Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nick Robinson

I quite often read Nick Robinson's blog for the BBC, and I'm often sympathetic to the opinions he puts forward. I was made aware of the similarity of some of Nick's statements to that of the Labour Party machine. His comments today - in regard to Gordon Brown's attempt to extend detention without trial to 42 days - have really taken the piss.
"Unlike on the 10p tax, the PM knows that the public is, largely, on his side on this one."

Handily though, it seems that there's quite a groundswell of people in his comments prepared to tell Nick just where he's gone wrong.

And yes, that is me. And no, before you ask, I wasn't copying the opinions of the people who posted before me - all those comments were awaiting moderation when I posted mine.

Labels: , , ,

Stop Having Children

Following on from my many posts advocating not having children, the BBC have a nice piece about the benefits of having children and then ask the question "why don't people who don't have children receive the same?"

The comments at the bottom reveal the depth of feelings on this subject very nicely indeed.

Labels: , ,

Albert Hoffman Dead

Albert Hoffman will be taking his trip into the afterlife, after a heart attack at the age of 103. Hoffman, for those not aware of the name, produced LSD in the 1930s - although it wasn't until 1943 that he discovered the hallucinogenic properties after accidentally getting some on his hand.

Hoffman disliked the way LSD was hijacked by the hippy movement in the States during the 60s and hoped that it would be used for more medicinal purposes as he had intended.

Have a good trip dude.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gordon Brown On American Idol

As requested, proof positive that being a twat on American TV is not the preserve of Simon Cowell. Particularly creepy is the "God Bless You All" right at the end. Oh, and his weird way of smiling at completely inappropriate points, obviously.

Labels: ,

Gordon Brown On Drugs

Which is something we've all suspected, but tragically not the true subject of this story. Brown has been pontificating today on something he knows nothing about. Again.

On GMTV this morning, Brown said: "I have always been worried about cannabis, with this new skunk, this more lethal part of cannabis."

Hmm. You've always been worried about cannabis? Even since you were a child? Interesting parents you had there Gordy. I was more worried about imminent nuclear war when I was a kid, but that probably says more about me than it does about you.

"Lethal part of cannabis". Lethal? Well that would be pretty strong stuff. Not entirely sure I agree with it being lethal mind. Nor would this lot who quote the US Government: the lethal dose of marijuana is either about one-third your body weight, or about 1,500lbs depending on which agency you believe, consumed all at once.

Here's a fucking plan Gordy baby, why not legalise all drugs rather than trying to ban every fucking thing under the sun? Then you can tax them! And the added bonus is, you'd stop criminalising everyone who bought cannabis for medical reasons or leave them open to the oft-mentioned path to "harder" drugs. But hey, if they do go down that path, tax them! It's the gift that keeps on giving you pointy headed cunt.

Labels: , ,

You Won't Need 42 Days Now, Will You?

In interesting news from Seattle, Microsoft have released a device that allows the police to get data from a PC despite your best efforts at encryption.

The COFEE, which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a USB "thumb drive" that was quietly distributed to a handful of law-enforcement agencies last June. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith described its use to the 350 law-enforcement experts attending a company conference Monday.

The device contains 150 commands that can dramatically cut the time it takes to gather digital evidence, which is becoming more important in real-world crime, as well as cybercrime. It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer's Internet activity, as well as data stored in the computer.

It also eliminates the need to seize a computer itself, which typically involves disconnecting from a network, turning off the power and potentially losing data. Instead, the investigator can scan for evidence on site.

More than 2,000 officers in 15 countries, including Poland, the Philippines, Germany, New Zealand and the United States, are using the device, which Microsoft provides free. There's no news as of yet whether the UK police are one of the lucky recipients, but if they are, then the Government is going to have to do a hell of a job selling the extension to detention, seeing as they were saying how tricky it was to break encryption within the current 28 day limit.

This would be another good reason for not using Microsoft OS on your PC.

Labels: , , , ,

Thought Crime

In its attempt to make 1984 look like a fucking instruction manual, the Labour government are now introducing a new piece of legislation which has been derided in Parliament for making thought illegal.

Lib Dem peer Baroness Miller said the evidence linking pornography with violence was weak and that the new rules would be out of kilter with the Obscene Publications Act. In her speech, the Baroness commented that "the Minister is in danger of leading his Government into becoming the thought police... we do not have any evidence to justify an intrusion in people's lives".

Further, "the Government's contention is that by viewing it [extreme porn] people are more likely to commit violent offences. Therefore, they justify walking into people's bedrooms and turning them into criminals simply for viewing something."

The legislation was also attacked by Labour peers. Lord McIntosh of Haringey added: "What does it matter to the Government whether what we have in our homes for our own purposes is for sexual arousal or not? What is wrong with sexual arousal anyway? That is not a matter for Parliament or government to be concerned about."

Here is the Register's take on it: "If you use the internet for any purpose that might be construed as other than respectable – be afraid. Be very afraid."

Even the normally American-focused Slashdot have been disturbed about this move: "Massive surveillance? Check. Building a DNA database? Check. Laws against thought crime? Not yet, but coming very soon."

The BBC - an erstwhile institution not normally likely to mention pornography, let alone on it's front news page - has this to say: "Many fear it has been rushed through and will criminalise innocent people with a harmless taste for unconventional sex."

I say only this: I am the revolution & I'd like my fucking country back.

Labels: , , , ,

The Perfect Man For The Job?

The BBC are reporting that the chair of the committee conducting an inquiry into dangers on the internet and computer games - Conservative MP John Whittingdale - today discovered that his own daughter was breaking the rules of a social networking site.

During a hearing on Tuesday, the MP asked what the minimum age was appropriate for joining Bebo - and was told under US legislation, 13 was the minimum age. The following is, according to the BBC, the exchange that took place:

He said: "My daughter is 12, she's been on Bebo for at least 18 months. I think every single one of her friends is and she spends, oh, hours on it - it's universal, way below 13 - do you think that that is inappropriate?"

Dr Rachel O'Connell (Bebo safety chief) said when parents reported under-age use, the child's page would be deleted.

Mr Whittingdale asked: "But you said in the US it's 13 - whereas there is no such thing here." However, Dr O'Connell replied: "That applies for our whole service."

Mr Whittingdale said: "So my daughter shouldn't be on Bebo?" Dr O'Connell answered: "That's true."

So obviously that'll turn out to be the internet's fault, and not him failing to adequately supervise his child. It has been said for YEARS that children should not have a PC in their room and that their use of the internet should be supervised so that they don't sign up for something only appropriate to adults. While demonstrating this quite so eloquently, Whittingdale will probably demand more net censorship thus removing his responsibility to his own child.

As I've said previously, if you want children, you take the responsibility. Don't try and stop me from doing something just because you're worried your child will be offended by it.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Have A New Website

Well, more of a fansite strictly speaking. Courtesy of Vlad, here is prickhead.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jedis Attacked By Darth Vader

Just read this story and made myself laugh so hard I sprayed coffee out my mouth.

If you are interested, it was this particular section*:
Hughes, who was drunk and dressed in a black bin bag, shouted "Darth Vader!"

It's a lovely image, isn't it? A drunk man "dressed" in a bin bag - but with matching cape, apparently - jumping over a fence to attack two grown men (who were filming themselves playing with lightsabres, let's not forget) with a metal crutch.

I say "attack", all he managed to do was give one of them a headache and the other one a bruise, so it's hardly going to cause much of a disturbance in the force, is it?

It gets better though, the drunken man was late arriving to the trial. Possibly having some trouble getting his bin bags back from the dry cleaners, or something.
Earlier, when Hughes failed to arrive on time, District Judge Andrew Shaw issued an arrest warrant, adding: "I hope the force will soon be with him."

Top punnery from a judge there!

* - Although the sentence "alcohol was "ruining his life" and he had no idea where he got the crutch from" does come a close second.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Graphical Comedy

Nice work by the Government for failing to notice what some comedian at a design agency has done to their new lovely logo (above) for the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) - the HM Treasury's tentacle "responsible for improving value for money by driving up standards and capability in procurement".

While looking lovely that way round, it's even better when viewed from this angle:

A spokesman for the OGC explained: "We concluded that the effect was generic to the particular combination of the letters 'OGC' - and is not inappropriate to an organisation that's looking to have a firm grip on government spend"

Labels: , ,

Function Creep And The Congestion Zone

Quite spectacular information from SpyBlog about the way the data gained from the Congestion Zone and Low Emission Zone Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, plus CCTV cameras can be - and let's face it, probably has been - sent to the US for their "law enforcement agencies" (read NSA, CIA, FBI).

The particular bit of note is this:

"A spokesman for Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, confirmed that the certificate* had been worded so that the images of private cars, as well as registration numbers, could be sent outside to countries such as the USA."

And as the system is live 24hrs a day, the US could - right now - be watching images of your car/van/motorbike. Despite you having done nothing. Oh, and these images could be held for up to five years. Despite you still not having done anything illegal.

* - The certificate (signed by the Home Secretary on July 4 2007) specifically sets out the level of data that can be sent to enforcement authorities outside the European Economic Area (the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) by anti-terrorist officers from the Metropolitan Police. It says: "The certificate relates to the processing of the images taken by the camera, personal data derived from the images, including vehicle registration mark, date, time and camera location."

Labels: , , ,

Welcome To Britain (Again)

Recently a woman who was accused of NOT putting an apple core in a bin had charges dropped, now a man who put his rubbish IN a bin has been fined £225 and given a criminal record.

The BBC (among many others) are reporting that the man, who lives with his partner and three children, was fined for his bin being "too full". A particularly touching moment:
"First I heard of it was from a neighbour who said someone had taken a picture of my wheelie bin, but I thought nothing of it. Two days later two enforcement officers turn up on my doorstep wearing stab vests, read my rights and then issued me with an on-the-spot fine."

If anyone has any job opportunities abroad for a particularly outraged hobbit, please mail me. Ta.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Well You've Convinced Me

The BBC are reporting on the trial of an alleged head of a terrorist cell. If you bother clicking the link, the headline is
"Suspect 'checked air timetables'"

Fuck me, he's obviously guilty then, the shifty looking cunt! What other heinous crimes was he committing?
Woolwich Crown Court heard he also talked "in hushed tones" on his mobile.

Makes a pleasant change, someone actually talking quietly while on their mobile in a public place - this bloke should be stuffed and mounted. I wonder what exactly made this behaviour so suspicious?
Prosecutor Richard Whittam said Mr Ali was observed speaking in "hushed tones in a foreign language" on a mobile phone.

That would be Mr Abdulla Ahmed Ali. I'm guessing here that English may not be his first language. If it is, there's a good chance it wasn't the first language of the person he was speaking to.
Mr Ali was then seen looking at an American Airlines page marked "timetable notepad". He then highlighted sections of numbers on the screen. Mr Ali was seen looking at the BAA Heathrow website showing "some sort" of timetable, before visiting a flight-booking website.

Blimey, I can't imagine a scenario where I would need to do that. Apart from booking flights and seeing which flights I wanted to take, obviously. He's blatantly a bomber! We should just hang the fucker now.

It gets better though.
The court also heard how on the same day, co-defendant Assad Sarwar, who was described as the group's "quartermaster", visited an internet cafe in Slough. He was observed as he wrote an email and then made notes as he looked up internet sites related to hydroponics - the process of growing plants without soil. He also looked up information on plant growing and feeding.

Hydroponics? Bomb making! Or growing weed. One or the other. But probably bombs.

In case you're interested, these are the idiots who, it is claimed, were intending to take a liquid bomb onto a plane. Or several planes. Or several bongs onto several planes. Whatever. The reason you can't take more than 100ml of liquid onto a plane is being put on trial here, essentially. Although if this represents the level of evidence they've got against them - oh, apart from them all looking a bit muslim - then I'm thinking there may be an acquittal. I will revise this opinion if there's more serious evidence at some later point.

As I mentioned closer to the time however, The Register explained very carefully why the liquid (or binary) bomb plot would never have worked.

Still, I'm sure BAA have been delighted in the increase in sales of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and soft drinks they've had since the introduction of the liquid ban, eh? Helps them pay for the supreme fuck up that is Terminal 5.

Labels: , , , ,

Muslim Irony?

Not entirely sure if I missed a memo about it being 'World Irony Day' or something, but surely this can't be anything other than ironic. Can it?

Basically, muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city (where muslims face when they pray) is the true centre of the Earth. One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca's was in perfect alignment to magnetic north.

Couple of things there, matey, magnetic north moves. As shown in this rather splendid Canadian illustrative website, magnetic north has moved quite substantially. By almost 20 degrees of longtitude in just over 100 years, in fact. So I wonder if the geologist is suggesting we should keep moving the centre of world time every time the magnetic north moves? Sadly the BBC doesn't report the answer.

Amusing enough as that is, it gets ironic shortly afterwards. Deep breath everyone, or you're going to have to drink the irony.

"He (the same geologist) said the English had imposed GMT on the rest of the world by force when Britain was a big colonial power, and it was about time that changed"

Okay. Well, where to start?

How about that GMT was originally used to determine position? The GPS of its day in fact. British mariners kept at least one timepiece on GMT in order to calculate their longitude from the Greenwich meridian, which was by convention considered to have longitude zero degrees. This, combined with mariners from other nations drawing from Nevil Maskelyne's method of lunar distances based on observations at Greenwich, eventually led to GMT being used world-wide as a reference time independent of location.

That's not imposing, dipshit, that's people using it because it worked. It was also only made the legal time of Britain in 1880, some 33 years after it was introduced so that train departure times across the country were correct (which is why some old clocks of that time have two minute hands, fact fans, one for GMT, one for local time). Prior to that solar time was used on a local basis: midday was when the sun was directly overhead. Handy for where you lived, but a bit fucking unworkable once people could travel (or communicate with someone) a couple of hundred miles away.

How about it being adopted worldwide by committee, rather than enforced? GMT was only adopted worldwide at the International Meridian Conference, held in October 1884 in Washington, D.C. to determine the Prime Meridian of the world. It was held at the request of U.S. President Chester A. Arthur. Twenty-five nations were represented by 41 delegates. The vote, fixing the meridian at Greenwich, was passed 22–1 (San Domingo, now the Dominican Republic, voted against); France and Brazil abstained. The French (quelle shock) did not adopt the Greenwich meridian until 1911.

That same conference also proposed "the adoption of a universal day for all purposes for which it may be found convenient" and that should "not interfere with the use of local or standard time where desirable". So timezones weren't our fault either. And while most major countries had adopted hourly time zones by 1929, I'm fairly certain we didn't "force" all of them.

Oh, and one last thing. I don't know if you've noticed there, geologist fella, but science yeah, doesn't really mix too well with religion, k? And GMT is used because of science. If you want to fuck about with time for religious reasons, you just piss off and invent a time machine then bring Mohammed, Jesus, or any of those other fuckers back here with you.

Labels: , , , ,

American Irony?

Or perhaps just stupidity? From a pro-Tibet rally in San Francisco:

From The Daily Dish via Devil's Kitchen

UPDATE: Found what I believe is the original image here!

Labels: , ,


Last week Gordon Brown declared at the UN that "no-one thought Mugabe had won" the Zimbabwean elections, and that the UK was "working to ensure that the will of the people of Zimbabwe is upheld".

That would be the same Gordon Brown who was handed his role as Prime Minister by an agreement with Tony Blair dating back over 10 years. The same Gordon Brown who promised an Autumn election last year and then reneged on it when it became obvious he wouldn't win it. The same Gordon Brown who seems to be ignoring the will of the people of Britain in regard to his decision to remove the 10p tax band.

I'm not backing Uncle Bob in any way, shape, or form, but I'm not surprised he's completely ignored Brown. Wouldn't you?

Labels: ,

The 10p Tax Row Hypocrisy

As you may have heard, the Government is facing a lot of condemnation for removing the 10p tax band. It is argued that this will affect the poorest and most vulnerable people in society, while making wealthier people better off. The Government maintain that very few people will be affected directly as there are so many other ways of getting the lost income back - like Tax Credits.

Many, many people have argued that the tax credit system is an expensive and tricky way to get the money back to the people who need it the most, and that if you are single, childless, and under 25, you won't get tax credits anyway. People in those categories earning under £18,500 will lose up to £232 a year.

Not many people, however, are saying that they pointed this out a year ago when the announcement was first made. Mainly because not that many people did. I'm fairly sure that Radio 4's Money Box was the only (remotely) mainstream programme that mentioned this problem at the time of the Budget in 2007.

There is a considerable amount of band-wagon jumping going on here now though, with politicians of all parties looking to make gains out of other people's misfortune.

The Labour Party are saying that they can't re-write the Budget, because so many people are now paying 2p less in the next tax band. The Treasury has hinted there could be measures to help low earners who are worse off, but not for several months. Chancellor Alistair Darling is working on proposals that would offset some of the impact of the tax changes, but they would not come into effect until the autumn pre-Budget report at the earliest.

The Conservatives are saying that they'd try to stop the cut, but Cameron falls short of saying they'd re-introduce the 10p band should they be elected. The Tory leader said he wanted to work with the government to find a way of helping the 5.3 million low paid workers who have lost out. He also said the Conservatives would consider backing an amendment by Labour rebel Frank Field, calling for a compensation package for those affected.

Some people are suggesting that the tax threshold should be raised so that the lowest earners don't pay tax at all. This doesn't go far enough. As I have suggested previously, the solution is simple - stop paying tax. When enough people have shown their displeasure at the way this country is being run, we will have the Government we want: for the people, by the people.

However, in the meantime, my message to politicians is this: stop playing politics with people's ability to eat, heat their homes, pay their bills, clothe themselves or generally live. Stop playing to the high-earning middle class and help the people at the bottom who are trying to help themselves - but you insist on taxing at a higher marginal rate than anyone else in the country. Stop making the benefits system so appealing that we need to import people into this country to do jobs that our citizens can't be bothered to do as "it's not worth it".

I am the Revolution, and I'd like my fucking country back.

Labels: , , ,

America Follows UK Lead

Rather interestingly (to me, anyway, your mileage may vary) The Register are reporting that the US of A have started to adopt the UK's policy of collecting DNA from everyone arrested.

This is - like so many things - function creep from what the DNA database was originally introduced for in the US. It was supposed to store only the DNA from people CONVICTED of sexual attacks, murders and serious violent crimes, but the Government now want to expand this to include everyone arrested for anything. Note, you don't have to be convicted of anything, just arrested. For anything.

Unlike the UK though, the US are granting its citizens a 30-day public comment period after being published in the Federal Register. The US also allows people to have their DNA removed from the database if they can prove they were wrongly arrested, but it can take up to two years to get records expunged.

And while the new rules say federal employees may not use the records to identify genealogy, genetic traits or diseases, it's unclear what is to prevent employees from skirting those rules. Seeing as only last month the US State Department admitted that workers had snooped on the supposedly private passport records of all three presidential candidates, once the information is there, people are going to do what they want with it.

Labels: ,

I'm Not Dead

Despite the lack of posts on here recently, I just want to reassure everyone that I'm not dead. Nor have I stopped being outraged by politics, privacy issues or everything else. And I did enjoy Newcastle's victory over Sunderland. Oh, that's interesting, my spell checker is fine with "Newcastle" but kicks up a fuss at "Sunderland". Good.

Was a tad unwell over last weekend and that hung around until Thursday or so, but I'm feeling a bit better - though still wiped out - now. On top of this, I've been packing my stuff up in North London for my move to South London (no, really) next month. Plus I'm also trying to sort out two other websites for friends of mine, so this is taking a back seat at present.

So yeah, I'm useless at multi-tasking, can't organise my time effectively, and am easily distracted. And for those of you who know me personally, I am aware that is the usual description of me, thanks.

Will be posting more stuff this week though, as I don't feel quite so ill as last week. Which will be a joy for everyone, won't it?

Labels: ,

Friday, April 11, 2008

Function Creep

In a spectacularly over the top use of the RIP Act, Poole Council have spent taxpayers' money setting up a covert operation to make sure a family lived where they claimed.

Oh yes.

Not a family of terrorists. Dear me no. That would probably have been assessed as infringing their human rights or some such bollocks. No, much more dangerous than terrorists: a family, who committed the heinous crime of wanting to get their three year old child into a local school.

Suspecting that they lived outside the catchment area for the school, but thinking they would pretend to be living somewhere else, the local council paid one of their own staff to set up a monitoring operation. A 'round the clock' monitoring operation. At taxpayers' expense. To see if a family were entitled to send their child to a local school.

Sorry for repeating myself there. I just wanted to make it quite clear. There was a 'round the clock' monitoring operation. At taxpayers' expense. To see if a family were entitled to send their child to a local school. For fuck's sake.

You don't think the council could just have a look at their own fucking documents and see how long this family had lived at the address, do you? See if they've been paying Council Tax there for longer than the kid had been alive? Because if they have, then it's either legit or it's a fucking amazing bit of lying. Similarly, if they haven't, then see who is supposed to be paying the Council Tax and pop in to speak to them.

How much time can be wasted on something as trivial as this? And how much money?

More than that, how much further can these cunts go and still get away with it?

I am the Revolution and I'd like my fucking country back.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Melanoma Awareness Project

Just so you know, I have - in conjunction with Becca's Dad, Peter - set up a new blog for the Melanoma Awareness Project.

This can be seen here and will be updated with video and photos, plus more information about the project, as often as I can.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Simple proposition for you all.

Stop paying Income Tax.

If you are self employed or on a self assesment tax form (so not schedule E) then just stop paying tax. There's another 9 months before it's due to be handed sent in anyway, so you'll have plenty of time to think of the benefits.

If you are on PAYE, well, there's pleny of ways for you to join in the fun too.

Stop paying Council Tax.

You've all just had two months of not paying it, and didn't that feel nice? Imagine a whole year of not paying! How much better would that feel? Hmm? Lovely, eh?

A bit scared of being sent to prison? Okay, well, what exactly do you think would happen if everybody stopped paying? The prisons are already full, there's nowhere to put all of us! Plus, the Government might be a bit busy to charge everyone, particularly if everyone were to...

Stop paying VAT.

Barter: offer services doing things you're good at in exchange for things you need that you can't reasonably make or grow yourself. Grow your own: there's plenty of ways of growing some of the food you actually need (rather than what you think you might need) regardless the size of your flat/house/bedroom.

Ask if they'll do it cheaper for cash. Most tradesmen will probably go along with this, but you may need to prove to them that you're not filming them for some weird televised scam/HMRC.

Base yourself abroad. Find someone you know who lives outside of the UK. Swap details with them. Buy everything you would normally use, but keep very detailled VAT receipts. Get your friend to submit the receipts to the Government, go halves on the money you get back. This works even better if the country they live in have a similar scheme for non-domiciles.

The Government will be fucked on their arses within a matter of weeks. More so than they currently are. Then, and only then, will we be able to demand a country that is run in the way that actually benefits the population, rather than fucking it over a table at the end of every single week.

I am the revolution, and I'd like my fucking country back.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Good News Everybody!

Caffeine is now officially a way of reducing the risk of getting Alzheimer's.

Given the stupendous amounts of the stuff I've been drinking for the past two decades, I think I can now stop worrying about getting Alzheimer's! w00 h00!


Virtual Tube Ride Reduces Paranoia

The BBC is reporting that a "virtual" tube ride can help people overcome their fears that other passengers are 'looking at them a bit funny'. This employs a "virtual reality" type experience (ie not a great deal like reality) that allows people to have more control over their environment than they would in real life, so that they can become used to the situation without feeling quite as threatened.

A similar technique has been used for some time for helping people get over their arachnophobia, and others.

Interestingly, I would have thought given the amount of fights, knife attacks and general chaos that happens on buses nowadays, the researchers would have been better served trying to work out a way of making buses *actually* safer, rather than tubes *virtually* safer.

Labels: ,

Good News Everybody!

Caffeine is now officially a way of reducing the risk of getting Alzheimer's.

Given the stupendous amounts of the stuff I've been drinking for the past two decades, I think I can now stop worrying about getting Alzheimer's! w00 h00!


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day Of The Geek

Today is the 2^1 of 2^2 of 2^3.

Fortunately it wasn't me who noticed that.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Who Do You Believe?

Gordon Brown or The House Of Lords?

The Lords Economic Affairs Committee, whose members include two ex-chancellors and other Cabinet members, took eight months to consider government immigration policies.

Inquiry chairman Lord Wakeham said: "Looking to the future, if you have got that increase in numbers and you haven't got any economic benefit from it, you have got to ask yourself, is that a wise thing to do?

"That is why we want the government to look at it."

And contrast:

Gordon Brown says immigration is good for the UK and has rejected suggestions that an annual limit is needed. He said migration had added £6bn to the economy and was a "substantial income".

Didn't seem to help head off the recession though, did it Gordon? You arse.

The report claims that if net immigration of 190,000 people per year continued over the next 20 years, it would contribute to a 10% increase in house prices. Which we need like a hole in the head.

Sir Andrew Green, of pressure group Migrationwatch, said the report had "torn to shreds the government's economic case for the massive levels of immigration which they have actively encouraged".

And shadow home secretary David Davis said the peers had shown "unequivocally that the benefits of the current immigration policy to ordinary UK citizens are largely non-existent". "We are delighted they say there should be an explicit target range for immigration through controls on non-EU applicants," he said. "This is a policy that we have been arguing for, for years and which the government has consistently rejected."

Labels: , , ,

Senior Judge Attacks Government

The most senior judge in England, The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, has attacked the Government's approach to introducing new legislation (reflecting the "politicisation" of sentencing) and the time it now takes for a judge to be appointed (because of a new judicial appointments system) had caused a shortage of judges.

Very similar to the problems the Government had with the NHS when they introduced a new system for newly-qualified doctors applying for jobs. But I digress. The judge, however, does not.

In his report, the judge highlighted various reasons for the problems, including a series of computer glitches. In addition to the shortage of judges caused by the new appointments system, he also cited a backlog in repairs to court buildings. "It is vital that the system is better placed to phase the implementation of new appointments to take over from those being replaced within a shorter period of time," he said.

The judge added that the state of the 700 buildings in the court estate was an area of "ever-growing concern". According to his report, the maintenance backlog stands at £200m, of which £90m was required for "urgent operational requirements".

Labels: ,

Harriet Harman

Not content with donning a stab proof jacket while walking round her own constituency with three uniformed police officers (just how much do the voting public hate you?), it seems dear Harriet has an inability to spell. From her own website:

And no, this isn't an April Fool's post. Hence I waited until after midday.

Labels: ,

eXTReMe Tracker