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It seems this was actually real

I was something of a fan of “Yes Minister” in its day. You may recall the episode where the establishment faked a euro crisis to Hacker could appear tough, face down the European bureaucrats and become PM. When I first heard about the £1.7B, I thought of that episode. I found it nearly impossible to believe this was real. But it looks like my cynicism was misplaced. I thought we were dealing with Machiavelli; it seems we were tangling with Mickey Mouse.

Consider the following: If you were the CFO of an organisation and you presented the CEO with a bill for £1.7B that you hadn’t expected (but were nonetheless contractually bound to pay), you would be fired that day. You might face charges for negligence. Politicians hold themselves to much lower standards than they expect from the rest of us.  You wonder if anyone is reading the contracts, We know Ken Clarke famously didn’t, is anyone?

If you were the EU and you absolutely wanted to give anti-EU parties an open goal, you could do no better than start throwing large unexpected bills at sceptical nations. This is self-destructive behaviour writ large. It’s a while since I’ve read “Atlas Shrugged” but at one point in the book, the central government proposes extra taxes on the more successful states to subsidise those nearer the final collapse. That didn’t end well.

This apparently works out at about £80 per taxpayer. For me, this puts it on a very personal level, as if one of our European overlords was going around sticking a gun in our faces and demanding the money from each of us. Guido reminded us this week of the words Shakespeare attributed to Henry V

“Come thou no more for ransom, gentle herald. They shall have none, I swear, but these my joints, Which, if they have, as I will leave ‘em them, Shall yield them little. Tell the constable”

Somewhat stronger than “I’m not paying by December 1st

Modern Art & Godzilla’s Butt-Plug

Now, don’t call me old fashioned here. I am a liberal kinda guy butt (ho ho!) this shocked me…

This is Paul McCarthy’s “sculpture” “Tree” exhibited (this stuff writes itself) in France. The only reason I spotted that was I first misread the link as “Paul McCartney’s butt-plug in Paris”.

Anyway, it lacks any artistic merit other than the capacity to shock. Now, I note I said I was shocked but not in the way Paul McCarthy meant. It isn’t “challenging”, it’s just dreadful. It’s shocking in a way because it is so boring.

Marcel Duchamp produced “challenging” art a hundred years ago and some of it was quite clever. This is more sh’ite than an Ayatollah. Things that I am specifically interested in such as maths, physics, aviation and computing have made tremendous advances in the last 100 years but art seems stuck in a rut of childish petulance where you can win a Turner Prize (God knows what Turner would make of it) for puking into a jiffy bag and mailing it to The Pope.

So, this “installation” was vandalized by outraged Parisians and whilst I deplore vandalism I can kinda see where they were coming from. Oddly enough the first Dada exhibition actually provided a hammer for visitors to smash the exhibits. That was new and dappy and kinda cool back then. It has now become very serious. It has caused Mr McCarthy to do this…

McCarthy decided against re-erecting the Tree, which was deflated by security officials, and has instead planned an artistic response. Paris Mint spokesman Guillaume Robic said the chocolate factory was already up and running and had been producing 250 chocolate Father Christmas figurines, each with a butt plug, each day for the past few days. Eleven rooms where the figurines are stocked have been made dark to resemble a long tunnel. Visitors will be able to move through the halls, where there will be a strong smell of chocolate, and where a video and “aggressive sounds” will be playing. “It’s a dream, or a nightmare,” Robic said. “It reflects the aggressiveness that McCarthy felt after what happened in the Place Vendôme.”

The chocolate factory – a reproduction of a 2007 installation by McCarthy in New York – is operated by pastry makers who have been trained to perform by McCarthy.

Alas dear reader you can’t expect a butt-plugged choccy-wocky Santa in your Christmas box for they go on sale in January.

I shall re-iterate I am not a philistine and I like some modern art but what really shocks me is the capacity of these folk to get away with shock for the sake of shock. More than that the capacity of certain people to fall for it. I mean it isn’t shocking in the way intended. I mean you can buy a butt-plug in Anne Summer’s on Market Street in Manchester. There is nothing shocking about McCarthy other than he is considered shocking, provocative, challenging etc which he isn’t any more than a small child having their tenth tantrum of the day.

I might go out with my watercolours and paint landscapes of the Peak District. Now that would flummox the critics.

But before I go… I have to mention the “comedian” Jimmy Carr who apparently at a music awards do recently made some off-colour remarks about Oscar Pistorius. Oh, they were edgy! They just weren’t funny. To commandeer a phrase from the Duke of Wellington, “In comedy there is no substitute for being funny”.

Like Paul McCarthy (with his admittedly hilarious strop on (or should that be strap-on?)) Jimmy Carr has jumped so many sharks he ought to be working at Sea World.

It is the same thing. I am not offended except by the fact I am expected to take offence. If your only trick is to offend the Daily Mail and Nick ain’t leaping at the bait I couldn’t give a…

…I could have used some “bad words” there but what is the point?

I mean these are people who shouldn’t get a fuck in a monkey whore-house with a truck-load of bananas.

And the Moral of this story is…

Another Islamist convert with shit for brains has gone on the rampage in Canada. He killed a soldier doing his duty, who never in a million years would have thought his life at risk standing guard over a War Memorial. But then he got taken out himself before he could kill other innocent people.

He was ushered out of this life by the Canadian Parliament’s Sergeant at Arms no less. No spring chicken or macho man he, and now being hailed a hero, though I’m sure that he will say he was only doing his duty.

Well my point is this… he had a gun in his drawer in his office and was allowed to do so. He had never had occasion to use it in 30 years of service for the RCMP, but when he needed it, it was there, a tool for him to use. So when do I get allowed to carry a gun? I have a phone and an iPod, a notebook and pens in my shoulder-bag, when do I get to tuck a Glock in there as well,for those times, you know, for those days you are walking through a shopping centre in Mumbai, or a University campus in America, or just down the leafy avenues of Hungerford, and something goes very unpleasantly wrong? I think we know the answer don’t we folks? Never!

Can you imagine a tooled up Black Rod? Neither can I, but I would like to.

Quote of the Day

Trigger Warning: Facts.

From a piece at TechRaptor about the GamerGate controversy. If you haven’t heard of GamerGate (think JournoList with videogames), TechRaptor’s a good place to start.


Now some of this sounds standard Daily Fail dodgy but I hope there is some truth in this.

It would appear that those fun-lovers of ISIS (or whatever they call themselves) are scared of being killed by a woman. Apparently they fear they shall not go to Heaven (or even Hebburn). Well, quite frankly, fuck ‘em.

And they can join the Witch King of Angmar.

But if even only half of the Mail article is right then swing on sisters!

I raise doubts as to the veracity because near it was a story about ISIS getting their paws on an “airforce” consisting of a small number of Syrian MiGs (21/23) which are antediluvian anyway and the idea these half-wits can train pilots and ground crew to a pitch where they could challenge NATO et al is three stops from Dagenham. With three knackered fighters! Against a squadron of late block F-16s. Give me strength.

The only power ISIS has is their moral depravity and the sheer terror that precedes it and follows in it’s wake. That is why the Iraqi Army downed tools and fled (that and Iraq is not a “real” country in the sense that say France or the USA is). ISIS wouldn’t put you in a POW camp for the duration. They’d crucify you – literally. If you were lucky. Unless you have something definite to believe in why fight? In ’91 Iraqi soldiers flogged their rifles for a bus ticket home.

So, if it is true that ISIS are pant-wettingly scared of being slotted by a woman then…


What pathetic scoundrels they truly are!

We in the entire civilized planet will fight – women and men.

Because we believe. I don’t know what we believe in exactly but we do believe.

Dumb Terrorists of the week…

From The Guardian

Two men accused of being involved in a terrorist plot in London were covertly recorded as they apparently prepared to buy a firearm, the Old Bailey has heard.

A listening device in their car recorded them using the codewords “sausage” and “sauce” to describe items they planned to purchase, the jury was told.

Their intentions appeared to become clear, however, when one of the men, Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, asked: “What’s the sausage?” His alleged accomplice Erol Incedal replied: “Bullets.”

One of them had been a-jihadi-ing in Syria. They were clearly on the radar but if you can’t remember a code consisting of two words…

It reminds me of a bunch of Hamas-types who blew themselves with a car-bomb because they refused to live on “Zionist Time”. Fortunately they were in the middle of nowhere.

It took the IDF etc a while to figure that one. Well, it would wouldn’t it?

What the hell has this got to do with government?

You know they’ve run out of anything relevant to say, when they start going on about things which are:

(a)    None of their fucking business

(b)   Pretty much irrelevant

(c)    Entirely optional and

(d)   Arbitrarily chosen

Case in point, the ludicrous department of culture, media and sport’s intervention on the cost of tickets to football matches.  It is not clear to me why a supposed conservative government thinks the market doesn’t work just fine when it comes to pricing tickets for premiership and championship football.

Presumably, if Arsenal or Manchester City or whoever quadruple prices, their attendances would drop.  This is entirely a matter for them.  Why Helen Grant thinks tickets should be priced below equilibrium levels is unclear.

Only it’s not.  She knows a bandwagon when she sees one, so it’s all aboard.  I’m not sure she will actually do anything.  At worst, an enquiry with a few chairmen being shouted at during some grand-standing select committee.  Would the tories really follow Miliband’s lead and decide they know what the price of something or anything “should” be?

And if they did say “Right boys £25 ticket maximum” is it impossible to imagine club revenues falling, higher profile, more expensive players leaving, TV viewing dropping and an overall decline in the standards on offer?

You don’t have to go to football of course.  It’s expensive but not mandatory to keep life and limb together.  And if football is too expensive, what about cricket or rugby? Should Helen tell us what those sports be allows to charge?  What about cinema tickets? Dining out? Why not move to a command economy entirely?

Even if you take a statist view, you must surely agree, this is gigantic administrative over-reach and transparent tokenism in an attempt to seem relevant.

Quote of the Day.

Our politicians like to present the gargantuan international aid budget as a badge of compassion. In reality, it is a monument to their vanity and extravagance with other people’s money.

Gordon Bridger.

Midweek Mirth

Arrivals and Departures

A Whisper on the Wind

The Ups and Downs of British Politics

By-elections are the vim and fizz of UK parliamentary politics, indicating little more than the dissatisfaction of the electorate with whichever group of numpties are in power at that particular point in time.

Although Carswell winning for UKIP at Clacton-on-Sea was undoubtedly a major event for the rising party and it marks a major milestone for UKIP as a political party, it was fairly predictable. He was a popular local MP as a Tory and he is in the heart of the emerging UKIP heartland.

So a big moment, don’t get me wrong, but special, not spectacular. I don’t think it will give either David Cameron or Ed Miliband cause for concern or sleepless nights, but Heywood and Middleton is another matter entirely, because if UKIP can nearly win there (and they bloody nearly did), then whole swathes of the Labour heartlands are in jeopardy.

Coming so close to Miliband’s failure at the Party Conference, the Heywood and Middleton result is a shocking blow, at this point in the electoral cycle they should be at their peak, winning by-elections with gusto, not by the skin of their teeth.

The whispers of “Miliband has to go” have been gathering for quite a while and the brothel creepers of the parliamentary tea rooms have already done the rounds and come up with…Alan Johnson (don’t make me laugh), but as with all stalking horses, he’s just useful bait.

A group of disgruntled MPs believe the only way the party can return to power is if Mr Miliband is axed and replaced with the popular backbencher.

Mr Johnson, who served as education secretary under Tony Blair, has virtually retired from front-line politics after stepping down as Shadow Chancellor in 2011.

But Mr Miliband’s poor performance at last month’s Labour conference, coupled with two opinion polls at the weekend which put the Tories ahead, seem to have galvanised those who want the leader replaced.

Labour MPs plot to replace Ed Miliband with Alan Johnson after conference disaster

The real potential candidates like Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Chuka Umunna have visibly distanced themselves from Ed Miliband since the party conference where he “forgot” to talk about the economy or immigration.

The smell of death is all around him and the only question is have they left it too late?

Max Keiser of Russia Today finally jumps the shark.

I have long known that Mr Max Keiser is a propagandist who works for Mr Putin’s “Russia Today” attacking the West. However, vile as he is, I have accepted that Mr Keiser is sometimes effective at his job – an effective propagandist. I think this is no longer true….

Russell Brand (yes the long haired moron) described as a “real revolutionary – someone who will lead the revolution” by Mr Keiser today on his show. And without the slightest hint of sarcasm or irony.

Followed by an interview with a lady who wants everyone (the entire adult population) paid to take part in politics – “like Ancient Athens” (blissfully unaware that the payment of citizens just for turning up to the Assembly marked the start of the DECLINE of Athens).

The subsidy of the rich is wrong – but the correct response is not to subsidise everyone (in the hope that Klingons, or some such, will pick up the bill).

And “revolution” is not going to solve anything.

Time for Mr Putin to hire new propagandists – his old ones have gone stale.

Ben Affleck wins celebrity foot-in-mouth contest

Ben Affelck and Bill Maher go head-to-head on Islam

It is often stated that politics is “show business for ugly people”, but given the tongue biting displays of ignorance, high-mindedness (as with the recent Emma Watson “HeForShe” justification of misandry) or just plain hypocrisy, maybe we should start saying that “show business is politics for the pretty, but dumb”.

The latest example of celebrity buffoonery is lefty, hit-and-miss (often times “straight to DVD”) actor Ben Affleck, who was left doing a pretty good impression of a goldfish on the carpet after some home truths on the nature of Islamic intolerance.

Vast numbers of Muslims around the world believe that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea, or drawing a cartoon, or writing a book, or eloping with the wrong person.

Bill Maher

[EDIT - Apologies, the it seems that Youtube has been silenced on this issue, I've attached another link, hopefully this will survive longer]

Daily Motion copy of the video

P.S. If you laugh at this then Ben Affleck thinks you’re a racist.

Just thought you should know :-)

That's Wacist

How NOT to jump-start a corpse

The Death and Soul of the Party

Liberal Democrats staged a lightning comeback to the political arena this weekend when their Wunderkind leader, Nick Clegg announced to a packed audience “Vote For Us and We’ll Raise Your Taxes”.

The Liberal Democrat faithful were roused to stirring applause in their decades long search for irrelevance as their party leader jumped headlong into a grave that had been erected on stage and started covering himself in dirt. As one senior Liberal Democrat said:

It’s quite clearly the manifesto commitment that the British electorate are looking for, we should have put ourselves out of our misery ages ago. Nick Clegg has my firm support.


Batshit crazy stuff for the Weekend.

I’m really at a loss for words with this one

Here’s Tom Waits take on it.

Can anyone think of a MORE stupid policy?

We’ve been bombing Iraq since 1991 more or less.  So it takes a somewhat credulous mind to accept the proposition “23 years of bombing hasn’t got us what we want, but 26 or 27 years, that’s the ticket”

Let’s set aside the fact we killed an unknown number of people with the sanctions under Saddam’s tenure, let’s set aside the fact we’ve littered Iraq with depleted Uranium which will impact on the country for generations to come, and let’s skirt past the well documented chaos that took hold following Saddam’s removal.  More bombing is apparently the answer to ISIS who are profoundly evil.  ISIS beheads people, have sex slaves and have a literalist take on the Koran, and we have to kill people like that apparently.  Unless they are the Saudi government obviously.

And let’s not think too long either about where ISIS got their cash, guns and aid from, now or in the recent past.  You may recall that this time last year, we wanted to go to the aid of the plucky “Free Syrian Army”(which included ISIS) and the Qataris who seem to think ISIS are just tickety-boo are happy to hurl wads of cash at them, allegedly.  (Whose side are we on now in Syria anyway?)

So let’s get to Westminster’s latest wheeze to… well I’m not sure what exactly.  Support the Iraqi government I guess, which we will achieve in some way by supporting rebel Kurdish groups who would just as quickly turn their guns on Iraqi government forces as ISIS.  (Assuming said government forces actually engaged rather than doing a mass Usain Bolt impersonation).

As our resident aviation consultant Nick M will no doubt confirm, there are basically two types of air attack.  Strategic and tactical.  Strategic air power seeks to pulverise enemy industry or large infrastructure for example.  Consider allied air forces in the later stages of WW2 when the US attacked industrial capacity in German cities and the UK attacked cities by night.  This was achieved by direct attacks on ball bearing factories or submarine pens etc.  Tactical bombing by contrast is what today we call close air support.  Think back to the early stages of WW2 where the German air force attacked in close co-ordination with the Panzers.  It was hard to resist Stukas above and Panzers in front.  This was the basic ‘blitzkrieg’ philosophy outlined by German commanders in the 1930’s and it still informs military tactics today.

Or perhaps I should say it still informs those with an understanding of military tactics, which seems to exclude much of the MOD and the rest of Whitehall.  What we are doing is a type of strategic bombing against an enemy with hardly any strategic targets.  The RAF released a video of one of their raids.  Consider they would obviously release the best they had.  It showed the destruction of…. an ISIS armoured column? their command and control centre? a mass of their troops? No.  The RAF at no doubt very great expense, were crowing that they had destroyed a truck (sic).  One with an antiquated Russian 20mm cannon on the back no less.

This is demented.  It will have almost no impact on ISIS forces, it winds up the grievance mongers back home (making another 7/7 more not less likely) costs loads of money we don’t have, and shows us as effectively powerless.  Can we afford another defeat in the region? (When we left Iraq the first time, the militias had beaten us, make no mistake).

To be effective, we would need to support localised Kurdish or Iranian (no chance whatsoever) attacks with localised strikes in immediate combat situations.  This would require UK troops to call in and direct the air strikes right on the ground.  Though it was not declared at the time, this was clearly happening in Libya when Gadhafi’s aged tank army was destroyed.  This we are told, won’t happen* Or we could use the Apache helicopters in very close air support to turn the Kurds into a formidable localised ground attack proposition.  But this is very risky for the helicopters and so, won’t happen.

So we have the absolute worst of all worlds.  Ineffective and inconsequential raids which cost a fortune and further antagonise home grown loons making the UK less safe.  Can anyone think of a more stupid policy?


(* The undeclared presence of a large UK ground force in a nearby country would at least potentially put a lie to this, if such a force were to exist)

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