"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Three Coins in the Fountain

Gap-toothed Muppet

Caroline Flint, our not-so-fragrant Minister for Europe, hasn't even read the Treaty of Lisbon. MORE HERE.

"I have been briefed on some of it,"
she told Mark Francois her opposite number in the House.

Well, that's just fine then. We can all rest easy at night knowing that our Minister for Europe has her finger on the pulse and knows exactly what she's doing. Good grief, even I seem to know more about it than she does (eg Lisbon Treaty legalises EU death penalty). Yes, it's a convoluted mish-mash of mendacity and you need to have two or three other 'Treaties' beside you as well for reference but come on, Caroline, at least make some show of being up to the job.

I pity her constituents in South Yorkshire - they deserve much better.

How Caroline Flint voted on key issues since 2001:

  • Voted strongly against a transparent Parliament.
  • Voted moderately for introducing a smoking ban.
  • Voted strongly for introducing ID cards.
  • Voted very strongly for introducing foundation hospitals.
  • Voted strongly for introducing student top-up fees.
  • Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
  • Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.
  • Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.
  • Voted very strongly for replacing Trident.
  • Voted very strongly for the hunting ban.
  • Voted strongly for equal gay rights.
  • Voted for laws to stop climate change.
If she's your MP you can find more about her HERE

Hail and Farewell

Ave atque vale to Chiqua, the Asylum Seeker and her six sprogs. Sadly, it's just 'vale' to Chiqui.

A Question of Priorities

It beggars belief that some MPs are more concerned with finding a 'mole' who is allegedly selling details of their expenses than they are with hanging their heads in shame and curtailing their troughing. They should concentrate on the message, not the messenger; the public have the right to know how their taxes are spent.

"The search was launched after a series of damaging leaks left politicians struggling to contain public fury over generous parliamentary perks."


Monday, 30 March 2009

MPs', Spouse, Family, Staff Travel Expenses

Travel expenses for MPs, spouse, family and staff can be found HERE

MPs' Expenses 2008 Released

You can check out your MP's expenses HERE in pdf

MPs' Pay Rise

MPs are to get a 2.33% pay rise from this Wednesday which brings average pay to just under £65,000 pa - before allowances. HERE

UPDATE 3.18PM: "Sky News understands the Prime Minister has ordered minister's pay to remain the same." That was a quick response on Ministers but MPs' pay rises still go ahead. Why could it not be frozen for all of them?

This Speaks For Itself

It's to highlight a Report on CAP from THE TAXPAYERS' ALLIANCE

H/T Guido Fawkes

The Beast of Ealand

By way of a change, because I'm heartily sick of 'politics', here's a good-news tale about Floss the Highland cow who spent nine months on the run after escaping from new owners at a market in North Yorkshire. It's believed she ran away in search of her calf.

Floss lived off the land, under cover of darkness, and roamed sixty miles from her home. Despite being chased by quad-bikers and joyriders, and having pot shots taken at her by mindless fools with guns, she survived.

She was taken to Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, Norfolk and, as with all the best tales, she lives happily ever after.

Full article HERE

Sunday, 29 March 2009


Hat tip Anoneumouse

South Park Explains the Economy

Australian GP: 1991

Australian GP: 1991

Another Day, Another Dollar

Sir Charles Bowen QC in 1903 said: 'We must ask ourselves what the man on the Clapham omnibus would think.' Clapham at the turn of the 20th century was a moderately well-off suburb, peopled by 'decent' middle-class types, who, by their staid lifestyle and unchallenging common sense may well have been deemed to be the epitome of ordinariness by the standards of the day, and thus an appropriate yardstick against which the Law Lord might have made judgment. The Man on the Clapham Omnibus

Jacqui Smith MP. “…husband used her Commons expenses allowance to pay to watch pornographic films.”
MPs Harry Cohen, Jacqui Lait, Bob Neill. “It is my right.”
Tony McNulty MP. “Providing false information to an electoral registration officer is a serious offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983.”
MPs Adam Ingram, John Reid, Alan Milburn and David Blunkett. "a misunderstanding on my part, which I am now immediately rectifying."
Nigel Griffiths MP. "At the very least, he was being economical with the truth. It could be said to be a lie but I don't have to go that far."

Step forward Mr John Lyon, the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and do your job. The blood pressure of the Man on the Clapham Omnibus is rising.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Spring Forward ...

...Fall back.

"Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time."

John Donne

Labour MEP's Answer to Hannan

I wasn't going to post 'politics' today but I changed my mind when I came across this video from Welsh MEP, Eluned Morgan on ConHome. I found it excruciatingly funny and it really falls into the category of 'humour'. In case you think it's an old one, it isn't; it was posted on YouTube on 24th March this year.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Dead Sappers ...

...Returned to England as freight!

This is absolutely disgraceful. Just as you think this government can sink no lower it repatriates the bodies of Sappers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey as freight and without ceremony.

Since its founding, the Labour Party has consistently devalued our Armed Forces and continues to undercut and undermine at every opportunity. As a Party, whether in government or not, they're a nasty, vindictive waste of space.

"We have been told that the soldiers were not allowed to have a ramp service because of political reasons. We were told the Government didn't want anything that would look like the Troubles had restarted.

"As far as we are concerned these soldiers were shot dead in uniform by terrorists and they should be treated in exactly the same way as if they were killed in Afghanistan. To send their bodies back to the UK as freight is outrageous."

More at ARRSE

Wordsworth Letter at Auction

A letter from Wordsworth to Robert Southey will be auctioned at the end of April. "It is now being sold as part of an extensive collection of letters and signatures, including examples from Florence Nightingale, Alfred Tennyson and Anthony Trollope". Wordsworth's well-meaning advice suggested changes to Southey's poem "My Days Among the Dead are Passed".

Although the poem was written in 1818 it wasn't published for twenty-two years by which time the style and language of poetry was changing. Fortunately, Southey didn't change the poem (he was senile by then): Wordsworth's suggestions don't touch the heart nor have the lyrical quality of the original.

My days among the Dead are passed;
Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old:
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal,
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedewed
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears;
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead; anon
My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on
Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

UPDATE: The letter sold at auction for £8,825

Angry Draper

WARNING: Lots of screaming and bad language

Yes, Dan Can!

"The Left has always depended on control of information as of other resources. That control is now technically impossible."

Daniel Hannan is bemused by how quickly his speech spread via blogs and YouTube. So far the video has had 1,106,498 views, 5,862 ratings (all 5-star) and 7,330 comments in 48hrs; this has to be a record.

The BBC & ITV are being asked why they ignored the speech in their news bulletins. Out of step


As any schoolboy knows, the Massacre of Glencoe took place in 1692 (bear with me). It's rather more complicated than simply the Campbells -v- the MacDonalds so I've linked to some further reading, should you be so inclined, below. However, one of the features of the massacre was that the MacDonalds had offered the hospitality of their own homes to those who slaughtered them.

I'm just wondering which wag at the Metropolitan Police decided to name their contingency plans for cracking down on protesters after this infamous Scottish massacre. Operation Glencoe is in full swing in readiness for the G20 marches. My advice is to watch out for the Met 'Campbells' and stay away from MacDonalds.

Tartan Hen
BBC Scotland

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Is There Anybody There?

Knock three times for 'No'.

"Mediums Paul and Deborah Rees were awarded taxpayers' money to teach people how to contact the 'other side' under the Government's Want2Work job creation scheme." Want2Work

Topalanek Resigns

In the last hour, Czech PM Mirek Topalanek resigned after losing a vote of No Confidence in Parliament.

"Lawmakers in parliament's lower house voted 101-96 on Tuesday to oust the government. The move deeply embarrassed the Czech leader, coming just days before a visit by President Barack Obama and midway through the country's European Union presidency."

"[President Vaclav] Klaus is a fierce opponent of the European Union reform treaty, which Topolanek wants the Czech parliament to ratify. Allies in the past, Klaus quit as honorary chairman last year of Topolanek's conservative Civic Democratic Party in a disagreement over its pro-European policies.

Former Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, whose main opposition Social Democrats had requested the no-confidence vote, has proposed a nonpartisan caretaker government of experts to lead the nation through the crisis and early elections, but Topolanek has refused."

full article here

Dolly -v- Guido Parts 1 & 2

h/t The Crown Blogspot

Not So Funny

"This [11% GDP]in turn would drive up the government's debt-service costs and add even more to the deficit.

There could also be a further run on sterling if the country looks at risk of losing its AAA rating as a sovereign debtor. Yesterday's gilts sale failure was a sign of the market's nervousness about the deficit.

The respected Ernst & Young Item Club last week predicted the annual deficit would rise to as high as £180bn in 2009-10, or nearly 13% of GDP. Item's chief economic adviser, Peter Spencer, agrees with King that there is no room for a further big fiscal stimulus.

"The PBR's economic projections have been completely overtaken by events. The chancellor will have no option but to revise down his growth forecasts and upgrade the borrowing projections in the April budget," he says, adding that he expects total borrowing over the next five years to be a huge £270bn higher than the chancellor's current forecasts."

Full article here

Quote of the Day

"His close political ally and former Treasury minister Geoffrey Robinson said yesterday that Brown feels frustrated that world policymakers have been repeatedly caught behind the curve of this recession."


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Photos of The Squatters

Home Truths

A blistering attack on Brown by Daniel Hannan, MEP

h/t Guido Fawkes
From YouTube stats:
#1 - Most Viewed (Today)
#2 - Most Discussed (Today) - News & Politics
#4 - Top Rated (Today)
#4 - Top Favourited (This Week) - News & Politics
#8 - Most Discussed (Today)
#12 - Most Discussed (Today) - News & Politics - Global
#82 - Most Discussed (This Week)
#9 - Most Discussed (This Week) - News & Politics
#56 - Most Discussed (This Month) - News & Politics
#98 - Most Viewed (Today) - Australia
#32 - Most Viewed (Today) - New Zealand
#51 - Most Viewed (Today) - Global
#26 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Germany
#6 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Australia
#47 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Canada
#1 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics
#8 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Ireland
#2 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - New Zealand
#98 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Israel
#7 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Global
#44 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Spain
#12 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - France
#70 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - South Korea
#36 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Netherlands
#63 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Poland
#69 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Russia
#8 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Czech Republic
#14 - Most Viewed (Today) - News & Politics - Sweden
#40 - Most Viewed (This Month) - News & Politics
#3 - Top Favourited (Today)
#40 - Top Favourited (Today) - Global
#2 - Top Favourited (Today) - News & Politics
#3 - Top Favourited (Today) - News & Politics - Global
#51 - Top Favourited (This Week)
#44 - Top Favourited (This Week) - News & Politics - Global
#10 - Top Favourited (This Month) - News & Politics
#67 - Top Rated (Today) - Global
#2 - Top Rated (Today) - News & Politics
#6 - Top Rated (Today) - News & Politics - Global
#39 - Top Rated (This Week)
#5 - Top Rated (This Week) - News & Politics
#39 - Top Rated (This Week) - News & Politics - Global
#26 - Top Rated (This Month) - News & Politics

Figures above are hopelessly out-dated. The video has gone viral round the world: 167,779 views in 24hrs. Spectacular!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

I Have Measured Out My Life In Coffee Spoons

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo
Questa fiamma staria sensa piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero
Sensa tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question . . .
Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, ‘Do I dare?’ and, ‘Do I dare?’
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: ‘How his hair is growing thin!’]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: ‘But how his arms and legs are thin!’]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: ‘I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all’—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: ‘That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.’
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
‘That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant at all.’
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

Bach's Brandenburg Concertos

Don't Mention The War

I should have picked up on this earlier; it's been all over the international press but not ours until yesterday.

"Mrs Kirchner has made the issue of the islands a personal priority, announcing in her inaugural speech that Argentina's sovereignty was non-negotiable and repeating the claim on the 26th anniversary of the 1982 invasion last year."

Some links: Telegraph Express

"...according to reports in the Argentine press, British diplomats have headed off the threat of an embarrassing row at the London summit by agreeing to a bilateral meeting with Mr Brown in Chile." Scotsman

Simon Weston says, "The islanders want to stay British, that’s why we went there. Much was ­sacrificed in that war all those years ago but it was a sacrifice that was worth it."

I find it hard to believe that the nutter with a stutter was able to resist Cristina Kirchner's advances: he'd do a deal with the devil if it gave him a chance of 'glory' on the world stage.

I didn't know the Norwegians had a hand in it. At the time it was all about Reagan's USA debating whether to let us use Diego Garcia as a fuelling stop and the French exocet missiles the Argentinians were using to sink our ships

I gleaned this from Wikileaks:

" Said “a high ranking British military source”:

"When the war broke out, we ourselves almost didn’t have any intelligence information from this area. It was here we got help from the Norwegians, who gave us a stream of information about the Argentine warships’ positions. The information came to us all the time and straight to our war headquarters at Northwood. The information was continuously updated and told us exactly where the Argentine ships were."
Declaration of Interest: Look more closely at my icon and you'll see it's a ship. It's HMS Cardiff. The ship on which, twenty-seven years ago, my brother didn't even have time to untie the laces on his boots for the duration of the engagement. Recalled from retirement at the age of 42, he did what was asked of him.
My brother came home but 258 didn't:
HMS Ardent, HMS Coventry, HMS Glamorgan, The Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Merchant Navy, Welsh Guards, Paras (2nd & 3rd Battalions) SAS, Royal Signals, Scots Guards and Royal Engineers.

Patients or Victims?

Is the NHS really a 'sacred cow'? Do the British people still regard this overweening institution with affection?

Following the damning reports, "Six Lives" and "Death by Indifference" together with the catastrophic failures over recent years, surely the present model can no longer continue. The NHS has had more cash, more targets, more initiatives, more reviews and more managers thrown at in the last twelve years than you can shake a stick at yet failure is heaped upon failure. I suggest a dose of its own medicine: nil by mouth, do not resuscitate.

"Preventable Deaths"

LGO: yet another Review

Monday, 23 March 2009

The Asylum Seeker

The gardener brought her to me this morning; he’d caught her trying to break in through the back door. She was hungry and disorientated so I took her in, reluctantly, and fed her while pondering the best course of action.

She really is most beguiling with her long, silky hair, enormous grey eyes and a voice that simply purrs. She’s asleep now – on my bed, if you please!

I’d like to help her but we’ve barely room to swing a cat as it is and, what’s more, she’s undeniably heavily pregnant. I’ve decided to give her shelter overnight but in the morning it’s off to the Detention Centre where she’ll be someone else’s problem.

UPDATE Tues 24th: After a quiet night, for me at least, I woke this morning to find our refugee from the storm had been busy. Will post photos later for those who like that kind of thing but in the meantime they (all seven of them) are moving to bigger accommodation in the spare bedroom.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

This Little Piggy ...

...went to market. "Crawley MP Laura Moffatt said: ‘It doesn’t affect me because I don’t have a second home.’ Asked how she squared that with her claim of £61,457 between 2002⁄03 and 2006/07, she hung up."

This little piggy stayed at home,
Marrakesh Mandy's Department of Propaganda "Lord Mandelson, the business secretary who was once styled the “Sultan of Spin”, has built an empire of media consultants and public relations advisers to try to persuade voters that Labour has a grip on the economic crisis, leaked Whitehall documents reveal."

These little piggies had roast beef "Lawyers are earning £800 an hour from the National Health Service and taking “indefensible” fees of tens of millions of pounds in legal disputes."

So did Lord Myners, complete with horseradish sauce. "The government minister in charge of stamping out corporate tax avoidance has himself set up a business in the tax haven of Bermuda."

Are there no depths to which these money-grubbing b*stards will not sink in order to feather their own nests at the expense of the Taxpayer?

Saturday, 21 March 2009

No Honey

"Just now the lilac is in bloom,
All before my little room;
And in my flower-beds, I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
And down the borders, well I know,
The poppy and the pansy blow . . .
Oh! there the chestnuts, summer through,
Beside the river make for you
A tunnel of green gloom, and sleep
Deeply above; and green and deep
The stream mysterious glides beneath,
Green as a dream and deep as death.
---Oh, damn! I know it! and I know
How the May fields all golden show,
And when the day is young and sweet,
Gild gloriously the bare feet
That run to bathe . . . Du lieber Gott!"

"God! I will pack, and take a train,
And get me to England once again!
For England's the one land, I know,
Where men with Splendid Hearts may go;
And Cambridgeshire, of all England,
The shire for Men who Understand;
And of that district I prefer
The lovely hamlet Grantchester.
For Cambridge people rarely smile,
Being urban, squat, and packed with guile;
And Royston men in the far South
Are black and fierce and strange of mouth;
At Over they fling oaths at one,
And worse than oaths at Trumpington,

And Ditton girls are mean and dirty,
And there's none in Harston under thirty,
And folks in Shelford and those parts
Have twisted lips and twisted hearts,
And Barton men make Cockney rhymes,
And Coton's full of nameless crimes,
And things are done you'd not believe
At Madingley on Christmas Eve.
Strong men have run for miles and miles,
When one from Cherry Hinton smiles;
Strong men have blanched, and shot their wives,
Rather than send them to St. Ives;
Strong men have cried like babes, bydam,
To hear what happened at Babraham.
But Grantchester! ah, Grantchester!
There's peace and holy quiet there,
Great clouds along pacific skies,
And men and women with straight eyes,
Lithe children lovelier than a dream,
A bosky wood, a slumbrous stream,
And little kindly winds that creep
Round twilight corners, half asleep.
In Grantchester their skins are white;
They bathe by day, they bathe by night;
The women there do all they ought;
The men observe the Rules of Thought.
They love the Good; they worship Truth;
They laugh uproariously in youth;
(And when they get to feeling old,
They up and shoot themselves, I'm told) . . .

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
Unforgettable, unforgotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
Anadyomene, silver-gold?
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?"

Rupert Brooke

Over My Head

I'm getting in over my depth on this one. I'm usually quite happy with a bit of music, a bit of poetry and saying how sh*t Brown & Co are at managing this country. Many people have asked, "Is it through incompetence or intent?" Years ago (2000 and the time of RIPA) I hoped it wasn't intent but everything the Labour Government has done since then has just sharpened my concern.

The EC Summit outcome, rather grandly titled The Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council and this, The US, The EU and Doha, together with an article at Scunnert Nation makes me wonder if I've questioned enough, scrutinised enough.

Any State hand-in-hand with International Corporations doesn't make good news. I may be one of 'the little people' but I am not 'the masses', 'the mob', 'the plebs' a 'citizen', 'a prole', an 'actor', a 'user' or a 'stakeholder'. What's more, unlike 27% of the electorate, one thing I don't have to own up to is a charge of incompetence: I voted for someone else.

Thanks to Subrosa for leading me to Scunnert's blog & his explanation of GATS (General Agreement on Trade & Services).

Slowly Slowly Catchee Monkee

How the "European Systemic Risk Council" developed:

October 1994
January 2002
December 2007
October 2008
February 2009

And here's what Gordon said only two months ago:


Friday, 20 March 2009

No Posts

Both Firefox and IE are driving me nuts this morning so there'll be nothing today until I clear out the gremlins.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Quiet Time

The Sun Sets on the Labour Party

"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Sun Radio Station

So, even Rupert Murdoch can't ignore the change in public opinion. All I can say is it's been a long time coming and he is way behind his readership. I can't help but wonder if he has 'an understanding' with the Conservatives but, for the moment, I'm glad that an influential tabloid is turning. We can leave the rest for another day.

In the meantime, here's a musical snippet:

UPDATE: The Guardian seems to have pulled it. Try this:


£118 Billion Per Year

That's the true monetary cost of the EU to Britain.

"These include Britain's direct contributions to the EU, the cost to UK business of complying with and administering EU regulations, EU administration costs and also higher food prices, said to result from implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy."

the great EU rip-off

UPDATE: The Daily Politics poll on the EU via Dick Puddlecote

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

With a Bit of Luck ...

... they've come to take the phony leader home.

Guido has a nice take on Gordon, the IMF and the upcoming G20 summit.

Poetry: From the Heart & For the Heart

I like this idea from Boris Johnson but can't see it appearing in any Party's election manifesto: Learning Poetry

"... Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind..."

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Home News from Abroad

"SPIEGEL: Recently, Germany has been threatened with terrorist attacks in several video messages. How would you evaluate the general situation?

SMITH: Severe. We believe that an attack is highly likely and could happen at any time and without warning. On the other hand we see some success. In 2008, we had 50 people convicted in terror-related trials and this year there will not be a single day in the United Kingdom without a terrorist trial on the timetable."

Funny how you have to check the foreign press, Der Spiegel for news these days.

Why does the government think this is a success: "and this year there will not be a single day in the United Kingdom without a terrorist trial on the timetable." It isn't. It's a flipping ginormous failure.

Every day this year we'll be spending millions of pounds on Court cases when the end result is a slap on the backs of their legs and no deportation because it's against their 'Human Rights'.

What we need is:

(a) less profligacy with British Passports and Residency Permits;
(b) proper jail terms for those who conspire against this Nation and its people;
(c) a government for the people - not the Party, not the Whip.

That way, we may not have to advertise abroad.

Please don't come here if you're an extremist and please don't hate us

When All Else Fails, Just Waffle

And no-one waffles better than Gordon Brown: "denying with our mouths what we are doing with our hands." (Toynbee) Twelve years of utter codswallop while Nemesis waits impatiently, drumming her fingers on the ballot box.

Confused? You will be

Monday, 16 March 2009

Where's Tiddles?

Spoilt For Choice

Keith Vaz should 'step down for abusing his position'

Marrakesh Mandy spends £2,000 a month on floral displays (that's Taxpayers' money of course)

Mandelson's divided loyalties? These rules apply to everyone 'employed' by the EU

The Bank of England says Britain could be heading for "a 1930's style depression"

Motorists could be banned from leaving Britain over unpaid parking fines

The European Union has long been jealous of the City and would much prefer Frankfurt to be the centre of finance

And that's just from one newspaper.

Good news though from John Redwood who's cottoned on to fake charities

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Is Common Sense Making a Comeback?

A man after my own heart: George Pitcher

"... a report from the House of Commons' select committee on health confirms that the Government has wasted billions of pounds of taxpayers' money on unresearched "initiatives" that amount to "little more than propaganda". Humungous sums of our money have been sprayed about on "ineffective and possibly damaging" interventions to try to force ministerially approved lifestyles on us, without "even basic calculations" about the supposed benefits."

It's also time the Taxpayer stopped subsidising the food and drink (about 700litres of alcohol per day at the last count) of MPs.

"Well, Sir Liam, come and have a go if you think you're hard enough. Because we've rumbled you, my son. None of these initiatives that you've dressed up for so long as being for our own good has ever been about anything more than furthering your Government's own manipulative agenda.
"...chocolate makes us fat. Alcohol makes us fat and drunk. But we can make our own decisions about what we swallow and you've bossed us around long enough. And we can rejoice now that Parliament has shown us that the tide has turned. And, frankly, I hope it's a flood tide of claret and chocolate."

And so say all of us.

Sunday Reflection

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Just in Case You've Forgotten

Even Labour Party supporters had no faith in Brown.

"I don't bloody believe it"

I’ve had it in mind for a while now to write again about the stealthy introduction of the Death Penalty as contained in a footnote of a footnote of a Protocol in the Treaty of Lisbon so here it is:

“3. The provisions of Article 2 of the Charter correspond to those of the above Articles of the ECHR and its Protocol.
They have the same meaning and the same scope, in accordance with Article 52(3) of the Charter. Therefore, the
‘negative’ definitions appearing in the ECHR must be regarded as also forming part of the Charter:
(A) Article 2(2) of the ECHR:
‘Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use
of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
(a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
(c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.’

(B) Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the ECHR:
‘A State may make provision in its law for the death penalty in respect of acts committed in time of war or of imminent threat of war; such penalty shall be applied only in the instances laid down in the law and in accordance with its provisions…”

However, here are three links which explain it so much better: Executive Intelligence Review, Ian Parker-Joseph and Archbishop Cranmer

Try this: UK sidesteps

This state of affairs really can’t continue. Given that 80% of our legislation comes from the EU, do our votes count anymore? And, if not, to whom should we protest given the banning of demonstrations within a mile of Parliament?

More Jobs for 'The Boys'

Developing Civil Protection
This is described as the need to protect people, property and the environment where one or more member states is affected. European “added value” means putting together
resources and establishing a “tool box”. Creating a “dynamic platform” for the Common European and Coordination Information System (CECIS) and developing the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC)…”
The Shape of Things to Come

More databases, more criteria for monitoring you, more ways to criminalise the law-abiding. Our Common Law system has served us well since the Norman Conquest so why the sneaky side-stepping towards the Napoleonic Code where “innocent until proven guilty”, “habeus corpus”, “trial by a jury of your peers” are unknown? Why the shift to Regulatory Law and Statutory Instruments? The traditional building blocks of our legal system, our Constitutional Law and Parliament are being undermined before our eyes.

As an aside, am I the only person wary of being addressed as “Stakeholder”, “Actor”, “Citizen”?

“For some must watch, while some must sleep: so runs the world away.”

The World is Too Much With Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. -Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.


Friday, 13 March 2009

Gordon Says 'Sorry'

h/t The Crown Blogspot

"This Country is Broken". Discuss.

"The Reverie of Poor Susan"

At the corner of Wood Street, when daylight appears,
Hangs a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three years:
Poor Susan has passed by the spot, and has heard
In the silence of morning the song of the bird.

'Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees
A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;
Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide,
And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.

Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale
Down which she so often has tripped with her pail;
And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's,
The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.

She looks, and her heart is in heaven: but they fade,
The mist and the river, the hill and the shade;
The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise,
And the colours have all passed away from her eyes!


Thursday, 12 March 2009


"A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor." Wordsworth.
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