Climate Agenda Exposed in its Naked Glory…

Okay, it’s the Grauniad and the Grauniad has forever been the home of loopers and wingnuts.

This, however, deserves special mention.

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Read and weep, and be in no further doubt about the bizarre aims of lefty environmentalist types. They want to abolish the system that may not produce fairness as they understand it in their blinkered world, but has lifted billions out of actual poverty in the last 100 years.

But that’s the left for you. They’d rather we were all scratching around in the mud, eating moss and living to be 35. Because THAT would be a fairer system.

AJ

In case you had forgotten about HMRC data (in)competence

From 2007:

Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing.

The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25 million people.

25 million people.

Shall we paraphrase for the future?

From 2012:

Two computer discs holding the personal details of all PAYE taxpayers in the UK have gone missing.

The data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, employers, salaries and bank details of 25 million people.

The important additional element is, of course, that you’ll be able to download a file from the internet (or query a search engine), to get details of how much EVERYONE earns and where they earn it.

Your can find out the salary of your ex, your kids, your parents, the people next door, your boss, your next date, the guy who’s selling you a car, that lazy sod who has the same job title as you but does half the work.

Are you comfortable with that? That your ex, your kids, your parents, the people next door, your boss, your next date, the guy who’s selling you a car, that lazy sod who has the same job title as you, will all know precisely how much you earn?

Unlucky enough to end up in the papers? if it’s in the public domain, however that maybe, the information will be reported by someone, whether it’s a blogger or journalist.

Take comfort though, because back in 2007,

The Conservatives described the incident as a "catastrophic" failure.

So I think we’re safe. Oh yes. No doubt in my mind.

AJ

Brainwashing state-owned children

You probably think they’re your children. They’re not. They belong to the state. You’re merely charged with delivering them back to the institution daily.

Corrugated Soundbite brings word of this (via Filthy Engineer, via Counting Cats via.. oh never mind.), from one of the biggest unacknowledged powers behind big-government across the western world.

Here’s what they’re doing to children throughout the Western world. Far Left Communists and their useful idiots with a totalitarian agenda doing exactly what a Far Left Fascist and his useful idiots were doing in the 1930s.

Look at the hatred in the eyes. Listen to the way he spews all this having evidently been given no proof whatsoever to back up these claims. Only repetition. He’s known nothing else and not been shown how to find it.

Captain Ranty is right. These are the children of Mr and Mrs Normal.

This is just the tip of the Gramscian iceberg.

So, if you have kids, just remember that every time you drop them off at the school gates, they’ll spend the next 6-8 hours being turned into a collaborator.

Have you read 1984? If not, you need to.

Unless you imbue in your kids a balanced outlook and the reasoning powers and strength of character to see that Greenpeace scaremongering and propaganda is precisely that, they’ll be your downfall, and ours too. You’ll have failed as a parent and a reasoning adult. If you can live with that, okay, but I’ll bestow no mercy upon your ignorant spawn should they cross my path.

AJ

Sold out to the over-reaching EU. Again.

I’ve been meaning to write a comprehensive post on the powers over matters of justice that we have handed over to the EU, including the European Arrest Warrant. Well, I say comprehensive, but I’m not a lawyer. I was just going to borrow extensively from excellent law blogger ObiterJ.

For a decent insight, read his posts:

    The evidence of the last Labour government selling the British people out is as comprehensive as it is frightening and infuriating.
    So this immediately caught my attention:

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Anger at Britain’s “gold-plating” of the controversial European Arrest Warrant is growing after it emerged that other EU countries have secured significant safeguards for their citizens that are not available to British nationals.

Although the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was intended to operate in the same way in all 27 EU states, The Sunday Telegraph has established that many other European countries have given themselves “opt-outs” or conditions to protect their citizens.

It comes after this newspaper first highlighted concerns last week over the way that the warrant system was being used in Britain.

Holland will not extradite Dutch nationals under the EAW unless the accusing state agrees that they can serve any prison sentence in a Dutch jail. The Belgians have opt-outs so that the warrant does not cover abortion.

Abortion and “abetting abortion” are crimes in some EU states, including Malta, Ireland and Poland – Europe’s most active issuer of EAWs.

Birth control campaigners fear they could be targeted by antiabortionists under the EAW, even simply for running a British-based advice website accessible from abroad.

France appears reluctant to extradite its own nationals under the EAW and has stated in the past that they will not be extradited.

Europe’s largest country, Germany, has imposed a “proportionality rule” stating that only those accused of serious crimes can be seized under a warrant. The definition of serious is not given, but it would exclude large numbers of the trivial charges dealt with by the British extradition courts.

One Kent motorist, Patrick Reece-Edwards, spent weeks in a British jail awaiting extradition to Poland on a charge of possessing a forged motor insurance certificate. When he was finally extradited, the matter was resolved by the payment of a civil penalty with no criminal record.

So many people – mostly Poles – are extradited from Britain to Poland on minor charges that special fortnightly military flights are operated for them from a London airfield. The hundreds of trivial requests are also a serious drain on police, prison and court resources.

Britain has no such opt-outs, and campaigners say that British judges are too cautious in applying the overriding requirements of the Human Rights Act.

Karen Todner, one of Britain’s leading extradition lawyers, said: “It is typical of us not to have given ourselves proper protection.

“British judges apply the EAW treaty to the letter and these massive injustices come about because the Government hasn’t thought this through.

“There are a lot of quite simple things we could do now to mitigate the harm done to British citizens, which could be done quite quickly through a simple administrative decision.”

British citizens sent abroad under the EAW are also at a serious disadvantage. Since foreigners are regarded as flight risks, bail is often refused and pretrial detention, even for minor crimes, can last for years.

I really don’t know where to begin.

What on Earth could those responsible for this situation have been thinking? Were they negligent, incompetent, acting out of complete disregard for people or what?

The ConDems say they’re looking at our extradition arrangements, but I very much doubt they have the will or the ability to right this massive and self-evident wrong that was yet another fantastic bequest from Labour. Perhaps more to the point, the same civil servants who lovingly gold-plated the whole thing in the first place are now, presumably, in charge of reviewing the arrangements.

Blunkett, who first signed off the EAW is unruffled about the perverse outcomes:

Mr Blunkett said: “I was right, as Home Secretary in the post-9/11 era, to agree to the European Arrest Warrant, but I was insufficiently sensitive to how it might be used.”.

This is just another reason why I just loathe Labour, and every single one of their supporters, for what they have done to the country I was born in.

I’ve already written to my MP about this, and as soon as Parliament is back in session, I’ll be hounding him for a response.

Do the same, make some fucking noise.

AJ

UPDATE: I wonder why I fucking bother, when DK comes along to remind us why he’s a leading libertarian blogger & I’m a useless cunt with copy & paste buttons.

Thieving Tory Socialist Bastard

Sorry – it’s behind the Times’ paywall, but it deserves mentioning, because it demonstrates that, in Andrew Mitchell, we have a Tory minister who is, in fact, a redistributive socialist.

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After a harrowing trip to meet flood victims in Pakistan, a cabinet minister has called on workers who receive bonuses to donate some of the money to charity.

Errr okay. After 13 years of Labour I’m hideously overtaxed, my pension and other investments have been repeatedly decimated by Gordon Brown’s government. And you think I’ve got spare money to pour into a bottomless pit?

And I’m not even going to bother rehearsing the arguments regarding donating money to Pakistan.*

The Tory socialist goes further.

“There are some companies who require people who are paid bonuses to give some of it away,” Mitchell said. “It is about accepting that we all have a part to play when it comes to giving aid.”

That’s an incredible statement from a Conservative MP, don’t you think?

Let me tell you that I’d play merry fucking hell if my company forced me to give a single penny of my hard earned pay over to any sort of charity. Yes I get a bonus, comprising elements related to personal performance and company performance. It’s not a massive sum, but it’s written into my contract of employment and it was one of the reasons I took the job in the first place.

Oh sure, they run a GiftAid scheme for those who choose to donate. They contract that out to some hokey outfit who have a list of about 40 charities you can give to. I ran through the list and identified that nearly 30 of those were fake charities according accounts filed with the Charities Commission.

What this implies is that I’ve already given involuntarily to those charities via taxes. So naturally I don’t give anything more to them. Not a red cent.

But to be forced to make donations? Fuck. That.

What’s that you say? I’ve already given money to Pakistan? Of course I have. Silly me.

Mitchell has just doubled the government’s contribution to the floods fund to more than £64m — so he can afford to take the moral high ground. However, the British public, while giving generously, are not digging as deep for this natural disaster as they have for others.

My share of that £64 million is already way more than I would be prepared to donate to the cause.

Perhaps my philanthropic aspect will become more prominent when the state stops taking my money with a gun to my head and giving it to causes – that more often than not I disagree with – on my behalf.

AJ

* If you’re quick, there was a surprisingly balanced debate on that matter on Any Questions on Friday night

#ClimateCamp earnest hilarity

You’d expect the New Stateman’s scribblers to be at least somewhat sympathetic towards the monkeys at the ClimateCamp in Edinburgh, but I don’t get much sense of that from the picture painted by Laurie Penny for the Staggers blog.

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Why does the revolution have to involve so much crap? I’m talking literally. When I arrive at Climate Camp after a six-hour journey by train, bus and a half-hour cross-country hike to the Edinburgh parkland headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland, I plonk down my bags and ask if I might use the facilities. A helpful young man with a nice little beard brightly inquires – "Wee or poo?"

This is a question that hasn’t been put to me since I was in nappies, but it’s apparently important – in an effort to leave no trace of their presence on the land, the seven hundred climate activists gathered here for a week of direct action donate their separated excreta to local farmers. What this means in practical terms is a horrifying squat above a gusty, splintered wooden plank, trying hard to hold your breath whilst concentrating on the anti-capitalist slogans daubed on the inside of the door. Clearly, this weekend is going to test our dedication to the limits.

Dedication is the watchword here. By the time I arrive, several activists have already been arrested for breaking into RBS and loudly declaring their refusal to "pay for their crisis", with one having disguised herself as a banker and superglued herself to the front desk. On Friday, the atmosphere at camp is somewhere between a music festival and a military base. The park is full of unwashed students ambling out of tents, but painted signs make it witheringly clear that we are here to work, to exchange ideas and to entirely close down RBS’s base of operations on Monday via a series of democratically organised protest stunts whilst re-examining the links between our financial institutions and climate change: any fun that might occur is entirely incidental to the process.

Read on.

And consider that RBS has a vast selection of large offices across Edinburgh from which to conduct its business while the soap-dodging Borg collective are flinging their shit at the Gogarburn HQ.

Idiots.

AJ

Conflation, conflation, conflation

Cameron and his DibLem buddies are going to war on benefit fraud.

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Now, I’ve no doubt this will be another bully-state clusterfuck of injustice and non-materialising savings.

But what’s the standard lefty wail when anyone mentions a crack-down on benefit fraud?

Let me give you a brief demonstration:

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Tax ‘dodging’. Well, first of all, tax evasion is already illegal and even the blameless who’ve had a brush with HMRC know that no punches are pulled in recovering whatever the revenue decides you owe.

Tax avoidance. Well, obviously that’s not only legal, but ethical too. And anyone who doesn’t evaluate their options for minimising their tax exposure is, frankly, a fool.

There was an aside:

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Okay, the ‘Im paying for this’ thing is a bit of an affectation of mine, but at its root is the fact that I presume to speak for no-one but myself.

As for those ‘bloody pennies’. Well, I paid about 3,000,000 of those fucking pennies to HMRC last year – evidence enough, I think, that all those ‘bloody pennies’ add up.

Moreover, Gordon Brown thought that taxing us by a few pennies here and a few pennies there would be fine, no-one would notice or care. And yet we’re grossly over-taxed and under-served. Under-served I could cope with, if I were under-taxed.

But back to the main matter:

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Ah yes that’s right – let’s continue with an absurd proposition.

Murder is against the law. So is speeding.

Benefit fraud is against the law. Tax avoidance is not against the law. In fact the law provides for tax avoidance in many (albeit ever diminishing) ways.

My reply to Mr Vowl…

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… caused him to block me.

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Which saves the self-regarding lefty prick from acknowledging that his logic is absurd, and should have been educated out of him by the time he was 8 years old.

But if course I must be wrong, because I’m not the one being followed by 5000 sycophantic cretins.

Ho hum.

AJ

UPDATE: After some more reading, prompted by twittist @sarahluv81, it seems that the common definition of tax evasion vs avoidance:

Tax avoidance is the legal utilization of the tax regime to one’s own advantage, to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. By contrast, tax evasion is the general term for efforts to not pay taxes by illegal means.

.. has been superceded – or at least refined – in English law.

The United Kingdom and jurisdictions following the UK approach (such as New Zealand) have recently adopted the evasion/avoidance terminology as used in the United States: evasion is a criminal attempt to avoid paying tax owed while avoidance is an attempt to use the law to reduce taxes owed.

There is, however, a further distinction drawn between tax avoidance and tax mitigation. Tax avoidance is a course of action designed to conflict with or defeat the evident intention of Parliament: IRC v Willoughby.[22] Tax mitigation is conduct which reduces tax liabilities without “tax avoidance” (not contrary to the intention of Parliament), for instance, by gifts to charity or investments in certain assets which qualify for tax relief. This is important for tax provisions which apply in cases of “avoidance”: they are held not to apply in cases of mitigation.

This is supported by HMRC’s heavyweight owning of the term ‘avoidance’.

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In which case, Mr Vowl’s point is still moot. Avoidance & evasion are pursued with zeal.

A Very British Airways

It’s hard to see what damage the forthcoming strikes could do, given the robust financial position BA is in. Oh.. wait.

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£43m lost in 7 days of strikes. Let’s call that £6.2m per day. So another 15 days of strikes is going to cost BA £93million. A drop in the ocean, evidently.

As much as I’d find ranting about the short-sighted, poisonous, imbecility of the strikers cathartic, CF has done the job for me, and with his customary aplomb.

Well done, Unite, you self-interested clique of imbeciles. Well done Derek Simpson, you pointless rabble-rouser.

Well done you mindless snack-vending sheep. A famous courtroom victory: you’ve ‘won’; you’ve got your strike.

Now you can fully exercise your sacrosanct fucking rights to ruin your employer’s business.Go on, teach Willie Walsh a lesson. With a bit of luck, he’ll eventually lose his job – you’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Willie can’t keep the business profitable if you’re all sunbathing in your own gardens, rather than sunbathing free of charge on a layover in Mauritius. Yeah, keep this up and he could be fired, and he’d have to either take another hugely well paid job or retire with all his millions. And that’ll learn him, won’t it? You morons.

By all means, read on.

AJ

More of other people’s stuff

Because, having done the stuff I needed to do, I now have CBA syndrome.

I heard Ali Darling on BBC news earlier, spouting the same old lines. Mr Eugenides sums up my response nicely (but do read the whole thing):

Hear this, Darling. You have destroyed the public finances and demeaned the nation’s governance. You have scorched the earth for your successors and ploughed salt into the ruins. You have fucked us so hard, Darling, that we will be walking bow-legged for a generation. How dare you put your mortician’s face above the parapet. Have you no shame?

Fuck off, shut up, and leave us alone. We do not wish to hear from you, ever again.

Meanwhile, Jeff Randall performs a field-autopsy on Brown’s legacy.

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Well, we kinda knew that already, Jeff, but do go on…

Despite its record of fiscal incompetence, constitutional vandalism and disregard for Middle England, Gordon Brown’s administration ought never to have collapsed. It had, after all, created for itself a client class of supplicant voters. As part of a grand plan for permanent office, more than one million immigrants were handed British passports (80 per cent of first-generation arrivals vote Labour) and 900,000 workers added to the public-sector payroll.

More pernicious still, Mr Brown and his ministers were delighted to overlook a grotesque distortion in the make-up of parliamentary boundaries, which meant that a 30 per cent vote for Labour produced about 300 seats, whereas the same percentage for the Conservatives delivered only 200 seats. In short, just about everything that could have been done to bend the system in New Labour’s favour was in place by the time the election was called.

The problem, however, was that the project had been constructed upon a moral cesspit. The party’s membership had been taken prisoner by a gang of desperadoes who clung to a conviction that honesty and integrity were disposable luxuries, and substance an unwelcome substitute for propaganda. The upshot was a dystopian regime in which Lord Mandelson and Alastair Campbell were recalled from ignominy to orchestrate a campaign of lavish deceit.

Meanwhile, the twatteriti are complaining about having a “feckless fop” like this running the nation’s finances:

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I know what they mean. Anyone who could afford a shave back when everything was still black and white were toffs, cads and idlers.

Far better for things to be run by the provisional wing of the David Bellamy fan club.

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Why can’t these bitter lefties get over the class thing? I was brought up on the breadline, in the North, in a staunch Labour household, yet I don’t appear to be equipped with the same chip as these people. Perhaps it’s because I stopped moaning, got off my arse and did something to put half of Hovis between me and the breadline.

Perhaps.

Said twitterist asks, in his profile, “Why should I face years of austerity when there are so many wealthy folk about?”

To which I reply, “Because you voted for the government that caused these years of austerity. I didn’t. Actions have consequences.”

Old Holborn has a nice compare and contrast post on this matter:

If a Libertarian doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Fabian doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Libertarian is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Fabian is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Libertarian sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A Fabian wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a Libertarian is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Fabian is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a black person is Libertarian, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their Fabian counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a Libertarian is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Fabian demands someone take care of him.

And there’s more… read on.

AJ

Pressure on Merkel spells trouble for UK

And it’s hardly surprising.

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Her conservative-liberal coalition was trounced in key regional elections on Sunday amid rising anger over the deal that will cost her country £19 billion.

The result stripped her government of its majority in the country’s Bundesrat, or senate, and her ability to pass reforms cutting public spending.

Yesterday (MON), Mrs Merkel was forced to admit her government would have to abandon planned tax cuts because of Germany’s payout to Greece and a new commitment to help other struggling euro zone countries as part of an EU bail-out agreed in Brussels yesterday.

"We’ve suffered a stinging defeat, there’s no way around it," she said. "Tax cuts won’t be possible for the foreseeable future. We see that in the debate about the euro, about the guarantees and much else."

Germany’s opposition Social Democrats yesterday vowed to use the chancellor’s new weakness to disrupt her government’s plans to reform health care and taxes.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Social Democrat leader, threatened to link new legislation to commit German financing to a euro bail-out with left-wing demands to increase taxation.

And we may not be in the Euro, but we’re still yoked to Germany, which has fallen into the hands of the lunatics:

In a development that threatens the City of London with extra regulation, Mr Steinmeier demanded tough European laws against "speculators" and for tough regulation of financial markets as the price for opposition support.

He told that his party is not against rescuing troubled euro zone countries but will insist on "instruments" to punish the financial institutions the German left blames for crisis.

"It is those who don’t do anything to regulate the financial markets and the costs of the crisis who fail on Europe," Mr Steinmeier said.

And the Lisbon treaty has provided the tools to allow this to happen.

As they say on Twitter, #thankyouGordon

AJ

BA snack vendors announce more self-destructive strike action

Bye bye British Airways. It’s been fun to watch.

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British Airways cabin crew are to hold a further 20 days of strike action following their overwhelming rejection of the company’s offer in a ballot last week, Unite the union announced today (Monday).

BA management failed to offer any new proposals to settle the dispute over the weekend, so crew are to take strike action on the following days:  May 18-22 inclusive, May 24-28 inclusive, May 30-June 3 inclusive and June 5-9 inclusive.

Unite’s joint general secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said: “Passengers and investors alike will be dismayed that British Airways’ management rejected an approach by the union over the weekend, after their offer had been comprehensively turned down by their own employees.

“Cabin crew are left with no choice but to take further strike action.  There can be no industrial peace without meaningful negotiations and while management victimises trade unionists and uses disciplinary procedures in a witch-hunt.

“The seven days notice period is sufficient time for BA management to do the sensible thing and reopen meaningful negotiations.”

Unite is also intending to hold a further industrial action ballot of BA cabin crew over issues which have arisen from the company’s conduct during the dispute.

Epic failure.

AJ

What do I get?

Come on, Dave, you shiny faced cunt, what’s in it for me?

First he punitively taxes me and my job.

Now this:

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How about a fucking tax break for me then, Cameron?

You know, the one who has private pension, healthcare and income protection? The one who doesn’t have brats at school, who doesn’t want a goddamn fucking thing from the wretched government?

I’ve just looked at how much tax and NI I paid in FY09.

Fuck Pay As You Earn. Time for Pay As You Use.

Communist shithole.

AJ

Smash the NHS to pieces

Since this sort of thing is all too common, it deserves nothing less.

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A patient desperate for a drink of water had to telephone the switchboard of the hospital he was being treated in to beg to see a doctor.

Derek Sauter, 60, used his mobile phone to request medical attention after his pleas for help were ignored.

But when the doctor arrived he was turned away by ward nurse Caroline Lowe, who said Mr Sauter was ‘over-reacting’ and threatened to confiscate his phone.

Eight hours later the grandfather-of-three, who was suffering with a chest infection, was dead.

Well, post hoc ergo propter hoc and all that. We don’t know the cause of death.

Rather than offering sympathy to Susan, Mr Sauter’s wife of 41 years, Miss Lowe later told her that he could have been prosecuted for harassing the doctor on call.

Although I’m starting to get an idea.

Yesterday his daughter, Ruth Sauter, 42, said she was appalled at the way her father, a former administrator for the Healthcare Commission, the former NHS watchdog, had been let down by the NHS.

Oh dear – they fucked one of their own. Good work, NHS morons!

‘My father went into hospital for a routine chest infection, but never came out,’ said Miss Sauter, of Thurrock, Essex.

‘His condition was not life threatening and the nurses had specific instructions to keep close tabs on him.

‘But their appalling lack of care, and cruel behaviour killed my father. He should not have died that weekend; it was not his time.

‘It’s so much worse knowing that he died alone, thirsty and scared on that ward.’

Mr Sauter was admitted to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, in Kent, at 9am on June 27 2008.

Another NHS trust to avoid then. I wonder how excellent the CQC had rated them that year.

A note scrawled by Mr Sauter and discovered by his family after his death said: ‘Asked for a jug of water at 6pm and again at 8.30, told to wait for handover. Said I knocked cup of water on floor.’

It’s just breathtaking isn’t it. Last year, on top of private health cover, private pension and income protection insurances, I paid over £4000 in National Insurance. If I could take that money and put it into private schemes, or use that money to self-insure, I’d do so in a heartbeat.

Being a monopoly provider is precisely what’s wrong with the NHS, and the arrogance it fosters in those it employs in one of the worst symptoms.

Still, there is something of a silver lining:

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Sacked. Should be in prison, but I suppose we have to be satisfied with this, notwithstanding the likelihood that she’s now working in a different NHS trust, because information about her gross misconduct was never passed on, and she hasn’t been struck off.

So, Caroline Lowe. I hope you do get struck off. I hope you get to watch (or miss) your nearest and dearest die due to a disgusting level of callousness and negligence. After which, it’s face cancer for you, you evil fucking cow.

AJ

H/T Ambush Predator

Could it be true?

You bet it’s true.

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In a strong attack on Labour’s reform of the school curriculum, Simon Lebus, the head of Cambridge University’s international exams group, has condemned the teaching in England’s schools of "a shifting menu of flavour-of-the-month social concerns".

In science, lessons about photosynthesis and the conservation of mass have been replaced with content to promote healthy eating and regular exercise, he said.

He also pointed out that lessons in gender equality and preventing violence in relationships will be compulsory from 2011.

Meanwhile, inspectorate OffMong are stitching up private schools that are ignoring communist bullshit tractor stats demands.

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The number of independent schools judged to have breeched minimum standards set by the Government has trebled, new figures have revealed.

A total of 74 schools were issued last year with notices by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, requiring them to make urgent changes. This compares to just 23 in 2007 and 34 in 2008.

Among the schools are well-respected institutions which have been running for centuries, including Shrewsbury School, one of England’s leading boys school, Christ’s Hospital School, in West Sussex, founded in the sixteenth century by Edward VI, and King’s College choir school, in Cambridge, established in 1453.

Many of the schools have fallen foul of new rules covering child safety and welfare. Others have failed to comply with the Government’s new "nappy curriculum" for very young children.

Headmasters criticised the "hugely burdensome" nature of some of the requirements that the sector was now facing.

The Independent Schools Council condemned the "thicket of regulation" as over-complex and sometimes contradictory.

A snap inspection was carried out in September at the £27,000-a- year Shrewsbury School, whose famous old boys include Charles Darwin and which was judged in a 2007 inspection to have "outstanding" features and results.

Inspectors looked in detail at policy documents. They found the school did not comply in four administrative areas and issued the school with a notice.

I’m not well up on the Tories’ edumacation policy, but one would, at least, hope they’ll put a stop to this bullshit.

AJ

Unite Bullies: Socialism in a microcosm

Does anything in the following article sound unfamiliar or unlikely, at all, to anyone who’s lived in the UK for the last 13 years?

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The emails, posted late on Friday evening, were chillingly concise and their content clear: “If any of you go into work tomorrow, your life won’t be worth living,” one read.

Hours earlier, as the news spread among British Airways cabin crew that last ditch talks between the airline and the hard-line union Unite had failed, a tirade of malicious text messages had been fired off to specifically targeted staff – those brave enough to have voiced contempt for the union militants – telling them they were “scrum” and “scabs” if they crossed the picket line to begin their shifts on Saturday.

“Suzy” wasn’t surprised when copies landed in her in-box and on her mobile phone.

At Christmas, utterly disillusioned with the militant faction in her union Unite, she and five like-minded colleagues set up an alternative group to the union in the sure knowledge that there were hundreds of staff who didn’t support Unite’s aggressive policies and its seeming determination to steer its members, lemming-like, into strike action.

By now she had thought she would be busily enrolling members to the Professional Cabin Crew Council and negotiating on their behalf in an altogether more moderate and measured fashion than that adopted by Unite.

Instead Suzy, a mother of three with 20 years experience as a cabin attendant for BA on long and short haul flights from Heathrow, is too scared to give her real name and too frightened to even reveal her identity on the PCCC’s official web site, never mind to conduct a recruiting drive.

”You have no idea how frightening it is to receive those sort of threats,” she says anxiously. ”Don’t get me wrong. There has been no physical violence threats – nothing like that.

“This isn’t about handbags at dawn in the powder room. But when you know the militants know where you live. Where your children are. Then you start to wonder exactly what they are capable of. Just how far they might go.”

“Suzy” wasn’t rostered to work today, but volunteered. At noon yesterday, two hours before her first flight, she was, she admitted, terrified.

”My stomach is churning. I don’t know what I’m going to face. I just know I am going to be aboard that plane, reassuring passengers, sorting out the seating, the food. Doing my job.”

Over the past three years, Suzy says, the hitherto contented work force has been subjected to a sustained yet subtle barrage of intimidation and coercion.

The message from Unite hardliners was always the same. You are either with us….or we will have you out. ”We all became worn down by it,” she says.

”There was this constant air of menace. At one stage a message was posted on the BA cabin crew internet forum that ”named and shamed” the pilots who had volunteered to retrain so that they could work as cabin crew during a strike.

Several were warned to be careful of the food cabin crew served when they returned to work. A lot of them were totally freaked out by that. This is a highly unionised business.

If you don’t do as the union says you are ostracised. And that isn’t easy in a job that so depends on team work – on-board and off the plane.

“Being abroad, sometimes for several days if you are waiting to work on a return flight, you are cooped up with your colleagues.

“It’s a brave man or woman who can withstand constantly being cold shouldered and ignored. And that’s if you are lucky.

“There are the bitchy remarks, the scathing comments. You are called a management dupe. If you make the slightest criticism you are marked out as “not one of us”. Unite seems to rule our lives. Not being in the union isn’t an option.

“OK, call me and others like me cowards. But I tried to step above the parapet by setting up the PCCC and now I’m too scared to be publicly linked with it.

“It’s particularly scary for newcomers who pick up on the tension immediately. Let’s say it is made known to them that, if they are wise they will do what the union tells them.”

Much of the intimidation, she says, is unspoken. “A lot of it is a meaningful look, a raised eyebrow.”

Inside Heathrow, she says, menace and unease are everywhere. When BA suggests a new service Unite generally instructs its members to ignore it.

“Ridiculous things,” Suzy says. “We were asked to distribute hot towels on short haul. Unite said no. We got on board and everyone was in a state.

“Do we give them out or not? Usually workers – quite rightly – fear not doing what the boss asks. But we are just as frightened not to do what the union asks.”

When the PCCC web site first appeared Unite militants set up another with a similar name – then flooded it with hard core porn. Although she is reluctant to reveal membership numbers, Suzy admits it is no more than 10 per cent of the 12,000 strong cabin crew.

It has been ”trying” she says, to even get the organisation off the ground. Because she and her fellow founder members have remained anonymous many among Unite believe the PCCC is nothing more than a management stooge.

”Unite is rich, it’s members pay £15 monthly. That’s a lot of money.”

Suzy and her colleagues say they are more than happy to work harder if crew numbers are reduced. 2We are just glad to have a job in this climate. And we already have more crew than the recommended CAA minimum.

“Becoming an air hostess was my dream as a little girl, 2 she says. “I’ve always been proud to wear the BA uniform. It means I work for the best.

“But yesterday I stopped at a filling station to buy petrol and, before walking in to pay, I put on my coat. I know the public has no sympathy for us.

“Who can blame them? And I couldn’t be sure what sort of reception I would get in a BA cabin crew uniform. How sad is that?”

Anyone?

AJ

UPDATE: Unite has strong views on bullying in the workplace.

  • Bullies may use terror tactics, open aggression, threats, shouting, abuse, and obscenities towards their target
  • Bullies may subject their target to constant humiliation or ridicule, belittling their efforts, often in front of others
  • Bullies may subject their target to excessive supervision, monitoring everything they do and being excessively critical about minor things
  • Bullies may ostracise and marginalise their target, dealing with the person only through a third party, excluding the person from discussions, decisions etc
  • Bullies may spread malicious rumours about the individual
  • If any of these sorts of things are going on in your workplace, you are perfectly justified to take matters further – they are all examples of behaviour that is totally unacceptable, no matter what the reasons for it are.

    Terrible!