Monday, May 29, 2006

BBC Gaza Day

It’s been Gaza Day on BBC Radio Five Live, with regular reports on what life is like for Palestinians under the repressive boot of the evil Israelis.

To give you an example of the kind of stuff they’ve been broadcasting, here’s a snippet (mp3, 180k, 26 secs) from a James Reynolds report I heard on the Victoria Derbyshire show this morning. Two rockets are launched into Israel to the sound of cheering crowds, and children can clearly be heard joining in the celebration. My first thought was what kind of monsters let their kids hang around such activities when the chances are that Israel will retaliate, but that doesn't seem to occur to Reynolds. Instead, he says this:
In the last month or so it’s important to say that about two hundred of these rockets have been fired and they have very rarely injured Israelis but the intent is to injure.
they have very rarely injured Israelis” Nothing to worry about then?

the intent is to injure” No, the intent is to kill, you moron. Unbelievable.

And where did Reynolds get the recording of the terrorists launching the rockets? Was it staged specially for the BBC?


(To hear the full report click here. 2 hours, 38 min, 20 sec in - forward clicking may not work with Firefox. Available until next Monday)


I'm away for a few days now - back at the weekend.

The Windfall that Shits on Britain

So Ken Loach, who sits on the national council of George Galloway's Respect coalition, has won the Cannes Palme d’Or for The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

Telegraph:
After early screenings of the film in London, one critic asked: "Is this the most pro-IRA film ever?"
The British are depicted as sub-human mercenaries burning thatched cottages, torturing IRA volunteers by using pliers to rip out toe-nails and doing extreme violence to women in the backwaters of Ireland. The gunmen are seen in a more sympathetic - almost saintly - light.
The Guardian says it was "a shock result for a film that garnered only so-so reviews". What made the luvvies on the jury decide this average film was worthy of the top prize?
Loach and his screenwriter, Paul Laverty, wanted to expose the "true underbelly" of Britain's colonial past, a history that is repeating itself, they argue, in Iraq today.
Ah, that explains it.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley received €313,141 (approx £215,000) from the EU and £545,000 from the UK lottery fund.

Next year in selected cinemas - EU MEDIA and the UK Film Council proudly present Ken Loach's "7/7", the real story behind the four poor, brave Muslims who found glory by fighting evil British imperialism on the streets of London.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

BBC Report on Army Desertions

All week the BBC has been plugging heavily its Five Live Report on increased British Army desertions due to the Iraq war. There have been endless trailers for the investigation by BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Charles, and today BBC news carried related headlines about the dramatic rise in desertion levels in the past three years.

Well, Marc at USS Neverdock has found evidence to the contrary - on the BBC’s own website.

I’ve taken the relevant screencaps just in case some stealth editing occurs:


28 May 2006:



4 June 2000:



Given the clear anti-war agenda of today's report, I find it apt that it's an All Out production.

Update 11.25pm. Good job I took that screencap. Here's the latest version of today's story (click to enlarge):



We can see that Jonathan Charles doesn’t seem so keen on claiming the scoop any more - both his picture and name have now vanished from the article. Natalie at Biased BBC notes that the tone of language is less sensational, too; we've gone from soldiers "on the run" who have "evaded capture" to the more matter-of-fact "absent without leave".

This paragraph has been added (my emphasis):
Figures for those still missing are 86 from 2001, 118 from 2002, 134 from 2003, 229 from 2004, 377 from 2005, and 189 for this year so far.
The BBC is still desperately trying to give the impression of increasing numbers of missing servicemen, but it’s fairly obvious that over time more of them will turn up or be tracked down. More soldiers are still missing from 2005 than 2001 because less time has passed, not because more of them are going AWOL. These figures are therefore meaningless for year by year comparison.

We need to get through a few more paragraphs to discover the relevant information, also added to the original article:
According to MoD figures 2,670 soldiers went "absent without leave" in 2001, with the figure rising to 2,970 in 2002 and falling in 2003 to 2,825. In 2004 it rose to 3,050, falling back again in 2005 to 2,725.
Which is, as the MOD says, “fairly constant”. And that pisses all over the BBC's little fire, doesn't it? No wonder Jonathan Charles is too ashamed to show his face.

Good work Marc.

Latest Home Office escape

John Reid, May 23:
"I'll fucking well work 18 hours a day to sort this out. I'll do whatever it takes to make the public feel safe and confident in the system because right now it's not good enough and they're being let down."
Sunday Telegraph, May 28:
John Reid, the Home Secretary, has gone on holiday to France while his Whitehall department battles with a string of crises, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

He is not expected to return to Britain until after the Bank Holiday, as his officials continue to struggle with the fall-out from the foreign prisoners fiasco and a succession of embarrassing disclosures.

Sunday Prescott Round-up

‘I don't think they play at all fairly,' Alice began, in rather a complaining tone,' and they all quarrel so dreadfully one can't hear oneself speak - and they don't seem to have any rules in particular; at least, if there are, nobody attends to them…’
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Chapter VIII - The Queen’s Croquet Ground)

Mail on Sunday:
Astonishing photographs show how Mr Prescott - shamed after a steamy affair with his Whitehall diary secretary - relaxed with aides on the manicured lawns of Dorneywood while officials claimed he was running the country from his Whitehall office.

The pictures were taken on Thursday afternoon, shortly after Mr Blair left Downing Street to fly to the US for a summit with George Bush - leaving the Premiership in the hands of his deputy.

But instead of concentrating on matters of state, Mr Prescott drove straight to his grace-and-favour residence in Buckinghamshire to stroll the 200-acre grounds, take refreshments and enjoy a game of croquet with political aides and civil servants.
Sunday Times:
LABOUR politicians are plotting to oust John Prescott and replace him as Tony Blair’s deputy, according to documents circulating among MPs.
The prime minister is to be told by senior Labour figures that the deputy prime minister has lost the support of many MPs and should consider stepping down.
The Observer:
Downing Street moved last night to head off attempts to force out the scandal-ridden John Prescott as deputy leader of the Labour party.
'John has the absolute confidence of the Prime Minister,' a spokesman said, despite increasingly open moves by supporters of potential successors to secure backing for a removal.
Looks like Pauline better start packing then.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

More Bookstore Dhimmitude

Globe and Mail:
Canada's largest retail bookseller has removed all copies of the June issue of Harper's Magazine from its 260 stores, claiming an article by New York cartoonist Art Spiegelman could foment protests similar to those that occurred this year in reaction to the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Indigo Books and Music took the action this week when its executives noticed that the 10-page Harper's article, titled Drawing Blood, reproduced all 12 cartoons first published last September by Jyllands-Posten (The Morning Newspaper).
I hope Canadians will boycott the chain just as customers worldwide did when Borders refused to sell the April/May issue of Free Inquiry magazine. Borders appears to have learned from the experience - it is stocking the new Harper's.

New Flag for England

Cross of St George ban - the kids fight back (hat tip Grumpy Troll):
A school has lifted a ban on pupils carrying England flags during this summer's World Cup after the policy "upset" the children... But after protests from parents, some staff and children, the ban was relaxed by head teacher Karen Healey for the World Cup, which starts next month...

Reports suggested fears of the rise in support for the British National Party in the area had prompted the ban on the St George's flag.

Mrs Healey said this had been "a side issue", adding: "Our job is to make sure they (pupils) can make informed decisions."
To help the likes of Mrs Healey and all the other people who have issues (or even side issues) with the English flag, I suggest we create a new politically correct version. The craven, self-loathing Guardian/Independent reading wet liberal lefties can rally round this new one, leaving the Cross of St George to those of us who aren’t ashamed of being English.

Suggestions for the new flag are welcome. Here are a couple of ideas to get the ball rolling:



Friday, May 26, 2006

Hate mail

Title: You bunch of wanker

From: zionistpig@hotmail.com

I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut...


The above email was sent to Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs by someone using a Reuters News account. Interestingly, one person in the frame is the Muslim Council of Britain's Inayat Bunglawala. Nordish, who was the catalyst for subsequent events - has more at his blog.

Update. Charles has received the following email from Reuters:
Following your email regarding the posting of an offensive message that was sent from a Reuters IP address, I can confirm that an employee has been suspended pending further investigation. The individual was not an employee of Reuters’ news division.
Probably not Bunglawala by the sounds of it.

Trinidad & Tobago EDM Update

Re the T&T EDM. Peter Bottomley MP has emailed to clarify that he wishes Trinidad and Tobago every success in all of their matches - except when they play England.

Good show, Peter.

George Galloway Really Is A C**t

The Independent:
In an interview with GQ magazine, the reporter asked him: "Would the assassination of, say, Tony Blair by a suicide bomber - if there were no other casualties - be justified as revenge for the war on Iraq?"
Mr Galloway replied: "Yes, it would be morally justified. I am not calling for it - but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7. It would be entirely logical and explicable."
The Scotsman:
RESPECT MP George Galloway joined Fidel Castro on a seven-hour TV show designed to rebut claims that the Cuban president has amassed a multi-million dollar personal fortune.
Mr Galloway denounced an article in Forbes magazine which claimed Castro was worth £477 million as part of a "Yankee imperialist" conspiracy...



Mr Galloway is currently writing a book about Castro and was in Cuba to carry out some research.




Previously on George Galloway Really Is A C**t:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

More from Indymedia Ireland

Just noticed another great ‘article’ from Indymedia Ireland:
“An investigation into how the premiere (sic) golfing competition, the Ryder Cup, is coming to Ireland” by Frances Nunan from the Athy Residents Againt (sic) Waste.
If I didn't know better I'd say it was a parody. I think my favourite bit is this:
Aspects surrounding a seemingly innocuous golfing competition raise grave concern. Firstly, the location has triggered a major investment in local infrastructure.
Oh no, not a major investment in local infrastructure!

Read it all - it's spectacularly awful. And if the final paragraph doesn’t make you cringe nothing will:
What's transpiring at the K Club is a Krying Shame at best, and Kapitalist Kontempt at worst. Well done to RTE and the rest of the mainstream media for not being able to get their heads out of the sand in the bunker again and taking their eye off the birdie again.
Urrrrh!

Muslim Terrorist Trial

From Indymedia Ireland, March 30 2004:
Early today Scotland Yard did a very unusual thing in calling a press conference after raids on "Islamic militants" , i.e. Muslims. They spoon-fed the media a story of finding "explosives" to justify the biggest ever operation of it's type against "terrorists" in British history .

The "Explosives" found were in fact nothing more than eight bags of 10-10-20 bagged fertilizer . It was all the British could find in all the homes and businesses they raided in an operation which was designed to boulster (sic) their propaganda against Muslims.

Eight young Muslims have been arrested in an attempt to make a story for the press… Another bullshit story… designed to increase Islamophobia and indeed justify the mass-murder in Afghanistan.
The trial of these poor innocent scapegoats is currently under way. Today the jury was played a recording of a discussion between two of them:
Jawad Akbar:"What about easy stuff where you don't need no experience and nothing and you could get a job, yeah, like for example the biggest nightclub in central London where no-one can even turn round and say "oh they were innocent" those slags dancing around?

"If you went for the social structure where every Tom, Dick and Harry goes on a Saturday night, yeah, that would be crazy."

Omar Khyam: "If you get a job in a bar, yeah, or a club, say the Ministry of Sound, what are you planning to do there then?"

Jawad Akbar: "Blow the whole thing up."

Omar Khyam: "That's what I'm saying."

Jawad Akbar: "I think the club thing you could do, but the gas would be much harder. There's people who even get in with their searching stuff but it's only bouncers that search you."

Omar Khyam: "The explosion in the clubs, yeah, that's fine, Bro, that's not a problem. The training for that is available. To get them into the Ministry of Sound really isn't difficult."

Mr Akbar asks Mr Khyam: "Bruv, you don't think this place is bugged, do you?"

Omar Khyam: "No, I don't think it's bugged Bruv."
No doubt the imbeciles over at Indymedia Ireland will think this is all part of the conspiracy.

English MPs supporting Trinidad?

Here’s a mischievous little EDM from David Marshall, Labour MP for Glasgow East:
BARR'S IRN-BRU AND JASON SCOTLAND 23.05.2006

That this House notes with pleasure and amusement that A.G. Barr and Co., the manufacturers of Scotland's other national drink, have signed up Jason Scotland who plays football for St. Johnstone and Trinidad and Tobago, to appear in jokey advertisements in the Barr's tradition, promoting Irn-Bru and Trinidad and Tobago's team in the World Cup in Germany; further notes that Trinidad and Tobago is the smallest country ever to reach the finals of the World Cup and that six of their squad play for Scottish clubs and several others play in England; and therefore wishes Trinidad and Tobago every success in all of their matches.
Trinidad and Tobago are, of course, playing against England.

I can understand Scottish MPs, and maybe even Dutch-born Rudi Vis, signing this but I’m surprised to see the names of English MPs Alan Meale (Mansfield, Labour), Ann Cryer (Keighley, Labour) and Peter Bottomley (Worthing West, Conservative). Do they really wish T&T every success in all of their matches? If so, they must want England to lose. Traitors!

(I would suggest an Irn-Bru boycott but I'm not sure if anyone in England actually drinks the stuff)

Knock me down with a feather!

"Man Arrested In East London Was Muslim"

(Headline above a report on yesterday’s anti-terror raids)

You Couldn't Make it Up...

The Sun:
A SUSPENDED immigration chief facing a sex-for-visas probe was an illegal immigrant himself, The Sun can reveal.

James Dawute, 53, is believed to have arrived from Ghana as a visitor, then stayed on unlawfully when his visa expired.
Daily Mail:
A group of asylum seekers who sought sanctuary from Colonel Gaddafi's Libya were yesterday arrested over claims they helped British-based suicide bombers attack coalition forces in Iraq...

Insiders said Home Office officials were "very nervous" about the case because at least five of the terror suspects are asylum seekers or were granted leave to remain in Britain.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good grief

From the Telegraph:
The Prince of Wales has defended alternative therapies in an address to the World Health Assembly, after a group of leading UK doctors attacked complementary medicine...

Charles, a steadfast advocate of alternative therapies, said in his address: "I believe that the proper mix of proven complementary, traditional and modern remedies, which emphasise the active participation of the patient, can help to create a powerful healing force for our world."
Tosser.

Still, our political leaders are hardly any better.

Oh, FFS!

Now the Hindus are at it (via Pickled Politics):
An MF Husain exhibition in London was suddenly closed on Monday following threats from certain Hindu groups based in Britain.
An official at Asia House, London, said the decision was taken because of threats to the paintings.
The move followed demonstrations against the exhibition by several Hindu groups in Britain.
A local advocate Rajkumar Pande had filed a petition on March 3 alleging that an 'objectionable' painting had hurt the sentiments of Indians.
A local court had issued a summons last Wednesday against the noted painter and former Miss India Nafisa Ali on the 'objectionable' paintings of Mother India.

Hutton Report Auction

Stewart Jackson has tabled an EDM condemning the Labour Party's latest sleazy fundraising effort (via Iain Dale):
CONDUCT OF LABOUR HON. MEMBERS AT MAY 2006 FUNDRAISER
22.05.2006

That this House notes that senior members of the Labour Party including hon. Members and Government Ministers attended a party fundraising event last week at the Arts Club in Mayfair; further notes that a copy of the official report by Lord Hutton into the death of Government scientist Dr David Kelly, signed by Ms Cherie Booth QC, was auctioned for party funds raising £400; believes this conduct to be in appalling bad taste, arrogant and crassly insensitive in seeking to make money, albeit indirectly, through hawking, as a novelty item, an official Government report into the death of a public servant; regrets the distress caused to the family and friends of the late Dr Kelly; calls on the Labour Party to apologise for such tasteless and offensive conduct and to donate the money raised to an appropriate charity; and deprecates such conduct by hon. Members.
Shameless arrogant bastards.

Update. Great graphic by Anoneumouse over at the Anglo Saxon Chronicle.

Happiness

Headline yesterday: Make people happier, says Cameron

Headline today: Doctors attack 'bogus' therapies

Indeed.

As Frank Furedi said in a recent Telegraph column:
Unimaginative politicians who are unable to decide what needs to be done - or implement the appropriate policies - feel more comfortable with instructing the public how it should feel.

The Swedish Model

Polly Toynbee, March 21:
“how it would raise spirits if the chancellor would suggest Sweden as the chosen model for his coming time”
Read Fjordman’s excellent analysis of Sweden and see if it raises your spirits.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lottery Protest

Here's a clip of Fathers for Justice disrupting the lottery on Saturday. Watch Eamon Holmes hide behind his little co-presenter before clearing off, leaving her behind. George Costanza would be proud of him.

Darren Clarke

Great sportsmanship by Darren Clarke at the weather-disrupted Irish Open today. Leading by two, and seeking to become the first Irishman to win the title for 24 years, he refused to take advantage of an improved lie when play resumed this morning:
Clarke had pushed his tee shot into heavy rough when play was suspended on Sunday evening, but found the ball in a much better lie today. That gave him the chance to reach the green in two but Clarke insisted on chipping out sideways and ended up with a bogey five.
He went on to finish third.

Meanwhile, at the Home Office...

From the Dail Mail:
Home Secretary John Reid is under pressure today after a further series of damaging revelations in areas which are the responsibility of his department.

During another torrid weekend for the Home Office, it had to admit that more than 2,700 people had been wrongly labelled as criminals due to errors by the Criminal Records Bureau.

The disclosure came as ministers and officials continued to grapple with the fall-out from the foreign prisoners deportation fiasco, which has been going on for weeks.

To add to their difficulties it emerged that an immigration official had been suspended over allegations that he offered to help a teenage asylum seeker with her application in return for sex.

And it was disclosed that 232 foreign nationals arrested in counter terrorism operations had been allowed to remain in Britain as asylum seekers - including 18 who had only applied for refugee status following their arrest.

On Friday, new figures showed that 359 prisoners absconded from Leyhill Open Prison in South Gloucestershire between 2000 and 2006 - a rate of more than one a week.

It was later revealed that some of the prisoners who had escaped from the prison since 1999 were murderers and rapists.

And the Home Office is continuing to investigate claims that five illegal immigrants arrested after being sent to work at the IND's central London offices had been employed on the service's premises for years.
Tony Blair, 14 May 2006:
"Despite our attempts to toughen the law and reform the criminal justice system… the criminal justice system is still the public service most distant from what reasonable people want."
No shit. Resign, Blair.

Flags

The Pub Philosopher has views on the Trafalgar Square flags bylaw, and Northwing has been Cross of St George spotting over the weekend.

TV Funhouse Round-up

If you enjoyed the Saddam and Osama cartoon, here are some more Robert Smigel creations from Saturday Night Live.

Bambi 2002



Disney's Titanic



The Ambiguoulsy Gay Duo



The Ambiguously Gay Duo Xmas episode, and AmbiguoBoys.

The All New Adventures of Mr T.

Shazzang the Sadistic Genie.

Charlie Brown
.

Scooby Doo.

The Black Sabbath Show.

The X Presidents.

Divertor
.

The Backstreet Boys.

Michael Jackson.

The Anatominals.

The Smurfette Show.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Saddam and Osama

Apparently this has been kicking around for a while but I hadn’t seen it until today. Via Saturday Night Live’s TV Funhouse comes Abu Dhabi Kids Network hit cartoon Saddam and Osama. Excellent.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Flags Allowed in Trafalgar Square

(Updated - picture replaced with links)

Remember that bylaw banning the flying of flags in Trafalgar Square? Well, as expected in Livingstone's London, it appears to have been waived for today's pro-Palestine demonstration. Pictures here and here via this Galloway supporter's blog. If you look in the background of the second picture there's even a Scottish saltire! We weren't allowed to fly the Cross of St George at the Free Expression demo.

The turnout looks a bit piss poor considering the rally was organised and supported by all of the following organisations:
Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Association of Palestinian Community, Palestinian Return Centre, British Muslim Initiative, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Just Peace UK, Muslim Association of Britain, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Pax Christi, Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Freedom and Justice for Samar and Jawad, War on Want, Arab Media Watch, NUJ, NUM, PCS, GMB, CWU, RMT, NATFHE, The 1990 Trust, UNISON, ICAHDUK.
Did they send one representative each?

Fish. Barrel. Gun.

Here’s George Galloway defending - no, demanding - Iran’s right to nuclear power in March:



Here’s the Respect party blog today - opposing a nuclear future for Britain:



They really do make it too easy, don't they?

Jam Recipes

From a Guardian article about Newsnight’s political editor Martha Kearney:
Outside of hard politics, she gets to exercise a different part of her brain on Woman's Hour and Newsnight Review. "I think if I just did politics every day, it would drive me nuts." She is rumoured to be taking over from Sue Lawley on Desert Island Discs, and loves basking in the affection listeners have for Woman's Hour. Jeremy Paxman winds her up about that job endlessly - she will walk into the Newsnight studio and, in front of guests, he'll tweet: "Any jam recipes, Martha?"

Remember this?



Heh.

The Racist English

Gareth at the CEP has a round-up of blog reaction to an article by Guardian deputy comment editor Joseph “all white people are racist” Harker in which he disparaged the English white working class because of its pride in its national flag.

A quick google led to me a brief piece from Ligali (a “Pan African Human Rights Organisation that challenge the misrepresentation of African people and culture in the British media”) commending Mr Harker for an article in the New Nation in which he proclaimed he isn’t black but African. Proud African is good. Proud Englishman is bad.

This graphic can be found dotted around Ligali's website:


I’m sure Harker would approve. Notice how England is always singled out for unique opprobrium.

Following the recent local elections Ligali “felt it apt to reprint” Malcom X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech in which X threatened the use of violence to achieve black nationalist goals. Last year the organisation helped stir up animosity at the time of the Birmingham riots by calling on British (not English!) Africans to boycott Asian shops.

More recently it has been trying to muscle in on plans for the bicentennial commemoration of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act next year. I think we can guess at the carnival of whitey-bashing they hope to see. Mr Harker could cover it for the Guardian.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Clueless in Gaza

Alan Johnston’s latest From Our Own Correspondent piece deserves a line-by-line fisking but unfortunately I’m just too busy at the moment. It's classic Johnston - plenty of emotive language and shameless PR for Hamas.

You certainly won't find mention of this:
Yasser Arafat transferred millions of dollars in international aid and taxes transferred to the Palestinian Authority by Israel to purchase large quantities of weapons, the PA chairman's former financial aide, Fuad Shubaki, has told the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Some of the Israeli money, Shubaki told his investigators, was also used to fund Palestinian terror groups.
Or this:
The bulk of the new Hamas force was sent to chaotic Gaza City, where bearded gunmen in black T-shirts and green vests took up positions along the main streets and at busy intersections, near banks and outside ministry buildings and parliament. In one display, dozens of masked gunmen marched in formation through a major square.

Outside the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, members of the new force stood a few feet away from members of a security branch that answers to Abbas.

And in the southern city of Khan Younis, about 40 members of the new force pulled up to the Education Ministry, jumped from their jeeps and fired in the air to break up a peaceful protest of recent college graduates who want teaching jobs. The teachers were protesting an application fee.

The gunmen moved into the building, where they bludgeoned protesters with clubs and rifles, demonstrators said.
Reporting stuff like that might suggest that everything is not the fault of the Israelis and the West. And that would never do.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The joys of sharia...

News from India via NDTV:
Muslim woman caught in marital doublespeak

A marriage solemnized when she was barely three years old without her consent has come to haunt 19-year-old Mafia Bano.

Married off when she was just three years old along with her 15-year-old sister Basheeran to two boys in the same family, Mafia is now being forced to recognize a marriage she says she does not even remember.

"I don't even remember my first husband. I have never met him; he has not come even once to take me home so why should I recognise that marriage," said Mafia.

What's worse, Mafia says her older sister Basheeran was harassed for dowry and beaten by her husband's family. For the past nine years she has been living with her parents and both the sisters want to have nothing to do with the family they were married into as minors.

Hypocritical stand

But the boys' parents say they won't give a divorce despite the fact that Mafia's child groom Firoz is now set for another marriage on June 3.

NDTV: What do you want ?
Firoz: I want to keep her.
NDTV: But you are getting married again on June 3.
Firoz: That's allowed in our law.

And 40 per cent of British Muslims want sharia law over here.

Eat my goal!

Alan Partridge football commentary from The Day Today.

Religion of Persecution

Reuters:
The main barrier to dialogue between Christians and Muslims is the failure of some countries in the Islamic world to respect freedom of worship, the country's leading Roman Catholic said on Tuesday.

When Christians are persecuted in those countries, Muslims in Britain have a duty to speak up in their defence, said Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
From the BBC (!) :
Malaysia is considering its multi-cultural credentials after a crowd of Muslims on Sunday broke up a meeting called to defend the rights of religious minorities.
Will there be condemnation? Don't hold your breath Cardinal.

Hirsi Ali may have the last laugh

All is not lost in Holland.

Expatica:
17 May 2006

AMSTERDAM — Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk was compelled in the early hours of Wednesday morning to reconsider whether Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Dutch citizen.

A majority of the political parties in parliament backed two motions on the issue. One calls on Verdonk to reconsider within six weeks whether Hirsi Ali is a Dutch citizen. The second instructs the Minister to grant Hirsi Ali accelerated naturalisation if she finds she is not a citizen of the Netherlands.
[...]
Verdonk is in the running to become the political leader of the VVD for the 2007 general election. The suspicion is she rushed out a decision on Hirsi Ali to show her even-handedness.

But it has done her more harm than good. Opinion polls conducted among VVD members shows support for former front-runner Verdonk has nosedived. And VVD MPs have made it clear they no longer see Verdonk as their future leader.
Good.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The dhimmis are on the march

They've forced out Hirsi Ali:
"Today I resign as a member of parliament. I will leave the Netherlands, saddened but also relieved. I will back my bags. I will go on."
Now they want the scalp of Brussels Journal editor Paul Belien:
Following last Thursday’s Antwerp massacre the Belgian authorities have announced zero tolerance for racism. Belgian journalists, lawyers and politicians (including Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt), say that I am responsible for creating the atmosphere of hatred that led to the massacre. Some people even demand that I be prosecuted.
As Belien says, "The lights are turning out for Europe."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hirsi Ali to leave Holland

The vendetta pays off. From Radio Netherlands:
Controversial politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali looks set to leave the Netherlands. The conservative member of parliament will announce later this week that she is to move to the United States where - according to Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant - she will be working for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington D.C.
The Netherlands' loss is America's gain.

Snapshots of New Labour Britain

News items from the past couple of days.
MI5 is being accused of a cover-up for failing to disclose to a parliamentary watchdog that it bugged the leader of the July 7 suicide bombers discussing the building of a bomb months before the London attacks. (More)

The lives of troops will be put at risk if the Ministry of Defence goes ahead with plans to refurbish a fleet of vintage helicopters as a cost-cutting measure, defence sources said yesterday. (More)

An internal investigation at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has found that civil servants are colluding with organised criminals to steal personal identities on "an industrial scale". (More)

SCOTTISH midwives are being trained to perform potentially dangerous forceps deliveries in a bid to tackle a chronic shortage of specialist doctors. (More)

DAVID MILIBAND, the new environment secretary, is embroiled in a sleaze row this weekend over his links to a nuclear industry lobbyist. (More)

THOUSANDS of miners with chronic chest disease have been paid less than £100 in compensation under a programme that earned their solicitors 20 times as much per case. (More)
It's enough to turn someone to drink.

Prescott

Politics.co.uk:
The continuing debate about policy within the Labour party is a "sign of strength" as the party attempts to renew itself in a third term of government, John Prescott said today.
It's a "sign of strength" in the same way the NHS had its "best year ever".
The deputy prime minister was speaking at the first of a series of 'Let's Talk' forums, a consultation exercise with party members, the public and trade unions to help Labour develop its strategy for the future.
If this is what he's doing then the fucking Labour Party should fund his cars, houses, pension and salary.

Palestine Demo

I see there’s a Free Palestine rally at Trafalgar Square on Saturday. I wonder if flags will be allowed. The organisers of the March for Free Expression were told that a bylaw is now in force which bans the flying of all national flags in the Square. No Union Jacks, no Stars and Stripes and no Danish flags were allowed that day.

I’ll be looking at the pictures of this Saturday’s event with interest.

English kids to be taught Britishness

BBC News:
The government is to review whether "core British values" should become a compulsory part of the curriculum for all 11 to 16-year-olds in England.
[...]
The six month-long schools review will ask how all children can develop a strong sense of British identity by learning about Britain's culture and traditions, including the contributions from different communities.
The review will be outlined in a speech by the new education minister Bill Rammell today, along with another into the teaching of Islam in universities. Both reviews are supposedly in response to the 7/7 bombings, but one wonders who is really being targeted:
Education could combat discrimination against Muslims and help tackle the minority of extremists on the fringes, he is expected to say in his speech.
Islamic terrorists murder dozens in our capital, therefore English children must be taught not to discriminate against Muslims. And how does New Labour's Ministry of Love intend to do this? By erasing the notion of Englishness. Embrace multicultural Britain, embrace Islam, embrace a Scottish Prime Minister.

Update 10.30am. I see the BBC has finally put a link to the Scottish Raj poll on its politics page.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Blair & the Human Rights Act

Tony Blair at PMQs February 11 1998:
[The Human Rights Bill] allows people for the first time in this country to litigate in the courts and say that the Government must act in accordance with fundamental rights.
Tony Blair in a letter to John Reid, leaked to the Observer today:
We will need to look again at whether primary legislation is needed to address the issue of court rulings which overrule the Government...
Blair calls for common sense(*) - it's a shame he didn't show any 8 years ago.

(* An "increasingly rare commodity" as Richard North notes)

Vendetta against Hirsi Ali

Earlier this week Christopher Hitchens wrote about "Holland's shameful treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali". Well now it's even more shameful:
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch legislator who has championed the rights of Muslim women, is returning from a book tour to a firestorm for lying on her asylum application when she fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage.

Hirsi Ali, 36, said Saturday she was puzzled by the uproar since she publicly acknowledged the false refugee application when she stood for parliament in 2002...

Political opponents want her stripped of her Dutch citizenship and deported. Others say she should be expelled from parliament.

Bastards.

More at Jihad Watch, LGF, and IBA (where Hirsi Ali is the Infidel Babe of the Week).

"Technology expert" on BBC news

From the Times:
IT WAS not until midway through the live television interview that the BBC interviewer started to grow suspicious. The man whom she believed to be an expert on internet music downloads seemed to know precious little about his subject.

Not only that, but the stocky black man with the strong French accent bore little resemblance to the picture on the expert’s website, which showed a slim white man with blue eyes and blond hair.


Biased BBC has footage. The look of surprise on the guy's face when he's introduced as a technology expert is priceless.



He gave it a good go though.

Update. Talking of BBC experts, Justin Webb gets fisked at L'Ombre de l'Olivier.

Scottish Raj Poll

From the Sunday Herald:

Anti-Scottish bias could crush the ambitions of both Brown and Reid

By James Cusick, Westminster Editor

WITH Gordon Brown and John Reid tipped to be the main contenders to fight for the post-Blair crown, Labour could face an uphill struggle when it comes to the next general election, a new poll has revealed.

Both men are Scots with Scottish constituencies and, according to a BBC survey published today, being an MP north of the Border could damage their chances of remaining Prime Minister.

According to the ICM poll for the BBC’s Politics Show, broadcast today, 52% of people asked said they thought it "wrong" that in the era of the Scottish parliament a Scot should become Prime Minister of the whole of the United Kingdom, 45% said they did not mind and 3% said they did not know.

The Scots, of course, did not mind at all, with 75% of those polled believing it right that a Scottish MP should be elected to Britain’s top political job.

But what will most worry the Labour Party – and be music to the ears of the Tories – were the poll results from the southeast and north of England as well as Wales. An estimated 59% of southeast England voters thought it wrong that a Scottish MP should be PM. The equivalent figures for the north of England and Wales were 54% and 55% respectively.

Brown and his advisers have long known the inherent prejudice that the BBC poll reveals. The Chancellor’s recent speeches on the importance of "Britishness" are said to have been designed to mask his own Scottishness in a Britain where devolved powers mean that the Prime Minister – if he is a Scottish MP – will be trying to form policies at Westminster that will not necessarily apply to Scotland.
"Anti-Scottish bias" and "inherent prejudice"? No, anti-Scottish Raj and an inherent desire for justice. Of the 21 ministers and law officers in the Scottish parliament only one was not born in Scotland. English affairs, on the other hand, are run by numerous Scottish-born MPs with Scottish constituencies. If the Sunday Herald’s Westminster editor is so keen to expose prejudice perhaps he should take a look north of the border.

It’s interesting that the BBC has chosen not to make a big deal out of the findings of this poll. The cost of commissioning a poll is usually justified by getting as much mileage as possible from the results. However, only the Sunday Herald and the Glasgow Sunday Mail appear to have been tipped off ahead of the broadcast and BBC news is ignoring the findings altogether. The Corporation normally jumps at the chance to plug its own programmes but there’s nothing online and I haven’t heard the poll mentioned once on any of the Sunday morning news and politics shows. Why is that?


Update 11am. Still nothing on the poll at the BBC politics page, but there is a link to this 'news' item which, frankly, could've been written by someone at Number 11.

Update 10.15pm. The poll was finally reported as a news item at 5.15pm, but only at the Scottish section of BBC online. Obviously the BBC doesn't want to encourage the "inherent prejudice" of the English.

(More at UK Polling Report and Political Betting)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

South Park - Cartoon Wars

Part 1.


Get this video and more at MySpace.com

Part 2.


Get this video and more at MySpace.com

Friday, May 12, 2006

BBC reporter spends a day in hell with (urrgh!) Americans

On the Today programme this morning, the BBC’s North America Business Correspondent Guto Harri began a report on the E3 computer games expo with the following:
To many people spending a day at this conference would be like spending a day in hell. It’s noisy, it’s crowded and there are big screens everywhere projecting the latest video games. [Cue sound of explosions and cries of pain]. But Americans love them.
I'm guessing that the 'many people' must be refined European-types, because evidently all Americans are idiots transfixed by shiny baubles and loud noises.

Typical snobbish, offhand anti-Americanism from the BBC.



[Listen here - approx 22 minutes in]

Google Trends

LGF has an interesting graphic showing the frequency and origins of searches for the word 'jihad', taken from Google's latest fun tool, Google Trends.

Here’s another showing the frequency of 'sex' relative to all searches from each country.

They're keen in the Islamic world, aren't they?

In case you're wondering, Birmingham, Manchester and Brentford(?) are the top three cities in the world for the frequency of 'porn' searches, and for some reason Brentford also makes the top ten for 'gay', just behind San Francisco and Miami. What's going on in Brentford?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Good mood, bad mood

Went for a walk on the North York Moors this afternoon. Bloody marvellous.

Took a few snaps.






But when I got back I read this:
A lack of resources prevented security services from intercepting the 7 July London bombers, a key report has said.
Funny how there are always enough resources when the government wants to give a useless fat small-cocked fuck a handsome salary, generous pension scheme and multiple houses. For example.

Transport Secretary in York

Scottish MP Douglas Alexander (our foreign-based transport secretary) visited York yesterday to see the brave new world of public transport in action. Coming soon to a town near you - the ftr bus.

As the First bus company website explains:
‘f t r’ is all about the partners getting together to deliver excellence in public travel through an integrated approach to vehicle design, engineering, technological support, infrastructure and route management. This will include better traffic management measures, increased car restraint, better infrastructure, better timetable information, and a significant step forward in vehicle design.

‘f t r’ is a new way of delivering public travel that will encourage more people to consider leaving their cars at home and use ‘f t r’ services for some journeys.

The letters ‘ftr’ are texting shorthand for ‘Future’. The terminology has been specifically chosen to help challenge existing thinking on public travel, and to demonstrate that the initiative is both unique and very different from what has gone before. Introducing the name ‘f t r’ will help to break away from the traditional categories of public travel – the tram, the train, the bus, the car.
What a load of bllx. Experience tells me that a lower-case logo usually indicates that too much time has been spent listening to consultants instead of concentrating on nuts and bolts. Sure enough, the local press reports (link may change):
THE newly-appointed Transport Secretary faced a baptism of fire as he visited York today, amid uproar over the city's controversial new superbus…

Steve Knight, 30, of Acomb, was cycling to the University Of York, where he works as an IT manager, when he was nearly floored by an ftr.
He said: "It seems that despite the `specially designed bus' the driver may not be able to properly see the traffic around them."…

THE Press has been inundated with letters from readers
complaining about the new ftr service.
Their concerns have included:
Buses causing gridlocks in Heslington Road because of their size
Problems getting round chicanes
Ticket machines taking too long for people to use
Not enough people using them
Cost of tickets
A series of technical problems
Delays to timetable
And on top of that, residents are no longer allowed to park on bus routes because the superbuses, which cost the council £1.3million, are too big to get past. These buses have one more seat than those they replaced.

And Douglas Alexander’s verdict on the chaos?
"I have to say I was impressed"
Oh, to see the world through the eyes of a New Labour cabinet minister. Perhaps then the news wouldn't piss me off so much.

Anyway, I've got the afternoon off - I'm going to enjoy the glorious weather. At least the government hasn't figured out how to screw that up yet.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Today's PMQs - Foreign Criminals

Patrick Mercer: May I draw the Prime Minister back to one of the answers he gave my right honourable friend? Last week he said quite unequivocally: “Everyone who is a foreign national who serves a prison sentence will be automatically deported.” Then a few days later the Lord Chancellor said: “Unless there are special circumstances we need to think about whether or not somebody who commits an imprisonable offence should be deported.” Can the Prime Minister tell the House just who is determining government policy?

Tony Blair: Let me explain to the honourable gentleman why the point that he is making is wrong. The fact is that the people who should be deported are foreign prisoners. In other words: one, they are foreign and two, they have been in prison. So the point my right honourable friend was making was not that it’s everyone who is convicted of an imprisonable offence, because some of those people may not go to prison, but everyone who is in prison should be deported. That's why they're called foreign prisoners.
So that'll be fewer foreign criminals getting prison sentences in the future, then.

Red Ken does it again

"It's like having Kevin the teenager as your mayor."
Alison at Making Headlines.

Road Charging

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle offers a glimpse into the future.

Addressing Muslim Grievances

A segment from Phil Hendrie's comedy talkshow, with added pictures. (Via Sugiero)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sleepwalkers

Two related items (via LGF).

From the Baltimore Jewish Times:
Given the very severe costs of the Danish Cartoon Crisis, establishing both an international code of conduct to prevent negative media depictions of religion, and an International Religious Court to determine whether that code has been violated, are needed to defuse future crises such as the one over the Danish cartoons. I urge the international community to create the code of conduct and establish the International Religious Court as quickly as possible.
From the Copenhagen Post:
Elected officials fear that a culture of political violence is emerging in Denmark after a firebomb was thrown at the home of a councillor in the city of Korsør in western Zealand on Monday night.

The bomb missed its target, and Fritz Neumann, a member of the Danish People's Party, and his family escaped unharmed, but police say the attack is just the latest in a string of similar incidents.

Six other city council members in Korsør have received written and electronic threats signed 'Allah is great' and 'Al Qaeda-network' in the past three months…

Political observers were unable to single out a motive for the attacks

Lack of respect was one likely cause, according to Niels Jørgen Cappelørn, the director of the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre.

'I don't think this is an expression of a political rebellion. I think it's a desperate yell by people who cannot figure out how to communicate in a society that's racing ahead with the speed of a bullet train,' said Cappelørn.
Excuse me while I weep with despair.

Council flats for Africans

Young African girls are being brought into Britain and "deliberately impregnated" so they become eligible for council flats... "We have reports of cases involving Ugandan girls who have been trafficked purposely for council housing. They are brought in unaccompanied so they can go into local authority care, they are then impregnated to enable them to become eligible for council flats. The men then disappear and return once the housing problem is solved."
More 'outrageous' claims from BNP campaign literature, perhaps? No, evidence given to the Home Affairs Select Committee by 'Africans Unite Against Child Abuse'.

A government in chaos?

The visit of Lebanon’s new PM appears to have caused some confusion. From the Downing Street press briefing today:
Asked why Prime Minister Siniora had been to visit the Chancellor yesterday, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that he did not know.
A foreign leader comes to town, goes to see the Chancellor ahead of the PM, and Number 10 doesn’t know anything about it? Is this really the way Blair and Brown intend to conduct business until Blair steps aside?

Also from the briefing:
Asked whether the Deputy Prime Minister would face questions in the House, the PMOS said that Mr. Prescott would be accountable to Parliament. Because of the two new departments, and the changes in his role, it would take some time to organise.

Asked if that meant Questions in the House, the PMOS said he would be accountable to Parliament, but the details had yet to be sorted out.
According to Prescott’s Independent interview today, they’ve had plenty of time to get it "sorted out":
He said he had asked the Prime Minister more than a year ago to allow him to focus on chairing cabinet committees and representing Mr Blair abroad rather than running the department for local government and planning.
Either Prescott's talking crap or the government is completely incompetent. (The correct answer is of course 'both'.)

And just so that we can all sleep safely in our beds:
Asked if Mr. Prescott would still be in charge when the Prime Minister goes on holiday, the PMOS replied that nothing had changed in that regard.
That's a relief, eh?

De La Hoya vs Mayorga

The Press Conference (Mayorga: "I'm going to make you my bitch")

Rounds 1&2
Rounds 3&4
Rounds 5&6

Great stuff.

BBC late news

From the BBC today:
A religious ruling condemning the display of statues has angered Egyptian liberals and intellectuals who fear it could encourage religious zealots to attack the country's pharaonic heritage.
That was news five weeks ago.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Remember this?

Anthony Minghella's soft focus love-in between Blair and Brown from the General Election last year. (Warning - bucket required).



It all seems such a long time ago...

Brown camp seeking coup, say Blair allies

Labour faces civil war over Left's 'plot' to oust Blair

Labour civil war as Blair refuses to name a day

Labour in disarray as Blair fights for control

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Slow Suicide of the West

"While Western Europe is turning Muslim, its Christian Churches are committing suicide."
From The Brussels Journal, via Nordish.

Andrew Marr: "Chancellor, you're a wuss"

Andrew Marr actually gave Gordon Brown quite a hard time on Sunday AM this morning:
ANDREW MARR: It's a power struggle going on, the Prime Minister has put in place core Blairite supporters around him to keep you and your people out and he's going to carry on like that for the next few years and in the end he's more aggressive, more ruthless than you are

GORDON BROWN: I don't look at it this way blah blah blah...
[...]

ANDREW MARR: You see a lot of people think that he will be watching this and he will be saying: "That's fine, I'm going to be here till 2009, I'm putting my people in, we'll see what happens then, but I'm bringing other people up through the Government. Gordon Brown is going to have a bit more of a fight at that time, but in the end, he's a decent chap, he never really comes to the front of the ring and tries to knock me out.

GORDON BROWN: I think stable and orderly transition is what people actually want blah blah blah...
I got the impression Marr wanted to grab the Chancellor by the lapels and scream: “Come on man! Now’s your chance!”

I wish Brown would make his move. The sooner he gets rid of Blair, the sooner we can start getting rid of him.

(Here's a thought - maybe it's the fabled Prescott Sex Dossier which prevents Brown from making his final move. I seem to recall there were many rumours about his confirmed bachelorhood before he finally got married at the age of 49.)

New Labour - Nothing Learned

Here's John Reid during an interview with Brian Hanrahan on the World This Weekend today:
What does it require now? It requires that we listen to the results of the local elections last week. Study them carefully, Brian. You will see that those areas which turned away from us were those areas which came to us under New Labour and are now getting increasingly worried that we are abandoning the New Labour approach.
So all those people who voted BNP in Barking & Dagenham are worried that the government is “abandoning the New Labour approach", are they?

And everyone who voted against the self-serving hypocrites of the New Labour elite was in fact pleading for more sleaze, more corruption, and more gross incompetence?

Reid went on to say that those who want to get rid of Blair are “on a different planet.” Well, Mr Reid, somebody certainly is.

It reminded me of Homer Simpson.

The New Home Secretary

Ex-commie, drinking mate of war criminal Radovan Karadzic, son involved in a lobbying scandal, run-ins with Scottish first ministers - it's all in the Sunday Times:
Such is his aggressive manner that the much-aired West Lothian Question, which highlights the anomaly that lets Scottish MPs vote on English affairs while devolution prevents things happening the other way around, is again likely to come to the fore with Reid at the helm of the Home Office.

So far the English have shown extraordinary patience as time after time Scottish MPs have voted to foist controversial reforms upon them, ranging from university top-up fees to city academies.

Whether, as the Scottish ruling elite grows, the English will be happy to allow Reid to make identity cards compulsory south of the border while as a Scottish MP he would not be required to carry one himself remains to be seen...

Henry McLeish, the former Scottish first minister, was caught on tape describing him as a “patronising bastard”, while a run-in with Jeremy Paxman after the BBC anchor called him an “attack dog” was nothing short of extraordinary.

Reid turned the debate into a class war, claiming Paxman’s reference was motivated by snobbery because he had a Glasgow accent. Paxman’s retaliation in The Sunday Times days later that Reid was part of a “Scottish Raj” now running the country has assumed all the more potency after Friday’s reshuffle saw the number of Scots in the cabinet rise to five.
Read it all.

A good day for the Respect Party

George Galloway February 17, 2006:
"I want to make it clear, I and Respect support the armed resistance in Iraq"
They must have been celebrating yesterday:
A JEERING mob threw stones at the bodies of a British crew whose helicopter was shot down in the southern Iraqi city of Basra yesterday.

At least four servicemen were feared dead in the crash, which was followed by clashes between British soldiers from the 20th Armoured Brigade and supporters of the Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shi’ite cleric.
There's been plenty of condemnation of the BNP in the MSM recently, but the political party that promotes attacks on British troops continues to get a free ride.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Prison priorities

Good article by Tom Stacey in this week's Spectator (subscription required, hence the long cut'n'paste job):
The large London penitentiary where I have been a prison visitor for three decades has established, at New Labour’s behest, an elite team of warders and probation officers who, in their own words as displayed on notices all over the prison, are ‘passionate about Diversity and Equality’.

These officials make up the ‘Diversity Team’, and most of the 130 or so penal establishments in England and Wales have set up their equally devoted teams, all committed to making our foreign national offenders snug and valued in Blighty, at least for the time being. The Diversity Teams are naturally proud of their role in life, which they describe in laminated notices wherever there is space on the prison’s walls. The Diversity Team’s notice in my prison is worth quoting in full:

‘Our aim,’ it announces to all who can read English, ‘is to provide information, advice, support and guidance to the senior management team, staff and prisoners, thus ensuring HM Prison provides an effective professional and responsible service in this area.

‘We will act as a local focal point for issuing, developing, implementing and monitoring policies in the field of Diversity.

‘As the catalyst for Diversity, we will assist the senior management team in ensuring HM Prison lives up to its commitment to embrace and value Diversity.’

This notice is followed by a declaration from the prison governor himself: ‘I will oversee all matters relating to Diversity. The Diversity Team and I will work closely to ensure HM Prison is a working environment that promotes and encourages good working relationships.’

Naturally enough, each member of the Diversity Team has his or her specific function for his or her diverse charges. In my nick there’s a team leader (a black woman) called ‘Diversity Manager’, another black woman called ‘Equal Opportunities Officer’, a third called ‘Foreign Nationals’ Co-ordinator’, a white woman called ‘Administration Support’, and a chap called ‘Disability Liaison Officer’. That must all be pretty reassuring if you are a benighted foreign national in the clink. True, there may not be an actual Diversity Team member explicitly allocated to help you to disappear into the community rather than face deportation — a ‘Deportation Evasion Co-ordinator’, for example — but you’re nonetheless getting a feel of where the heart of the system lies.

The annual Diversity Awards dished out by the Home Office to Diversity Teams from all over the country (at a national ceremony held at the London School of Economics) actually have an award category called ‘Innovation: an area which is often neglected’. I hope Mr Clarke won’t mind if I suggest a new award in the category: ‘Advice on How to Disappear into the Community at End of Sentence’.

The fact is that the Prison Service has the strangest priorities. A few weeks ago my jail was shown by Channel Five’s MacIntyre Investigates to have punished no fewer than 170 prisoners for possessing drugs and 230 for having illegal mobile phones in 2005; to have had more than 100 drug parcels lobbed in over walls; and to have saved the careers (on the insistence of the Prison Officers’ Association, the unreformed warders’ union) of various named warders known to have smuggled in drugs and alcohol and sold favours to prisoners. Plenty has been going wrong, in other words: more than enough to keep prison staff busy, you might think. So it makes one gulp to see so much time and effort devoted to feelgood pap.
[...]
You can see how taxpayers’ money is being spent at a time when ‘lack of resources’ is cited as the main excuse for the foreign prisoners scandal.
It's all arse about tit. Instead of criminals being taught to respect authority, they now demand, and get, respect from it. No wonder recidivism rates are so high.

Even Reid knows he shouldn't be Home Sec

From The Scotsman:
JOHN REID's appointment as Home Secretary yesterday confirms the continuing influence of Scottish MPs in the Cabinet, but could also raise some difficult political questions.

Douglas Alexander's rise to full membership of the Cabinet brings to five the number of Scots MPs with seats at the government's top table.

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, remains the most senior. Alistair Darling moves to run the Department of Trade and Industry and Des Browne replaces Dr Reid at the Ministry of Defence....

But even Dr Reid may be aware of the potential for controversy. Earlier this year, at a party for senior military officers, he joked that the Home Secretary's job was perhaps the one Cabinet role he would not be awarded, because his constituency is north of the Border.
Too bloody right. Isn't it time John Reid resigned as Home Secretary?

More from Wonko, An Englishman's Castle, The England Project .

Friday, May 05, 2006

More Boris

Watch this before Channel 5 pulls it. 8 minutes of Boris with original commentary. Trust me, it will make your weekend. (Hat tip Boris Watch)




Meanwhile on Youtube:

New Foreign Secretary


Goodbye, good riddance.



Good grief, God help us.

Scottish Raj Promotions

Our Scottish-born PM has responded to his failure in the English local elections by... promoting more Scots! (Complete Scottish Raj list to follow when the full reshuffle is known):
John Reid Secretary of State for the Home Department MP for Airdrie & Shotts. Born Bellshill.

Des Browne Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence. MP for Kilmarnock & Loudoun. Born Kilwinning.

Alistair Darling Secretary of State for Trade and Industry . MP for Edinburgh South West. Born London.

Douglas Alexander Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland. MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South. Born Glasgow.
Just to clarify - the PM, the Chancellor, and the Secretaries of State for the Home Office, Defence, Trade and Industry, and Transport are all either Scottish-born, or represent Scottish constituencies, or both. Of these, only the Prime Minister is elected by English voters.

Scotland has its own parliament. England does not.

And Lord Falconer (not elected, born Edinburgh) remains Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.

Ruth Kelly

Ruth Kelly is taking over John Prescott's former departmental responsibilities (though not ALL of them, I hope). Judging by this picture taken today it looks like she's already found his stash of pies.

Two days are a long time in politics

Here's the moment Blair patted Charles Clarke on the back prior to the then Home Secretary’s statement to the Commons on Wednesday. The screencap is the best I could do with available footage - unfortunately the image is too blurred to see if the PM had a knife concealed in his hand.

Prescott still DPM

So John ‘Cocktail Sausage’ Prescott has kept his title of Deputy Prime Minister. I wonder if there’s any truth to the claims he made to former Labour press officer Tricia McDaid:
McDaid also said that Prescott boasted he had a dossier of people in the Labour party who had slept with one another.
What salary will he be getting now that he doesn't have a department?

Too much information...

Nick Robinson:
I’ve often interviewed resigning ministers, but this was amongst the bizarrest. When I was called to be told the news, I was naked in bed in a Westminster hotel...
First the Prescott revelations and now this. I’m not sure how many more of these unwelcome mental images my mind can cope with.

BBC: Political Evolution

Here's how the BBC chose to illustrate the Tories' recent results during its local election coverage last night. See how the Conservatives have evolved from their knuckle-dragging right-wing past into a nice, liberal centre-ground party.



(Image via Conservative Home.)

Gordon Brown promoted to PM...

... by Ed Stourton on the Today programme this morning.
"Forgive me Mr Prime Minister..."
Listen here (5 second clip).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A few links

John Simpson’s favourite Middle East academic Juan Cole has had a hissy fit over a recent Christopher Hitchens article about him.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali in New York.

Charles Clarke’s latest initiatives. Pah!

The BBC - sympathetic reporting of the death penalty. (Clue - “Sharia law”)

The BBC - reporting race crimes.

The BBC - root causes of jihad.

Local Elections

What he says.

Wayne Who?


I hope someone posts footage of Boris Johnson’s attempted tackle during tonight’s England/Germany charity football match. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages. For those who missed it, the MP for Henley ran forward to challenge for the ball, stumbled, and ended up flooring former German international Maurizio Gaudino with a rugby tackle. It was priceless. The crowd loved it too - chants of “Boris! Boris!” rang out and he was cheered every time he went anywhere near the ball. And what's more:
Mr Johnson said beforehand that his metatarsals were in good shape.

Update
. Via the Telegraph - here's the tackle:







Update. And video!

Boris for England?