Friday, 31 July 2009
This morning against my much better judgement I sent back my driving licence and paper counterpart to the DVLC. Why, because my photo has 'expired' and the State needs to know what I currently look like. The fact that I have to pay £20 'administration ' fee is another cause of irritation. How the hell did we all cope before photo ID's were dreamed up ? Apart from my passport I cannot think of one piece of ID that I had through out the IRA terror campaign that had my photo on it.
My recollection of that period was of almost daily incidents in Northern Ireland, and the regular 'spectaculars' that the IRA pulled on the mainland. For home grown terrorists they are free to apply for driving licences and or passports, so driving licences and ID cards are not going to be much help.
Because I still want to drive without plod jumping all over me, I will comply. Thats the bit that drives me insane !
Postman Pat is still going ahead with a 'voluntary' ID card- to 'help' the citizen ??
Spyblog has another more sinister use for these cards, they can be used to trigger a bomb when a British Citizen is in the locality- any takers ?
UPDATE SUNDAY 2nd Aug
Checked out of a Hotel this morning in Edinburgh, and the bloody machine for paying the bill just needed my card to be in 'proximity' to read it and take the details. So I had a perfect example of how this technology could act as a trigger ! Scary Stuff.
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Andre Power lost
I lost! Mr Justice Blair agreed with the defendants that the case should be dismissed because agents/servants of the Crown who are negligent in their duties are not liable in law, so they can do what they like and we have no recourse. Does anyone see the bitter irony in this? The Ministry of Justice at The Royal Courts of Justice won by arguing that Justice should not apply to the select elite who work for them
We officially now have a two tier legal system one for the righteous and one for the rest of us. The Crown can sue ABC Ltd or Joe Bloggs but ABC Ltd or Joe Bloggs cannot sue the Crown for negligence.
The irony of it being another Blair who made this decision.
Today Debbie Purdy is awaiting for a decision from the Law Lords on whether her partner would be prosecuted when she decides to end her life when it becomes intolerable.
For all the moralising by the Church and the State, Debbie Purdy's Life is her own, it does not belong to the State or the Established Church. For her partner to be with her on her final journey to Switzerland, is surely not a crime but an act of compassion and love.
Today Andre Power is in the High Court, when Treasury Solicitors will argue that the Civil Service is not responsible in Law for the negligence and incompetence of its employees. A two tier legal system will come in today if he loses as it will enshrine in Law that you cannot sue the State for the effects of its incompetence.
UPDATE Corby Borough Council has been found to be be negligent in the way they disposed of toxic waste from a disused Steel Works, so why do the treasury solicitors think they are above the Law ?
Politics.co.uk is running with this story has the lead today. However you heard it here first folks on Old Holborn and the Libertarian Party blog !
The Police have finally realised that they are fighting a losing battle against the drug culture, as did the prohibitionists did in pre war America.
The Law is something very few of us want to get involved in, because ninety five per cent of us cannot 'afford' Justice. However the Law is imposed on us and has a direct influence on the way we live our lives. Unless we can all economically insure ourselves against prosecution. The battle between the State and the individual will be lost.
Whilst the main stream media is working itself into a lather over Cameron's apology for using the word 'twat', I shall take this opportunity to turn the word inwards - and head it straight back into the Tory press office goal.
The Tory press officer is a 'twat' - a complete 'twat', in the full offensive version that he has had his boss apologising for.
Late yesterday, the Tory Politico blog quite reasonably attempted to get his facts straight before writing a piece regarding the Cameron/Brown spat on TV debates. He phoned the Tory press office and asked for a copy of their press release.
Press Officer: “who do you work for?”
PO: “so your not a member of the media.”
TP: “No I am a Conservative party member and a blogger.”
PO: “sorry I cant help you.”
TP: “Why not?”
PO: ”Bloggers don’t count as media so I cant send it to you.”
TP: “Right, so you don’t see blogs as important then, is that right?:
TP: “So what about the likes of Iain dale and ConservativeHome, are they media? are they seen as important?”
PO: “Yes we feel that they are representatives of the media, and yes we do see them as an important conduit?”
TP: “But you just said blogs don’t count as media.”
PO: “We see them as important conservative commentators not bloggers, we feel that independent bloggers do not provide an efficient means of communicating the Conservative message.”
TP: “Not efficient means of communicating the Conservative message - Im a Conservative blogger, all I blog about is politics and the Conservative party, I think that’s evident from my blogs title.”
PO: “Im sorry, but I have already told you that I cannot send you a copy of the press release you asked for.”
TP: “OK, can you add my details to the press release distrobution list so that future releases and notices are sent to me?”
TP: “Because bloggs are not important.”
Now I already know that the Labour party are prepared to give me a press release.
The Libertarian party that I am affiliated to are only too happy to give me a press release.
UKIP have in the past sent me a press release without being asked.
I am fairly confident that the BNP woud be happy to oblige, as would the Green party, the Lib-Dems would probably deliver an MP to my computer, never mind a press release, they are nothing if not obliging. (they can confirm if they like - firstname.lastname@example.org)
It is tempting to believe that Tory Politico just managed to get an utter twat on the phone; a look at the requirements for past vacancies shows that they need to be fairly highly qualified twats.
- Minimum 2:1 degree or equivalent
- Excellent analytical and research skills, with meticulous attention to detail and accuracy
- A strong political instinct and a clear understanding of the British political landscape today.
- Ability to write concisely, fluently and swiftly
- An ability to work quickly under pressure and to prioritise competing tasks
- An ability to co-ordinate and edit other people's research
- Good oral communication skills
- An ability to handle statistics effectively
- A commitment to the Conservative Party
This isn't a rant becasue my ego is offended on Tory Politico's behalf - this is more profound.
The Conservative Party thinks that blogs are not important? How are they going to sue for defamation when the occasion arises and they feel they have been defamed by a blooger? - they have already said that blogs are 'not important'? I shall particularly enjoy watching them forced to eat their words in front of Mr Justice Eady.
When the next election comes round, assuming it ever does, how many 'unimportant blogs' do they imagine are going to be interested in the Conservative Party line?
I have a feeling that they are going to regret that conversation far more than Cameron's Twitter Twat.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Is there no end to his talents ?
This is Peter Poppet's way of telling us all that as usual after a period of Labour Government there is a whacking great black hole in the Public Finances.
This twittering about 5% cuts is a nonsense, the State is still growing,while private industry throwing people out of work because they cannot get finance.
The man is unelected,unpalatable and unacceptable
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
That is what Wellington is reputed to have said on his principal enemies in the Penisular War.
When more dead servicemen are flown back to the United Kingdom, and the wounded and disabled are brought back sotto voce in case any body sees them. The MOD is having a legal challenge to the levels of compensation paid to disabled servicemen.
You can loll around drinking lager all day, and get 'me rights' , but get wounded on behalf of the country, and Whitehall sets the lawyers onto you
My other favourite quote is Wellington on being Prime Minister
An extraordinary affair. I gave them their orders and they wanted to stay and discuss them.
All you need is a millionaire and and be a celeb.
No policies needed, because we all love and admire her because we 'know' her from the Telly.
Thats Politics in the dumbed down celebrity 21st Britain.
Katie Price where are you ?
Taxpayers’ money is being used to pay “covert human intelligence sources” who report bad conduct to authorities.
Anyone who photographs dog fouling, litter being dropped, graffiti crime or fly tipping which result in prosecution will receive a cash reward.
The amount is staggered, according to how far the prosecution is taken.
If a court summons is issued the snooper gets £100. On a conviction he gets £150 and if the offender gets a maximum sentence he receives £500.
The scheme has been given the Big Brother-style motto “See them, report them”.
It tells residents: “We need your eyes and ears to help us wipe out enviro-crime.” The local council scheme is being launched in London and could eventually be rolled out across the country.
Last night the payments were slammed by critics who said they were a waste of vital public funds.
TaxPayers’ Alliance spokeswoman Susie Squire said: “People are sick and tired of being spied on by their local councils.
“There are far more constructive and cost-effective ways to encourage people to obey the law.
“This initiative is going to cost us dear – in terms of financially and damaging community spirit.”
Doretta Cocks, founder of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collection, said the scheme for recruiting spies was shockingly reminiscent of East Germany’s Stasi secret police.
Waltham Forest council’s Conviction Reward Scheme was introduced last week after the council claimed residents wanted more to be done to tackle environmental crime.
Their website says that the “reward scheme” offers cash to “anyone providing evidence that leads to a prosecution against enviro-criminals, including graffiti, fly-tipping, dog fouling and littering.”
The council describes the money as a “thank you” for alerting them to crimes.
The scheme is just the latest example of councils paying residents for information on offences.
Some UK councils are even paying children to supply them with information on environmental offences like leaving recycling bags and rubbish bins out on the pavement.
Harlow Council, in Essex, employs 25 Street Scene Champions, aged between 11 to 14 who are encouraged to report vandalism to bus shelters, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping and other offences.
Crawley Borough Council, in West Sussex, has 150 Streetcare Champions who are asked to “report on individuals if known”.
Other local authorities recruit adult volunteers and at least 4,841 people are already patrolling the streets in their spare time. Some are assigned James Bond style code numbers, which they use instead of their real names when they ring an informer’s hotline.
Last week it emerged councils are still using surveillance technology to spy on suspected minor offenders despite being banned by law.
Since 2003 they have only been able to use undercover methods in suspected criminal law cases.
But Chief Surveillance Commissioner Sir Christopher Rose said it was of “significant concern” that local authorities were going beyond what was allowed.
I blogged yesterday here of the particular legal points involved.
In short, this is not an issue of whether the President is a US citizen, he is; it is an issue of whether he complies with the particular requirements of the constitution to be a 'natural born citizen'.
Anybody born in the US can take US citizenship, and there seems no doubt that he was born in Hawaii. He has produced a shortened form of birth certificate to prove that.
The President has refused/claims he is unable to/that it is unecessary to produce proof that his Father was also a US citizen (It appears that Barack snr was a British citizen at the time)
This requirement was placed in the constituion to prevent a royal heir from being in a position to take the Presidency for obvious reasons.
The story becomes more interesting because so few people are actually arguing over the legal points, but hurling ad hominem abuse at anyone who raises the isssue.
So far, the people in the firing line are Major Cook - for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan until the legality of his orders is sorted out - generally along the lines of 'draft dodger'.
Various Senators - for daring to raise the issue on the floor of the Senate - 'aligning themselves with the lunatic Internet fringe'.
Lou Dobbs of CNN - for daring to give air time to the matter - 'racist'.
A resolution was brought in the house yesterday to declare that Hawaii was the President's birthplace (Note - that is not the problem, but a nice attempt at swerving round it!)
And now we have this video clip of the White House spokesman saying that there are 'more important things to discuss'........really?
If the Presidency is not legitimate, then it follows that a lot of other things are not - like British soldiers being deployed to support the American offensive in Afghanistan.
A simple 'long form' birth certificate would solve the issue, once and for all.
Quite fascinating to see the lengths they are going to, to avoid producing this, or allowing discussion on the subject.
A story worth following.
Monday, 27 July 2009
Saving The Poor,whilst his party destroys education in this country
Gordon Brown has signalled the end of the Pathers Claw Offensive
Mr Brown insisted that the mission had not been "in vain" despite the deaths of 20 British troops over the past month.
"The efforts of our troops in Helmand have been nothing short of heroic," Mr Brown told the Evening Standard. "There has been a tragic human cost. But this has not been in vain."
Mr Brown said it was now time to "commemorate" the British troops who have died in Afghanistan.
Do we hold the ground that has been fought over ? or have UK Landforces pulled back to the bases allowing the Afghans to retake the ground.
What are our war aims (Not the old one about 'not firing a shot')
What are our extraction goals
The truth is that we have to talk to the Taliban, and they will share power in the Afghan Government. Milliband has admitted that.
Before anybody goes and starts any more wars of agression in somebody elses country, get them to read a few History Books about previous wars fought there from Alexander through to the Raj, through to the Russian occupation.
Stop the killing and start the talking.
Mr Darling said that the Government did not bail out banks out of "some kind of charitable act".
No you panicked with our money, our childrens as yet unearned money, and our unborn grandchildren's money.
You threw billions at the banks, you printed money in a Mugabesque fashion to pay your bloated State.
You threw money at a virtual monopoly of Banking, you ruined one profitable bank by 'suggesting' that it merged with a bankrupt one.
At no stage did you consider letting these banks fail, put in administrators and break the monopoly up into regional banks, that would lend to industry, that makes things and provide services that people want, that pay taxes to pay the State.
No you just cut the middle man out, the wealth producers, to ensure funding of the State.
Its no use asking them nicely what they are going to do to increase lending, unfortunately we are now the major shareholders in these misbegotten banks. Exercise shareholders power, and sack the Directors and break them up now.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Alastair Darling to the House of Commons 12 February 2009
"It was recognised as being absolutely necessary to recapitalise the banks because we were within hours of the banking system collapsing last October; that is why we did it."Alastair Darling to the Financial Services Authority 27th March 2009
"Banks everywhere took on too much risk, and worse, risk that many didn't properly understand. [...]Turning to the G20 next week, Mr Darling demanded a new system of regulation "to ensure banks do not over-extend themselves."Alastair Darling to the Andrew Marr Show 26th July 2009 (Today)
"We did it because if you don't have a banking system that creates credit for businesses then you will make recovery and prosperity after that much more difficult."
"That's why we will be going through with each individual bank asking them why is it, at a time when the cost of borrowing is coming down, it would appear that the cost to small business appears to have gone up?"
Possibly because they don't want to take on 'too much risk', nor 'over-extend themselves'?
Friday, 24 July 2009
Some plod who definitely should have known better "accidentally" shoots someone with a rather powerful handgun.
He does not face any criminal prosecution.
He's even pleading not guilty to breaches of health and fucking safety.
I wonder if I could get away with it? I can think of a lot of cunts I'd like to accidentally gut shoot with a Magnum .44.
The stunning New Jersey swoop netted 44 people across a state long seen as one of the most corrupt and crime-ridden in the country.
Five rabbis were among the suspects, along with the mayors of the cities of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, the Jersey City deputy mayor and council president, two state assembly members, and numerous other politicians, prosecutors said.
Acting US Attorney Ralph Marra told a press conference the arrests demonstrated "the pervasive nature of public corruption in this state."
The money laundering ring allegedly stretched from New Jersey and New York to Israel and Switzerland, while US politicians easily exploited loopholes in state law to disguise bribes as contributions in bitterly fought campaigns.
"The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale," said Marra, while "clergymen cloak their extensive criminal activity behind a facade of rectitude."
Although New Jersey is more famous for a history of Italian Mafia families, it was Jewish clergy who allegedly played a central role in this crime network.
The Department of Justice said in a statement that the international network "laundered at least tens of millions of dollars through charitable, non-profit entities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey."
The bribe-taking meanwhile was connected to fund raising efforts in "heavily contested mayoral and city council campaigns in Jersey City and Hoboken."
Authorities raided several synagogues and among those arrested was the chief rabbi of Syrian Jews in the United States.
One rabbi, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, was also charged with conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for transplant.
Marra said that Rosenbaum's "business was to entice vulnerable people to give up a kidney for 10,000 dollars which he would turn around and sell for 160,000 dollars."
He'd allegedly been peddling kidneys for a decade.
Raids began shortly after dawn, officials said, targeting a who's who of state leaders.
Television footage showed FBI and tax agents bringing a stream of handcuffed suspects, including rabbis wearing traditional Orthodox Jewish garb, into custody in the city of Newark. Other suspects were shown being put onto a bus.
The operation was believed to be one of the biggest such actions ever in a state deeply associated with organized crime, and famous as the setting of the hit Mafia television drama the "Sopranos."
Officials said the arrests were part of an ongoing 10-year probe into statewide corruption code-named "Bid Rig."
If found guilty, suspects face prison sentences of up to 20 years for political extortion and money laundering, 10 years for offering bribes to officials, and five years for conspiring to transport human organs.
Democratic State Governor Jon Corzine said "the scale of corruption we're seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated."
"Any corruption is unacceptable -- anywhere, anytime, by anybody," he said in a statement.
The dramatic crackdown came as Chris Christie, a crusading former US attorney, stepped up his campaign against Corzine in an election this November.
Christie, a Republican, previously won fame for his relentless and successful prosecution of political corruption in New Jersey.
Corzine is battling widespread dissatisfaction with his performance as the state reels from the national recession, spending cuts, and shorter working weeks for state employees.
FBI agent Weysan Dun was quick to deny any political motivation behind the arrests, a majority of which appeared to involve Democrats, rather than Republicans.
"This investigation has transcended multiple administrations of both political parties," he said.
This is "not about politics, certainly not about religion. It is about crime. It is about criminals who use politics and religion."
I don't know if they are allowed to participate in things like Afghanistan because of the odd on-off relationship that the French have with NATO, but it seems that the French Foreign Legion are getting a bit trigger-happy.
Oh well, it's only Marseille.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
To apply anti-terrorist laws to freeze Icelandic assets is a long way beyond what is acceptable and it has left a lot of bad feelings," he told The Daily Telegraph. Almost nobody on this island nation can fathom what made Britain think it proportional to list Iceland's central bank alongside al-Qaeda as a terrorist organisation.
"Somehow we have to solve this problem in a civilised manner, but the IceSave agreement is very unpopular. People feel that this imposes a terrible burden," he said. Indeed, he himself has to walk a daily gauntlet, passing youths wearing "IceSlave" T-shirts on the Hverfisgata drag.
In Iceland they now realise they are going to be in debt for generations, in Britain Nu Labour are still spending our money in their heads and making promises the national credit card cannot support.
Old Holborn is about to set off for three weeks of sun, sand and surfing on the French Atlantic coast avec les enfants - well not me surfing, fuck that obviously. Internet access will be sparse. Wine will be flowing. The oysters are plump.
Please be sure to give them all hell whilst I am away, the bastards.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Dear Mr Penguin,
The Legal Enforcement Team
Equality & Human Rights Commission
3 More London
Andre Power, the Plaintiff, had a County Court Judgement emplaced on him for £254,000 by mistake via Her Majesty’s Court Service. Mr. Power was unaware of this for thirteen months whilst seeking funding for his company to launch a business, four years in the creation and with investment by the principals of over £400,000. Unfortunately, as HMCS failed to advise Mr. Power that a CCJ for £254,000 showing unpaid was now registered against his name on public credit files such as “Experian”, he/the company failed to raise any funding, despite the company having no indebtedness whatsoever, save for a £15,000 bank loan, which was paid up to date at that time.
A Circuit Judge has ruled that the CCJ should never have been emplaced on Mr. Power’s name and it has been removed, after showing on credit files for thirteen months. Mr, Power has had four separate apologies and clear admissions of negligence from HMCS in correspondence thereafter. However, they declined to pay any compensation on the basis of spurious and unfounded allegations that there must have been further debts (though not specified) which prevented the company from being funded. Therefore, Mr. Power started a legal action for compensation.
Included in his submissions were letters from noted funding groups stating that they would decline any such funding requests where due diligence revealed the Managing Director of the company had an unpaid CCJ registered on his name for £254,000. However, none of this has been argued before a Judge as yet. The first hearing was on 6th March 2009 before a Master Foster. The Defendants asked that the case be struck off based on an alleged precedent. Mr. Power received the “skeleton argument” for this action some five minutes before entering the Court. In a previous court case a man who was given two years and three months imprisonment after being found guilty, was accidentally sentenced to two years and six months. As some of the sentence was due to run concurrently, a mistake had been made in the totting up of the sentence and he served an extra three months. At some point, (presumably after completing his sentence) despite himself, his legal representatives, the Judge and the court staff, all missing the original error, he sued for the compensation for the loss of three months liberty.
The Judge upheld the Defence’s claim that a civil servant who makes a mistake whilst discharging the normal duties of his job cannot be liable in law for such a mistake and therefore found against the Plaintiff. This same precedent was therefore represented to Master Foster as the reason Mr. Power’s claim should be struck off. And Master Foster allowed this flimsy reasoning to stand and found in favour of the Defendant’s, although immediately granting Mr. Power the Right to Appeal.
This appeal is to be heard on July 30th.
Mr. Power will argue that the precedent cited bears no resemblance or comparison to his case. Firstly, he was not guilty of any offence in the first place, as proofed by a Circuit Judge ruling that the CCJ was wrongly emplaced on his name in the first place. Secondly, Mr. Power was never advised of the CCJ so unlike the chap cited in the precedent who was present when he was found guilty and sentenced, he had no opportunity to redress the situation. Thirdly, the Treasury Solicitor’s argument that a civil servant who makes a mistake whilst going about his job cannot be declared negligent is also being contested by Mr. Power. He maintains that it was precisely because civil servant/s (unknown to this day) were NOT doing their job properly in the first place that this situation arose. If they had been discharging their duties, for which they are paid from the public purse, then this circumstance could never have occurred. If this precedent is allowed to stand, thus preventing Mr. Power from ever seeking compensation before a Judge in an open court then a dangerous and unsettling precedent is in place that would have shocking repercussions for every private citizen in the UK. It would mean any civil/public servant and/or offices of the civil service could commit any act of wilful negligence without fear of legal action and with absolute impunity.
You are already aware of the growing disparity between private business and public employ. We pay the taxes for civil servants wages and pensions. Indeed our pensions have collapsed whilst theirs have been growing. We work under an ever burgeoning set of directorial responsibilities, red tape and laws that prevent us from ever running our businesses in such a cavalier fashion. And of course we have no such protection in law from claims against us resulting from the negligent actions of our staff and ourselves if they are proofed to have negligently impacted on any of our fellow citizens. We work longer hours and enjoy significantly less absence from work due to sickness, holiday time and sundry days off. If this precedent is allowed to stand it will mean a new two tier society has been created, effectively an act of apartheid, legislated via the highest court in the land. It will mean that all the millions of civil/public servants will be working under a completely different circumstance to the army of self employed and private businesses who fund their existence. The only examples of such civil service power over the people can be found in communist, fascist and totalitarian regimes. They have never been implemented in any state before that has declared itself to be a “democracy”. The power of the individual will therefore be subsumed before the power of the State. No longer will we be able to sue any state body or its representatives. Indeed, they will be able to perform all manner of objectionable and dubious acts against the citizen without the citizen having any recourse in law. Would any taxpayer willingly pay taxes to support an unelected elite in the pursuit and maintenance of this goal? Therefore, if you wish to make a stand against the erosion of that most historic right, whereby both public and private citizens are held to be under the same principles of English law and jurisprudence, then I ask that this case be given as much prominence and publicity before it is too late and we are drawn into an “us and them” gulag mentality whereby the private individual no longer enjoys the same legal rights and privileges as the Government employee.
I received the above email this afternoon at the Libertarian Party Offices, and having spoken to Mr Power who has given me permission to publicise this case which could establish the legal precedent that no Civil Servant can be held accountable for his or her negligence.
For the first time, the ' rulers' will have enhanced legal protection from the consequences of their incompetence over us the 'ruled'. No more messy inquests into the shooting of unarmed electricians on the underground, no legal consequences for battering an innocent bystander at a demonstration so that he dies. You can now lose your life,your property and your wealth, and you will not be able to sue the State for redress.
In the dying days of this corrupt Parliament, the Treasury Solicitors are ging to argue that Civil Servants have no duty of care to the public and cannot be sued for negligence
If you wish to discuss this further please contact Andre Power anytime on 01702 389005.
This is not a court, members of Parliament are entitled to express views
Then why do you act as if you are the Judge, Jury and Hangman ?
Tom Crone acting for News International objected to Tom Watson sitting on the select committee panel yesterday in what was another piece of political abuse by this Rotten Parliament trying to get some payback against the media for the mauling they have received over the last few months.
There is a nasty habit developing amongst Politicians and their acolytes to presume that they are the arbiters of the Law. One thinks of Harriet Harman citing 'The Court of Public Opinion' (A lynch mob), as a lawyer she should have been struck off for bringing her profession into disrupte.
Side stepping the Courts ie the speeding tickets farago, and discounted 'sentencing' if you admit your 'crime' without going to Court is the Nu Labour way.
The State does not like people or Organisations that stand in its way, and certainly does not like uppity Lawyers telling them to their face that what they are doing is against natural Justice.
Inside their heads they are protecting us, the reality is they are oppressing us all.
The Libertarian Party has been out and about campaigning in Norwich North, so have the BNP, so have UKIP, so has Craig Murray, you would not think it watching BBC East, because they only seem to have considered that only one third of the twelve candidates are worth listening to. The ones committed to 'social democracy' and spending vast tranches of your taxes.
Nich Starling 'Norfolk Blogger' reveals that the Election Special audience was packed out with Tory Supporters and Councillors from outside the area, so the Tories and Destiny Dave have learned how to do things in Nu Britain
Meanwhile, the BBC has 'outed' itself by saying that it must encourage 'left of centre' thinking,
So thats propaganda paid for with your licence fee/tax. Having trod the streets myself, there is a real anger in Norwich North, worries over debt and employment. The Election Special was utterly embarrassing. Soft lobbed questions, well practised answers. Nothing to do with the real concerns of the people of Norwich. Nothing to do with the BBC Charter either.
Politics should be a battle of ideas, not a tacit agreement between four parties that the State is Good, People are bad, and we all need protecting tosh being spouted.
Then the Labour Candidate went down with swine flu, so much for the Government saying it could protect us from everything including nature.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Mandelson, our new Richelieu sits on thirty five out of the 43 Cabinet Committees, listed below
National Economic Council NEC
Better Regulation NEC (BR)
Democratic Renewal Council DRC
Domestic Policy Council DPC (which he deputy chairs)
Domestic Affairs DA
Borders and Migration DA (BM)
Communities and Equalities DA (CE)
Families, Children and Young People DA (FCY)
Health and Wellbeing DA (HW)
Justice and Crime DA (JC)
Local Government and the Regions DA (LGR) (which he chairs)
Public Engagement and the Delivery of Services DA (PED)
Life Chances LC
Talent and Enterprise LC (TE)
Economic Development ED
Environment and Energy ED (EE)
Housing, Planning and Regeneration ED (HPR)
Olympic and Paralympic Games ED (OPG)
Productivity, Skills and Employment ED (PSE)
National Security, International Relations and Development NSID
Europe NSID (EU)
Overseas and Defence NSID (OU)
Africa NSID (OUA)
Afghanistan and Pakistan NSID (A&P)
Trade NSID (T)
Protective Security and Resilience NSID (PSR)
Public Services and Public Expenditure PSX
Public Sector Pay and Pensions PSX (P)
Pandemic Influenza Planning MISC 32
Post Office Network MISC 33 (which he chairs)
Flood planning MISC 36
PM’s ad hoc Committee on International Climate Change
PM’s ad hoc International Climate Change Negotiations
He is the most powerful 'pink' person in the country, he is unelected, he will remain at the centre of power, even after the corrupt edifice of Nu Labour is swept away. He will remain in the Lords until somebody places a stake through his dark heart.
One 'man' rules this country unelected, unaccountable, unpalatable, the result of the fear and cowardice of Nu Labour.
It seems that the Home Office spent £3.5 MILLION of taxpayers' money to advertise some fuckwit text messaging scheme whereby you could find out a phone number for your local plod.
Only 3,000 people used the sevice, which has been suspended prior to being quietly swept away altogether.
So that's 3,500,000 divided by 3,000 equals £1,167 per text.
Great value for money. Even 118 118 is cheaper.
Monday, 20 July 2009
(Picture found corrupting weak minds here).
Can a film critic claim to be libertarian while calling for the banning of a film he hasn't watched?
This (oxy)moron thinks so.
There's a new film out filled with sex and violence. Sounds like fun. I know there are those who think Libertarians would have infant-school day trips to watch it, but not so. It would be the parents' responsibility to decide whether their child can watch it and once they're old enough to join the Army, they're old enough to make their own decisions. Joining the Army can be a life or death decision. No bigger decision is possible so if they're judged old enough for that, they're old enough for anything. Currently the Army takes recruits at 16 and a half years old and they could be killed defending the country before they're old enough to go into the booze aisle of a supermarket. If you think that makes sense, I have a very nice bridge for sale.
Back to our authoritarian libertarian, Christopher Hart.
A film which plumbs new depths of sexual explicitness, excruciating violence and degradation has just been passed as fit for general consumption by the British Board of Film Classification.
General consumption? You mean they'll shelve it with Disney films?
They have given the film an 18 certificate.
Aha, this is the restricted general consumption that goes along with compulsory volunteering, killing in the name of peace and A* grades without knowing the subject - also known as 'freedom is slavery, war is peace, ignorance is strength' in that order. I see.
As we all know, this is meaningless nowadays in the age of the DVD because sooner or later, thanks to the gross irresponsibility of some parents, any film that is given general release will be seen by children.
Ah, but Libertarianism is all about responsibility. Corrupting children harms them, and the central tenet of Libertarianism, 'cause no harm to others', is therefore violated and the parents will be held responsible for their actions. As it is, they aren't allowed to take responsibility, so many of them don't. Besides, films like A Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Hellraiser and much stronger stuff is all on DVD now. If parents are likely to let their kids watch this one (which I doubt many would) then those kids have already seen some blood and boobs. I'm not saying it's right, I'm saying it's happened already.
You do not need to see Lars von Trier's Antichrist (which is released later this week) to know how revolting it is.
Actually, I would need to see it to know how revolting it is. There's no other way to judge. I'm not going to take your word for it just because you didn't like it.
I haven't seen it myself, nor shall I
Huh? So you're telling me I shouldn't be allowed to watch a film you have decided is utterly without merit, and you haven't even watched it yourself? How did you come to this conclusion, pray tell?
and I speak as a broad-minded arts critic, strongly libertarian in tendency.
You're not sounding very libertarian here. You're sounding New Labour to the core, I'm afraid. Are you trying to give the impression that libertarianism is the same as Labour, Tories, Lib Dems etc? It's an interesting new approach but it's not working.
But merely reading about Antichrist is stomach-turning, and enough to form a judgment.
Is it? Depends who wrote what you're reading, wouldn't you say? Someone who didn't like it, wrote a review and exaggerated? Someone in PR thought it might be a good idea to hype it up? The British Board of Film Censors actually watched it and let it through. They didn't rely on second-hand reports. Neither will I. As a 'libertarian critic', neither should you. At this point I'd like to ask - isn't watching films your, ah, job?
The husband and wife go to stay in a log cabin to recover from their grief. There, horrors the likes of which I have never witnessed unfold in graphic detail.
Well of course you've never witnessed them. You've never watched the film. You don't know what these horrors are, how they are portrayed, whether they are on screen or off screen, nothing. Yet you deride the film and call yourself libertarian!
Now the anonymous moral guardians of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), in their infinite wisdom, have passed this foul film for general consumption
But you don't like it, so the anonymous moral guardians are wrong. We must all bow to the Morals of Hart, for they are superior to ours.
Oh, and he doesn't miss the 'for the cheeldren' part...
Another bizarre but typical judgment from this panel of experts whose names we don't even know (and so we don't even know if they are parents).
No, they are Augustine monks watching films on a remote Scottish island in a cinema powered by harnessing lightning with a big machine run by a hunchback called Igor. I don't know if they are parents either but odds are, some of them have children. But we don't know their names, remember, because Hart has said so twice. Then he says -
We do know that its president, Sir Quentin Thomas, gets £28,000 for 25 days' work a year. Nice job if you can get it.
How can this be? The name nobody knows is here, in print before our eyes. What dark magic is this? And he earns £28,000 a year for 25 days of work. Shocking. He could be on triple that if he was an MP. But we cannot possibly know this man's name, salary or working hours because he is an anonymous moral guardian. Mr. Hart, meet Mr. Logic. You haven't met before.
I tried to find out more from the Institute, but to my small surprise they disdained to reply. But you can be sure that they in turn are funded by the EU and so by my taxes - and yours.
Possibly. But you're assuming here, not declaring a definite truth. It would be wrong to carry on as if your assumption were true.
How do you feel about that? If not shocked, then weary, furious, disgusted? Well you can complain all you like, but no one is listening. Our arts mandarins, along with the rest of our lofty liberal elite, don't work like that.
What, you mean how do I feel about your assumption that the film was paid for by taxes when you present no evidence? Shocked, perhaps. How would I feel if the film actually was funded by taxes? Well, our taxes are spent on much more wasteful and pointless things than films so I don't mind all that much, actually.
Oh, and I don't agree that our elites are 'liberal' in any sense of the word other than the doublethink one.
How odd that while government-appointed health czars are so obsessed with anything that might harm the nation's physical wellbeing - hanging flower baskets, conkers, too much sunshine, not enough sunshine - any concern with the nation's moral or spiritual well-being has completely vanished.
Ah, Mr. Pretend Libertarian, you seek to justify adding more control to our lives by saying 'well, all that stuff is controlled so we should control this too'. That is not libertarian, that's insidious Righteous creeping totalitarianism, which is what we're going through now. Those things you mention cannot harm the nation's well-being, only the individual's, and the individual should be allowed to assess their own risks and make their own choices. You use these spurious examples to justify control of the entire population's morality. Specifically, everyone must think as you do or they are immoral.
As for this -
Censorship today seems to have been reduced to the feeble principle that if it doesn't harm children, then it should be allowed.
As soon as it's released on DVD, Antichrist will harm children anyway, deeply and irrevocably. But when did this principle of protecting only children arise anyway? What about harming adults?
He's extended 'For the cheeldren' into 'For the adults too' and he calls himself libertarian! He wants to decide what ADULTS can and cannot watch! Look, some people won't want to see this film because it contains sex and violence and that's fine. Nobody is going to pin their eyelids open and force them to watch it. It's a matter of choice. A Libertarian would understand that.
A Righteous would not.
If I were to see Antichrist, I don't believe for a moment that it would incite me into copycat violent behaviour or make me a danger to others. But it would poison my mind and imagination, with explicit, ferocious scenes of sexual violence that would stay with me for ever.
Then don't watch it. Some of us have minds made of stronger stuff. We haven't all lived permanently comfortable lives and some of the stuff I've seen - without choosing to - in real life means that nothing on film is going to 'poison my mind'. I can tell what's real and what's not. Most adults can.
Isn't that good enough reason to ban it, or at least demand extensive cuts?
No. Just because you don't like a film you've never watched, funded from a source you imagine is taxes but might not be, passed as okay by nameless people you then name and give salary details for, is not a good enough reason for a ban. You don't like the sound of it. Fair enough. Don't watch it. Do NOT attempt to control everyone else's morals and then have the gall to call yourself libertarian.
But have we - that is to say, the hesitant, fumbling, comfortably cushioned, value-free Leftish elite who now govern us - got the guts? I doubt it.
All I can say is - wow. What planet has this man been on for the last decade? Have the government got the guts to ban something? Look around, Righteous Hart. They've banned pretty much everything and you, calling yourself Libertarian, want to ban some more!
It seems 'Libertarian' has become a 'cool tag' now, and is used here by one of the most ferocious Righteous I've come across. He clearly has no idea what 'libertarian' means.
Here's a clue for the clueless, Righteous Hart. It does not mean 'total control'.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
A season of programmes exploring what it is like to be young and growing up in Britain in 2009.
Boob Job: My Big Decision - series-->
Underage and Pregnant - series
Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum- series
Baby Beauty Queens
Otto: Love, Lust & Las Vegas
Britain's Most Embarrassing Parents
The Autistic Me
Saturday, 18 July 2009
It seems Amazon have been spying on their Kindle readers, watching them from afar they have.......
And they didn't approve of what they were reading either.......so they deleted the book from the Kindle service.
Which book? Hmmn, George Orwell's 1984..........Some interesting comments from disgruntled Amazon readers HERE
UPDATE: Ayn Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged, has been removed too.
I am not sick, but I did lose my job in November. I got a reasonably generous redundancy package that was not enough to live on but with savings it was too large to qualify for benefits. That was fine. I would rather make my own way in the world than rely on the State's handouts. All well and good, but life goes on. I had a flat that I had to pay rent on. Food to eat. People to see and some fun to have. Not having a job but having some money has the upsides of being a student and having a job: both Time and Money at the same time.
I wasn't being stupid though. I had enough money coming in from doing odd jobs to keep afloat and I wanted to save most of the money to offset various debts (student loan, etc). However, with interest rates crashing down this seemed less and less viable. What is the point in having a full ISA if you get £8 a month?! Additionally, oddjobs dried up, so my bank balance began to creep down to the point where my savings no longer close to offseting my debts. At this point I decided to empty my savings and pay off as much of my debt as possible.
The reason for this is simple. If you have any savings then you get less dole money. But this doesn't take debts into account. If I wanted to get my Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) then that is what I had to do. It was painful getting rid of everything that I had saved up and leaving myself with no financial cushion or room for manœuvre if something went wrong but it had to be done. So I called up the Department of Work and Pensions (0800 055 6688) and spent 45 minutes telling them all the tedious details that they need. They seemed more concerned with finding out which disability I might have had than actually processing my claim. It was almost as if they wanted to register me as disabled so that I didn't count as unemployed.
I went to the JobCentre Plus in Hammersmith the next day for an interview only to find that they had put me down for contributions based rather than both contribution and income based JSA. The difference essentially being that if you haven't paid enough NI then you can't get contributions based and income based is limited to about £64 per week, the level that the State thinks is the minimum you can live on. Sky dishes on council blocks anyone? That's another story....
As this was my first job since university and having been working in Zug, Switzerland my NI contributions were not enough and additionally I had to fill in a form explaining why I hadn't been working in the UK (more money, less taxes & better services just about sums it up). Obviously I was seen as Patriotic enough and passed that test. I even managed to make it through the interview with an incredibly patronising fat woman. She didn't seem interested in what I had done or was good at, but wanted to tell me exactly what I should be doing (reading the Guardian twice a week) and she didn't ask for a copy of my CV. Why would she? She probably knows exactly what kind of job is right for me just by looking at me.
So, I got my money each week, but not before agreeing to certain conditions, the Jobseeker's Agreement. This sets out that I will be looking and available for employment, make suitable efforts to find work, etc. I record everything I do in a little book but must make sure I complete three jobseeking steps per week. An example of this would be to phone the local baker to see if he has any work. So not exactly strenuous. I filled up the book and went onto another sheet of paper in my first two weeks and from listening to the other people, it is clear that you don't actually have to do anything for them to give you the ok. Indeed you could make it all up.
There are two conditions that are important. One is that you can't work for more than 16 hours in a week and the other is that you earn money you will get your benefit + and extra £5 - the amount you earnt. So if you earn £20 in the week you will get £64+£5-£20=£69. There is a small incentive to work if you are going to get less than your benefit amount, but not much. And if you are going to earn just more than £69 in a week, then you are going to have to do a lot of work for it when you could do nothing and get your money anyway. Also, you can't do more than 16 hours unpaid work. The reason: you won't have enough time to conduct your job search properly. Seriously, that is taking the piss. Weekends? Evenings? They can't actually want anybody to be looking for work.
And now, the best part. Hammersmith & Fulham is my council. They have an eight year waiting list for council housing, but those on JSA can claim housing benefits. I would be eligible for around £150 per week renting a private flat and £15 per week council tax benefit. All of this is income dependent so if you are earning money you get less benefit. So let's add this up. £64 JSA + £150 Housing Benefit + £15 Council Tax Benefit = £229 per week. Let's call it £230 for simplicity. That works out at £11,960 per year. Not a bad wage (starting salary as a squaddie is around £15,000) for doing 5 minutes work per week.
So, how much would you have to earn to take home £11,960 after paying council tax at £15 per week? About £15,675 by my calculations. The State has decided that there is an income that people need to survive but they still tax you if you earn that much. How does that make sense?
So you have a choice when offered a job worth around £15,500 or less: take it, work hard, earn your own money or do nothing and get the same amount of money. What if you are offered a job for £16,000? You would be better off by £6.63 per week, not £9.61, due to tax. That's not a lot of money for a lot more work. £17,000 makes you £19.90 better off per week instead of £28.85 because of tax.
The State seemingly doesn't want people at the job centre to get jobs (or it would be making them do a lot more), and even if they are offered a job, unless they are offered a good wage (average in the UK is about £25,000) there is little incentive to take it.
If I decide to move into a flat on housing benefit, I will have a large incentive not to take a job unless it comes with a good. So, no bar jobs, no part time waiter work, etc. It just doesn't pay. The same goes for the other 2.38 million people.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Has anyone told New Labour?
Philip Pullman is fizzing… dark antibodies are fighting his freedom of speech. He is one of a clutch of esteemed children's writers and illustrators protesting against a vetting scheme that would extend to writers what already applies to anyone working with children in schools: a vetting scheme.
They protest that they're never "alone with children", so why should they be vetted. They've been going into schools for years, they say, so why now? Pullman, in particular, feels that vetting is "demeaning and insulting", another index of "corrosive and poisonous" state intervention.
What on earth is their problem?
Any writer-in-residence working with young people in schools, prisons and care facilities is vetted – I have been, several times – whether or not they work with crowds, groups or individuals.
We should be glad to do it if it confirms childrens' rights to safe access to adults. The gesture – so slight, after all – should signal to young people that their school thinks their bodily integrity matters; and that it matters more than a minor interruption of adults' privacy.
This institutional promise should exact no less commitment from us than our routine surrenders to scrutiny in the name of public safety. Why are these writers threatening to withdraw from schools and children when, presumably, they submit to the plethora of surveillance systems that are proliferating across public space?
Whether we agree with passports, identity cards, frontiers or road safety, we generally assent to their impact on our individuals freedoms. Liberty, the civil liberties and human rights guardian, was taken by surprise when it conducted a survey of public attitudes to CCTV in the streets – most people approved.
We give ourselves up to body checks when we travel by Eurostar and when we take a plane. Do these same authors refuse to travel other than by their own bicycles or cars on the grounds that such searches of our property and our persons imply a "demeaning" suspicion that we're all terrorists?
Custom officers now check your eyes when you cross our national frontiers. Do the writers boycott foreign travel?
In every corner shop, in every railway station, at every junction, there is CCTV. The artist Banksy has marvellously satirised the phenomenon with his image of a camera and "what you looking at?" stencilled on an empty wall. The cameras are, of course, looking at everyone and no one.
They signify that everyone can be under suspicion. But they also signal a wish to contribute to collective safety.
Whether any of this is any use is, of course, another matter. But if it is worth letting someone check your body and examine the contents of your bag at an airport, then it is worth letting the computer check whether you've committed crimes against children before you are allowed to attract their attention in their schools.
OK Beatrix, I am not going to get into a longwinded rant about the assumption of guilt before innocence, the tardy "if you've nothing to hide" argument, the idiocy of your argument that CCTV is good for the "collective safety" or your that having your details on a State computer is a "minor interruption of an adult's privacy".
Otherwise who knows how much the entertainment bill for Jonah's dinner parties at Chequers might be.
You'll recall he disavowed the celebrity cult of Bliar, along with spin and lies.
So there's a relief, otherwise the cost may have really gone up, instead of just doubling.
"Chequers, which historically used to receive foreign dignitaries, diplomats and ministers, also played host to a string of celebrities. Big Brother hostess Davina McCall was another unlikely guest, as was football commentator John Motson, and actors Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Greg Wise.
Labour activist Derek Draper, who quit as editor of a Labour blog earlier this year amid the scandal over a planned smear campaign against senior Tories, also enjoyed Mr Brown's hospitality, with his GMTV presenter wife Kate Garraway."Oh, and a few bankers.