Best of breeders

I know. I know. I know that the Daily Telegraph comment pages are just a masterclass in trolling.

I try to resist, but with this, they’ve gone too far.

Janet Daley came up with a whole premise that makes me want to eviscerate my fellow man.

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Apparently, Cameron is out to win over the votes of ‘hard-working families’. Whatever his futile ruse is, it’s not adequate for Janet Daley.

She is unequivocal about her answer to the challenge:

he does not address the most prevalent form of anxiety and distress that bedevils a majority of families (and not just those who are "troubled" in the sociological sense): the strain caused by worries about money. Given that this is a problem which could be directly remediable by government – in the form of tax relief for people raising children – it seems distinctly odd that he should fail to mention it.

Tax relief for people raising children. That’s right.

She thinks that people who make the choice to have children should have to pay less tax than people who do not have children.

That’s right. The people who consume school places, place extra burden on medical services, produce extra waste for landfill (disposable nappy mountains anyone?), and demand clean, safe public parks for their children to play in, want to pay less tax than those people who don’t use schools, make scant use of the NHS, produce far less waste (refuse, water, sewage) and have no need of childrens’ playgrounds.

All of these things that children consume cost money. The state provides those funds out of various pots of tax revenue.

Even if those who procreate pay the same in tax as those who don’t, those with children are being subsidised. They pay no extra taxes at any level to fund the services that they require and the child-free do not require. If one adds a tax break for the fecund, those who can’t or won’t breed are being baldly penalised for their  circumstances or choices.

Bringing up children is hard, they say. It’s expensive and tiring.

I know all of this – that’s why I don’t have any children. I made the choice on the basis raising kids places burdens that I have no appetite for.

I’ll have to live with the consequences of my decisions when I’m old and there’s no-one to look after me, they say.

As if.

As if having kids is a guarantee of support in your dotage (it’s not even a guarantee they won’t push you down the stairs so they can have your house).

As if these parents who demand tax breaks are even bearing the consequences of their decisions now, let alone in 40 years time.

Despite not wanting children, it doesn’t mean I’m uncaring or unwilling to accept any undertakings. I have 3 cats and a horse.

The cats cost nearly £2000 a year to feed, plus vet’s bills etc, making nearly £2500 a year.

Keeping a horse is even more expensive. If I want to do everything myself, then I can expect to spend upwards of £5000 a year. If I require any assistance, i can expect that cost to double.

It’s hard. I wanna hand-out. Wah Wah Wah.

No. I don’t. I made considered decisions and now I’m prepared to live with them. Which is as it should be.

In economics, there’s the concept of externalisation. The industrial polluter who saves money on clean technology and emits fumes that are other people’s problem and not the industrialist’s is externalising the cost of his activities. You may of heard the exhortation to “Make the Polluter Pay”.

This means that the externalities must be eliminated and those responsible for producing things that pollute or consume common resources must bear the cost of their activities.

I see no reason why the exact same principle should not apply to having children.

In short, if you want to pollute the world with your offspring, you have to pay for the consequences, and not expect those of us who have made more prudent choices to pick up the tab.

AJ

Update:  This just in from the Daily Mash.

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When the system works properly…

This is an amusing example of when agents of the state completely bugger something up, yet it unintentionally has a desirable outcome.

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Thousands of pupils in the UK are being given scant or wrong advice about the best A-level subjects to study to gain a degree place, a survey has found.

The study by the Student Room online forum suggests many students have poor guidance on what to take at A level.

Of more than 6,000 students in the study, hundreds said they found they had taken the wrong subjects to access a chosen university course or career.

Almost a third (32%) of those who took part in the study rated their school’s careers advice as "weak".

About a quarter (23%) said they did not have enough information to make informed choices about their future careers or the subjects they should study to achieve their ambitions

Well this sounds bad. And yet so so typical. But here comes the good news:

"My school didn’t tell me that maths was a requirement for the majority of chemistry and natural sciences courses, which means I am now very limited," one student commented.

Maths is required for a Chemistry degree? Orly? Ho ho ho.

Yet another lost out on a place to study medicine at one university after being wrongly told A-level biology was not needed for this particular course.

LOL. May I be so bold as to suggest that if you didn’t realise you’d need a Biology A Level to do a medicine degree, you are too stupid to pursue a career in medicine?

One student said: "You’re told to pick subjects which you enjoy and are good at. So I took a total mismatch of subjects with no real end goal and nobody said to me that I might struggle to find a university course because of my mixed set of A-levels."

When I was growing up, I’d realised by the age of about 13 that with some distinguished exceptions, most teachers were clueless about pretty much everything. in some cases, even the topic they were supposed to be teaching. The careers advisors made the teachers look good!

This is why I made damned sure I had other sources of information about these things. And all this was possible before the Internet was ever heard of. I know!

What’s most worrying is that in this information age, kids can get to the age where they’re choosing their A-Levels and not only are they being still spoon-fed by teachers, but they seem to think that teachers & careers advisors can be relied upon to provide  such competent and comprehensive advice that there’s no need to go online and read about the university courses your hoping to access with your A-Level choices. I mean, isn’t it obvious that someone who did an arts degree then went straight into teaching or “careers advice” knows nothing about what a chemistry degree may entail? They may not know what working in the private sector entails either, for that matter.

Perhaps the teaching of critical thinking isn’t as good as it ought to be.

The mind boggles, and yet, haphazardly, the state has saved us from at least one unlikely candidate for medical school.

AJ

No sympathy week

Most drivers of diesel-engined cars deserve no sympathy. In fact they deserve opprobrium.

More than 10 years ago, when Gordon Brown was chancellor of the exchequer, the Inland Revenue (latterly HMRC) changed the regime for company cars, fuel taxes were tinkered with, and the way the Department of Transport charged for road tax were restructured. All of this was designed to encourage people to buy diesel-engined cars and equally to penalise those who bought petrol-engined cars.

This was on the premise that diesel-engined cars emit less CO2 than equivalently powerful petrol -engined cars, and CO2 is bad which is, of course, manifest bollocks.

Back when this was implemented those of us with a clue were angered by the government choosing to tackle possible but unproven effects of CO2 emissions, while roundly ignoring the known and proven carcinogenic effects of the particulate emissions from diesel exhausts.

Let’s see what Wikipedia says about diesel particulates.

Particulates

Diesel particulate matter (DPM), sometimes also called diesel exhaust particles (DEP), is the particulate component of diesel exhaust, which includes diesel soot and aerosols such as ash particulates, metallic abrasion particles, sulfates, and silicates. When released into the atmosphere, DPM can take the form of individual particles or chain aggregates, with most in the invisible sub-micrometre range of 100 nanometers, also known as ultrafine particles (UFP) or PM0.1.

The main particulate fraction of diesel exhaust consists of fine particles. Because of their small size, inhaled particles may easily penetrate deep into the lungs. The rough surfaces of these particles makes it easy for them to bind with other toxins in the environment, thus increasing the hazards of particle inhalation.

Health effects

Exposures have been linked with acute short-term symptoms such as headache, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, coughing, difficult or labored breathing, tightness of chest, and irritation of the eyes and nose and throat[citation needed]. Long-term exposures could lead to chronic, more serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, cardiopulmonary disease, and lung cancer.[11][7][8] The NERC-HPA funded ‘Traffic Pollution and Health in London‘ project at King’s College London is currently seeking to refine our understanding of the health effects of traffic pollution. Ambient traffic-related air pollution was associated with decreased cognitive function in older men.[10]

Mortality from diesel soot exposure in 2001 was at least 14,400 out of the German population of 82 million, according to the official report 2352 of the Umweltbundesamt Berlin (Federal Environmental Agency of Germany).

The study of nanoparticles and nanotoxicology is still in its infancy, but the full health effects from nanoparticles produced by all types of diesel is still being uncovered. It is already clear enough, however, that the health detriments of fine particle emissions are severe and pervasive. Although one study found no significant evidence that short term exposure to diesel exhaust results in adverse extra-pulmonary effects, effects that are often correlated with an increase in cardiovascular disease,[12] a 2011 study in The Lancet concluded that traffic exposure is the single most serious preventable trigger of heart attack in the general public, the cause of 7.4% of all attacks.[9] It is impossible to tell how much of this effect is due to the stress of being in traffic and how much is due to exposure to exhaust.[citation needed]

Since the study of the detrimental health effects of nanoparticles (nanotoxicology) is still in its infancy, and the nature and extent of negative health impacts from diesel exhaust continues to be discovered.

And there it is.

There is a valid situation in which to use diesel. This is for lugging loads. If you have a 3-ton+ vehicle or tow a 2-ton+ trailer, you’re in the diesel zone. There’s no other choice until these hybrids that deliver a lump of torque using an electric motor are able to pull 3.5 tons of trailer.

If you don’t lug loads and you still bought diesel, either you thought it was greener, in which case you’re either a deluded idiot, or you thought it’d save you money, in which case you’re an antisocial twat who doesn’t care about harmful air pollution so long as he saves a few pence.

By the way, you didn’t save a few pence, did you? Diesel-engined cars are mostly more expensive than petrol, diesel fuel is more expensive than petrol, DERVs aren’t that much more economical unless you drive like a vicar, and the engines are far more complicated, meaning lots to go wrong and more complex and expensive servicing requirements. You basically need to be doing north of 25,000 miles a year for a diesel-engined car to be a genuine money saver.

At the same time you tolerate a car with lumpy power delivery, a nasty rattling Barleymow-sounding engine, smelly exhaust gases and foul smelling fuel that you REALLY don’t want on your skin or clothes, and a heavy engine that ruins the whole balance of the car.

So, I laughed heartily upon learning that there is now political acknowledgement of the damage being done to air quality by the mass uptake of diesel engines, and that the answer to this problem is to what diesel cars with additional congestion charges.

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A chap in the Telegraph is having a whinge, mainly because – quelle surprise – he runs a diesel engined car.

The problem arose because in the battle against climate change, CO2 emissions were seen as the only benchmark. The fact that supposedly "green" diesel cars contribute to asthma, lung disease and heart disease was rather put to one side. What mattered was that they emit less CO2 and are more fuel-efficient than their petrol equivalents. They were favoured with lower road tax and cheaper insurance, and in 2012 diesel sales overtook petrol for the first time. All of which means that as part of the long-term project of cutting emissions and ameliorating climate change, we have paid an immediate cost by filling up the air with lethal diesel particles.

Despite him raising several very good points, he confesses to driving a Citroen Diesel, so I suspect he falls into both the idiot and the twat categories.

So, diesel drivers, it’s time for you to get soaked, and it’s long overdue.

Enjoy. I will.

AJ

Update: Bwahahahahahaaaaaa

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Edmund King, the president of the AA, said: “Some drivers will feel betrayed and misled because they were encouraged to go for the dash for diesel.

Hahahahahaaaaaa. No really. Bwahahahaha. Tough titty.

“In the 1990s there was a near hysteria about carbon dioxide, and yet nobody looked at the bigger picture.

“The drivers thought they were doing the right thing, but now they are being told that it has serious health implications. They are being made to feel guilty for something that they were encouraged to do.

See, the thing is, some of us knew full well that this was the case.

In 2001, Gordon Brown, the then chancellor, overhauled vehicle excise duty so that cars that emitted a higher level of carbon dioxide faced a higher level of vehicle excise duty.

Labour introduced the new regime despite official warnings that diesel vehicles emit “10 times the fine particles and up to twice the nitrogen dioxide”.

See?

Frank Kelly, the chairman of the Department of Health’s committee on air pollution, said the public were still being misled about the benefits of diesel cars.

He said: “I have full sympathy with the public who have not been provided balanced information on this issue.

No way! No sympathy ever. The information was out there, and if people had trusted their own senses, they’d have known that diesel emissions are terribly bad for us. But no. The offer of saving a few pence and the blinkers are on.

“Drivers do not want to go to the garage one morning only to find what was previously worth a lot of money has plummeted in value overnight because politicians have suddenly moved the goalposts.”

Funny that, because that’s exactly what happened to the more powerful petrol-powered cars when Gordon Brown did his scowly Jockanese thing in 2001. The malevolent monocular porage-guzzling cunt. The arse dropped out of the market for V8s and a lot of people lost a lot of the money they had invested in their cars.

So, fuck it. Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks the government only fucks other people – people they think deserve it – over.

They’ve fucked people like me over plenty, while pecksniff, diesel-driving cocksmokers looked on and chuckled. And now the boot is on the other foot. Fuck you all. Bwahahahahahaaaaa.

People with the oldest, dirtiest diesels will feel the financial squeeze most. They face paying more to use their cars and getting less for them when they try to sell.

Boo hoo! :-(

Once again, my day is made.

AJ

This…

A pox on feminism.

AJ

Remarkable…

A politician who thoroughly deserves praise. I could almost vote for this man.

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Every prime minister has the right to choose his team to take Britain into the general election and I am confident that my able successor at Defra, Liz Truss, will do an excellent job. It has been a privilege to take on the challenges of the rural economy and environment. However, I leave the post with great misgivings about the power and irresponsibility of – to coin a phrase – the Green Blob.

By this I mean the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.

Local conservationists on the ground do wonderful work to protect and improve wild landscapes, as do farmers, rural businesses and ordinary people. They are a world away from the highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with their self-serving demands, many of which would have harmed the natural environment.

I soon realised that the greens and their industrial and bureaucratic allies are used to getting things their own way. I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland. My home address was circulated worldwide with an incitement to trash it; I was burnt in effigy by Greenpeace as I was recovering from an operation to save my eyesight. But I did not set out to be popular with lobbyists and I never forgot that they were not the people I was elected to serve.

Indeed, I am proud that my departure was greeted with such gloating by spokespeople for the Green Party and Friends of the Earth.

It was not my job to do the bidding of two organisations that are little more than anti-capitalist agitprop groups most of whose leaders could not tell a snakeshead fritillary from a silver-washed fritillary. I saw my task as improving both the environment and the rural economy; many in the green movement believed in neither.

Their goal was to enhance their own income streams and influence by myth making and lobbying. Would they have been as determined to blacken my name if I was not challenging them rather effectively?

When I arrived at Defra I found a department that had become under successive Labour governments a milch cow for the Green Blob.

Just as Michael Gove set out to refocus education policy on the needs of children rather than teachers and bureaucrats and Iain Duncan Smith set out to empower the most vulnerable, so I began to reorganise the department around four priorities: to grow the rural economy, to improve the environment, and to safeguard both plant and animal health.

The Green Blob sprouts especially vigorously in Brussels. The European Commission website reveals that a staggering 150 million euros (£119 million) was paid to the top nine green NGOs from 2007-13.

European Union officials give generous grants to green groups so that they will lobby it for regulations that then require large budgets to enforce. When I attended a council meeting of elected EU ministers on shale gas in Lithuania last year, we were lectured by a man using largely untrue clichés about the dangers of shale gas. We discovered that he was from the European Environment Bureau, an umbrella group for unelected, taxpayer-subsidised green lobby groups. Speaking of Europe, I remain proud to have achieved some renegotiations.

The discard ban ends the scandalous practice of throwing away perfectly edible fish, we broke the council deadlock on GM crops, so decisions may be repatriated to member countries and we headed off bans on fracking. Judge me by my opponents.

When I proposed a solution to the dreadful suffering of cattle, badgers and farmers as a result of the bovine tuberculosis epidemic that Labour allowed to develop, I was opposed by rich pop stars who had never been faced with having to cull a pregnant heifer. (Interestingly, very recent local evidence suggests the decline in TB in the cull area may already have begun.)

When I spoke up for the landscapes of this beautiful country against the heavily subsidised industry that wants to spoil them with wind turbines at vast cost to ordinary people, vast reward to rich landowners and undetectable effects on carbon dioxide emissions, I was frustrated by colleagues from the so-called Liberal Democrat Party.

When I encouraged the search for affordable energy from shale gas to help grow the rural economy and lift people out of fuel poverty, I was opposed by a dress designer for whom energy bills are trivial concerns.

When I championed brilliant scientists demonstrating genetic modifications to rice to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries, I was vilified by a luxury organic chocolate tycoon uninterested in the demonstrable environmental and humanitarian benefits of GM crops.

When faced with the flooding of the Somerset Levels I refused to make the popular and false excuse of blaming it on global warming, but set out to reverse the policy inherited from a Labour peeress and serial quangocrat who had expressed the wish to “place a limpet mine on every pumping station”, while deliberately allowing the silting up of drainage channels.

When I set out to shatter the crippling orthodoxy that growing the rural economy and improving the environment are mutually exclusive, I was ridiculed by a public school journalist who thinks the solution to environmental problems is “an ordered and structured downsizing of the global economy”. Back to the Stone Age, in other words, but Glastonbury-style.

Yes, I’ve annoyed these people, but they don’t represent the real countryside of farmers and workers, of birds and butterflies.

Like the nationalised industries and obstructive trade unions of the 1970s, the Green Blob has become a powerful self-serving caucus; it is the job of the elected politician to stand up to them. We must have the courage to tackle it head on, as Tony Abbott in Australia and Stephen Harper in Canada have done, or the economy and the environment will both continue to suffer.

* Owen Paterson is a former secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.

Stick that up yer hoop, envirotards.

AJ

Warning: This heat is hot. Do not touch the hot heat.

It’s going to be a little bit warm, and none of us are going to know what to do.

It’s time that these idiots who treat us all like children were told to fuck off and die.

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Yes, because none of us have ever experienced hot weather.

Public health officials said they were particularly concerned about Muslims fasting for Ramadan.

Not even the Muslims who fast every year, and every year encounter some sort of challenging circumstances in the course of doing so. I don’t suppose the Muslims who’ve actually moved from a sand-swept middle eastern hotspot should be lulled into thinking that Summer in Britain is benign either. Some things can only be tackled by a bunch of pallid, grey, nanny state fuckwits.

People in the South East, East and Midlands have been told to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.

Or else?

They are also advised to turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment, to avoid generating excess heat, and wear a hat or light scarf if venturing outdoors. Public Health England said people should keep curtains closed, move to a cooler room to sleep, and should eat salad, drink plenty of water and avoid extreme physical exertion.

??

What the actual fuck is ‘Public Health England’? And why have those peopling this superfluous crock of shit not been dragged out into the street and shot?

Health officials said their warnings should not be taken lightly.

Well, they would say that wouldn’t they? Otherwise, the aforementioned dragging out and shooting would be the only thing for them.

Cllr Katie Hall, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “The hundreds of deaths caused by extreme heat each year are avoidable. Councils are determined to reduce the toll as much as possible.”

Listen, Cllr Katie Hall. Why don’t you shuffle off and mind your own fucking business, eh? And take the rest of your power-grabbing socialist LGA chums with you.

 

JUST LEAVE US THE FUCK ALONE.

 

AJ

The big, grey, depressed elephant in the room

Setting to one side for a moment the stone cold fact that the Telegraph has turned into one massive trolling machine, what goes unspoken in the following article is worth saying:

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It’s not difficult to know where to begin with this one…

It’s the same trick as with the ‘bedroom tax’: penalise people on society’s bottom rung for not availing themselves of something that is not available.

People can’t downsize their housing-benefit funded rental properties, because there are nowhere near enough 1 & 2 bedroom properties for the people who are required by the state to move into them. Accordingly, thousands find themselves perversely penalised for failing to do the impossible.

Now people who fail to undertake treatment for mental health problems face being penalised for not availing themselves of non-existent mental health services within the NHS.

The Tories are clearly their own worst enemy. Sure, they have a few good ideas (for a bunch of toffee-nosed, authoritarian bastards), particularly regarding the actual way economics works, but really? Putting the most vulnerable people in a no win situation so they can say they’re being tough on welfare dependency?

Fucking idiots. Evil, stupid, spiteful idiots.

More curiously still, it is a Lib Dem who speaks some sense.

Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem health minister, said mandating mental health treatment for benefit claimants would not work and was "not a sensible idea".

"The idea that you frogmarch someone into therapy with the threat of a loss of benefits simply won’t work," he said. "It is not a question of whether tough love is a good concept.

"You actually need someone to go into therapy willingly."

And that is a completely valid point. It would be the key point were it not for the fact that mental health services within the NHS are completely inadequate.

AJ

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