December 2007

Safe in his hands?

Archived Stop Press article

Gadaffi and guardGadaffi and guard

In these perilous times when our Gordon is urging Pakistan to run their elections, when a family dynasty continues to rule the PPP and when explosives disguised as EU food aid are being smuggled into Gaza, it is good to know that that the temporary President of the UN Security Council is Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. So we're all right for a bit.

A Christmas message from CIWF

Archived Stop Press article

Do they know it's Christmas?Do they know it's Christmas?

10 million turkeys are produced specifically to meet the Christmas demand. 90% of UK turkeys are reared intensively, spending their short 15-week lives in windowless, overcrowded, barren sheds, almost 'marinating' in their own excrement.They may share this hell with 25,000 other turkeys.

A wild turkey can run up to 20 mph and likes to spend the night in a tree.

Support Compassion in World Farming CIWF

I want to go home

gulfstream jetgulfstream jet

We are giving £700 million over 10 years to Uganda. This goes directly to the government for poverty eradication but I think 2 years' allocation has already been spent on some necessary purchases: Gulfstream presidential jet £24 million, £79 Million Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and £27 million alleged palace refurbishment. Still, the people are used to waiting and corruption.
On the other hand, in 1961 Botswana promised Britain that the Central Kalahari Game Reserve would be an area sacrosanct for the San/Bushmen to live in their ancestral lands in perpetuity.
Now they want to go home.

Warning, Clegg ahead

Political innovation Political innovation
As we all know a week is, in politics, perfectly long enough to make a judgement, in this case on Nick Clegg, the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats. The LibDems have not had it easy for a while, and the general public have been a bit harsh, in so far as they seem not to like them. And you do get the impression that this is seen by the LibDems as not playing by the rules. After all they do set out to be all things to all people, the fact they end up nothing to anyone is, just one of those things and not their fault.

But then for the LibDems this is the age of excuses, and age was supposed to be the problem for, and hence the farewell from, Menzies Campbell. Wrong, it was his own fault! He fixed himself up with that silly name Ming, had he styled himself Mick it would have been better.

But back to the new Leader, soon after his victory Clegg gave a radio interview, during which he spoke at an alarming speed, as if to make everything seem vital; Hazel Blears does that and she is a laughing stock. The only discernible pause would come just before he uttered the phrase 'Liberal Democrats', and this would come with a slight rising crescendo. You get the same technique with the Ring Master at a circus. "Ladies and Gentlemen.......THE CLOWNS".

Schengen

Joseph K would recognise this

Why not sign?Why not sign?

Nine new states have joined the European border-free zone. There are now 24 nations in the Schengen agreement. Countries such as Ukraine complain that they now have to pay 35 Euros and negotiate a bureaucratic net before getting a visa whereas these were formerly free and easy to obtain. However, our leaders seem happy and EU 's President Barrosso was at the celebrations. The Schengen system rests on a database rather unfortunately called the SIS (Schengen Information System), this is in addition to EURODAC,VIS, API, APP, SIRENE and to come, PNR like the American model about which there have been protestations from politicians. There has been so much angst expressed about ID cards recently in the UK you would have thought that there would have been some mention of these EU databases.

The LibDems and the Conservatives are against ID cards but don't mention how these objections are reconciled with the need for EU wide data processing of most areas of our lives. How can the EU have a harmonised system of nearly everything if the member countries cannot share information about individuals and vehicles, when there is free movement of people and goods? The system to facilitate this is called IDABC, this proposes eID interoperability for Pan-European e Government Services(PEGS) by 2010.

Things can only get worse

Services directive
 protest 2006Services directive protest 2006

Ever since I can remember the NHS has been in crisis. Tony Blair once said that we had 24 hours to save the NHS yet it is still in crisis. Despite this it has become a 'national treasure' something to be cossetted and looked after. It is our crisis, a British crisis and but soon we shall no longer continue to spend many happy hours and reams of newsprint discussing its inadequacies; it will be out of our hands and part of the EU internal market.

Letter to Nick Clegg

Will Clegg keep
his promise?Will Clegg keep his promise?

Dear Mr.Clegg,

Congratulations on your success. You say that you will be travelling around the country finding out what the population wants, that you want to return power to the people and create a people's party. You must know that over 70% of the population want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution so, does this mean that you will change the Liberal Democrats' opinion on this and give the people the referendum that they so obviously want? It would appear the logical conclusion to draw from your statements.

Yours sincerely,

A.Voter.

Brian Sewell condemns eco-warrior

Archived Stop Press article

undamaged paintingundamaged painting

The highly acclaimed masterpiece Wind of Opportunity has been vandalised. A self-proclaimed eco-terrorist rushed up to the painting and slashed it with a bread knife at the Black Prism Gallery, London, SW1. The work was priced at £750,000. The reclusive artist Giles Singer had been exhibiting his two most recent paintings to critical acclaim. Wind of Opportunity, a trenchant critique of the wind farm industry, caused controversy when it was discovered to be commissioned by the Fair Oil Corporation, a subsidiary of Lutheran Coal Inc. which lobbies against unfair subsidies for electricity generation. Further uproar was caused when it was discovered that Lutheran Coal Inc. also mines open cast coal in Kazakhstan. Despite this the modern masterpiece has been dubbed an elegiac symphony manqué. The naïve rolling landscape represents the lack of a level playing field amongst energy generating industries and the graffiti wall symbolises the rape of the countryside. Brian Sewell was said to be distraught as he had his eye on this rising star. Giles Singer was unavailable for comment yesterday, pleading stress.
Peuters

Spend, spend, spend and save the environment

Never Neverland

lovely?lovely?

Prisoners deprived of sleep may give in and say what their tormentors want to hear. Bali has a similar resonance; sleep deprived delegates burst into tears and agree to anything to get a result. Thus, we have the extremely large carbon footprint that was the Bali summit and the decision to have more talks. One of the louder voices regarding carbon dioxide emissions has been that of Gordon Brown yet it is interesting that carbon emissions under New Labour have actually risen by 2%. Statistics in the modern world are a little like Humpty Dumpty's words, namely that they are what someone chooses them to mean. Wheat and corn prices are rocketing because the West has targets for increased use of biofuels so that more green boxes can be ticked. 12% of global arable croplands are estimated to be taken for biofuels within 12 years according to Credit Suisse, yet we are 'making poverty history'. New Labour claims the moral highpoint for reducing carbon levels yet pushes for the third runway at Heathrow, hasn't a clue as to population projections and has allowed the amount of home food production to decline dramatically.

Damian Hurst's formaldehyde fury

Archived Stop Press article

the lost workthe lost work

One of the four works of art donated to the Tate by Damien Hurst has been destroyed. Health and safety officials were alerted to EU directive 91/338 which bans hazardous substances including formaldehyde. Five officials in bio-hazard suits entered the Tate and seized 'Mother and Child Divided' - a sliced cow and calf pickled in formaldehyde. The multi-million pound work was subsequently safely disposed of according to hazardous waste procedures. The director of the Tate, Nicholas Serota, is said to be distraught and suffering from shock. He has stated that this will cost the Tate and the wider economy vast sums of money from lost tourism revenues. Damien Hurst was said to be mystified and puzzled because he had been of the opinion that it was only totalitarian regimes that interfered with art. He said that he was going to sue the EU, then he laughed and said that even if he succeeded the European Council would probably overrule the decision as they had done with the PMOI People's Mujahideen of Iran.
Peuters