Archive for July 2007

How does that work then?

Telford & Wrekin Council set up a private limited company with the Advantage West Midlands, the unelected regional development agency, called Transforming Telford.

The company spent over £1m last year whilst running as a “shadow company” (ie. not doing anything).  Only 2 of the board members are elected councillors, the rest being representatives from regional quangos and private companies.

When the Conservative opposition booted the Labour administration out for the first time in the history of the borough earlier this year, they launched an investigation of Transforming Telford.  I have it on good authority that financial irregularities were one of the reasons that the company is being investigated.  However, for some unknown reason the new Leader of the council has decided to appoint a councillor that runs regeneration consultation meetings on behalf of Transforming Telford to carry out the investigation.  Not that there’s likely to be a conflict of interests there.

Meanwhile, a local resident has decided to take Transforming Telford to court over a land-grab that the Spaniards would be proud of.  One of the old housing estates is currently undergoing multi-million pound regeneration.  The project was run by the aforementioned Advantage West Midlands until recently when Transforming Telford took it over.  Using Advantage West Midlands’ powers, the resident has seen part of his garden given to his neighbour as compensation for losing part of his garden.  The reason why his neighbour has lost part of his garden, though, is because the garage he bought years ago is being demolished and as compensation for losing his garage he is having two garages and a hard-standing area built on his garden free of charge!

Now, you’d expect this kind of thing to be taken up by the intrepid reporters at the local newspaper, the Shropshire Star, right?  Strangely, they don’t seem too keen on stories about this quango recently and I’m sure this is nothing to do with the Chief Executive of Midlands News Association – the owner of the Shropshire Star – having a seat on the board.

These companies are cropping up all over the country under the banner of “regeneration and investment” and are usually conceived in secret with the help of the local regional development agency and quietly announced in the local press.  They are taxpayer funded and immune from the Freedom of Information Act.  I’d be interested to know of anyone elses experiences of these companies elsewhere in the country.

Another Survey

I know there have been a few surveys recently but can I just point you to the State of the Union survey?


Tony Sharp of The Waendel Journal has a short survey on devolution, the union and the traitors heading up the top 3 parties.

The survey is here.

Flag Flying Consultation

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is holding “consultation” on whether the British flag should be flown from English public buildings all year round.

Regardless of the results, the English flag will be supressed in favour of the British flag because that’s what suits the racist British government but it’s still worth putting in your views, if only to get it off your chest.

Flagging up discrimination

The SNP have ruled out flying the British flag over Scottish Executive buildings and are planning to force public buildings in Scotland to fly the Scottish flag instead.  They are also planning to change the rules north of the border to allow the Scottish flag to be flown with precedence to the British flag.

The Welsh Assembly isn’t mentioned but if flag flying is devolved then it is quite likely the Welsh will follow suit leaving the English to have No Mandate Brown’s faux-Britishness inflicted on them.

The BBC, as usual, misrepresents the facts over flag flying rules backing up No Mandate Brown’s false claim that he is responsible for changing the rules to allow English public buildings to fly the British flag all year round.  The 18 day rule that they refer to are the 18 days that it is mandatory for public buildings to fly the British flag – they are allowed to fly it any time of the year under existing rules.

And if anyone knows where the picture on the right was taken, please let me know.  Flying the British flag over the English flag is a declaration of war.

Iain Dale’s Top 20 Blogs

Iain Dale would like people to contact him with their top 20 political blogs and is even offering a prize of £100 worth of political DVDs for the list randomly pulled out of a hat.

Click here for more information from Mr Dale.

Criminal Justice System

The English language sometimes makes it hard to convey your actual meaning in writing but, on the other hand, it makes for suitably ambiguous headlines like this one.

Some time ago, the British government tried to change the law so that “terrorist suspects” could be locked up for 3 months without charge.  The attempt failed as even Labour MP’s saw through the thinly-veiled attempt to curtail civil liberties unnecessarily and the shonky way in which justification was invented by instructing police forces to draw up proposals for 90 day detention without charge and then claiming those proposals were requests for its introduction.  Let’s be realistic here – if you’ve got enough evidence to suspect somebody you don’t need three months to find a charge that will stick.

The “independent” reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, Lord Carlile, recently said that unelected judges should decide how long people can be held without charge instead of elected politicians.  I think this is probably the first time the “you gave the wrong answer before so we won’t ask you again” method of democracy has been used on MP’s.  Lord Carlile has previously proposed bringing in an English version of the US Patriot Act which allows the US government to lock up non-US citizens indefinitely without charge, without trial and without access to legal advice.

This is all illegal under our existing constitution of course.  Habeas Corpus (yes, it’s a law, not a principle) and the Bill of Rights between them guarantee the right to trial by jury and ban summary justice and arbitrary imprisonment.  What other basic rights do we need?  We certainly don’t need a new Bill of Rights which is what No Mandate Brown is planning to introduce.  What we need is for our existing rights under our centuries old constitution to be respected.  Under English law you can’t lock people up indefinitely, the police or local authority “enforcement officers” can’t hand out on-the-spot fines and you can’t be convicted of any crime without standing trial in front of a jury if that is your wish.

The curtailment of our civil liberties and blatant disregard for our constitution and legal system is all in the name of fighting terrorism.  The British government calls it a “war” but it’s not.  You can’t have a war against a word or a crime, a war is between two or more nations.  If this was a war, terrorism suspects would be prisoners of war and would have more rights from the Geneva Convention than they do under anti-terrorism laws.  But what constitutes an offence under the “anti-terrorism” laws that the British government have introduced?

Reading the names of dead soldiers outside the war memorial next to Downing Street is a crime under anti-terrorism laws.  Carrying a blank placard within 1km of Parliament is a crime under anti-terrorism laws.  Wearing a T-Shirt insulting the Prime Minister within 1km of Parliament is a crime under anti-terrorism laws.

Anyone who has seen Taking Liberties or read the book by the same name will remember the man who was put under house arrest for not being a terrorist.  Off the top of my head, the story goes something like this: a muslim went to live in Afghanistan before the invasion because he wanted to experience living in an Islamic country.  When the Americans threatened to invade liberate the country he moved his family to Pakistan.  The Americans subsequently offered a bounty to anyone in Pakistan accusing someone of terrorism.  As an outsider, the man was promptly sold to the Americans by locals.  He was taken to Afghanistan and tortured interrogated for a few months with the full knowledge of British government.  He was then taken to Guantanamo Bay where he was tortured interrogated some more and then sent back to the UK without standing trial where he was placed under house arrest by the Home Secretary for not being a terrorist.

There is another story in the same book about another muslim who stood trial as a terrorist for knowing someone who knew someone who stabbed a police officer during a “terror raid”.  He was acquitted after the CPS’ case fell to pieces when it became clear that he didn’t even know the person who had stabbed the police officer but his freedom was short-live because the Home Secretary put him under house arrest for not being a terrorist.

What is so absurd about “anti-terrorism” legislation is that it isn’t actually needed.  Committing a terrorist act, when you break it down, is one or more existing basic crimes.  Blowing something up is criminal damage, killing somebody is murder and trying to kill somebody is attempted murder.  Planning to commit one of these crimes is conspiracy to commit criminal damage or conspiracy to commit murder and trying to undermine the state is treason.  All these have been crimes for centuries and, until recently, carried serious sentences.

To use a recent example: the two muslims, Singe Maheed and Allaburn Majeep, who drove a jeep into Glasgow Airport were guilty of criminal damage and attempted murder.  The fact that they were a pair of nutjob jihadi’s doesn’t make it anything other than those two basic crimes.

So, getting back to my original comment about the failings of the English language and the ambiguous headline – is it a criminal justice system or is the justice system criminal?  Answers on a postcard …

Linky linky

I’m all for sharing a bit of blogger love so if anyone links to me and I don’t link to them, leave your details in the comments and I’ll add a link.

Also, what does everyone think of picture blogrolls?  I’ve seen a few but they make the sidebar 3 miles long and they slow down the loading time of the page.  Is it worth losing screen real estate and the extra hit on page load times?

FFS, it’s a cow

Shambo the sacred bull has finally been taken away for slaughter.

The bull was being kept by a bunch of (mostly white from what I’ve seen) Hindu’s in Wales who, of course, revere cows as sacred animals.  The bull tested positive for Bovine TB which is highly contageous and, if allowed to run its course, would have resulted in the animal drowning in its own bodily fluids.

I’m not an expert but I don’t think any of the Hindu gods are into animal cruelty.

A different type of politics?

A couple of months ago Gordon Brown said that he wanted a “different kind of politics”.  He said that he would “listen and learn”.  Gordon Brown is a liar.

When Shropshire County Council first proposed abolishing local councils and replacing them with a single, sub-regional unitary authority, people said they didn’t want it.  Three of the five districts that were under threat held referenda and all three referenda rejected the idea of one council for Shropshire.  The county council, however, showed its utter contempt for public opinion by not only continuing with its bid but submitting its proposal to central government on the day one of the referenda results were due to be announced.

In all, local democracy is being abolished in nine areas and being replaced with unitary authorities.

Comments on West Midlands NO! please.

And who represented England?

The meeting of the British-Irish Council last week agreed to tie the UK and Irish driving licence penalty points systems into each other.

Steps are already being taken to harmonise the UK and Northern Ireland systems as the way the law stands at the moment, the holder of a British driving licence can accumulate 9 points on the mainland and 9 points in Northern Ireland without losing their licence.

Harmonising the UK and Northern Ireland systems is a sensible move, we are supposed to be part of the same union after all.  Recognising the points accumulated in the Irish Republic is also a good idea but it does set a precedent which might not be of benefit to English drivers.  The EU is always looking for ways to bring more things under their federal wing and this could be seen as a starting point for an EU-wide driving licence points and fines system, administered by the EU of course with a percentage of fines going straight into the EU propaganda fund.  Whilst the fundamental laws around driving – don’t drive at 80mph through a town centre (unless you’re “testing” a police car), don’t drive into pedestrians, don’t drive the wrong way down a motorway, etc. – are the same in most countries, the same cannot be said of all rules of the road and an English driver could quite innocently break some obscure local driving law and find themselves totting up enough points for a ban without even realising it.  For instance, in France it is an offence not to cover your headlights in those silly yellow covers or drive your English car without an EU sticker on it.  That could be 6 points under a harmonised points system.  Add to that a couple of speeding tickets from 3 or 4 years ago and you’ve got a driving ban.

Anyway, this is beside the point.  The main issue I have with this is that the British-Irish Council has no representation from England.  They have representatives from the Irish Republic, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man but England is represented by the British government which is also representing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  To make matters worse, No Mandate Brown has pledged to put the interests of Scottish people first in all his acts and deliberations and what really takes the piss is that No Mandate Brown can’t impose the changes on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland because transport is devolved!

Smokers more important than disabled people?

When the smoking ban was first proposed, I don’t think anyone would have predicted a situation where the “rights” of a smoker would be put above those of disabled people.

Believe it or not, the Holiday Inn in Telford has painted out one of its four disabled parking spaces and put picnic tables and umbrellas on it for smokers.

They have always had a poor attitude towards disabled parking, coning off the disabled spaces when they have large conventions at the international centre for the cars of the organisers and VIP guests but this is a new low.  There are 150 bedrooms in the hotel, a leisure centre open to non-guests and a restaurant open to the public.  At its peak there could easily be 450-500 people in the hotel and the disabled parking facilities now cater for only 3 cars.  And it’s not as if the hotel is short of parking – there is more than enough parking for their needs.

Let it go!

Our celtic friends have long memories.  Half of them couldn’t tell you what caused either of the world wars or who took part in the Boer or Crimean wars but they can give you a magnificent account of the Battle of Banockburn or the Battle of Culloden.  They’ll reel off a long list of everything that the English have done to Scotland in the past 800 years and vice versa.  They’ll give you a tearful rendition of Mel Gibson William Wallace’s “You’ll never take our freedooooooom” given half a chance.

It’s a dangerous position to be in – there is so much racial hatred ingrained in the Scottish psyche that some of them feel moved, by a work of fiction such as Braveheart, to carry out racist attacks.  Innocent English people who are attacked in the street for the hideous crime of wearing and England football shirt had it coming to them for rubbing salt into 500 year old wounds.

Of course, most Scottish people don’t feel the urge to beat up people or vandalise their houses for being English but there is a vocal minority that really do hate the English with a passion simply because of things that happened hundreds of years ago.

Don’t worry, there is a point to – stay with me.

The anti-English feeling north of the border has been passed down from generation to generation and the emphasis placed on Scottish history (the only history Scotland really has is of fighting with England) has helped to reinforce that anti-English sentiments that are almost part-and-parcel of everyday Scottish life.

I’m getting to the point now.  A Scottish-born millionaire who, like so many other Scottish “patriots”, loves Scotland so much he lives in Canada has paid for a “Clearances Centre” and a statue near the Strath of Kildonan.  The statue is to remember the Scots that suffered from the Highland Clearances when Lord Sutherland had families evicted from his estate.  The commonly accepted version of events holds that the Highlanders were treated appalingly – the full works, rape, pillaging, etc.  There is an alternative version of events that says that they weren’t as bad as all that but that it was used as a propaganda tool.  We’ll never know which version of events is true because it’s in the distant past but how often will this be mentioned in Scottish history lessons?

Even after hundreds of years the wounds are still raw north of the border and this statue – as with the statue of Mel Gibson pretending to be William Wallace – will only serve as a permanent reminder and a focal point for agression.  The Scottish/Canadian patriot wants 5 or 6 of these statues in places where Scots have settled in places like the US and Australia.  I’m half expecting a public apology from the Scottish Prime Minister on behalf of his English subjects for the treatment of Scotland.

No matter what your background is or your personal feelings, you have to ask what kind of a message this conveys.  It’s time to stop looking to the past and letting events of 300 or more years ago define your existence.  The statues are a bad idea, they’re negative and to be quite frank, they’re irrelevant.  It’s time Scotland put the past behind them and started looking to the future.

Is the BBC fit for purpose?

The BBC seem to be incapable of performing their duties as a public service broadcaster just lately.

Their role, as a taxpayer-funded public service broadcaster, is to provide honest, quality, factual and unbiased programming.  They are specifically prohibited in their charter from following a partial agenda, including that of the British government.  They are most certainly not permitted to rip off the taxpaying public.

A few days ago it emerged that the BBC have been ripping off members of the public by faking winners for competitions including Comic Relief and Sport Relief.  Those charities will now suffer from the adverse publicity surrounding the BBC’s corruption in the phone competitions they ran in their name.

Almost ignored in the mainstream media was the bollocking the BBC got for deliberately excluding UKIP from debates on Federal Europe, instead inviting mildly eurosceptic or pro-EU reformists onto shows to tell us all how the EU is mostly misunderstood and could be transformed miraculously from a corrupt, undemocratic organisation into an open, democratic, honest organisation that will end wars forever and spread peace and prosperity around the globe.

They have now been given a talking to about their anti-SNP agenda.  In a programme on Scottish independence, Newsnight told viewers – and Alex Salmond, the SNP Leader and First Minister of Scotland – that they contacted the 25 biggest companies in “Britain” and the top 25 companies in Scotland and all of them were opposed to independence.  It was later discovered that most of the 50 companies involved refused to even discuss the subject, let alone condemn the SNP or Scottish independence.

The BBC rarely speaks out against the EU, in part thanks to the massive amount of funding it gets from Brussels for informational programming (more commonly known as “propaganda”) but mostly because of the British government’s pro-EU agenda.  They rarely speak out against the blatent and sustained discrimination against English people, again, because of the British government’s anti-English agenda.

The BBC is fast losing the trust of ordinary people and has proven itself to be far too politicised to be able to carry out its obligations under its charter.  So what is the solution?  We need a public service broadcaster and we need one that isn’t in the hands of Rupert Murdoch but we also need a broadcaster we can trust.  Taking the BBC out of the control of MPs is the obvious answer but who do you give it to instead?  The civil service is so politicised that they, too, cannot be trusted to run the BBC in the interests of the public.  Handing it over to private business to run is also no good because they’ll run it for commercial and personal interest just like MPs do.

For once, I don’t have an answer so I’ll leave it open to the comments.  How do we maintain the BBC as a taxpayer-funded, public service broadcaster, but restore its apolitical, impartial status and once again make it a service that can be trusted?


A black binman from Burnley has been banned from wearing his Cross of St George bandana at work because it might be racist and/or offensive.

Pendle Council told Matthew Carter that they had received complaints and gave him a verbal warning.  He was told that he is not allowed to wear any clothing with a Cross of St George on it in case it offends someone.  They don’t have a problem, however, with the Skull and Crossbones bandana that he is now wearing to keep his dreadlocks from getting trapped in the machinery on the back of the bin lorry.

I wonder if he’d have got into trouble for wearing a Union Flag bandana.  Or a Stars and Stripes bandana.  Or how about a Scottish one?  The council’s operations manager goes by the name of Ian McInery … I’m sure the Scottish connection is just a coincidence.


There is some serious flooding around the country, particularly here in the Midlands.  We’ve escaped most of it here in Telford – only Ironbridge really suffers from serious flooding and it’s not really in Telford anyway.

Ludlow has been hit quite badly again having lost a bridge a couple of weeks ago but the south Midlands have taken the brunt of it.  Evesham is under water and nreaby Pershore is cut off completely.  An electricity sub-station is threatening to flood and take out the power supply for half a million houses in Worcestershire.  A water treatment plant has already flooded threatening to leave Cheltenham and Gloucester without fresh water.

David Cameron has criticised No Mandate Brown for not doing enough.  Unlike his predecesor, he doesn’t get instructions from God so there’s not a great deal he could do.  “Woolas, Benn, we need 140 metric tonnes of wood from sustainable sources for an Ark.  The Lord has warned me of an impending flood … no, I meant God, not Tony”.

There are a few things that could be done though.  For a start, the money going abroad for victims of natural disasters – such as floods in Pakistan for instance – could be used to help out people in this country.  Charity begins at home after all.  Secondly, local authorities need to stop allowing developments in flood planes.  River views might be desirable but they’re not worth half a million pounds worth of insurance claims or the cost of flying an RAF Sea King to airlift stranded homeowners from their riverside cottages.  Finally, dredge the bloody rivers.  Yes, if you dredge a river it causes more flooding downstream but that’s not a reason not to do it – just dredge the whole length of the river, it’s not rocket science.

Luckily nobody appears to have been killed this time but what about next time?  And the next?

By-election Results

Liebour have managed to hold on to the Sedgefield and Ealing Southall constituencies but have lost big chunks of their majorities to … the Illiberal Dumocrats.

Traitor Bliar’s old constituency of Sedgefield returned the Liebour candidate, Phil Wilson, but Liebour saw its majority drop by 14% with an 11% swing towards the Llib Dums who leapfrogged the Tories to take second place with the Nazi Party BNP slotting into fourth place.

Fifth place went to an Independent followed by UKIP, Greens and the English Democrats. The bottom three places were taken by the Christian Party, the Monster Raving Loony Party and finally, the Anti-Crime Party. Presumably not the Anti-War Crime Party … or perhaps it was as they seem to like Bliar there.

On to Ealing Southall. Liebour retained the seat known locally as “Little India” but saw their majority reduced by over 7% with a 5¼% swing to the Lib Dums, again knocking the Tories into third place. The Greens had another good result, slotting into fourth place followed by George Galloway’s Respect Party, UKIP, the Christian Party, an Independent, the Monster Raving Loony Party, English Democrats and two more Independents.

It’s a mixed result for No Mandate Brown who will be pleased to have retained two Liebour safe seats but a bit worried at losing such a sizeable proportion of their majority, especially in the seat just vacated by Bliar.

The Tories will be licking their wounds wondering what’s going wrong – here’s a hint for you lads, you have more support when Call Me Dave doesn’t speak.

The Lib Dums will be beside themselves, as will the Greens. UKIP will be disappointed with the relatively low return for what is effectively the fourth party of England. The English Democrats will be disappointed to have lost their deposit in both seats (and coming behind the Monster Raving Loony Party in Ealing Southall) but perhaps satisfied with the result bearing in mind that Sedgefield has voted for a lying war criminal for 24 years and in Ealing Southall, less than 38% of the population is white (yes, I know you don’t have to be white to be English but you know what I mean). The Monster Raving Loony Party … well, who knows what they’re thinking and the Christian Party? Who the chuff is the Christian Party?

Flood Warning for Southern Britain

The Biased Broadcasting Corruption Corporation is doing No Mandate Brown’s work for him again.

The Scottish weather presenter on BBC Breakfast this morning declared that there was a flood warning for “Southern Britain”. Where is this “Southern Britain?” I hear you ask. The map pans out to reveal heavy rain sweeping across … England and Wales.

Yet another entirely made-up term invented to promote “Britain” and avoid referring to England. Did the Scottish weather presenter refer to his own country as “North Britain”? Did he buggery.

Eveshambles Part 3

I phoned Evesham yesterday to find out the progress of the repair on my Evesham laptop. “It’s repaired but it’s not been shipped yet”. Brilliant, it’s round the corner, I’ll go and fetch it. “I don’t think you can do that sir” …

I’ll cut out the disagreement that ensued, you can fill in the blanks, but we left it with the young lady emailing Micro Nano (the repairers) to ask if I could pick it up. Still no phone call today from Eveshambles but Mrs Sane rang to say it had arrived and she’d tried it and the keyboard works.

Brilliant – I’ve got loads to do that I’ve been waiting on my laptop for and I’ve been asked to write an article for a newspaper sometime between now and … erm, now! Small problem – the wireless card on the new motherboard they’ve allegedly put in my laptop is shit and the signal strength is so low that I gave up trying to open the Microsoft Update website after about 30 minutes.

Private Eye: Down on the Farm

An interesting piece in this months Private Eye. Shropshire has a reputation for producing fearsome judges and it’s good to see Judge Onions carrying that on.

Down on the Farm

A MURKY drama unfolded recently in a Shrewsbury courtroom reminding us yet again of the unhealthy closeness between the officials of Defra and the pharmaceutical industry.

John Rawlings is an agricultural merchant who supplies some 70 farms in the Midlands with pesticides (don’t worry if you have a bias against pesticides: that’s not the point of the story). Mr Rawlings noticed to his surprise that many of the pesticides he was selling were available much more cheaply on the continent, even though they were the same products made by the same companies. Aware that we now Live in the “single market”, Mr Rawlings imported 14 products from Italy and Holland — products which would have cost up to 45 percent more in Britain. He and his customers were happy. But Defra wasn’t and duly hauled him into court to face 14 criminal charges. His offence, apparently, was that these chemicals had not been vetted by the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), part of Defra’s empire, and were therefore illegal, even though all but one were exactly the same as products the PSD had already approved. Defra, it seemed, had not yet heard about the single market. This is odd, since almost all it does is dictated by Brussels, for which it is merely a very inefficient branch office.

What Defra hadn’t reckoned on, however, was His Honour Judge’Onions who, as the costly trial unfolded, waxed ever more irritable. At one point he was so angry at Defra’s “prevarication” he threatened that, unless it got its act together and withdrew II of the 14 charges, he would order a senior Defra minister to appear in his court by lOam the next morning to explain what the officials were up to.

At the end of the case Judge Onions said it was clear Defra was collaborating with the “chemical companies to operate a cartel” (which two of the companies’ witnesses had admitted under oath). In other words, Defra was conniving with its friends in the pharmaceutical industry to sting British farmers up to 45 percent more for their products than was being charged to farmers on the continent. He was so angry he said he would be writing to Mr Kerr Wilson, head of the PSD, asking why the case had been brought and demanding an answer within 21 days. He also said the pharmaceutical companies should be investigated by the Competition Commission, since operating cartels is an offence under EU law.
On the three remaining charges, the judge gave Mr Rawlings a conditional discharge on the grounds that technical offences had been committed. But in light of Defra’s behaviour, he ordered the ministry to pay 80 percent of its costs. True to form, when Defra and the PSD reported the case on their websites, they left out anything remotely detrimental to their case, including the fact that the taxpayers were being left to foot most of Defra’s £42,500 bill. They presented it as if they had won a glorious victory and reminded farmers that it was a criminal offence to use pesticides not approved by the PSD, for which they could lose their EU subsidies.

The chances of Della doing anything to end the illegal cartel seem remote. After all, it’s not long since Defra helped cover up the disaster inflicted on thousands of sheep farmers by their use of OP sheep dips, all manufuctured by its pharmaceutical chums.