Thursday, 29 July 2010

I want you to humiliate me

I am bored of doing it myself.

Is six months really the right sentence? No, but six weeks is

Twenty three year old Gavin Reid was today jailed for six weeks for using Sayeeda Warsi as an aid to making an omlette.

With the usual caveat of admitting I was not in court to hear the proceedings, I will still have my say. On the face of it, (as in where the egg aimed at Warsi ended up) this is exactly the kind of short prison sentence which shouldn't happen and leaves our criminal justice system with egg on its cliche.

For all I know he may have 'previous' (I won't bother checking even if it might make a difference to the circumstances of sentencing) but if not he may well emerge from prison in six weeks (or even three) as a hardened criminal or with a drug habit. Because you can't even walk past a prison these days without becoming hooked on heroin you know.

All I can say is that it is a good job he didn't throw a dozen eggs or those crazy bureaucrats in Brussels would have had something to say about it as well.

UPDATE: The original version of this post had the sentence at six months. Apologies for the error. I could just leave it there but no, I will use the mistake as a way of trying to strengthen my argument and suggest that the fact the sentence is six weeks actually makes the wider point of this post even more relevant. Even if it makes my comment about emerging from prison a hardened criminal with a drug habit seem even more ridiculous.

No more ASBOs

I think Theresa May is second only to Eric Pickles in hitting the ground running. Let us just ponder that image for a minute. Pickles sprinting along like an athlete in his prime, potholes appearing in his wake, with May struggling to match his speed and grace, tripping over her ridiculous shoes.

I can't say I agree with all the myriad of initiatives that have emerged from the Home Office, but the level of activity displayed by her and her team is impressive. After all the true measure of achievement is quantity not quality. The more shite you can churn out the better. Nothing beats jerking the knee as quickly as possible and making policy decisions instead of thinking things through properly.

Yesterday May signalled the death knell for ASBOs by announcing a review into their operation and effectiveness. The fact that more than half of those who get an ASBO have then gone on to serve custodial sentences should tell us all we need to know. Firstly that some people are naughty and won't learn their lesson. Secondly that nearly half of those who got an ASBO did not go onto serve custodial sentences. It all depends on how you interpret the statistics to fit your pre-formed opinion as usual.

Anyway I am delighted. Finally I will be able to annoy my neighbours by playing my Roxette LPs loud all night without getting a ridiculous badge of honour. Theresa May? You've got the look.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cameron, you nob

Having read Dave's speech from yesterday I have to say all of the Arab lovers in the Foreign office (cos they virtually all love Arabs you know) will be well chuffed. Jesus, the Middle East situation is delicate to say the least and Dave goes wading in with his size ten brogues. At least he then pissed off the French and the Germans as well so not all bad.

It was an undiplomatic speech. I rather like politicians who engage in undiplomatic language, mouthing off opinions withot considering the consequences and this isn't the first time Cameron has gone down that path. As the UK's representative on the global stage it is quite appropriate to be undiplomatic and make us look like arseholes. But I prefer it when he does it on issues where I can agree with him!

Not plugging my LBC show (which is on tonight at 7.15. Please listen)

As I said, I won't be plugging my LBC show on my blog. But I really gave David Miliband a tough time on the show I am not plugging last night by asking him "if Clegg and Cameron are Brokeback Mountain, which film are you and your brother, Ed?"

He went mad and threatened to tear me a new arsehole. Good job we had a GP handy to dispense medical advice on anal fissures. I suggested anything written by The Brothers Grimm which he thought was "very cruel". He then said "It certainly wouldn't be the Blues Brothers you Tory wanker".

Incidentally, we had a cracking programme last night, but I would say that and am not plugging it in any case

I'm back on LBC at 7.15 until 10pm this evening! But that is not a plug.

UPDATE: I love this comment from a reader called Fat Councillor...(think it is a pseudonym for Eric Pickles)

I think I am going to have to listen tonight. What other program offers David Miliband and an arsehole in the same programme?

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Parish notice: Friendly fire

I've had a number of complaints from users that this blog is almost impossible to read without it inducing disbelief and even mild anger. Therefore I have just agreed a deal with Andrew Young (@andrew261168 on Twitter) to make the blog much more friendly.

It's going to cost me a great deal of suppressed, pent-up rage to provide this service, so I need to know from those of you who read this blog if you want this. I have 14 days to decide whether to continue or not.

The one drawback is that I won't be able to call people things like a "sack of shit" in the comments using the feature.

What should we do with the Olympic stadium?

No matter what your opinion on the Olympics, the real concern is what we'll be left with once all those foreigners go home.

[Insert several fairly sensible paragraphs on the legacy of the games, mass participation sporting involvement, community empowerment with vague Big Society reference, regeneration etc, add a few digs about Labour stuffing up as usual then as an afterthought get to what is really the main concern despite lip service being paid to the preceding issues]

Whatever the legacy of the games, just make sure West Ham end up with the bloody stadium. We won't break it, honestly. We won't even half fill it.

Monday, 26 July 2010

How to spend your weekday evenings for the next month

Anywhere but Listening to Boring Crap (LBC). Tonight I start a month long stint on LBC, presenting the weeknight programme from 7.15 to 10pm. I won't be banging on about the programme on the blog, apart from the great big fuck off banner advertising the show that you can't escape from. You don't have to live in London to listen to LBC - in fact you don't even have to have a life - indeed that might help.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Ending the war on the motorist. Well, the ones who repeatedly break the law anyway.

The Sunday Times splash is that the government is to abolish all speed cameras. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

Speed cameras are nothing but a tax on irresponsible motorists who break the law. The Sunday Times piece pointed out that a "prominent road safety campaigner said that the effects could be disastrous". But we'll ignore that bit.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against all speed cameras, just the ones that catch me out. They have now profilerated (I assume I mean proliferated - or do I mean profile rated?) out of control. People know they are there about but still break the law. Honestly. It is downright sneaky. What sort of a country are we living in if you can't break the law without someone fining you?

I have nine points on my licence. Each of the three tickets was because I was driving over the limit in the early hours of the morning. Yes, I broke the law (not once but three about learning my lesson), so yes I was quite entitled to be fined. So why am I complaining? Because I now have two years of sweating over getting another one which would mean I would lose my automatically licence. (Or I could just obey the fucking speed limit and then I wouldn't have to worry). All for straying lightly over the limit at 2am or 3am. That's not justice. Yes, that's right, breaking the law and getting caught is not justice.

I wonder if I would apply the same logic if someone was caught lightly over the drink drive limit at 2am even if there were no pedestrians or other cars around?

Last year Swindon removed all its speed cameras and according to reports (won't bother citing where these reports appeared, a vague throwaway unverifiable comment should suffice for my argument here) accidents have not increased. Though when we start holding Swindon up as a touchstone for how we should live we are properly screwed.

Last year, as a result of the ticket in Brixton, I went on a speed awareness course. They teach you all about the difference between driving at 30mph and 40mph if you hit a pedestrian. It had quite an impact on me and the other participants on the course. Which is an unfortunate turn of phrase when you think about it.

So to conclude, actually, speed cameras in these situations are fine. Just not in others. Did you follow the logical flow of my argument through this? Or was I jerking my knee too quickly for it make sense? If I was, I was only lightly over the limit...

Basically, my views are the classic summary of a view held by a lot of people who consider themselves upstanding, honest citizens, who abhor crime levels, yet seem to think that speeding offences are somehow different. I may be a hypocrite in this subject but at least I am a representative one.

Brokenbritainback Mountain out of Molehill

Clearly the silly season is upon us. When a shit joke by David Davis about Clegg & Cameron being something akin to the two leading characters in Brokeback Mountain makes the front page of the FT, you know it's a light news day. It is quite outrageous for a serious national broadsheet to deal in tittle-tattle and gossip. That is what widely read political blogs are for.

The Brokeback Coalition jibe doesn't even make sense either, unless he meant that they are a right couple of cowboys. Because surely he didn't mean it was because they are gay. Though that would explain the comments I have heard about Clegg being Cameron's fag.

He also dismissed David's Big Society bollocks as "Blairite dressing" (which is presumably one that is heavily oil-based). By likening it to a salad condiment he is giving it credit for having far more taste and substance than it does in reality. But I can't say anymore as I don't understand Big Society at all, hence my silence on it this week.

We all know Davis doesn't like Cameron and disagree with some of his ideas. But it is quite revealing that the personality aspect of this gets higher billing than his views on policy. There is simply no place for reportage that focuses on snidey bitchy attacks unless I am doing it.

UPDATE: A reader emails to remind me that it was Richard Littlejohn who first coined the Brokeback analogy back in May. That would be the homophobe bigot Richard Littlejohn would it? I think perhaps he might have meant it in a far nastier way. You couldn't make it up.

How to Lose an Election in Two Words ("Too easy")

I tend to steer clear of youth politics, it's all a bit shouty and passionate and full of well intentioned principles amidst the back biting for my liking. But I can't let this one go without mentioning it. At last night's ConservativeFuture hustings, the three candidates were asked...

Which political blogger do you admire most? Unfortunately, one of the candidates, uttered the words....oh you can finish this one off yourselves.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Can anyone think of a spoonerism for Crispin Blunt?

I know I am going to get slagged off for what I am about to write, but here goes, anyway. Yes, I am in serious danger of actually talking sense for once and my loyal followers simply won;t stand for that.

Crispin Blunt (crazy name, crazy guy) is right to have rescinded Jack Straw's order banning arts and comedy courses in prisons. We need a different approach to prisons. Arts and comedy can play a key role in rehab. All prisoners should be forced to read my blog as an example of how to construct top quality "you couldn't make it up" satire. That'd learn 'em.

Or better still they could all make jokes about Crispin Blunt's name.

I invented Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband seems to copying David. Not his elder brother but Cameron. His campaign HQ is the same place David's was and he is using the same vague slogan to galvanise support. Next I expect he will start attacking Labour under Blair and Brown, claim he went to Eton, suppress the publication of pictures of himself at the local socialist club, get a fake tan and change his name to David Cameron.

It is worth remembering that I discovered Ed Miliband. I was the first person to tout him as Labour leader (apart from all the others who already had). Yep, I invented Ed Miliband in my GQ piece 18 months ago. Before that he didn't exist.

Alex Hilton blog case? Oh shitting heck

If you can face legal action and bankruptcy for stuff you say in a blog then I had better start hiding my assets.

Neil exposed

I don't agree with IPSA. Nor does my mate Nadine Dorries. So I will post a video of Ken Olisa, a member of the IPSA Board, being grilled by Andrew Neil, and imply that this is some way exposes IPSA. What a slippery character. If this man is the best the BBC can find to do a serious political interview God alone knows what the quality of the rest of the broadcasterss was like.

Pickles To Allow Councils Junk Food Cabinet System

One of the most unpopular local government reforms was the creation of the healthy eating cabinet system for local councils. But now many councillors up and down the country can jump for joy, (especially the fat ones - let's hope there aren't tremors). In an interview with me for Total Pollution - out tomorrow - Eric Pickles has said that he will allow councils to store junk food in their cabinets if they wish...

IF: The salad cabinet system in local authorities is very unpopular with a lot of people. If local authorities wanted to change that and go back to pie eating, what would your reaction be?

EP: Fine. We will be putting something into the local government bill to let them do that. I don’t care how things are organised and food kept warm. They can use their cabinets to store a pastie, a takeaway pizza, or a kebab. If they want to introduce a choral system with various members of the council singing for their fish and chip suppers I don't care as long as the cabinets are accountable, transparent and open to me when I visit and get peckish. That’s all I need to know.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

I don't agree with banning things. Except when I do.

When I first heard that Buckingham Palace had decided to ban a racist gentleman from its garden party my first thought was "that's a bit harsh, it is his wife's house after all". Then I realised they were talking about Nick Griffin, although reports that it was because his choice of attire clashed with what Prince Harry was wearing, or that he turned up with a bottle of English white were wide of the mark.

Having seen their reasoning I think they've done the right thing. Griffin had stupidly milked the invitation for party political purposes. Milking things for party political gain is my manor, sunshine.

Heaven forbid an elected politician should milk things for political purposes. And heaven forbid that those getting their moral knickers in a twist should themselves milk the fact that someone milked the invitation for party political purposes, for their own party political purposes.

Compare and contrast: No 95

"I don't like banning things and I want to uphold the right to freedom of expression."

Iain Dale
28 June 2009 (repeated 19 July 2010)

"When I first heard that Buckingham Palace had decided to ban Nick Griffin from attending the garden party this afternoon, I thought "hmmm, bad move". However, having seen their reasoning I think they've done the right thing."

Iain Dale
22 July 2010

Campbell changes his mind for political gain shock

Well blow me sideways. Alistair Campbell said something in 1997. Then contradicted himself 13 years later. The hypocrite. Who does he think he is? Some sort of master of spin? Going round changing his opinions to score party political points. Disgraceful. You'd never catch bloggers and political pundits doing that. I hope.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Blogger shows his ignorance with exploitation of McKinnon case to make a point

Even I am not sure if I can be bothered to make a half-arsed attempt to hack into the complex legal mire of the Gary McKinnon case to simplistically extract a nugget of proof about Cameron being a great leader, especially one based on suppositions of what may or may not have been agreed by Obameron at the time of writing. And I certainly wouldn't make a comment that might be construed as an assumption of McKinnon's guilt before a trial.

I will, as they say, be phoning this blog post in, along with other ones today about Ken Livingstone changing his mind, apparently. (It simply isn't done in politics to amend your view for political reasons except if you are on my side or I like you - in which case it is "an honourable acceptance of the facts by a brilliant chap big enough to accept he was wrong").

Oh, and I saw Tony Blair in a car. And then Gordon Brown in a car.

The holiday is definitely working - fallowness and lack of inspiration right back on track.

Otherwise I might be tempted to tackle some meatier topics such as Big Society (I don't understand it but that shouldn't stop me having an opinion) or Clegg's performance during PM's questions.

If I did comment on the latter, it would only be in a personal capacity of course.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

New Research Shows Tories Could Do Better Under Ashcroft - And LibDems Worse

I think after reading this, our new friends in the Liberal Democrats might be reconsidering their blind support for the AV system. Michael Ashcroft has commissioned some research which shows that under the AV system (Ashcroft Value) there will be a disproportionate influence upon the election process by those based in the constituency of Belize. The knock on effect will be felt in marginal UK seats where money not taxed in the UK will be thrown. Not to mention the influence of publishing companies/media pundits funded by AV.

New book: What did publishing bullshit to make a profit ever do for me?

Anyone want to buy a book? You may think it is rubbish and question some of its arguments. But hey, that's nothing to do with me, blame the author. I only published it. If I want to publish things that are garbage that is up to me. I don't have to agree with everything I publish after all. If I want to peddle bollocks and falsehoods to make a profit then fine. I am not the only one. I have no responsibility for whether people wish to purchase this crap and then believe it. It's an attitude I have applied to my knee-jerk blogging and see no reason why I shouldn't apply it to my business as well.

Coming soon from Bitepillow Publishing:

Zac Goldsmith's Media Skills
Basic Health for Grubby Protesters
100 Third World Airports To See Before You Die
Dummies Guide to Mein Kampf,

Where are the squatters?

Oh dear, I seem to have upset some people on Twitter earlier when I wrote this. Apparently some people assumed that all MPs had been evicted from the House of Commons and were then most disappointed to realise I wasn't talking about them but some members of the great unwashed who have had the temerity to stage a protest (as is their democratic right) while remaining unwashed. Or to put it another way, a dirty protest. Shit everywhere, but then that's what you get when you squat. No better than the French

Yes, it would have been good riddance to bad rubbish if the MPs had been turfed out on their well-scrubbed arses. It would not have been "a sad day for democracy". But at least by evicting the soap dodgers it is the day when the silent majority fought back and said "wash". I don't care about the rights and wrongs of the protest - you simply cannot have bad personal hygiene if you want your views to count.

Well done to Boris for following through. Though arguably that only made things worse.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Inconsistent spelling of burqa is wrong - do you agree?

I see the whole issue of how to spell burkha has reared its ugly head again. Which is an unfortunate choice of phrase as some may say that it is only the rearing of ugly heads that requires them to be covered by burkas in the first place. As it is a foreign word, however, giving it its correct spelling isn't really important

I've written about banning berkas twice before, back in January this year, when UKIP adopted the policy and also in June 2009. Having reread both posts I don't take back a word. I don't agree with a ban, and those two posts, hopefully explain why while at the same time making it pretty clear that I really don't like buerkas.

In the posts I get tied up in knots of my own logic by saying things like we are too tolerant for our own good yet we ban too many things, and that everyone should have the right to dress how they want (punks, goths) but people shouldn't feel the need to set themselves apart from other parts of society even though people (such as punks and goths) often dress in different ways precisely for that reason.

Basically I want to tread the line between being seen to be liberal and non-anti-Muslim by not banning bhurkaz while having the freedom to say that I think people shouldn't wear them. And making arguments that are precisely those used by people who support the ban.

PS while we're at it I don't like Michael Buerk or berks either but I wouldn't ban them. Well, maybe Michael Buerk I would. He works for the BBC, doesn't he?

I've been away you know

The first day back at work after a great holiday is always somewhat challenging, and when I think what I have to catch up on, I feel like heading straight back into the crate. Still, I've never been one to get any fulfillment.

Now that I have had a much needed week of rest and relaxation I also hope to rediscover my blogging 'mojo' as I am aware that of late this blog hasn't really been up to par. All bloggers go through periods of fallowness (is that a word?) and lack of inspiration and I hope to once more reach such heights. It would make a nice change from some of my more recent faintly ridiculous car-crash opinionating.

Perhaps I should start with some more thoughts on not giving my tax to poor foreigners (they'll only waste in on providing better airport experiences than Gatwick) and not pissing money away in Afghanistan on aid to people who live in a war-torn country in which we are simultaneously pissing money and lives away in by fighting that war. Or would that be oversimplifying it somewhat?

Whatever, I do hope I let myself write something on Big Society later. I reckon I could really take fallowness and lack of inspiration to new highs with that pile of rhetorical, patronising shite.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Flight of anger

Back from holiday. Flight was late, baggage was delayed. I'll put it down to tiredness but I am not happy and I am going to now state that I have had better treatment in a third world airport than this. Yes, that's right, I really did just type that. A third world airport, you know one of them run by poor, backward foreigners. Imagine that! Better treatment from foreigners. Poor, backward ones. Who knew this was possible?

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Still not blogging - enjoying the break

Ahhh, this is the life isn't it. Peace and quiet. No interruptions. No blogs and tweets from me to test the patience of the rational and informed. I trust you are all enjoying your break from me as much as I am.

Friday, 9 July 2010

No blogging or tweeting

This blog is taking a break, as is its owner. Normal service (usual tosh) will resume on Monday 19 July. Just as well as I was struggling to keep up with myself. And it will give my spoofer Iain Dale a chance to draw breath as well.

I'm going to sit in a crate for a week. And for any burglars who happen to read this (am I really calling my audience criminals?), my house (with my new telly and lovely bookshelves) is fully occupied, not least, among others, by a vicious hamster! And Raoul Moat. Joke.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Sack of shit

Someone has accused me of making something up. Me? Why would I do that? Why would I misrepresent facts?

I employed the savage debating skills for which I have become known and called him a "sack of shit". Classy eh?

Why should I attribute my sources? Why on earth would I seek credibility? It would ruin everything about what I am.

Graham Evans MP: Hero to Parliamentary Cleaners

Newbie MP Graham Evans has just tabled an Early Day Motion where he calls for the abolition of Early Day Motions in the Houses of Parliament.

And by doing so he has guaranteed himself hero status among the legion of House of Commons cleaners. Why? I'll let one of them explain...

"Early day motions? Don't get me started. We are plagued by the smell in the toilets every morning as MP after MP has a great big dump. Sure, they have to exercise their constitutional right but it is deeply unpleasant, especially for the poor sod who has to clean up after Eric Pickles. We thought things would improve with Prezza retiring but now he is dragging his hypocritical class hero arse to the ermine be-decked bogs of the upper chamber there is no respite."

How ironic, though, for Evans to criticise EDMs, by tabling one, the filthy unhygenic bastard!

Unbuilding schools

It says something that in the early weeks of the coalition, John Redwood is increasingly being held up as the sensible face of Toryism and he gives a fascinating insight into the problem faced by Michael Gove at the Department of Education, following his apology to the House of Commons yesterday over the BFS (Blatantly Fucking Schools) programme. The problem being that what faces Gove when he looks in the mirror.

Even though Gove made a huge cock-up I will try and spin his fulsome apology as a positive thing and say it was very different to that which would have been given by Ed Balls, if he had still been in the job, even though I can't possibly know that and if Balls had still been in the job the BFS programme would not have been axed in the first place so I am making a petty party political comparison point which is groundless.

Gove's biggest mistake with the BFS list of those schools whose new lick of paint is to be scrapped was that he meant to include far more schools on it. After all, when parents are running their own schools, any Dads (or Mums) who are handy at DIY will be expected to chip in and help at the weekend.

You bastard, Bercow

Well thanks a lot, Mr Speaker! At PMQs yesterday Dave was about to plug a book my company has published, when he was prevented from doing so by Speaker Bercow. "I don't think we'll bother with that. It's shit, I've read it," said Bercow. Cameron then got up and said "I know but I want to boost sales to make sure Fale's company stays afloat and he doesn't change his mind about not standing as an PM again."

Bercow had better watch it. Only last week Tory MP Simon Burns was in trouble for calling him a "stupid sanctimonious dwarf", a comment over which thick pious midgets everywhere are threatening to sue.

Incidentally have you noticed how Dave's voice is getting posher and posher as he grows into his new job? Of course it is bound to sound plummier now he has Clegg's hairy man fruit wedged in his gob.

Education: A load of old cock

I have received a comment to my post on grammatical standards which I was considering repeating below.

But it relates to something that happened at least 14 years ago (assuming it is even true in the first place, not that that matters). I wouldn't want to be accused of only posting it so as to deftly lead the casual reader to get the false impression it concerns current practice or because it suggests the fault lies squarely with lefties. That would be wrong of me.

Now then, does anyone want me to go on radio and discuss falling educational standards? I am quite the self-taught expert.

Paying for it

Dominic Ponsford, of the Press Gazette, has written an interesting critique of The Times new website. I haven't got a clue if his points are valid as I haven't paid to access it. But that doesn't stop me having a view, as usual.

It's not that I can't, and it's not that I don't think Murdoch hasn't got a perfect right to milk us for even more money if he wants to. But why, when I can get similar news content on various other sites, would I part with £60 (or is it £100? Could check, can't be arsed). Much better to rely on blogs running re-hashed, half-baked stories and peddling ill-thought out opinions to get the truth.

I shall be fascinated to see their webstats for their first month behind the paywall. I wonder by just how much they will risk inflating them to keep advertisers happy.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


I have written so much bollocks today that I am struggling to keep up with myself.

It's grammatical, isn't it?

Yesterday on me Twitter feed I created a stir, right, when I tweeted this...

People tweeted back arksing, wot does "this ..." mean?

Later I twittered this:

Why is it that so many people in their twenties have v little understanding of English grammar or basic sentence construction? Aaaaaaagh.

This provoked nuff reaction innit. Most people agreed with me (of course they did) but others - wait for it - blamed it on Conservative education policies, conveniently ignoring the fact that most people in their 20s would have spent their entire secondary school careers educated under Labour.

Oh hang on, more Tory maths (I blame the progressive educationalists saying it is illegal to add up or something). If secondary school is taken to be between the ages of 11-16 that means that only people aged 20-24 would have spent their "entire secondary career under Labour". So not a majority then (but enough of one in terms of creating a government).

Even if some people in their 20s did spend their "entire secondary education under Labour", that education, especially in early years, was under the legacy of the previous Tory administration. And by focusing only on secondary education, my argument also ignores the fact that the learning of basic English should start at a primary level. So however I try and spin this, to try and imply it might be all Labour's fault is highly misleading.

We all know that a lot of this started under Thatcher (probably...remember, don't let facts get in the way of an argument). But why blame 18 years of Tory rule when there is 13 years of Labour to fall back on? The first rule of apportioning blame in politics is that it is only OK to blame "the last lot" when they aren't your lot.

The fact that the teaching of foreign languages has declined by about 50% over the last ten years (is this right? I'm not sure but if I don't include a reference it doesn't matter) has undoubtedly had a knock on effect. If kids aren't learning languages, they're not learning grammar. Therefore I propose removing the cap on immigrants and let as many foreigners in as possible. That'll learn us.

I will finish by venting generalist stuff about an embarrassing decline in English standards etc which will ignore the fact that things have changed quite a bit in how English is now taught in schools. I will blame "progressives". Why, before we know where we are not only will A grades be given despite poor sentence construction and grammar but for being cavalier with facts as well. And that would never do.

PS: I will hope and pray that no one would be so cruel as to scour through my back catalogue of blog posts and pull me up on some of my own grammatical crimes.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The burying of the AV referendum

Plaid Cymru and various pro-PR organisations are getting their knickers in a twist over the fact that the AV referendum is being held on the same day as local elections and the elections to the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament.

They always have to find something to whinge about, don't they, these bloody Welshies and progressive liberal voting reformers? They should be pleased they even have their own Assembly and a possible referendum in the first place.

It makes total sense to do this. Firstly, it saves money. To hold a referendum on its own would cost millions of pounds and obviously I don't think that having such an important vote on a fundamental change to our democracy is worth spending money on.

Anyway, the money would be a total waste as in reality the whole charade is merely a window dressing exercise to appease our coalition partners. In fact while we're at it why not just have all of the elections for the next 5 years on the same day to save further cash and time. And just for good measure hold the finals of X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Britain's Got Talent on in the evening. Oh and Eurovision as well.

And secondly, referendums are held in most other countries to coincide with other elections. That's certainly the case in the New Zealand, US and Switzerland (to name 3 so not really most) and probably some others as well if I could be bothered to research it properly. Why should be any different? After all, it is always helpful to say we should copy what other countries do when it suits an argument. By the same token surely we should go the whole hog and take on board all aspects of their voting systems and politics. Perhaps we should have a President. Or Cantons. But that doesn't fit my agenda so I won't follow through my argument with any extended logic.

We just need to get this exercise in gesture politics out of the way so we can kick PR into the long grass once and for all and get on with maintaining a grossly unfair system that suits the status quo.

Have I mentioned the constituency link at all?

UPDATE: It seems that quite a few Tory MPs have complained about this too. When I say a few, I mean loads. In fact far more than the Plaid Cymru lot I mention above. So it would have been more accurate to start this post by saying "Tory MPS are getting their wife's knickers in a twist etc". They need to get a life. Let me just repeat that as I am really rather pleased with it as a savage put down.

They need to get a life.

I am so Oscar Wilde it hurts.

I don't know what they are worried about anyway, as the Bill needed to even have the referendum will never get through as it stands.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Blogging for positive reasons

Sometimes it is possible to use a blog for positive means, ie. helping to distribute an incredibly powerful letter about the effect of cutting the Disability Living Allowance. If only I could do more of this sort of thing rather than back biting, knee jerking and spreading lazy opinions masquerading as fact then perhaps I really would help define the power of blogging in positive terms.

Reason not to ringfence statistics to make a point about international aid: No 94

The pros and cons of international aid, and most effective ways of targeting it are complex debates. But if you will indulge me for a second I will present 2 unrelated statistical facts thus:

Amount spent by India on its space programme: £633 million

Amount of UK development aid to India over next three years: £825 million

And lazily and simplistically imply that therefore we shouldn't give any money to India. Even though the DfID money isn't going directly to fund the space programme but is intended to be targeted at poor people who if we cut aid altogether would really suffer but that's OK because it is the Indian government's sole responsibility not the West's.

Vote for your Top 10 favourite blogs (ie. mine and 9 others)

As we all know I invented political blogging. I was blogging before computers were around. I used to scribble my opinions down and leave them next to my abacus. I am the expert on political blogs. I write the rules. Therefore I am asking people to vote for their top 10 favourite blogs. By carefully controlling this competition within my parameters I can keep myself firmly at the centre of political bloggery and add credibility to my self-styled expertise. I might even win it. Some people wouldn't trust me to count sheep accurately when trying to get to sleep but you can trust me on this. I won't exclude anyone just because I don't like them.

The rules are far from simple and that is deliberate.

1. You must (MUST, mind. It is illegal not to) vote for your ten favourite blogs and rank them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite). Obviously I could use a simple FPTP method of determining a winner where people vote for their favourite blog but for once I am favouring a complicated PR type system which I will adapt according to achieving the desired outcome.

2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.

3. You MUST include at least FIVE blogs in your list, (even if you don't think 5 are worthy) but please list ten if you can. If you include fewer than five, your vote will not count. This is designed to stop "orchestrated campaigns" (when is a campaign not orchestrated?) encouraging people to vote for silly blogs such as that of my spoofer Iain Dale.

4. Email your vote to

5. Only vote once. Unless you are voting for me in which case it is fine but at least try and use different email addresses.

6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents or based on UK politics are eligible. We don't want no foreign rubbish.

7. No blog will be excluded from voting unless it suits me to exclude it.

8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2010. Any votes received after that date will not count but you may still be charged.

There are many ways of measuring a blog's popularity. Google Analytics does it by measuring how many people visit a blog over a period of time ie. how popular it is. But this poll gives blog readers the opportunity to vote for the ones they like without me resorting to actual proper statistics and visitor numbers that I would then only have to alter to make my own blog seem more popular and attractive to advertisers.

Much better to run an entirely unbiased, independent competition that I can plug through my blog which automatically has a bias of readers favouring my views (and those of other right wing bloggers).

It's not scientific and that's the fucking beauty of it. It's impossible to achieve 100% balance, especially if you don't try, and no one pretends it's perfect. Though I will be publicising it as the definitive poll of blogs when it is published despite the obvious flaws in the voting system.

As a champion of the accountability and transparency that the internet affords I will be bringing in independent vote assessors from Zimbabwe and Iran to ensure fair play.

PS I note that my spoofer Iain Dale is running a parody competition parallel to mine. It would really annoy him if you could vote for me in that (click here) though remember you'll need to vote for at least 4 others as well. I could suggest some other blogs but Dale would probably exclude them as being against the rules. You could always watch out for things I plug in the Faley Four...

Total Pollution 2010 Bog Poll: Vote For Your Top Ten Favourite Bogs

It's that time of year again, when Total Pollution asks you to vote for your Top 10 favourite bogs. This is the fifth year of the poll. The votes will be compiled and included in the forthcoming book, the Total Pollution Guide to Toilets 2010-11. The bog may be one you use for disposing of bodily waste or for more esoteric purposes.

The rules are fucking complicated.

1. You must vote for your ten favourite bogs and rank them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite). The winner will be determined by a mix of FPTP and AV, depending on which gives the most favourable result.
2. The bog must be rank on a scale of 1 to 10. Any bogs which are really rank will not be cleaned.
3. Email your vote to
4. Only vote once. Unless you run a local authority bog in Birmingham when as many postal votes as possible will count.
5. Only bogs based in the UK or cleaned by UK residents are eligible. We don't want to encourage all of these foreign toilets coming over here, stealing our waste.
6. No bog will be excluded from voting unless I find a reason to exclude it.

If you have your own bog, please do encourage users to put the seat down after use.

The results will be published in September.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A confession

This may come as a bit of a shock to my regular readers but I have finally decided to come out. This is a tricky decision that I have agonised over long and hard but I feel I owe it to everyone to be honest. My parents will be surprised as will some of my colleagues but I can live this lie no longer.

I really fucking hate the BBC.

More balls from me with another lame joke about Balls' surname

What is he on? Ed Balls? Ed Bollocks more like. Gerrymandering? Is he serious? Why would any party seek to gain an advantage by redrawing constituencies? Especially the Tories. (Do not mention Dame Shirley Porter at this point).

I don't know how any serious politician can come out with such balls (do you see? Balls as in talking balls AND his name is balls. Do you geddit?).

It is almost as laughable as Big Society.

Don't egg me on

I am thick skinned if nothing else. And stubborn. I am going use an article from a magazine to try and make out that my incorrect statement last week about the banning of eggs being sold by the dozen is in fact true. Which it isn't, as the article makes clear if you read it properly. Yes, there are proposals to display the weight of eggs (and other less emotive food stuffs - but of course how they sell croissants is no concern of mine) on packaging but nowhere does it say, either in the article or the draft legislation that they cannot be sold as a dozen eggs. Admittedly the proposals as they stand are bureaucratic nonsense that will cause more trouble than it is worth but my original post was misleading and inaccurate so I really should know better than to pig-headedly defend it.

But I still want an apology from those who were rude enough to point out my mistake.

Expenses scandal rears it head depending on who is implicated

I am caught between saying we should all move on over MP's expenses and defending David Laws when he breaks the rules to pointing out expense claims worth far less when they concern a Labour politician. I am consistent in my inconsistency if nothing else.

Oh dear, Mr Logger (B)

I've just read the most ridiculous and poorly-argued blog post criticising a sub-A Level politics essay by Miliband the Elder in the New Statesman. The blog post accuses Miliband of being a not very good writer. Is this seriously without irony or is he being post-moronic or a poster-boy-above-irony?

The blogger suggests that if Miliband wants a media career instead, he can help him with article construction saying he could do with learning how to storyboard (make up) his arguments for a start, so as to get the most hard-hitting points across without actually bothering with facts.

Having said all that, I have my doubts whether the blogger wrote a word of it. I suspect it was written by a junior blogger. At least, I hope it was for his sake.

Those tweeting MPs

Here are a few tweets from MPs from yesterday...

Jim and I looking forward to a lovely evening getting trollied on Pimms and eating undercooked chicken at the Tenbury Branch BBQ
Harriet Baldwin

Excellent 24 hours with welsh labour ams and mps in Llandridod wells. Up all night playing poker.
Chris Bryant

Attended prize-giving of annual Dry-Stone Walling Awkward Questions Competition, Little Asby
Rory Stewart

After having finished writing speech for Harlow Civic Service tmmrw, now pleased to be at Cllr Mike Garnett Old Harlow Tory branch barbecue getting mashed on mojitos.
Robert Halfon

Nice journey with Dianne back from Leeds. Don't tell anyone but we agreed on quite a lot...although I won't bother trying to spell her name correctly.
David Miliband

I could go on, because there are dozens more like those. The point of pointing out these tweets is to show those who think MPs are lazy, good for nothing individuals, that most MPs spend far too much time on Twitter creating an illusion of being active in their constituencies and being all political at weekends, ie. doing their jobs. And they are particularly lazy with grammar and spelling.

It won't be the AV referendum that ends the coalition

An awful lot of guff has been written about the AV referendum in the last couple of days, which I am now going to add to. Most of the media thinks that if it is lost, that will be the end of the coalition. Rubbish. It won't last that long. If the LibDems stayed in the coalition and ended up losing the AV referendum after selling out all of their other policies and principles they'd look prize chumps.

Let me spell out where I stand on this. I'm against change unless it can be proven that change will be better than what we have at the moment. The current system is clearly supremely unfair but it has served the ruling elite very nicely thank you and I see no reason to try and come up with anything more equitable. So for that reason I am against AV.

I cannot see how the question will be worded and think it will be met with indifference by the electorate as it is all hidden beneath a cloak of confusing jargon. Most people don't even know what AV stands for (is it audio visual? even I am not sure) let alone STV, HGV, SPIV, CBBC and all the other varieties of proportional representative systems. This is all deliberate of course as if people really understood the issue they may come dangerously close to changing things. Not that Cameron has anything to worry about. If it looks like too many people's preferred choice is "yes" to change, the government can simply reallocate their second preference of "no" to achieve the correct result.

But despite this, the LibDems should be allowed to have their silly little referendum if it makes them happy, he said patronisingly. We don't want them throwing their toys out of the pram just yet - we need their buy-in for all sorts of unpleasantness first.

I am not against any form of electoral reform out of ideology. For instance, I'd happily countenance STV for X Factor or Britain's Got Talent. But for the House of Commons, the constituency link has to be retained, and whatever its proponents say STV definitely weakens that. People may disagree but the constituency link is vital. The current system works well because all MPs represent areas in which they were born and bred, and have a real empathy and grasp of local issues. Some of them are even happy to live in their constituency. They are not simply parachuted into seats in areas they have never previously visited just to gain a step on the ladder of power.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

In praise of IBS

People on benefits may well end up regarding IBS as an annoying pain that hits them right in the guts. But his performance on Question Time reinforced my view that if he can't change the welfare system then no one can. When it comes to being a nagging irritation he made Alan Johnson look like an amateur, and an amateur amateur at that.

Friday, 2 July 2010

I want some free pants

Do we think that it is people (by which I mean business-savvy Tory MP candidates) making underwear that will save the economy? Or am I talking pants again?

Sssh...don't show this to Nadine

She'll assume he's laced my drink with poison

Thursday, 1 July 2010

I need tips for how...

...I can really piss people off by having all sorts of pop ups and videos appearing randomly whenever people casually browse my web space.

I feel my opinions aren't cutting the mustard, judging by some of the mentalists who agree with, and even exceed, my usually mild-at-heart but sometimes ill-thought out views, so think something that could really cause ire, while making me, entrepreneur of the like who will save the country from the DOOOOOOOM we now face, a tidy packet, would be great.