The devil and the deep blue sea

Even if you could fly today, would you want to?

image

The Met Orifice’s reliance on computer models that don’t match reality has been criticised. Deja vu all over again.

Meanwhile, airlines are all saying it’s perfectly safe to resume flying. This is statement is unlikely to be connected to the fact that they are losing millions of pounds a day.

Meh. Trust no-one.

AJ

Let me be absolutely clear about this

… is rapidly becoming the most infuriating phrase the lexicon of political gobshitery.

Worse still is, it is being adopted by not only the media talking heads, but also by the Gavin Flipchart business monkeys of this world.

The latter have obviously not cottoned on to the fact that we all know, as soon as this qualificatory turd emerges from anyone’s mouth, that what follows will be neither clear, nor absolute. Quite apart from the cheeky implication that we are obstructing the other party from being absolutely clear in the first place, what follows will, in fact, be the most bare-faced and unmitigated bollocks you’re likely to hear all day.

So please, just fucking stop it. The game’s up.

Why not just say, “let me preface my response with forewarning of obfuscation, meaningless jargon and appeals to both authority and primal fear, followed by an artful destruction of the straw man I’ve deftly created to divert you.”

AJ

Couples that deserve each other, and other fuckwits

To paraphrase The Daily Mash, “As an adult, I think the correct amount of energy usage is as much as I fucking want.”

image

Martin Davis, a retired solicitor from Cheltenham, wants to get rid of the family dog. “There are enough productive animals in the world without keeping unproductive ones,” he tells his wife Caroline. “It uses up time and energy and leaves a trail of dog-food tins and plastic bags.” She disagrees vehemently, claiming that it is natural to have animals in the home; they provide comfort and a link with the outdoors.

It’s the same story with the Aga. Martin says that it gobbles energy and should be turned off from May until October. Caroline defends its multiple uses. She bakes bread in it, makes marmalade on it and dries clothes above it — all activities that would require other sources of energy if the Aga was off.

Must be a fucking hoot round at their house. A retired accountant with an eco-obsession.

If these quibbles sound familiar, it’s probably because you have your own stock of pea-green domestic disputes bubbling away.

Err not really, no.

As climate change and the extent to which we must all play our part in reversing it continues to dominate news agendas, families are becoming increasingly rattled by aspects of green behaviour.

Forget traditional rowing subjects such as who does the washing up or takes the children to school. These arguments have an added moral dimension: it’s not just about individual needs any more. There is a bigger picture. But in saving the world, are we wrecking our relationships?

Shall we leave aside the monumental egotism of anyone who regards any crap about turning lights off or composting their turds as a contribution to ‘saving the planet’? And the imbecility of anyone who lets the fucking idiot media dictate their lifestyle and ideology?

According to Caroline, the problem with eco-arguments is that they can rumble on for months with no resolution. “We end up having to agree to disagree until one of us finds evidence,” she says. “Recently, George Monbiot wrote a scathing article about Agas, their vast carbon footprints and the awful women that love them. Martin went around gleefully waving it at me.”

Caroline, you married a total and utter cunt, dear. Consider putting something fatal in his herbal tea.

To add to the green tensions, the Davises’ 27-year-old daughter Agnes has strong ideas on what constitutes a sustainable diet.

Oh, Jesus. Fucking. Wept.

“I’m horrified by how much meat comes into my parents’ house,” she says. “They eat it with every meal. It’s not just the environmental impact — the energy and methane involved in meat production — but it’s unhealthy.

!!!

The Davis family is far from unique. A quick e-mail request for other examples of family environmental disputes brings a flood of replies, many simmering with unaddressed eco-rage.

“The shower versus bath is a classic,” says Sarah, 32, who lives with her husband Pete and five-year-old Daisy. “Pete is always telling me that my baths use up too much water, then he goes for a 20-minute shower. I doubt how sincere his green commitment really is. I think he just likes getting one up on me.”

Interesting that it seems to be blokes doing all this eco-cuntery.

Turning off the lights causes tension between Mike, 39, and his girlfriend Anita. “She turns every light and computer on in the whole house as soon as she gets home,” he says. “I go around after her, turning everything off and quoting the Energy Saving Trust, which says that you need only be out of a room for five minutes to make it worth switching off the light.”

I bet that cunt bought his woman one of those wind-up vibrators, too. If he’s not too po-faced for that.

According to Penny Mansfield, director of One Plus One Marriage and Partnership Research, the reason for all this disharmony is that many people have begun to feel genuinely passionate about people’s duty to preserve the planet.

I think you need to examine the premises again there.

The most likely time for such rows to begin is soon after a first child is born, says Mansfield.

Because when you’re up to your neck in shit vomit and sleep deprivation, the most important thing is eco-mongitude…

“Couples often get along fine until they have children. Then they discover that they can’t split the children in two

Tracey Connolly and Stephen Barker obviously had this exact dilemma. Who’d have thought it boiled down to which of them was greenest?

Donnachadh McCarthy, an “eco-auditor”

Wait.. what???

who visits people’s homes to give advice on how the occupants can reduce their impact on the planet, has also noted a rise in eco-disputes.

Errr…

Oh, and beware of even associating with these cockpieces.

Jane and Alan, a London couple who have become increasingly ecofriendly over ten years of marriage. When they rented a villa in Provence last year, they asked friends and family to join them — but they wanted everyone to come by train. Jane’s sister and her boyfriend have high-powered jobs and couldn’t afford the extra time that a train trip would involve, so they asked to travel by plane instead. Jane was furious and disinvited them — although now she acknowledges that you can’t force lifestyle changes on others.

They can shove their villa right up their arses then – good luck getting any more of your ‘friends’ to trudge down to your eco-hovel, dickheads.

Two friends of mine clashed so badly over whether it was ecologically acceptable to shop at Primark that they stopped seeing each other for several months. Like comparing attitudes to childcare and private school, comparing green credentials can take even the closest of friends into dangerous territory, mainly because everyone feels sensitive about whether they are doing the right thing.

Everyone? Not quite. Some of us haven’t completely taken leave of our senses.

And think of all that ecowank the teaching weenies are pumping into your little darlings.

A friend tells me that she was horrified when her daughter’s school pal, who had come round for supper, caught her piling food waste into the normal bin. “Don’t you have a compost bin?” she asked shrilly. “Don’t you feel bad about the space in landfill you’re using up?”

??

Being shown up by a pint-sized ecowarrior is a powerful incentive to get up to speed in matters ecological.

ORLY? It’s a powerful incentive to issuing clip round the ear and pointing out who pays the fucking bills around here.

Ten-year old Hannah Screen, who lives in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, is always telling her mum to turn off lights and reminding her of what is best for the planet. “Sometimes we do research at school and then I go back home with amazing facts that mum doesn’t know about,” she says. “Recently I told her that if she leaves her laptop on standby, it still uses 80 per cent of the electricity that it uses when it’s on.”

Errr.. no. No it doesn’t, you gobby little madam. Shut your face.

The article goes on and on and on, but you get the picture: cuntsoup.

AJ

Merde du jour

I had a whole bunch of stories I wanted to blog about, but then I had to go and do some fucking work, which impressed me not a jot.

So, here’s what I had lined up for today:

image

Which is rather contrary to the weaselly claims he made at PMQs on Wednesday.

Next, who gives a fuck about this?

image

I have absolutely no idea why this shit is still illegal in this country. Fucking puritans.

As for vice cops – Captain Buzzkill one and all – lowest of all cops. And that’s low. Once again, I refer you to the honourable Doug Stanhope.

Talking of cops…

image

There are plenty of non-public sector blogs for children and hokey old women who like to anthropomorphise animals. That is all.

I’d rather you just concentrated on not melting the dogs to death in your cars, chaps.

In old news recycled:

image

Ofgem reported on this yesterday?

Perhaps they’d have saved themselves 12 months by just reading some blogs and newspapers. After all, some of us have been concerned about this for a while now. Or maybe it just took them 6 months to remove the swearing from my blog posts.

Indeed – the front page of The Economist looked like this last August:

image1[1]

Concerning.

More concerning, though, is this:

image

Read that carefully, click through and digest. By many measures, we’re not in much better shape than Greece. We could end up in the same boat as them if our sovereign debt is downgraded this year.

So, perhaps the fact that we’re not in the Eurozone is the only thing standing between the us and ‘special measures’ imposed by Brussels, including a budget imposed by the ECB.

Next – the shock. The Sherlock. The meh.

image

No fucking surprise when you look at what our society has become – divided, spiteful, shallow, avaricious, covetous, resentful, expensive, dirty, violent – and what our state has become – overweaning, overtaxing, under-delivering, deceitful, fraudulent, war-mongering, fear-mongering, risk-averse, bullying, nagging and judgemental.

Errr.. that’s it for now. If there’s anyone I didn’t mention, they’re all nobheads too.

AJ

Another Tory council’s sharp practices…

Unremitting pocket-pickery under the guise of bullshit excuses…

Little did I realise that by offering to save a pensioner friend of mine the cost of a taxi from the station, I would end up facing fines of £240 from my council.

But I live in the London Borough of Wandsworth and my unwitting mistake was to stop twice on the same evening in the road behind Clapham Junction station for 22 seconds to pick up my friend and 14 seconds to drop him off.

I had fallen into the electronic clutches of camera number 225, one of 1,300 CCTV cameras in Wandsworth and easily the most lucrative in terms of fines extracted from motorists.

Evidence from its all-seeing lens has been used to issue 6,119 penalty charge notices, or PCNs, over the past year, raising nearly £300,000 – a fifth of the £1.5million the borough gets from parking and traffic infringements picked up by CCTV cameras.

Nowhere in the area around this busy station is there any advice about where to drop off and pick up people, or a warning to motorists that parking and stopping regulations will be strictly enforced by CCTV.

Why not send out letters to first-time offenders pointing out their error rather than immediately fining them?

I think we all know the answer. These cameras are really there to raise revenue.

The London Borough of Wandsworth seems to be addicted to them. It has twice as many as any other borough in London.

Apart from the tribal areas of Pakistan where the world is hunting for Osama Bin Laden, Wandsworth is probably the most surveilled 13.2 square miles on earth.

When these figures were disclosed, Councillor James Cousins from the ruling Tory group on Wandsworth Council said they used CCTV so much because ‘it’s a great tool to make Wandsworth a safer place’.

ORLY?

But it didn’t stop me becoming a victim of crime.

Earlier in the summer I got off the train at Clapham Junction to discover that my bike’s front wheel had been stolen by vandals while padlocked to a rack in the very area covered by camera 225.

But there’s no need for such anecdotal evidence, to show the failings of CCTV, is there?

A study by the Metropolitan Police in August found that just one crime is solved each year for every 1,000 cameras while Home Office research has warned eight in ten images are not of good enough quality for police to use.

Alex Deane, the director of Big Brother Watch, said CCTV was seen as a "cheap alternative to policing" and the rise of expensive "surveillance networks" has made little impact on cutting crime.

He said: "Local councils across Britain are creating enormous networks of CCTV surveillance at great expense, but the evidence for the ability of CCTV to deter or solve crimes is sketchy at best.

"The quality of footage is frequently too poor to be used in courts, the cameras are often turned off to save money and control rooms are rarely manned 24 hours a day."

Ministers have said CCTV is an "important tool" in crime fighting, but a Home Office study in 2007 found the cameras had a negligible effect on cutting crime.

It found that in many cases, a suspect could be recognised only if police already knew who they are.

A Met study found that the one million cameras in London helped solve 1,000 crimes last year, meaning each case helped by CCTV effectively cost £20,000 to detect.

But as long as they can use them to churn out fixed penalties for all manner of misdemeanours, no real problem, eh? Cunts

AJ

You needed a fucking report to tell you this?

If this were a fact-finding expedition from some East European country looking at building a transport system, it would be perfectly understandable.

This is the London fucking Assembly:

image

ORLY, motherfuckers?

The report, from the London Assembly’s transport committee, highlighted passengers’ ”coping strategies” for dealing with the daily commute. These included:

:: Mental preparation – psyching oneself up for the ”struggle to clamber on board”;

:: A dog-eat-dog or survival-of-the-fittest attitude;

:: Suspension of the normal codes of behaviour – for example, going after a seat regardless of who else might want it, ignoring pregnant women and people carrying babies;

:: Adopting a Tube persona, more ruthless and selfish. One passenger said: ”I’m a different animal on the Tube to normal life. I’m not me. I’m a bit less interested in others.”

:: Switching off/shutting down – ”going into an automatic pilot routine”, listening to music, turning one’s back;

:: Making sacrifices one would not usually consider – for example, losing personal space and comfort to be at a meeting on time;

:: Deliberately going the wrong way for one or two stops in order to get a seat.

The report took evidence from the Madrid metro system where upgrade work involved far fewer line closures than has been the case with the Jubilee line.

The transport committee’s chairman Caroline Pidgeon said:

“Our report highlights shocking levels of overcrowding on the Tube”

… and the impact this has on people. London Underground cannot be complacent about finding ways to make the situation more bearable.

Well, I’m quite taken aback, I can tell you. What with the tube always having been efficient, roomy and fragrant over the 13 years I’ve been using it.

AJ