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They’re Making it up!

Daily Fail (Again).

* WWI icon Field Marshall Horatio Herbert Kitchener died on June 5 1916
* On mission to Russia his ship the HMS Hampshire exploded off Scotland
* HMS Hampshire sunk in Scapa Flow, the scene of recent Battle of Jutland
* Lord Kitchener widely known for being face of WWI recruitment posters

Emphasis mine. From here.

I dispare. That is like saying the Somme occurred in the Yorkshire Dales.

I can take any quantity of editorial bias but when it comes to simple, checkable facts about a battle that has been heavily in the news recently due to the centenary.

Dismal.

But wait there is more! The farticle also gives the oxygen of publicity to the idea that Kitchener made it to Russia and… became… Joseph Stalin.

Microsoft OneDrive – Bait and Switch

Important Changes to OneDrive

So ponder this, you are one of the worlds largest suppliers of computer software, competing in a highly competitive market which is already saturated. Which of the following sounds like a market winning strategy?:

  • Increase the value-add to your existing data mining customers by providing ever more dimensions on which to analyse customer information (Facebook, Google)
  • Look around at the offerings from your competitors and cut your offering (which is currently the same) to 1/3rd of that and tell customers that all that stuff they were getting for free, they are now going to pay for (Microsoft)

Maybe I’m missing the point here and Microsoft thinks that, despite their many and obvious failures from Bob to Bing, they are somehow beloved by their customers, who will not simply dump them in favour of Google?

Anyone? *crickets*

For myself, I’ll copy everything over to Google and just leave my 10.6 GB of data on the OneDrive. What are they going to do? Charge me?

In fact I’m severely tempted to fill it up to the maximum 15GB 30GB with any old crap and let them sort the wheat from the chaff.

As the Americans say “Good luck with that

[UPDATE - I forgot that as I have both OneDrive and the Camera Roll Bonus I have twice the storage space to screw over - Whooopee!]

The Great Frack Off Bake Off F*ck Off

This made my day.

The local rag, the Blackpool Gazette, printed a story that was a little more modest although they did post the video shot at the time, perhaps to garner readers” sympathy for the celebrity environmental warriors eco-loon trespassers.

A-list celebrities Emma Thompson and her sister Sophie visited the proposed shale gas drill site off Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, to lend their support and bake a few cakes for the Lancashire Nannas campaign.

Lancashire Nannas?  There doesn’t seem to be many of those in the video (follow the above Gazette link).  Perhaps the Gazette meant ‘nanas as in right ‘nanas.

Emma, who has been a Greenpeace member since she was 16, said she was inspired by the fight put up by the Nannas and the other local campaign groups against the Government and industry which supports fracking.

Hollywood actors and actresses with carbon footprints the size of Texas absolutely never fail to pass up a celebrity whoredom opportunity virtue waving exercise anti cheap energy for people not half as well off as them protest.

Emma said: “The Lancashire Nannas and other groups have fought so bravely against big business. We wanted to come along and support them.

Wot, no patented quotes from Big Red Dictionary of Socialist Epithets?  Perhaps she forgot to bring her spectacles.  She missed out on “evil capitalists” “vile economic realists” Gaia rapers and planet killers.  Why does she think that supporting a bunch  of Luddite Shreddies knitters is the sensible thing to do?

I went ballistic when I found that David Cameron came back from the Paris global warming conference having agreed to cut carbon emissions and then right away okayed 200 new fracking licences. On the one hand, he was saying the world should cut fossil fuels, and on the other he was preparing to start a new fossil fuel industry. The Government has removed support for solar power and has virtually called a halt to onshore wind energy schemes, but is pushing this dirty fossil fuel industry.

So, Emma, how many of your countless trans-Atlantic flights were powered by windmills and solar panels rather than that filthy fossil fuel that gets you into such a tizzy?  Did you arrive by bicycle or a filthy fossil fuel guzzling car?  And how did you bake those cute little anti-fracking cupcakes?  Over a cow-shit fire pit?  There was certainly enough of it around once the farmer had finished spraying his own protest over his property and uninvited interlopers.  How about that much vaunted cake baking competition?  What filthy fossil fuel was used to bake those world changing comestibles you seem to think gives you a free pass to break the law?

It is disgusting, hypocritical and an example of how the Government is hand in glove with big corporations.

And you, Emma, are a disgusting and hypocritical example of how a stupid, anti-humanity celebrity bimbo works hand in glove with Big Green.  Do you possess even a nanogram of self awareness?

The danger is that all of the efforts of these magnificent Nannas and the residents to fight this industry may be ignored by national government. It is undemocratic, especially having been told by the Government and Greg Clark that decisions should be made on issues locally.

Undemocratic?  Because a small minority of dummy chucking, deluded anti-realists, some of whom seem to have been imported from other parts of the UK to make up the numbers, aren’t getting their way?   I’m a local and I haven’t been consulted (nor has anyone I know) so how the hell do you, Emma “I Love Greenpeace” Thompson, know whether or not the people of the Fylde want fracking or not?  No one that I know is against it.  Why is that?  Because we are sick to death of paying through the nose to heat our homes.  It’s not like we can hop on a plane and piss off to the Riviera to keep warm.

Lancashire Nanas campaigner Tina Rothery said: “It is wonderful to have ‘Nanna McPhee’ – Emma, and Nanna Sophie here with us today.

We’ve met Tina on this blog before.  If you are reading this, Tina, please explain to me why “Nanna McPhee”  (Who she?) is trespassing on private property in breach of a high court injunction?  Does her greenie credentials trump the law of the land?

However, the visit was condemned by pro-fracking group the North West Energy Task Force. Member Tony Raynor, from Lytham said: “I won’t be lectured by a London-based celebrity and multimillionaire, especially when lots of local jobs and much-needed investment in Lancashire are at stake.” And a farmer was also spotted spraying muck on the fields close to the bake off (Video courtesy of Andy Ball and Rock FM)

Typical Anti-fracking Gazette.  A few paltry lines at the end of the article for the pro-frackers and barely a mention of the farmer.  Especially when the Thompsons and their Greenpeace cheer leaders get this extra puff piece.  The mail wasn’t much better.

I used to know Tony Raynor because I worked for his Dad, a very astute businessman, many moons ago.  When I knew Tony he was a teenager trying to fill some big boots and making a muck of things.  He now runs a successful telecommunications company.  It’s nice to see the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree after all.

I’m left wondering why the cupcake clowns weren’t arrested for breaching a high court injunction.  Maybe the paltry fines, or rather lack of them, would fail to outweigh the cost of cleaning cow shit from police vehicles?

Well what are you?

I’m third tier. Oddly enough I don’t fit any of the criteria, really. “Culturally apathetic”. Well, when the Manchester Camarata got the loan of a Strad I had my wife on the phone quicker than Jackie Robinson. What did I get from my mother for my birthday? A very nice set of the Lord of the Rings. I had a single volume paperback since I was 10 (I am now 42) and read it to death. That ook died from love, not hate. How very dare Prof. Mike Savage call me a barbarian. Oddly enough he ranks the Elite, the top tier as having been to Oxbridge or the LSE. He is a professor at the LSE. Odd that isn’t it. Well, I’m a Nottingham and Queen Mary College graduate. I was taught QMech by a guy who won the Nobel (Physiology and Medicine – he essentially invented the MRI scanner) so Prof Savage can profoundly fuck off. My personal tutor at Queen Mary had been a PhD student of Hawking and you will probs have seen Carl Murray on the TV who taught solar system dynamics there. Now, he had a strong interest in Gaelic poetry (he was Irish).

I hate this. The idea that a facility at maths and science makes you uncultured is outrageous. The fact I can code-up some HTML5 don’t mean I don’t do it listening to Bach or Sibelius. I once shared a house with a Bellendius maximus. He was a history student. He was also a twat. He was of the opinion that whilst science and engineering might be difficult (right, Mr Wix, you’ve studied ergodic theory?) it wasn’t creative. He wrote a thesis on “Domestic Service in C19th Nottingham) like anyone gives a toss. I am not criticising arts grads but I am criticising the arts and social science graduates who routinely mock the grads of the physical sciences. Why? Because they assume (a lot of them do) we is all dull. I go to the theatre and art galleries and stuff. I am well-read and I take these nasturiums badly. Frankly, I don’t care. But Chris Wix really was a twat and almost certainly still is a twat. If you can’t see science as creative (and it is) then you are a twat. Stick this in your pipe and smoke it…

Let G be a compact abelian group, μ the normalized Haar measure, and T a group automorphism of G. Let G* be the Pontryagin dual group, consisting of the continuous characters of G, and T* be the corresponding adjoint automorphism of G*. The automorphism T is ergodic if and only if the equality (T*)n(χ)=χ is possible only when n = 0 or χ is the trivial character of G. In particular, if G is the n-dimensional torus and the automorphism T is represented by a unimodular matrix A then T is ergodic if and only if no eigenvalue of A is a root of unity.

… from Wikipedia.

If I can follow that (and I can) I think Shakespeare is easy. God help me! The greatest playwright ever wrote for people who were drinking and whoring and indulging in “country pleasures”. I am not saying the Arts are easy. They are not but the likes of Wix slagging science for just being learning a load of facts is risible. By my third year at Nottingham I entered the exam hall bearing only a pencil. A Rotring. That was it. Me against the universe with only a mechanical pencil. There are few better feelings.

So, allegedly, I’m not into high culture because I can do sums. Ye\h, right Mr Wix. I might not know as much as you about domestic servants in C19th Nottingham but baby I don’t care…

RAFF Protests Halite Decision

Unfortunately they’re doing it wrong.

For once Residents Action on Fylde Fracking and I have something in common.  Sort of.

Who is Halite?  Once calling themselves Canatxx they are the people who want to store pressurised gas in salt caverns slap bang in the middle of a geologically unstable area, full of brine wells, a collapsed salt mine and geological faults, in my neck of the woods.  The YouTube video I have linked to will explain why 40,000 local residents have been fighting for years to resist this insanity.

There are no weasel words like might or could or maybe.  Brine wells at Preesall have collapsed in the past and one is in the process of collapsing.  The depression in the ground is growing fast and an entire field has been lost to it already  Another well is filled with God knows how many tons of mercury sludge courtesy of the now departed ICI.  Just image what will happen to the water table if that bad boy collapsed.  And Halite want to store pressurised gas right next to the brine well field.  Let’s not forget the partially collapsed salt mine.  And did I mention the natural faults that gas can migrate along?  Well it needs saying over and over.

Anti-fracking campaigners have reacted with anger and frustration at a Government decision to allow a controversial gas storage facility on the Fylde Coast.

And I agree with their reaction.  Three applications from Canatxx/Halite have been rejected by local government because of the real danger of catastrophe yet some cretin in central government has given the green light to this insanity.

Energy minister Lord Bourne has, on appeal, granted permission to Halite to create a huge underground gas store in salt caverns at Preesall despite three rejections of the plan and massive public opposition.

Now residents and campaigners opposing shale gas say that decision by the Department of Energy and Climate Change was undemocratic and bodes ill for their own battle against energy company Cuadrilla.

But this is where my strange comradeship with RAFF and their associate anti-fracking groups parts way.  You see their “protest” appears to be purely selfish.  They don’t seem to care about the real dangers of the Halite proposal.  They only seem to care about how it will affect their own cause and how they can exploit it.

Two bids by Cuadrilla to test frack on the Fylde were rejected last month by Lancashire County Council, but the shale gas explorer could yet appeal to a Government inspector.

It’s not about Halite, you see.  It’s about Cuadrilla and the appeal they will no doubt be submitting.  A real danger has been hijacked to support an anti-capitalist cause that really would benefit all if fracking were permitted to go ahead.  That really piddles me off.

Barbara Richardson, from the Roseacre Awareness Group, said: “We are appalled by this decision to overrule local democracy and fear that Westminster will try and intervene in the fracking debate too against the wishes of the people and elected representatives.

What Barbara doesn’t tell you is that Mike Hill, who was campaigning on an anti-fracking ticket, was wiped out during the GE by the Tory incumbent who I believe is actually pro fracking.  It seems that democracy is something of a loose concept in Barbara’s world.  At this point I will add that the proposed Roseacre site is highly problematical because access will be a nightmare and Barbara does have a point.  However there is no such problem with the Plumpton proposal which I support and Barbara doesn’t.  She is opposed to fracking absolutely.

“We elect local councillors (parish, borough and county) to represent us and this is democracy in action. Local people understand local issues and the will of the people.

Yeah, I saw how the craven sods at Lancashire County Council were cowed by a few tens of anti-fracking protestors and voted against the advice of their own legal department.  Democracy my left nether cheek.  Perhaps you think the 40,000 plus local residents fighting the Halite plans can be co-opted by proxy to your own cause, eh Barbara?

“To blatantly ignore this is sheer arrogance and a recipe for disaster. We will stand with the people of the Wyre.

That’ll be a “yes” then.

“They have spent years to successfully defeat this, with good grounds, and even had the support of the Planning Inspector as well as local councils. They must be absolutely devastated.

We are devastated and we are still fighting.  But Barbara, where were you and your pals all those years we were fighting Canatxx?  How come we get your support now?

“Fracking is an altogether different game as it could affect over 60 per cent of the UK, and should Westminster intervene again, I am sure it will have serious repercussions.”

Whereas gas storage is a dangerous game and has the real potential to affect more than 60% of the residents of Fleetwood, Knott End, Presall, Stalmine, Steynall and parts of Thornton if the storage caverns rupture following the collapse of a brine well (it has already happened in the US which is why storage of the type proposed for Preesall has been banned in the US on safety grounds), the gas escapes and finds an ignition source.  All thanks to Westminster intervention.

All that seems to bother Barbara is the precedent set by overturning a decision made by local government.

Alan Tootill, from the Preston New Road Action Group, said: “This confirms our worst fears.

“This government has no concern for local democracy and local decision-making.

“Over 40,000 people objected to the Preesall applications and three times the plans were turned down at local level.

I didn’t hear your voice raised against the initial Canatxx/Halite proposals either Alan.  I don’t recall you standing up at the many meetings and voicing your concern.

There is also a familiar name mentioned in dispatches.  You’ll find her in the comments below the Mike Hill post.

Tina Rothery, from Residents Action of Fylde Fracking, said: “It is awful news not just for the people of Wyre but for the rights of local people anywhere in the UK.

“That central government can overrule the clear will of the people and their Council that has three times rejected this application, makes a mockery of our ‘democracy’.

“Many of us have been fighting to keep fracking out of Lancashire for nearly four years now and the recent support of Lancashire County Council was very welcome; with this announcement today though at the overturning of the decision on Halite, we are of course deeply concerned about what will happen next in this campaign as well.

See what I mean?  They’ve tagged on their anti-fracking campaign to the Halite fight.  I know Tina by sight having seen her on TV and in the papers several times but I don’t recall seeing her at the Stop Canatxx meetings either.  All of a sudden the Canatxx/Halite cause has become the No Fracking cause.  At least in the anti-fracking eyes.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: ‘This decision raises big questions about the Government’s commitment to local democracy because this facility was turned down several times before Westminster stepped in to make it happen.

Then maybe Friends of the Earth ought to hand back the millions in taxpayer money, whether taxpayers agreed with it or not, that has been handed to FoE by various governments over the years.  It’s obviously a matter of principal after all.  But I guess, like Barbara, your perception of democracy only goes so far, eh, Tony?

“This must not be repeated in order to force fracking on Lancashire after the county refused to swallow the hype from central Government and the fracking industry.”

“This must not be repeated in order to refuse fracking on Lancashire after the county swallowed the hype from minority anti-frackers and the Big Green industry.”

There, fixed it.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne, who is the Minister responsible for energy planning consents, said the Halite plan was strategically important for the nation.

Yeah, because what the Scammell truck would a Professor of Law know about geological faults, collapsed mines. the unsuitability of layered salt beds, unsafe brine wells and other unimportant shit that affects the lives and safety of tens of thousands of locals?  Oh and we’re considered an area of Special Scientific Interest too because of the rare fauna and flora living in and around Morecambe Bay which will be grossly affected by the brine outfall. Why, after so many years,  has central government, after even that towering intellect, John Prescott, recognised the serious flaw in Canatxx/Halite’s planning applications, suddenly made this perverse decision?  Well I have a theory.

Wyre has been a marginal seat for a long time.  Since 1997 it has been tinkered with twice which gave us Hilton Dawson (Lab) a decent MP who worked hard for the constituency before resigning and returning home to his native Northumberland. Then came Ben Wallace (Con) who also fought hard on the Canatxx front and moved over to the newly created Wyre and Preston North in 2010.  Despite Labour stacking the boundary decks in its favour we got Eric Ollerenshaw (Con) clinging to his seat by the skin of his marginal teeth, only ever rebelling (well abstaining really) against the Tory whip once but who still recognised the dangers posed by the gas storage proposal and added his effort to the fight against corporate venality and stupidity.

Then in May, 2015 we get Cat Smith (Lab) also on the slimmest of majorities, with her BA in sociology and gender studies who, while paying lip service to both the anti-Halite and anti-fracking camps, clearly hasn’t got a bloody clue what she’s talking about.  Perhaps, once in a while, when she isn’t too busy identifying herself as a Christian, socialist, feminist, republican, trade unionist and LGBT, she’ll pick up and read The Idiot’s Guide to Wyre Estuary Geology so she doesn’t look a total fool and will finally be able to tell the difference between a landslide and a great big Scammell off sinkhole.  Meanwhile we get the standard leftie gobshite response to Lord Bourne’s decision by calling for the “launch of a new action” and “seeking urgent clarification” rather than going up to the idiot and hitting him with FACTS.  But then she did previously work for Jezza Corbyn so she quite possibly has a good grounding in political stupid.

And my theory?  Well Lord Bourne has nasty previous when it comes to the opposition.  He plays very dirty tricks and then lies about what he’s done before being forced to come clean.  Ask Rhodri Morgan.  Lord Bourne got handed this particular chalice when it turned out that Amber Rudd’s brother , Roland, heads a lobbying company, Finsbury, that numbers Halite amongst its clients.  Given Bourne’s scandalous history could the recently tinkered with constituency returning a Labour MP be an underlying reason for his perverse, against all common sense decision?  I think we should be told.

Here’s the “offical” reason for the decision.

He said: “Investment in new energy infrastructure is essential if we are to keep the lights on and bills down.

“This is a major project which will benefit the local economy by creating jobs and stimulating businesses.

Yes, we’ve seen how central government keeps the bills down with bills hiked up to feed the heavily subsidised and deeply despised renewables monster.  As for the local economy, destruction of the environment aside, there may be a temporary injection of jobs to construct the storage caverns and build a pipeline to connect with the main grid at Garstang.  But honestly, long term, how many people will it take to press a button at the control station in order to release or store gas?   Three hundred?  Four hundred?  Try a handful.

What is the impact of millions of gallons of concentrated brine that Halite propose to pump into the sea off Anchorsholme as they carve holes in the salt?  What will happen if the geology ruptures a cavern and the project goes sky high tits up?  The infrastructure to deal with an explosion doesn’t exist.  There are mainly small villages and narrow country lanes in this part of the world.  That is providing, of course that no structure damaged in the blast doesn’t block those narrow country lanes and blocks access to the grossly inadequate emergency services.

Oh and the storage capacity that Halite proposes will give a close to zero contribution to keeping the lights on.  Selling the gas back to the grid at premium rates will keep bills down how?   The man is a moral bankrupt and a weapons grade pudendum

“Gas is also the greenest fossil fuel and helps us lower our carbon emissions, which is important in the UK’s move to a cleaner energy future.”

I agree but what would be the point of pumping gas from underground only to pump it back underground?  The only people to benefit from storage is Halite who will buy cheap and sell at a premium rate at great risk to the locals.  Halite propose to do it here because back in their native US they would be given very short shrift.  You see storing gas in layered salt, most particularly anywhere near a field of brine wells (we have more than a hundred of them), is banned because it is demonstrably unsafe and a threat to life. Is that what Bourne calls stimulating businesses?

And if he really believes that gas is the greenest fossil fuel will he be insisting that the Drax power station will be converted to gas instead of burning CO2 producing wood pellets from felled US forests?

No?  Thought not.

False Data and the Moral Panic that Follows: A Threat to Liberty

From which today’s QOTD was taken. Debunks the trumped-up statistical survey on which one of the current campus-rape scandal-stories is based. (I assume that Miss LeFauve’s story eviscerating the reported “study,” which Mr. Morrissey cites and which is NOT TO BE MISSED, as it covers quite a bit more ground than Mr. Morrissey’s précis, is accurate. –Nowadays I feel obliged to include that as a standard caveat, since so much on all sides of various aisles turns out to be full of mouldy Swiss cheese or worse.)

False data and the moral panic that follows: a threat to liberty

posted at 2:41 pm on July 30, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s start this topic with the latest in a long series of debunked claims resulting from studies that are later discovered to be either incompetently conducted or flat-out fraud. Reason’s Linda LeFauve dismantles one of the key bases for the supposed epidemic of “rape culture” on college campuses, a study published in 2002 by University of Massachusetts-Boston professor David Lisak. This study, LeFauve notes, has informed current White House policies on Title IX enforcement [pdf] as well as documentaries and books on the subject of college rape. It had at least an indirect impact on Rolling Stone’s debunked UVA campus rape hoax from last December.

It’s also based on shoddy research and deception [pdf, Lisak, "Statement to U.S. Civil Rights Commission...] , as LeFauve discovered when researching the study. Despite claiming to have conducted the research himself, Lisak actually derived it from student theses on another topic entirely — adult survivors of child abuse, using non-random samples mainly consisting of UMB employees and non-resident students:….

“Read the Whole Thing.” Oh, and here are the first two paragraphs of Miss LeFauve’s article “Campus Rape Expert Can’t Answer Basic Questions About His Sources”:

David Lisak’s serial predator theory of campus rape has made him a celebrity. Once a virtually unknown associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, his work is now cited by White House officials and reporters for major newspapers.

His influence is evident in the recent documentary The Hunting Ground, and the producers continue to promote his work along with their film. In Jon Krakauer’s new book, Missoula, about sexual assault at the University of Montana, Lisak’s name appears more than 100 times.

…. [SNIP]

Treason doth never prosper

Varoufakis Treason

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

John Harington – Epigrams

In the latest round of the sorry saga that is modern Greece we have a further example of how the corrupting and totalitarian influence of the European Union has now spread in that it would appear that attempting to replace the Euro with a restored national currency is now treason.

“The context of all this is that they want to present me as a rogue finance minister, and have me indicted for treason. It is all part of an attempt to annul the first five months of this government and put it in the dustbin of history,” he said.

“It totally distorts my purpose for wanting parallel liquidity. I have always been completely against dismantling the euro because we never know what dark forces that might unleash in Europe,” he said.

The goal of the computer hacking was to enable the finance ministry to make digital transfers at “the touch of a button”. The payments would be ‘IOUs’ based on an experiment by California after the Lehman banking crisis.

A parallel banking system of this kind would allow the government to create euro liquidity and circumvent what Syriza called “financial strangulation” by the ECB.

Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, awaits treason charges

I am no fan of Yanis Varoufakis who is just another dreadful little Marxist troll, but any decent economist will acknowledge that given the prospect of the ECB funding being stopped for any period of time then parallel currency measures such as IOU’s are a rational response to the problem.

Only in the cloud-cuckoo land of Eurozone politics could this be a justification for treason, at most Varoufakis exceeded his authority, but then surely Greek PM Alexis Tsipras did as well, in which case he should be impeached?

The “why” they attempted to do it is a different matter.

For Fox Sake!

Rod Liddle, Sun columnist, goes off on one.

TALLY Ho! No sooner are the Conservatives back in office than they’ve decided to have a go at the poor foxes once again.

Actually I am of the opinion that they are trying to fix a half-arsed law that does little for either camp.  Trying to turn it into a Toffs or Us campaign because it suits your townie tunnel vision is unworthy of decent journalism.  But then, this is the Sun we are talking about.

Probably because there’s not much important going on in the world, is there?

When trying to repeal bad laws you have to begin somewhere.  The fox hunting travesty is as good a place to start as any.

Just the EU falling to bits and jihadi maniacs chopping heads off all over the place and Britain swamped by more and more immigration.

More bad laws to repeal, yes?

The Prime Minister wanted to waste some parliamentary time loosening the laws on fox hunting.

I assume this was David Cameron’s gift to his local pals — the Cotswold Posse.

All those rich monkeys in his constituency who enjoy nothing more than ripping a defenceless animal to bits.

But wait! Riding to the rescue are the Scottish nationalists!

Because Toffs on horseback are far more dangerous than the SNP interfering in English matters that should not concern them?  Your priorities are as skewed as the perceived ones you are whinging about, Ron.

They’ve said they will vote against any Tory proposals to relax the hunting ban. Despite the fact that they shouldn’t have anything to do with the matter because the rules don’t apply to Scotland.

But Ron agrees with them so it’s okay for the SNP to gang up in the House of Commons in precisely the way they promised not to.  The English faction of Parliament should interfere right back and give the SNP a bloody nose.  Oh, wait.  We don’t get to practice that privilege.  But that’s okay because foxes are cute and cuddly and never kill livestock.  Evah!

Opportunistic hypocrites, says Mr Cameron. But the foxes don’t care where salvation comes from — any port in a storm.

I despise Cameron but he has a point.  As for any port in a storm, it depends what is waiting for you on the dock.  In the foxes case it’s poison, lethal gas or a spade over the head.  At least they have a chance to escape horse and hounds.

My own guess is that the SNP are furiously against fox hunting because most members of the party have the same coloured fur as a fox.

Waaaaaycist!  That’s waaaaycist against gingers that is.  To presume they have fur and not hair.  Tut tut.

They’re worried the hunters might get confused. The toffs out on horseback spending the entire day pursuing what they think is a fox — and then they find the hounds have just eaten Nicola Sturgeon.

Ron thinks Nicola is a fox.  Does he kiss her picture every night before he goes to bed?

Still, at least the Nats are on the right side for once.

No, they’re not.  This is political interference on steroids. Will you still feel the same way if they join the Guardianista inspired witch hunt against Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid journalists?  Only stupid turkeys vote for Christmas.

The British public is hugely opposed to fox hunting, according to every opinion poll carried out on the matter.

According the opinion polls we were going to have another hung Parliament.  How is Coalition 2.0 going for you Ron?

Rightly, they consider it a horrible and barbaric business.

So was the invasion of Iraq but that didn’t stop New Labour did it?  They believed that foxes were more deserving of protection than the civilians who died during the ousting of Saddam.  They are still dying because IS filled the void.  Save your indignation for them, Ron.  Let’s have some honest perspective here.

Every bit as barbaric as all those other sports we’ve banned over the years — bear baiting, for example. Or cock fights, or dog fights.

Which take place in pits with no chance of escape.

Just because fox hunting is undertaken, in the main, by posh people, it doesn’t make it any less barbaric. A psychopath wearing a pink jacket is still a psychopath.

Where to begin?  Foxes are an apex predator and are culled because they kill livestock.  You know, all those cute and fluffy lambs, chickens and ducklings.  Dressing up in costume and riding to hounds, in Ron’s world, is psychotic because it is mostly done by toffs even though, in reality, it isn’t.  Bashing an animal’s brains out with the back of a shovel gets no mention, presumably because the deed is done by salt of the earth common man and is therefore not psychotic at all.  This is pure hypocrisy.  It is bare-faced, townie lefty, no nowt bollocks.

But there’s something about the Conservatives that revels in ripping an animal to bits.

I seem to recall a few Conservatives voting for the ban.  Must have slipped Ron’s mind.

If they’re not trying to bring back fox hunting they’re gassing badgers — for no sane reason whatsoever.

Because TB infected badgers don’t exist and neither does Bovine TB.

Mr Cameron and his well-bred cronies have no time for our wildlife, as they show time and time again.

There’s an awful lot of Labour voting farmers and country folk in my part of the world who regularly shoot rabbits and crows.  Aren’t they wildlife too?

If it’s furry and it’s got a pulse, kill it. If it’s a bird of prey, let the gamekeepers shoot it or poison it.

Your PETA-coat is showing, Ron.

And yet I thought the Conservatives were sick of being portrayed as the “nasty party”?

It’s all Fatcha’s fault.

Here’s the deal, Dave. Sort out the economy. Try to raise the wages of our poorest people a little bit, huh?

Nine quid an hour isn’t enough then?   What do you suppose this piece of Tory socialist insanity is going to do for the economy?

Decide what we’re going to do about IS and all those refugees trying to get into the country.

With all those bleeding hearts and EUphiles voting against him?  Not a chance.

And leave the foxes alone.

If you saw what a fox does to livestock it would make you puke, Ron.  But since you are a townie you keep yourself insulated against red blooded reality and arrogantly insist that you know what the scamelling hell you are talking about.

God alive

Guido featured this one. It’s quite amazing. I don’t expect much from thoughtless modern politicos, but this maybe a new low. No it’s not child rape, or expenses fiddling, or perverting the course of justice, or starting pointless wars, or taking bribes, or lying (so far as I can tell), this one seems to actually believe this.

I refer of course to that paragon of intellectual rigor, Rachel Reeves. You may recall Labour’s work and pension spokesman couldn’t actually say what the pension level was and she seemed unclear on how it was actually made up. In any other walk of life, not having the most basic command of your brief gets you fired. Not so modern politics.

But today she seemed to surpass even that low point. Rachel it seems, wants to abolish the so-called bedroom tax. What this actually means is that if you live in a house where the government (i.e. the rest of us) pay your rent and you under occupy it, you have a choice. Move to a smaller house appropriate to your needs (and keep getting it free) or pay the extra costs for the extra space. For some reason which escapes me, Labour seems to regard this as the moral equivalent of jailing Nelson Mandela.

Anyway, Rachel wants to abolish this and “with the money saved” spend £175M on Scottish poverty (You will recall how the Scots are diabolically underpaid by the Barnett formula and this is in no way a bribe to the possible SNP voters). Only there’s a tiny problem.

By not asking people to pay extra for houses that are too big for them, government revenue drops. (you see how that works, government gets less money, so it has…less money, not more).

I’m almost embarrassed for the woman. This is presumably Labour policy. Is there any kind of audit going on at all? Do the shadow cabinet just say stuff and it is sacrosanct and unchallengeable? Do doubters of the final victory face a Utah firing squad? No. It’s simply group think and a refusal to think counter-revolutionary thoughts. And she is allegedly some kid of economist.

She could very soon end up around the cabinet table in number 10. Incitatus would do less damage.

The End of Days… Salmond’s Revenge.

Have Scottish mutant ginger rats made it across the border? Sixty huge rodents seen scurrying down street in Newcastle.

Get the shotgun and start stock-piling tinned food.

A plague of mutant ginger rats first spotted in Scotland are feared to have made their way south of the border, it was revealed last night.

A shocking video taken by two revellers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne shows 60 large rodents scurrying down the street in a popular area of the city on Saturday.

Now, there are claims the rats could be the same giant ginger species recently spotted 60 miles away in Hawick in the Scottish borders – which were feared to be moving south.

Marc Donaghey, 22, and his girlfriend Brooke Salkeld, 21, captured the footage of around 20 rats – but said in total there were at least 50 or 60 of them running around the street.

Right… Well, “revellers” in tabloid-speak means “pissed” and the numbers seem somewhat fluid but certainly don’t constitute a plague as such.

But on a serious note the council has tried to palm the blame for the infestation on poor waste management of the local businesses but look at the dumpsters…

You wonder what Geordies (or any of us) pay their council tax for…

I have seen the queer folk…

Yeah I have. A few days ago I saw “The Battle of the Five Armies” in 3D IMAX. It is the end of journey for me. The end of a journey of over 30 years. The thing is I saw Galadriel (kicking ass) several stories high and in 3D but I know Galadriel is a character portrayed by an Australian woman called Cate Blanchett.

But I am not entirely unique in my scepticism. Despite our “Age of Austerity” we do this…

If like me you get all your news from the Cornish Guardian, you may have spotted an article announcing that the Fairy Investigation Society is conducting a survey. They’re seeking information from anyone who has seen any pixies, elves or sprites — all on a strictly anonymous basis. I rang the man behind the research and he told me that in just three months, he’s had over 400 replies. An example: ‘I was walking down a field in Scotland when I noticed a winged being leaning up against the side of a sycamore tree. He was as tall as the trunk, maybe 15 feet.’

From The Spectator. H/T Infidel753 (he’s on the sidebar). Read the whole nonsense. It is champagne bollocks. We actually, in my country, in the C21st have a “Fairy Investigation Society”. I am not making this up. MSG to the fairy-hunters. Your quarry doesn’t exist.

Either these people are bombed out of their boxes (and I want what they are on), raving mad or taking the urine. One of ‘em suggested that slug pellets are an effective form of mythological pest control. Another reported seeing gnomes in small racing cars.

Yes, they are doing a “Fairy Census” in Cornwall. Jesus wept.

Davie Rottenbore Red(e)ux

Will this “people are evil for wanting to live the same decent life I enjoy” twerp ever learn that the climate isn’t doing anything it hasn’t done before and that people are not a disease?

Sir David Attenborough is calling on global leaders to step up their actions to curb climate change, saying that they are in denial about the dangers it poses despite the overwhelming evidence about its risks.

Curb climate change? Srsly? Why not stop the Earth in its planetary orbit as well? Or bring about the halt of time itself? How about chastising the Mighty Sun Dragon for going into a deep funk this last solar cycle or two and making all those ghastly, rent seeking climate alarmists look silly?

The only overwhelming evidence Rottenbore should be concerned about is his own denial of reality because his “evidence” of man made climate catastrophe doesn’t actually exist outside of a poorly programmed computer model and his own addled belief.

The TV naturalist said those who wield power need to use it: “Wherever you look there are huge risks.

Yes, because there are horrid, black smog monsters hiding behind every bush and lamp post waiting to devour poor ickle childruns if we don’t do what the nice TV naturalist says.

“The awful thing is that people in authority and power deny that, when the evidence is overwhelming and they deny it because it’s easier to deny it – much easier to deny it’s a problem and say ‘we don’t care’,” Sir David said.

Because the Climate Change Act 2008 that is currently impoverishing millions is a figment of our national imagination? Because the EU’s desire to legislate us back to pastoralism is nothing more than a rampant leap into a bleak future ruled by uncontrolled, planet slaying techno-terror? Because Obama’s credentials as a foaming at the mouth “green warrior” who wants to kill the tyrannical XL pipeline is clearly a smoke screen for his latent tendency to eagerly suck Big Oil Koch?

I think you doth protest too much, Davie.

In terms of climate change, “we won’t do enough and no one can do enough, because it’s a very major, serious problem facing humanity; but at the same time it would be silly to minimise the size of the problem”, he told Sky News.

We’ve been dealing with the problem since before we swung out of the trees and trespassed on Gaia’s verdant lawn. We’ve survived far worse, and will no doubt continue to do so unless idiots like Davie get their way and succeed in shutting civilisation down.

Later this year, a crucial UN climate summit will be held, at which world leaders have pledged to agree to tough cuts in their carbon emissions, to ensure the increase in global warming does not exceed 2°C – beyond which its consequences become increasingly devastating.

What global warming? There are teens who will vote for the first time this year who have never seen global warming.

We should be concerned of a devastating rise of 2 °C? So how the Scammelling heck did poley bears and every other living creature survive the Holocene Climate Optimum that saw temperature rises up to 8 °C higher than those of today? Gosh the elephant poo building up in the room is really beginning to smell rank (but at least it’s organic so it can be ignored). Take that weapons grade peg off your nose, Davie, and smell the crap you’re depositing all around. Why should we be the only ones to suffer?

Although that meeting is not scheduled to take place until December, the scale of the task ahead is huge and world leaders are already working towards the summit.

And will end in the same, obscenely expensive failure because the likes of India, China and now Germany will not play ball. But there’s a silver lining in every extreme weather cloud – the airlines really love you alarmist types as you fly higgledy-piggledy across the globe on your self-righteous mission to re-invent the Mesolithic hunter gatherer society.

However Sir David is concerned that, despite the increasingly obvious scale of the threat climate change poses, leaders are not taking the matter as seriously as they should.

Er…didn’t he say that already?

Oh, wait. Not quite We’ve done “overwhelming”, “increasingly devastating” and “very major serious”. “Obvious scale of threat” was missing but you cleverly managed to fix that. Well done.

“Never in the history of humanity in the last 10 million years have all human beings got together to face one danger that threatens us – never.

The “history of humanity” is ten million years old? Who knew? Typical of those lazy Australopithicines to miss the boat by about six million years. They really should hang their brow-ridged, hominid heads in shame. They should have organised a mass rally, lined up to be eaten by the local top predators of the day and saved the Earth a lot of grief the selfish swines.

Then there’s that troublesome “one danger”. The one danger that threatens us with an increase in plant food that will expand all those naughty, carbon sequestrating forests we intend to burn in the furnaces of the Drax power station. Personally I believe the ginormous, Scammel-off asteroid floating around out there that has our name written on it is, on reflection, something we should all worry more about especially if Bruce Willis isn’t around to save us all.

“It’s a big ask, but the penalty of not taking any notice is huge,” he said.

Yes, it means the greenie gravy train will come to a grinding halt. Due to the wrong kind of climate on the rails if nature pulls yet another one of her amusing, ironic tricks.

Sir David’s comments come two days after a separate warning – on the dangers posed by the booming human population.

Ah yes, the spectre of Malthus rises once more from its deepest depths of greenie gloom and doom. Davie’s love affairs with the ghost of Eden past and the ghoul of homo mass extinctus (but not him or his, naturally) is getting very stale.

“It’s desperately difficult, the dangers are apparent to anybody,” he told The Independent.

“We can’t go on increasing at the rate human beings are increasing forever, because the Earth is finite and you can’t put infinity into something that is finite.

“So if we don’t do something about it – the natural world that is – we will starve,” Sir David said.

Forever? That’s a long time, Davie. But not as long as your knickers wetting hyperbole, eh?

And now we’ve added “desperately difficult” to the list. When all else fails, alliterate. It’s what I would do if I was desperate.

Last month, a newly discovered species of beetle was named Trigonopterus attenboroughi, in honour of Sir David Attenborough. Alexander Riedel, the researcher who discovered the 2.14mm-long species, said he called the beetle after Sir David because he enjoyed watching his television programmes so much as a child.

Soon to become extinct due to Davie’s feared CAGW armageddon? So sad. Too bad.

This is not the first time he has had a species named after him. In 2009, a flesh-eating pitcher plant, so large that it can swallow and devour rats whole, was discovered on Mount Victoria in the Philippines and named Nepenthes attenboroughii.

But he has yet to find one big enough to digest people. Take heart, Davie. I’m sure the dying Earth will oblige you.

Two years later, a one-millimetre species of goblin spider was discovered on Horn Island, off the coast of Australia, and named Prethopalpus attenboroughi, or Attenborough’s goblin spider.

But the most nasty of spiders is nowhere near as ugly or as poisonous as Davie Rottenbore and his alarmist, anti-humanity rants.

Labour don’t seem to be trying

I don’t really follow mainstream politics these days.  So many of the big issues are not debated.  Should our health provision be nationalised? Should we privatise schools? How come only the government substantially owns roads? Why is our currency fiat,? What is the point of a central bank? Will Iraq be fixed with more killing? Why are there victimless crimes on the statute book? Why are the government entitled to half our cash? Why are we disarmed? Why don’t we have robust reliable energy supplies? Why can’t we quit the EU, the UN, NATO? Why do we even need national trade agreements in the internet era?

There is almost no debate on these gigantic subjects; the political settlement having run aground on the social democratic rocks.  So it doesn’t much energise me.

However, I did catch some of the Labour conference this week, and it looks like they have stopped trying.

We had Sadiq Khan who wasn’t quite sure of what he thought about bombing ISIS.  He wanted to “see what the Prime Minister said” because independent thought was obviously a bit tricky.  In fairness to him, the coverage is a joke; the so-called Arab coalition extends in some cases to allowing use of air space and not much else.

Then we had Rachel Reeves who is apparently shadow work and pensions secretary who didn’t know what the basic state pension was (sic) nor apparently did she have any understanding of how it was derived.  I had to read the report twice to see if I had misread it.  You cannot be taken seriously as a frontline politician without at least a basic grasp of your own brief.

Ed Balls did not disappoint announcing the ludicrous ‘mansion’ tax which will be nightmarish to administer and won’t raise the cash they think.  And you might question why someone who lives in a leafy Southern suburb and has done for years should suddenly have to fork out an additional £15K a year.  Avoidance schemes aplenty will abound.  Plus he was going to “close tax loopholes” how do they say this stuff with a straight face?  Oh and cut the deficit of course along with all the extra spending pledges.  Balls it seems to me was going to cut the deficit by borrowing more.  You will recall what borrowing too much money has done to Greece.

Then we had the organ grinder himself saying he was going to spend the mansion tax cash on the NHS (which is curious because on Monday Rachel Reeves was spending it on reducing the deficit) and this was of course cheered for some reason which completely escapes me.  Maybe there is this weird school of thought which says “Large bureaucracy – good, give more money to with no thought of actual results or even goals”

Labour were asked how many cuts they had identified to eliminate the structural deficit.  It turns out they amounted to £400m.  The structural budget deficit is £75B.  So all their efforts in opposition have identified just over half of one percent of the cuts need to balance the budget.  And this is blown away with all the extra spending you know they will do.

Also Ed didn’t talk about the deficit in his speech, because you know how popular financial reality is with Labour party delegates.  This is “dog-ate-my-homework” stuff.  You forgot?

This is not serious politics.  They aren’t trying, they are just making noises which sound nice to the hard of thinking, but which evaporate when you look at them in any detail.

Lest you think this is an invitation to vote Tory, it’s not.  Osborne may try but will clearly fail to balance the budget if the Tories are re-elected.  Balls and Milli won’t even try.

This is going to end in either sovereign default or an orgy of QE regardless of who is elected because the debt and the interest payment keeps going up.  This means more and more of the government’s tax receipts are spent paying the interest on the debt.  No-one wants to take the hard decisions, nor even has a philosophical basis for doing so, much less any chance of being elected if they tell the obvious truth (which is being stubbornly ignored by the electorate).

Quids…

The Daily Fail just has to say this. OK, it’s bimetallic but that is it. It doesn’t really look like the Euro. More to the point if we are introducing a new coin design does that not imply a commitment to Sterling? I don’t want the Euro. Guess why? Euro notes are OK. Euro Coins are very difficult to distinguish and God alone knows what they make ‘em from but after a couple of years they look tatty as Hell. Look, I can get myself around say US coinage, or Czech or Polish or British but Euros don’t float my boat. OK, so like the Euro coin it’s bimetallic but so is the GBP2 coin which I rather like. “Standing on the shoulders of giants” and all that caper. But dear me! The Euro cents I handled in Amsterdam recently just looked rough – like they came from one of those toy tills. They looked like they had been through a Belgian. Or an Alsation. Something of that kidney. They all look the bloody same yet different. Having different national images is a pain because whereas we have instantly identifiable symbols whereas having a variety of national symbols on the reverse you don’t bloody know – I mean you know if it is German* or French but it isn’t obvious if it is 10c or 20c. It identifies where the coin came from but not what it is worth. Having them all the same colour is a hyper-pain too. The notes work. The coinage doesn’t. And it looks shonky. It doesn’t look like the Euro my dear Fail. It looks nothing like it. I think it looks quite nice. Although by 2017 I bet it won’t buy a Coke but that is another matter. And there is also too many. I like the US system (I know they have other coins) but largely it’s 1,5,10,25 and that is your small onion. Works. OK, the fact that the nickel is bigger than the dime always annoyed me but nothing to the Euro. I also liked the dollar bill. I, being a Brit, am just not used to holding a wad of foldable. I felt like a movie star though in truth I had about enough to go to Wendy’s for a burger. The smallest paper you get here is a fiver which is worth roughly USD8.30**.

But, let’s get back to the score. The pound coin is not being scrapped. The Fail is mongering the scares. It is being replaced. Fair enough. It still has her Britannic Majesty’s head on it. It looks fuck all like a Euro. I quite like it.

*The German one has Norman Foster’s “Friendly Eagle” on it. You know the one that doesn’t invade Poland. And let us all be grateful for that. Because the last time that happened…

**So I say to my wife. “That’s good – can we go to the USA”. Problemo. Myt wife is a translator and is often paid in USD so that isn’t good. Swings and bloody roundabouts. You simply can’t win. You can run but if you do so you’ll only die tired.

It must be true because I read about it in the Daily Mail…

[Editorial note - this story is from a while back but I've been sick as a mangy hound with nastiness so never finished it. I'm back now.]

… except it isn’t. Since childhood I have been an aviation fanatic. I’m astigmatic, somewhat short sighted and RG colour blind. So when I started my degree I spoke to the recruiting officer for the East Midlands Universities Air Squadron and when I explained my ishoos I was told to politely eff off. Having said that would you really trust someone who had to be told what colour Corsodyl toothpaste is with hands on the throttle and stick of a something that costs more than David and Victoria Beckham’s house and can drop JDAMs?

Thought not.

Shame but fair enough I guess. Having said that the highest scoring fighter ace in British history, Major Edward “Mick” Mannock, Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Two Bars, Military Cross and Bar (61 confirmed kills, maybe 73) and that Irishman was blind in one eye (allegedly). He (allegedly) bribed someone in the medical section to get the sight-test chart and memorised it. I think they are a bit more careful these days. Never trust the Irish or the Daily Mail.

Why?

Prince Harry has created a scholarship to get wounded veterans behind the wheel of an iconic Spitfire.

A fine and noble goal except a Spitfire (do we need to be told it is “iconic”? Do we ever need to be told something that actually is iconic is “iconic”?) doesn’t have a wheel. No, seriously. This is a snarky piece but it is aimed against the Mail and not Harry. I knew a lass at Nottingham University who helped out with riding for the disabled. Imagine how freeing it is for a paraplegic to be astride a horse and to gain that speed, height and mobility. A Spit has rather more horses in the front so…

The scheme, inspired by Second World War pilot Douglas Bader, will see the strongest candidates move up from a Tiger Mother biplane, to a Harvard, to the bespoke craft.

A Tiger Mother? God help us! The Harvard though was the RAF’s LIFT at the time so OK there but what’s that with “bespoke”?

Oh, and we had many disabled pilots in WWII. One bloke had nose art on his Spitfire showing the arm he’d had blown off flicking the V-sign.

Harry, an Apache helicopter pilot, launched the scholarship by climbing into the cockpit of a Spitfire and starting it.

Er… He’s an Apache WSO. Whatever.

But this is astonishing…

Not Spitfires

The Mail caption is this, “Britain built about 20,000 Spitfires, but they became obsolete after the invention of the jet engine. Here, a fleet is pictured with wing commander Robert Stanford-Tuck for the 1968 film.”

I’m not even going to point out they are Hurricanes.

I can fact-check stuff in the press. But I have limits. I know about certain areas such as aviation, bits of physics, a few other odds and ends but that is my lot. Worrying isn’t it? How much can the media smuggle past you as “truth” if you don’t know the subject?

I’m just wear my Mr Sceptic hat. I’m not exactly accusing them of making things-up or even of cherry-picking things to reflect their views but of in a fundamental way not really caring about hard truth. I mean that in the sense that the Mail sees the truth of telling a heart-warming story of the dashing young prince driving fast cars for a good cause (which it is) is more important than the awkward little facts. They all do it. What we have to do is behave like small Danish boys and sometimes shout, “But I can see his willy!!!”.

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