OK, I think I have to be honest with you. I will not be voting for the Conservative Party at the next General Election. I know that this may come as a surprise to absolutely none of you but I thought that we should clear it up.
I spend a lot of time on here having a go at Tories and their rubbishness and almost as much time defending the Government. This will stop, the government defending bit anyway (unless they are being unfairly maligned or misrepresented because that is not fair.)
I feel that, for reasons of fairness, that I should also tell you that I am a member of a Political party and it is neither of the two mentioned above. Yes, my dear readers, I am a member of UKIP. Ha, bet you spluttered what ever drink happened to be in your mouth just then. Bet it’s running down your chin and dripping on to your keyboard right now! Ha. Of course I’m not, I’m a member of the Lib-Dems (oh and as of this week the RSPB).
You’re not really that surprised are you? I thought I should mention it because as we, in Britain, build up to the Election this blog may get a little more partisan. To be honest it will get a little more partisan but I’m trying to give it a veneer of balance and fairness.
I won’t be uncritical of my party though just because I am a member, if they do something twatish I will say, but possible not with as much vitriol as I would if it were a Tory issue.
For instance, there seems to be a plot afoot to remove Evan Harris as the parties’ spokesperson on Science, you can read about at Jon Treadway’s blog here.
Brilliant, Evan Harris is great. He’s funny and well informed. We need more people like him not fewer. So he pissed off a few on the old woolly side of the party. Fuck ‘em. They are one of the reasons the party has an image problem. People think that we are all just a bunch of Tofu eating, sandal wearing hippies. Are we going to try and get rid of Vince Cable as well because he annoys some bankers?
Anyway, confession over (now I know how Tiger Woods must have felt. Seriously, talk about taking yourself too seriously. You play golf for a living, calm down. Who cares into what or whom you have inserted your penis. Can you still play golf well? If so then carry on, if not stop, you are worth over $1billion) and now back to Tory Bashing, it’s like whack-a-mole but much, much more fun.
20 economists have written to last Sunday's Times to say that the Government's handling of the economic recovery is wrong. Are we surprised by this? No, of course we aren't. I would imagine that they were asked to write to the paper by either the paper or the Tories. I can imagine that it isn't that hard to find 20 economists that disagree with the Government. After all it's only 20. and as any economist will tell you that, when compared to say 60million, 20 is a very small number.
History also tells us that economist know nothing. We've had a recession after all but that’s not all. In 1981 364 economists wrote to Geoffrey Howe to tell him that he was wrong to raise taxes by £4bn. In the letter, Mervyn King (now Governor of the Bank of England), and the Labour peer, Maurice Peston (Robert Peston's Dad) said that Howe's policy had "no basis in economic theory or supporting evidence", and that Britain's "social and political stability" was at risk if the government did not change course.
The Tories made much of Sunday's letter but they should be a little careful. Hubris people, hubris. After the 1981 letter was written by loads of people who where supposed to know their stuff, exactly the opposite of what they said would happen happened. The Economy started to grow.
Friday bought another letter from some more economists. Really, shouldn’t they be doing some adding up or something, they seem to have far to much time to write letters. Oh and letters? Who writes letters these days? What is this, the early 20th Century? This is why we are in so much trouble, they’ll be advising us to invest in the East India Company or Dutch Tulip bulbs soon.
Anyway, this time 60 of them have written an open letter supporting the Government’s plan to delay spending cuts for a little bit.
Now I only have A-level Maths and I don't have a degree in Economics but I'm pretty sure that 60 is bigger than 20, about 3 times as much I reckon. So that will be lots more economists say the Government is right and not the Tories. To quote a football chant “Sit down, shut up. Sit down, shut up.”
Whilst we are talking about Tories and numbers lets have a quick award,
The Award for Shooting Yourself in the Foot and Showing That You Have No Idea What Is Going On,
The Tories put out a document as part of their “Broken Britain” smear campaign against not-middle-class-people that claimed that more than half of girls in deprived areas, by the age of 18, were pregnent. The exact number that they used was 54%. If that is true then that is terrible, maybe these Tory types have a point. Of course they don't. The figure was false. The true figure is 5.4%. Was it just a typo? Did they just miss out a decimal point? Well if they did, they did it 3 times in the document so that seems unlikely. Did no one proof read it and question the figures? (I know I can't really criticize others proof reading but hey, I'm not trying to get elected, yet.)
You could just brush this off (as I'm sure the Tories will) as just a mistake but what it does show is that the Conservative Party have no idea what is actually going on in Britain. No one who read the document before it was published thought to ask, “Is this very high number correct?” They all assumed that this is what their country folk were like. Are these the people you want making social policy for us all? Well of course you lot don't, you read this but please tell your friends, relatives and complete strangers, the Tories have no idea about other people.
Would you let this woman run your child’s school?
For those who don’t know, this is Goldie Hawn, she is an actress who likes Buddhism. This is qualification enough to run schools under Tory plans announced last Sunday. Parents, charities and companies are to be encouraged to take over failing schools.
Is that not privatisation? You remember privatisation, trains, power generation, home care, all those things that work really, really well. Oh now wait, I forgot, profit is put ahead of service. That’s how your children should be educated, by the lowest bidder. What could possibly go wrong?
Shadow Children's Secretary Michael Gove, told the Sunday Times that there would be proper inspections of the school and did say that creationism would not be taught even if a church charity took over a school. Can we hold you to that Mr Gove because that is quite a bold claim?
He also used a very odd phrase when discussing who would be allowed to run the schools. He said that an independent body would be set up to vet all those who applied and “to make sure that extremist organisations, or people who have a dark agenda, are prevented from doing so.". A dark agenda? He does realise the Harry Potter is fiction right?
The Award for Reasonably Incompetent Secret Service of the Week,
This must go to Mossad, the Israeli secret service. OK, so state sponsored terrorism isn’t funny but the way this hit was carries out does smack of a Carry On film.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas leader, was found dead in his hotel room in Dubai. It has been assumed by most people, quite reasonably given Mossad’s history, (have you seen the film Munich?) that they carried out the assassination.
I realize that none of the above is funny but the following is, a bit. They used stolen identities to travel on. The identities of real people. They traveled on passports with these people’s names on them. People who would very quickly be able to prove that they were nowhere near Dubai when Interpol, who seem to have issued an international arrest warrant for these obviously innocent people, come a calling.
As far as I am aware, and most of my knowledge does come from the BBC television program Spooks, spy types use a false identity or legend. By using real people and then killing someone, they have managed to get themselves an awful lot of attention, usually the opposite of what spies try and do.
The Israeli Ambassador was called to the Foreign Office and was asked to explain why they did this, to which his reply, after shifting awkwardly in his seat, was. “Ummmm, we didn’t.”
The problem is we can do nothing. A government spokesman, I forget who now (this is why I would never be able to uncover something like the Watergate cover up, “ummm, someone broke into somewhere and junk.”) said that “We will make the strongest representations to the Israeli Government”. Well what does that mean? When pressed he was unable to answer because they can do nothing.
Your ID can be stolen by a foreign Secret Service and there is nothing you, or anyone else, can do about it. International law is meaningless if it is unenforceable.
The Award That Will Mean Nothing To You Because You've Just Won An Olympic Medal,
We won a gold! Oh yes, Ladies and Gentlemen (ok, those reading this in Canada and the US are quite use to this) Great Britain has won a gold medal! Amy Williams has been victorious in the Skeleton bob and has become the first Britain to win a solo Gold in 30 years. (If you click here you can see some video on the BBC website.)
Lets not mention the US and Canada making sour-grapes type complaints about her aerodynamic helmet because they were rejected, and Great Britain won a medal. Oh yes.
Stories that haven't made it this week,
The pointless but funny story of the week. The BNP has voted to change it's constitution to allow non-white people to join after the threat of legal action from the Equalities commission.
Is this going to make them less racist? Nope.
We live in a country of unpleasant people (despite the survey a couple of weeks ago that said that we are all more liberal), although why has the BBC focused on woman's attitudes?
Haikus of the Week,
We now know what killed
King Tutankhamen, fear not,
He is still dead though.
A Golfer says sorry
To his wife and family,
Gillette are relieved.
In the coming week news,
Simon Singh's appeal against the BCA comes up on Tuesday. For those of you who don't know what the case is about then may I recommend that you read here or here, for more info on Libel reform, try here.
May I advise you to read the Jack of Kent blog later in the week to find out what happened.
Good news, I've come to the end. Have a lovely week.