings meetings that the party had become too Brussels focussed and that we needed to look closely at our future direction. One possible scenario in June 2009 is that UKIP may find itself with a massively reduced number of MEPs, possibly back to the 1999 level of three. That may be the doomsday scenario to some, but let's look at the political scene now compared to October 2003.

In 2003 the Tories were down on their uppers, unfit for local government let alone Downing Street. Labour were still riding high and less than two years away from another general election victory. Unbelievably Blair could still do no wrong. The Tories were led by the uninspiring Michael Howard, who always had the air of a stop gap leader, never that of a Prime Minister to be.

These circumstances led to a huge protest vote by Tories against their party in the 2004 Euro elections, which gave UKIP a huge boost. And, sad to say, the UKIP vote was also boosted by the Kilroy factor. The Euro was also a big issue at the time and prompted many people, from all parts of the spectrum, to vote 'against the EU and the Euro' by voting UKIP.

As things stand in June 2009 the Labour party will still be led by Gordon Brown, one of the most unpopular and lacklustre Prime Ministers in living memory, and that includes John Major! Even if they have a change of leader before then it will still be seen as the second unelected Prime Minister Labour have foisted upon us, either way they will remian unpopular. Blair's wow factor has well and truly gone. Next year it is likely to be Labour supporters who protest vote against their own party, and they won't vote for what they see as a Tory Party MK II. And there is no Euro factor now for UKIP, having chosen to leave the fight against the Lisbon Treaty to others will have serious repercussions next June.

Tory supporters are unlikely to do anything to slow down or stop a Tory Party currently managing, somehow, to build a level of electoral credibility and the image of a party preparing for government. There will be hard core Tory Eurosceptics who will vote UKIP, but by and large the Tory vote will remain loyal to adminster a further kick in the guts to Gordon Brown, or his successor.

The third voter category is the floater with no real party loyalty but who votes pragmatically. My guess is that next year they will also want to administer a serious blow to an increasingly unpopular Labour government. Their idea by doing that will be to warn him that in a real election he will be out. So they too will signal that by voting Tory next June, knowing that the Tories will not actually be forming a government as a result of their protest.

Part of the problem for UKIP in 2004 was that most of us were taken by surprise at the scale of the success, there was almost a 'what do we do now?' feeling in the party in the immediate aftermath. In my view the party should now be having serious discussions on what the response should be if what I have described is indeed the scenario after June 2009.

Over the last couple of years I have believed ever more strongly that our position should be to either not fight European elections or, if we do and win, that we should refuse to take our seats. That may be a radical departure from the current path but, in my view, is the one that will garner us the most popular support. Even then that would be seriously hindered if the leadership does not start taking seriously the whole range of policies that members, through working groups, have worked so hard to produce. The last ten years have proven, if proof were needed, that single issue parties create a protest when the time is right, but no lasting political achievement

However with the current leadership, people making such suggestions are more likely to be labelled 'nutters' than to be listened to as sincere people with the party's interests at heart. Even if their views do not dovetail exactly with those of the leader it is healthy, in a democratic party, for alternative views to be looked at and considered. That is politics.

I hope that this post will also allay rumours that I withdrew because of 'poor health and a lack of energy' or 'because I only expected to come third', as one rumour merchant has suggested. My health has never been better and I always fight to win.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

More On Rubbish Riots In Naples

The following comment arrived today on my post Rubbish Riots In Naples. I felt it warranted another airing so I'm posting it below too.

Just so you all know, the rubbish crysis is still going on.

Berlusconi on the 18th of July has publicly claimed that he solved the problem.

That is not true.
The rubbish has been removed from the center of the city, but in the peripheral areas and in the provinces, the problem is still the same.
Journalists are being intimidated and warned to not spread news on the rubbish still in the streets, and people who try to protest are intimidated as well.

Just check the following youtube videos:
In the first one, some people are being intimidated by the police to avoid their protest reaching the palace where Berlusconi is announcing that the "rubbish emergency" has been solved.

Berlusconi declared the emergency solved in the 18th of July 2008.

You can see with your eyes what is happening

21 July (13km from Naples)

8 August, says the date on the newspaper
(Firefighters are blocked by the trash and there's rubbish burning)

8 September, just a couple of Kilometers from the city port.

People that make this videos public are risking.
They have organized crime against them. The organized crime profited from the emergency, and too much media attention was ruining their businessess. Bringing back the attention of the media and the eyes of the world upon the problem is the only way to fight them effectively.

From Italy: please, don't forget this.

Yest Another Data Cock-up

This time MI5 have been at it.

A hand held computer was stolen when a burglar, yes a burglar, got into a house being used by MI5 in Greater Manchester. The enemeis of the UK must be quaking in their boots.

Students Being Silly

In this shock horror story those intrepid journalists at the BBC have gone in, under cover again, and discovered that students do silly things that often involve excessive alcohol consumption. Well I never!

In this particular instance they are led through the streets with bags on their heads by a student dressed in 'Nazi style' uniform. Oh no, the poor dears.

There are then tales of ritual humiliation and the tale of one poor student who choked 'on his own vomit'. Admittedly that is truly tragic, but I suppose choking on somebody else's vomit would have been a marginally worse way to shuffle off the mortal coil.

There is another student who described having matches inserted in 'inappropriate' parts of his body. Are there really parts of the body in which it would be 'appropriate' to stick a match?

I was only talking to somebody yesterday about initiation ceremonies and how they can be character forming, not to mention good for teambuilding. Suppose the wet nelly pinko liberals at the BBC abhor that kind of thing.

I suppose staff working on that particular expose are now having therapy provided from our license momey. Meanwhile the students are probably having a great time running up huge debts, thanks to the government, and getting completely bladdered every night.

Thank God for the BBC!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Political Euphemisms

I always find political euphemisms intriguing, sometimes hilarious and often downright stupid. Here are some of the ones I particularly remember. Some famous, some not.

"He has decided to spend more time with his family". He has been sacked.

" He didn't have the health or energy to fight the election". I'm telling porkies, he really thinks the leader is a spiv and the party is going nowhere.

"She plans to spend more time with her family". She thinks the Prime Minister is a loser and she will probably lose her seat at the next election, so she's off to prepare for a new post general election career.

"He withdrew from the list because he came top and only expected to come third". I'm telling porkies, he really thinks the leader is a spiv and the party is going nowhere.

"There are difficult times ahead but it is not the time for an apprentice". We're in the shit but you can still piss off Miliband.

"The decision was brave and courageous". What the f*&k has he done that for?

"He has no intention of standing for the leadership". He's just waiting for some other prat to stick his head above the parapet, then he'll be in the fight faster than a rat up a drainpipe.

There are many more and many more will be surfacing in the future, indeed this post could become a regular item, in fact it definitely will! Feel free to add your own via comments.