Archive for August 2008

Plain English Campaign: get your priorities right

There’s nothing like getting your priorities right and this is nothing like getting your priorities right.

The Campaign for Plain English has convinced Tesco to change the wording of its “10 items or less” because it’s grammatically incorrect.  They quite rightly point out that when you know the quantity then it is grammatically correct to say “10 items or fewer“.  But what the hell has this got to do with making things easier to understand?  Is there any English speaker in the world that wouldn’t understand what “10 items or less” means?

Here are a couple of quotes from their website:

What is Plain English Campaign?

We are an independent organisation fighting against jargon, gobbledygook and other confusing language, while promoting crystal-clear language. We are based in New Mills, Derbyshire, in England.

What is plain English?

We define plain English as writing that the intended audience can read, understand and act upon the first time they read it. Plain English takes into account design and layout as well as language.

Ticks neither of those boxes so why are they wasting their time and Tesco’s money on getting a harmless name changed when it doesn’t do anything to promote their agenda?
If the Campaign for Plain English wanted to target Tesco then there is a far more legitimate reason for complaint than breaking an arcane grammatical rule – the labelling of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish products as such and the labelling of English products as British.  Putting up a sign saying “10 items or less” instead of “10 items or fewer” introduces absolutely no ambiguity whatsoever, the meaning cannot be confused.  Labelling English products as British does make the label entirely ambiguous – was the product produced in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland?  Unless it tells you the county on the packaging then it’s impossible to tell.

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How long until Darling resigns?

I’m in the strange situation of feeling sorry for Alistair Darling.  Yes, he’s a fucking cretin.  Yes, he looks like like he’s got two caterpillars on his face.  Yes, he’s one of the English-hating jocks who signed the Scottish Claim of Right and then done what they can to make sure that England gets screwed over.

But putting that aside, he’s not in a very good position at the moment is he?  El Gordo spent a decade selling the family silver, cleaning out the bank accounts and borrowing the gross domestic product of a small African nation every year to make ends meet.  Now the One Eyed Wonder of Wankistan has got the top job, Darling is left with a set of accounts that would make an Enron executive shake his head and tut in disapproval.

And to top it all off, McBroon is still trying to spend money like it’s going out of fashion in a desperate attempt to bribe people into voting for Liebour.

This week Darling told us, in a roundabout way, that the economy is up the shitter and we’re not to expect things to get better any time soon.  El Gordo then went on to announce that it would be a jolly good idea if local authorities were to spend taxpayers money buying houses that are being reposessed.  This is in addition to their plans to offer cheap mortgages to people who are struggling to get on the property ladder or pay their mortgages.

So where’s the money coming from?  I don’t think Darling has a clue and El Gordo certainly doesn’t care.  The housing market has fallen on its arse, banks and building societies are announcing record losses and we’ve just entered a recession.  Yet the British government is still spending like there’s no tomorrow.  The 2012 Olympics were supposed to cost just over £3bn but the cost has now risen to over £9bn.  The war in Irag and Afghanistan is costing billions with no end in sight.  Federal Europe is fleecing us for billions of pounds every year and the price goes up every year.

There isn’t enough money to support the spending that El Gordo is committing.  Mother Hubbard has just had a quick look in the cupboard and it’s bare.  We’re fucking broke and the Goblin King is still coming out with all these batshit ideas without giving so much as a second thought to the cost.  All those people who nicknamed him the Iron Chancellor must be looking in the mirror every morning and thinking what a dick they sound now the shit is hitting the fan.

I can’t see Darling putting up with this for much longer.  The number two job has turned out to be a steming pile of number two and it isn’t going to get any better.  Assuming they aren’t cancelled in the interests of national security, there will be elections either next year or the year after.  Liebour stand about as much chance as a ghosts fart in a force ten gale of winning the next general election so Darling has two options – either tough it out and firefight as best as he can until the next election or resign before things get much worse and let someone else dodge the bullets.  My money is on the latter.

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Economics Explained

Naughty Bob Piper gives us an explanation of economics:

SOCIALISM: You have 2 cows, and you give one to your neighbour

COMMUNISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.

FASCISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.

NAZISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.

BUREAUCRATISM: You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, then throws the milk away

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new President of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.

THE ANDERSEN MODEL: You have two cows. You shred them.

A FRENCH CORPORATION: You have two cows. You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called ‘cowkimon’ and market it worldwide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION: You have 5000 cows. None of them belongs to you. You charge the owners for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION: You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. You worship them.

A BRITISH CORPORATION: You have two cows. Both are mad.

IRAQI CORPORATION: Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy

WELSH CORPORATION: You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.

AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION: You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate

I know which one I prefer and I bet you a pound euro it’s not the same one as Red Bob!

There is one massive oversight though …

BROWNISM: You have two cows.  You announce that you’re going to sell one of your cows in 6 months time and the price of cows halves.  You sell one cow and buy a picture of two donkeys.  You take one cow off every person in the country, milk it and then give them their cow back.  You give half the milk to a Frenchman who sells some of it back to you and half of what’s left to some ginger men in skirts.  You are now short of milk so you rent a cow off a TRADITIONAL CAPITALIST for double what you got for the cow you sold in the first place and pay for it with the milk you got from the aforementioned cow owning population.  You then add up all the milk you got from selling the first cow, the milk from the Frenchman, the milk you took from the cow owning population and the milk from the cow you rented and announce the biggest growth in milk production since 1997.

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I got an email a month or two ago telling me that Wonko’s World had been added to Politigg as a trusted source.  I then forgot about it until the other day when I noticed that the Devil had implemented Politigg.

I notice that there are only a handful of posts on the Kitchen that have the Politigg button and I suspect it’s because, until today, the process of adding a Politigg button to your post was as follows:

  1. Write your post
  2. Submit the post to Politigg or wait a while for it to be auto-submitted
  3. Go to the Politigg entry for your post and click on the Comments link
  4. Copy the id, put it into a URL Politigg gives you and insert the html in your post

Hardly ideal and I suspect that is why only a handful of posts on the Devil’s Kitchen have the Politigg button on them.  I simplified the process for myself by putting some code into my template to check for a “Politigg” meta tag on the post and insert the code for the button but it was still a ball-ache so I emailed the creator of Politigg and asked him to change the code to accept a URL instead of an id.  So he did, which is nice.

If you’re interested in the code for a WordPress blog, here it is:

echo ‘<div style=”float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-top: -50px; display: inline; width: 52px;“><iframe src=”’.$politigg.'” scrolling=”no” width=”52″ frameborder=”0″ height=”83″></iframe></div>’;

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Ginger coup in the Lib Dems

The Scottish Illiberal Dumocrats have elected a new leader – Tavish Scott, MSP for Shetland.

In his acceptance speech he likened himself to Olympic gold medal winner, Chris Hoy, several times, following in the footsteps of El Gordo who was using the Olympics as a platform to spout his British nationalist propaganda.  A true politician in other words.

But his appointment as leader of the Scottish Illiberal Dumocrats has a more serious side – it exposes the extent to which gingers have infiltrated the party.  Let’s look at the evidence …

Current Scottish Illiberal Dumocrats leader, Tavish Scott – ginger:

Current leader of the Illiberal Dumocrats, Nick Clegg – border-line ginger:

Former leader of the Illiberal Dumocrats, Charles Kennedy – blatantly ginger:

I can’t find any pictures of a young Minge Campbell (he’s actually more than 300 years old and cameras weren’t invented back then) so I don’t know what colour his hair was when he still had some.  The same goes for Vince Cable, his slightly more sprightly sidekick, who’s only 230 years old.

So, come the next election (if El Gordo hasn’t banned them by then), remember – a vote for the Illiberal Dumocrats is a vote for the ginger nationalists.

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Russia recognises South Ossetia and Abkhazia independence

A couple of weeks ago, after Russia invaded Georgia, I said that the UN would be unable to act on Georgia because of Russia’s veto and that Federal Europe would denounce their invasion but Russia would respond along the lines of Federal Europe supported Kosovo’s universal declaration of independence so they’re doing the same in South Ossetia.

I think I’ll have a punt on the lottery this week because since then the UN drafted a resolution calling on Russia to withdraw from Georgia, Russia vetoed it and now they have formally recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazian independence.

So what next?  South Ossetia has a population of around 70,000 and about half have Russian passports.  Russia has been handing out passports to the ethnic Ossetian population of South Ossetia like they’re going out of fashion to bolster South Ossetia’s claim to independence and to give themselves the all important justification for invading.  This is nothing new, there’s even a word for it: Rusification – the process of replacing one nationality and/or culture with a Russian one.

The South Ossetian seperatists want unification with North Ossetia – will Russia be giving North Ossetia to South Ossetia or does their respect for the wishes of Ossetians only extend to those that live in Georgia?  If Chechnya is anything to go by then it’s unlikely we’ll see a unified Ossetia any time soon.  Or perhaps Russia’s imperial ambitions go a little futher than rebuilding the network of client states it built up in the soviet era and South Ossetia is to be incorporated into Russia proper.  I really wouldn’t be surprised if Russia has already had talks with the South Ossetian government to decide what’s going to happen already – this certainly wasn’t a spontaneous campaign, it must have been planned some time ago.

So what’s the difference between Kosovo and South Ossetia and Abkhazia?  Both have their own national governments, both have held referenda on independence and both have declared unilateral independence.  But the Kosovans stopped shooting Serbians (mostly) years ago and Kosovo has been run as an independent state by the UN for almost a decade.  Georgia has attempted to assert control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia almost constantly since 1991.

If South Ossetians and Abkhazians want independence then fine, let them have it.  But South Ossetia wants unification with North Ossetia and that’s not going to happen unless South Ossetia is annexed by Russia.  That’s not independence.

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Thank god it’s over

The Beijing Olympics has finally, finally finished.  Thank christ for that, perhaps now we can get back to normality?

The Olympics is shit, the Beijing Olympics has been shit and the London Olympics is going to be unbelievably shit.

China shouldn’t have been given a second thought when it put in a bid for the Olympics.  Being given the Olympics sent a message to oppresive, human rights abusing dictators all over the world – keep doing what you’re doing and you will be accepted.

It will be difficult to top the tickery, fakery and general naffness of the Beijing opening and closing ceremonies but London will manage to make 2012 even more shit.  You just can’t have what is still nominally a socialist government handling a multi-billion pound spectacle without it being turned into an absolute crock of steaming horse shit.

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Blists Hill

I bought a family passport for the Ironbridge Gorge museums not long ago.

We get them half price through my employer in conjunction with the Transforming Telford quango I’ve blogged about before (a VP at my employer is a director of the quango as well).  At £24 for a family passport that lets us into every attraction however many times we want for a year, I put aside my principles and snatched their hands off.

We spent most of the day at Blists Hill yesterday as it’s only 5 minutes down the road.  Blists Hill is a victorian town that’s been built pretty much from scratch.  There was a big blast furnace on the site previously and a handful of associated buildings but over the years the trust that owns the site has bought victorian buildings from the surrounding area, taken them down brick by brick and rebuilt them at Blists Hill.

Here are some pictures we took yesterday:

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Sorry, who gave football to the world?

No Mandate Brown has told Sky News that he hopes there will be a Team UK for the 2012 Olympics.  Not Team GB you’ll note, but Team UK.  Great Britain doesn’t include Northern Ireland – something that doesn’t seem to bother Lieutenant Governor Brown in Beijing – but the Northern Ireland FA is the only one that has said it might join the English FA in a British football team.

Team Britain?  Hell no!He went on to say “Britain is the home of football, which we gave to the world, and people will be surprised if there is an Olympic tournament in football and we are not part of it”.  This is the kind of revisionist drivel that our glorious leader loves so much.  Football has been played in England since the 12th Century but only made its way north of the border in the 19th Century.  English football has spawned not only the international game the Americans call soccer but American football, Australian football, rugby and a multitude of other football and rugby related games.  Scotland brought the Tartan Army to the game…

As for people being surprised if there isn’t a British football team, I think they’d be more surprised if there was one because Britain simply doesn’t exist from a footballing point of view.

Like I said, just the sort of revisionist drivel you expect to hear from a British nationalist Scot desperate to deflect attention from the rapid disintegration of the union caused by his party’s anti-English, Scottish appeasement.

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WARNING: MSN Messenger fraud

A word of warning to my readers on an MSN Messenger fraud that my 10 year old son fell for.

If you see a website that looks like this:

MSN Fraud


The terms and conditions on the page say that they may use your details to log in to your account and message your contacts to promote their website.  May means will.  They also, of course, have access to your contacts, conversation history, profile and if you’ve bought anything off Microsoft or another company through your MSN Messenger account, they’ll have those details too.

The site is run through a company called TST Management Inc, based in Panama but owned by a company based in Hong Kong.

The company owns over 800 domains all for the same thing.  I’ve reported this as fraud to the legal department of the registrant, but with so many domains from one customer I very much doubt they’ll do anything about it.

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Liebour double standards

Nuruzzaman Hira, a former candidate for the frankly bizarre Respect party and the equally pointless spin-off, Left List, has defected to the Illiberal Dumbocrats.

This wouldn’t be newsworthy in the slightest if it wasn’t for the response by the local Liebour nutters who said it showed a “lack of principle”.

Strange that because a lefty liberal defecting from a lefty liberal party to another slightly less lefty liberal party means that you can keep your lefty liberal principles with your new party.  Not so for Quentin Davies, the right wing capitalist Tory toff who defected to the nominally left wing socialist Liebour Party.

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British Government Response to EU Cost Benefit petition

A few months ago I started a petition on the 10 Downing Street website calling on the British government to commission an independent cost-benefit analysis of our membership of Federal Europe.

Here’s their response:

This Government strongly believes that the benefits of EU Membership clearly outweigh the costs. UK membership of the EU is central to the pursuit of stability, growth and employment, and firmly in our national interest, both economically and in a wider political and strategic context. Our membership of the EU has brought real benefits in jobs, peace and security. Through it, we belong to the world’s biggest trading bloc with a Single Market of over 490 million people. Half the UK’s trade is now within the EU, with an estimated 3.5 million British jobs linked to it, directly and indirectly. 57% of total British trade in goods is with the EU. 62% of our total exports go to the EU. In 2005, British investments in the EU totalled over £17bn.

The benefits are not limited to the rights of British companies to buy and sell across the Single Market. Our EU membership also allows our citizens to live, work, study and travel across Europe and to receive free medical care if we fall sick on holiday. Improved maternity pay, the right to paid holidays and now the reduction in the cost of mobile phone calls when abroad, are just some of the practical benefits the EU has helped deliver.

A number of studies related to the costs and benefits of various aspects of the EU are available in the UK.  The Government takes account of such studies as part of its ongoing approach to EU policy issues. 

The Government does not therefore see the need to commission an independent cost-benefit analysis of membership of the EU.

This really isn’t good enough, is it?  What they’re basically saying is “other people have done it so we’re not going to bother”.  What they fail to mention is that most studies – other than those commissioned by Federal Europe or their quislings – disagree with their own analysis and estimate the net cost of membership at billions of pounds every year.

And that old chestnut on peace – give me a break!  Out of the 27 current member states, 15 of them have been involved in a war of some description since Federal Europe was created.  Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia all had spats with the USSR and/or revolutions in the last 50 years.  The UK and the Republic of Ireland experienced what was effectively a civil war with the IRA and other terrorist groups based in Northern Ireland and Eire.  Slovenia was involved in the civil war in Yugsolavia, Spain has seen revolution and civil war in the last 50 years with Basque seperatists waging a civil war still today and Greece has had two revolutions in the last 50 years whilst Northern Cyprus is still under occupation by Turkey.  Pretty much every other European country that isn’t a member state of Federal Europe has been involved in war in the last 50 years, including the candidate countries of Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey and the potential candidate countries of Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro.  Let’s be very clear about this, Federal Europe has not prevented war in Europe.  The only war it has stopped is another war started by the Germans who have no need to invade their neighbours because they’re already running most of the continent with their new best buddies, the French.

What about stability?  That one doesn’t get an airing as often as the “preventing war” bollocks.  Let’s see – Belgium is falling apart, the UK is falling apart, Spain is falling apart, Czechoslovakia already fell apart and so did Yugoslavia.  The UN still patrols a buffer zone between Greek and Turkish Cyprus and Georgia is still being occupied by Russia.  Poland has lost so much of its healthy male population to economic migration that they’re handing out passports like sweets and Turkey seems to be permanently on the brink of an Islamic coup.  Stable, my arse.

And the last big lie – the economic benefits.  Federal Europe costs us a bloody fortune.  We give far more to the EU budget than we get out of it and the trade that we do with Federal Europe doesn’t require membership costing billions of pounds – Greenland, Norway and Switzerland have prospered outside of Federal Europe by negotiating free trade agreements without handing over the running of their country to a bunch of foreigners.

I’ve just put the following FOI into the Foreign & Commonwealth Office:

In the British government’s response to the petition calling for a cost-benefit analysis of membership of the EU, it says that it has taken into account different studies considering the UK’s membership and does not need to carry out its own analysis.  I would like to know:

1. Which studies have been considered
2. Who considered those studies and what were their qualifications to make a judgement on the conclusions of the studies considered
3. Which studies were not considered

Furthermore, the British government’s response to the petition repeated the assertion that the EU has resulted in peace in Europe.  I would like to know:

4. How many of the current member states have been involved in armed conflict on their own soil, including conflict with seperatist movements, revolutions and coup d’états, in the last 50 years
5. The same question as #4 but for current candidate countries
6. The same question as #4 but for potential candidate countries
7. The same question as #4 but for other European countries that aren’t included in the previous 3 questions

Let’s see them worm their way out of this one. 

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Councils want to offer mortgages

Some local authorities want to be able to offer mortgages to people who can’t afford to buy houses.

On the face of it, this isn’t such a bad idea.  House prices are far too high and if it was directed at the right people – young people who are priced out of their rural home towns, turning them into virtual holiday camps – then it certainly has its merits.

But – and this is a big but – it’s funded by the taxpayer and to be quite frank, we just don’t have the kind of money spare that would be needed to make this work.  Which is presumably why they’re only asking for a fund of £2bn, barely enough to pay for 13 small 2 bedroom houses.  It’s not clear whether that’s £2bn for each local authority or £2bn between them.  Either way, it barely touches the sides.

Hat-tip: Telford Council Watch
More on this from An Englishman’s Castle

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Child Trust Fund – what a rip-off

When El Gordo first announced the Child Trust Fund I said it was a con and guess what – it’s a fucking rip-off scheme designed to make rich companies richer.

We didn’t bother “investing” the voucher we were sent for #4 (the only child that qualified) because there seemed little point as it was pretty obvious that it would be eaten up by fees long before she ever gets her hands on it.  So, the Treasury “invested” the £250 for her with a company called engage.

Last year the fund made a 6.2% loss but engage still took a 1.5% admin fee, knocking about £40 off the account.

In 14 years time when she’s old enough to claim the money, there will be nothing left – the only people who will make any money out the CTF are the “investment” companies.

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Book off

The ginger one reckons that we should all list the 100 top books, as decided by somebody or other at the BBC, and highlight them as follows:

  • Bold the ones you’ve read
  • Italicise the ones you intend to read
  • Underline the ones you love
  • Strikeout the ones you have no intention of reading

Apparently, the average person has only read 6 of the top 100 books …

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

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Baby Wipes

This may seem a little random, but is there anything on this planet that baby wipes can’t clean?

We haven’t had to change nappies for about 2 years now but we still keep a supply of baby wipes because they’re so damn useful.

I polish my shoes with a baby wipe.  I clean my PC monitor with a baby wipe.  Tonight the humble baby wipe has excelled itself in cleaning off the rusted crap left behind on number three’s digital camera by dead, leaking batteries that was stopping the batteries making contact.

I’m thinking of buying up a job lot of baby wipes and selling them to BNFL to take care of the waste from Sellafield.

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Drivers Alliance

The Drivers Alliance has officially launched its website today as news of the British government’s rubber stamping of road pricing trials hit the papers.

Drivers Alliance - SmallThe Drivers Alliance was started by Peter Roberts, the Telford man who started the 1.8m signature Downing Street petition opposing road pricing.

Pop over and take a look.  Peter is a very hard working guy, this could easily become the Taxpayers Alliance of the motoring world.

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Anti-Facist Facists target BNP again

Anti-democratic extremists, Unite Against Facism, have again targetted a lawful BNP rally in the name of anti-facism.  The fact that they are display classic traits of facism themselves seems to be lost on the far left.

The fact is, no matter how odious the BNP are, they have as much right to exist and promote their extremist agenda as the facist anti-facists.

Once again, the anti-BNP extremists turned violent and riot police had to sort them out.  Socialist Unity thinks the protest was great and the violence perfectly justified because some of the locals turned out to say they didn’t like the BNP.  Presumably the illiberal left will be more than happy to see Liebour rallies banned in Tory constituencies because the majority of people there don’t like Liebour?  No, somehow I don’t think they will because their prejudice is directed only at the BNP.

The anti-facist facists lost their argument when they called for the banning of a legal political party and the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of voters who don’t buy into their militant, far left anarchist agenda.

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Why “Team GB”?

I have no interest in the Olympics – we don’t have an English team and there are many, many more things that those billions could be spent on, like cancer treatments and housing homeless people.

I do have to wonder, though, why the UK’s Olympic body insists on calling its team “Great Britain”.

Great Britain is a geographical term referring to the big island that England shares with Scotland and Wales but the GB Olympic team includes Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, none of which are on Great Britain.

As an Olympic team name, it’s pretty rubbish as it leaves out nearly 2% of the population.  That’s hardly representative of the Olympics values.  Perhaps it’ll be renamed for the 2012 Olympics to Team British Nations, Regions, Provinces and Crown Dependencies located in the British Isles.  Team BNRPCDLBI doesn’t roll off the tongue like Team GB, I’ll grant you, but at least it doesn’t leave anybody out.

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Congratulations AID

Just a quick note to congratulate fellow blogger, Andrew Ian Dodge, on his good news.

AID has been fighting colon cancer for some time now and he’s just had the all-clear.

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