Archive for December 2008

Happy New Year

I’d like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year.

Hopefully 2009 will be a happy and prosperous year for you all and if it isn’t then at least you’ve only got 365 days until 2010!

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You must be 945 years old to read this

What’s the point of legislation imposing age limits on buying certain products when retailers clearly know better?

I’m sure we’re all quite used to seeing signs in supermarkets telling you that it’s an offence to buy alcohol unless you’re 18 and then another sign telling you that if you look under 21 you’ll be asked for ID.  Some shops even say that they’ll ask for ID if you look under 25.

There are signs telling you that you can’t buy cigarettes without ID unless you look over 21 but the legal age to buy them is 18.  Then there’s knives – you have to be 18 to buy a knife but the signs in the shops tell you you have to be 21 or 25.  And not forgetting glue and solvents of course, you have to be 18 to buy them but shops won’t sell them to you if you’re under 21.

I appreciate that retailers are held responsible if they serve someone under-age but the signs often say they won’t serve you if you look under 21 or under 25, not that they will ask you for ID.  I don’t have a problem with the ones that say they will ask you for ID, I do have a problem with the ones that say they won’t serve you.

This rant isn’t random, there is a point to it.  I went to get petrol today and I noticed a new sign on West Mercia Police headed paper attached to the petrol pumps.  It says that you can’t use the pumps unless you’re 21 years old.  Bearing in mind that you can legally ride a motorbike at 16 years old and you can drive a petrol powered invalid carriage at 16 if you’re registered disabled and the law says that you only have to be 16 to buy petrol, why are the police putting up signs telling you that you have to be 21 to use a petrol pump?  The job of the police is to enforce the law, not make it up as they go along.

West Mercia Police have replied to an email I sent them earlier about this saying that they’ve done it elsewhere to try and cut down the availability of fuel for people riding mini-moto’s and off-road bikes illegally.  They say that it only applies to sales of fuel in cans and that most people riding illegally are under-age.  Mini-moto’s are a pain in the arse, especially when they’re ridden on footpaths around the estate but it’s still not the job of the police to make up laws as they go along.  Besides, the biggest motorbike problem around here is the two grown men who ride their road-legal quads around at breakneck speed.  The police know who they are but they’re still doing it so presumably they haven’t had a visit.

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Damn Power Cuts!

We just had a power cut for over an hour.  This might not sound like much and I’ve certainly been through much worse but it’s unusual for round here and it must have been pretty severe.

As far as I can tell, the whole of Brookside and Stirchley were out (over 10k people) including the street lights and the mobile phone masts.  According to a friend on the other side of town, their power dipped a couple of times and someone a few miles up the road said that their lights had been flickering.

When I still lived with my parents we had power cuts that lasted half a day or more.  I think we had one lasting over a day once.  Every time it rained heavily, snowed or there was a strong wind, the power would go off.  As kids we were used to it but it’s different when you’re an adult with kids of your own trying to get them to go to bed in the dark when they’re not used to it and thinking ahead to how you’re going to warm the house up if the electric doesn’t come back on soon or if the fuse box has blown (we did wonder when the street lights came back on but we still had now power).

Anyway, the power is back on now and it was only an hour or so but it was such an inconvenience even for that short an amount of time – no landline (digital phones), no internet (no power for the routers), no TV and no lights (other than candles but they’re not much use compared to an electric light).  Looks like we need to prepare more for the future power shortages.

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Power to the people

On the outskirts of Telford is an industrial estate, Hortonwood and next to it a small village, Horton.  Access to the village is via a narrow road, Horton Lane.

Horton Lane is relatively unknown but it’s a useful time saver if you’re trying to get out of the back end of the industrial estate at rush hour which, in the time-honoured tradition of Telford planners, has woefully inadequate access roads that can’t cope with rush hour.  It can take upwards of half an hour to get off the industrial estate at peak times.

The council have, in the past, tried to discourage motorists from using Horton Lane by narrowing the entrance and putting up signs but it is, of course, still used and being on the outskirts of the town it’s also used by the local chav population to race their stupid cars.  Nothing unusual there, a large proportion of Telford is used for racing cars but a handful of residents in Horton don’t like their quiet village being used by motorists so they’ve complained to the council.

Last year the council proposed to close off one end of Horton Lane, nearest the industrial estate to stop the lane being used as a rat run and forcing residents and visitors to Horton to take a detour of several miles.  The majority of residents didn’t like the idea of having to drive miles out of their way to get out of their village or the increased amount of time it would take a fire engine or an ambulance to make its way into the village in an emergency so they formed a campaign group to stop the road closure and presented a petition to the council showing that 270 residents wanted the road open and only 68 wanted it closed.

Earlier this year they received a letter from the council saying that they had decided not to close the road after all because of their petition but they have now received a letter from the council saying that from xx January it’s going to be closed as an experiment for 18 months.  The reason?  The council have had more complaints from residents since the petition.

I don’t live in Horton, I don’t work on Hortonwood and I don’t use Horton Lane but this has pissed me off because it’s just the sort of stupid thinking that makes people think “why bother?”.  They’ve had a petition showing that almost 5 times as many people want the road open as want it closed but because they’ve had complaints from the vocal minority they’re going to close it.  The only feedback the council are going to get about the road is negative because nobody is going to write to them saying “I wish to not complain about Horton Lane being used as a rat run, I’m quite happy about it” are they?

Another genius scheme by the highways people at Telford council is a pair of bus stops opposite each other on a main road with a central refuge in the middle so you can’t pass a bus without breaking the law.  The reason the council gives for doing it?  It slows traffic.  But it doesn’t and they know it doesn’t.  If there is only one bus at the stop, cars just go the wrong side of the central refuge to go past it.

Then there’s the “improvements” to the dual carriageway that runs through the town that’s no longer a dual carriageway in places thanks to the council tinkering with the road layout to make it “safer”.  The number of casualties has increased since they made their “improvements” but rather than put the road back to how it was before they are going to tinker some more and put up more signs.

Oh and we mustn’t forget the busy traffic island that they decided to make safer by erecting a plastic fence on one of the approaches to block the drivers view of the island until the last minute to slow them down.

And there’s the couple of miles of wide, open road with no junctions, no houses and no accidents that they decided to drop from a 60mph speed limit to a 40mph speed limit for no apparent reason whatsoever other than their obsession with slowing drivers down unnecessarily.
The entire department is staffed by idiots who either don’t drive in Telford or spend most of their waking hours on another planet.  If I was a resident of Horton I’d wait until the council put up the bollards, drive down to them in the middle of the night, hook them up to a 4×4 and tear the buggers out of the road.

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Vision of the Future?

We went to Tesco today to do a bit of shopping. It was unusually quiet, devoid of the crowds of bargain hunters I would have expected this close after Christmas.

Vision of the Future?

That wasn’t the only strange thing about the shop today – half of the store was in darkness. On some aisles, they had even put lamps on the shelves to give some light because it was that dark. As I was pushing the trolley around the half empty aisles in the dark I started wondering if this is what it’s going to be like in a decade when we’re relying on windmills for 60% of our electricity supply.

It might sound like an exaggeration but it’s really not. In a few years we need to have replaced some of our power stations to be able to provide enough electricity to meet demand. The British government intends to replace them with windmills that will cost billions of pounds and won’t provide anywhere near enough electricity or the consistent, affordable supply we need. There is a very real risk of electricity being rationed, street lights going off in the night and factories time-sharing electricity supplies with their neighbours.

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Merry Christmas

I’d like to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas.

I’ll be taking a few days off blogging but I’ll probably update Twitter from time to time so if you really have nothing better to do over Christmas than read about whatever is annoying me you can follow me on Twitter!

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Animal Rights Terrorists found guilty

Four animal rights terrorists have been found guilty of blackmailing companies with associations with Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Their 6 year terrorist campaign included sending fake letter bombs, sending letters to neighbours of one man telling them he was a paedophile, criminal damage, grafitti and threats against the families of their victims.

These scum should be locked up for at least 20 years to serve as a warning to the other animal rights terrorists who think that they have a right to make peoples’ lives a living hell because they don’t agree with their views.  Some of the things these animal rights terrorists think is acceptable are frankly unbelievable and so far off any normal persons moral compass that locking them up would be doing society a favour.

I remember, a few years back, having some unwashed hippy try to get me to take a leaflet outside the NatWest bank in Shrewsbury.  There were a few of them handing out leaflets and harassing anyone who went in or out so when he tried to press his leaflet in my hand I told him very loudly to fuck off and get a job.

Anyone who believes, like I do, that finding a cure for cancer or alzheimers or other life threatening diseases is a worthy enough cause to justify testing on animals then you might like to show your support for Pro-Test.

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Belgian government resigns again

The Belgian government has resigned yet again.

Prime Minister Yves Leterme tendered his government’s resignation in June, just 3 months after forming a government, after failing to get an enhanced devolution deal approved by parliament.  On that occassion, the King refused to accept the resignation and told Leterme to sort himself out.

This time, however, the King has accepted Leterme’s resignation for its part in the controversial privatisation and impending sell-off of the Belgian arm of the Benelux bank, Fortis.

Belgium is broken beyond repair, anything other than the break-up of the union is just a sticking plaster.

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The General Secretary of OPEC, the group with de-facto control of the world’s oil supply, has said that No Mandate Brown is “confused” about oil prices.

Abdalla Salem El-Badri wasn’t best pleased with El Gordo’s pronouncement that volatile oil prices were to blame for global economic problems and that OPEC should do more to stabilise prices.  El-Badri said that El Gordo should look at cutting taxes on fuel if he wanted to help and pointed out that the UK has done well out of high oil prices because of the high taxes.

But El Gordo isn’t confused about oil prices – he understands exactly what is happening to oil prices and more importantly, what low oil prices will do to tax revenues.  When El Gordo talks about stabilising prices, what he means is that the oil price should be kept artificially high and that OPEC nations should take the rough with the smooth, losing money when the oil gets expensive and raking it in when it’s cheap.  He didn’t care about people and businesses being unable to afford fuel when the price shot through the £1 barrier and kept on rising, all he’s interested in is keeping the price of oil high so the Treasury can carry on fleecing motorists to pay for their scorched earth budgets without having to increase fuel duty which isn’t a very popular tax.

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Democracy comes at a price

Last week the island of Sark in the Channel Islands held its first ever election for the Chief Pleas, the parliament of Sark.  Sark is a Crown Dependency and is therefore not part of the UK or the EU but the elections were held to comply with the EU Convention on Human Rights.

Until last week Sark was a feudal state with the unelected Seigneur as head of the Chief Pleas which was itself comprised of the tenants of the original 40 quarantaine.  The Seigneur will continue as the feudal lord of the island but the island’s government will now be elected.

Progress has its price, however.  The Barclay brothers, owners of the Torygraph and the Ritz hotel, are a bit pissed off because their candidates did badly in the election.  They own the island of Brecqhou, one of the quarantaine and are a law unto themselves.  They regularly break Sark law, driving cars and using helicopters and have been accused of tax evasion.  They have even tried to claim independence from Sark.

In retaliation for not voting for their candidates, the Barclay’s have closed their businesses on the island and put 140 people out of a job.  The island only has just under 500 inhabitants, no social security and residents aren’t entitled to claim benefits from the British government.

So that’s another economy devastated and half the working population of Sark out of a job because of Federal Europe.  But hey, at least they get to put an “X” next to a name every few years.

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Sikh’s complain about Halal in schools

I don’t share Cranmer’s zeal for Christian fundamentalism but I do share his concern over the encroachment of alien religions into everyday life.

Earlier in the month he reproduced a letter from Sikh Awareness on the subject of Halal meat being served as a matter of course to non-muslims in schools:

Dear Sir

Re: Halal only meat served at a public north London primary school

We are requesting your much required help

It has come to our knowledge that the school which our 3 young children attend have been serving halal meat as part of their school meals without the knowledge of parents. We recently were given a form requesting if our children would like to have Christmas dinner. We opted for the traditional Christmas dinner and when we submitted this form to the school office, we by chance mentioned halal, and we were told that Christmas dinner – turkey will be halal. We explained that we are SIKHS and so halal consumption is FORBIDDEN, to which the response was that our children would have to have the vegetarian alternative. Therefore we have started a petition. The petition simply requests that SCHOOLS MUST GIVE ADVANCE NOTICE OF THEIR SCHOOL MEALS POLICY AND THAT IF HALAL MEAT IS PROVIDED, SO SHOULD NON HALAL MEAT. This is not only because Sikhs are forbidden to eat halal on religious grounds but many non-Sikhs do not wish their children to consume halal meat.

Please sign our petition

We will inform all Sikh Gurdwaras in the UK and also world wide.

Thank you


Animals killed for Halal meat suffer an inhumane death, being strung up by their back legs and bleeding to death from a slit throat.  A lot of people have a moral objection to Halal meat, Sikh’s have a religious objection.  Halal meat should, where appropriate, be an option for muslim or Jewish children, not an obligation for all.

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Team GB again

FIFA have agreed to a British football team for the 2012 Olympics and No Mandate Brown has got assurances from Sepp Blatter that the independence of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish teams will be maintained.

The English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish fan associations are all opposed to a British football team and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations are also opposed.  Only the English FA supports the creation of a British team.

EL Gordo said:

Over time people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see the benefits of this unique sporting event that’s coming to London – this unique event at which we would not have a football team represented

He has not interest in whether English people see “the benefits” of the 2012 Olympics, he just requires that we pay for it and supply medal athletes for the British team.

Gordo also said he had talked to Sepp Blatter about the …

… continuing representation of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland football associations in all international tournaments

The continued representation of the English FA in international tournaments is also of no interest to the Ignorant Jock who clearly envisages the English team carrying on the Team GB name after 2012.

According to the BBC …

The challenge, he said, was getting a UK team to compete in 2012 without compromising the independence of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations.

Again, no mention of England, the sacrificial lamb of the Brownian Peoples Republic of New Britain.

The Goblin King says that he and Seb Coe have already spoken to lifelong Liebour supporter and fellow Scot, Alex Fergusson, about managing the British team.  It has also been suggested that the first Team GB match is played at Hamden Park to increase public support for the team.  Once again, it isn’t English support that they’re interested in, it’s celtic support.

So we’re still looking at a British team comprised of English players managed by a Scotsman and the continued existence of an England under critical threat.  Like I said back in September, sport is truly a microcosm of society.

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Telford Tories in disarray

When the Tories won control of Telford & Wrekin Council for the first time last year, many promises were made of a more transparent administration with more involvement of the electorate in council decisions.

It was a rocky start for the Tories who had to pick up the pieces after a scorched earth budget from the outgoing Liebour administration which spent a third of the council’s cash reserves in a damage limitation exercise in the run-up to the election.  It didn’t limit the damage – one Liebour councillor told me they knew they were going to lose but they didn’t think it would be that bad – and council taxpayers in Telford are still footing the bill for their reckless spending.  But being dropped in the shit by Liebour doesn’t stop them implementing a transparent administration or community involvement and that has been strangely lacking.

Residents were promised a say in full council meetings but it still hasn’t happened.  Residents were promised a say in the siting of mobile phone masts but it still hasn’t happened.  Residents were promised an honest and transparent council but very little has changed and some truly shocking decisions have been taken.

Telford & Wrekin was in the news a few months back over their policy of stopping and questioning adults in the town’s famous Town Park who weren’t there with children in case they were kiddy fiddlers.  This attracted worldwide attention and even prompted the Home Office to issue a statement distancing themselves from the actions of the council.  The council officer responsible for sending the letter that kicked the whole thing off escaped unpunished but the Councillor with responsibility for leisure, Councillor Denis Allen, was made a scapegoat and sacked from the cabinet.

The upshot of all this is that Councillor Allen and Councillor George Ashcroft have both resigned the Tory whip (the Leader of the Tory group, Andrew Eade, still denies there is one) and are currently sitting as independents.  The Tory administration is now a minority administration, short of 4 seats.  Ironically, Denis and George will now be in a stronger position to influence the council than they were when they were part of the cabinet because they now hold the balance of power.

The sad thing is, Denis Allen is probably the best councillors Telford has had and he’s someone I have a lot of respect for.  We’ve had our differences in the past but he’s a good man and an honest politician (yes, they do exist).  He didn’t deserve the treatment he got and if Andrew Eade has anything about him he’d have apologised and reinstated Denis to the cabinet.  Instead he told the local paper that he expected Denis and George to resign their seats and fight a by-election.  Funnily enough, he didn’t have the same opinion when Councillor Steve Bentley defected from Liebour to the Tories just before the last elecion.

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Bloggers4UKIP: Working Time Directive will cost billions

Yes, I know I’m being lazy re-posting things I’ve written elsewhere but there are only so many hours in a day and I do have to work for a living!

I’ve just posted this on Bloggers4UKIP:

Working Time Directive will cost billions

Earlier today I wrote about the EU Parliament voting to abolish the UK’s opt-out of the EU Working Time Directive. Predictably, the majority of MEPs voted to abolish the UK’s opt-out even though it has nothing to do with their own countries.

Bizarrely, the European Parliament has voted against the European Council and European Commission and decided to include on-call in working time for the purposes of the directive.

So what does this mean? Let me put a personal perspective on this act of lunacy …

I work for a large multi-national supporting a couple of IT systems for a government department that require 24 hour support. The systems are predominantly supported by myself and another person on-site during core hours of 8am and 6pm. To provide the 24 hour support, we take it in turns to be on-call at home and go into the office if something goes wrong.

From my employers point of view this decision by the European Parliament drops them in the brown stuff because they will have to employ another four people to provide 24 hour support for these systems.

From my own point of view this decision drops me very deeply in the brown stuff because being on-call supplements my income by several thousand pounds a year. With a wife and four children to support, I’m going to rely on tax credits to plug the gap.

As is so often the case with decisions emanating from our masters on the continent, the rights that they parade in front of us as examples of the benefit of EU membership aren’t really rights at all, they’re obligations. Workers in the UK currently have the right to refuse to work more than 48 hours per week but that’s not good enough for the eurocrats who insist that workers exercise their “rights” whether they want to or not.

Abolishing the opt-out is going to cost the UK billions. The cost to the taxpayer alone is going to be huge in topping up wages and paying increased costs for PFI projects and contracts with private companies.

I wonder if this is another one of those obvious benefits of EU membership the British government talks about when anyone questions why we’re paying billions of pounds a year to belong to the EUSSR.

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Bloggers4UKIP: Q&A with Bob Spink

UKIP’s Dr Bob Spink MP very kindly agreed to do a Q&A session for Bloggers4UKIP and here it is, unedited and straight from the horses mouth:

  1. It’s now been 8 months since you left the Conservatives and joined UKIP. Do you ever regret making the move? Do you think you still stand a good chance of getting re-elected?

    No regrets and as an Independent, I have a decent chance of winning, but my excellent constituents will decide that. The Tories told lies when I resigned, I sued them, they admitted lying and the overall costs and damages were around £200,000. I am well rid and Cameron is not Prime Minister material.

    Even though I am Independent, since I refuse to take a party political whip in the House, I am an enthusiastic and totally committed UKIP member.

  2. What was it that attracted you to UKIP in the first place?

    The European question (and UKIP is the most honest political party and has the best Leader).

  3. Do you think the Conservatives will ever become a eurosceptic party again?

    I don’t know, I hope so.

  4. It’s well known that the majority of the Conservative Party membership are eurosceptic but their party leadership have different views. Why do you think UKIP hasn’t attracted more high profile Conservatives? Do you think their jobs are more important than their principles or do they genuinely believe that they can change their party from within?

    Ask Redwood, Hague, or the rest of them why they have become Tory Euro-friendly front bench poodles!

  5. How do you think the launch of Libertas will affect UKIP? A lot of people – myself included – believe that the Conservatives will lose most votes to Libertas. Do you agree?

    It is possibly so, since Libertas want to stay in the EU like the Tories.

  6. In the vote on 42 day internment of terrorism suspects you voted with the government and against UKIP policy. Having seen one of your colleagues, Damian Green, being on the receiving end of an abuse of anti-terrorism powers, do you still believe that the government and the police can be trusted with the power to detain people suspected of breaking anti-terrorism laws for 2 months without charge?

    As I say, I don’t take a party whip I just do what is right and I don’t give a damn about party hacks tearing their hair out. I could be wrong on any issue of course, but I am totally open and honest and my own man. There are a number of UKIP policies I would not support and I hope that goes for all your readers. Anyone who blindly follows a set of politicians without question needs their head examined.

  7. You recently asked for yourself to be designated as an Independent in the Commons rather than a UKIP MP. A lot of UKIP members were concerned about this as it appears you are distancing yourself from the party. What were your reasons for doing this and would you describe yourself as UKIP again if there were other UKIP MPs?

    As you have seen, I don’t follow the crowd, I will do what I think is right at the time. As circumstances move on, so must we, or we fall behind. In short, never say never in politics.

  8. The pound has now reached near-parity with the Euro, one of Gordon Brown’s golden rules on dropping the pound and adopting the single currency. Can you see the British government moving to adopt the Euro soon and if so, do you think they will give us the referendum they promised or will they cheat us out of one like they did with the EU Constitution?

    Yes to them thinking about entering the Euro zone, no to a referendum.

  9. What are your predictions for the combined EU/local elections and the next general election?

    Lets work hard for UKIP and wait and see.

  10. Finally, a light-hearted one. If you were stranded on a desert island with one other person and one possession, who and what would they be?

    Nigel Farage since he is astute, reliable and good company, and a set of ear plugs for when I’d had enough.

Thanks to everyone who sent in questions for Bob and thanks to Bob for answering them. Hopefully this will be the first of many interviews with prominent UKIPpers.

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Harriet Harperson replies … well, her flunky does

A month ago I wrote to Harriet Harperson after she announced that she would be launching an inquiry into the “too white” British Parliament.  I had all but given up on receiving a reply when out of the blue, one of her underlings sent a reply:

Dear Wonko,

Thank you for your email of November 14th 2008 addressed to Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP expressing your opinions regarding a “too white” British Parliament. Due to their busy schedules Ministers are unable to reply to all their correspondence personally.

You have asked about “proposals for ensuring that Parliament has adequate quotas of ethnic minority, female, disabled, homosexual, trans-gender and other oppressed sections of society.”

The Government’s position is that:

  • Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, but equality is not just right in principle.
  • Promoting equality is essential for individuals to fulfil their potential, for the creation of a cohesive society and for a strong economy.

In the forthcoming Equality Bill the Government has identified several grounds for protection including race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, or belief and also gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity and marital status.  For the majority of these, the protected ground is an inherited characteristic which is rarely subject to change.  They have been chosen due to wider recognition of needing protection from discrimination and disadvantage, especially when accessing goods, facilities and service.  The Equality Bill will ban unjustifiable discrimination against people.

To speed up progress in tackling the inequalities that still exist and to end inequality you have to take positive action to redress disadvantage as well as tackle discrimination. Positive action in employment terms means that, all other things being equal, you can take steps to recruit under-represented groups to your organisations or develop talent within under-represented groups in your workforce.  Such measures are voluntary and include job advertising and training.

Widening the scope of positive action will make a difference because it will increase opportunities for people from underrepresented groups. There is clear evidence that certain groups, for whatever reasons, do not get the same opportunities as others – despite having equivalent educational qualifications:

  • There is only one High Court Judge from an ethnic minority
  • Only 8% of University Vice Chancellors are women
  • Only 11% of Directors in the UK’s top 100 companies are women
  • Not a single Member of Parliament is an Asian woman

The Bill will extend positive action so that employers can take under-representation into account when selecting between two equally qualified candidates, for example choosing a male teacher if the school already has a large proportion of female teachers.

The new positive action measures will be available to all employers to use on a voluntary basis. They are not about employment quotas and will not allow people to promote one candidate above another if that person is less suitable. They can be used in all types of organisations from businesses, to local authorities through to bodies such as police services. This will allow employers to recruit more people from groups that are currently under-represented in their workforce, so that their workforce in turn better reflects the local community.

Yours Sincerely

Kimberley Reed
Government Equalities Office

I couldn’t resist replying …

Dear Kim,

I agree that everyone has a right to equality, does that mean that you are going to be creating a position of Minister for Men and introducing legislation that allows “positive discrimination” in favour of white English men or is it a case of (to paraphrase George Orwell) “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others”?

I note your comment that only one High Court judge is from an asian minority.  Perhaps you could tell me how many people from an asian minority want to be High Court judges, how many have applied with the relevant qualifications and experience and how you determine the number of people that haven’t applied because of a perceived race barrier.  I always find statistics on people not applying for something paradoxical in much the same way that statistics on unreported crimes and terrorism are paradoxical.

Your point of there being no asian women MPs is the most important one.  The electorate chooses who should be an MP and if a female asian doesn’t manage to get elected in a free and fair election then that isn’t because of racism, it’s because they’re just not the best candidate for the majority of voters.  To allow all women lists for elections serves only to undermine one of the most fundamental concepts of democracy which is that (subject to legal bars) every citizen is entitled to stand for election and sit in the Commons if elected by their peers.

Finally, a company would (and should) employ people who are suitable for the jobs on offer.  Whether their workforce reflects the ethnic makeup of the local community is an irrelevance and rightly so.  If, for example, 10% of the local community is asian and only 5% of the applicants for a job are asian, why should a company be encouraged to employ a higher pro-rated amount of asian applicants?  To consciously do that would be to discriminate against the majority of applicants who weren’t asian and discrimination in all forms is wrong.



I don’t imagine I’ll get a reply this time. 🙂

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Pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today

Via the excellent Englishmans Castle, this article in the Canadian Free Press:

How many failed predictions, discredited assumptions and evidence of incorrect data are required before an idea loses credibility?

Proponents of human induced warming and climate change told us that an increase in CO2 precedes and causes temperature increases. They were wrong. They told us the late 20th century was the warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us, using the infamous “hockey stick” graph, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) did not exist. They were wrong. They told us global temperatures would increase through 2008 as CO2 increased. They were wrong. They told us Arctic ice would continue to decrease in area through 2008. They were wrong. They told us October 2008 was the second warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us 1998 was the warmest year on record in the US. They were wrong it was 1934. They told us current atmospheric levels of CO2 are the highest on record. They are wrong. They told us pre-industrial atmospheric levels of CO2 were approximately 100 parts per million (ppm) lower than the present 385 ppm. They are wrong. This last is critical because the claim is basic to the argument that humans are causing warming and climate change by increasing the levels of atmospheric CO2 and have throughout the Industrial era. In fact, pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today, but how did they conclude they were lower?


Go and read the whole article at the Canada Free Press website.

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According to South Worcestershire Police accidents were up 1,000% the other day thanks to the icy road conditions.

I’d be surprised if it was only 1,000% here in Telford because the roads on Wednesday were lethal.  The council sent the gritters out the night before but they’ve started using this new type of grit which is based on molasses (sugar) which is, of course, cheaper that salt-based grit.  They were warned by a motorists group a couple of weeks ago in the local paper that this new grit was dangerous but it’s cheaper so they carried on regardless.

The roads were largely clear of ice and frost but they were still slippery.  Dangerously so, in fact, judging by the mangled cars that still litter the grass roads around Telford.  The council blamed the diabolical road conditions on a surprise frost in the early hours of the morning (there was no frost on the roads but never mind) but some of it may have been down to what my dad saw the other night – a gritter followed by a road sweeper.  I kid you not – grit on, sweep off.

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Who’s a brave boy?

Regular readers will know that I have a phobia of dentists so bad that I recently spent a week and a half in agony with a gum infection rather than go to the dentist.

Well, yesterday was my first trip to the hospital for some dental work.  I wasn’t in the best shape by the time I got into the dentists room but luckily Mrs Sane was there to hold my hand (literally).  I told the dentist about the gum infection the allergic reaction I had to penicillin the other day and the various tablets I’m taking half hoping she’d say she couldn’t do anything but she said it was fine.

The dentist had a look around by mouth and said I think we’d better just take these two teeth out, are you happy with that?  Erm … bit of a daft question but I told her to do it.  They pumped me full of vallium which did mellow me out enough to have the work done but didn’t supress my memory of it or anything like she said it would.

So, I’ve had two broken teeth out that have been causing me problems for ages – one on either side of my mouth – and I’m going back next year to have some fillings.  I can only eat using two back teeth on one side of my mouth because of the hole where my tooth has been taken out and the infection on the other side.  The infected gum is making its presence known – I’ve got one hamster cheek and my mouth still tastes of blood but it should be sorted in a day or two.

If anyone else has a phobia of dentists that they can’t get over then I really would recommend going to see a dentist, telling them about your phobia and asking for a referral to your local nervous patients service.  The dentist won’t do anything you’re not comfortable with and you’ll feel better once you’ve gone through with it.

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Never a dull moment

I finally got round to going to the dentist yesterday to get some antibiotics to sort out the infection in my gum that I’ve had for weeks.  It doesn’t hurt any more unless I push on it but it needs sorting out.

So, I went to the dentist yesterday afternoon, she had a quick look and two minutes later I was out of the door.  It was free as well – apparently they aren’t allowed to charge NHS patients just to give them a prescription.

She said I just needed a course of antibiotics and had I ever had a problem taking penicillin.  I told her that I had once when I was a kid but I’d had it loads of times since so she gave me my prescription for penicillin.  You can guess what happened next can’t you?

Five minutes before I was due to go home from work last night the back of my head started itching.  Then my ears went really hot and prickly.  Then my forehead.  I drove home with the windows open, breathing steam and still my head was hot.  I got into the house, went straight into the bathroom and my face and neck were bright red.  The word “bollocks” sprang to mind.

I took my temperature which was normal but my face was burning up – just like I’d been badly sunburnt.  I popped a piriton (anti-histamine), phoned the out of hours doctor who agreed that I was probably having a reaction to the penicillin and to take pirition and phone 999 if my mouth or throat started to swell.  Just the sort of reassurance I needed, that.

Anyway, about three hours, a bag of smiley faces wrapped in a tea towel and a cold shower later and the redness and swelling had all but gone.  Back to normal this morning apart from an itchy rash on my arm and I’ve still not got rid of this bloody infection!

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