Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Quango strike?

Will any Quangos be affected by today's civil service strike across the UK?

Will anyone notice!?!

Increasing child poverty?

If lone parents are to lose their benefit entitlements when their youngest child is now eleven rather than sixteen, will this new measure only encourage them to have more children?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Battle of Alice's eye

If ex-Labour MP Alice Mahon lived in Scotland, she would not need to threaten legal action to force the NHS to provide her with a drug that could help save her failing sight.

Macugen has been available to Scottish patients since August 2006.

Mrs Mahon had been forced to fund her urgent treatment privately, at a cost of £5,325, to avoid losing her eyesight while her case was being considered.

I have been an ardent supporter of the NHS all my life, and now feel totally let down.

The chancellor must ensure the NHS budget is large enough to fund such a basic health care need.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Thought for the day

Give me ten years, and you will not recognise Germany - Adolf Hitler, 1933.

I am not finished yet - Tony Blair, 2007

Work life balance?

Whilst some climb the greasy pole, others enjoy life at the bottom...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

British Airways catches public sector disease!

British Airways (BA) staff threatening to strike over sickness absence, pay and staffing at the airline need to realise they are not a public sector organisation.

Whilst public sector unions can bully the Government and taxpayers into accepting their terms and conditions, BA are not a monopoly supplier of air transportation in the UK. Their customers will leave en-masse.

BA staff should visit the dockyards on the Clyde and the South Wales coalmines to discover what union demands will do to their jobs in the long term....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Britishness is...

Police refusing to pursue thieves on stolen motorbikes as they were not wearing helmets.

It is not yet known whether Police would stop a car chase if the thieves removed their seatbelts...

Friday, January 26, 2007


If Britishness is:

  • Immigration

  • Devolution

  • Slavery

  • British Empire's legacy

  • The European Union

  • I'd rather not bother...

    DVLA's 'motoring underclass'

    How can the Governmnent expect to enforce road pricing when there were two million untaxed vehicles on Britain's roads last year?

    'One vehicle, one tax disc' should be far simpler to police than 'one vehicle, five hundred journeys'!

    More than a million speeding fines are not paid each year [out of 1.9m in 2004], partly because the current owners cannot be traced.

    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Veil of intolerance?

    If a father insists that his 12 year old daughter wear the full niqab, why doesn't she attend an Islamic school rather than a selective girls grammar school in Buckinghamshire?

    Does his daughter want to wear the niqab?

    Update: Pub Philosopher points out that the father can threaten the school with £50,000 of taxpayer funded legal aid whilst it could cost council taxpayers £500,000 to defend the case!

    Life is life for victims.

    A woman reported her apparent killer to police just one week before she was fatally stabbed by him.

    I can confirm that Mr Clarke was sentenced for murder in 1987 - life imprisonment. He was released from prison in May 2003 - Chief probation officer Rob Mandley.

    Is Ms Wilson a victim of the lack of capital punishment in the UK!?!

    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    Muslim adoption agencies

    Are Muslim adoption agencies seeking a similar exemption from laws on adoption by gay couples given that their views on homosexuality are similar to the Catholic church?

    Labour's not walking!

    I grew up in the 1930s with an unemployed father. He did not riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he went on looking until he found it. - Norman Tebbit.

    Walk! - Schools Minister, Jim Knight.

    Tougher Porridge?

    Should more prisoners be allowed to abscond from open prisons to provide space to jail only the most dangerous and persistent criminals such as Jade Goody!?!

    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    Ignoring the Police!

    Ship's scavengers ignore police: - Despite police road blocks and warnings to stay away.

    Drivers ignore mobile phone penalties: - Liberal Democrats say only about one in 100 offenders are being caught by police

    Police ignore foreign car vandals: Being unemployed foreign nationals with no income it was not in the public interest . . . due to the expenses incurred in having a trial.

    Who fears the Police these days!?!

    School drop-outs don't regret quitting!

    Is the BBC guilty of supporting Government policy to raise the school leaving age to 18?

    Half of young adults who dropped out of school aged 16 did not regret their decision later, a survey suggests.

    Two thirds of the 1,110 adults surveyed, who left school after GCSEs, said they did not realise going back into education was the only route to a better job.

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    End of the house price bubble is nigh!

    When a former janitor's storeroom roughly the size of a snooker table is valued at £170,000, you know the latest house price bubble is about to pop!

    Home from Home Office?

    How many staff who are "unfit for purpose" should be sacked when the Home Office splits in two?

    Free bus passes?

    The free bus pass [for the over 60s] was a good idea but it hasn't been funded so it has become another pressure on the council tax bill which the elderly cannot afford to pay. - Lord Bruce-Lockhart.

    If the elderly want additional services, they should expect to contribute towards them!

    Should free bus passes for the elderly be means-tested?

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Unshakeable faith?

    If a white male refused to shake the hand of a black man at a Police passing out parade for 'religious reasons', would it be considered an obstacle to performing his duties as a Police Officer?

    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Brown's Big Brother Balls!

    "The huge number of complaints [now about 30,000] shows that British people do not accept racism" - Gordon Brown on the Big Brother controversy.

    192,850 - Number of votes cast for the BNP in the 2005 General Election!

    Brown ready for next challenge!?!

    Britain has seen the sharpest deterioration in public accounts of any country in Europe over the last six years, slipping below Greece, Georgia, and Romania towards the bottom of the budget league. - The Daily Telegraph.

    It is also one of the few countries where the tax burden has increased rather than fallen - Moritz Kraemer, chief credit officer for Standard & Poor in Europe.

    Having 'run' Britain's economy so well since 1997, is Gordon Brown capable of facing a Prime Minister's "bigger challenges"!?!

    Who would the next Chancellor of the Exchequer blame for the parlous state of Britain's finances, their boss!?!

    Refugee status?

    How does the BBC report the murder of a refugee by a refugee?

    Refugee found death, not sanctuary - The victim had fled civil war in Sierra Leone only to meet her death on an estate in south London.

    Christening killer admits murder - Malasi, who had no previous convictions [except murder!] is an Angolan refugee.

    Sink estates

    Some of the estates are beyond repair and to be honest we need to simply say that we can't carry on with people having to live in those conditions any longer. With regeneration and "hope" among residents, it was possible to turn estates around, but "in the worst, we should bulldoze them." - Former Home Secretary David Blunkett.

    It's not clear whether David wants the residents moved out first or not!

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Number Crunching

    21,000 complaints: Enough to condemn Channel 4's 'Big Brother' as racist despite protestations that there had been "no overt racial abuse or racist behaviour".

    45,000 complaints: Not enough to condemn BBC's 'Jerry Springer - The Opera' as blasphemous.

    David Cameron on Big Brother row

    "Viewers unhappy at alleged racist content on Celebrity Big Brother should switch off their TVs.! - David Cameron, Conservative Party leader.

    The main highlights show on Tuesday averaged 4.5 million viewers, up from 3.5 million on Monday and 3.9 million on Tuesday last week.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    Dammit Janet!

    How can a 'left-wing icon' be arrested for racially abusing her neighbour!?!

    Does Janet Street-Porter now agree with a judge who described a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute a man for a racially aggravated offence as "a nonsense" when "We let people hit each other and break into people’s homes and they are not charged"?

    "So next time call him a fat bastard and don’t say anything about his colour. When we have an overstretched police force and an overstretched CPS one wonders why we are sitting here with long faces dealing with one sentence."

    By-passing UK Passport Control

    Who could predict that "At certain times of the day, when a lot of flights come in at the same time, [Passport] control can become extremely busy"?

    All passengers still need to be checked by immigration staff before entering the UK, even if this requires long waits as frequently happens in the United States, they should never be waived through.

    UK Passport control is a unique customer service, it is for the benefit of UK residents rather than the newly arrived passengers.

    Some immigration officers described rare occasions when, due to staff shortages, they had been instructed by chief immigration officers not to hold up any passengers at all.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Undercover Mosque (2)

    Will Government Ministers be distancing themselves from leading Muslims based at the Green Lane Mosque following last night's provocative programme "Undercover Mosque"?

    Will Police be prosecuting preachers at the Green Lane Mosque for incitement to religious and racial hatred?

    The Muslim Council of Britain urges all Muslim institutions to be vigilant and ensure that their premises are not allowed to be abused by those who are intent on pursuing divisive agendas. Unacceptable and inflammatory language can never be accepted from Muslim speakers either during talks or on recorded DVDs. It is vital that the sanctity of mosques and Islamic centres is maintained at all times and an Islamic code of conduct upheld.

    Inflation up, interest rates up!

    After 3 years of us, ask yourselves this. Why has this country now got the lowest inflation rate in Europe? [ ] It is not luck that we enjoy this economic strength. It is not coincidence. It is the result of choices, hard choices, taken by this government. By Gordon Brown, one of the most inspired chancellors this country has seen. - Tony Blair, Labour Party Conference 2000.

    Cost of living 'at 11-year high'

    Dangerously joined up Government?

    Whitehall plan for huge database of people's personal details.

    [Government] Financial advice service planned to help people with basic money matters.

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Peter Hain on England

    The Tories, despite once priding themselves as "the party of the Union", now place selfish party advantage ahead of national interest. - Peter Hain, MP for the Welsh constituency of Neath with ambitions to be Labour's Deputy Leader.

    By trying to whip up and then harness nationalist sentiment in England, they risk unleashing forces which can lead to only one thing: the Balkanisation of Britain. That would damage Britain and damage Wales. - Peter Hain MP

    So how are Labour reducing English nationalist sentiment?

    Wales has long benefited from support from the Treasury, with Welsh public spending almost £1,000 per head higher than in England. - Peter Hain MP

    Undercover Mosque

    If the BBC was prepared to use an undercover reporter to infiltrate the BNP, why was it not prepared to commission a TV programme to "infiltrate 'moderate' mosques as well?

    He captures chilling sermons in which Saudi-trained preachers proclaim the supremacy of Islam, preach hatred for non-Muslims and for Muslims who do not follow their extreme beliefs - and predict a coming jihad. "An army of Muslims will arise," announces one preacher. Another preacher said British Muslims must "dismantle" British democracy - they must "live like a state within a state" until they are "strong enough to take over."

    Undercover Mosque, Channel 4, 8pm tonight.

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Bullying England?

    If David Cameron focused on why an English cancer patient needs to move to Scotland to receive the drugs treatment he requires, he might start to understand why English voters are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the Union.

    Unfortunately, Cameron prefers to talk about a resurgence of the Conservative Party in Scotland and Gordon Brown "bullying Scotland" instead!

    Who is bullying England?

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Gone to the dogs?

    If pet dog owners can be prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering by letting their dog become obese, should parents with obese children be similarly prosecuted?

    About 20% of children are now overweight and 2.5% cent are severely overweight or obese.

    Reap what you sow!

    Did Gordon Brown think Labour was playing "fast and loose with the union and [putting] the future of the union at risk" when they created the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly?

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Blogspot URL address?

    Can someone help me please?

    How do I change the settings on this blog so that the full blogger post address is shown in the address bar above rather than just the Blog title?


    Bankrupt Holidays!

    Unions may welcome their 'coup' at winning an additional eight days holiday for low skilled workers but it's a further reason for businesses to relocate their low cost operations overseas.

    Such short sighted attitudes only damage the employment prospescts of such workers!

    Let them eat cake!

    How dare a newspaper highlight a Labour Education Secretary's hypocrisy!

    If a Conservative Health Secretary ever paid for their child to receive private healthcare treatment as it was not widely available on the NHS, would Labour Ministers understand why?

    The teachings of Chairman Brown!

    Why should an additional two years of schooling at Temple School in Rochester be expected to help the 98% of pupils who fail to achieve five GCSEs at grade C or above including English and maths?

    Is Labour seeking to hide the growing problem of youth unemployment?

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    English lessons

    Why should British taxpayers be expected to pay the £279m cost of English language lessons for migrants keen to work in the UK?

    Migrants should expect to pay for their own lessons. I would.

    Should some English students also be allowed to attend the courses!?!

    Asset Non-recovery Agency

    Given that VAT carousel fraud cost the UK taxpayer approximately £1.5bn last year and tax credit fraud cost a further £540m, how did the Asset Recovery Agency only manage to recover £8m, despite costing £60m to set up!?!

    Labour's not learning

    How can a secondary school be so bad that only 2% of it's students manage to achieve five good GCSE grades including English and maths?

    As only 45.8% of pupils meet the government's minimum target for GCSE attainment, does Ruth Kelly 'wish' that more of her children had "learning difficulties"!?!

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Cameron on the Environment!

    Why does David Cameron oppose higher energy costs if it helps to save the environment by increasing the rewards for people who use energy more efficiently!?!

    A good education is a lottery!

    In seeking to broaden the "social inclusiveness" of good schools by selecting pupils by lottery rather than by catchment area, Labour will only achieve three things:

  • The destruction of said good schools as standards will be diluted over time as good teachers keen to work at good schools leave the profession.
  • The destruction of any remaining support amongst middle class parents or aspirational working class parents for Labour. How many families will be prepared to sacrifice a £25,000 property premium for living within the catchment area of a good school?
  • Social mobility will continue it's decline as the premium for being privately educated at a good school can only increase further.

  • Labour needs to consider whether the middle classes squeeze low income families out of good schools or if that's why the schools are good!

    Millenium Dome Mark 2?

    Why should the National Lottery be used to fund another white elephant, the 2012 Olympic Games?

    Ministers should not be allowed to touch Lottery funds to finance schemes that should properly be funded a windfall tax on properties in South East London where the majority of benefits will arise and general taxation.

    If the benefits of the Olympics will "far outstrip the costs", why can't the shortfall be funded through one of Gordon Brown's beloved PFI deals?

    - The Millenium Dome was part funded with £449m of lottery funds before a further £179m was required when it proved to be less popular than expected!

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    Unrecorded Overseas Crime

    How does the Home Office ensure that foreign criminals with convictions for serious crimes abroad are not cleared to work with vulnerable people in the UK?

    Political Rights Bill?

    Is a 'Political Rights Bill' required to ban discrimination against people with political views in the provision of goods, services and employment!?!

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    Number Crunching

    £54m: Amount stolen by VAT fraudster sentenced to 15 years. - This was theft of revenue needed to fund our country's public services - Chris Harrison of HM Revenue & Customs.

    £54m: Quango's Redundancy costs since 2000. - It represents less than half of 1% of the total budget. - Spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Skills.

    Stinks, stinks, stinks!

    Former Education Secretary Ruth Kelly has enrolled one of her children at an elite £15,000-a-year private prep school. It is understood the child has learning difficulties.

    Are these the same "learning difficulties" that forced Labour MP Karen Buck to withdraw her son from a city academy or Labour MP Diane Abbot to send her son to a private school?

    Why did Ruth Kelly oppose Conservative plans for a "pupil passport" that could have subsidised other children with "learning difficulties" to go private too!?!

    Tony Blair's now infamous "Education, Education, education" priority in 1997 now "stinks, stink, stinks"!

    Her child's new school has "60 pupils aged 7 to 13 and offers extensive grounds, a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, golf and horse-riding" just like your typical "bog standard Comprehensive"!

    Sunday, January 07, 2007

    Special Home Improvement Tax!

    The idea of the state being an overbearing state, which a lot of people have associated with the governments of the past, that cannot be the government of the future. Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    Householders face rises in council tax bills every time they improve their homes under plans by ministers to revalue all properties every year. [] minor improvements will be recorded either by door-knocking inspectors or by questionnaires that occupiers will be obliged to answer. - The Sunday Telegraph.

    Courtesy of A Tangled Web.

    Saturday, January 06, 2007

    Prison number crunching!

    If the Director General of the Prison Service does not know exactly how many prisoners are on the run from open jails, how can he be sure that 79,908 were in prison custody on 29th November 2006?

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    England's cricketers attempt to return home unnoticed!

    The Few

    Never in the field of English cricket were so many so out for so few.

    Number crunching

    10%: Female directors of FTSE 100 firms.
    20%: Female Members of Parliament
    26%: Male commissioners at the Equal Opportunities Commission

    If it will take 60 years to have the same number of female directors as men at FTSE 100 firms, how many years will it take for the same number of males as females at the Equal Opportunities Commission!?!

    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Talk the talk, baulk the walk?

    If primary school "teaching and behaviour [are] worse in schools with pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds", how effective will Gordon Brown's call be for free education of the poorest children in the world!?!

    Devolution good for your health?

    Are Welsh and Scottish NHS patients facing eight week hospital delays for routine treatments due to a lack of funds at year end or just the over-taxed and under-represented English?

    Learning and Skills Council savings?

    In just six years, the Learning and Skills Council has paid £54m in redundancy costs!

    A Department of Education spokeswoman suggests these costs need to be put in context as representing "less than half of 1% of the total [annual budget of £11bn] and must be considered alongside estimated annual savings of around £40m which will be achieved by the current restructuring exercise."

    Should the savings also be put into context as they also represent "less than half of 1% of the total [annual budget of £11bn]"!?!

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Saddam Hussein - An apology?

    Will the British Government apologise to the family of Saddam Hussein for the taunting he received just prior to his state sponsored murder execution by hanging!?!

    Fears are growing that Marie Antoinette, Mussolini and Charles 1 may also have been taunted prior to their executions...

    Benefits of migration?

    Why does Labour and the Trade Unions welcome more immigration when the Bank of England has found evidence that migrants may replace low-skilled UK workers in certain jobs?

    Which two organisations are supposed to represent the interests of low skilled UK workers!?!

    In other news:

    Two Manchester bus companies have been banned from the roads over Christmas after serious concerns were raised about the safety of their drivers.

    Ms Bell said she was concerned over the safety of the firm's Polish drivers.

    One hundred of 130 of the drivers at UK North are Polish the hearing was told many had a poor understanding of English.

    Food Patriotism

    Why is David Cameron promoting "Made in Britain" food patriotism rather than "Made in England / Scotland / Wales / Northern Ireland" food labelling?

    All Tesco's milk sold in Wales is Welsh milk for example!

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    Old, bold car drivers?

    Studies by the Department for Transport [suggest] that young men [] aged 17-20 are almost 10 times more likely to die or be seriously injured while driving compared with men aged 40-59.

    Do only the safest drivers survive into middle age!?!

    There are old pilots and bold pilots; but there are no old bold pilots! - E. Hamilton Lee, 1949.

    World's Newest Selective Girls Grammar School Opens!

    Will left-wing educationalists and David Cameron be condemning Oprah Winfrey's new $40m South African school that offers working class girls with academic potential an escape route from "bog standard" schools?

    Winfrey, whose own background was disadvantaged, says she regards education as the door to freedom and she hopes these girls will be among South Africa's future leaders.

    David Cameron can console himself that current Conservative Party policy on gammar schools appeals to the 25% of the population who are not in favour of academic selection!

    Selective Conservative Policies

    Why does the Conservative Party oppose selective education when more than 75% of people believe that streaming or a selective system helps the education of all children?

    Just whose views do they represent?

    Driving up standards

    If driving tests are to become more difficult to improve road safety, will the penalties for driving whilst unqualified also be raised?

    Would it be better if new drivers were prevented from driving cars more than 1400cc in their first year on the road similar to the scheme currently in operation for motorcyclists?

    Biting the hand that feeds it

    Why should civil servants expect above inflation pay rises each year?

    Who pays for it?

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    Great Uncle Bulgaria and Romania!

    If the new EU citizens of Romania and Bulgaria "will benefit the UK", should we hope that more than 180,000 will arrive in the UK this year?

    Where will a population the size of York be housed!?!