Saturday, 31 May 2008
Friday, 30 May 2008
And here's a Hurricane photo to cheer me up and salute those brave souls who saved this island during that lonely summer.
Oh, go on then...
(photo with thanks to Colin Body)
Thursday, 29 May 2008
* Lovely how the local paper gets the local angle in the headline.
"Links with nuclear power industry
Another controversial issue was the link between Brown's brother Andrew and one of the main nuclear lobbyists, EDF Energy, given the finding that the government did not carry a proper public consultation on the use of nuclear power in its 2006 Energy Review. Attention has also been drawn to the fact that the father-in-law of Brown's closest adviser Ed Balls, Tony Cooper (father of the Labour minister Yvette Cooper) has close links with the nuclear industry. Cooper was described as an "articulate, persuasive and well-informed advocate of nuclear power over the last ten years" by the Nuclear Industry Association on his appointment as Chairman of the British Nuclear Industry Forum in June 2002. He is also a member of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and was appointed to the Energy Advisory Panel by the previous Conservative administration."
They're not making it any more and UK peak oil was 1999.
And the excellent Guido Fawkes has a brilliant post on the subject. Please read the George Osborne link as well.
So what was Brown and Blair doing between 1997 and this year to solve the problem? Especially when the price fell to $11 barrel. I think the phrase used in staff assessments is either "displayed a lack of foresight" or "not proactive in anticipating changing circumstances". Eleven wasted years is a good description of UK energy policy if one ignores biofuels (not a good idea) or windmills (unfeasible).
Little Johnny wants to play;
Never show your face again!
Come again some other day,
We want to go outside and play,
Come again some other day
Apologies to all of you in Australia and elsewhere who have been enduring droughts for years but this combined with Gordon Brown really hacks me off. Just when I was about to refurb the rockery. Still, the blackbirds and robins have taken advantage of the worms etc being forced to the surface and I've put extra seed out for the sparrows, tits and finches. The frogs like the rain, of course, because the temperature is around 20 degrees C.
Notice the blue barrels for storing rain off the shed roof; haven't they been useful?
She was not a Royal Academician, which says more about that institution than her skills, but she painted nude comfy ladies of a certain age without contempt for the subject like the much more fashionable (to the art elite) Sir Lucian Freud. And she never won the Turner Prize, but instead won the recognition of the majority of ordinary English folk, just like Jack Vettriano. Beryl Cook was, in the trendy vernacular of the cultural world, accessible, but without using spray cans.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
It's similar to this problem in our prison "community" . Apparently, "apprehension about Muslim prisoners has potentially damaging consequences and is in danger of "leading to hostility and Islamophobia". Well, that's one way of looking at the problem.
Peter Simple in the Daily Telegraph's Way of the World Column introduced Professor Heinz Kiosk, a sociologist, who analysed all social problems as "It's all our fault."
Could the evil, smug bastards who dreamt up multiculturalism as a means to destroy England please top themselves by a method of their choice (empowerment). I no longer want to be integrated into British society (motto: Grab What You Can).
Please excuse me while I go into the garden shed to join the muffled shouting "community".
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
And what about this news item from the Daily Telegraph? I want a sky burial.
So, remember that the winner is the one left standing at the end.
(with thanks to Bomberguy on Youtube)
Well if it looks right, it probably is right.
Monday, 26 May 2008
1 The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
2 The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
3 Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
4 The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
5 Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
6 Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
7 Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8 Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9 The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
Quite surprisingly, he makes no mention of CCTV.
And even Nick Clegg MP of the LibDems is getting down in the dumps from the pointlessness of the whole system . Just a few more prods of ice-clear logic from EUReferendum and the Liberals might rediscover their roots* and become eurosceptic and English patriots again.
*or realise there's votes to be won
Sunday, 25 May 2008
So why did the British government think they could conduct meaningful (appeasement)diplomacy with this paraiah state? I'm in a generous mood and will accept inbred Foreign Office* anti-semitism** and incompetence as the reason on this occasion. But a bit of covert score settling should be authorised for national security reasons. After all if the Iranians get away with kidnapping sailors and marines and killing squaddies scot-free, why shouldn't they try something else?
* The Foreign Office looks after British interests abroad, apparently.
** think of the romance of Lawrence of Arabia and Omar Khayan and compare it to the tedium of a functioning pro-Western state like Israel.
This unbuilt* project for a high speed high altitude bomber interceptor to RAF Specification F155T in the 1950s provided valuable data for the designers of the Bristol 188 that Theo has featured over the last couple of days. Proof that Armstrong Whitworth was at the leading edge of aircraft design as well as outstanding build quality and skills within the Hawker-Siddeley group and a reproof to those who ordered the closure of AWA at Baginton and Whitley following "Honest Harold's" cancellation of the world beating AW 681 VTOL tactical transport for the RAF in 1965.
* except as this model
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Nimrod history here and here.
So it would appear that the Nimrod was a low-cost quick-fix modification of an obsolescent airframe with extensive modifications necessary to fit larger engines and undercarriage into the wing-fuselage junction area. The design was signed off at an acceptance conference in 1968. I don't blame anyone at that conference for not guessing that the aircraft would fly for over 35 years( its predecessor the Shackleton stayed in maritime reconnaissance service for only 21 years) and would receive an in-flight refuelling probe and pipework during the Falklands conflict.
The Nimrod MR2 has been battling on well past its planned retirement date in the expectation that the MR4 (old MR2 fuselages on new wings and tails) will replace it in 2012 or so.
Nimrod XV230 was flying in Afghanistan because it had been fitted with an L3 MX-15 camera . This very useful piece of equipment is small enough to be fitted to a light aircraft or medium helicopter. Why wasn't that done instead?
Per Ardua Ad Astra was all very well in the Second World War when aircrew bravely fought in often second-rate, dangerous aircraft knowing that the war had to be waged with whatever was available. But this is now. The Nimrod fleet should be grounded until repairs are carried out to rectify its faults or retired if the cost is disproportionate. The capability gap could be filled with wet-leased Atlantiques or Orions until the Boeing P-8A is available, ideally combined with Global Hawk UAVs. The Nimrod MRA4 should go the way of the AEW3.
Friday, 23 May 2008
Tamsin Dunwoody-Mugabe wins by 25,000 votes to nil following a surprise run off between her and Edward Timpson. BBC later admits to problems with phone-voting software and offers him six months' work in a West End musical of his choice as compensation. Gordon Brown reduces the price of oil to $4.99 and Cherie Blair's bacon sandwiches swing those Middle East peace talks.
So this news item is very sad. I wish the poor chap a speedy and full recovery from his injuries both physical and psychiatric. I'm just glad he was religious as it may have saved his life.
Just how many people who don't understand that islam is a religion of peace will it take before the Archbishop of Canterbury stands up and quotes the relevant suras and hadiths that prove it?
And wouldn't it be right and proper to give the scum who abused that vulnerable chap a Phal at every mealtime in prison?
Update 3 June: Nicky Reilly was charged today with two offences.
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Actually, she's the only grand-daughter of a baroness in the village.
Update 23 May: Alas, the voters of Nantwich & Crewe preferred the grandson of a shoemender to represent them by a majority of 7,860. Never mind, there's always the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Parliament or the European Parliament to try for a comfortable salary and expenses package.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
The main difference is the access that the christian fundamentalists appear to have with politicians. Significant parts of the Tory Party seems to have become infected with the pernicious religiosity that has perverted the American Republican Party. I had thought England had rid itself of unthinking literal literal believers when the Mayflower sailed to Plymouth Massachusetts in 1620, enabling the middle ground of theists that remained to accept the Toleration Act after the Restoration. Of course, religious bigotry discriminated against catholics and non-conformists until the early nineteenth century, but that was still fifty-odd years before Charles Bradlaugh was allowed to sit in Parliament as an atheist.
Now, as an atheist, I don't mind the Church of England and Roman Catholic church or the Society of Friends or indeed any denomination that filters its beliefs through common sense and experience. And, provided the criminal law is not broken by their incitement to hate selected sections of society, I don't really mind the fundamentalists, although I disagree with their views. What I do now consider is necessary for national security is for the public services to ban recruitment of members of all fundamentalist sects. Existing post-holders would be offered reasonable redundancy terms. How can anyone justify the employment of a science teacher who believes that the world is four thousand years old? Oh it's a deeply held belief. So, why not allow aircraft engineers to make repairs with duck tape if they believe that's safe? These misguided people will not build Jerusalem in England's green an pleasant land: a christian Teheran appears to be their aim.
Update 21 May: evidence of the pernicious effect of cults and fundamentalists on the police service.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Saturday, 17 May 2008
Surely this option demonstrates the true Olympic spirit of dedication and self-sacrifice and deserves to be investigated in depth.
Friday, 16 May 2008
It's also telling that the MoD can spend £560,000 on a vehicle that it sells off for £175,000 seven years later unused yet until the publicity campaign begun last year it was quite happy to fob Ben Parkinson off with a scandalous initial compensation award of just £152,500 (later raised to £285,000 after much MoD embarrassment). Perhaps the staff in the equipment procurement and compensation directorates of the MoD should be switched over in order to make best use of their skills.
Anyway, Lance-Bombardier Parkinson and many other heroes have been helped by the rehab team at Headley Court so why not make a donation to Help For Heroes .
*Update 17 May: Apparently, since 2005, ALC, a sister company of the RAC, has had a £600 million 15 year PFI contract to supply the Army with all the civil engineering vehicles it needs.
Too much information, dear. So what if your second* most embarrassing belongings were unpacked by the maid at Balmoral. If you hadn't written about it no one else would have known.
* Did you pack signed copies of the Hutton Inquiry Report as well to give out instead of tips?
Update 22 May: Evidently not.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
So we reach a stage where inflation is officially 3.7%, the housing market (both new-build and second-hand) is staggering towards a collapse, growth is infinitessimal, the bank rate can't be cut because of inflation targets, the poorest half-million tax-payers are worse off but 22 million others are given an extra £120 a year to keep Britain spending to avoid the economy going pear shaped before the 2010 election. There is no scope for increased public spending to help the economy and Brown can't cut Labour's sacred cows or defence (since Tony Blair took us into two endless pacification wars).
I'm buying tinned food, chickens and a standby generator just in case.
Anyway, here's the link to the International Red Cross site.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
As Shiny Happy Person wrote in her brilliant blog Mental illness robs you of your right to be a weirdo. It now appears that in certain circumstances it robs you of your right to life as well.
Update 14 July. Elizabeth Saunders, Mark's sister has applied to the High Court for a judicial review of the IPCC's handling of the case. Good luck!
Notice the sentences at the bottom of the article:
"Are you affected by the issues raised in this story? Send us your comments by filling out the form below."
I suggested that the £6 billion shortfall might be met by stopping the interim Barnett Formula extra payments made to Wales and Scotland from the English tax take. Problem solved and everyone is treated equally.
The BBC hasn't published my response. Yet. And they won't as they no longer welcome comments.
Sunday, 11 May 2008
with thanks to http://www.freeburmarangers.org/
So, may I advise all the Olympians with their "Don't mix Politics and Sport mantra" (ie, there's money in this, so shut up) that their sports kit isn't smelling of sweat but the putrescent stench of stagnant water tainted with corpses and sewage. Wear your medals with pride when you come back from China, boys and girls.
Here's how to spend more wisely the money you were going to give so freely to Tessa Jowell and Sebastian Coe for the 2012 thingy:
Donate to the combined appeal fund for Burma http://www.dec.org.uk/
Friday, 9 May 2008
Firstly, the great Dr Theodore Dalrymple.
Secondly, Danny the Dealer from Withnail and I:
Yes, I really like the edgy juxtaposition of the electricity pylons too.
I've got a better idea. Remember "The B of the Bang" in East Manchester? This is "The F in French"
What better sign of freedom is there? 165 feet tall and I can get it done in three weeks when Jerzy and Tomas get back from Warsaw.
Unlike this obviously innocent Kuwaiti captured in Afghanistan, and released from Gitmo to spread the religion of peace (literally!)
Thursday, 8 May 2008
Out of interest, how many sons and daughters of Labour Ministers or MPs have served in Iraq or Afghanistan (with coalition forces of course)?
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Sunday, 4 May 2008
My advice to Gordon Brown is this:
Actually my advice that leaves him with a pulse is this:
Seek an interview with H M The Queen at the earliest opportunity and call a Geneneral Election. During the election campaign take time to talk to people who don't agree with you and ask what they want. You will discover that most people don't want the government telling them what to do (even though it's for their own good) because they already have enough of that from David Brent bosses at work. Learn that there are very few things that the state can do well and concentrate on them. Take the government off the backs of people so that the majority of people don't pay income tax, don't need to claim tax credits. Realise that the wealth in this country is created by its people and they and not the Government should have first call on how it is spent. Release the talents and enthusiasm of those hundreds of thousands of Civil Servants doing mindless and ultimately pointless jobs to do things that are actually needed to make a better country. Introduce Lean Government along Toyota lines. Let people become responsible for their lives. Leave the EU so that England is responsible for itself. Restore the primacy of English Common Law in England. Repeal the Human Rights Act. Hope that you will have at least ten years in opposition to learn these lessons and hold the next Tory Government properly to account in Parliament.
Saturday, 3 May 2008
Friday, 2 May 2008
Perhaps it was the experimental hothouse education that squeezed you into the world highly educated but immature. Accept this failure and rejection as the character-building phase you appear to have missed in your youth and you may become a more rounded personality.