Dear Tories, Go Fuck Yourselves.

If I had voted Tory at the last general election, as I most certainly did not, now is about the time I’d be starting to feel really fucking stupid.

They’ve barely been in charge for 5 minutes, yet they’ve managed to abandon all the policies, promises and pledges that might vaguely have appealed to me, or at least to the traditional conservative.

As if that’s not depressing enough, they rub our faces in it by being as good as their word on the most hideous, interfering, statist articles of Social Democratic endarkenment that they’d promised us.

Take Mr Andrew Lansley, who got a brief mention the other day.

In February, Obo wrote a post about one of Lansley’s proposals, and he tackled the subject with his usual uncompromising aplomb.

Hannan and Carswell are regarded as utter fucking lunatics by the Tory leadership, who prefer to have policies like this instead:

Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, has launched the Conservative Party’s new green paper on public health – A Healthier Nation.
The Green Paper outlines how we will tackle Britain’s public health crisis by completely overhauling Labour’s failing system of dealing with public health.

Okaaaaayyyy …

Much greater responsibility for tackling problems like obesity, drug use and teenage pregnancy will be devolved to communities on a new payment-by results basis, with extra rewards for improving the public health of the poorest. In spending their dedicated public health budgets, communities will be obliged to partner with local bodies, like schools, businesses, councils and GPs.

I’m sorry, Mr Lansley, but just chucking the word "devolved" in there doesn’t fucking mean shit, you mendacious cunt. And what’s with this "partnering" cockwaffle? Obliged? So if my local trust doesn’t want to "partner", fuck them anyway? How is that "devolution", you lying fuck?

There will be a new focus on innovative strategies, with national campaigns harnessing the latest behaviour change research and delivered by providers who are paid by results. We will provide prizes for ‘open source’ suggestions for successful new public health strategies.

No. No. No. Just fucking NO!

And as assuredly as anything ‘good’ has been abandoned, everything ‘bad’ is being pursued with relish, and to the letter.

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Schools, employers, the food and drink industry and communities themselves are being urged to do their bit to make the nation healthier.

Ministers said they wanted to unlock the potential of all sections of society in setting out their plans.

Projects being promoted include everything from bike training in schools to voluntary cuts in salt and fat content by food manufacturers.

I’m sorry? What? I seem to recall the last 10 years have been marked by schools forcing kids to have ‘healthy’ school meals, intruding into packed-lunch items in search of contraband calories, by the drinks industry being forced to adopt “Drink Aware” bollocks and food manufacturers ruining every damned item of food they’ve sold by replacing all the fat, salt and sugar with sawdust and grubs.

And as if companies don’t already do enough interfering and hectoring of their staff?

But no, it’s not enough. Andrew Lansley thinks there’s still some way to go. Still some potential to be unlocked. Because we’re not absolutely fucking miserable and downtrodden yet, so there must be pockets of joy, fun and indulgence that have remained beyond the reach of the bully-state.

Good job the Big Society is here to make sure that everyone is equally, and irrevocably miserable.

Isn’t this just the most New Labour thing you ever heard? Heir to Blair indeed.

If you voted for this, you’re a fucking idiot and I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire.

AJ

UPDATE: TimDog (in the comments below, the filthy linkwhore) has written a very good piece on this.

Fool me once, shame on you…

After last winter’s experience of snow blind panic buying, I decided this winter, that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Then stab ‘em in the back.

Last December and January were marked by the collective insanity that insisted people head to the supermarket and load their cars to the gunwales with every last item of groceries they could lay their fucking selfish hands on.. thus I was denied basics such as bread or milk, having been tardy enough to expect the shops still to be selling such luxuries by the time I rolled up.

Well, you’ll not do it to me again, England. Fuck you.

As soon as the snow hit the ground today, I went to Tesco, and I bought ALL the bread, ALL the milk, fresh and UHT, ALL the wine, ALL the catfood, ALL the salt, ALL the wild bird food, ALL the cakes and ALL the fruit and vegetables.

Next week I’m going to Barbados for a month on the Clubcard points, leaving a huge pile of rotting food in my garden.

Cheers,
AJ

Meanwhile, in other complete and utter bollocks

I saw this is the dead tree edition yesterday while I was procrastinating in the tea room at work.

The more I think about it, the less sense it makes.

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Fine, whatever.. let’s get to the poll.

Our 10 worst driving habits

1. Not holding steering wheel in ”correct’’ 10-to-two position 46%

Umm.. what? As long as the driver is in control of the vehicle, I don’t care if he’s steering with his elbows.

2. Not applying handbrake at traffic lights 37%

Ah, this is implicit annoyance at being dazzled by high-level brakelights in the dark, I suspect.

Second worst habit though, ORLY?

3. Accelerating between speed cameras 31%

Oh right.. more annoying than facist cameras that enforce artificially lowered speed limits, imposed not for safety, nor for efficient traffic flow,but for REVENUE? I think not.

4. Exceeding urban speed limit 28%

Meh. All speed limits are advisory. You’re better off with me doing 40mph up your road with proper concentration, should I deem the conditions to be safe for it, than you are some brainless pillock whose attention is mostly focused on mollifying the MPV full of kids he/she is ferrying around, rather than looking outside of the vehicle to make sure he’s not mowing down your kids.

5. Drinking and eating while driving 21%

Again, I don’t give a toss what the driver is doing, so long as the vehicle is under proper control. The degree and latitude of control required in a stream of motorway traffic is significantly less than it is crossing the Snake Pass, for example.

It’s all about context.

BTW, you’re changing gear – I don’t need to – I have a spare hand. Disagree? So you don’t think disabled drivers with only one arm should be allowed?

6. Coasting with clutch down 14%

What? I mean.. just … what? WHO CARES!!!???

7. Using horn through frustration 12%

This is a lesser crime than being the driver who causes the frustration, be it through being inattentive or inconsiderate.

8. Passing through amber or red traffic lights 12%

Well duh..

9. Not concentrating 11%

Sorry.. I wasn’t listening then.. BTW lack of concentration (or failure to observe) is the #1 primary factor in road traffic accidents.

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See? in 2009 – failure to look properly contributed to 38% of all of RTAs.

Travelling too fast for contitions acounted for 11%.

The trends 2005-2009 for those figures are interesting, too.

10. Putting car’s nose out at junctions 7%

Hey – try sitting in a side road, trying to emerge out onto a main road, when no-one will let you out because they all hate your 4×4/BMW/Porsche. You stick your nose out, or you’ll soon have me behind you beeping the horn and flashing the lights, to make you get a fucking move-on.

So then, here is the Al Jahom run down of stuff that induces road rage in me:

1) Driving too slowly for the conditions and failing to allow quicker vehicles the opportunity to overtake.

2) Failure to observe proper lane discipline.

3) Indecisiveness, poor observation or timidity.

4) Flashing of headlamps, or gesticulating, at anyone with the audacity to drive more assertively than you.

5) Inability to recognise the correct speed limit on NSL sections of road.

6) Baby-on-board signs – and moreso, ‘Princess on board’ signs. May as well say ‘brain left in puddle on delivery room floor – expect erratic maneuvres’.

7) Use of foglights when visibility is good.

8) Caravans & Horse Boxes. Always.

9) Failure to indicate correctly and in a timely manner.

10) People who wear a hat while driving.

I can sum the maxims of good driving up in 7 clear words:

Get the fuck out of my way.

Alternatively, take a look at some of my ‘How to Drive’ posts.

AJ

Ho hum

I don’t think there’s much to say about this:

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However, it was entirely predictable, in spite of the fact that:

Mr Lansley said people needed to take responsibility for their own health.

He warned lecturing people often ended up being counter-productive.

Meanwhile, while Philip Hammond declared an end to the war on motorists, already shown to be a sham. Little did we realist that instead, we’d get a war on all forms of transport.

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As I have already pointed out, it’s getting boring (for you and me both, I’ll wager) saying ‘meet the new cunts, same as the old cunts’.

But it needs saying. Anyone who is lulled into thinking this lot are any less statist, and less interfering, and more honest or any more competent than Labour is deluding themselves.

Anyone who thinks the system, as it exists,  offers us any answers or any hope of being left alone, unfettered and untaxed is an idiot.

This game ain’t worth playing anymore. It’s time to upend the table.

AJ

Royally Screwed

A woman who works for a clothes shop marries an anachronistic parasite and sooner or later, as if by magic, she’ll be the Queen. Of my country. Remarkable.

Labour truly mastered that social mobility brief, didn’t they?

This could truly be the bleakest winter in a long time. The media dribble, the imbecilic cooing women, the deluded fat men, sat in pubs droning on about what they’d do to ‘her’ and the jokes about queening.

The burial of bad news, the uniquely obsequious BBC coverage, the pissing of our stolen money right in our faces to pay for lavish events for the politicos and the slebs.

Seriously, for whom is this inevitable pantomime a good thing? It certainly won’t help my blood pressure.

I hope Twitter agrees on a hashtag soon, so I can block it.

AJ

Race card 101

As an aside, in the article I linked to below, Yasmin Ali-Baba Brown, said:

She added that she regarded Compton’s remarks as racially motivated because he mentioned stoning.

“If I as a Muslim woman had tweeted that it would be a blessing if Gareth Compton was stoned to death I’d be arrested immediately. I don’t think the nasty Tories went away."

If a Muslim woman had tweeted that a Kafir should be stoned to death, she would be arrested?

I really don’t think so.

How may of the ‘death to the infidel’ mentalists have we endured over the last few years? The Islamic demonstrations at Wootton Basset? The burning of poppies and disruption of the 2 minutes silence on Remembrance Day? Or the defacing of war memorials with pro-Islamic graffiti? Note by the way how that story was suppressed.

The woman is the worst kind of fool.

In her defence though, the point she was making, which attracted the unwelcome comment, was a fundamentally libertarian one, being this:

Their gaff, their rules

I wonder if she realises that?

AJ

The Joke Trial #Twitterjoketrial

No, not mock trial. Not even a trial where Rolf Harris sings “Tie me kangaroo court down”

This is a joke trial. Of the kind that makes a mockery of justice.

I speak, of course, about the Paul Chambers case, about which I and others have written extensively.

Yesterday, Paul’s appeal against his conviction under section 127.1(a) of the Communications Act 2003 was denied on all counts.

I am utterly aghast. Paul, and his nearest and dearest, must be utterly devastated.

Commentary on Twitter has been almost universally of the view that Paul’s treatment, at the hands of the CPS and the courts, is simply disgraceful and utterly baffling.

Take this post from CharonQC, for example. It refers to some of his tweets on the matter:

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He makes some useful points, too.

WE MUST DO – AND DESERVE – BETTER THAN THIS….

I won’t be arrested for saying this (I  assume.. although nothing is certain, it would seem) …. I won’t be prosecuted for saying this (ditto) …. I do not practice… so I can’t even be censured… (pretty sure on that one).   We really do need to sort our legal system out if it can bring about such an absurd and unjust result….. even if *The Law* justifies the decision of the judge as framed… if that is the case.. we need better laws..and we do deserve them.

And this, it would appear, is the rub.

Stereotypically inscrutable legal tweeter, @Art_Li makes some good points in the comments of Charon’s post.

He suggests both that the judgement is, tacitly or otherwise, a matter of policy….

What I will say is that behind every law and/or prosecution, there is a public policy decision (read motive). The policy decision in this case MAY BE one to discourage “joke” threats, whether on Twitter or elsewhere IN ORDER TO minimise the “leads” the police and security services have to follow up on a daily basis. We know resources there are not unlimited and already they are following up on dozens if not hundreds of leads every day (that is not a fact, just my assumption).

… and that the high court is unlikely to overturn the decision, because it is based on the strict interpretation of a law, as handed down by the House of Lords (now Supreme Court).

  • The following passages from the House of Lords judgment in the case of DPP v Collins (2006) may be of interest. This case was referred to by Mr Chambers’ legal team as well as the Judge in the recent appeal. The case concerned offensive messages but the wording of S.127(1) includes menacing messages too. (Capitalisation below is mine) :-

    “The very act of sending the message over the public communications network … constitutes the offence even if it was being communicated to someone who the sender KNEW WOULD NOT BE IN ANY WAT OFFENDED or distressed by it”.

    Lord Bingham of Cornhill : “it must be proved that the respondent intended his words to be offensive to those to whom they related or BE AWARE THAT THEY MAY BE TAKEN TO BE SO.” … “It can make no difference to criminal liability whether a message is ever actually received or WHETHER THE PERSONS WHO DO RECEIVE IT ARE OFFENDED BY IT.”

    It appears the Judge was therefore applying and following the Collins precedent.

    Art

  • I’m not a lawyer, and I can’t claim to understand the precise technical implication of the ruling, but it frustrates me greatly that Art thinks this is so fundamentally important. As if the law is an end in itself, before which all must bow down, however absurd it may be.

    Charon does, on the other hand, know a bit about the law…

    If this is taken to extremes – then many disagreeable statements are capable of coming within this definition and then we are truly doomed…..

    There is a place for a common sense approach to be taken into the application of our laws….. and if that can’t be done by the judiciary, then we simply have to get the law changed so that we don’t have these manifestly absurd cases.

    Art’s point seems to be this: The ruling of the Lords is the ruling of the Lords, and that’s that. That there is no latitude for a judge in any lower court to make any different or differentiated ruling.

    Regarding the chances of success in the High Court, Art is, therefore, not optimistic.

    The implication is this: there are only two realistic ways of fixing the situation.

    One is to take the case to the Supreme Court in order that they may over-rule, clarify or supersede, the DPP vs Collins ruling – for only they can do so. A defeat in the High Court looks like an expensive and risky step that will have to be taken in order to undertake the even more expensive, and even more risky journey to the highest court in the land.

    Having come this far, and Paul Chambers might not thank me for saying this, it would be pointless if he now won in the high court, leaving the next hapless twitterer to role the dice time after time in the same way he has had to, in the face of judge after judge who takes an inflexible reading of DPP vs Collins.

    Far better, it seems, would be for the case to end up before the Supreme Court, where the issue of DPP vs Collins could be put to bed.

    The other thread to be taken up is for the statute under which Chambers was prosecuted to be changed, amended, repealed, dumped in the great legal shredder.

    With the farce that is the Government’s so called ‘Your Freedom’ consultation around a grand repeal of so-called bad or illiberal laws, I don’t believe we can in anyway count on this important matter being addressed.

    Which leaves the option of lobbying, campaigning and insisting that this ludicrously framed law is fixed. Making representations to your MP, to the Minister of Justice, to the Prime Minister. To the newspapers, on the internet, on placards and through loudhailers.

    This is evidently the view of @John_Demetriou. Art Li clearly leans towards the view that getting the law changed is the only way forward.

    And yet, that won’t clear Paul Chambers’ name, or give him his life and career back.

    I wish Paul well and hope that this all, in the end, works out for him. It’s been a shit year for him. The state has made him their plaything, and the state doesn’t play nice.

    #######

    Nor will any change in the law come in time to help the Conservative councillor chappie who was arrested yesterday and bailed, accused of the same offence as Chambers, for tweeting that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown should be stoned to death, in response to her on-air assertion that the west has no right to cast moral judgement against the practices of some Islamic countries.

    Delicate, vulnerable Yasmin called the police. She said:

    Alibhai-Brown, who writes columns for the Independent and the London Evening Standard, said last night she regarded his comments as incitement to murder. She told the Guardian: "It’s really upsetting. My teenage daughter is really upset too. It’s really scared us.

    "You just don’t do this. I have a lot of threats on my life. It’s incitement. I’m going to the police – I want them to know that a law’s been broken."

    She added that she regarded Compton’s remarks as racially motivated because he mentioned stoning.

    So, rolled into one, from Yasmin, we have a ludicrous playing of the race card, a bit of ‘nasty Tories’ political point-scoring and great fear, offence and upset – all from some daft tweet, the likes of which must occur en masse on forums, twitter and blogs, in response to inflammatory comments from this controversial talking head.

    Do Mel Phillips, Rod Liddge, Simon Heffer, Peter Hitchens  or even Jeremy Clarkson not attract vituperative and unpleasant critics? Judge Jacqueline Davies, who presided over Paul Chambers’ defeat yesterday has certainly been in receipt of twitter ordure in the last 24 hours.

    And, apparently, like a good little socialist, Yasmin’s first and last response is to run crying to nanny.

    Compton’s arrest may well be the first indication that the Chambers conviction has opened up the floodgates for to police arrest any one for any contentious, angry or humourous tweet at any time, “even if it was being communicated to someone who the sender KNEW WOULD NOT BE IN ANY WAY OFFENDED or distressed by it”"

    Think about it? Get in a political argument on Twitter, and next thing, some offence-seeking lefty will decide that it’s best to rebut your argument by calling the police and accusing you of being a racist/homophobic/offensive menace, even if you are a threat to nothing more than the merit of their argument.

    A free for all and a legal feeding-frenzy could ensue, which would seal the deal on our lack of freedom of expression in the UK.

    Might as well delete all your tweets now, folks. We are truly and genuinely screwed.

    AJ

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