Archive for February 2007

Murder suspect was a stalker (allegedly)

Let me start by saying that this is what I have been told by someone who has been on the receiving end of unwanted attentions of the alleged murderer and the man hasn’t been convicted yet.

At the beginning of this month a woman was killed a few miles from where I live.  She was 27 years old, had two daughters and was strangled to death.  A 37 year old man who lived on the same street has been charged with her murder.

I am told that the man was a stalker – he took photos of quite a few women without their permission and very publicly and his home was found to be full of pictures of these women, including his murdered neighbour.  I believe he had been reported to the police for stalking but I don’t know what happened about it – presumably nothing as he’s only in custody now for alleged murder.

Just before the murder he was talking to one of the women he had been stalking.  Looks like she had a lucky escape.

My, what long memories you’ve got …

England play Ireland today in the Rugby Six Nations at Croke Park, the site of the killing – by British soliders – of 12 members of the public.

The killings took place 87 years ago and were followed by a series of reprisals by IRA terrorists.  Despite this all having taken place outside of the living memory of all but a handful of nonogenerian Irishmen and women, there have been calls for God Save the Queen not to be played because it’s a painful reminder of British occupation and attrocities, etc., etc.

Let’s just put this into context – in 1920 the Irish Free State still didn’t exist, terrorists were running amock and Ireland was still part of the UK.  What happened 87 years ago we don’t know with any real accuracy – there probably isn’t a person alive now who was actually there.  The shooting of innocent people by soliders is, of course, a sad thing but it was 87 years ago.  We don’t ask the Italians not to play their national anthem because of what the Romans did to us centuries ago, we don’t ask the Germans not to play their national anthem because of the two world wars they stated which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people and nor should the Irish demand that God Save the Queen isn’t played.

To be honest, I would be delighted not to have to listen to God Save the Queen.  I am a monarchist and I wish no ill of the Queen and if there is, indeed, a god then I would certainly ask that he save her.  However, it is not the English national anthem and the English team is not representing Britain.  Northern Ireland is part of the Irish rugby team which means playing God Save the Queen gives them two national anthems – a little unfair don’t you think?  Jerusalem is played before England matches now but the British national anthem is always played afterwards (because the Princess Royal is the RFU’s patron was the excuse I was given).  Jerusalem is the most popular choice for an English national anthem and should be played instead before every sporting event which England takes part in.

But getting back to my original point – the Irish are being unreasonable, plain and simple.  It’s almost worth having God Save the Queen just to prove a point.

Pick on someone your own size

The Electoral Commission, sock-puppet of the Labour government, has intimated that it may force UKIP to forfeit £363,697 in donations from Alan Brown, a former bookmaker and the main donor for the party.

Alan Brown, apparently unbeknown to himself or UKIP, was not on the electoral register during December 2004 and January 2006.  He was permanently resident in the country as he has been all his life but because he made a donation during that fourteen month period it is classed as taken a donation from an overseas resident – an offence under the Political Parties and Referendums Act 2000.

If the Electoral Commission insists the money has to be forefeited the money will be passed to the Crown.  UKIP Chairman, John Whittaker, says that it could bankrupt the party which is not cash or asset rich but doesn’t have any debts unlike the Conservatives who are selling their headquarters to pay bills or Labour who are unable to service their debts or pay wages on time and are technically insolvent.

The Lib Dems received a large donation from an overseas resident who made the donation through a company which has never been proven to operate in the UK.  Donations by overseas residents are permitted as long as it is made through a company that operates in the UK – this is how Labour got away with receiveing their £2m donation from Lakshmi Mittal who lives in India but whose company operates in the UK.  The Lib Dems, however, were not forced to repay the donation which would have bankrupted them even though there is still no evidence that the company through which the donation was made has ever traded in the UK.

If UKIP is forced to forfeit this donation then it at least proves one thing – the British government is seriously concerned about losing out to UKIP in the coming elections and will do anything it can to try and take them out of the running.  Yes, the donations were technically illegal but the circumstances surrounding them are dubious and it is pretty clear that there was no intentional illegality.  It’s hardly on a par with cash for peerages is it?

Olympic bill goes through the roof

The estimated bill of hosting the 2012 Olympics in London has been put at £9bn – a huge increase over the original estimate of £2.35bn.

The estimated cost was revised recently when the European Federation told Gordon Brown he had to charge VAT on the construction costs when the Treasury had initially agreed to waive the VAT bill.  The amount of VAT each member state collects affects the annual contribution to the EU so we can expect our bill to increase yet again.

However, the revised £3.4bn bill looks like it was grossly underestimated as the cost of commodities, regeneration, security and contingency funds have all risen bringing the total to estimated cost of hosting the Olympics to around £9bn.  The bill is likely to be split between the lottery and the taxpayer with the amount of money available from the lottery for charity reducing as a knock-on effect.


Wimbledon is to offer the same prize money to women and it does to men.  Currently it is the only open event that doesn’t pay the male and female winners the same prize.

It’s good that women tennis players will get the same prize but surely they must also play the same number of sets to earn their prize?  Female players don’t play the same number of sets as male players yet last year the female prize was 95% of the male prize.

If I wanted to watch adverts …

Took Mrs Sane to the cinema on Wednesday night (Music & Lyrics is a really funny film and Drew Barrymore looks great) and the two eldest kids on Thursday morning (Charlottes Web is also a good film, brought back memories!).

We paid £7.50 for the posh seats – enough leg room so that your knees aren’t in your ears and the back is high enough for someone of average height not to get neck ache (I’m 6’1″ tall though so not high enough for me).  I think £7.50 is a bit expensive for a film but it’s nice to get out of the house and it’s not the same watching films on the telly.

So what did I get for my money?  Good films?  Yep.  Clean cinema?  Yep.  Comfy seats?  Yep.  Fifty minutes of adverts, trailers and FACT warnings?  Yep.

I kid you not – 50 minutes over the two sittings.  A FACT advert that aims to dissuade viewers from buying copied DVD’s by showing you how bad they are – small picture, member of the audience walking past the screen, fuzzy, grainy, poor sound, etc.  Personally, I’ve never seen a copied DVD that fits that description and I can’t see FACT convincing anyone with a dodgy advert at the cinema!  Anyway, loads of trailers and adverts for all sorts of people with glowing references from advertisers.  But I don’t want to watch adverts, I’ve paid to watch a film.  I don’t mind the trailers so much but I do grudge paying to watch adverts.  If I wanted to watch adverts I’d watch a film on ITV.

Speed limit cut for GPS road

A coroners inquest has ruled that a motorcyclist killed on a Telford road a year ago was killed because the driver of a lorry drove down the wrong side of the road whilst following duff instructions on a GPS sat-nav system.

In his report, the coroner has called for improved signage to stop it happening again.  Telford & Wrekin Council are going to stop it happening again by … reducing the speed limit!

Telford was built for motorists, public transport is abysmal but the council still insists on pursuing a vendetta against car drivers.

Regional Assembly boss opposes regional assemblies

One of the most bizarre things to come out of Sunday’s BBC Politics Show on Advantage West Midlands (AWM) was the chief exec of the West Midlands Regional Assembly (WMRA) saying that he opposes regional assemblies!

That should go down well at the EU Committee of Regions.

West Midlands NO! on BBC website

As mentioned the other day, West Midlands NO! will be featured on todays BBC Politics Show at 12 o’clock on BBC1.

The Politics Show website has been updated with details of the programme and a mention of the West Midlands NO! Campaign.

BNP narrowly defeated in Nuneaton & Bedworth

The BNP were only narrowly pipped at the post by Labour at the Nuneaton & Bedworth by-election yesterday.

Labour managed to retain the seat by the skin of their teeth with the Tories getting a dismal number of votes – not much over 50% of what the BNP got.  The Illiberal Dums got about half of what the Tories got, the EDP got 75 votes, a local NHS candidate got 46 and last an unfortunately least, UKIP got 8 votes.

I’m told that there wasn’t much support by local UKIPers for their candidate and that the BNP have a lot of followers there, fought the election hard and even produce a regular magazine in the area.  Not sure what the reasoning is behind the Tories poor result but well done to the EDP – ever the under dogs but rarely at the bottom of the results table of late.

Bloody snow

Normally I like snow although the cold does play havoc with my arthritis.  Generally though I like to see a couple of inches of the white stuff on the floor (stop sniggering at the back, I’m still talking about snow).

However, today is taking the piss.  We’ve had a couple of inches of snow but the council didn’t grit or plough the roads.  The result?  Mayhem.  It was taking people an hour to get out of the commercial park I work on.  It’s about 300 yards.  Getting off the estate wasn’t the problem (apart from the people driving sports cars and real-wheel-drive BMW’s but they deserve it for being poncy) but once you got off the estate the whole town was at a standstill.  The police were directing traffic at one point so the estate wasn’t blocked in.

Anyway, I was at work at 8am today and I left at 6pm.  There was no point sitting in traffic for an hour or more – I didn’t have enough petrol to anyway!  It took 45 minutes to drive home, 25 of which was getting off the damn car park and onto the road.  We saw one snow plough smoothing the snow off the ice underneath – it wasn’t even gritting – and that was it on a 45 minute journey.


I was interviewed by the BBC last night for a Politics Show programme on Advantage West Midlands.

The show is being broadcast at 12 noon this Sunday on BBC1.

1&1 are really getting on my tits

I’ve been with 1&1 for a while now and until recently they’ve been great, if a little expensive.

For weeks now email has been up and down like Paris Hilton’s knickers.  I can retrieve some of my emails at the moment but Outlook can’t delete them off the mail server so they keep downloading over and over again.  I can get into webmail at the moment but I can’t delete emails from webmail – 500 server error.

I’ve had enough, I’m ditching them and changing to Servtec who I have West Midlands NO! with.

UKIP moot name change

The UK Independence Party is considering changing its name to the Independence Party.

This can only be a good thing for UKIP – the UK is in its death throes with Scottish independence imminent and support for the union at an all time low and only going to get lower if we end up with a Prime Minister elected in Scotland.

A number of people have said to me that they would ditch their current party (mainly Tories) and and switch alleigence to UKIP if only they would change their name to the Independence Party.

The name change is being supported by Nigel Farage, the party leader and many high-ranking UKIPers.

Developer tool CodeIt.Right Beta released

CodeIt.Right (Beta) – no need to correct your .NET code manually anymore?

First public Beta of the new code quality and refactoring tool. Helps to ID code and performance problems, fix them automatically, keep your naming consistent and will guide you through most common coding patterns and best practices. The site also provides complementary Coding Guidelines ebook for download.

read more | digg story

Jonny helps England demolish Scotland

Jonny Wilkinson made a glorious comeback today after two years of injury in which he has played no international rugby and only 40 minutes of club rugby.

England romped home to a 42-20 victory over Scotland with Jonny Wilkinson scoring a try and 7 out of 9 kicks.

£5m of mortgages

Traitor Blair has just bought a fifth property bringing his total mortgage liability up to an estimated £5m or 25 times his salary.

How does our glorious leader propose to pay £20k a month in mortgage payments when he finally does the decent thing and resigns later this year or even if he ends up doing porridge for (allegedly) taking bribes for peerages?

The latest property in the Bliar empire is a mews house behind their latest home in Connaught Square which the taxpayer is likely to end up paying to renovate in the name of “security”.

Britishness Brown interfering in English education again

The BBC reports that Britishness Brown is stepping up his Prime Ministership campaign by setting out his policies on education.

The problem is, the Chancellor was elected in Scotland where education is the responsibility of the Scottish government.  Gordon Brown wasn’t elected for his education policies because his education policies don’t affect his own constituency or any other constituency in his beloved Scotland.

He has plans for Britishness lessons in schools.  But only in England.  He won’t say what he plans to do about the cap on tuition fees that Scottish MP’s imposed on England against the wishes of a majority of English MP’s.  He plans to force 16-18 year olds into further education.  But only in England.  His Britishness lessons should include lessons about the “freedom from arbitrary rule that came in during the 16th and 17th Century”.  This is slightly confusing as Britain didn’t exist in the 16th and 17th centuries – he is, of course, referring to the English Bill of Rights.  The Tartan Taxman has a rather annoying habit of claiming English laws and inventions for Britain, once referring to the Magna Carta as a great British statute even though it predated the union by 500 years.

I have only one thing to say to Gordon Brown’s education plans: NO MANDATE!

You’ll never guess who I saw today

Sitting at my desk this morning and my colleague says “Tony Bliar’s coming to Telford today at 1.30”.

Too much of an opportunity to miss so I phoned around some CEP contacts.  Unfortunately, only one person I could get hold of that was able to turn up but luckily he had a 30ft “English Parliament Now” banner.

About 20 PCS union people were there with their placards and there was me and Derek with the huge banner that we could barely hold up.

A reporter from the Shropshire Star turned up (we missed the photographer unfortunately) and sidled over.  “I know you” I said, “we’ve spoken on the phone”.  The result is that he ignored the PCS people and spent an hour talking to us instead.

Couldn’t convince the reporter to join the CEP but we Princess Tony certainly couldn’t have missed the banner!