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Who is this man…

… and what has he done with the real Nick Clegg?

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I mean, this sounds like a good idea. Leaving money in the pockets of the people who’ve earned it. But it’s just, I don’t know, a bit weird hearing it coming from…

The proposed tax cuts – which would give back more than £700 to anyone earning under £100,000 a year – would be funded by new levies on the wealthy.

Ah. Forget I asked.

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Is this the same Nick Clegg?

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On Friday night, François Fillon, the French prime minister, interrupted an official visit to Brazil to call Mr Clegg to “clarify” his recent comments that Britain’s credit rating should be reviewed.
The Deputy PM told Mr Fillon that his recent remarks and those by other senior French figures had been “simply unacceptable and that steps should be taken to calm down the rhetoric”.

Yeah, I know. Being told off by Nick Clegg. It sounds like being savaged by a kitten that’s been quite heavily sedated, doesn’t it? But you know, I reckon he meant it. He might even have meant it more than Cameron meant to say ‘no’ to the Merkozy being last week, and I wouldn’t rule out Clegg going for the full diplospeak version of je t’encule in the future.

Because I think Cleggy boy has noticed something. His reluctant BFF next door has suddenly become more popular with the electorate. Undeserved, perhaps, but even if Cameron stood up to the EU for Britain by complete accident he’d have got some political capital out of it, and Cleggy probably fancies a little of it for himself. Hang on, he may be thinking to himself, there’s votes in this Euroscepticism thingy. And let’s face it, for a man who’s only a liberal or a democrat as and when it suits him it’s not impossible that he might decide to be a Europhile only when it’s worth his while as well.

To paraphrase Marx – Groucho, that is – these are Nick’s principles and if you don’t like them he has others.

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.

A song for Nick

Poor Nick Clegg.

Insisting that he is a human being with feelings, the Deputy Prime Minister said even his sons ask their “Papa” why he is hated by students following the row over tuition fees.
In words which will irritate No 10, he distanced himself from the Prime Minister, who he referred to as “Dave,” and insisted that, despite appearances, the two are not friendly.
He also admitted telling “white lies” to his family to explain his absences, adding that he was often “quite miserable” at the amount of time he was forced to spend away from them.

… He added that he “cries regularly to music”.

Awwww, Nicky! Maybe this’ll cheer you up.

http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/video/xel6ux?width=560&theme=none
The Cure – Boys Don't Cry by umusic

Or not. Now man up, Emo Kid. You’re the Deputy fucking PM, and as I recall you wanted the bloody job.

Light scorching of the quangos.

So much for buggering off for a blog free weekend, but there’s just a couple of things I want to touch on before I look up directions to the town of Off in the atlas and fuck there with alacrity. For this post that’s the not-quite-bonfire of the quangos.

Sounds good, eh? Well, no, not really. For starters twice as many will survive as will definitely be chopped, and that’s nothing to get excited about. Maybe there’ll be more abolished, possibly as many as 94, but maybe that’ll be the lot. And secondly, a lot of the functions of those quangos are not being abolished at all, just brought back into Whitehall (my emphasis).

The biggest cuts concern the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with more than 50 bodies to be abolished, and the Department of Health, where about 30 bodies will be cut or have their functions transferred back to the department.

For which the department will no doubt demand an increase in its budget so as to take on staff to deal with the increased workload, and if DEFRA is the only one I’d be very surprised. The Cobbleition have failed to realise that it’s not just the quango that must be made to justify its continued existence and funding, it’s the function being carried out that must be justifiable as well, as explained by Raedwald.

… the test applied, you see, is whether the quango has been shown to perform a technical role that cannot be better discharged by government, or sufficiently demonstrated their independence from government, i.e. from tax funding. Not whether the technical role is necessary at all, or can better be discharged locally, or whether the function needs to be discharged at a national level.

Which means, as he says, that the state has at best lost a little weight, but retains almost all of its strength and its grip on power. The Cobbleition Twins will no doubt present it as a great reform that blahblah and blah for the blahblahblah people but the reality is that it’s probably no more than a minor set back for the quangoracy. The powers aren’t gone and they can be re-issued to new quangos by future governments, and possibly even by this one when everyone’s forgotten and it can be done without attracting attention.

Nice opportunity squandered, fellas. Fuck you. Fuck you very much.

How much? (Part 2)

Temporarily removed for correction

I’m feeling sorry for Nick Clegg.

Pity the poor Younger Twin. It was a good idea, that Your Freedom website, even if it did go tits up almost immediately because it couldn’t cope with the traffic. But it’s real problem is that it relies on a democratic process where anyone can chuck in whatever thoughts are fizzing around their brain as a serious suggestion. In turn this means that there have been suggestions for the repeal of laws that don’t actually exist, suggestions that are totally irrelevant and suggestions for new laws to be brought in instead of existing ones to be repealed, and more often than not these tend towards the illiberal. I read through a few and just shook my head with despair.

Under the section ‘Restoring Civil Liberties’ (and these are all copied and pasted with absolutely no adjustment on my part, just some bracketed comments here and there) we have such gems as:

Under the section ‘Repealing Unneccesary Laws’:

Under the section ‘Cutting business and third sector regulations’:

I’m not saying it’s all bad or even that I disagree with all of the above. Far from it, there are some great suggestions about liberalising gun ownership, scrapping the ridiculous and hopeless prohibition of drugs, repealing the smoking ban and so on, none of which is at all likely to happen and has attracted the all too predictable comments from hoplophobes, busybodies and anti-smoking zealots respectively. There are even some well intentioned ideas up there, though usually with no clear idea what piece of law that want repealed and/or stuffed in a section where it makes no sense and is going to get moderated out. But reading an awful lot of it is like being inside Paul Dacre’s head. It says Freedom, right? It asks for laws to be scrapped and how civil liberties can be improved, and what happens? Along come thousands of fucknuts with lists of the things they want other people banned from doing. You could almost think that people tend to be narrow minded, prissy, bigoted nimbys or something. So you see, Cleggy, your idea for a democratic style approach to increasing liberty was nice, but flawed. Democracy really is the worst system apart from all the others. At worst the tyranny of the majority and at best a genteel form of mob rule.

If you’re really serious, Nick, I suggest you tear down the law. Seriously, scrap every last law, rule, statute and regulation, the whole fucking lot to cease effect at, say, one second before midnight on a given day. And start again from scratch from 00:00 with the Zero Aggression Principle at it’s heart. You ought to be able to get all the law an ordinary citizen will ever need to know on the back of a fag packet. The only question is whether you, Dave and your respective parties have the balls to do it.

PS – On the other hand here and here are a couple of good suggestions:

What’s wrong with this picture?

This bloke can stay in the UK despite being, or so we’re told, an Al-Qaeda “operative”.* Apparently this is because he might be tortured if he’s deported back to Pakistan, and is a decision defended by the Younger Twin. However, this gay woman has been refused asylum and certainly can be deported back to Iran, where they are renowned for their understanding and tolerant attitude towards homosexuals. Oh, wait, no… that should read “where they deny the existence of homosexuality while simultaneously flogging – executing, if they keep at it – anyone found guilty of being gay”.

[Kiana Firouz] came to Britain two years ago as a student, but while she was here the Iranian intelligence services discovered footage of a documentary that she had been making secretly about homosexuals in Tehran. The Home Office rejected her asylum appeal on the ground that she could conceal her homosexuality if she went home, and that ruling was been upheld by two appeals tribunals this year.

Did the Home Office fucknuts not consider that since the Iranian intelligence services know her identity they almost certainly know she’s a lesbian too? What fucking use is there in concealing her sexuality now? Why isn’t the same logic (hah!) applied to Abid Naseer and others suspected of being terrorist operatives? Anyone telling them simply to conceal any desires they have to blow up Manchester shopping centres?

No?

Thought not.

“The UK Border Agency only enforces the return of individuals when we and the independent courts are satisfied they’re not in need of protection,” the Home Office said.

So Naseer and his mates need such protection but Kiana Firouz does not, despite being gay, playing a gay character in a film and making a secret documentary – and let’s face it, she probably wasn’t being secretive about it so as not to spoil the fucking surprise – about people the Iranian President says are non-existent?**

The Younger Twin said of the Naseer case:

“We, like any other civilised nation, abide by the very highest standards of human rights.”

Very admirable of you, Nick. But unless you think that doesn’t apply to dykes and poofs, and in fairness I very much doubt you do, why not say the same for Kiana Firouk? Why the silence, Nick?

I can only hope he’s simply not gotten round to it yet, because watching someone sent off to where they’re likely to be flogged or executed for being gay and telling them simply to hide it at the same time as claiming to be a civilised nation who won’t send terrorist suspects where they may be tortured is either deeply hypocritical or breathtakingly naïve.

* Not actually charged with anything, though a judge is apparently satisfied that he’s a threat. Personally I don’t pretend to know how a judge can say that without there being anything so tedious as a trial. Make of it what you will.
** When they’re not being publicly whipped for possession of more than one CD of show tunes, that is.