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Saturday, 2 April 2011

May likely for Party Funding report

Sir Christopher Kelly's review of Party Funding seems to have come to the end of taking evidence, with much sterling stuff published in the transcripts. I think, though, he's missed the boat on reporting. Promised for 'late Spring 2011' I doubt he'll now wish to publish during the 'purdah' period for both the AV referendum and the local elections, making a mid to late May publication date likely.

Which way is it likely to go? Hard to say. As much of the evidence, written and oral, fails to support Hayden Phillips' proposals on tax funding, which grossly skewed the advantage to incumbency, I can't imagine the Phillips report being endorsed in this respect. However, Phillips' proposed £50k funding cap seems to have found wider favour - except amongst the comrades, obv. If a formula can be found for Union funding, this has more chance of being recommended. 

What's also clear is that the politicians are ruefully aware that now is not a good time to announce any increase in State funding; the LibDems in particular are crying into their beards at the timing. 

It will be hard getting the findings a decent airing in the brief gap between the polling date and the date the House rises when our MPs disappear to their rented Tuscan villas for the Summer, but in this case I think the timing is accidental rather than politically contrived. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Irishmen! Drive the slavers into the sea!

The £41bn of bank bailout money owed by Ireland already works out at £17,000 a head; now the Irish are being urged to borrow a further £21bn, which by my reckoning would take each Irish taxpayer to a personal liability of  around £25,700. 

However, the Irish government may be acting unlawfully; S.1(a) of the UN 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery states;

Each of the States Parties to this Convention shall take all practicable and necessary legislative and other measures to bring about progressively and as soon as possible the complete abolition or abandonment of the following institutions and practices, where they still exist and whether or not they are covered by the definition of slavery contained in article 1 of the Slavery Convention signed at Geneva on 25 September 1926:
(a) Debt bondage, that is to say, the status or condition arising from a pledge by a debtor of his personal services or of those of a person under his control as security for a debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied towards the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined;
For the government to pledge that future generations of Irishmen will work six months of each year purely to pay off the interest on this unsustainable debt is not just like debt bondage, it is debt bondage.  

Irishmen, unite. You have nothing to lose but these chains of debt. Be damned the banks, be damned the EU; you have your native soil, your genius and two thousand years tenure of your land; expel the slavers from your shores, drive the EU slave masters into the sea, pull down the banks. And we in England will stand with you. 

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ditchcrawlers and boat gypsies

British Waterways, that rather sleepy quango that runs our canals and navigable rivers, is to be replaced by an independent charitable vehicle with safeguards built in to ensure adequate maintenance and public access. Good. The new body will have to find ways to do without the £70m a year public subsidy, and this prospect is causing ripples of concern amongst ditchcrawlers. pah.

Look, £70m a year is a pittance, a tiny drop of money, in relation to the asset value of the entire inland waterway network in England and Wales. And the whole lot can be found overnight without costing genuine ditchcrawlers a single penny more. BW estimate that 25% of boats at their primary mooring sites are being used as primary residences without planning consent. In many cases, they even receive mooring fees paid in Housing Benefit. Mooring fees on the 'line' of navigation are a pittance compared to housing costs, or to private residential marina costs, and an attractive alternative to boat gypsies. 

Developers are not blind to the attraction of living on a boat. Generally they buy land adjacent to the canal network, dig out a big basin, connect it to the canal and install pontoons, power, water and other facilities. And charge a commercial rate for residential mooring. Encouraging suitable additional private mooring sites and moving illegals off the line of navigation, together with a full commercial recovery for those few legitimate residential moorings on the canal network, would make up that £70m in no time at all. 

[NB for non boaters there are two types of boat on the inland waterways; first, the narrow boats and cruisers fitted with little engines and large kitchens that know they belong on the canals. Then there are proper sea boats fitted with radar, life rafts, distress flares, EPIRBS, sea anchors, W/T (VHF and SSB), RORC medical supplies and the like that say "we could go on proper tidal waters if we wanted" but never do, and spend their lives cruising at 5mph between Reading and Windsor.]
[NBB And for true tales of heroism and daring-do from a narrow boat that didn't accept that it should stick to inland waters, see The Tuesday Night Club - crossing the Thames Estuary in a loaf-tin is one of the great eccentricities of our time]

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Funding cut for the talentless

There were tears today as the Arts Council took the tough decision to stop funding the talentless. Jessica Smythe, 19, complained "This is so unfair. I'm going to run up a £40k bill getting my performing arts degree and even though I can't sing, dance, act or mime there was always a place for me and people like me in the unknown micro-companies supported by the State; where will the talentless go now? What will they do? I'm not forking out £40k to end up working a till at Tesco!"

A spokesperson for 'Dishrag', an arts project based in Balham, said "We're the only organisation in London that enables the severely physically un-coordinated to drum;  we've supplied drummers to some of the least successful indie bands in London. What will percussion musicians who have no sense of beat or rhythm do now?"

Artistes Agent Wentworth Pyle, 53, also mourned the cuts. "I mean, even the 'Bill' has gone now. We always used to get three extras slots a year for our more talentless, er, talent, playing corpses and the like. A credit for the 'Bill' on your CV was a rite of passage for many talentless artistes."

A spokesman for the ICA, which has had its grant cut by 46% said "I knew it was a mistake asking Theresa May to open 'Piss Awful', our recent major retrospective for artists who work exclusively in the medium of their own urine. Now we may have to move from our prestige site on the Mall to somewhere in Haringey ... "

Miliband rescues children from bastardy

His own, that is. 

What a shame that Labour doesn't believe that every child should have a dad. 

Superinjunction ZAM vs CFW and TFW

Yes, I too have found the full superinjunction and detailed back-story after about ten minutes Googling, including the confidential schedule that names the applicant and respondents and details the defamatory allegations. And no, I'm not going to give even a hint that would assist anyone in doing the same. Suffice to say

1. You'll never have heard of any of them
2. It's a tangled and sordid tale involving money and lawyers

The real lesson is that yet again nothing is secret on the web.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

More Guff from Lady Toynbee

Toynbee screeches in this morning's Guardian about 'cultural vandalism' in the coalition's trimming of Arts Council grants, completely oblivious to the sustained acts of cultural vandalism committed by the Labour government in flooding the nation with aliens and in the systematic destruction of local cultural identity. Destroying English working-class communities is fine according to Lady Toynbee; cutting 10% State grant from the Black Vagina Dance Collective isn't. 

She's also oblivious to the economic powerhouse of the private-sector arts fields in the UK; film and video post-production expertise that leads the world, London's theatreland, the music industry, publishing, fine arts markets, fashion and iconic design that punches well above its weight in international markets. All of these earn premium export income and pour taxes into the Chancellor's coffers. Unlike the Black Vagina Dance Collective. 

You see, if you cast your eye down the list of 839 arts organisations permanently funded by the Arts Council at a cost of some £325m annually, all but about 40 of them are, frankly, crap. Toynbee may imagine it's a wonderful use of tax money to bring third-rate mime artists into Manchester primary schools, but actually a couple of the kids mums could do just as well for free. Lots of the stuff funded is embarrassingly bad, stuff you'd squirm in discomfort to see it's so awful. Without a State grant, most of it would thankfully not see the light of day. 

The quality end that I think worth subsidising - including bodies such as the RSC, the symphony orchestras, opera and ballet, even the ICA - are an integral part of the UK's cultural 'offer' and secure us a place at the global top table, which is worth having. All that throwing tax money at the Black Vagina Dance Collective achieves is to prevent half a dozen fit-for-work young women from taking their place in the productive economy. 

Monday, 28 March 2011

Militant Keynesians are new UK security threat

The police and security services are waking up to the fact that those who sought to destroy and disrupt civil life in Britain at the weekend were not anarchists - and even the MSM is starting to wake up to the fact that anarchists as a class are hardly in favour of Big State High Tax political solutions - but militant Keynesians.

Of course the political wing of the Keynesians - the Labour Party - pretends to eschew violence and terrorism in much the same way as did Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness, but there's no doubt that they share a common doctrine and a commitment to a Britain in bondage to Socialist Keynesianism. There is evidence that funds raised 'legitimately' for the Keynesian Party have found their way to funding Keynesian terrorism and civil violence, and behind the masks and balaclavas of the militant Keynesians are many rank and file Labour members. 

Meanwhile police and security forces are attempting to identify the Keynesians behind the weekend's violence, and their links to the so-called Labour Party. The Met are considering a new poster campaign encouraging the public to report suspected Keynesians and Labour Party members, and MI5 are no doubt attempting to infiltrate HUMINT sources into the NEC, believed to be the evil heart of Keynesian violence and terrorism. 

We've been warned. Vigilance must be uppermost. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Thanks, tossers, that's more tax you've cost me

Well, thanks a lot you bunch of leftie lowlife scum. When public budgets are under such pressure, the best you can think of doing is adding to my Council Tax bill, via an increased precept from the Met, to pay for your jejune and selfish rioting. 

What? You were stupid enough to think that Fortnums, HSBC and the rest will pick up the bill themselves? Nonono. Under the Riot and Damages Act of 1886, claims are settled by the Metropolitan Police. And you thought insurance would cover it? Look at your own policy - in the exclusions, sandwiched between Radioactivity and Terrorism, is Riot. Insurers don't pay for riot damage. The test as to whether the damage is bona fide riot damage is given in s1. of the Public Order Act 1986;
12 or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety.
So the Met will pay out, and we London ratepayers will pay the Met. You sad tossers called for higher taxes, now you've got them. Thanks a bunch.  

Echoes of Wolsey

Cardinal Wolsey was, of course, an Ipswich boy. He grew up in an oak-framed 15th century house close to the town's docks. The house still stands, but all that remains of Wolsey's school, intended as an Eton for Ipswich, is a brick gateway that for many years looked over the Pauls & Whites concrete malting towers on the docks. Many of us hold Wolsey in the same sort of affection as we do Basil Hume - as 100% English ecclesiastics who just happened to be Catholics. What's prompted this little aper├žu is the news that three former CofE bishops who were received into the Catholic church as priests in January have just been elevated to monsignori

Mgr. Keith Newton, Apostolic Protonotary, and Mgrs. Andrew Burnham and John Broadhurst, Honorary Prelates, can now exercise those minor distinctions of clerical dress peculiar to Rome. Under a galero they may wear a scarlet-trimmed black cassock with purple sash, looking for all the world like, er, bishops. But what's prompted the link with Wolsey and Hume is their grant of arms; Mgr. Newton may carry his escutcheon beneath an amaranth galero with twelve scarlet tassels (below), and Mgrs. Burnham and Broadhust likewise but with violet tassels. Wolsey's little choughs are familiar enough, impaled by the arms of his archbishopric, and Hume's very English personal beast impaled by his diocese. I'm confident that these three ex-CofE bishops will select arms that similarly proclaim their Englishness; there's something very right about such clerical distinctions.