Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bleeding Obvious Award (3)

Why should employers be expected to employ people with a history of long term sickness or drug abuse? Unlike Government, employers are not charities. Potential employees should be aware that drug abuse or long term sickness will make jobs more difficult to obtain rather than be tolerated..

Should they be employed in preference to those who are not offenders, drug abusers or those who do regularly turn up for work?

Signing Up

An estimated 20,000 Newcastle fans turned up at St James' Park to witness Michael Owen signing for Newcastle United.

Why weren't they at work or looking for jobs? How can they afford to attend Premiership football matches on benefits?

A £1m social experiment

What would happen if the poor in the UK were each given £1m? Ignoring rampant inflation, would poverty in the UK be eliminated? Today's Sun suggests it would not. It highlights a woman on benefits who was given £1m by her stepdad when he won £14m on the national lottery. She spent it all within just one heady year and is now back on benefits living in her mum's mobile home!

Maybe the 'poor' will always be poor, their only disadvantage in life being a lack of personal responsibility.


I have a new post up at Oncemore.

"Ken Clarke has finally thrown his hat in the ring and is the first to officially announce his intention to run for leadership of the Conservative Party.

His candidacy cannot be dismissed easily. The *BBC* suggests that he has widespread support across the country amongst Conservatives and non-conservatives alike, essential for winning the 2009 election. A significant minority of Conservative MPs, the immediate electorate, could also support him. Ken Clarke is well known, well respected and experienced, essential traits in modern politics when compared to potential rivals."

The post continues at Oncemore.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

PC Pickled

Why aren't Police officers punished more severely than the rest of the population when they are found to be more than three times over the drink drive limit? If anyone should know better, it's a Police officer.

I'm just surprised his 'charity work' won't suffer from the ban.

British bulldog

So much for the Blitz spirit of Londoners just getting on with it. The NHS is offering post traumatic stress testing for those immediately affected by the London bombings. Those showing signs of trauma "could be offered specialist treatment, including talking therapy, to help them cope".

Would Winston approve?

Muslim Veto?

If British foreign policy has propelled some UK Muslims into the arms of extremists, should UK Muslims have a veto on British foreign policy?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Too much swearing

Two classes of "particularly unruly" 15 and 16 year olds are to be allowed to say the f-word at the Weavers School in Wellingborough but no more than five times in any particular lesson. The teachers should be ashamed that discipline has collapsed to such an extent. Are the children unable to count to ten?

What is being done to remedy the Ofsted report of 2004 that found that Weaver school "is not effective" and "the amount of unsatisfactory teaching is too high"?

Position vacant

Carmathenshire County Council, in their best efforts to keep council tax rises to a minimum, are looking for a belly dancing instructor for adult education classes.

Why does the Belly Dancer need to be able to speak Welsh? It must be the only form of racial discrimination still legally allowed in the UK. How many non-Welsh people can speak Welsh?

We're not worthy

The Times reports that senior Labour politicians and BBC employees have been chosen as priority cases for receiving scarce anti-viral drugs if Britain is hit by an Avian Flu pandemic. Will close family relatives also be priority cases?

Unfortunately for Liberal Democrat and Conservative politicians, the Department of Health is yet to decide whether opposition politicians should also receive protection.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Seven close calls?

Sir Ian Blair was quoted in The Times as saying "there have been 250 incidents [in the twenty days] since July 7 where we have considered whether we are seeing a suicide bomber. I know . . . there have been seven times when we have got as close to calling it as that. And we haven’t. This is professional judgement".

Were they nearly as sure as they were over Jean Charles De Menezes?

The evil rich

The BBC focuses on "wealthy city dwellers" who buy second homes in the countryside, thereby destroying rural communities and forcing local house prices up beyond the reach of local people. Why does the BBC ignore young people for whom house prices are beyond their reach in city centres?

Why would the Treasury want to introduce a policy that will "appeal to only a few [wealthy] people"? It will allow people to purchase buy-to-let properties and shelter them from both capital gains and income tax within a self-invested personal pension scheme. The "few" people to gain will be rich, existing home-owners and Labour MPs Michael "seven homes" Meacher and Keith Vaz.

Well done Gordon! For some reason, the BBC overlooks that Labour is responsible for this policy!

Fired Up

The Fire Brigade Union are concerned that £1-2bn Government plans to consolidate 46 emergency fire control centres into eleven regional centres could lead to job cuts and "could push up council tax".

They weren't as concerned about council tax increases when they won a 16% pay deal following strike action.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

XXXmas Cards

A teacher has been suspended for theft and sending explicit Christmas cards to children Turford High School in Bolton.

How come he wasn't suspended just for sending Christmas cards in multi-ethnic, multi-faith Bolton?

The Bleeding Obvious Award (2)

Young people with A-levels (or their equivalent) can expect to earn up to £4,000 more than students who gain no formal qualifications according to research by the Learning and Skills Council.

Is anyone really surprised by this "finding"!?! I am just surprised the difference in pay is so small.

The Bleeding Obvious Award (1)

Labour not working

If the TUC are complaining that too many British people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent are unemployed (only 43% are employed), is there a need for more immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh to provide "cheap labour" for UK plc?

Dates with doctors

Should people be fined for not keeping doctors appointments? 10m GP and 5m practice nurse appointments were missed last year according to a survey, the primary cause being "forgetfulness". A £20 charge for missed appointments would concentrate the mind on reducing such 'forgetfulness'.

However, GPs could improve appointment availability by keeping surgeries open longer, making them more convenient for people in full time employment. Unfortunately, no market mechanism exists to motivate GPs to be responsive to 'customer' demand.

Do missed appointments really cost the NHS £180m? Doctors must have other work to do when someone misses an appointment. It might even save the NHS money if no drugs have to be prescribed!!

Irresponsible sailing

"We do not need wrapping up in cotton wool and can go out and do silly or dangerous things if that's what we want to do." Mrs Lister, the first quadriplegic sailor to sail across the English Channel solo.

Had she capsized doing "silly things", would volunteer lifeboat crews be expected to risk their lives fishing her out of the Channel?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Testing victory

Would Christine Peckham still be partially paralysed, visually impaired and epileptic had Vioxx been more widely tested on animals before being taken by 20m people worldwide?

Is it possible that such cases will increase in frequency if animal rights activists are emboldened by their success in closing Darley Oaks Farm despite Police 'efforts' to the contrary?

Ken Clarke on the Euro

I have a new post up at Oncemore.

"Ken Clarke may believe he has improved his Conservative leadership chances by recognising that the Euro has failed to deliver "increased productivity, efficiency and living standards and stimulate policy reforms", but he has not. He has not had a Damascean conversion but simply "doubt[s] it is possible for 10 years or more". Should Britain really join the Euro during a Clarke premiership?"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Just not cricket

I bet Robert Mugabe nearly choked on his Shreddies when he heard that Jack Straw and Tessa Jowell want to prevent Zimbabwe from playing international Cricket.

If he can sleep easily having displaced thousands of Zimbabweans, I'm sure he will survive such a ludicrous threat. He is made of sterner stuff.

Gourmet disaster

If Gate Gourmet treated their staff so poorly and paid them so little, why do 670 sacked staff want their jobs back?

Why does the BBC feel it necessary to point out that most of the staff are Asian? The BBC never felt the need to describe redundant Rover staff as "mainly white" nor should they have been.

Fare enough

If the South West sleeper train is fully booked on many nights and yet continues to lose £2.5m each year, ticket prices should be increased. Why should everyone else be expected to subsidise their journeys to London?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Compensation Row (2)

It would appear that the family of Jean Charles De Menezes can look forward to considerably more than the £11,000 offered to the families of those murdered on July 7th. An initial payment of £15,000 has already been offered whilst figures up to £500,000 are being quoted.

My initial post on the subject suggests Jean Charles was fleeing police at the time, that no longer appears to be true.

A triumvirate of support

With Tony Blair, John Prescott and Charles Clarke all expressing support for Sir Ian Blair, I can think of no better reason to doubt Sir Ian's integrity.

He should resign immediately. Q.E.D.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Usual Suspects

Why should details of suspects be held on a new national violent offender database when they are innocent until found guilty in a court of law? How long would accusations against a person remain "on file"? Are suspects notified of their inclusion on the database and can they appeal the decision? Would the database be trawled to identify suspects if high profile crimes are difficult to solve?

The authorities should have brought criminal charges against Ian Huntley earlier than the Soham murders if evidence against him would have secured a conviction.

Lost and fined

Only a judge could admit prison doesn't work. Why does he believe that higher fines would work when they are often "means tested" and are not always paid anyway? In June 2004, £373 million of fines were outstanding in England and Wales.

If 58% of prison inmates are reconvicted within 2 years of release, why not just keep them in prison a little longer?

Lazy NHS Staff

84% of workers in organisations with more than 1,000 employees thought they had an underperforming colleague according to an Investors in People survey. How much 'deadwood' is there in the NHS, an organisation with over 1m employees in the UK?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Another senseless murder

Tracey Cullum, punched in the face after confronting four youths who were 'queue jumpers', has died six weeks later following a blood clot to the heart caused by the attack. That's murder.

Why doesn't the BBC feel it's worth reporting?

Nightmare Ticket

The BBC describes a possible Conservative leadership deal between David Cameron and Kenneth Clarke as a "Dream Ticket". It's the nightmare ticket.

More blue water is required between Conservatives and Labour, not less. Having already been rejected in two leadership elections, why does Ken Clarke think he could win this time and successfully lead the country in 2009?

Liberal Democrat Death Tax

Liberal Democrats have condemned a reasonable idea of elderly people deferring council tax payments until their death as "saddling grieving families with death taxes".

How much worse would it be to discover that Liberal Democrats are inheriting the estate!?!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Women on top

A white, middle aged female has attacked a white, middle aged male for saying that too many top jobs in broadcasting are now held by women. Whatever happened to free speech?

Whilst Michael Buerk avoided any personal attacks, Anna Ford, 61, was unable to contain her vitriol, "He is bonkers. He's a dear old-fashioned chauvinist of the first order." Ironically, she then agrees with him, "If you've been subjugated for 2,000 years, it's your turn."

Does one injustice merit another!?!

The Brazilian

If leaked documents about the shooting of the Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, are to be believed, he did not vault a ticket barrier nor was he wearing a heavy padded coat. These were the principle reasons for explaining why he was shot. He jumped the ticket barrier to evade armed Police whilst his jacket concealed explosives. On what basis did Police therefore believe he was a risk as previous bombs were all carried in rucksacks?

What has happened to CCTV images of the shooting? Did the Police even shout a warning?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tortuous Decisions

Is it better for radical clerics to remain in the UK or deport them, even if it is to a country where torture is a "serious risk"?

If radical clerics agree with the principles of Sharia law or have done nothing wrong, why should they fear torture anyway!?!

Good ethnic cleansing?

Is there such a thing as good ethnic cleansing? Whatever your views on the rights and wrongs of Jewish settlements on the Gaza strip, it currently appears that they are being ethnically cleansed from it!

How old would the settlements needed to have been for the settlements to be considered permanent? The Turkish presence on Cyprus dates back to 1571.

PS I have no view on the Cyprus issue, it's just an example to illustrate a point!!

A levels "do not need to be broadened"

Nearly 6 in 10 people believe A-levels should not include a wider range of subjects, a survey says. Why does the BBC feel obliged to focus on the 43% who believe they do!?!

I don't recall the BBC ever focusing on the nearly 3 in 10 people who think Government "needs to be Conservative"!

Defective Conservatives

Sir Malcolm Rifkind has described Conservatives as "defective" for flatlining in popularity over the last eight years. He is right, with an unpopular Labour Government, Conservatives should have significantly increased their share of the vote in 2005 if they are to have any chance of securing overall victory in 2009. He blames the lack of progress on the Conservative pre-occupation with immigration, asylum, Europe, crime and tax. I blame it on a lack of Conservative ambition.

Had Conservatives promised sweeping tax and welfare reform in 2005, combined with improving public sector service provision in health and education, I am sure they would have returned many more Conservative MPs. As it was , Conservatives were unable to offer solutions to the problems that face most people on a day to day basis. Does everyone have an NHS dentist!?!

The Conservative "focus" on tax was remarkable only for it's lack of clarity and impact on normal people.

Monday, August 15, 2005

No credit where it's due

It's good to see the BBC quoting Home Office figures that the cost of identity theft last year was a "£1.3bn" fact. The Register neatly dissects this 'fact' here.

If everyone really received a copy of their credit histories each year, how many would be intercepted and used for credit card fraud? I recently saw a copy of my credit history and was shocked at the amount of detail it had on me, anyone looking to steal my identity would have everything they need on just a few sheets of paper. The fewer times it is sent through the post the better!!

It would be far better if individuals were only ever notified of changes to their credit histories.

Bronze standard

A-levels used to be the gold standard of academic performance in the UK, have they been devalued?

In 2004 22.4% scored grade A at A-level, in 1982 only 8.9% of students achieved it. In 2004 96% scored grades A-E at A-level, in 1982 only 68.2% of students achieved it.

Would it be better for students and employers if only the top 10% of candidates ever achieved an 'A' grade?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Let them eat burgers

How would reducing wealth inequalities, presumably through more wealth redistribution, reduce health inequalities? Increasing the wealth of the lowest 20% of the population will not increase their life expectancy, it could even curtail it if this new wealth is primarily spent on more fast food, alcohol and cigarettes!

If the poorest 20% of the population are unconcerned about something as fundamental as their own health, how can anyone else ever expect to improve it? As so many poor families can already afford fast food meals, they should also be able to afford good food, it's a question of priorities. Education is required, not more money.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Saving hospital money

How does shutting 100 beds and reducing the number of overnight patients help reduce a hospital deficit of £10.2m if no staff are made redundant?

The hospital currently has 4.5 staff per bed, that will now increase to 5. Is that really more efficient!?!

Attacking School Governors

School Governors are volunteers who make a "profound contribution to regenerating []schools" and help improve school performance. So why change it? Unfortunately, they are "generally white, middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income, public/community service workers". Schools apparently need more working class and ethnic minority school governors to become "cosmopolitan".

I hope "white, middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income" school governors continue until their continued presence is detrimental to school performance. I would not welcome token 'working class' school governors unable to improve school performance.

Judicial lunacy

Judge Charles Harris, QC, has condemned any relaxation of drinking laws in England and Wales as "close to lunacy" as they will "fuel violent disorder on the country's streets".

"They are so ill-educated or made crude by inadequately civilising influences in their homes that they seem unable to drink in an acceptable 'continental' fashion." Restricting access to drinks is only a short term measure, the long term solution would be to educate and civilise them. Has eleven years at school really achieved nothing?

Meanwhile, Michael Howard is asking judges to temporarily suspend application of the law by restraining themselves from "aggressive judicial activism". Is restraint required due to poorly drafted Parliamentary legislation?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Illegal living

Migrationwatch claims that there could be up to 870,000 illegal immigrants living in the UK. Where are they all living? Are they the 100,000 homeless families and 500,000 people living in 'overcrowded' accommodation that Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather is worried about?

Liberal Democrat Health spokesman, Steve Webb, is already worried about the potential lack of NHS provision for illegal immigrants in the UK.

Big bad John

It's reassuring that with an increased terrorist risk in Central London, John Prescott, "the main guy", can invite an unknown family into 10, Downing Street for a fifteen minute tour.

Following the tour, the father made the following comments:
"It was more for the kids, it was more on their level". Was John really trying?
"For the day, he was great". It's just a shame John isn't great the rest of the year.

Benefits stopped

Will the authorities be stopping the benefits to Omar Bakri Mohammed and his family now that he has gone to the Lebanon for four weeks and it has been reported in the media?

Daily Mail link courtesy of Pub Philosopher.


Why aren't Liberal Democrats, the Greens and Labour welcoming average petrol prices of 90p per litre? There is not a more efficient or effective method of pricing people off roads than higher fuel prices, IMHO.

It's good to see Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats Treasury Spokesman, demonstrate his knowledge of economics, "there is a sort of basic law here that what goes up must come down". I thought that was gravity! He continues "High prices lead to low prices", does Vince foresee a house price collapse too?

Monday, August 08, 2005

A rogue's gallery

Do you recognise all these people? They are wanted for masquerading as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition!

According to, the Conservative Party's role is to "constantly [] call the Government to account for its actions. The Opposition also seeks to establish itself in the eyes of the electorate as a credible alternative Government."

Whilst I have already given up on Conservatives holding Labour to account for the time being, should I also give up on them forming a credible alternative Government by 2009?

No room at the hotel for men

Where are the feminists to complain about a hotel opening a 'Women Only ' section? As the hotel wing features many female-centric facilites, will female rooms cost more than their male equivalents!?!

Government charity

Should Government fund charities to resolve social issues? The Home Office is to "reinvest" £1.2m in 88 projects targeted at housing estates 'blighted' with anti-social behaviour. However, rather than rely on councils to spend the money, a lot of the funds and projects will be managed by an independent charity, "Groundwork". Government should not be funding charities to carry out their policies as taxpayers lose their right to accountability, even if the cause is 'worthy'.

Will the Charity Commission remove Groundwork's charity status as Government is now directly funding them?

It would be far better if unemployed youths on such estates were required to clean them up before receiving their state benefits.

English British

Ethnic minorities are doomed! Hazel Blears is to ask Muslims and Asians if they would prefer to be rebranded as Asian-British or Indian-British rather than Asian or Muslim according to a report in The Times today. The rebranding exercise would "strengthen and highlight" their British roots.

Is this woman really in charge of the Home Office? Is she the best Labour has!?!

If such nonsense is to proceed, I expect to be rebranded as 'English-British', nothing less will do.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Britblog Roundup #25

Tim Worstall has the latest and greatest Britblog Roundup here.

Thanks for the link Tim!

Turkish Fashion Delight

Who has decided that EU funds should be made available to "provide assistance to Turkish clothing and textile manufacturers" and develop a "textile and fashion cluster" in Turkey?

Turkey is not even in the EU! Why should EU funds be used to improve Turkish competitiveness at the expense of domestic European suppliers?

Robin Cook dies

I am saddened at the loss of Robin Cook. The Labour Party and the United Kingdom have lost an intelligent and principled MP. Whilst disagreeing with him more often than not, I found him to be an increasingly rare breed amongst Labour MPs, someone worth listening to for his reasoned arguments rather than simple invective directed at those who dared oppose him.

RIP Robin Cook

Saturday, August 06, 2005

NHS outsourced to India?

A mother is flying her son to India for a spinal operation costing £4,700 as she could not accept a "worst case scenario" of a one year wait here in the UK. Southampton General Hospital blames the potential delay on balancing "high demands with scarce resources", presumably a problem no other organisation ever faces. If people are finding India offers faster, cheaper and better treatment than the UK, should the NHS be outsourced!?!

Despite Southampton University Hospital Trust being awarded only one star for performance (it lost one star this year) and ending the year with a £11.5m deficit, the Chairman has just been re-appointed for another four years for "consistently good performance". Well done Richard Keightley!!

Friday, August 05, 2005

English "health underclass"

Liberal Democrats are concerned about a "health underclass" being created by the requirement to produce an identity card when accessing non-emergency NHS treatments. They should only trouble themselves with the creation of an English "health underclass".

The Scottish Finance Minister has said ID cards would not be required to access NHS services in Scotland. I also understand the Welsh Assembly have voted against requiring ID cards to be used to access NHS services but have been unable to confirm it!

Will Northern Ireland need ID cards to access NHS treatments?

Union jobs guaranteed

In a world of increasing turmoil, it's good to see some things never change. The rule of thumb that whatever a trade union suggests, do the opposite, remains true.

The NASUWT wants to extend a one year guaranteed job for all newly qualified teachers from Scotland to the whole of the UK. "It is a tragedy and a gross waste of public money when newly-qualified teachers leave teacher training and are unable to find a teaching post." Since when have unions ever been concerned about a waste of public money? Far more money would be wasted if all newly qualified teachers were paid for a year regardless of school vacancies. Who would control the number and quality of recruits onto teacher training courses if they are all guaranteed jobs at the end?

No job should ever be guaranteed, particularly when funded by the taxpayer.

In Scotland, not only is the job guaranteed, but teachers are given £6,000 compensation if it is not a convenient location for the teacher!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Murder coverage

The BBC have responded to complaints about differences in the media coverage of the brutal murders of both Anthony Walker and Richard Whelan. Amanda Farnsworth, Editor of BBC One's Six O'Clock News says that "Senseless murders in London are comparatively more common" and "Police are not suggesting there was any racial motive in the killing of Richard Whelan".

If Richard's assailant had shouted "White bastard" and he had been murdered outside London, BBC coverage would have been equitable.

Was there any racial element to the terrorist attacks of July 7th?

The Bleeding Obvious Award (1)

The Foreign Office is "over-staffed, inefficient and resistant to change", according to a report prepared by a consultancy firm, Collinson Grant, appointed on behalf of the department itself. Can we look forward to the BBC employing Collinson Grant or would they simply say "Here's one we prepared earlier"!?!

Why do so many senior management teams often require the 'reassurance' of highly paid external consultants to confirm what most low level employees already know, that their organisation is over-staffed and inefficient, only to sack the said staff to pay the consultancy fees!?! Collinson Grant should be praised for their honest report but they must heap praise on the senior management team if they are ever to be re-appointed!

Fake Passports

A naturalised Briton, Mahieddine Daikh, found at Bangkok Airport with 452 fake passports of various European nations appears unlikely to be charged with any offences. A Foreign Office spokeswoman admitted "He could not be prosecuted in Britain for this offence" when he returns to Britain. Why not? Britain recently spent £3m on the trial of an Afghan warlord whose crimes, whilst heinous, did not affect Britain in any way and yet has been imprisoned here for 20 years at an annual cost of £35,000. (He arrived here with a fake passport!!)

Procuring fake passports should be a serious offence even if no British Passports were found in this particular haul. How can Britain's borders be secure when people are not punished for supplying false passports even if those passports are not British?

Labour unspun

After only eight years in power, a Labour Minister has told the truth! The benefits of ID cards have been "oversold". Have the costs of the scheme been undersold?

Having been so candid about the lack of benefits, how can the Government remain committed to a £10bn scheme that 'might help' to reduce fraud or identity theft? The Government has already said ID cards would not reduce the threat of terrorism.

Racist BBC?

Why does the BBC feel unable to describe the racial profile of Ismael Abdurahman, 23, due to appear in court today in connection with the attempted terrorist attacks of July 21st?

The BBC had no such qualms when describing "black teenager Anthony Walker" who was "attacked with an axe by a gang of white men".

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Integration or Differentiation?

Bedfordshire Police have introduced guidelines to follow if they ever need to raid a Muslim house. How do they know when to apply them without using racial / religious profiling!?!

  • "Rapid entry needs to be the last resort and raids into Muslim houses are discouraged for a number of religious dignity reasons."

  • "Officers should not take shoes into the houses."

  • "Use of police dogs will be considered serious desecration of the premises and may necessitate extensive cleaning of the house and disposal of household items."

  • "If people are praying at home, officers should stand aside and not disrupt the prayer. They should be allowed the opportunity to finish."

  • Courtesy of Laban Tall and DumbJon.

    Compensation Row

    Can the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian mistakenly shot by the Metropolitan Police, expect more than the £11,000 offered to the families of those killed on July 7th?

    Even the BBC admit "Mr Menezes was fleeing officers when he was shot eight times".

    Number crunching (2)

    £572,000 Total Basic Bereavement compensation* for victims' families of July 7th bombings.

    £500,000 Daily cost of Police terror investigation.

    £44m Compensation expected to be paid to 1,000 Scottish Prisoners who have been "degraded" by being forced to 'slop out'

    *I assume the families of the suicide bombers are not expecting bereavement compensation.

    Air Guitar

    A woman is studying for a PhD in Air Guitar at Salford University!

    Maybe I should consider doing a PhD on the cultural significance of stupid doctorates.

    Wrong place, wrong time, wrong city.

    It seems less likely that they will find the murderer of Richard Whelan, who died in a "totally unprovoked" attack on Friday. Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur says that proactive work had "slowed to a trickle" on major murder inquiries as 10% of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit have transferred to the terror inquiries.

    I am sure Doreen Lawrence's presence (mother of Stephen) at the Liverpool murder scene will ensure Anthony Walker's brutal murderers are caught more quickly.

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005


    At what point should Government give up on a problem? Since 1997, £885m has been spent on anti-truancy 'initiatives' yet truancy rates have continued as before. Is one further leap in expenditure needed or should Government realise that money alone will not solve every problem in society?

    It seems preferable to spend £885m on the 98% of pupils who actually attend school rather than the 2% who don't. They can look forward to a life on benefits or in prison!! If hardcore truants are not causing mischief in class, it may even be a blessing in disguise for other pupils who want to learn and their teachers too.

    Chas 'n' Dave 'n' 'Azel

    What's worse? David "Mad Mullah" Blunkett or Hazel "Nuts" Blears in charge of the Home Office whilst Charles Clarke is on holiday?

    Come back Charles, all is forgiven (nearly)!!

    Slip slop

    The Scottish Prison Service expects to pay out £44m to 1,000 prisoners and former inmates who were "degraded" in prison by having to slop out. One 25 year old armed robber has already won £2,450 after he claimed he suffered an outbreak of the skin complaint, eczema, when slopping out at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow. He should have been more careful. How much compensation did his victim receive?

    Only the Scottish National Party could claim that "the price is now being met by the Scottish taxpayer" for the failure of the Scottish Executive to end slopping out. I thought Scotland was subsidised by English taxpayers!


    The BBC cannot decide if it likes banks or not. "Banks sell loans to vulnerable" suggests that the Banks are lending irresponsibly to society's "most vulnerable" due to the sales and profit targets of bank staff.

    On the same day, "Voices from the poverty frontline" describes how people living in poverty lack access to the mainstream banks and are forced to use loan sharks. Are the banks not lending irresponsibly!?!

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Bloody Sunday Inquiry

    Does the latest IRA statement mean that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry is no longer required? It's only cost £150m and was ironically due to be published this summer.

    Passports for all

    How did Britain manage to give a full UK Passport to one of the London terror suspects despite having convictions for violent muggings using a knife? Why wasn't Muktar Said-Ibrahim deported at the end of his prison sentence? Naturally this incovenient part of his biography is overlooked by the BBC.

    Does Britain have any standards when people apply for passports? Will ID cards be as easy to obtain in the future!?!