Monday, December 26, 2005

"Out of Office"

Snafu will be "out of the office" until January 3rd 2006.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2005


Are the Conservatives now intent on joining the Liberal Democrats to the left of Labour? How can the Conservative Party embrace a policy that has done so much to destroy the social fabric of the UK over the past sixty years?

Wealth redistribution will never be the solution to wealth inequality.

Hailing suspension

A hospital driver has been suspended for making a Nazi salute whilst dressed as an RAF officer at a staff fancy dress party. He should not have been suspended, it was a fancy dress party not a political party.

These gestures offended other members of staff. [ ] We take accusations of a racist nature very seriously and believe we have provided an even-handed approach. - Hospital statement.

The real villains are the people who have suspended him for daring to be an individual not subject to state control. Do they consider the Nazi salute racist because it offends Germans? It can only be racist if they agree with Hitler, Germans are indeed a "different race"! The salute was 'nationalist', not 'racist'.

"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke.

Will Liberty be concerned that his right to freedom of expression has been curtailed?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The long tail of the law

Why should England be expected to bring it's law into harmony with Scottish legislation so that Scots cannot make a "mockery" of their own legislation to ban tail docking?

"We can't tell anyone which vet to use so people will undoubtedly just go south of the border. We will effectively have a double standard which makes a mockery of the law." - Stuart Shearlaw, Central Scotland Police's senior animal health and welfare officer.

Civil Partnership and divorce

How will the assets involved in the new civil partnerships be split if some of them inevitably founder?

Will the assets be shared as though the couple were married or on an equitable basis!?!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Remember the Union!

Is it "perfectly acceptable" for Conservatives in England to develop policies only applicable in England or does this only apply to Conservatives in Wales and Scotland!?!

How can David Cameron support devolution in Scotland yet not support Government proposals to give similar powers to the Welsh!?!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pro-English Tories?

Which pro-English policies by the Conservative Party is Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party, referring to when he says "We are used to anti-Scottish policies from the anti-Scottish Tories and no amount of soft focus can hide that truth."?

Which mainstream politician berates "anti-English policies from the anti-English Labour [party] and no amount of soft focus can hide that truth."!?!

Shamefully, David Cameron supports the pro-English policy of income tax cuts solely in Scotland.

Wealth does not mean health

"Wealth means health" says a report trumpeted by the BBC. I disagree.

Are the factors that lead certain people to accumulate wealth such as planning for the future and a good education the same factors that determine an individual's health?

Increasing the incomes of the poor will not improve their health as this report implies, it will worsen it. More money will mean more can be spent living unhealthy lifestyles!

Bashing Britain Corporation

How does the BBC illustrate that "Empire history [is] 'key to UK life'"? With an illustration of the slave trade.

Is the man with the whip working for the white colonial oppressors or the local tribal leaders who supplied the slaves!?!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Welsh EU budget victory

Wales appears to be the only nation within the Union to have benefited from Tony Blair's capitulation on the UK's rebate. Would it have been simpler if England simply gave Wales another £1bn each year and cut out the EU middle-man?

Charles Kennedy's Christmas Wish list

1 Glenlivet ’64
2 Glenmorangie
3 The Balvenie PortWood
4 Loyal Deputy
5 Pair of socks

Second class Deputy Prime Minister?

Should we be worried that the Deputy Prime Minister, ostensibly the second most important man in the country, admits to receiving a second class education following the failure of his 11+ exam?

Does John Prescott's later success prove the 11+ exam does not hold back ambition or raw talent nor inhibit anyone from rising to the top?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Selfish smokers

Why should a smoking ban be scrapped just because smokers are too selfish even to care about the health of their own children?

"Bans in bars may induce smokers to spend more time at home, and therefore expose other members of the household, especially children [to more tobacco smoke]." - Dr Jerome Adda, University College London.

Cameron on Asylum

Why should there be no cap on the number of asylum seekers coming to the UK?

Mr Cameron told the Observer he welcomed people fleeing persecution and was committed to granting them asylum, "taking them to our hearts, and feeding and clothing and schooling them".

Hosting asylum seekers does nothing to resolve the underlying domestic problems of the home country they are fleeing.

Does Charles Kennedy know of any leadership vacancies in the Liberal Democrats if David Cameron should change parties if "he meant what he was saying"?

Central Trains

Why are Central Trains unable to schedule any train drivers to work Sundays when it runs a daily service? Passengers should not have to rely on voluntary overtime to provide the service.

Will Central Trains refund some of the subsidy they recieve from the taxpayer fro the inconvenience caused? It was only £155.6m in 2004/5.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Compromise Off!

Why should the UK relinquish more of it's rebate to the EU in return for the hollow promise of a future CAP review? How would the UK's rebate be restored if the review found 'no need' for CAP reform?

The UK's presidency of the European Union should only be considered a failure if the UK rebate is negotiated away.

Pensions on fire

Does the Fire Brigade Union really think it will have widespread public support for strike action in protest at Government plans to raise the pensionable age for new entrants to 60? The pensionable age for most private sector workers is set to increase beyond 65 over coming decades.

How would opposition to pension reform not "push up council tax"?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Another Fife mess

How will staff without poor sickness records be rewarded for working hard and enduring the 'stress' of the Fife Council Finance department?

Anyone feeling stressed all of a sudden!?!

Is Scotland 'abroad'?

Wonko recently highlighted the case of a cancer sufferer in England who was being denied treatment that is readily available in Scotland.

Is this the sort of treatment that the Department of Health should fund for treatment 'abroad' if it is not available in England!?!

To date, patients have only been treated abroad on the NHS if the treatment is not available in England or if they would have to face an extraordinar[il]y long wait.

Controversial BBC Research

What has prompted a BBC investigation to find that "a growing number of women from overseas are travelling to Britain to give birth in NHS hospitals"?

Are they worried about the current funding crisis in the NHS? Would ID cards limit the abuse!?!

Local democracy not working

What incentive is there for the 46% of councils that provide "poor value for money" to improve?

If the local electorate is prepared to tolerate such waste, they should not complain when council tax rises each year! Why are there no votes to be won by opposition parties focusing on such endemic waste?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Trouble at the top

Do Liberal Democrats really think that a change of leader would improve their electoral chances? Liberal Democrats need to broaden their appeal beyond students, pensioners and the South West of England if they are ever to threaten the Conservative Party nationally as the "real opposition".

Whilst it would be an electoral nightmare if the Liberal Democrats ever won power, they frequently give the impression of being better organised locally and more earnest in holding the Government to account than the Conservative Party.

Death threats

Why are death threats treated with such contempt by the Police? If all threats were treated more seriously, would the overall number reduce significantly?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Palestinian Economy - learn by our mistakes

Why does Gordon Brown or the European Union think they know enough about running a successful economy to pass on their knowledge to the Palestinians!?! Gordon Brown believes higher taxes do not slow economic growth whilst the European Union wallows in over-regulation, high unemployment and large budget deficits.

Does Gordon Brown look enviously at the Palestinian economy where 32% of the workers are in the public sector!?! (It's only a derisory 20% in the UK!)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Right Links

My colleague at Oncemore, EU Serf, has created a new blog, Right Links, "that links Conservatives [and] is designed to help you find like minded people and share ideas, news and events." as a rival to Bloggers for Labour.

The new site should rapidly become a valuable Conservative resource and I wish EU Serf every success in the new venture. The new site should also promote new traffic to your own website as EU serf is offering a generous banner excahnge!

Good for EU Cameron

Let's hope Ken Clarke's worst fears are realised and David Cameron does become "the [Conservative] party's most eurosceptic leader ever".

Ken Clarke must be the test by which European policy is determined, if he opposes it, it's the right policy!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

An Englishman's home is his tax liability

Why should anyone who refuses to let a Valuation Office inspector into their home be fined £500 and given a criminal record when anyone else needing to enter a property requires a warrant? The data collected by the inspectors will also be used by the Inland Revenue "for calculating capital gains and inheritance tax".

Which significant aspect of a property such as the "number of bedrooms, large gardens and nice views" are not already captured when a property is sold and already recorded by the Land Registry?

Free dental check-ups

Will England have "free dental checks for all by 2007 and for the over 60s by the end of this year" or is this another benefit of living in Scotland?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

British justice?

Two cleaners "supplement" their low incomes by claiming benefits that they are not entitled to and are rightly imprisoned for their offences.

Perry Carter, 42, was jailed for six months after he admitted using the name of his wife's late husband to claim £11,000 in benefits. Mrs Carter, 41, admitted claiming £18,600 in benefits and was jailed for 12 months.

A woman does not share the "secret of her success" with anyone else, lived in a £1.6m mansion, owned stables and six horses, hired a gardener and enjoyed luxury holidays, claimed £127,612.20 in benefits, admits her guilt and escapes with a two year suspended sentence after writing a cheque for over £200,000 because she still has "young children".

Will the Inland Revenue be investigating her income tax returns?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Praise for an Islamic school

Why is the BBC surprised that "the daughters of labourers, mill-workers and taxi drivers" "envisage [ ] going on to do A-levels at a local college or sixth form and then a degree" even though they are not "middle class children"?

Could there be a link between parents valuing their daughters' education and a recognition that the right educational environment is also required? "The girls adhere to a rigorous uniform code, discipline is strict and teachers are expected to instil Islamic virtues, like self-discipline, in their charges"

How many other British schools share these values?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Secretary of State for England

Why should any English MP give up their ability to interfere in Welsh politics by supporting the 'Government of Wales Bill' when Welsh MPs will not enter a reciprocal arrangement?

If Welsh (and Northern Ireland) Secretary Peter Hain says the bill will deliver "made in Wales decisions for the benefit of Wales", when will a similar Bill be introduced to deliver "made in England decisions for the benefit of England"?

PS Why is there no Secretary of State for England?

BBC News updated sometimes

Who will tell the BBC that David Cameron is the new Conservative leader?

8th December 12:35pm, Michael Howard is still leader according to the BBC profile of the shadow cabinet! Wishful thinking by the BBC?

"Like a good white man"

If a UK resident of Asian, African or Caribbean descent gave an excellent speech without notes and was praised for being "like a good white man", would this be "racist?

Compensation Culture

Why is compensation to victims so unfair in the UK?

"Mrs Witchalls, 26, was left partially paralysed after being stabbed in the neck in Little Bookham, Surrey". She has recieved an interim payment of £250,000 but can expect no more than £500,000 in total under current rules.

"A MOTHER who took an overdose while suffering from post-natal depression has won £2.8 million from the ambulance service which, she claims, arrived too late to save her from permanent brain damage".

Why wasn't this payment capped at £500,000?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mental health inequality

The Healthcare Commission has found that "black people are three times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals than the rest of the population" and urgently need to find why.

Does the widespread use of cannabis in areas such as Brixton contribute to the problem in which case it's a lifestyle issue?

"You only have to walk down Brixton High Street and you face a barrage of offers for you to buy Hashish or whatever from aggressive drug dealers." - Councillor Paul McGlone, Ferndale ward, Brixton.

Recent research found that "Almost half of patients treated for a cannabis related mental disorder go on to develop a schizophrenic illness."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Increasing the cycle of poverty

How will scrapping selective education reduce the "cycle of poverty" in Northern Ireland? Social mobility in Britain has declined since Grammar schools were scrapped, why should Northern Ireland be any different?

"The facts on social mobility are depressing. As the middle classes expanded after the war, there was considerable movement. But since the early 60s academic surveys tell us that mobility has declined. Studies show that for people in their 30s, the social class of their parents matters more than it did in the past." - Ruth Kelly, Education Secretary.

English school reform

Will Scottish and Welsh Labour MPs be abstaining from the UK government's plans to make English state schools more independent?

As the proposals will not financially impact either Scotland or Wales, why should they be allowed to vote on the proposals?

Mr. Boom and Busted

Where are the tax cuts in the pre-budget report to encourage the economy to grow at "2-2.5% next year and 2.75-3.25% in 2007"?

Gordon "No return to boom and bust" Brown can make as many predictions as he likes, but high taxes always stifle growth and lead to lower economic activity than otherwise.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven

- Rupert Brooke

"Born in England, Live in England, Die in England" - logo on flag banned by Oldham Athletic football club following complaints by Brentford FC.

Admittedly, the sentiment is coarser but will Liberty be investigating this curtailment of freedom of speech or will the flag be banned on health and safety grounds?

Courtesy of Wonko.

Labour doesn't pay

Why should the British be expected to contribute an additional billion Euros to the EU budget each year when many other European countries do not even accept the "Anglo-saxon model" that creates such wealth?

"This is not an Anglo-Saxon model but neither is it a model that is a synonym for inaction. It's a model founded on the initiative and dynamism of individuals, on community spirit and on social dialogue." - President Jacques Chirac of France

Little Rascal

Today's joke:

An eleven year old boy chauffeurs his three elder sisters and another boy around in a Ford Escort before being spotted by the Police. Trying to flee the filth(!), the car reaches 70mph before mounting a kerb, careering across a green and finally stopping. Not wanting a community service order, he naturally tries to escape but is apprehended by the Police.

He is charged with "dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, failing to stop for police, driving without a licence and driving without insurance". It is assumed the car was taxed and MOTd as it's also illegal to drive without these and I'm sure the Police would have charged him with these offences if the paperwork was not in order.

His punishment? A supervision order, tag and night-time curfew. Yep, he won't do that again!

How long before the little rascal becomes a big rascal?

Actor supports English Independence

A washed up former Bond star has come out in favour of English independence - by removing Scotland from the Union.

Whilst Sean regrets the lack of "a [Scottish] voice in Europe", has he noticed the lack of an English voice in the Union?


Will Breckland Council apologise to local residents for making them sort rubbish now that 'Real Story' has shown them the benefits of recycling rubbish?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Shock survey results

Why does the BBC think a survey of 200 cab drivers that finds they 'would cut fuel tax' newsworthy?

Would similar surveys that find farmers "would raise farm subsidies", lawyers "would raise legal aid budget" and fishermen "would raise fish quotas" also be reported?

Maybe the BBC were incredulous at finding anyone with a good word for Gordon. "More than half of those who took part in the survey said Mr Brown was a good chancellor."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Racist Arts Council (4)

Update: The Commission for Racial Equality consider that the Arts Council England writing competition awards are "likely to be unlawful under the [Race Relations] Act [1976]" and are currently collating complainant details with a view to a future investigation.

It appears that Wonko and I are not alone in complaining.

Dear Mr xxxxxxxx

Thank you for your quick reply. Because the Commission has received many complaints on this matter we will allow all the complainants at least a week to send in their contact details before opening files for each one and initiating the investigation process against the Arts Council. We will inform the Council about the many complainants received to show what an outcry the advertisement has generated.

We will write to you when this information has been collated to set the investigation process in motion.

Many thanks


Initial response from the CRE.

Dear Mr xxxxxxxx

Thank you for your e-mail with regard to the above advertisement. The Awards are likely to be unlawful under the Act.

Could you please furnish us with the your contact details (including your phone a number) to enable us investigate your complaint? I have accessed the website and printed a copy of the advertisement and the postal address of the Acts Council. This information will enable us write them about your complaint. Your address will also make it possible for us to keep you updated about our investigations into your complaint.

Thank you in advance for bringing the matter to our attention.

Kind regards


PS I still await Tania's reply from the Arts Council England...

MPs do not deserve pay rise

If MPs are demanding a pay rise of 22% as their pay has fallen relative to their public or private sector counterparts, why did they stand for election this May?

Whilst not sure who would employ Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, for more than £59,000, he is right for once! "This will be embarrassing for MPs. I could have earned a great deal more outside Parliament, but that is not what you go into politics for."

Friday, December 02, 2005

One way health tourism

Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan has asked his health Minister Brian Gibbons to investigate claims that the English Royal Shrewsbury Hospital may downgrade it's A&E department serving about 50,000 Welsh people.

Why does England tolerate this Welsh health tourism when Rhodri Morgan tries to prevent English health tourism into Wales?

Visiting a GP's surgery in Barry, south Wales on Friday, Rhodri Morgan promised to stop patients travelling from England especially to obtain prescribed drugs.

Number crunching

£5bn Gordon Brown's annual raid on pension funds

£4bn EU rebate that Tony Blair might "negotiate away"

3 extra years before your retire.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tremendous opportunity

Who could possibly have predicted that the "tremendous opportunity" of EU enlargement would be a "tremendous opportunity" for Britain to surrender it's EU rebate?

"To the people of Europe who are joining us today, I extend the hand of friendship ... a hundred, thousand welcomes [and £4bn of British taxpayers money]" - Irish Prime Minister Bertie Aherne.

Will there be another "tremendous opportunity" for Britain when Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania join the EU?