Friday, 17 December 2010

What the hell do we do with them?

A colleague of mine is working on a job in a part of London in which the planning deal has required her to recruit staff from an agency tasked with finding work for, frankly, the unemployable. After a day this week interviewing, she despairs. Her pen-portraits described;
- A Scotsman in his 40s, physically fit, who has just come off long-term disability benefit. Huge anger and attitude problems, can't take instructions and resents authority. Suspect most is down to his functional illiteracy - he can't read or write, use a computer. Suspect drink problem. 
- Single mother of three, youngest now 6. Never partnered. Physically fit but obese. Borderline sub-normal. On benefits since 16. has never worked. Crude, racist attitude - probable BNP voter. No social skill. Reads and writes with difficulty but plays 'computer games' at home. 
- Skunk-head, eyes red and bloodshot and stinking of weed. Late 20s, physically fit but uncertain of date, time or place. Deeply resentful of any 'interference' to his life - can only take instruction from people he 'respects'. 
The list goes on. We can't employ these people - they're a liability and a risk, and there's absolutely no place in Construction for them. These aren't immigrants - two thirds or more of them were white British, the beneficiaries of a generous Welfare system, free education, cradle to grave health care. What the hell do we do with them? 

For 'family friendly' read 'MP friendly'

Reading the whingeing coming from MPs over the IPSA's regime, one's understanding of the cause of their grievances becomes much improved if you substitute the term 'MP friendly' everywhere the term 'family friendly' is used. For this is what they actually mean. They still think they're a breed apart, a race of superior mortals, for whom the rules that apply to the rest of us don't apply. The public, and the IPSA, think differently. 


And for Cameron's veiled threats to reform or abolish the IPSA if it doesn't give way to his attempted bullying, he should remember that the first initial in the acronym stands for Independent. The IPSA shows every sign of going down fighting, and good for them. They are there to protect our taxes against the venality, greed and peculation of MPs, not make the rules 'MP friendly'.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

BENT

The bent bastards still don't get it. Cameron is reported to be prepared to increase dosh paid to MPs for non-Parliamentary expenses to keep them quiet; the Telegraph reports they want bigger flats and more free travel for their children. Excuse me? Since when has anyone in the commercial world been able to claim travel expenses for their children? If you take a job away from home, you live in a Travelodge during the week and get used to not seeing your family. Unless you're an MP, of course, with a snout in the taxpayer's trough. 


The scum have also racked up enough dodgy claims for the auditors to refuse to sign off the books; not only £1.8m of dodgy receipts being held by plod, but a further £13.9m either with insufficient evidence to justify payment. Any sales rep with such a record would be out on his ear. So why is Cameron pandering to the bent scum? 

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

In praise of London bus drivers

London buses 'done brill' last week, by common consensus. As Southeastern trains gave up at the first flake of snow, it was the bus companies who carried tens of thousand of additional passengers to their suburban homes. The word on the platform is that this was mostly due to the bus companies threatening the sack to any bus driver who failed to pitch up for work, whilst the cosseted train drivers could curl back up in their duvets and throw a 'snow day' without penalty at the first snowflake. Everyone's expecting Southeastern to collapse again tomorrow, as staff anticipate the weather to get their Chrimbo shopping, and bugger the passengers. Every one seems to agree that the only way to get Southeastern trains working is to hand it over to the bus companies. 


Every so often on a bus, a thuggish and threatening (and most times black) sociopath boards, and profers an inactive Oyster card to the reader with a snarl at the driver, then walks through. It's a brave driver who kills his engine, calls the police on his radio and relies on his plexiglas cab to protect him from psycopathic violence. But some do. Many more value their lives over London Transport's balance sheet, and let the evil bastards get away with it. When one such sociopath powerful bully was cornered today by mass police checking bus tickets, he pulled his blade and slashed a plod's throat in fury. I reckon bus drivers have more work related stress than I do, and that's saying something. 


Today's London bus drivers can't drive for shit and I'll bet some of them have problems speaking English. They work long hours for low pay and move millions of legitimate Londoners as well as tooled-up thugs and sociopaths. They're every race and colour you can imagine, and gals and guys both. I don't think they should be paid more, or work shorter hours, or get free PTSD counselling, nor that their jobs should not be subject to harsh attendance conditions or easy dismissal. I do, though, recommend that we tip our hats to them. When the pussyfied train drivers give up, they'll be getting us and our workforces to and from work, and all respect to them.       

Farewell to Iain Dale

I shall be sorry to see Iain depart the blogosphere, and the medium will be all the poorer for his going. This blog owes much of its initial exposure to Iain, for which I remain grateful. However, two things have coincided; Iain and Guido, those lions of blog statporn, have both started to slip down the rankings. It's hard to be in 4th place when you've been number one for so long. Also, Iain's disappointment at not securing a seat in this year's election led him to close off that particular career path. The ex-owner of Politicos is now doing what he always did best - political publishing, and his is set to be the nation's leading political imprint. A regular spot on local radio also makes up in some small way for a place on the green benches. 


We wish Iain all good fortune for the future, and look forward to seeing him in the public eye for some time to come. 

I can't pretend that Localism Bill isn't a crock

Stable democracy requires two things - an elected representative body, and the power to raise revenue. When Eric Pickles declaims over and over that he wants to devolve power to the lowest level, to communities and neighbourhoods, you'd therefore think his highest priorities would be to create and empower new democratic arrangements at the level of the Parish, to give legitimacy to a new tier of truly local representative bodies, together with revenue raising powers, to get rid of the dreadful mistakes of the 1974 local government reforms, to ditch Labour's State control over every local matter. Not a bit of it.


The Localism Bill is like a huge, long, wet Pickles fart. It makes a lot of noise, smells sweet only to Eric but drives away those who were prepared to give credence to the government's posturing over Localism. Whitehall is overjoyed; here is just another over-complex but utterly meaningless piece of legislation that entrenches central State control over the localities. So who cares that a few villages may choose to run the village hall? 


Simon Jenkins has the truth of it in the Guardian this morning. The coalition, having gained power, aren't willing to give up a single gramme of it to anyone, least of all you and I. They want to keep the big unwieldy councils because they're easier to control; the thought of 8,000 parishes each with a council and the right to collect VAT fills Pickles and Whitehall with horror.  


What a missed opportunity. 

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

More to cut still

Lewisham's settlement for next year is about £25m down in cash terms, about 7%. Not a deep hit. So far the council has come up with just £12m of savings for 2011/12, but you can be sure they've got a phase II list in reserve. Being a good Labour council it's been saving the 'pain' items for the settlement announcement, to make maximum political capital out of the cuts. On 29th November, the town hall was besieged by the agitprop crowd, and no doubt the council will be giving them plenty of notice for the supplementary cuts meeting.


Hey ho.   

Monday, 13 December 2010

Stockholm's first exploding Jihadist

Of course the actual explosions weren't the same as they looked in the catalogue. Taymour Abdel had looked carefully in choosing between the 'Blomster' [des. Stig Lundquist] and 'Bjorkefall' [des. Helmut Farsenn] detonators, and had chosen the 'Blomster' because of the cheerful gingham check pattern, but in the catalogue the bang had looked powerful and solid - in reality it broke up half way through, barely detonating the pack of 'Rattvik' composition in his rucksack. In his final moments, as he watched his intestines covering his 'Snövita' poncho blanket, the damp explosion having barely melted the snow, he doubted whether he'd be able to assemble his 72 'Nysnö' virgins correctly; he always seemed to end up with three Allen keys and bits left over. Around his scattered remains, civic Swedes tutted at the mess on the road. 

Burning the Koran

The Catholic Encyclopedia probably contains the most succinct and accurate description of the Koran as a work that:-
"contains dogma, legends, history, fiction, religion and superstition, social and family laws, prayers, threats, liturgy, fanciful descriptions of heaven, hell, the judgement day, resurrection, etc. — a combination of fact and fancy often devoid of force and originality. The most creditable portions are those in which Jewish and Christian influences are clearly discernible"
Of course, one could apply much the same description to the Jewish Old Testament or the Christian New Testament. Such is the nature of religious written works. And if the Koran is a poorer thing than the Bible, with rules more risible than Leviticus, flights of narcotic fantasy weirder than the Apocrypha and a blood-lust more savage than Deuteronomy, that's still no reason to burn it. If we reacted to all bad literature by setting fire to it, Jeffrey Archer would do very poorly from public lending rights fees. 

No, there is only one reason for burning the Koran - that is the intention of raising anger and division amongst the Muslims who regard it as a holy object. And that's not a reason any responsible person or government would sanction. I'd no more burn a Koran than I'd throw down a stone or log worshipped by a tribe of primitive animists; either act reveals the doer as insecure in the truth of their own faith. And as we can understand the anger of a tribe of natives whose fetish has just been pulled down driving them to take up their spears, surely we can understand the burning of the Koran having the same effect on the poor primitive Muslims. A civilised and enlightened people don't burn silly books or cast down heathen idols.   

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Cruddas represents the real danger

Old Statist Labour has embarked on its death slide; without the gerrymandering and corruption they maintained in government and built into grossly skewed constituencies, without voting fraud and the peculation of tax funds on an epic scale by Labour politicians and officials, without the shameless jobbery that filled the quangos with Labour placemen the old Leviathan is on its last ride. In an act of assisted suicide they have elected an unreconstructed Marxist as Leader, retained  a Statist redistributionist as Deputy and filled the vacuum of opposition with a jejune and adolescent series of posturings about as intellectually credible as the manifesto of the flat-earthers. The Coalition, it seems, holds the ideological high ground. Perhaps except for 'Jon' Cruddas. Regard the following quotes from a recent interview;
“The biggest calamity facing society is the relentless disintegration of the family and the profoundly dangerous consequential element of a lack of male role models”
“The Labour Party once had strong links with the Catholic Church, as the haven of migrants. Labour used to be civic and religious, now it’s secular and statist."
“Fraternity, duty, obligation, I like those things, and it’s clever for the Tories to do that"
 “I like Phillip Blond. I like the idea of mutuals and the mixed economy. You have to re-capitalise the poor and create a just society. Labour has to be there. We’ve lost our language, we talk a lot about justice and fairness but we don’t talk about duty and family.”
“People get worried when they can’t get a house or a school and it becomes racialised, it’s very dangerous stuff. This [race] is what everyone is talking about. When your community changes around you, it’s very uncomfortable. I think Labour should conserve things – families, relationships, communities.”
"There is a crisis of social democracy in Europe; does Labour just become a residual metropolitan and public sector or does it speak a language that transcends the identity politics?"
Let's just hope that the self-deluding myopia at the heart of Labour freezes Cruddas out, because if there's anything that can save Labour it's thinking like this.