Archive for August 2010

Stop buggering about with my internet!

Bloody buggering Sky, I swear there’s a conspiracy to piss me off.

Two months ago they buggered up my internet connection and then buggered up my phone fixing my broadband.Cartman Pissed Off I spent several days arguing with them over the phone that the problem was at the exchange, not my equipment or my phone, the micro filter or the socket.  Eventually I got through to someone sensible in their higher level support department who did the unthinkable and didn’t follow the step by step instructions that clearly had no relevance at all to the problem I had and eventually got the problem sorted at the exchange.  I managed to figure out the problem despite being in a hotel on a training course but it took several days of phone calls for Sky to catch up with all their gadgetry.

So they fixed my broadband by moving my line from one switch to another and in the process paired my phone up to god knows where, but it wasn’t my phone line!  As compensation fro dicking me around entirely unnecessarily, ballsing things up twice and costing me quite a lot of money in phone calls they knocked a fiver a month off my bill for a year.  Which they also cocked up, resulting in my getting billed for two half price phone lines instead of one.

Anyway, they sorted all that out and everything was fine until yesterday when we got back from a week’s holiday to find that the internet wasn’t working.  There was no heartbeat light on the micro filter (I bought an expensive filter a while ago which tells me when it’s connected to the exchange) and the data light on the router was red which kind of suggests that there was no connection to the exchange.  So I did some tests, including trying a spare router which they sent me when there was nothing wrong with my router two months ago.

Eventually they figured out that there was a problem and phoned me back to tell me they’d fixed it.  So I asked what was wrong and what they’d done to fix it.  There was a pause and a reluctant explanation: they’d done some tests on the line and discovered that it will only support 10mbit/sec so they’d reduced the connection to 10mbit.

Interesting.  So my line has supported a connection at over 20mbit/sec for over a year but suddenly, in the space of a week, my line has mysteriously degenerated to the point where it will now only support half the data rate it did before I went on holiday.  Is there an explanation?  Well, the maximum speed is calculated from the distance from the exchange, the line quality and the quality of the wiring at home.  All of which I know and that’s how I know their maths doesn’t add up.  According to Kitz, at 900m from the exchange with 13dB downstream attenuation, I should be be able to connect to the exchange at 22mbit/sec with a throughput of just over 20mbit.

Kitz ADSL Speed Calculator Result

As the crow flies I am less than 400m from the exchange so the actual length of cable is probably somewhere between the 0.4km distance from the exchange and the 0.9km they estimate.  Regardless, the LLU speeds quoted above are pretty much spot on what I’ve been getting for over a year and nothing has changed.  The router is still plugged into the master socket with no extensions and a high quality micro filter.

Anyway, they said that it will take up to 24 hours to put the speed back to 20mbit (5 minutes to reduce it, a day to increase it … hmmm).  Needless to say, 24 hours later it’s still connected at 8mbit – not even the 10mbit I was told yesterday that my line could support.  Not a happy bunny as you can imagine so I phoned again, went through the same conversations and had another promise to put my connection back to 20mbit.

I pay for 20mbit, my line supports 20mbit, I expect 20mbit!  I suspect another battle may be in the offing, let’s see what happens tomorrow.

EDL protest marred by UAF violence

The English Defence League (EDL) held a “static protest” in Bradford yesterday which was typically marred by violence.

The original plan was for the EDL to hold a march through Bradford but the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison, successfully got the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to ban any protest marches in Bradford this weekend so they held a “static protest” instead.

UAF Leader arrested for conspiracy to organise violent disorder

UAF Leader arrested for conspiracy to organise violent disorder in March 2010

But wherever the EDL go, of course, the extreme left wing fascist group, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) follow to wreak havoc.  The order to ban the EDL from marching no doubt came from her boss, David “Cast Iron” Cameron who is a supporter of the UAF fascists (the list of MPs supporting the UAF was removed after it was splashed all over the papers but nothing ever disappears forever on the internet).

Yesterday’s EDL protest was met with opposition from both the UAF fascists and The Muslim Community.  The two factions – the EDL and the UAF/Muslim Community – were supposed to have been kept at a safe distance from each other but the UAF/Muslim Community protesters mysteriously made it to within a few yards of the EDL protesters.  The UAF/Muslim Community gathering place was half a mile away from where the EDL were allowed to protest.

There is a lot about yesterday’s protest that doesn’t add up.  Why were the UAF thugs and Muslim Community allowed to get so close to the fenced in EDL protesters?  If the EDL were the trouble makers, why did the UAF and the Muslim Community have to be stopped from getting at the EDL protest by a physical blockade of police vans and a line of mounted police?  Why have the police told the media that EDL protesters threw a smoke bomb at the UAF/Muslim Community protesters when this video clearly shows the trail of smoke from the smoke bomb being thrown from the UAF/Muslim Community protesters at the EDL protesters?

The media’s coverage of the protests is equally suspect.  Sky News provided live coverage which apparently showed the smoke bomb being thrown at the EDL protesters but they continued to report it as being thrown by the EDL.  And despite there being two separate protests yards away from each other – the EDL and the UAF/Muslim Community – the rotating banner said “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”, implying that the EDL were the only ones kicking off when clearly they weren’t.  Another strapline was “Smoke bombs, bottles & stones thrown during English Defence League demonstration” – but who threw what?  It was both sides but the strapline revolving underneath says “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”.  Another said “One EDL supporter taken to hospital after injuring his leg” – how did he injure it?  Was it an accident or was he hit by a brick or a bottle?  There’s no interest from Sky, it’s all part of the “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”.  What about the EDL supporter with cuts on the back of his head from what looks like a bottle injury?  How was he injured?  Again, no interest, it’s part of the “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”.

One of the arguments used by the UAF thugs and The Muslim Community as an excuse to ban the EDL march and whip up anti-EDL hatred in Bradford was that the EDL protest might see a return to the Bradford of 2001 when The Muslim Community and non-muslims rioted after David Blunkett, as Home Secretary, banned a National Front march but allowed a march by the extremist left wing Anti-Nazi League (now merged in the extremist left wing UAF) to go ahead.  Sound familiar?  The Muslim Community dictates the agenda in Bradford because the authorities can no longer control them.

The EDL have a right to protest, yes, but we must not allow them to provoke us into violence.
Ratna Lachman, Bradford Women’s Peace Project

I’m surely not the only person who sees something wrong with this comment?  If The Muslim Community turns to violence – which they did yesterday and have done at every EDL protest – then it’s because they’ve been provoked into violence.  How has this been allowed to happen?  Why have the Brits allowed extremism in The Muslim Community in Bradford to reach such epidemic proportions that a protest march by people opposing Islamic extremism could “provoke” them into violence?

We thank people for their patience and support so far and we hope to have protesters removed from the city as soon as possible.
West Yorkshire Police “spokesman”

Again, I’m sure I’m not the only person to see something wrong with this comment either.  It is the job of the police to keep the peace and enforce compliance with the law, not to run people out of town like a wild west sheriff.  The EDL have a right to free assembly and peaceful protest.  They also have a right not to be harassed or attacked and the police have an obligation to protect those rights.  But instead, the objective of West Yorkshire Police was evidently to deny them their rights and to remove them from Bradford as soon as they could in case the EDL’s presence in the city provoked The Muslim Community into violence.

So what now for the EDL?  Almost a year ago I wrote about the EDL following their march in Manchester and again in April this year following a protest in Dudley.  At both protests the EDL were portrayed as the trouble makers with little mention of the UAF thugs despite the ratio of arrests to protesters being 1 in 250 for UAF and only 1 in 1,333 for the EDL – 3 arrests from 4,000 EDL protesters and 6 arrests from 1,500 UAF thugs.

I said that I had no interest in ethnic nationalism and I still don’t but I wonder if perhaps I’ve misunderstood the EDL?  Their website says they’re only interested in opposing Islamic extremism and the creeping influence of Sharia and not race so maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt?  Some of their members are clearly more interested in white supremecism than opposing Islamic extremism but then that’s the same of any organisation that is even vaguely involved in any type of nationalism.  Even the Campaign for an English Parliament – a group that is extremely defensive of its non-partisan civic nationalism – has had problems with members or supporters who have developed an unhealthy obsession with race politics (we’ve rooted them all out to the best of my knowledge) and the English Democrats have some very unsavoury characters in their ranks despite being a primarily civic nationalist party.  The EDL have no control over who chooses to support them and the beliefs those people hold and it’s unreasonable to expect them to filter out the undesirables from the thousands of people that turn up to their protests.

The problem the EDL have is that they are a porous organisation.  They have to be to attract the kind of support they get at their protests.  The downside of this is that they are open to infiltration from all sides.  They have obviously been infiltrated by the likes of the National Front, the BNP and other ethnic nationalists and it is inconceivable that the police and security services haven’t already got people in the EDL chain of command.  The trouble that both lots of infiltrators cause at protests is bringing the day the EDL is proscribed closer.  One of their protests has been banned now, that sets a precedent for suppressing them.  Banning one of their marches establishes them as “wrong”, the next step will be to ban them from having any sort of protest and then to ban the group altogether.  The violence at protests will be cited as justification for banning them and the cost to the taxpayer of policing their protests will be used to convince the general public that banning the EDL is a good thing.  The UAF fascists and The Muslim Community will be exempt from the bans despite them being the cause of most of the trouble at EDL protests because they’re not “wrong”.

The media has already been mobilised against the EDL – a collective blind eye is turned to the UAF fascists and The Muslim Community whilst the violence and thuggery perpetrated by the extreme left is blamed on the EDL.  Despite being apolitical, the EDL are described as “far right” by politicians and the media, following the “right is wrong” mantra that the left have managed to implant into the collective psyche.  The left have managed to convince most of the population that the left wing nationalist socialist BNP are “far right” whilst the forces of anti-fascism are exclusively left wing which of course makes right wing bad and left wing good.  The truth is that the BNP are a left wing party, fascism is a centrist ideology incorporating both left and right wing ideologies and there are as many – if not more – anti-fascists on the right as there are on the left.  Opposing radical Islam and unfettered immigration does not make you a fascist, no matter what the vicious thugs in UAF and failed communists in the Labour Party say.

England is not Britain

England is not Britain

Not only are the EDL not “far right” but they are not English nationalists either.  English nationalists know the difference between England and Britain.  Glaswegian muslims are not English nationalists and they don’t ask “Why are they against the United Kingdom?”  England is not Britain and the English Defence League is not English.

So, back to my question a few paragraphs up: should we give the EDL the benefit of the doubt?  I am inclined to believe that the core few people that started the EDL and probably the majority of their supporters are not ethnic nationalists.  I agree that radical Islam has to be dealt with and I agree that Sharia is a cancer that needs to be excised and most people will agree with the EDL’s stated objectives and raison d’être.  What the English people need is a leader – someone in tune with English public feeling and clever enough to take on both the media and the British establishment.  The EDL and its leader, Tommy Robinson, have done a lot in a short amount of time but they aren’t going to lead an English revolution because the EDL is a tainted brand and the danger is that the EDL will end up tainting English nationalism as a whole through guilt by association, just as we are starting to win the war against Englishness.

I certainly won’t be supporting the EDL for the simple fact that they are British nationalists and I am an English nationalist and because I have no desire to get my head caved in by some psycho communist or a member of The Muslim Community for being on the “wrong” side of the police line.  That said, I would still be interested in observing an EDL protest first hand and if anyone from the EDL wants to arrange that, feel free to get in touch.

Recommended reading on the EDL and UAF:
Nourishing Obscurity
The Anger of a Quiet Man

The English Defence League’s … robust … report on yesterday’s protest is here.

Google UK in Spanish?

Oh dear, looks like the fuck up fairy has visited Google!

Google UK in Spanish?

Oxfordshire speed camera propaganda

The BBC News website has a non-story about speeding statistics at the site of two switched-off speed cameras in Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire County Council couldn’t afford to keep the speed cameras going after the British government withdrew central funding for speed cameras in England so they turned them off but Thames Valley Safer Road Partnership – one of the many speed camera quangos producing misleading advertising and lobbying national and local government for more business – continued to monitor two sites for 10 weeks and came up with the startling revelation that people were speeding past the speed cameras that had been turned off.

I’ve said this plenty of times before – speeding isn’t dangerous, driving too fast is.  You can break the speed limit and still be safe but you can drive below the speed limit and not be safe.  This is where speed cameras fail in their supposed objective of making the roads safer – they don’t catch dangerous drivers, they don’t catch drunk drivers, they don’t catch people that brake sharply at speed cameras and then race off at breakneck speeds as soon as they’re past the lines painted on the road.

Thames Valley Safer Road Partnership’s shocking statistics – endorsed by Brake, the government-funded fake charity – show an 88% increase in speeding on Watlington Road, Cowley.  That’s an increase from 7 people caught speeding when the speed cameras were on to 62 people not getting caught speeding when the speed cameras are off.  62 people in 10 weeks – that’s less than 1 speeding motorist per day!

But of course the road conditions play a big part in whether it’s safe to exceed the speed limit or not so what’s Warlington Road like?  Is it a winding country lane?  A narrow street through a busy housing estate?  Erm, no.  It’s a wide open road, most of which is through open countryside and the rest is past some industrial units.  Part of the road is dual carriageway and there are traffic lights dotted at short intervals where the road makes its way past the industrial units.

The other speed camera site is the A44 in Woodstock where the number of people breaking the 30mph speed limit went from 90 to 110.  Again, this is over a 10 week period so that’s 2 more speeding motorists per week now the speed cameras are off compared to when they were on.  And again, this is a wide open road and it’s actually a bypass for Woodstock and the only hazard nearby is the entrance to Blenheim Palace which has filter lanes to control the traffic and presumably slows the traffic down when the road is busy by virtue of being a tourist attraction and attracting lots of traffic.

One statistic is conspicuously absent from propaganda from Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership – the effect on the accident rate from the speed cameras being switched off.  There is no mention whatsoever of the accident rate and that speaks volumes.  If there was one extra accident at either of those sites it would have been used as “evidence” that turning off speed cameras is going to kill and maim hundreds of babies and pensioners.  But there is no mention at all and that means there has been no increase in accidents, no increase in casualties, no increase in deaths and no justification for turning the speed cameras back on.

The statistics from Swindon have shown that speed cameras on average have no tangible effect on road safety.  Inspector Paul Winks from Thames Valley Police said “The consequence is more death and more death is unacceptable”.  This is naked propaganda – there is no evidence at all to back up such a ridiculous statement.  Thames Valley Police wants more speed cameras because they get a cut of the income generated from the fines and because it means they don’t have to put police on the roads catching dangerous drivers.

The whole legal basis for speed cameras is that they should be a deterrent to inappropriate speeding in danger spots.  They are supposed to be brightly coloured and highly visible so that it discourages people from breaking the speed limit, not hidden round corners or behind bushes and road signs to catch people speeding.  All speed camera sites in England need to be reviewed by a commission, headed by a judge, to rule on their legality because a great number of them certainly aren’t being used for road safety, they’re being used as roadside tax collectors.  An unattended camera on the side of the road is no substitute for a trained police officer.

You can’t fix stupid

I was just getting dinner out of the oven when #1 son came knocking on the kitchen window and presented a crying 6 year old boy.

After talking to him it turned out that his mum had gone shopping and packed him off to his friend’s house.  He’d changed his mind halfway to his friend’s house and decided to go back home only to find that his mum had already left.  Knowing that his dad didn’t finish work until 8pm he walked to his grandparents’ house which is a few doors away from us but a good 10-15 minutes walk away from where he lives.

His grandparents weren’t in so I got him to take me to his dad and uncle’s house on the off chance but there was nobody in.  So next stop was the friend’s house he was meant to have gone to but there was nobody there either!

Dreading the thought of having to phone the police to come and take him away until his mum or dad could be found, I asked him if there was anyone else he could go to nearby.  Thankfully there was – an auntie.  So he took me to his auntie’s house which co-incidentally happened to be a house I lived in when I was a kid and luckily his cousin was there.

So this lad was returned safely to his family but how different it could have been.  A 6 year old shouldn’t be walking around a housing estate by himself – anything could have happened to him.  Lucky he ended up here rather than being intercepted by a gang of feral youths or a kiddie fiddler.  With all the stories in the news just lately about kids being abused and murdered, what was the lad’s mother thinking leaving a 6 year old to walk to a friend’s house while she went shopping without even checking if the friend was in or that he’d got to where he was meant to be?

I wouldn’t mind being exploited for 6 grand a month

Grayling Pole DancerThe British government have banned adverts for “the sex industry” in Job Centres because they might lead to exploitation of vulnerable unemployed women.

I’m not an expert in “the sex industry” so I’m happy to be corrected but this all seems a bit daft.

For a start, I’d imagine the kind of strip club or lap dancing club that prostitutes their dancers is unlikely to place adverts in the Job Centre.  It therefore follows that if someone was looking for a job as a stripper or a lap dancer that they’d be less likely to be exploited going to a Job Centre than replying to an ad in a free newspaper or a card in a window.

Furthermore, why is lap dancing, stripping or topless waitressing necessarily being exploited?  According to this website, a good looking, talented girl can earn £1,500 after “house fees” and before tax per week in one of the top London clubs like Stringfellows or Spearmint Rhino.  That’s for a 4 hour shift, 5 or 6 days a week.  Four hours a day on minimum wage sitting behind a till in Tesco will earn you £116 per week before tax.

I’m lucky: I have a stress-free job, I work regular hours and I enjoy what I do but I certainly can’t earn 6 grand a month before tax working 37½ hours a week and getting paid for providing round the clock out of hours cover every other week.  I’m starting to feel a little exploited myself, I wonder if that nice Mr Grayling will ban adverts for jobs paying less than £75 per hour?