Something We Should Support

From my inbox yesterday:

Dear Friend,

As election day gets closer and closer it is vital that the expenses crisis isn't drowned out in promises and spin. Over the last two years the Sunlight Centre's largest campaigns and investigations have been into the Smith Institute and former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. With your help we want to remind voters about this in the run up to polling day.

Not many people, and certainly not many of his constituents, know the role that Ed Balls played in the scandal around Gordon Brown's favourite, think-tank The Smith Institute, and its breach of the charity laws covering party political activity.

Following the Charity Commission investigation initiated by the Sunlight COPs, the board of the charity had to resign. In the year between leaving the Treasury as Brown's Special Adviser and becoming an MP, Ed Balls was paid close to £89,000 to write two pamphlets for the sham organisation. We want to tell the voters in his constituency of Morley and Outwood about this so the Sunlight Centre will be running an advert highlighting this and his expenses claims throughout the local paper websites in his constituency. We also want to remind Jacqui Smith's constituents of her role as the "poster girl" of the expenses crisis.

Electoral Laws allow us to spend £500 in each constituency, but we need your help in order to raise these funds. If you could please contribute perhaps £10, £20, or £50 then together we can make sure that these two rotten elements of the last rotten parliament are not returned on election day.

Thank you in advance,

Harry Cole

Media Director
The Sunlight Centre

LPUK has asked it membership and friends to donate what they can. Frequently. And it has enabled us to grow, gain new members and expand beyond just being 5 men on the Internet getting together with an idea.

Our membership is not made up of rich City workers managing the bailout money this government has taken from our pockets. Our donors are not rent seeking public sector union proto-communists or big-business lobbyists; our membership is the vast unsung heroes of the real free England, the kind who understand that wealth is more than shiny baubles, but that the pennies are important, including the ones the government takes from them and squanders. It is those who are stopped in the street for no good reason and are imprisoned for telling the agent of the state that what they are doing is none of their business.

I ask our membership, yet again to support a cause out of self-interest; it is in your interests to tell these thieves, these flippers and their petty, flacid authority where to go- the dole queue.

Put what you can towards it.


That #Bigotgate Thing

What can be said about this?

My own words are meaningless so I'll leave you with Garage-rock American leg-ends Everclear and their song from my early teens Everything to Everyone:

You put yourself in stupid places
Yes I think you know it's true
Situations where it's easy to look down on you
I think you like to be the victim
I think you like to be in pain
I think you make yourself a victim
Almost every single day

You do what you do
You say what they say
You try to be everything to everyone
You know all the right people
You play all the right games
You always try to be
Everything to everyone

Yeah you do it again
You always do it again

You say they taught you how to read and write
Yeah, they taught you how to count
I say they taught you how to buy and sell
Your own body by the pound
I think you like to be their simple toy
I think you love to play the clown
I think you are blind to the fact
That the hand you hold is the hand that holds you down

You do what you do
You say what they say
You always try to be everything to everyone
You know all the right people
You play all the right games
You always try to be everything to everyone

Spin around and fall down, do it again
You stumble and you fall
Yeah why don't you ever learn
Spin around and fall down, do it again
Yeah, you stumble and you fall
I wonder if you will ever learn

Why won't you ever learn
Come on now, do that stupid dance for me

You do what they tell you to do
You say what they say
You try to be everything to everyone
You jump through the big hoop
You play all the right games
You try to be everything to everyone

Spin around and fall down, do it again
You stumble and you fall
Yeah you do it again
Spin around and fall down, do it again
You stumble and you fall

Whether it's a message for Jonah Brown or his core voters I'll leave to your imagination.


Right People, Ideas...

Dec - Feb was a busy time for me; I spent much of it filling put the mother of all application forms for a position as a clinical science post; I dwelled on each question, delved deep into my qualifications and concentrated genius into my answers.

Today, after 3 painfully long months I found out that my dream job will remain there - in my dreams.

I'm gutted; worse I feel as adrift as I did when I lost my job the day after my daughter was born.

What the hell do I do with myself now? Ideas people- a few I've put in the "maybe" pile:

- Exotic dancer for a high-end gentlemans club.
- Wizard.
- the new Captain Birdseye.
- chew-toy for mythological Cerberus.

If anyone has any more credible suggestions for a 28 year old father of one, with a master degree in chemistry, 16 months of a PhD under his belt and more years of admin experience, project coordination and technical support in areas as diverse as the NHS, petrochem or healthcare industries (to name but a few). Then I welcome all suggestions.

For now I'm going to sulk - teenager-styles, maybe putting on some grunge and eat a whole cake to myself. Or something.


How A Bag Of Crisps Tells Us Everything You Need To Know About The Election

I saw a strange and terrifying thing this evening.

I arrived early to find one of our youth group eating a bag of crisps with Gordon Brown on the front on it.

My initial thought was that he had finally declared himself supreme leader for life and pasted his face on "the peoples crisps", having nationalised the snack industry as his first act.

When our youth group member told me it was actually a marketing ploy from a crisp manufacturer and that they had other packets featuring Smeg and Cambo and were trying to poll the electorate through the medium of lightly salted snacks. They happened to have been given a pack of each:

All the packs while different colours were only ready salted, presumably to not skew a person's taste in politician against a person's taste in potatoe snack.

But really hasn't this promotion ultimately summed up what is wrong with our political system? That whilst the packaging may be different the snack is still the same old tasteless salted snack, and as a result of this being the only thing on offer we are less healthy as a result.

vote the same, get the same....




Right Problem, Idiotically Wrong Solution

Finally someone gets it

Had a very early morning today when my daughter decided sleep was for the weak at 3am. Still serendipity meant I took a different commute this morning which enabled to pass closer to the uni than usual, in turn passing some beardy wierdy, sandalista's handing out the above; the lower half is here:

Isn't it amazing how so many people arrive at the right conclusion to our present idiots in power- that they are all clones - but end up at radically different solutions?

Where the AGS see a change in who controls the knobs of power I just see a bunch of knobs, needing to be thrown out.

Nice to see common ground though.


Drinky Drivy

Friday night I stayed at my friends house Paulo and Itch. We took the mark 2 with us, set up the travel cot and put her down so we could eat, drink and watch a terrible Debra Messing movie on the idiot box.

Sadly after my third bottle of decent English ale I got into bed with Em and awoke the mark2 who subsequently spent the next 4 hours screaming and generally being annoying.

At home we would eventually, having exhausted every possible reason for her upset put her back in her room and leave her to exhaust herself, enjoying the relative difference in noise levels in our room next door and the further benefit of a longer lie-in (8 o'clock instead of 7 o'clock) to boot.

Not an option when your in your friends guest room next door to them with a screaming baby, so shift work involved taking her downstairs to let her crawl it off by doing laps on the living room floor.

"Have you had too much to drive Tom? I'd hate to keep our hosts awake with this." Mrs -rat said to me.

"Fortunately not, and having been awake for 3 hours I am likely on the border of 1.5 pints/2 units/ 3 magic-elf-units to manage the trip safely; but do you really want to risk my licence and daughter travelling back when I am exhausted, slightly inebriated and my nerves wracked?"

After 5 long minutes my wife decided against it, took the mark 2 downstairs whilst I collapsed into sweet unconsciousness.

This is striking in the context of the arguement I have just seen fearless leader debate on the question of drink driving on The Big Question, against what can only be called a polite, but hostile and misinformed audience (roughly 44 minutes in).

I have a simple view based sadly on some practical experiences coupled with a basic understanding of chemistry and physiology:

  1. One accident I have been involved in (as a passenger*) was driving with a friend of a friend when he had just passed his test and bought his first car (a Vauxhall Nova, if your interested) - the reason we crashed into a telegraph pole was not down to drink but to smoking; namely driver trying to light his cigarette whilst taking a bend at 80mph - COMMON SENSE EPIC FAIL.
  2. Being that I am quite a heavy bastard I can sink several pints and still talk cogently on many subjects, walk in a straight line and play guitar hero surprisingly better than when I'm sober (all my high scores were achieved with little higher cognitive function; perhaps that's why rock stars do it that way). Whilst my brother Buffrat, weighing a fair few stone less than me is just as capable as sinking them- why? Because he has trained his body with exercise and "business drinking" to such an extent that his liver is the size of a canner ham and his muscle frame burns off most of the bi-products. Mrs -rat on the other hand sniffs a white wine spritzer and subsequently faints. Conclusion: varying metabolic rates varies how people respond to alcohol. My next point will explain why I think this is not a reason for a zero alcohol policy.
  3. The only other accident I have been involved in as a passenger* was when I was 16, driving home with my mum, the boy Buffrat and sister, both driving my mum to distraction...into the back of car in front piling up several others.
  4. I know of one person at least who (and I have made it very clear to them that I don't condone their actions, insisting I would call the police myself if I caught them) makes it a habit of driving whilst incredibly inebriated...without a licence...having never owned one...and having been banned for several years for drink driving.

It was sad to see that poor women who's son had died at the hands of a drunk driver (possibly one of those of the calibre of my wife it seems, having only drunk just above the limit**) but almost as saddened to hear her campaign for measures that in all likelihood would not help. 

If someone is determined to flaunt the law or ignore it at personal and probably others risk, they will flaunt it; there is no way of preventing this. None (look at narcotic use); even as a libertarian I accept that stating that violence against a person, theft of another's property or deprivation of another's liberty (negative liberty/freedoms) is an aspiration, not the reality; one of the reasons why we need the means to bring justice to the victims, and a means of raising the capital so that justice isn't deprived from those least able to afford it.*** 

The individual in question in point 4 above will continue to drive under a lot of the influence, without a license and a ban from driving (despite never taking a test!) simply because justice has failed; rapists will still rape, but the hope is that they will be brought to justice nonetheless so they can compensate their victims with a reciprocal loss of their own liberty; likewise murderers.

What I see, however, is this old, romantic notion being turned on its head - murderers released from prison to kill again, paedophiles let out with substandard supervision and care to prey on children and dangerous (rarely the same thing as drunk I might add) drivers let off with less than a slap on the wrist whilst families are left to pick up the pieces. 

Is this justice? Are we to punish the few able to act responsibly and with due care despite having half a unit more than the law permits? Has adding that law-a-day altered this situation or any other they are put in place to stop/punish from occuring? In some limited capacity maybe, but the environment in which they operate has been changed with the subsequent loss of liberty, the added suspicion and the innocent/guilty maxim being turned on its head.

We need stronger laws, and stronger penalties for breaking those laws, more so than we need new laws to tackle the same problem. Unfortunately it is easier for our politicians in their safe seats and populist entrenchment to be seen to be doing something, anything, than it is for them to assert that the agents they employ to exact justice are properly resourced to carry out the law as it is written. 

We live in sad times when no one sees this, when the reaction is to apply yet another plaster on the pile of plasters covering the open wound of our justice system.

* - the only accident I have ever initiated was during winter 08/09, when my hill turned into a black-ice slalom, much to my and my very pregnant wife's surprise; the reason I refuse to drive in the snow now unless I have no choice.

** - my guess was that the culprit for her son's death was severely over the limit for the following reasons: if it was in the 70s then the drink drive limit was considerably higher than now, if it was in the 80s or early 90s then it is likely that the man was arrested, put in the cell for several hours and then given a blood test that returned an "just over the limit result", due to breathalyser technology not really making a full appearance till the early 90s. Either way it is a little fishy that a near sober individual would be driving on the wrong side of the road purely on a pint and a half with no drugs, environmental factors or otherwise. It would also be interesting to hear what happened to him and what he was sentenced to.

*** - in the unlikely event that that pillock from the new-statesman on the Big Questions is reading this, this is the point of libertarianism; an acceptance that people wont respect the axiom of non-aggression or negative liberties and a need, nay, the only reason for the existence, of government; to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Brilliant Dilbert Illustrating How The Law Can Pervert Justice

Remember if it doesn't cover the rights you bear intrinsically it is most likely to screw over someone.


By What Right?

Via Burning Our Money:

For every tenner you put in at the petrol pump the government takes roughly 7 quid.

Do you really think it takes them over twice the cost of the fuel originally to "combat climate mange"? Has anyone in government ever given you a better reason to do this other than "because we can"?


Save the British Sausage

Something has been bugging me.

I've held off from this story for a few days, first because it wasn't really all that important, and second for the tumult it has created with some politicos recently.

Additionally it has been dealt with considerably better elsewhere; even a gay libertarian has pointed out this is a property rights issue (though getting a bit confused about where the upper line is drawn to who can chose as patrons- hint: there isn't one).

No what has been bugging me is the low whisper in the back of my head reminding me of what this is similar to. It coalesced finally into me almost subconsciously logging on to iTunes yesterday.

By the time I realised what I was doing I had just purchased Party Games, the Yes Minister special that bridged the transition to the Yes Prime Minister series.

It was between talks of emulsified, high-fat offal tubes and being elected to the highest office in the land that it dawned on me:

Am I cynical enough to believe that the timing of what under normal conditions would be a minor chattering points for idiots at dinner parties (on both sides of the line) was sexed up to frame the debate?

NuLabourious have tried to frame it as a class war with the Ashcroft thingy despite their clearly being no discernable class, other than the rich (the underclass) and the filthy to ultra rich (the middle to upper class), the only way to discern to which class people now belong being to see where they holiday (having long ago dropped the necessity of eating treebark because you couldn't afford to eat).

They Borys have indicated they will do things slightly different including not raping you as quickly or as fairly with further tax rises as Labourious would, while trying not to scare off the client state Labour have built up into grinding this country to a halt come any talks of cuts.

In truth the differences are so marginal that the veritable rizla paper could be squeezed between the 2 on policy grounds; with the EU having now subsumed control of most things in actuality and everything in practice they are essentially vestigial, like the human appendix, or nipples on a man.

No, the only thing they really have is the vitriol against each other based on decades-old hatred, a hatred an increasingly disaffected an uninterested public don't bother to entertain by voting for, and rightly too. As the old guard who's dads were put out of work down the mines or who's businesses were liquidated by nationalisation come to the battle in ever decreasing numbers so too will the popular vote decrease.

So this is why we must "save the British Sausage" as Jim Hacker would say, not because he is interested in retaining some modicum of British sovereignty in the hopes he can give us the taste for more, but because of what this achieves in gaining him power and getting the plebiscite riled up; likewise we can all get angry at the homophobes, the broccoli eaters or the gay-tel in Blackpool that doesn't allow straight people to stay or any other minor insignificance normally corrected by market forces - that is not the point; we are merely expected on standing on one side of the fence or the other.

May I suggest an alternative? That you neither sit on the fence nor stand either side of it? Ultimately you are in your own field playing their game, and they've somehow convinced you it's their field an you play by their rules - I suggest you take the field back and play your own game.


More MyDaves (Can't Sleep Edition)

Last one. Now sleep.

More MyDaves (#ge10 Sleepy-pies Edition)

Nighty night.

Whenever They Do a Movie on the Marx Brothers...

They should use Javier Bardem to play Groucho:

Watching Love in the Time of Cholera - it's uncanny.


Just asked my wife who would make a good Harpo.

"John Leguiziamo"

"You know who Harpo is right?"

"Yeah the one with the tash."

"That's Groucho- Harpo was the silent one."

"Oh...Nicholas Cage then."


Weekend at Bernies 3

You couldn't make this up.

Staff became suspicious when the women tried to check in the man, who was wearing sunglasses, for a flight to Berlin on Saturday.
The man is thought to have died the previous day and was in a wheelchair.

The jig was up when they tried storing him in the overhead luggage compartment to get the extra legroom.


Pointless question of the day

Just got on the bus and the shelter features an advert for a movie called Dear John with two youngish actors, Channing Tatum (previously in some insufferably bad movies including the recent GI Joe) and Amanda Seyfried (bane of many real mens lives having brought that Abba musical to the big then tv screen, but made up for it with Jennifer's Body).

The bottom of said poster offered free mobile content in the form of...Channing Tatum's cold wet nipples (there was a picture, sorry)

So my question...why is this ok but likely to imbue shock and horror if it was free content of Amanda Seyfried in the same scenario on said poster?

The writing on the wall

Having just read Guido's post on the subject I felt the urge to write to the Tory PPC for my area, Leeds West, to sound out his views on the subject:

Hello Mr. Marjoram,

As the PPC for Leeds West for the Conservatives your party stands a good chance of forming the next government an you representing the people of this district.

Today the blogger Guido Fawkes at order-order.com has illustrated yet more example of Gordon Brown being economical with the truth in thus piece here:


Of particular note is the last few paragraph, particularly the area in red:

"Gordon pathologically lies with numbers all the time, he constantly reels off fudged statistics whenever he is questioned. Crime statistics are massaged and worst of all the government’s real debt position is hidden using PFI and by ignoring public sector pension obligations. When the Tories get in one of the first things they should do is restate the national debt to honestly reflect the dire truth of the position hidden by Gordon’s years of deceit…"

As the Conservative candidate for Leeds West I was wondering if you would commit to pressing David Cameron into restating the national debt in correct context and to hold an enquiry onto the exact extent of our national debt.

Achieving this on day one will usher in a new era of honest, open government, the likes of which Gordon Brown has been measured and found wanting for.

If trust is to be restored and a cure found for the current "rotten" parliament it must begin from the ground up; I urge that if you are successful in becoming our MP that you will initiate/support any early day motions (EDMs) to this end and call on the cabinet to acknowledge any petitions on this subject.

Yours sincerely,


Why not write to your PPCs and incumbent candidates as well?

Should be way enough to determine who they are via wikipedia or use this site as I did.

Change starts from asking question; ask yours.

Seriously are you people retarded?

It's the only reason I can think for the rationale behind this poll

‘Perhaps a combination of a pending new tiny addition to team Cameron and increased militancy from the unions has served to widen the political playing field in this latest week of polling,’ said Caterina Gerlotto of Harris Interactive. Meanwhile, one in four people said they thought Samantha Cameron’s pregnancy would give the Tories an election boost.

Seriously? It's not because of their policies on widgets or a tax on slogans but because Cambo wifey's pregnant? I just hope that's nonsense and you are all mad about the onions, organisations which with the belt-and-breeched boot of the factory owner being firmly regulated off the face of peasants are largely redundant (particularly in sectors with no real competitive stresses).

How many times must we jump into the realms of xfactor crepitude? This new "bounce" is akin to my rare occasions when I went to the local pub after the wife became pregnant only to hear "well, your junk works so your alright by me." or some variation thereof.

Seriously what's wrong with you people?

God's April fool's day prank?

Second I walked out of my door this morning I am greeted by the beginnings of a heavy dose of global warming this morning - a mix of snow and heavy rain has just frozen my legs as I legged it to the bus stop in the dim hope of keeping them warm.

Haven't seen snow in April since I was a boy, and have never experienced as cold an April as this. God really must have a sense of humour.