Saturday, January 31, 2009

Where Is My Bird?

Does anyone know why my Raven picture has vanished? This doesn't seem to be a problem limited to me; I've seen other broken images at other blogs I visit, and I wonder if there's a long-term issue with Blogger's hosting or something.

Ta for any info.

Hazel Bliars

Like millions of people across the world, I'm sure you've been spending all your time at LabourList - Labour's latest attempt to prove to the rest of us that they don't understand the internet. And you will have no doubt seen this little article by Hazel Blears. It's pretty much 340 words of total arse, including gems like:

"I believe that there is a reason why Labour understands what needs to be done, whilst the Tories don't get it. Why Labour does the right thing, and the Tories would do the wrong thing: making the recession deeper, longer and more painful. Why Labour Britain is working with countries across the world, while the Tories are isolated and alone, out of step with Europe and with Obama."

Notice how we have the two latest Labour things in here; 'do nothing' Tories, and linking everything back to Obama? But aside from her lies about the Tories, Hazel also lies about herself:

"I was a councillor during the 1980s recession in Salford, which bore the brunt of the mass unemployment."

Except she wasn't. The 80s recession was from 1980 to 1982, and Hazel first became a Salford councillor in in 1984.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Check Your Own Side, Love

Caroline Flint, Minister for Thick Legs and Facial Blackheads is having a bit of a hot flush over a non-story involving Ken Clarke. It seems that six weeks ago Clarke aired some views on Europe that we all knew he had, and just now on Sky News he put this 'story' in its rightful place. Caroline Flint, in an obvious attempt to make the Tories look split on Europe, and as part of Labour's continuing policy of sucking Obama's nuts, said:

"Ken Clarke is absolutely right to warn David Cameron that his European policy would only serve to isolate Britain from the US. It's a straightforward test for David Cameron: give up your policy on Europe, as Ken Clarke says, or give up the special relationship."

Which is an odd thing for her to say considering the story I commented on back in December, when Flint said:

"Nonsense, [there are] no plans for Britain to join the euro."

And Peter Mandelson said this:

"My view is that the Government is right to maintain the long-term policy objective of taking Britain into the euro, but it is not for now."

You want to see the party that's split on Europe? Look at the one with Cabinet members disagreeing on what the party's policy on the single currency actually is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Still Here

Believe it or not, I've had an e-mail or two wondering whether I'd fallen off a cliff or something. Fear not - I'm still around. I'm just working out how to fit this blog around work, which is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. However, I hope to be back blogging more regularly in the next couple of weeks or so.

The Raven

Monday, January 05, 2009

Gordon Is Precise

I was just looking over Gordon Brown's '100,000 jobs' promise at various media sources, and the total ambiguity of what he said is staggering. Here is the full quote from the Telegraph:

"I want to show how we will be able, through public investments and public works, to create probably 100,000 additional jobs over the next period of time in our capital investment programme - school hospitals, environmental work and infrastructure, transport."

If you look at that statement, the amount of wiggle room he has left in is astounding. What's annoying is that journalists don't seem to able to pick him up on it, but let's take a closer look ourselves:

"I want to show how we will be able..." - He wants to show how he can, possibly, create 100,000 new jobs. That doesn't mean he will; he'd just like to show us that he could do it in theory.
"[P]robably 100,000 additional jobs..." - The use of the word 'probably' thereby absolving him of any responsibility to actually hit that number. After spending £10 billion, of course.
"[O]ver the next period of time..." - In other words, there's no set date. No target. No goal to reach for. It's just at some point in the next century Gordon Brown hopes to create 100,000 new jobs, but he can't say when, whether that number is accurate, or whether he'll actually do it or not.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Healthy Celebrities

The Observer is carrying an interesting story today. It revolves around how the Department of Health is refusing to publish how much it has spent on employing celebrities for various health campaigns:

"The DoH has rejected a bid by the Observer under the Freedom of Information Act to find out how much money [Alesha] Dixon received for backing the Condom Essential Wear campaign, or the fee paid to model turned television presenter Melinda Messenger for helping to promote the 5-A-Day healthy eating scheme, or the amount paid to singer Jenny Frost for supporting its Breast Buddy breastfeeding initiative."

"[T]he the DoH refused to reveal how much the singer received, citing "commercial interests" as the reason. Disclosure of the amount would deter other celebrities from fronting such campaigns in the future, it said. One official working inside the department said Frost had received £10,000 a day for her work, but the Observer has been unable to verify that figure."

What a load of balls. If the amount she was paid is so low that it would discourage other celebrities from taking part then why keep it a secret? A low figure would appear to be giving the public better value for money. Similarly, if celebrities are prepared to work on the cheap in order to help the DoH, then why not boast about it? This is a simple case of a denial covering a nasty truth; that celebrities are receiving large quantities of public money to appear in yet more government advertising campaigns.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Guessing Game

One of the people below is a Labour supporter who campaigned for them during the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. One of the people below is a Conservative supporter who has massive breasts. Try to guess which one is which: