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Saturday, 21 December 2013

EU will kill to survive

Never underestimate the fanaticism of the mindwashed zealots determined to force a European Federal State upon the unwilling people of Europe. There is only one real risk of war and conflict amongst we peoples of this continent, and it lies with deliberate provocation and the escalation of minor tensions by a dark cabal of EU unelected officials. The recent spat over Gibraltar almost certainly had EU influence behind it. That they are playing with fire is not unknown to them; they're willing to risk lives, peace and NATO itself in order to realise their lunatic ambitions. 

The EU will kill to survive. It has grown beyond national control. For this reason we must all be particularly careful not to be provoked by these EU subversives into xenophobia or nationalist spatting. As pressure increases across the Union for fundamental reform and an abandonment of Federast ambitions, we can expect to see the EU blow even more smouldering embers into flames; they will pick small Mediterranean outposts such as Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus as being easiest to provoke into response and where poverty makes tensions easy to excite. 

So every time a new story appears with the ability to cause frothing fury amongst the average Mail reader, look at it very carefully. Chances are it arose in the dark heart of the Berlaymont. And we must urge our European NATO allies to do likewise, to shrug off provocations with the explanation "It's just the EU trying to make trouble here in Europe".

Currently, their efforts are directed at trying to alienate the US from NATO and marginalise the UK. They will encourage their fifth-columns embedded in each EU nation to enact petty and spiteful acts against UK expats; bulldozing their homes (Spain) or banning expats from renting their holiday homes (France). the aim is to whip-up tension and ill feeling. We must not seek to retaliate; far better to make clear to our friends across Europe that we're victims of EU subversion, and as they may well be next we'll stand by any European national government under attack from the EU. 

Remember, "It's just the EU trying to make trouble here in Europe". We must not allow them to succeed.  

Greville Janner sodomised 13 year old boy for 2 years allegation

2013 will surely go down as the Year of the Veteran Paedo; it's ending with that repulsive old toad Greville Janner having his collar gently felt, possibly not unconnected with well-known events;
In 1991, after accusing Janner of paedophilic behaviour with a teenager, Frank Beck was arrested and charged with the sexual and physical abuse of children in his care over a thirteen-year period.
At his trial Beck stated that: – “One child has been buggered and abused for two solid years by Greville Janner“.
Immediately after this, Janner who just happens to be, ironically, a long time member of the boy scouts association, and Sir David Napley, his solicitor, went to Police headquarters in Leicester.
Whereupon, the following statement was issued:
“We have advised Mr. Janner that he is prevented from making any statement at this stage”.
Shortly afterwards, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alan Green, let it be known that “for lack of evidence”, Janner would not be prosecuted, even though Paul Winston, who was just thirteen when he and Janner first met, was able to describe Janner‘s home, the hotel rooms they had shared, and Janner’s habits and person in detail.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, himself, was arrested for kerb-crawling in Kings Cross a little while later.
Greville Janner has always strenuously denied the allegations. 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

When not to call Plod in

There's a confused piece in the Grauniad this morning by Felicity Lawrence asking why Plod isn't dealing with inflated contractor claims by Serco and G4S, gangmasters and Libor-fiddling banks. She also complains that the supermarket industry, the prime victim of the horsemeat swindle, has imposed its own justice on the rogue meat processors by new contracts that screw down prices and define quality so rigidly that the meat barons will be seriously impoverished. Or rather, since it was the Mafia that benefited, Tesco 1 Cosa Nostra 0. 

There's a mix here, and a question of where to draw the line dividing crime from sharp commercial practice. Felicity has clearly never worked in the Construction industry. 

As Employer's Agent, I'm currently dealing with a pile of applications from various contractors. Quantity Surveyors these days have fallen sharply in quality and can no longer be relied on to effectively audit a contractor's claim. So I go through them myself. In the past few months I've struck-out claims for millions based on deliberate dishonesty. Apart from over-claiming on measured items (and these days I quite enjoy rousing the indolent QS from his warm office to go and count bricks in a new wall somewhere) there are the accidental-on-purpose arithmetical errors, false claims e.g. for plant, where detailed scrutiny of the tickets reveal this to have been used on a different site or at a different time, or falsely recorded daywork labour inputs, and simple 'creative' claims for costs that are simply not due under the form of contract. One despairing director looked at my pages of red ink and sighed "It's the only industry where contractors can get away with lying". 

Except that no-one in the industry classes it as lying. It's a game, with rules. They submit inflated claims, our side scrutinise them and reduce them. If we miss anything, it's our fault. And now with bored low quality QSs working for LLPs only interested in their fee (still mostly based, incredibly, on a %age of the certified contract value's that for an incentive to reduce valuations?) it's become much easier for contractors. 

And no-one in the industry would even think about referring any of this to Plod. Like Tesco, we deal with particularly egregious offenders ourselves. Word quietly goes about "Be careful if you're thinking about giving Bloggs plc a job; they're under-tendering and have just taken a £2.4m hit on their last job".

So when at the end of this week we all shut down for the Christmas break, and you're delighted by those twinkling Christmas lights decorating the boom of your neighbourhood tower crane, remember that next year when they claim for 6,000 LED lights, four 6kVA transformers and 185 hours of electricians at £86/hr some poor sod like me is going to have to argue it out.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I'm turning Guardianese .. I really think so

OK, try this:-

"Jantjie's performance was not meaningless – precisely because it delivered no particular meaning (the gestures were meaningless), it directly rendered meaning as such – the pretence of meaning."

Jantjie was the chap doing the sign language at the Mandelafest. It's emerging now that his skills lean more towards killing people by hanging petrol-filled burning tyres around their necks, but that's by the way. The sentence above is from

Monday, 16 December 2013

Will Lucy Adams be jailed by MPs?

Having watched a few hours of the proceedings of the PAC earlier this year I wrote;
"The Leader's own particular spite was reserved for Lucy Adams, erstwhile head of 'HR', sporting an attitude and a silver thumb-ring more suited to an argumentative teen than a public executive. Last time Adams had denied knowledge of a document that she actually helped author; at the first hint of a repetition the Leader snapped 'I'm not having any more lies this afternoon'

But Lucy Adams hadn't quite done with lying; perhaps it was her BBC training. 'Did you refer to these excessive payments as 'sweeteners'? asked the Senate. 'I have absolutely no recollection of that at all; it's not a word I would use' lied the egregious Ms Adams fluently. Unfortunately, it turned out a Senate member had an email leaked by an Adams subordinate in which Adams had employed precisely that word. Chairman Hoxha commented to the effect that Adams was only distantly acquainted with the concept of truthfulness to which I swear I heard a petulant teenage girl respond ' That is sooooo unfair!' "

Yes, I and countless others actually saw Lucy Adams lying live on TV.

The PAC have recorded it too, noting that 'Misleading a select committee constitutes contempt of Parliament’. The law allows Parliament to jail 'strangers' for the term of the Parliament for this offence - until May 2015 in Lucy Adams' case. 

Let's hope the prospect of eighteen months in Holloway has a repentant effect on Ms Adams; in the current mood of Parliament with regard to BBC largesse, I wouldn't put it past the House to bang her up.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

St Mandela of Rivonia Order of Service

Introit Pamela Stephenson and the Choir of iChichester Women's Institute sing “Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica” (Accom Edwards Balls on harmonium)

Lesson Lord Patten of Beeb reads Marx 12:16 “We shall take from those that hath and grow fat”

Blessing The Archbishop of Canterbury blesses the goats to be sacrificed as the Hacked Off Chorus (leader Hugh 'BJ' Grant) sing “Money, Money, Money” (Arr Abba)

Lesson 2 The Most Rev'd Tony Blair reads Spart 1:11 “Be relaxed oh my brothers about riches”

Collection The armed youth wing of the ANC pass amongst the crowd collecting watches, purses, jewellry, wallets etc

Sacrifice Sister Winnie of the Order of the Blessed Booty sacrifices the goats by 'necklacing' (trad)

Hymn The Pyongyang AK47 singers lead in the hymn “I vow to thee Dear Leader”

Interment (In Silence) the President conducts the live interment of the political enemies of Mr Zuma by ceremonial JCB
BBC Coverage live on BBC1, BBC2, Radio 5 Live, Radio 4 and Liveblogging on BBC Digital from 8am to 8pm – all normal programming suspended

It's Hydrogen, stupid

A century ago, when electricity was being rolled out, London consumers had not only a choice of voltages but could pick DC or AC. Appliances, distribution and switchgear, lamps and outlets were all hand-crafted from Mahogany and brass and glass and porcelain. Moving house often meant buying a completely new set of electrical goods as the old ones only worked in Bloomsbury. The PR contests between the rival systems were bizarre - one involved electrocuting an elephant, I recall. Eventually we settled on a single system. Electrical Engineers will have a view on whether it was the right one or just the one that won the PR war. 

Electricity was not without a rival system - hydraulic power. Using a distribution network of pressurised water, a new generation of domestic machines could wash, vacuum, chill, heat and ventilate. The roads were even dug up and so many miles of hydraulic pipes laid that contractors today are still removing them whenever excavating old roads. Hydraulic power stations were built and shareholders and investors wasted millions backing the Victorian version of Betamax. Electricity, of course, won.

But as an alternative to road fuel, electricity is an utter failure. News today that three-quarters of the electric car charging points installed at vast public expense have never ever been used should surprise no-one. After all, they were never intended for actual use; like those bizarre PR stunts of a century earlier, they were only ever designed as an advertising gimmick to get people to buy electric cars. "Oh no, madam" the salesman could explain "the Electowhiz can never run out of electricity - here's a map of the network of charging points across London". Of course, the only places left to site these charging points were spaces unsuitable for on-street parking due to endemic levels of car theft and vandalism or spaces too difficult to access for them to have been used for paid parking. In practice Fiona wouldn't even contemplate driving through the Mandela Estate, let alone leaving her Electrowhiz plugged in there for the day. 

And of course if Fiona wanted to drive down to the country at the weekend to see Mums and Dads, she'd need either a proper car or a train ticket. "OK Mums, I'll leave at three and see if I can get on the A4 by four, then a hotel in Guildford for the night to re-charge the Electrowhiz and I should be in Newbury by Saturday lunchtime - and I'll need to leave at tea-time to get home". 

If we need an alternative to petrol, diesel or methane it's got to be hydrogen. Hydrogen, so readily available from our vast coal reserves that the entire nation once used to cook and heat its homes with it. Mixed with the methane that also comes from fractionally distilling coal. A tank of Hydrogen will get Fiona home and back for the weekend and cover most of her week's commuting at a market price set in Reading not Dallas. 

One day in the future some young chap from Conways or Murphys will break-out a rusted old charging post from the footway as redundant and unrecognised as a hydraulic mains pipe is today and wonder what the heck he's clearing.