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

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Letter To Nick Robinson

Dear Nick Robinson

I've just read the sycophantic drivel you've posted, trying (and, from the comments I read, impressively FAILING) to draw parallels between Ruth Turner and Damian Green.

I'm sure you haven't bothered to read your comments - after all, the only opinions you actually care about are those member of The Brown Regime you felch on a regular basis - so let me just remind you of a few basic failings in your argument.
  • Damian Green is a Member of Parliament - Ruth Turner was not;
  • Turner was arrested in conjunction with the investigation of a serious crime;
  • Green was arrested by Anti-Terror officers - Turner was interviewed under caution;
  • Green has done NOTHING different to what Brown did when in Opposition.
I have long had my suspicions that Pravda was nothing more than an organ of The Brown Regime. Your article, flying as it does in the face of the outrage in the mainstream media, on blogs across the nation and on both sides of the political divide, merely confirms that you, especially, are no longer anything more than a lickspittle - a fawning, toadying shill for the Liars who wish lifelong power over us.

How dare you work for an organisation that purports to have, as its central tenet, the principle of impartiality? How dare you presume to spoon-feed the public the spin-doctored gruel of dishonest information pimped to you by The Regime during your furtive little meetings in the grubby corridors of their power?

You are not fit to call yourself a journalist. You are, in my opinion, a propaganda machine, a printing press for the lies spewed by GoebbelsMandelson.

The comments and replies to your cringeworthy 'justification' of this repression of the legitimate Opposition in this country shows that your credibility has deservedly disappeared.

It's at this point that I would normally threaten The Wrath of Dungeekin, and want to set you on fire. But, quite frankly, I wouldn't waste the match. Please do your employer and the British public a favour - and set fire to yourself.

I have the Honour to Remain, Sir

In Utter Contempt of You


Caption Competition

(Well, everybody else is doing one. . .)

Enjoy. Best Caption wins a visit from Ms Smith's personal Thought Police Force.


David Cameron knew.
Boris Johnson knew.
The Serjeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons knew.
The Speaker of the House of Commons knew.

The Brown Regime say they did not know.


Obituary: British Freedom 1215-2008

1215AD - 2008AD
"NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land."

It was announced last night that British Freedom had died, aged 797, following an eleven-year battle against cancer.

Despite a valiant struggle, Freedom finally succumbed with the use of counter-terror police to arrest an Opposition Minister for leaking information NOT related to National Security

Born in 1215 with the signing of Magna Carta, British Freedom long stood as a bulwark against totalitarianism in other nations, and was instrumental in the spreading of similar freedoms to other parts of the world.

Since 1997, however, Freedom had become increasingly diseased, with the increasing misuse of power by an authoritarian regime. Symptoms included the encroachment of a Database State, an increase in CCTV monitoring reaching 1 camera per 15 people, the indiscriminate monitoring of communications and a blatant attempt to control the information British Subjects receive.

However, the event that brought about its last breath was the use of our political Police to arrest an Opposition politician, allegedly over the leaking of four pieces of information:

1. Jacqui Smith knew 5,000 illegal workers had been granted licences.
2. An illegal immigrant was employed as a cleaner in the Commons.
3. A list of potential Labour rebels on 42-day detention of terror suspects.
4. A letter from Jacqui Smith to Gordon Brown warning recession could lead to more crime.

This, of course, completely ignores the fact that NOBODY was investigated or arrested for the leaks to Robert Peston which, upon their release, so strongly affected the Stock Market. Or the rampant leaking of the PBR.

The ZanuLabour hand (or, more accurately, the ZanuLabour Stalinist Clunking Fist) is so obviously behind this that their pathetic denials are completely unbelievable. Damian Green is probably the first politically-motivated arrestee outside Wartime in this country since the Civil War.

Freedom has died. Stand by for the imposition of the Civil Contingencies Act and the long reign of President-for-Life Brown.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Debt Counselling

Fudgit & Cashin Debt Counselling
Countin House
Rupts Bank

Dear Mr Darling

Thank you for your application for our 'Debt Writeoff Service'.

Unfortunately, having reviewed your figures, I regret to inform you that Fudgit & Cashin will not be able to assist with your National Debt problems on this occasion.

Your current debt is estimated at £1 Trillion. Given your current population of 60 million, this means a public debt level at £16,667 for every man, woman and child in the country.

Assuming a preferential interest rate of 2 percent per annum, this would result in an additional £20 billion in interest payments alone - or £334 for every man, woman and child just to pay the annual interest charges.

For your future reference, the UK Budget is not an interest-only mortgage, despite what Mr Brown has been telling you.

Your offer, therefore to repay the capital sum at £10 per week is not acceptable - because unfortunately doing so would take 1,923,076,923 years to satisfy the outstanding amount, and it's not that easy get creditors to accept a deal that outlasts the life of our Sun.

Might we suggest trying a refinancing deal with the Saudis? It worked for Barclays Bank.

Yours insincerely

B N Counter
Chief Accountant
Fudgit & Cashin Debt Counselling

VAT: They're Taxing AND Lying.

I earlier asked if the Goonvernment were Taxing or Lying.

It's both. Colour me staggeringly unsurprised.

Of course, our dear Leaders are telling Nick Robinson et al that the above was "an option that had been considered by ministers but then rejected before yesterday's statement by the chancellor".

And this, dear Reader, is another beautiful example of the misuse of language to mislead by politicians. Let's review the Treasury response to this, and this time put in the words that they have oh-so-carefully left out, shall we?

"An option that had been considered {for announcement in the PBR} by ministers but then rejected before yesterday's statement by the chancellor' {because by including it we'd show that we're only pretending to tax the rich with the high-income changes, when in fact we fully intend to hammer you plebs by raising a further £5bn in VAT on everyone, and that wouldn't have gone down well in the polls}."

Remember, folks. With politicians, it's not what they say you have to worry about - it's what they DON'T say that's the scary bit.

ID Cards: Are They Taxing, Or Lying?

The last 24 hours has seen reason for The Wrath of Dungeekin over two of my personal bugbears - ID Cards and the misuse of language in order to mislead. Sometimes both together.

We now have written proof, if proof were needed, as to the true hypocrisy behind ID Cards.

Leaving aside all the dishonest 'reasons' for needing them - we don't need them, we managed perfectly well during The Troubles without them and haven't needed them since WWII - the bottom line is that if you read the Home Office spiel, they're a tax. They're an Identity Tax.

The quote from the Home Office website* finally makes this clear.

It will be compulsory to own an ID card - but not compulsory to carry one. Which clearly makes no sense whatsoever, unless the object is to create a revenue stream. You will be paying your Identity Tax for the Government to put your details onto a database. No doubt there will be additional costs payable should you do something they don't like - such as move house, grow a beard or get older.

Of course, the really scary point is that Big Brother is probably just going to change the law as time progresses. Initially it will be compulsory for people to pay their Identity Tax; then, once everyone's got one, it will become compulsory to carry it. Your papers, Citizen?

Which means that their words are dishonest.

Hmm. So they're lying or they're taxing. Wonder which it is?**

*Thanks to Danacea and sconsult for the link
**Both. Did you even need to ask?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Repossession Letter

Knucklem & Takeit Bailiffs

Punchem House


EM 1 1AA

Dear Mr Darling


Further to your recent announcement of a further half-trillion pounds of borrowing, the World has commenced foreclosure proceedings on UK PLC with immediate effect.

This new borrowing will take your debt to over £1 trillion (and there are estimates that the total will be closer to £2 trillion by 2015. This compares unfavourably even with US PLC. This is unsustainable and your country is therefore to be repossessed.

Our Collection Agents will soon be arriving to make an asset list, please ensure that you and the partially-sighted moron in No 10 are ready to vacate 10 and 11 Downing Street within the next seven days. All Government buildings are to be sold with immediate effect, including that flat in Admiralty Arch the fat bloke used to use. Though we don't want the furniture (you know, just in case he. . . eurgh).

The Palace of Westminster is also to be repossessed - it's not like you were using it properly anyway.

All cars, expense accounts and pensions owned by UK PLC staff are to be immediately reallocated to the Bankruptcy fund. If you want to get around, you can walk or use public transport - you've fleeced car drivers so much that's what they have to do anyway. And don't get us started on pensions.

Gold reserves are also to be allocated to the Bankruptcy fund. Not that there's any left.

The Administrators will attempt to sell the UK as a going concern to interested buyers. Current expressions of interest have been received from China (who apparently need a larger workforce) and also Iran, who need a location for their nuclear waste. They also mentioned something about 'making the infidels pay for their actions in the Middle East' - but that's not our problem.

The Royal Family are to be sold separately, and we are currently in negotiations with Disneyland to that effect.

Also, a Mr M Jackson has told us he's looking for a replacement for his pet monkey and would like to bid on Ed Balls.

Please ensure that copies of UK PLC's full accounts are available for our Auditors. That's the REAL accounts, please - not the ones you've spent the last eleven years conning your constituents with.

We expect your full co-operation, and please make sure you leave the keys to the UK in an easily-accessible place.

Yours Sincerely

I Takeit
World Bailiff

A Brief Analysis of the PBR

Enjoy the microscopically-thin coating of jam Captain Darling has given you today.

In two years' time, you won't have any bread to spread it on.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Cunning Plan

So General Melchett-Brown's latest gimmick - a new, higher higher rate of Income Tax - is, in my opinion an absolute work of genius, though not for the reasons you may think.

(Note - this isn't Captain Darling's idea. He's merely the mouthpiece for the Clunking Fister).

Great idea. Melchett. Let's just analyse this shall we? Imagine for a moment that my current salary is £160k p.a. Once this new tax rate is implemented, surely the first thing I'm going to do is get on the phone to HR and ensure that my salary goes down to £149,500 with the balance made up in equity or some other non-taxable benefit?

I'm ignoring the VAT cut, for the simple reason that this has about as much chance of revitalising the economy as I do of winning the Booker Prize.

No, the reason this is a work of genius (for them) is because it shows Labour are thinking of power - not now, but in 2015.

Think about it.

They know - they absolutely know - that come what may, they are going to get their pointless, spin-doctoring backsides kicked out come the next General Election. At that point, they're going to leave the new incumbents with staggering debt levels and no option other than harsh tax rises to ameliorate the problem.

They've also worked out that the average voter has the political attention span of a goldfish (witness the 2005 General Election) and so they can spend five years attacking the Tories for tax increases while conveniently ignoring who caused them in the first place.

They can then campaign for power in 2015 on a promise of saving Britain from the 'tax and spend policies of the Tories'. And they'll win.

Clever, eh? As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

Friday, November 21, 2008

'Downfall' of the BNP

I love this.
*Warning - Strong Language*.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eeurghstenders. . .

I've got a great idea for a TV Drama series! This is dead realistic, this, you'll love it. It's a gritty, exciting taste of real life. OK, how about this. . . .

There's this bloke, right, and he's a really nasty piece of work. He has an affair with his own son's girlfriend. . . and then gets busted on his son's wedding day. His wife is bitter and twisted, and hits him over the head with a spade and buries him alive, then suffers a crisis and digs him back up again. . . she throws him out, and then shacks up with her ex-husband's brother.

She and her new fella are all set to run away together, and on the night they're due to escape her ex-husband is run over and left critically ill in a hit-and-run accident. It's attempted murder! After much investigation, it transpires that he was run over by his ex-wife - and the only witness to this awful attack is . . . . .

. . . .wait for it. . . .

. . . .I love this twist. . .

. . . . The former wife of his son, the same girl who was his ex-lover!

There you go, a taste of the gritty reality of life in the East End - or utter, pointless, depressing bollocks? You decide!

Actually, don't - who the hell writes such depressing, miserable, incestuous, unbelievable tosh? More importantly, how can anyone - anyone at all* - find it in the slightest bit interesting? It's dire beyond belief. I hate this programme. I would sooner scoop my eyes out with a melon-baller than watch this turgid drivel.

Currently entering Hour Three of The Darling G's Eastenders marathon....and wishing for sweet oblivion.

*Even The Darling G, who I of course adore and who otherwise has wonderful taste.


Dear $LuserManager

Let's get something straight here. If I've taken the trouble to clarify the request with the requesting engineer, detail the steps necessary to implement the (complex) project requested, and made a recommendation that it's chargeable based on the technical information obtained. . .

Don't, don't, Don't You fscking DARE go over my head to the requestors saying it's simple, takes less time than recommended - and non-chargeable.

It isn't simple. It isn't supported. It sure as hell isn't free. Listen, you overpaid, underqualified, microscopically-genitalled, sub-protozoan excuse for a salesdroid. Your job is to go and make money, you simpleton - not to hand out the time of those who are actually competent as if it were Halloween sweeties. Your job is to generate profit. I realise that's not particularly easy, but it's a shitload harder if you don't fscking charge for anything, moron.

And there's more. When I've spent the last three MONTHS proving, with Crown-Court standard, beyond reasonable doubt evidence, that there's a bandwidth problem on a fscking site, don't you think that it's totally reprehensible, stupid and downright insane to recommend, implement and SCHEDULE a VoIP implementation? Especially without referring to me, without recommending a line upgrade and without any form of technical audit or input?

I knew you were an idiot. I knew you were dishonest. Now I'm firmly convinced that you should be nowhere near my Clients. In fact, I'd prefer it if you were straitjacketed, pumped full of Thorazine and dumped in landfill.

We are the Engineers. We know what is needed and how it is to be achieved. You cannot even connect your laptop to its power supply without raising a Helpdesk ticket, yet you presume to question the technical recommendations we offer, and make recommendations to Clients that will not only fail, but will backfire onto us? Quite frankly, we would see superior management decisions if you were replaced by the chair currently supporting the fat arse you clearly make decisions out of.

Consider yourself LARTed, you prize piece of reptilian pond-slime. A second rantable offence will result in The Wrath of Dungeekin being applied to sensitive parts of your anatomy with a claw hammer and lashings of Mains voltage. And a few of my Toys above.

FOAD - and your little dog too.



Thanks, Darlin'!

Loving my new t-shirt - a present from The Darling G:

Get yours here if you are a Merkin. I can't find a UK sales point, but then I didn't look very hard. Or at all, really, because I've already got one. Obviously.


Dear Mr Humphrys

Re. your interview with Boris Johnson - a reduction in the rate of increase is not a cut. No matter how many times you frustratedly assert that it IS a cut, it don't make it so.

A cut is a reduction in expenditure, NOT a reduction in the rate of increase. Google can help with definitions if your political bias leads you to misunderstand basic English.

Please don't attempt to mislead your listeners, or I shall be forced firstly to find an alternative radio station, and secondly to set you on fire.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Banality Rules the Airwaves

Occasioned by the reporting of a news correspondent leaving 'Strictly Come Dancing' as 'Breaking News'. . .

(To the tune of Rule Britannia)*

When Auntie first, at Reith's command
Arose and aired and gained it's name;
Arose, arose and aired and gained it's name;
This was the Charter, the Charter of the Beeb,
Their Governors sang this strain:

"Nothing crappy - just quality on the airwaves:
"Our job will be to inform and entertain."

But now we're inundated with banality,
And, on the air, the standards fall;
And on and on the air, the standards fall;
Ross, Brand and Strictly, reality TV,
And News that used to be the envy of them all.

"Fools, Britannia! You used to rule the airwaves:
"The Beeb is failing to inform and entertain."

So no more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful, dreadful from each awful show;
More dreadful, dreadful from each awful show;
And all the drivel, you air before my eyes
Serves but to bring thy standards low.

"Bland, and crappy - banality rules the airwaves:
"We'll just shovel crap instead of entertain."

(*As if you hadn't worked that out.)

Musings on The Oldest Profession

SCENE: A dark city street, late at night. 'Ladies of the night' prowl their pitches, waiting for trade. A dark, nondescript car pulls up, and our heroine stoops to the driver's side window. . .

LOTN: Looking for a good time, luv?

John: Er. Yes.

LOTN: Tenner for hand relief, 20 for oral or 30 for the full Monty luv.*

John: OK.

{he fumbles in his glovebox, and comes up with a stack of papers}

John: Before we do it, please would you fill in this questionnaire? It's to verify your freedom of choice in selecting prostitution as a profession. And I'll need to see your passport or your Home Office 'Leave to Remain' certificate to prove you've not been trafficked.

{More fumbling for something}

John: I'll also need you to supply a urine sample, to prove you're not being controlled by a drug habit. And if you'd just sign this affidavit confirming that you're trading sexual favours with me of your own free will - you'll need two witnesses to countersign.


The above, dear Reader, is the problem inherent in the new legislation proposed by that ever-logical misandrist, Jacqui Smith MP. Criminalise those who pay for sex, because that person *might* be providing that sex against her will. And, of course, make sure that the evil man (all men are rapists, in her mind) has no defence at all.

Yep, that'll kill demand. Except it won't.

Criminalising those who sell sex hasn't worked. Criminalising those who buy sex won't work either. It's already illegal to 'kerb-crawl', and that hasn't stopped the demand, so how will further criminalising those who pay for sex in any way solve the problem?

Sex has always, ALWAYS been sold. It's not called 'The Oldest Profession' for nothing. Surely even the most man-hating of Home Secretaries can see that if criminalising has signally failed to work, then the sensible option is not more criminalisation, but legalisation?

Legalise. Regulate. Institute healthchecks and a support structure. the Goonvernment may even make some tax receipts out of the whole thing. That may not make for as good a soundbite - but it'll do a damn sight more to protect women than limp-wristed pseudo-gestures of criminalisation.

*I have no idea whether these prices quoted are accurate - I didn't research.

Privacy For All, Not Just The Good

So you may have heard that the BNP have had a spot of bother, with their entire membership list being leaked on the Web.

My first response was "Good, name and shame the fascists in our midst" - but on sober reflection, now I'm not so sure.

First off - I have no love for the BNP. My grandmother's Goan, my mother born in Calcutta, and I have a black sister. The BNP are an odious political entity - evolved (in the loosest possible sense) from the primordial ooze of Mosley's Blackshirts, thence the National Front/Combat 18 and others who value their 'white heritage'. All the BNP do is hide their repugnant, racist philosophy behind the mealy weasel-words of the spin doctor.

It's also worth noting that the term 'BNP Member' is absolutely synonymous with the term 'Moron'. These are people (again, I use this term in the loosest possible sense) who believe in a white Britain - as if a fifth-generation descendant of an immigrant is somehow responsible for the fact they're too stupid to hold down a job. They must be wracked with shame at the thought that if you trace human lineage back far enough, we're all from Africa.

So what we have is repellent inDUHviduals paying others to propound their abhorrent 'policies', and 'Activists' wandering around, dropping leaflets off when they can keep their knuckles from scraping on the ground and desperately hoping for a fight with someone who challenges them (I know, this happened to me in Sussex). So why not name and shame them?

Because as disgusting, discredited and sordid as they are, we should still have principles.

I believe in privacy - and that means that whatever my feelings on your politics, it's not my right to know. You may be a far-right cretin with a nasty, scabby little secret that you daren't even tell your co-workers - that, when push comes to shove, is a matter between you and the polling booth.

If I am to believe in the rights I wish to claim for myself, I have to cede those same rights to those whose politics I find despicable. The BNP would not give those they hate that same right. So by doing this - by not linking to any one of the sites publishing the names of the scumbags in our midst - we prove, yet again, that we are BETTER than them.

I may hate their party, detest their politics and loathe them - but I will defend their right to the privacy of their deluded belief. What are the odds they'd extend me that same courtesy?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Writing

I have a shabby, dirty, shameful little secret that I need to share with you all.

I can't write.

The topic arose today. I was chatting with The (much-missed and soon returning) Darling G online, and when the subject of the Blog came up she said, "You should write another funny article, you're about due a really funny one." And I thought - I really, honestly thought - how the hell do I write something funny?

And that's what I mean when I say I can't write. I've read Stephen King's 'On Writing'. I've read innumerable books on creative writing, and they may as well have been in bloody cuneiform for all the good they did me. I know I'm supposed to have a beginning, a middle and an end, a structure, a framework and all that. I know it's supposed to be drafted, reviewed and edited down. But I can't. It just doesn't work like that for me.

It's why I haven't really bothered with NaNoWriMo. I'd love to - but though I have perhaps three part-drafted novels, I can't move with them. It just doesn't work.

I can't write. I don't edit. Everything you see here is pretty much unedited, unexpurgated. I start with a couple of sentences, a concept, a salient point - sit down and 15 minutes later there's 500 words being posted. It goes from brain, to keyboard, to Blog with next to no alteration.

Think of it as projectile vomiting, only without carrots. This isn't so much a Blog as a Blooooorgh. . . .

So I'm sorry, but I can't just 'write something funny'. I wish I could, but I can't. If it makes you giggle, then it's a fortuitous accident and I'm glad you enjoy it. But if you're expecting funny-on-demand, then you could find yourself waiting a long time.



We watch
Reality TV, I'm strictly a celebrity dancing makeover
Hello, OK, he's fat she's thin
Grand wedding, lovely house
The birth of their third beautiful baby, divorce, 'My Breakup Hell'
'Heat' magazine
Truth buried beneath an avalanche of banality
Hopes and aspirations reduced to an appearance on 'X-Factor'
Dreaming just for fifteen minutes transient fame.

They watch
We strut and fret our lives upon a CCTV stage
One camera per 14, Big Brother omnipresent
Databases, ID Cards, your papers citizen?
Our digital existences, our lives left on trains by mandarins
USB keys with 10 million records
e-CAF, ANPR, Echelon
Your life linked, indexed, searchable
Tracked from day to day, our footsteps never fading
A never-ending data trail for those who wish to rule.

We watch
A Benefits culture, I've got rights, I'm entitled
Council flat, giro, Sky TV
The intellectual destruction of a generation
No brain required
Core curriculum, no place for thought
Can't read, can't write, but still a Uni place to meet targets
No prison spaces, criminals get certificates
Beat a baby to death, get your own name protected
No such thing as justice any more
Hard work is the only crime, your punishment taxation.

We speak
Enough banality, an end to soundbite
Our duties, our responsibilities, our consequences
Our right to privacy, we will not be logged
Taxation to provide a safety net, not a security blanket
To teach our kids to think and to find truth
No Government required
The reconstitution of responsibility and the right to do what's right.

Friday, November 14, 2008

With Apologies to The Bard. . .

To LART or not to LART - that's not the question:
Tis always nobler in the mind to avenge
The slings and arrows of Cisco routers
And to take a flamethrower against a sea of stupid managers
And by this burning end them.

They die, they sleep--
We're better - and by a sleep to say we end
Our heartache, giving managers the thousand-volt shocks
They richly deserve. Tis a punishment
Devoutly to be wished.

They die, WE sleep--
We sleep - perchance we dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep what dreams of LARTs may come
When we have shuffled Manglers off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's no respect;
It's a calamity they've had so long a life.

Sysadmins bear the whips and scorns of Lusers,
The Managers stupid, the service request impossible,
the pangs of virus infections, the mail server's delay,
The insolence of morons and the spurns
That patient merit of the luser takes,
When he himself might his browsing make
With a bare Linux install? Who would muppets bear,
To grunt and sweat under the requests of cretins
But that the dread of supporting WinME
The undesired OS, from whose clutches
No saved file returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear the users we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus duty does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native 1024x768 resolution
is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of Windows
And enterprise apps of great pitch and complexity
with this regard their currents turn awry
and lose their RAID controller. --Soft you now,
The fair Ubuntu! --OS, in thy hard drive
Be all my Clues remembered.

The Sysadmin's Prayer. . .

. . . Occasioned by the quite staggering stupidity of an (unnamed) non-Technical Mangler.

Our Router, which art in IOS
hallowed be thy interface
thy packets come
thy routing be done
on the LAN as it is on the Web.
Give us this day our daily Clues
And forgive us our LARTings
As we LART those who make stupid service requests
And lead us not into Windows support
but deliver us from lusers
For thine is the Network
The Bandwidth and the Packet
For the duration of the DHCP lease.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This Required an Automatic Restart. . .

Dear Microsoft.

I understand that you are the all-knowing Gods of the Operating System. I know that I don't actually *own* the copy of Windows XP that I use on a daily basis - it's yours, and it's only by the grace of Bill that I am permitted to use it.

But the bottom line is that you don't own my hardware. And just because I'm not sitting at my keyboard, doesn't mean my machine isn't doing anything. And it CERTAINLY doesn't mean that you can restart the Automatic Updates service that I'd disabled, then automatically reboot my PC.

Screwing up the overnight synch that was running on my iPod.

It's not YOUR computer. It's mine. You have no right to extend your foul tentacles into my workspace and perform arbitrary operations. Updating and rebooting is my choice and responsibility, not something you should inflict upon me.

Please stop. Else I shall firstly install Ubuntu, and secondly set you on fire.

Yours hatefully


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Challenge to my Commenter. . .

A funny thing happened today.

I'm used to getting comments. I love your responses to my work, read them all, and hope to get many more. I'm also used to getting Anonymous comments.

Yet today I got a comment from a person who is both very real, and yet completely fictional.

The one, the only, the legendary Ed Reardon posted a comment on my Blog!

That's right, folks. Ed Reardon. Writer of 'Who Would Fardels Bear', and the unforgettable 'Brands Hatch Story'. Liver of life at (or, rather, above) the Cutting Edge. In Berkhamsted.

Now strangely, the worthy gentleman also appeared on Twitter today, making his first forays into the teeming waters of microblogging.

Now I of course am fully aware that things on teh interwebz aren't always as they seem. And that people can sometimes not be who they actually are. Yet, because I feel strangely honoured by Mr Reardon reading this Journal, I feel obliged to issue a small challenge.

Mr Reardon, I believe (I hope) that I know who you really are. If you *are* who I sincerely hope you to be, then please post another comment, providing contact details for Ping.

(I have a pitch for her - 'The Little Book of Dungeekin's Curmudgeonly Blog Posts'. Shouldn't run to more than half a million pages. I especially recommend 'An Oath of Allegiance'.)

I wait with bated breath. . . .

Re: Thing That I Got in the Post Today

The below was posted by me as a Comment to a Post on Lizs4ra's excellent Blog. Go there. You'll like it.

>>Does God really care about us?
Probably not. Look, he built this place in six days then buggered off. Typical cowboy builder, never finished the job. And did you see the size of the invoice? Shocking.

>>Will war and suffering ever end?
Probably not. See #1 above. The second coming isn't coming until he's finished another creation job somewhere round Betelguese, and traffic's murder on the Intergalactic M25.

>>What happens to us when we die?
We rot. Or we're burned. Or we can donate our bodies to that German bloke and get plasticised. Either way, it's pretty much out of our hands.

>>Is there any hope for the dead?
Well, they can hope the doctor called it wrong. Other than that, I'd guess they're pretty screwed. But by that point it'll be too late, as that German bloke will have them on show in the 'O2'.

>>How can I pray and be heard by God?
Call 0901 GODZ-COOL. Calls are charged at 50p/min off-peak, mobiles may vary. Speak to the Deity of your choice! (recorded service)

>>How can I Find happiness in life?
Stop worrying about whether there's a Supreme Being. Have a few drinks, and a good meal. Realise that wherever you live, if the most you have to worry about is a crisis of faith then life ain't really that bad. You could be dead in a gutter somewhere or having your limbs hacked off by Congolese militiamen. God ain't the answer, or the question. Having a life is both.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Swearing in Politics

This post is not going to make me popular. In fact, it's likely to turn my email and my comments into a river of flame. But it must be said.

The more observant among you may have noticed that for a short time, I had this icon up in my sidebar:

The icon, you will no doubt notice, is no longer there.

Let me state, for whatever record there is, that I support and wholeheartedly believe in the Manifesto of the Libertarian Party. There is a great deal of sense in there, and it instils in me a sense of recapturing politics from the morally and ethically bankrupt LabLibCon mess we have now, and the reinstatement of a political system existing to serve the people, instead of profiting from the people. The root-and-branch change of the political system proposed by the Libertarians is desirable, long-overdue and something that I regretfully doubt I will see in my lifetime.

I took part in the 1984 Campaign. I have written, at tedious length, about the iniquities of our current administration. I believe we need a change. Yet I took the choice to remove the icon of a political party I believe in, and to whom I have made a donation, from my Blog. Why?

It's not the party. It's the bloggers that surround it - to be precise, it's the language of the bloggers.

To take a phrase from 'V for Vendetta', which has been used more than once on LP-affiliated Blogs, words "provide the means to meaning and, for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth". And in my personal opinion, the truth is something that at present needs to be spread.

As Bloggers, we are one of the conduits for that truth. We have the power to reach out to people who do not normally follow politics, and with our words to show them what is really happening. We can open the eyes of our readers to the dinimution of our civil liberties, or to the ever-increasing encroachment of the Nanny State into our daily lives. We have the ability to educate and inform, and to build a groundswell of opinion that can lead our readers to make decisions. If we can draw enough interest, enough readers, we can change public perception and influence the beginnings of the change we would wish to see.

Which brings me to swearing.

I have a potty mouth - it's been said before. But when it comes to political matters, I feel that it's best to set the Anglo-Saxon aside, because while I don't personally get offended by swearing, I am aware that many do. Foul language will only increase our readership in those who already share our views. In most cases, swearing will alienate, not engage. 'Middle England' and the Daily Mail readership, while perhaps agreeing that Gibbon Brown is psychologically unstable, are unlikely to take a positive view of him being described as having 'lost his tiny fucking mind'. David Cameron probably agrees that Jacqui Smith is a 'weapons-grade c***bubble' - but he's unlikely to tell Eddie Mair that on 'PM'. And though I have no brief for Mandelson - or Cameron, the same applies.

I hold no malice against the Bloggers who wish to swear on their posts. I enjoy their work. They're all damn good writers, articulate, succinct and able to cut through the omnipresent spin to reach the truth underlying the soundbite. Swearing is their choice, and as writers we all do whatever we deem necessary to increase traffic. Yet I feel that swearing in political blogs reduces our impact and dilutes our message. And I know that people who read this Journal link through to the links I provide, which means that their message influences mine.

Additionally, I believe that when we have the icon of a political party on our site, then our use of language influences the perception of that political party, however indirectly we represent it.

In my opinion, it's not foul language that will win the debate. Simply to castigate the current crop of politicians for their many failings - and to do so with clarity and objectivity - will be sufficient. Churchill didn't call Bevan a c*** at the despatch box.

We've all just seen the power of an articulate approach in the USA. Mastery of the facts should be enough to win the debate, and eloquence enough to influence those around us. Obscenity will merely drive away those we wish to recruit to our cause. Not censorship - just choice of the correct phrases to enthuse and engage, rather than repel.

As Bloggers we have the power of words. I feel that we should use those words carefully.

11/11/1918 - 11/11/2008.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Monday, November 10, 2008

doubleplusungood rewrite upsub antefiling

"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."

From the Independent: 'The Intelligence and Security Committee. . .wants to press ministers to introduce legislation that would prevent news outlets from reporting stories deemed by the Governmnent to be against the interests of national security".

Fine, you may say. I can hear you thinking "well, we don't want the 'terrorists' knowing what we know, do we?". And you may think that makes sense. But let's just analyse that for a second, shall we?

There's one question you need to consider - one single question that goes to the heart of this matter. Who decides what constitutes the interests of national security?

Well - that would be the government of the day.

So, what if that Government decides that the issue of a dodgy passport is a matter of national security as it might impinge on sensitive trade negotiations? What if that Government decides that information on a donations scandal is a matter of national security, as it may affect the Government's standing on the world stage? For balance, what if that Government decides that a sexual scandal is a matter of national security for the same reason?

What if that Government decides that your Blog post - or those of any one of hundreds of others - constitutes a threat to national security as it is 'subsersive' or "viciously nihilist", and damages national morale?

Legislation already extant or in the pipeline allow Big Brother to know who you are, where you are, what you drive, where you go, what you look like, your fingerprints, your DNA, your tax records, what websites you visit, who you email, who you phone, where you phone from, where you shop, what you buy.

Now, with this, they will control the information you receive as well.

At this time of year, we remember The Fallen, who gave their lives for something that is, when it works, intangible - freedom. Freedom to speak. Freedom to think. Most importantly, freedom to learn and make your own independent decisions.

This isn't a political matter. The Intelligence and Security Committee is cross-party. The members of this LabLibCon committee are ALL guilty of trying to remove YOUR freedom.

Enough. Enough. ENOUGH.

Whatever your political persuasion, this blatant assault on freedom of information - on the freedom of the press that has endured so long - should disgust you. I implore you to contact your MP - write, phone, email, visit the constituency surgery. The time has come to take a stand and say ENOUGH. Or one day you will wake up and I won't be here. Neither will Guido Fawkes, Iain Dale, Old Holborn or anyone else.

And you will only know the doubleplusgood Ingsoc newspeak that bb goodreports regularwise in goodthinkful presspaper news.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Stop With The Sanitising

(This is also published on Dad-O-Matic, where it also seems to have touched a nerve....)

I've had all I can stand, I can't stand no more....

I am sick, sick SICK of hearing that for my surfaces to be 'clean' I need to have killed all the bacteria as well, for the sake of my children. What utter, pointless, dishonest, health-&-safety crap.

Firstly, the bloody Dettol advert is in itself misleading. It states quite clearly that "1 bacteria can become 2 million overnight", so you should use Dettol to be clean and safe. It then tells you it kills 99.9% of bacteria - thus ensuring that when you use it after dinner you're going to leave 1% remaining. Which means you'll be well past that 2 million count by breakfast anyway.

Bacteria Maths 101:
99.9% of 2 million = 1,998,000. Leaving 2000. So if 1 can get to 2 million overnight, that means even if you start with 2 million then use this, the next morning you'll have two billion of the hardy little buggers, all of which come from the original stock that survived your chemical attack. Futile, innit?

Secondly - who the hell says that every surface in the house needs to be sanitised to within an inch of its life? I don't plan to eat sushi out of my sink, nor have a quick snack of steak tartare on my kitchen floor. For that matter, neither will my 3yo. And I'll be making my son scrambled eggs, not performing an appendectomy on him (though if he wakes me up at 0530 again, I may feel some temptation. . . .)

For the same reason, why on earth do I need to kill off every single bacteria present on the *inside* of my toilet? I want it looking clean, sure - but let's face it, if I wake up thirsty in the night I'm probably going to grab a glass of water from the tap, not dip a glass into the lavatory bowl. Even if I'm pretty drunk.

I believe - I truly, absolutely believe - that it's hugely important for children to be *exposed* to bacteria. Pretty much all of us grew up playing outside, making (and probably eating) mud pies, splashing in puddles and $DEITY knows what else. Sure, some of us got sick. But the really cool bit is that our bodies defended us from the illness when we got sick, and in doing so developed in us a resistance for the next time some nasties came along.

I know the 'health and safety, protect kids at all costs' would dearly love us to keep our offspring in sterile oxygen tents, breathing HEPA-filtered air scrubbed of any and all airborne pathogens - and they do their level best to guilt-trip us into doing so. But that's not how we started, not how we evolved. We didn't even have antibiotics until the 1940's - we certainly lacked 'anti-bacterial multi-surface biological cleany-sterilisy fluid stuff.

Maybe I'm wrong - but if we already have a plethora of antibiotic-resistant pathogens because of historical over-prescribing of antibiotics, aren't we increasing the risk to our children by reducing their exposure to the bacteria that surround us every day? Aren't we forcing our kids back into the shallow end of the gene pool, and increasing their risk of contracting something really nasty at some unspecified future point?

These adverts attempt to guilt-trip us into using their product to protect our children. I personally think that by their use, we're doing the exact opposite.

Easy Pork Steaks That Taste Complicated!

Given the globe-trotting nature of The Darling G's employment, you may have correctly surmised that I spend a great deal of time eating alone. As a result, it can be difficult to make sure that I eat properly - but I try, and what I thought I'd do is share with you the odd recipe or two that I use, when alone, so cook up something tasty (and quick) to eat! This one, for example, normally takes me about 25 minutes overall. Plenty of time for a busy Man. And it looks, and tastes, as if it took a great deal longer.

Oh - and if you're single, you can use them as an 'offer to cook', which should result in you no longer being single. Just call me the Lurve Doctor.

So for this one, you'll need:
  • Two Pork steaks (or chops, I don't really care);
  • Various veg (I used baby sweetcorn, brocolli, mange-tout and leeks. Choose anything that'll steam quickly);
  • A lug of Veg stock (or pork stock) and some water;
  • A couple of spuds;
  • A glass of red wine;
  • Plenty of butter.
Peel and chop your spuds, and stick them on to cook.

Put a frying pan on a low heat. Add a good knob of butter and a bit of oil. Chuck in the pork. Cook the steaks on a lowish heat for 10 minutes. Leave them alone - don't move them.

You've got plenty of time now to sort out your veg and pop it all into a steamer. Stick the kettle on as well.

Turn the pork steaks. Another ten minutes. DON'T MOVE THEM.

10 minutes later:

Steaks out of the pan, spuds off the heat, water into the steamer, veg onto the steamer, Put the steaks aside to relax, set the timer for another 10 minutes.

Whack the heat right up under your frying pan, pour in your wine and scrape the pan clean. Add your stock and water. Let it reduce while you mash your spuds.

In the last two minutes, throw a bit more butter into the sauce and stir like mad. It'll thicken up and go glossy.

Pork steak. Mash. Fresh, steamed veg with a killer wine reduction. Less than 30 minutes from first getting the idea, and rather tasty if I do say so myself.

And it could get you lucky. Aren't I helpful?


They shall not grow old, as we who 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.

In loving memory: Ernest David (Bill) Simmons 1918-1992

Friday, November 07, 2008

'Drowning The Silence' - Week 2 Update

Well, the second week of 'Drowning The Silence' is done, and we're up to Chapter 9.

I am, as before, in bewildered awe at the amount of visits the site has received, and by your lovely comments. You can find examples here, here and here.

I can't tell you how amazing it is to have the response I've received to this. While I still harbour the dream of a publisher or literary agent readint this and getting in touch, the fact is that 'Drowning The Silence' is picking up more hits in a week than this Blog does in a month, and there's a real feeling of pride to know you've created something that people are reading, enjoying and coming back to again and again.

Chapter 10 will hit the Interwebs on Monday, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as you have done so far. And thanks again for reading.

PS: I get lucky soon, in case you were wondering. . . . .

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Where's 'Dixon of Dock Green' . . .

. . .these days? Where are the REAL coppers?

So I'm reclining in my sickbed this evening, when at quarter past seven the doorbell rings.

I open the door to be greeted by two rather burly asian gentlemen in green reflective jackets. The closest to me flashes a card round his neck for about a picosecond.

"Evening. We're from EDF. You've got an account with us and. . . "

"Let me just stop you there. We don't have an account with you. What's your reason for calling, please?"

"Er. Well. Er. You called us out and. . ."

"No, we made no such call. Now, please would you state the reason for your call, and may I see your ID again?".

"Um. Er. No, we'll write. Bye.".

Well, cynical and suspicious Dungeekin that I am, I check with my neighbour. She's had them knock on her door - they tried a sales pitch on her, and pressed quite hard to get through her door.

I get straight on the phone to EDF Energy, and through to a supervisor, fully prepared to unleash The Wrath for an unsolicited doorstep call - Only to be advised that EDF don't cover Oxfordshire. Never have. Probably never will.

According to the incredibly helpful J***** Th******, team leader, they've got nobody in the area. She even checks with her maintenance and sales teams before calling me back to advise me to call the Police.

I do so.

They're very helpful, taking all the details...and they call me back 15 minutes later to tell me they've seen the men in question and that they have IDs.

"Have you checked with EDF?", I ask.

"No.", says the copper in question. "They had IDs."

"Fine - except EDF, the company they purport to represent, are saying they're bogus".

So I call EDF again. EDF call Thames Valley Police - who say they've got 'someone' (their word) keeping an eye out. According to JT, they're about as disinterested as it's possible to be.

What. The. Fuck.

We have elderly and vulnerable people living in this development. I've just been around all of them warning them, and in some cases giving them MY number. Where are the police?

We pay our Council Tax. WHERE ARE THE POLICE??

They can stop a few blokes walking down Whitehall in Halloween masks, but they can't be bothered to look for a couple of guys who've been proved in pretty much every way to be bent - probably distraction burglars? Does one of my neighbours, or someone else in this town, have to have seven shades of crap kicked out of them before the Plod will actually put down their coffee and look for genuine criminals?

Well. EDF are pissed off and JT is escalating the Police response through their management chain. I thought I was going to be writing a post savaging them for their sales approach - as it is, instead I'm praising them for their responsiveness, communication and attitude and slaughtering the Fingermen for not giving a shit about real crime.

When an elderly person is robbed, or when they have their savings or jewellery stolen by these bastards - I'm going to make more noise about the Plod's attitude than you can possibly imagine. They need to get off their lazy, tea-swilling arses, stop searching 'politicals' and deal with real criminals, attempting to do real damage to real people in my local area.

A Message For The Database State

So now the Goonverment plan to use retailers to gather biometric data?

Fantastic. You can tie our ID cards to our Clubcards, so you know what we bought last week. Oooh, you'll be able to compare our purchasing to our credit history and PAYE records, to decide whether we're living within our means, or arrest us for buying unhealthy foods.

How much information does Big Brother want to hold on us?

Well - you want to log loads of information? Parse and log this, you bunch of arsebiscuits.

Explosion Gordon Brown Bomb is a complete IRA nuclear totalitarian warhead moron Allah Akhbar, and both he explode terror and his Al-Qaeda personal Beria bomb Semtex Islamic Jihad of a henchwoman Sarin Parliament Jacqui Smith Tabun assassinate Insh'Allah can stuff Provisional IRA shooting their VX warheads Orwellian CCTV 2lbs of C4 is begorrah surveillance state a martyr attack up their control-freak Stalinist hijacking arses Fatah Hezbollah.

With knobs on.

Every supermarket that puts one of these booths in will be a place I won't frequent. If necessary I will use nothing but farm-shops and markets to buy what I need. My personal, private data is just that and I will NOT cede it to Big Brother.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

From Hope To Despair

Overnight in the United States we saw rapturous scenes of celebration in cities across the country, and replicated across the world, as the election of a new President promised change, hope and a return to true democratic principles.

Less than 12 hours later, I'm plunged back into despair, because I truly believe that we've reached the point where all hope of freedom is lost in once-Great Britain.

I was, sadly, unable to go for a walk today due to illness. The ten people that did, however, were stopped, arrested, and searched and fined. (Updated withe the latest information).

Their crime?

They walked from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

Let me just repeat that.

They walked down a street in Guy Fawkes masks.

No slogans, no banners, no crowds, no noise. Ten men, going for a walk. Stopped by the Fingermen of the state for taking a stroll dressed as they pleased.

Proof, if further proof were needed, that a country that once stood as a bastion, a bulwark of freedom and democracy in the world - a country which has taken arms against totalitarian brutality to defend that freedom - is now itself no longer free.

We have allowed that to happen and we should all be ashamed.

We need an Obama moment in the UK. Sadly, I think now we can expect only a 'Big Brother' moment.

Yes We Can

Words have power.

The pen is mightier than the sword. Jaw-jaw is better than war-war. Pick your adage.

What the people of America did last night was to reject the politics of the sword and, instead, embrace the politics of the word.

Barack Obama's acceptance speech, nuanced with elements from Lincoln and Martin Luther King, was for me the most amazing moment of an utterly incredible, historic night. The first political speech I've ever watched that actually put a lump in my throat.

Yesterday, US citizens rejected the policies of the Bush Regime and the Republican Party. Rejection of a warmongering foreign policy, rejection of an economic strategy benefiting only those who already have wealth, rejection of the racial divisions that for so long have blighted the country. Yet for me the most important rejection was the rejection of the soundbite.

Obama's articulacy and verbal dexterity is so refreshing in a political world dominated by the 10-second soundbite for the evening news. His intelligence shines through in his delivery and, as someone on Twitter said a few moments ago, he is able to think in paragraphs.

I know that it's too early to decide, and that we must wait to see if President-Elect Obama is as able to deliver as he is to talk about delivering. But we can hope, can't we?

Yes. We Can.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hope For A Change

I make no apologies for the fact that the next few days are going to be dominated by politics. Even though I'm not a US citizen, today's Presidential Election will affect not just the United States but the world at large, and today we're on the brink of history in so many ways.

Not just the potential (probable) election of the first black President in a country that was still segregated just 50 years ago. Not just the rumour of a record turnout, and a possible landslide victory even eclipsing the Reagan victory of 1984.

Americans today have the chance to change not just their Commander-in-Chief, but also to start to rebuild the perception of their country in the wider world. They can begin to rebuild the rights granted to them by the Constitution, shredded and scattered to the four winds by the worst President in history and his equally venal henchmen.

America has the chance to step away from war-mongering, from those who advocate the spread of democracy over the barrel of a gun, whose actions have made them guilty of a third Crusade against Islam.

By voting today, US Citizens can choose real change. Diplomacy instead of deadly force, conversation in place of cluster-bombs. The reinstatement of the rules of Law, of the Geneva Convention, of global accords against torture. Most importantly, the reinstatement of the Civil Liberties envisaged by the Founding Fathers and enshrined in your Constitution.

Your country has a chance to make a change that we in the UK may never have. I'm excited by it, and I hope that the change your country so desperately needs comes about. Starting tomorrow.