Thursday, 5 August 2010

Where did she go?

I return from my now customary annual break from blogging renewed, reinvigorated, radicalised and resolute - and in part determined to use as many words beginning in the letter R as is womanly possible, or so it would appear.

Where have I been?

What have I been doing?

With whom and why?

Who cares?

Now that would be telling, that is I mean I will be telling: Such tales I have collected, things I have witnessed - adventure, philosophy, derring-do, psychopaths and mountainpaths, drunken nights in bothies and damp nights under sodden canvas - or to be precise whatever very flammable (as I discovered) artificial canvas substitute modern tents are taped together with.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The wrong kind of snow hits City Chambers...

Following quickly on the heels of universal criticism of the country's councils inability to deal with the right kind of snow over the last few months,  news reaches me of yet another story of the perils of the wrong kind of snow.

So officers from SCDEA had a meeting with the ill fated ex-leader of Glasgow City Cooncil to warn him he was keeping bad company as a result of his nose for Columbian sneezing powder.  Since when were the Drug Squad tasked with protecting a speeding yet paranoid politician who is unaccountably but overwhelmingly emboldened with an unjustified sense of his own omnipotence? Mind you, putting pen to paper to describe the likely effects of Charlie on Mr Purcell results in a description that seems very close to a breakdown of the personality traits of your average politician, sans narcotic alkaloids.

Cocaine changes people, and as somebody who has worked in and around the creative industries I've witnessed these non too subtle alterations close up, often literally, in my face.  Many of the so called high flyers I've met depend almost entirely on drug assistance to fly high; their drive, ambition and ruthlessness derived from the stimulants they chose to consume on a daily basis. Unknown to colleagues their 'success' and the personality to which it is credited is almost entirely dependent on that overwhelming sense of purpose and invulnerability that is in the gift of a gramme or two of Yeyo a day.

Perhaps Stephen Purcell isn't really that driven politician the derisible Scottish Labour movement would have us believe but just another example of an altered personality suffering under the delusion of Coca inspired ambition and superiority.  That would account for him getting very little done whilst giving the impression of being super-humanly industrious - that's pretty much in keeping with your average cokehead, and suspiciously the Labour party in general - hmmmm...

So where do those Labour bloggers Yappy and Smugdale stand on this?  Their silence speaks volumes - and after all that grandstanding over Lunchgate and Sturgeongate (I hate that gate thing)...

Saturday, 27 February 2010

The Poetry of Reality

Having spent the last week immersed in the application of science and engineering, professionally speaking, I was pleased when a colleague sent me a link to this. Just thought I'd share. Have a great weekend.

The Symphony of Science project lives here

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

An offer of assistance...

News comes to my silo that Christine Pratt the boss of the National Bullying Helpline, a fake charity dedicated to passing potential Employment Tribunal claimants to her husband's business which represents them in employment tribunals with 'consultants', is digging herself into a hole quicker than a mole on meth-amphetamine.

I've been involved in the tribunal system on and off over the years, and there is nothing qualified Lawyers, on the claimant's or defendant's side, like better than to be faced with an unqualified 'consultant' in court.  The smile that splits their handsomely remunerated faces in two on discovering that their opponent is represented by a self-appointed idiot tells it all.  But that's an aside.

The BBC reported Mrs Pratt last night as "going through her email" in what looks like an increasingly desperate attempt to prove that she was indeed contacted by the entire staff of Downing Street regarding bullying.

I have one bit of advice for you Mrs Pratt - try the search function - you should find anything within a couple of minutes. Just how you had time between entering a search term, pressing the search button and getting the results to call the BBC to announce your intention to search your email box does confuse me slightly.

Or could it be that you are just incompetent?  If you intend to go through every email you have ever received manually, or print the entire contents of your inbox, you probably are.   So in the spirit of egalitarian support, even for idiots, please let me extend an offer of help - just send me the entire contents of your mail folder and I'll have a look for you - just zip it up and send it to

Rest assured, I promise to adhere to the same high standards of confidentiality as your own organisation...

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Urban Gunfire

Recently I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about the casualties of war; specifically voluntary war waged by the west in far off lands.  These wars are covered by media embedded within one side of the conflict, our side.  It's apparent that our infantilised sensibilities, and the politicians who exploit those, wish only to consider our losses, the brave-hero-soldier-volunteers, rightly afforded dignified ceremony and reams of paper and ink.

But what of the the innocent victims?

Biased casualty coverage is the new propaganda machine, to quote the Wachowski brothers "It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." Politicians in cahoots with our media, the media we deserve, expediently neglect civilian deaths - civilian deaths have considerably outnumbered military deaths in every conflict, this is the true price of war.

This current war, like the others we have waged, is a good war we are told - as Orwell saw it "War is peace, Freedom is slavery and Ignorance is strength." One sided reporting and the military's "we don't do body counts" policy are transparent tactics to secure our support without disturbing our fragile sensibilities. The uncomfortable truth is that around 200,000 - 500,000 civilians have died in Iraq and Afghanistan (some estimates are higher), 3400 civilians died in well documented terrorist attributed attacks in the USA and Europe, attacks used to justify the military action against these countries - how many of their civilians will we kill before we call it a day?   What ratio would you say was fair?  Well don't you worry yourself, there are no official civilian body counts, and no reliable reporting in the mainstream media - so we can all sleep well in our ignorance...

As I've mentioned before the foremost Scottish poet, in my most 'umble opinion, is the incomparable Edwin Morgan.  Obviously Edwin felt the need to express his discomfort with the much neglected reality of war, and of course does it with his characteristic incisiveness and economy of language.
Urban Gunfire

‘Civilians’ are not really, truly, people.
As regimes fall, they’re only ‘caught in crossfire’.
Expendablest of the expendable, they
crawl, or if they’re lucky someone drags them,
to doorways where they slump and shake till nightfall.
How great it must be not to be civilian
or anything but gun in hand, young, mobile,
slogan-fuelled better than machines are,
you cannot even hear the shattered housewife,
far less see her blood and bags and bread, it’s
bullet time between you and your sniper,
hot streaks go shopping, nothing else goes shopping,
no one is out there in the open, we are,
we are it and it is where they vanish
like a clapped piece of tawdry human magic,
too feeble to be seen by psyched-up fighters.
Their cries are in another world. The trigger
is steady as they roll about the tarmac.
And it goes on as if it could not finish.

© Edwin  Morgan
from Sweeping Out the Dark published 1994.

If you want to find out more about Edwin Morgan the Scottish Poetry Library's archive is here, his official website here, or if you want to avail yourself of one of his publications then get on over here.

I recommend all three...

Friday, 19 February 2010


It's been a long week; I've rebuilt mail servers, carried out radio surveys, attended meetings, written reports and finally got around to some billing - mustn't grumble, after 6 months of searching around for any bit of business that would fit my repertoire it's nice to be gainfully employed.

The choices made for me by a well intentioned guidance teacher at 14 set me on this course "No arts! Science and maths - that's what you'll study" my choices of music, art and history binned at the stroke of a red pen.  Although I haven't quite 'lived to regret' that decision there are times, quite often these days, when I wish I had chosen another career - but hey no regrets, at least I have a modicum of marketable skills.

My last appointment of the week was to deliver a younger member of the clan to Glasgow Caledonian University for his degree interview.  I was up at 6:00 this morning to deliver him safely, after dropping him off I drove out of the city centre intent on a walk around Hogganfield Loch to kill some time.

I haven't been there in years, Hogganfield Loch is one of those little idylls in Glasgow, one which I have fond memories of: Playing with brothers and cousins, rowing boats, ice cream and family picnics as I burned in childhood summer sun, you know that sun - the childhood one; hotter, brighter and set in a perfect blue sky, the like of which we never seem to fully recapture as an adult.

This morning couldn't have been further from those distant days (well I'm old for one thing) - it was misty and below freezing, the island in the middle of the loch hidden by mist's gray curtain; occasionally peeking around its veil to show me the vague outline of a denuded winter tree as I circuited the loch's shore.   The confused waterfowl were clumsily skating on the ice capping the loch, stopping to beak-butt the glassy surface in a vain attempt to access the larder below, then skating off to what they believed might be a more rewarding location only to repeat the whole comical beak-ice interface thing again.

I got to a-thinking not only of long gone perfect summers but of the exciting adventure my young charge was embarking upon.  He is being interviewed for admission to a BA course in Journalism, his enthusiasm for this opportunity inspiring to witness.

He has worked hard on his Highers; having given up a sought-after engineering apprenticeship (against the wishes of several family members) and is returning to study in order to pursue this dream. This was the right thing to do, in his case a mature decision based on real life experience.

View this in its stark contrast to the 14 year old high school student choosing subjects that will determine their future, with no life experience and more importantly work experience.  Is it any wonder we have so many colleges and universities offering beauty, health, sport, fitness and other pointless over-subscribed courses - these are students studying subjects based on childish choices, informed by immature interests.

Furthermore is it any wonder we have a population of unhappy, poorly motivated adults and record numbers of mature students?  I have no idea what the solution is, if there is one, what I do know is that to restrict a 14 year old through the imposition of academic blinkers in a second rate target driven education system is damaging to any modern society and the best interests of the individual.

I'm just glad some of us manage to fix the damage before it's too late, perhaps I'll pick up a prospectus from the faculty of arts - now what is it to be, gel nail technician or personal trainer?

This post is dedicated to you R - good luck honey, I'm jealous...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The fear of death, the undiscovered country, laughing at it and emotional immaturity

I noted with alacrity that another blogger took exception to my guest post - expressing, in no uncertain "holier than thou, self-righteous" terms, his immature attitude to the one irreconcilable fact of human existence.  To call my fellow author a cunt is just fine, I defend your right to self expression; of course he is also somebody's son, as the commenter is - as every man, good or bad, is - and in the case of the dead, was.  What's the alternative for your average male?

I know that son, and his sons.  That son has experienced death, in particular the loss of both of his parents in the last few years - he conducted himself with good humour and a resigned acceptance of reality.  Sour faced Mr Cunt Caller may wear big pants when commenting on a blog, but would he call him a cunt to his face?  Would he really?  When confronted by a good humoured, intelligent human being - a father and a son who has the advantage of being able to find humour in death, rather than self indulgent life limiting fear.

I wonder?

Friedrich Nietzsche famously suggested laughter to be a reaction to the sense of existential loneliness and mortality that only humans feel.  Nietzsche put together a very compelling argument that all abstract thought, and in particular laughter, exist only as a result of our mortality, sentience and our inability to accept the inevitable.

This is not a new philosophical stance; past examples include; Shakespeare's human 'being' life and death analysis, in that powerhouse soliloquy in Hamlet Act 3 scene 1 - and the ubiquitous 14th and 15th century dance of death carvings and engravings, which extend us an invitation to laugh at death as an encouragement to live in the moment.

Interestingly both were aimed at inhabitants of a time we now believe to be simple in comparison to us with our sophisticated-modern-intellects.  This was an audience who were more accustomed to witnessing death close at hand and understood its fundamental significance.  They 'simple folks' exhibited a considerably more mature attitude towards death than our contemporary self-indulgent, hotline-backed, childish rejection of the reality of existence.

The very essence of an adventurous spirit, one drawn to the Scottish mountains in winter in this case, is exploration of the unknown and the thrill and challenge of just such.  Such adventures, like life, have a simple binary outcome:

To die


To live another day, and die later

To find death, "the undiscovered country" is the very apotheosis of the adventurous spirit; walkers and climbers, like soldiers, accept that price - no qualms, no cowards.  Those around them who cannot accept their death are unable to accept the simple truth, and rather than celebrate a life worth living they give into the dark shadows of loneliness and mortality.  By illogically and immaturely giving into melancholy and refusing to accept death they negate the value of a positive life and the privilege of having lived and died - is that a suitable mark of their love?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all
Final word to Mr Richard Dawkins
"We are going to die and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place, but will in fact never see the light of day, outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA, so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds, it is you and I in our ordinariness that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred."
 Get over yourself, who are you?  The Mutaween?

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

too fuckin close to the edge award badge

This is not Polaris, I've hijacked her blog while she recovers from having to work a little - puir lamb. Boy will she be pissed wi my post!

Congratulations !!! to Stephen Young.... First Scout to receive the prestigious "Too fuckin close to the edge award badge" dib dib dib

I am hopeless

This morning I was up at the first peep from the bedside alarm; coffee machine on, freezing bathroom, bra and knickers inside-out on the first attempt. Pour freshly made coffee on cup in which I've put a spoon of instant - Yeuk.

I've got a day of surveying a client's site; I do hope it goes better than my morning so far.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

When two galaxies collide...

It's Valentines day, if you haven't heard (yes guys), now I don't put much store in all that patron saint god bothering nonsense but it's nice to see the old axiom that "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" applies equally to the universe and love - and it's heart shaped!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Everything changes, everything stays the same...

I knew I was getting old when I realised that this work of prescient genius was released in 1986 - seems like yesterday - in oh so many ways...

Over to Matt Johnson (The The) performing 'Heartland' - proving, if proof was needed, that nothing changes...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

On Anarchy

I've been rather busy, what with real world work and the like, consequently my blogging has been rather light - let's fix that.

For some time I've been mulling over whether I should air my politics publicly, they are to say the least, unconventional.  The more observant of you may have noticed the little collection of anarchy symbols that adorn my blog on the left hand side, couple that with my obvious adoration of religion, organised systems of control, our political system and the individuals who inhabit those spaces - you've probably guessed but please permit me a little explanation.

After years of political indolence interspersed by engagement - through those periods of frustrated inactivity modulated by almost manic participation in organised politics it became apparent to me that our natural born expectations of freedom and happiness appear to run contrary to conventional political structures.

Nothing I tried quite fitted, I couldn't quite put my finger on it - the differing cuts of the parties and systems just pinched in wrong places. Its been a long journey which has concluded in my belief that, no matter how passionate or motivated an activist is to join a political party and attempt meaningful change from within, the existing structures cannot deliver empowerment and freedom; this is no more realistic a prospect as my very real desire as a child to fly.

'Change from within' - that oft expressed desire of those who are politically motivated - is an acknowledgement of failure; an admission that despite many decades of trying, our democracy has failed miserably to deliver what feels naturally like equitable freedom. If democracy was such a success story, as some would have us believe, why would change be needed? A success would not require new laws every parliamentary term, new legislation on old legislation restricting freedoms further, it would not take human lives, be indifferent to suffering, raise armies and be so open to corruption.

A prison called democracy; that's how I see our political system and its manipulation of our society - it locks us, our desires, passions, natural rights and freedoms in a constructed environment, one that gives our undeserving jailers free reign to exploit their unhealthy passions for power and acquisitiveness.  We are born in prison and we die there; in an unhealthy political system so cocksure and certain of its veracity, its unquestioned superiority, that it will brook no dissent, no discussion required, no debates called for - whilst all the time failing to represent its constituent's rights to basic freedoms.

You got it, I think - I'm an anarchist, I think...

I don't however have the answers, a better system?  Sure let's discuss that seriously, it's important, more important than anything else, ever, anywhere - we have but one life; to spend that in chains in a version of freedom dictated to us by our 'betters', who all the time suspiciously reassure us it's the best we can expect, is wrong.

What I do know is that our current structures, the accepted truths, seem all too often to mitigate against freedom, maybe less so than others, but that is no excuse for refusing to discuss change - what sane man or woman would compromise their life, accept second best?  Life is our only one and true possession of import.  Why would we surrender a worthwhile and free existence to others?  Why is there no serious discussion of exactly how we organise society and politics for the maximum benefit of the individual, now and in future.  Have we accepted this because we are told by others that this is the best we can expect?

The last word goes to Emma Goldman from her essay "Anarchism: What it really stands for"
To achieve such an arrangement of life, government, with its unjust, arbitrary, repressive measures, must be done away with. At best it has but imposed one single mode of life upon all, without regard to individual and social variations and needs. In destroying government and statutory laws, Anarchism proposes to rescue the self-respect and independence of the individual from all restraint and invasion by authority. Only in freedom can man grow to his full stature. Only in freedom will he learn to think and move, and give the very best in him. Only in freedom will he realize the true force of the social bonds which knit men together, and which are the true foundation of a normal social life.

But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism?
Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed?

John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities?

Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities.

Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations.
...rant fin

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

That's like a breach of my human rights or summit...

Me and Chesney, we're best mates, since she got back from the social with a grant for a washing machine wot we spent on booze and fags - what a larf, I haven't had as much fun since we marched to that paeds house and put dog shit through his door.  Chesney told me the local paper said he was like a children doctor or somethin' and he was pissed off, but I said "even doctors can be peeds, innit?"

Her house is better than mine cos she told the housing that the guy up sooo gave her the creeps and they moved her to one of those new ones that were meant to be posh houses till the credit crump.  She told me to do the same, it's not as if we have to give rent or summit. Her house is much bigger, and she hadn't told
buff, innit, thats like,

Monday, 8 February 2010

'Bat'leth in Bridgeton Cross?

Following on from this post of last year I hear that Strathclyde Police intend to add further to their impressive standard side arms issue which currently includes; pepper spray, a chib and Tazer.

Scotland's largest force have set a number of impressive firsts for policing in the UK over the years, being the first force to include baseball caps in their standard uniform and offer Buckfast in force canteens.

The head of Strathclyde's elite firearms unit SRaD (Square gos, Rammys and Doin's), Superintendent Bob Nesbitt announced the introduction of the Klingon sword the 'Bat'leth at a press conference held in the Scotia Bar last night.
"Tazers are all very well, but given the preference of our clients for inflammable sports gear and industrial quantities of alcohol, our trials of this weapon have shown that the average Glaswegian is more flammable than your average Molotov cocktail.  There have been a number of unfortunate incidents involving individuals helping us with our enquiries being burnt to a cinder before we could beat a confession from them in the back of the van"

"After a review of available technology, and given the fact that the average PC already dresses like a Klingon leaving an arms fair, we have decided to issue 'Bat'leths.  These are purely a non-lethal visual deterrent, like CCTV cameras.  I have an assurance from the force training instructors that our officers will be trained to wave their swords about and shout Klingon expletives to ensure compliance in tricky situations."

"Our research shows that the 'Bat'leth is perfectly safe, the manufacturer, CBS Studios, assure us that in the thousands of deployments there has been no record of fatalities."

When the First Minister, Alex Salmond, was asked to comment on Strathclyde's plans he is reported to have said
"Glasgow? Where the fuck is that?"

Sunday, 7 February 2010

European Economics: Statistics Standard Grade

Section 1. - Graphical Interpretation
Q1 (mandatory): Please read the following definitions, using this information and the graph below use one word to sum up the likely financial outlook for the UK, Spain, Greece, Ireland and Italy.
Note: Compound words are permitted
What Does Fiscal Deficit Mean?
When a government's total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates (excluding money from borrowings). Deficit differs from debt, which is an accumulation of yearly deficits.

What Does Gross Domestic Product - GDP Mean?
The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, usually calculated on an annual basis.

What Does Debt Mean?
Bonds, loans and commercial paper are all examples of debt. For example, a government may look to borrow £1 million so they can invest in infrastructure or go to war. In this case, the debt of £1 million will need to be paid back (with interest owing) to the creditor at a later date.

Supplementary question Q1a (optional): What does incompetent mean?

Original definitions courtesy of Investopedia
Chart hattip Olivetree Securities via Financial Times alphaville

Pay a bribe to atone for a bribe...

Okay time for a serious post after a few days of ⌘C and ⌘V - intellectually indolent fun posts are just not enough to quell the torrent of rage I struggle to hold at bay. 

BAE Systems, the UKs largest manufacturer, have agreed to pay the UK government £30 million, and astonishingly the US government the princely sum of £257 million in largess payments to make amends for bribing decision makers, usually foreign governments, to secure lucrative arms deals.  I covered my feelings on BAEs position in this previous post.  Friday's announcement is a cynical move that fails to recognise the reality of doing business, particularly when securing large value contracts within the public sector.  BAE now find themselves forced to pay these additional bribes, thinly disguised as fines, imposed by the SFO and the US Dept of Justice in order to allow them to continue to bid for US and UK government contracts - that sounds like bare faced extortion to me.

As for the US involvement in this case, it doesn't take long to establish just how much the US foreign policy manufactured Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have benefited their world-dominating military industrial complex - one rule for their indigenous arms manufacturers, steel suppliers, aircraft manufacturers, security and service companies, and another for any cheeky foreigners that might have the temerity to compete with them.

Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat MP, is quoted as saying: "I'm deeply concerned that there are very serious allegations of corruption that are not being pursued. There is a very serious question mark over why there has been this apparent capitulation."  This is the same Norman Lamb that claimed just over £1,000 per month in mortgage interest payments for his second home in London. He also claimed £1,826 for refurbishment of a bathroom.

If I understand him correctly Norman is asking when did we replace criminal accountability with bribes to the state? Oh wait, yeah, erm - that would be when we allowed MPs to pay back fraudulently obtained expenses with impunity.  

I'm not fooled by the decision to hang four of their number out to dry, that's a cheap concession to public sentiment, the needs of the many requires a scapegoat, four of the most deserving but least significant of their number were chosen for public sacrifice - a simple, and transparent, self-preserving diversion.  If a decision to prosecute was made fairly all 300 or so fraudsters would be "had up" in front of the beak in the morning; just where is Hazel Blears, Baroness Uddin, Jacqui Smith, the Right Honorable Dirty Moat and Duck House MP Esquire?  Oh yeah, they paid back the state's munificence or made pleadings that satisfied the scrutiny of their peers, an admission of guilt in itself - but prosecution was not in the public interest, why not? I'd be interested.

Since when did the criminal process work this way?

Finally, given the public and spittle flecked MSMs desire to make an example of leaders in the public eye; demonstrated neatly by the John Terry affair (sorry) - a man who was punished for nothing more than a non-criminal personal transgression.  How can cutting Brown, Clegg and Cameron a bit of slack be tolerated - surely they should have set the superlative example when it came to expenses?

The message we should all take from this?

It's okay to steal, so long as you pay it back if you are caught - or if you are wealthy enough; you can pay the state an indulgence to atone for your sin.

Don't even get me started on the (mis)use of public money and facilities by MPs, Lords and MSPs to benefit themselves financially and professionally...

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Geeks nearly destroy space-time continuum

This is an abject lesson in why geeks should not be given control of anything important, imagine if this wasn't a simple live webcast but a nuclear weapon control panel.

You shouldn't just press buttons because they're there boys...

Edit: I would like to thank somebody for correcting my spilling...

Scottish parents struggling with confusing and contrary public health messages

WTF, how did this even happen?  All those millions of pounds spent on health education by the sanctimonious, and Wayne and Waynetta still don't get it, that chair just doesn't look suitable for a toddler - no straps, sides or anything?!

Friday, 5 February 2010

"Anything you say, we know you're guilty"

It's Friday night, and I'm chillaxing (is that how you spell it?).  This is 'Evidence' by the powerhouse that was Faith no More - dedicated, with love, to thieving MPs and my best friend.

Please leave a message after the high moral tone...

I've been an antitheist for most of my life, for those of you who haven't heard the term, an antitheist is like an athiest - without the indifference.

I was raised in the bosom of 'good' west of Scotland religion, firstly the Church of Scotland and then the local Baptist church - the teenage move to happy-clappy baptist bullshit the first indication of my burgeoning discomfort with the hypocritical morality that permeates religious belief and its evil child, blind-faith.

Finally the penny dropped, religion possessed no redeeming features, it was simply a tool used to control the masses - one whose message had been finely honed over centuries to fit fear and ignorance, cynically exploiting our unhappiness with the human existence condition to the benefit of the ruling classes.  In short complete bullshit of the finest quality; sticky, stinky and impossible to swallow without gagging.

As I age, gracefully of course, my cynicism towards all things religious grows; the assumed ownership of the moral high ground and the use of religion to justify all things good and evil (Haiti a good case in point) are hard to stomach - atavistic notions that contribute nothing positive to the undoubted struggle that defines the life of man.  How can anyone justify a military padre or a religious war?

Battles between religious stupidity and realism abound, primarily in the publishing world.  If you haven't read Richard Dawkins bestseller 'The God Delusion' or the wonderful Jerry A Coyne's 'Why Evolution is True', you really should.

On the other side of the debate I recently came across Rick Warren's book "The Purpose Driven Life", a book (and I use that term advisedly) that sets out its ambitious agenda as "A groundbreaking manifesto on the meaning of life" - never in my life have I read such a meaningless pile of drivel, religious mumbo jumbo replete with complete speculation and inspired near-insanity - it is entertaining though.  "The Purpose Driven Life" is heralded by the believers as the most significant book since the bible - personally I wouldn't argue with that; if ever you needed convincing that religion is simply man made cretinism this incoherent jumble of language should do the trick.

Over to Bill Maher to make the same point in his much more relaxed and entertaining style:

Edit: If you wish to read Mr Warren's book Amazon currently have 591 used copies, available from 26 pence - seems a bit expensive to me.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The best we can do?

I find myself increasingly depressed by the lack of real options for change in the forthcoming general election, particularly as a Scottish voter. Scotland is the land of inherited voting and gang mentality political immaturity.

Scots are as likely to change their voting habits as a shark is to choose to start swimming backwards or Amy Winehouse to come out as an evangelical drug-free tee-totaller.

So it's New Labour or the SNP, in terms of policies you couldn't force a one-atom-thick planar sheet of Graphene between them; a fact that on the surface may appear to run contrary to the grotesque posturing we are treated to on a daily basis - dear reader, don't be fooled.

Witness the bizarre stage show, SNP vs Labour - akin to some sort of mating ritual involving the first two males of a new species who have yet to realise the futility of their never ending circular dance, squawking at their respective superficial plumage colour differences whilst stealing coy glances at one another's genitals.  Ultimately pointless and boring to watch.

Honestly what's the difference between them?  Badminton based spot the ball would be easier. 

Nationalists might cite bridge tolls and prescription charges.  Oh well, way to go SNP - that's compelling in a country riven by class division, a failed (once mission critical) financial sector, a public sector that employs more people than the private sector and the fiscal growth potential of the Gary Glitter fan club.  As for New Labour - listening to them reminds me of the talking doll I had as a child - the one whose voice mechanism broke leaving her to repeat the same phrase again and again until I had to drown her. Take your pick of the Labour phrase, if you read Yousuf then 'Glasgow' or 'GARL' would be a nice starter.

If there are any Labour or SNP activists reading this blog I have news for you, that subtle undertone of frustration you may have detected is not limited to me.

Only the bittersweet aftertaste of a hollow victory is to be found on a minority turnout - the complete indifference of the majority of the electorate should be ignored at your peril, it is a symptom of acute disengagement and indifference inspired by insipid idlers in coloured rosettes who appear on doorsteps, begging, every five years or so.

Is democracy, specifically the version we have, really the best we can do?  If it is then I guess it's time the other inhabitants of this planet had a whip round to save our species, we do it for them after all...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem

My apologies if you have seen this before, but it is too good not to share - probably the first ever economics lesson delivered through the medium of rap...

Hayek and Keynes in da hood - both right and wrong. Economics is the only field in which two people can share a Nobel prize for saying opposing things...
More here

A speech about a vote on a referendum about voting reform for elections...

Torygeddon is looming, as New Labour continues its deserved inexorable slide towards defeat...
...deploying my impressive gifts of foresight augmented with simultaneous hindsight I feel pretty confident that's how things will shake down over the next few months. It's not a pretty prediction, and like many commentators I am torn between a natural suspicion of the stench of privilege and patronage that permeates the Conservative party and a solid conviction that the failed New Labour experiment has to be stopped, dead in the water, as soon as possible; for the sake of our ragged and torn country.

Despite the looming head shot of electoral defeat, the one that will finally dispatch him to wherever the undead rest, Gordon Brown continues to stumble blindly (well perhaps just lacking depth perception) zombie like onwards; undeterred by putrefaction and disintegration he makes like it's "business as usual" in post apocalyptic "New Britain's Labour" - or wherever the fuck he thinks it is.

His speech at the ippr today will no doubt centre on a great new idea to ensure a glorious Labour future - electoral reform.  It appears Mr Brown's intention is to rush through a preference voting system and a clamp down on non-UK taxpayers sitting in parliament.  Whether a transferable preference voting system will benefit Labour long term is anybody's guess, although it is likely to divide his already fragmented party in the run up to the election.  However the non-dom reforms will certainly punish the Conservatives in the short term, a cynical move that can be guaranteed universal approval, playing well to the anti-toff sentiments of traditional Labourighteous.

It appears to me that Labour are increasingly desperate to refresh their image in the run up to the election - this 'vote on a referendum on voting reform' is nothing more than a pointless attempt to play the "Labour's still working" card, despite the very opposite being considerably closer to the truth.

From memory no mention of these reforms were made in either the Queens Speech or Labour's legislative program - what has been mentioned, repeatedly, was an accountable and elected second chamber.  Replacing the anachronistic House of Lords with an elected second house would constitute a considerably more significant contribution to democracy than any tweaks to the voting system, who knows perhaps ordinary people might even start voting again - would politicians want that?

Then again what does Gordon care for democratic process? He inherited his job...

Picture courtesy of the talented David Forward at Tractor Stats

Monday, 1 February 2010

So What

Politics - it stinks, words fail me; frustrated and Kind of Blue here, some music to salve the tortured soul is in order - so over to the king of blue...

Mandelbrot just goes on and on and on

For fractals sake, what is Labour's sinister henchman up to now?  Not content with playground games and threatening behaviour he is now asking us to believe that he is able to predict the future.

He claimed yesterday that a Conservative government will "strangle the recovery at birth" - I'm not going to dwell on the insanity of describing a 0.1% improvement in finances as a "recovery" other than to point out that I have a suspicion that the New Labour machine would have reported a 0.0000001% improvement in joke shop sales as heralding the beginning of a recovery - such is their desperation to find a positive outcome after 13 years of blind incompetence.

Now given that New Labour 13 year track record of being unable to predict anything accurately how can Mandelbrot be sure of anything?  Events happen, politicians are caught napping, governments are reactive not proactive - the government of Blair and Brown, Dumb and Dumber if you prefer, epitomise this axiom.

If the Dark-Lord-of-Everything believes for one second that we can trust his confident predictions of impending Tory doom and incompetence he is truly delusional - why should we, how could we? By his trademark arrogance he simply reinforces that which is obvious to all - New Labour's desperation oozes from every pore and the stench of death is overwhelming, it's pitiful.

Chaos - you just can't predict it, it's a bugger innit?

The Scottish Suppression of Information act

Kevin Dunion, our improbably handsome Scottish Information Commissioner is smarting from a severe wedgie delivered at the hands of public bodies.  After the initial hand clapping and plaudits that greeted his appointment in 2003 and subsequent successes; including MSPs expenses, mortality rates and health expenditure, Mr Dunion said in the last few days that “we now have ample evidence that as a matter of course civil servants are turning away perfectly valid information requests which are quite inexplicable.”

He went on to observe that the Scottish Government has adopted a “rather restrictive view of it and is now issuing, almost as a matter of course, refusal notices saying requests are invalid if they make reference to documents."

Just to clarify this, Kevin is smarting at the inability of the public to secure the release of information if it is contained in a document, yes a document - really... If you should make a valid request for the release of information and foolishly make mention of a "document" your request is now deemed invalid.

After a hyper-illogical FOI-emasculating ruling by the Court of Session recently which stated people had the right to information but not the documents which contained that information, the Scottish administration and public bodies are routinely denying every FOI request that makes reference to a document - electronic, hand written or blood on skin parchment, it doesn't matter - you can only request the information in obtuse and tangential ways and without reference to a document.

This insane situation presupposes that you know the answer you are looking for, and I suspect should be based on the press releases, news items and the positive spin and propaganda, rarely critical of the incumbent, that public bodies choose to make public in the first place.  Do you suppose for a second that they have something to hide?  Like the £2million paid in bonuses to Scottish Government staff in 2008-9?  Or perhaps the FOI exempt publicly owned private companies through which millions of pounds of public expenditure are unaccountably routed, such as the Edinburgh City Council owned Transport Initiatives Edinburgh, or Edinburgh Waterfront - not to mention Housing Associations and the vast estate of other ruses adopted by politicians to dilute public expenditure and accountability.

Our Information Commissioner's perineum is obviously red raw by now, so rather than reaching for the E45 and complaining Mr Dunion, what about using some of those powers you have?

Or could it be that you quite like crushed bollocks, a sore arse, the £80-85,000 per annum salary (a 10% increase on 2006), generous pension and an increasingly pointless department that costs us £1,500,000 every year?

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Life in Leith

Queuing in the parky local newsagents earlier today with my Sunday newspapers, the customer in front of me; a pensioner dressed in her Church clobber, right up to the hat and HRH handbag - bible in hand, passed her carefully selected purchases to the sales assistant. I stared with incredulity as I took in her choice of fare; the purchase comprising 4 cans of Carlsberg Special Brew - turning and seeing the look on my face she fixed me with a cheery smile and said "I've hid my god fur the week, this is my devil".

Carlsberg, probably the best reason to attend church...

Friday, 29 January 2010

Watch out there are bloggers about...

On my return from a head-clearing wander around Leith on Monday morning, the only weekday time when you can be sure of a hassle free amble, I was passed by a panda car leaving the cul-de-sac.

When a police car appears in my quiet corner of Leith it is usually of some significance; the last time the boys in blue were in the locale, some time ago, it was at the behest of my neighbour who had his motorcycle hoisted into the back of a panel van in the early hours and whisked off; to wherever stolen motorcycles are taken to be given a new identity or broken up.  The subsequent statement taking and promises of a thorough enquiry resulting in nothing more than a risible insurance payout and a hike in his insurance premiums that rendered future bike ownership an unaffordable dream - 6 months on he has no bike and the joys of public transport to console him.

Back to Monday's panda car departure - Imagine my surprise when I found a little yellow note, an 'MP19' Police Message, with a business card attached, pushed through my letterbox.  On scrutiny it appeared that a Sergeant would like me to help him with an 'Enquiry'; two wrongly routed telephone calls through the astonishingly incompetent police call centre later I eventually managed to make contact with the elusive Sergeant via email.

The reason for his visit?

A blogger, based locally, had complained repeatedly to the police about me - alleging that I had embarked on some kind of campaign, threatened him and that I was involved in a sophisticated high level viral marketing campaign backed by the, I feel ill just typing it, Scottish Labour party.

Stunned and more than a little angry just about comes close to my reaction...

So to round this up, just a couple of points Herr Bloggermeckern
  • I don't just blog I have a life, offline so to speak - you should try it, it's big out there
  • I am an anarchist, maybe a lefty minarchist - I don't know if that is possible, and do not care
  • I have no connection with any organised political party, I may have had in the past, not now - you cannot organise anarchists any more than you can atheists or cats for that matter
  • I despise what the Labour party has become, it is now the very epitome of lowest common denominator, freedom hating pseudo liberal fascism
  • I mistrust all politicians
  • I reserve the right, here on this blog, my blog, to express my opinions - if you don't like them you can fuck off elsewhere, there are interweb sites for everything and everybody - try Google, it's a search engine
  • If you are dyslexic and not just stupid as I suspect, use a spellchecker and stop bleating about it - it means the square root of nothing to me; I have trouble with complex numbers but I don't feel the need to broadcast it
  • Don't use a sexual pen name and expect to be taken seriously
  • If you are so fragile and as easily upset as you obviously are I can recommend arts & crafts in preference to blogging; macramé a straight-jacket or perhaps you could needlepoint a coherent blog post with a well constructed argument - there is a first time for everything
  • You cannot make up laws in your jumbled mind and then report them to real world law enforcement, it doesn't work like that - it's a waste of time for everybody
  • I know you regularly visit my blog, if you wish to engage in a conversation please email me - I'd love hear from you...
That is all, bloody bloggers hmmph

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Much ado about very little...

BRITAIN emerged from recession today as the economy grew by 15p.

The Office of National Statistics confirmed the end of the longest downturn in post-war history thanks to a chubby woman in Doncaster buying a Cadbury's Boost from a Shell garage at 11.20pm on New Year's Eve.

Touché Daily Mash; read more here...


What is THAT affectation like?

Monday, 25 January 2010

Normal service will be resumed...

It will be; I've just got a few real world things to deal with.

If you do accidentally find your way here and are wondering if I am dead, I am not yet - but it is the one sure thing in life - so live it, I am trying.

In the meantime here's a 'news' story that caught my eye, courtesy of those very funny folks at

Activists Missing After Declaring “War on Leather” at Motorcycle Rally
Activists Missing After Declaring “War on Leather” at Motorcycle Rally Johnstown, PA (GlossyNews) – Local and state police scoured the hills outside rural Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after reports of three animal rights activists going missing after attempting to protest the wearing of leather at a large motorcycle gang rally this weekend. Two others, previously reported missing, were discovered by fast food workers “duct taped inside several fast food restaurant dumpsters,” according to police officials.

“Something just went wrong,” said a still visibly shaken organizer of the protest. “Something just went horribly, horribly, wrong.”

The organizer said a group of concerned animal rights activist groups, “growing tired of throwing fake blood and shouting profanities at older women wearing leather or fur coats,” decided to protest the annual motorcycle club event “in a hope to show them our outrage at their wanton use of leather in their clothing and motor bike seats.” “In fact,” said the organizer, “motorcycle gangs are one of the biggest abusers of wearing leather, and we decided it was high time that we let them know that we disagree with them using it…ergo, they should stop.”

According to witnesses, protesters arrived at the event in a vintage 1960’s era Volkswagen van and began to pelt the gang members with balloons filled with red colored water, simulating blood, and shouting “you’re murderers” to passers by. This, evidently, is when the brouhaha began.

“They peed on me!!!” charged one activist. “They grabbed me, said I looked like I was French, started calling me ‘La Trene’, and duct taped me to a tree so they could pee on me all day!”

“I…I was trying to show my outrage at a man with a heavy leather jacket, and he…he didn’t even care. I called him a murderer, and all he said was, ‘You can’t prove that.’ Next thing I know he forced me to ride on the back of his motorcycle all day, and would not let me off, because his girl friend was out of town and I was almost a woman.”

Still others claimed they were forced to eat hamburgers and hot dogs under duress. Those who resisted were allegedly held down while several bikers “farted on their heads.”

Police officials declined comments on any leads or arrests due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, however, organizers for the motorcycle club rally expressed “surprise” at the allegations.

“That’s preposterous,” said one high-ranking member of the biker organizing committee. “We were having a party, and these people showed up and were very rude to us. They threw things at us, called us names, and tried to ruin the entire event. So, what did we do? We invited them to the party! What could be more friendly than that? You know, just because we are all members of motorcycle clubs does not mean we do not care about inclusiveness. Personally, I think it shows a lack of character for them to be saying such nasty things about us after we bent over backwards to make them feel welcome.”

When confronted with the allegations of force-feeding the activists meat, using them as ad hoc latrines, leaving them incapacitated in fast food restaurant dumpsters, and ‘farting on their heads,’ the organizer declined to comment in detail. “That’s just our secret handshake,” assured the organizer.

For more on this story, check with the ultimate hoax busting site to track late-breaking developments.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Bankers address Treasury Committee

The chief executives of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Northern Rock and the Lloyds Banking group faced questions from the Treasury Committee today.  The commitee is chaired by New Labour's "old Labour" attack dog, the one that can count, John McFall.

RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester
addressing the Treasury Commitee today

McFall rose to prominence through his association with Christmas hampers and the redefinition of repentance at the hands of banking chief executives. He was widely viewed as the most suitable candidate for the Chair of the Treasury Committee on account of him being the only person in the Labour party who can understand duodecimal, thanks to his pre-decimal education.

RBS chief executive Stephen Hester was quizzed on expected bonus payouts and on his own pay package, worth a potential £9.6m. Mr Hester said he is the only FTSE 100 chief executive with a 'no reward for failure' clause in his contract, but admitted that even his parents think he earns too much.

When questioned on his plans to deal with the public disapproval on the announcement of bonus payments he responded that he was planning to "go on holiday for a long time".

He said RBS, which is 84% owned by the taxpayer, had "led the way" on pay reform in some ways, but not in the actual reduction of bonus payments.

Mr Hester told the committee that plans to return RBS to private ownership within three to five years were on track; just as long as we would be kind enough to continue propping up his failed enterprise long enough for them to retain some profit after bonus payments.

It's expected that bonus payments in excess of £1billion are due to be paid to bank employees in the next month.

Well we can't have the bwankers suffering, can we?  It's not as if they did anything wrong...

Yes yes, I know, this is just a wank joke.

But there is serious point, if I could just remember it...

32% of front line legislators unfit to vote, Public Whip figures show

I must state publicly that I am not entirely convinced by the blanket 'brave-soldier-hero' guff wheeled out by the MSM and even less by the 'case for war', however the breathtaking hypocrisy of legislators leaves me speechless - fortunately I can still manage a rant on my blog. You may think my comparison with commons division attendance ad hominen - I've spend the morning crunching the numbers from the Public Whip website and let me assure you it is far from it.  The next scandal?  It should be, I wonder if the figures on attendance in debates are available?

Believe me, if soldiers in the first world war achieved attendance figures close to that of the average MP, they would have been shot for desertion.

I decided to base my response on this headline piece as reported this morning by the BBC webshite, here goes:

32% of front line legislators unfit to vote, Public Whip figures show

More than 1,000 personnel suffered combat injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, their participation in increasingly unpopular wars of attrition nodded through by New Labour and Conservative politicians with no concern for legality or the probity of the case for war.

In an astonishing case of absolute cowardice on the part of legislators, and an attempt to distract the public from the real villains in this debacle the Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin [claimed > £60,000 on his expenses to rent his sister-in-law’s farmhouse, just over the road from a country home part-owned by his wife, voted for an illegal war in Iraq] has attempted to obfuscate the collective ineptitude and liability of the honorable members of the Commons by publicising deployment figures.

In an audacious act of self aggrandisment and diversion, that can only be interpreted as an attempt to further undermine the MOD and service personnel, Mr Jenkin cast doubt over the competence, commitment and fitness of service personnel - thinly disguised as concerned for injured service personnel.

According to Mr Jenkin military deployment availability stands at 80%, or as the BBC pejoratively put it '20% of army infantry personnel - are unfit for frontline combat duties'. Public Whip figures show that almost 209 MPs - or 32.19% of elected legislators are unfit for frontline voting duties at any one time .

Some are not fully deployable because of physical or mental injury or illness, or lack of fitness, others because of non-medical reasons - but mainly because they cannot be arsed working for their well above average salary packages.  Compare if you will the salary of an infantry soldier to the generous pension, salary and expenses extended to MPs.

The data from the Public Whip website showed that since 2005 in 151 divisions (votes, where the common 'divides') the commons had fewer than 50% (323) fully deployable legislators.

The MoD said most classed as medically non-deployable could still contribute, however MPs that fail to vote make no contribution - they are neither penalised financially or held to account, nor required to offer explanation.

Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, who obtained the information, told the BBC: "To have 20% of the infantry unfit for the duties they are primarily employed and trained for is quite a staggering figure. Erm Bernard, not as staggering as your hypocrisy, Bernard Jenkin's voting attendance since 2005 sits at 64.5%.
As I see it Mr Jenkin, and every other MP who voted for the war, this is down to you.  Your headline grabbing attempt to bolster your reputation as a defence specialist only emphasises the UK government's willingness to bend over and take one up the arse for the USA and its military industrial complex - then complain about the pain afterwards.  It throws into stark relief your misguided collective decision to go to war.

You broke it, you fix it - and stop stating the bleeding obvious; the infantry are acquiring injuries and dying, what the fuck did you think would happen? At least they turned up..

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The fall of a dynasty, NornIron styleee...

I am watching the whole Robinson dynasty disintegration bemused, an all too rare occasion to enjoy the hypocrisy of the judgmental deliciously spiced with the deserved comeuppance of an arrogant First Minister and his lunatic god-bothering wife.

I heard this morning that a Belfast radio station has been playing Mrs Robinson, the iconic Simon and Garfunkel song, constantly, as a result of the volume of requests from its listeners.

I know NornIron fairly well, I worked there in the 1980's - on my first visit my car was nicked and found burnt out in east Belfast.  It was a brand new, and at the time I thought cool, Ford Orion Ghia, in white.

The RUC officer, who turned up in an armoured Land Rover, dressed like robocop and armed to the teeth, took my statement, and as I bemoaned the loss of my lovely car, and noting my tears he turned to me sympathetically and said
"Never mind love, it's only an Escort with a boot - you can buy a proper car next time"
Self deprecation and the ability to laugh in the face of adversity is something I admired in the folks I met in war torn Belfast and something that we across the UK share.

So here's to you Mrs Robinson

Hattip: Plato

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Let it snow...

View from my bedroom window
I got up with a start this morning, excited, hoping that the forecast might be wrong (I know, pretty much a safe bet these days) - I pulled back the bedroom curtains and smiled.  For a few seconds I stood transfixed, happy, my eyes following the large fluffy snowflakes tumbling slowly down with childlike excitement - I love that 'big reset' the familiar built environment around me undergoes as it is wiped clean by the snow.  What I didn't realise this morning was that I had an audience; my neighbour removing the snow from his car below my bedroom window, he was kind enough to smile and wave. His stupid grin the last thing I saw as I launched myself backwards, embarrassed, ninja like (I wish) onto the still warm bed, wishing I had put on those pyjamas my mum was kind enough to give me for Christmas.

Undeterred by my inadvertent 'show', I washed and dressed in something warm, put on my scarf, hat, gloves and big woolly jacket and ventured out; picking up a newspaper an excuse to walk in the snow and indulge the child in me...

I love the snow, I am transported back to my 7 year old self every time it snows; I like walking in it, I feel more alive - the chill on my cheeks and the crunch underfoot an exquisite reminder of how beautiful this little watery world can be and how insignificant mankind is. I never fail to be startled by the anechoic characteristics of a snowbound environment, distant dominant noises suppressed and quiet close by sounds amplified and crystal clear in the unusually still air.  It's magic...

The adult in me, and the nihilistic anarchist, loves the fuckwittery a spell of bad weather brings out in normally well balanced folks and the great institutions of state and commerce.  A kick in the balls to hubris and delusional believers in their own omnipotence.

Bring it on: Economic disaster, public cattle-transport services rendered useless, plummeting footfall in the cathedrals of retail commerce, pathetic counter-intuitive Met Office lectures on climate vs weather by the acolytes of green fascism that raise more questions than they answer, power-plays over dust by government departments/agencies/councils, helf and safety nonsense of super-Daily-Mail proportions and the discovery of more English words than we knew to describe the cataclysm that is snow - our infantilised mainstream media and press laid bare and unable to say anything original, simply indulging in a repetitive spiraling nauseating weather based disaster chant.

Snow is my friend -

Let it snow...

Friday, 8 January 2010

Do politicians lie?

Well I know that neocons do - they say zealots are blind to inconvenient truths but this pronouncement really defies belief: 

Where was he when 9/11 kicked off?  He was the Mayor of New York, who publicly pronounced that he was glad that George W. Bush was resident in the White House - surely he couldn't have forgotten that?

Cause or effect?  Some of the nine eleven/Al Quaeda deniers are very excited - asserting that his "slip" is proof absolute that there was some sort of conspiracy.  This interview has gone viral in hours.

Personally?  I think it's much simpler; he is a fucking idiot and a liar - having told so many expedient lies in his career that he has finally tripped himself up, publicly. And that's par for the course for shabby grasping politicians the world over.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Marxist philosophy...

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

Groucho of course, and I predict that we'll see lots of just this in the run down to the election.

Confusing surnames...

It's not often I am entertained by PMQs, in fact for most of yesterday's clash of the petitans it was the usual pissing contest - rendered even more nonsensical by the frisson of an impending election.

To extend my tortuous metaphor further; I do wish Brown and Cameron would keep their respective election erections in their pants - the fact that both of them share a boner when called upon to perform solo is, for most of us swooning ladies, an unedifying spectacle - Oh Mr Brown, Mr Cameron I am undone...

However after a shot across their bows, so to speak, by the usually somnambulent speaker John Bercow thusly
Order. May I just say to Members on both sides that we are not on the hustings now?
the farce descended into a tragic derivative comedy, cleverly based on the ambiguous use of our Chancellor's surname (the relevant exchange can be read in full here) - in a bewildering Blackadder-esque homo erotic parody. A lesson in why politicians, like the little boys they are, should be seen and not heard. Read and weep:
DC: The difference between me and the Prime Minister is this: when I lean across and say, "I love you, darling," I really mean it. The only divorce that has taken place is between this Prime Minister and reality.

GB: The Right hon. gentleman talks about love and marriage, when he is the person who cannot give a straight answer on the married couples allowance

DC: If the Prime Minister wants to turn this around and make it Prime Minister's questions, he should get on and call the election. Then there would be all the time in the world to kiss and make up.
And this gentlemen, is how to do it -

No need for policies guys, the revolt is over...

It was a close thing today; for a picosecond or two it looked like the Tories might actually have to come up with some policies before the general election.  The 'Hoon-Hewitt letter non-event' had the Tories sweating, even more oleaginous than usual - if you can imagine that?

For a fleeting moment their dark hearts sank at the thought of the loss of their one major election asset - Gordon Brown.

Fortunately for Osborne and Cameron even has-been-now-went New-Labour MPs, specifically Geoff and Patricia, maintain standards in competence that ensure nothing they ever put their hands to will succeed.  Maintaining a 110% KPI in incompetence and abject failure is now a New Labour tradition, the only tradition; and even this headline grabbing coup was destined to scream to the ground in flames from the get go.

Support, timing, research - you know all those things that go into planning a successful project, all blithely ignored by two wannabe rebels; in a neat reminder (as if we needed one) of why these grasping idiots should not be given control of the Westminster tuck shop, let alone anything of importance.

So the George and Dave Roadshow can rest easy tonight in the knowledge that they won't have to face David Millipede PM across the dispatch box before the election - because that would really have swung it in Labour's favour, wouldn't it?

Well he's formidable isn't he?

So credible and authoritative

           with that banana and everything.......

EDIT: A veh funneh tek on teh hole "coo fer a noo leeduh" buy Librel Conspiracy

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The minister for street parties - pardon?

I was in the kitchen last night packing the shopping away, radio on, when I thought I heard 'The Dark Lord Madelson' announce in sombre tones that
"I am, none the less, very happy to take ministerial responsibility for street parties. Perhaps I shall leave others to take responsibility for the mugs."
"What the fuckety fuck was that" I thought as I turned to stare at my kitchen DAB in disbelief, frozen - looking for some kind of confirmation to quell my incredulity - wishing I'd bought the more expensive one with replay.

I wasn't sure if it was a comedy show I had mistaken for news - I did check the date, just in case I had tripped into an event horizon on the way back from Tesco and traveled forward to the 1st of April.

But no, it was genuine - noteworthy in its improbability alone.

While we're at it, let's get everybody else involved in the organisation of the celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee; what about John Prescott in charge of catering, Alistair Darling can look after fund raising (after completing an RBS Moneysense course), the Met Office can do the weather predictions and Gordon Brown can arrange the deckchairs...

The mugs? We'll leave the Labour whips to deal with those as usual.

New Labour are not exactly my natural first choice as the party Party; I imagine stray dogs eating Iceland party food off wallpaper paste tables lining deserted streets, accompanied by a tinny "Things Can Only get Better" playing through police van PA speakers.

If there is any natural justice none of these wankers will actually be involved in politics by 2012 anyhoo - much implausible ado about nothing, as they say.

Mandelson - minister for parties, I've heard it all - that's one of the signs of the apocalypse innit?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Call me Dave, consultants, the NHS and pianos

David Cameron, the straight guy in the comedy duo Osborne and Cameron (doesn't bode well for an entertaining election campaign, does it?) is going to abolish targets in the NHS, well apart from the important targets - he'll employ an army of consultants to decide which ones those are. "I’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS" yeah right CallmeDave - and I personally will swallow a fucking grand piano, whole...

Germany finds innovative way to track swine flu innoculations...

News from Germany via the Neue Westfälischen:

It appears that Bielefeld has seen it's first victim of swine flu (Schweinegrippe - you've got to love German), there are ten other cases isolated in the Respiratory centre at Gilead hospital.

The good news is that the staff have all been inoculated - and in a characteristically efficient way of tracking those protected by vaccination it would appear that the hospital are removing one finger from the left hand - just to avoid any confusion you understand, and much less controversial than a tattoo...

Misomaniac me...

I sit aghast at the irrelevance of it all; modern mainstream media craves our attention, insisting we sit up and take notice of the latest non-news or un-entertainment, a never ending stream of inaccuracy and irrelevance that matters not a jot to us, the ordinary consumers - intellectually somnolent victims of our own indifference.

I chose the word consumers after much consideration, the result of my long term search for the correct description of the residents of the UK; we aren't citizens, we are no longer technically subjects under a powerless crown - consumers has the right feel.

Gentle readers please forgive me for this self indulgence, misomania grips my black soul today - I hate everything about this miserable country; our dumbed down, celebrity centric, joyless, weather obsessed, unrepresentative democracy, anti-science and technology, PC placatory society is doomed I fear.

This is not only the opinion of a slightly depressed and disillusioned blogger, well it may be, indulge me further -  consider if you will, the evidence;
  • We have one political party with two leaders, New Labour or Conservative - what's the choice?  A new portrait on the staircase wall of 10 Downing Street the only sign of change
  • We enjoy debts that will cripple our economy for decades, and we do enjoy it - whether we are complaining (a national pastime, which I also enjoy), spending on the never-never or watching the value of our homes increase - patting ourselves on our backs for our financial prowess, but secretly wondering if it really is down to us?
  • Our education system is a nonsensical jumble of politically correct, but academically incorrect, training
  • We hate our children, well technically everybody else's kids
  • More people are members of the RSPB than political parties, birds - yes feathered, and mainly flying, dinosaur descendants are of more import than political process and a desire to seek change by influence from within - FFS
  • Our political classes are out and out career criminals, with the remorse instincts of Kubla Khan
  • Manufacturing industry is now restricted to the manufacture of components for the construction of new supermarkets and retail units in which we sell foreign manufactured goods to each other, units in which we regularly congregate to worship at the feet of the gods of Avarice and Arrerage
  • The "great British" press, mainstream and broadcast media stuff our gullets with an unending diet of trivial mind numbing shit then pillory us for indulging in reactionary protest, negativity or leaning too heavily on the drug of our choice in a vain attempt to blank out the pain
  • We know the price of nothing and the value of nothing
  • We wage war against anybody who does not believe that their country would not benefit from all of the above
I could go on but my laptop keyboard is now awash with tears of blood, I'd better switch it off and dry it out, in preparation for round two.

So much for my new year optimism - 5 days in and I'm yet again considering emigration or revolution - oh well, mustn't grumble...

EDIT: So I am not alone in my new year blues after all, and the Devil believes he has an answer

Monday, 4 January 2010

The Most Useless Machine - Ever!

This will be part of a new series of posts for 2010 - "The Most Useless ***** Ever", suggestions gratefully received.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Yemen - the explosive underwear capital of the world

We have a new bogey-man, well bogey-state as it appears to be.

So a Nigerian, who studied in the UK appears to have been radicalised in a brain-washing nomad's tent, sited in a desert, in a country before now only known to stamp collectors.

Just more of a fear agenda than reality methinks. The USA, and the UK - still manifesting itself as a pair of feet hanging out of the star spangled arsehole - have announced today that they have withdrawn their ambassadors.  Can somebody please inform me of a single reason why the withdrawal of our senior diplomats, in a country until 2 days ago completely off our intelligence service's radar, will make any difference?  Fucked if I know.

It might add to a heightened climate of fear though, cynical old me...

And Yemen? They will only allow us to embark on an anti-terrorist campaign within their borders if we give their failing state money, after all they are running out of oil and water.  A country that is devoid of water is not exactly a tenable location, for terrorists or citizens - Al Qaeda would be as well siting themselves in the Atacama desrt - no rainfall there, ever...

Do not be fooled, this is not about a terrorist threat, this is about a Shock Doctrine; never ending war and fear binding us, the targets we are told, to the welcoming arms of our failed democracy.

Who's next?  Well he did study in the UK, what about us?  We're broke also...