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Yes, Gingerella, you can go to the ball

Okay, the handsome prince has turned out to be eBay rather than the First Bloke Tim, but at least your shoe has turned up.

Half inched from the Sydney Morning Herald

Online auction website eBay has taken a listing for Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s missing shoe off the site.

Except it might not have.

It was not clear whether it was actually Ms Gillard’s missing shoe, but it seemed unlikely as the seller used news photographs from the protest on the listing.

The outrageous bids also suggested the sale was a hoax.

Okay, mildly amusing, but funnier (in quite a not really funny way) is something that helped kickstart the whole incident off. I know from a comment by JuliaM on the Australia Day post that the Tent Embassy protest that the PM got caught up in made news in the UK, but I’m not sure how widely reported it was that the protestors were actually baying for the blood of the leader of the opposing (il)Liberal Party Tony Abbott for suggesting that the Tent Embassy was justified when it began 40 years ago but wasn’t really needed anymore.

Look, I can understand why the tent embassy was established all those years ago. I think a lot has changed for the better since then. We had the historic apology just a few years ago, one of the genuine achievements of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. We had the proposal which is currently for national consideration to recognise indigenous people in the Constitution. I think the indigenous people of Australia can be very proud of the respect in which they are held by every Australian and yes, I think a lot has changed since then and I think it probably is time to move on from that.

Personally I don’t agree. I’m all for the right of people to protest peacefully for as long as they feel they’ve got something to protest about, and up ’til now the Tent Embassy’s been a hell of a lot better than some of the Occupod lot. In fact it’s been so unobtrusive that I’ve never even seen it myself despite visiting Canberra a few times. I don’t know, maybe they trashed the place a lot in the past and I just haven’t lived here long enough to know, but looking at Google Earth they don’t seem to be really in the way or making a mess so what’s the big deal? It’s not as if you’ll find all that many people who don’t think that they certainly had a cause to begin with – even Tony Abbott thinks that. However, for me they lost the moral high ground when they lost their shit and decided that what he meant was that it should be torn down and the protestors kicked out, which is something absent from any direct quote of Tony Abbott that I’ve seen and which he’s explicitly denied saying. Yet they went nuts about it anyway.*

And it’s not just the protestors who’ve gone down in my estimation, though to be honest since this other person is a political media advisor even rock bottom isn’t that far to fall. But what makes it funny is that it’s none other than Gingery Dullard’s own media advisor.

THE spark for the riot near the Aboriginal tent embassy that threatened Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott came from the Prime Minister’s own office when information was passed to protesters about the Opposition Leader.

One of Ms Gillard’s media advisers, Tony Hodges, resigned last night after conceding he had disclosed Mr Abbott was at The Lobby restaurant, next to the tent embassy, and information was passed to protest organisers.

Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott were surrounded by about 50 angry protesters at a medal presentation on Australia Day after a meeting outside the tent embassy was incorrectly told Mr Abbott had said that morning the 40-year-old symbolic embassy should be torn down. The crowd was told Mr Abbott was attending a function next door, which led protesters to go to the restaurant, bang on the glass walls and threaten the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader.

And it gets worse, or better depending on your point of view.

Ms Gillard’s office did not deny Mr Hodges had wrongly told protesters that Mr Abbott had earlier suggested the tent embassy should be “torn down” or “shut down”.

So it’s accepted that this Hodges guy sparked the incident by telling them where Abbott would be, and it sounds as if he may also have grossly distorted what Abbott had actually said. If that doesn’t grant him membership of the Jo Moore club I don’t know what will.

H/T Skepticlawyer.

* I should add emphatically that not all Aborigines involved in the Tent Embassy were involved in the bust up or lost any moral high ground.

“It defeats progress,” [Matilda House] said. “You’re not a hero for burning the Australian flag. How many Aboriginal men and women went to war and fought under the flag?”

She said the activists who launched Thursday’s violent protests against Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott were trying to be heroes. “But they weren’t heroes in my eyes,” she said. “The heroes were here in 1972 and those people just destroyed everything for the 40th anniversary by going on like they did.”

Rest here, though it’s a subscription article at the Aussie and you may have to cough up to read it.

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Junket science

Dial up the euphoria and forget the failure of the last junket, er, meeting to agree anything because a major ‘climate deal’ has been done at Durban. So says the GraunAge, Aunties Beeb and ABC, and all the rest. But forgive my scepticism when I read things like this:

A new global climate deal has been struck after being brought back from the brink of disaster by three powerful women politicians in a 20-minute “huddle to save the planet”.
[…]
… the 16-day talks were effectively over, with a commitment by all countries to accept binding emission cuts by 2020.

Or this:

Every single country in the world has committed to an agreement to take effect from 2020.

Or this:

Talks on a new legal deal covering all countries will begin next year and end by 2015, coming into effect by 2020.

Or this:

Federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says it is an “historic breakthrough”.
“The idea is that after 2015 countries would start ratifying the new agreement and it would take effect from 2020.”

So – and I’m looking at this as I would if I were a true warmista, convinced of the danger of catastrophic warble gloaming – after this dramatic twenty minute huddle, followed by that equally dramatic two hours of tense negotiation, all of which had been preceded by more than a bloody fortnight of presumably equally tense negotiation, everybody agreed to kick the fucking can down the road for another few years. And that’s supposed to be a result? Jesus, what do you guys do for an epic failure? No, don’t tell me… begins with a C, doesn’t it? Cancun? Copenhagen? Email me if I’m getting warm, heheh. Sorry, that was insensitive of me.

Forgive my cynicism but having failed, even by what I’d call pretty low standards, in Cancun and Copenhagen and having just had the embarrassment of Climategate 2.0, which looked a lot like it was timed to damage the Durban circle jerk, there needed to be something positive and preferably scene stealing to feed to the media’s headline writers. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the very first thing that was decided, very likely behind the scenes and quite possibly before the conference even officially began. And fucking hell if a unanimous agreement to put off any hard decisions until later and otherwise maintain the status quo isn’t good enough if spun right, even if it’d spin the whole world right off its axis if done much harder.

So in practical terms the great success achieved at Durban is that everything stays exactly the same as it was before all those thousands of delegates got on planes and carbon belched their way through the sky to get there, and everyone has agreed to agree on something more meaningful in four or five years to take effect four or five years after that. Well, it might be good news for the campaigners, researchers, climate change departments and ministers, renewable energy companies, greenwashery makers and all the other rent seekers, but otherwise it seems like a resounding ‘Meh’.

Frankly I’m tempted to get down on my knees and thank my lucky stars and any deity that has even the faintest possibility of existing that I’m a climate sceptic. Because if I was a catastrophist warble gloaming believer I’d be shitting myself.

Not just the heirs to Blair

Nope, the Cobbleition is also a proud wearer of the Crown of Brown.

UK Financial Investments said it has agreed to sell 100pc of Northern Rock to Virgin Money for £747m in cash immediately, but this could potentially rise to around £1bn.
Under the deal, another £50m is “expected” to be paid within six months. The Treasury will also benefit by up to £80m if the bank floats in the next five years and retain £150m of Tier 1 capital notes.
Northern Rock, which signalled the start of the financial crisis in Britain when it collapsed in August 2007, is the first bank to be returned to the private sector.
The Newcastle-based lender received a £1.4bn bail-out when it was nationalised in February 2008 at the height of the credit crunch. So on paper, taxpayers end up with a loss of £400m, but this could rise to £650m.

Marvellous. Just fucking marvellous. Memo to Gordon Clown, and of course also to his blinky pet Ed Balls who sadly did quite not lose his seat in the election:

This is why you should have let Northern fucking Rock go to the wall,
you witless pair of financially incompetent cunts.

Happily for them, though miserably for everyone else, they’re not alone.

George Osborne said the deal was a “good thing” for taxpayers, consumers and the banking system.

Did he say that? Did he really fucking say that? The Chumpcellor of the fucking Exchequer thinks that losing nearly half a billion quid, and possibly as much as two thirds of a billion, is a good thing. Has Gordon Brown got his fist up George’s arse and is making his mouth move or something? That’s got to be the most retarded thing to come out of the mouth of the finance minister of an industrialised nation since some fucktroon decided to sell nearly 400 tons of gold near a long term low in its value, and then fucking announce it in advance so the price fell even further. Oh, and that was a British one too, wasn’t it? Come to think of it, it was… well, we all know only too well, don’t we?

And although it wasn’t quite on the scale of the billions and billions Gordon flushed away when he dumped gold at a historic low, which his mouth may well have helped make lower, Boy Georgie thinks it was a good thing for taxpayers to lose another half billion or so. Yes, the Cobbleition inherited the situation, and yes, it was Gordon, his badger faced sock puppet and Ed Bollocks who made the incredibly bad decision to bail out a bank that deserved to fail rather than just make sure of the investors’ statutory protection. And yes, in that position you have to take the best offer you’re going to get, and this is probably better than it might have been. But to have the new-ish Chumpcellor stand there saying it’s anything than the loss of another half a billion pounds, perhaps more, is anything other than a colossal fuckup due entirely to the headless chicken panic response of the previous government is at best not very politically astute and at worst an indication that he’s every bit as fucking stupid as they were.

And of course it’s not over yet because only the good bit of Northern Rock was sold, which is presumably why they only got £747m for it. Oh, no what we can still think of as Northern Wreck is still there. And it’s got company.

In January last year the company was split into a “good bank”, which Virgin has bought, and Northern Rock Asset Management, the “bad bank” of closed mortgages and unsecured loans which remain in Government ownership.
[…]
As well as Northern Rock’s “bad bank”, UKFI still owns Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Bradford & Bingley.

And I don’t doubt that if or when RBS, Lloyds Group and B&B are sold back into the private sector at a further loss to the taxpayers Georgie Lame will say that’s a good thing too. It’s good that it’s over, but in all other respects it’s hard to find anything good to say about the taxpayers having to drop their trousers and grip their ankles yet again because the fucking Treasury (along with most or all of the rest of government) has got next to no fucking clue how to spend money wisely and thinks there’s an inexhaustible supply of it.

Jesus Christ on a borrowed bicycle, the place is fucking doomed.

Light blogging this week…

… means that the only comment I really have time to make on the above headline is “Are you fucking serious or have you been doing lines of mercury?” Not that Cameron is not a complete twat and his government almost as big a bunch of disappointing and feckless wankers as, well, as the Labour governments of the previous 13 years, but for one thing the government isn’t actually cutting police numbers. Seems to me that if forces want to spend their budgets on expensive or irrelevant bullshit rather than police officers then their numbers, or lack thereof, is a problem of their own making. Just an idea this, but they could start with multiplying the number of officers they’d like by the salaries they’d need to pay and then subtracting that number from the budget before spunking money away on other stuff. It’s a thought, that’s all.

And for another thing the Cobbleition hasn’t made any cuts. This is getting really fucking tedious to have  to keep saying this, but cuts are badly needed and the Cobbleition has failed to cut a penny off of overall public spending, and in fact they’ve managed to spend even more. Yes, they have been more profligate than even the crazed fuckwits who preceded them, and only those crazed fuckwits and their equally crazed and fuckwitted followers could possibly imagine that a government that spends more than the last one has cut a fucking thing. The only point at which the concept of spending less enters into it is that they are spending less than the profligate cocksocket Brown would have spent if he’d managed to win the election. That’s it, and it does not qualify as a cut any more than saying I’ll take out a loan to buy a Ferrari next year and then changing my mind is saving money.<

I’d suggest to Yvette Cooper that she goes home and asks around her family to see if someone can explain it to her, but since her family has got Ed Balls in it that’s probably a waste of time.

‘Kinell!

Vote for Distracted Cat, but if not Casual Cat

Via Skepticlawyer, AV for cat owners.

Incidentally, Skepticlawyer appears less than impressed with some of the crap being spread by the No To AV campaign about the preferential voting systems used here in Oz.*

I’ve learned since the campaign started that Australia uses complex electronic voting machines. The person who runs third in a given constituency also routinely wins the seat, as well. Oh, and we also want to adopt First Past the Post, too, in a perverse bit of ‘the grass is always greener’ copy-cattery.

Which is, as she points out, bullshit. Do go and read the rest.

Come to think of it Reform Cat would be even better, but I’m not sure a 350 foot tall ginger tom that shoots lasers from its eyes needs a more sympathetic voting system.

* I’ve since seen it at Fausty’s as well, though of course without the commentary on the misrepresentation of the Aussie voting system.

The reliability of waterboarding

From The Age:

The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks warned that al-Qaeda has hidden a nuclear bomb in Europe which will unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” if Osama bin Laden is captured, leaked files reveal.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Guantanamo Bay interrogators the terror group would detonate the nuclear device if the al-Qaeda chief was captured or killed, according to the classified files released by the WikiLeaks website.

And it was very sweet of the Americans not to catch him so that nobody would be embarrassed by the complete lack of nuclear explosions in European capitals that would no doubt have resulted. I imagine that in terrorist circles to threaten that sort of thing and not come good on it is nothing short of social death, and unfortunately that’s not the kind that comes with 70 odd virgins as an upside. Very odd virgins, possibly, but I can’t see much of a queue forming for that.

The German weekly Der Spiegel, also citing WikiLeaks, said that Sheikh Mohammed had told his interrogators he had set up two cells for the purpose of attacking Heathrow in 2002.
[…]
Der Spiegel noted that his “confessions” should have be treated with caution as they could have been extracted through torture. Sheikh Mohammed is known to have undergone the method known as “waterboarding”.

Look, of course it should be treated with caution. Does anyone imagine that if they had a nuke they wouldn’t have let the bugger off by now? Clear and present bullshit! If this stupidity is the kind of intelligence water boarding people generates I think they should try something else. Would a perpetually looped tape of Rebecca Black be over the top?

Because you’re worthless

http://p.castfire.com/Rkboj/video/179671/shonkys_2009_cosmetics_parody_2009-10-22-223405.mobile.m4v

Via The Age’s Sceptic Science blog.

Climate memory hole – UPDATED

Watts Up With That has caught out the UN in another bit of climate exaggeration followed by a clumsy attempt at revisionism.

In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.

It so happens that just a few of these islands and other places most at risk have since had censuses, so it should be possible for us now to get some idea of the devastating impact climate change is having on their populations.

The short version is that far from crashing populations as the people living there escaped their drowning and/or parched lands and fled Gaia’s fury, populations in the examples given have gone up. Hardly evidence of a number of climate refugees as large as the population of England.

After Asian Correspondent posted the story on April 11th, it was picked up by news outlets around the world such as Investor News, American Spectator and was cited in the Australian newspaper. It was also a report on Fox News.

Since that story appeared, the “handy map” he cites in his original story, which has this URL:

http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/fifty-million-climate-refugees-by-2010

…seems to be gone down the memory hole.

Yep, they 404’d it. But as WUWT reports it’s not 404’d by Google Cache, which still has a copy of the original albeit minus the map. However, WUWT also points out that the page where the map lives has not been deleted and so it can still be downloaded from http://maps.grida.no/library/files/storage/11kap9climat.png – at least it can until they wake up on Monday, have a look at their feeds for WUWT and rush to memory hole the map as well. Bit late since Anthony Watts has already put both it and the page up on WUWT.

Click to biggerfy

Go read the whole thing, including how the 50 million climate refugees by 2010 claim has been quietly repackaged and re-released as 50 million by 2020 – a nice touch that – and I’d suggest you grab copies of the map and the page while you’re at it so you have the evidence at hand with which to call bullshit when some warmist ecolyte regurgitates this claim at you.

Of course this means I need to update my too infrequently revisited list of bogus claims of ecotastrophic carbon driven warble gloaming disaster. The list is now as follows:

We are now a third of the way down that list. Please remember that I don’t put vast amount of time and effort into this so I’m sure this list of warble gloaming dates for your diaries is far from complete, not least because we probably won’t have long to wait before one of them predicts something else that then doesn’t happen. I’d like to add to it if either of my readers knows of a catastrophic warmist prediction that isn’t on the list and which has already been proven wrong by dit of the predicted date passing by with nothing at all happening, or which is only a few years off and can be waved at the doom mongers if (I’ll allow the possibility and not say ‘when’) it proves as false as NY’s West Side Highway being underwater and covered in the boats of climate refugees. Let me know in the comments or via the contact me form.

UPDATE – starting with the 50 million climate refugees claim Watts Up With That has added a permanent feature along similar lines to my list of warble gloaming dates for your diary. The WUWT Climate Fail Files will detail specific claims with link(s) to where it was made – or evidence that it was – and by whom, in what way it has failed to materialise, and if applicable how the goalposts have been shunted to account for the fact that disaster hasn’t happened on schedule… again. I’d still like to add to my list but WUWT is a more specialised site and gets much more traffic than I do, so if you do have anything along these lines please consider sending them to WUWT, currently via the comments section of this post, either instead of or as well here. Cheers.

Quote Of The Day

Via the Real World Libertarian comes this gem by The Daily Telegraph’s (the upside down one, not the London one) Tim Blair. At the end of this open letter to Prime Miniscule Julia Gillard asking among other things what she’s hoping for with the carbon tax she’s imposing on Australia and how much she thinks it’s going to cost comes a question about her election pledge not to have a carbon tax.

ACCORDING to you, “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”. Would you mind telling us who does lead this Government, then? Otherwise I’ve sent this to the wrong person.

How many times?

Click for linky

Jesus H Christ with an abacus, were you fucking like this back in the 90s when you were Chancellor of the fucking Exchequer? Were you this innumerate, Ken? You Cobbleition fuckmonkeys are spending more this year than Labour spent last year. The only difference is that you are increasing spending at a slower rate than your predecessors, the key word there being ‘increasing’. Because an increase is not a cut, d’you see? So unless you’re just saying this in the hope of giving Polly Toynbee an aneurism, and to be fair that’s actually not a bad reason, and really you’re quite aware that spending is going up rather than down, I’ll ask the question yet again:

What fucking cuts?

It comes to something when even pollies from the so-called party of business think spending ever increasing amounts of someone else’s money can ever qualify as a cut. Profligate fucking twat.

So are the Queensland floods our fault or not?

It turns out that despite all that rainfall up in Queensland it looks like it wasn’t as much as they got in the 1974 floods, and that for a big flood in 1893 might well have been bigger than either.

BRISBANE had more rainfall in the 1974 floods than it did in the latest episode, preliminary figures show.

And rainfall during the 1893 floods may have dwarfed both the 1974 and 2011 events.

The weather bureau on Tuesday unveiled rainfall comparisons suggesting the city falls were relatively light compared with ’74. But the inland falls that caused the flooding of the Brisbane River were extremely heavy.

The bureau stressed all data was not yet complete.

But weather experts suggested “peak rainfalls from the 1974 event were substantially heavier than those in 2011”.

So now, with tongue very much in cheek, I’m trying to fit this into the warble gloaming mantra of doom. Is warble gloaming “proven” because there was a big flood or is it “proven” because these three big flooding events show a trend of decreasing rainfall? Or, taking it as read that either will do for the purposes of selling the AGW scare, does it depend simply on whether the person asking the question is more worried about droughts or more worried about floods?

The sky is falling.

It amazes me how anyone takes this shit seriously anymore.

Click to article

The winters here certainly feel like they’ve got colder since I arrived and the last one was wet enough to have virtually ended a decade long drought on its own. The winters in the northern hemisphere have definitely been getting colder while barbecue summers in Britain have been cold and wet. The last winter in particular seemed savagely cold what with the almost the entire British Isles, except for of a couple of small areas near Westminster and Cambridge that had benefited from a certain amount of local warming from hot air, was covered in a blanket of globally warmed snow and ice that was so thick in places that supplies of salt and grit ran low or even ran out. This winter has barely started and already the warble gloaming is falling in deep drifts and people in Europe have quite literally frozen to death.

But it’s the warmest decade ever, obviously. Surely we can all see that? Something must be done, future generations, carbon dioxide, trees, chiiiiildren, yaddayaddayadda. Well, here’s my forecast: that something will involve more money to people already making a living, if not epic pots of cash, off the back of this induced epidemic of weather-phobia. Subsidies are already starting to look a little shaky in places and I’m sure that those who’ve still got incomes or comfy tenures that rely on a continued belief in warble gloaming would very much like things to continue as per the recent norm. So make sure you turn the gas down as you sit there shivering in the dark.

Prince of Fails.

Oh God, as if I wasn’t already furious enough, Chuckles FcKnuckles is in the fucking news again. Actually it turns out not to be annoying after all because it kind of backs up the view that he’s simply a titled fuckwit with a modern religion and the business sense of a shit flinging monkey.

Embracing the Prince of Wales’s passion for organic with unstinting devotion, Waitrose has rebranded Duchy Originals, the organic food range he founded in 1990, as Duchy Originals from Waitrose. So now it’s official: Waitrose, which even sells a loo roll with cashmere added into the paper, is the upper crust grocer.

I didn’t see this at the time but the link goes to an article from February reporting that the Prince of Fails’ organic food company had suffered heavy losses. The more recent article summarises:

Last September the supermarket took over control of Duchy Originals, originally set up by the Prince to sell produce grown at his Highgrove estate and raise money for charity. The recession had hit it hard. The previous year, turnover almost halved from £4.06 million to £2.2 million, while an operating profit of £57,000 turned into a loss of £3.3 million.
As a result the good causes suffered. For the second year in a row the company made no donation to the Prince’s Charities Foundation.

So what went wrong, Charley? Did you forget to dilute the takings a million times in pure water to make more of them? Or is it simply that all this organic stuff is over priced to a degree that you can just about get away with in the middle of a credit fuelled boom driven by a Keynes fellating fucking madman, but not when the aforementioned madman’s chickens come home to roost and the boom turns to the bust the hubristic twat actually believed he’d abolished? That in your crusade to peddle this organic eco-guff to everyone you hadn’t thought that your products might become indulgent luxuries when Mr and Mrs Tesco Finest are having to downgrade to the Value range? Fortunately Waitrose, popular with people who can still afford cleaners, calamari, cocaine and colonic irrigation even during a recession, has bailed FcKnuckles out – exclusivity in return for guaranteed, aha, royalties.

The supermarket gained exclusive rights to sell the Duchy brand’s range of biscuits, cordials, soups, sliced ham, fresh turkeys as well as gardening equipment and beauty products in its 214 stores. But given its charitable status, it was not a simple acquisition.
Under a licensing and distribution agreement, the supermarket has promised to give £1m a year to the Prince’s Charity Foundation. This is a huge leap from the £7m that Duchy Originals raised over two decades.
The Prince is surely turning handsprings.

He certainly should be. £7 million in two decades when he started with the advantage of inheriting fame, wealth and farmland, doesn’t sound all that impressive. I feel that perhaps Chuckles believed it was a money spinner for his charidees simply because it was a cause he believed in, and he believed it so strongly that couldn’t believe that not everyone else would too. Well, the market has given its verdict, and that verdict is to hand the brand over to someone who’s probably got the customers. Whether they can seriously grow the brand I have no idea, but I rate their chances better than Chuckles’.

Sorry, don’t know what made me think of that.

But the other Telegraph article to talk about His Whyness is by Geoffrey Lean, who’s not normally someone I agree with much but who I think has Charley-boy bang to rights in a few places.

He’s the second most senior member of one of the highest-consuming families on the planet, and yet he is about to launch a campaign to persuade us to “lead more sustainable lives”. It’s no surprise that the Prince of Wales is already being berated for so-called “Let them eat Duchy Original cake” comments as he embarks on the most extraordinary two weeks of public advocacy of his 40 years of environmental campaigning.
It starts on Monday with a five-day tour around the country, a 21st-century version, perhaps, of the old Royal Progress. But whereas Elizabeth I used to require 400 carts and carriages to carry her staff – and stuff – the Prince will be using the Royal Train, adapted to run on waste vegetable oil. And rather than setting out, like the Virgin Queen, to show himself to the populace, he is aiming to showcase what others are doing.

Predictably Geoff is happy with the fact that Chuckles is doing his tour by vegetable oil fuelled choo-choo and is ecstatic that the Prince is on message about things such as showering for less time than it takes to boil an egg (and with less water if at all possible), but I can understand his concerns about where the message is coming from.

Inevitably, this has led to charges of hypocrisy from commentators who suggest that the Prince’s baths are drawn by flunkeys and insist on recycling old (and hotly denied) chestnuts – such as the one where he chooses his breakfast from seven boiled eggs solemnly lined up before him.
But leaving aside the predictable jibes from people whose own lifestyles are far from parsimonious, there is a real problem in an extremely wealthy man with three huge homes, four cars and a record of travelling by private jet, urging people to live modestly. Even one supporter and former collaborator calls it “pretty preachy” and admits that it “invites ridicule”.
Aides say he “understands the criticism” and insist he “does as much as he can within the confines of his role as heir to the throne”.

And here is where Geoffrey Lean and I diverge, because I’d suggest that if Chuckles feels he could practice what he preaches to a greater degree were he not confined by being next in line to the thousand carat headgear the obvious solution is to renounce it. Look, he’s always going to be world famous anyway. Not only is he a member of the Royal Family, but he’s famous for marrying Princess Di, famous for divorcing Princess Di, famous for being the ex-husband of the tragically dead Di, famous for then marrying Camilla (not to mention the whole tampon reincarnation thing), famous for talking to plants, famous for bagging architecture he dislikes, famous for falling off polo ponies a lot when he was younger, famous for having a politically incorrect (sometimes hilariously so) dad… I could go on. If he chose to embrace ecomentalism even more fully by renouncing his claim to the throne he’d be even more famous. Sure, I’d start calling him the Arsehole formerly known as Prince but why should he care what one angry republican expat has to say? Christ, people still talk about Edward VIII giving up the throne for the love of Mrs Simpson – how much publicity would Chuckles get for his cause if he gave it up for the love of Gaia? Fucking loads… but I bet he doesn’t. He’d rather carry on “within the confines of his role as heir to the throne.”

And while Geoffrey Lean is still trying to applaud the wingnut druid he’s at least asking if Charles’ e-commitment is all it could be.

His new initiative, moreover, latches on to two essential points. The first is that there is now a huge range of products and practices ready to start the transition to low-carbon prosperity…
Secondly, he is right to reject doomsaying in favour of the positive, stressing that a more sustainable future would be better and more prosperous than continuing on the present course.

Er, sorry to interrupt you there, but are you talking about the kind of rejection of doomsaying where Charley stands up and says that we have less than 100 months to save the planet or we’re all fucked? Yeah, that’s really positive that is. Anyhoo…

All the same, if he could provide an example of where it has really cost him to change his ways – or undertake one if none such already exists – it would do wonders for the credibility of his campaign.

And that is something I can’t argue with at all. If Charles really believes then he ought to proactively abdicate or whatever the correct term is, but failing that he could at least tell everybody that he’s actually making real sacrifices that he feels as keenly as they will when they make the same kind of sacrifices he’s suggesting they do. Telling everyone that they have to get used to smelling like an athlete’s jockstrap because their shower water ration must shrink at the same time as explaining how you’re restraining yourself to only 300 miles a year in the Aston Martin – as if you can justify having had the bloody thing built at all for such low usage – and that you’re fuelling it with fucking wine isn’t going to impress too many.

The word is "bullshit".

Colostomy Brown is still trying to get the bigot genie back in its bottle.

A day after insulting an elderly widow who asked him about immigration, the Prime Minister visited a factory in Halesowen, in the west Midlands, where he told workers he was focused on the economy rather than his encounter in Rochdale.

So focused that he managed not to notice that more of Gillian Duffy’s questions related to the economy than to immigration (as well as his microphone).

Bullshit.

In a speech to staff at Thompson Friction Welding…

Who, given Brown’s well known inverted Midas touch, should really have their fingers crossed that the place isn’t closed down on Monday.

…he said: “Yesterday was yesterday. Today I want to talk about the future of the economy.”

So did Gillian Duffy, you fucking imbecile. But you were far too busy seething inside about what a bigot you thought she was and which one of your staff was to blame for allowing her within a hundred yards of you.

One worker asked Mr Brown what Labour would do to stem immigration, telling him: “It’s way too high in this country.”

Did he really? The fucking big… er, oh. Probably can’t say that now, can you, Gordon? The thing is that millions now believe that you’d be thinking it in private. You can apologise and draw lines under it and talk about the future and move on as much as you like, but you can’t unsay what you said and you can’t change the impression it gave that you’re a crotchety, remote, two faced, control freak, power addicted cunt. Okay, for a lot of people – a few people with Nokia embossed back to front on their heads, for example, but also just lots of people who’ve thought you were a bastard to begin with – you weren’t so much giving the impression as reinforcing it, but the point is much the same. Still, you want to keep trying to gloss over it for the last week of the campaign, you go right ahead. Watching you squirm will help people not to forget.

As JuliaM said in the comments this morning, it’s like having a birthday and Christmas all at once.* Really the only downside is that the benefactors are going to be a couple of parties I dislike almost as much as Brown and Labour.

* Except that he’s not on fire.

Greenwash.

I’m shocked. You mean it’s so easy to get a coveted greenie eco-label to stick on your products that there doesn’t even need to be a product? But that would mean people can jump on the band wagon and sell any old greenwashed shite.

Maria Vargas, an official with the Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the program with the Energy Department, said the approvals did not pose a problem for consumers because the products never existed.

Someone’s missing the point that the non-existent products simply demonstrate the feasibility of getting worthless greenwashed tat approved. This is like observing that the bank doesn’t lock its doors at night only to hear the manager deny it’s an issue since no money had actually been stolen. How the fuck they can have someone who can’t wrap their head round that answering questions about the issue? As has been said so often by so many with eco-wibblism the appearance of being green is all important while achieving anything meaningful is entirely optional.

Incidentally, how was Dirt Hour for you?