Archive for September 2008

Ghurkas win court case

A group of retired Gurkhas brought a test case against the British government in the High Court for the right to live in the UK today. The judge ruled that we owe a moral debt to the Gurkhas and that it is unlawful to deny them the right to live in the UK.

The fact that, after putting their lives on the line for this country, the Gurkhas had to go court to win the right to live here is a national disgrace. Especially when you consider that the British government lets tens of thousands of gangsters, rapists, terrorists, crooks and other undesirables and wasters into the country every year who bring absolutely nothing of any value to our society.

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It’s all shit

The FTSE has dipped below 5,000 points for the first time in a couple of years after Sunday night’s announcement that Bradford & Bingley was to be nationalised and asset stripped. It’s gone into a downward spiral again today, along with the major world markets, on the back of the US congress’ refusal to approve a $720bn rescue package for the American banking industry.

The 4th biggest bank in the US, Wachovia, has been bought by its rival Citibank in a similar deal to the LloydsTSB/HBOS merger, the Benelux bank, Fortis, has been partially nationalised to stop if from failing and the Icelandic bank, Glitnir, has been nationalised.

Don’t worry, though, Gordo will save us.

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Bradford & Bingley will be nationalised

It’s been confirmed this morning that Bradford & Bingley is to be nationalised and its savings business sold to the Spanish bank, Santander.

Bradford & Bingley has £50bn of debts, including £41bn of outstanding mortgages, which the taxpayer will take on whilst the profitable £20bn savings business is to be sold to Santander.

Someone’s got a bargain and it certainly isn’t the taxpayer.

Somebody definitely got a bargains and it definitiely isn’t the bloody taxpayer.  Santander is buying the £20bn savings business and B&B’s 172 branches for £612m while B&B’s mortage book has been described as “toxic”.

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Bradford & Bingley to be nationalised?

According to the BBC, Bradford & Bingley is to be nationalised.

There was speculation yesterday that it might have been sold to Banco Santander, the Spanish owner of Abbey National, but it looks like Santander and the other banks will instead be able to cherry pick which bits they want because B&B is going to be liquidated following nationalisation.

The taxpayer will take on the £50bn of liabilities and the branches and other assets will be sold piecemeal. The £41bn of mortgages that make up the bulk of the liabilities might be given the Northern Rock to manage.

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Pirates Hijack Military Cargo Ship

Pirates have hijacked a boat 200 miles off the coast of Somalia.

This is nothing new, of course, 2008 has been a bumper year for piracy. In fact, I blogged about Somali pirates back in April when some muppet thought it would be a good idea to take their million pound yacht to the piracy capital of the world.

This time it’s a bit different, though – it’s not a bored old man and his bit on the side on a million pound yacht, it’s a cargo ship loaded with ammunition, weapons and 32 Ukrainian T-72 tanks headed for Kenya. The pirates are currently en-route to Xarardheere, a fishing village in Somalia that’s used as a base by pirates. They say they want a $35m ransom before they’ll give the ship back.

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Gordo moves into B&B

El Gordo is steering us expertly through these difficult economic times, as promised.

He’s expertly steered Northern Rock into bankruptcy and nationalisation, he’s expertly steered the economy into a recession, he’s expertly steered HBOS into an emergency takeover by Lloyds TSB and now he’s expertly steering Bradford & Bingley either into the hands of the Spaniards or nationalisation.

For over a decade he pissed our money up the wall, sold the family silver gold for a pittance and all the time, Bliar stood there like a grinning chimp telling us what a wonderful Chancellor El Gordo was. The upshot of his criminal mismanagement of the economy is that there’s nothing left to keep us afloat now that money’s tight.

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Oh balls

Liebour: the party of nationalist socialists …

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Thieving Bastards

Metric Martyr, Neil Herron, was in the High Court in London today to seek a judicial review into the civil parking fines system.

Neil has argued for a long time that the parking adjudication service isn’t impartial because it’s funded by taking a percentage of any fines that are paid. The Human Rights Act says that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and unbiased adjudication which it’s clearly impossible to get when the adjudication service has a vested interest in finding against the person with the ticket.

He’s also arguing that as the law stands, any restricted parking zone containing zigzags or red lines is invalid and the tickets unenforceable.

Meanwhile, Nottingham City Council has thought of a new way of fleecing a bit more cash out of drivers by plotting the introduction of a workplace car parking space tax. I kid you not, they actually want to tax the parking space you use at your place of work.

There’s only one kind of language these people understand and that’s the kind written on a piece of 2 by 4.

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Block Quotes

I changed the blockquotes the other day, got fed up with seeing all that angry red on the page.

If the blockquotes don’t look right – the images are mismatched or the text is white on a white background or some other strangeness – press Ctrl+F5 to force a reload of the page. Don’t come on MSN and take the piss about white text on a white background like a certain someone because you’ll just look like a fool. 😆

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EU wants to kill motorcyclists again

Regular reader, KeithS, send me this message this morning:

You can rely on the EU never to give up on a bad cause…

You’re not wrong Keith.  Back in October 2006, Federal Europe said that it wanted every vehicle to have its lights on at all times.  They said it would save lives but motorcycling groups inundated the British government with letters telling them that it was, to put it bluntly, a fucking stupid idea.

You see, the problem is that kidney donors motorcyclists usually ride around with their lights on all the time so that they can be seen more easily.  Ok, they quite often ride around with main beam on blinding drivers and making it very tempting to open your door at an inopportune moment (I don’t recommend doing this, I just said it was tempting) but that’s another rant.  This works because, unless it’s dark, the only people who have their lights on in broad daylight are old men in cloth caps who drive everwhere at 40mph with their fog lights and wipers on and let’s face it, they need avoiding just as much as motorcyles.

The kidney donors motorcyclists said it would mean more motorcycle deaths.  The British government agreed but said that it is unable to protect its own citizens because they will have to abide by the EU Directive.

Interestingly, one of the worlds largest manufacturers of car headlight bulbs is the German firm, Osram.  What are the odds of Osram being in the lobby group trying to get this bastshit idea implemented?

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England Expects shut down by EU

It’s no secret that Federal Europe hates blogs – they don’t like the idea of a source of topical information and commentary that they can’t control. Hence their calls for regulation of blogs.

Sadly, they have found a way of silencing Gawain Towler, the author of England Expects. Gawain works for the Independence and Democracy group in the EU Parliament and is bound by their rules which says he isn’t allowed to do anything that brings Federal Europe into disrepute or otherwise gives the impression that the undemocratic, corrupt European Union is anything other than the best thing since sliced bread. I’m paraphrasing here but you get the picture.

Unfortunately, the threat of being fined up to four months’ salary by Federal Europe’s propaganda police means that he has got to stop writing his blog and another independent voice of dissent has been drowned out by the eurofederalists.

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Gordo’s Speech

Why oh why oh why do I do these things? I got a Google alert with a link to El Gordo’s conference speech so I clicked on the link and started reading. Still, my pain means you don’t have to read his evil words. Taking one for the team, what a guy. 😉

So, where to start …

Well, he starts off on a positive note. He wants “A new settlement for new times. A fair Britain for the new age.”

He then goes into Tony mode:

I didn’t come into politics to be a celebrity or thinking I’d always be popular.

That’s lucky, you’re not a celebrity and nobody likes you.

Perhaps, that’s just as well.

Ah, great minds think alike eh, Gord? Just as well, indeed.

No, 25 years ago I asked the people of Fife to send me to parliament to serve the country I love.

And which country is that Gordo? I think we know don’t we?

So I’m not going to try to be something I’m not.

What, you’re going to stop telling people you’re British instead of Scottish and you’re going to stop pretending that you don’t hate English people?

And if people say I’m too serious, quite honestly there’s a lot to be serious about – I’m serious about doing a serious job for all the people of this country.

Don’t worry, we don’t think you’re too serious. Quite the opposite, most people think you’re a joke.

What angers me and inspires me to act is when people are treated unfairly.

Ok, I’ll just suspend belief for a few paragraphs shall I?

So when people share with me stories about the hard time they’re having with bills, I want to help

My biggest single bill is tax, like pretty much every other person in England.

And when I talk to parents about schools, I’m determined that every child should have a good school, because while I got my break in a great local secondary, not all my friends got the chance to get on.

Every child? Even those in your own constituency? And what will you be doing to to make that happen for the country that elected you as opposed to the country that didn’t elect you?

And when I speak to victims of crime I get angry – because like them I know the difference between right and wrong.

Hahahaha. Hahahahahaha. Hahahahaha. No, seriously, there’s a punchline isn’t there?

And where I’ve made mistakes I’ll put my hand up and try to put them right.

That would explain why you’ve got both hands up in the picture in all the papers.

So what happened with 10p stung me because it really hurt that suddenly people felt I wasn’t on the side of people on middle and modest incomes – because on the side of hard-working families is the only place I’ve ever wanted to be. And from now on it’s the only place I ever will be.

That’ll make a refreshing change from being on their backs.

The people of Britain would never forget if we failed to put them first – and friends, they’d be right.

Oh don’t worry, we won’t forget. Friend.

And in these uncertain times, we must be, we will be, the rock of stability and fairness upon which people stand.

Stability? No, I promise I won’t laugh. Fairness? Again, I’ll suspend belief for a few more paragraphs.

And friends, it’s a calling that summons us because in every time of profound change those with great wealth and privilege have always been able to look after themselves

Quite. Just remind me, what’s an MPs salary nowadays? And a Prime Minister? Somewhere in the region of £167k is it?

And where there are new opportunities, our duty is and will be fair chances for everyone matched by fair rules applied to everyone.

Fair? There’s that word again. I’m struggling to keep my belief suspended here but I’ll try my best.

And insuring people against the new risks and empowering people with new opportunities is the mission of the hour.

The policy of the hour too it seems. I’m sure there’ll be a new “mission of the hour” during tomorrow’s relaunch.

And those who say that governments should walk away when people face these risks and need these opportunities will be judged to be on the wrong side of history.

We don’t want you to walk away because we’re facing risks and need opportunities, we want you to walk away because you’re a liability.

A settlement where both markets and government are seen to be the servants of the people, and never their masters

Hmm, very Mussolini-esque.

And just as those who supported the dogma of big government were proved wrong, so too those who argue for the dogma of unbridled free market forces have been proved wrong.

Government is bigger and more quango-infested than it’s ever been in history, you cretin. And it wasn’t free market forces that brought down Northern Rock, it was interfering, protectionist EU rules.

And so it falls to this party and to this government, with its commitment both to fairness and to business, to propose and deliver what after recent events everyone should now be willing to accept – that we do all it takes to stabilise the still turbulent financial markets and then in the months ahead we rebuild the world financial system around clear principles.

Fairness again, did you notice? And after doing such a sterling job with our own economy he plans to do the same with the world’s financial system. Praise be.

So the new settlement also requires another great and historic endeavour to end the dictatorship of oil and to avert catastrophic climate change, a transformation in our use of energy. New nuclear power, an unprecedented increase in renewables and investment in clean coal.

End one dictatorship and start another eh, Gordo? Or, more accurately, end one dictatorship but extend the existing dictatorship.

And I am asking the climate change committee to report by October on the case for, by 2050 not a 60% reduction in our carbon emissions, but an 80% cut

Oh joy. Oh rapture. The devastating burden of El Gordo’s faux-green credentials on our struggling industry will be extended. With a bit of luck, the entire manufacturing sector will die a death in a few years and we won’t have to worry about emissions. Well, the couple of percent of global emissions that the UK is actually accountable for.

And while the Conservatives did nothing to help people with their gas and electricity bills in the last world downturn, this winter, millions of people will receive the help with heating bills, insulation, social tariffs – help they never received from the Conservatives.

Help with heating bills, insulation and social tariffs. El Gordo’s constituents have been getting the first two for a while now, as have the Welsh. And social tariffs are paid for by the energy companies who then pass on the cost to the rest of their customers.

But you know, when it comes to public spending you can’t just wave a magic wand to conjure up the money – not even with help from Harry Potter.

So where did the extra £5bn come from to pump into the economy? And where is the £90bn in loans going to come from for Darling’s last ditch spending spree?

But I say to you that we will invest it wisely, continuing our record investment in schools, Sure Start centres, transport and hospitals.

None of which applies to his Scottish constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

People feel their communities are changing before their eyes and it’s increasing their anxiety about crime and anti-social behaviour. And so we will be the party of law and order.

Yes, they certainly are changing. That’s unfettered immigration and social deprivation for you, Gordo. And this party of law and order – does this extend beyond dispensing illegal and unconstitutional summary justice in the form of on-the-spot fines?

And so the new settlement for our times show how Britain can meet all these challenges too and its more than about a fair prosperity – it must be about fair chances and fair rules too.

Fair …

Let’s just take a break there because I’m only half way through and a re-cap is in order. What he’s basically saying is that he’ll be fair, that something called “Britain” will be fair and that if we live by his fair rules, everything will be fair. And nothing that he’s said yet actually applies to his own constituents.

Ok, once more unto the breach …

even more than in 1997- this country needs a Labour government.

Like a hole in the head.

When we talk about three million more people in work since 1997 – that’s not just a number, that’s a life that’s been changed

No, that’s a string of changes to the rules to get unemployed people onto incapacity benefits and classing unemployed musicians, artists and normally self-employed people as employed but “between assignments”. Nothing but fudged figures and statistics.

And when we talk about the one million small and medium-sized businesses set up in the last eleven years, that’s not just a number

Yes it is. How many of those one million businesses have failed?

And when we talk about one million people benefiting from new Labour’s minimum wage that’s not just a number

Nope, the definition is still the same. I wonder, have you tried living on the minimum wage Gordo?

And when we talk about the 240,000 lives that are saved by the progress Labour’s NHS has made in fighting cancer and heart disease

Yes, let’s talk about Labour’s NHS Gordo. Which NHS shall we talk about? There’s four of them now, remember, but one of them is underfunded so more money can be diverted to the other three. Can you guess which one I’m talking about? That’s right, the regions NHS. I wonder what those English people who aren’t allowed to have lifesaving cancer treatments that your constituents in Scotland are allowed think about Labour’s NHS. You must be so proud.

For me fairness is treating others how we would be treated ourselves.

So no Labour MP or their family will be taking advantage of the perks of the Scottish or Welsh NHS? Any Labour MP or family member living in Scotland won’t have a treatment that an English person can’t have? No Labour MP or member of their family will take advantage of free hospital parking in Scotland or Wales? No, I didn’t think that would be the case somehow.

And fairness is why Harriet is introducing the first ever equalities bill.

Yes, Harriet Harperson’s bill will legalise discrimination against young white males. Thanks Harriet.

And it is why our whole party is leading the fight against the British National Party.

Which party does the BNP gain most supporters from? Erm, I think it’s the Labour Party isn’t it? That’s nothing to do with your vendetta against a legal political party is it? Of course not, that wouldn’t be fair would it?

Fairness is why John Denham is extending university access

Doesn’t apply to the people in Scotland who elected Gordon Brown.

why Ruth Kelly has introduced for the first time free bus travel for pensioners

For the first time in England, Gordon. You know that it’s free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already don’t you Gordo?

and why John Hutton and our Labour Members of the European Parliament but are fighting to free agency workers from the scourge of exploitation

If they’re being exploited then why not change the law so they’re not being exploited. You don’t need Federal Europe to do that Gordo, getting someone else to pass a law is a bit lazy don’t you think? Of course, it wouldn’t apply to your own constituents in Scotland if it didn’t come from Federal Europe.

We have always stood for public services that are universal, available to all. Now we must stand for public services that are not only available to all, but personal to each.

Since 1997 you’ve stood for public services that are available to some and to varying degrees, dependent on whether they’re English or not. You might call that fair, most people call it racism.

want Britain to take its place among the leading nations in pre-school services, and so I pledge here today in Manchester starting in over 30 communities, and then over 60, we will, stage by stage, extend free nursery places for two year olds for every parent who wants them in every part of the country backed by high quality, affordable childcare for all.

Doesn’t apply to the people in Scotland that elected him.

So we will keep up the pace of reform: more academies, trust and specialist schools, more of the brightest and best graduates becoming teachers, more investment in building schools for the future – state of the art schools for world class schooling.

Doesn’t apply to the people in Scotland that elected him.

And we want to enable all families to use the internet to link back to their children’s school – and so Jim Knight is announcing that we will fund over a million extra families to get online, on the way to our ambition of Britain leading the world with more of our people than any other major economy able to access the internet and broadband.

Free broadband for anyone with kids. Great, where do I sign up? Hold on, there’s got to be more than a million families with children in school. Surely it’s going to be available to every family? That would be fair.

And now as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS let me on behalf of all of us here, and all the people of the country – thank all the NHS staff – the cooks and cleaners, the paramedics and porters, the doctors and midwives and nurses.
You have served our country and served a great ideal – the principle that in a fair society health-care should not be a commodity to be bought by some but a right to be enjoyed by all.

Labour is the party of the NHS – we created it, we saved it, we value it and we always will support it.

Don’t forget to thank them for still doing their job despite the insulting 1.9% pay increase that you forced them to accept in England. Not as much as the payrise the medical staff in your own constituency in Scotland get is it?

But what I didn’t tell you last year was that then one morning I woke up and realised my sight was going in my good eye. I had another operation and lay in the darkness for days on end.

Did you wait for months on a waiting list to be seen, months on a waiting list to have tests, months on a waiting list to be seen again and then months on a waiting list to get your operation? Did they apply the same rules that they do to people with Wet ARMD in England – that they have to go blind in one eye and start going blind in the other before they’ll do anything? Or did they apply the rules that they apply to your constituents in Scotland with Wet ARMD – you get the treatment when you need it, before you go blind?

And so in April a Labour Britain will become the first country in the whole world to offer free universal check ups for everyone over 40.

You mean a Labour England, surely?

Over the last few years we’ve made major breakthroughs in research relevant to cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and strokes and many more.

It’s a shame that we can’t have access to all those advances in England isn’t it? Lucky for your constituents in Scotland that they can though, eh?

Over the next decade we can lead the way in beating cancer and other diseases

As long as they’re cheap enough to afford with the money that’s left for the English NHS after we’ve finished subsidising the other NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

And because we know that almost every British family has been touched by cancer, Alan Johnson and I know we must do more to relieve the financial worry that so often goes alongside the heartache. And so I can announce today for those in our nation battling cancer from next year you will not pay prescription charges.

Oh Gordon, you’re not being very honest now are you? Quite misleading in fact – your constituents in Scotland don’t pay for prescriptions if they have cancer and they don’t pay for any prescriptions in Wales at all. But what’s the point of free prescriptions for cancer patients in England if cancer patients in England aren’t allowed the treatments to save their lives that cancer patients in Scotland are allowed.

The generation that rebuilt Britain from the ashes of the war deserves better and so I can tell you today that Alan Johnson and I will also bring forward new plans to help people to stay longer in their own homes and provide greater protection against the costs of care – dignity and hope for everyone in their later years.

Is this the cost of care that your constituents in Scotland and the elderly in Wales don’t pay for?

Nobody in Britain should get to take more out of the system than they are willing to put in.

You’re going to abolish the Barnett Formula so your constituents in Scotland don’t take more out of the system that they put in?

Another break and re-cap?

Ok, some more bunk about fairness and a whole raft of things that have nothing to do with his constituents in Scotland. And some very misleading – deliberately misleading – claims about doing things for Britain that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already have.

Right, we’re almost done now. I hope you appreciate the amount of bullshit I’ve had to wade through.

And we should never forget one thing – that every single blow we have struck for fairness and for the future has been opposed by the Conservatives.

And just think where our country would be if we’d listened to them.

Yes let’s.

No paternity leave, no New Deal, no bank of England independence, no Sure Start, no devolution, no civil partnerships, no minimum wage, no new investment in the NHS, no new nurses, no new police, no new schools.

We still have no devolution in England. You know we want it, you came into your job knowing we wanted it, but you still won’t let us have it.

And so let’s hear no more from the Conservatives – we did fix the roof while the sun was shining.

And just think if we’d taken their advice on the global financial crisis. Their policy was to let northern rock fold and imperil the whole financial system, our Labour government saved northern rock so not a single UK depositor lost out.

Every single depositor is going to pay thousands to keep Northern Rock solvent. Every taxpayer is going to pay thousands to keep Northern Rock solvent.

Their policy said, in this week of all weeks, that speculative short selling should continue. We acted decisively to end reckless speculation.

Yes, let those nasty capitalists go abroad and make their money and pay their taxes.

The Conservatives may want to represent the future, but whether its Europe or energy, planning or tax credits, university places or 42 days, whenever they are tested on substance they have nothing to offer to meet the big challenges of tomorrow, because they are prisoners of their past.

You mean all those things that the majority of the electorate is opposed to but you have brought in anyway?

And stronger together as England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland we can make our United Kingdom even better.

Don’t even go there.

And unlike the Conservatives who are extremists and isolationists on Europe, we will work with our partners in the European Union

David Cameron is a eurofederalist, the majority of the electorate want out.

There’s more but it’s just words. Meaningless words. The entire speech – from the moment his chubby, frumpy wife came on for a carefully stage managed spontaneous surprise introduction for her husband to the utterly meaningless drivel at the end – he said absolutely nothing of any substance. Virtually nothing in the entire speech affected his own constituents in Scotland and most of what he pledged for Britain England has already been introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It’s too little, too soon. He’s a lame duck and the only reason he’s at least marginally safe in his job is because his fellow MPs are too worried about losing their jobs if Gordo gets the boot and they have to call an election.

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Cheap text messages for foreigners

Federal Europe is going to force mobile phone companies to cut the cost of text messages in Europe from an average of 23p to 9p.

Whoop de fucking do.

Hands up who’s been abroad this year. Hands up who sent loads of text messages while they were there. Hands up who regularly uses their mobile phone on the continent.

Ok, I don’t have a webcam in every house but I’m guessing there’s not many hands went up there and that’s why this is a completely pointless exercise for us. If you live somewhere like Belgium or Luxembourg or the Netherlands then there’s a good possibility that you’ll travel outside of your own borders enough to make the reduction in the cost of text messages reasonably useful. But we’re an island, we don’t travel around the continent like people in other countries in Federal Europe do. But we’ll pay the cost of subsidising their cheap text messages.

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You can’t make stuff like this up …

Just looking for some information on a recent event held by Telford & Wrekin Council and came across the Leisure, Culture and Tourism page.

First thing I noticed was the missing comma in the title so it reads “Leisure Culture and Tourism”. It’s just a little thing but without the comma the title means something different.

Second thing I noticed was this:

Whether you wish to walk or cycle for leisure or to get to work or educaiton, there are plenty of routes to get you where you want to go

Is it any wonder Telford has a reputation as the shittiest, chaviest place in the whole god damn world when even the council can’t spell educayshun educascion edyucatshun that word for learning stuff that begins with “e”?

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Caption Competition

Gordo: “That’s right young man, national debt is just the right size”

Boy: “David Cameron’s lead is much smaller when you look at it through these special glasses Uncle Gordon”

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Jonah Brown claims another victim

Everything he touches turns to shit.  Everywhere he goes disaster follows.  Jonah Brown is a living, breathing curse.

The BBC reports that Tory defector, Councillor Les Byrom, collapsed yesterday minutes after addressing the Liebour Party conference.

Councillor Les Byrom, from Southport, Merseyside, was given a standing ovation after saying Mr Brown could become “an iron Prime Minister”.

Oh dear, will people never learn?  Are they impervious to the lessons that history has tought us?  Have they not seen Beetlejuice?  Have they not seen Candy Man?  Have they not heard the legend of Ippikin?  The man (or woman) who says El Gordo’s name 3 times is either very brave or very stupid.

Councillor Byrom is “comfortable” in the Manchester Royal Infirmary undergoing tests.  Let’s hope that our glorious leader doesn’t decide to pay him a visit while he’s in the area – no hospital in the world is geared up for that kind of humanitarian disaster.

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Mbeki resigns as South African president

All I will say is good fucking riddance. Thabo Mbeki is a racist shit who is an integral part of the problems in the south of the continent and Zimbabwe in particular. The world will be a better place without this two-faced turd.

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A super marketing idea

Supermarkets pay people a fortune to come up with ways of squeezing more money out of people that walk through their doors and the most of that effort is concentrated on enticing people to make spontaneous purchases. But they’re missing out on a trick here …

How many times have you walked into a supermarket intending to buy only a couple of things, not picked up a basket and then decided to spontaneously buy something extra but found that you can’t carry it all? Why have none of the supermarkets thought of putting baskets halfway round their stores for just that eventuality?

Or maybe it’s just me … 😕

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UKIP Video: Out of Control

UKIP and the Ind Dem group have produced a new video called “Out of Control: How the EU is costing you the earth”.

There are two versions:

Low Res (less than 2mbit connection)
High Res (2mbit connection or higher)

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How do you explain this to a child?

Just fired this email off to the School Food Trust, a British government quango that runs school meal promotions in English schools …


I am writing to complain about the High School Musical promotion being run by yourselves in the school my children go to.

Under the terms of this promotion, children having school meals get a voucher every day which is entered into a draw to win tickets to High School Musical. Children who take their own lunches to school receive one voucher per week giving them only a 20% chance of winning compared to the children that have school meals.

I appreciate that the purpose of this promotion is to encourage children to have school meals but children who are entitled to free school meals also get one voucher per day, the same as those who pay. Of course, the reason for this is that you can’t discriminate against children that are entitled to free school meals but I find it strange (and unacceptable) that you are allowed to discriminate against children that aren’t entitled to free school meals and whose parents can’t afford to pay for them.

I have three children in the same school and I work full time for more than minimum wage and I am not an asylum seeker and I therefore have to pay the full cost of my children’s school meals. A school meal costs £2.05 with a drink which is £6.15 per day or £30.75 per week for my three children. In an average month that would be a bill of around £135. A packed lunch with a drink costs us less than 50p. I can’t afford the extra £100+ per month that it would cost for my children to have a school meal every day, as much as I would love them to have the extra cooked meal.

So please tell me why you can’t discriminate against children that are entitled to free school meals because their parents can’t afford to pay for them but you can discriminate against children who aren’t entitled to free school meals even though their parents can’t afford to pay for them. I would be obliged if you could explain this in a way that my children will understand because they are the ones who are coming home complaining that it isn’t fair.

If you want to put your two penneth worth in, their email address is

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