Monday, June 30, 2008

Lack of English support for Murray, no surprise to me

Listening to the Andy Murray Vs GASQUET match on Radio 5 earlier the commentators were bemoaning the lack of support from the english fans. perhaps its something to do with this I thought:

Scottish tennis star Andrew Murray says he will be wearing a Paraguay shirt and cheering on England's opponents in the World Cup.

No only that but scots always get really arsey every time the english adopt one of theirs.

Anyway, when someone pointed this out to them the excuse was that it was all tongue-in-cheek. Well, I don't think so. I don't know a single scot who does want England to do well in any sport.

Me? I hope he wins Wimbledon and goes on to be World #1, unless a minor miracle occurs and we get an enlish player coming through, of course.

A really gutsy performance from Murray to get back from 2 down. I wish him luck.

Labour Party living in “interesting times”.

Having been an intermittent reader of the Economist for about 15 years I was quite surprised at the tone of this weeks attack by Bagehot. Normally the Economist is measured in its condemnation of politicians, but this week it has gone to town on Gordon:

Part of the problem is—how to put it politely?—the prime minister's proclivity, under pressure, to be prudent with the truth. It isn't only his tricksiness with statistics, his fondness for misleading historical comparisons (for example, on inflation) and self-serving exaggeration (such as his wild rounding-up of poverty-reduction figures): all that is more or less routine, and passes unnoticed by most voters. Much more damaging have been his periodic assertions that black is white—as in his claim that Wendy Alexander, Labour's leader in the Scottish Parliament, had not urged a referendum on Scottish independence, despite her call to "bring it on", or his avowal that no inducements had been offered to Unionist and backbench Labour MPs this month in return for their votes on his counter-terrorism plans

We all expect politicians to be economical with the actuality and to paint events to suit themselves, we all do it on CV's and conversation with our friends and acquaintances, but Gordon has plumbed new depths. He no longer picks the good bits, he just makes them up and lies to us. He also never, ever answers a question now, he just makes banal statements as Bagehot points out:

Sadly (for him and Labour), Mr Brown has a bad habit even more damaging than saying impossible things: saying nothing at all, often at excruciating length. He sometimes seems to have accepted a dare never to answer an interviewer's question. Instead he responds to an imaginary softball—along the lines of "in what ways are the country's problems not your fault, and didn't it use to be worse?"

The online version is subscription but I'm sure that with a bit of effort you could dig out a copy somewhere, it is well worth the effort.

And this is bad news for those of us who like to see a humiliating defeat for Gordon at the next election. Whilst Bagehot's reflections may not be read by the average voter, or even 98% of voters, the will resonant in the Westminster village where Labour MP's are looking down the barrel of a an election massacre and the end of the gravy train. They will reckon if the deep think Bagehot is putting the knife in then what hope is there of Gordon ever turning public opinion (none IMHO) and that they may as well go down fighting with a new leader. It worked for the Tories, they will start to think, so why not us?

We could be in for fun summer and conference season as Labour works out if it is worth throwing the dice of a leadership change and finding someone who would be wiling to stand. John Major was a compromise candidate who was a safe pair of hands and was seen as being above the factions of the Tory party. Who could do that for Labour and would they be willing? I haven't got the poll data but I would be willing to be bet that Labour's standing now is a damned lower than the Tories at the end Maggies' term so would any of the bigger hitters be willing to sacrifice their career for the sake of the party?

As the Chinese would say, Labour is living in interesting times.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That “settled science” issue won’t go away

One of the worst aspects of the Man Made Climate Change warriors is there continual smug claim that the science is settled and that anyone who challenges it is a heretic and deserves the treatment handed out to heretics in the past. So it was with some pleasure that I read this article in Greenie Watch:

The "National Resources Defense Council", a Greenie organization, has challenged skeptical scientists to 'let NRDC's real climate experts take them on'. Below is a response to the challenge from Richard Courtney, DipPhil, a UN IPCC expert reviewer and a UK-based climate and atmospheric science consultant. The response was posted on the NRDC blog

Don't you just love that self righteous name? They are the only people who are interested in resources and have appointed themselves the guardians. Anyway, that's not the point.

It was with great pleasure that I read the response to their challenge, printed in full in link:

You say: "And perhaps some scientists are coming out against the idea that humankind has warmed the planet and continues to spew increasing pollutants into our atmosphere. If so, they are awful quiet about their challenge. Perhaps they should post their arguments here and let NRDC's real climate experts take them on."

Good, someone is taking them on, so who is this heretic who dares risk life, limb and reputation?

Well, I am an Expert Peer Reviewer for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); i.e. I am one of the often touted "thousands of UN Climate Scientists". I and thousands of others speak, publish and sign petitions in attempt to get the media to tell the truth of man made global climate change. And in response to your invitation I post that truth below.

Wow, this guy must know his stuff, especially as he's been on the IPCC, so what does he have to say?

The AGW-hypothesis asserts that increased greenhouse gases (GHGs) - notably carbon dioxide - in the atmosphere will cause the globe to warm (global warming: GW), and that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing the carbon dioxide in the air with resulting anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW). I think a clear distinction needs to be made between

(a) the science of AGW, and

(b) the perception of AGW - and the use of AGW - by non-scientists.

The science

The present empirical evidence strongly indicates that the AGW-hypothesis is wrong; i.e.

1. There is no correlation between the anthropogenic emissions of GHGs and global temperature.

2. Change to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is observed to follow change to global temperature at all time scales.

There's a lot more, but you get the feling that he has some valid points. The best bit is his wrap up:

The above list provides a complete refutation of the AGW-hypothesis according to the normal rules of science.: i.e. Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed in the empirical data, and the opposite of the hypothesis' predictions is observed in the empirical data.

So that's the settled science dealt with quite nicely (as it happens I do accept that increases in CO2 cause some warming). So what of the rest of the climate change industry:

But politicians and advocates adhere to the hypothesis. They have a variety of motives (i.e. personal financial gain, protection of their career histories and futures, political opportunism, etc..). But support of science cannot be one such motive because science denies the hypothesis.

Hence, additional scientific information cannot displace the AGW-hypothesis and cannot silence its advocates (e.g. Hansen). And those advocates are not scientists despite some of them claiming that they are.

Ouch. Wouldn't you just loved to be a fly on the wall when they received that letter? On reflection they probably ignore it as the ramblings of a deranged heretic or the worst kind, an apostate.

I didn't miss much out so it's worth the few minutes to read the rest of his arguments.

Oh good, the retrun of secondary striking

Via The Englishman we learn that as the price for bailing out Labour the unions are seeking a repeal of the laws banning secondary strikes. For those who don't remember secondary action (or inaction to be precise)was what brought the country to its knees in the 60's and 70's and the one of the first things the Tories banned.

It works like this - nurses, for example, make a large pay claim which is turned down. They then go on strike and, being nurses, generally get public sympathy. To speed things along the tube drivers, for example, come out in sympathy. This puts even more pressure on a Labour Government and they eventually cave in (and they will because no Labour Government can face down the nurses).

All well and good, the nurses are a special case, aren't they? Next comes the Firemen, again another group of workers who can generate public sympathy, but probably not as much as the nurses. Same scenario but this time the train drivers, for example, come out in sympathy. This doesn't quite work so the tube drivers step in again. Eventually the firemen get their way. (Just remember that by now we don't have the troops to man the Green Goddesses as they're all in Iraq and Afghanistan).

All's well for a while and then the tube drivers make a spectacular huge pay claim, on the basis that there standard of living is being eroded and they are falling behind nurses and firemen. Obviously there isn't the the same public sympathy so the strike drags on. Now its pay back time. Appreciative of their support in the past the nurses and firemen start secondary action and lo and behold the Government caves in.

This stokes inflation and the cyslcle starts again.

Far fetched? Maybe, but I won't be betting against in before Labour is ousted at the next GE.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Valuing Degrees

The universities' watchdog has warned of problems with degree grades, external examiners and the over-recruitment of overseas students.Peter Williams, chief executive of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), says the current degree classification system is "arbitrary and unreliable".

Not that the QAA is a disnterested party. So given that how would you choose to sort this out?

1. Let the market decide? Employers will soon very quickly figure out which universties are taking the piss

2. Let a bunch of politically motivated bureacrats come up with a system of examination that sorts the wheat from the chaff.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Yet another Chancellor pisses in the wind

Chancellor Alistair Darling says pay rises for people "from the boardroom to the shopfloor" need to be "consistent" with the 2% inflation target.

What I and millions like me in private industry negotiate is between us and our employer and, other than the the extortion called income and NI, fuck all to do with you.

What you do have, Mr Chancellor, is control over public sector pay and that's easy - award 2% and tell them to get on with it or find a job in private industry.

Despite the rant there is precedence, Chancellors setting pay for private industry didn't work in the 70's and led to stupid policies like prices and incomes controls. They failed then and they'll fail now.

If you want to know what to do next I suggest you pick up a book about our economic history of 1975 to 1995, that should give you a clue.

on this day

in 1981, Mark David Chapman pled guilty to killing John Lennon.

I'm not a Beatles or Lennon fan but its hard not to be moved by Imagine

How have people this stupid gained control of our money?

Smokers in the poorest areas of Dundee are being offered £150 worth of groceries by the health service if they are able to give up cigarettes.

Participants in a 12-week scheme will be given £12.50 a week by NHS Tayside if a carbon monoxide breath test proves they have not been smoking.

As an ex-smoker I understand the benefits of giving up smoking but I'm really not sure that this will work. If they are that poor and still choose to smoke they have a different value system to most of us and aren't likely to spend the money on healthy things.

But our very clever bureacrats are way ahead of me and thought of that:
The money will be credited onto an electronic card which cannot be used for cigarettes or alcohol.

Good one, that. Leaving aside the cost of the system that should work.

If you are a poor person from Dundee look away know.

We now know the poor of Dundee are really stupid so we can be assured they aren't reading on.

What fucking haf-wit employed these numpties and sanctioned this waste of money? Sack the lot of them. If they are too stupid to work out that all that will happen is either a deal with the shopkeeper or a reduction in the food bill being spent on alcohol they shouldn't be allowed to breathe.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Swift and appropriate justice

I like this one from the Bystander;

Many of our more regular customers know better than to carry any cash when they turn up at court, enabling them to stretch out payment of fines and costs as long as possible. Those brought in custody don't have a chance to put their money away. That's why we have now arranged for the jailers to bring up a note of how much cash the prisoner has in his property.
We were dealing with a serial shoplifter the other day, a foreign national, who had been picked up the day before she was due to fly home. The duty solicitor urged us to impose a Conditional Discharge, since she had no money, and no community sentences would be feasible. Unfortunately for his client, I had a note in front of me to say that she had over £800 in her bag, so we were able to fine her a large chunk of it. We did leave her enough for a taxi to the airport though. We like to be reasonable.

If they really were serial shoplifters a jail term may have been appropriate, but at least the left the country skint.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Email spam filter gone mad

I've just noticed that my ISP's spam filter has just gone in to overdrive and has been randomly blocking comments, not just on this blog but also replies when I have commented elsewhere. Apologies if its blocked yours or I haven't replied. I now have over 50 emails going back a month to sift through so if I have missed anything I should be able to make amends.

I plan to change my blogger email address which should help.

Fuel tanker drivers settlement another nail for Brown’s coffin

The settlement of the fuel driver's dispute with a 14% pay rise over 2 years is very worrying:

Tanker drivers delivering fuel for Shell have been offered a 14% pay increase over two years after their four-day strike hit UK fuel supplies.

Not because of the settlement, which is above inflation, that is a matter between the employers and unions, but because the public sector unions will see this as a benchmark.

If this does happen we could be in for some pretty serious disputes early next year, in time for another winter of discontent just before Brown has to call the GE.

Whilst I don't want misery through strikes inflicted on anyone and I certainly don't want to see large public sector pay rises which will lead to higher inflation, increased taxes and job losses, the though of this being the final nail in Brown's coffin (and legacy) does fill me with a deep sense of anticipation.

Mugabe and his henchmen should be allowed to go in to exile

Appalling as it sounds I was forced to this conclusions while listening to the 9th June edition of Start the Week on my bike ride this morning.

One of the guests, John Laughland, has written what looks look like a fascinating book about the history of political trials from Charles I to Saddam Hussein. In it he argues that the war in Yugoslavia was prolonged by 3 years because of the insistence of the international community to extract "justice". He also discussed similar issues over the pardons for the former members of the Argentine Junta with Amnesty (I respect) and other organisations baying for these pardons to be over turned.

This got me thinking about Zimbabwe (the discussion ends up there eventually) and whether it would be better to let Mugabe and his henchmen go in to exile so that the country can start to rebuild sooner rather than later. Distasteful as it is this is what used to happen and dictators were more willing to listen to international pressure if they thought they would live in comfort. Even Idi Amin was allowed to go in to exile.

Having listened to the programme I am persuaded that the likes of Amnesty are may be morally wrong in their desire to set up tribunals for all human rights abuses but we should hold our noses in the interests of peace and relieving oppression and let Mugabe go in to exile.

The only draw back is in the past the exiled dictator was often replaced by an even more authoritarian regime, so we would need safeguards to ensure that democracy is the end result.

Try to find the time to listen it is worth the 10 minutes or so it lasts. It starts about 30 minutes in.

The things we regret

There is a saying that at the end of your life you only regret the things you didn't do. Well there is one thing I did as an 18 year old that I suspect will regret to my dying day. Whats more, I am reminded it at just about every turn of a current affairs story, blog or page in the dead tree press.

Yes folks, in 1975 I voted yes. It was was my first election and I was seduced because all the great and the good were pushing the yes vote:

During the campaign, virtually all the mainstream national British press supported the "Yes" campaign. The communist Morning Star was the only notable national daily to back the "No" campaign.

The only notable person against was Tony Benn and even then I thought he was an odd ball. (I have grown a grudging admiration for his principled positions over the years, even though I think he's on the barmy end of wrong with most of them, but thats a different story.)

As we were going on exercise I even got to vote a week early, brilliant, it made me so proud.

Today my remindr of that mistake come from Trixy, via Tim Worstall:
I have, once again, been thrown out of the hemicycle because I am a girl who is not pro the EU.

I had the pass to get in there, I was sitting quietly at my seat, camera in a bag when a Huissier came across and told me to get out. He put his hand over my lense and told me I wasn't allowed in the chamber. I ignored him because I don't like to be bullied by fascists. He carried on trying to tell me that I was not allowed in there and then tried to break my camera. I was filming him saying this. Then he grabbed me and made me move. As I walked off I told him that this was supposed to be a democracy.

He tried to stop me going to the MEPs who had asked me to be in there and forcibly tried to stop me. I pushed past him and gave my camera to Nigel Farage. He then stood on my pashmina to stop me going anywhere, but I tugged it from under he cheap, plastic unpolished shoes. As he frogmarched me out, he stole the badge which belongs to the group. I asked him one again, how is this a democracy. He said it is, which is why I can throw you out. To which I replied, Dictatorship might start with a D but that's where the similarity ends. Then I asked for the bully's name. He asked what mine was, so I told him. He then refused to tell me his. His colleague came along and said, you don't have a hemicycle badge so you have to get out. I asked for the badge back, but they denied knowing anything about it.

So I have been listening to the speeches made on the computer in my office. I am, not surprised by what they said, they are EU nationalists who will stop at nothing. Some of them even had the audacity to say that one of our Irish MEPs did not represent the people of Ireland because she campaigned on the NO side.

Now, can anyone tell me why Labour, the Lib Dems, the Tories and the Greens want to be part of this organisation? An organisation which bends its own rules, which states that the voice of the few people who were allowed a referendum should be ignored?

This is the third time in four years I have been bullied and pushed around by Parliament security, who are authorised to do so by the President of the Parliament.

No, we can't just ignore them as we have been ignored. We have to leave the EU. You can't reform it, it doesn't want to be reformed. Did Stalinist Russia want to be reformed? No.

Wake up.

To make matters worse, The Great Wiseone voted against and necer tires of letting me know whenever a story of EU stupidty, intrusion of near fascist decision is reported by the MSM.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Labour blames civil servant for Hazel's blunder

Mark Wadsworth ("accountant with attitude" according to City Unslicker) picked up on this story of the incompetence of Hazel Blears as being one of amusement:

A personal computer holding sensitive documents relating to defence andextremism has been stolen from Hazel Blears' constituency office in Salford. The machine contained a combination of constituency and government information which should not have been held on it. The theft may mean the communities secretary has broken rules on the handling of restricted government information, the BBC has learned.

which it is, but reading on its is also quite sinister as it shows Labour's contempt for the civil service:
After Gordon Brown was informed of the theft from Ms Blears' office, he told cabinet ministers to ask their civil servants to remind staff of the importance of enforcing procedures on the treatment of sensitive information

Lets just get this straight - a Minister of the Crown puts sensitive material on a personal laptop she uses for constituency business, takes laptop to constituency office and it gets nicked. Now I know that Labour has pushed the politicisation of the civil to the limits, but surely the haven't corrupted the independence of the civil service to the point where they are responsible for Labour Party offices?

Whats more, this is one of the worst kinds of bad leadership - my mistake, your fault.

There's no wonder the went after civil serf with a vengeance if this is typical of they kind of stunt they pull and the way they treat the civil service. Bastards, the lot of 'em.

Cost of living and national pay rates

I've always felt national pay rates are one of the worst examples of union power. The lack of flexibility means that workers in the more expensive areas like the South East struggle to get by, despite extra payments, whilst those in the poorer areas of the country have an above median salary. This was brought home to me about 20 years ago when we were on holiday in Cromer, Norfolk. At the time the Great Wiseone was a teacher in the High Wycombe area, where we live, and there was no way we could have bought a house on her salary. As a teacher she had always fallen for, and supported, the union argument of national pay rates until she saw the cost of housing in Cromer and realised she could have afforded to buy a reasonably goo 3 Bed house on her salary.

I was reminded of this today while visiting our call centre in the Dearne Valley. I grabbed a Salmon sandwich and cappuccino for lunch and, without thinking, offered a £20 note as I only had a few pounds in change and I was expecting something well over £5 – I was extremely pleased when it came to £3.

A couple of nice anecdotes, I know, but they are relevant to today's inflation figures:

Rising food and energy prices could push UK consumer inflation above 4% this year, the governor of the Bank of England has warned.
He was speaking after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 3.3% in May, up from 3% in April.

Brace yourself for more large pay claims from the last bastions of unionisation, public service organisations; expect them to demand above inflation national pay rises, despite some of their members being comfortable and others struggling – a sort of postcode lottery that they so despise when it comes to offering NHS services. Because the claims will be so large the Govt will be pushed in to a corner and will be expected fight by the rest of us. This will probably lead to a series of strikes with Gordon eventually caving in to a face saving formula that leaves 2 losers – Those of us in private industry who will have been inconvenienced and will have to cough up the extra money and those who live in the South East and other expensive areas.

Another reason for small government and methods of funding public services that rely on local conditions to set pay scales eg school vouchers.

Harridan Harman on David Davis

**Update** I worte this off line on the train and knew it was a "by-election" what on earth poossesed me to press the "publish" button is beyond me!

Catching up with the beeb's Weekly Political Review in the car last night I couldn't believe it when Harman object to DD's move on the grounds that the Bye -Election will cost tax payer's money. I'm not sure how much a Bye -Election costs but I'm prepared to be a hefty sum that it is less that we pay our MP's in John Lewis expenses.

But my bet's a side issue – if the Labour Party's Deputy Leader is prepared to come on a serious political programme and make this point rather than argue the case for locking up dark skinned suspects for 6 weeks without charge then they really have lost the debate and the moral high ground.

Parliament should carry on debating the Lisbon Treaty, and the longer the better

Yes I know it's supposed to be dead

It comes after the government said it would press ahead with its ratification of the Lisbon Treaty despite the Irish voting "no" in a referendum.

but if they want to tie themselves in knots over it then that's fine by me; it means they can't be considering any of their other crap ideas that they keep foisting on us.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The military and authoritarianism

Luke Akehurst who claims to be on the moderate wing of the Labour Party has caused a bit of a stir with this post.

Maybe instead of Labour fielding a candidate in Haltemprice & Howden we should find a Martin Bell type candidate - preferably a recently retired senior police officer, or a survivor or relative of a victim of a terrorist attack, to run under the following 5 word candidate description: "Independent - for detaining terrorism suspects".

I'm fed up with us playing softball with the Tories while they posture and pontificate on this issue. If they want to play liberal they should pay the full political price for it and be eviscerated at the polls for being soft on national security. We should have their stance on this issue on every single poster and leaflet at the next General Election and then see how Davis and his mates feel about a referendum on this issue.

Needless to say I don't agree with him but better people than me have taken on the direct argument. What struck be, apart from the appalling arrogance of his idea, was the tribalism of his supporters (and some of his opponents) and the assumption of one poster that the the military and especially Tim Collins would support 42 days detention without charge and be willing to stand against DD.

I read this a couple of days ago and this was the comment and my response:
" Andy said...
Spot on Luke, ignore the weak minded liberal cretin commenters. This is the perfect opportunity to spank the tories on an issue of principle. Does anyone have Lieutenant Colonel (retd.) Tim Collins number? He'd be the perfect independent for national security candidate."

You really are in cloud cuckoo land if you believer the people like Tim Collins will support this vile move. He has spent his life preparing to fight, and fighting, regimes that that treat the people with such utter contempt. He and his fellow officers understand that life has to be sacrificed to defend freedoms.

On reflection I'm even more annoyed that people have this assumption that those of us who have served in the military are automatically authoritarians who would lock people up for 6 weeks on mere suspicion. I am sure there are some, the military is a microcosm of society after all, but these will be very few and far between amongst Officers, Warrant Officers and Senior NCO's. The military has a very proud tradition of education those serving in the traditions of liberty and noblesse oblige.

Notwithstanding that, didn't it occur to this buffoon that Tim Collins is Irish and steeped in the tradition of oppression and what it means? He has seen the damage that was done by internment, which is effectively what we have with "42 days".

Andy is obviously the worst kind in politics - tribal to the point of putting party before principle and not caring how many innocents suffer as long as they stay in power. Did he really believe that someone who could produce a speech like this
would want to throw people in jail for 6 weeks without charge, on the merest suspicion of some bureaucrat?

The more I read and hear from people like Andy (and Luke) the more I am convinced this legislation is dangerous and needs killing in the womb. Thank God Blair didn't succeed in completely killing off the house of Lords.

On this day - Falklands

its now the 3rd day since the end of hostilities and we've been stuck o Mt Estancia as everyone converges on Port Stanley. Our boss finally managed to get a couple of Wessex allocated to bring us down and we ended up in the school billeted with the rest of the odds and sods in the "clearing system".

I made a sill mistake. Although we didn't have showers I managed to get a bowl full of hot water and had a strip wash and put on as many clean clothes as I could muster. The problem was that nobody else could and I found out how much squaddies who haven't had a good wash for 2 weeks or so really smell!

The one thing that struck me as I walked round Port Stanley was the compassion shown by the Paras and Marines to the Argentine conscripts. They were offering cigarettes and helping the injured as much as they could. There was even some friendly banter with those who could speak English.

This should be compared to the way the officer corp was treated. There was nothing but contempt for them. We had all seen the way that they were given special privileges over the conscripts and heard stories of how the conscripts had been left to their own devices when things got tight.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The nex major piece of EU legistlation will....

... ban countries from holding referendums (referenda?) on EU treaties.

The there will definately no need for a Plan B.

Decision '79

Just started watching this programme that was broadcast by BBC 4 during the week. Its the BBC election night broadcast of that evening, uncut and uncensored. One of the first things they show is an interview with Robin Day smoking a big fat cigar in the studio. What happy times they were.

I'll shall continue dipping in to this programme as it is a reminder of happy days and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Before I close the beeb is predicting only a4.7% swing to the Conservatives and even showing a marginal with a predicted swing to Labour. Boy were they wrong, the swing was around 11%.

Friday, June 13, 2008

EU Leaders Confirm Their Incompetence

I would like to add my thanks to the Irish for showing their good sense; not only have they rejected this Constitution by any other name, they have further exposed the incompetence of the self selecting political class that govern us.

Having put all that effort, and our money, in to coming up with a plan for Europe they couldn't be bothered to consider risk management and have a contingency if something went wrong:

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said 18 member states had already approved the treaty, and "the remaining ratifications should continue to take their course". But before the vote he had warned that "there is no Plan B".

Those of us in the real world who have to come up with plans and strategies have to think through all risks and mitigation steps. If we don't and the project fails at the first hurdle we would, quite rightly, have our competence questioned. If we didn't have a good explanation we would be out on our arses.

But not this lot, they'll just go for anther boondoggle, change a few words and start again without a hint of embarrassment. They will tell themselves it wasn't their fault, it is us plebs who are too thick to understand the greater cause, it was the fault of the Irish "yes" campaigners because they didn't explain well enough; anything but look at the real reasons. It will never enter their heads that there is an ever growing body of opinion that is fed up with their arrogant, corrupt, leadership and that we don't want their socialist claptrap which has been proven to be a failure so many times.

Lets leave now

On This Day

In 1987 Princess Anne was given the title Princess Royal.

She is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Signals and I met her a few times and was quite taken with her down to earth attitude. On one occasion when we lived in the mountains of Cyprus my wife commented that it was the only place where you could get fresh brussel sprouts Anne's comments was "come to Sandringham, all you can see is bloody brussel sprouts".

Her security detail also reckoned she held the record for the quickest drive between Salisbury and Blandford Camp, a trip she does regularly, so watch out if you on that road.

The wrong MP has resigned

Much as I respect David Davis' decision to resign it is the wrong way round. He has resigned to protest about our freedoms and liberties being limited and curtailed by the Government. This means he will have to argue from the negative position i.e. why they shouldn't be taken away.

What we really need is for Brown and the rest of the Cabinet to resign and then justify their re-election of the basis of why more state control of our lives and the erosion of long held liberties is good for us. Some evidence for the need would be welcome as well.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gentlemanly Conduct Conundrum

(Written off line last night)

Sat on a busy train on the way home with a nice seat and table so I can work (read RSS blogs as well) I notice that a number of ladies are standing. I was brought up to give up my seat to a lady or elderly person but I now face a conundrum:

In this age of equality of the sexes should I:

  1. Give up my seat to a lady?
  2. As a 51-year-old give up my seat only to a lady older than me?
  3. If 2 should I give up my seat to anyone older than me?

Problem solved, we stopped at Beaconsfield and now there are spare seats.

But what, dear reader, should I do next time?

Being a Gentleman by nature, I always walk on the road side when out with the Great Wiseone, for example and my default position is to give up my seat to any female.

On this day - Falklands

Having been away I've missed a few memorable incidents, maybe next year. Anyway, on this day:

The British 3-Para mounts an assault on Mount Longdon. The battle on this
heavily defended position, which was supposed to last until dawn, proves much
tougher and longer than expected. Mount Longdon and its surroundings are finally
taken after
hand to hand and bayonet fighting with the Argentine troops position by position. The British casualties mount to 23 men, one of which, Sergeant Ian John McKay of 3-Para is later awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, 47 more British are wounded. The Argentine forces suffer over 50 dead and many more injured. 6 more British die shortly afterwards.

British 45 Commando takes Two Sisters and 42 Commando takes Mount Harriet with support by the guns of 29th Commando regiment and naval gunfire from a number of Royal Navy frigates.

The 2nd Scots Guards seize Mount Tumbledown in another bloody battle. 9 British and about 40 Argentine die. Another 34 Argentine soldiers surrender and taken prisoners. 32 British are wounded. [Source: Tactics of Modern Warfare by Mark Lloyd].

By now we were on Mount Estancia, overlooking Mount's Kent and London and we could hear the battles raging. We have done all we could on the EW front and had made some very useful intercepts which added to captured maps and allowed the artillery to make a number of softening up barrages on the Argentine positions. We also managed to jam one of the Argentine forward artillery controllers long enough for him to be taken out by our artillery.

As the final battle waged on we listened to our own command nets to see how things were going. I wish I had kept the tapes because they would have been great in the archives, especially one message to the Sots Guards who were really struggling, it went something like - The General says if the Scots Guards don't get a fucking move on he'll personally come down their and kick their arses.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

42 Days and all that

Working from home this morning, before setting off to London by train where I write this I had the opportunity to listen to a lot of debate (I use the term in the loosest sense) on the 42 days detention proposals. It was very worrying to hear some of the vox pop as caller after caller, after pundit, put forward their illiberal view point and explained why we had to lock up people the police thought might be guilty for as long as possible.

Even worse, every time someone opposed the proposal they were challenged
by the presenter with a "What if they did something after they were let off? Or "How would you feel if your daughter had been killed in 7/7?" type question. Nobody had the gumption, or more likely time to challenge these asinine questions.

You would think the BBC of all people would be on the side of presumed innocence but let's look at these two questions….

What are the chances of me being involved in a terrorist incident? I was in London on 7/7 along with about 8m other people when 57 were killed and lets say another 150 or so injured. Rounding this off for ease I had an 8m/200 chance (0.0025%) of being involved on that day. However it's not like we get an attack like that every day so lets say we get one every 10 years. In which case there is a 0.0000007% of me being involved in a terrorist attack in London. Setting that against the States desire to do away with our protections I'll take my chance thank you as I reckon I've got more chance being killed on the roads, sailing or on the golf course.

As for my view if it had been my family who had been killed I would like to think that I would have the same view, although I don't know how I would react and may even be vengeful. This is why we don't allow victims justice and whilst I feel sorry for them their opinions should not be allowed to set up some sort of sympathy vote.

Even more worrying was one debate in which it was implied that Gordon had deliberately picked this subject to take on Cameron, despite the advice of his advisors and most of the Cabinet. If he does indeed see playing fast and lose with our liberties as something he gain a party political advantage from I hope he rots in hell, and the sooner the better.

The final insult was those MP's who support it because it is popular. The restoration of the death penalty would be popular but we don't hear them arguing for that! Although I may start a campaign to hang MP's who vote for this Bill because they think it makes them popular.

And finally, not one shred of evidence in support of the need for this Bill, not even a "dodgy dossier".

I'm back

Great time had by all, especially me. Wind was great and I go my RYA2 dinghy sailing, so I can now hire boats when travelling. I also managed to get a couple of start on a mono ski, but more to work on there. Lots of wind and great food made the evenings enoyable as well.

A dreadful journey back, delays in Turkey and then Gatwick took over an hour to get through. On top of that we were so late that all the night time engineering works on the motorways had started so a 60 mile motroway journey took nearly 2 hours so we didn't get home until midnight.

Lots of work to catch up on and I notice my favourite bloggers have been busy, I've over 500 posts in my RSS reader, so that will keep me busy.

I notice Brown is still there and pushing 42 days - to late to blog on both, I just hope that he fails tonight and then is forced out - fascist bastard.

I hope to get posting more regularly later this week, once I'm on top of work.