A Letter To Aunty Beeb


Lately I have read several articles on the BBC website and associated media outlets that have left me puzzled; as the BBC is committed to impartiality and explanation of daily current affairs and the provision of supplementary explanations of certain concepts and words I wonder if it might define, or direct me to its chart-agreed definition of the following:

1. "Inflation" as regards to finance, business and monetary and government policy.

2. "Anarchist"/"Anarchism" as regards to the ideology.

3. "Right-wing"/"right-leaning"/"of the right-wing [name] party..." as regards to its reports on the actions of various political groups.

4. "left-wing"/"left-leaning"/"of the left-wing [name] party..." as regards to its reports on the actions of various political groups.

5. "conservatism"/"conservative"/"tory"/"tory-led" as regards to description of the UK Conservative Party and in description of the Republican Party in the USA.

As a dutiful licence fee payer I look forward to a timely reply and explanation of these points at your earliest convenience; in addition I look forward to your explanation of the editorial process that assures us that these terms are used in the correct context and what schemes/measures are in place to castigate staff for deliberate mis-representations of these meanings.

Yours sincerely,

They're unlikely to answer due to the "volume of correspondence" I was informed they apparently get upon completing the contact form; why not do your own letter and maybe ask for some definitions of your own.

And if they are supposed to be the Oxford Dictionary definitions then they are in a lot of trouble.


There's A Simple Solution To This Too!

In a tale which sounds like it could have come straight from a Yes, Minister script, Digby Jones, the former head of the CBI, reveals this weekend that he was so frustrated that he wasn't allowed to drive a British-built car he even offered to use his own Jaguar.
The book, serialised in The Telegraph, also reveals that inward investment opportunities were often squandered because civil servants were slow at responding to requests from businesses that wanted advice.

In one example the Canadian aerospace and engineering company, Bombardier, almost abandoned plans to invest £500m to build business jets in Northern Ireland because it had "heard nothing" from the Government's business department.

Civil service incompetence should come as nothing new to readers of this blog; some may even be aware of the downright insidious behaviour against it's political opponents.

But a question remains; why do we need a BIS? Implementing health & safety legislation could be handled by the Dept. if Sickness, tax liabilities by Her Mag's State Sanctioned Theft & Violence and environmental concerns by the Department of Energetic Zealots for Climate Change or the Department of Environmental Fabians & Rural Turnip Mulchers.

So why not wrap up what appears to be a vehicle for state-gerrymandering in private business, an especially repugnant concept considering that it mandates a third party's involvement in what should be a private agreement between the individuals involved.


Angry At The Wrong People

Fuel prices have fallen since the Budget, but by less than the 1p cut in duty announced by Chancellor George Osborne, UK-wide research has found.

There was a 0.6p average fall in petrol and diesel from Wednesday to Thursday, the survey by Experian Catalist found.

The 1p cut in duty on petrol and diesel took effect from 1800 GMT on Wednesday.

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) says many garages will delay implementing the cut until stocks of existing, more expensive fuel are gone.

Aunty Beeb getting mad at those evil capitalist bastards not passing on the whole penny of duty our glorious leaders deigned to bequeath us in an act of infinite grace and generosity

And how much was this value?

Based on the above forecast you get the following percentages:

-57.19p duty = 47.7%
-39.85p product = 33.2%
-17.86p VAT = 14.9%
- 5p delivery & retail = 4.2%

Or to put another way 62.2% of the cost of fuel goes into George Osbourne's pockets.




That poor chap who gets your late night beer & rizla run order on your way home walking from town takes just 4p from every £1 you spend on fuel through the week; the government takes 60-bloody pence and positively conflates many of the conflicts that are driving the price skyward.

Aunty Beeb should be ashamed of herself.


Am I Supposed To Be Grateful?

Just did the budget calculator on Aunty Beeb- the results:

The indications are that you will be £110.82 better off.
Breakdown of Difference £
Alcohol £-24.71
Fuel £-32.09
Income tax £+400.00
National insurance £-82.58
Tax credits £-144.80
Vehicle excise duty £-5.00

So, as long as I behave as a mindless automaton, consuming a precise amount of victory gin each weekend and driving nowhere but work and to pick up ever more costly food I can be a whole £100+ up?

And I should be grateful?

Thinking Differently On Tax

Tax legislation, measured by the respected Tolley’s ‘Yellow’ handbook on direct taxes, has mushroomed from two to five volumes since Labour took power in 1997, and from 1,800 to a voluminous 18,000 pages.

I have a solution that would concentrate minds bit:

- all legislation which directly remove monies from people needs to be collected in one place (a government codex, like Tolley's, on taxation if you will), including substance of laws, statutory instruments and regulation.

- Legislation put in place stating the tax law and codex should be written in plain English. Tax calculations should be incorporated in tables on the codex; any calculations should be proofed so they can be done by anyone possessing a GCSE in maths (low bar I know).

- The text format should be one font and one standard size, say 10/12pt for main body text and 8/10pt for notes or indices in arial.

- now the important bit- the codex cannot be any thicker than 1 inch when printed on standard printer paper; if the printed codex fails this stress test it has to be rewritten; no caveats, no separate indexes or additional explanatory notes - just one 1-inch document.

Doesn't matter the content; the government has to justify that at the ballot box, but a more useful exercise long term would be to get successive governments to think how they raise their money and justify why special interest groups deserve tax breaks (in both sense of the word "break").

I wont hold my breath; might be cool to petition government to do this - would at least raise some interesting questions about tax in general.


There Is A Relatively Simple Solution To This

Whitehall departments are still recruiting thousands of staff, official figures revealed yesterday – despite a Government pledge to slash the number of civil servants.

The figures, obtained by former Tory Cabinet minister John Redwood, show that Coalition efforts to cut the civil service payroll are being undermined by continuing recruitment drives in Whitehall.
But they have also decided to recruit more than 4,100 new staff – cutting the reduction in overall headcount to just two per cent.

Leviathan is still leviathan, even in it's current vulnerable, flaccid, porcine state; it is unlikely to relinquish all that NuLabour cash easily.

This is, of course, only possible because the civil service, abetted by lazy, profligate mps, have wrapped their incoherent babble (let's call it mandarinese for posterity) around what should be some pretty simple public service roles to the effect that they are no longer simple and no longer a service; bins go un-emptied but are searched for rogue bits of recycling by council jobsworths; chronic, entrenched welfarism is trapping generations in poverty, while the newly unemployed are starving for want of benefits.

Good managers are first and foremost accountable to those they serve; brilliant managers understand this and make their staff likewise upwardly accountable but not proscriptive enough to stifle innovation. If Cambo wants to alter things for the better and put pay to this sort of fannying around he couldn't go much worse than this: ask each minister what their department should be doing and what it is actually doing in plain English; if he doesn't know fire him. Once he knows what they should be doing they should have their mandarins look through their whole budget and wind down any area not pertaining directly to those goals laid out by the minister. Once this has been done the report should be looked over by the minister, clearly stating the costs and price tag; The treasury should scrutinise the budget at this point too.

Once this is done we come to the final stage: the whole budget should be ratified by parliament with objections noted. The report and ratification notes should then be made available online for public scrutiny.

This should be the basis of what we vote for our mps on; how they insist they spend our money and what goals they do and do not support, and whether they are whipped by party politicos or if they bow to their constituents mores.

Carrying on in the vague way we are going isn't helping anyone.


The Whole #Yes2AV/#No2AV Debate In a Nutshell

Really, this is all any electoral arguement boils down to.

A lot has been said about the Alternate Voting system and no doubt more will be said in the near future; there are many pros and cons to changing the electoral system so that everyones votes' counted in a more effective way (not withstanding the fact that the type of people who vote for the Monster Raving Loony party or the Free-Banana party would effectively get multiple votes in AV, but lets not split hairs over this).

But really, when all the choice available to you boils down to a giant douche or a turd sandwich, then it really doesn't matter how you vote for them, but how you unvote for them; currently the only way this happens is if the MP in question:

  • Goes to jail for a year or more.
  • Resigns of his own accord.
  • Dies.

So you catch them in the act of committing crime, you appeal to their conscience or sense of honour or you will them to keel over with all your might.

In no other job in the UK can you earn in excess of a quarter of a million pounds (topped up by a generous expense system and ridiculously long holiday period with no accountability other than a box ticking, glad-handing exercise once every 4-5 years, tickling the bellies of a few, dedicated but ultimately ill-informed and potentially delusional activists in their constituents, the remaining votes coming from people who see it as a tradition for vote for the giant douche or the turd sandwich party's their parents and their parent's parent's voted for, because, you know, "that's democracy an' that".

Our political masters are happy as larry that the only opinion you hold is who has the prettier rosette - arguement over policy never gets to more than the token strawman stage nor is discussing how your selected politico will achieve his aims ever called into question; if they say they will build a mountain of cheese to the moon to set up a space gun to kill martians invading from mars then the cost is not to be mentioned or considered - it just is something no doubt the other party will put a stop to.


Truth is all we do with our current electoral democracy is abrogate responsibility for some pretty crucial aspects of our life: how we will fund our old age, how we will fund our education and that of our children or who we will contract with to take of us if we get sick/have an accident/lose our means of making money. The ones we palm this off to have royally screwed us all over and no AV system will change this.

Nothing short of a revolution in ideology, a veritable waking the f**k up from the comprehensive welfarism we inherited from the past will be enough.

Otherwise someone is going to get stuck holding the cheque for this debacle. People need to learn to be masters of their own destiny, again, and not mere appointees to either a giant douche or turd sandwich to rule over it.


Quote of the Day






Woody Allen's penultimate deliberations in the movie Sleeper.


Isn't This A Good Thing?

At the start of a three-part series on the future of the NHS, the Guardian commissioned Kieran Walshe, professor of health policy and management at Manchester Business School and an adviser to the Commons health select committee, to examine how GPs could profit from the reforms. His work shows GPs could more than double their average pay of £105,000 to £300,000 a year as a direct result of the reforms. At present fewer than 3% of GPs earn more than £200,000 – but Walshe suggests such salaries could become the norm.
According to Walshe, the most lucrative ventures would see GPs setting up private companies that would turn underspends in their annual budget – in effect, savings on patient spending – into profits. He calculates that individual GPs could net more than £140,000 a year in extra income by saving 5% in commissioning costs. Another £55,000 of income each would come from taking on the responsibility of managing their local population's needs.

So as long as the services they buy for their patients are cheaper than the associated NHS cost, assuming they shop around for it of course, and the government, the ones with the (our) money bags, are saving some money and splitting it with the successful GPs we, the patient, get:

- Cheaper services.
- Faster services.
- Greater control over how the money is spent (no commissars, no health tsars, just you and the GP you choose to use).

Who cares how much the GP earns? There pay will better reflect there ability to organise the individual healthcare needs of their patients, who are entitled to take themselves and their funding elsewhere; civic-minded GP consortia will no doubt set up non-profit groups to appeal directly to this subset of malcontents; followers of the politics of envy.

Personally I reckon an (unintended?) consequence of this will be to encourage preventative measures becoming more prevalent; in general preventative treatments - drugs, lifestyle changes, early identification - is cheaper and more effective than fixative measures - heart surgery, chemotherapy etc.

We shall see - In short I would rather have a medically trained individual I know well choose my providers than some civil disservant in the Department of Sickness.


If Your Going To Start Anywhere With Welfare, Start With Speed

First some background.

My brother Buffrat, royal pain the ass that he is, is a dreamer; a regular space cadet with what can only be described as a rather tendentious hold on reality driven by an ego that would put Gordon Brown to shame; roughly 2 years ago following a stream of batshit-crazy but insanely hot girlfriends he conceived a plan - the plan being to quit his highly lucrative, on-the-up career in recruitment and join the RAF (his is in his twenties and in great shape still making it a viable career move).

He told his boss, his boss told his bosses boss who told senior management; in short panic ensued for the sole reason that Buffrats department was the only one making money for their entire division - enough to support it indefinitely through the recession (Buffrat as with all space cadets sometimes verges on the fringes of truth and can talk an unbelievable amount of codswallop; however the above factoid I believe considering what happened next).

Meetings were called - pay increases, generous holiday entitlements and stock options were offered all to no avail; once Buffrat gets an idea he sticks to it (long enough for it to screw things up and annoy everyone around him, more of which later); he was joining the RAF and that was that - notice was handed, he would leave in 2 months time.

It was at this point that things turned nasty.

His company immediately put him on leave but demanded he attend the office daily to ensure his team could get sign-offs on work without bothering Buffrat's immediate superior; he was reduced to playing online poker and navel gazing for fear he would take his knowledge to a competitor. They also started to have "human resource issues" associated with my brothers pay and commission from previous months; combined with an extremely messy breakup with Buffrat's batshit-crazy ex left him nearly penniless (admittedly not helped by his profligate spending habits; he is not the perfect victim in this story).

The months went by and it got to November last year; he moved out of the house he co-mortgaged with a friend who agreed to take over the mortgage completely and moved in to the old family home (Mumra runs an old people's home and lives on site) to conserve money; his meagre savings quickly vanishing, but the date he was due to head off for officer training fast approaching.

Then idiocy struck.

Somehow he managed to find the means (Buffrat often finds the means) to go out one evening, proceed to get blind, stinking drunk, fall over, lose his phone, wallet and chip a bone in his elbow; his imminent move to pastures greener and new adventure was delayed while his elbow was examined; the might of crushing NHS bureaucracy would delay his start in the RAF by 3 months while doctors would poke his poorly arm with a stick and mutter about getting an Xray and bone scan at some point in the distant future once all the Climate Change Coordinators and One-A-Day Commissars had done their fortnightly gender equality check in the radiology department.

Naturally, having drained his savings and his old company now trying to "disappear" his last 2 months wages and commission under the dusty carpet of latinised legalese, he was broke.

Which brings me to the following story in the Fail this morning:

A charity which sends food parcels to impoverished Eastern Europe has had to redirect some of its aid nearer home – to the South West of England.

More than 200 people a week are picking up ‘basic foodstuffs’ such as cereals and tinned goods from a help centre at a Baptist church in Okehampton, Devon.

The crisis arose after the closure of three factories, leaving 350 workers redundant.

Many are living below the poverty line as they wait to qualify for benefits, which can take five weeks or longer.

There are bigger problems at the heart of welfare certainly: the tragic moral hazard associated with intergenerational dependency, the insane number of benefits available and the near-schizophrenic levels of intrusion they allow considering the political football they've become; I'm glad the coalition seems to be making moves in this area.

But, as is happening with the above group of poor people, as happened with my brother who similarly lived on handouts from his already hard-pressed family, perhaps the first point of reform should be speed; the mandarins in charge of implementing these reforms have every incentive to make things more difficult: the more difficult it becomes to get through the process the more bods needed for civil-service fiefdoms, the more intrusive they can be.

This is not a call to make the benefit system easier to game; it is a call to reform the very public sector drag that created the mess in the first place, the desire to fill the gaps in welfare with more welfare, the long term welfarism implicit on a system that the work-shy and unfortunate together have to wade through; would you honestly keep searching for part time work, any work, if it might disappear upon entry leaving you to jump through all the sane hoops again?

Welfare and care for the unfortunate needs to become as adaptable as our unpredictable economic climate requires; this is a good place to start.


Please Lord Let This Be The Straw

The gay couple who won damages from Christian hotel owners for refusing them a bed are suing to get even more money from them, according to documents filed at the Court of Appeal.

Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall said the owners were let off too lightly because of their Christian beliefs.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull now face having to pay the couple thousands of pounds more in compensation.

Civil partners Mr Preddy, 38, and Mr Hall, 46, of Bristol, won their case in January and were awarded £1,800 each.

Their legal challenge to the amount of damages is being backed and fully financed by the taxpayer-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission, according to the documents.

The move led yesterday to fresh protests that the might of the State is being used to sweep away any remaining claim Christianity has to a hearing in the courts.

Mr and Mrs Bull, who run the Chymorvah Hotel in their seven-bedroom home in Cornwall, had turned away the men on the grounds that their policy is to let double rooms only to married couples.

In January Judge Andrew Rutherford, at Bristol County Court, ruled that the Bulls had broken sexual orientation regulations under the Equality Act, because in the eyes of the law civil partnership is the same as marriage.

My prayer this morning in light of this:

Lord God I know all things work together for your glory and good; forgive me when I question this truth in the face of so much darkness.

Thank you God that you have revealed to me so much already, so as to not fear when persecution comes to my door; thank you more so that we in the west are so lightly touched by the enemy in this regard.

And God please continue to use your enemies in this way as to reveal the contradiction present in our present darkness; that the state is not our friend nor the last vestige of the rule of law any longer, but merely an agent if legalised violence, captured by pressure groups intent on spreading it's cancerous power.

Lord whom you wish to destroy you must first turn mad or to your light; let this be an example of the former so the many of us asleep in your light awaken.

Most of all help me to know you more in these times of trouble.


Note: This is an excellent dissertation on what I believe is really going on here.


The Squeezed Middle Riddle

Middle class families in which one parent stays at home to look after the children pay more than a third extra in tax in Britain than those in other Western countries, a report has found.

Quel surprise.

As I keep bleating on about there is a relatively painless alternative (well, painless if your not a member of the bureaucracy built up around the poor and welfare stricken).

You can get rid of most, of not all of the DWP and administrate this via the HMRC, with limited new legislation & regulation required.

Joke Of The Day #2. Sadly Not

David Cameron launched an extraordinary attack on his own civil servants last night for loading costs on to business, as he set out the ‘moral’ case for enterprise.

The Prime Minister expressed intense frustration with the failure of officials to understand that firms buckling under the weight of Labour’s red tape ‘frankly cannot take it any more’.

Brilliant you may think, and what does he intend to do about it?

‘If I have to pull these people into my office in No 10 to argue this out myself and get them off the backs of business, then, believe me, I’ll do it,’ he said.

Oh my! he's going to have stern words with them. No doubt he might even write them a letter.

Chancellor George Osborne’s March 23 Budget will include plans for at least ten new enterprise zones, with tax breaks and relaxed planning laws.

No doubt the new "enterprise zones" will be placed in the wary of some northern dossholes and will eventually become filled with QuANGOs and fake charities (a future blog there methinks); I'll ask the obvious though - if tax breaks encourage growth and entrepreneurship, then why stop at 10 geographic locations? Better yet why not have one: the UK?

Steps are also expected to try to increase trade with economies such as India and China, cut red tape and open up public sector contracts to small firms.

Now the second idea I like; opening up trade with the new tiger economies is a brilliant idea, but last time I checked we already were trading with them en masse - what business is that for the government anyway?

The first sentence though is pure boilerplate - every government since time immemorial has said they will "cut red tape" and/or "open up the public sector to competition" etc. - few have EVER gone much further than soundbite-land in the search for pastures new.

This remains a joke till Cameron actually puts something meaty behind his soundbites.

Like a plan for starters.


Somethings Got To Give

Protesters warned of a fuel price ‘crisis’ last night after the cost of unleaded petrol hit £1.40 a litre – £6.37 a gallon.
Campaign group Fair Fuel UK said that the price charged at a BP garage in Kent was the highest so far in Britain.
The forecourt on the M2 near Rainham, Gillingham, was also selling a litre of diesel at £1.44 – about £6.55 a gallon.

This is a product of monetary inflation and the events in the Middle East.

Oh, as will no doubt be pointed out by the various useful leftist idiots, by Osbourne's Declining Rate Of State Sanctioned Theft Re-Appropriation Programme (DROSSTRAP as I'll now refer to it as in the future; in a nutshell taking more from us at a slower rate of increase).

However, I for one see that the DROSSTRAP's only problem comes down to the ideological diarrhoea epidemic at the core of the coalition; how they proselytise on personal freedom yet introduce more regulations than ever before, how they talk about rethinking what government should do then completely botch the so-called bonfire of the QuANGOs, the technocrats expanding such areas of proscription.

I have heard many figures as to the percentage cost as tax for petrol; the figures below are just one estimate taken from here.

Unleaded: 64%
Diesel: 62%
LPG: 63%

Or for ever pound you spend at the pump 62-64 pence finds it's way into the coffers of the state.

Or an effective tax rate of ~125%.

Hands up who think thats reasonable?


Barnsley Central: A Victory For N E Bodyelse (NOTA)

Labour have won the Barnsley Central by-election, while the Lib Dems slipped to sixth in the South Yorkshire seat.

UKIP, the Conservatives, the BNP and an independent all finished ahead of the Lib Dems, who came second in the seat in last May's general election.

Lib Dem candidate Dominic Carman said his party had been given "a kicking", while Labour's victorious Dan Jarvis said it was a message to the coalition.

The seat's previous Labour MP was jailed for fiddling his expenses.

The votes as reported by Aunty Beeb:

By-election results

Dan Jarvis (Lab) 14,724
Jane Collins (UKIP) 2,953
James Hockney (C) 1,999
Enis Dalton (BNP) 1,463
Tony Devoy (Ind) 1,266
Dominic Carman (LD) 1,012
Kevin Riddiough (Eng Dem) 544
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 198
Michael Val Davies (Ind) 60

Lab maj 11,771: Turnout 36.5%

And the votes as reported by me, or to put another way as they are, complete with the real percentage voting:

N E Bodyelse (NOTA): 42,135 (64%)
Dan Jarvis (Lab) 14,724 (22%)
Jane Collins (UKIP) 2,953 (4%)
James Hockney (C) 1,999 (3%)
Enis Dalton (BNP) 1,463 (2%)
Tony Devoy (Ind) 1,266
Dominic Carman (LD) 1,012
Kevin Riddiough (Eng Dem) 544
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 198
Michael Val Davies (Ind) 60
Lab maj 11,771 (18%)

The top bods in this one horse race rely on the None Of The Above party's non-participation.

If you don't vote, heck, don't even spoil your vote to register your discontent, you have no right to complain about what these bastards do in your name.

Jokes As Illustrations #1

Told to me by a friend at work, liberated originally from a friend on Facebook then ad naseum after that:

A banker, a Daily Mail reader and a benefit claimant are sat down together for tea and biscuits. There are 12 biscuits on the table.

The banker takes 11 then turns to the Daily Mail reader and says:
"you better watch that benefit claimant; he's trying to take your biscuit."


Atlas Shrugged Part 1: Abridged & Anglofied

"If this was a microcosm of the true state of this nation, God help us. It was clear to me that the majority of people paid to run things efficiently weren't bothered, while a stream of useless or patronising information was constantly relayed over tannoy systems to frustrated passengers. In spite of being entangled in a nightmare of regulations, warnings and idiotic announcements, most people remained robust and resilient, laughing at officials who, bound by more rules and regulations, were unable to adapt flexibly to a bad situation."

Discovered today via the good Dr. North is this gentleman Jim Greenhalf. You could almost see an annoying British director putting Hugh Grant in as the lead and have all the train staff making merry about the decline of the rail network.

Ye gods.

What Happens If They Fail?

Thousands of children have taken GCSE-style exams which teach them how to claim unemployment benefit.
Its material states: ‘Find out what benefits you are entitled to if you are unemployed’. It also teaches how to ‘obtain information’ from ‘using the telephone’, the ‘internet’ or ‘newspapers/magazines’, and even how to ‘host a tea party’.
Another course, the level 2 Certificate in Preparation for Working Life, was taken by 29,689 pupils and is worth half a GCSE. It includes a compulsory section on ‘hazard identification at home, on the roads and at work’, which involves a required understanding of ‘self-concept’.

Unlikely I know; if you are really struggling at 15/16 with the concept of oncoming traffic, faulty sparking electrical wires & whether or not bleach is a decent mixer for Red Bull then I'm sure you would likely be on the receiving end of another award entirely.

God help us all.

There's a phrase that comes to mind the TV series The Wire: "duking the stats"; never has there been more brazen efforts to do just this than British Education.

Their Contempt For You Is Absolute #2

David Cameron has been secretly consulting Tony Blair about Libya despite publicly criticising his links with Colonel Gaddafi.

Senior officials say the Prime Minister has held at least two conversations in the past fortnight with the former Labour premier, now a Middle East peace envoy.

Mr Cameron has consulted Mr Blair about the Libyan dictator’s state of mind and sought advice about how to make him quit.

still does these shady dealings with the opposition- with men who's actions were criminal before you even start to talk about the legitimacy of their actions with things like Iraq.

The reason? there is no sodding difference irrespective of who's in power; it is only your compliance with their law (they long ago abandoned justice) that enables them to carry on.

Why their heads are not poles, CINOs, Blairites and Brownites alike, outside Westminster I will never know.