Sunday, March 26, 2006

What a silly campaign, this FOREST lot.

Neil Rafferty, Scottish spokesman for the pro smoking lobby Forest has been critisising the Scottish smoking ban (comming into force in 4 hours time)

"The ban will do nothing to improve the health of the nation, but it will give a warm glow to those who enjoy telling others what to do. The anti-smoking fanatics will use the ban to victimise and stigmatise smokers even further. " Says Raffert.

I have to declare an interest at this point. I smoked for many years and gave up two years ago. Now, first of all I would like to say that even when I smoked 60 a day I thought Forest was the most dishonest, stupid and corrupting intitution. I was once told by a fourteen year old that they smoked because Forest, who know what they are on about, said it was alright really.

The ban on smoking in public places has one flaw, however. It is years too late. If it had come in 20 years ago, I would have probably given up then. That would have been 18 years less of nicoteen in my body. A drug, Mr. Rafferty would might like to know, that is considerably more poisoness than Heroin.

Of course, on Forests own site they do things like portray major health scares as "The phantom menace." They promote a book by Jo Jackson, a musician who has "researched smoking issues in depth over the last three years and has become increasingly sceptical about the overblown hysteria whipped up by recent anti-smoking propaganda".

And his qualifications for such meaningful reserach? Oh yeah, he is a musician - very authoritive that. Personally I will rather take the words of doctors I have worked with over the years and their enourmous catalogues of smoking related deaths. They don't need any research, they don't need lobbies such as Forest distorting facts. They have seen it for themselves in the blood and guts of the dying.

But then unlike Forest, doctors are not funded directly by the tobacco companies - a group who have sistematically lied about the dangers of smoking for decades.

Give it up, Forest, most of us, even those who smoke, wised up to you years ago.

Personally, I would like to see the end of the sale of tobacco. My health would have been way better without it. And of course Forest would cough and splutter into nothngness.


Read about the Scottish ban:

Islam has an uphill climb

For a moderate muslim deperate to show his neighbour that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, they must want to hide their head in their hands at the news that a man may be excecuted in Afghanistan for converting from Islam to Christianity.

The sin of Apostasy (rejection of a faith) has troubled religion through the centuries. It is a uniquely paranoid crime, levied by insecure and contolling officials against those that may bring their religion into disrepute. Why should a people, united by a faith, worry that a single person of their number decides to walk a different path is beyond me. Why such a crime should be inshrined in law is rediculous!

Islam, as a world religion, has had bad press of late. Some of this is foisted upon it by rediculous groups such as the BNP. Much of it by the unwelcome fanatics and fundamentalists (the curse of many religions). But some, like this instance, is purely from within.

Islamists want to be accepted by the rest of the world, and for the rest of the world to welcome them, and yet seem suprised that we will not accept their right to excecute for adultery, remove hands for theft, issue death threats for people who write books, dress up as suicide bombers to react against pen and ink drawings and now, to kill because someone changed their mind.

No human being has the right to treat others so, what ever the culture, what ever the belief system. It belongs to a different, more violent age, the age when many religions, Christianity included, was punctuated by bararism. The dark years of the dark ages.

In the modern era, when we should be demonstrating that we, this difficult, egotistical human creature, have learnt better ways, can tolerate, educate, discuss and peacefully disagree, Islam, at least in some of its practices around the world, is being left behind. It has to change, not just in the peaceful communities we see in the UK, but through out the world. Maybe it is time that Islam as it seems to exsist here should take the lessons of peace it teaches to the people of Afghanistan, Iran, and other countries. Maybe then Islam will be more comfortable and learn to live with the rest of the world.

See article at

Friday, March 24, 2006

Backers and Backbenchers

Just a thought - what is the difference between a backer and a backbencher?

In the case of the Labour Party I would say that the backers are more useful. At least they help the party move forward!

In the case of the Tories, well it is nice that mummy and daddy are so involved with little David's/Tarquin's/Nastasia's (delete or add as appropriate) political career.


BBC NEWS | Politics | Tory lenders 'feared reprisals'


Do you like junk mail or telephone sales?

Warning - this is about a nasty industry and their attitudes. You may find it annoying.

In the UK there are two little useful services - the Telephone Preference Service and the Mail Preference Service. Both have been set up by the direct marketing industry to comply with a 2003 law making it unlawful to use direct marketing (calls or post) to someone who has said they dont want it.

The idea is simple. You sign up to these services and then they put you on a list used by Direct Marketing Companies and you don't get any more calls or post. And it almost works - I have signed up and the number of people I have to swear at on a daily basis has certainly reduced, though it is far from zero.

However, the Direct Marketing industry is, lets face it, one of the nastier manifestations of the marketing and retailing industry. And they do like to have the last say if they can. So their web sites open with a long article telling you all the reasons why you should NOT sign up. Top of the list, of course, charities. You will be denying these worthy institutions a major source of income! How could you!!!!

And when you sign up to the Telephone Preference Service they send you a confirmation letter - and a plea about chrities again with the option of changing your mind!

If that doesn't totally convince you, then they go on about how you will be missing out on valuable offers that you will want!

What a load of dross. Firstly, I have never seen any offer come through my letter box that I want! All I do is chuck it all away!

Secondly I have never recieved a phone call with something that I want. If I want anything, I go and get it, from the company that has the best value, the best terms, teh best quality, and is polite to the point of subcervient. Anything less and they can go jump!

As for charities, I have NEVER recieved an unsolicited phone call from a charity. The only charitable stuff to land on my doorstep is posted by hand by the charity itself. For the MPS and TPS to go on about denying charities income is devious, inaccurate and completely misleading - just like most of their offers.

If they were so worried about charities, then they would offer an option where you could eliminate everyone except charities. It is a tiny amount of code in a database - dead simple to set up. Cost them pennies. But do they do that?


If you want to keep charities, you have to not sign up, and contact directly yourself all the companies you want to avoid!

How dispicable can and industry get?

Very Ratty.


Mon Dieu! Ou est le President?

French is a beautiful language, I would hate to see it die. As I would hate to see the death of English, Italian, Russian, Chines, Hindi etc.

However, lets be practical - we have to communicate, and if that means that we have a common second language, that is good. English is the obvious choice as, thanks to the British Empire originally and later American Films, English is the most commonly spoken second lanuage on a contry to county basis. English is also a highly developed modern language with the ability to absorb words from other languages easily thanks to its fragmented origins.

And then there is the fact that many modern computer languages use English as their base.

Lastly, English has to be one of the most emphatic languages. It's large vocabulary and succinct grammer make it one of the shortest languages in the world - perfect for advertising! It is the language of marketing, of science and of money. It is the world language of air traffic control, of telecomunications.

M. Chirac. We do not hate you or your language - I love the french, thier food and some of their ideoogy. But to walk out because for practicallity someone uses English, which you speak, is petulant, childish and dangerously nationalistic. You make a mokery of your own country - About time you went.

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Chirac upset by English address


Who is to blame?

As a man is convicted of the tragic deaths of the Chnese cocklers two years agao, a company that bought the cockles is said to be not culpable by the jury.

This may be legally so, but is there no ethical culpability? David Eden and son, David Junior, have based ther defence on the idea that since the government and local officials knew what was going on and how dangerous it all was and yet did nothing, it is not the Edens fault if they decide to exploit the situation - it is the governments fault.

What rubbish! They knew the danger, they encouraged the illegal unregulated trade. They knew the cockling was done at night and bad light. But it wasn't their problem, so they let it happen. Who cares if people die, eh? As long as its someoen elses fault.

What ever happened to being a man. To standing up against wrong doing, whatever the legal situation? To always doing right by your fellow man, whom so ever he is?

Perhaps this is missing from the Edens. They certainly seem to be very succesful buck passers.

BBC NEWS | England | Lancashire | Man guilty of 21 cockling deaths


The Great Nationalism Scam

I am not a believer in conspiracy theories - they normally result from the ignorant, though sadly intelligent, not being able to make sense of logic and deciding that the totally illogical is far more reasonable.

I don’t like the idea of Plots, as these often seem like more carefully worked conspiracy theories, rather than a group of people, more by chance than skill, actually managing to pull something off.

I am, however, rather fond of the good old scam. Now I am not talking about sending money to Nigeria, though this uses simi8lar principles, but the good old fashioned scams - the ones traditionally pulled by politicians, advertising men and even journalists, when they realise that their future pay packets rely on the interest from the great unwashed.

Before we look at the particular scam called Nationalism, why does a scam work?

For any scam or con to work it is necessary for the scammee to be totally taken in by the scammer. This, it would appear, needs to be a subtle process where truth and untruth are carefully interwoven to produce a plausible package. Certainly this is the route taken by newspapers who have a stance that is not matched by the news of the day. Thanks to statistics and the fact that any FACT is normally equally supported and undermined, and a good writer can make any story point the way they want it to. All they need to do is demote those contradictory annoying bits of information to the pile labelled "irrelevant" and what is left should do the job for you.

However, such subtlety and cleverness is not always needed. If the information itself is not totally plausible, that is not a problem as long as long as the scammers them selves are plausible. African dictators are good at this one. They become larger than life, almost god-like, and then use this power to tell the people pretty much what they like. It kind of works along the line of, “If I want your opinion I will give it to you.” They few that see through the scam tend to disappear, of course.

So, that is scamming for you. But why do I say that Nationalism is a scam?

The best way to identify a scam is to look at the true interests of the scammer. Lets take a retail group – say a supermarket – and examine where their interests lie. A supermarkets true interest is in growth. By growing it can support a wider infrastructure. This is more stable, allowing the business to be a more reliable money making proposition. This interest is not solely one of the management but works all the way down the ranks. Long term employment is a major concern of most working people, the proletariat, and a stable company will always be popular with its work force. Supermarkets have also interests in the happiness of their shareholders. Major growth moves may rely on investment rather than sales and happy investors will cough up money – unhappy ones have a tendency to sell.

Rather low down, therefore, are the products – the food, clothes, etc. But it is these products that attract the money, the customer, into the store. But products cost money, and the customer is averse to spending more than a set amount. For this all to work, therefore, it is necessary to make as much profit on each item as possible. And this is done by reducing quality, playing with quantity and screwing the producers. But don’t the public object to all of this? No. Most people couldn’t tell a good piece of meat from a cheap, water bloated piece of meat – they rely on the supermarket to tell them the difference and they lie. Don’t believe me?

Go back a hundred years to a butcher and no self-respecting housewife would by a piece of Beef for Sunday that wasn’t well-hung, nice and black and tasty as hell. The trouble with well-hung black beef is that you have to store it for a few weeks, and storing costs money. If you are trying to sell in bulk, you better have a nice quick turn around. This was a problem for the up and coming supermarkets. So, they started to perpetuate a lie, supported by the wholesalers. This came in two favours. Firstly they started spreading the story that black meat was rotten meat and dangerous. Which it is not. They then said that only bright red, lean meat was really good. They were growing beef herds a lot faster by now in sheds, however, and the meat could be a bit pale. So they dyed it.

A hundred year later and the lies have eventually stuck. My local butcher still has well hung meat – but it is in the back. If he displayed it people would think his meat rotten and stop shopping there. The supermarkets have won, and we are the worse of for it. But most people don’t realise it.

So, the supermarkets work entirely for their own self interests and will corrupt the message to make sure that those interests are supported. If you cannot supply what the customer wants, change the customer. It is very easy – most people have little in the way of opinions; they almost have an opinion vacuum. All you need to do is fill that void with what you want them to believe, just like that African dictator. That is a scam.

Nationalists, like the racist BNP, use exactly the same techniques. They convince people with little opinion that their life is worse than it used to be (which is normally untrue), that their future is even worse (a bigger lie still) and that the blame lies with the breakdown of a single race society (which actually never even existed.)

It is amazingly easy to do when you realise how ignorant people really are about the fact. Ask many people and they believe the British or the English (depending on the wording of your poll) are a race. No, they are a mixture of a several – in differing quantities depending when your lot actually arrived here. Racial purity, as in most places in the world, is a near impossibility.

Next, lets get people confused about some immigration facts. Most people can’t count. If you ask them what a million people look like, they would probably get it very wrong. March organisers know this. They will say that 100,000 people marched, when the police figures say around 40,000 actually turned up. (The police use high-level camera evidence, which is surprisingly accurate.) However, when people look at the photos they cannot conceive the numbers – it looks like lots, so they believe the bigger figure. A couple of websites later and the figure is now 200,000.

Again, the Nationalists can use this to their hearts content, aided by the fact that the mainstream parties spend so much time arguing figures that everyone is confused. The BNP state in one of their promotional videos: Millions of immigrants come to these shores each year. Actually, it is between 70,000 and 150,00 depending on what unrest there is around. But remember people can count. They see more “black faces” in their high street than they used to – it has to be millions.

The next trick up the Nationalist sleeve is verbiage. People mistakenly confuse quantity for quality – and we know the supermarkets have made a fortune out of that one! But it also applies to words. At the bottom of this article I give a link to an article by Nick Griffin from the BNP, arguing various nationalistic points. The Article is 8500 words long – pretty hefty! It takes an intelligent, well informed person to write that long, doesn’t it? No. It just takes someone who can keep talking rubbish for eternity. And boy, is this a fine example. It rambles, wanders, idealises, confuses – I got about halfway down and started dosing off. Forget the contents, it is ridiculous pointless drivel. But, Griffins supporters will be all the more mislead by it.

Nationalism is simply another word for isolationism. The BNP admit it.


1) We (the BNP) are against the war in Iraq;
2) We are against overseas military adventures generally (though sending an SAS platoon to arrest and hang Robert Mugabe, and halt the persecution and extermination of the last white Rhodesians would be the exception to prove the rule);
3) We don't want to export our political system to the Third World;
4) We don't believe in imposing our economic system by force;
5) We don't believe in multi-culturalism;6) We don't believe in laissez-faire economics domestically;
7) We oppose international free trade;
8) We don't believe in 'propositional nations' (That means they only want a nation united by common blood ties - a pure race state, in other words);
9) We don't seek to impose Western culture on the whole world.

Pull up the drawbridge, man the turrets, close your ears and shut your eyes. Create a siege mentality when no one wants to besiege you. This system cannot survive – certainly not on a little island. People will want nothing to do with you. You are not dealing with them, why should they reciprocate? There are plenty of others out there. They idea is doomed before it starts – and the nationalist know it. But, running with the idea, selling it to the ignorant; that is power. That is feeding the self interest. It is not an ideology fit for use, any more than was Marxism. It is not a satisfactory life choice. It is as exciting as living in a supermarket – except most of the shelves will be empty.

It is a scam – pure and simple.


The original misleading and totally ridiculous article is:

By their fruits (or lack of them) shall you know them - Nick Griffin


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Who's Christian Voice?

It's a joke isn't it! It has to be!

Every now and then, when I am feeling low or less that charitable, I wander off to the organ of that amazingly sexless man, Stephen Green. But I have to say, is it my imagination or has his site gone a bit quiet?

Perhaps his public mauling by Janet Street Porter, truly a better spectacle than even Jerry Springer, has taken the wind out of his sails. Or maybe he has realised his error in his totally sick portrayal of Hurrican Katrina purifying the city from gays. Or perhaps the worst of worst has happened - people have started to ignore him!

Poor little Greenie-poohs! No one love you? After all the hate you have spread, the puritanical bial that you have spouted, the divisions you have tried to create in the name of an old, tired god. Life goes on, one of the gays you so hate said of New Orleans. And so it does. Do you ever so mind that we carry on without you?


(Cheered up now for that pointless little rant)

Have more laughs at


Anyone seen this site Majority Rights? It is the normal thing, "We are not really racisits, we just call black people negroes and hate them a little. But we could learn to love them as long as they go back to Africa and don't marry our daughters."

It is sites like that that make the internet a near waste of space. For instance, their coverage of the sad affair of Mary-Ann Leneghan, brutally murdered by six men (convicted today) consists only of them leaping up and down because no one has mentioned the fact that the men are black. Who cares? They are thugs - that is all we need to know.

I haven't said that the writers on Majority Rights are white, anachronistic, savage, purile, bitter, twisted, anal, pathetic, swivel-eyed little gits (sorry, Mr Cleese) even though they are!

Oh, I just have!

Naughty Ratty!

PS: Don't go and visit their site - let them whither away in loneliness!


Some people don't deserve air time.

Did he do it or not? Did he kill his step daughter or is there a killer still on the loose? We shall never know since Sion Jenkins has been formally aquitted as a jury, minds bent hother and thither by a plethora of forensic evidence and scientific argument were, understandably, unable to reach a verdict. Please note - they did not clear him, just could not find the truth. The law has "formally" aquitted him as the process has reached is tortuous end.

For good or bad, people will have thier opinions. Some will say that he murdered Billie-Jo, some will say he did not. Both will be certain they know and both will be talking from a point of total ignorance. Only two people know the truth adn one of those is dead.

There comes a time in these bitter ordeals when one has to quit and lay the story to rest. What ever the truth about Jenkins, he should now quietly disapear. The rest of Billie-Jo's family, who have thier own opinions, are well past the time where they should be trying to rebuild their shattered lives. The outcome is unsatisfactory, but for good or ill it is the outcome we have reached. C'est la vie, mes amie.

So what do ITN go and do? They go and interview the bloke on prime time television!

Why? For what purpose? It is not in the public interest, the trials are all over. It is not going to reveal anything new - everything that could come out has come out. It is not going to make a young girl rest any easier. So what is it for?

Simple, ITV, the master of trash TV has shown once again that it is capable of producing the most tasteless rubish in the form of Voyeur TV. Because that is all it is: voyeurism. And they know it. They will wave the public interest flag all over the place, but will care little whether anyone believes them. They make way to much money feeding the sick, voyeuristic side of society with trash such as this.

Do you think the family enjoyed it as much as the continuously overated Trevor McDoughnut? (A man who would have been nothing without that seaside comic, Lenny Henry.) And when you read the summary - have we learnt more. Not a single thing.

Oh Goody.


BBC NEWS | England | Jenkins 'vilified' over Billie-Jo


Probation Nightmare

Having a couple of members of the family work in the public sector in social roles, though not in the probationary service, I have respect and sympathy for the people who were supervising these thugs.

It is a thankless job, when you think about it. The public are suspicious of you because they think you are some kind of blinkered do-gooder. The people in your supervisory care see you are an impediment to their futre life, what ever that is meant to be. And the government cant be bothered to either give you enough funds or even enough staff.

Your job is simple. Look after people after they are released and attempt to help them make the quite enourmous jump form convict to worthwhile member of society. You have no say on whether the person should have been released or not, that is down to the psychs, your bosses and the prison service. You are given minimal amount of information about the person - like the chances they will reoffend.

Not suprisingly, rather a lot of people on probation commit an offense. What you weren't watching the criminal 24/7? What do you do all day? Huh? Lovely people the forgiving public, with some prodding from the press.

But we have a problem here - people do commit crimes, and a lot of them do it while on parole from a previous crime. Some people have no real interest in rehabilitation. They are not bright enough to realise that they will probably be caught again - they are in the parenial ga-ga land of "Yeah, see me is too clevah to get caught by the bill, right!"

WE need better assesments, we need to be more ruthless. We need to take more heed of not where the criminal has come from but where they think they are headed. And if we are going to use parole, then we better bung some moeny at it before any more people get killed.

It is a tough world this.

BBC NEWS | England | Berkshire | Sixth man guilty of girl's murder


Monday, March 20, 2006

Music and Words - Dancing Bear

Away from the politics for a moment, and onto a pet subject of mine - that of music in advertising. Now I know that this rat is probably a bit biased, seeing that I do write music for advertising, but I sometimes think that the music component often gets undersold.

Let's take your favourite advertising jingle. Most polls show that it is the infamous "Shake 'n' vac" ad written by Johnathan Hodge. Yes, I know it is annoying, but at the time it was recogniseable, cheesey and highly succesful. And this has been the trick of a good jingle, all the way back to "Shrimpams paste have a family traddition," in the 1950's.

The ones that really worked, that stayed the course, were cheesey, corny, clichéd and everything else insulting you can throw at a piece of music. And that was WHY they worked!

So, lets get rid of all this lovely sophisticated stuff, including some that I write, and lets raise a galss for corn, for cheese and most of all for the wonderful cliché. I want to write in a major key again!


Sunday, March 19, 2006

"I am an artist!" - I think not!

I am acreative sort of rat. I like creative things, I play with creative ideas. I am not sure I have ever managed artistic, but I have had my fun. However, should I ever wish to do something that could be described as art, I will go out of my way to make sure it is appreciated as art by a wide and diverse community.

If on the other hand I want to be a complete and utter idiot, making a stupid protest in an irresponsible way, annoying thousands for the hell of it, and achieving nothing but earning the title of crass git of the year, then I hope someone will slap me before I ever call it art.

"I understand we are in a drought. But I am an artist so I'm not actually wasting water for nothing." Says performance artist Mark McGowan. No you are not. You are a sad little git that needs to be told to stand in the corner. If you were not getting in the way of decent humanity we should simply turn our backs on you till you fade away to nothingness. Or is that what you are afraid of?

Art has been subverted by the millionaires, corrupted by the anal elite, debased by a selfish minority. Art is communication, it is silent opinion, observation or simple admiration. It is a way for one person to talk to millions. But what is called art today, what is done by the Tracies, the Damiens, and the Marks is nothing more than drivel. If you need to explain it for the majority to get it, then you have failed. If most people do not understand you it is not them that has got it wrong, it is you own inability to communicate. And if you cannot communicate, then you cannot wear the artists badge.


Somebody do something about Ms. Short!

Am I the only one (apart from T. Blair, probably) who is absolutely sick and tired of the ravings of Clare Short? This daft politician has such an obvious hatred of Tony Blair that is oozes out of every orafice when she is interviewed.

Now, I am not saying that she doesn't have some reasons to be against at least some of what comes out of number 10, but her opinions have disintergrated into teeth grinding fury of the kind that become more and more rediculous in every telling. Not for her a simple complaint that the Prime Minister is losing contact with the electorate or something similar that might have a plausability about it. Oh, no. She has to go for the full, little zitty kid paranoid conspiracy theory:

"What we're getting is a bubble of these clever people who've captured the state, don't need a party, don't need any members, don't have turbulent people having opinions, who then get money from rich people and run our state without consulting anyone else."

Okay, Clare, calm down. But then she has always been thus. It has not always been bitter but more often than not she has appeared, as my mother would say, "like someone with a bad smell under her nose." Indeed! And in this case the aroma is all Shorty-poos.

There are some people in this world who seem to go our of their way to misunderstand everything everybody says, just because it either does not fit with how they think or they simply do not like the person speaking. It is a perculiar inability to listen accurately. It goes far beyond having bios in your analysis and extends to a one sided filter as the information goes in. The person does not analyse the facts wrong, they are unable to hear them write in the first place. Worse still, these people invariably think they are very clever.

An ancient Persian proverb gets it right:

He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool, shun him.


BBC NEWS | Politics | Prescott in the dark about loans


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Milosevic? Oh, I am sure he was wonderful really!

The human, especially the medi infected human has the most amazing ability to forgive once someone is dead. It seems to be particularly prevelent in the West for some reason. So and so - such a bitch, rude to her mother! She's dead? Oh, I will so miss the treasured times we spent together!

And it would have been so easy for the Serbian government to do the same with Milosevic. Certainly, the Butcher of Belgrade seems well loved by at least a percentage of his population. Whether they are made up of those that do not believe the accusations about Milosevic, or whether they are supporters of his ethnic cleansing policy, I could not tell, but they have been out in their droves.

But the otherwise uncooperative Serbian government has stuck to common sense - no state funeral, no let up on his exiled family, no sweeping history under the carpet.

And so Milosevic will be remebered as a slaughterer, though an unproven one. Because, let' face it, when it comes to political figures the dirt stick whatever the outcoem of a trial.

So long Slobby old boy - I feel you will belong to a very specialised but growing little club in the afterlife. Hitler, Stalin ...

Rat Fiend

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Serbs say farewell to Milosevic


Can thousands be wrong?

In the case of the Stop The War coalition - yes.

The war may well have been a daft idea, looking back, but we are there now. If you want an overnight bloodbath that would make casualties thus far look insignificant - pull the troops out all at once.

Yes, thousands can be wrong, millions can be wrong. Thousands in Britain thought Hitler would be alright really, and that included many senior polititions and influential, but stupid, members of the elite.

Yes, we may have made a mistake, but not let us be complete cowards and run away from it.

Oh, and can we shoot George Galloway while we are about it? No? Well, it was just a thought.


BBC NEWS | England | London | Thousands march in anti-war rally


So fair thee well

And so farewell
The mighty thrust
has withered gently
Into dust
Add pigrims chants
From right of stage
Beckon him on
This mighty sage

Horray! We lose
A mighty sword
That saw our justice
As a menacing chord
That rumbled dread
Throughout the land
"Off with his head"
We die or stand.

But, great relief
The fun and games
Will lose those eyes
That greying main
And as we look
Apon a younger sight
He will slither quietly
Back to the night!

Poetic Ratty

BBC NEWS | Politics | Michael Howard stands down as MP


Stand by for the tree huggers

BBC NEWS | Health | Animal tests 'false reassurance'

In the BBC Article, Dr David Clover says, apparently, that animals are not the best way to test certain drubs - for instance the ones given to the six men the other day. I use the word "apparently" as I am so used to scientist getting misquoted, misunderstood, make your choice.

Animal testing is never the best way as there is no "best way" as such. However, even when a drug is very human specific, as this and many are, animal testing gives very importent information. This drug would have been tested several ways, and you will notice that Dr Glover was not involved in the testing or this drug, nor probably knows much about what tests this drub has thus far been subjected to.

However, scientists will tend to do off the cuff coments not realising that journalists will quote their statement as definitive rather than discursive. And the result is that the rediculous anti testing lobby will take this as fuel to their pointless arguments.

It would be better if scientists could keep their trap shuts unless they are presenting a well researched and rehersed paper - they don't seem to be able to manage ad-libs.



Friday, March 17, 2006

BBC NEWS | UK | Prince wins diary privacy battle

Fascinating - this article at the BBC website has been rewritten three times.

The first outing was very positive for the prince and negative for that shameful, right wing, ghastly paper the Mail on Sunday.

However, the second outing became anti-prince and pro-newspaper.

This third edition seems a little more balanced.

However, if the Beeb are going to edit articles after publication it seems only fair that they declare that they have done so on the article itself. Or are they trying to cover up shoddy reporting?


Another Thought about the Diaries

The Mail on Sunday has Prince Charles PRIVATE diaries without his consent.

That is handling stolen good.

Which part of "hand them back," are the lawyers having trouble with?

The shamefull press are forever damned, me thinks.

A Rat

Read more about it at

Victory for Common Sense - Prince blocks diary publication

The Mail on Sunday's assertion that they should published nicked diaries of the Prince of Wales because "they are in the public interest" was always complete nonsense. We all know that this is the type of pathetic act normally commited by spiteful 8 year old girls when they find a "love note" written to a pet enemy - Go tell the whole playground!

The Prince of Wales has every right to grumble about "dreadful old waxworks" and other such descriptions - and in the case of the chinese leadership he was painfully accurate. If anyone cares to read Churchill's war diaries the way he describes various allies is far from flattering. But that was Churchill - we liked him, he can say anything.

The Mail on Sunday has never liked Charles, mostly because they are still defending that indefensible woman, Diana. Any chance to give HRH a good kicking they will make use of with hand-rubbing relish. This most unpleasant publication, read by some of the more unpleasant of society, has deserved to lose this action. I hope they lose the rest too.

As for Charles - good on yer mate!

Read the beeb article

Molehills, Mountains and Just In Time Management

What? Only SIX months to fill in the paperwork? How we will ever fit it in. Let's take two examples, two local pubs and their approaches. This won't tak long.

Pub 1 - Read his newspaper, kept up with the news, got the forms and filled them in. Task completed months before it was needed.

Pub 2 - read the sports news, got drunk with his locals, stuck his fingers up his nose, then remembered the paperwork stashed in his knickers draw about a week before the deadline. Complained about the stupid government not writing the guidelines in "Stupid Gitish" and phones his local paper and MP in that order.

So, lets have a really expensive parliamentary enquiry. Why not tell some members of the public to pull their fingers out instead?


MPs Grubby Washing

Are we so tardy in sorting out this cash for peerages law? The SNP, rushing on their way to phone Scotland Yard, point to an existing law from 1925 that makes such impropriety an offence. But then, the SNPs answer to anything is "Police!" I suppose it works on the principle that if you can't beat them, dig up the dirt.

The more interesting issue here is a willingness by the two major parties to simply clean up their acts. Even the Lib Dems have been remarkably low key, though they are slightly less steeped in these problems - mostly because no body has asked them. It is very difficult to get involved in a scandalous party if no one has remembered to invite you in the first place!

This is an occassion where, instead of mutual head bashing, or even calling 999, there is an opportunity to actually sort something out properly - with everybody in agreement. Accept Alex Salmon of course, or probably Gorgeous Galloway - but who gives a damn about hsoe two idiots anyway; they have hardly served anyone right.

So, brush down the diplomacy, wheel out the backrooom boys and lets do something possitive. But do remember - better to wash ALL your grubby nickers in public this time round than have a few more slip out of the basket later!


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Oh, Look - Isn't the US tiny?

Apparently this map of the US created from strands of DNA is but a few billionths of a metre across. I can think of some countries that have wanted to do that to the US for years...

Read the proper article at

It is a thirsty world

When I was younger I really didn't think I would see many changes in my world. Oh, there was this thing about World War 3 but only paranoid American school kids were practicing hiding under their desks - to the rest of us it was far less of a possibility.

Now I am older I find that my future is being drawn in far darker and harsher detail than was ever invisaged in "On the Beach" or "The Crysalids" or other apocalyptic novels.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Quenching Mexico City's thirst

"Population growth, the over-exploitation of subterranean aquifers, and a failure to recycle limited water supplies have turned a once-fertile region into a barren desert."

Mexico city, once the water logged Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, sat within a broad, deep lake of floating crop islands and tropical beauty, is drying out. 20 million people have drunk the city dry. Water recycling is minimal, and they have a leaking water problem that makes Thames water look wonderful.20 million people and it rains less. In other parts of the world it is worse.

Some predictors indicate that Africa could lose 25% of its water in the next 50 to 100 years. In constrast other parts of the world could get wetter. The seas could rise, the storms could be more ferocious and the floods more debilitating. And the population will rise because we are getting better at keeping it alive.Anyone ofr a nuclear holocaust? At least it would be quick. Perhaps the Iranians will obige.

Read the BBC article

So much news! Any ID what is happening?

The too and fro of the ID bill continues in its own rather daft way. If anyone has bothered to follow all of this then they are either on the committee or are having a very tired life.

The truth is that if ID cards were introduced tomorrow and they were mandatory, then most people would get one. People would object and you might even get a riot or two. But within ten years it would be a matter only for historians.Will ID cards make life easier? Get the technology right and possibly. But it will only be in the same way that a chip and pin card is seen as better than cash. And is that better? Well, possibly - possibly not. Never seen a major problem with cash personally. It can't be decoded and if anyone steals it, well they get what was in your pocket, but ot doen't give them access to any more.So, cash is probably better. Hmmm. Better ditch ID cards and credit cards, oh, and cheques, IOUs and anything else that is not the real thing. Ah, that would be cash as well then.So lets reject ID cards and return to bartering with gold, silver and tin. Or we accept the lot, but make it workable. You choose.


How much a Peerage?

I feel in my bones that this is not a particularly life or death scandal, however it once again highlights the fact that Patronage is and has been part of our political system as much as it has been part of the US system.

We have to look again at many parts of our honours system and seperately at the second chamber. Personally, I am in favour of removing the ability for politicians to place honour upon anyone - especially as they often seem to have a limp grasp on the entire idea of Honour in the first place. Let us take it fully back to where it belongs - the Royal family.

If the system were to be run completely and soley by the palace, with no intrusion from the government, then they system could be designed to truly honour those which society wishes to recognise.

However, to really clean up the system we need to change the way political parties are funded and run. The demands on a polical party's purse has become astronomilcal with most of the budget going to mass marketing technicues of one sort or the other. Not only has this proved very expensive but it has put a tangeable barrier, the marketing specialist, between the party and the voter.

If there was a draconian limit on spend, then the party's would be forced to make greater use of traditional techniques, like meeting people more often. Or simply talking to camera rather than spending thousands on pointless images (I know they are pointless - I do this for a living).Either way, if power corrupts then the currency of power is the same as anything else - cash. Remove large amounts of cash from the system and you remove some of the tools of corruption. It is not a cure, but it is a start.


Taking the politics out of the Greenhouse

There is a simple problem here: If sea levels rise, the Tower of London will get flooded. This is the trouble when the river you are parked on is more or less at sea level. And will sea levels rise? Well, if the workd heats up - yes.

The trouble is there is dispute as to whether the world WILL heat up in the near future. CErtainly it has gotten a little warmer, but is this really showing a major trend? The best evidence unfortunately thinks that it is - we could be in big trouble. In fact we could be in enough trouble that we will get there whether we do anything or not, and that is a depressing thought.The USA has, however, a different approach. They say that firstly the indications are so small as to be misleading - they may or may NOT be showing climate change. They also are havng tremendous trouble with the idea of one body telling another what it can do - especially of the second body happens to be the USA and the first has anything to do with the UN.To be honest, the USA has a more realistic problem too. As the most powerful, or rather most succesful, economy in the world currently, they have unbelievable power requirements. And they are very worried that climate change will mean they will have to start turning power off. This could be politically destabalising not only for the US but for the rest of us as well.However, the US is taking a very dishonest approach to the problem - at least publically. Rather than confront the situation head on and start looking for solutions that may protect against climate change as well as keeping stbility - taking a lead, in other words - they hide behing a wall of political twists and turns that are as meaningless as they are rediculous.Avoiding a problem is not a solution. In other areas the US has been good, or perhaps over zealous, in getting it's hadns dirty, why are they so backwards in this one that may REALLY matter?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tower of London on climate list


The Premier Blog?

(BBC NEWS - Nick Robinson's Newslog)

From the thousands of blogs out there, this one gets premier positioning on the BBC website. And it fulfills everything a blog should - it is consise, it does not just regurgitate eveything lse, it is personal and, of course, it is free! (Erm, with a nod to the licence fee)

But does it get any more noticed than, say, my own? Well, okay it does a bit, well probably quite a lot, but I do wonder whether the total amount of readers of the blogs of the world actually exceeds the total number of bloggers. I hope this has a magnificent hit rate - it would give the rest of us hope!


Who cares where the votes come from? (BBC NEWS - Blair to defend key schools plan)

I get this deep feeling that the job of "running the country" that is meant to be the pervue of elected MPs is being subverted by the need to be political. Okay, so this is not new, not even recent, but it is getting to be a complete pain!

Now, I quite like at least some of what the government is proposing in the current education bill. Well, I would, wouldn't I? I have kids of the right age, I am fed up with the state of education, and the fact that I can do noubt about it, and I also remember and fear the looney left in the education system that tried so hard to cock up my own education.Despite that I am a labour supporter. However, although I have no particular wish to vote for the Tories, I am aware of one thing. EVERY MP in the house is there because they were elected by people of this country. A vote from a Tory, Lib Dem or other carries the same weight as a vote from the Labour back benches.That is called democracy and, as an ordinary voter, I do not give a jot what flavour any particular MP is, but I do care about the result. Yesterday's result was good for me. Let's face it, if I lived in a Tory constituency, the MP I would have to lobby would be a Tory MP - That is who represents me, even though I voted labour.It is about time that the news people stopped focussing on the stupid westminster soap stories and started talking policy.Read more at