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Friday, 22 November 2013

Oh Gordon, you *dirty* boy ...

There's a new fad in the States - pet shaming. Naughty dogs with guilty, hangdog expressions are snapped with placards around their necks explaining "I poo-ed on the sofa" or "I chewed a Manolo Blahnik". Whilst this may be unutterably cruel for dogs, it seems an ideal way to bring to politicians the impact of their dirty deeds.

Snowden has let the cat out of the bag about the British government giving the US NSA free access to the emails and mobile phone numbers of UK citizens - a level of State Surveillance so intrusive that the World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF) has panned the UK's web rating to fall beneath Chile, Uruguay and South Africa. The dirty deed was done late in 2007, apparently, under the Premiership of one Gordon Brown, a fey feartie from Fife (and definitely not from the Gorbals as one correspondent has pointed out).

This would be the same Gordon Brown who was invited to join the board of the WWWF by Tim Berners-Lee in 2010 with a vision of bringing the whole of Africa under CIA electronic surveillance within reach of the WWW. And who subsequently disappeared from WWWF board membership and from all mention on the website three years later. It is not known whether Brown was sacked by Berners-Lee for his part in betraying his fellow Britons to US interests. 

However, the fey one should certainly wear a placard proclaiming "I sold the British people for personal gain" though whether this particular dirty dog would display any guilt is questionable.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Cameroon coralled

This is worth reproducing for those of you who missed it on the 19th; Dave Brown in the Indie:-

Labour MPs are lying, thieving dogs, says Oborne

In a remarkable piece in this morning's Telegraph, Peter Oborne concludes that Labour MPs, and the greater caucus of the Labour party as a whole, are a bunch of crooked, dishonest, thieving dogs. Those people who are already criminally inclined will join the Labour rather than the Tory party and then use our democratic institutions to rob, cheat, steal and defraud. 

With six Labour MPs seeing the inside of jail cells for stealing our tax money and now the Reverend Doctor Flowers running the lefties' bank like a Catford shabeen (Oborne describes MacShane as "one of the most dishonest characters with whom I have ever had the misfortune to do business") Oborne has a point. Nor is his piece entirely without balance; "Of course there are many wholly honest Labour MPs – and quite a number of Conservatives MPs are repulsive" but generally he links fundamental crookedness to Socialism.

Oborne also suggests "the readiness of Labour MPs to fabricate their expenses is symbolic of a wider philosophical disposition: a structural tolerance of lying and cheating as a justification for political action" and offers as examples the 'grotesque techniques' of Damian McBride and Labour's lies on Iraq weapons, Europe, Immigration, the Economy and so on. 

So, Oborne is saying, you can't trust any of them as far as you can spit, neither Tory, LibDem nor Labour, but you can trust Labour least of all. It may be bleedin' obvious but it's well worth repeating. However, by displaying this degree of unambiguous honesty on the pages of the Telegraph, I fear Oborne may soon go the way of the great Heffers, who also spoke the truth too clearly. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

London bubble latest

In September I wrote:

"The Mystreet property price index (yes, literally the 40 homes in my street) has been predictably active lately. From a 2007 mean index base of 100, asking prices dropped to 94 with the crash. By last year, 2012, they were back at 100 and earlier this year one was sold at 104, marking a modest and realistic return of the market. This week, another's just sold at 115.5 - 15.5% above the 2007 bubble high, marking a new price-point for us all. This is now solid Foxtons territory. And it's a bubble."

Well, another one went in October for the same after just a few days on the market, and now an identical third has just gone on the market at an index of 121 - 21% above the 2007 high and last year's recovered price. 

How can we be so friggin stoopid? It's a bubble.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The rights of student protest

For a biased rag that backs Leveson in muzzling the British press from protesting, today's comment piece in defence of student protest in the Guardian must have slipped under the subs' radar. The Guardian is too dependent on expensive job ads from the undistinguished commercial universities to knowingly upset them.

When I went back to Uni to do my Masters in the 1990s the change from the end of the 70s was already too apparent; gone was the scholarly collegiality that made dons and students older and younger equals, gone was the shared disdain for bureaucratic formality and gone was the likelihood of finding your missing lecturer on the picket line. Gone too was the heady freedom of intellectual discovery in a hothouse in which writing and the written word blazed paths of light and changed lives. By the 90s it had become a degree factory, and a poor and mediocre one at that. 

Now Uni is become like a Victorian school but with criminal penalties for infractions. Gone are the days when everyone from the Chancellor down would zealously protect the rights of the University within its walls to administer justice; Plod was not permitted beyond the gatehouse. Now the truly mediocre staff take video footage of deviant students for the police. Littering the common hall with discarded agit leaflets, which once but no more were printed at the cost of the university, now earns dismissal for littering. The commercial universities (all of them except the Russell Group) are simply too piss-poor academically, with third-rate staff and bulked out with foreign milk-cow students, to be anything other than low-grade commercially marginal enterprises on a par with private language schools and driving instruction centres. 

That the police are now encouraged to act against protesting students - once something that would have caused outrage amongst the staff - is I think symptomatic of something pointed out recently by two correspondents. Katabasis identifies an 'anarcho-tyranny' that ignores grand offences for which the political class literally get away with murder (North Staffordshire NHS) but that enforces pettyfogging rules in a tyranny of mass control. And of immediate concern, Greg reminds me that IPNAS, set to replace ASBOs, have been condemned as an assault on our basic freedom by a former DPP. They would certainly be used by the managers of the commercial universities (who are as entitled to dignify their management team with the description of 'faculty' as the Scientologists are to term their cult a 'church') to stop even a bunch of students from handing out leaflets at the gate. 

During the blockade of Berlin in the Winter of 1948 an aide (it could have been Willy Brandt) brought  Mayor-elect Ernst Reuter the news that students were protesting. To everyone's astonishment, Reuter was delighted; nothing could have given him greater assurance that the desire for democracy was strong in the people of Berlin. We may not agree with them, and indeed we don't have to, but preserving the rights of students to protest is a fundamental indicator of democratic health that we forego at our peril.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Ignorance *and* hypocrisy? That'll be the 'Guardian'

Younge reads from the script
Super-sized leftie apologist Gary Younge writes this morning in the Guardian that all the folk living in Sheffield are completely wrong about the Roma and that Blunkett and Clegg are talking out of their arses. 

Younge of course, who lives in an exclusive Chicago suburb with his wife Tara Mack and his son, Osceola*, who has lived in the US since 2011, neglects to mention ever having seen an actual Roma in the UK himself, or the date of his last visit, if ever he's made one, to Sheffield. 

But then the Guardian has never let the reality get in the way of an editorial position.  

*Osceola? What sort of faffing name is Osceola? It sounds like a budget brand of cooking oil.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Disgrace that is Blair

Blair's presence at the annual Cenotaph ceremony divides the nation into those silently appalled that he has the bare-faced gall to attend and those who shout at the telly in rage at the inappropriateness of his presence. This year the BBC cameras carefully avoided broadcasting any medium or close shots containing Blair's treasonous face; he appeared only in long-shot, visible only in the back row to those who knew he was there. A small thing, but a sign that even his favourite tame broadcaster has now assigned him the status of a leprous paedophile. 

Today the Mail and the Observer are united in their loathing of Blair and longing for justice; Henry Porter writes under the strap "No more evasion and prevarication – Britain's elite must be held to account (The blocking of the Chilcot report underlines how the powerful shield their activities from the public)" calling for Jack Straw and Alastair Campbell to share the dock with Blair. Peter Hitchens calls for much the same thing;
"The Chilcot Inquiry, which ought at least to have shown Blair publicly for what he is, is stalled, perhaps forever. It seems it may never report properly. This is because British officials are blocking the release of documents recording exchanges between Blair and ex-President George W. Bush.

We are now being told this is the Americans’ fault. Perhaps it really is. But why are the men who actually created these wars allowed to hide their private conversations, when the unwise remarks of sergeants and privates can be used in evidence against them, to fling them into jail?

The next time you see Mr Blair wearing a poppy, or see any politician simpering about our ‘wonderful Armed Forces’, remember this. Those who did Blair’s bidding end up dead or maimed, or on trial, ruined and in prison cells. He remains whole, at liberty and rich."