Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Green on Blue

Green on Blue

‘Green on Blue’ sounds quite benign
Hints for decorating? Or interior design?

Alien to this currency is in the news -
Of more men dying in, ‘green on blues’
Killed by Afghans  -  without a chance
To save our leaders, as they dance
From Lie to fib and back to Lie
Is no good reason for any to die

What do they think lying in the Afghan sand
Why are we in this benighted land?
Fading into the arid dust
Do they wonder - as they must -
About all of those who’ve gone before
WTF was all that for?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Are you listening Dr Reid?
Who committed 3500 troops to Helmand with the infamous line:
They (the troops) will leave, “Without a single shot being fired.”

Such stupidity guaranteed his entry into the House of Lords.
Not for him grieving fathers, mothers,sisters, brothers.
Not for him grieving wives and children. 

£300 a day expenses and a seat with G4S as a ‘security consultant‘  - Who said satire was dead.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Men with little willies

There are members of our society who positively drool with delight at the prospect of having nuclear weapons. They believe it helps us strut our stuff on the world stage. You will even hear them crowing about us ‘punching above our weight.’ Ring any bells Mr Cameron? Mr Hammond? Mr Blair?

These people are morons. Some of them are corrupt morons who seek to make their fortunes by promoting the deadliest weapons on the planet. They do this by walking out of civil service, political or armed forces jobs and signing on with the weapons makers. They then use their so-called ‘good offices’ and connections to persuade a reluctant public to cough up vast sums of moolah for weapons we can never use. 

Absolute bloody madness. 

Current threats come from terrorists largely created by our empirical endeavours on the world stage. Thank you very much Mr Blair. For making us all so much less safe. Not that you will be too troubled by the anger and disgust of us mere mortals as you are by now quite barking. 

Iran want their own nuclear weapons  and who can blame them. They are surrounded by states with nuclear weapons. Their near neighbours Israel allegedly hold a couple of hundred alone. Around the world unequal and opposite forces are at work. 

There are only 9  states with nuclear weapons (including Israel who have always denied it despite the best and bravest efforts of Mordechai Vanunu) who form a club of the ‘haves’. They are reluctant to encourage others to join their club and may even launch military attacks on Iran to uphold that stance. The overwhelming majority of countries do not own nuclear weapons. They do not want proliferation either but they are not hypocritical about it. South Africa stand alone as the only country to date to get rid of them.

Anyone who is comfortable with the prospect of countries having nuclear weapons should consider Pakistan.......and North Korea. Enough said.

At the change of government and the appointment of a new Prime Minister, a strange little ritual takes place. Inside the safe of each of our nuclear attack submarines is a top-secret document written by the previous PM. It contains detailed instructions to the commander of how he is supposed to respond should the UK come under a nuclear attack. The new PM has to write down what they want the Commander of the sub to do. The previous letter is destroyed. As the sub could be on patrol, hidden deep in a distant ocean, this is not straightforward. One test apparently is to listen to broadcasts from Radio 4. In the horrendous event of a nuclear strike it is believed Radio 4 would go off the air. The Commander would be then under pressure to find out what has happened - if this followed a period of international tension then the culprit(s) could be clear. Even then the message from the PM could be not to retaliate but to sail to somewhere like Australia and take it from there. It could be to launch everything at a perceived attacker - but will the Commander obey? Given widespread nuclear devastation what would be the point? And what would the Americans say? They have ultimate control of the weapons and may say yay or nay. 

But what if it had been the work of a suicide bomber with a knapsack-size nuclear weapon? Or a series of similar attacks? Who is the commander then supposed to obliterate? These and similar issues need airing and clarifying before any decision is made to spend further untold billions on weapons which, if they have to be used, will mean that human beings are in a  parlous state.

All of this is a result of generations of voters electing men with little willies who mask their lack of manhood by association with weapons - the more deadly the better. In strictly humanitarian terms it has been a seriously bad move for the human race. Be assured - whatever can go wrong - will go wrong.

We would have been a lot safer if we had bought these emasculated creeps a bright red shiny sports car each.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Ash to ashes

Once again the competence of our political elite is called into question. This time it is another doozy. The government were warned three years ago that ash dieback disease was spreading across Europe and was rampant in Denmark. They were urged to ban the import of young ash saplings. They did nothing.

In February this year the disease appeared in some imported seedlings in Buckinghamshire. Again they did nothing. The disease then appeared in a further nine sites all from imported seedlings. Again - nothing - apart from a decision to launch a consultation about what to do!

The consultation was due to report this month. Events have overtaken it. Ash dieback has been found in mature trees in Norfolk and Suffolk. Now there may be no way of stopping it. As a fungal disease it spreads on the wind and the spores will be on their destructive way.

Tomorrow the government will formally announce the banning of imported ash seedlings.

Doh! And indeed thrice Doh!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tories and the BBC

Murdoch’s minions aka the Conservative Party have been unable to contain their relish at the discomfiture of the BBC. They are seizing the moment to put the boot into public service broadcasting. The derisory laughter at the Commons Culture Committee meeting yesterday was disturbing and informative. It was unpleasant to witness. Entwistle has had a baptism of fire and may not be up to the job. He does appear to be a decent person, struggling to come to terms with the issues swarming around him. He did not deserve ridicule - particularly from Tories who are not exactly covering themselves in glory either. 

“The Tories have long hated the BBC - it would be a real travesty if the Savile affair gave them the excuse they have been looking for to make significant changes to the organisation.
Savile was undoubtedly an evil bastard, there were undoubtedly others of his ilk within the BBC - deal with them, but don't let Savile's legacy be the dismantling of an invaluable institution.”  EvilMcBad - Guardian Comment

It is also becoming clear that the BBC is a very convenient scapegoat. This allows other equally (or even more) deserving institutions to run for cover. 

“I feel all this eagerness to hammer the BBC is mostly driven out of a desire to bludgeon it to submission and scandalise it to the point where the license fee is no longer tenable whilst minimising the amount of attention to other agencies in this affair. Far bigger questions surround how this man was able to get his own private accommodations in hospitals and how he came to be given the keys to the wards. How and who made these decisions? Why were repeated allegations of his behaviours not investigated? It seems everyone knew about them but no one did anything. Why?
This guy was knighted and had friends in very high places so what kind of protections did these relationships afford him? Did he know too much about others as to make him untouchable? There is a lot to uncover in this sordid tale and it's disheartening to see all the focus given to management/editorial standards at the BBC seemingly to deflect from others.”
Fickleposter ibid.

Before Tory MPs like Philip Davis become too cocky they should beware. Savile was often associated with Thatcher. He was appointed to look into Broadmoor by Edwina Currie. He was knighted in the Queens Birthday Honours list of 1990.

And who were the party of government in 1990? Well bless my cotton socks if it was not the Conservatives. Clearly they were either gullible or colluding too. 

Philip Davis demanded to know who knew what and when yesterday, going back five decades. Perhaps he ought to look a little closer to home and ask who knew what and when in the Tory party in the 1980’s?

Monday, 22 October 2012

It is not just the BBC

The daily drip of claim and allegation has been seized on by many in the media to put the boot into the beeb. There are many things wrong at the BBC and the Savile affair has shown the organisation in a bad light. It is still a national institution and (mainly) a treasure. Fleet Street’s finest should be careful of crowing too much. They have much to answer for too.

Try this from the latest Private Eye:

“At The Sun, new Page Three girls were sometimes invited to accompany senior staff on jaunts and ‘play along’ with them in the interests of their careers; and at least two female regional reporters were transferred to London because they were known to be ‘up for it.’ 

What caused most horror, however, were the paper’s occasional ‘think-tanks’. Secretaries and female execs used to dread attending these away-breaks because of the late-night attentions of Stuart Higgins (the then editor) - the persistent 2am knock on the door with an accompanying invitation to experience ‘Higgie’s biggie’.  


“ It’s becoming clear executives, producers and fellow stars suspected these men of abusing young children and did nothing.” Daily Mail editorial last week. 

.....Perhaps rather than burying it on the letters page, the Mail should have taken more notice of the tip-off it received from a nurse at Stoke Mandeville on 7 November last year: ‘Tributes suggest he had saintly qualities. I’m afraid many of us who worked at Stoke Mandeville hospital would beg to differ.....Many a patient’s biggest fear was to wake in the hospital to find Jimmy Savile at the end of their bed.’”

Compare and contrast the mea culpa chest-beating taking place at the beeb and the ‘what me guv?’ approach stuck to with rigid discipline for over two years by News International before the dam burst. Compare the transparency of the beebs inquiries with the way witnesses and victims were bought off by Murdoch and his minions.

Who do you trust? Murdoch - with all his business interests and tame politicians? Or the BBC? 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

TUC anti-austerity march

Emerging from St. Paul’s tube station yesterday morning was a strange experience. The absence of traffic, coupled with a sparsity of people, produced a feeling of being on a post-apocalyptic disaster film set. Hardly what was expected as we set out for the anti-austerity march. 

A relative handful of assorted groups (anti-Hinckley Point Nuclear station, UKUncut, Green Parties plus anti-banker/anti-financier/anti coalition ) were gathered on the steps of St Paul’s. Watching them were an equal number of police. A few puzzled tourists were taking in the scene. Apart from the odd bus and siren everything seemed unnaturally quiet.

Underwhelmed by the lack of numbers we retired for a cup of coffee. As we finished, the assembled motley (by then increased in numbers) began to move off towards the Embankment. As we marched (plodded more like) everyday London watched with resignation and or interest. The merry band of pilgrims walked on our own for about 10 minutes until we turned onto the Embankment and immediately spirits raised. As far as could be seen looking along the river were banners, placards, balloons and protesters. 

Not quite a carnival atmosphere but pretty good nonetheless. Good vigorous drumming and a lovely brass band made the event rhythmic and moving. Other groups engaged in the call-and-response stuff which is ok when heard a couple of times but becomes very tedious over time. 

We overtook the main body of the march as we were without allegiance to any of the many groups present. It was also good to walk at a purposeful pace. Home made banners vied with professionally made ones. One small group, wearing suits and magnificent pigs-head masks with lots of folding money attached, performed a dance to greed. 

Irony of ironies; as we passed tax-avoiding coffee shops ‘Starbucks’ there were at least 7, yes SEVEN policemen guarding each of them. So we, the tax payer, fund the police to stand on guard to protect the non-taxpaying company from the wrath of the passing march. Something wrong somewhere...

Reaching Hyde Park was anti-climactic. As we turned up hundreds were already leaving. They had completed the march and were on their way home. We listened to some of the speeches including Ed Miliband’s. Yes, he did get booed, but only by a small section of the crowd. His speech was short and reasonably effective. Others were long on slogans and short of achievable action. There were several calls for a one day general strike. 

We left and walked back along the route passing protestors still marching on their way to the park. This went on for several minutes. The march had begun at 12 noon and the back end was still en route to Hyde Park at 3-30pm. 

It was big. It was very big. But it could have been even bigger. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Democracy 2015

Attended the inaugural meeting tonight in the People’s Museum in Manchester. An appropriate venue for a singular cause. The meeting was arranged by Andreas Whittam-Smith and his helpers. The movement (for that is what is hoped it becomes) is targeted at the next election: May 7th 2015. 

The issue is very straightforward. Our politics is in a mess. We have a political class in charge who went straight from university to a research job with a ‘think tank’ (funded by heaven knows who) and/or a job as an adviser with a minister. Shortly after comes the safe seat and hey-presto! Another one joins the club. 

Not only that, they are bloody useless too! They also do not listen to non-bubble dwellers. They inhabit a world filled with cronies in many mega corps. We used to regard the rest of the world with a certain knowing superiority about the lack of corruption in our system - not any more!

The solution to this is to create a party with a one term life. The raison-d'ĂȘtre is to reform Parliament and break the hold of the political class. 

Andreas is a softly spoken somewhat diffident chap and not one who would immediately spring to mind as the spokesperson for reform. That however is part of his strength. Being a part of Fleet Street for so long has given an insight into the way things work. Not just governments but also mass media too. Like his analysis he is credible.

The initial plan - apart from a brief dipping of the toe in the Corby by-election water - is for like-minded people to get their heads round a manifesto-type pledge and agree a policy. If you are not happy with spending vast sums on Trident then try to persuade others on that group to concur. That and similar policies are to be thrashed out over the next 15 months. 

The assembled were a motley medley ranging across age and sex. A handful had travelled some way to be there. All shared a common disgust at our current office-holders. There was much talk of ‘grounding’ the campaign, getting through to disenfranchised, discontented and disaffected voters. Use of social network media was felt to be a positive but the room was reminded that there are still 27% of the population without access to the internet. Knocking on doors and - heaven forfend - talking to people face to face was seen as good as anything for engendering support.

Visiting the museum prior to the meeting was informative and showed so many issues from our industrial history are alive and well and flourishing in 2012.  Chartist and early labour leaders quotes resonated in today’s fractious and disparate world. Nye Bevin's voice rang out, reflecting on the creation of the NHS in the face of strong opposition. One of those was Churchill who had declared the country bankrupt at the end of the Second World War. In a time of great austerity he said it was not possible to create such a monumental enterprise. 

Well Winston got that wrong didn’t he? Just like his modern counterparts. 

The Great Reform Bill of 1831 was a start towards universal franchise. We need another one for 2015 to burst the bubble, make our rulers listen to us and to create a society which is a fair and more just one. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Thrasher Rides Again.

Anyone not yet convinced that the current administration are inept should look no further than their handling of the Mitchell affair. He has been in the spotlight for three weeks. Alistair Campbell said that once a story had gone on for over 4 days the person in question was in serious trouble.

Not only that, his presence as a Chief Whip is a permanent reminder of the nasty toffs running the country. 

A wise ruler would lance the boil. Instead we get vacuous guff about 'spreading privilege' .........What!

Long may Thrasher stay in his position.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

All In This Together (part 2)

Anyone with half a brain could have worked out that the slogan ‘All in this together’ was dead a long time ago. To trot it out again, as the Bullingdon boy did this week, shows just how out of touch he and his toff chums are. 

Have any bankers or financiers gone to jail for bringing the country to its knees?

Have any bankers gone to jail for the payment protection insurance scandal? The new financial sheriff Martin Wheatley ruled out prison. “In our view this is inappropriate conduct that’s quite a long way short of fraud.” So that’s alright then - or is it?  Systematically selling people policies you know they won’t be able to claim under sounds like a fiddle to me. 

Have any bankers gone to jail for their part in the Libor rate-fixing scandal? Do not hold your breath.

Have any tax-dodgers had their comeuppance?
Has Dave Hartnett (the ex-head of tax who arranged sweetheart deals with Vodaphone and Goldmann-Sachs) been investigated for corruption? 

Is the government still giving huge contracts to companies who tax dodge? You betcha! Try the Accenture group who have been awarded the multi-million contract to develop the IT for the new universal credit system. They run a complex series of arrangements via an Irish subsidiary through Luxembourg. Tax bill £3 million on profits well in excess of £1.5 billion.

Meanwhile another £10 billion is going off the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.

When Osborne delivered his twaddle to the faithful, he should have lowered his trousers and put the microphone between his bottom cheeks. They might then have spotted that he was talking through his arse.

Update 11.55 am Wednesday. Just heard Camercon say, 'We are not the party who help the rich - we are the party who are helping the poorest.' 

Take every testicle off every male in the country and it would still come nowhere near the amount of bollocks in that sentence. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Where can delusional people get elected?

Go to America! 

Plenty of evidence there that nutters, wackos and the downright weird flourish. Especially in the South.“He may be stoopid but he’s our stoopid.” 

A couple of examples among soooooo many are these below from the Huffington Post.

“Congressman Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said last week that evolution and the big bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of Hell."
"God's word is true. I've come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell," said Broun, who is an MD (my emphasis - read it and weep). "It's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior."
He continued:
"You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I've found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don't believe that the earth's but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That's what the Bible says."

Broun is a high-ranking member of the House Science Committee, of which Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is also a member.
Akin made headlines last month for suggesting that women don't get pregnant from "legitimate rape" because their bodies have "ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

The unreasoning stupidity of some of America’s finest is nothing new....

We got no-necked oilmen from Texas
And good ol' boys from Tennessee
And college men from LSU
Went in dumb. Come out dumb too....

...We're rednecks, rednecks
And we don't know our ass from a hole in the ground

Randy Newman’s lyrics to ‘Rednecks’ from his album ‘Sail Away’ 1974

Neither is belief in mumbo jumbo a barrier to the highest position in the States. Mitt Romney is a mormon. Says it all.

'The Intruders' reveal another nasty toff.

Thrasher Mitchell is not alone. He is one of many. Another prize plonker is Robert Venables QC who came out with the wonderful Toff line, “You are trespassing scum. Go.”
This happened when some bright young things, posing as representatives of Goldman-Sachs and Vodaphone, gatecrashed a very posh leaving do for Dave Hartnett the top tax man. They gave him a ‘golden handshake’ thanking him for saving their companies billions. Another gem from the toff was “Leave before we set the dogs on you.” 

This took place at New College , Oxford and is well worth a look. Google ‘We are the intruders.’ to get another glimpse of our betters in fine form. 

It also reminds us of just how much these bastards rob the country every year in unpaid taxes.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Conservative Party Conference

This is heading to be a diminishing event. There are going to be several notable absentees. There could be some more:

Andrew ‘Thrasher’ Mitchell*: has already decided that he would be a distraction (or was it decided for him?)

Grant Shapps aka Michael Green, Party Chairman: Having been referred to the Advertising Standards Authority with possible further action to follow from Trading standards it will take some brass neck for Green/Shapps to turn up. He seems to have the hide of a rhino.

Justine Greening: very recently moved from Transport to Overseas Aid. The franchise fiasco happened on her watch and when the result was announced she defended it vigorously, but as it turns out wrongly.

Theresa Villiers: Junior Minister who oversaw the Rail franchise calamity. 

Cheryl Gillan: opposed Hs2 and was kicked out as Welsh Secretary. Will not be welcome.

Caroline Spelman: booted out from Environment - could be bitter.

Liam Fox*(with his best mate)

Baroness Warsi*: popular with the heartland - actually asked them what they thought about things. May choose to stay away or re-write her future at the event. Bet she is very sad to see Shapps in such a hole........

Lansley*: as a walking demo - attraction site he will be unwelcome anywhere near Cameron and his cronies.

As will Boris, “I am not interested in being PM” Johnson.  

*Several expenses cheats will turn up and not be challenged or booed including Gove, Maude, and Osborne. They will be well-received by the uber-plebs of the tory shires. 

There will be much hot air and hyperbolic claptrap rattled out by the most incompetent government in my lifetime. Behind the scenes there is talk of trouble and strife but in the Hall it will be stage-managed to a fault. Try and deliver similar hogwash to a meeting of the general public and see how good it is.