THE DIARY OF A GEEK IN OXFORDSHIRE


"Solving the World's problems with satire and a smile.*"

*And a flamethrower.

Friday, January 30, 2009

News in Brief - 30 January 2009


Blagovejich Ousted as Illinois Governor
Rod Blagovejich ousted following impeachment for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. Illinois Senate spokesman said Blogovejich had violated the terms of their contract with eBay.

Nokia Announce Record Sales
Mobile phone company Nokia has announced a record 34% increase in sales in the UK. Reports are that the bulk of sales are to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, currently smashing three phones a week in uncontrolled rages.

Blears Publishes Sex Manual
Hazel Blears MP has published her 'Guide To Good Socialist Sex', available on Amazon. She says, "sex is like campaigning. . . high energy, high impact, low cost".

Reports of White House Pregnancy
There are rumours that First Lady Michelle Obama may be pregnant with their third child. A Downing St. Spokesman said, "we're impressed - our Prime Minister only fucks the economy".

US Economy In Worst Contraction for 25 Years
The US economy contracted by 3.8% last quarter, according to figures released today. American waist measurements decreased by the same percentage, though average IQ increased as G W Bush is currently out of the country.

Seattle Suffers Mild Earthquake
An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter Scale has hit Seattle, according to the USGS. Seismologists believe the epicentre of the tremors to be Dr Frasier Crane's ego.

HELLO!!!


WHAT??!??!?

I'M IN DAVOS!! DAVOS!!

YEAH, I'M CRAP!! WHAT?!?!?


Nice one, Gordoom. Oh, and they were laughing AT you, not with you.

How Much More?

See these pics? They'll be illegal next month.

Hat-tip to 'Not A Sheep' for this spot.

So on 16 February, the Counter-Terrorist Act 2008 comes into law.

The new set of rules, under section 76 of the 2008 Act and section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000 , will target anyone who 'elicits or attempts to elicit information about [members of armed forces] … which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'.

Only it won't just target terrorists. It will target US. The British Journal of Photography has already seen how the current law is [ab]used to stop people - even legitimate journalists - from photographing Police officers. No doubt the next amendment will make it illegal to photograph politicians. The one after that - well, just don't go plane-spotting.

This is, for me, the final, final straw.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it - the United Kingdom is becoming a totalitarian state (if it's not already). I've banged on and on about CCTV, ID Cards, Communications Data Monitoring and restrictions on the freedom of the Press. Even politically-motivated arrests of Opposition MPs.

How much is enough, Britain? Are you so inured, so dulled, so satisfied with the Government of this country? Are your daily rations of reality TV from Pravda, constant mentions of Diana in the Daily Express, a pair of 21-year-old tits in the Beano and house prices in the Mail enough to blind you to what is happening?

As Mark Knopfler put it, "they give you 'Rule Britannia', gassy beer, Page Three, two weeks in Espana and Sunday striptease". More simply, the Roman phrase was 'panem et circenses' - trivialities and frivolities to distract you from the destruction of your society.

Since this Regime came to power, our country has changed, yet you've not noticed.

Now, your every action is monitored from the moment you step out of your door. Smile, you're on CCTV. Monitored, logged, tracked. Your emails and phone calls are no longer private. Your DNA and biometrics no longer yours, but held [in]secure on yet another database. Your information sources are either lowest-common-denominator excrement, or spin-doctored shills for the Regime.

Now you won't even be able to photograph the Fingermen as they carry out the Regime's wishes.

It makes you wonder about the Regime announcement that the UK is to have universal broadband. It makes you wonder what they'll use it for.

I've given up expecting a General Election. The Regime don't want it. They want power and control, and now they have it there's no chance of them releasing their grip. If you want a vision of the future, imagine a Government-funded Quango legislating your life - forever.

I'm off out to photograph some coppers, flip my local CCTV cameras the bird, have cyber-sex with my partner by email, and openly call Gordoom McBrown, Jacqui Beria and the rest of the Politburo scum-sucking weasels in public. Then I'm going to drink 10 units of alcohol, allow my 11-year-old son to have a spritzer, eat a steak and chips with plenty of salt, and read right-wing Blogs. All things that are either illegal, harmful or banned.

I urge you all to do the same. This country is OURS, not theirs. Let's take it back.

December Mortgage Figures Show Recovery


The financial sector has hailed the first green shoots of recovery, following the surprise announcement that mortgage approvals had unexpectedly risen for December 2008.

The rise, announced by the Bank of England today, shows that mortgage lending rose three times faster than expected for the month after a UK bank actually loaned someone money.

The increase in lending has been traced to the Nationwide, who on 13 December approved a mortgage of £225,000 to Fred Smith, of Doncaster, for the purchase of an £800,000 property.

Business Minister Baroness Vadera has welcomed the announcement that someone has actually been able to borrow money, saying "this vindicates my earlier statement - we are definitely seeing 'the green shoots of recovery', and I can confidently predict that the IMF was wrong and the UK will be out of recession by this time next week".

Prime Mentalist Bipolar Brown was not available for comment, as he's smashed his latest cellphone and hasn't yet got a replacement.

British Jobs for British Workers?


From 'Sky News', 30 January 2009:

Hundreds of demonstrators are expected to hold a third day of action outside a Lincolnshire Oil refinery in protest at the use of foreign workers.

From 'The Independent', 10 September 2007:

Gordon Brown pledged to find "British jobs for every British worker" as the Government announced a crackdown on migrant workers and measures to help find work for thousands of jobless Britons.

This isn't a militant action. This isn't left-wing Unions striking for pay or conditions. This is, quite simply, skilled people who want to work but who aren't able to, while workers from other EU nations can.

The problem, as I see it, is that EU legislation seems to assume total freedom of mobility. This isn't the case. I don't think it's wrong to say that a local worker should - must - have priority if all other things are equal.

'British jobs for British workers' - another New Labour soundbite, another New Labour broken promise.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

News in Brief - 29 January 2009


Parents to Get Advice on Kids Drinking at Home
Chief Medical Office Liam Donaldson to offer parents advice on children drinking at home. He says, "vodka doesn't leave puke stains, and mixes well with baby milk if you want a good nights' sleep".

Strewth! Aussies Face Record Heat
A severe heatwave hits northern Australia, with temperatures over 40C. Sales of shrimp and barbies soar. Briton who claimed it was a bit hot branded a 'whinging Pommie poofter'.

Scottish Lib-Dems Offer SNP Outside Over Budget
Tavish Scott, Scottish Lib-Dem Leader, has invited the SNP outside to resolve the current Budget crisis. He was quoted as saying "I'll have the lot o'ye, ya bastids, bytheway", before nutting reporters.

Iraq Ends Licence for Blackwater
Iraqi MPs will not renew the operations licence of US Mercenary Private Security company Blackwater. An Iraqi spokesman said that US training now means the Iraqi Army is perfectly capable of killing their own civilians without assistance.

Violent Girl Crime up 50%
Violent crime among young women has soared 50%, according to The Beano. Lads' TV Channel Nuts TV plans to hire those convicted for new prime-time 'Foxy Fighting' show.

Identity of Top Gear's 'Stig' Revealed
Identity of the mysterious racing driver now confirmed to be Maureen from 'Driving School', who discovered her talent after Slimming Club sessions and a stuck throttle cable on the M56.

Turkish PM Walks Out of Davos Conference
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has stormed out of the Davos Economic Conference after being 'insulted' by Israel's Shimon Peres, who compared him to Bernard Matthews. Erdogan quoted as saying, "I'm going home, and I'm taking my kofte with me".

Obama Orders Softer Tactics


US President Barack Obama has signed an order banning harsh interrogation techniques used since 9/11, which critics have denounced as torture.

The latest Executive Order outlaws interrogation methods such as waterboarding, which many observers have alleged to be torture techniques. The practice of serving roast pork with crackling on Sundays has also been banned.

Under the terms of the new Executive Order, interrogators at Guantanamo Bay will be required to work to build rapport with their detainees rather than interrogate them. Some methods recommended in the Order include:
  • Classes in the safe handling of weapons other than AK-47s and Semtex;
  • Guards are to read to the detainees before lights-out - copies of 'Mohammeds' Little Book of Bedtime Jihads' are being provided for this purpose;
  • Regular 'group hug' sessions;
  • Cinema screenings of top Islamic movies including 'Ten Little Martyrs', 'Intifada Day', 'Prophet in Pink', 'Mohammed Does Dallas' and the retro classic 'The Cook, The Thief, the Infidel and their Amputations'.
Human rights campaigners have welcomed the move by the President, with Pinka Wetwipe of Amnesty saying, "this is an excellent first step by Obama. We know that the detainees of Guantanamo are just misunderstood. It's part of our campaign to better increase comprehension of the plight of Islamic fundamentalists everywhere - our 'Touch a Taliban, Hug a Hamza' scheme which will soon see radical Imams in every British primary school to preach their message of peace and understanding".

Osama Bin Laden was unreachable on his cellphone for comment.

The Chuckle Brothers Hit Hollywood



The Diary of a Geek in Oxfordshire has obtained exclusive secret camera footage of the Chuckle Brothers' first foray into feature films.

Taken during secret location filming, the footage shows Paul and Barry exhibiting their unparalleled genius for physical comedy as, handcuffed together, they collide with a lamp-post before swinging round and crashing into each other.

The movie, which has a working title of 'Bad Boys III: Chuckles Unleashed' is the latest project by blockbuster director Jerry Bruckheimer, and sees Paul and Barry Chuckle taking over the roles initially created by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Rumour has it that the brothers' big break away from children's TV is their biggest payday yet, with reports of them earning a staggering £150 for their appearance.

Will Smith was unavailable for comment as he was too busy being the President of the United States, and we declined to interview Martin Lawrence as he wanted to talk about his latest straight-to-bargain bin movie 'Big Mommas House 94: Momma Does Dallas'.

Experts Warn of Social Media Catastrophe


Scientists have warned of an impending economic catastrophe, warning that the UK is reaching a possible 'Social Media Event Event Horizon'.

Speaking at SocMedAmpBarUnconfTweetupCamp '09, the 361st Social Media conference of 2009, Web 2.0 analyst Scobie Brogan said "we are entering uncertain times, where the sheer number of So.Me. conferences could result in a phenomenon known as the 'Social Media Event Event Horizon'. This occurs when the number of events taking place mean that delegates can do nothing other than attend Social Media Conferences, and the only economic movement is the payment of money to keynote speakers at Social Media Conferences".

Brogan warned that the impact of the Social Media Event Event Horizon would be severe, resulting in the collapse of traditional businesses as anyone who has an account on Twitter sets themselves up as an independent 'Social Media Consultant'. He added "the eventual result would be the complete collapse of society, with the only interactions being 140-character Tweets and Facebook updates".

Environmental campaigners also supported the warning at the Conference, which was also liveblogged, Tweeted, streamed on YouTube and moblogged on Qik. Green Web activist Greena McGreen pointed out that the noise pollution caused by large groups of geeks, gathering in a single place and spouting incessant bollocks about Web 2.0, was damaging to wildlife over a wide area.

'Father of the Web' Tim Berners-Lee was unavailable for comment, as he had better things to do.

MPs: Almost 24m Adults Have Poor Numeracy Skills

A cross-party group of MPs have said that as many as 17.8 million over-18s have poor literacy and 23.8m have numeracy skills below the level needed to get a good GCSE.

In a report, the Commons Public Accounts Select Committee said the country had an "exceptionally high number of people who cannot read, write and count adequately.

The report was welcomed by Prime Mentalist Gordon Brown, who was clearly emotional as he told reporters, "this is real vindication of the New Labour approach to education. By ensuring that we dumb-down real skills, while altering the target criteria to allow us to trumpet increasing standards, we are well on the way to our goal".

Fighting back tears, the PM added, "our target is to ensure that the British electorate have neither the literacy skills to comprehend Government announcements, nor the numeracy skills to work out how much it will cost them. We are getting on with the job, and will continue to work to drive British intellect down to the required level before the end of the next Parliament".

A Cabinet Office spokesman denied rumours that the Government has hired consultants from the Khmer Rouge to develop further methods of reducing the average IQ of the UK - methods believed to include the summary execution of anyone able to do mathematics.

Rebekah Wade, the Editor of red-top rag The BeanoSun, welcomed the report, pointing out that the inexorable slide into stupidity of the British nation ensured a bright future for her paper.

Four Hurt As Railway Stunt Backfires


Four people were hospitalised today, after a publicity stunt at Oxford Station went badly wrong.

First Great Western Trains were scheduled to hold a 'Meet the Manager' session at the station - however due to a clerical error, the event was publicised as a 'Beat the Manager' event, and fully two thousand pissed-off commuters turned up at the station determined to give FGW management a damn good shoeing.

An eyewitness said, "it was chaos. The commuters just went for the train managers like a pack of hounds. I saw one manager being battered, with four blokes in suits jumping on him screaming "how's that for unscheduled works!". Another manager was being chased by a woman brandishing a railway spike and yelling that she was going to make sure he only ever needed 'standing room'".

The injured managers were taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, where their condition was described as 'stable'. A spokesman for the hospital said that none of the injuries were life-threatening, though it was going to smart a bit for one manager when the briefcase of a particularly-determined commuter was removed from his bottom.

The railway users group Railwatch condemned the station carnage, saying in a statement, "Railwatch do not condone passengers taking matters into their own hands. And anyway, we missed out on the chance to give First Great Western a good kicking, so we're deeply disappointed".

Plans Target 'Digital Britain' Push

Plans are to be launched today to bring high-speed broadband internet connections to every household in the UK by 2012.

The interim 'Digital Britain' report, released today, has looked at the provision of high-quality digital pornography to British homes, and is expected to recommend that universal standards of smut resolution be established.

Communications Minister Lord Carter said, "it's unacceptable in 21st-century Britain that some consumers are still forced to have one off the wrist to poor-quality porn over dialup connections. Access to high-speed internet and streaming video should be an inalienable human right.

"ISPs will therefore be compelled to ensure that broadband is available universally, bringing freedom to 'bash the bishop' to British subscribers anywhere".

Not all groups have welcomed the report's recommendations, however. David Bailey, chairman of paper-based softcore smut-peddlers Sport Media Group, attacked the proposals, saying, "the report discriminates against traditional media. Sport Media Group has been providing first-rate hand-shandy material for years, and the provision of universal broadband threatens our business model. People won't pop to the bog with a copy of the 'Sunday Sport' for a quick knuckle shuffle if they've got high-speed smut".

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

News in Brief - 28 January 2009


Netherlands in Diplomatic Tussle With Iceland
Netherlands in diplomatic incident with Iceland over the appointment of a new, Lesbian Icelandic PM - the Dutch claim that only they have rights to important dykes.

ITV Suspends Production of 'Heartbeat'
Filming has been suspended on further episodes of Heartbeat, after ITV executives finally realised the show no longer had a pulse. 'Star' Joe McFadden is to be humanely destroyed, say producers.

Downing Street Appoints New Spokesman
The new spokesman for the PM is to be Muhammad Saeed Al-Sahhaf, former Iraqi Information Minister. Sources said he would 'bring clarity' to Gordon Brown's statements, especially on the economy.

'Data Privacy Day' Too Private?
Today is World Data Privacy Day - but nobody found out about it in advance as the organisers didn't want to tell anyone about it.

Scottish Nationalists Lose Budget Vote
The SNP failed to pass its Budget vote in the devolved Holyrood Assembly, amid fears that the Jocks would blow the whole lot on McEwans Export and deep-fried Mars Bars.

IMF Report Says UK 'Buggered'


The International Monetary Fund today released its latest damning figures, with Britain showing as worst-placed to endure the global economic downturn.

The startling report by the IMF states baldly that the UK economy will contract by 2.8% in 2009, and eventually stutter to a faltering 0.2% in 2010.

Economic Analyst Lotta Cashcountin of the IMF said, "whichever way you look at it, the UK's buggered. It's up shit creek, and their idiot PM sold off the paddles long ago. Most countries can fall back on their current account surplus or gold reserves, but the UK hasn't got any of that left, so we are regretfully downgrading the UK's status now, with the prospect of a further downgrade to 'Fucked' by the third Quarter if needed".

The IMF's gloomy statement was dismissed by Prime Mentalist Gibbon Brown who, while acknowledging the UK is in a deep recession, said (again) that he was getting on with the jobbie of protecting hard-working British families in these difficult times, and again attacked the Tories for 'doing nothing' - despite the fact that the opposition can't actually do anything because they're THE OPPOSITION.

Mr Brown then again insisted that the IMF was wrong, he was right, and that the UK was the best-placed country to handle the recession. He added, "I'll show you! I'll show you all! You think I'm mad, don't you - I'll show you who's mad!!", and cackled insanely before having to be restrained by Parliamentary aides.

A Treasury spokesman rejected the IMF reports, saying that the Government was planning to announce a new bailout package to bail out the embattled Bank of England. No information was forthcoming on where the money is coming from.

Shock at Breach of PMQ's Protocol


There was uproar in the House of Commons a few moments ago, following what has been described as an 'unprecedented breach' of Parliamentary protocol during today's Prime Minister's Questions.

To uproar in the chamber, Prime Mentalist Gordon Brown was heard to respond to a question from Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg with a direct answer.

At 1217 Mr Clegg asked if it was right that non-UK domiciled peers should not pay their full taxes. Mr Brown replied: "Of course, it's not."

There was shock, amazement and outrage in the Commons at Brown's first straight answer since his ascension to the premiership in June 2007. The Speaker struggled to regain order amidst the noise, and it has been reported that several of the older MPs needed cardiac treatment.

A Conservative spokesman said, "this is an unprecedented breach of accepted Parliamentary procedure. Since 2007, Questions has followed a predictable format - the Leader of the Opposition asks a question, the Prime Minister then waffles, repeats himself and spouts unrelated drivel before making spurious and unfounded attacks on the Opposition".

He added, "this sets a dangerous precedent, and we will be seeking clarification on the matter".

A spokesman for the Prime Minister apologised for his comments, and sought to reassure the public that the Prime Minister's answer was an isolated incident that would not happen again.

Six Seized in $600m Stock Scam

'Guardia Civil' officers raid Mandelson's Private Members' Club

Spanish Police have arrested six men as part of an investigation into a $600m (£450m) fraud perpetrated against the London Stock Exchange.

The international investigation, involving all European police forces and Interpol, has been ongoing since the latter part of 2008. It is believed that the charges relating to the £450m are only initial charges, with the total of the fraud believed to be in excess of £1 trillion.

Those arrested today are believed to be the masterminds of the fraud, and have been named as the following career criminals:

James Gordon 'Prime Minister' Brown;
Alistair 'Slug-Balancer' Darling;
Mervyn 'Ratesy' King;
Victor 'Blackhorse' Blank;
Peter 'Felchie' Mandelson;
Geoff 'Twat' Hoon.

Officers admitted that only the first five are believed to be involved in the scam, which has cost the UK billions in both bullion and stock equities, destroying the pension funds of British employees. Hoon was described by the senior investigating officer as "too stupid to be involved in anything this clever, but we arrested him because everyone wanted to give him a damn good kicking".

Newly-appointed Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson welcomed the arrests - at least, we think that's what he said, but he was a bit muffled from having his tongue so deeply inserted in Jacqui Beria's backside.

Asda Offers Job Help to Bankers

Supermarket titan Asda has offered a lifeline to bankers left redundant as a result of the economic crisis, with the accouncement of new employment opportunities.

Asda CEO Andy Bond, speaking at the press launch, said "we are delighted to be helping out bankers in their current straitened times. As a result, we are making around 7,000 jobs available to redundant financiers, hedge-fund managers and investment bankers".

The roles being offered to the former City high-flyers include 'Night-Shift Stock Restoration Operative' and 'Dining-Area Tray Reclamation Officer', with salaries of up to £6.40 per hour for the top employees.

Bond added, "let's face it, after the way these people screwed up their institutions, we don't want them anywhere near the tills - there's no way they'd be able to balance them. But it keeps bankers off the streets, so we're helping the long-term unemployable".

Former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Fred 'The Shred' Goodwin welcomed the move, adding that he intended to apply for the position of 'Assistant Trolley Recovery Agent'.

New Security Fears for Children's Database

An outcry has broken out over security of the latest Government database, which holds the records of 11 million children in the UK.


The £224-million ContactPoint Database, which stores the name, address, date of birth, parents details, GP and name of school for every child under 18 in the UK, is at the centre of a storm of outrage following its handover to Data Loss Services PLC, the new contractor handling the Government's Data Mismanagement Project.

It has come to light that Data Loss Services have provided access privileges to almost 400,000 users - however a significant portion of these come from the inadvertent cross-referencing of the user list with the Sex Offenders Register, meaning that the UK's registered paedophiles have full access to all the information held on ContactPoint.

Derek Lostit, CEO of Data Loss Services PLC, said "we promised when we won the contract that we would reach new heights of data-insecurity, and the latest news is a stunning coup of laxity. 400,000 users now have access to 11 million records, and we're pretty certain we've ensured that nowhere near enough of them have been vetted."

Home Secretary Jacqui Beria said, "why should the Government care? We only want the information, we don't care who has access to it afterward. Report to your local Re-Education Centre, Comrade!" before ordering your Correspondent's arrest for thoughtcrime.

Leading kiddy-fiddler Gary Glitter was unavailable for comment, as he was already scouring the database.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Labourlist - Posting without Prior Proofing?


Well done Derek Draper of Labourlist, who announced the new 'Hope Not Hate' campaign on Labourlist a short while ago. He trumpeted the same on Twitter.

See the screenshot above - enlarge it to see the sheer genius of Labialist once more.

Nice one Derek. Hate Not Hope?

Hope your campaigning's better than your proofreading. You're not sending a good message about the competence of this Goonvernment, Sir!

British Traders Facing WMD Trial


Thousands of British businessmen are facing an uncertain future today after it was announced that they were to face trial in The Hague for 'crimes against humanity'.

The prosecutions, brought by the Health & Safety Executive against Britain's kebab-shop proprietors, comes after the not-very-shocking revelations that doner kebabs have 'shockingly high' calorie, fat and salt levels.

The HSE have therefore deemed kebabs as 'Weapons of Mass Doubling', and this therefore places them under the legislation applicable to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Those manufacturing and supplying WMD's are therefore to be tried in The Hague under genocide charges, and face life in prison if convicted.

The move was applauded by campaigner Ms Hilary Dour, of the pressure group 'Action Against Anything At All'. Unfortunately her comments could not be heard through the thick glass in the secure psychiatric unit, but she was screaming something about, "think of the children".

BBC 'Dragon' Theo Paphitis, who made his first million selling doner kebabs and now runs a thriving trade in Doncaster from the back of his specially-converted Maybach kebab van, said, "It's a travesty, innit. We're providing a much-needed public service to the drunks of Britain. And it's not true what they said about poor-quality meat. It's all first-class stuff. Lamb, beef, rat...no, I never said rat. Oh, bugger. Innit".

He then served your Correspondent a large 'Special' with extra chilli sauce, allegedly in contravention of the United Nations Convention on Chemical Weapons.

Brown to Delay Budget

The Prime Minister in training for the London Minceathon this morning.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to hold back the next Budget until April, as he ponders the next steps for a Britain driving deeper into Recession.

In a speech to the Foreign Press Association, Mr Brown claimed that we were not in Recession but simply feeling 'the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order'. To uncontrolled laughter from the audience, Brown also claimed again that British debt was low, and we were well-placed to handle the economic downturn.

Treasury officials denied the delay to the Budget - normally announced in March - was because the Government were running around like headless chickens and bereft of ideas, instead explaining that the Prime Minister and Chancellor were developing 'radical' new solutions to bring Britain out of Recession more quickly.

A source close to the Prime Minister said, "Gordon's got loads of ideas. He'll be ensuring that all Government offices use both sides of scrap paper, for example, which will save 170 million in stationery costs. Also, we will legislate that all public-sector lunches must be bought at Tesco, generating a further £25 million in 'Computers for Schools' vouchers and fully £1 billion in Clubcard Points".

He added, "the best idea so far is to get all Government Departments to check down the backs of sofas and chairs for spare change. Gordon has estimated that we could raise £1.4 billion as a result".

Peter Mandelson refused to comment, but Lords Truscott, Taylor, Moonie and Snape all offered to comment for £5 grand apiece.

US Woman Gives Birth to Octopus

A US woman has given birth to an octopus, becoming only the second human in history successfully to do so.

Ima Dumbas, from Tallahassee, Florida, gave birth to the 6lb 20z octopus at the Takeyawalletout Medical Centre following a normal labour, and is reported to be doing well, though having to be kept in a specially-salinated birthing pool.

Ms Dumbas said that her new offspring was the result of a holiday romance, adding, "these things happen. I was checking out the rockpools and I saw his dad. I'd had a few drinks, and - well, one thing led to another".

The new mum has called her new child Beaky, and her lawyers confirmed that she would be suing his father for Absent Cephalopod Support.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tesco Opticians


Dear Tesco Opticians

I thought I was getting old.

I thought that when I bought my glasses from you a year ago that the stronger prescription was merely taking a little while to become accustomed to.

However, since switching to your glasses full-time six months ago, I've felt my eyes getting progressively more tired. So today, I took myself to Vision Express (have you heard of them? They're a decent optician) to get re-tested. Turns out that 12 months ago I needed a prescription 0.5 diopters stronger than my previous one.

I now need 1.5 diopters more.

So, Tesco Opticians, would you care to explain to me how my Tesco Opticians spectacles are actually 0.5 diopters weaker than my 2 year old prescription? In other words, a full diopter weaker than YOU prescribed?

Absolutely perfect, chaps. You didn't screw them up enough for it immediately to be noticeable - just enough to damage my eyesight when used on a daily basis. I'm impressed. I thought I was aging, when in fact I was merely tiring my eyes out. You complete, utter, spectacularly crap spectacle makers.

Please set yourselves on fire. I would set you on fire myself, but I'm too blind to see the matches.

Gits

Dungeekin

Had Enough, Mr Murdoch?


So, apparently, if we want to see a light at the end of the tunnel, we need to ditch Labour.

Well, DUH...

Now, according to Wikipedia, 'The Stun' has almost 8 million readers. Of course, I use the term in its loosest possible sense. Their sensationalist approach, letting nothing - not even the facts - impede Mr Murdoch's revenue stream, has long been a winning approach in this country. And I would imagine it's safe to say that their 1997 front page, reproduced above, contributed a great deal to Labour's 1997 General Election victory.

Remember this, Mr Murdoch?

Everything we now have - the Stalinist repression of civil liberties, the collapsing NHS, the recession, a bankrupt nation, an education system so demolished that children leave school capable only of reading your rag - you hold a large part of the responsibility for what's happened to our nation.

Thanks for the last eleven years, Mr Murdoch. Shame it took you and your toadies that long to work out the truth behind the New Labour smoke and mirrors.

Still, I'm sure you've made a few quid out of it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whiter Than White?


Would the Noble Lords Truscott and Taylor care to explain their actions? The Electorate is waiting....

More on this next week, when I have time to let the rant brew.

My Thanks to My MP - Dr Evan Harris


My thanks to Dr Evan Harris MP for his clear and detailed response to my email regarding MPs Expenses:

-----

Dear Mr Geekin,
Sorry for the delay in responding to this email. It slipped through the net.

I share your concern about this matter. My basic approach is that if it is public money then the public have a right to know how it is spent. Furthermore there is no reason why MPs should have any extra additional exemption from FoI laws as anyone else.

I believe in as much openness as possible from MPs. I am in the phone book with my Oxford address and phone number for example. Although there are security risks (I have had threats from anti-abortion groups, animal rights groups and anti-free speech religious groups) I think that they won't need the phone book to find me!

I was appalled by the attempt by the Conservative and Labour front-benches to try to get David McLean's private member's bill through which would exempt MPs from huge chunks of the FoI laws on the basis of protecting constituents' privacy. This was completely spurious as Data Protection rules apply in these areas. I was one of the small number of MPs (mainly but not exclusively Lib Dems) who turned up on the relevant Friday (18th May 2007) to speak and vote against the measures, (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070518/debtext/70518-0003.htm) which in the end were blocked in the Lords.

I signalled my opposition to the latest attempt to exempt MPs by signing Jo Swinson's EDM http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=37516&SESSION=899 even before it was published. The Lib Dems were going to oppose the order en bloc although the Conservatives were allowing a free vote (to allow their front bench to save face). As you are aware the Conservatives came to their senses and the Govt knew they would lose and have removed the order.

We will need to remain vigilant as David Heath made clear in his contribution at business questions last Thursday.

Mr. David Heath (Somerton and Frome) (LD): May I, too, welcome the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton (Alan Duncan) to his new position? I am sure that he is indeed a pivot. In the spirit of his congratulations to the Leader of the House on her change of heart on the freedom of information, I also thank him for the change of spirit in the Conservative party from the position adopted in respect of the former Conservative Chief Whip's private member's Bill only a couple of years ago—or even the position last Monday, actually.

I was sitting behind him cheering him on. David went on to set our position in the main debate on the expenses proposal. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090122/debtext/90122-0010.htm

I hope this reassures you about my position on this important matter, and that I have not suddenly changed my opinion on it.

Best wishes

Evan Harris

Saturday, January 24, 2009

She Wants A Database? Let's Give Her One.


Above: Jacqui Smith before the surgery

We all know the Brown Regime and Laventiy Beria's Jacqui Smith's KGB would like a database. Actually, they'd like several databases, which one day will blend into a single source of information worthy of Minitrue.

They want our data, our faces on CCTV, our DNA, our health records. They want everything. And we also know that in their lickspittle toadying to the EUSSR, they especially want a database of ALL our emails.

So - let's give Ms Beria what she wants.

Emails. Lots and lots of emails.

I urge you to sign up to the Facebook group: 'cc all your emails to Jacqui Smith Day'. Sign up, pledge - and on the (as-yet unspecified) day, send every single email you receive to public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

I think this is an amazingly good idea - I'm setting up a number of disposal Webmail accounts and signing up to several somewhat dubious mailing lists, just to ensure I have plenty of material to send the worthy lady. Remember - that's public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Jacqui Beria would LOVE a database of emails. Let's give her some.

(h/t The Lone Voice.)

Mitchell a Match for Mad Mullahs


Walford hard-man Grunt Mitchell is leaving the East End to take on the Taliban, we can exclusively reveal.

Grunt, who is bald, was reported to be leaving for Afghanistan's Helmand Province in order to give the insurgents in the area a proper kicking, after it was reported that someone had said something nasty about his mum Peggy.

A source close to the Mitchell family said, "Grunt was livid. Phil told him that he'd heard Minty talking to Gary in the Vic, saying that Heather had told Little Mo that Shirley's latest shag had also slept with Max, who'd told him that Jack Branning had heard in the club that a Taliban insurgent had called Peggy Mitchell an interfering old witch".

Grunt has apparently already started work in Helmand Province - with an increase in reports of headbutted Taliban fighters, bleeding profusely and babbling incoherently about a 'white devil' attacking them screaming, "I'll 'ave ya, ya slag!".

Your correspondent attempted to contact Mrs Mitchell for comment, but was punched in the face by Phil and thrown bodily from the Vic.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Waiting For Black Helicopters. . .


So I just logged into Sitemeter, and I noticed the above hit in progress.

Hmm. Microsoft Corp. Redmond, Washington. And they're reading THIS.

Gawd, I hope it's not Monkey Boy - I'll end up picking bits of chair out of my skull for weeks to come!

I'm searching overhead for the M$ black helicopters. If I should disappear, send help - my location is at @%$£#?£%&NO CARRIER

Iceland's Prime Minister Resigns


Geir Haarde, the embattled Prime Minister of Iceland, has announced his resignation following demonstrations in protest at the recent financial crisis and the continuing use of Kerry Katona.

Iceland has been facing riots and civil disturbances over the financial crisis, with many protesting at paying large sums of money to an overweight, drug-addled Z-list celeb to pimp cheapo frozen food. The problem came to a head in late 2008 when it was revealed that many UK Councils had also paid money to Iceland, and that the money had been squandered in massive payments to keep Katona in cigarettes, vodka and pies.

Demonstrators have now been outside Icelands head office for several days, pelting Haarde and anyone who comes within range with foodstuffs including bread rolls (just £0.49, buy one get one free) and party-food packs ( only £5.00! Got a fiver? Got a party!) in protest at the actions of the Iceland leadership.

Ms Katona was unavailable for comment, as she was in the Priory. Again.

Dear Prime Minister


Dear Prime Minister

I felt I just had to write to tell you how much I enjoyed your interview with Evan Davies on the 'Today' programme this morning. It put me in mind of a fat maggot, wriggling helpless and impotent on the end of an angler's hook.

I particularly liked your response to Evan's repeated question about whether you were wrong to have claimed 'an end to boom and bust'. He used the phrase several times, and in every instance you refused even to acknowledge the point.

There was a 'boom' (albeit born of artifice and legerdemain, but a boom nonetheless). You were keen, at every opportunity, to remind us of your Prudence and your brilliance, to tell us we had had an unprecedented eleventy-million quarters of sustained economic growth. You were even willing to add in the quarters of growth under a Tory Government to boost your bombast.

We're now in a bust. Figures released today prove, officially, that UK PLC is in Recession - or, to put it in a more colloquial way, the economy is royally and mightily fucked.

Boom. Bust. Both these states have happened.

Both these states, however initiated, also happened under the watch of one person - the Rt. Hon. James Gordon Brown MP. Formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer, now Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury. That would be you, sir, in case the Largactil is adversely affecting you.

Let me offer you a spot of advice. To admit that you were wrong does not show weakness - it shows humanity. To err is human. So's believing your own hype.

To attempt, as you did, to divert the blame to the Banks, to the USA, to light-touch regulation, to the Tories and to just about anything else you thought might give you wriggle-room does NOT show omniscience. Sorry to break it to you, but it doesn't.

It shows weakness. It shows cowardice. It shows an inability to face the facts and the consequences of one's own actions, be they actual deeds or sins of omission.

It also begs the question - if you're so right all the time, then you must therefore have seen all this pain coming. Yet you chose not to act to stop it. Why?

The truth is, Prime Minister, you didn't see it coming. You fell into the trap of believing that you were the Great God Prudence, that you were infallible, that the inevitability of cyclical downturns could not happen because of the sheer force of your will. Now your pride won't allow you to face the truth - you were not Prudent enough.

You allowed this to happen. You, sir, are responsible for the consequences to this country. Please be a man- admit your failings and face that responsibility.

And please, Prime Minister, set yourself on fire. I'd set you on fire myself, but I can't afford matches any more.

Yours disrespectfully

Dungeekin

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Passes First Presidential Motion


After little more than 24 hours in office as the 44th President of the United States, it was announced today that Barack Obama, the historic first African-American President, had succesfully had his first Presidential bowel movement.

In a landmark event watched by billions worldwide, the historic 44th President, inaugurated just yesterday, left his Oval Office desk and walked, by himself, to the Presidential Bathroom where, according to aides, he produced a smooth, composed and dignified motion.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, addressing reporters after the monumentous event, said, "We're delighted to announce this historic event by the historic first African-American 44th President of the United States. I personally spoke to the President before his action and asked him, 'would we like to go potty-poo now?', to which he replied 'Yes, we can'."

The historic first bowel movement had been delayed, according to Emanuel, by rich food ingested during the Inauguration Balls.

Emanuel added that the Presidential wiping also went smoothly, and that he could confirm that the historic President's shit did not, indeed, stink.

Members of the public in the historic first African-American's President's home town of Chicago were ecstatic at the news of President Obama's 'executive evacuation', with spontaneous demonstrations occurring across the city and many citizens defecating in the streets to show their unity with the historic 44th President, who was inaugurated yesterday.

Microsoft to Cut 5,000 Jobs


Software giant Microsoft has announced a massive run of job cuts, with plans to axe up to 5,000 workers over the next 18 months.

The announcement - the first job cuts in the company's 18-year history - came after disappointing results due to the economic downturn. Microsoft said its revenues in the second quarter grew just 2 per cent from a year before, to $16.6bn, lower than the $17.1bn that Wall Street had been expecting.

In a press conference announcing the cuts, Microsoft CEO Steve 'Monkey Boy' Ballmer hung from a tyre swing as he told journalists, "basically, not enough people are buying Vista. I mean, I know it's a pointless, buggy, overpriced, resource-intensive pile of expensive eye-candy, but in the absence of any innovation since Windows 3.1 we have to compete with Apple somehow".

Pausing to hurl a chair at a techie in a Google t-shirt, Ballmer added that the bulk of the 5,000 losses would be in the Security Coding teams, saying, "firstly, Windows is secure enough already. All you need is Antivirus, a third-party firewall, Firefox, Spybot and Ad-Aware. So the security team's not required. Plus, they're all in Europe so it'll get the bastard EU for complaining about IE again".

It had initially been assumed that the bulk of the job losses would be in Microsoft's Quality Assurance department - however a recent survey showed that Microsoft hasn't had a QA team since DOS 5 was released.

The restructuring of Microsoft will leave the software giant with 91,000 employees; 90,000 Intellectual Property lawyers, 991 Redmond security guards, Steve Ballmer, seven full-time coders and a dog called Fred who handles technical support.

Ross Returns to TV Screens


Chat-show host Jonathan Ross is set to return to our screens tomorrow, following his three-month suspension by the BBC over the 'Sachsgate' phone-message scandal.

Ross, whose estuary-accented quips have garnered him millions of fans and millions of pounds, returns to prime-time TV as the host of 'Fonejacker', the show dedicated to prank telephone calls.

A BBC spokesman said, "Jonathan is eager to return to the fray, and excited about bringing Fonejacker to a wider audience. His seminal work with Russell Brand proved his tremendous talent in making inappropriate calls, and we look forward to causing offence and complaints on a much wider scale across the nation".

The spokesman added, "but it's important viewers don't think that Jonathan is completely forgiven for his mistakes. As a result, his first prank calls on Fonejacker will be to Rory McGrath, Ruth Rendell and Canon Roger Royle".

However, not everyone has welcomed the rhotically-challenged Ross's return. Ms Hilary Dour, of the pressure group 'Action Against Anything At All', decried the BBC decision and claimed Ross had not been punished enough by his suspension and the loss of his presenting gig at the British Comedy Awards,

Ms Dour claimed, "Ross said nasty things and offended me. He should be completely banned, and as such AAAAA will be campaigning for a return to capital punishment and his hanging, drawing and quartering. His head should be on a spike outside Broadcasting House!", before the nice men gave her her medication.

Mr Ross was unavailable for comment, so this Correspondent left seventeen messages on his answering machine alleging he'd slept with Ross's wife.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Virgin Announces New Holiday Destination


Virgin Holidays, the travel company fronted by bearded adrenalin-junkie Richard Branson, has added a new destination to its Summer Travel brochure - Antarctica.

Following revelations that Antarctica is warming up, Virgin Holidays are adding trips to the Wilkins Ice Shelf to their Summer Luxury brochure, in the expectation that travellers will one day be able to gain a tan while lounging among sunburned penguins.

Branson, who skydived into the press launch wearing nothing but a red Virgin toga, said of the launch, "Virgin has a history of being the first to launch new holiday destinations. I know the average Antarctic temperature is -50C now, but at current rates of warming we've established that Antarctica will be a balmy 20C in just six thousand years".

He added, "It may sound unrealistic now, but we managed to sell Virgin Galactic trips, which proves that the punters will cough up for anything with a Virgin logo!"

An Emperor Penguin contacted by this correspondent declined to comment.

Dungeekin Minor's Quote of the Month


I should explain. Firstly, please permit me to introduce Beetle, 9 weeks old and the latest arrival at Dungeekin Towers.

Now, I have a game I play with Dungeekin Minor when he stays with us at weekends - with much growling, I tell him I'm going to 'eat his ears'. Cue screaming, laughter and chasing around the living room.

Anyway, we collected the boys on Friday and, as you can imagine, both dog and toddler were utterly smitten with each other on first sight. Minor plonked himself on the floor (first mistake) and Beetle, seeing a playmate of similar maturity, insisted on playing - and before we could get him under control, leaped up and had a nip at the dangly things on the side of Minor's head.

Thankfully no blood was shed, but Minor was a bit surprised and shocked by the whole experience. He turned to The Darling G and I and, bottom lip a-quiver, said:

"But....but...only Daddy's allowed to eat my ears!"

Little boys and puppies - the perfect combination.

Mandelson Expenses Published


Following the Governments' decision to shelve controversial legislation removing the duty of MPs to publish their expenses, the annual expense account of Business Secretary Lord Mandelson have been released.

Mandelson's expenses since his appointment to the Business brief in October 2008 total just over £3 million, spread across a range of claim categories including:
  • £293,000 on flowers for his partner Reinaldo and friend Elton John, classed as 'ministerial decor';
  • £400,000 in expenses for mortgage payments on his £2.5m London villa, claimed under the 'second homes' allowance;
  • £600,000 in 'entertainment expenses', costs mostly incurred over three lunch dates with a Russian oligarch in the aluminium business;
  • £1.4m paid to the 'Bottoms-Up Sex Accessory Store' of Hamburg, filed under 'clothing and working equipment allowances'.
The expenses are in addition to Lord Mandelson's Ministerial salary, 'relocation pay' from his EU role and other undisclosed receipts, made in plain brown envelopes by certain closeted politicians.

A spokesman for Lord Mandelson insisted that the Minister's expenses were perfectly legitimate based on the important role he plays in slinging dirt at the Opposition.

He added, "Fritzl at the 'Bottoms-Up' is a first-rate tailor who provides all of the Ministers' clothing, ensuring that full measurements and which side Lord Mandelson dresses are taken in the most lengthy, detailed of fashions", at which point he came over all faint and had to have a lie down.

Gordon Brown's expenses are due to be released shortly, however pundits are not expecting them to show significant spending on tailoring or grooming.

An 'L'ish ChaLLenge


Twitter, for those who aren't yet aware of it, is the microblogging microcosm of the world, with millions of users chatting, questioning, boring and chuntering in 140 characters or less. It's great fun and populated with all sorts, from proles such as your Humble Correspondent to household names such as the eminent wit and wordsmith Mr Stephen Fry.

And it is to him that I owe this post, for it is he who set his Twitter followers - all fifty thousand of them - the following challenge:

" L=50 in Roman. The best tweet containing exactly 50 Ls will win. All tweets to contain the tag #L and none to exceed 140 character limit "
This was, as you may imagine, a nontrivial task. To create something that actually makes any sense yet contains the magical 50 'L's was, I found, spectacularly difficult. However, I've given it my best shot and came up with this:
" All! All luv all, all; all life, all luv. All! All let all luv all. All! All life lolls in luv, all. All let all love all, all. All? All. "
It's 'L'ishly hard to achieve, attempting to do so is addictive, and I urge you all to have a try - either submit your suggestions on Twitter, or alternatively pop them in my comments field.
Have fun.

MP Expenses U-Turn


It's being reported in the Guardian that Mr Twit is U-turning on his dastardly plans to ensure MP expenses remained unaccountable.

Of course he had no choice, given that both the Tories and Lib Dems went public saying they'd whip for votes against the legislation.

No doubt many will be poring over the Labour MP expense accounts as soon as they're available. I call dibs on Mandelson's.

More as it develops.

England Star Stevens in Drugs Shock


England and Bath prop-forward Matt Stevens has been suspended from both club and country duties following his failure of a drugs test.

Stevens, 26, failed a test during Bath's Heineken Cup match with Glasgow. He has admitted taking 'a prohibited substance', but insisted that it was not performance-enhancing.

The problem first came to light at half-time during the match, when Stevens eschewed the traditional oranges in favour of a fat blunt and a bag of Kettle Chips. Subsequently, during the second half, the prop was yellow-carded by the referee for using a bong in the ruck.

Speaking in a hastily-convened Press Conference, Stevens admitted to a problem with 'recreational substances', adding, "It's alright man. I'm cool. I can handle it, it's no biggie, you know? Ooooh, I can see colours coming out of that camera. I'm so mashed, man, off my gourd, y'know?".

Reports that Stevens had tried to score an ounce from the Glasgow full-back were denied by both clubs.

England Coach Martin Johnson was unavailable for comment, as he was tripping off his face and, according to an RFU spokesman, 'wouldn't be coming down for a month'.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Weight of Expectation


So finally, thankfully, and with the entire world breathing a huge sigh of relief, the shaved chimpanzee and the walking dead are retired - Shrub back to the Texas monkey sanctuary and Vlad Cheney back to his coffin.

In his place, we welcome President Barack Hussein Obama.

After eight years of 'terrists', 'nucular', 'misunderestimated', mis-remembered aphorisms and bushels of Bushisms to give even Mrs Malaprop pause, it is enormously refreshing to know that the United States has as its Commander-in-Chief an intelligent, articulate, thoughtful man.

OK, I know he's not the Messiah. But you have to credit the man - he gives good speech. His words have depth and meaning (so he's got a good speechwriter), his timing is perfect and his delivery absolutely beautiful.

But - and it's a big 'but' - speechifying is very worthy, but it's nothing without the deeds.

President Obama is taking office in a time of true crisis in America. In some ways, there are parallels with the 1979 election of Mrs Thatcher, though for him the problems are on a grander scale. Like Mrs Thatcher in 1979, the new President offered a speech of hope, yet didn't shy away from the challenges that changing the country would bring.

He takes on the leadership of a nation dented and damaged, its confidence shattered, its self-belief wounded and its coffers emptied. Many nations now see America not just as 'The Great Satan', but as a rogue, pariah state forcing its policies on others over the barrel of a Colt .45. And he has to change it all.

President Obama has promised many things in the Election campaign, and in his inauguration speech. He's promised to revitalise science, so damaged by the Bush fundamentalism. He's offered 'the hand of friendship to those who will unclench their fist'. He's promised root-and-branch change, from foreign policy to Camp X-Ray to universal Healthcare. Now, the 'Obamessiah' has to live up to those promises, to rebuild confidence not just in his nation but in the wider world.

Mrs Thatcher had 13 years in office to deliver her changes, the Conservative Party fully 18 years. The new President will have just eight, even if he is able to secure a second term - and given the expectation of the American people, securing that second term is fraught with risk.

The risk is that if (when?) he is unable to deliver on his promises, or cannot deliver as fast as his adoring public demands, then their love affair will lead to deeper disappointment, perhaps faster than he might deserve. Additionally, while at present the change may have had a unifying effect on the nation, it is likely to be hard to maintain that unity and purpose in the dark days of a recession - even with the FDR-esque 'New Deal' approach hinted at in the Inauguration speech.

The weight of expectation, then, sits heavy on the shoulders of this historic President. I hope - I really, really hope - he can deliver, for our sake as well as the US. But it will be on the strength of his actions that he will be judged by history, not the quality of his rhetoric.

They're Changing Prez at the Capitol Palace


They're changing Prez at the Capitol Palace -
President Bush is replaced by Barack.
Dubya will bugger of back to his ranch.
"It's time for change, so give it a chance,"
Says Barack.

They're changing Prez at the Capitol Palace -
President Bush is replaced by Barack.
Millions of people turned out to cheer.
"If it wasn't for you then I wouldn't be here,"
Says Barack.

They're changing Prez at the Capitol Palace -
President Bush is replaced by Barack.
He'll swear his Oath of Office today
"And then I'll get rid of Guantanamo Bay,"
Says Barack.

They're changing Prez at the Capitol Palace -
President Bush is replaced by Barack.
Cheney was Dubya's 'eminence grise'.
"But no-one knows who my Vice-President is,"
Says Barack.

They're changing Prez at the Capitol Palace -
President Bush is replaced by Barack.
Gordon Brown asks "have you heard all about me?"
"You're the guy who screwed up your economy,"
Says Barack.

They're changing Prez at the Capitol Palace -
President Bush is replaced by Barack.
"I'll make America great once again""
"As long as the rednecks don't blow out my brains,"
Says Barack.


(with apologies to A. A. Milne)

MP Expenses - They Work For YOU


Time, I think, for a more serious post on the subject of MPs expenses.

A good friend recently expressed surprise that 'on the one hand people are protesting MP expense privacy and then demanding their own privacy for themselves'. I want to explain why that is a misguided approach, and why the expenses issue is so important.

Firstly - as Iain Dale so rightly pointed out, if as employees we incur expenses in our employment, we are required to submit receipts and to justify those expenses to our employer.

And that's the first point. WE are the employers of Members of Parliament.

We elect them to their post. Their salaries and expenses come from the public purse, which is filled by tax receipts from the money we earn and the items we buy. As employers, therefore, we have a right to know how the money we provide for this purpose is being spent.

This is not a question of privacy. It is a question of accountability. We should expect and demand the same degree of accountability from our Parliamentary employees as is expected from us by our employers.

The second point to consider is 'legitimacy'. The term often used in terms of expenses is 'legitimate business expense' - if our employers (or HMRC for the self-employed) don't think a business expense is legitimate, then it doesn't get paid. At present, the same rules are not applied to MPs.

An expensable mortgage subsidy for an MP who has a long way to travel from their constituency makes sense, and could be construed as legitimate. However, items on the 'John Lewis List' such as televisions or furniture - are they really legitimate? Your employer may pay your relocation expenses, but would they spring for a flat-screen TV? I think not - so why should we do so for Members of Parliament? The same applies to childcare. We have to pay for it ourselves, why should they have us pay for it?

Finally, the third point. Being a Member of Parliament is being a public figure. As an MP, you make the laws that affect all of us, and you have the duty therefore to hold yourself to a higher standard of accountability because of that. Anything - ANYTHING - involving the spending of public money must, therefore, be transparent to those paying the bills.

Some MPs already do so - Douglas Carswell, for one, and I applaud their openness and honesty. But many don't, and it is utterly wrong for them to expect different treatment from that we receive from our employers. They work for us.

The My Society Website TheyWorkForYou has started an online campaign to put pressure on MPs to turn up and vote against the order. You can join a Facebook Group to protest, or you can email your own MP and give them your opinion. Alternatively visit They Work For You and follow the suggestions.

If you have a blog, no matter what your political allegiance, please do highlight this issue.

UPDATE

I've sent the below email to my local MP, and will post his response when (and if) I receive it.

Dear Dr Harris

As a politically-active A******* resident, I am deeply disturbed by the proposed new legislation to further reduce transparency in the reporting of MP's expenses. Such a move would fly in the face of public opinion, as well as nullify the recent High Court decision that MP's expense claims should be itemised and transparent.

As an employee, should I incur expenses in the conduct of my work, I am required to submit receipts and to justify that expenditure before it is reimbursed. Given that MPs are elected by their constituents, and that their salary and expenses are paid from the public purse, it is not inaccurate to say that the Electorate are the Employers of Members of Parliament, and as such have a right to know how public funds are being used in the expenses process.

I have written at length on the subject on my personal website, and the issue has been taken up by several other key pundits including Iain Dale. The My Society Website TheyWorkForYou has started an online campaign to put pressure on MPs to turn up and vote against the order as well.

As my Member of Parliament, I would be grateful if you would advise me how you intend to vote on this issue. Please note that I will be making your response public on the site above, especially if you intend to vote in support of the proposed new legislation.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely

Dungeekin