Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Breaking News - Gordon Brown States Sodding Obvious

During his visit to Poland, and while not being called an economic retard by the Polish PM, the BBC paraphrase Gordon as saying:

'Auschwitz is a testament to past evils but also to the enduring human spirit, Gordon Brown has said during a visit to the former concentration camp.

The prime minister said the camp, in what was Nazi-occupied Poland, served as a reminder that future acts of inhumanity.'

I am now looking forward to his pronouncements about the grass being green and cows going moo.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Government Rapes Drivers Again

From the Telegraph:

"Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, is considering extending a £15 surcharge for victims to those handed on-the-spot fines and fixed penalties. Currently the extra payment is only added on to fines handed out by the courts, but any extension to fixed penalties would pave the way for millions of people including speeding drivers to be hit as well."

First of all, the Victim Surcharge is a big joke. The computer system that processes it doesn't work properly, and all the money just ends up in one of those big government buckets to be spent on pointless things - like bribing Labour MPs to vote for stupid expenses changes, perhaps? And secondly, can someone please identify for me who the victim is when you're caught by a speed camera?

Actually that's pretty simple - it's you.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Testicle Of The Week - Alistair Darling

Like plenty of other people, I have never been entirely sure what to think of Darling. I'm told that in person he's a decent bloke, and the way he has essentially had to take the blame for Gordon Brown's mistakes has given him a sympathetic edge. As the Budget approached on Wednesday, there was a rumour going around that this would actually be Darling's budget; that he would apologise for the mistakes Labour had made, and come up with some novel, inventive and uniquely 'him' proposals. Sadly, this isn't what happened.

Darling slipped into line with Gordon Brown perfectly; throwing lie after lie, dodgy statistic after dodgy statistic, and just about the most terrifying borrowing figures imaginable at those watching. This was a budget which didn't just refuse to apologise for Gordon Brown's mistakes; it was one which revelled in them, defended them, and promised to carry on making them regardless. This week, one of the few nice guys in Labour was exposed as another careerist; not interested in serving the country, but in keeping his boss happy enough to retain his free house and car.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Phil Woolas Shafts Gurkhas

Today the government announced that all the optimism generated last month when it looked like all the Gurkhas would be allowed to stay was for nothing. Essentially, they've carried out the smallest of changes to allow a few more pre-1997 retired Gurkhas these rights. The government claimed this would be over 4,000; the Gurkhas claimed it would mean only 100 or so. In the light of the budget predictions on Wednesday, I'm inclined to believe the Gurkhas.

Anyway, we all know Woolas is an oily bastard. He's the one who was happy to sing to the 'let 'em all in hymn sheet' until the BNP turned his constituency into their showpiece in 2001. So then he became Mr. Tough on - and now Minister for - immigrants, and is obviously hoping to cling to that majority of his. He said:

"It has never been the case that all Gurkhas pre-1997 were to be allowed to stay in the country. With their dependants you could be looking at 100,000 people."It's simply not true that we have betrayed the Gurkhas. When people read the guidelines they will see the sense of them."

Well fuck me! 100,000 people who served this country, who want to make a contribution while living here, and who want a fair deal from the government. How dare they! After all, we've got anything up to a million illegal immigrants living here, and we need all that money that should go to the Gurkhas to pay for their free houses and benefits.

If you ever wanted more proof that this government was infested with lesser forms of life, this story is all you need.

Get Rid Of Gordon

Sign the petition.

As I always say with these things, while the petitions are utterly ignored, enough votes turns them into news stories. '1 million people call for Brown to resign' lingering around in the papers and media is a powerful message.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Better Late Than Never

For some reason I didn't do this the moment I discovered this nifty little tool - courtesy of James Holden:

Testicle Of The Week - Jacqui Smith

It hasn't been a good week for our kebab-eating, MP-arresting, porn-charging, fishwife of a Home Secretary. Jacqui Smith - seen above touching a vagina - refused to present a statement to the House of Commons after Damian Green was cleared by the CPS. Stamping her feet and screaming "shan't!", Smith is now seeking to absolve herself of all responsibility for the arrest, despite it being known that Civil Servants 'sexed-up' a letter to the police after she became openly frustrated by a series of embarrassing leaks. Couple this with Home Office pathologists apparently unable to tell the difference between a heart attack and a gigantic pool of blood in somebody's abdomen, it looks like another fun week ahead for Jacqui.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Superb Cartoon

Normalish service resumes over the weekend. For the moment, a stunning cartoon from Nick Newman in the Times:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Alan Johnson Needs A Legal Lesson

As one of the few Cabinet members who doesn't come across as a complete and total arse, I haven't actually mentioned Alan Johnson on this blog before. But he's been given the unenviable task of explaining why Gordon Brown doesn't need to apologise for the smear e-mails sent from Downing Street, and as a result he now gets his first mention. This morning he said:

"There is no place for this in British politics and Gordon Brown has made that clear. You couldn't have been clearer or more forthright and the special adviser involved resigned. (Note: actually, it would have been much more forthright if Brown had fired him, rather than letting him resign.) Gordon is not responsible for every single person who works for him, for what they do in their own time."

Unfortunately, he kind of is. What they do in their own time is, admittedly, not Brown's concern. But since the e-mails from McBride came from his Downing Street account, he was clearly using the resources and facilities of his employer to do it. I very much doubt that this counts as doing it on his own time. But what Johnson - and Brown, for that matter - needs to understand, is the concept of vicarious liability. This essentially makes everything employees do while 'on the job' the responsibility of their employers, providing what they do is authorised, or considered part of an authorised act. Now, while Brown claims to have known nothing about this particular website, we also know that McBride was his chief spin doctor, attack dog, and political bully. It is part of his job to think of ways to spin for Brown and Labour, and it is part of his job to think of lines of attack to use against opponents. While he was a civil servant, he was exempt from some of the political restrictions that prevent most of them from doing this sort of thing. So while Brown may not have known about this particular website, the fact that producing it came under McBride's general remit means that Brown is very much responsible for it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

McBride's Statement

From the BBC:

"I am shocked and appalled that, however they were obtained, these e-mails have been put into the public domain by Paul Staines."

You are shocked and appalled that e-mails sent from your Downing Street e-mail account - and therefore subject to publication under the Freedom of Information Act - were put into the public domain? Poor diddums doesn't seem to understand the FoI Act.

"When Derek Draper originally suggested using a website to compete with the kind of material seen regularly on the Guido Fawkes blog, he asked me in a personal capacity to write up some of the stories doing the rounds in Westminster."

Guido's site is not paid for by public money. Guido himself (Paul Staines) is not a civil servant - you are. The material that appears on the site is also irrelevant for the aforementioned reasons. And were these stories really 'doing the rounds', or did you just make them up?

"Derek and I decided in the end that this website was the wrong thing to do, and that Derek should not take his online efforts down to the level of Guido Fawkes and his Tory backers."

Guido Fawkes's website is independent, and is not funded by the Conservative party. Guido himself is not associated with the Conservative party in any way. Even in defeat you can't stop making things up you fat, lying, sweaty piece of shit. And considering you're the one who has been caught making all this crap up, it's a bit late to try and get on your high horse about it.

"I have already apologised for the inappropriate and juvenile content of my e-mails, and the offence they have caused, but I did not want these stories in the public domain - it is because Paul Staines has put them there, and I am sickened that he has done so."

Well of course you didn't want them in the public domain - they make you look like a complete wanker. Also, who did you apologise to; Brown, Draper, the rest of the Downing Street team, or the people you actually sought to smear with your vulgar little lies? The only thing you're actually sorry about is that you got caught. And you might be sickened that these e-mails are public knowledge; I would imagine that everyone who isn't Damian McBride will be more sickened by their content.

"However, we all know that when a backroom adviser becomes the story, their position becomes untenable, so I have willingly offered my resignation."

You became the story because you created the story, you moron. It's not our fault, or Guido's, that you're a sleazy moron with as much integrity as a paper bag full of diarrhoea.

"It has been an absolute privilege to work for Gordon Brown and the Labour government in the Treasury and in Downing Street, they will always have my full support, and I regret any embarrassment I have caused them."

What was the highlight; being demoted after the mess you made over Ruth Kelly's resignation last year?

Testicle Of The Week - John Prescott

I am aware of this developing story regarding a smear campaign apparently orchestrated from No.10. But I made my TOTW pick earlier in the week, and I'm sticking by it. First we had Prescott goading Cameron on the subject of the NHS, which I blogged about here. And then we had the, hardly surprising, news that he is Labour's laziest MP. The Sun wrote:

"Two Jags missed more than half of votes, failed to speak in the Commons, belonged to no committees and did not table one written question."

His spokesman countered with:

"John decided that when he stood down from the Cabinet he would never speak against the Government. That’s why he doesn’t speak in the House — he is loyal."

Which, when you think about it, doesn't make any sense at all. What the spokesman seems to be saying is that Prescott is such a fucking moron that he couldn't speak in the Commons without inadvertently slagging off the government.

Actually, considering this is the man who has brought disgrace to every corner of his political life, made things worse in every department he ever had control over, and has proven himself to be one of the most unpleasant political operators of his generation, the spokesman might not be so loopy after all.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Everyone's A Policeman

I'll leave the disturbing case of Ian Tomlinson in more capable hands, it sufficing for me to say that there needs to be a proper investigation into this. The footage that has been released is worrying, but what I find more worrying is that the police's denial that they had been anywhere near this man is now exposed as a complete and total fallacy. I await the result of the likely enquiry into this before making up my mind entirely, but at a more fundamental level the question that needs to be asked is 'did the police lie'?

What I wanted to ask was to anyone who has been near a mainline station in London recently; have you seen these people called 'Ticket Enforcement Officers'? This morning at Waterloo, I saw five of them surround this one woman at the end of the platform; her crime - that I could detect from my eavesdropping - was to have been sold the wrong ticket when she bought it in advance. Five men, dressed almost exactly like policemen - same flat hats, high-vis jackets, utility belt, and what appeared to be some form of padded jacket - surrounding a lone woman to force her to pay a fine for her ticket mistake. The only reason I noticed they weren't policemen was because they had 'Ticket Enforcement Officer' written on the back of their jackets. At first glance, I thought they were coppers. I just find it entirely inappropriate for people like this to look like law enforcement officers. It's bullying and intimidation through the use of a uniform - nothing more.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

John Prescott - Fat Piece Of Shit

Tory MEP Dan Hannan - he of the Brown-roasting video - has said a couple of unhelpful things about the NHS; things which clash with the line David Cameron has taken on the health service. John Prescott waddles in with:

"The caring Conservatism mask seems to have slipped again to reveal the true distorted face of the Tory party."

Think about this for a second. The line of Prescott's attack isn't 'the Tories are inconsistent', which in this instance might actually hold a tiny bit of water. Instead, Prescott's attack is the same old 'nasty Tories are evil and hate the NHS'. This is the NHS that looked after Cameron's disabled son pretty much every day for six years. The son who died earlier this year. Yes, Prescott's line of attack is still that Cameron and the Tories hate the NHS and want to destroy it, despite all the evidence to the contrary. It's both pathetic and, on a personal level for Cameron, really quite insulting.

Did He Really Say That?

The BBC are currently running this story. I've taken a screenshot of the page in case they change it...

Testicle Of The Week - Gwyneth Paltrow

The Penguin already has his awesome 'Hoon Of The Day' feature, and I always thought it was a really neat idea. So as something of a homage; throughout the week I'm going to keep a lookout for anyone in the public eye who makes a good job of getting on my nerves, and the most irritating person will then be crowned my 'Testicle Of The Week'. And, despite his shameless media whoring and his weird smile being all over the papers this week, it's not Gordon Brown.
It's not just that she has her own lifestyle website that makes her annoying; last week I read in Metro that she plans to introduce her own guide to London on the site. It's bad enough that she has to live here; married as she is to miserable Coldplay singer Chris Martin. But to think we suddenly need her advice on London is just taking the piss. I don't personally see the point in a guide explaining how you can catch a taxi from Harrods to the Ivy, and then on to some ridiculously expensive club in Mayfair. Come on Gwyneth, show us how to get from Elephant and Castle to Wembley when the Bakerloo line is fucked - do something useful with your stupid site! And then just this morning I read in the Mail that she thinks shampoo gives people cancer, that she doesn't let her kids eat normal food, and that she named these poor children Apple and Moses!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Decoding Jacqui

From her Telegraph interview:

"We've got a strong relationship both personally and professionally – in terms of the work he does in my constituency office. And it's still strong now."

We're barely talking, he's sleeping on the sofa, and I'm pondering whether he gets my 'second home' in a divorce.

"... abided both by the letter of the law and by the spirit of the regulations".

I'm self-righteous cuckoo who can do no wrong.

"I think I should be very open about my expenses, but there are bits of my private life that I don't think should be open to public scrutiny."

I have no intention of paying back that money I claimed on my house, and I confirm that my husband is sleeping on the sofa. He's got his favourite wanking sock with him though, so at least he won't be lonely.

From the same article:

Some of her colleagues believe that the leaking of the details of her expenses claims were "Tory inspired." One Labour source said: "I am sure that's where this is coming from."

We are firing into the dark, hoping to deflect some attention from the Home Secretary's husband blowing his load with public money.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Doing My Bit For TFL

Like millions of other people, I work in London. Like millions of people, I don't actually live there - I commute. And, like millions of people, I use trains, the Underground and buses to get to work. Unlike some, I really like London. And I don't like it because of those crappy reasons people always come up with - like it being 'multicultural' and 'metropolitan'. I like it because it's big, powerful, historic, busy and bustling. Like any big city, London has problems with its transport system. What's more, a number of these problems wouldn't be such big problems if people actually behaved sensibly when using the system. So here are my 10 top tips for using public transport in London, which TFL are free to steal to put on a poster.

1. 'Stand on the right' is not a suggestion. Escalators have room for two lanes of traffic; if you're blocking the left one, that escalator is instantly 50-75% less efficient.

2. When people bump into you, don't turn around and look at them with a distraught face which suggests they just raped you. 3 million people a day use the Underground; it's going to be crowded down there.

3. Standing in in the middle of an open door on an Underground train just makes it harder for people to get on and off. Get out, and wait at the front of the queue to get back on. If you don't, people will smack you in the head with their bags or elbows as they try to get off, and it's all your fault.

4. Pay attention to your stops, on both the Underground and the bus network. That way, you don't have to smash my nuts with your handbag as you frantically leap to the door.

5. Don't behave like a tosser. This includes listening to loud music, fidgeting, being drunk, being rude, and being smelly. Yes, I'm talking to you, 'strange, crack-addicted, shouting, guitar playing, body odour-producing Yugoslavian man who gets on at Baker Street.

6. On a bus, don't stand in the bottom of the stairwell - it's really fucking annoying. I have only ever seen one group of people doing this; female teenagers who are talking on their mobile phones.

7. I don't know the entire bus network off by heart, so don't bother asking me where this bus goes to. I don't know if this bus goes to Tesco; and why should I - I don't want to go there. There's a man at the front called a 'driver', and he is more likely to know where he's actually going to be driving to than me.

8. If you put your ticket through the barrier and the doors don't open, leave the queue and go and talk to the Underground staff. I realise it's annoying, and it has happened to everyone at some point, but standing there sighing and putting the ticket through seventeen more times isn't going to make any difference.

9. When you leave the platform of an Underground station, you'll often have to climb up those stairs. If you are the first person to those stairs, make an extra effort to get up them quickly. Those 200 people behind you getting cross have every right to shout at you if you saunter up slowly, reading the posters as you go.

10. A special fuck you to the people I like to call 'self-appointed arbiters of righteousness'. They can pop up anywhere - the train, a bus or the Underground - but they are universally wankers. When I'm on any form of public transport and I see a pregnant woman or an elderly person who doesn't have a seat, I weigh up various things in my mind. How pregnant is she? How likely is it that the old gent will topple over when we hit a bump? I also consider myself; how tired I am, how bad my perpetually bad back is, and things of that ilk. I'm sure I'm not alone; I would imagine that the majority of people around me are thinking exactly the same sort of thing; 'should I give up my seat?' What I do not appreciate, however, is some do-gooding fuck face deciding to take it upon himself to ask people to give up their seats. Fuck you, you fucking arsehole! You may as well ask people if they approve of baby rape, such is the pressure your smug nagging instantly puts on their shoulders. It is the absolute worst kind of emotional blackmail, and anyone who does it to make themselves feel a bit better should think seriously of fucking off.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Exclusive - Porn Found In Number 10

Gordon Brown faced fresh embarrassment today after a semen-stained photograph was found in his private office. The photograph showed obvious signs of wear and tear, despite it allegedly being a very new print. The Prime Minister's spokesman declined to comment on the specific circumstances of the incident, though he did state that President Obama doesn't want to sit next to Gordon Brown anymore. The photo in question can be seen here, and should not be viewed by persons of a sensitive disposition.