Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Christmas Address from His Mandyness the Queen

Greetings, my Subjects. Normally, one would expect to receive an address from the Head of State, but as everyone knows I'm the most important Queen in the country, I thought I would grace you with my thoughts this Festive season.

As you know, I am the true power in the country. I am frequently behind Gordon Brown (in more ways that one, duckie, if you catch my meaning) - and I'm also frequently behind the public lavs near Westminster Bridge...but enough about me, let's talk about me.

Reinaldo and I, as Queen and Consort, understand the pressures placed on the little people by the economic downturn. Obviously it doesn't affect us directly, because our Christmas was all handled by the Parliamentary expense account at Fortnums - but we do hear the stories. Just yesterday, our Butler was in tears while serving the stuffed swan, as he was in arrears with his mortgage and about to be repossessed. Reini and I, of course, did what we could - we fired him. The last thing we want is miserable people around at Christmas.

I want you to know that my Government is getting on with the job, and doing everything in our power to ensure that we stay in power keep the expenses flowing economy moving for us you in these difficult times. I back my Chancellor totally - that's back, dear, not top - and we meet with the Prime Minister regularly to have a mass debate on the issues.

Which is murder for the cleaners, I can tell you.

Moving on to democracy - my Government is getting on with the job there too. Jacqui's doing a lovely job making sure we don't have to bother with it any more, and we've organised a deal with the darlings at the BBC to give you peasants lots more lovely reality TV shows so you don't need to trouble your tiny brains about democratic representation.

So, in conclusion, for all my Subjects 2009 will be a year to look forward to. My Government will get rid of nasty, mucky elections once and for all, giving me a wide backdoor (just like Gordon's - mmmm!) to take the Throne as the rightful Queen of England.

Rejoice, proles of England, and celebrate the ascension of Queen Mandy the First! Seasons Greetings to you all - I'm off to play naked Twister with the Speaker. Apparently, he's got a Black Rod....

The 12 Days of an Engineer's Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
One real emergency!

On the second day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the third day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the fourth day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the fifth day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the sixth day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Six logins failing,
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the seventh day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Seven server reboots,
Six logins failing,
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the eighth day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Eight virus warnings,
Seven server reboots,
Six logins failing,
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the ninth day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Nine mails delaying,
Eight virus warnings,
Seven server reboots,
Six logins failing,
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the tenth day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Ten backups stalling,
Nine mails delaying,
Eight virus warnings,
Seven server reboots,
Six logins failing,
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Eleven drives a'mapping,
Ten backups stalling,
Nine mails delaying,
Eight virus warnings,
Seven server reboots,
Six logins failing,
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Helldesk sent to me:
Twelve lusers whining,
Eleven drives a'mapping,
Ten backups stalling,
Nine mails delaying,
Eight virus warnings,
Seven server reboots,
Six logins failing,
Four irate clients,
Three outages,
Two change requests,
And one real emergency!

A Christmas Message to the Helldesk

Dear Bane of my Life Helldesk Help Desk

Seasons Greetings, and my best wishes at this joyous time of the year.

As you know, as of early this afternoon our UK office shuts down, and to provide support to you I will be available on-call over Christmas for critical issues.

Please note the above - critical issues.

This means a major outage involving a large number of potential users for one of our 24/7 supported clients. Bearing in mind your recent phone calls to out-of-hours, 'critical' does NOT mean:
  • A scheduled backup delayed in starting by 20 minutes;
  • A single user unable to connect to the VPN on Boxing Day;
  • Anybody not receiving mail on their Crackberry;
  • One of our small clients wanting 'a quick change made while it's quiet';
  • Any ISP issues for the clients which shut down over Christmas.
I fully intend to partake deeply of the Christmas spirit this Holiday season. Interrupting my festivities with non-urgent, pointless or stupid calls will result in my travelling to your offices and stapling you upside-down to the wall by your genitals.

And then setting you on fire.

Love and Yuletide Felicitations


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Goodwill To All (Straight) Men?

So in his Christmas Address, His Holiness Pope Benedict has preached goodwill to all men (and women). Or not.

Apparently, saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is as important as protecting the environment. Homosexuality will, according to his Holiness, contribute to the destruction of the human race.

Wrong. Utterly wrong. Stupid, derisory, wrong, cretinous, risible, wrong, divisive, insulting. And wrong.

Firstly, I think we'd all take the Pontiff's comments a lot more seriously if he were equally stringent in his attempts to stop priests from buggering altar boys. But that's another post. Instead, let's realise what his Holiness is actually concerned about.

Be assured, for the Catholic Church this isn't about The Book. It's about The Balance Sheet.

The Catholic Church is one of the richest entities on the planet. Just look at its holdings of land - from its churches on pieces of prime real-estate up to an entire country. And where does it get its money?

Well, leaving aside the odd spot of looting and pillaging over the years, the income of the Church has always come largely from the largesse of its congregations.

The purpose of a Catholic is simple - to donate money to the Church, and to breed lots of little Catholics to donate their money to the Church. Even the Nativity scene makes sure everyone's aware of the need to donate - Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were extremely expensive in their time.

Homosexual relationships, therefore, have a severe impact on the raison d'etre of the Catholic Church - they reduce the likelihood of children being born, which in turn reduces the number of donors to the Church. This reduces their opportunity to make money. Which is, for their business, A Bad Thing. The same can be said of the other bugbear for the Holy See - contraception.

The Pope is the CEO of a large company that makes its money from the credulity of its believers. The Bible speaks of a God of love, of tolerance and of peace - yet for the Catholic Church, there's only love and tolerance for those whose lifestyle ensures the continuance of their income.

Merry Christmas to all, and goodwill to all men from the Holy Roman Empire, eh?

On Daleks in Business

Completely unrelated to Christmas or politics (normal programming will return shortly), but recent comments on Twitter by loudmouthman got me thinking - what if The Doctor had failed, and the Daleks had taken over the Universe?

Can you imagine Daleks in business and advertising?

Dalek Nivea Advertisement: "You Will Be Exfoliated!"

Dalek Bailiffs: "Your Goods Will Be Appropriated!"

Dalek Santa: "You Will Celebrate!"

Dalek Funeral Directors: "We Will Cremate!"

Dalek Divorce Counsellor: "You Will Both Be Mediated!"

Dalek Zoologist: "This Is An Invertebrate!"

Dalek Accountant: "Your Tax Will Be Enumerated!"

Dalek Painter: "We Will Decorate!"

Dalek Labour Minister: "Our Records Show! A Rise In Living Standards! Do Not Investigate!"

Dalek Police Officer: "You Will Be - Interrogated!"

Can you think of any others? Winning entry will get a personalised extermination by Davros.

Tis The Season To Be Careful

Public service announcement from the Government, with the kind assistance of the Bethlehem Branch of RoSPA.

Christmas is a time for celebration and joy - but it can also be a time of injury, peril and sadness. With hospital A&E units likely to be struggling with 'flu victims, premature virgin births and mistakenly-battered second-born male children, it's important that everyone takes some basic precautions to make this Yuletide both a happy and safe time.

We understand that a donkey is an essential part of your travel arrangements. However, please do be careful when mounting, dismounting and moving on your little donkey, as it is possible to slip and fall. You should also remember that donkeys can carry fleas, and pregnant women should take particular care as a result. Please also consider that your little donkey, on a dusty road, will kick up the dust and this may cause breathing problems.

Inns are, actually, not much of an issue as they're likely to already be full, however please take care and avoid the passive inhalation risks from any smokers outside.

Stables are a high-risk area, with the presence of animals. These may bite, which can result in infections and unwanted amputations as a result. There is also a likelihood of animal faeces, which is a serious hazard to health. RoSPA (Bethlehem Branch) would seriously advise all mothers of the Son Of God not to deliver their offspring in such a dangerous environment - this would be grounds for Social Services involvement.

Hay is not a suitable bedding material for a child. It may scratch delicate skin, or give off dust which can cause breathing difficulties. Additionally, dry hay is a severe fire hazard. Hay is therefore banned throughout Bethlehem for Health & Safety reasons.

At this wonderful time of the year, we may expect to see an unusually bright star in the skies overhead. However, a bright star suddenly appearing in the firmament may indicate a meteorite hitting the atmosphere, with devastating potential results for life as we know it. Additionally, bright lights can damage your eyesight, so please always wear eye protection when viewing any unexpected new stellar phenomena.

When giving gifts to the King of Kings, please ensure that you choose appropriately. Gold is heavy, and you should take lifting precautions when handling it to avoid lower back injuries. Frankincense and Myrrh are completely inappropriate for children - frankincense, has to be burned, which is a fire hazard (see 'HAY' above) and, additionally, the smoke may cause breathing difficulties. Myrrh, used as an anointing oil, may cause skin reactions and should therefore not be given. Consider instead something simple in organic cotton.

Any unsolicited guests to meet the Baby Jesus should not be permitted until they have completed an extended CRB check. Allowing unreferenced adults access to your Son of God could result in your case being referred to Social Services and may impact on your benefits.

Unlicensed singing by the Herald Angels is not permitted. Additionally, the noise levels achieved by the Heavenly Host may cause hearing damage. The Herald Angels are currently subject to an ASBO banning their performance in the Bethlehem area - should they manifest in your location you are advised to contact your local Police.

Most importantly - have fun! Once you've made your house safe, ensuring that the above points are considered and there is no tree, no baubles, no tinsel, no lights, nothing hot and no alcohol, please do enjoy your low-sodium Christmas dinner and have a wonderful Yule.


Nanny Government and RoSPA (Bethlehem Branch)

Monday, December 22, 2008



I'm not talking about the cough, the fever or the tiredness. It's the mental lethargy that is soul-destroying.

Normal service will, I hope, be restored shortly.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Forget the 'Language of Politics'

One of my closest friends attended a meeting today to discuss Social Media and political engagement** - which, not surprisingly, got me thinking.

It seems to me that a large reason so many people are apathetic about politics is not policy - it's language. I took a look at the Conservative 'Blue Blog' and the Labour Party page - and what struck me was the similarities in the language, the use of vagueness, praising the party instead of the action. The language of politics has been sanitised and homogenised. Words stripped of their meanings and impact, serving more to bore and baffle than to enlighten, excite and engage.

In short - written by politicians. Here's an (extreme) example of how much political language has changed:

"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender."
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, 1940

"Whatever disagreements there have been about our decision to go to war, there can be little disagreement about the unanimous UN position affirming the right of the Iraqi people freely to determine their own political future, calling upon "the International Community, particularly countries in the region and Iraq’s neighbours, to support the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace, stability, security, democracy and prosperity".
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 2007

In my opinion, this is where politics of all colours is falling over. If you want to get people interested, the words of politicians need to enthuse. Get to the point. Make your point in clear, succinct and, most of all, exciting words.

The communications media that exist today allow politicians more freedom than ever to really, really communicate. By using social networks such as Twitter properly - in responding and thus creating a conversation, rather than simply broadcasting - political parties can bring a generation currently lost to them back to the fold.

So my message to politicians who wish to communicate is this. Communicate, and do it our way, not yours.

Make us interested in what you have to say, not by soundbite but by enthusiasm, clarity and energy. Throw out the sterile language of the House; instead, write to us and speak to us as if you mean it.

Many of us want more engagement in the political system. That engagement is up to you. Speak to us, talk with us, and bring us in.

**No, not THAT meeting.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Speaker's Lot is Not a Happy One

(To the tune of 'A Policemans' Lot)**

When the Opposition's baying for a Statement
And they're questioning the Governments neat plans
My capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is not as great as any other man

My feelings I with difficulty smother
With my Parliamentary duties to be done
I will do my Commons duties like no other
As a Speaker's lot is not a happy one

With my Labour Party duties to be done, to be done
Oh, A Speakers' lot is not a happy one

When the enterprising Cameron's a-joking
When the PM lacks the brain to answer true
I consider it my job to mumble "Order"
And to give the Labour benches more than due

When the Home Sec makes arrests of Opposition
When I have to make a statement on deeds done
And take the blame for her repressive mission
Yes a Speaker's lot is not a happy one

With my Labour Party duties to be done, to be done
Oh, A Speakers' lot is not a happy one

So I'm recommending full investigations
Though I'll organise the same to such degree
That my party will control deliberations
And the blame will never fall back on to me

Though my actions lost the trust of all the nation
I will not stand down for things that I have done
Yet the Tory clamour for my resignation
Means this Speakers' lot is not a happy one

With my Labour Party to be done, to be done
Oh, A Speakers' lot is not a happy one

**Yet more apologies to Messrs Gilbert & Sullivan

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Am the Very Model of a Modern Labour Minister

To the tune of 'I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General)*

I am the very model of a modern Labour Minister
My words are often cynical, my motivation sinister
I know the laws of England though for me they don't quite register
From Habeus to Corpus, Magna Carta doesn't matter here!

I'm very well acquainted too with matters all political
I understand elections, swing, and all the tricks to rig 'em all
On Paliamentary theorem I am teeming with a lot o'news
With many cheerful facts to use to baffle and befuddle you

I know about the people struggling through in this economy
Yet 'coz I am a Minister it doesn't really bother me
As I make loads of cash from all my Interests on the Register
I am the very model of a modern Labour Minister

As he makes loads of cash from all his Interests on the Register
He is the very model of a modern Labour Minister

I know our country's history from Thatcher to Jim Callaghan
I've studied all our foreign wars from Falklands to Afghanistan
And yet I signed the sales forms giving weapons to the Taliban
Because I'm not like Churchill, I am rather more like Chamberlain

Now I can speak to Parliament and People with authority
On topics one and all, from income tax to foreign policy
My speeches are a marvel of sonority not brevity
And I can make it sound to them like I have genuine empathy

And I can write a bill to take your Civil Rights away from you
With DNA, ID Cards and a database to follow you
In short with legislation that's designed to chafe and monitor
I am the very model of a modern Labour Minister

In short with legislation that's designed to chafe and monitor
He is the very model of a modern Labour Minister

In fact when I can understand just what is meant by 'poverty'
When I know more of life than does a novice in a nunnery
And worked instead of reading PPE at University
Then I could do my job with more compassion and propriety

For all my time in Parliament, I'm niggardly and cowardly
I simply feel the Laws of all the land do not apply to me
In short, I am a Stalinist, with motivations sinister
I am the very model of a modern Labour Minister

In short, he is a Stalinist, with motivations sinister
He is the very model of a modern Labour Minister

*With apologies to both Gilbert AND Sullivan

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Secret History of New Labour

Following the excesses of the Hard-Line Labour movement post 1979, and successive Election defeats under Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, a growing faction within Labour realised that without change they would be relegated to a footnote in political history.


The movement, meeting in secret under the guise of Commons committees, called itself the Guardians of International Truth and Socialism, or G.I.T.S. They were led by a hard-core of militants, chief among them Tony 'Rictus' Blair and Gordon 'Cyclops' Brown. They were supported by a dangerous cabal of former communists, agitators and political assassins such as Peter 'Felchie' Mandelson and John 'Chunders' Prescott.

Another key conspirator was David 'All-Seeing-Eye' Blunkett, who inspired the group of malcontents with 'visions' of their ultimate success, which he claimed he was receiving from his dog.

Every member of this cabal believed fervently in the democratic principles espoused by Stalin and Kim-Jong-Il, and were passionately committed to a new Britain, under sound One Party, One Vote principles and with unassailable Tractor Manufacturing statistics developed by a succession of new Five-Year Plans. These plans were tentatively named 'The Golden Rules', and linked to their fledgling fiscal policy.

This group of young turks desired to bring Britain back to the glory days of the Winter of Discontent, and developed a methodology to do so including the collapse of the Pound, totalitarian legislation and the removal of faith in the British Banking System.


But who was to be the leader - the head GIT - to take Britain on its first, hesitant steps into a glorious new past?

This thorny question was finally resolved over a Michelin-starred meal at swanky Islington restaurant Granita between Blair and Brown. While Blair poked dejectedly at his lentil bake, Brown made the situation clear - that he was, and would always be, the biggest GIT in the group and it was he that would have overall, lasting power. However, as a sweetener and to ensure the initial succession of the GITS into Government, Brown permitted Blair to hold power for the first ten years, with Brown holding the purse strings.

In order to implement their vision of Utopia, the GITS first had to gain power within the Labour movement. A plot was hatched for the assassination of then-Leader John Smith using a poisoned halibut, but this was rendered unnecessary when Mr Smith fortuitously died leaving the head of the new movement unchallenged for a move on the Leadership.

It was at this point that the GITS decided to keep the name of their organisation secret, and instead to utilise the Labour name in order to improve their electoral chances. They therefore struck on the compromise name of 'New Labour' to take to the electorate.


The next big achievement came with the 1997 General Election. A populace now tired of the lengthy Tory Government, and swayed by the good looks and easy soundbites of 'Rictus' Blair, voted the GITS in by a landslide. The first move of their campaign was completed.

Yet there was still so much more to be done. Simply gaining power was only a first step on a long path to the destruction of a nation.

Still acting in secret, the GITS formed a new sub-organisation called the National Unity Team for Socialism And Change (N.U.T.S.A.C). They made the same decision as with their Party name, opting instead to call the NUTSACs the Cabinet.

Over the next ten years, the groundwork was carefully laid by both GITS and NUTSACs, carefully steered from behind the scenes by Chief GIT Brown. Gold was sold off, pension funds carefully emptied, and taxes increased in anticipation of the inevitable cyclical recession. Additionally, 'Cyclops' Brown's strategic masterstroke was combining an increase in national debt with a complementary increase in personal debt. This allowed the GITS to hide their plans for economic cataclysm behind a veneer of economic growth.

With the economic conditions now ripe for the desired collapse, the GITS then turned to the second phase of their plan - the implementation of a totalitarian state. The problem, though, was how to implement the laws to bring this new Stalinist future about, without angering the electorate.

Luck was on the side of the GITS. They were aided by their colleagues in Iran and Iraq who helpfully provided some spare suicide bombers to blow themselves up, thus laying the groundwork for a raft of new legislation on ID Cards, CCTV, DNA and communications monitoring.

The Cabinet NUTSACs did their jobs to perfection during this time, ensuring that there was sufficient spin in the publicity about any legislation to slide it past the public with a minimum of outcry.


In 2003 the GITS suffered their first real scare, when their plans were at risk of being revealed. Former co-conspirator Saddam Hussein was threatening to reveal details of high-level negotiations about the provision of terrorists to Britain, and claimed to have copies of the discussion documents. Clearly this would have jeopardised the GITS plans. However, fortune came to their aid again in the shape of a US President with learning difficulties who thought that Hussein had said something rude about his Daddy.

Covert GITs in the Intelligence services provided the NUTSACs with fabricated evidence, allowing the Government GITS to go to war in Iraq supported by the US President (who had been convinced by this time that Iraq was actually a movie set and he'd get to meet Sylvester Stallone). The documents implicating the GITS were recovered, and Hussein permanently silenced.


By 2005, the GITS were solidly entrenched at all levels of power. Ably supported by the NUTSACs, and with propaganda assistance assured by the unique way the BBC is funded, the GITS were able to brave a General Election.

BBC coverage making a left-hook from 'Chunders' Prescott the most important moment of the campaign, and the judicious use of the 'dumbing-down' principles previously so effective at neutralising education as a source of dissent, ensured that the GITS could reduce turnout to 40%. This meant that they were able to hold control despite only 26% of the electorate actually voting for them.

The result was a major coup for the GITS. By engendering complete distate for politics within the electorate, the final stages of their plan for a Brave New World could be put into action, secure in the knowledge that most of the population would be more interested in who won the X-Factor.


By 2007, all the pieces of the GITS grand plan were in place. 'Felchie' Mandelson had been despatched to Europe, and his mission to reduce Britain's standing and sympathy in the European countries had been a resounding success. Blair was therefore able to stand down, as agreed all those years before, and the NUTSACs elevated Brown to the head of Government without a troublesome election process.

2007 was also a key year for the GITS in other ways, as the economic cycle was fast turning to the point for which they'd waited so long - recession. As 2007 faded into 2008, the economic storm clouds started to loom on the horizon. GITS and NUTSACs alike watched, and waited, then rejoiced as the storm broke.

Over late 2008, Britain's banking system suffered a series of calamitous collapses. Unemployment began to spiral out of control, and GITS in the Trades Union Movement began to take their actions to precipitate further unrest. Other GITS in high places, supported by the NUTSACs, took action against Sterling, with the whole bounded by increased use of 'anti-terror' legislation by local government GITS.

This was Chief GIT Brown's high point, and he could not resist a small mention of his achivement in noting that he had "saved the world", which comment was - thankfully for him - mistaken for a lapsus linguae by the electorate at large.

This brings us to the present day. We are still ruled by complete GITS, and our Cabinet are a bunch of NUTSACs. And there's nothing left that we can do about it.

Ask Yourselves a Question

Back in September, as the storm clouds of economic collapse began to 'lour over our shores', I looked at the Brown Regime with increasing fear. I saw a Vision of the Future, and it wasn't pleasant.

You can find it here:

A Vision of the Future - Part One
A Vision of the Future - Part Two
A Vision of the Future - Part Three

With rumblings in the air of a February General Election, my thoughts have again returned to the Brown Regime and to a man deluded enough to believe he has saved the world. Watch the news. Ask yourself a simple question.

Do you REALLY think you will get a vote?

I am, more than ever, certain that whatever date is set for the General Election, it will be preceded by a terrorist incident of some kind. That will be the catalyst for the Brown Regime to invoke the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Look at the date of that legislation. Look which Government introduced and implemented that legislation. Ask yourself why they introduced it, and who it benefits.

Read the legislation. Note the definitions of an 'emergency'. Ask yourself, objectively, just how easy it would be for an incident to fall within these parameters.

You cannot protest - you will fall foul of the Fingermen. Your Opposition cannot challenge, for fear of arrest. Challenge the Regime in public, you're likely to end up taking a terminal walk in the woods.

Time and again the Regime have removed our Civil Liberties - even wanting to restrict the Freedom of the Press - and each reduction has increased the likelihood of a Totalitarian State. British Freedom is already dead, and your right to an elected Government died with it.

Do you REALLY think you will get a vote?

Our economy in free-fall, unemployment exploding, Sterling collapsing, this once-great nation now a laughing stock, debt to handcuff not just us, but generations to follow. And the Brown Regime still spinning, still outright lying, supported as ever by their cohorts in Pravda.

Still desperate to keep their grubby hands on the power they coveted for so many years. They've come this far, made this many laws, gained more control over you and yours than any Government in history.

Perhaps I'm cynical, perhaps I'm pessimistic. But all I can do is watch the news, listen to the lies and the spin, and draw my own disheartening conclusions.

Ask yourself.

Do you REALLY think you will get a vote?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ban It! Ban It NOW!

It's coincidental that others have commented on Sitemeter so recently. This week has been the first week I've had Sitemeter installed, and it's been both a blessing and a curse for me.

Sitemeter is, in many ways, totally fantastic - it allows me to see how many of you are reading this drivel, how often you visit me, and even (to an extent) where in the world you are. And I love it. But I don't think it's healthy. In fact, Sitemeter seems to be creating in me an addiction that would make even the most ardent Crackberry fan quail in fear.

You see, the problem is, you get up in the morning and think, "I'll just take a quick look at my stats for the day so far". Which is fine.

And then, at lunchtime, it's, "I wonder how many hits today's post(s) are getting?", which is also fine.

Then by late evening you're hunched over the laptop, frantically hitting refresh, watching your hits and mentally screaming, "Ohmigod, I've had five less than yesterday, does this mean I'm being less interesting and amusing and funny and were my last posts crap? And is that why I've got fewer hits than I had yesterday and is my Blogging falling apart and AAARGH! AAARGH AAAAAAAARGH gotta write something really awesomeRIGHTNOWtogetmyhitsbackupARGH!"

You get the idea.

Sitemeter is, therefore, the curse of the aspiring Blogger, turning hit-counts into a weapon that drives you, ever harder, to produce more and more better and better content.

It's probably causing me psychological damage. Therefore, as it could be potentially harmful, I can only call for Sitemeter to be banned forthwith.

Ban it. Like everything else.

I Will Not Forget

A few days ago, I and other Bloggers expressed our outrage at the treatment of the family of Ghurka Colour Sergeant Krishna Dura.

Killed in action just four days after Remembrance Day, his service quickly forgotten, his family threatened with deportation.

In a similar vein, I notice that today the MoD is finally doing the decent thing and introducing much greater compensation for those wounded in service. Something I applaud.

However, I also note that the sad story of C Sgt Dura's family has not even been mentioned by Pravda. A search of their news website reveals nothing of the plight of his widow and two young children.

Why? Why is the treatment of the widow of a Ghurka not considered newsworthy? Why haven't the mainstream media picked up on this and challenged it?

Why? Why? WHY?

The story about MoD Compensation has a 'Have Your (moderated) Say' field. I've left a comment asking about Colour Sergeant Dura. If that doesn't get through, I'll post another. And another. And another.

His name was Colour Sergeant Krishna Dura. He served his adopted country for sixteen years. Please go to the BBC page, comment and ask about his family. Let's keep doing so, until this story gets the attention it deserves.


A quick update on this, with a hat-tip to Tim Worstall - for his research, if not his opinion.

Apparently, the family are not automatically granted leave to remain following the death of Colour Sergeant Dura - but they need to ask to remain and it is, apparently, almost certain to be granted (emphasis mine and his).

OK, that's lovely and I feel all fluffy now. Except for one small, teensy pointette.

This man gave sixteen years and latterly his LIFE in the service of this country. Why the hell should his family have to go cap-in-hand to the Home Office and ASK for the right to remain in their country of residence? This man served his country with a damn sight more honour than any bureaucrat, yet the bureaucrats have to grant permission to the wife and family of a hero.

Surely that right has already been earned the hard way?

Mr Twit the Statesman

So today, two world leaders meet at Downing Street.

One is the Prime Minister of a small, benighted nation with a collapsing economy, unemployment problems and a rising tide of violence in the nation, none of which he can cope with.

The other is the Prime Minister of Palestine.

Wonder if he could lend us a few quid?

Good Try!

Unfortunately 'George the White House Chimp' was quick enough to dodge.

For any other reporters attending press conferences, may I suggest the following as their footwear of choice?

For Life...

...not just for Christmas.

I am delighted to introduce Beetle (probably) - who chose us over the weekend, and who will be joining the family at Dungeekin Towers in mid-January.

Here you can see him effortlessly spotting the biggest softie in the house, and making sure that said softy chose him:

Friday, December 12, 2008

When Toilets Attack!


It's clear that RoSPA and Pravda don't listen to me.

From the worthies at Nanny Beeb: Toddlers' toilet seat crush peril

What the fuck. No, really, seriously, What. The. FUCK.

Money Quote:
"He called for more seats to be designed to fall slowly, and for heavier seats to be banned from households with young boys. "

Abolutely classic. You really couldn't make this nannying bullshit up if you tried.

Dr Joe Philip, of Leighton Hospital in Crewe: If you honestly feel that way, then it is my most sincere hope that you never breed, as I pity your children. If you already have been able to find a female insane enough to permit you to inseminate her, might I suggest placing your children naked in a large, hermetically-sealed oxygen tent, providing only scrubbed air and feeding them non-GM, organic baby food through a regularly-changed sterile tube?

You'll have to worry about bodily wastes however - and clearly given the terrible menace posed by the lethal household WC they can't use that. Catheterisation, perhaps?

Seriously though. You can't protect your kids from every potential menace in the house. If they're little, take them to the loo. It's what we do with our three-year-old. It's simple, it's effective and it requires only a modicum of responsibility on the part of a parent.

Everyone, stop. Just fucking STOP calling for things to be banned. IF (and with just 250 cases per year nationwide, it's a pretty big IF) little Johnny gets his knob clonked by a vengeful toilet seat, it won't kill him - nor is it likely to cause significant long-term psychological damage. It's one of those 'rites-of-passage' things into manhood, like getting it caught in his zip. Which he will do, as we all did. And he'll learn to pull back sooner, which could be a useful lesson in later life.

And thinking about it, if little Johnny takes said blow to the goolies, why on earth would you take him to hospital? It's a bruise. It hurts, and he'll cry. Admittedly it's not something Mummy can kiss better, but it's not exactly life-threatening, is it?

Or perhaps we should ban zips too? Sheesh.

Gordon The Third, Act One Scene One

(With the usual apologies to The Bard.)

Now comes another winter of discontent
Made gloriously worse by this son of the Manse
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our shores
Rain down the torrent grown by his mismanagement.
Now Darling's brows are bound with victorious wreaths;
Yet our bruised wallets can afford no monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to redundancy meetings,
Our dreadful march continues to utter bankruptcy.
Grim-visaged War still holds his wrinkled front;
Yet now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
to fright the souls of fearful adversaries
He capers nimbly in an unarmoured 'snatch' Landrover
To please the ego of one man's 'War on Terror'.

But he, that is not shaped for sportive tricks
Nor made to look like normal human form
He that is rudely-spoke, and wants intellect's majesty
Still struts before a wanton, grov'ling Cabinet.
He whose Budgets have lacked fair proportion,
Cheated us of truth by dissembling replies,
Ill-informed, unwitted, sent before his election
Into that Downing Street with scarce half a clue,
And that so lamely and dishonestly
That Germans laugh at him as he lectures them,
Has left us no delights to pass away the time,
Unless to spy him leaking to Nick Robinson,
And to be dismissive of his own insanity.


On 11 November every year, we remember those who have died in the uniform of this country. We honour the dead with wreaths of poppies, with the Last Post and with the words of Lawrence Binyon in our ears:

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning.
We will Remember them."

Unless, of course, you're the Home Office.

Colour Sergeant Krishnabahadur Dura, 36, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, was killed in action just four days after Remembrance Day. His sacrifice is remembered and rewarded by the Government as follows:

That is how our Government remembers those who serve this country with honour and pride.

Machiavelli and 'Looking For A Voice' are both leading on this, and I'm not surprised. Every time I think our Regime could sink no lower, they manage to plumb new depths.

I am revolted.

Please link this story and those of Machiavelli and 'Looking For A Voice'.

UPDATE: The MP for Colour Sergeant Dura's constituency is Julian Brazier TD MP. He is supporting the family's cause. Please show him your support.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Three for Three'

I have, apparently, been Tagged by Danacea to Blog this particular meme. Oh joy.

So therefore, in a spirit of inter-Blogger loyalty, here are my Threes:

Top Three non-work Websites:


Guido Fawkes;

My Blog (for reading your comments).

Top Three Cocktails:

The Waterloo-Bridge Sunset
a heady blend of 2 parts methylated spirits and 1 part Buckfast Tonic Wine, topped up with urine and finished with a dash of Brasso. Serve at outdoor temperature, in a salvaged Starbucks cup.

The Tech-Support Screwdriver
14 parts Laphroig, served in a tall glass over the still-twitching body of the last luser to annoy you.

The Bloggertini
4 parts vitriol, 1 part research, 3 parts speculation and 1 part dishonesty, served over crushed grammar in a chilled RSS Reader.

Top Three Karaoke Songs:

'The Sound of Silence (is better than your wailing)' by When Can We Leave?;

'Silence is Golden' by Hope Over Experience;

'Sing it Again (And I Will Personally Tear Out Your Vocal Cords and Use Them To Tie Your Jaw Shut)' by Dungeekin

There. Done. Enjoy.

I tag:
(If I have to suffer, you buggers can too...)

Say WHAT??

It appears that in all the hilarity and derision following Mr Twit's announcement that he'd 'Saved The World', we may have missed a far more serious act by the Rt. (dis)Hon Gentleman.

Iain Dale has been reviewing PMQs and noticed a subsequent comment, barely heard above the hubbub of Parliamentarians pissing themselves.

Did you hear it? Play it again, and listen carefully.

"Not a single depositor actually lost any money in Britain." (link is to the Hansard record of this comment).

Mr Dale thinks this is a lie - a 'Whopping Brownie', to be exact. I agree - at the very least, I think it was an (inadvertent?*) attempt to mislead the House.

For example, it does not take into consideration any depositors with investments in excess of £50,000 (with the exception of London Scottish investors, which could set a precedent. Even IF you were eligible to get all your money back, the Government itself have to stump up the cash - which is unlikely when they're skint. So they'll just give you your tax money back, then take it away in terms of higher taxes. And, of course, if you've got money in a failed business, you're likely to have no access to it until the administration process is over, and because only the capital sum is covered, if that takes six months you've lost the interest while you wait.

And what about those who have 'deposited' in a pension fund? The catastrophic drop in the FTSE 100, plummeting some 2000 points since this time last year? Change the term 'depositor' to 'investor'. It's merely a matter of semantics. The people who cannot take their retirement this year because they can't get a decent annuity or their pension fund has plummeted - haven't THEY lost out?

And let's not forget business depositors, who aren't really covered at all. Or don't they count in his weasel words?

So, I believe that Mr Twit should be called to account, and asked to explain his comment to the House and the Electorate. I'm therefore going to ask you all for a favour.

If you're reading this, please post the above clip on your own Blog, along with the following request to Downing Street:

"We call on the Prime Minister to make a statement clarifying his words in Prime Ministers' Questions, and to answer IN DETAIL how he can state that 'not a single depositor has lost money in Britain'."

PMQ's is a time for the Prime Minister to be held to account for his actions. He also needs to be held accountable for his words. Thanks for reading.

* Inadvertent. Yeah, right.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

German Sense of Humour Found Shock!

Ladies and Gentlemen, despite years of rumour to the contrary, we discovered today that the Germans do, indeed, have a sense of humour.

Specifically, the German Finance Minister thinks Messrs Twit and Darling's 'spend money we haven't got' fiscal policy is absolutely hilarious.

Money Quote:

"Are you really going to buy a DVD player because it now costs £39.10 instead of £39.90?" he said.

"All this will do is raise Britain's debt to a level that will take a whole generation to work off."

So we now know that there's no end to Mr Twits' talents. Not only has he Saved The World, he's even managed to tickle the Teutonic funnybone. No easy trick.

Can you say 'schadenfreude'?

Gordon's Alive!

(To the tune of. . . ah, you know it.)

Crash! A-ah!
Saviour of the Universe
Crash! A-ah!
He's screwed everyone of us
Crash! A-ah!
He's a miracle
Crash! A-ah!
King of the Economy

He's for everyone of us
He dreams he's saved all of us
He saves with his mighty hand
Every bank, every business
And the World - he's a mighty

Just a man
With a lack of courage
Nothing but a ditherer
As the country fails
No-one but the Cabinet
Thinks he hasn't failed....

Mr Twit has saved the world, apparently. Someone dispatch Warlock and Ajax to bring back his body.

Teasing the Thin-Skinned

Following on from 'Life to be Banned' - I was fortunate enough to find the Blog of the lady involved in the BBC's earnest 'Breakfast' discussion on the awfulness of 'Lads Mags' yesterday.*

Her latest post is a about sexist jokes in the (of course) male-dominated comedy industry. However, her mention of her BBC performance of course resulted in the thread being hijacked by commenters about Lads Mags.

So for grins and giggles, today I will mostly be taunting feminists. I have posted the below comment on the worthy lady's article, and am eagerly awaiting her response. . .


For what it's worth, I'm not sure the act of appearing on a news discussion automatically confers the right to respect for your views. If it did, I'd have to be respectful to our Government.

However, what I take issue with somewhat more is the idea that something should be banned, simply because some people find it disagreeable.

I, for example, find Eastenders disagreeable in tone and content - in fact it frequently disgusts me. However, while I don't like the program it should not be banned simply because it provokes distaste.

While I also disagree with you that magazines such as 'Nuts' and 'Zoo' are pornography (they do aim for a particularly moronic demographic, but that's not the same as being porn), it's the principle of banning something because it offends a minority that is most offensive.

'Womens Interest' magazines are frequently castigated for instilling in young women a skewed sense of body image - perhaps they should be banned as well?

As a feminist, I'm sure you are incensed by religions that place women subordinate to men. Should we ban the Qu'uran?

Perhaps we should just ban EVERYTHING. That way none of us would ever be offended again.

However, the BBC debate was an interesting discussion (if pointless compared to real news events happening around the Globe), and I thank you for having the courage to stand up and make your point, even if I disagree with it.



*Hat-tip to Obnoxio for the link to Ms Smurthwaite.


A small update on this, as a thought has just occurred to me. If scantily-clad persons are pornography and thus should be banned, shouldn't we ban the WI Calendar?

Or, alternatively, the Dublin Fire Brigade Calendar?

Just asking....


I received a (reasonably) polite and thoughtful response from Cruella to my post. I have reproduced it, in full, in the comments, and would thank her for responding in the same tone to me.

The Cosmic and the Cataclysmic

There is a giant black hole at the centre of our Galaxy, exerting its gravitational field on everything orbiting it, sucking in matter and never again releasing it. It has the power to one day destroy our universe.

There is a giant ar*ehole at the centre of our Government. Round its gravitational field orbit insignificant MPs, and it sucks up tax revenues which never again return. It is doing a pretty good job of destroying our economy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Life to be Banned with Immediate Effect

Hot on the heels of the recent announcement that tobacco is to become an under-the-counter commodity, and the condemnation of 'Lads mags', campaigners are celebrating the news that all products harmful to life are to be banned by the Government.

All foodstuffs are to be removed from shelves and will only be available under the counter, following revelations that salt can cause high blood pressure and sugar may have devastating impacts on teeth. Street sellers, of course, are already subject to bans and searches for promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

Pregnancy magazines are to be withdrawn amid fears they may promote underage sexual activity, and 'lifestyle magazines' promoting cars or sports are also facing the axe as children may be encouraged to engage in hazardous activities like running, jumping or having fun outside.

Hilary Dour, from the pressure group 'Action Against Anything At All' said, "we welcome the Government's action on the harmful nature of life. The terrifying truth is, you have a 100% chance of contracting death when you engage in life. This statistic is horrifying and unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to continue. Won't someone please think of the children?"

Mizz Dour said there was no truth in the suggestion that if you ban something or reduce its public availability, it's just likely to become more popular with kids because its perceived naughtiness will be increased.

She added, "We will continue our campaign until all products and activities which could potentially be harmful are removed from children. Our next publicity drive is to ban air, because it contains potentially poisonous carbon dioxide!", at which point some nice gentlemen came to take her to a warm padded room while she railed wildly against the toxicity of Life.

A Government spokesman denied that there was a Home Office plan to fight back against the dangerous fatality of Life by banning it completely.

Oliver Postgate 1925-2008

Thanks for the programmes of my childhood, Sir.

Review - Limoncello, Abingdon 5 December 2008

Limoncello Restaurant

13, Ock St
OX14 5AL
Tel: 01235 530900

I like Italian food, but sometimes it can seem as if the myriad chains of Yet Another Generic Italian Restaurant are strangling real, quality Italian meals. So it's great to see a small, family-owned Italian restaurant in Abingdon doing so well.

Limoncello is situated on Ock Street in Abingdon, and despite it's proximity to the (frankly dire) Ask!, never seems to be lacking business. A nice touch is the plate of olives on the table from the outset, giving you something to nibble on while you peruse the menu without having to pay extra for it (as so many places do).

The food itself, while not spectacular, is good, honest fare, well-cooked and well-presented. I started with grilled sardines, which were lifted from the ordinary by a light mint dressing, and The Darling G's mussels were well complemented by their tomato, garlic and basil sauce.

For main courses, I chose a sirloin steak which was perfectly cooked - and the tomato, garlic and oregano sauce, while strong, was not overpowering. The Darling G went for a rack of lamb which was perfectly cooked for our tastes (though maybe a touch too rare for others), though its red-wine sauce was a little bland. The side dishes of saute potatoes, green beans, carrots and fried shredded courgette were well-cooked and tasty.

Service was quick, attentive and old-fashioned, with even the traditional large pepper-grinder coming out for every single course! I found myself wondering if they'd do the same for my espresso.

The whole meal was washed down with a pretty good bottle of house Red, and finished with a liqueur coffee for The Darling G and the ubiquitous double espresso for me (plus a couple of free Limoncellos!). The bill including drinks and service was a not-unreasonable £60.

So the conclusion? Don't bother with the execrable Ask!. Support a local business rather than a chain, walk a few yards up the road and eat at Limoncello.

Monday, December 08, 2008

No 10 Refuse to Deny Euro Entry Discussion

For those of a geeky persuasion, Twitter has become the app du jour. It's useful, quick, great for communicating short messages and has been picked up by many of the great and the good, including Stephen Fry, Robert Llewellyn, Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes and even John Cleese.

Of course, some of the great and less good use it too, including such luminaries as Tom Watson MP and the Spin Doctorate at Downing Street. And it's about the latter that I would like to talk.

It's important to understand that Twitter works best not as a broadcast medium, but as a conversation tool. It seems that the worthies at No 10 wish to use it to broadcast the many and varied achievements of Mr Twit, but aren't anywhere near as good at the second part - responding to questions from the Proles. Especially important questions.

Publicity message, 1530: