Saturday, 28 February 2009

Adrian Mitchell - To whom it may concern

This poem was originally written in 1965 by Adrian Mitchell, it was his public breakthrough as a poet, read to a packed house at the Poetry Internationale in the Albert Hall.

Throughout his career he rewrote the last part of the poem, demonstrating neatly that throughout the 20th and 21st century very little had changed; politicians continued to use war and lies as tools in their arsenal - only the names changed. What a unique opportunity - this is a poem that lived for over 40 years!

Adrian passed away just before Christmas 2008, the end of an exciting prolific poetical political era in the UK - I may just keep a little bit of him to myself by continuing his rewrites.

This was the version from 2008, his last...
(Hint - best read aloud)

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (TELL ME LIES ABOUT VIETNAM)

I was run over by the truth one day.
Ever since the accident I’ve walked this way
So stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain,
Couldn’t find myself so I went back to sleep again
So fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Every time I shut my eyes all I see is flames.
Made a marble phone book and I carved all the names
So coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

I smell something burning, hope it’s just my brains.
They’re only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
So stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Where were you at the time of the crime?
Down by the Cenotaph drinking slime
So chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out,
You take the human being and you twist it all about
So scrub my skin with women
Chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies, tell me lies about Aghanistan.
Tell me lies about Israel.
Tell me lies about Congo.
Tell me, tell me lies Mr Bush.
Tell me lies Mr B-B-Blair, Brown, Blair-Brown.
Tell me lies about Vietnam.
© 1968, the estate of Adrian Mitchell
From: Out Loud
Publisher: Cape Goliard, London, 1968
ISBN: 9781852248000

Ryanair - saint or sinner?


I remember a time when a journey via an airport was a bit special, reminiscent of the childhood anticipatory excitement I felt as I boarded a 1970s London bound train at Glasgow Central railway station on an all too infrequent Grandparental visit.

Flying was, well, a luxury: 20 minute check in, through security on a nod, capacious seats, polite & considerate ground and air crew. The flight passing quickly in a well oiled perfectly timed ballet; boarding via a jetty (no trip across the tarmac), the safety briefing, your choice of newspaper, trays down for a meal, unlimited beverages, trays up, a summary of the weather at the destination airport, disembark and through the airport in 10 minutes finding yourself in the actual city you chose to fly to. No over bearing security, no delays, just a dignified efficient experience that reduced travel time considerably.

It's easy to be sentimental about those days, personally I'm not, let me explain: first of all boy did we pay for that privilege - a return flight from Edinburgh to London cost around £250 in the 1980s. Secondly the only regular travelers appeared to be Scottish MPs and stereotypical red braced Masters of the Universe. But that was then and this now; the mass democratisation of flying is a good thing for all of us and has dragged the air industry out of 1950s elitist complacency.

The advent of low cost carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair has doubtless transformed the evocative journeys of yesteryear to the cattle class air travel which we accept as the norm today - based entirely on the taxi model. We have waved goodbye to; check in staff, being treated with respect by flight crew & security staff, presumed innocence, free baggage, free catering and all the touches that once differentiated air travel from public transport.

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary is oft given a hard time by the press for his airlines cost cutting, remember the fuss over the charges for wheelchairs? I know I run the risk of a barrage of criticism but I welcome his approach. He appears to be a good humoured bullish businessman, who openly runs his business on a shoestring and is content to proclaim it all in the name of low cost efficient flying - those who choose to fly with Ryanair are under no illusions, they get what they pay for and vote with their feet: It is a budget airline, the clue is in the name after all.

In a typically light hearted interview yesterday he mentioned that he might consider charging for use of toilets on flights, the MSM response was predictable: another opportunity to whack one of their least favourite corporate Piñatas. What's the problem? Ryanair are open and honest about what they are; their fare structure and charges are transparent - no illusions no bullshit. If you don't like budget airlines, don't use them - I don't unless I have to.

In these troubled times we could do with a bit more corporate and civic honesty, Mr O'Leary is not a man of our times, he stands alone, he is honest. Honest about cost cutting, charges, profitability and leads his business to focus on the delivery of what his customers want - without ornamentation - and for that we should applaud him, not knock him.

Could do with some more businessmen, bankers and politicians that take the same approach methinks.

Friday, 27 February 2009

The honourable 646


You may have seen the Internet hoax email regarding our MPs; the one claiming unbelievable figures for bad behaviour such as spouse abuse and drink driving- unbelievable because it was just that - fiction. A similar email had previously circulated regarding the US and various European elected representatives.

So I thought, why not try to investigate the figures, the real figures on some of the most unbelievable statistics on our honourable representatives who pontificate long and hard over our bad behaviour, and who miss no opportunity to remind us how lucky we are to be subjects of this democracy when it suits them.

So in the style of the original message:
Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 640 employees and has the following employee statistics?
  • 521 of them are men
  • The lowest paid employee earns £63,291, plus expenses - The highest paid earns £194,250 and 9 of them benefit from the use of some of the classiest homes in the UK on a grace-and-favour basis
  • All employees benefit from a final salary pension scheme with a current accrual rate of 1/40th. It is a contributory pension with the contribution rate set at 10 per cent of salary. The pension is paid in full irrespective of length of service
  • 11 have been imprisoned since 1989 [FOI request 2009]
  • 6 more have been arrested for various offences [media meta-analysis]
  • More than 20 have been involved in serious allegations regarding expenses claims, but they have en-masse vetoed moves towards tightening up of rules or increased scrutiny of their expenses claims, which average in excess of £100,000 per annum - yes each! [media meta-analysis]
  • Only one has managed a 100% attendance record (Dennis 'the beast' Skinner), the average attendance since 1997 for all employees is around 65% [figures from Public Whip project, based on voting - there is no other available measure for attendance]
And finally to paraphrase the hoax email that inspired me:

It's the 646 members of the House of Commons, the same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us inline.
What a bunch of bastards we have running our country - it says it all. And just to top all that they probably have the best 'corporate' pension scheme in the country!!
If you agree that this is an appalling state of affairs, please pass it on to everyone you know. It's time to stand up to this lot !
There was some truth in that original hoax after all...

Education or Training

So IT is not the panacea that will cure all ills in education, no surprise there then.

The benefits claimed for IT have been over ambitious to say the least, the

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Sorry bout that

NOT blogging honest, just thought I'd share a poem I was reminded of when listening to Poetry Please tonight - a bit of genius that is more relevant than ever:
Sorry bout that

Truth is a diamond
A diamond is hard
You don’t exist
Without a Barclaycard

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Even South African cops
Do the sorry bout that

They showed me the world and said:
What do you think?
I said: Half about women
And half about drink

And I’m sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Mother I need that booze
And I’m sorry bout that

But if you cut your conscience
Into Kenno-meat chunks
You could get elected
To the House of Drunks

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
You’ll never have to think again
And I’m sorry bout that

You can do the Skull
Or the Diplomat
But I do a dance
Called the Sorry Bout That

Do the Mighty Whitey
Or the Landlord Rat
But I’ll keep grooving,
To the Sorry Bout That

Sorry Bout That
Sorry bout that
They make me dance with pistols and ten to one
I’m sorry bout that

Hey Johnny Betjeman
Where you been?
Down Buckingham Pigstye
With Princess Margarine

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Bop goes my knighthood
Pretty Jesus but I'm sorry bout that

I saw Money walking
Down the road
Claws like an eagle
And a face like a toad

Well I know your name baby
Seen you before
Slapping on your make-up
For the Third World War

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Someone set the world on fire
And I’m sorry bout that.

© the estate of Adrian Mitchell
From: Greatest Hits
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd., Tarset, 1991
ISBN: 1 85224 164 0

Thursday, 19 February 2009

NOT blogging



In keeping with my previous post from now on referred to as "Goodbye and thanks for all the pish", my pathetic attempt to wean myself off blogging continues. I don't think that my other half is convinced that by only posting other peoples content, rather than composing lengthy monologues, I am no longer a blogger.

So I am pleased to post, on this my now ex-blog, that I have found something that will actually keep me occupied elsewhere for a while: Debian Lenny and FreeBSD 7.1 CDs are now burnt and are calling to me across my sitting room, so I am off to build me two servers and attempt to get my business idea off the ground - I find myself unnaturally excited at the prospect of re-acquainiting myself with UNIX (ah the heady days of SCO vs Novell!), and of course having a look at the new Debian - Etch with a Graphical installer I believe, why?
foo:/ root# notblog
su: notblog: command not found
foo:/ root#
Oh fuck it, you gotta love shell jokes, I guess I am hooked on blogging then. I'll get off and build my servers and see you back here in say, 10?

Root here I come...

PM orders bank to print higher denomination notes...


You may need one of these shortly...

Monday, 16 February 2009

That's it for a while...


I've had it, I really have. I really have given up on politics; the behaviour of the political classes - our rulers - has pushed this well educated, productive social liberal to the edge of the cliff.

The more I learn the less I feel it is worth spending one picosecond of my precious life in pontificating over the car crash of a society our bloody handed political elite are responsible for creating. I find the contemptible oppression and exploitation of British subjects and the infantilisation of our once great society abhorrent in so many ways.

Politicians; devolved, central and local are tearing the heart out of what little humanity remains in an already oppressive and totalitarian system - if you do not see the defenestration of British society, if you are oblivious to it - or even worse feel you support one political party over another then I now find myself jealous of you, for I cannot find that equilibrium you have. In the past I would have happily laid into your content sleep walking kind - my carefully crafted venom and best debating techniques would have been deployed against you in the hope that perhaps I could motivate you to open your eyes and see the coming tsunami of misery.

There are many other bloggers, considerably more erudite than I out there. They constitute the "new-media" and together represent the last slender strand of free speech and sanity in this broken country. I know my limitations, I can neither express myself as well nor indeed construct and deploy as convincing arguments as them. I am a humble engineer, who learned to write reports and deliver scientific analysis, and I struggle to corral the language to express myself to my satisfaction and convincingly on abstract concepts, politics or matters of civic society - indeed convey just how the frustration of watching it ALL fall down around me is tearing my heart from my chest. Before I spontaneously combust at the corruption, indifference, exploitation and contempt I see all round, and for the sake of my own health I am going to take a little break from blogging.

So I am off for a little while; whilst I can I want to dedicate some of my precious time to setting up a new business, hopefully help in providing some employment for those around me that I respect and who find themselves likewise unemployed - and just indulge my passions, for the great outdoors, music, family and friends.

I wish you all the best of luck; particularly my followers and inspirational fellow bloggers. Devils Kitchen, Tom Paine, Old Holborn, Guido, Penguin, the Nat Pack and all of the bloggers on my blogroll - thank you, it's been a blast, but I fear a pointless blast into an empty room of infinite indifference.

See you all in hell, there's a great party there I hear...

Friday, 13 February 2009

It's a conspiracy...

My other half gave me a dozen white roses and a box of chocolates today, something to do with some flaky canonised Catholic he reflected.

"I am not paying extra for red ones, I know you like these chocolates, but I'm not buying a card - it's a Hallmark conspiracy."

Ah, romance is still alive...

'Toon credit

Just how bent are bankers?

The Irish Times is reporting that Phil Flynn, the former Chief Executive of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) was 'Mr Big' behind the money laundering operation after the infamous 2004 Irish bank robbery - where an armed gang stole £26.5m from Belfast’s Northern Bank. Good news for the robbers you'd think - but the haul was almost exclusively Northern Bank notes, which are pretty tough to use outside Ireland or Scotland - so laundering the money was always going to be a key part of the operation...

Mr Flynn is alleged to have stepped in to help them out in laundering £5m of their haul.

Still trust bankers?

LabourList innit?



No need to add more - Raplog's called it...

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Wild about freedom of speech.

Am I the only UK subject that is bewildered by the treatment of the Dutch MP Geert Wilders?

I suspect not - where did freedom of speech go?.

Many of those who are responsible for his detention and banning have not even seen the film, as admitted today by David Millipede - therefore Wilders is guilty of a crime, only on the basis of an interpretation related to them by a third party? WTF are our politicians and those who feel they must condemn this film thinking? This behaviour is reminiscent of the pathetic concessions made without hesitation around the furore over The Satanic Verses and the Danish cartoons (shown on the right hand side of this post), we are placating those whose religion inspires attavistic bombers & terrorists; who would happily tear apart the west and free speech and see us condemned to a pre-industrial feudal Islamic hegemony.

Surely those critics of Geert Wilders should have made the effort to view the film before putting the boot in?

His self expression and opinions can only inform the debate around the islamisation of our society, the shabby BBC and our government are guilty of the suppression of the freedom of speech in a high handed and unforgivable manner.

What happened to free speech and open debate - did I miss that clause in the Anti-Terrorism act? By denial of this fundamental right we lend credence to those who would suppress freedom of expression in the name of Islam and the Islamic terrorists who executed another Dutch film maker (Theo van Gogh, 'Submission' 2004) - not to mention those who continue to justify the fatwa against Salman Rushdie issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 - a man who would brook no freedom of expression.

I leave the last word to Mr Wilders and his film:

"Your prime minister is the biggest coward in Europe"

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Tractorstats


Hi all, I haven't heard from TractorStats as yet, but if you wish to make copies of his images for posterity - all of his work is online here.

As I understand it there are no use limitations, so save yourself a little bit of his Photoshop genius today...

Same the world over...


At a time when the Australian PM 'Kev' Rudd is blaming either global warming or 'firebugs' for the recent tragic fires in Victoria - both righteous fear tactics employed for the purposes of avoiding any responsibility on his part, it was interesting to get a glimpse of what Australians really think. And just how uncomfortable the sight of the public expressing opinions contrary to their own makes their establishment.

Andrew Bolt reports a recent poll in Australia whose results were censored. Readers were asked - Is Global Warming to blame for the current heatwave in Australia?

The results:

1. Global warming is a myth (94.4%)
2. Yes (2.8%)
3. No (2.8%)

Number of voters: 15,451.


Despite the poll software having the usual protection against multiple voting, ABC claimed that the poll results had been 'rigged' as the reason for it's withdrawal. An assertion denied later.

Seems that we are not alone in our justified distrust of politicians and our mainstream media's complicity in the oppression of freedom of expression.

Same the world over? Too right mate...

Image courtesy of GoredEarth

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dealing from the bottom of the pack

Incoming cabinet MSPs Alex Neil, Roseanna Cunningham and Keith Brown are more akin to the flat earth society of the SNP, rather than the fresh faced newbies normally associated with the "New Talent" tag used by Mr Salmond today to describe them.

Talk about spin...

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? As some of the most established MSPs in the SNP Mike Russell (moving from Environment to Culture with special responsibility for the Constitution) and Roseanna Cunningham even contested the leadership of the party whilst Alex Neil is an outspoken and impressive politician with a mind of his own.

Should be interesting though...

The Great Depression - 1929 or 2009?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Boring conversation

From the The Scottish Government website - The introduction to 'A National Conversation':
Have your say

The Scottish Government is committed to bringing forward a referendum bill in 2010, offering the options of enhanced devolution and independence - but it will be the people of Scotland who decide Scotland's constitutional future. You can add your voice to the National Conversation here or pick up on points made by others

"We are aware - as we will always be - of the sovereignty of our people, that the decisions on Scotland's future lie ultimately with those living and working in Scotland - and with no-one else."
First Minister Alex Salmond
I know they are busy trying to stop the sky falling in, but why is it that the last Minister's blog to be updated was on Tuesday 3rd June 2008 by Finance Secretary John Swinney.

This is not exactly what is normally defined as a conversation, it looks as if our SNP ministers have run out of steam on this one. Dig a bit deeper and you will find that the public are still posting comments however if you try to view their posts as a thread [View all comments] you are rewarded with a 404 Error - not so much a conversation as shouting at an empty room.

Could it be that the SNP have lost interest in their flagship policy - in fact their raison d'etre?

Oh I do hope so...

Cowboy Chancellor

I love the juxtaposition of "both types of music - Country and Western" and our discredited Chancellor and his cowboy policies. Yeee haaa


Dear Prudence from LeslieMonk on Vimeo.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.'

It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary*

I mentioned my nephew on my post of Thursday, in the last of my trilogy of blogs on our PMs "British jobs for British workers" ill fated sound byte.

My nephew called me on Friday evening to let me know that his employer had gone into receivership and the entire workforce were now unemployed.

British jobs?

The Scottish SNP administration and Labour again prove that they are no more in control of our economy than Canute of the tide.

And it's personal now

*Winston Churchill

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Heaven



I was there in 1984 - it was Heaven.

Saturday night, have partaken of the grape and chilling, enjoy...

Thursday, 5 February 2009

British Jobs for British Workers - v3.0


This is my last stab at the whole 'British jobs for British Workers' debacle, I've posted 2 other pieces on this subject; ranging from a potty mouthed rant to an attempt at humour. My frustration with Labour (a party I once supported), and its betrayal of the British workforce, is something I personally will take a long time to recover from, as I suspect will the UK as a whole.

Gordon Browns' recent explanations of that foolish sound byte are as incredible an explanation as I've heard in my entire life. Despite being armed with the benefit of hindsight our PM produced a barely incomprehensible elaboration of a simple and concise, if somewhat ill advised and nuanced, pronouncement. It's obvious Gordon never meant it and knew he was not in a position to deliver a "British anything for any British Person" - but at the time riding high on economic fairy-tale success it was a neat sound byte. A sound byte I might add that even then smacked of BNP sentiments. It was also, ironically, delivered at a time when foreign workers began their massive exodus to the UK to take the very jobs he guaranteed - perhaps Gordon should have talked to the Fitters, Joiners, Electricians and many others who 2 years ago were being savagely undercut by workers willing to bunk up 10 to a cardboard box to gain a foothold in the British success story, and send some Sterling home.

My nephew is a bench joiner, he makes staircases and roof joists in a factory. At the time Gordon was uttering that ill fated phrase my nephews older experienced colleagues were being "let go" and replaced with considerably younger and cheaper Polish joiners. To further compound the loss of the experienced older tradesmen, on whom the young apprentices and tradesmen relied, they now faced the complexities of trying to work in an industrial environment with Polish joiners who could not speak a word of English. Then, pre-depression, everybody accepted it reluctantly, the building trade was booming courtesy of rocketing property prices; it was OK, the older tradesmen could work anywhere, there was plenty of work after all.

Well here we are now, many of the immigrant workers are leaving, and the ones in employment are hanging on to their jobs - still considerably better paid than equivalent jobs in the economies from whence they came.

The Total Lindsey dispute looks as if it may have been resolved, but has it? I can't help feeling that Labour, the party of the industrial working classes, hid behind pretty spin and lied to us about having any commitment to British jobs.

Of course technically they didn't lie; if you are one of the handsomely remunerated bankers who have been baled out and still looking forward to your bonus (perhaps slightly reduced to spare Lord Mandelson from too much embarrassment) - you would be entirely justified in feeling that Gordon delivered on that promise.

All the while the workers picketing the dozen or so industrial sites throughout the UK were being tacitly accused of xenophobia or racism - by a political party purporting to represent them; not the traditionally middle class, Conservative voting, financial sector workers. Accusations of bigotry against striking workers is a tactic successfully deployed in the past, but it should be seen for what it is - a cheap guilt trip courtesy of a Labour party that should have scrapped much of the Thatcher anti-union legislation but didn't. These disgruntled workers are just decent hard working folks, for the majority of whom racism is an anathema. Labour seem to think if a little bit of guilt shuts them up - that's a valid negotiating stand: anything but deal with the real source of their unhappiness. They are right to be angry, where are the £ billions of bail out money for them?

Labour is content to back a French Oil company (Total) in it's desire to employ 100s of Italians and Portuguese workers, sleeping in a barge anchored in Grimsby, working on a £200 million contract in the UK - I'd like to see that happen in France, a considerably more 'Socialist" country than ours. All the while industrial, retail, service and a myriad of other businesses are failing daily - as a direct result of Labour's policies in cahoots with a profligate and greedy banking sector. Labour and the banks are co-conspirators in the biggest betrayal of the working classes in the UK since 10,000 troops were mobilised in Glasgow to stop strikers in their demands for respect and a reduction from a 54 to a 40 hour working week.

I am not a nationalist, I believe in the right of workers to move freely throughout the world to secure gainful employment, there is no conflict in this. The USA depends on international trade for its wealth, but has no problem protecting key industries, as do many other countries - and they rightly do not feel they should apologise for doing so.

If there is one role we should expect our elected representatives to fulfill with complete commitment, without apology for xenophobia or hand wringing over unjustified worries of being accused of racism, it is the protection of it's own voters, taxpayers and indigenous workforce.

Labour's failure to protect British workers has opened the door to the BNP, and to nationalist sentiments - it will be many of their traditional supporters who will embrace the BNP at the ballot box. The anarchist in me, says good - let's punish them, they screwed up big time. On the other hand the Liberal in me says the BNP will bring nothing good - a flawed political philosophy based entirely on tenuous claims of race and nationalism. I also fear the Conservatives will try to build on these corrosive sentiments to secure some additional electoral advantage, probably successfully.

Without corrective action, quick and effective, Labour will be responsible not only for their own long term unelectability (is that a word?) but the demise of the British traits of fairness, tolerance, a sense of liberty, empathy and compassion - or perhaps they already are.

There I've got it out of my system now, I think...

The geeks shall inherit the earth


In a precedent setting act of robbery yesterday in Colorado Springs a pencil necked geek robbed two convenience stores with a Klingon 'Bat'leth sword. The clerks in both stores recognised the weapon immediately, raising suspicions that they were probably technology, science or engineering students paying their own way through university.

Concerns have been raised at the highest level in the UN that this may be the first in many acts of the coming of the 'Thousand Years', and that normally mild mannered compliant citizens throughout the world are losing hope and contemplating direct action.

So fellow geeks let's put things to rights - pick your weapon:
  • Disruptors
  • Lasers
  • Phase pistols
  • Phasers
  • KaBar Combat Knife
  • D'k tahg
  • Qutluch
  • Mek'leth
  • Lirpa
  • Ahn'woon
choose your target and let's take back our liberty.

Oh yeah - don't forget to floss, and wrap up well, it's cold out there.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

British Internet to be closed due to special snow

An anonymous insider reports that Jacqui Smith, the Home Economics minister, convened a meeting of the emergency committee COBRA yesterday to review warnings issued by the Meteorological Office.

In an apparent confirmation Ms Smith announced at a press conference this morning "Due to a special kind of snow predicted to fall today across large swathes of the UK we have no option but to consider switching off the Internet"

"This is not unprecedented" she continued "We have in the past seen falls of special magnetic low friction leaves halting train services and magical underground snow brought the London Underground to its knees on Monday"

Environmentalist George Monbiot in an interview later confirmed that his global warming modeling predicts just such a phenomenon, he elaborated "Our models, constructed from the special high tech kind of Lego with a computer in it, show clearly that just prior to the end of days we will see a special kind of snow. This snow may or may not, through an as yet not understood process, redirect all Internet traffic to a single webserver in the basement of an disused Albanian string factory".

An Internet security expert from the advertising agency Google confirmed that they had been consulted by the Home Economics Office and had agreed to the shutdown "This poses a serious threat to our pay per click scripts which would normally generate 0.0005 cents income at typical UK Internet traffic levels each weekday. In order to protect our grossly inflated share price we felt we had no option but to support Herr Smits proposals to unplug the Interweb".

The single web page to which all web traffic will be redirected is reported to display the following image:

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

British jobs for British workers - v2.0


Good news today, holiday firm Pontin's announced it is to invest £50m in its six UK sites, creating more than 2,000 jobs. The new posts will include catering, retail and bar staff as well as Blue Coats and will involve a mixture of full time, part time and seasonal positions.

So, as my contribution to the plight of the construction workers picketing throughout the UK, I have summarised below, all of the employment opportunities listed on the Pontins web site today:
Bar Assistants - Prestatyn (North Wales)
Allocationist - Blackpool (Lancashire)
Part Time Accommodation Cleaners Brean Sands - Brean Sands (Somerset)
Cashier Assistant - Blackpool (Lancashire)
Holiday Advisors / Receptionists - Blackpool (Lancashire)
Service Support Officer - Blackpool (Lancashire)

Or if you are a bit more of an extrovert you can audition as a Blue Coat.
Skilled scaffolders, welders, fitters, engineers, electricians and technicians throw down your placards and extinguish those braziers - we have plenty of British jobs for you.

For just above national minimum wage you can swap your physically demanding skilled job for the security of serving food or booze to drunken holidaymakers, harbouring resentment over the fact that they can't afford the usual jaunt to the Costa de Summit - or even cleaning or maintaining concentration camp style holiday venues throughout the UK.

Or, dare you dream? Perhaps you could successfully audition as a Bluecoat - taking the stage to warm up for one of the dazzling stellar acts regularly appearing at Pontins, entertainment luminaries such as; Joe Pasquale, Duncan James (ex Blue member i'm told), Toyah Wilcox, Bananarama, Go West or Odyssey (remember 'Native New Yorker').

All is not lost after all, just ignore the nasty Italians giving you the finger, and get your CV off to Pontins today.

Well done Gordon Brown, I must admit I doubted you; but today, without crowing, you came through and delivered British jobs for British workers...

You bet they won't ...


I see the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) has asked businesses and public bodies to promise to do their legal duty to protect the privacy of those whose personal data they hold.

On 28 January the Information Commissioner’s Office celebrated European Data Protection Day by launching the Personal Information Promise. This appears to me to be another costly and pointless initiative, from which the participants will derive a warm feeling inside as they glow with unjustified pride in the belief they are doing something special to protect individual privacy - by publicly signing a promise to do what they are already legally obliged to.

The ICO are the same lazy incompetent arseholes who have failed to hold government departments and agencies to account for the numerous data loss cases over the last few years, and prevent further losses, despite having legal powers to punish those found wanting and mandate amendments to internal procedures and safeguards.

Their solution of course is to ignore their statutory powers and obligations and ask organisations to promise that they will:
1. value the personal information entrusted to us and make sure we respect that trust;
2. go further than just the letter of the law when it comes to handling personal information, and adopt good practice standards;
3. consider and address the privacy risks first when we are planning to use or hold personal information in new ways, such as when introducing new systems;
4. be open with individuals about how we use their information and who we give it to;
5. make it easy for individuals to access and correct their personal information;
6. keep personal information to the minimum necessary and delete it when we no longer need it;
7. have effective safeguards in place to make sure personal information is kept securely and does not fall into the wrong hands;
8. provide training to staff who handle personal information and treat it as a disciplinary matter if they misuse or don’t look after personal information properly;
9. put appropriate financial and human resources into looking after personal information to make sure we can live up to our promises;
and
10. regularly check that we are living up to our promises and report on how we are doing.
Surely the introduction of this initiative is an admission that the ICO thinks organisations are not doing enough to protect our privacy through good data management? The promise seems to be 10 steps that it would be reasonable to assume that any responsible organisation would already have in place as part of their data protection obligations, and if the Commissioner suspects that they are failing to do so prosecutions should ensue - not a meaningless signature on a piece of paper which states the bleeding obvious. What the fuck have these organisations been doing up until now, oh no wait we know - leaving a trail of lost and unencrypted personal data across the country.

And the signatories to this promise? [From the ICO web site]
What speaks volumes is how many of the other 301,000 organisations on the public register of data controllers who haven't promised to look after the personal information they hold.

You may notice one other glaring omission - one that it would be reasonable to assume would be the first to sign up given their poor track record in the past. The same organisation that holds more personal data than any other, one obsessed with collecting, sharing and retaining as much information on the citizens of this fair isle as is possible.

Central government is not a signatory, but will they sign it?

You bet they won't; after all they couldn't push through their multiplicity of database-state initiatives and ID cards if they were obliged to respect privacy now, could they?

Monday, 2 February 2009

Livin' in a box


Evocative metaphorical video encapsulation of political dis-empowerment...

Hattip - Politics from Jed Finkelstein on Vimeo.
Publish Post

David, I have some suggestions for you...


News comes to me that the former "Countdown" presenter Carol Vorderman is to lead an inquiry into the teaching of maths for the Conservative Party.

Talk about "route of least thinking" David - I know you are struggling to get to grips with the complexities of the world around you, but if you want to lead us try to show a bit more original thought please.

In keeping with today's announcement, and just for fun, I thought I would put forward some ideas for candidates to lead inquiries into other subject areas:
  • Steven Hawkins - English
  • Roy Chubby Brown - Modern Languages
  • John 'Two Jags' Prescott - Classical Studies
  • Gary McKinnon - Computing
  • Katie 'Jordan' Price - Biology
  • Nicky 'Nail Bomber' Reilly - Chemistry
  • Dara O'Brien - Physics
  • Banksy - Art & Design
  • Brian Blessed - Drama
  • Amy Winehouse - Music
  • Professor Colin 'Beagle 2' Pillinger - CDT
  • Dwain 'clean now' Chambers - PE
  • Frankie Boyle - Modern Studies
  • Sarah Palin - History
  • Jade Goody - Geography
  • Sir Fred 'RBS' Goodwin - Business Education
  • Alistair Darling - Home Economics
  • Richard Dawkins - Religious Education

Sunday, 1 February 2009

British jobs for British workers =


"Giving skills to British workers to get the jobs that were going to foreign workers"*

WTF?

2 years on from the "British jobs for British workers" speech, Mr Brown claims what he meant is that it referred to training.

Really Gordon, really? I am sorry but that response is so illogical as to not be worth a splenetic outburst - by doing so I may be in danger in giving it some credence...

Oh fuck it, here goes -

I am calling you on this you worthless lying piece of shit; how dare you insult our intelligence? You ineffectual Darwinian insult, you are a fine example of a knuckle dragging throwback bully; a fuckwit of a mealy mouthed, illogical, incapable, incompetent, self serving waste of oxygen. You must be stopped before you lie your way out of your deserved comeuppance for everything you've broken and find some way of blaming the previous administration - by the way; we have your number on that and everything else too - most of us have sufficient 'training' to see you for what you are.

And that's off the top of my head.

Semantics = Bullshit & lies

(* Gordon Brown on the politics show - 1st February 2009)