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Europe giveth and Europe taketh away

On the plus side of the ledger this time Europe, or to be precise the European Court of Human Rights, has givethed ith blething… sorry, its blessing on the extradition of Abu Hamza to the United States.

The judges gave a final ruling on six extradition cases in a verdict which effectively passed judgment on whether America’s treatment of terrorist suspects amounts to “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” in breach of the European human rights code.
They decided it would be lawful for five of the six to be jailed for the rest of their lives in a so-called ‘super-max’ prison.
The ruling stated that the five, including radical preacher Abu Hamza, would not be subject to “ill-treatment” at ADX Florence, a so-called ‘super-max’ prison. The court adjourned its decision on Haroon Rashid Aswat pending consideration of further complaints lodged by him.

So a win, or at least most of a win.

The ruling granted the men the right to appeal to the court’s Grand Chamber, meaning any extradition could be some time away.

A wi?

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “very pleased” by the ruling.

Really, Dave? If I had your job I’d be fucking ashamed that it’s up to a bunch of judges in a foreign court at all as well as the fact that this result doesn’t even address the whole question of it not being up to the United Kingdom to make that decision internally anymore, so if you’re satisfied with the odd decision going Britain’s way I guess we can add ‘easily pleased’ to the increasing list of your faults.

And of course there’s the takething away part that I was coming to, though it’d be more accurate to say that this is giving something that really isn’t wanted.

In Britain, even the most minor convictions for student pranks or breaches of the peace can come back to haunt jobseekers years later if they apply for positions as teachers, policemen or other “sensitive” roles.
But migrants from EU countries applying for the same jobs will be given a clean bill of health, even if they have similar convictions, because other countries either wipe the slate clean or do not keep records of low-level offences.
The problem also applies to British workers trying to get jobs in other EU countries.
[…]
Britain’s rigorous Criminal Records Bureau regime means that even convictions classed as “spent” remain on file for life and can be thrown up during background checks by potential employers anywhere in the EU.
In stark contrast, countries such as Belgium and Germany routinely destroy after just three years records of convictions resulting in prison sentences of less than six months or fines of less than 500 euros.

However, in fairness to the Europeans it must be said that this problem is entirely self inflicted. Only in Britain are there Bottom Inspectors looking forward to the day they can create lifelong criminal files on people for farting without being in possession of Class II Intestinal Waste Gas Evacuation Certificate (Adult – Unsupervised, Home/Workplace) because just about every other possible thing has been covered by legislation and can already fuck you up on a CRB check for the increasing number of jobs that seem to demand one.

May not be real.
Yet.

Nick Pickles, director of the civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said: “The amount of information retained by the British police is hugely disproportionate compared to other European countries and this system will mean the serious flaws of the CRB system are exported to haunt British citizens wherever they may be in Europe.
“The huge amount of data held, often without any criminal conviction, has been a civil liberties concern for many years and yet the Home Office continue to fight to retain details of every minor misdemeanor indefinitely.”

Quite. I wonder if David Cameramong would say he was very pleased by this as well. More to the point, I wonder if the useless wanker will take his hand off it long enough to do anything about it.

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Right-on Dave strikes again

Cameramong’s latest brain spasm, it seems, is to force companies to appoint women, showing once again that he has absolutely no understanding of the concept of freedom.

David Cameron warned that the UK’s inability to exploit women’s full potential as entrepreneurs was “failing our whole economy”.

Okay, this may be true, and I think we can take it as read that in an economy the size of Britain’s there will inevitably be a number of positions occupied by men which could have been done better by one of the female applicants for the job. However, that doesn’t mean that the answer is quotas because it’s just as certain that some of those positions could have been done better by one of the male candidates. Or someone who didn’t apply for the job at all because they were happy where they were. You see, Dave, companies try to get the best person for every job but if they were always successful then nobody would ever be fired, would they? Sometimes they get it wrong and very often the best person isn’t available anyway, but in any case if someone isn’t free to screw up then they’re not free full stop. Why not just let those companies run by misogynistic morons who insist on hiring less capable males over women because of the CEO’s rampant vagina-phobia carry on doing so, and let those who aren’t fussy about applicants’ sex hire those more capable women who were rejected by the vagina-phobes? In the long run the latter should become more successful and the former are more likely to go tits up (pun very much intended).

The Prime Minister is attending a summit in Stockholm to learn from countries such as Norway and Iceland, which have successfully introduced quotas to increase the number of women in boardrooms.

The wording of this sentence is extremely interesting. It says that they’ve successfully introduced quotas, not that the introduction of quotas has been an economic success, and since on a list of countries ranked by recent growth Norway and Iceland are both well behind even the poor performing UK I’m interested to hear what evidence there is that it’s made any bloody difference at all. If it was me, Dave, I’d be thinking of going to summits to learn from, oh, I don’t know, maybe the top four or five growing economies – Qatar, Singapore, Paraguay, India (yeah, that’s right, India which the DFID insist still need UK aid) and Taiwan – rather than countries ranked at 159 and 180. Out of 183. Christ’s sakes, Norway and Iceland aren’t even in the top five for Europe, though to be fair neither is the UK or anyone in the Eurozone, and the only EU member in the top 5 is Bulgaria – draw your own conclusions.

Government figures suggested that Britain’s slow progress was costing the economy more than £40 billion in lost potential each year, roughly equal to the defence budget.

Ah, and more corporate red tape will help, will it, Dave? Ideological state interference with the actual running of a business will do  more than clearing the way for the ones with the best business models, which I’d anticipate would probably include not giving a rip either way about the contents of senior employees’ underpants, to become successful? It’ll help more than reducing the tax burden on both businesses and their customers so that turnovers and profits can go up, businesses can expand and more jobs can be created? It’ll help more than doing something about the estimated £65 billion annual cost to the economy of Britain’s continued EU membership?

Mr Cameron said the Nordic-Baltic Summit would generate ideas for how Britain can “help women become entrepreneurs and take up leading positions in business”.

Electing a government that stopped screwing up the economy would be a terrific start. Just my 2¢.

A government policy paper, presented to the summit, estimated that if female entrepreneurship reached the same levels as in the US, “there would be 600,000 extra women-owned businesses, contributing an extra £42 billion to the economy”.

And ignoring the possibility, which I’m sure is vanishingly remote, that this figure of £42 billion (wasn’t it £40 billion a minute ago and what made it increase by 5% in a few paragraphs?) wasn’t just pulled out of someone’s arse at the Treasury, is the extra rate of female entrepreneurship in the United States because businesses there have federally imposed quotas for hiring females in senior positions along the lines you’re thinking of, Dave? Because if it’s not and the Obamarised US has no such law – which this 10 week old Forbes article suggests is the case – then it’s all pretty irrelevant, don’t you think?

Dave, you really are the most clueless twat Britain’s had for Prime Mentalist since… erm, well, since the last one.

Doomed. We’re all doooomed.

Heh

From this week’s Cracked! photoplasty competition 

Has David Cameron grown a set?

Click for linky

Or could he see that capitulation would leave him even more unelectable than Gordon Brown was? Still, as plenty of other bloggers have pointed out it’s probably not enough and he’ll either be railroaded into it later or be forced to think the unthinkable and talk about leaving the EU.

My money’s on the first one. I’m sure the Civil Service do his thinking for him.

Can Cameron really be this stupid?

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Dave? Do you think that this might possibly have something to do with the fact that you haven’t stopped spunking away money by the billion as fast as you can tax it off of the current workforce and borrow it on behalf of their children? Fucking hellfire, in the last couple of days we’re told that you’ve blown half a billion on the Northern Rock sale, granted perhaps unavoidably, and that you’ve decided to throw almost the same again at the building industry while underwriting all the mortgages of first time buyers. Not only have you not cut public spending you’re actually spending even more than Labour did, and incidentally failed to get the public sector to stop thinking of that as a cut as well as failed to get them to stop hiring for bullshit jobs instead of people who actually provide useful services. You’ve carried on taking money that could have paid down some of the UK’s eye watering debt and handing it to the EU, IMF and international aid, and you’ve continued Labour’s wars at significant cost and embarked on a military adventure of your own. The bonfire of the quangos was at best a barbecue of a handful of them – one of those small barbecues made of thick tinfoil that you get from petrol stations, and for which you probably paid in cash and told the attendant to keep the change from a million quid. And you’ve failed to create growth because you’ve refused to provide the conditions for it to occur. That’s just off the top of my head and I’m sure I could think of more given time and find out more still if I started looking. And here you are scratching your arse – it apparently being interchangeable with your head – and wondering why the plan’s not working.

I’ll tell you why, David. It’s because it’s basically the same fucking plan that Gordon Brown was using, you hopelessly inept cunt. How the hell did Britain come to this? It’s had some dim politicians and not a few dim PMs, but how in Christ’s name did it get landed with you: a PM whose extraordinary dimness must surely result from being so dense that light can’t escape if it falls into his head? It’s not madness that is doing the same thing and expecting different results, it’s stupidity. And that’s actually the generous alternative because if I thought you knew what the fuck you were doing I’d be describing you as evil.

I hate to go all Private Frasier again, but if these fuckwits aren’t dragged out and chained to something solid where they can’t do any harm – the Lusitania for example – I really do think the UK is doomed.

Come back, Gordon Brown… UPDATED

All is not forgiven by any means, not even remotely. But when the Cobbleition are doing things that are just as stupid as those Gordon Clown himself did there’s a case to be made that you might as well put the lurching, snot munching, cyclopean horror with the faecal Midas touch back in charge and be bloody done with it.

The Prime Minister and his deputy, Nick Clegg, will unveil proposals to help first-time buyers of new homes by carrying part of the risk of their mortgages.

Dave, Nick, say it ain’t so. Tell us that even you aren’t so monumentally stupid that you can’t see that it’s precisely this kind of policy – using taxpayers’ money to underwrite loans for overpriced housing to people who are at higher risk of being unable to repay them – that led with grim inevitability to the fucking subprime mortgage crisis in the fucking first place. And what did that lead to in its turn? Oh, yes, that’d be adding to an unsustainable bubble with a bonus prize of a banking crisis, wouldn’t it? And you two freak shows are now standing here telling us that you want to fucking do it all over again in the deluded belief it’ll get the economy moving. Folks, I think this year’s Jeff Buckley Award for being the Public Figure Most Hopelessly Out of Their Depth may end up being shared.

They also propose subsidising the construction of 16,000 homes by giving £400 million of taxpayers’ money to property developers.

Oh, why not just round it up to a neat half billion? It’s only money, after all, and of course you don’t need to worry because it’s not yours anyway. Listen, you morons, every bloody pound of subsidies – every penny the government spends, in fact – is a pound that must be taken off someone’s disposable income either now or in the future. You’re taking money away from people who might otherwise be able to put it towards the deposit for a house, d’you see? Or a car, or a meal out, or a newspaper or any number of things. They might even decide to stick it in the bank and save it if someone gives them an interest rate that can’t be described as comical. Now tell me I’m wrong but if you want the housing market to pick up does it really make sense to take money away from people who need it to buy houses with? The very people that are currently worrying you because they’re not buying houses because lenders aren’t all that happy with the risks at the moment? Dave, Nick, please try to understand this: more disposable income + lower house prices = more houses being sold. Okay? And conversely less disposable income + higher house prices = … want to take a guess? Do you see now, you pair of utter fucktroons?

And pardon me for asking, but what the hell does the government need the housing market to pick up for anyway? It was overpriced. It still is. It doesn’t need ‘unblocking’ like it’s a toilet that Gordon Clown and his badger faced sock puppet left bunged up after a particularly nasty dump – it needs the very correction you idiots are trying to forestall. Nobody disputes that the British economy needs reviving, but if there’s a lesson to be learned from the last government, and Christ knows there’s more than just one, surely it’s that an economy that’s running on a spending boom fuelled by a combination of cheap credit and appreciating house prices making people feel richer than they really are is not an economy that will run indefinitely before hitting trouble. Yet, Dave and Nick, this seems to be pretty much what you want to do.

In a further move, ministers are working on a scheme under which billions of pounds of money in pension funds will be used to finance the construction of power stations, wind turbines and roads.

What? WHAT? WHAT? Are you fucking serious? On top of everything else have you two started channelling Robert Maxwell or something?

Treasury sources said talks had been conducted with pension fund managers for months. They are hoping to attract managers to invest in infrastructure schemes because they provide a better rate of return than government bonds.

Oh, no shit? And the Cobbleition government, unlike its predecessors of all stripes, has suddenly got good at picking winners and reckons that the best investments around at the moment happen to be the things that it does and taxes people for because… uh, because there’s rarely profit to be made in them.* Oh well, at least they’re not talking about using Labour’s idea of helping themselves to money in old accounts, even if that’s probably just because they’ve already cleaned them out.

Look, Dave and Nick, the government already lighten the pockets of the British motorist to the tune of some £45-50 billion, in return for which about a fifth of that is spent on the roads, and now you want to fill in the few zillion potholes you’ve missed with the contents of their pension funds? Oh, and erect a few more bird mincing white elephants that are, to use Malcolm Tucker’s phrase, as much use as a marzipan dildo, and so uneconomic that nobody in their right mind would build even one if not given someone else’s money to offset the otherwise certain losses. And no, I’m not just saying that because Phil the Greek thinks so. Might I suggest that if you want more to be spent on road maintenance and other infrastructure (but not bird mincers) you stop spending money somewhere else? It’s called living within your means, which is a concept that even plankton in the oceanic depths could probably wrap what passes for their heads around – in the depressingly likely event that you can’t find anyone in Whitehall who understands go out and find a real person to explain it to you.

As for power stations, again I feel there is a lesson that should have been learned from the Labour years – just get out of the bloody way and let someone build the fucking things. Seriously, it’s not like a power station doesn’t produce something that people need and for which a ready market exists – Christ, even wind turbines have got that much going for them, they just can’t produce it steadily and reliably – so there should be a return on building them providing the initial costs aren’t prohibitive. That means not having interminable inquiries before graciously allowing someone to begin work on building something that people need, and then telling them to stop again because some middle class white kid with dreadlocks and a dream of erasing the memory of the silver (plated) spoon by not washing has found a pond, and look, there’s like all tadpoles in it, dude. It means, as I mentioned, the government doing it’s best just to get out of the fucking way.

Separately, Lord Heseltine, who advises the Government on growth, said MPs should waive through critically important infrastructure projects to get the economy moving.

It pains me to agree with a man who still wants Britain to sign up to the currency version of Heaven’s Gate but that’s kind of the thing I’m on about, though as an aside this isn’t:

The former Cabinet minister said the Government could work with Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, to agree on which major projects to push through.

Yes, very good, Michael, a government of literally all the twats. Wonderful. Nurse! He’s out of bed again.

But really, why not? The Cobbleition really are as bad as Labour, and we all know Labour were pretty shocking. But I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ranted and raved and railed at some new piece of pettiness or authoritarianism or nannying or incompetence or lack of backbone (especially with regard to the EU) or just plain epic fuckwittery. I’ve lost count how often I’ve said that it’s just like Labour never left office. I even began this rant with the observation that if this is what Dave and Nick want to do then Britain might as well give up and bring back Gordon Brown to finish the demolition job he started. And if all the main parties are bent on Britain’s self destruction and disagree only on the speed at which it should happen, if the only long term hope is to rebuild from the ashes, then it’s starting to look to me like the petrol and matches and matches may as well be given to the worst nutter of the lot.

The alternative, of course, is to get rid of the whole bloody lot of them and replace them with sane people, but for some reason this doesn’t seem to have very broad appeal in the UK. I’m sure the millions attached firmly to the tax tit and the millions more brainwashed to believe that this is how it has to be haven’t got anything to do with it.

‘Kinell!

UPDATE – Trust The Daily Mash to get to the essence of it.

The prime minister said: “This package will help to reinflate the house price bubble and give mortgages to people who can’t really afford them. Unless anyone has any better ideas?”

Wonderful caption on the picture, too: “If it’s broke fix it with the thing that broke it.”

I feel like Private Frasier.

UPADTE 2 – Also blogged superbly and without all the swearing over at Counting Cats in Zanzibar.

* That often there’s rarely profit to be made precisely because government is involved probably doesn’t occur to them.

Hallowe’economics

You cannot kill what does not live… Aaaahahahahahaha. Aaahahahahahahahaha. Aahahahahahahahaha.

The Prime Minister says the government is on an “all-out mission” to kick-start industry. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will announce that 35,000 jobs will be created using nearly £1 billion of public money.

That Keynes monster just refuses to die, doesn’t it? You think it’s gone, you think the horror has passed and that you’re safe now, and then it turns out that it’s right behind you. It’s like that bloodied hand punching through the soil of the freshly dug grave at the end of Carrie, or seeing two more zombies as the doomed survivor reaches their last bullet, or that wisp of smoke from a small but growing pit on the floor as an acid dripping xenomorph comes out of the walls right after everyone thinks all the xenomorphs have been killed. I say we take off and nuke the whole Treasury from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure.

He will unveil new investment in more than 100 projects that should trigger billions of pounds additional investment from private enterprise. It will include six “shovel-ready” projects, including two new power stations.

Shovel ready? Ah, this’ll be grave robbery policy horror then? Shovels for Clegg’s Igor to disinter a few policies from under a headstone marked “New Labour – 1997-2010 – Gone, not forgotten, and not fucking dead enough,” before returning them to his cackling marthter Dr Camenstein to stitch together before giving it the old bolt of lightning treatment, am I right?

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme this morning, Mr Clegg said: “What we’re trying to do is invest public money, taxpayers’ money, into companies which can create jobs that last, and for every pound that will be invested from the Regional Growth Fund we estimate about £6 will be matched from the private sector.
“We are trying to rewire the British economy so we are less reliant on the city of London and financial services and we’re giving more backing to manufacturing and to parts of the country which for too long were basically reliant on handouts from Whitehall.”

Ah, governments trying to pick winners. Another old monster that just won’t die. Tell us, Cleggor, when your plan to reduce debt is to grow the economy fast enough to reduce the relative rather than the actual size of it but the growth forecasts have since turned out to be a bit on the optimistic side, what makes you think this magic figure of £6 of private capital being attracted for every pound you wast, er, spend now is any more accurate? Don’t strain yourself trying to answer on your own, by all means dig up a fresh brain if you need to.

The Coalition has been criticised for not doing enough to boost growth, with Chancellor George Osborne too focused on reducing the country’s deficit.

He is? Was he planning to start any time soon? Did he get distracted by that bubbling beaker in the back room of Number 11? Oh, dear God, did he try some of it? Is this a strange case of Dr Osborne and Mr Darling… except he’s somehow got stuck on Mr Darling? And if so would that actually be worse than him being stuck on Dr Osbourne? I’m honestly not sure it would.

Meanwhile, outside Castle Dracumong…

Mr Cameron will emphasise the need to bring super-fast broadband to remote areas, expecting private industry to match a £1 billion investment already announced from government and local authorities.

Is this the same billion pounds as the billion pound Nick Clegg was talking about or is it a different billion pounds? Did they clone it? Ah, yes, they just took it down to the quantitive easing laboratory and hit the duplicate button for a while. It’ll all be fine. Probably. Unless the cloned money sneaks up and strangles the original money and then takes over its life, and then you’ll try to buy something with the original money only to find that it’s dead, DEAD, DEAD.

One Whitehall source said: “It is bringing forward infrastructure investment where possible, dealing with difficult planning decisions across Whitehall.
“This is the Prime Minister’s obsession with ‘shovel-ready’ projects that could make a difference in the near-term. He has pushed for it and it is being delivered. He wants to ensure every sinew was strained to get the economy moving.”

Shovel ready again, we’re back to Dr Frankermon. Or is he just a Pinhead? Not sure, really, it’s hard to tell. No, wait, that’s it. This is John Carpenter government and there is a Thing. Or rather a State-Thing, a crawling, creeping mass of unspeakable vileness that takes over and imitates its victims but never changes its intentions, always growing and feeding, feeding and growing, taking all it can and giving nothing but false appearances. We saw it with the last government, how it started off seemingly friendly and one of us before getting increasingly creepy and growing a hell of a lot of extra arms and legs, until eventually its head dropped off and was replaced by a misshapen, twisted, screaming thing that ate snot and hurled Nokias. We thought it destroyed but part of it must have got away and infected some of the others. Come to think of it the broken promises started way back so it must have happened a while before. No wonder the Tories are all sitting around a fire staring suspiciously at each other and trying to work out who, if any of them, really is a Tory. No wonder those who love democracy and those who love liberty are eyeing the Liberal Democrats and wondering if any of them are either.

No wonder the fucking nightmare didn’t end last May. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

I’d call that an out

Click for linky

Mr Cameron supports steps that the eurozone is taking to boost its banks and bailouts funds as part of wider moves towards closer fiscal union in order to avert a European debt crisis that has threatened to plunge the global economy into a slump.
But he fears that regular meetings of the euro’s 17 governments will lead to the creation of a Franco-Greman dominated “caucus” or a bloc that could hijack the EU’s single market for its own ends, damaging the British economy by imposing regulations that benefit Paris or Frankfurt over the City of London.
”There is danger that as the eurozone comes together that those countries outside might see the eurozone start to take decisions on some of the things that are vital to them in the single market, for instance financial services,” he said.

Well, no shit, Dave. So it’d be a really good idea to get the fuck out of there, right? Rather than have your supposedly Eurosceptic Foreign Secretary, Willy the Vague, attacking the idea of consulting the millions of British people who’ve never had a say on Europe along with the smaller number who were consulted and now feel they were misled? So if the Euro block is going to impose damaging regulation then the answer surely is to remove its power over the UK and cancel the standing order that pours vast sums of UK money into the EU black hole. You just need a good excuse, and happily the neighbours have provided one.

”We’re sick of you criticising us and telling us what to do. You say you hate the euro, you didn’t want to join and now you want to interfere in our meetings,” the French leader told Mr Cameron, according to diplomats.

He didn’t even want you in the room, Dave. Not even in the room. Can it be made any clearer for you? But don’t treat it as an insult when Nicky is really doing you and Britain a tremendous favour. The response should be a dignified exit while tossing the phrase “Well, if our money isn’t good enough for you…” over your shoulder on the way out.* Come home, announce a change of mind and policy in the light of the new attitude of the Eurozone to the UK’s participation in helping to rescue it, and say that referendum is very much on the table.

Yes, I realise that there’s a good chance you’ll lose the vote in parliament because your LibDem partners are opposed, and right now Labour would vote against you if you copied every single policy from their own last manifesto. But that could work for you too, do you see? Having been defeated on the issue you could say that the only way Britons could have their say is with a Conservative majority government and call a snap election. Hell, you probably wouldn’t need to actually call an election but just tell the LibDems you’ll go see Mrs W if the vote is lost. They’re unpopular with everyone at the moment and know it, and the last thing they want is an election any time soon where they’d probably lose seats to both the other two main parties. You’d probably also pick up UKIP votes by the bucketload as well. So man up and go for it, Dave. Sarkozy has opened a door a crack for you here, and all you have to do is be willing to kick it hard enough to open it all the way.

But of course this is Call-Me-Dave we’re talking about, a man who has, like the other party leaders, already reneged on a similar promise and so someone I would trust slightly less far on this issue than I could throw a tree.

* Only, point of order: it’s not your fucking money, and don’t you even forget it in your sleep.

Oh, fuuuuuh… (Fit the First)

Click for linky

He announced that two public inquiries would be established, with an independent investigation into media ethics and standards to be announced within weeks.
The media inquiry could lead to the introduction of laws to police the press, raising concerns that freedom of speech could suffer as a consequence of the phone hacking scandal.
[…]
[Cameron] described the News of the World scandal as a “wake-up call” and added: “Over the decades, on the watch of both Labour leaders and Conservative leaders, politicians and the press have spent time courting support, not confronting the problems.
“Well, it’s on my watch that the music has stopped and I’m saying, loud and clear – things have got to change.”

Whoopee, some more of Britain’s non-existent money to be spunked away on inquires into the perfectly fucking obvious. But I’d like to offer a translation to Cameramon’s waffle if I may: the next expenses scandal will be five times harder to uncover and fifteen times worse. It mightn’t be what he meant but I reckon it’ll be what happens.

And if it turns out to be true then it’s the most unforgivable aspect to the whole phone not-actually-hacking scandal. The Screws’dodgy methods may end up curbing press freedom to such an extent that the only way to get a worthwhile story, on a politician’s misbehaviour for example, could be to break the law. That doesn’t do many people any favours with the obvious exception of corrupt officials and politicians.

Quote of the day

From Cracked! on Vladimir Putin

Very few world leaders look good. … David Cameron looks like he at least encounters women provided they’re shopping for competitive insurance rates.

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

A league table position brought to you by Tony and Gordon.

Via Thoughts On Freedom I see that Britain’s position on the Heritage Foundation’s 2011 list of countries ranked by economic freedom is a comparatively lowly 16. And in all fairness to the massive foreheaded prick Cameramong, and though I can’t see much sign of him doing anything to change it, it’s too early to blame him for this. Tony? Gordon? This is on you.

A dramatic expansion of government intervention has taken place in the U.K. in response to the global financial and economic crisis. The government has nationalized or seized ownership positions in some of the major banks. Public finance has deteriorated markedly. Welfare benefits have become a daunting burden. The government deficit has widened sharply, and gross public debt has climbed to over 70 percent of GDP.

The U.K. has a high income tax rate and a moderate corporate tax rate.

Government spending has risen steadily since the 1990s. In the most recent year, total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, climbed to 47.3 percent of GDP. Fiscal stimulus measuring 2 percent of GDP has aggravated the deficit and national debt.

Mind you, they make some absolute howlers so there’s room to doubt their accuracy.

The U.K. has long had an efficient regulatory framework.

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh, but then there’s this.

Corruption is perceived as minimal.

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh God, I may need medical attention.

Tony? Gordon? This is your work, you worthless wastes of pig feed. And Dave, for fuck’s sake wake up and stop carrying on their “good” work. What the fuck did Britain do to deserve these bastards, eh? Oh yeah, that’s right. Millions voted for them, didn’t they?

‘Kinell!

A pathetic bellend with an uninspiring career who deserves to disappear up his own arse with alacrity…

meets David Hasselhoff.

After you, Dave.

According to The Teletubbygraph David Cameramong is shortly going to be talking about freedom.

British Muslims must subscribe to mainstream values of freedom and equality, David Cameron will say as he declares that the doctrine of multiculturalism has “failed” and will be abandoned.

He will also warn that groups that fail to promote British values will no longer receive public money or be able to engage with the state.

Well, that sounds a nice idea, Dave. I’m all for the state not funding any groups promoting anything at all, much less those promoting things that go against British values – if they can’t get funding from people who see things their way then they sure as hell don’t deserve a penny of taxpayers’ money.* And I certainly won’t argue that the whole multiculti dream has created more problems than it solved or that those who don’t like living in a free country and refuse to adapt are, ironically, free to leave it. But I have a question for you: when are you going subscribe to the values of freedom and equality you’re lecturing others about?

No, I am deadly serious. Britain is a country where speaking your mind risks legal action if other people don’t like what you say, which means that there is no freedom of speech – say the wrong thing and someone may use the courts and the legal system to silence you. The same courts protect slebs and shag-happy bootfallers from having their embarrassing lives discussed in the media, and while I have no interest in reading about them anyway it means that there’s no freedom of the press either. While in theory law abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves against violent attack they are in practice denied almost all means of doing so effectively, so the freedom to defend oneself is extremely shaky. Even aside from the ridiculous detention of people for taking photos and buying tobacco or because the police can’t remember the difference between a suspect and a witness, there is no freedom from malicious arrest or from cruel and unusual punishment since UK police forces, when they’re not delaying the proles for the convenience of surgically enhanced minor slebs, may be required by foreign law enforcement to arrest British citizens or residents with little in the way of prima facie evidence and for offences that need not be crimes in the UK.** If you are of a religious persuasion and hold certain disagreeable views about homosexuals you are not free to allow them to influence the way you choose to do business or with whom, which means Britons do not have freedom of religion or association either and are not free to exercise property rights. The drugs laws mean that people aren’t free to decide what to put in their own bodies and the persistent belief in the state as moral guardian and arbiter means that those with vaginas aren’t free to use them to earn a quid from those without one. For heaven’s sake, even consensual sex requires an IQ test now. And don’t get me started on how completely not-at-all-like-being-free it feels to fucking fly anywhere these days because I might not stop for a while.

Want me to carry on, Dave? Want me to look at the lack of freedom British citizens have when it comes to being heard over Britain’s EU membership despite the promises of both Cobbleition parties? Or the apparently shelved, or at least vastly watered down, Great Repeal Bill that you promised would be used to sweep away much of the most pointless and egregious legislation put on the books by previous governments? Or the way the promise that that would be open to public consultation was broken almost as soon as it became clear that many people wanted the smoking ban reconsidered? Freedom to for business owners and patrons to choose for themselves – no, can’t have that, can we?

And it gets worse.

Entering the debate on national identity and religious tolerance, the Prime Minister will declare an end to “passive tolerance” of divided communities, and say that members of all faiths must integrate into wider society and accept core values.
To be British is to believe in freedom of speech and religion, democracy and equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality, he will say. Proclaiming a doctrine of “muscular liberalism”, he will say that everyone, from ministers to ordinary voters, should actively confront those who hold extremist views.

See what I mean? To be considered properly British in Cameramong’s Britain you have to believe in mutually incompatible ideals. You have equal rights subject to them clashing with someone whose rights are more equal than yours. You have freedom of speech provided you don’t say anything unacceptable. You have freedom to believe in whatever god or gods you like and practice which ever flavour of religion that appeals to you providing you don’t believe in the bits that the British state aren’t comfortable with. And what the fuck is “muscular liberalism”? I’d really love to know because it sounds awfully like a doctrine of the state being free to exercise force against citizens until they are made to see things its way, and if so I don’t think there’s anything remotely liberal about it.

These freedoms are fucking absolutes, you hateful authoritarian prick. You are at liberty or you have restrictions. You are free or you are not. It’s that fucking simple, Dave, and if you can’t or won’t practice what you preach then I rate you as little better than those you have the chutzpah to lecture about it.

Bastard!

* Since I’d hold libertarian organisations to that principle I’d sure as fuck say it applies to any group that exists to tell other people what to do and how to live. Get by on voluntary donations or get lost.
** As the case of the Natwest Three showed us, it’s not always even necessary for any offence to have taken place in the jurisdiction that asked for the arrests to be made.

Wills and Kate.

Don’t know ’em so don’t care, and please get it off the front pages as quickly as possible. I don’t have anything against either of them but since I don’t know them personally I care about their engagement roughly as much as I do that of any other couple that I’ve never met in my life. The fact is that the sum change of this event on the lives of everyone in Britain is zero but it’ll be covered in depth in print and eventually on TV right up to the altar, and you just know that if the tabloids could get a long lens shot of the wedding night root then some of them probably would. Benedict Brogan has pointed out how the Elder Twin is likely to get some political benefit from it without actually doing anything much other than offer his congratulations:

The Prime Minister led the rejoicing this morning for the royal couple to be. “A great day for our country,” he said. What he won’t add is “and a great day for me”, not only because he is too polite to think in such crude terms, I’m sure, but because we can’t be entirely certain that there will be political advantage for the Coalition and the PM. But we should consider what benefit there might be for a government when the heir to the throne gets married. It will be a moment, like the Olympics no doubt, for national jollity and mutual back patting. Weddings generally are… In what will be a year dominated by cuts and austerity, we will be grateful for an interlude of celebration. And it will be unsurprising therefore if an uplift in the national mood doesn’t benefit to some extent the government and the politician presiding over this moment.

He’s probably right, but surely I’m not the only one close to punching the floor in abject rage at the shallowness of so many fellow Brits.

“Royal wedding, hooray!”

Wake the fuck up, people! Britain is still buggered financially and run by a collection of idiots, liars and authoritarians (often embodied in a single person). One royal wedding or a thousand of them won’t change that. If you love the royal family and think this is wonderful news, fine, but for Christ’s sake treat it as what it is: a momentary distraction. It won’t change your lives one iota and if you’re daft enough to let the euphoria of the event and months of non-stop media obsessing over it overwhelm any urge to demand the Cobbleition actually fix a few fucking things you’ll eventually come to regret it.

Having just done something I found vaguely admirable it was never going to be long before the walking forehead reverted to type and did something to piss me off all over again. Actually that’s not quite accurate since this headline in The Age doesn’t annoy me so much as induce a fit of the giggles.

British PM warns China on freedom

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Ahahahahahahaha

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Yeah, remind me, Davey, how’s that ‘Great Repeal Bill’ coming along? Your Cobbleition made a good start on scrapping ID cards but much of the rest of NuLabour’s anti-freedom legislation, all its little mini-enabling acts for example, remains intact. And you didn’t exactly cover yourself in glory with your attempt at consulting the public with the comical Your Freedom webshite, especially with the refusal to even consider the idea of any freedom for private businesses to decide for themselves whether they want the custom of smokers. But here you are in China, Prime Minister of a country claimed to have more CCTV cameras per capita than anywhere else, leader of a state noted for its anti-free speech libel laws, its relatively easy ability to gag the media when it feels the need, its regular harassing of photographers by police and quasi-police, and its use of ‘control orders’ and detention without trial, and you’re lecturing the Chinese about freedom issues? Not that China is any paragon but coming from you it must be hard for them to take seriously. As for this American style unequivocal adoration of democracy, a system that at best is a genteel form of mob rule and at worst gives a minority of the population the whip hand over everybody else, you have to be fucking kidding. I’ll credit the Chinese with this: at least they don’t stand there telling their citizens that they’re free while demanding more and more of them at gunpoint.

You, Davey, are a cheeky cunt who should fuck off toot-sweet and get his own house in order – which I suspect has probably been said in Mandarin a fair bit since last night.