April 2008


Do this whilst you
still can without
being on ID database.Do this whilst you still can without being on ID database.

Our policemen have still not found those discs belonging to HMRC.They have spent several days sifting through wastebins and are very dirty and annoyed. Our government has suspended ContactPoint for 5 months. This is the database that will contain details of 11 million children in England and will be available to 330,000 vetted users. There is going to be a security review and I suppose an important New Labour official will do this. I do hope he or she has a GCSE in IT at grade C or above.

Sorry I'm late but I loved it!

A Gentleman of Jazz, and other things

As it was As it was

This is awkward, I'm too late and the man is dead. It was reported to universal sadness that the multi-talented Humphrey Lyttelton passed away recently. I say multi-talented but it is fair to reflect that most people would have known him as either a broadcaster or jazz musician, especially the latter owing to his BBC Radio 4 programme, 'The Best of Jazz'. First there was the fact he had been doing this programme for such a very long time, it was an institution. Then the fact that he was an extreme authority on the music he played, having performed with many of the great and good. Then there was the voice, his voice was not posh but cultured and natural and such things are getting rare on the BBC. Then there was his attitude, he was generally very even tempered but did have the odd go about Stan Kenton which was actually very funny.

Questions, questions

Zimbabwe surrounded Zimbabwe surrounded

We are told that the church leaders in Zimbabwe are looking for outside action from other countries to avert genocide. The claim is made in the Independent see HERE
This article, inevitably, makes a reference to the international community. Is the implication here that the help must come from afar, if so the question must be why? Do the church leaders mean that it must come from afar to be effective, if so this again leads to the question, why?

Counter-terrorism sticking plaster

12 genial imams12 genial imams

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced plans for an extra 300 counter-terrorism police to target radicalisation in Britain. Our government says there are hundreds of terrorist cells waiting to pounce and that 'something must be done'. Ms Smith also confirmed a new deal she has struck with the Pakistani government to allow respected, moderate Islamic clerics to be brought over to help imams combat extremism in Britain.

When we have three or more generations of British born Pakistanis, do we really need to import more foreign imams? And who is to assess what is 'moderate'? A survey found that only six percent of imams speak English as a first language and almost 45 percent had been in the UK for less than five years, with the majority speaking Urdu as a first language. We already have Muslims such as Anjem Choudary who are allowed to preach hatred, courtesy of the taxpayer. We still support Abu Hamza and his family, we have radical Islamists wandering about under control orders because the government says it can neither deport them nor imprison them (though France manages this under the same Human Rights legislation).

Waking up to crime

24/7 - if you can afford it

Thorough borough map.Thorough borough map.
Well how amazing, an article in the Evening Standard, 29th April 2008, explains how a 24 hour approach to policing in one London Borough, Hammersmith and Fulham, has brought forth positive results. It seems that 31 extra officers have had a valuable impact on crime levels. The article carries the following quote from Greg Smith, Hammersmith and Fulham's cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour,

Peers look after their own

bright futurebright future

A lot of people will have sympathy for the Grangemouth strikers who wish to preserve that increasingly threatened species - the final pension scheme. Our Prime Minister single handedly destroyed what was considered the finest pension scheme in Europe when he removed tax credits from share dividends in 1997, hitting the value of the assets in pension funds by at least £5 billion a year. Mr Brown's future pension of about £53,000 a year will be OK.

Now we know that our MPs get nice pensions but we would be outraged if we were told that they could lose their pension if they criticised their government. I know that this being a possibility sounds silly and totally inconceivable BUT this is what happens in the EU where 'free' speech carries less weight.

Pirates may have a point

Archived Stop Press article

The waters off Somalia are the most dangerous in the world, last year, there were 31 attacks.Interestingly, during the six-month reign of the Somali Council of Islamic Courts over much of south and central Somalia in 2006, attacks on passing ships all but stopped. Andrew Mwangura, head of the Mombasa-based Seafarers' Assistance Programme, and one of the foremost experts on Somali piracy, says there are five main pirate groups operating, sometimes together. 'Most of them are linked to warlords,' he said. 'And the warlords are linked to the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) all the way to the top. One way to stop the piracy is to stop the illegal fishing,' said Mwangura. 'That way there will be nowhere for the pirates to hide.' At any one time there are up to 500 foreign-registered boats fishing in Somalia's rich waters, according to the Seafarers' Assistance Programme. European boats catch tuna or shrimp; vessels from the Far East catch sharks for their fins. Almost all are fishing illegally. Often, pirate attacks are not even reported to maritime authorities: the ransoms paid are regarded as legitimate fines, both by the pirates and the ship-owners.See here and here.

Is the end nigh?

Archived Stop Press article

David Cameron
is doing his bestDavid Cameron is doing his best
Dominic Lawson has calculated that our renewables commitment will cost each household £400 per annum see here.

Vote but we'll ignore it.

A common trick.

No voteNo vote

Whilst Gordon is making announcements about how to save the world, perhaps he could mention his criticism of the proposed Burmese constitution. Of course it will be a farce and will be rigged for a YES vote but at least the Junta felt compelled to make the effort to appear democratic, unlike Gordon's reneging on NuLabour's promise of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution.

Ms Helyar-Caldwell reassures us?

A letter was sent to Nick Clegg stating that, as ID cards will be an EU competence under the Lisbon Treaty and detailing some of the mass of information regarding ID cards and eID on EU websites such as:harmonisation of card details, data sharing etc etc and could he kindly reconcile this with his opposition to ID cards. The reply from Victoria Helyar-Cardwell his 'correspondence manager' was very brief and included this sentence

It is true that several countries in the European Union have some form of ID card even if they are not compulsory. Our membership of the EU in no way makes ID cards necessary or compulsory in the UK.

How very reassuring Ms Helyar-Cardwell ( and by the way 24 EU countries have ID cards).

Whereas the EU's eGovernment website, ePractice.eu. tells us that:

An ambitious pilot project to test the compatibility of several different electronic ID systems is to be undertaken in the UK. The pilot, worth over €20 million, is part of the EU’s eID STORK project which aims to establish EU-wide interoperability for eIDs by 2010.